There is no question about there is a cost associated with Disney magic. A Walt Disney World vacation can be expensive. However, there are a lot of ways to keep costs down on a Disney World vacation if you’re looking to save a few bucks. In some cases, you can save a surprising amount of money with just a few easy tips!
Money Saving Tips for Disney Vacations
Although there are plenty of ways to save money on a Disney vacation, I’ve found these tips to be the most crucial and impactful when you are stretching your dollars. You may even save so much that you decide to splurge on an extra tour or event that wasn’t in your budget. However you choose to vacation, it never hurts to save a few dollars wherever you can!
Good Neighbor Hotels
These three words should be music to your ears if you are doing Disney on a budget. You can really save money on a Disney vacation with a lower nightly hotel rate.
Good Neighbor hotels are non-Disney owned, quality hotels that uphold Disney standards and maintain a good relationship with the resort. They may not be much thematically, but these hotels have reliable upkeep and many of the perks and benefits of staying at a Disney owned hotel.
They are also typically cheaper than staying on property. Many of these hotels include complimentary shuttles and free breakfast as well.
Budget Your Meals
Speaking of breakfast, one of the best ways to save is by budgeting your meals. It’s not just thrifty, it’s really fun to do. Disney makes it extremely easy to meal plan by posting all menus and pricing on their website.
Deciding where to eat and what you will have for every meal helps you save money and plan better for the rest of your day. Whether you only dine at counter service restaurants or throw in a splurge or two, advanced meal planning is the easiest way to save money on a Disney vacation.
As a fun exercise, look at the cost of a Disney Dining Plan, then go and plan your own meals. Is your personal plan cheaper or more expensive than the Disney Dining Plan?
Avoid Park Hopper Tickets
This is a tough budget tip to follow because it is nice to hop from park to park. These tickets are presented as an option, so you get charged whether you park hop or not. Moreover, you pay for the option for each ticket on your multi-day pass. It may not seem like much of an upsell by Disney, but it really adds up.
On top of the additional cost, you don’t get any more value. Each of the parks can easily take a full day or more to explore. Cutting one experience short to sample another one has questionable value.
Paying for the option to do so for every day of your trip doesn’t make much sense. Park hopping at Walt Disney World is not as convenient as you would think when you factor in travel time and security checks. The best way to save money on a Disney vacation is to buy single park passes and use your day wisely.
Convenience items and forgotten essentials can come back to bite you when you arrive unprepared at the hotel. The amount you’ll pay for things like sunscreen and aspirin is– well, let’s just say it’s a bit high.
Consider carefully what you will need while you are away at Disney and double-check that you’ve packed it all so you don’t get caught off guard.
Enjoy Free Activities
Around the resorts there are plenty of free things to do that will save you money. Consider “Movies Under the Stars,” free drawing classes, free tours, and more.
While in the parks, look into included activities like Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom in Magic Kingdom, Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure in Epcot, and Wilderness Explorers in Animal Kingdom.
Free activities are always included in your stay and park ticket, you just have to know where to look to find them!