Disney on a Dime: Hacks for Disney on a Budget

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We all know that a Disney vacation can break the bank, but did you know there are plenty of ways to save money while in Disney? I know you all have “shock and awe” face right now after reading that, but it is in fact true! Us sisters lived on poor college kid budgets all while working and living in Florida. Even now when we visit the parks, we are always looking for ways to save money because… still poor college kids over here! But we haven’t let that stop us from enjoying our vacation. Here are some of our favorite hacks for Disney on a budget.

  • Free water! No, that was not a typo. You can get a free cup of water at virtually any dining spot in the parks. Simply ask for a cup of water and they will give you one. During the hottest times of the year, they usually have them out and available without even asking. The best water in the park? Starbucks.

  • Use Disney Gift Cards. Ever see the packages of four $50 dollar gift cards to Disney for a slightly small discount? Stock up on these before your vacation. First, you are saving money. Second, you are basically paying off your vacation beforehand. And finally, it helps you limit your spending at the parks.

  • Buy souvenirs in advance. This is an interesting one, because one of the best things to do in the parks is shop. But if you buy the princess costume beforehand, it will save you $$$. Same goes for anything that glows or squirts water, buy it before and bring it to the parks.

  • Buy ponchos/umbrellas before. I cannot stress this one enough! A 99 cent poncho will do wonders in a Florida storm. No need to buy the 15 dollar Disney poncho, bring your own.

  • Save on breakfast and snacks by having groceries delivered to your hotel. There are multiple grocery delivery services you can use including Amazon Pantry.

  • Stay at a value resort versus moderate or deluxe. I know how appealing the Grand Floridian can sound… until you see a price tag. You usually spend so little time at the hotel, you really just need it for the bed. So go ahead and stay at the All-Star Resort, it won’t kill you.

  • Bring refillable water bottles for each person in your party. Instead of constantly asking for water at the counter, bring a water bottle and fill them up at fountains. They will stay cooler much longer and carry a lot more liquid.

  • Bring your own food into the parks. Disney does not limit your ability to bring food into the parks, so feel free to bring breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. It will easily save you money.

  • Order kids meals or share food. I for one am a huge advocate for kids meals at Disney. The regular portions are more food than I can eat, so a kids meal seems perfect for me. Or share food, then you get to try a little bit of everything and not get full meals for every person in your party.

  • Pushed pennies make great souvenirs, especially since it is only $0.51! You can’t find a cheaper souvenir anywhere in the parks.

  • If you are going to buy Memory Maker, do it in advance to save money. While this may not usually fall under “save money”, my family always purchases a Memory Maker. It is worth it for us. But by doing it in advance, it saves us money.

  • Buy tickets or book vacations through vacation planners, they have some really awesome deals. We suggest using Get Away Today.

  • Utilize all Disney transportation options, even if the bus seems to take forever sometimes! We try to only utilize Disney transportation because it is free as a resort guest; including a trip to and from the airport. That is a $70 taxi ride right there alone.

  • Skip on the Park Hopper ticket option. For Disney World, we hardly ever park hop during our trips. Unless you are crunched for time, plan on one park per day instead of jumping around.

Those are just a few of the easy ways you can save money on a Disney vacation. Do you have any favorite hacks for Disney on a budget?