A trip to the Walt Disney World Resort or the Disneyland Resort just might be your family’s vacation of a lifetime, but saving up and paying for the experience may seem like more of a challenge than you’re up for. Yes, Disney vacations can be expensive, especially if you are going with children who are going to see souvenir items that they want to buy every time they exit an attraction through a gift shop.
As a frequent Walt Disney World and Disneyland guest and former cast member, I have discovered some money-saving tips that might just make your next (or first) trip to a Disney destination a little bit easier on your wallet. Here are just a few of the tips I’ve come up with over the years:
Save Money on Souvenirs – The Disney theme parks sell big, battery operated misting fans to keep your family cool in the summer months. The larger chain stores also carry these types of fans during the summer at a much lower price. Buy one (or a few) of these fans before your trip, slap a Mickey Mouse sticker on them, and you’ll save yourself quite a few bucks! How about those really expensive Disney Princess dresses for your little girls? Take it from a parent of two girls who have multiple Princess dresses; go to one of your favorite stores at home and buy a Princess dress or two and hide them away in your luggage before you get to your resort. Leave them out in the morning before your Princess wakes up and you’ll be the hero of the vacation while saving yourself a good bit of money at the same time!
Get FREE Ice Water – All Disney dining locations will give you free cups of ice water if you know this secret: Just ask! Why buy expensive bottles of water with your meals when Disney will happily give you cups of ice water completely free of charge?!
Eat Breakfast In Your Room – If your family is anything like my family, you will all be rushing out the door of your hotel room bright and early in order to get to the theme parks. Your family can bring pre-packaged breakfast foods along with you on your vacation or even buy small breakfast items at the gift shop at your resort. You’ll not only save money by eating a quick breakfast in your hotel room, but you’ll be able to head straight to the headliner attractions as soon as you get to the theme parks!
Save Snack Credits For Souvenirs – If you and your family are utilizing one of the Disney Dining Plans, you may not use all of your snack credits each and every day. Well, guess what? Those credits don’t expire until the last day of your trip. Why not use them to pick up some pre-packaged snacks and bring them back home with you as souvenirs for your family or your loved ones at home? Taking advantage of this strategy is a great way to bring a little bit of that Disney Magic back home with you in your suitcase!