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8 Ultimate Tips For Saving Big On Your Walt Disney World Trip

8. Make a packing list, and check it twice!

One easy way to spend extra money on any vacation is to buy things that you will definitely need after you arrive at your destination. Buying things like toiletries and clothing that you could just as easily have packed is not the best use of your money while on vacation. Even things like umbrellas and ponchos (which you’ll probably need in Florida, especially if you’re visiting in the summer) can add up when you need to re-purchase them for each member of your family.

7. Check for the best deals

There are actually a couple of ways to get the best deals on your Walt Disney World vacation. When booking a trip, the first thing I always do is check the special offers page on disneyworld.com. This page will let you know if there are any deals (usually on the room rates, but sometimes on ticket and hotel packages or free dining) that are taking place during the dates you plan on traveling. Booking under one of these deals is generally the best way to save some money on the trip itself, especially if you plan on staying at a Disney resort, which I highly recommend. Just remember that if you choose to use the free dining discount, you will most likely be paying full price for the resort rooms, so make sure that you’ll be eating enough to make the dining discount worth it.

6. Plan how to pay for dining

One of the most expensive parts of planning a Disney trip is figuring out how you’re going to pay for food, which can really add up when you’re paying for your entire family. The dining plan is definitely one way to save money if you think you’ll eat the food that’s offered, making it worth it. Check some menus before you book, and compare price estimates of the meals you’d have each day with the cost of the plan to see what’s best for you.

5. Bring snacks from home

Especially if you’re visiting the parks with a few kids, bringing snacks with you can easily save you some money. Kids tend to want everything they see, and this is not always limited to merchandise. By bringing snacks that you know the kids love, you’ll be saving time and money by eating those snacks while you’re on the go.

4. Don’t pay for water

Never pay for water while visiting a Disney park! Bottled water can add up, and it’s much easier (and free!) to just ask for a cup of water at a restaurant. You can go to any quick service restaurant and ask for a cup of water. This water is free, and will not even have the funny Florida taste that you may be worried about as the water is filtered.

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3. Budget for shopping/recreation

If you’re like most Disney fans, you have a difficult time controlling yourself when there are lots of souvenirs that you feel like you just need to bring home. Aside from shopping, you may also feel like there are so many things you want to do during your trip, but you have some anxiety over wondering how you’ll be able to pay for those things. Saving up extra money before your trip is extremely beneficial– when you’re on vacation, you don’t want to feel limited. Put money aside in a separate bank account, or on gift cards, and when your trip comes you won’t be so worried about paying for all of the things you want to do.

2. Have soda when there are free refills

If you’re a soda drinker, don’t pay for the bottles that you see at merchandise shops in the park. Rather, purchase soda at table service restaurants or at quick service locations that offer free refills. This point may sound a bit silly, but even something inexpensive like soda can add up when you pay for a couple of family members.

1. Visit the outlets

If you really feel the urge to go shopping, there are actually a couple of places where you can buy authentic Disney parks products without paying full price for them. If you’re able to get off Disney property at all during your trip, look into which outlets are around that are part of the Walt Disney Company. For instance, the Character Warehouse in Orlando typically sells last season’s theme park merchandise, as well as other random items that have some overstock.

About Chaz Saldi

Charles Saldi is a Disney College Program alumnus, who worked on Main Street USA in Custodial during the spring 2015 program. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Arts degree in History while residing in the New England area. In addition to being a lover of all things Disney, he is also the Social Media Manager for BrittanyEarnsHerEars.com, a blog devoted to documenting personal experiences about the college program by author Brittany DiCologero, and other program alumni.