On the topic of costs at Walt Disney World, we could speak to all kinds of areas. Whether or not you sit down and make a vacation budget, the trip will be expensive. However, you have some control over the final costs by packaging your vacation wisely.
What is interesting is that even though Disney has a reputation for costing too much, Disney food, merchandise, and other items are not necessarily overpriced across the board. You can have a great vacation and wind up spending less than you thought you did.
On the other hand, when things come up last minute, that is the moment when you usually have to buy something that kills your budget. The best way to be frugal at Walt Disney World is to plan and avoid spending too much money on these overpriced Disney World items.
The first big mistake is paying for travel. Renting a car is unnecessary unless you plan to leave Disney World. Even then, it may make more sense to use Uber or Lyft. Rental Cars cost a ton, plus you will be slapped with parking fees almost everywhere you go. Travel at Walt Disney World is complimentary, even from the airport and back. If you plan to use Minnie Van, make sure you check Uber first for a cost comparison. Then decide if it is worth it.
There are all kinds of ways to pay too much for tickets. Paying at the gate is one of them. Buy online in advance to shave some dollars off the price. You can even buy discount tickets online. If you purchase multi-day tickets, the price for each additional day goes down substantially.
Be aware that when you spring for the park hopper option, you are adding the cost onto each ticket day whether you park hop or not. Park Hopper Plus is the worst deal since you will not be hopping to two theme parks and a water park every day. We often will not purchase the park hopper option because we dedicate one day to each park. If we only spend half of a day at the park, we spend the rest at the resort or in Disney Springs.
Pack Carefully. There are all kinds of things you are used to having at home that will cost a bundle if you forget to bring them. These include toiletries, sunscreen, pain relievers, antacids, insect repellent, etc. Consider your travel needs and pack convenience items beforehand when you can get them cheap, or already have them on hand. The markups are insane, and you can use that money on fun things, like Dole Whip.
Yes. Buy water in the parks if you are thirsty. Hydration is vital, especially in Florida, and especially if alcohol is involved. Even if it isn’t, you will be walking way more than you are used to and chances are, it will be sweltering out. Don’t take any chances. However, water bottles in the parks and resorts are so expensive. I have easily spent $50 in just a few days on water. It’s better to plan and pack several bottles in your luggage. It will save you a bundle. As a plus, you will return home with extra suitcase space for souvenirs.
You can also utilize grocery delivery services to have a pack of water delivered to your room or if you rent through our amazing partner, Main Street Strollers, you can purchase packs of water to also be delivered with your stroller. Be sure to also ask for a cup of water with every meal that you purchase. You might only receive a small cup of water but it is usually free and is a great way to continue to stay hydrated.
If it’s not the heat, it’s the rain. Sometimes it’s both at once (Oh, Florida). One significant way you can be parted from your hard-earned dough is getting caught off guard in a rainstorm.
Now, many showers at Disney World only occur in short bursts, so you don’t want to pay too much for a poncho you will only use for fifteen minutes. Adult-sized ponchos can easily be around $15!
Two things you should do:
1:) Pack a poncho. The Dollar Store usually sells them or you can find them for much less expensive online. They can be easily packed in your suitcase too.
2:) Follow the weather with an app on your smartphone. Stay on top of the hourly forecasts so you can plan appropriately.
More Disney Travel Tips:
- Disney World Photography Tips
- Best Things to Pack for Disney World
- Walt Disney World Honeymoon, Why Have One?