Saving Money at Disney World
Wondering what in the world you need to do to get these incredible savings? Simply follow the tips below and you’ll be well on your way to an incredibly affordable Disney World vacation of
Don’t miss our other tips and tricks as you are Disney World Planning
#1: Buy Discounted Gift Cards
Stocking up on gift cards before your trip can save a substantial amount of money. For the biggest savings, purchase discounted Target gift cards from Raise.com and use those to buy
Disney gift cards.
You may also want to watch Raise, Groupon, and other discount gift card sites for deals on Starbucks cards, which can be used at the Starbucks locations in the parks. Additionally,
discounted Landry’s cards are often available and can be used at Rainforest Cafe, as well as T- Rex Cafe.
#2: Join Landry’s Select Club
Besides the discounted gift cards mentioned above, you can also save at the Landry’s locations by joining their club. While joining does cost a bit of money, you receive that amount back in the
form of restaurant credit. You’ll also receive a birthday reward, so vacationing near your birthday makes this a great deal.
#3: Choose Lodging Wisely
Lodging is expensive, so be sure to choose wisely. The least expensive options are as follows:
- Disney Value Resort — Rates can be under $100 when vacationing during low season and using a discount site to book. (here’s why you want to stay at a Disney World hotel)
- Fort Wilderness Campground — All the benefits of being onsite at $55 during low season. Of course, you will be staying in a tent unless you have an RV.
- Off-site Hotel — Staying off-site will always be the cheapest option (for example, you can stay at the Howard Johnson 12 miles away for $32/night). However, this option does require you to go outside of the “Disney bubble” on a daily basis. It also means you’ll be paying $20 to park.
- Off-site Camping — If you are considering camping, you might also consider off-site options. There are actually quite a few campgrounds in the Orlando area, and staying in one of these might save you a chunk of change.
#4: Check Out CheapTickets and Orbitz
CheapTickets and Orbitz often have incredibly good deals on Disney Value Resorts. These become even better when combined with the discount codes found on their sites plus an Ebates
Also look for discounted Disney World tickets on these sites. While the deals aren’t always the best, they can become the best when used in conjunction with a rebates site.
#5: Try Undercover Tourist
Another option for discounted tickets is Undercover Tourist. This site usually has the best deals on tickets overall, so I recommend checking them out for sure.
#6: Join the YES Program
Disney’s Youth Education Series includes a variety of classes for students of all ages. By joining in these awesome classes, students and their family members receive discounted park tickets.
That said, individual enrollment is no longer offered by YES. Therefore, you will need a group of ten or more kids to take advantage of this offer.
#7: Find a Passholder Friend
Want to stay off-site but don’t want to pay for parking? Find a friend who’s an Annual Passholder. These individuals park for free, so if you ride in with them, you won’t pay a dime to
#8: Bring Your Own Breakfast
By packing some cereal, granola bars, apples, and other simple breakfast items you can skip the expensive food court for breakfast meals which will save you time and money.
#9: Pack Lunches for the Parks
Those who are on a really tight budget might also consider packing lunches to take to the parks.
Food is allowed in each of the four parks, so doing this shouldn’t be an issue.
HINT: We did this our first trip to Disney World. You can order groceries to be delivered to your hotel and make sandwiches and bring in fruit, chips, crackers, cookies, etc. You’ll save more than you realize! We did this before Hurricane Irma was due to hit Disney World in September 2017.
#10: Skip the Dining Plan
We recommend that those looking to save money skip the Dining Plan. Sure, the Disney Dining Plan allows you to eat at fun, interesting restaurants and order a lot of food. But do you need all the food? Probably not. If you are looking to save money we say skip it!
#11: Peruse Menus Beforehand
Before your trip, take a look at restaurant menus to find the ones that stand out as a good value. Make notes of this info and have it on hand when everyone’s tummies start rumbling.
#12: Find Shareable Meals
Finding shareable meals is always a good way to save. Pizza from the hotel food courts (or the Boardwalk Pizza window) is a great example of this. Additionally, the family meal at Trails End
Restaurant in Fort Wilderness is a great shareable value.
#13: Take Advantage of Food Court Amenities
All Value Resort food courts include toasters, microwaves, peanut butter, jelly, and a variety of other condiments. Take advantage of these things.
#14: Have Fun Outside of the Parks
Disney World offers tons of fun stuff to do outside of the parks. This means you can plan some non-park days into your vacation and save money on tickets. Some of the best non-park options
- Nightly campfires with Chip and Dale at Fort Wilderness
- Miniature golf
- Nightly outdoor movies at all Disney Resort Hotels
- Disney Springs shopping and entertainment
- Dancing with Cinderella (every afternoon at the Grand Floridian)
#15: Pick Up Free Souvenirs
There are tons of free souvenirs at Disney World.
#16: Buy Must-Haves Beforehand
Don’t like the freebies mentioned above? You might consider buying and bringing these Disney World must-haves beforehand. This will cut back on the “I wannas” and will cost much less than buying things in the parks.
#17: Roadtrip It
Plane tickets are another huge cost. Why not skip the plane and opt instead for a road trip? Time spent on the road as a family can be used to connect, and the long ride will make the
destination even sweeter.
#18: Don’t Check Bags
If you must fly, save several bucks by choosing not to check bags. Simply wear layers on the plane and pack necessities in a “personal item” backpack. Plan to do laundry in your resort
laundry room while you’re there. Or take Southwest where bags fly free.
I don’t know about you, but I love saving money, and I love it even more when I’m saving money on a Disney vacation. Why not give these tricks a try to see how much you can save?
Disney World Tips and Tricks
- Everything you Need to Know about Disney Magic Bands
- How to Get MORE Fastpass+ (like 15+)
- Best Rides to Pick for Disney Fastpass+
- Disney Vacation Packing List
- 5 Things You’ll Want to Bring on a Disney Vacation
- 15 Ways to RUIN a trip to Disney World
- 7 BEST Shows at Disney World
- 28 Great Places to Eat on the Disney Dining Plan