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Walt Disney World Money Saving Tips

Updated on November 20, 2014
mgeorge1050 profile image

Alan is a veteran of the US Air Force, a master electrician, and a long-time hobby farmer.

Welcome to the Magic Kingdom

The magic kingdom
The magic kingdom | Source

Save Money at Disney

Disney World and saving money, two things that everyone loves. If you are planning a trip to Disney, there are two ways to save money that you may not have thought of yet. Before our trip to Disney World in Orlando, my wife did a lot of research and came up with these two gems. We carefully planned and prepared for each day, and I think we saved a ton of money. The beauty of these tips is that the larger your group, the more money you can save.

Carry Your Own Food and Drinks.

Many people do not realize that you can bring your own food and beverages into the park. With the cost of food and drinks sold by the park being extremely high, this is a huge money saving opportunity. We just packed up all of our stuff in a backpack and I carried it all day. There are plenty of places to sit and enjoy lunch or even a quick snack throughout the park.

Start by planning what foods you will want while visiting the park. Heating your food is not an option once inside, so a picnic type menu will work the best. Some great choices are sandwiches, wraps, fruit, chips, and nuts. Try to choose a lot of stuff that will be okay riding in a hot backpack. We used a small cooler inside the backpack with freezer packs for sandwiches and wraps.

Before each visit to the park, plan out the meals and snacks and carefully pack them to maximize your limited space. Keep in mind that a backpack full of food can get heavy fast! If you have a large group, it may be better to split the supplies up into multiple packs. Of course you can use any type of bag you prefer. I liked the backpack because it kept both my hands free.

As for drinks, we chose to bring a water bottle for each person. You can refill them for free at any drinking fountain, and unless things have changed, you can get free water at any beverage service station. We also packed a few small beverage singles, like the little packets you add to a bottle of water. These packets are great if you want a break from water, and you can carry tons of them in your pack.

Be careful not to forget the necessities like we did on our first day. Hand sanitizer and napkins are two very important items that we forgot to pack on day one. Don't forget to pack obvious things that your group will need during the day. Some other important items could be sunscreen, insect repellent, medications, or maybe even a towel for wet rides.

Your pack will take some punishment throughout the day, so pack accordingly. Place things like hand sanitizer and sunscreen in a zip lock bag in case it comes open inside the pack. While you can carry your pack on some rides and attractions, others require that you leave your pack in a waiting area. For this and other obvious reasons, you should place a tag on your pack with your information including cell number. If your pack is lost, park staff or other visitors will have your contact information and you might get your stuff back. Also, carrying items of value in your pack could be a bad idea. There are thousands of people everywhere you go inside the park, and a backpack can be easily misplaced or stolen.

Backpacking Disney World

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Backpacking Disney World OrlandoShooting aliens at Disney with pop popLong day at Disney
Backpacking Disney World Orlando
Backpacking Disney World Orlando
Shooting aliens at Disney with pop pop
Shooting aliens at Disney with pop pop
Long day at Disney
Long day at Disney

Check for Discounted Tickets Online

This is a pretty obvious tip, but still a great way to save some cash. Look for discounted tickets and ticket packages online before your trip. There are always lots of great deals to find, especially with some of the more popular web services. Even the park pass packages Disney offers online can save you some money as opposed to traditional ticket buying at the gate. Try to avoid Disney packages that offer accommodations along with your tickets. Disney accommodations are top rate, and they are priced accordingly. If your goal is to save money, find a room outside the park. Once again, many websites offer discounted rooms, just check around.

Disney Orlando

A markerDisney World -
World of Disney, Orlando, FL 32836, USA
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The happiest place on earth.

Cheaper Can Be Better

Although the restaurants and food stands at Disney offer great food and entertainment, they can be a bit pricey. Bringing your own food into the park not only saves money, but it makes more money available to spend elsewhere. By knowing how much we had already spent on food for the entire week, we were able to find money in the budget for souvenirs and snacks we had to have. No one should go to Disney without eating a Mickey shaped ice cream or buying a set of mouse ears. By saving money on our food budget, we were able to enjoy other things that meant more to us that what we ate for lunch. An added bonus is that we never had to wait in line for a snack or meal, more time for rides!

Planning a Trip

Are you planning a trip to Disney this year?

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    • Rev. Akins profile image

      Rev. Akins 4 years ago from Tucson, AZ

      We are planning to go this summer now that our daughter is 4. She will be able to ride more rides than last time (she was 8 months old). Love your ideas, and they work at more than just Disney. We bring our own food to zoos, water parks, and other amusement parks too. Great hub!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Never been but heard years ago how expensive it was. You have some great ideas though; my husband and I use to do things like that years ago to have more time in St Augustine. The less we spent on food the more days we could stay! We were never sorry. Great memories there.