Everyone looks for ways to save money on a vacation to Walt Disney World. While you aren’t able to save much on ticket costs, there are some ways you can stick to your budget while enjoying a lot of what Disney has to offer. It would be worth your while to go online and find a free budget template that will allow you to track and manage your finances a lot easier. This, in turn, will give you a better picture on just how much you can delegate towards entertainment, vacations, etc.
1. Bring your own snacks.
Disney allows you to bring in outside food as long as it doesn’t require heating, reheating, processing, or refrigeration. You aren’t able to bring in picnics, and snacks add up quickly when you are buying them multiple times a day.
We always try to pack grab-and-go type snacks in our backpack to keep us on track with our budget. Peanuts, granola bars, and pretzels are great things to curb our hunger between meals. Be careful with anything chocolate or gooey, as the Florida heat will have it melted in no time. We also bring a water bottle to refill at the fountains. Flavor pour-in packets are also great ways to save you from buying juices and sodas.
2. Stay at a Value Resort.
Saving money doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the magic of staying on Disney property. In the off seasons, Value resorts can be very reasonably priced at around $100 per night. You get free transportation to the parks as well as Extra Magic Hours. Having that extra time at the parks is definitely something worth taking advantage of.
3. Look at the menus before you go.
Even if you aren’t big on reservations, pull up some menus. The menus will give you an idea of where you want to eat as well as prices. Once you know how much things you are likely to order cost, you can make sure that your daily budget is going to cover the type of restaurants you are interested in.
Sharing meals is another good way to save some money. Disney portions are very generous and easily shareable with children or adults.
I’ve never had an issue with ordering off the kid’s menu at a Quick Service restaurant and I’ve found their portions to be completely satisfying.
If you are planning on doing more expensive restaurants such as Be Our Guest, this helps you decide which time of day to get a reservation. We decided to go for breakfast, which is much cheaper than dinner. You don’t have to miss out on experiences to stick to your budget.
4. Skip the Park Hopper Passes.
If you are going to Disney for enough days, just buy one day tickets. This saves money on each ticket and gives you more time at each park. I can easily spend a whole day at each and every park. We like to re-ride our favorites, take lots and photos and not feel rushed.
5. Spend a day resort hopping or at Disney Springs.
Each Disney resort has it’s own unique theme, and each one is worth visiting. Not only are the themes different, but they offer different dining experiences.
Even though Disney Springs is a shopping area, you don’t have to a lot spend money to have a good time there. There is plenty to walk around a take in.
6. Set a souvenir budget.
I like to give my kids a set budget. They know that they are allowed to spend their money however they want and they don’t get more once it’s gone. It is a great way to teach money management. I set a strict budget for myself, as well. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and splurge, but having a separate souvenir budget helps keep it in check.
I always make sure that I add extra in my budget for “Have To Have” items (such as Dole Whips and Mickey Waffles), but these are some ways that I have found to keep me from crying when I look at my bank statement once I return home.
What are some ways that you save money?
– Kimberly Barley