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How To Save Money Whilst At Disney World!
A trip to Disney World is quite pricey so how can you save money whilst you are there?
Here are some handy tips to help you get the most magic out of your Disney World vacation but for less!
One of the biggest expenses whilst at Disney World is dining. With over 200 restaurants on Disney property there is so much to choose from! But the costs can quickly add up.
Quick service meals are typically $15 and under, table service meals are around $35 and upwards and fine dining can be over $60 per person! A family of four can easily spend $200 a day on food!
So how can you get to experience the awesome Disney dining but not blow the budget on it?
Share quick service meals! As a rule of thumb a quick service meal that costs $7 is a portion for one, whereas a meal around $14 is larger and could be split. This is a great way to save money if two adults are looking for a smaller meal or to split between children. Look out for dishes that are called platters and combos as these will offer the most amount of food.
Get a cup of free iced water from quick service locations! This can save you loads as bottled water can cost up to $4 in Disney World!
Bring your own reusable bottle and fill up at the water fountains around the parks! This is another great way to save money on water. Some people aren't keen on the taste of Florida tap water so pack in your bag some liquid flavouring or fruit to put in your drink to mask the taste.
Snacks at Disney World can be huge, making them good to fill up on. The Colossal Cinnamon Roll from Creature Comforts, seen in the photo above, can feed two people for around $8, making it a super cheap breakfast option! Mickey Pretzels are massive and super filling. Chowing down on one of these can help keep you going throughout the day so you spend less on meals.
Look at menus online for prices so you can budget before your trip. You can do this by clicking here! This can really help you know how much money to bring for dining before you go. It can also help you decide which restaurants you wish to dine in based on price. For example dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table is $62 per person, (this is a reduced price as there are no characters present!), whereas a character dining breakfast with Mickey and his pals at Topolino's Terrace costs $42. Both are fantastic memorable experiences but the price difference may be a factor when decided where to book.
Some restaurants serve the same menu at lunch and dinner but dinner is more expensive. Be sure to check out the menus on the Disney World website before you go!
For the most bang for your buck eat at All-You-Care-To-Enjoy restaurants. Here you will pay a set price for your meal, usually three courses, but can eat lots as your server will bring out more of the foods you enjoy! This is a great way to really fill up for a set rate.
Bring water and snacks in your bag. I like to visit a supermarket on the day I arrive at Disney and stock up with water, drinks and snacks I can put in my bag. This helps save a huge amount of money as buying drinks and snacks in the parks will easily cost between $4 to $10 a time!
Have breakfast in your hotel room. Having breakfast items bought from a supermarket in your hotel room will also help reduce costs and can save you time, so you can head straight to the parks instead of finding somewhere to eat for breakfast first.
Be sure to check out my dining guide to find out everything you need to know about dining at Disney World plus lots of tips and tricks on how to pick the best restaurants, score the hard to get dining reservations and which restaurants are hidden gems! Dining Guide for Walt Disney World and Vegan Guide for Walt Disney World!
Coming home with some awesome souvenirs is a must! But Disney merchandise can be famously pricey. So how can you get it for less?
Shop at the Disney Character Warehouse! This is an official Disney outlet store which you can find in the Orlando Premium Outlets. There are two locations, one at Vineland Avenue, just outside of Disney World Resort and on International Drive, near Universal Studios. In the Disney Character Warehouse you will find lots of items that are still on sale in the parks at full price! This is great for apparel, caps, mugs, toys and even children's costumes.
Designer brands such as Dooney & Bourke, Danielle Nicole and Alex & Ani can also be found at the Disney Character Warehouse. If there is an item from these designers you have been wanting to buy be sure to visit the Character Warehouse as you may bag yourself a bargain!
This store is also a great place to pick up gifts for other people. You will be getting official park merchandise but for significantly cheaper prices.
If travelling in a group look out for deals such as buy multiple t-shirts to get discounts! You will often find deals displayed throughout the gift shops at Disney World and in Disney Springs. Take advantage of these to save money!
