4 Tips for Saving Money During Your Disney Vacation

Disney Epcot

Disney magic doesn’t come cheap, and you don’t want to cut corners while you’re on vacation. The whole point is to indulge your family, right? But there are ways to make your time at Disney more affordable without giving up any of the fun.

Stay at a Resort and Schedule Time to Enjoy It

Disney RelaxImage via Flickr by rickpilot_2000

The Disney resorts aren’t the cheapest lodging in Orlando, but they will save you a lot of expense and headaches by picking you up at the airport and shuttling you to all the parks for free. Plus, Disney guests get free parking and bonus time to enjoy the parks.

Disney’s midrange resorts are the perfect compromise between overpaying for deluxe accommodations or skimping on lodging. Read the reviews for Port Orleans Resort on Gogobot to see why a Disney resort is worth the price.

Stretch your vacation budget by scheduling a day to enjoy your resort’s pool and amenities. A free day will save you as much as $100 per person over park admission, and it will dial down your family’s vacation stress levels.

Say No to Soda and Souvenirs

Disney drinksImage via Flickr by Purple Sherbet Photography

If you really want to save, make it clear to the kids from the beginning that you won’t buy soda, chips, or souvenirs. Remind them that Disney is about the characters, the rides, the magic, and family time. The cost of sodas and chips add up very quickly, but these foods don’t nourish your body or help you stay full at all. Even when the menu only gives pricing for ‘value meals,’ if you ask for just the sandwich, they’ll deduct the price of the fries or chips and drink for you.

Souvenir shopping is one of the biggest expenses while on vacation. Yes, the stores are very appealing, but ask yourself where your souvenirs from your last three vacations are now. Sure, shopping is fun, but it’s something you can do any Saturday afternoon back home. Spend your time at Disney doing Disney things.

Enjoy a Few Family Picnics

Disney LunchImage via Flickr by gamene

If you have a family of four, it’s hard not to spend $50-150 (or much more) three times a day just getting fed. That adds up to thousands of dollars over a week. An ice chest filled with simple lunch foods doesn’t take much money or effort. Think picnic fare: lunch meat, bread, condiments, potato or pasta salad, and fruit. Make the picnics feel special with cute paper plates and bendy straws — or make it the only time you break your “no soda and chips” rule. Just a few picnic meals at your resort could save you hundreds of dollars.

Don’t Drive

Disney EpcotImage via Flickr by LimeBye

Parking costs are outrageous, and there’s really no need to drive during a Disney vacation. Use free shuttles between the airport and your hotel. The free transportation between parks and resorts is clean and efficient. If you live close enough to drive to Disney instead of flying, choose a resort or hotel with free parking.

Have a Disney vacation in your sights? Follow the above tips so you can do it in style without plunging yourself into the poorhouse.

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