5 tips to save money in Disney World

Who doesn't want to save a buck on their Disney World vacation? While sometimes it seems like prices can really add up, there are some great ways to keep extra spending under control during your trip. Here's our top 5 tips:

1. Visit Disney World during the off-season. If you can schedule your Disney World during Value Season, when room rates are the least expensive -- you'll not only save money on your resort stay, but the crowds will be much more manageable, too -- a win-win situation!

2. Be prepared. Bring snacks, bottled water, and supplies like sunscreen and batteries into the parks, so you don't have to pay high prices for the same items once inside the gates. Another idea -- bring drink mix packets to mix into tap water in the parks and in your hotel room!

3. Eat big at lunch. If you're paying out of pocket for your meals, but you still want to experience a nice sit-down table service meal, then schedule it for lunch, when prices are lower. Check out Disney Food Blog's list of best values for table service restaurants from Disney World Mom Panelists. Then, try a counter service eatery for dinner, when everyone else is eating a more expensive table service meal.

4. Look for discounts and coupons. mousesavers.com is a great resource for all sorts of discounts. Sign up for group buying coupon newsletters for the Orlando area, or invest in an Orlando Entertainment book.

5. Budget for souvenirs -- or don't get 'em at all! Set aside a certain amount for souvenirs, and stick to it. A great way to do this: Get a Disney gift card. Be sure to check disneystore.com to see if the item you want is on sale there, or check out Mickey's Mart at Downtown Disney, where everything is $10 or less. Another strategy is to avoid souvenirs all together, and instead make a scrapbook with photos and items like your Key to the World card, park maps, and restaurant menus.

What's your top strategy for saving money at Disney World? Leave a comment below!

Mase wrote on Mon, 04/18/2011 - 12:45:

Mase's picture

We always go before or after Thanksgiving. This year it will be before, and it is always nice. But we dont do it to save money though... we do it more for the crowds. When we go... its vacation, so were not going to save money so to speak, but every cent does count to more pins! lol

Anonymous wrote on Mon, 04/18/2011 - 14:36:

Anonymous's picture

you can have water shipped to you directly at your resort from like staples.com etc.

Sue wrote on Mon, 04/18/2011 - 14:58:

Sue's picture

Since we are DVC and can't get free dining, we pay for our food. We do lunch instead of dinner as well. We generally eat breakfast in the room, have a late lunch (within 1/2 an hour or so of the end of lunch service), and then we pretty much just need a snack later in the evening.

If you are a Florida resident or an annual passholder, I suggest buying Tables in Wonderland. You get a 20% discount on all food and beverages (including alcohol) at most TS restaurants, as well as a few QS at certain resorts and Animal Kingdom, as well as several bars. We easily recoup the $75 fee and save $300+ over and above that. Generally there are only two of us, maybe three, and like I said above, we eat lunch rather than dinner. This is our third year of purchasing Tables, after being skeptical about it for several years but finally deciding to give it a try.

Noturna wrote on Mon, 04/18/2011 - 16:59:

Noturna's picture

Great tips, but I just CAN'T save on souvenirs...I visit the park once every two years, so I feel like I GOTTA GET THEM ALL!!

Mandi wrote on Sat, 08/11/2012 - 13:14:

Mandi's picture

The best way to save on food is buying kids meals! Unfortunately you can't do this at table service restaurants, but at counter service this will add up to big savings! For instance, a kids burger meal will usually cost you $5 or $6, and it's barely noticeable smaller than an adult burger. However, it's $2-$4 cheaper AND includes fries, drink and a snack while the adult burger is by itself for $7-$10! Best trick I ever learned!

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