Saving Money at Disney World?

Updated on March 22, 2010
T.B. asks from Westchester, IL
8 answers

Anyone have some great tips for saving money at Disney? We will be going in Sept. and staying off the grounds and renting a house. I'd love to know the tips/ secrets to getting good deals and saving as much as we can! My son will be 3 and we will have a 3 month old then.


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answers from Orlando on

I haven't read any of the other responses - but when my daughter & I go, we eat breakfast before we leave, I take lots of snacks & bottled water plus I take an easy lunch (like sandwiches, fruit, etc) - the only meal we eat in the park is dinner - and maybe I'll buy her an ice cream for a treat. The food is ridiculously expensive. I let her pick 1 souvenier also. So, buying 1 souveneir plus only eating dinner at the park saves us money.

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answers from Nashville on

My husband and I lived and worked there at the parks for ten years and then moved to Nashville to be closer to family. We became DVC members and my husband still works down there a few times a year so that we still get our tickets and passes. So, we are very fortunate that our hotel is paid for in advance and our tickets are free. We knew that if we did not do this, we would never be able to afford to take our children every year.

A few things that we do: We applied for the Disney Rewards Card with Chase and I pay for gas, groceries, doctor visits, clothing with this throughout the month and then pay my bill. This becomes my kid's spending money when we get to the park. We go immediately to city hall on main street with our card and they give us a cute Disney card with the reward amount downloaded to it.

We also stop at supertarget right before we check in and buy all snacks, drinks, and breakfast items beforehand. We usually have one special character breakfast, but eat all other mornings in our rooms. We take our own water and snacks into the park (they do not mind) and although we do love photopass, I always hand my digital camera to the character greeter. Many times I like my own photos better.

The "$5 disney Ts" type stores in Kissimee and surrounding areas are awful. The quality of the merchandise is not at all the same. Disney does have two outlets rather close by that can save you money if you have time to stop in. One is just outside of the Downtown Disney entrance on 536 in the goodings/Friday's shopping center and the other is in the big outlet mall (Lake Buena Vista Outlets) next to the food court.

Have a great time! September is such a good time to go.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Mansfield on

Sounds like you are already making wise decisions... plan way ahead. Cook in your rental house as much as possible. Take snacks with you- you can rent a locker or tote a small cooler around under your stroller. If you are driving there and have extra room bring as much food with you as possible. Even grocery store prices are higher there. I packed about 3 dinners with us when we went and then bought things like milk and butter once there. Most of the disney stuff you find throughout the parks you can find in the many "gift" shops that are around that area. So browse the shops but check out the off site shops before you purchase. If there is something you really want and only a disney park has it- get it on your last day. Parking is $12 a day at disney so if you can figure out a shuttle from your rental you may want to use it. Bring as much as possible with you- even things you think you will not need... you probably will. My husband had a sinus infection thing going on and the price for meds were higher- just like groceries. Bring extra of things you may lose or break- sunglasses, sunblock, etc. It will be hot (and will probably rain too) so plan for the weather- bring a refillable waterbottle and cups for child, as well as rain coats. Bring your own camera. Disney employees will take pictures with your camera as well as theirs and will let you take pictures too (like you kids with mickey and things). Although the photopass is really neat it is not totally necessary. They will give you are card that they scan each time you or they child has a picture taken- then you can get online and order whatever you want. The card is free but ofcourse the pictures you buy are not. is a great site for information- you can even get ideas about food prices if you decide to eat in the park, where will be the cheapest for you.
Many of the hotels offer discount tickets to the parks- you may have to go look at a timeshare or something though- I am not sure we already had our tickets but I was checking out some other attractions.
There are tons of websites that tell you where discounts are and things. DWsavers is one i think and something about mouse savers or something- google disney discounts you should find them. Check out the orlando and florida offical sites too- they have links I think that can be helpful.
Have fun- hope this helps :) I love disney- wish I was going with you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

When we went we found it a better deal to stay on the Disney property at their budget resort. We got the meal plan too and saved a bunch! Staying on the property meant we didn't have to pay parking or rent a car, they picked us up at the airport and we took shuttles to all the parks and Downtown Disney. We went in the off season and got a great deal. I compared all the plans and staying off property and this was the cheapest.

The meal plan was more than enough to feed us, we didn't end up buying much extra food at all. We got the 2 meal plan that included 2 snacks per person during the day. So we had plenty to eat plus ice cream and popcorn as well! It helped us to know we paid it all upfront. You'd only have to pay for your adult meals and the 3-year old's. And he will have more than enough! You also get a dessert with the meal, so we saved the cookies for snacks later on. We packed our breakfasts, and at lunch and dinner at the park. It was great not having to leave, but if you have a 3-year old then leaving for a nap might be a good idea.

We got a free souvenir mug at the hotel plus cute Mickey soaps and shampoos. The only souvenirs we got were hats, which we picked out and wore the whole trip!

Definitely try for ideas. Have fun!



answers from San Antonio on


answers from Chicago on

Check out the book "Disney On A Dime" from your local library. Sign up at for their monthly newsletters.
-Go off season.
-Buy souviners before you get there.
-Pack a cooler everyday for breakfast, lunches, snacks & drinks.
-If you can go before your 3yr old bday - its free!
-Buy 7-10 day passes or as long as possible


answers from Detroit on

im all honesty i don;t think there is a way to save money at disney world. IT'S DISNEY WORLD! your gonna see sooo many things that you want and want your children to have. i went and we stayed in a resort and went on the cruise. but i think maybe if you just set a daily budget while your there that may help. i think had i done that i might have saved some money! lol. my parents also waited till my younger sister ( she 11 years younger then me) was old enough to remember the trip so they wouldnt have to make a trip back the next year because she would see a commercial for it on tv she would know that she was there.



answers from Houston on

Hi. We just came back from our first Disney World vacation last month and I agree with some of the other ladies that it's Disney World and it's hard to pinch pennies while there. We held off going until our kids were 7, 5, 2 1/2, and 10 mos, so that we could save and really enjoy ourselves on our vacation. Also, it was our 2 1/2 year old who gave us the most trouble while there so maybe you should consider waiting another year.

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