As an Annual Passholder, I get the pleasure of watching the subtle changes at Disney World.
It’s not so cool when you get to see the prices on things go up, up, up!
We LOVE Disney- it’s probably a borderline obsession at this point, but we can’t go and spend too much money at the parks- like most people we have a budget we stick to.
And I’m sure you love Disney and you want to have a Super Magical Vacation with lots of memories! But those memories cost money, and just when you think that you have a handle on things, you need to pay for something else- Like the Disney Photo Pass, or the unique eats at one of Epcot’s Festivals.
So how do you get the most of your magical vacation without breaking the bank?
It’s still kinda easy (if Disney would stop with some of these fees like parking) to follow these tips for getting the most out of your vacation!
A note on Pricing
I’ve mentioned pricing here in several of my tips- it’s current for 2019 BUT disney doesn’t put price tags on items… Nooooo. Instead they ‘color code’ them.
So you know that means that they can change prices in like, an hour, maybe less, just by switching out the cards that label what each colored price is. I’d love for the prices I listed to be lower- but if anything, you should take what I say and expect it to be higher (sorry!)
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The Tips Updated for 2019
1.Plan your Disney Vacation during the Off season- and plan to stay during the week. Disney has changed their pricing structure but it’s always better to go when they are slower like January and September.
3. Limit your child’s spending by giving them gift cards for souvenirs. (This is a great way for other family members to contribute to your trip! Have them grab some gift cards as presents)
4. Don’t pay for drinks! Bring your own water- I like this reusable bottle from Amazon. If you do like soda, get a refillable mug for the resorts (it can ONLY be used at the resorts, not the parks!)
5. Bring your own autograph books and cool pens for your character meets.
6. Bring your own rain ponchos and umbrellas. They are so expensive at the park! You would spend 50 dollars for a family of four at the parks when it rains. That’s too much money to spend for something you can get ahead of time!
7. If you still trade Disney Pins, buy them before you get to the park. Especially the lanyards. Those things are like 5 dollars online but over 15 for a themed one at the park. Amazon normally has some deals on your Disney World Pin Collection
8. Bring your own snacks and meals into the park. I personally use this collapsible cooler so I don’t have to worry about it after lunch. It has saved me thousands!
9. Take Uber to the closest grocery store for all your goods, or get them delivered from Amazon. BONUS- buy your balloons at Publix!!! 4-8 dollars versus 15-20 dollars. My kid hardly notices the difference. He just wants Mickey, on a ballon, on our stroller. He doesn’t care about the money. 4 dollar ballon to the rescue!
10. Skip the Character lunch and dinner- do Breakfast instead! Breakfast is almost half the cost of lunch and dinner. You can see your favorite characters without rushing and still not pay as much.
11. Skip the Disney Dining Plan- I’ve done the math, so. many. times. It is literally not worth it unless I want to do character dinners every day (which I don’t).
12. Stay off site (like renting a house!) Then you won’t pay for parking if you drive. Otherwise, you pay for parking at both the resorts and the parks, if you drive your vehicle!
13. Pack clothes for all kinds of weather. A jacket will easily cost you 40 and a onesie with pants over 30. Don’t get caught with the wrong clothing for your trip. Pack for warm and cold weather.
14. Plan for an “off day” go to the water parks, go putt putt golfing, or go completely free to Disney Springs or Resort Hop!
15. Bring your own stroller. Stroller rental can cost as much as 30 per day (yikes!). OR buy an umbrella stroller- though having stroller storage is pretty convenient. Don’t forget the Baby Carrier!
16. If you fly, don’t rent a car. Take Uber if you need something special, but otherwise stick to Disney Transportation since you now pay to park at the resorts!
17. When you do eat at the park- split your meals. My husband and I can share an adult meal and I sometimes share a meal with one of the kids. Or make it a buffet style picnic with a few a la carte items from a quick service and the snacks you brought in.
18. Skip the Park Hopper pass- not worth it the money.
19. Skip the Disney PhotoPass, Disney Cast Members (or a fellow traveler) can snap pics on your phone or camera. Just remember to bring a cell phone charger or an extra SD card.
20. Pack a wellness/first aid kit. Yes, you can get bandaids from the First Aid Center. But you might need other things like sunscreen, headache medicine, or you might get an upset stomach from all the crazy foods you’ve been eating (hellooooo pepto!). You dont want to get it from the resorts with their high dollar markup. If you dont have room in your bag, get it Shipped with Amazon when you order all your snacks and souvenirs!
Already! I thought of another tip- I plan to update this throughout the year.
21. Don’t put your credit card on your magic band. In fact, I would limit what you have in your wallet. If you dont feel comfortable with cash, use a debit card, prepaid card, gift card etc to stay in your budget.
22. Check out this list of great Freebies that you can still get at Disney World in 2019!
23. Don’t go to Epcot’s Festivals OR plan to budget extra if you do go. My family of four (two small children) spent 150 dollars at Epcot Flower and Garden Festival because they have all the little food kiosks. Those 6-12 dollar treats and 8-15 dollar drinks add up quickly when everyone in your party tries one or two things during the day. The festivals are fun- but designed to get you to spend more money to try out all the new treats and fun new merchandise they have available!
24. Another great way to save money at Disney World is by using credit cards! You can learn more about using credit cards for saving money at Disney World.
There you have it folks, some of my money saving tips for budgeting a Disney World Vaca in 2019. While it’s harder to do Disney on a budget, you can afford it if you plan ahead and stay up to date on their prices.
So save this post! I plan to update it throughout the year, especially as I notice price changes or purchase something (yes, I had to purchase one of those 25 dollar onesies because of a diaper mishap one time. Not my happiest moment!)
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Liked my Tips? I tried to keep it original with things I had never seen online. Share this Post so others can save at Disney too!!