Check Disney for Deals
This tip may sound kind of obvious but Disney World did not offer deals or discounts for quite some time. Now it is aggressive in its marketing packages and offers visitors better deals. You can get freebies (free park tickets or free food during your stay). You can check Disney Go for the latest coupons and deals. If you purchase a deal package like this through Disney it will likely require a minimum stay of four days. These packages are also not usually valid during peak seasons (the summertime or around the holidays).
Buy a Multiday Pass
Park tickets are just about the only fixed price when it comes to your Disney vacation, however, if you stay longer you can get each day cheaper. Usually a day ticket for an adult would be $89 but a seven-day pass would equal out to about $41.14 per day. You can also get a heavy discount if you are a Florida resident or you are traveling with a Florida resident. For instance, my grandmother lives in Florida and we go to Disney World once a year or so. Because she is a Florida resident she gets a discount on tickets and the resort stay.
Don’t Drive to Disney
If you don’t live in Florida and are traveling a long way, don’t drive to Disney World. By staying on the resort you can get the resort’s Magical Express coaches from the Orlando International Airport for free. While you are staying on the property you can also rely on the free Disney Transportation System to take you where you need to go (all of the Disney parks, resorts and Disney Springs).
Go to Disney During a Down Time
When my grandmother and I visit the most magical place on Earth we do some research on the “off seasons” so that we don’t have to deal with crowds. You will also save a bit of money if you plan to go during the park’s down time. In late August, September and January prices for the cheaper resort rooms (Value resorts) start at $85 per night.
Stay Off the Resort
There are plenty of hotels and discounted resorts in Orlando and Kissimee (close to Disney) that you can get into for far less money than the Disney resorts. This will save you money on lodging, however, if you don’t stay on a resort you will have to drive to the theme park. If you drive to the theme park be prepared for a bit of extra walking as well as be prepared to pay for parking.
Visit Free Attractions
Once you’ve paid for your resort and your park tickets be sure to enjoy all of the free attractions and activities. Most of the resorts have nightly events. For instance, when I was visiting Disney earlier this year the resort I was staying at had a movie by the pool each night. You can also go to one of the many nighttime shows at the parks, ride the monorail, ride the ferry, see a parade. Once you’ve paid for your Disney experience be sure to make the most of it and take advantage of all of the attractions that you possibly can.
Make Your Own Meals
Instead of purchasing a pricey dining plan or paying out-of-pocket for each of your meals on your Disney vacation you can bring snacks or small meals to make in the room. You can purchase microwaveable meals to make in your room at the resort. You can also bring things like apples, granola bars and other snacks. This can save you a fortune when it comes to food on your vacation. Also, if you do eat out and don’t finish your meal, plan ahead. My grandmother and I often order a sandwich at lunch time and eat half. We bring plastic baggies and, once we eat half of our sandwich, we place the other half in the bag for later (or for dinner).
Don’t Drink Soda
Not drinking soda can save you money not only on vacation but other parts of life too. At Disney World large drinks are over $3 and if you drink more than one a day over your week vacation that can add up! If you are a soda drinker, try to limit yourself or if you are staying at a Value resort purchase a souvenir mug. Souvenir mugs are purchased for a flat fee and “activated” for the length of your stay so that you may receive any type of beverage from the soda fountain or the cafeteria at your resort. The souvenir mugs saved my family tons of money when we would visit Disney plus it is a great thing to bring home to remember the trip.
Plan a ‘Free’ Day
You can have a completely free day on Disney property (it is possible!). This means you won’t have any theme parks on your schedule for that day and you simply focus on free things like hanging out by the pool, walking around downtown Disney, taking tours or walk around the resort and just people watch.
Don’t Buy Souvenirs
Souvenirs are something that many people try to bring back for everyone they know or even to just remember the trip by. Live by the saying “collect memories not things” on your Disney vacation and it will save you plenty of money. Take photos and buy cheap, small things to commemorate your trip by. Don’t stress about bringing a ton of things home, instead be concerned with collecting your memories on vacation.
Do you have any tips on how to save money at Disney World?
Photo: Flickr: Haydn Blackey