5 Tips To Save You Money In Disney World
Apparently a trip to Disney World is expensive. Let’s be honest, it’s not exactly cheap. There are however, lots of ways to save money without sacrificing a great experience.
Here, I’ve gathered my top 5 tips to help you save money whilst visiting the most magical place on earth!
1. Buy Groceries
Food prices in Disney World can vary and buying your own groceries ensures you’re eating the items you want for a price that isn’t going to blow the bank.
You can either visit a local grocery store (Walmart and Winn Dixie are my faves) or you can pre-order your groceries to arrive at your hotel for check in.
I’ve used Garden Grocer twice and have received a flawless service each time. I don’t tend to order a full shop; just bottles of water ($9.99 for 32 bottles vs $3 a bottle in the parks), bread, and peanut butter and jelly for an easy breakfast to take with us in the mornings and usually a bottle or 2 of wine.
You can also order tea and coffee and save a small fortune compared to park prices, but I always purchase Disney’s Unlimited cups for my stay as they are unbelievable value when you’re British and Tea and Coffee are your life. Unlimited Cups give you an unlimited supply of tea, coffee, hot chocolate and fizzy drinks from your Disney Resort Hotel food court for the entire length of your stay and cost around $17.
Grocery stores also sell all sorts of snacks that are handy to take into the parks with you everyday especially for breakfast times. This is a great way to save money as not buying breakfast for 7-days of a 14-day trip can easily save you $100 plus.
Guests ARE allowed to bring food and drink into the parks (within Disney’s set guidelines). Guests ARE permitted to bring in food items such as snacks and meals that do not require heating. It’s also completely fine to bring in soft drinks and bottled water (Unlimited cups can only be used in resort and not in the parks). You ARE NOT allowed to bring in any of the following items; hard sided coolers, large coolers, glass containers or alcoholic beverages.
2. Split meals
Many of the combo meals available at Disney World are generous in portion size. Split these between 2 and order an extra side dish or appetizer to share. Don’t be afraid to do this at restaurants. It’s a common request and servers will always comply.
During my last trip (2 adults) we took the adventure seeker route and found that often, 2 meals became far too much. After 3 hours of back to back coasters we were happy to share a meal, as our stomachs had been through the wars.
3. Buy character apparel before you go
Mostly, I’m talking about T-shirts. Character T-shirts bought from inside Disney World can cost anywhere from $15-$100.
For 1 shirt!
Save yourself big bucks and buy your T-shirts before your trip.
All of these shirts were bought online from www.amazon.co.uk and cost no more than $12. The Ariel/starbucks shirt was $6!
I’ve never been to Disney World with children (say what?!?) but often see parents in the park battling the ‘1 souvenir a day’ challenge. Disney plushes, books, colouring books and other toys can be found all over the internet for a fraction of the price. Save your pennies and do your research before your next trip.
4. Let Disney know you’re celebrating
During my most recent trip to Disney World, my partner was celebrating his birthday. We ate at Cinderella’s Royal Table and received a special welcome along with the obligatory free cupcake (he also received special attention from the princesses; but we don’t talk about that)
What I wasn’t expecting (along with the proposal) was the assortment of gifts that awaited when we returned to our hotel room after my partner proposed to me.
Balloons, badges and his and her Disney engagement mugs were the magical touch left by mousekeeping. I’ve heard of families receiving activity packs for children, birthday cakes and even free park tours!
However, nothing is ever guaranteed. So please don’t go to Disney World expecting a suitcase full of free stuff because London Diva says so.
Do, however, mention your special occasion when checking in and making dining reservations as cast members will go out of their way to ensure you have a magical time.
5. Do stuff for free
I could write an entire post about free things to do in Disney World (Stay tuned). So for efficiency, I’m going to list my top 3 ;
– Movie under the stars
Most evenings, Disney resort hotels show a Disney movie ‘under the stars’. I’ve seen everything from Finding Dory to Cinderella and it’s a great way to unwind after a long day in the parks.
Showings usually take place around 7pm by the pool. You can see current showtimes HERE.
– Chip and Dales campfire sing along
I’ve never done this but it’s in my top 3 purely because of its content. Roast marshmallows around the campfire before taking part in a good old sing along. Then meet with Chip and Dale before catching the resorts movie under the stars!. Guests have to pay for smores, but you can bring your own if you choose and other than that everything is free! You can read a full review of it HERE.
I’ve never managed to fit this in (I got roped into attending Disney’s Jingle Bell Bam instead), but you can attend this most evenings at the campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness resort.
– Watch Wishes from the beach at the Polynesian resort
It’s easy to enjoy the magic of the fireworks without park admission as anyone can visit the Disney World resort hotels without staying at the property.
At the Polynesian resort enter through the lobby and exit the rear of the building passing the pool. The beach will be directly in front of you.
We arrived 1.5hrs ahead and watched the electrical water pageant first. An empty beach meant we easily located a free lounger with a perfect view.
We then enjoyed a Dole Whip from a window just outside the back of the building and watched wishes from the same spot on the beach. It was a fabulous night.
Wishes started at 10pm by which time the beach had attracted a crowd (we counted 75 people) so it’s worth getting there early and making a night of it.
Looking for more Disney Tips? Read my guide to planning your trip to Disney World post HERE.
Do you have a top tip that saves you money on your trips? Let us know in the comments!