1) Use Public Transportation
If you’re visiting Disney World, odds are you’re going to need a car. But renting one can be expensive if you only use it for a few days. If you drive into Disney from your home base, try getting dropped off at one of their park and ride lots. These are free buses that run to certain hotels throughout Walt Disney World.
2) Know the best time to visit Disney world
It’s important to know when it’s most affordable to visit. If you can avoid peak seasons (Christmas and New Year, spring break), you may be able to save big bucks. For example, if you’re planning a trip for fall break or over President’s Day weekend, expect to pay for those dates (or others) in excess of $300 per night.
3) Book in advance
Booking your ticket as early as possible will help you save, even if it’s not for one of their discounted rates. There’s always some kind of discount available, and by booking at least 60 days in advance you can score major savings. Just be aware that most of these deals are non-refundable—so if your plans change, you’ll have to buy another ticket.
4) Split your stay between two hotels
Splitting your stay between two hotels can help you cut costs without sacrificing quality. This strategy is especially useful for families with young children, who may not want to spend all their time at one resort. Or, if you’re staying during peak times like Thanksgiving and Christmas, booking two hotels close by can reduce price fluctuations in hotel rates. Read more about how to visit Disney world without breaking your budget here: How much does it cost to visit Disney world? You will be surprised at how affordable it is!
5) Find Free Entertainment
Most parks and resorts offer free entertainment, such as live music and parades. If you don’t want to spend money on rides, simply sit back and enjoy what Disney has to offer for free. Be sure to pick up a Times Guide at your resort—it lists all of these activities in detail so you know when to plan for them.
6) Buy tickets from sellers other than Disney itself
It’s fairly well-known that Disney itself doesn’t discount its tickets—but it does have an exchange program with third-party sites like Undercover Tourist. This can save you up to 30 percent off your overall price. The only drawback is that you don’t get your tickets right away, so plan ahead!
7) Pack lightly
If you want to keep your Disney costs down, be sure you pack lightly and avoid packing a lot of extras that can add up quickly. This includes clothes, toys and books. Disney will rent or sell these items if you need them while you’re there—and don’t forget that both Walt Disney World and Disneyland offer stroller rentals! Even better: Let your kids wear their favorite character t-shirts from home, even if they have holes in them!
8) Eat breakfast/lunch at home before going to Disney World
You might think that eating breakfast and lunch at Disney’s parks will help you save money, but it’s actually more affordable to grab food outside of Disney. Keep in mind that Disney’s restaurants are built for tourists and use local ingredients which may be difficult for your body to digest.
9) Bring snacks and water bottles with you
It is easy to get caught up in all of Disney’s fun and forget that you have responsibilities at home. When planning your trip, make sure you bring enough snacks and water with you so that you can avoid spending money at every turn. For instance, if it looks like it is going to rain while you are in Orlando, bring an umbrella or poncho with you so that your day doesn’t get ruined by a surprise downpour.
10) Go during an off-season
Most families visit Disney during peak seasons, like summer and Christmas. If you go when it’s less crowded, you can have fewer hassles (like longer lines) and spend more time enjoying yourself. You’ll also save money—if you take advantage of off-season deals! A significant percentage of people who visit Disney do so during spring break and around Christmas/New Year’s.