Whether you are visiting for the very first time, or if you call Disney your home away from home, saving money can be an important topic on your agenda! A trip to Disney does not have to be a budget busting experience, and if you plan it right you can find several ways to save a great deal of money on your Disney vacation. As a travel agency specializing only in Disney Destination vacations, Moments of Magic Travel is proud to say that we have saved our clients thousands of dollars on their vacations, and we are proud to share some of our top suggestions with you! Read on to see exactly how you can save, and then give us a call to see how we can apply these and many more ideas to your next Disney vacation!
10- Choose your resort wisely– With so many Disney Resorts to choose from, the options can feel overwhelming. Start by assessing your budget and then determine which Disney Resorts will accommodate the number of travelers in your party. Larger families can often save money by considering a family suite versus two connecting rooms, while a smaller family might find a great deal in the savings of a value property over a deluxe. Additionally you can time your vacation around a discount promotion which can significantly lower the cost you pay per night. Remember that by staying on Disney property you will save money on the ‘extras’ like free parking (currently $15-$19), complimentary transportation to and from Orlando International Airport (saves transportation fees and rental car costs) as well as the ability to purchase a Disney Dining Plan (see #9).
9- Consider a Dining Plan- We believe that when used correctly, the right dining plan can definitely bring a great deal of value to your vacation budget. If you plan to spend a few days in the theme parks and will eat at least one sit down meal per day, the dining plan is definitely a good option to consider. The snacks offered on the plans allow guest to stretch their meals with a variety of options throughout the parks and resorts. If you are a ‘foodie’ and like to dine at the Signature Restaurants the deluxe dining plan can offer even greater savings (Deluxe tip example- eat at a 1 credit table service meal for breakfast, use your snack credits for a light lunch and dine at a Signature Restaurant for dinner). Other ways to use the dining plans to save money include visiting during the food and wine festival and using snack credits to sample various cuisines, booking your dining reservation far enough in advance to secure the best (and often most expensive) table service meals to use with your credits, saving table credits for dinner (a higher priced meal in general), and eating breakfast in your room instead of using a dining credit. One additional tip we have is not to waste your snack credits on water- all quick service dining locations will provide a cup of water for free.
8- Make sure you take advantage of offers that you are eligible for– Disney has incredible offers on resorts and park admissions for members of the US Military and Florida Residents. Be sure to look into these if you fall into either of these categories!
7- Travel at the right time– The time of year that you travel to Disney can make a significant difference in your price! The busiest weeks of the year (peak days) are inevitably higher priced and the opposite is true when you visit off-season. When you add in a promotion you can save even more, and the best part is that when you travel during off-peak times you will also see lower crowds in the theme parks!
6- Go to Target– Yes, you read that right. One little known secret to saving money on your Disney vacation is right there in the middle of the bullseye! If you have a Target Red Card or Target Red Debit card you save 5% on your purchases. Fortunately, this includes the purchase of gift cards- and Target sells Disney gift cards! By purchasing Disney gift cards in the amount you plan to spend on your Disney vacation (you can use them throughout the resorts and theme parks) you will save 5% right off the bat. That’s a saving of 5% before you even leave your home!
5- Get a Disney Visa Card– If you love Disney and plan to visit anytime soon the Disney Visa card is another great way to save money. If you make purchases on your card throughout the year you will earn reward dollars for every charge you make. Additional perks include a $50 onboard credit for Disney Cruise line, 10% off select merchandise and dining locations in Walt Disney World Theme Parks, as well as 20% off select Guided Tours! There is also a private meet and greet location for cardholders where you will meet with some of your favorite characters and receive a free photo as a souvenir!
4- Visit the parks for more than 3 days– The cost of Theme Park admission can be a lot to take in at first glance, but one thing that many people don’t realize is that the longer you stay, the less expensive each day will cost. Once you get beyond a 4 day park pass you will see the greatest savings on each day of admission. Additionally, if you decide to stay longer than you originally anticipated be sure to check with Guest Services about extending your Park Pass- they can assist you with an upgrade to your pass on the spot- and often for a lot less money than you might expect.
3- Use a system for souvenirs! If you are traveling with children you will undoubtedly be begged for various gifts, toys and souvenirs at the Disney Theme Parks. While it can be tempting to buy souvenirs on an ongoing basis, we have found that having a reward system in place can cut down on the number of things you buy for your kids while also making each souvenir more special- and the good behavior is the icing on the cake! Try the reward system: if your child behaves throughout the entire day (no tantrums or meltdowns) they can earn that day’s reward- a souvenir! This is a great way to encourage good behavior at the parks- as long as you follow through with your own rules. We use this system with our own children and I can tell you from personal experience that it really helps! The one daily reward helps encourage our children to choose their reward wisely instead of grabbing the first thing they see at a store (and then begging for more a few hours later). One suggestion we have is to pay careful attention to the reward your child chooses because some items are only available at one location in a park. If this is the case, we suggest buying that item and holding on to it until the end of the day- that way you won’t have to worry about running through the park to buy it at the last minute!
2- Consider Grocery Delivery– If you are staying at a Disney Resort Garden Grocer will deliver direct to your resort for a $14 delivery fee. You can have essentials delivered to you that you can the take into the park to save money over purchasing them there. Have you forgotten diapers or cereal? Would you like juice boxes, snacks or other items? Have them delivered and save big over buying in a gift shop!
1- Use a travel agent who specializes in Disney Destination Vacations! In all reality it is truly one of the best ways to save money. We have lost track of the number of clients who have transferred their reservation to us and saved hundreds of dollars in the process. It’s a combination of everything we have mentioned here, along with a vast knowledge of exactly which of our many tips and tricks will help you save even more on your vacation. Our services are FREE– so you have absolutely nothing to lose when you book with a travel agent who specializes in Disney Destinations like Moments of Magic Travel. The advice and vacation planning we provide is invaluable and can save you money, as well as a great deal of time in planning your Disney Vacation!