Disney World is a beautiful and magical place to go on vacation. But it can also be VERY expensive. Between hotels, park tickets, food, and souvenirs costs really start to add up. With that said, there are plenty of ways to save money on your WDW vacation. Let’s take a look at some of the best money saving tips for a WDW vacation below.
- Be on the look out for discounts. Disney World usually puts out a few discounts a year that can save you up to 30% on a room. That is a significant discount.
- Stay at a value resort – WDW has different tiers of hotels for different budgets. Depending on what you want out of your stay a value resort can be a great way to save money. Standard rooms can be as low as $80/per night give or take and some of the value resorts, Art of Animation for example, have family suites that can fit up to 6 people.
- Rent DVC points – DVC (Disney vacation club) is Disney’s version of a time-share. People who own a DVC membership are able to rent points through third party sellers. Renting points can get you rooms at deluxe resorts for much cheaper than what you would pay out of pocket for a room.
Skip the park hopper – Park tickets are expensive and adding the park hopper pass is an added cost that may not be necessary. If you don’t plan on spending a lot of time going from park to park than you can save a significant amount passing on the park hopper, especially if you’re a larger group.
Skip the dining plan or wait for free dining – WDW offers a dining plan, which is very popular, especially for families. However, if you do the math it actually often is not saving you money. The amount of food you need to eat to make the cost worth it is astronomical and it is way more than a person would normally eat. It can also put pressure on you to eat more than you would or plan your whole trip around sit down restaurants. Skipping this and paying for food out-of-pocket can save money in the end. That being said there are a few times of year where Disney offers the dining plan for free with your stay. That can save a ton of money throughout your trip so it may be worth checking for that when you book your stay. **Please do remember that the dining plan does NOT include tip and that you must tip out of pocket for all sit down meals.
Bring snacks/order groceries – Did you know that you are allowed to bring food into the parks? Even small coolers are allowed. You can easier get groceries delivered to your room for breakfasts and snacks. Cereal, granola bars, peanut butter sandwiches, bottles of water, all of these can help save money while you are in the parks or at your resort. Of course you should definitely still splurge on some of Disney’s amazing snacks but this can help avoid over indulging on your trip.
Don’t buy bottled water in the parks – WDW gets very hot and humid and it is SO important to stay hydrated. But $5 per water bottle can really eat into your budget. A great tip is that you can go up to any counter/quick service restaurant in the parks and ask for a cup of ice water for free. This is cold filtered water that tastes much better than the water from the fountains around the park. You can ask for as many cups as you want at no cost. If you bring a reusable bottle from home you can also dump the waters into your bottle, which makes it easier to walk around.
Get discounts at stores using the Disney Visa card – if you are a Disney Visa card holder you can get a 10% discount on souvenirs and snacks at select stores at WDW. It also includes special character meet and greets exclusive to card holders.
These are some of my top tips for saving money at the parks. Do you have any that I have missed? Let me know your favorite money-saving hacks for WDW in the comments!