5 Best Ways to Save Money at Disney
The narrative that a Disney vacation has become too expensive is absurd. The Walt Disney Company celebrated a record-setting year for attendance in 2017. More than 150 million people visited parks. They wouldn’t do that if a trip cost too much. Still, everyone wants to stretch their vacation budget as much as possible. It’s the smartest way to get the best trip. Here are a handful of suggestions for saving money on a Disney vacation.
1) Order Groceries Online
The cost of food is an ongoing issue during your visit. We’ll discuss it in multiple ways today. The first thing you should realize is that you’ll need to hydrate during your Disney vacation. The parks get hot, and you’ll burn a lot of calories. Bottled water at Disney theme parks is one of the most outrageous price markups you’ll see.
You can avoid paying $3.00 per bottle with some planning or some improvisation. The improvisation is to ask for a glass of water at a Disney restaurant. Employees are always supposed to say yes to this request. It makes some people feel awkward doing it, though.
The planning involves a food order ahead of your trip. Amazon Pantry and Garden Grocer are both services that will deliver food supplies directly to your hotel room. You can order a giant package of bottled water plus some breakfast items like cereal. Through this strategy, you’ll avoid Disney markups and save money on your trip.
2) Use Magical Express and All Other Free Transportation at Disney
In 2018, Disney introduced hotel parking fees at their resorts. Now more than ever, the smart strategy is to fly rather than drive. A lot of guests don’t realize that Disney provides airport shuttle to their resorts, though. Magical Express is a free service that streamlines your arrival at Orlando International Airport.
You’ll follow the signs to the pickup area, show them your Magic Band, and receive directions to the appropriate bus. This vehicle will transport you to your hotel in a timely fashion, and it will even offer helpful park videos for your visit.
Once you’re at Walt Disney World, you can use their various transportation systems to travel from location to location. The buses, boats, and monorails at Disney are all free to everyone. You can basically navigate the entire Disney campus without paying a dime.
One suggestion about ride sharing also applies. One of the two popular services, Lyft, frequently offers special ride discounts. By signing up for their email and text lists, you’ll get two coupons for travel. These will help you if you’re ever in a hurry and are willing to pay for timely direct transportation.
3) Get the Disney Dining Plan…or Don’t!
I’m sure you just tilted your head in puzzlement at this suggestion. Let me explain. The value of the Disney Dining Plan depends entirely upon your eating behavior. I have no idea whether you’re on a stringent low-calorie diet or someone who drinks several milkshakes each day. If you have a hearty appetite and go to Disney at least partially for the food, get the Disney Dining Plan.
You will feast at several wonderful restaurants, all while having cost certainty each step of the way. Plus, you can and should pay for the Dining Plan ahead of time, which mitigates the lump sum vacation expense you would face otherwise.
Non-foodies and dieters should take a different approach. Don’t buy the Disney Dining Plan. You can do things like skipping breakfast or sharing meals at restaurants instead. Many Disney entrees come in comically large proportions. You shouldn’t feel like you need to order for each individual just because that’s standard behavior.
Also, if you’re self conscious about it, you don’t even have to look anybody in the eye for your order now. You’ll do Disney mobile ordering through your smart phone, which should alleviate your concerns over any awkward conversations. You would be stunned how many people split meals at Walt Disney World. It’s such a viable strategy that in some cases, you’ll pay less for a meal here than you would at home.
4) Choose Value Days
In recent years, Disney has added a new wrinkle to park visits. They’ve implemented surge ticket pricing. What does this mean to you? You’ll pay more for an admission ticket on certain days than others. Relax – this is good news. You can plan to visit on days when admission tickets are cheaper.
A basic value ticket costs $102, while a peak ticket costs $122. That’s a savings of almost 20 percent per person per day, and it’s easy to get that savings. You just have to look at the Disney calendar and pick value days.
Another way to save on park tickets is to skip the Park Hopper option. I’m a firm believer in its utility, but MickeyBlog has also offered several itineraries. In each one of them, you’ll learn how to spend an entire day at a single park. Since Park Hopper costs roughly $55 per day, you’ve now saved $75 per person per day off the potential cost of a ticket. That’s an easy, efficient way to stretch your vacation budget.
5) Hire a Pro
No matter how much you frequent Disney tips sites, you’ll never know as much as the professionals do. Disney’s encouraged the most reliable travel agents to work for them. They’ve set up a forward-thinking program that helps you, the consumer.
When you employ a Disney-based travel agency such as MickeyTravels, you won’t pay a dime! Instead, your travel agent earns a commission through Disney. So, they get paid, but their service is free to you. These experts have years of experience and know all of the best tricks to saving you money. You should always use a Disney travel agency to book your trip.
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