1.) Seasons: The prices for staying at a Disney resort vary by season, and there can be quite a price difference. I know that some people can only go at certain times of the year and don’t have much choice, but if you can swing it, try to go in one of the value seasons (Parts of January and February, parts of September, etc.) Also, week nights are cheaper than weekends, so keep this in mind if you are only going for a few days.

2.) Be smart with food: Disney food is pricey, but there are a few things you can do to help cut the costs. All of the rooms on Disney property have a mini fridge, so if you are driving, bring your own bottles of water, and maybe some milk, cereal and granola bars or fruit to have a quick breakfast before heading to the parks. If you are staying in a 1, 2, or 3 bedroom villa you will have access to a full kitchen and can really cut costs. You can also order groceries from Garden Grocer, or buy food at the store at your Disney resort. You can get a cup of ice water for free in the parks at counter service restaurants, and some of the counter service meals are large enough to share.

3.) Park Hoppers: Park hoppers are fun, but not a necessity for everyone, and can cut the cost of your trip down. When I talk to my clients about park hoppers, one of the things we discuss are the ages of their children and how well they would do going all day at the parks. If your kids are very small, I would stick with a base ticket and go back for a nap in the afternoon, then re-enter the same park in the evening, and save the hoppers for when your kids are older. Base tickets aren’t as flexible as hoppers, but if you have a good plan, it’s doable.

4.) Disney Visa: I have had a Chase Disney visa credit card for years, and have loved the rewards program. Every time I shop, I get points that I can redeem in Walt Disney World for food, hotel, souvenirs, you name it. Also, when you spend $50 or more at participating stores at WDW, you get 10% off your purchase.

5.) Plan a park free day: There is much more to Walt Disney World than going to the theme parks! For my clients staying five or more days, I always recommend putting a day in the middle where they can relax and recharge for the remainder of their trip. When I go with my family, we like to take a day to hang out at the pool at our resort, go visit other resorts, or go hang out at Downtown Disney (no cost to go there!) We sleep in and enjoy the slower pace of the day. Plus, we have a fun day in Disney without paying for a park ticket.

6.) Save on souvenirs: There are so many amazing and adorable things you can buy in the shops at Walt Disney World, but these items can quickly add up if you aren’t careful. If you are taking children, I recommend giving them a “budget” that they can spend and stick with it. Remind them that if they really want to purchase that expensive item on the first day, that they won’t have money for the remainder of the vacation to buy things. You can also make your own autograph books, and you can buy princess dresses at Target for a fraction of the cost that you will find them at WDW.

7.) Travel agent: My last and best tip for saving money on your Walt Disney World vacation is to talk to me! Using a travel agent not only saves you money, but also time and stress! I am always on the lookout for the best deals on vacation packages, even after you have already booked with me. No sense in you waiting on hold for hours with Disney when I can take care of it for you, at no extra cost to you. I can give you money saving tips and tricks and make sure you don’t feel overwhelmed with the trip or the cost. Using a travel agent is just smart!

I would love to help you plan your dream Disney vacation, and help you save money, too! Contact heather@travelwiththemagic.com for a free, no obligation quote. You can also find me on Facebook or Twitter.