Head to Uniqlo in Disney Springs for Disney t-shirts but at cheap prices!
Target and Walmart are good to visit to buy Disney licensed merchandise. If you are looking for something Disney-themed, such as an autograph book or ponchos, these are great stores to visit as their versions will be much cheaper. You can also save on items that kids love in the parks such as bubble wands and glow sticks.
Which resort or hotel you stay in will change the prices dramatically. So how can you save on this vital part of your vacation budget?
Look out for deals Disney are offering! Disney frequently has offers on, including free nights or discounted rates. Be sure to take advantage of these to save money!
Check out websites like Hotwire. These sites give you a description and star rating but don't tell you which resort you will be staying at until you book. This can be a gamble but you are able to select specific areas, with Disney World being one. People have been lucky and have gotten to stay at a Disney Resort for a heavily discounted rate this way.
If you will be staying off-site use websites such as Expedia and Booking.com. They have really great prices and you can also see reviews of the hotels. At the moment you are able to take advantage of book now, pay later options and free cancellation so you don't have to pay out any money ahead of your trip and can amend or cancel if you need. Perfect in these uncertain times!
Factoring in transportation costs can add a lot of dollars to your trip so here are some ways save on getting around Disney World.
If staying at a Disney World Resort you get complimentary transport! This can save you major money on the cost of taxis or hiring a car. Disney Buses run from every resort to the Disney Parks and Disney Springs and many resorts also have additional transportation, such as the monorail, the Skyliner and boats. If you are looking for a resort with multiple transportation options consider these:
Skyliner Resort - Value - Art of Animation, Pop Century Resort
Skyliner Resort - Moderate - Caribbean Beach Resort
Skyliner Resort - DVC - Riviera Resort
Monorail Resorts - Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian Resort, Polynesian Village Resort
Boat to Magic Kingdom Resorts - Grand Floridian Resort, Polynesian Village Resort, Wilderness Lodge, Fort Wilderness
Boat to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios Resorts - Beach Club Resort, BoardWalk Inn, Yacht Club, Swan Hotel, Dolphin Hotel
If you have a car and are staying at a Disney Resort you get free park parking! You do have to pay to park at your Disney Resort but if you are staying at a value or moderate resort you will save money this way! Parking in the Disney parks costs $25 a day. To park at a value resort costs $15 a night, at a moderate resort $20 a night and at a deluxe resort $25. You can save up to $10 a day this way!
Use the free Magical Express to get from the airport to your Disney Resort! Disney has the complimentary Magical Express shuttle which saves on paying for a taxi from the airport. This service will continue to be free until 1st January 2022. After then the service will still operate but will become a paid for service.
If staying off-site then see if your hotel has a theme park shuttle. Some hotels offer this service for free, others for a fee. If the shuttle is frequent enough this can save you money on taxis or hiring a car.
If you have a car and are staying off-site check before booking to see which resorts offer free parking. This will save you loads of money as it can cost upwards of $20 a night to park at some hotels! (Plus don't forget to budget for parking at the theme parks which is $25 a day).
The most vital part of your package will be your Disney tickets. Is there any way to make these more budget-friendly?
Book with companies such as Attraction Tickets and Florida Tix. These sites offer great prices and are particularly good if you want to visit other theme parks in Orlando as you can get combo tickets. By purchasing a combo you get a cheaper rate.
Ticket companies often include added extras. I bought my Disney World tickets with Attraction Tickets and got a free Star Wars Magic Band, free covid cover and for a small charge I can cancel at any time for any reason and get a full refund. It is great to have that peace of mind in the present time!
Using a mixture of these tips you can end up saving lots of money whilst at Disney World! There is nothing better than having an amazing trip but not breaking the bank doing so!
If you are now ready to start planning your next Disney World trip then be sure to check out my Ultimate Planner! It covers everything from a savings tracker, packing list, reservation number template, ride guide, tons of dining templates and much more!
Get your copy today by clicking here!