Over 50 Ways to Save Money at Walt Disney World

Cinderella's Castle
Credit: D23

Everybody wants to know how to visit the Most Magical Place on Earth for less. No matter someone’s income level, career, family size, or favorite Disney film, a Walt Disney World Resort trip can be expensive. With that being said (and widely already known), let’s explore over 50 ways to save money on your Walt Disney World vacation.

Mickey and Minnie outside Cinderella Castle

Credit: Disney

Saving Money on Your Hotel (14)

The cost of where you stay while at Walt Disney World could easily be the most expensive part of your trip. There are many ways to save money regarding this potentially costly decision.

Plan and Compare Prices

Planning early can be one of the best ways to save money. This rule generally applies to any hotel, whether Disney-owned or not.

Consider Off-Peak Seasons

Try to visit Walt Disney World during less busy times of the year. Resorts tend to be more affordable when the parks are less crowded. This often coincides with the school schedule and holidays. As such, the summer, spring break, and the holiday season are the busiest times in Orlando. This is often because they have special events, longer hours, and more things to enjoy. However, remember this also means more crowds (and a lot more money).

wilderness lodge pool disney

Credit: Disney

Stay Off Property

Walt Disney World Resort offers several hotels on the property around its four theme parks and Disney Springs area. However, you can often find many other hotels, rental properties, and even resorts that may provide better deals than Disney offers. Although you may miss out on certain theme park benefits, such as early park admission or more accessible transportation to and from the theme parks, you could easily save hundreds of dollars.

Related: Get 35% Off Your Disney Hotel and New Mickey Popcorn Bucket

Consider Disney Value Resorts

If you still prefer to stay at a Disney Resort hotel, there are ways to save some money. Disney offers a wide range of resort options, including Value Resorts, that are typically more budget-friendly. These resorts still provide the magical Disney experience without the high price tag of Deluxe accommodations at places like the Contemporary Resort or The Grand Floridian.


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Explore Travel Rewards Programs

If you have loyalty points with a hotel chain (or a travel credit card), you can often find hotels and book them using points, rewards, or miles. Even if you don’t have enough to cover an entire stay, using these rewards to pay for even a few nights could save you hundreds.

Share Accommodations

Consider renting a vacation home or condo if traveling with a larger group. This can be a more cost-effective option compared to booking multiple hotel rooms. Plus, you’ll benefit from shared living spaces, additional bathrooms, and a kitchen.

Drury Plaza Hotel

Credit: Drury Plaza Hotel

Opt for a Shorter Stay

This is an option many people don’t like to think about, but it, too, can save a lot of money. It can be argued that whether you visit Walt Disney World for a whole month, you will still never get to see and do everything you want. But if you are considering a trip that’s two weeks, ten days, or even one week, you could shave off a day or two of the trip and giving up some of the less important attractions.

Since many hotels charge different prices on different nights of the week, you can get a significant discount if you stay Sunday-Friday instead of an entire week.

Use Discount Websites and Apps

There are dozens – perhaps hundreds of discount travel websites nowadays. Using,,,, and many others, you can sometimes find travel deals or promotions you won’t find when booking directly with a hotel or resort.

Use A Travel Agent

As with discount travel websites, a professional travel agent can often get you a rate that is cheaper than what you can find on your own. Many travel agents specialize in Orlando and even Walt Disney World vacations and can also provide you with some useful tips and knowledge.

Tower of Terror at Night

Credit: D23

Take Advantage of Military Discounts

Walt Disney World frequently offers special discounts and accommodations for military personnel. If you, a family member, or a person in your travel party is a military member, you can take advantage of special pricing.

Take Advantage of Visa Discounts

If you have a Disney Visa credit card, Disney provides discounted rates on specific resort hotels at certain times of the year. These can sometimes be as much as 35% off standard room rates and even include Deluxe Resorts.

New Disney visa Credit Card Design featuring Princess Tiana

Credit: Disney

Be Flexible

If your travel dates are flexible, play around with various dates. Prices can drastically fluctuate weekly, even during peak or non-peak times.

Look for Package Deals

Walt Disney World often offers vacation packages, including accommodations and park tickets. These packages can sometimes result in significant savings compared to booking each component separately.

