Today’s Disney post was written by Krystel from Planning the Magic, a family travel and WDW Budget Tips blog. I’m happy to have Krystel here to offer her best tips for doing Walt Disney World on a budget—because Disneyland folks (like us!) need all the help they can get planning the much more complicated WDW vacations!
Planning a Disney World trip is difficult, to begin with. Add in having to plan one on a tight budget, and it can almost seem impossible. But it’s not!
With these ten tips, you’re going to be able to take your budget further than you ever thought you could.
WDW Budget Tips: 10 Tips on Going to Disney on a Budget!
While not directly related to saving money, this tip might save you the most money. A well thought out and planned Disney vacation will ensure that every dollar is spent in the best way possible and that there are no expensive surprises.
I’ve had very different budgets based on how much planning I did. For example, when I mail myself groceries to my Disney resort, I don’t have to spend any money on breakfast and as little as I want on snacks. This alone saves me several hundreds of dollars, even a thousand. It really depends on the family size.
Food and spending are the two parts of your budget that will take over your pocket before you can say Disney.
Not only is money a factor here but so is time.
About 75% of the time, breakfast on the go will be a life savior at Disney World. Even if it’s toasted bagels with cream cheese eaten on the Disney bus during the half-hour ride to the Magic Kingdom.
Theme parks are a hungry business, and because of that snacks are a necessity. Keep that money in your pocket by bringing snacks with you in your daypack
This post includes affiliate links to some great offers and perks!
If you’re staying at a Disney resort than you’re eligible for a refillable cup. At $18.99, with unlimited refills, you only need to have 7 drinks to break even. But it can get better, my family shares the cups. Couple sand some siblings share the cup and get optimum value.
There’s so much for free at Disney World because they can afford to give stuff away. From campfires, celebration buttons, soda from around the world and more!
There are three things I really like to do while I’m at Disney World that are all free. I love going to Disney Springs once during daylight and once at night. Two totally different atmospheres. Riding the boats like the Friendship Boat is always a great time. Very relaxing as well. I also love visiting the Boardwalk. The entertainment is not to be missed.
You can get Disney souvenirs for a fraction of the price at the parks. A lot of Disney World stuff is overpriced. You can get things from Dollar Tree, Walmart, and the Disney Store Outlets.
One of my readers brings souvenirs to Disney World and surprises her grandkids with a few a day.
Everyone shops online. Obviously how often you shop online differs from person to person. Either way everyone should use Ebates. It’s a free cashback portal that helps you earn money when you shop. And the signup bonus is $10!
Spending money is inevitable, correct? So what’s the difference between spending $5 from your checking account and $5 off of your credit card and then paying it right back? The difference is credit card points. Points are like free money. You accumulate them as you spend and and can have enough for a free 5 night at a hotel or a flight.
Disney Gift Cards
Collect Disney gift cards for your trip. You can use them at any Disney operated location within Disney World. It’s an easy way to save and make your money safe until you’re purchasing something Disney related. You can even buy tickets with Disney giftcards.
Level this up by getting discounted Disney gift cards.
Use a Target RedCard (Debit or Credit) to purchase Disney gift cards at 5% off.
Discover IT has a rotating 5% cash back program. When that quarter’s cashback is on stores like Amazon, Walgreen, Home Depot, etc, you can buy Disney gift cards and get 5% back.
Raise (dot com) sells gift cards at a discounted price. It’s super safe, I use them for Disney, Pizza, the movies and more!
In October, 2017 I went to Disney World from NJ for $60 round trip. I was able to be at my favorite place in the world for Halloween.
The trick to scoring cheap flights is to travel from less known airports on less known airlines.
The downside? You’re not going to get the same perks as those big airlines but if it’s only a 2-3 hour flight it’s manageable.
Be careful with extra fees that airlines like to charge. Factor those into total cost when comparing prices.
Drive to Disney World
Almost no one likes when I suggest this.
But the facts are, if you have a family of 3 or more people, driving is most likely cheaper.
Even if you get a rental vehicle you can save.
Having a car while at Disney World means the ability to eat off site and save. Offsite locations usually have better variety and are significantly cheaper. You can also buy groceries when you have a car.
The independence a car gives you, usually amounts to savings.
There you have it, my favorite tips on going to Disney on the cheap. Think of things you do on the daily to save money, can you do that at Disney too?
Halfway through college Krystel decided to take her 10 year old little sister to Disney World on a shoestring budget. In order to have the most magical vacation possible she had to find every tip, trick, and best kept secret to go to Disney on a budget. They had a great time! Learn everything she knows by visiting PlanningTheMagic.Net and checking out her eBook.
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