One of the most common things we hear about a Disney Destination vacation is how expensive it can get. We hate to break it to you, but any vacation can get a little pricey here and there. It’s all about the planning and budgeting. There are a few things that you absolutely need to do prior to planning (or having us plan) a vacation. Know your budget. There are one of a kind experiences for vacationers with all types of budgets, but in order to get the best out of your vacation, you have to be comfortable with what you want to spend. PSA: This is for ANY and EVERY vacation destination. We have worked with all types of budgets and boy have our families had a magical time
1. Ask for a cup of water at any location that serves fountain drinks, it’s free. In the Florida and California heat, it is important to stay hydrated. Disney is pleased to offer cups of ice water for free to any guest who would like one; they want their guests feeling happy, healthy and hydrated. Saving money on beverages will add up tremendously. Bonus: On super hot and busy days, some quick service locations will also have water stations outside for guests to serve themselves. Please, please, please – treat the self serve locations as you would your own kitchen, so they stay nice and clean for the guests behind you.
2. You might want to consider bringing your own snacks. When you are spending the day walking around, you are bound to want to snack on a little somethin’ somethin’. Everywhere you look on Disney property you will find yourself drawn to a Mickey shaped treat. Save some moolah and purchase your snacks prior to stepping foot in the park. Supermarkets and superstores carry snacks from the healthiest of options to the sweetest of choices and even snacks that are Mickey shaped. Preparing in advance by purchasing your snacks prior will not only save you money, but allow you to have a larger option of healthier choices. Personally, we love Mickey shaped veggie chips! Bringing your snacks with you to the park will especially help those that get a little “hangry” when waiting for a parade to begin or standing in line. And yes, we all know someone that had hangry tendencies 😉 That being said, while it is wonderful to save money by bringing snacks, don’t forget that Disney has some spectacular treats you will want to try! Save money, but remember to treat yourself on vacation at least once!
3. You may laugh at our next suggestion – share meals (at quick service locations). Guys, isn’t fun to try more food rather than eat one meal and feel “too full” that you are donezo for the day? We have saved so much money by splitting our quick service meals and the best part about it is that we are not overly full, but surely satisfied. The BEST quick service meals to share are the gourmet hot dogs from Casey’s Corner in the Magic Kingdom as well as the nachos in Mexico! This can get a little tricky for some if you have some picky eaters, like me, but find the options that work for you and your family and share away. Bonus – saving money on sharing might open up the door for an extra Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar!
4. We all know it happens and by “it” we mean rain. If you are traveling to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, it is bound to rain here and there during your vacation. While Florida rain typically does not last all day, it can put a damper on some of your plans. While those Mickey Mouse ponchos are adorable – they can get pricey, smelly and rip. Buy your rain ponchos before and pack them in your suitcase. You can even find some wonderful online stores that sell them in bulk – which is even better to wear and toss then wear and toss. We’re not going to lie, we have done both. We have brought our own rain ponchos, wore them and then trashed them, and we have also purchased those pricey little buggers and last time we checked, they were $9 bucks! Word to the wise, no matter what you tell yourself, a rain poncho is not a souvenir.
5. If you are traveling with little ones, purchase some Disney themed gifts before arriving and hand them out whenever you see fit. You can find anything from plush items and costumes, to t-shirts and jewelry before you leave your home state, so take advantage and save some cash. If your children are older (this category also applies to husbands and dads) you can also give them a budget or allowance of money that they can spend while in the park. This way, they can choose just how much they want that ‘must have’ item. For me, I’m all about the Minnie Mouse ears and tank tops, oh and Alex and Ani bracelets, I like having my own budget so I can pick and choose the most perfect souvenir! For Bryan, he’s all about the t-shirts. As much as he loves all Disney themed t-shirts, he gets a little more excited when he sees Disney Parks Authentic on the tag. Bonus Tip: If you live near a Sam’s Club, they sell Disney gift cards at a discounted price. By purchasing discounted Disney gift cards in advance, you are instantly saving yourself some money. The best part about Disney gift cards is that you can use them basically anywhere on Disney property.
6. When the light up cart comes out at the end of the day, the kids (and adults) are going to want to play. Light up items are the easiest to purchase in advance. You can buy packs of glow sticks and even hand-held bubble machines at the Dollar Store. Do it! Don’t forget extra batteries, but don’t pack them in your carry-on.
7. Shameless plug for the BEST way to save money – use a travel planner (in particular Bryan and Tammi with Ears of Experience, LLC). As travel planners, we can help you budget your trip to your needs. We are also constantly checking for promotions in hopes of applying them to your package. Our services are 100% free when you book a Disney vacation package through us!
We hope we have the opportunity to help you save money on your next Disney Destination vacation!
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