A vacation to Walt Disney World can be a once in a lifetime vacation for many families. It’s can also be a very expensive vacation, too… but it doesn’t have to be. Here are seven of my favorite ways to make your Walt Disney World trip a bit more affordable.
Buy your tickets in advance
If you show up at the gates of The Magic Kingdom or any of the other three theme parks of Walt Disney World, you’re going to pay top price for your tickets. With a little bit of planning before you go, you can save a significant amount of money.
Check with your local AAA office to see what deals they have on tickets (they will also have discounted tickets for other Orlando area theme parks like Universal Studios, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and SeaWorld). Even if you are not a AAA member, the savings on the tickets often make it worth joining if only to get a discount on the tickets.
And if you’re in the US Military, be sure to check with your local recreation office for any current discounted Walt Disney World ticket offers.
Visit Walt Disney World in the off Season
For the smallest crowds in the theme parks and lowest prices on hotel rooms at Walt Disney World, visit during the off-season. While doing this might be a challenge if you have kids in school, if you can you will save money. Generally the off-season is anytime schools are in session, so try to avoid the summer months and the holiday weeks during the year.
Cut Food Costs by Getting the Disney Dining Plan
The Disney Dining Plan is a prepaid dining program that provides for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and one snack. The plans range from quick service only (Disney’s term for their fast-food outlets) to packages that include both quick service and full sit down restaurants, even character breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. And the snacks can be items such as popcorn, drinks, and even a Mickey Mouse ice cream bar!
Book a Walt Disney World Hotel and You Won’t Need a Rental Car
Sure, there are cheaper hotel not actually on Walt Disney World property, but you can often get a room at one of Disney’s value resorts (Disney term for their budget-friendly on-site hotels). By staying at a hotel on-site, not only will you be closer to the parks but Disney will pick you up from, and return you back to the airport at no charge via the Disney’s Magical Express service. And once at your hotel, you’ll be able to get around Walt Disney World at no charge using the monorails, boats, and buses at no charge.
There are additional benefits that are including in staying at a Walt Disney World hotel such as Extra Magic Hours (early entry or extended hours in the evening to a select park each day) and sometimes, Disney even offers the Disney Dining Plan free as an off-season promotion.
Bring Your Own Food into the Parks
Most people don’t realize Disney will let you bring your own food into the parks. Whether you bring your meals for the entire day, or just snacks this is a great way to cut down on the costs as food in the parks isn’t cheap.
Bring It with You Instead of Buying It
It rains in Florida a lot, and if you’re visiting during the summers months you’re almost guaranteed a daily afternoon rainstorm. So rather than forking out close to $10 for a Disney poncho, head to your local Wal-Mart where you can find them for under a dollar. And the rain ponchos are a great way to stay dry on rides such as Splash Mountain in the Magic Kingdom and Kali River Rapids at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Buy Your Walt Disney World Souvenirs at Orlando Area Outlet Malls
There are thousands of stores, kiosks, and vendors selling souvenirs at Walt Disney World. Bud did you know you can get many of the same souvenirs at half off or more? Walt Disney World runs stores at several of the Orlando area outlet malls. These store are where Disney sells of their overstock and discontinued merchandise at fantastic savings.