With price increases hitting Disney World what feels like almost every day, it can be easy to come to the conclusion that a vacation to “the most magical place on earth” is out of reach nowadays. But, it might not be!
Yes, the cost of tickets, your hotel stay, food, merchandise, flights, and more can add up quickly, but there are still ways to make it so that you’re not considering taking out a second mortgage just to give your kiddos a chance to meet the mouse. But, we won’t lie, it’s not necessarily easy to save — you’ve got to know what you’re doing! So, we’ve put together five ways that you can avoid paying full price to ensure that you can actually enjoy your trip rather than pinch pennies!
Take advantage of hotel discounts
One of the first things you do when you’re planning a Disney World vacation is choosing a place to stay — and, the great news is that there’s almost always some sort of deal going on for Disney World hotels! So, don’t make the mistake of paying full price!
If you’re a Disney World Annual Passholder, Florida Resident, or US Military Member, you can usually secure savings of up to 25% off select resort stays — you just have to be visiting at the right time! And, if you’re not part of these exclusive groups, Disney often runs deals for Alles guests that could result in some big savings. For example, in 2022 Disney is offering savings of up to $100 off PER NIGHT at certain hotels between March and July. So, depending on how many days you’ll be visiting you can REALLY rack up those savings!
Plus, you don’t have to miss out on the savings if you’ve already booked your vacation and a new deal pops up! You can usually call Disney World Guest Services to have those discounts applied after the fact, or, if they’re not able to help, you can opt to cancel with no penalty (as long as you aren’t within 30 days of the beginning of your vacation) and re-book your stay with the new discount. Just keep in mind that there’s no guarantee that the hotel you have booked will be available when you rebook with the discount so we always suggest checking the Disney website before you make any changes.
Now, we get it — it can be a lot to have to keep track of all the discounts and know where to look for the most up-to-date deals. But, we’ve got ya covered! We’re always keeping an eye out for new hotel deals, and you can be one of the first to know about them by subscribing to the DFB Newsletter. Or, if you’d prefer someone else to do the work for you, we’d suggest working with our friends at Small World Vacations. When you book your trip with Small World Vacations, their experienced agents monitor your reservation for possible future savings other compare discounts and figure out which one works best for your travel partydates, resort, and touring plans.
Booking hotel accommodations at Disney World soon? Click here to check out some current deals!
Search for ticket discounts (or opt for the best deal)
Disney Park ticket discounts are a bit more difficult to come by, though there are still ways to save! For example, if you’re a US Military Member or a Florida Resident, we’ve already seen some ticket deals available for you in 2022, and in 2021 Disney offer a special discount where you could get 2 additional days added to your theme park tickets for FREE if you purchased a certain package. But, if you don’t fall into these two groups and no other deals are available, all hope is not lost! You just need to be a bit more strategic to save.
Disney World tickets can be used on non-consecutive days within a certain range of time, and that range may actually end up going past the days you plan to be there. So, here’s our super secret tip to saving some cash on those tickets — choose a start date for your multi-day park tickets that makes the total cost the least amount but still covers the dates that you plan to visit. Here’s how that would work.
Let’s say you’re visiting Disney World in February and want to visit the parks from February 10th through the 13th. You’ll be buying a 4-day 1-park-per-day ticket for your trip. Your natural inclination is probably to select February 10th as the start date for your tickets when buying them. That would make your total ticket price $488.32 per ticket.
But, if you move that start date up a little bit to February 7th, your ticket will still cover your vacation dates but the total cost will end up being only $463.16 per ticket! And, well, savings like that can really add up!
And, if you aren’t able to find a way to use this secret money-saving hack and there aren’t any additional ticket deals running, consider saving some cash by opting not to purchase a park hopper ticket or any ticket add-ons . Park hopping returned in 2021, but there’s a stipulation — you can only park hop nach 2PM each day. And, while we’ve almost never had issues hopping into whatever park our heart desires (with Disney World’s 50th Anniversary being the only exception so far), there is a case to be made that you’re essentially paying more money for less time in that second park. So, be sure that you’re really thinking about whether that park hopper will be put to good use for the extra cost.
Check Out Our The Ultimate Guide to SAVING on Disney World Tickets in 2022 HERE!
Shop for Disney merchandise before your trip
While budgeting for your hotel stay and park tickets comes with the territory of planning a Disney World trip, one expense that most people forget to plan for is merchandise! Disney World is basically built to convince you (and your kiddos) that you absolutely need that misting fan or glow spinner. And, while $30 for a pair of Minnie Ears might stretch your wallet, there is actually a way to avoid paying full price — you just have to shop before your trip or keep your phone handy!
Oftentimes, you can find the exact same merchandise that you’re seeing on the shelves in the Emporium at Magic Kingdom (or any other Disney store for that matter) on shopDisney. But, the prices are NOT always the same! Disney tends to run sales online that aren’t available in the storesso you could end up saving some big bucks if you keep an eye out for the best deals online.
Click here to see ALL of the Disney World 50th Anniversary Merchandise You Can Get Online Right NOW!
Know what discounts you have at your disposal
Disney isn’t the only place to look for discounts and ways to save — there are also quite a few discounts available for those part of affinity groups and more! For example, Disney World Annual Passholders or members of the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) can score savings on merchandise, dining, and even ticketed events at Disney World throughout the year.
And, if you have a Disney VISA credit card, you can save on things like dining, tours, activities, and more. PLUS, you’ll save 10% on merchandise anytime you spend $50 or more (which, let’s face it, is not all that difficult to do).
You’ll also want to keep an eye out for third party discounts! Disney partners with quite a few different companies that might offer special discounts along with third-party businesses that operate within Disney World as well. For example, some big box stores like Sam’s Club, Costco, and BJ’s will have discounted Disney tickets for sale (though, this tends to be less true in states closer to the parks) and sometimes you can even spot a discount on Disney Gift Cards or even Restaurants that are located in Disney Springs. Plus, if you’re a Target RedCard member, you can purchase Disney Gift Cards and save 5%!
If ya snag these when ya see ’em, you’ll basically be buying money for your Disney vacation for LESS than paying cash!
Check Out More Sneaky Ways You Can Save Money at Disney World HERE!
Keep an eye out for returning promotions
Lastly, we’ve seen some other awesome ways to avoid paying full price for your Disney World trip in the past, but they just haven’t returned quite yet! For example, when the Disney Dining Plan was being offered, Disney offered guests FREE Disney Dining Plans during select times of the year when they booked a Disney hotel stay and park tickets — so, you didn’t need to worry about budgeting a good lump of money for dining. We’ve also seen some pretty good hotel room and park ticket package deals that can end up saving you A LOT in the past!
Now, it’s important to note that these promotions tend to be offered during the “slower” seasons of the year for Disney (and the Disney Dining Plan is currently suspended), so you’ll need to have some flexibility in your vacation dates in order to secure these savings.
Check Out 5 Ways to Save $1,000 on Your Disney Trip (Really!) HERE!
So, there ya have it — it’s time to say goodbye to paying full price for your Disney World vacation! Of course, we’re always keeping an eye out for new Disney deals and discounts and if you’re signed up for the DFB Newsletter, you’ll be one of the first to know! So, be sure you’re on the list, and stay tuned for more Disney planning tips, tricks, and updates!
Learn How to Get the MOST Discounts During Your Disney World Trip HERE!
Do you have any tips and tricks for saving on your Disney World vacation? Let us know in the comments!