10 Top Money Saving Tips For Walt Disney World

No matter what size our budget, we all look for ways to save a little money at Walt Disney World. Whether Guests are trying to lower out outgoing costs or pack even more fun into a budget for the same amount of money, tips and tricks for the dollar conscious are some of the most frequent questions we get asked. Here's 10 Top Tips for making the most of your money at Walt Disney World.

10 Top Money Saving Tips For Walt Disney World10 Top Money Saving Tips For Walt Disney World

1) Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin often offer discounts when other on property resorts don't. Plus you still get Extra Magic Hours and Free on-site Transportation. Look for special rates just for teachers, emergency responders, AAA, and AARP members.

2) Consider your room view. Will you be at the hotel relaxing, or will you be out at the Parks all day? If you don't plan on hanging around the resort much, then a standard room with a less glamorous view can save you big in your budget.

3) Traveling with more than four? Consider getting a second room adjoining at a Value Resort rather than upgrading to a Deluxe Property or a Villa. Depending on the resorts and time of year the savings can be significant - AND you get a second bathroom!

Money Saving Walt Disney World Hotel StrategiesMoney Saving Walt Disney World Hotel Strategies

4) Ice Water is free at all Walt Disney World Counter Restaurants. Pack some flavor enhancers in your day bag and ditch the soda. This small savings adds up fast over the course of your vacation, and it will better help keep you hydrated.

5) Chose Quick Service Restaurants for your meals. Walt Disney World offers so much more than typical theme park fare. Pre-plan your vacation meals by looking up where the best quick-serve eateries are in the parks are over at the Disney Food Blog. You could even try to eat your way around the world just stopping to snack at all the quick-service restaurants at Epcot!

6) If you do chose to eat at table service restaurants, visit during breakfast or lunch when prices can be much lower. Looking to save money on a table service breakfast? Try Boma, Kona Cafe, or Whispering Canyon - there are no Characters so you're just paying for the delicious, hearty food.

Money Saving Walt Disney World Dining StrategiesMoney Saving Walt Disney World Dining Strategies

7) Bring inexpensive rain gear from home. A poncho at Walt Disney World will set you back at least $10, however lighter disposable ones can often be found at the local Dollar Store.

8) Bring your own camera. Photo Pass photographers are everywhere at Walt Disney World snapping shots for Memory Maker. My secret to more family photos though is to hand them my camera. They are more than happy to take a picture of you with your own camera in addition to the shots for sale. In fact, any Cast Member will cheerfully take a picture with your camera if you ask them to, just speak up.

9) One Park per day. I know that many veteran Disney lovers swear by the spontaneity friendly Park Hopper ticket add-on. My money saving secret, is just going to one Park per day. There is more than enough to do for an entire day at all of the Walt Disney World Theme Parks, and when you know you have all day in the same place it allows you to slow down and really enjoy the visit.

10) Switch out a Park Day for Resort adventure. Did you know that a ticket to Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, and Disney Quest costs almost half of what a Theme Park Ticket does? Renting a boat or bike, playing a round of mini golf or flying on a hot air balloon can drop those costs even more. Walt Disney World is so much more than just the Theme Parks, with world class shopping, dining and fun all across the property it's easy to take a day off from the hectic touring and relax while you enjoy even more Disney adventure.

Money Saving Walt Disney World Ticket StrategiesMoney Saving Walt Disney World Ticket Strategies

Our most important money saving tip is less about what to do and more about how to plan. Ready? Here you go - do the math for yourself. Don't just take anyone's word for what works best. When it comes to creating your vacation budget, you know your family's needs better than anyone else. There are so many ways that you can work the numbers on a Disney vacation it's impossible to say which tip will be your favorite money saver. I go without a Park Hopper, but I wouldn't dream of giving up my room with a view.

Play around with the figures and decided where you can save to make it work. Start out planning with your ideal trip and then try doing the numbers for a cheap trip - you'll find vacation bliss somewhere in between. Happy Planning!

What is your favorite money saving tip for Walt Disney World? Leave a comment below and tell me where you pinch your pennies.

Elaine wrote on Thu, 01/22/2015 - 16:07:

Elaine's picture

Start buying Disney gift cards as soon as you know you are going. That way you are not spending all that money at once or charging way over your budget. Some places you can buy them at a discount (Sam's Club) or buy them where you get some kind of perks (fuel perks Giant Eagle) and you get more bang for your buck. I did this when we went for 10 days and I ended up not charging one souvenir or anything else. I also brought money home. You can use them almost anywhere.

Kristen K. wrote on Thu, 01/22/2015 - 20:00:

Kristen K.'s picture

Great tip Elaine! I buy them at Target with my red card and get 5% off - if I have a pharmacy reward from Target it's another 5% off on top of that. I find that it really helps me to budget with them when I want to make sure everything is pre-paid.

alicemouse wrote on Thu, 01/22/2015 - 20:26:

alicemouse's picture

I heard this week that Disney resort gift shops are actually going to start (or have started) selling 24-pack cases of bottled water for $6. Still expensive, but WAY cheaper than buying in the park and you don't have to have a rental car or pay a grocery delivery fee to get it.

AnnielovesDisney wrote on Thu, 01/22/2015 - 21:27:

AnnielovesDisney's picture

Just an FYI for anyone who doesn't read the fine print before booking the Swan or Dolphin, they each have a mandatory nightly resort fee of $23. If you have a car they both also charge $18 per night for self parking and $26 a night for valet. Per week add $161(or $287-$343 with a car) to the price of your hotel for the week. There's nothing worse than getting hit with a huge Extra bill, that you weren't expecting, at checkout.

Kristen K. wrote on Fri, 01/23/2015 - 11:20:

Kristen K.'s picture

Great advice Annie, thanks for letting us know!

Alice, that would be a fantastic addition to the gift shops.

Lynn M wrote on Fri, 01/23/2015 - 14:08:

Lynn M's picture

We pack snacks, cereal, peanut butter and jelly in our suitcases. Then the day we get there we go to downtown Disney to eat, then walk to Hess buy a loaf of bread, milk and beer. Plus, my husband and I share a lot of dinners we eat out because it's too hot to eat a big meal.
We also have a hydration pack that we fill with ice from the hotel. Ice cold water when it melts, which doesn't take very long to do.

Tori wrote on Tue, 01/27/2015 - 16:54:

Tori's picture

We always bring a Brita water bottle. We can't stand the taste of the water, but the cost of water adds up. They'll give you water and ice free at any cart or food stand. My daughter and I calculated that on one 2 week trip it saved us $300!

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