Chip n Dale at Disney BoardWalk

Credit: Disney

Find a Hotel With Free Activities

Whether staying on Disney property or elsewhere, many hotels will have free activities such as pool access, playgrounds, and sports activities. Taking advantage of these unique amenities can add incredible value to your Disney vacation while saving you the expense of another day in the parks.

Saving Money on Disney Park Tickets (10)

Walt Disney World tickets are another expense that can add up quickly. With options for multiple days, park hoppers, and other add-ons, they can not only be confusing but also become a huge percentage of your overall vacation cost. Here are some top ways to buy Disney tickets on a budget…

disney magicband

Credit: Disney

Buy Tickets Online and in Advance

Purchasing your Walt Disney World park tickets in advance will almost always cost less than buying it at the gate.

Know How Many Days You Plan to Visit

Multi-day tickets provide a better value per day compared to single-day tickets. The more days you plan to spend at the parks, the lower the daily cost of admission. However, it’s also important not to buy days you don’t plan to use. So before you even arrive in Orlando, you should know how many days you plan to spend at Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Related: Disney’s New $59 Weekday Ticket

Skip the Park Hopper Option

Park Hopper tickets allow you to visit multiple Walt Disney World parks in a single day. While convenient, a Park Hopper ticket is more expensive than regular Disney theme park tickets. In addition, hopping from park to park will take some time out of your day.

EPCOT's Spaceship Earth

Credit: D23

Look for Special Promotions

Walt Disney World Resort occasionally offers special ticket promotions, especially during off-peak seasons, and to Florida residents. Look for any discounts, deals, or bundled packages available during your travel dates.

Consider Annual Passes

Although Annual Passes can be expensive, they may be a good option if you plan to visit Walt Disney World parks multiple times within a year (or even during an extended vacation).


Credit: Disney Tips

Look for Discounted Tickets from Authorized Sellers

Many authorized ticket resellers offer discounted Walt Disney World tickets. Some of them,, for example, will often be able to sell you tickets at prices lower than what you will find on Walt Disney World’s website.

Use Credit Card Rewards or Points

If you have a credit card with rewards or points, check if you can use them to purchase Walt Disney World tickets. One of the best options is the Disney Chase Visa credit card.

If you have this card, you can use Disney reward dollars to purchase a Disney park ticket. You can also get a Disney gift card with the reward dollars to offset the cost of other theme park expenses.

Skip The Water Park Add Ons

Walt Disney World offers a pair of water parks and minigolf courses that can also be added to your Walt Disney World ticket. If you want to save money on your ticket prices, this is one element you can avoid.

Typhoon Lagoon

Credit: Disney

Related: What Happened to Disney World’s First Water Park?

Plan No-Park Days

Consider few days during your Disney vacation when you don’t visit the theme parks. Taking a day or two to visit Disney Springs (which is free) or relax at the hotel pool not only gives you a chance to rest but saves you from having to add additional days to your Disney ticket.

Avoid Special Events

Disney offers many special events, especially during Halloween and Christmastime. But these unique celebrations and parties are often much more money than your standard Disney park ticket. Although these can be a fun add-on during a Disney vacation, it’s best to avoid them when booking on a budget.

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Credit: Disney

Saving Money on Food at the Parks (11)

Food at the four theme parks (and even at the resorts) can add up quickly. But there are still a few ways to save a couple hundred dollars off your Disney vacation when it comes to sustenance.

Kids eating Mickey Ice Cream outside Rock N Roller Coaster

Credit: Disney

Bring Your Own Snacks and Water

Bringing your own snacks and refillable water bottles can save you from having to shell out a few bucks throughout your day. Disney theme parks, just like concerts and sports stadiums, provide many drinks and food items that can be extremely expensive (considering what you’re getting).

Eat Before You Arrive

If you plan to visit the parks in the morning, grabbing a quick bite to eat at your hotel (especially if it’s a complimentary breakfast) is a great way to save money. Being full before you leave for the day may help you avoid morning snacks at the theme park or even skip a midday meal.

