18 Ideas for Saving Money at Disney World

If you’ve ever looked into taking a Disney World vacation, you at have been shocked at the price tag. That said, you really shouldn't let those numbers scare you away. This is because there are tons of ways to save loads of money on your Disney vacation, and that means you can have all the magic with a much smaller price tag.
18 Ideas for Saving Money at Disney World - tips and tricks

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
your dreams.

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

Chelsea enjoys full-time RV living and traveling with her tiny tribe.She homeschools her son as they travel, and takes full advantage of their unique situation by using the entire world as her son’s classroom. Besides traveling and learning with her little one, Chelsea enjoys Irish dance, singing, riding bikes, finding new coffee shops, and sitting around the campfire. You can follow her adventures at Wonder Wherever We Wander.
Beth Gorden
Beth Gorden

Beth Gorden is a homeschooling mother of six who strives to enjoy every moment with her kids through hands-on learning, crafts, new experiences, and lots of playing together. Beth is also the creator and author of 123 Homeschool 4 Me where she shares 1000+ free printables, creative homeschool lessons, crafts, and other fun ideas to help preschool and homeschooling families have fun while learning and exploring together.