How to save as much as possible in parks
Disney World: 5 “life hacks” for your next trip to the theme park
Here are 5 tips to help customers have their unique Disney World experience.
Staff Video, USA TODAY
- There are accommodations to suit all budgets just minutes from Walt Disney World, but staying on the property can make the most of a trip.
- Unlike other theme parks, Disney World invites guests to bring their own food and alcoholic beverages, which can save a lot of money.
- Discounted vacation packages and theme park tickets may be available from employers or places where customers have a membership like AAA and Costco.
It’s easy to spend a lot of money at Walt Disney World.
Tickets for Disney Very Merriest After Hours alone can cost a family of four around $ 1,000. Add a sit-down dinner, some souvenirs and a hotel for the night and the budget balloons. Multi-day vacations cost even more.
There are, however, many easy ways to save without skimping on experience, which for some families may only happen once in a lifetime.
From choosing where to stay to what to skip, here’s how to get the most for limited dollars on a trip to Disney World.
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Where to stay at Disney World
From motels to Airbnbs, timeshares to five-story resorts, there are accommodations for all budgets within minutes of Disney World, but to maximize time and perks, your best option is to stay on the property.
That’s because Disney Resort guests get early entry to the theme park, which can be essential in avoiding long lines for trips later in the day, especially for people who don’t. don’t want to spend more money on Disney’s new Genie + or Lightning Lane add-ons.
Resort guests also receive complimentary transportation to parks and Disney Springs, Disney World’s shopping, dining and entertainment center. Guests bringing their own car must pay for parking at the resorts, but they do not have to pay additional parking fees at the parks.
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By far the cheapest option to stay on the property is a campsite at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Campsites for traditional tents, RVs, and RVs start at $ 66 per night in the low season. Rush dates and larger campsites for RVs cost more. Perks of staying at Fort Wilderness include free evenings with Chip ‘n’ Dale, lakeside views of the nightly Magic Kingdom fireworks display, and all the bells and whistles of a stay at an official Disney resort.
Guests who prefer traditional rooms can choose from four Disney value resorts: three All-Star properties with average nightly rates of $ 126 in low season and Pop Century which averages $ 168 per night. off peak. Standard rooms at both resorts can accommodate up to four adults. The All-Star resorts have been recently renovated and feature amenities similar to Pop Century. One big difference is that Pop Century has direct access to Disney’s Skyliner, which connects the resort to several other Disney resorts, EPCOT, and Hollywood Studios.
There are several non-Disney hotels near Disney Springs that also offer early entry to the park and accept reward points for booking, such as Holiday Inn Orlando and DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando. Some even appear in express offers on Priceline.
Another option to redeem reward points is to stay at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, which is operated by Marriott and within walking distance of EPCOT. In addition to early admission to the parks, Swan and Dolphin guests are eligible for extended evening theme park hours, which are otherwise only open to guests of luxury Disney and Shades resorts and villas. of Green.
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Shades of Green is an armed forces recreation center on Disney property that is not open to the general public. Eligible guests include military service members, Armed Forces retirees, disabled veterans and their families. While Shades of Green is not a Disney resort, guests can enjoy both early entry and extended evening hours, as well as discounted rates on stays and park tickets.
Another option is to book a stay at the Disney Vacation Club through a rental company like David’s Vacation Club Rentals or DVC Rental Store. These companies act as an intermediary between customers and Disney timeshare owners who rent stays at official Disney resorts. Cancellations may not be as flexible as direct bookings through Disney. And while guests can see significant savings at Disney luxury resorts, these rentals don’t come cheap.
Discounted Disney Tickets
Costco members can purchase discounted vacation packages to Disney World, which include park tickets and hotel stays. AAA also has deals, but the starting prices for tickets on their website seem to match Disney prices online depending on the date you want. Some employers may also offer discounted park tickets as part of employee benefit programs, although the restrictions vary.
Thrifty travelers may be tempted to purchase discounted park tickets through third party timeshare sellers promising big savings in return for a sales pitch, but it can take precious hours away from the holidays. Disney’s official timeshare program, Disney Vacation Club, does not offer discounted tickets to listen to presentations.
How to save on food
Unlike other theme parks, Disney World invites guests to bring their own food and non-alcoholic drinks.
Guests driving to Disney can pop into many grocery stores off the property. Amazon Fresh also delivers groceries.
To save money, guests can have breakfast in their hotel room and then prepare simple park lunches and snacks.
Water bottles can be refilled at fountains or wherever fountain drinks are sold.
In the parks, quick service restaurants offer the most economical meal options. Customers can plan ahead and budget accordingly by viewing menus online.
While some adults may be inclined to order children’s menus to save money, these portions are significantly smaller and the offerings are generally more basic. Instead, customers can consider buying and sharing multiple snacks throughout the day so they can try different things without spending too much money.
Skimping on memories
The dazzling array of memorabilia at Disney World can break the bank. Fortunately, Shop Disney has various sales throughout the year, and Walmart retailers in Gap sell licensed Disney products, which are also on sale.
Guests can keep an eye out for deals before their trip to avoid going wild when they arrive at Disney World.
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More ways to save
Chase Visa Disney card customers can save 10% on select merchandise, meals and experiences. They can also earn Reward Dollars throughout the year which can be redeemed across Disney World.
Another way to save is by using Disney gift cards, which are as good as cash at the parks. Target RedCard members can save 5% on Disney gift cards. Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale members can also pay a little less than face value. Gift cards purchased at full price from Kroger can earn fuel points to save on gas.
One tactic that won’t cost guests anything is to request Disney gift cards for holidays or birthdays. These can be saved to help pay for trips.