The very best of the best amusement parks in the USA, Disney World is the ultimate family vacation. While it is undoubtedly a mega hotspot for kids, it’s far from a budget getaway! There’s no way around it: a trip to Disney World is likely to be an expensive vacation. But there are ways to keep your costs down as much as possible, even while doing and seeing (and buying!) everything you want.
Check our guide to the Best Amusement Parks in the USA.
Going to Disney can easily break the bank, but you can also do it on a budget and still have a great time. Here are ways you can save money at Disney World while still making the most of your trip.
Save money at Disney World with a vacation package
Package deals are often an overpriced way to get more than you will use during a family vacation. When it comes to saving money at Disney World, however, a package deal can actually be one of your best bets.
Adding package options to your accommodation or going for something like the Disney Dining Plan is a great way to save some cash.
The main Disney vacation site is an amazing resource for planning. You can pick and choose every aspect of your trip to fully customize it to your needs and budget.
If you are looking for an affordable pick that is still part of the Disney brand, there are a few go-to options that’ll have you paying far less than the normal Disney resort bill.
One of my top picks is the Disney’s Pop Century Resort. It has a cool pop art style that parents and kids alike will love. It pays homage to all the trends from the 50s to the 90s, like yo-yos, Rollerblades, and Rubik’s Cubes more. Prices start at 130 per night. It is a three-star spot with all the comforts of home, and it’s quite comparable to what you’d pay for a non-Disney hotel.
Another fun pick is the Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort. Rooms start at just 100 per night, and the place is unforgettable. The larger-than-life décor from all of your fave Disney movies will create a one of a kind experience.
Pack a lunch and/or snacks
Did you know that you can actually bring food and drinks into the park? It’s one of the best plans for saving money at Disney World without feeling like you’re skimping. As long as you are not bringing alcohol or glass bottles with you, go wild without worrying about anything being taken at the gate.
Bring the kids’ favorite snacks and treats to reduce temptation. If you know the kids will be thrilled to go out for ice cream, bring sandwiches or granola to get some real food in their stomachs before the sweets.
Travel during the off-season
If you want to seriously save money at Disney World, plan for the right time of year. Summer and special holiday events throughout the year come at a major premium. And it is actually less fun! Not only are you fighting the crowd during peak times of the year, but the weather can get overwhelmingly hot in Flordia. Why stand in sticky and hot crowds waiting for ages for each ride? If you visit outside of peak time, your wait times will be noticeably lower.
You can save a little money on entry costs. And you will save A LOT on both your accommodation and flights at the right time. Consider planning your trip in September (just avoid Labor Day) or during January and in February.
Save money at Disney World with gift card
One amazing insider trick to save money at Disney World is gift cards. Did you know that a membership card to places like Costco or Sam’s Club allows you to buy Disney gift cards at a discount? There is actually an entire underworld of people going crazy over these points. Read some of their secrets here. Depending on which credit cards you have and where you have a membership, you can snag a great deal.
Tip- While the percent discount might not seem huge, it adds up! If you use primarily cards during your trip, you can have a small discount on absolutely everything that you buy. As a bonus, using cards with a set amount pre-loaded on this will prevent you from accidentally going overboard are you are caught up in the moment.
Avoid park hopping
Disney offers deals that allow you to go from park to park. The Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus options seem like a fun idea to give yourself more flexibility, but that freedom comes at a cost. You are going to pay more per ticket than you would if you just visited one park per day (and you will likely want a day for each one). If you don’t think you will spend a full day exploring, check out the Disney Park Hopper Plus package deal option that starts from mid-day.
Buy your Disney Gear outside
You don’t have to settle for dollar store knock offs to get a great deal! Check out the Disney Warehouse store in Orlando International Premium Outlets for authentic Disney merchandise at a way better price. Plus, you can sneak in a shopping trip while keeping the kids entertained.
Want more amusement park inspiration? Check out the eight biggest amusement parks in the world.