Need some tricks on planning a trip to Disney World on budget? The cost of a trip is often a big deciding factor for many families. Some may think it is out of reach, but there are some tricks to make it fit within your budget.
Here are some of my top tricks to help you save and keep your vacation on budget:
Use A Travel Agent
A travel agent that specializes in Disney travel will know exactly how to help you price a package in your price range. There are so many options to choose from. They can give you advice on the best choices for your family. A good travel agent will help you decide on your hotel, how many days to spend in the parks, whether you should do park hopper, the dining plan and other components that you can add on to the package.
There is no “one size fits all” package for every family. It is important that your package is customized for YOU! An experienced travel agent will guide you on how to build the best package for your family.
And did you know that using a travel agent costs you nothing extra? Disney pays agents a commission for their bookings and that cost is built in to your package no matter what. So, if you book on your own, you are still paying that commission, but it isn’t going to anyone that is helping you out one-on-one. So might as well use a travel agent and get that personalized help to put your dream vacation together.
You can contact me through Click the Mouse Travel for help quoting your next vacation. I LOVE helping families put together magical vacations and included with your booking is all my expert advice!
Plan Your Food Budget
Food is a big part of your vacation expense and a lot of times people underestimate how much it will cost them. If you are using a dining plan, then the cost is already factored in. The only extra expense you will have to budget for is tips at the table-service restaurants.
If you decide not to take a dining plan, then you will want to calculate just how much it will cost you to pay out of pocket for your meals. I have a meal cost calculator worksheet that you can use in my Disney World Budget Planning Worksheet blog post. Download it for free and use it to estimate your food costs.
If you find that it is too expensive to eat out every day, then you are able to bring in your own food. This is the best way to keep your food budget at a minimum. You can order groceries to your hotel and then pack your meals and snacks to bring with you to the parks.
And don’t forget your beverages! Order a case of water, or bring along a refillable water bottle that you can refill at the parks. They have some water bottle stations in the parks, and you can always ask for free ice water at the quick-service restaurants to refill your bottle. Also, most of the hotel rooms have coffee makers in the room, so use what is provided to get your daily caffeine boost for free.
Share Memory Maker
Memory Maker is an extra splurge that you can add to a Disney package. If you pre-purchase it, it comes at a cost of $169 USD. For some, that may be too much to spend on a photo package.
You can, however, share that cost with someone else. If you are traveling with family or friends, you can all share the cost of Memory Maker. Each family does not have to pay for it separately. Only one party should add it to their package, and then everyone can split the cost. It’s a nice way of getting that special feature at a lower cost. For more details on how to split Memory Maker, check out How To Get Memory Maker On The Cheap.
Pre-Buy Disney Souvenirs
Disney has A LOT of gift shops. You will be tempted to buy souvenirs when you stroll through them. An even harder situation is when you have little ones that want to be treated to a few extra things. These extra expenses can add up fast!
I highly suggest pre-buying some items. Whether it be Disney t-shirts to wear at the parks, or toys for the kids – you will save a few bucks by pre-purchasing them. You can find a lot of Disney t-shirts at your local stores such as Walmart and Target. Subscribe to shopDisney emails and keep an eye out for the discount days. You can get some official Disney items at a reduced price.
If you can squeeze in some extra time before you hit the parks, you can find some good deals at the Disney outlet store. Head over to the Premium outlet mall over on Vineland and visit the Disney Character Warehouse. You will be surprised at the great deals you will find there on Disney merchandise.
Also, stock up on things like light up toys or plushes before travelling. Keep them handy and then surprise your kids with them at the parks. That will help reduce the urge to buy them items at the park gift shops.
Skip The Makeovers
If a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique makeover fits in your budget, it is a great experience! If the cost is a bit out of reach, your little one can still feel like a princess in the parks.
Bring along a princess costume from home and dress her up before you hit the parks. You don’t have to get the makeover at the parks, kids can come dressed up with their own costumes.
Also, there is a gift shop behind the castle that will sprinkle pixie dust in your hair for free. Pop in and get that extra bit of sparkle for your little one to make her feel like the ultimate Disney princess!
What are some of the tricks you have for planning a trip to Disney World on budget? Tell us in the comments below!
Our preferred travel agency is Click the Mouse. They specialize in Disney destinations and will help you plan out all the little details. Best part is that their services are FREE when you book your vacation with them. Personalized service at no extra cost to you! To get a quote from a Click the Mouse travel agent, simply click on the quote button below and they will be back in touch with you:Get a Quote from CLICK THE MOUSE
Laura is a mom of one adorable girl with a love of all things Disney. She traveled to Disney World with her family in 2010 and was hooked. They have since been a total of over 15 times. With all her knowledge of planning Disney trips, she now wants to share that with others. She loves giving guidance, tips and advice to others planning their magical vacation!