When most people think of Disney World, the first adjective that comes to mind is usually Magical. But when parents start planning the trip, the most-used adjective is usually Expensive! Our contributors pooled together their best ideas on how you can plan your Disney vacation without breaking the bank. We love all the creative ideas and hope you can take advantage of some of them.
1. Use a Disney Vacation Planner
Travel agents are paid by Disney and come at no cost to you (in most cases). They can usually secure exclusive hotel discounts and other perks that you may not come across on your own. Plus, you can pick their brains with your countless questions and also have them arrange all of your activities and dining reservations.
2. Join the Ways to Save for Disney Group
Over 50,000 members are sharing 50+ posts a day just about how to save money at Disney. Join the Ways to Save for Disney Facebook group for tips from experienced Disney visitors.
3. Target Gift Card Discounts
If you have a Target Red Card, you automatically receive a 5% discount on their Disney e-gift cards. Sam’s Club and some other retailers also offer discounts on their Disney e-gift cards (with some restrictions). Gift cards can be applied to your ticket purchase and so much more so stock up!
4. Bring Your Lunch and Snacks
Let’s face it – buying food inside the park is expensive. If you can plan ahead, you will save a good amount of money by bringing in sandwiches and fruit for lunch. Pack snacks like granola bars and raisins too so you’re not wasting money every time someone is a little hungry. Also,
5. Visit During Off-Peak Weeks
If your kids are still young, consider taking them out of school for a few days for your Disney vacation. Hotels will be less expensive and you’ll have the added benefit of dealing with smaller crowds. To find out the best times to visit, read our article: The Best Time of Year to go to Disney World.
6. Stay Off Property
You will get so much more for your money if you find a hotel off Disney property. This is an especially great option for families because you can get affordable rooms with full kitchens. You can also try Airbnb to find a comfortable home for your stay (maybe even one with a pool!) Many off-site hotels will also offer park perks like early entrance. You should also check your hotel points and see if they can be used for the trip. Yes, you will have the added hassle of transportation to and from the parks every day, but it’s definitely something to consider when weighing your options.
7. Stay at a Disney Value Hotel
If your heart is set on staying on Disney property and you don’t want to compromise, choose a Value or Moderate hotel to decrease your cost. The kids won’t notice a difference and you will still have a great experience.
8. Buy Souvenirs in Advance
If your kids are still young and don’t know the difference, purchase Disney gifts in advance and present them with one every morning before you head out. This could be Mickey ears, a Disney t-shirt, a coloring book, or anything Disney related they would love. This way you don’t have to worry about a meltdown in the park when they want to buy an overpriced souvenir.
We hope those tips will help you stress a little bit less about the cost of a Disney World vacation! Yes, it takes time and planning but we promise you will still be able to put together a magical trip for your family. Do you have any other cost-saving tips to share with our readers? Comment below and let us know!
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