9 Ways to Save on a Disney Vacation
Updated: Aug 25
You have all seen the headlines. Costs are rising across the globe.
That means the costs of Disney vacations are going up also. Big bummer.
But never fear, there are still ways to save money on your next Disney vacation. I have listed 9 ways below. (The first one is a biggie!)
Important Caveat: This list is for those that want to stay at one of the Disney resort hotels and not off property. Yes, you could save money by staying somewhere else. But that means you'll have to rent a car, pay for parking, and spend time driving to and from the parks each day.
My time is valuable, so staying on property is important to me. I would prefer to cut costs in other places, rather than sacrifice my time on vacation dealing with transportation.
Now let’s get to those ways to save!
Trust me when I say this can be the biggest way to save money on a Disney vacation.
Not only does booking early mean that you will have more options of where to stay, but you lock in the lowest price available at that time. So, when costs go up on ticket and hotel prices, your price stays the same and is not affected.
Even better, let’s say a promotion is released once you have already booked. Not to worry, I can apply it to your reservation if it saves you money!
Booking early means your price cannot go up, but it can still go down.
Plus, there is no risk. It only takes a refundable $200 deposit to book your vacation and lock in that price.
Pack Your Own Snacks
It is 100% okay to bring your own food into the parks. No need to spend all that extra money on pricey snacks and food in the parks.
Head to the grocery store before you leave and stock up on your favorite packaged snacks to bring with you. Or arrange for a grocery order to be delivered to your hotel.
Most hotel rooms have a beverage cooler in the rooms to keep things cool. Be aware they may not be able to keep milk or dairy products chilled. (There are rooms with actual refrigerators though!)
You can even take it a step further and make your own meals in your room, like sandwiches, cereal, oatmeal, and more. Be sure to remember to bring paper goods as well!
Bring Your Own Refillable Water Bottle
Buying all that bottled water throughout the day in the parks can really add up.
Instead, include a flat or two of bottled water in your grocery delivery order.
Bring your own refillable water bottles and fill them up with water before you leave your room. When you are in the parks you can refill your bottles with ice water from the restaurants or various water fountains throughout the park.
Buy Discounted Disney Gift Cards
You can use Disney gift cards to pay for your vacation package, park tickets, food in the parks, souvenirs, and more.
Look for ways to buy Disney Gift Cards at a discount. For example, at Sam’s Club or by using your Target Red Card and buying them from Target.
That’s instant savings on your vacation!
I recommend combining multiple gift cards into one at www.disneygiftcard.com. It will make your life easier when making payments.
Tip: It's especially important to keep used gift cards safe and save them until after your trip. If you get a refund for any reason, the money must go back on the original form of payment by law.
Avoid Holidays and Weekends
Hotel and ticket prices are higher when the demand is higher. Traveling during non-peak times is a fantastic way to save money on a vacation package.
Also, weekends tend to be more expensive than weekdays for the same reason.
Not sure when non-peak times are? That is where an experienced Disney-focused travel planner, like me, comes in handy. We can help you narrow in on the best time of year to go to Disney that works for your family’s calendar and wallet.
Skip Park Hopper
There is plenty of things to keep you busy at one park in a day, there is no need to hop to another. That is an easy thing to skip to save money on your package.
Do Not Eat at Table Service Restaurants
An easy way to save hundreds on your trip is skip, or limit the number of table service restaurants you eat at. (Yes, that means character meals as well.)
There are tons of great restaurants at Disney. Trust me when I tell you eating at them will not make or break your trip. You do not need to have a character meal or fancy table service dining experience each day of your trip.
There are plenty of quick-service restaurants that are also amazing and cost less.
Stick to A Souvenir Budget
When you are on a trip it's easy to get swept away and want to buy all the things in the stores. A terrific way to avoid this is to buy Disney Gift Cards for each member of your family with a pre-determined amount on it.
Each person can spend what is on that gift card, and nothing more. It is a wonderful way to teach kids to budget and make sure they REALLY want something. Because once that money on the gift card is gone, it is gone.
And do not forget there is a way to instantly save on those purchases by buying discounted gift cards!
Utilize Credit Card Rewards
Before your trip, research and find the best rewards credit card that offers points, cash back, miles, etc, that you can use towards your trip.
We use our rewards credit card for all daily purchases instead of our debit card for this exact reason. We've had enough points to completely pay for our Disney tickets before!
Important Tip: Be sure to pay off the balance of that card each month. You do NOT want to rack up interest.
What other ways have you found to save on a Disney trip? I would love to hear your ideas in the comments!
I am a travel agent with Magical Vacation Planner. I make it easier for you to plan an unforgettable vacation with your family. Click here to schedule a Magical Vacation Discovery Call to learn more and get your free, no-obligation quote.
Or head here to request access to my exclusive Disney Vacation Planning Vault, full of worksheets and resources you can use to plan your next Disney vacation.