The Best Ways to Save Money on a Walt Disney World Vacation

by | Jan 23, 2023 | WDW Blog

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A Walt Disney World vacation is costly – but we’ve got expert tips that’ll help you save money on everything from park tickets to hotel rooms to food.

When people think of Walt Disney World, they often think that it’s too expensive to visit. Park tickets and hotel room prices can run hundreds of dollars per person (totaling thousands for a family!). Factor in the cost of food, souvenirs, and other fun experiences and add-ons, and the cost adds up fast. It’s hard to book a week-long vacation at the parks without spending a pretty penny. 

Lately, Disney has made news for increasing prices – which means a Disney World vacation isn’t getting any more affordable. But that doesn’t mean your next trip is out of reach if you’re on a budget. With the right tips, tricks, and expert insight, we can help you find ways to cut costs and save money on your next trip

It’s totally possible to do Disney World while saving both money! Whether it’s a discount to pay for dinner, water hacks, or ways to pay less, keep reading to discover some of the best ways to save during your next visit to Walt Disney World.

How to Save Money on Disney World Tickets

Tickets are one of the biggest expenses when visiting Walt Disney World. Whether you’re stopping by just one theme park for one or need a full 7-day park hopper,  Walt Disney World tickets are expensive but are required to visit the theme parks. While tickets do cost a pretty penny, here’s how to save a few bucks while still enjoying all the theme parks have to offer.

Plan to Visit on Less Expensive Days

When booking your stay on the Walt Disney World site, look at which days offer the least expensive tickets and visit on those days. You’ll see a calendar that displays how much money tickets cost per day – so you can easily compare which days are the least expensive. 

Typically, the least expensive times of the year to visit Disney World are:

  • The end of January
  • The first week of February
  • The end of August through September

Keep these times of year in mind as you plan your next trip. Visiting the resort during that time can most likely save you some money on both theme park tickets and hotel stays. 

Buy Multiple Days Instead of Single Tickets

Bundling tickets together – or purchasing multiple-day tickets rather than single-day tickets – generally cuts costs. For example, you can save $20 per ticket if you purchase a 3-day ticket or longer. Plus, you can also save if you add a park hopper option after a certain amount of days. 

For more information about Walt Disney World ticket prices, add-ons, and overall vacation ticketing costs, check out our 2023 Walt Disney World ticket guide.

Use AAA to Purchase Discounted Tickets

Are you an AAA member? If so, you have access to special discounts on Walt Disney World tickets! AAA members can save up to 30 percent on theme park tickets.

You’ll just need to purchase your tickets through the AAA website. These discounted tickets can be linked to your My Disney Experience App for a seamless park experience.

Opt for an Annual Pass Instead of Tickets

A Walt Disney World Annual Pass might not be within your budget. However, if you visit the resort multiple times a year and are finding yourself spending thousands on tickets, an Annual Pass might actually be an investment worth considering.

An Annual Pass will allow you to visit year-round and offers savings on everything from the cost of frequent theme park admission to parking. If you find yourself planning two or more vacations down to the resort each year, break down the cost – divide the total cost of the Annual Pass by the number of times you intend to visit. That’ll show you your per-use cost. If it’s less than the price of the tickets you’d buy, the Pass is the better investment!

Note: Currently, Disney World Annual Passes are not available for purchase. Keep an eye here – we’ll update you when they become available!

How to Save Money on Walt Disney World Hotels

Utilize Your Member Discounts 

Whether you’re a DVC Member, Annual Passholder, or a Disney+ subscriber, there are often opportunities for discounted hotel stays at various WDW Resorts. Keep your eyes peeled for announcements on these exclusive discounts available for members of certain Disney programs and services – they can be significant! Member discounts are often between 25 and 30 percent off the base room price. 

Keep an Eye Out for Seasonal Offers

Disney often releases seasonal hotel and resort offers, which can save you a percentage off the cost of your Walt Disney World resort booking. It’s common to find seasonal offers in spring, summer, and fall – meaning you can pretty much save year-round, if you keep an eye out!

These seasonal resort and hotel offers are usually up to 25 percent off, though the discount varies depending on the hotel category you choose. These discounts are usually for specific times of year, so flexibility is key.

For example, you can save up to 25 percent on a Disney World hotel during spring and summer 2023, with discounted dates stretching into July! Annual Passholders can save even more (another potential reason to consider nabbing a pass), with discounts of up to 30 percent on a hotel stay.

