Easy Tricks: Saving Money at Disney World in 2024!

If you’ve been thinking about taking your family to see Mickey lately, you may have wondered how people can visit Disney without spending a lot of money. Disney World trips are getting more expensive, just like most trips these days. You can save money on Disney theme park trips if you know what to do. It’s still magical even if you travel for less money.

We talked to Todd and Erica, two of the most thrifty people we know who are huge Disney fans, to get the best Disney budget hacks. This is what they said.

Budget-Friendly Tips for Planning a Trip to Disney World

Use a Travel Agent.

It might not make sense to hire someone else to plan your events when you’re trying to save money. But a good travel agent can find deals that someone who isn’t very good at planning vacations wouldn’t know about. To help you find the best deal on a Disney trip package, your agent will know all the ins and outs of them.

Check Calendars for The Cheapest Times.

You can usually find lower prices at any tourist spot other than when a lot of people are there. Todd and Erica said, “Tickets, resort hotels, food, and other things have different prices depending on the date, so check your calendars to find the cheapest times.”

There are also new family package deals from Disney for 2024. If a family stays at the Disney World Resort for at least four nights from March to June, kids ages 3 to 9 might get half-price park tickets and meal plans. If you go to Disneyland Resort in California between January and early March, you can get a similar deal.

If not, January and February after the holidays, and May, and September are usually the best times to go to Disney World if you want to save money.

Watch out For the Cost of Transportation.

Make a list of the things you want to do in Orlando, then figure out how much it will cost to get to and from those things. You might not need to rent a car if you plan to spend the whole time at the resort and theme parks. You’ll need a car, though, if you want to go out into the area, like to Blue Spring State Park to see the manatees.

There is a shuttle between the Orlando airport and Disney World called the Mears Connect. Before you go, you should compare the prices of renting a car and taking that bus.

Instead of getting the Minnie Van Service, you can save money on transportation by taking the free monorails, buses, and boats to get around Disney. You have to pay money for those cute cars with polka dots.

How to Save Money at Disney Parks

Stick with The Free Genie Services.

You can use Disney Genie for free when you download the My Disney Experience app. This service helps you plan and customize your trip, tells you when you can make reservations for activities and meals, and more.

If you want to save money, use the free Genie services. You can get more benefits by upgrading to Genie+, but you don’t have to.

Avoid Upcharge Events.

There are so many fun things to do at Disney World, like rides, shows, and just taking in the scene. Some events are free with the admission fee and others that cost extra.

If you want to save money, don’t go to dinner parties, After Hours, or other events that will cost you extra. “These are pricey and don’t pay off for long,” Todd and Erica said. “Don’t pay the high price; instead, watch the shows at night from regular guest spots.”

This was also said by Seven Corners writer Ashley Fritz about where to find the best view of Disney’s fireworks shows. See the show from the Magic Kingdom for extra money, but you don’t have to.

Easy Tricks: Saving Money at Disney World in 2024

She said, “You don’t even have to be a Disney guest to walk around Disney property and find good places to watch fireworks.” “The beach at the Polynesian Resort is one of the best “secret” places to watch fireworks.” From the beach, you can see Tinker Bell flying over the park while Mickey-shaped fireworks light up the sky.

The Disney Boardwalk is Ashley’s best place to watch the fireworks show at the end of EPCOT. Anyone can go there. “Get something sweet from Beaches and Cream and watch the show.” The staff will often play music from the show so you can get the full experience without having to deal with the people at the park.

Get Smart About Souvenirs.

Souvenirs can be one of the sneakiest costs. It’s easy to spend a lot of money on things you don’t need, like Mickey ears for the kids, a fridge magnet to give to your grandmother, letters, and a lot more.

It’s possible to find Disney-branded goods that are cheaper outside of the parks, as Todd and Erica tell us. They suggest that you browse instead of buying things that you don’t need.

Ashley also suggests trading pins. She learned this from her grandfather, who has been a Disney fan since 1955 when Disneyland first opened. He had hundreds of pins.

“You can buy pins all over the parks and even in some shops outside of Orlando,” she said. “Getting a starter pack doesn’t cost much, and you can trade up for free after that.” When you ask, Cast Members who work at the Resort are forced to trade pins with you. Say you want to bring something home but can’t afford the life-size plush Stitch. You can start by buying some pins for a few dollars and then trade them with other Cast Members to get the more sought-after pins.

