Because I’m a self-admitted Walt Disney World Resort addict, people tend to ask me for travel planning advice often. I’ve been asked about everything from the best time to visit the World to the best place to stay, but far and away the question I hear most often is, “How can I take my family to Walt Disney World and not spend too much money?”
My best response is that you should always visit WaltDisneyWorld.com to check for special offers before booking your vacation. Right now, you can save up to 30% on rooms at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels. If you upgrade your room-only reservation to a Magic Your Way ticket package of 4-day theme park tickets or more, you’ll also receive one more ticket day free.
Check out these additional ways to save at Walt Disney World!
1. Eat breakfast in your resort room. What many guests do not realize is that for a small fee (typically $10 per night), you can request a small refrigerator for your resort room, even if you’re staying in the Value Resort properties. My family packs disposable bowls, cups, and spoons along with a favorite box of cereal every time we visit Walt Disney World. We then purchase milk in the resort store — available at every resort — and keep it in our room fridge along with bottles of water, soda, and cold snacks like string cheese and applesauce. Each morning we get up early, enjoy a quick (and cheap) breakfast, then rush off to the parks for rope drop.
2. Book a Disney Dining Plan if you’ll be dining exclusively in the parks. If your family plans on eating all meals in the parks and resorts during your stay, then you should consider adding a Disney Dining Plan to your reservation. Guests who eat most or all meals in the parks and resorts tend to find that they save money of the course of their reservation if they pay for the dining plan upfront. Some dining plans even include savings on snacks!
3. If your family’s eating habits are informal, consider the Quick-Service Dining Plan or skip dining plans altogether. Are you content eating all quick-service meals? Does your family typically skip snacks and stick to drinking refillable water bottles that you’ve topped off at fountains throughout the day? While you may want to check out the Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan, you may actually find that skipping the dining plans altogether is a better money-saving fit for your family.
4. Take souvenirs with you. The souvenir gimmes can be a quickly accumulating way to burn through money while at Walt Disney World. With fun finds throughout the parks in both stores and on carts, saying yes to your kids can lead to breaking the budget. Check out the Disney Store online in the months leading up to your vacation, and purchase favorite items from toys to t-shirts on sale. Pack them in your bags come vacation time, and surprise the kids at the end of each day or the end of your trip.
5. Pack snacks. There’s possibly nothing more budget-busting then getting a case of the munchies in the parks and finding that all of your options break the bank. While you certainly haven’t fully experienced Disney parks until you’ve had a Mickey ice cream bar, a churro, and some popcorn, eating your way through every day will leave your wallet feeling empty. Pack a couple light snacks like boxes of raisins or granola bars to get you through the day, and save your snacking budget for the occasional treat rather than the energy boost you need each day to enjoy the parks.