In the last year, the cost of visiting a Disney park has increased more than once. From raised ticket prices to a bit more here and there for parking, food, and souvenirs, it’s easy to think that going on a Disney vacation might be slipping out of reach.
Don’t worry, if you are smart about saving up money (we have many tips here) and if you use some money saving tips at the parks, you can still afford to take a trip.
1. Bring your own snacks
I love the snacks at Disney parks! They are often pretty to look at and very good to eat, but “magic comes with a price” and not everyone is prepared to fork over $5 or $6 for a cupcake.
We recommend either sharing snacks, splitting that $6 cupcake between 3 people, because they are usually huge. Or bringing your own snacks.
You are allowed to bring snacks into the parks. Take your backpack and bring snacks and/or drinks with you. If you fly in, there’s a Walmart close by that you can visit to purchase lower cost snacks to take with you.
If you need to buy a bottle of soda or water, don’t throw the bottle away. You can use it and refill it with water or bring a refillable water bottle from home. Also, there are many quick service places that will give you a cup of water for free.
2. Share meals
Along the same line I mentioned above with snacks. You can share meals.
The food platters and burgers are usually quite large. They will easily split between two people. We do this often as we don’t want to eat large meals and then be walking around in the heat. Even with a meal plan, we will split meals and then we can use two credits at lunch and two credits at breakfast instead of four credits at one meal.
Several places will offer toppings bars with your meal. Those are great places to load more onto your plate and make dividing it up an even better choice.
3. There are many free or low cost souvenirs available!
Disney parks have may free or low cost items that make great souvenirs.
Celebration Buttons: Guests can get these celebration pins at their Disney Resort Hotels during check-in or at customer service locations in the parks. They have different pins for special occasions.
I love pressed pennies and quarters! These are a fantastic low cost souvenir! They have machines all over the parks and the cost is usually .51 for a penny. Quarters cost more.
Character autographs are a great way to bring home a piece of Disney without a large price tag. Autograph books aren’t expensive, but you can also use notebooks or your own pre-printed sheets from home. There are all kinds of free downloadable pages you can use to create your own autograph sheets. (Just be careful as some sites might contain malware.)
When you participate in a character meal or a character meet and greet you can ask the characters to sign for you. Make sure you have a pen with you and it sometimes helps if it’s a bit larger and easier for a costumed character to grab onto.
Each of the parks offer free park maps for guests. These make great keepsakes. People have also taken them and turned them into magnets, jewelry, coasters, laminated place mats, framed pieces, ornaments and more!
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Cards
When you enter the Magic Kingdom, to your right is the home of the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game, at the Main Street Firehouse. You enter and cast members will start you on your quest with free cards and a map. Each time you visit you can get more cards, just make sure you play here and there, or they won’t give you cards anymore.
If you are vising the Walt Disney resort during any of the Epcot festivals, you can get free “passports” for the events. These offer special information and special stamps at kiosk locations you can make during your tour.
Kidcot Fun Stops
Also in Epcot, when visiting the World Showcase with children make sure to take advantage of the Kidcot stops in the different countries. Here kids can make a souvenir to take with them for free.
There are more out there, like transportation cards, stickers, drivers/pilots licenses, etc.
Going to Disney is a special event and a lot of people feel they are being priced out. There are ways to make it affordable. One of the best ways to get the best deal is to use an authorized Disney travel agent. They know how to get you the best deal possible within your budget. We recommend Mickey Vacations by Academy Travel. They are free to use, but they could save you a lot. If you would like a no-obligation quote, fill out the form below.
What do you think? Do you have more tips to save money in the parks? We would love to hear them and help as many people as we can! Comment and let us know!
Wanna go to Disney?
We recommend Academy Travel, a Disney Diamond Earmarked agency. Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, Universal Orlando Resort, Sea World and more -- they can do it all, and at no extra cost to you! Fill out the form below or call 609-978-0740 today!