Replace a Day at The Park with A Visit to The Resorts or Disney Springs.

Easy Tricks: Saving Money at Disney World in 2024

Theme park passes that are good for more than one day cost a lot. You can get some things done at the cabins or Disney Springs one day instead of going to the parks and saving some money. You can do this for free.

“Only resort guests can use the pools,” Todd said. “But everyone can shop, eat, and walk around the grounds.”

This is also a great place to go if you’re only in town for a day or two. It’s still possible to feel the magic of Disney without spending a lot of time or money.

How to Save Money on Food and Sleep at Disney

Instead of Going to A Getaway, Book a Summer Rental.

It can be convenient to stay at the Walt Disney World Resort, but it’s not required. You might want to book an Airbnb or VRBO rental nearby, especially if you’re bringing young children who might not remember their time at the resort.

This is also something Ashley suggests for adults who might not want to be engulfed in Disney magic the whole time they’re there. “On a recent trip after college with friends in their 20s, we found it cheaper to just stay in an Airbnb a few minutes away from the property.”

Consider Parking Fees.

Ashley, our cheap friends Todd and Erica, and I all said that when you plan your trip, you should think about how much parking will cost. For hotel guests, there are no longer any prices to park their cars overnight. However, there is a fee to use valet parking.

People who stay in places other than resorts still have to pay to park at the theme parks. Disney raised the price of parking in October 2023. The cheapest day now costs $30, but that depends on the day and time of year.

She did say, though, “If you plan to split the cost among your group, this may end up being just as cheap as staying in Disney housing, if not cheaper.”

Eat Quick-Service Meals.

At Disney theme parks, there are lots of places to eat. Even though it’s tasty, it’s also too much.

Todd and Erica say that you should serve more quick-service food instead of table service. You can choose from more than 100 casual places. It will be faster and cost less than going to a table service restaurant. That means you can spend more time in the park and less time waiting for food.

Easy Tricks: Saving Money at Disney World in 2024

Sharing meals and taking food into the park are two other ways to save money on food at Disney. Before you go, make sure you know what the park’s rules are about coolers. There are size limits, and free ice is usually not allowed.

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Disney Cruises

Todd and Erica have been to Disney World a lot of times over the years. They’ve both run during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend more than once. Todd has completed the 48.6-mile Dopey Challenge, which includes a 5K, a 10K, a half marathon, and a full marathon all in four days.

On top of that, they’ve been taking more Disney Cruises as part of their holiday plans lately because they’re cheaper.

Doug Todd said, “Disney just raised a lot of prices. Their average resort hotels are now about $400 per night!” “That’s one reason we’ve been really into Disney Cruise Line.” It’s still very pricey compared to other cruise lines, but we’re getting more for our money than at the theme parks right now.

If you want to experience Disney but don’t want to get locked into going to the Magic Kingdom or EPCOT, you could save money by going on a cruise instead.

How to Save Money on A Disney Cruise

When we asked Todd and Erica for their best cheap Disney cruise tips, they gave them to us. They said, “You don’t have to spend more than the original fare to have a great trip.”

Don’t wait too long to book your trip. As you get closer to your trip, prices tend to go up. People who live in certain places, like Florida, the U.S. military, and Canada, can get special deals. If you are in one of those groups, keep an eye out.

Avoid going to the Cabanas and Marceline Market. Instead, stay on deck and enjoy the free drinks and ice cream. You can get specialty coffee, drinks with booze, and ice cream, but they cost extra.

How to save money on a Disney Cruise - MoneySense

Some ships have bars just for adults, but you have to pay extra to eat there. Since the food in the main dining rooms is so good, there’s no reason to pay extra for the other places.

You don’t need to rent a cabana when you stop at Castaway Cay. Instead, just enjoy the public places. It will cost you less than $20 per person to take a bike for your trip.

On board, there’s lots to do. You can save money on land activities by going on a trip that stops at just one port instead of doing something at each one.

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Best Travel Insurance for Disney Trips

The tips we’ve given you will help you save money on your Disney vacation. Still, even a cheap trip to Disney can feel like a big expense. You might want to buy travel insurance to protect the money you spent on your trip. You can get a quick price online or talk to a licensed agent at Seven Corners. They can help you pick the best travel insurance for Disney trips.

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