Knowing how to save money at Disney World can be quite a conundrum, because you still want to have a good time and not feel like you’re hoarding your money. Still, it’s true – these theme parks can be a very pricey vacation, and Disney marketers are experts at increasing prices during peak seasons and making their expensive souvenirs appeal perfectly to children.
Here are 5 simple tips for saving money on your Disney vacation, both before the trip and while you’re there.
1. Buying tickets
Triple A offers the best multi-day Disney World tickets available anywhere for their members, often 10% or more on gate ticket prices. If you’re not a Trip-A member, you can search UndercoverTourist.com for their best tickets prices. If you can’t find a good deal anywhere (especially if you’re visiting during peak season), at least buy your tickets at Disney.com for about 5% off at-the-gate prices.
2. When to go
Mid January to mid-February, and late August to late September are the biggest off-seasons for Disney World, and you will find lower ticket prices and hotel rates during these times. Try to avoid early summer, and the Christmas to New Years season, because these will be the most crowded and most expensive times to go.
3. Where to stay
You can stay at hotels outside of Disney World (Holiday Inns are a consistently high-rated choice) to save 50% or more on nightly rates. However, there are budget hotels inside the theme park, too, and they offer free shuttle service to all the parks, free luggage pickups to and from the airport, and free parking at all the parks, so consider these perks when you’re deciding where to stay.
4. What to see
Hopper passes are affordable ways to see everything at the park, and change your plans at the last minute. Also, the animal kingdom doesn’t take most families all day, and many have found MGM to be not very entertaining for young kids.
5. Save money at Disney World
The only thing you can’t take into the park are coolers and alcoholic beverages. so bring along water and snacks in a backpack, and eat at counter-service restaurants as often as possible to get the exact same thing at their traditional restaurants for dollars off the price.
Which Disney restaurants are the best values? How do you get to the best rides before anyone else can? How to get that exclusive dinner with your child’s favorite Disney character? If you don’t know the answers to all these questions, you are wasting time and money at Disney World.