Walt Disney World can be incredibly expensive, but there are things that you can skip without having a huge impact on your vacation. These may be activities, transportation, dining or souvenirs…the end goal is to keep extra cash in your pocket for experiences that will be memorable!
How To Avoid Wasting Money at Disney World
SKIP GENERIC MERCHANDISE
Want a Disney t-shirt? Make sure that it’s something that you can’t get anywhere else! Remember that ShopDisney exists and you really don’t want to pay the “theme park premium” on clothing that you can get back home.
If you do have to get a replacement item, make sure to stop at Disney Springs or head to the Orlando Premium Outlets, as the $5-10 UBER ride will be worth the savings in the end.
Items may include:
- Swimming Shorts
- Sweater/Long Sleeve Shirts
AVOID THE TEMPTATION OF GLOW IN THE DARK STUFF
Yes, your kids may want the light-up necklace or the “Glow with the Show” items (like Ears or Wands), but at the end of the day it will just run out of batteries OR won’t be fully functional when you get home.
Remember to hit up the Dollar Store before your trip if you know that your kids will want glowing stuff!
OUTDOOR VENDING CARTS
From paying for water/soda to treats like the Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bars, most of the time it’s the temptation of something right in front of you that will win out. Not saying that ice cream isn’t awesome…but it’ll just melt all over your fingers anyway;)
Plus – fun fact, you don’t get your Annual Passholder discount at Outdoor Vending Carts…so if you are a Passholder, make sure to stop inside a retail shop.
I love playing Air Hockey just like anyone else, but when you look at the prices for tokens at a Disney Resort arcade…re-investing that small fortune will get you at least a couple of Dole Whips!
If your kids want to spend time at the arcade, don’t be afraid to play the “bait and switch” and see if they’d rather hit the pool instead!
I’m not just talking about the cabs, but I’m also sticking the shuttles in the same category.
In today’s marketplace, with UBER available, there’s no reason to pay “tourist” rates for any sort of transportation. Orlando is a little behind in options, so know that you can always do better than Mears.
I’ve got the receipts and personal experiences to back up this recommendation.
DELUXE DINING PLAN
Let’s be honest, I absolutely love Disney World dining (if you couldn’t tell by now).
The Deluxe Dining Plan is the highest of the main Disney Dining Plan offerings, excluding the Premium Package or Platinum Dining Packages, which are well over $200/night per person and doesn’t make sense at all.
With the Deluxe Plan, your allocation is:
- three meals at your choice of counter service restaurants or table service restaurants (per night)
- two snacks (per night)
- one refillable drink mug (per stay)
Pricing in 2019 is $116.25 per adult per night and $43.49 per child per night.
I’ve had friends get this package because their travel agent suggested it, but at the end of the day…just get the Standard Disney Dining Plan and you’ll be more than happy and won’t feel ripped off when you get home!
Specifically Resort Pizza delivery, which can be ordered at select Disney Hotels from 5pm til midnight or 1am, is the biggest rip off that I can think of!
Just don’t do it. You can spend your money more wisely…I’ve got faith in you!
Hope this was helpful!
I’ll be adding more to this list as they come to mind, but the main goal is to have you think about your overall budget, as the one-off’s and unneeded purchases can add up to take over a real memorable experience.