Monday, May 28, 2012

6 Ways to Save Money at DisneyWorld® (or DisneyLand®)

Our trip to Disney World® was a blast but the sheer busyness of our vacation left us wondering where the time went. It went by like a blur! It was a memorable time though. It was the first major vacation with our precious son Dante (who is 20 months old) and of course his this was his first fight. He did a great job!

Because bringing him along on our trips now meant more of everything - more food to buy at restaurants, more luggage to pay for at the airport (boo!), more souvenirs (how could you not buy all things Mickey for that sweet little face staring up from his stroller?!)  we decided we needed to save money where we could. 

Here's a few odds and ends that we did that may be helpful on your next trip to Disney World® (or Disney Land® !): 

Forget buying water in the Parks. It can cost at least $3.00 for one bottle which is going to add up if you have a large family you need to keep hydrated all day. Head to your local superstore, retail chain or supermarket to get a pack of 24 bottles for around $3.00! That's the same as one in the park! If you are lucky enough to have a refrigerator in your hotel room place one bottle in the freezer to serve as an ice pack and put the rest in the fridge. Get a small tote bag that keeps things cool and put everything in the tote to carry in the park.  

Head to WalMart®
Why buy all those expensive souvenirs in the parks when you can go to WalMart® who has a HUGE Disney® section (in fact, they have an area made of up row after row of exclusively Disney® things) with discounted items. I can see buying something unique in the parks that you can't get anywhere else (I mean seriously, where are you going to get a "Make Your Own Mr. Potato Head" with a Mickey hat, feet and hands except for at Downtown Disney®?!) but to me, a t-shirt is a t-shirt. I got my son a shirt for $8 instead of the one for $20 something in the park. Same with the beach towels. I could have spent $30 bucks but put out $14.99 instead. Not too shabby!

Wait to buy that stuffed Mickey. Every kid rolling by in their stroller was clutching on to the same cute stuffed Mickey. And while it's ok to give in and get one for your kid there is no need to pay top dollar. I saw them for as high as $24.99 and as low as $14.99 for the same exact thing. The two cheapest places I saw them were WalMart® and local souvenir shops throughout the Orlando area.

Buy your tickets in advance.  You'll not only save money you may even get additional perks.  Because we bought our Disney® tickets from the hotel concierge, we not only got our 3-Day Disney® pass cheaper which gave us quick access to the parks, we also got a free option of our choice. We could choose between a day at DisneyQuest®, time at the water parks Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach, or time on a local golf course. We went to Typhoon Lagoon and had a great time splashing in the water, speeding down water slides and just jumping the waves in the wave pool.  

Stay outside of the Park. While staying in the world of Disney® can be fun it can also cost more money. We stayed at the Country Inn & Suites and while it was the same price as Disney's® economy hotel for $89 a night, we were able to get a better room (a King Suite), free breakfast all seven mornings and still had access to transportation to the parks even though we weren't staying in Disney®

Make lunch the meal of the day. Lunch is often cheaper at many (not all)  Disney® restaurants so why not make lunch your big meal of the day then just have a smaller sandwich at a casual walk up establishment. You'll get to enjoy the fancy restaurant experience which often includes favorite Disney® characters without draining your wallet.

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