The following is a guest post by Evelyn Ramsey. If you would like to write an article for Money Q&A, please visit our Guest Posting Guidelines page.
Disney World is two times larger than Manhattan. If you’ve ever wanted to visit Orlando, now is the time. There are so many exciting things to see and do.
Here’s how to save money at Disney World, have fun, and visit the very best areas of the park.
How to Save Money at Walt Disney World
Get a Good Hotel
Staying at a hotel on property gets expensive. Some hotels in the park can be had for $70 per night, but if you’re bringing a large family, it can be more like $500 per night. So, instead of paying steep prices, check out these Orlando hotels and just drive or shuttle to the park.
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Most hotels that are near Disney World also have taxis or at least a car rental agency nearby that can take you and your family. If a rental car costs you $30-$50 a day, and the hotel costs you $60 per night, it might be cheaper than staying in park if the park prices are a few hundred dollars.
Watch What and Where You Eat
How to save money at Disney World? Food in Walt Disney World is notoriously expensive, but the prices are coming down a bit. Drink water, and it’s free. Juice is $1 cheaper compared to the soft drinks.
And, the park has relaxed its rules on the whole “no outside food” rules, with a few exceptions. You can’t bring glass containers, hard-backed coolers, or alcohol or food that would need heating up. That’s how to save money at Disney World.
Some ideas for food that works well at Disney include sandwiches, snack foods that are brought in plastic bags, dried meats (jerky), and candy. Since water is free, you don’t really need to worry too much about this unless you want to bring your own filtered water bottle.
If you do eat at Disney, opt for fruit stands or places that sell full meals – these tend to be much cheaper than the snack stands, and they’ll also give you some time off your feet so you can relax and really have a real meal. It should fill you up and lower your overall food bill.
Get Discounted Tickets If You Can
Discounted tickets an be purchased through AAA or through some government organizations, companies, or unions. But, if you don’t have the inside track through a friend, your workplace, military discount options, or family, then you’ll probably be stuck paying full price.
Get a Park Hopper Pass
Don’t spring for a single park pass. Instead, go for the park hopper if you’re staying more than one day. It’s a little more expensive, but it could actually be cheaper if you plan on visiting more than one park during your stay.
The park hopper pass allows you to switch parks every day without having to buy another ticket. It expires 13 days after the first visit, allowing you to potentially stay two weeks – that’s more fun than most people have all year.
Don’t Buy Souvenirs If You Can Help It
The Souvenirs are the big money-makers for the park. If you want to know how to save money at Disney World, skip them or buy them before or after you visit the park. There are lots of places that sell Disney memorabilia in Orlando.
No matter where you go, it’s going to be pricey because of the brand name, but you can’t make it a little cheaper on yourself by staying outside of the park for these purchased. Disney will let you bring them in, so there’s no real problem there.
Go buy something before you go to the park, put it on your kids’ pillows the night before, and then let them take it with them into the park. Hopefully, this assuages the desire for high-priced toys inside.
Nothing is foolproof, of course, and there’s always the risk that your children will see something they just happen to have. This is more or less “damage control.” Entice them with something they like, and hopefully you can speed past the stands on the way in and out of the park.
What about you? What are your favorite ways to save on a vacation to Walt Disney Word?
Evelyn Ramsey is a traveling English instructor. She loves to write about her experiences on the web. Her articles appear on many travel and family websites.