There’s no way around it, a Walt Disney World vacation is not cheap. Between tickets, accommodations, meals, souvenirs, and uncharge experiences, a trip to the “Most Magical Place on Earth” can be very cost-prohibitive. However, believe it or not, there are actually are some ways to avoid overspending and to save money at the vacation kingdom. These are five of the easiest to implement on your next Walt Disney World trip.
There are numerous advantages to staying on Disney property (earlier access to FastPasses, Extra Magic Hours, transportation, etc.), however doing so doesn’t mean you have go for the Deluxe Resorts. Disney’s Value and Moderate Resorts offer the same basic benefits and Disney atmosphere at sometimes a fraction of the price.
They may be missing some important qualities — prime location on the Monorail, signature dining, recreational activities — but if you’re just looking for a place to lay your head and maybe relax by the pool, Values and Moderates can really work for you — and save you some money!
Bring in Outside Food
While admittedly food is a major part of the theme park equation, you can avoid spending too much on sweet snacks and small meals by bringing food into the parks, including a homemade lunch and snacks like granola bars. Now, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t indulge a bit, but if you limit your in-park food purchases to dinner and perhaps one snack, you can definitely save some cash.
Use Disney Gift Cards
A quick trick to stick to your budget on a Disney vacation is to put your daily cash allowance on a gift card for each day of your stay. That way, you’ll have a definitive amount to spend each day – outside of emergency situations, of course – and once you’re out, you can simply stop spending for the day.
This strategy requires some serious planning, starting with menus from around the World so you’ll know how much to budget for meals and snacks. Check out AllEars’ menus here — with a handy search function!
Buy Disney Souvenirs Beforehand
If you’re traveling with younger children, you’re likely going to hear countless requests for light-up wands, plush characters, and every other toy you can possibly imagine. A quick way to honor some of these requests without going over your spending limit is to pick up Disney toys before you leave for your trip. You can introduce a new toy or souvenir of the day, or save them for when your little one makes a special request.
Remember that you can often find in-park souvenirs online at ShopDisney, where you can capitalize on sales in order to stock up before you go.
Minimize Impulse Purchases
If you have older children who can tell the difference between items available at Disney Parks and those that can be purchased outside the parks, don’t fret, there’s still a way you can avoid overspending at Walt Disney World. Institute a rule that each member of your group can pick up one souvenir item a day – within a set budget parameter – and stick to it. That way, everyone knows not to buy the first item they see but rather to make sure they truly want something before spending on it.
Saving money at Walt Disney World isn’t easy, but every little bit helps. Try these tips to save here and there, and browse tips from AllEars readers to find strategies to save even more!