Saving Money At Walt Disney World

We love traveling to Disney World.  Being located on the east coast within a day’s drive makes it very possible.  We’ve broken down the four components of the cost of the trip before, but to reiterate, the cost are:

  1. Travel
  2. Lodging
  3. Park Tickets
  4. Food

So, how do we go about reducing these costs?

  1. Travel cost

We can reduce the cost of getting to Walt Disney World in a few ways.  Driving is usually the cheapest way to get there.  This may or may not be an option depending upon the number of days we have to vacation as driving consumes a full day each way.

If driving is not an option, flying can be done very, very cheaply.   Free flights or cheap flights are an option also.  The miles for the free flights can be accumulated through credit card sign up bonuses or through everyday spending.

2. Lodging

Reducing lodging costs includes a number of trade offs.  The first choice is to stay on Disney property or not.  If staying on property, look for various specials or promotions Disney may offer.  Select a cheaper Disney hotel, perhaps a moderate or a value resort.  If possible, travel at off peak times of the year when Disney discounts their hotel rooms.

Staying offsite provides the opportunity to get an inexpensive or even free hotel room.  Multiple hotel brands offer co-branded credit cards that will give large signup bonuses for meeting a minimum spend during the initial months of having the credit card.  These points can be used to book free hotel rooms while visiting Walt Disney World.  If you choose to signup for the co-branded Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card, you can accumulate enough points to stay at the Swan or Dolphin, which are located on Disney Property between Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

3. Park Tickets

There aren’t too many ways save money on park tickets.  Consider not getting park hoppers or spend days at your hotel pool instead of getting the water park option.  Or, go to the other extreme and get annual passes, which should reduce the cost of the tickets per day as you attempt to go as much as possible.  There is also the option to get a credit card that offers cash back rewards as a signup bonus and use the bonus as a way to offset the costs of park tickets (or any part of the vacation).

4. Food prices

Food can be a major cost of the price of the trip.  Stop at a nearby grocery store and grab snacks, beverages, and breakfast foods.  This reduces food costs to just lunches and dinners.  Bring lunch into the parks with you and eat dinners off property, which will greatly reduce costs.  If you purchase annual passes, you can get Tables in Wonderland to reduce the costs of table service meals.  There are also sometimes great discounts for just having an annual pass, a Disney Visa card, or being a Disney Vacation Club Member.