How to Save Money on Food at Disney World

Sadly, the hugely popular Disney Dining Plan is no more at Walt Disney World – but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re stuck paying full-price for your meals, snacks, and foodie souvenirs during your next visit! Disney does offer limited-time discounts or vacation package deals that can help cover the cost of some of your food. You just have to keep a close eye out for the latest offers and nab them while they’re still available!

Right now, you can save BIG on food at Disney World! Disney is offering a brand new promotion that will save you up to $750 (or even as much as $1,000, in some cases) on food for your next vacation. Right now, guests will be eligible for a complimentary Disney Dining Promo Card for stays between June 25 and September 14, 2023. These stays must be a minimum of five nights with a minimum of  four days of park tickets purchased. Check out the full details of the Disney Dining Promo Card here.

This limited-time offer is a great way to save some significant money on dining in Disney restaurants for the length of your stay. Plus, you’ll get to experience some of the delicious options that Disney has to offer, without worrying about your budget!

Other Ways to Score Savings

Use Your Credit Card Perks

Are you a Disney Visa Cardholder? Show off that card proudly! Disney Visa Cardholders are eligible for some special perks at Walt Disney World – including a 10 percent discount on select merchandise and dining locations. Aren’t sure if your restaurant or merchandise is eligible? Just ask a cast member. 

Additionally, if you’ve accrued plenty of points on your Disney Visa card, you can use those points towards your next trip. Those Visa rewards points are especially valuable for Disney vacations, theme park tickets, and more. Cashing in the points can slash the price of your hotel stay, your park hopper tickets, or even merch if you put them towards a Disney gift card!

Cardholders also have access to free photos at Disney World parks. For example, you can take advantage of an exclusive character spot in EPCOT where you can meet your favorites like Mickey and Minnie. You’ll also receive a complimentary download of the photos you take. At Hollywood Studios, there’s a similar location in Star Wars Launch Bay with Star Wars characters to check out.

Save on Grocery Deliveries 

Don’t want to spend a ton by eating inside the theme parks or at resort restaurants for every meal? Use a grocery delivery service to save money! You can have food delivered right to your hotel room, which will allow you to make meals outside of the theme parks and cut down on your overall food expenses. 

Most popular delivery services such as Instacart and Publix, deliver to the Walt Disney World Resort. It’s a great way to stock up on things like bottled water, breakfast items, and even snacks. There are also private delivery services like Garden Grocer who you can coordinate with to have as much or as little as you’d like arrive at your vacation doorstep.

While these delivery services do include fees and slightly higher costs, in general they’re more affordable than eating out. Plus, you can stock up on the items you’ll use most frequently throughout your stay and even purchase items in bulk at a lower price.

Buy Discounted Gift Cards

Did you know that you can buy discounted Disney Gift Cards? It’s true – you can purchase a gift card at less than face value! It’s a great way to both stick to a set budget and save a little money by paying for your next Walt Disney World vacation with these discounted gift cards.

Stores such as Target, Sam’s Club, and Costco often offer deals like 5 percent off on Disney Gift Cards when you use a Target REDCard or purchase as a club member. 

Here’s how that discount works out: If you wanted to purchase $250 in Disney Gift Cards for your trip, you’d only pay $237.50 at Target by using your card. Another great option is BJ’s, Costco, or Sam’s Club. BJ’s often offers deals such as a $100 Disney Gift Card for just $95.99 or a $150 Disney Gift Card Pack for $144.99. While these numbers might seem small, they definitely add up and help you save money paying for food and merchandise at Disney. 

Utilize a Vacation Planner’s Help

Another way to save money on a Disney World vacation is to enlist the help of a professional – a professional vacation planner or travel agent! These pros are well-versed in all of the current and ongoing offers, promotional deals, and available discounts. That means they can help you time your theme park visits, offer advice on how to maximize savings, and get more out of both your money and your next Disney World trip.

To book with a vacation planner, or even simply see what kinds of great help they can offer, click below:

Written by Jenn Marrazzo

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Jennifer Marrazzo is a writer and adjunct professor and knows way too many facts about Disney and cruises. She’s a DVC Member and WDW Annual Passholder and has a vast collection of Disney merchandise from Beauty and the Beast to Baby Yoda. Jennifer has her own blog, The Happiest Travels on Earth, where she offers reviews and tips for Disney and cruises!
Jenn Marrazzo

Written by Jenn Marrazzo

Jennifer Marrazzo is a writer and adjunct professor and knows way too many facts about Disney and cruises. She’s a DVC Member and WDW Annual Passholder and has a vast collection of Disney merchandise from Beauty and the Beast to Baby Yoda. Jennifer has her own blog, The Happiest Travels on Earth, where she offers reviews and tips for Disney and cruises!