There are so many fun things to do at Disney World, from simply visiting the parks to taking in a well-known event like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. While most families can’t wait to get their children to the happiest place on earth, most do realize that it’s not the cheapest place on earth to visit. Thankfully, while Disney does cost more than you may have wanted to spend on a vacation, there are a few ways you can make these memories without breaking the bank.
Stay off the property.
While you do get some perks if you opt to stay at a Disney resort, there are plenty of low-cost family vacation resorts in the area. Some of these off-property resorts feature perks associated with Disney, such as complimentary transportation. This way, you can still make it to the park without worrying about parking or spending money to park. Make sure to shop around to find the best place that fits within your budget. You’ll be amazed at what you can save simply by changing where you stay.
Go in the off season.
No matter when you decide to go, keep in mind that there are going to be crowds. After all, it is Disney World, and plenty of people go there on any given day. However, while it will be crowded, you can expect it to be less crowded during the off season, which is typically August, September and January. In most cases, you can snag a great deal if you opt to head to the Sunshine State during one of these months. Keep in mind that if you head out around spring break, summer vacation, or during the Christmas holiday, you’ll likely be spending more on your trip.
Bring your own souvenirs.
Your kids are going to want everything they see when they arrive, and while you’ll want to give it to them, know that it comes with a hefty price tag. Instead of wasting money on souvenirs, bring a few things with you before you go. You can easily find cheaper Disney-related items at your local retail store. Pack things like t-shirts and stuffed animals, and then give them to your kids throughout the trip. This way, they’ll feel appreciated, and you’ll be happy that you saved money.
Opt for discounts.
Disney doesn’t offer many discounts per say, but when they do, you need to snag them up. For instance, Disney offers a discount to military families, so be sure to ask for this when planning your trip, if applicable. In addition, if you have the Disney Rewards Visa card, make sure to redeem your points and use it towards your trip. It may not be an actually discount, but it can certainly help.
Besides Disney, you should also consider discounts you can get from other places. For instance, if you’re an AAA member, see if they offer any discounts. If you have travel rewards, see if you can cash them in for your trip.
Bring your own snacks (maybe).
To be completely honest, you will need to do the math on this one to see if you can save money. Disney offers the Disney Dining Plan. There are many different options that allow you to choose a combination of quick service meals as well as sit down meals and snacks. For some families, opting for the Dining Plan is the best way to go, especially if you have children three and under (who are free). However, for others, the Dining Plan is a waste of money, and you may be better off bringing your own snacks and finding your own meals.
Know what’s cheap and free.
While you will be asked to spend money, you should also pay attention to what is free and cheap around Disney. For example, you can ride the monorail for free, and this is usually something fun for the kids. In addition, you can also trade Disney pins with members of the cast, and this is also free and exciting for children. Disney also offers penny presses with different characters on them. This will cost you $50, but it’s much cheaper than some of the other souvenirs.
If you want to take your family to Disney, but you’re on a tight budget, don’t worry. It’s still possible for you to take the trip and keep money in your wallet.