If you’ve ever planned a Walt Disney World vacation, you know visiting the mouse is not cheap! Between airfare, park tickets, and hotel, you can end up spending thousands of dollars on your dream vacation. Once you arrive at Disney, you may also have additional expenses including food and souvenirs. Fortunately, there are several easy ways you can save money on your Disney vacation!
- Stay At A Value Resort – For many families, most of their time at Disney is spent in the parks and not at the hotel. Why pay hundreds more for a moderate or deluxe hotel when you won’t be spending much time there? Even if you do chose to spend part of the day at the resort pool, the value resorts offer great themed pools that you and your family are sure to enjoy.
- Purchase Gift Cards – If you have a membership to Sam’s Club, you may have noticed they sell Disney gift cards. These gift cards are usually sold for a few dollars less than the amount on the cards. You can use these Disney gift cards to pay for almost everything on your vacation, including park tickets, hotel, food, and souvenirs. Purchasing the discounted gift cards to pay for your vacation will save you a little bit of money.
- Drink Free Ice Water – In order to comply with Florida law, Disney will provide a cup of ice water to you at no cost. With bottled water and soft drinks costing several dollars each, drinking this free ice water at meals can save quite a bit of money throughout your vacation.
- Split Meals – The meal portions at Disney are usually rather large. If your family eats like mine, a half portion may be enough to fill them up. Splitting meals at Disney can significantly cut the cost of dining on your vacation.
- Use Disney Transportation – Disney provides free transportation to guests staying at Disney resort hotels. This service starts when you arrive at the airport. Disney’s Magical Express will transport you for free from the airport to your hotel. They will also provide free transportation to the airport for your return home. Buses provide transportation from each hotel to the parks, Downtown Disney, and anywhere else you would want to go on Disney property. Depending on which hotel you stay at, you may even have access to free transportation via monorail and ferry boat. These free transportation options can save you money by eliminating the need for a rental car if you plan on staying at Disney for your entire vacation.
- Travel During The Off-Season – Traveling to Walt Disney World during peak times such as summertime or Christmastime will cost you quite a bit more. If your schedule allows, plan a vacation during the off-season at Disney. They usually lower the costs of hotel rooms during these times in order to attract more guests to visit the parks. The off-season at Disney includes, with the exception of holidays, January – early February, late August – September, and late November – early December.
Do you have any other special tips to help save money on your Disney vacation? We would love to hear them in the comments below!
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25 thoughts on “Money Saving Tips For Your Next Disney Vacation”
I wish I had known during my last trip that you could bring in soft sided coolers and your own bottled water, would have saved me quite a few bucks! This year we were thinking of filtered water bottles, but there’s 10 of us so I’m not sure it’ll be cost saving….
They might! I’m not a member there, so I don’t know for sure. But if would definitely be worth looking into. Let us know if you find any there.
You’re welcome! Have fun on your trip!
I wonder if they sell similarly discounted gift cards at Costco…gonna have to check that out!
Thanks for the tip on purchasing gift cards at Sams Club. We have a membership there and I did not know they sold them 🙂 We are going in the off season and I knew about the water!!! LOL We are driving from VA so hoping that saves some $. 🙂
Great idea! It’s always good to save room for some souvenirs!
Since going to Disney, we have learned the magic of packing light and spending a couple of hours to do laundry really saves room in the luggage for all the great memories and souvenirs. Pack a couple of pods from the travel section!
Great tips! I love the Pringles idea!
When my kids were in strollers we would bring a soft sided cooler in to Disney with capri suns and sodas and water bottles with ice from the hotel and when they are gone we dump the water and ice out. I also would bring string cheese, hard boiled eggs, and yogurts and then of course non cool things like pringles cans are good because the chips don’t get crushed and trail mix and granola bars. This tides us over between meals. You could rent a locker and keep the cooler in there. Now we just bring a backpack with snacks and a few drinks. Drink enhancers work well with bottled water. Disney water tastes bad.
Purchase souvenirs ahead of time like Tshirts. Disney.com always has different sales so check periodically leading up to your trip. Saved me tons!
Eating snack items for meals is a great way to save money and dining credits! When I go to Disney, I usually end up eating only 2 meals a day and a snack, just because the portions are too big for me to eat 3 meals a day. Plus, that’s a great excuse to get a Mickey bar! 🙂
We just got back from a great vacation there-sigh-and am already ready to plan the next one! We bring our own bottled water, snack bags of chips, fruit snacks, granola bars, etc, and pack them for snacking. We also use the dining plan, and use many snack items-such as muffins, yogurt parfaits, and cups of soup, for a quick meal. This also saves more of our counter service options, so they last throughout the whole trip.
I always try to avoid the water from the water fountains, as well. The water bottles with filters sound like a great idea!
Unfortunately, traveling in the off-season hasn’t really been an option for my family in the past. But if you can go then, it’s a great time to go – less crowds and a cheaper price!
That is awesome! Sounds like it’s probably a much better deal than getting the gift cards from Sam’s, if you have a Red Card.
Great tip! Thanks for sharing it with us!
The water from the water fountains at Disney doesn’t taste the best. So, before we left for our last trip we purchased water bottles with filters and they worked out great! We also go in the off season when they offer the free dining.
You can also get 5% off Disney gift cards at Target if you use your Red Card. And another 5% off if you have pharmacy rewards.
Sign up for the Target Red debit card – it gives you 5% off Disney gift cards as well if you don’t have a Sams Membership. For whatever reason, “gift cards” are not included in the 5% off, but they view Disney’s as an “entertainment” card so it qualifies.
We did this on trip last September. We bought cute character water bottles from the Disney store on clearance before we left and we refilled at the water fountains. I used the packets (I like my half and half tea) and the kids used the kool-aid enhancers. Crystal light is even making the liquid ones. Saved so much money.
Unfortunately, there is no way to get to Walmart for free. You will need to either have a rental car or take a taxi.
Have fun on your trip! I love the All-Stars! That’s where we usually stay on our vacations.
Another great tip! I’ve been thinking of doing that for my next trip. I recently tried Mio for the first time. It is awesome!
Bring Water Enhancers – buy one bottle of water, get free ice water the rest of the day, fill the bottle and add a squirt of the enhancer … now the free water is portable, tastes great, helps you stay hydrated – and you only paid once! 🙂 They come in all brands and flavors and take up no room in a cross body bag or small back pack.
hey, we’re staying at all star resorts. is there any way to get to a walmart for free?
Great tip! Snack items like those can be a little more expensive at Disney, so you’re better off bringing some from home.
Pack snacks like dried fruit, nuts, Buddy fruit, peanut butter crackers ( whatever your family likes)
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