Credit: Disney

3 Tricks to Make Your Next Disney Trip MUCH Cheaper

With the ever-increasing ticket, dining, and travel prices, a trip to Walt Disney World for many can seem more and more out of reach.

The Central Florida Resort is made up of four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom), two food and entertainment areas (Disney Springs and Disney’s Boardwalk), two water parks, golf courses, more than 25 hotels, and so much more. A single Disney vacation there can last over a week, and cost thousands of dollars in accommodation, travel, dining, and tickets.

But what if told you there’s a simple (and pretty obvious) set of tricks to spending less on your next visit to Walt Disney World?

mickey mouse hugging kids

Credit: Disney

Disney Vacations Are Getting More Expensive

A trip to the Walt Disney World Resort can now be very costly for families, particularly after factoring in extra costs like Disney Genie+, Lightning Lane, Disney snacks, PhotoPass, and high-end experiences like building lightsabers at Savi’s Workshop and character dining.

There are no longer free benefits such as FastPass, Magical Express, or MagicBands, and the theme park tickets themselves can get quite confusing. Walt Disney World announced last year that its Park tickets are climbing in price and now vary based on the Park and which day Guests plan to visit.

Annual Passholder costs also increased while Disney Resort Hotel stays lost benefits but increased in price. So how do we spend less whilst at Disney World?

two guests outside big thunder mountain

Credit: Disney

How to Get a Cheaper Disney Day

It may seem like a completely obvious method, but the best way to save money on a Walt Disney World vacation is to just spend less.

Hear us out. Sometimes, there’s no way to avoid costly theme park tickets, parking prices, and plane fares. If you don’t have an Annual Pass, Florida Resident discount, or access as a member of the Armed Forces to the Military Salute Tickets, then the only way to get into Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom is just buying the standard price Disney tickets.

So, you’ve paid for the tickets for your party and forked out for the daily parking fee. But once you get into the theme park itself, you can avoid spending more with some simple but effective methods.

Disney World Signage

Credit: Disney Lists

Bring your own food

A lot of focus nowadays is on Disney dining and the incredible array of quick-service and table-service restaurants on offer across the Walt Disney World Resort. You can eat in space at Space 220, meet princesses at Cinderella’s Royal Table, and eat like a Star Wars character in Galaxy’s Edge.

If you’re trying to save money, however, you can just bring your own lunch! Disney is not strict at security about food coming into the Disney Parks, so head to the nearest supermarket when you arrive in Central Florida and stock up on granola bars, fruit, sandwiches, and crisps.

Trust us when we say that this will save you a lot of money, especially when some restaurants can charge over $30-50 a head for a meal.

Kids Dining at Beaches and Cream

Credit: Disney

Drink free water

Disney knows that in the Florida heat, you’ll need to stay hydrated and sells water all over the theme parks. We’re here to say, bring your own water bottles!

There are plenty of water fountains throughout the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Parks, giving you multiple opportunities to refill your water bottle. Furthermore, many quick-service dining locations offer free cups of iced water, even without purchasing a meal. Places like Backlot Express, Pinocchio’s Village Haus, and Pecos Bill’s also have fountain drink dispensers, allowing you to get some free water for your big theme park day.

Sure, you could buy bottled water in the Disney Parks, but that will add up quickly. Bringing your own bottle is much more environmentally friendly anyway!

Complimentary Water Clips

Credit: Disney Fanatic

Avoid the Merchandise

Again, this might seem obvious, but if you have a tight budget on your next Disney vacation, limit your merchandise spend.

From Minnie ears and popcorn buckets to spirit jerseys and Christmas ornaments, there is so much merchandise on offer in Disney Parks across the globe. The cost can add up, and on top of increasing ticket prices and the replacement of FastPass with the expensive Disney Genie+, things can get quite costly on a Disney trip.

Sure, go ahead and browse the magical stores at the Parks and at Disney Springs, but set a budget and stick to it. Make it $15, make it $40 – just remember as you browse that you are limited to a couple of souvenirs to save those unnecessary expenditures.

Or, to keep it a really cheap day, count your own photos, Park tickets, and Park maps as your free souvenirs!

disney paying payment register

Credit: Disney

So in short, don’t pay for food, water, or merchandise, and boom, you’ve instantly saved hundreds of dollars on your day at Disney!

About Melissa Cannioto

Melissa is an author, adventurer, and chatterbox, who has worked at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, and Adventures by Disney! A British native, she has traveled the world seeking new experiences, and now resides in Florida with her husband, an Air Force pilot. Find her children's book at