How To Save Money At Disney World Orlando
Disney World Florida is the dream trip for many families. However, we all know that it comes at a great cost. In my Walt Disney World on a budget I outlined exactly how much a trip to land of dreams could cost.
After my latest trip to Magic Kingdom I decided to take that one step further. By together this article outlining the many ways that you can save money at Disney world.
Make Your Own Autograph Books
Big kids and little kids alike love to collect autographs from their favourite characters around the park.
It can easily feel that you’re missing out if you don’t have an autograph book – especially when everyone else in line does. Disney have of course been able to capitalise on this and charge around $12 for a small book with a couple of pages.
A great solution to this cost is to make your own autograph books before you go. Helen and I put together this great demonstration of how you can create one for as little as £3.60 using supplies from Poundland.
This is also a great way to drum up the Disney World excitement before you’re trip!
Don’t Buy Souvenirs at Disney World – Get Them Elsewhere
Disney World Florida has a vast number of souvenir shops. In fact, I’d assume there’s over one million different Disney World items you could buy inside the parks.
However, a vast number of souvenirs can be picked up much cheaper. You can either opt for getting second-hand Disney World merch online through websites such as eBay.
Or shop around while you’re in Orlando. Both mainstream stores and independent outlets stock thousands of different Disney products at approximately 50% less than the price you’d be paying inside the parks.
Another great trick is to visit the Orlando Premium Outlets. There’s a Disney Outlet with lots of ‘old’ stock available with up to a 70% discount!
Or Don’t Buy Them At All…
You’ll notice in our trip reports that we buy no souvenirs. We collect moments and memories rather than things.
I’m a minimalist, however I know to many that’s on the ‘extreme’ end of things. So instead I challenge you to have a look around your local carboot sales, thrift stores etc. You’ll be surprised how many of those Mickey Mouse bobbleheads someone just had to have will appear.
If you’re still not convinced then maybe think about the additional experiences you could have on your trip if you avoid buying gifts and souvenirs. It could be anything from an additional day at the theme park to a fast pass upgrade or character breakfast.
Stay At A Disney Hotel
Staying at a Disney hotel doesn’t really sound like the budget option. However, when you consider all the extras included it very much can be.
The major financial benefit of staying in a Disney hotel has to be the Magical Express Bus.
This bus will collect you from the airport and bring you right to your hotel door. It’ll also bring you back on departure day. Not only will this enable you to skip the long lines at the car rental, it’ll save you $$ on rental, gas and parking (which is $25 a day!)
There’s also a complimentary bus service from your hotel to any of the Disney parks or Disney Springs.
However, if you decide to drive to Florida you can still transport yourself around the resort. That’s because the hotel offers free parking at the hotel, at the parks and at Disney Springs.
However, if you do choose to stay on-site…
Choose A Value Disney Hotel
These hotels include the all-start resorts as well as the Disney campsites.
If you’re travelling by car or as part of a large family then the campsites can prove amazing value for money with up to 10 people able to share one pitch in two tents or one tent and an RV. Fill it to maximum capacity and you can be looking at as little as $4 per person, per night!
If you’re a little unsure, consider how much time you plan to spend in your room anyway. If it’s just to sleep then why pay double or triple for the privilege of staying in one of the fancier hotels?
Bring Refillable Water Bottles
Unlike Universal Studios, Disney doesn’t offer a great deal on drinks. Instead you’ll be paying around $3 for a bottle of water or soda.
You’re able to get free cups of water in any of the Disney restaurants, however this isn’t always most convenient when running between rides or waiting in lines.
Instead bring your water bottle. You’ll be able to fill it up at the number of different water fountains across the park. We personally opt for the CamelBak brand.
If you’re not a fan of tap water (like me!) consider getting a small flavour pack.
Go When Your Child Is Under 3
My final save money at Disney world trick could save you as much as $400. That’s because kids under three get free admission to all of the Walt Disney World parks.
With a four day child ticket costing $297 in 2017 that’s one large saving for the sake of changing your trips start date by as little as a few days or weeks.
As always I’d love to know how you look to save money at Disney World. Let me know your favourite tips and tricks in the comments below…