Disney is expensive. There is no way to sugar coat that fact. Between resorts, tickets, food, and souvenirs, it’s hard not to feel like you are handing over your wallet before you even get there! Guess what?!?! There are ways to actually SAVE money on your next Disney trip and I’m going to share them with you! Shhh! Don’t tell anyone else!
- One of the most expensive aspects of a trip to Walt Disney World is the hotel. If you read my planning tips, you know that I recommend staying on site. If you are looking to stay on Disney property for a reduced cost, rent DVC points! Let me explain. Walt Disney World has it’s own timeshare called the Disney Vacation Club. Just like a normal timeshare, people buy into it using a points system. If the DVC member can’t use their points in a given year, they sell their points (there are companies that buy them) and you can buy them!Here is an example for a family of 4 staying at Bay Lake Tower (Deluxe resort adjacent to the Contemporary) in a studio with a lake view from May 17-23, 2020. Booked through Disney directly, you are looking to pay $4,758.75. If you rent DVC points (I’m using pricing from David’s for reference), the cost is $2,124 for the exact same room. That’s a whopping savings of $2,634.75! Think of what else you can use that money on! Please note that not all resorts have DVC and there is some planning involved to rent DVC points, but it’s relatively easy and well worth the savings! *We prefer using David’s Vacation Club Rentals
- Not big into the idea of a resort? There is another option that will allow you to save even more money! Fort Wilderness, Disney’s very own campground, is a great way to stay at Disney for a reduced cost. Don’t have a camper? Don’t worry, you can rent one! That’s right! There are companies that will deliver and set up camp for you and your family for a very reasonable price! Using the same dates as above, you can rent a camper that sleeps 8-10 people for less than $800. These campers come fully stocked with everything you need (minus food). Keep in mind that you still have to pay for the site through Disney, but you’ll still be saving money. Bonus with a camper is that you can cook your own food! Companies like Garden Grocer and Amazon will deliver groceries to Ft. Wilderness! *We prefer using Camper Rental Adventures
- Speaking of food, that’s another large expense. The best part about Disney is that you can take your own food into the parks! Yep, pack your lunch, drinks, and snacks and take them right into the park with you. No need to spend $10 on a burger and fries! Disney does regulate cooler size so make sure you check the site before heading to the park.
- Park tickets. Wowza! They increase every. single. year. For me, it’s still worth it because there is no place better than Walt Disney World, but for some, the price is a little hard to swallow. There are some great ways to get valid discounted tickets to Disney. If you are a member, AAA offers the greatest prices on tickets. Sam’s Club also recently started offering tickets at a lower rate. If you aren’t a member, check out Undercover Tourist for reduced rate tickets. They are a reputable company that you can trust. Do me a favor though! Don’t try to cut costs by buying tickets from Ebay, Craigslist, or any of those stands you see along the road in Orlando. Tickets require a fingerprint for entry in the park. I’d hate to see you buy a ticket and get turned away from the park because the fingerprint doesn’t match.
- Planning to go during Halloween or Christmas? You can save money on tickets there too. During the holidays, Disney has special ticketed parties, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. These are separate tickets from regular park admission, however, if you purchase the event ticket, you can get into the park at 4pm the day of the party (subject to change). You will still get three hours before the party starts to hit some rides, but you save over $100 on the regular day admission! Party hardy!
- The last way you can save money is to book your trip through a Disney Authorized travel agent. By using a travel agent, you will get the best deals that are currently being offered by Disney. On top of that, if a better deal comes along, like free dining or room discounts, your travel agent will add that to your current reservation and save you even more!
There you have it! Those are my best kept secrets about planning a trip to Disney. People constantly question how I go to Disney so often, and now you know too! Time to start planning your next trip! Do you have a great tip that you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments!
Please note that these tips are based on my own experience and opinion. I have not been compensated by any company mentioned above and am in no way affiliated with Disney.