It’s no secret that Walt Disney World is one of the most expensive places to go for vacation. There are things to splurge on at Disney and things to save on! Do you almost have enough saved for your next trip? Let’s look at the different ways to have the cheapest Disney vacation and how to save MORE THAN $1,000 on your next Disney vacation!
Save on Disney World Tickets
The first big-budget saver is when you go to purchase your Disney World park tickets. Do you really need a park hopper? It’s great in theory, but how much hopping do you really do?
The average Disney vacation for a family of 4 will go to the parks for 4 days. By getting just the base ticket you will save $85 per person, so a total of $340.
Want to save even more on Disney tickets? Read our article on ways to get Discount Disney World Tickets
How to Save on Disney Meals
To be honest, Disney is not great at breakfast, so not only would you be saving money by eating in your room, it might be tastier too. Let’s be clear, table service breakfast is delicious, but this is an article about saving money so that’s out. Using the absolute best breakfast in the Magic Kingdom, the Fresh Fruit Waffle as our guide (Trust us, this is tops! Read about it here), a quick service breakfast for a family of 4 would cost $8.49 per person for 4 days for a grand total of $135.84.
Quick Service to the Rescue
You’re still on vacation and don’t want to sacrifice delicious bad-for-you food. Bringing in your own food is a huge money saver, but that’s over the line. Quick Service meals are a huge money saver compared to Table Service restaurants. Disney has way stepped up its game in the Quick Service dining arena. In fact, Satu’li Canteen has one of the BEST meals on property. The average Quick Service meal is $15, and the average Table Service meal is $50 for an adult and $30 for a child. For a family of 4, that’s a savings of $400!
Don’t fool yourself. Even if you think your kid is too old for a stroller, they might need one in Disney World, unless of course, you can carry them for hours. The average Disney day is 10 miles of walking! You can save a good chunk of money by simply bringing your own stroller to the parks. If you rent a stroller from Disney it’s $15, or $13 per day if you rent for multiple days. You can save $52 by just bringing your own, plus, your own from home would be much more comfortable than the park strollers. Don’t have a stroller at home? You can purchase a cheap umbrella stroller from any store for only about $20, so still saving!
Rain and Florida go together like peanut butter and jelly or like corn dog nuggets and cheese dip. It’s extremely likely that it’s going to rain on your trip, so come prepared! You can save a small fortune just by bringing in your own ponchos! You can buy ponchos for $1 and they are conveniently folded in a tiny pack to throw in your park bag. The best part is that they are cheap enough that you can toss them after the rain has finished. Have you ever thrown a wet poncho in your bag…? Ew. If you buy Disney Parks ponchos it’s going to set you back a whopping $15! A family of 4 is going to cost you $60 just for one set of park ponchos that you have to keep folding and reusing, whereas bringing a poncho for each day is only going to cost $16. That’s a savings of $44!
Save on Water
Don’t forget to stay hydrated in the parks! Just to ward off heat-related illnesses, each person will have to drink about 4 water bottles per park day. A bottle of water is $3.50 each in the park. You can buy that amount of water from Walmart for only $8.84. That’s a huge savings of $215.16! Plus you can read about Our Favorite Disney World Water Bottles.
Parking at Disney World
If you’re already into a budget vacation, we’re going to assume that you chose to stay off-site in a non-Disney hotel. You can save $100 in parking if you opt to take your hotel’s shuttle bus to Disney instead of driving yourself. Check the shuttle bus schedule at the front desk of your hotel. For more tips read: How to Avoid Paying for Disney World Parking.
Ditch the MagicBands
Even though Disney just released the MagicBand+, they are still selling MagicBand 2. MagicBands are used to hold your park tickets, scan for PhotoPass, and swipe for Genie Plus. If you are a resort guest MagicBands can also be your room key as well as hold your credit card to make purchases. (Come on Disney, when can we load Disney Gift Cards on MagicBands??) MagicBands are super convenient but here’s the truth. You don’t need them.
The most basic MagicBand is $20 and the special character Magic Bands start around $35. The brand new MagicBand+ will start at $35. In place of a MagicBand, you can use Magic Mobile for your tickets and Lightning Lanes, or you can save your phone battery by using ticket cards. These are free cards that look like hotel room keys and can be picked up outside of the gates at all four parks at Guest Services. For a family of 4, you can save at least $80 by using the cards instead of Magic Bands.
Conclusion on your Cheapest Disney Trip
****OUR TOTAL SAVINGS – $1,367*****
Yes, Disney is an expensive vacation, but as you can see, you can cut your budget by thousands if you make a few changes. You can even save thousands more! There are hotels all over the Orlando area on all budgets. Really, we mean ANY budget.
You can also save by not eating in the parks at all! If you’re there to experience rides and attractions, and unlike us, don’t consider snacks an attraction, you are more than welcome to bring in food! As long as you don’t bring in rolling coolers, ice, or glass, you can bring whatever food you want to Disney!
Let us know in the comments below if you have any additional tips on how you saved money for your cheapest Disney World vacation.
I am a mother of three that has refused to grow up. Adulting is for the birds, so I go to Disney World every chance I get for that magical escape from reality. I believe that Haunted Mansion is the best ride in all of the Disney Parks, and I am fervently in team Happily Ever After for fireworks spectaculars, (sorry, not sorry, Enchanted). Finally, I hope I never grow tired of skipping down Main Street, USA, and my dream come true would be “friends with” the Fairy Godmother in my old age.
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