When vacationing at any Disney park never under-estimate Disney’s ability to sell you something. The parks are filled with gift shops, food, and all sorts of other treasures. I have fallen victim to getting caught up in the moment and then getting home and wondering why in the world did I buy this. There is also the issue that items at Disney World are marked up quite a bit. What we are outlining in our list of what you shouldn’t buy at Disney World is the items you can save on if you skip or buy ahead of time. We are going to be sure to cover what to get in its place if applicable. But it’s important to know there are a lot of cool exclusive items Disney World sells, so just know, it’s not all bad.
Too Many Days of Tickets
Believe it or not, there are times when people buy too many days of tickets. Really be sure to think out your trip before you buy your theme park passes. This actually happened to me on my last Disneyland trip, I didn’t even follow my own rule. I was attending the D23 Expo and overestimated just how many days I would be able to get into the park. I was so upset at myself when I had TWO days left on my ticket when I flew back home.
It may help to get our FREE printable Disney planner as well as to order your FREE official Disney vacation planning videos. These two tools, along with this website are super helpful to get and plan out your Disney World vacation.
Drinking water is very important when you are on vacation don’t get me wrong. But buying directly from Disney is CRAZY expensive. You should expect to pay upwards of $3 per bottle of Dasani water at Disney World. As you can imagine this adds up fast even if you are a small party. My husband and I have gotten in the habit of carrying in our own or bringing along an iced down refillable water bottle. If you don’t want to carry anything around you can also pick up free cups of water at any of the Disney quick service locations. I personally can’t stand the taste of Florida tap water so I bring my own water.
Staying at a Disney World Deluxe Hotel
Don’t get me wrong deluxe hotels at Disney World have their perks. They have premium locations, killer views and more depending on the hotel you choose. The fact remains though that the value resorts at Disney World have all the same key benefits. If you stay at a cheaper hotel on property you are going to get: early Fastpass booking, Disney World bus service, free transportation to and from Orlando International Airport, plus Extra Magic Hours. So if you want to save some cash stay at the Pop Century instead of the Contemporary.
This topic is a controversial one. I lay out all my opinions on why I never buy the Disney dining plan over here. It really is a personal decision for you and your family. Some families really appreciate the convenience factor. However, the bottom line is if you are trying to save money you can eat cheaper on your own.
Souvenirs for Children
Those bubble wands and misting fans are super cool don’t get me wrong. But did you know similar to these super cool bubble magic makers are available on Amazon for a fraction of the price? The same rule goes for glowsticks. This is why we have a whole list of items to pick up before you head on your next Disney vacation.
Disney has recently upped their autograph book game. There are lots of fantastic ideas however of other ways you can capture autographs during your vacation. I highly recommend giving our list a read as there are so many fantastic ideas that will make for some super creative souvenirs when you get home.
Let’s face it, it rains a lot here in Florida. In the winter months, your odds are much better that you will be able to escape the rain. But since official Disney ponchos are going for over $9 a person it’s best to come prepared. You can pick ponchos up from the dollar store or get a great deal on a pack of them on Amazon.
Disney World now has a premium parking option that guarantees you a front row spot at the parks. You will be within a few minutes walking distance of the main gates, or at the Magic Kingdom, within walking distance of the Transportation and Ticket Center. Preferred parking will run you $45 compared to the standard rate of $22. If you stay at a Disney resort hotel or have an annual pass you will simply need to pay the extra $23 for the closer preferred parking place.
Of course, there are people who may need the closer spot who may not have a handicap sticker. So it may depend on your circumstances on the day/s you decide to pay for closer parking. I, however, would opt to save myself the extra $23 and treat myself to a Dole Whip that day instead!
Don’t let the fact that Disney World is an expensive place to visit scare you off! There are ways to do Disney on the cheap and hundreds of ways to save money during your vacation. If you have ever had buyer remorse for something you got at Disney World be sure to share with us in the comments below. It will help others get an idea of what they should or shouldn’t put their money towards.
I have been visiting the parks annually since my parents first brought me at just a year old. Recently I was able to fulfill my life long dream of being a Florida local and moved from the wintery Northeast to the sunshine and fun of central Florida. Now I am hoping to share my Disney knowledge with you so you can have the best vacation possible!