You spent so long budgeting for your Disney vacation, you have finally paid off your room and ticket package but now you are worried about racking up the credit card bill once you get there. Snacks, souvenirs and other unexpected costs tend to blow your careful budgeting. With some preplanning, careful packing and awareness you can save money on your vacation spending.
One thing to note, if you like to budget in advance and pay for as much upfront as possible consider adding a Disney Dining Plan. The Plan does not always help you save money but it does allow you to pre purchase most of your food in advance. Make sure you do the math before adding it to your package. Check out this post on whether you should add the Disney Dining Plan.
With these Walt Disney World Money Saving Tips you can keep all those little things from adding up and being shocked when you get your credit card statement.
It is so important to stay hydrated when visiting Walt Disney World. It is Florida so the heat and humidity are extremely high, but you are also on the go and likely more active than in your daily life (we sometimes walk 13 miles in a day at Disney), and water at Disney is $3.50 a bottle!!
We save money by bringing refillable water bottles. There are a few water filling stations scattered throughout the park or you can get free cups of water at any counter service location (they are small so you will need a lot to fill a bottle.)
Another alternative is to have a case of water delivered to your hotel. We typically fill our hotel fridge/freezer with them. We take one cold and one frozen per person which usually gets us to lunch. If you are on the dining plan you get a drink with your counter service meal – I typically get a free cup of water and use my drink to get a bottle of water which gets me until our mid-afternoon break. We go back to the hotel for a shower and a nap then and grab another cold and another frozen bottle per person. We are hydrated and saved almost $20 per person.
We are early risers when it comes to Walt Disney World (and only when it comes to Walt Disney World) and we don’t like to waste time or money on breakfast in the morning. We get granola bars or instant oatmeal delivered via Instacart and have that as a quick breakfast before rope drop. We also pack a few emergency non-meltable snacks like almonds to stave off hanger (and meltdowns) between meals.
For more delivery options, a promo code for Free Instacart Delivery and what I usually order check out this post.
We all have different eating habits, so what is shareable for one person may be a light snack for another (ok… me). But if you are a light eaters, or just want to nibble in the heat, a great way to lower the food cost or stretch your Disney Dining Plan credits is to order 2 meals for 3 people, or 3 meals for 4 people (etc), and supplement with snack credit items.
Remember, you can always order more food if people are still hungry and the food is gone, so I would order less food than you think and just mobile order another entree if you need it!
When you get to Walt Disney World your kids are going to want you to buy them everything they see, so in order to avoid meltdowns without spending their college tuition you just distract them! They want a bubble wand, you have bubbles in your purse. They want a glow sword, you have dozens of glow bracelets from the dollar store.
A popular thing is for Tinker Bell to bring some “pixie dust” each night of your trip. The pixie dust is a little Disney themed item you pick up at the dollar store or on sale at Target. When your child really wants something you can usually avoid the tantrum by getting them to wait and see what Tinker Bell brings that night. You can then let them pick out the ONE thing they want to bring home towards the end of the trip.
If your kids are older get them a Disney Gift Card for Christmas or a Birthday before your trip and they can use it to buy anything they want.
It is Florida and you are going to get stuck in a rainstorm. Disney knows this and they know you have no other options, so they are going to charge $20 for a poncho. You can avoid this premium by buying disposable ponchos from Amazon or the dollar store. You save so much money, you can recycle it when you are done and save yourself from carrying around a wet poncho. I also use them as a blanket when sitting on the ground waiting for the parade, or to protect myself from the wet seats on Splash Mountain.
Other items you should purchase before you go: cell phone power bank, hand sanitizer, cheap sunglasses (that you don’t care if they get lost or broken), click sharpies, autograph book, and sunscreen.
It is inevitable that someone is going to get sick or hurt. In my family it is usually me. After a few trips having to purchase Tylenol from the gift shop that cost more than my hotel room, I learned to pack my own. Of course you can’t predict what is going to happen so I now pack Immodium, Pepto, Tylenol, Benadryl, Nyquil/Dayquil, Bandaids, and Cough Drops.
Bringing what you need is the best way to cut down on unnecessary charges. To avoid missing anything download my FREE printable packing checklist by clicking the button below.
I understand how you’re feeling, I know all too well how easy it can be at the beginning to start researching online, just to find yourself 3 hours down the line more confused than when you started. But don’t panic! I can help you plan your dream Disney vacation without any of the stress of hassle – starting with the ‘A Disney Trip without Overwhelm, 5 Easy Steps’ Guide. These 5 steps will help keep you focused on organizing the best trip ever, while giving you peace of mind that everything will be done, and nothing will be left out.
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