Here it is… my list of Mouse $aving Tips to help you save while you enjoy the magic of Disney!
-Take advantage of the deals that Disney offers throughout the year. They can be a substantial savings, especially if you are staying for at least 4 or 5 nights.
-Call 1-407-W-Disney and ask! Do not be afraid! Sometimes they will be able to help you with a better deal.
-Know the peak and off-peak times of the year. Go at Spring Break, pay more. Go the two weeks before Christmas, pay less.
-Have a budget in mind.
-Think about what type of resort you want to stay at. If you want to stay at a Deluxe resort, but cannot afford the price, check into renting Disney Vacation Club points. If you will stay at a Value resort, definitely check into any packages.
-Do you have a large family? Think about a suite or possibly two rooms. This is definitely where DVC points come in handy. We are DVC members and we get a 2 bedroom suite and it fits 7 adults and 2 children.
-The key to tickets is, the longer you stay, the less you pay! Go for one day, expect to pay $$$.
-I hate to say it, but the only time you should buy tickets directly from the Happiest Place on Earth, is when you purchase a package.
-I buy my tickets directly from Undercover Tourist.com or Maple Leaf Tickets They are reputable companies and they already include the tax.
-Buy at LEAST a Park Hopper. If you can swing it and want water parks etc, get the Park Hopper with Water Parks.
Every mom knows that kids (and parents) can change their minds in an instant. Imagine this… You bought a 4 day Magic Your Way Ticket which entitles you to one park per day. Well, you want to hit the 4 parks on your trip. So, you go to Magic Kingdom on the 1st day, Epcot on the last, Animal Kingdom on the 3rd and on the 4th, you planned to go to Hollywood Studios. Sounds like a great plan, right?
Maybe. But, what if your princess was tired and couldn’t stay up to see the Wishes fireworks at Magic Kingdom, or your pirate never had the chance to ride Pirates of the Caribbean and your family still wanted to go to Hollywood Studios? You wouldn’t be able to get back to the Magic Kingdom for either of those things AND go to Hollywood Studios. That’s where the Park Hopper comes in! With the Park Hopper, you can visit (if you dared to!) all 4 parks in a day. Doubtful you would want to, but THAT would be completely up to you! The Park Hopper would have enabled you for instance, to go to the Magic Kingdom in the morning, go back to your resort for a dip in the pool, then head to Epcot for Illuminations that night. Also, a very important thing to know is, if you go to the Magic Kingdom in the morning and you DON’T have a Park Hopper and you have dining reservations in Epcot that night, you are out of luck. You need a theme park ticket to get into Epcot, even for dinner.
-I have a whole section Dining which can walk you through deciding whether you want to pay OOP(out of pocket) or get a Disney Dining Plan. I always recommend the dining plan because the money spent on food at Disney can add up VERY quickly! With the dining plan, you pay a set price, per night you are staying. You decide whether you want Quick Service or Deluxe Dining. I opt for Deluxe Dining because it includes one Quick Service meal, one snack and one Table Service meal. If you are staying multiple nights, you can “save up” your meals to use 2 Table Service credits for say, Cinderella’s Royal Table. Most restaurants take 1 credit, but the special ones like that, use 2. Most character meals are 1 TS credit. This year, they also added the refillable cup that can be used at your resort over and over again for your thirsty travelers!
-Want to save big when you go in the theme parks? Bring your own juice, snacks etc! The great thing about Disney, even if you aren’t driving, is that you can order food and have it delivered to your hotel. You also can ship food ahead of your trip and the hotel will hold it for you. You can use the service GardenGrocer.com where you order groceries and they will deliver them with an added delivery fee. Some people order through Sam’s Club and have items shipped. If you have a car, we always head to Publix (or another local store like Target) and buy water, capri suns, juice boxes, fruit snacks etc. We do this right after we check in. Hubby takes the kids to play and my mom and I head to the store. The most awesome thing is you don’t even have to lug your groceries to your room! Drive up to the front, and the bell hop will take them from you and deliver them to your room. Just make sure you “thank” aka, tip, your magical cast member!
*One important note about Capri Suns and juice boxes. Do not bring them into Animal Kingdom. Because of the animals that reside there, no straws are allowed anywhere in the park, except for the special paper, bio-degradeable ones they supply!
Another tip! If you have a cooler or freezer in your room, freeze the bottled water and juices! Believe me, when you are in the park and it’s 90 billion degrees, you will be SO HAPPY you took my advice. By that time it will have thawed a bit and it will be the best thing you could wish for! Talk about magic! 🙂
– If you are on the Dining Plan, make use of those snack credits. Even the little kiosks that are scattered throughout the parks WILL accept your DDP (Disney Dining Plan). So, if you haven’t packed a drink and you are dying of thirst, use your snack credit for a drink. (I would choose if at all possible to use a snack credit on something yummy like a chocolate covered strawberry at Goofy’s Candy Company in Downtown Disney or something like that!)