Mickey and Minnie at Adventures Outpost in Animal Kingdom

Credit: Disney

Consider the Disney Dining Plan

As of this writing, Disney Dining Plans are currently not available. However, they will be returning in 2024. If you visit the parks in 2024, the plans allow you to pre-pay for meals and snacks at a discounted rate. They can be cost-effective, especially if you plan to eat at sit-down restaurants.

Share Meals

Portions at Walt Disney World can be pretty large. But even when they aren’t, eating a large meal before hopping on Space Mountain is not necessarily a good idea. Sharing meals, snacks, or even drinks with friends or family can cut the cost in half.

food tusker house

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Order Off the Kid’s Menu

Similar to sharing meals, this is another way to reduce expenses and portion size. Kids meals often provide enough food for an average adult but at significantly less money. In addition, they may come with a drink, whereas adult meals may not.

Eat Outside the Park

Walt Disney World exists in a bit of a bubble. However, if you are staying at a nearby hotel and have snacks or food in your room or can find cheaper alternatives to theme park dining, it’s always a surefire to save some money. Just be mindful that the time it may take you to leave the park and come back (especially at Magic Kingdom Park) can cost you extra time in the park.

Exterior of Space Mountain at Disney World

Credit: Disney

Research Menus in Advance

Checking out the menus you plan to visit can help you make informed choices and avoid surprises at the cash register. It will also help you get your food sooner (and there’s also mobile orders you can use, too).

Look for Snack Carts

Instead of sitting down for a full meal at a restaurant or a quick service location, consider grabbing snacks from carts around the parks.


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You can find options like popcorn, pretzels, and ice cream that are often more affordable than a multi-course meal at Cinderella Castle.

Skip the Alcohol

Although this may be controversial, hear me out. As always, alcoholic drinks can be a costly add-on.

jock lindsay's hangar bar disney springs drinks

Credit: Disney

But, if you indulge in a drink, it’s best to be conservative, especially at Walt Disney World, where drinks can be $20 apiece. Besides, there are many places around Orlando to grab a drink after a day at the parks (and often for less).

Consider a Refillable Popcorn Bucket

Disney popcorn buckets have a subculture all their own. But for practical purposes, if you are visiting the parks and enjoying popcorn, it’s a great way to save.

Cinderella Popcorn Bucket

Credit: Disney

You can purchase the bucket and refill it multiple times throughout your trip for $2 each time.

Skip Table Dining

Although table dining can be a fun and unique experience, it’s often not worth the price Disney will charge.

Winnie the Pooh Crystal Palace

Credit: Disney

You can easily save a lot of money by opting for quick service locations or snack carts. In addition to saving money, it will also save you time.

Saving Money on Other Items at the Parks (9)

Even after purchasing your Walt Disney World tickets, you can still spend quite a bit of money inside the gates. Merchandise, photos, and other add-ons can double the cost of your admission. Here are some of the best ways to save money while in Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and/or Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Skip the Photopass

Disney Photopass options allow you to capture memories of your vacation. However, using your smartphone, you can catch many of the same images (except maybe on-ride photos). Cast members will just as happily photograph you using your smartphone when meeting characters.

Skip Genie Plus

Genie Plus can be a great add-on to limit wait times and see more attractions during your theme park visit. However, the price of the feature can add up quickly, especially if you are in a large party or are visiting multiple days.


Credit: Disney

If you are interested in purchasing Genie Plus, it might be best to wait until your last day and buy it if there are attractions you want to see but still haven’t.

Skip Individual Lightning Lanes

As with Genie Plus, Individual Lightning Lanes are a great way to skip the regular line. However, these can be costly at prices that are around $20 a person per ride.

Related: Is Disney Genie Plus Worth the Price?

A family of five can easily add $100 to their park admission if each member purchases one. In addition, all attractions with Lightning Lanes do have standby or virtual queues – so you can still ride them without having to pay extra. It just may be a longer wait.

Buy Souvenirs Off Property

Many places in and around Orlando sell Disney souvenirs for a lot less than prices you’ll find on Disney property. Also, you can even purchase many Disney items online at significant discounts.

