Walt Disney World Savings
Walt Disney World Savings! Everyone needs help saving some money! Trips to the Disney parks are expensive. The only ticket discount, and park tickets are your biggest expense, is 5% from some retailers, and AAA. Please note that as expensive as a one day pass can be at a Disney park, the shows, rides, and sights that you can see, when spending a full day there, is 100% worth it. Here are a few ways we save money:
1. Stay on Disney Property. You can spend around $100 at the lowest tier property, or you can spend $1000 a night. Walt Disney World offers various prices on their hotel rooms, depending on the property.
a. No matter what the cost of your hotel, from $100 to $1000, you are eligible for the Magical Express, free round-trip transportation to your hotel from the airport. That is a HUGE savings that you cannot get at Disneyland!
b. You also get free bus service all day long to and from your hotel to the various parks and Downtown Disney. This means you don’t have to rent a car. This is another huge savings, not to mention, if you have a car, you have to pay for parking at the parks, which then leaves you further away from the entrance as well!
c. Free baggage check at your Walt Disney World hotel property. Check your bag in before you head to the park in the morning, leave your carry on with the bell boy, and pick up your luggage at your home airport! Disney makes it that easy for you!
Or stay for close to free! In 2017 we spent $300 for an 8 night stay at the Dolphin hotel, the only hotel complex (includes the Swan) that is not Disney owned. We lose the perk of the Magical Express, so I have to figure in the cost of a car service. You also lose the opportunity to use Disney Dining, but we do not use that. Those are the only two perks you lose, and for us it will only cost the $50 cab ride from the airport. I had British Airways miles that I was not going to use anyway, now I have a Starwood American Express and am earning free nights for our next trip! The next year we did stay for almost free with all out miles, read that trick here!
2. Plan to stay for a long time. A one day ticket at Walt Disney World can cost well over a hundred dollars. One year we bought a 10 day pass and the average cots per day went down to $40/day. Most people think that every day cost $100, but it does not. Check out their website to see the price go down the longer you stay!
Don’t forget your Memory Maker when you are in Disney! Buy beforehand to save additional dollars!
3. Eat breakfast in your room. There is always a kitchenette. I bring ground coffee and coffee filters from home and save a few dollars a day that way. We like iced coffee in the morning and that costs a lot. Mine costs far less since I make the coffee at night and pop it in the fridge, and I am happy to make it in the room, I want it as soon as I get out of bed anyway!
I also go to the general store at the hotel and buy basics, which, while they cost more on property, still saves me from spending $40 in a theme park to eat breakfast. (Many folks make a car stop at a grocery store to by the same basics.) That also saves us time, we eat as we are getting ready, we hate to miss even one minute away from the parks!
4. Stay in the luxury of a DVC property for half price. It is no longer difficult to find travel agents that can do this for you. Sorry WDW, but if I can get a room at the Old Key West or Saratoga Springs for half price, without buying the DVC membership, I will. Two years ago we had a full one bedroom at the Saratoga Springs for less that $250 a night. Full kitchen and laundry, two bathrooms and a Jacuzzi. Last year we had a studio at the Old Key West for slightly less than $200 a night. Both of these were rooms that would normally cost double those prices.
Some properties have five bus stops because they are so spread out. We found some travel hacks within Walt Disney World that might help!
5. Kids meals. My son and I both had a kids meal in Epcot. We had a cup of macaroni and cheese, a yogurt, a cookie, apples slices, and a drink. That was half of the cost of an adult meal alone, without a beverage! And it is plenty to eat. I did that again at the Animal Kingdom. It only took five trips to WDW to figure this one out! It is plenty of food if you are just looking for a quick service meal to fill your belly. And this way I don’t feel bad when my son and I snack on a giant $10 turkey leg 2 hours later!
These are my top 5 tips on how to save money at Disney!
BUT WAIT! WE HAVE ONE EXTRA TRICK! We enjoyed free refills at all our sit down meals in Walt Disney World. We also stumbled upon the fact, thanks to some nice waiter, that we could get a “to go” cup when we left. So we all walked out, full of liquids, and with full containers of beverages in hand! And I mean soda, not water! For our August trip when the weather was 140 degrees, this was a huge hydration help and money savings! There are also free cups of water to be had at the lunch spots, just walk up and ask!
On a different note, now that our son is almost 16 going on 25, we found that while expensive, a wonderful getaway is a Disney Cruise. Our son loved it!
If you have your own money saving tips on “How to Save Money at Disney,” please leave it in the comments!