For most families, a Disney vacation is a splurge – something that they save for and plan for. While a Disney vacation isn’t cheap, there are definitely some ways to save money. Here are my top tips for saving money at Walt Disney World.
Go in the off season
I know that you can’t always control when you travel on a family vacation. But if you do have the option to travel during the off season, you’ll definitely be able to save money. From plane tickets to your hotel stay, rates are typically lower when you travel when school is in session. I prefer to visit Walt Disney World in either early May or late September. Disney often offers great deals in the fall – even free dining plans.
Look for Deals
You may be able to take advantage of some great deals, especially if you can travel when school is in session. I recommend checking out the independent site, MouseSavers, which collects many of the different deals you can find. You can also check with your employers or AAA (if you are a member) to see what deals they may offer.
Stay on property
This probably seems counter intuitive, but there are lots of great reasons for staying on property. You can even skip renting a car – a big savings. In addition, guests that are staying on property can book their FastPass+ allocations 60 days in advance (compared to 30 days in advance for guests staying off property). The value resorts can really be a great deal. If you’d like extra space, look at the Art of Animation, or consider Pop Century for standard hotel rooms.
Take time off from the theme parks
If you want to save some money, you don’t need to spend every day at the parks. Instead, set aside a day or two to play mini golf, hang out at the pool, and enjoy Downtown Disney.
Buy souvenirs elsewhere
You can get a great deal on Disney souvenirs outside of the parks – even keep an eye on the Disney store to find sales. You may also want to purchase autograph books and pens before you arrive.
My family rarely eats a large breakfast, so I bring along granola bars from home so we can quickly eat in our room. It’s a great way to save money. I also pack some basic snacks for the kids and bring them with me to the parks.
If you feel that you’ll need lots of snacks, grocery delivery is an option. I haven’t used them, but lots of others rave about the Garden Grocer. They’ll delivery directly to your hotel room.
If you don’t get the dining plan, and decide to purchase a la carte, consider sharing some meals. Many of the entrees, especially at the quick serve locations, are large and easily shareable.
What are your favorite tips for saving money at Walt Disney World?