Wait, what?!! Is it seriously possible to go to Disney and spend LESS money than you thought you would spend? If you asked me this two weeks ago, I would have said bwhahahahaha, no. But then at the end of our trip to Disney World, this is what happened. I was checking out of our hotel and I asked my hubby…
ME: How much do you think we spent?
HUBBY: Hmm, $150 maybe??
ME: What are you smoking?
ME: Yes more. It’s not the early 1900’s.
Anyways, I was guessing the bill would be around $1000. I mean throughout the trip we had these amazing wristbands that you can charge everything on. Yayyyy, we’re not spending any money!! Oh wait, you have to pay it back later??? So when it came time to check out of our hotel, I carefully planted my feet firmly on the floor and gripped the front desk so I wouldn’t keel over when she passed me the final bill (FYI, this does not include the amount for our room and park tickets because they make you pay that ahead of time so you can’t be like WTF was I thinking and try to bail).
So the front desk person slid me the bill and I looked.
Wait, this is so low. There has to be a mistake. Don’t get me wrong, I did NOT say this out loud just in case it was a mistake. And then I hightailed it out of there before she could realize.
HUBBY: How much was it?
ME: I’ll tell you once we’re in the car.
HUBBY: That bad?
ME: That GOOD.
Yup, our bill for five days at Disney, food and drinks and Mommy drinks and lots of other stuff came to $350. I kid you not. For a family of four. And yes, I know money is relative and some people are gonna call me a jerkwad for thinking that’s cheap, but seriously people, it’s Disney, it’s gonna cost you an arm and a leg. But maybe just an arm if you listen to some of these suggestions. So here goes, eight easy tips on how to save some serious money when you go to Disney:
1. Bring your own food to the parks
And nope, you don’t have to sneak it in. It is totally allowed. And I know it might seem like a pain in the tush, but it has MANY advantages. Like for example, when everyone else is starving to death at noon and standing in long lines waiting to order their food, you can break out your packed lunch and be like ha haaaa. I mean not out loud, but in your head. And yeah Disney has some healthy choices but I know myself and I’m sure I’d just order a burger and fries and other junk, which tastes delicious but makes you feel like poop afterwards. Oh yeah, and bringing lunch saves over $50. Cha-ching!!
2. Order Amazon Prime Now shipped to your room ahead of time
So here’s how you do it. You get the Amazon Prime Now app, you place a grocery order the day BEFORE you go on vacation, and badabing badaboom, it’s at your hotel waiting for you when you arrive (they held it in their fridge until we got there!!). $70 got us all our breakfasts AND lunches for the week. Granola bars, bread, PB&J, turkey and cheese, apples, bananas, pretzels, AND water. LOTS of water.
3. Speaking of water
You know how theme parks charge you like a bazillion dollars for water? Well, Disney doesn’t. I mean they do if you buy bottles which a lot of people do– succcccckers– but you can literally walk up to any quick service restaurant and ask for cups of ice water. FOR FREE!!!!! And then you can do what we did. We brought our insulated water bottles to the park and filled them with the ice water. So guess how much I spent on water at the park? $0.
4. Get a FREE travel agent
Okay, so at first I tried to plan my trip by myself. Holy crap was I in over my head. But heck if I was gonna waste precious money on a travel agent. Wha-WHAT, they’re free?!!!! Who knew? Well, probably everyone but I’m always the last to know important stuff. Anyways, I’m sure there are tons of awesome travel agents (if you’re one, feel free to leave your info in the comments!), but I LOVED the one I used. Perfect Story Travel and I had Stacy Coker, and she totally kicked butt. She booked all of our fast passes and actually got us one for Avatar’s Flight of Passage which is like impossible. These are the four most important words you will read in this post: GET A TRAVEL AGENT. And the seven most important ones are: GET A COTTONTINI AT THE T-REX CAFÉ. It’ll make your teeth feel like they’re wearing a fur coat… in a good way.
5. Let your kids pay for their own darn stuff
So before we went, one of you awesome people told me the best idea. Give your kids Disney gift cards before you go.
That way when they ask you for nine million things (can I have Mickey ears, can I have a stuffed animal, can I have a light up wand, can I, can I, can I?!!!), you can tell them, “Yes you can. Use your gift card!!” And they won’t go over the budget. P.S. a little birdie told me you can even buy the gift cards at Target and save 5% with your red card.
6. Wake up at the butt-crack of dawn every day
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. What kind of vacation is that?! Ummm, the kind of vacation you’re paying thousands of dollars for, and the earlier you get to the park, the more rides you get on. I mean technically this doesn’t save you any money, but I’m the kind of cheapskate who divides the cost of the ticket by the number of rides we do to see if we got our money’s worth. And if you get to the park a little before it opens every day, you pretty much walk onto most of the rides for the first hour or so. Like Peter Pan had a 5-minute wait time. And then later when you see people waiting 90 minutes for Peter Pan, you can stand at the entrance and announce, “I’m so glad we didn’t wait an hour and a half for a ride that lasts 3 minutes!!” You know, if you’re a jerkwad. And then hopefully if your travel agent was smart, your fast passes start around 10:30 when the lines start getting totally cuckoo for cocopuffs.
7. If you are debating, RENT A STROLLER
This is NOT where you want to save money otherwise your kid will do THIS and your day will suck.
In fact, my hubby and I fought over whether or not to rent one for weeks, and in the end I won (duh, I don’t know why he even tries), and after the first day he literally turned to me and said, “You were right.” At that point I looked out the window to see if pigs were flying but all I saw were gorgeous fireworks.
8. Skip the memory maker package
In case you don’t know what that is, that’s where you pay $169 and there are all these places around the park where professional photographers will take your picture. I mean some people say it’s totally worth it, but here’s what would happen if I did it. I’d constantly be telling my kids to pose for pictures and they’d constantly be pitching a fit for making them stop to take pictures all day long. Plus, did you know that there are FREE photographers everywhere you go at Disney?!! They’re called regular people who will be happy to take your family’s picture if you just kindly ask them and offer to take theirs in return. See?
So there you go. Feel free to share your favorite Disney secrets in the comments– like ways to save money or other helpful stuff!!
And if you liked this, please don’t forget to like and share it. Thank you!!!!! And have a magical day!!