Top 5 Walt Disney World Money-Saving Vacation Tips

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wdw top 5 money savers

For many, a dream vacation, or a favorite trip “home” means a visit to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. If you feel that this kind of trip is just out of financial reach, you are not alone. But there are ways to save money, and make the dream a reality. Here are five tips that might help:

1. Do Your Research (or work with a Travel Agent) to Find the Best Deals

Disney can be expensive, there’s no doubt about that, but they do offer discounts, deals, and promotions at various times of the year. If you love planning and know where and how to search, or if you’re willing to work with a travel agent who can do those things for you, you can take advantage of those deals, and get a wonderful vacation that will more likely fit within your budget.

2. Plan to Bring Snacks and/or Food to Prepare Meals

Disney allows guests to bring snacks and drinks (not in glass bottles) into the parks. You can save money by bringing in crackers, fruit, chips, water, or juice for snacking, or even sandwiches and such for lunches or quick dinners. Don’t want to carry your meal items into the parks?  Every resort room at Disney (and most at Good Neighbor hotels nearby) has at least a mini-fridge in the rooms. You can take a break from the parks and head back to the resort for some food, some rest or pool time, and be saving money at the same time! If you’re lucky enough to have secured the Free Dining promotion, bear in mind that even Quick Service (counter) meals are plenty of food. If you don’t have big eaters in your party, you can often share a meal, making those meal credits go further. If bringing your own simply won’t work, you can save a little by just drinking water. This will keep everyone well-hydrated, and save you the cost of sodas in the parks or at the resorts. In the parks, you can ask for a cup of ice water at any location and they’ll provide it for you, free of charge.

Be sure to check out Garden Grocer for all your WDW Grocery Delivery Needs! 

3. Save on Souvenirs

It can be difficult, especially with children to avoid spending money on souvenirs at the parks. So, set yourself a reasonable budget for each person for that purpose. Then, you can either pre-buy Disney gift cards in your individual budget amounts for each person to use, OR, you can use actual cash, or buy Disney Dollars (onsite at Walt Disney World). When the budgeted amount is gone, it’s gone, so everyone will have to plan and select carefully. Some families have found that they can buy similar souvenirs at discount stores in Florida, and save even more. This may work best if you have very young children, who won’t be as interested in buying in the parks.

4. Use Disney’s Magical Express and Transportation

If your family is flying into Orlando, Disney offers complimentary transportation to Disney resorts via their Magical Express. When staying on property at Walt Disney World, you will have access to almost everything you need, so most people won’t need a rental car. Disney’s Transportation System can get guests from resorts to parks and back, and to Downtown Disney (Disney Springs). If you live far enough away that you need to fly, or if you just feel that it will make the visit to Disney less exhausting, you’re likely spending plenty of money to do that, so save a little by avoiding the rental car cost.

5. Plan a Day Away From the Parks

Yes, if you buy one less park ticket, you’ll save some money. And it doesn’t mean you have to just do nothing, though you certainly can plan a relaxing day, if that works for you and your group. If, however, you’d like just a lower key day, you might do things away from the parks that won’t necessarily cost you any money, and will keep the group busy and interested. You can hop on the monorail and visit the resorts along the monorail line – The Contemporary, The Polynesian Village, and the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. You can use other Disney transportation to visit Fort Wilderness Lodge or Animal Kingdom Lodge, both of which have grand, beautiful lobbies and grounds to explore – and at Animal Kingdom Lodge, you can find a spot to view the Savanna, and see some of the animals! Walk along paths, take a boat just to enjoy the ride, visit the Boardwalk at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Resort – there are shops, restaurants and performances to enjoy.  AND, if you’ve purchased a package from Disney (resort room and tickets), you’ll have vouchers for free or reduced price miniature golf, admission to Disney Quest (an indoor arcade and amusement park at Downtown Disney/Disney Springs), or spa and recreation options.

So, there ARE ways to save money and make a Walt Disney World trip affordable. If you’re ready to explore this, I’d love to help you find the best value on your next magical vacation. Contact me at and we’ll get started!


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