I’m probably not alone when it comes to wanting to economize any way I can when it comes to my Walt Disney World vacation. Vacationing in the Happiest Place on Earth is definitely expensive, from travel to get to the parks, tickets, food, photos, and of course, any souvenirs you may be eager to bring home. Here is my personal list of Disney hacks that’ll save you big money.
1. Bring Your Own Snacks
I often will bring a pack of gummy snacks, banana or peanut butter crackers with me into the parks. They’re snacks that will be small enough to conveniently fit inside your purse or backpack and they’re just enough to get you through to dinner. While you can’t avoid spending money for your actual meals, bringing your own snacks is an excellent way to keep your family full without having to pay $4.95 for an ice cream bar (times how many guests that are in your party!)
2. Carry Your Water Bottle
The second I get to the parks, I purchase a bottle of water. Instead of tossing it in the trash once I’m done, I carry it with me for the remainder of the day and refill it, thanks to the water fountains that are conveniently located throughout the parks. This is especially a life-saver if you visit Walt Disney World in the summer months, because you’ll need to stay hydrated. Buying water bottle after water bottle can become quite expensive by the end of the day.
3. Best Time To Visit
Park tickets range between off-season and peak pricing, meaning that you could be paying extra money during popular times such as Christmas, New Year’s and anytime the kids are off school during the summer months. Do your research by visiting the My Disney Experience website because they’ll list the prices for you to help you make the best decision.
4. Purchase Multi-Day Tickets
The longer you plan to stay in Walt Disney World, the better deal you’ll get on tickets. The price of entry gets cheaper each day you add on a ticket, starting at 3-days when you buy online. It may not be a huge Disney hack, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind if you’re planning a vacation and think it’s better to save up and buy each ticket individually. It’ll end up costing you more money in the long-run.
5. Stay off Disney Property
While I adore staying on Disney property because of the immense perks that come along with it, if you’re looking to truly economize, you might be better-off staying off property. While hotels in Orlando can still cost a pretty penny, you’ll find a wider selection that will best fit your needs and your budget.
6. Set A Food Budget
One thing that often gets overlooked is not setting a food budget per day. Realistically speaking, I think a family of three can get by on a $100 a day, but that requires some work and research. Food in Walt Disney World, if you think about it, probably ends up costing just as much as any restaurant you’d eat at back home. For some reason on vacation, we throw our cares into the wind and that can end up costing us some big bucks by the time our night in the parks are finished. Set a daily budget and bring cash, because it’s easier to stay on track when you see your money start to dwindle down.
7. Skip PhotoPass
The one great thing about a Walt Disney World vacation is the complimentary use of the Disney PhotoPass photographers. While they will still take a proper picture of you to scan to your MagicBand for purchase, they have absolutely no problem with taking the same photo with your cell phone. It’s a great way to capture all the magical memories of your vacation without the hefty price tag.
8. Buy Disney Gift Cards
One great hack I’ve learned is to buy Disney gift cards ahead of time because these can be used in the park, not only on meals, but on snacks and gifts. You can purchase these yourself here and there, or you can tell friends and family that you’d prefer gift cards for your birthday or any upcoming holidays. It’s a small hack that will make a huge difference on your day in the parks.
Well there you have it, my personal list of Disney World hacks that’ll save you big money. When it comes down to it, the best way you can economize on your magical vacation is to do your research and save, save, save. Be cognizant of money and you’ll realize that by setting a budget on your next vacation, you’re still not missing out on any of the Disney magic.
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!