Traveling to Disney World is something everyone should do more than once in his or her life. Going to Disney World can be very expensive though, and most families end up not being able to do the trip multiple times because they simply cannot afford it. It doesn’t have to be that way if you know have to keep your costs down though. In this post, we will review five ways to reduce yours costs at Disney World.
1. Do no stay on the Disney Word property
Even though the idea of staying on Disney World property sounds awesome, the cost of the hotel room can destroy most people’s bank accounts. When looking for places to stay we recommend not staying in a hotel at all, as for they are expensive and can be limiting on amenities. Try using sites like AirBNB.com or Craigslist.com to find a place to stay. Normal people list their houses and apartments for rent, just like a hotel. You can get places for a day, a week, and longer sometimes. In most cases, you will get a lot more room, and pay the same if not cheaper of a price. They also come with the bonus of a full sized fridge, which we will need for another method of savings.
2. Prepare food and take into the parks with you
It doesn’t matter if you are eating out in your local town or at Disney World, it will still cost more than making food yourself. The prices at Disney restaurants have inflated prices already, so you are going to pay more if you eat on the Disney property. Now that you are staying in a house with a full fridge you can go buy regular groceries. Think of things that can be put into a book bag and carried with you at the parks. Some items we suggest preparing and bring with you are sandwiches like hoagies or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Fruits and vegetables can also be great items to have as snacks and throw in your bag. Just make sure you don’t pack items that parish very easily, or you will need to think of a way to keep it cool. Disney will allow you to bring in all of these items in a backpack size cooler, and you can store it in a locker, so you don’t have to carry it all day.
3. Bring your own sunscreen and rain gear
Everything in Disney world is more expensive, especially little things like sunscreen, Chap Stick, ponchos, umbrellas, and toiletries. Florida is the sunshine state, and you are going to need sunscreen and you can save 50% if you bring it with you to the park. Now Florida might be the sunshine state, but Orlando is also known for its daily 15-minute thunderstorms during the summer months. Don’t get caught without an umbrella or poncho during the storm. No one wants to pay $22 for an umbrella that won’t fit into your suitcase when you go home. Lastly, toiletries like deodorant are needed as a midday refresh sometimes in the parks. We all know we get hot and sweaty with the 90-degree heat chasing the kids around, not to mention your fellow guests will appreciate you are not smelling. They sell small sticks of your favorite deodorant in the parks for around $6, which is double what you would pay at your local store. Our recommendation is to come prepared with a backpack full of supplies, so you don’t have to buy random items in the park.
4. Don’t park at the parks
Every park in Disney work charges $10+ or more to park your car, and this can add up to an easy $40 if you visit their four major parks, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood studios. To keep from paying these parking fees, we have a little hack for you. Don’t park in the park lots, but go to one of the many hotels which offer free guest parking and take the FREE Disney bus or FREE Disney Monorail. For example, we always go to the Polynesian hotel and tell the security guard we have a reservation at Bennie Hana and then just park in their free lot. We grab all of our stuff; pack it in the stroller and then head to the monorail. Takes a little effort, but we get free parking, don’t have to take those parking lot trams, and get dropped off in front of the entrance to any park. Our kids love riding the monorails and seeing the views.
5. Don’t pay for your picture with Mickey Mouse
I cannot tell you how many pictures I have with Mickey and Minnie, and I have never paid for a single one. Most of us already have a camera on our smart phone, or bring a nice camera with us. When you see the character, you want a picture with just nicely hand your camera to their photographer, and they will gladly take a picture using your camera. They will still snap a shot with their camera, but you don’t have to buy it. I know having the pictures from their camera can be a good souvenir, and you might want one for your mantel, but you can easily buy a Disney frame at the gift shops off Disney Property. Put your picture inside of it for the same effect.