Akershus Belle and Child

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Bring Your Own Stroller and Baby Supplies

If you have a baby or toddler, bringing your stroller and supplies will save you hundreds. Although Walt Disney World rents strollers to parents, it can add up fast day over day.

Related: The Worst (and Best) Baby Care Centers at Walt Disney World

In addition, Walt Disney World does sell baby supplies such as diapers and snacks at their Baby Care Centers. Although this feature is nice, you will pay extra for convenience.

Baby Care Center at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Credit: Steven Wilk

Bring Your Own Rain Gear

It rains a lot in Central Florida. As such, Disney makes a lot of money selling ponchos and other rain supplies in their parks and resorts. Although buying a rain poncho with Mickey on it may be fun, it’s not a way to save money.

Bring Your Own Autograph Book

If traveling with kids (or a Disney adult) who wants to collect autographs of Disney characters, you can save money by bringing your notebook or pad. Characters will still sign it, and you can often get a better deal than what they will charge you in the theme parks.


Credit: Disney Tips

Skip the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

Although this has become a staple of many families at Walt Disney World, it can be an expensive makeover. If your little one wants to feel special, you can easily dress them up as a Disney Princess (or other character) before you arrive at the park.

Girl at bibbidi bobbidi boutique

Credit: Disney

Not only will this save you money, but it will save time, so you and them can enjoy more rides and shows.

Skip Lightsabers, Droid Building, And Other Extras

Just as with the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, building a lightsaber or droid at Disney’s Hollywood Studios can be fun for your child but can get costly. You should have no problem finding them a Star Wars souvenir outside the parks that costs less.

Related: 9 Free Things Any Guest Visiting Walt Disney World Can Take Advantage Of

Saving Money on Transportation (6)

One of the final ways you can rack up a lot of extra costs on your Walt Disney World vacation is transportation. But we aren’t talking about airplane rides or your drive to the Orlando area. This is strictly transportation in and around Orlando and the Walt Disney World Resort after you’ve arrived.

Disney Monorail

Credit: D23

Free Disney Hotel Transportation

Although we previously mentioned staying off Disney property could save you money on your hotel stay, staying at a Disney resort can save you on transportation. They all offer busses that can take you to and from the various parks, and some even have ferry, monorail, or skyliner transportation.

Disney Skyline over Hollywood Studios

Credit: Disney

In addition, some are close enough to walk from the hotel to the theme park entrance. Although these are usually the more expensive hotels, the benefit is you may not need to rent a car, pay for Uber, or worry about the cost of theme park parking.

Free Non-Disney Hotel Transportation

Many hotels and resorts in the Orlando area also provide shuttle service to and from Walt Disney World. It may not be equal to Disney shuttles in that they may drop you off farther from the park entrances, but they may still be a free benefit you can use to save money.

Ride Sharing

Ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft can be an affordable alternative to renting a car. Also, depending on your hotel location, taking an Uber or Lyft may be cheaper than driving your own vehicle and paying for parking at Walt Disney World.

Expedition Everest

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Avoid Rental Cars

Piggybacking off the previous suggestions, renting a car can be a costly expense. In recent years, the car rental market has skyrocketed to costs that can add another $1,000 to your Disney vacation (if a week long). If you can avoid renting a car using ride-sharing services and hotel transportation, do it.

Book a Hotel Near Dining and Shopping

Whether staying on Walt Disney World property or not, choosing a place that offers dining and shopping nearby saves you on transportation. If you can easily stroll down the block or across the street and grab something to eat or buy souvenirs, it saves you from needing a car.

Disney Guests at Disney Springs

Credit: Disney


If driving to the theme parks, it’s best to take as few vehicles as possible. Since the parking rate is charged per vehicle and not per passenger, carpooling can save you half the parking costs if traveling with a large group.

Related: Free Things to Eat and Drink at Disney World

Final Comment

There are many ways to save on a Disney vacation! However, it’s important to note that some of these suggestions come at a sacrifice. Whether that’s a shorter trip, staying off property, or reducing time and experiences in the park, just be sure it’s something you’re willing to give up.

There’s nothing worse than going to Walt Disney World and coming home with regrets. But other than that, happy planning!

About Steven Wilk