How to Save Money on Your Next Disney Trip
It doesn’t matter if you’re heading to Disneyland or Disney World, it’s going to cost you an arm and a leg! But wait, it doesn’t have to. Use these tips to save big on your next Disney trip! We went to Disney World three years ago, and my kids are still asking to go back. They said it’s their favorite family vacation.
Travel when others aren’t. Traveling off-season is going to save you the most money. You’ll save on flights, hotels ($69 instead of $199… yes please), and you’ll even save on time spent waiting in line. Slow periods include February, October, and even the week of Thanksgiving! If traveling during off-season isn’t possible, there are other ways you can save money – but this is definitely the biggest.
Go mid-week. Heading to the park on Tuesday or Wednesday is your best bet. Locals flock to the parks on the weekends, making it so much busier – even during the off-season.
Stay on-site. Or don’t. Consider the cost for each option. While on-site hotels are more expensive, they’re also extremely convenient and will save you money on parking. If you have little ones, staying on-site might be your best bet. That’s another reason to go during the off-season… on-site becomes more affordable.
Bonus: You can get into the park an hour early if you stay on-site!
Go more than once. Okay, so this doesn’t sound like the best way to save money, right? But it might actually help! If you purchase an annual park pass, you’re only going to pay a little more than you would for a one time use pass. So, if you’re sure you’ll be able to make it back for a second time in a 12 month period, definitely consider the annual park pass.
Consider all of your options. Are you within driving distance of Disney? Figure out the cost of driving versus the cost of flying, especially if you have a large family. If you’re driving, you’ll need to consider gas and food costs, as well as hotel costs if it ends up being a 2 day drive, and parking fees as well.
Plan ahead for meals. Instead of paying to eat at the park for every meal, you need to make a plan! Breakfast at the hotel – is it free? If not, how far are you from a Walgreen’s, from a grocery store? Grab breakfast at the grocery store, and if you’re close enough to take a lunch break from the park, you can even stock up on sandwich items so you can eat at the hotel. If you just eat one meal at the park (or out), you’ll save a ton. Getting a hotel room with a refrigerator is a good idea, too.
You can also bring food into Disney, as long as it’s not in a glass container. We bring fruit and individual snack packs for the kids, so we don’t have to spend $5 on a yogurt when they’re starving.
Extra tip: Visit vons.com or safeway.com to see if you can have groceries delivered to your hotel.
Bring your own water bottles! Water is $3 a bottle. Think about how many bottles your entire family will go through in a day. If you forget everything else, remember to pack your own water.
Skip the souvenirs. Seriously. Instead of spending $40 on a t-shirt, order them online ahead of time – for half the price! Shop online and get some souvenirs ahead of time. Hand them out to the kids on the trip! It’s like Christmas every day. If you have pretty pretty princesses, be sure to make or buy the dresses ahead of time. Purchasing one on-site would definitely blow your daily budget!
Get a stroller pass. If you have little ones, grab a stroller pass! This allows parents of small children who do not meet the height requirements of a ride to take turns on the ride without having to wait in line twice. One parent goes on the ride, the other stays with the child. Then, the other parent is escorted to the front of the line – no need to wait twice! Also, be sure to pack your own stroller. Paying for a stroller rental each day will add up fast.
Grab a special occasions button! It’s free and the person wearing it will get extra attention all day! This is perfect for the birthday girl or boy, because they get extra fun without having to fork over extra dough!
Check for deals. Keep an eye out on sites like Groupon, Living Social, etc to score a nice deal on hotels or packages for your Disney trip. You could easily save a few hundred bucks this way!
While it’s important to save money, remember to have fun, too! That’s why planning is crucial: plan ahead and you can spend the time at the park just having a blast.
What’s your best Disney tip? Leave them in the comments!