5 Great Ways to Save on Your Next Disney Vacation

Disney Parks sign.
Photo by Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Disney theme parks are America’s family playgrounds. Kids across the nation dream of walking through the gates of the Magic Kingdom, and parents fondly imagine memories that will last a lifetime.

But the cost of a Disney vacation can make these visions feel out of reach for countless families. Fortunately, there are many ways to save on your trip to Disneyland or Walt Disney World.

Following are five great ways to save on your next Disney vacation.

Use the right credit card

If you plan to visit Disney parks often — or even if you have set your sights on a big trip a few years down the road — using the right credit card can help cut your vacation costs.

For example, Chase offers Disney Rewards Visa cards that can net you up to 2 rewards dollars for every $100 you spend, depending on the card. Those rewards dollars can then be applied toward purchases, including your next Disney trip.

For example, rack up 107 rewards dollars and cash them in for a one-day child theme park ticket for the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Of course, do your homework before grabbing this card. It’s possible that you can get a better return on another credit card — such as a “cash-back” card — that offers a higher rewards rate. To find the card that’s right for you, check out the Money Talks News Solutions Center.

Check out the Disney deals webpage

Disney regularly announces new deals on its website. For example, we recently saw offers for:

  • 20 percent off Disney hotel rates
  • $30 off Disney’s MemoryMaker photo and video package
  • Discounted admission for members of the military

Bring your own food

Rather than spending a fortune on food at the Disney parks, bring your own food. If you really want to save, pack a modest lunch or dinner, such as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Or, you can simply trim costs a little by bringing your own snacks and beverages.

Don’t worry, you won’t be doing anything that causes Mickey Mouse to frown. According to Disney:

Guests are allowed to bring food items—such as snacks or foods that do not require heating—into Disney theme parks. Inform a Security Cast Member of any food items when you enter the park.

Just be aware that you cannot bring glass containers into the park, unless they hold baby food or perfume. You also cannot bring alcohol, and coolers and backpacks must meet size restrictions. Check out the Disney website for more details.

Schedule longer visits

As with so many things in life, you will save money on your Disney trip if you “buy in bulk.”

As I write this, a single day of admission to Walt Disney World begins at $99.50 for those who are ages 10 and older. However, the per-day price drops the longer you stay.

How can you use this information to save? By planning one big trip to Disney instead of several smaller ones.

For example, let’s say you live in Buffalo, New York, and try to escape winter ice and snow by visiting Florida each year. Perhaps your plan for both your 2017 and 2018 vacations is to spend a few days at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando and a few days at Busch Gardens in Tampa.

However, you might save some cash by spending your entire time at the Disney parks in 2017, then spending your entire time at Busch Gardens in 2018. Four days of Disney will cost you $87.50 per day. However, eight days will cost you just $52.50 per day.

Multiply that $35 per-day price difference across four family members, and you’re talking serious savings!

Skip the Disney hotels

Walt Disney Resort hotel rates can be high. In fact, some can cost you hundreds of dollars per night.

But you can save a bundle by using a site like VRBO or Homestay. We recently saw options near Disney World for as low as $70 per night on VRBO, and $51 on Homestay. Simply go to one of these sites, type in “Disney World” or “Disneyland” and peruse your options.

You can also hunt around for more economical hotels nearby that aren’t affiliated with the theme park!

Slow down and plan carefully in advance

When packing for a Disney vacation, it’s all too easy to let visions of the Pirates of Caribbean and Space Mountain crowd out more mundane thoughts — such as remembering to pack the stroller.

So, make a list and check it twice before departing for the theme parks. Forget that stroller, and you’ll have to pay $15 to rent one. Fail to remember your plastic water bottle, and you’ll have to dish out the dough for H2O.

Taking the time to plan well can help you enjoy a day at Disney that won’t crush your budget.

Do you have more tips for saving on Disney vacations? Share them by commenting below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
How to Buy a Refrigerator, Step by Step
How to Buy a Refrigerator, Step by Step

Here’s how I got the perfect appliance at the perfect price.

8 Key Steps to Planning for Retirement as a Couple
8 Key Steps to Planning for Retirement as a Couple

Ready for retirement? Not so fast. You might be surprised at some of the issues that come up for couples when they plan.

10 Products That Will Help You Save Money
10 Products That Will Help You Save Money

Sometimes, spending a little cash right now can save you a lot of money down the road.

If My Spouse Dies, Can I Get Her Social Security?
If My Spouse Dies, Can I Get Her Social Security?

If a spouse dies, will the survivor collect the other’s share in addition to his or her own?

Beware These 5 Common Work-From-Home Scams
Beware These 5 Common Work-From-Home Scams

You can spot scammers and con artists with a little know-how.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare
14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare

These services could save you money and help prevent costly health problems.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.