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How to Save Money at Disney World
This post is all about how to save money at Disney World. Visiting Disney World can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. There are many surprisingly easy ways to save on your trip.
Here are 15 of the best ways you can save money at Disney World!
1. Get the Chase Freedom Unlimited card.
I always bring my Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card with me to Disney World so I can earn cash back on all my purchases!
When you sign up for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, you get a $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months. This is a great way to earn some extra cash before your trip!
2. Use a travel agent.
I know what you’re thinking, won’t this cost EXTRA money?
Nope! Disney pays the commission for their travel agents, which means that there’s no extra cost for you. Consulting a Disney travel agent is a great way to learn about deals you may not be able to find on your own, especially if it’s your first trip.
3. Travel during the off season.
Disney World is most expensive during peak season, which includes summer, holidays, and school breaks. Hotels and flights will often cost more at this time.
By visiting Disney World during the off season, you can save a lot of money AND not have to deal with as many crowds.
Check this Disney crowd calendar to find the best time of year for your visit. Typically, January and September are the best months to visit for cheaper off season prices.
4. Pack your own snacks.
Outside food and drink is allowed at Disney World, so bringing your own snacks into the park is a great way to save money on food. I have even seen families bring a whole picnic lunch to enjoy inside the parks!
5. Eat a sit-down meal at lunch, not dinner.
Going along with the tip from above, another way to save money on food at Disney World is by eating a sit-down meal at lunch instead of dinner.
The lunch menus at most table service restaurants is up to 20% cheaper than the dinner menu for the exact same meals.
6. Pack a portable charger.
Your cellphone battery can die really quickly between taking photos, checking the My Disney Experience app, playing games while waiting in line for rides, etc.
Disney World now sells “Fuel Rods” for $30 so you can charge your phone while in the park, but you can save a TON of money by bringing your own portable charger instead.
This is the one I use and it’s available for less than $15 on Amazon. It fully charges my phone two and a half times, so it very easily lasts me a whole day at the parks.
7. Bring your own ponchos.
Another item you can buy in advance to bring to the parks is rain ponchos.
It rains a LOT in Orlando and thunderstorms can pop up suddenly in the afternoons. Don’t be caught in the rain and end up buying an overpriced poncho in the parks!
This family pack of ponchos on Amazon costs the same as ONE poncho at Disney World.
8. Order off the kids’ menu
I am so surprised that more people do not do this. It’s one of my favorite money-saving tips for Disney World. At most restaurants in the parks, the kids’ meals are surprisingly filling and much cheaper than the adult meals.
For example, at Pinocchio Village Haus in the Magic Kingdom, you can get a cheese pizza flatbread for $10.49. But for just $6.49 on the kid’s menu, you can get a half-size cheese pizza flatbread, two side items, and a small drink! You could buy two kids’ meals and still end up better off than buying just one of the adult entrees.
9. Spend a day doing non-park activities.
You don’t have to go to the parks every single day of your Disney vacation. You can build in a “rest day” and still have fun doing free activities, like pool-hopping at the Disney resorts, going to Disney Springs, or strolling along Disney’s Boardwalk.
10. Don’t buy bottled water.
Paying $3.50 for a bottle of water is one of the biggest wastes of money at Disney World. But in the Orlando heat, you will definitely want to stay hydrated. The money-saving solution here is to bring your own water bottle and refill it. I recommend this filtering bottle.
You can also go to any quick service restaurant and they will give you a free cup of water.
11. Go right before your child turns 3.
If you have kids, bringing them to Disney World before they turn 3 is a really great way to save money because kids under 3 don’t need a ticket to go to the parks!
12. Skip the souvenirs
On my most recent trip to Disney World, I noticed a lot of people wearing cute Disney clothes and accessories they had ordered off Etsy or Amazon. You can find a lot of Disney souvenirs for much cheaper online than you can at the parks. You can also order things like Disney photo albums, character autograph books, etc. in advance and save money rather than buying them in the parks.
13. Don’t get PhotoPass, but use the photographers.
At $169, the Disney PhotoPass Memory Maker is extremely pricey. The benefit is that you get unlimited downloads of all the photos you had taken around the park by PhotoPass photographers, plus all your photos from the rides.
But many people don’t know that you can still use the PhotoPass photographers. They will first take a picture of you on their camera, but then you can give them your own camera or cellphone to get a free professional snap you can keep.
14. Don’t get park-hopper tickets
Park-hopper tickets allow you to “hop” between multiple theme parks in one day. For instance, you could go to Magic Kingdom in the morning and then Epcot later in the same day.
With one park per day tickets, you can only visit one park in a single day. If you don’t care about the ability to go between parks, the one park per day tickets will save you money.
For instance, if you wanted to spend a full day at each park, four days on a one park per day ticket would cost about $430. But if you wanted four days with a park-hopper ticket, it would cost about $500. So if having park-hopper tickets is not a priority for you, this is a great way to save money.
15. Get an annual pass
Whaaat, aren’t annual passes expensive?!
Yes, they are, but they can actually save you money if you will be spending more than eleven days in the parks in a one-year period. Many international travelers will come to Disney World for a full two weeks, and some families make two trips to Disney World every year, so it can quickly add up.
Annual passes also come with all sorts of perks, like free PhotoPass, free parking, and discounts at many restaurants and stores in the parks.
For more Disney World tips and tricks, be sure to read:
I hope these tips help you save money at Disney World! Be sure to pin this post for later: