Walt Disney World Budget Tips from a Penny Pincher

Disney Gift Cards

5. Gift Your Disney Vacation

A recent trend in gift giving has families and friends gifting experiences instead of items.  My family loves reducing clutter and holiday stress by gifting money/gift cards toward vacations and experiences instead of gifting items. Why not gift your kids or spouse with a Walt Disney World vacation?  By going light on kid gifting for holidays and birthdays and involving kids in vacation planning you can give your child vacation memories they will never forget. Skip spouse gifts and you may be able to roll significant funds into your Disney vacation account.
If you are like me and have family members that insist on gifting you during holidays, share your dream Disney vacation vision with them.  Disney gift cards are a great way for family that want to know what you would like to receive, to buy you a gift you will enjoy as a family. After your trip, send photos of your vacation to family members thanking them for the gift card and sharing some things you loved about your vacation.

6. Bring Your Own Groceries

Dining costs during a Disney vacation can add up quickly. Save money of food by bringing your own snacks and sandwich materials to offset or eliminate dining costs on your vacation. Pace yourself to save as much money as you choose.  My family never buys breakfast on a Disney vacation; we just grab a banana and granola bar from our snack bag.  On lower budget vacations, we choose to eliminate dining costs by eating sandwiches and ready-made food at our resort. Microwave popcorn for resort movie nights and mac and cheese cups are great snack options for resort guests to microwave in a hotel room.  If you do not have a microwave in your room no worries, you can take your food to the quick service eatery in your resort to use their microwave for food prep.

7. Use Discounted Gift Cards

Use gift card websites to buy discounted cards to use on vacation.  Websites like Raise and Gift Card Granny buy unwanted gift cards from people and sell them to others at a discounted rate.  Set alerts to get emails when Disney gift cards or cards to pay for grocery and transportation costs are posted. You can score gift cards for as much as 10% off!

8. Look for WDW Dining Hacks

Bringing groceries to Walt Disney World is the biggest penny pinching hack.  However, there are other ways to hack Disney dining to save! Buying a large pizza to split between the family in your resort room is a great way to enjoy a cheaper dinner in during your vacation. When dining at quick service and table service dining, take the time to research portion sizes and find menu options that can be shared between family members. If you opt to splurge on a table service dining experience, see if cheaper lunch or breakfast dining options are available. Dining during lunch or breakfast saves a few dollars per family member and still allows you to enjoy the dining experience.

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 Disney travel deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!