Five Easy Ways to Save Money for Walt Disney World
If you've ever had a conversation with me, it's very possible that I've told you about my Disney obsession. My love for Disney started the summer before my Sophomore year of high school (2013). I discovered a website called DisBoards where people can blog about Disney Parks tips and give in-depth Trip Reports. After reading and reading all summer long, it was apparent I needed to go back to Disney World. Before then, I had only been once when I was 8 and all I cared about was swimming (great job, baby Hollye. Smh.). Anyway, since that summer I have been to Disney World 5 times & have another trip planned for this coming November. My parents haven't paid for any of those 5 trips, it has either been AMAZING friends who have asked me to tag along or I have found ways to pay for it myself. This is no easy task when you're main source of income is from babysitting and petsitting every now and then. Needless to say, over the years I have discovered some great money saving tips that have enabled me to visit Disney as much as possible. Now I will share this tidbit of information with you all so that we all can have a little more magic in our lives!
1. Know When To GoThis one can be a little tricky especially if you have school-aged children in your travel party. Thankfully for me, I was homeschooled throughout High School and have a very flexible College schedule that has allowed me to visit Disney at off-season times. As a rule of thumb, you want to try and avoid any National Holiday, school breaks (i.e. Fall Break or Spring Break), and of course Summer time. If you can avoid these parts of the year, you will be paying considerably less for your resort room which can save you a lot of money in the long run. Some of my favorite times of year to visit are:
Mid January-Febuary: The (usually) warm weather is a nice escape from the icy temperatures of the Northeast- aka my neck of the woods. Most children and adults have just returned to work or school after the long Christmas Holiday and are less likely to be vacationing which means less crowds and stress. Boo yah!
End of April-Early May: Make sure to pack a what I always call a 'poncho of shame' because the Florida Spring months can be WET. But rain isn't so bad because the storms are usually short and promise an empty park in its aftermath. Going at this time means you've missed the Spring Break crowds and are just before all the kids getting out for Summer Break!
Mid September/ Early- Mid November: While it can be pretty hot this time of year, it is probably the best time to go because of Disney's Free Dining offer that usually happens in the fall. When you stay at a participating Disney resort, you will be offered a FREE dining plan which is about a $40-$120 (per person) value per night. I don't know about you but free food is the best kind of food.
|Taken January 28th, 2017. |
Those January nights can get on the chilly side so make sure you pack a sweatshirt!
2. Do Your ResearchThis especially comes in handy when it comes to buying airline tickets. I live about 12 hours from WDW so driving is usually out of the picture. If you do your research and shop around on different airlines and airports, you may be surprised what you can find. Frontier Airlines has been my favorite to fly so far. My plane ticket to Orlando for my upcoming trip was only $25. You can't beat that!
|Even Wayfinders need help finding a good deal!|
3. Be PrepaaaaredLol sols, couldn't resist that reference. But seriously, being prepared can save you SO much money when it comes to Disney trips. The Dollar Store is your BEST FRIEND before taking a trip to see the mouse. Make sure you go ahead a pick up some ponchos to avoid spending over $10 on one in Disney when you're already soaked and feeling not-so-magical. Another important thing for you to pick up is SNACKS. These are useful of you get the airport-munches or have a hangry family member while waiting in line to ride Space Mountain. Throw some granola bars or gummies at them and trust me, they'll be much happier with food in their stomach and you'll be happy because you didn't just spend $10 on a Mickey Pretzel right before your huge dinner at Beast's Castle.
|"Compromise where you can, but where you can't- don't." |
-Peggy Carter on the subject of Mickey Pretzels.
4. Choose Wisely, Young PadawanIn my experience, saving money is all about choices. A lot of times I'll pick up something I'm considering buying but then compare it to something I know I'll want in Disney. For example: I would day "I could buy this $5 t-shirt or I could save it and get a Dole Whip during my next trip". I'm sure it's no surprise usually I leave the t-shirt for the Dole Whip (I'm a little obsessed). The same goes with choosing your packages when booking a Disney trip. The Dining Plan can be a great money saver for some families. But if you think you can eat less than $40 (per person) worth a food per day, it's probably smarter to pay out of pocket. If you take the time to consider small choices like these, you'll probably be surprised how much money you'll save.
|Who wouldn't choose this? I mean, LOOK AT IT.|
5. Get 'Yo Self a Rebate App or Sign Up for Disney Movie RewardsFinally, Rebate Apps & Rewards Programs will save your life, no joke. I mean, doesn't it just make sense to get rewarded for buying stuff that you already needed/wanted anyway? UM, YEAH! My favorite app in called Ibotta. They have so many items on their app that once your purchase them, you scan it on the app and you get instant rebates that can be put toward a gift card for almost any company you can thing of. My last Disney trip, I chose a $20 Starbucks gift card that got me a drink every day of our trip for basically no cost to me!
If you're not into rebate apps, Disney Movie Rewards is a great alternative! Any Disney movie you purchase comes with a little code that you can enter online and receive points for. It's so easy to rack up points after just a few movies. You can 'cash out' your points for all kinds of great prizes but my favorite way is to use them to get gift cards! My two favorite are Starbucks and Disney Store gift cards, it's another super simple way to save money especially if you're like me and can't function without a cup of coffee in the morning.
|Hey now, hey now this is what dream are made of.|
I hope these tips will help you save a little cash on your next magical vacation. If you have any questions or money saving tips of your own, please leave them in the comments below- remember, sharing IS caring! Thank you so much for reading I hope you have a maaagical day!
(You can find my most recent DisBoards Trip Report by clicking HERE)