Happy Tuesday! I am so excited because we are counting down the days before we head to the most magical place in the world, WALT DISNEY WORLD! It will be my little family, along with my 13 year old niece, and 9 year old nephew. Not only are we going on a trip to the parks, but we will spend four additonal days on a Disney Cruise! We’ve been planning this trip for over a year and it seems like the closer we get to the trip, the faster the days are going. I hope the trip doesn’t go as fast:( Anyway, Now, that I’ve been planning this trip for a while, I’ve been keeping tabs on all of the ways that I’ve found to save money, because when it comes to Disney, literally, every penny saved counts. Now you all know that I am all about saving a coin, hence the blog name LIVE PRETTY ON A PENNY! Every penny counts!
If you are planning a trip, or will be going soon, hopefully you will find these tips to be helpful.
1) Buy Disney Merchandise before you get to Orlando, especially at the parks:
As you can imagine., buying Disney branded items at the park can be super expensive. I mean SUPER! In preperation for our trip, I’ve been buying Disney related t-shirts, ponchos, and even grabbed a couple of character autograph books, and even the classic Mickey ears in advance. I’ve been lucky enough to find most of the shirts on clearance, but the most I even paid full price was $12.99 from Target. Try $40-$50 per shirt at one of the parks. Can’t beat that.
2) Pack your own lunch for each day at the park:
Not sure if you know this, but you can actually bring your own food and beverages (non-alcoholic) into any park. We are visiting three parks, so each day I will pack sandwiches, snacks, water, and whatever to fuel us throughout the day. We will save a bunch of money, and likely not over eat. However, if there is something that my son really wants such as a treat or something, I don’t mind paying for it. I just want to avoid feeding five people at full lunch each day.
3) Stay off-site at a Disney Friends Hotel, or Nearby property to utilize free shuttle options:
There are lot’s of options available when looking at accommodations for Disney. We opted to stay at a property within a 1 mile vicinity of the parks, with a free shuttle to and from the parks and free breakfast. In doing this, we save on parking at the parks each day, which is $17 per day, per park.
4) Choose accommodations with a kitchenette area and/or free breakfast:
Again, we chose a property with a kitchen area so that we could easily prepare breakfast and lunch, store food items, reheat food, etc. As you know, food is one of the largest expenses when traveling, so of course this helps to keep the budget in line.
5)Buying Tickets through a 3rd Party:
There are so many 3rd party’s that offer discounted park tickets. My full-time place of employment offered a discount (not much worth mentioning), sites like Undercover Tourist, Mousesavers, and then the of course those who are recruiting for timeshare presentations. I don’t mind doing the timeshare presentations as I’ve become an expert at saying No in every way possible! Ha! Plus with those presentations, you are typically offered very very discounted, or free tickets. This is a good option if you have some time to spare during your vacation because it will require around 2 hours of your time.
Bonus* Book Early and keep checking for further discounts!
Here is a bonus tip! Book early! We started planning for this trip last September, and it helped us tremendously, especially with booking our car rental, hotel, etc. Even after we booked, I kept going back and checking to see if any prices went down. By doing this, I was able to get a bigger vehicle for a much cheaper price than when I booked it from the beginning. Prices fluctuate, so its good to keep checking to make sure that you have gotten the best price.
So that’s it! I hope that these tips were helpful. If you are planning a trip to Disney anytime soon, let me know if you have any further questions.
Thanks so much for stopping by. Until next time!