7 Tips For Affording A Walt Disney World Vacation

One of the biggest arguments against heading to Walt Disney World is the cost. Disney is known to be expensive, so many families shy away. There are ways to save money on a trip to Central Florida. Here are seven tips to help you pay less and make the vacation of a lifetime affordable.

7) Limit the Souvenirs and Pay With Cash

Souvenirs can take up a large part of your vacation budget. The costs add up quickly, and if you charge them you will end up with a credit card bill higher than you planned. Set a souvenir budget before you leave home, maybe one T-shirt and one hat per member of the family. When you buy souvenirs, pay in cash. Also, wait until the end of the day to buy those mementos. You don’t want to pay $25 for a T-shirt, only to find one that you like better an hour later.

6) Bring in Snacks

Food is another place where you can spend more money than you expected. The easiest way to save money on food is to bring in your own snacks. Disney allows you to bring food into the parks, so take advantage of this. Bagels, granola bars, and peanut butter sandwiches are all portable and won’t go bad in hot weather. Eat breakfast at the hotel and bring lunch and snacks with you. Then you will only have to buy one meal in the parks each day.

5) Skip Park Hopper

Park Hopper is necessary if you plan on hitting more than one park a day. If you and your family would rather spend your vacation exploring one park at a time, Park Hopper will just be an added expense. A family of four will save over $250 if they skip this option. Not buying Park Hopper will also help you to save time, because you won’t use part of your day traveling from one park to another. If you arrive at Walt Disney World and realize that you want Park Hopper, you can add it later.

4) Look for Ticket Discounts

You might be eligible for discounts that you don’t know about. If you’re a member of AAA, CAA, or AARP, you can save money on tickets. Active and retired US military members and their families receive discounts, and are also eligible to stay at Shades of Green Resort, saving even more money. You can also save a few dollars if you buy your tickets through a Disney Parks – USA Selected Ticket Seller, just look for the logo. One word about discounted tickets, be careful when you buy them. Tickets advertised on Craigslist and eBay may not be real. Also, don’t buy used tickets from the places near the parks with the giant balloons that advertise “Cheap Tickets”. Reselling used tickets is illegal, and they won’t get you into the parks. Some of the Cheap Ticket places are legit, but you’ll be expected to sit through a long, high-pressure timeshare presentation, which will eat into your vacation time.

For a no obligation, FREE Quote with new bookings contact our sponsor Magical Vacation Planner by calling: 1(407)442-0289 Or for a free no obligation quote with new bookings you can fill out the form by Clicking HERE!

3) Stay Off Property

The Walt Disney World hotels are incredible, but they are also expensive. If staying on property is not a priority for you, stay in one of the thousands of hotel rooms that aren’t far away. Many of them have shuttles to the parks, so you won’t have to pay for parking. If you have a large group, consider renting a vacation home. There are some beautiful two to six bedroom houses available for rent, and the cost is less than you might think. A vacation home will have a full kitchen, a washer and dryer, and might even have a private pool. A house could cost less if you need more than one hotel room.

2) If you Stay ON Property

There are some advantages to staying on Disney property. If you are flying into Orlando International Airport, you can use Disney’s Magical Express. They will pick you up at the airport and take you directly to your resort, so you won’t have the expense of renting a car – plus, you’ll have to pay the overnight resort parking fee. If you travel at the right time, you might be eligible to receive the Quick Service Disney Dining Plan for free, which will save you a lot on food. If you’re staying on property, call Disney directly instead of booking online, and ask the operator about deals. You just might end up paying less. Better yet, contact a travel agent that specializes in Disney vacations. They’ll know where to find the deepest discounts.

1) Travel During the Off Season

The best way to save money on a Walt Disney World vacation is to travel during the off season. If you travel during the summer or around a holiday, you’re going to pay top dollar. If you visit during a slower time of year, there are deals to be found. September is the beginning of the Value Season, and the discounts last until right before Thanksgiving. The beginning of December is good as well. Once you get past the holidays you’ll find more discounts. A good rule of thumb is that you’ll pay less if schools are in session. You’ll find discounts both on and off property. When you visit during the off season, you’ll save money and have the added benefit of waiting in shorter lines.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.