Colossal Money Wasters at Disney World

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!

SKIP GENERIC MERCHANDISE

Minnie Mouse Plush at The Emporium in the Magic Kingdom (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

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
  • Plush Toys
  • Socks
  • Sunglasses
  • Sweater/Long Sleeve Shirts

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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

Outdoor Vending at EPCOT (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

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.

Not Exciting Desserts

Cookies at Contempo Cafe at Disney’s Contemporary Resort (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

Why would you spend $3.50 for a cookie when you can buy something special that you can only get at Disney World?

This is an easy one. Just make sure that you have a few snacks that you would want to splurge on IF you are needing a quick hit of energy.

ARCADES

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!


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MEARS

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.


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PIZZA

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.

Colossal Money Wasters at Disney World

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