Planning a trip to Disney World, Orlando may strike people as an exciting, unforgettable experience. While true without question, something that may bog us down as visitors is the excessive cost; if we don’t approach booking and visiting without a money-saving strategy.
Below, we’ll discuss several steps you can take to save some cash on your trip to Disney World.
The age-old argument: Base Tickets or Park Hopper tickets?
There are four main parks at Disney World: The Magic Kingdom, the Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot.
When purchasing tickets, you have a choice between the base ticket or the park hopper. But what’s the difference?
Well, the base ticket lets you into one park per day; that’s your limit. Conversely, the park hopper allows for visits to as many of the 4 parks as you want throughout your trip.
The park hopper is worth the additional cost especially if you’re travelling without small children; you can jump from park to park to experience it all. If you are visiting with the whole family, you will most likely be moving at a slower pace. Passing on the park hopper and going with the base tickets might be the best option, so you and the whole family can save your time (and money) and enjoy a single park per day with all it’s offerings. Which ever option you decide on, buying your Walt Disney World tickets in advance means that you can save money, receive the fast-pass and even pre-book your favourite rides and attractions before you set-off.
One of the most effective ways to ramp up a large Disney bill is by jumping straight for the on-site accommodation options.
The truth about Disney resorts? A majority of them are absolutely not budget friendly. We recommend that you look for hotels located near the Disney parks; some sites even offer transportation to and from the parks. You’ll be saving money on parking every single day, and if you’re flying to Orlando, you can save money on the cost of renting a car!
Tripadvisor have some fantastic deals for off-site resorts to skim back on cost of travel.
Plus, if you’re staying on-site, you can leverage the Magical Express: a fantastic deal that offers transport to and from the airport, dealing with luggage, too. This also negates the cost of car rentals/taxis for travel.
Purchase those extra bits AHEAD of time!
This is without question the silent killer of wallets and credit cards in your travel plan.
Especially if you have young children, the parks are quite literally designed to funnel visitors from stall-to-stall, getting a chance to be enticed by colourful toys, objects and accessories.
You can alleviate the massive strain of these little purchases (that really add up!) by buying them ahead of time.
Stuffed animals, for example, can be purchased ahead of time for a fraction of the cost. And so can those pesky, but necessary mouse ears that we all love. These micro-purchases really save some money long-term. You can even pack emergency ponchos to save yourself from buying the park-supplied ones: again, these are inflated three-fold in price!
Skip the Disney Meal Plan/Be Smart about Snacks
Disney Dining is a specific plan for your trip that allows for food costs to be budgeted in advance. While the scheme may be appropriate for some, it is by no means necessary, and is actually advised against if you want to save some cash!
Packing light meals and snacks ahead of time will also reduce the likelihood of stall-purchases, and we all know how costly they can be, little and often!
Our one tip for this point: never arrive at the park hungry! Breakfast alone can set a family back exceeding $100. If you need to snack in the park, the refillable popcorn is a valuable option, especially for children. ($10 initially; $2 to refill it.)
By no means do we want this to be a grumpy article. Disney World is a once-in-a-lifetime experience; a bucket-list item that needs to be ticked off.
Implementing our tips here will surely not reduce the enjoyment of your holiday for yourself or your family. But you can definitely save money that may have been unnecessarily spent!