One of the most common Disney World misconceptions is cost. People often say, “Disney is too expensive.” But it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are 7 budget hacks to save money on your Disney World Vacation
1. Be Smarter with Souvenirs
Cut down on impulse buys in the parks by bringing affordable versions of Disney souvenirs with you. Items such as bubble wands, Mickey ears, and toys can be purchased at home. Surprise the kids with them throughout your trip! Alternatively, Disney gift cards make great gifts for birthdays and holidays leading up to a trip.
2. Become a Disney Visa Cardholder
The Disney Visa offers reward dollars on all purchases. You can then use these rewards toward purchases at most Disney World locations, including restaurants, shops, and entertainment. You can also take advantage of discounts at retail locations in the parks and exclusive character meet and greet opportunities. Any payments made toward your vacation package with the card are interest-free for six months.
**Fairytale Journeys is not an affiliate of Disney Visa, nor do we earn any incentives from our clients signing up as card holders.
3. Take Advantage of Store Reward Programs
Many stores offer cash back or discounts on gift card purchases. You can use Disney gift cards to make payments on your vacation balance. Target Redcard holders earn 5% back on gift card purchases. Shopping clubs like Sam’s Club and BJ’s sell gift cards for a discount. When you purchase gift cards from grocery stores like Giant Eagle or Kroger, you can earn cents off every gallon of gas. You can also stack savings when you buy the gift cards with your credit card, many of which offer cash back on purchases.
4. Use a Payment Plan
The deposit to secure your Disney vacation package is only $200. After that, you can make payments at intervals and amounts convenient for you. By breaking up the total into installments, it can help build the price of your vacation into your monthly budget. Discuss a payment plan with your Travel Advisor and they will take care of the payments for you!
5. Add the Disney Dining Plan to Your Package
Disney has announced that dining plans will return in 2023. There are so many reasons to love the dining plan! The cost per meal is objectively less than purchasing food a la carte. When you have prepaid, there is less stress over budgeting. Each member of the travel party also receives a refillable mug that can be used for free refills of coffee, tea, and fountain beverages at your resort for the length of your stay, saving you money on beverages.
When dining plans return, your Travel Advisor can help you plan out that best ways to utilize Table Service, Quick Service, and Snack credits to get the most value out of your plan. Not all Table Service and Quick Service offerings are created equal!
6. Save On In-Park Snack Purchases
One of the best ways to save money on food is to bring snacks and breakfast items from home or have them delivered to the resort via delivery service. Save time and money with a yogurt or smoothie from your minifridge or snack on a granola bar while you hurry to the parks for Rope Drop. Little known fact: outside food and non-alcoholic beverages are allowed in Disney Parks. Pack some snacks and fill up your water bottle and you won’t have to purchase those items in the parks. Of course, you’ll want to budget or save some snack credits to get at least one Mickey-shaped snack!
7. Book with a Travel Agent That Specializes in Disney Destinations
Disney periodically releases special offers on rooms or vacation packages. One of the services a travel advisor provides is applying these offers to qualifying bookings. There are often limited rooms available for these offers, but when your trip is booked with an FTJ agent, you can rest assured knowing that your agent is up early on release days to secure those savings on your behalf.
Your Fairytale Journeys Disney Vacation Planner will tailor a trip to all your needs, including your budget. All aspects of a Disney vacation are customizable, from the resort, to number of park days and dining options. Fairytale Journeys travel advisors are well-acquainted with all of these options and will suggest ways to plan a magical trip within your budget. And if you’re not already working with a Fairytale Journeys Disney Travel Agent, contact one to help you plan your next vacation.
Sarah is from Northeastern Ohio where she juggles raising four small children, a custom quilt business, never-ending DIY projects, and travelling as often as possible. Sarah has been with Fairytale Journeys as a Travel Consultant since 2021. She loves helping clients have the best possible travel experience no matter the destination. She also co-hosts To Disney and Beyond: A Travel Podcast with a fellow FTJ agent.