Here at Disney Addicts, we get asked all kinds of questions about Disney and we LOVE sharing all the tips and tricks we have learned over the years (most by personal trial and error!). One of the most common things we are asked is – “Do We Know Any Money Saving Tips For Disney World?” And the answer is why YES we DO! Read on for our best ways to save money for (and at!) Disney:
Gift Card Discounts: Something I do pretty much immediately after I book my Disney World trip is to head to Target or BJ’s and stock up on gift cards – which can be purchased at a discount at both stores (at Target you will need a Red Card to get the 5% discount, and at BJ’s a membership is required to shop there). The gift cards can then be used for anything and everything Disney-related: trip payments, food & drink/souvenirs at all the Parks and Resorts, you name it!
Sit Down For Lunch Instead Of Dinner: One of the secrets I learned early on about Disney was that sitting down for lunch was generally a big savings vs a table service dinner meal (in some cases lunch was up to 20% cheaper!). So – save some dough by booking a nice sit-down lunch instead of dinner – you’ll still enjoy high-class service and delicious food, and it’s a great way to enjoy a mid-day break, too
Share Meals: I have always been a firm believer in the “sharing is caring” philosophy – and I carry that into my food choices at WDW too – as many of the counter service meals they offer are big enough to be split between an adult & child, or 2 adults. Check out my top picks for shareable meals Here, and this can apply to WDW snacks, too!
Bring Food/Drinks From Home: I love the food at WDW, but to help cut costs I like to supplement with my own snacks from home – granola bars, hard candies/lollipops, trail mix, fruit snacks – these are all things I have found to travel well and are perfect to fuel you up between meals. As for drinks – if you’re driving I recommend bringing bottled water, Gatorade and your child’s preferred juice drink (Capri Suns are what mine like!), but if you’re flying to Disney as many of us do, I recommend a stainless reusable water bottle and some drink packets (like Crystal Light) – that way you aren’t stuck paying for bottled drinks at the Parks
Eat Breakfast At Your Hotel: Save money and time by bringing along some breakfast items too – those granola bars can work as snack or breakfast, and I also have brought boxes of pop tarts, peanut butter & jelly packets (bread can be purchased at most Resort Gift Shops), and oatmeal packets (hot water can be obtained at hotel food court coffee machines)
Be Smart About Those Snack Credits: if you’re using the Disney Dining Plan during your stay (which I highly recommend you do – read more about if it’s right for you here), then you will have snack credits to use each day, and there are plenty of snack options out there to choose from! But the key to getting your money’s worth is to make sure you are using the credits on the more expensive snacks – for example, I would skip the piece of fruit or bottled water in favor of a cupcake or a smoothie or something like that – read more about optimizing those snack credits here
Pack Smart: There are some items I never head to Disney without – ponchos, plenty of sunscreen, band-aids/Neosporin and assorted over the counter medications as well (sort of like a mini first aid kit!). These items are available for purchase in many places at WDW, but they aren’t cheap. I like to bring my own from home to save money – for example, ponchos can be purchased at the dollar store, and I often stock up on clearance sunscreen at the end of summer
Keep The Souvenir Spending In Check: it’s easy to get swept up in the Magic that is Walt Disney World and go nuts buying all kinds of souvenirs – but resist the urge if you can! It’s hard, but there are ways around it – check out these tips on managing your souvenir budget, and additionally here are some Inexpensive Disney Souvenir Collections to help keep spending down
Use a Travel Agent – let them find the deals for you – like free dining, discounts on Disney Resort rooms and much more!
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Hopefully, you can employ a few (or all!) of these money-saving tips to help lower your WDW vacation budget (you know – so you can use the extra money to pay for your NEXT Disney trip!)
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