Heading to Disney World or Disneyland is a dream of many children and adults alike. However, this dream does not come cheap. Fortunately, there are things you can do to save money on your trip, both before you leave and in the parks. Here are seven tips to help you save.
1. Book Your Trip for Non-Peak Times
Whether you are looking to save some cash or simply avoid the crowds, this is a great tip to follow. By going during the less busy seasons, you can save money on everything from park tickets to hotels to airfare. Try to avoid the parks during school vacation times, early spring, the summer months, and major holidays like Christmas and Halloween.
2. Buy Tickets Not From Disney
Comparison shopping is always a good idea. You can likely find discounted tickets to the Disney parks if you look around a little bit. Just make sure you buy them well in advance. Here are a few places you can look for discounted tickets:
– Undercover Tourist
– Official Ticket Center
Be careful when purchasing tickets from individuals on websites like eBay or Craigslist. There is a high risk that the tickets are fraudulent. You should also watch out for people who try to sell unused portions of old tickets for cheap. Nowadays, tickets are connected with people’s fingerprints and transferring tickets is not allowed.
3. Don’t Fly, Drive
Though it is not impossible to find discounted airfare to Orlando or Los Angeles, you could save a considerable amount by driving to the parks. This, of course, depends on where you are coming from. Make sure you at least compare the costs before purchasing an airline ticket.
4. Bring Your Own Rain Ponchos
Florida especially is known for its rainy weather. If you find yourself in the park on a rainy day, do not leave. Rainstorms typically pass quickly and, if you wait it out, you can enjoy a nearly empty park. Also, be sure to bring your own rain ponchos. Do not buy them from the park as they are wildly overpriced.
5. BYOF (Bring Your Own Food)
Fortunately, Disney World finally allows their visitors to carry in their own foods and drinks. If you’ve been to any theme park restaurants, you’ll know what an advantage this is, for the $10 price point of a single hot dog and drink. Plus, you’ll probably end up feeling better packing a small sandwich, rather than eating a warm, unhealthy lunch.
However, it’s important that you’re careful with your food, especially perishables. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to bring in any large, coolers to the parks, but you can pack your lunch in a small, insulated lunch bag, which you can put in your daypack.
However, keep your eye out for Disney fans trying to sell you park meal plans, which are available for resort guests who pre-purchase package deals. But, they’re only worth it if you plan to eat at the park or can afford it.
6. Avoid Sacrificing Your Wallet to the Souvenir Shops
If you’re trying to watch out for your budget don’t head to the souvenir shops, especially if you have children. Instead of purchasing costly items that will break by the time you get home, buy small souvenir items such as Disney figures and glow necklaces at brick and mortar stores outside the park grounds before you head home. Just make sure your kid doesn’t see them until they are “dying” to have a souvenir item, so they think you bought them something from the shop. However, this also applies for anything else park workers may try to sell you in the parks, such as sunscreen or water.
7. Go Camping, Rather Than Book a Hotel
One of the cheapest ways you can get lodging at Disney World is to camp at Fort Wilderness. Not only is it fun to hang out around the campfire at night, and enjoy the swimming pool, as well as the campground, but it’s also really inexpensive compared to hotel rooms in the area.