It’s no secret that a vacation to Disney World can get pretty expensive. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you budget accordingly!
Between all the snacks, souvenirs, park tickets, and hotel prices, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed about your Disney World expenses. It’s true that there’s no way around some of the costs of a Disney trip, but here are some simple tricks to help manage your budget!
1. Buy Disney Gift Cards for In-Park Purchases
Worried about blowing your budget on all of the awesome snacks and souvenirs you spot around the parks (we’ve been there!)? That’s where this tip comes in handy! You can buy Disney gift cards ahead of your vacation to give yourself a set budget for in-park purchases.
Even if you don’t want to use gift cards for all your purchases, there are plenty of specific scenarios in which using one to cap your spending can be helpful.
For example, we often start our day at EPCOT festivals by loading a gift card with the amount of money we plan to spend eating and drinking around the booths so we don’t get too carried away! Gift cards can also be helpful for giving the kiddos a set spending limit on souvenirs.
And as an added bonus, you might even be able to snag your Disney gift cards at a discount ahead of your trip! If you purchase gift cards with a Target Red Card, you can get them for 5% off. You can also pick up discounted gift cards at Sam’s Club!
That means this tip can help you both budget your expenses AND save money so you can stretch your Disney dollars farther!
2. Pack Theme Park Essentials With You
There are some items you’re almost guaranteed to need in Disney World. Things like a refillable water bottle, poncho, umbrella, sunscreen, and snacks are a few of our park bag essentials!
To help stretch your spending money farther, be sure to bring these items, as well as any other day-to-day must-haves from home.
You can still buy these things around Disney World in a pinch, but they’ll be MUCH more expensive than purchasing them outside of the Resort!
By planning ahead and packing these necessities from home, you can free up more of your Disney budget for “fun” purchases like extra snacks or a new pair of Minnie Ears! We recently wore a Disney poncho during a storm — you can read our full review here to see if you think that’s an expense you’d want to add on in Disney World.
3. Be Strategic About Your Add-On Purchases
There’s no shortage of add-on options and upgraded experiences to be found in Disney World. But just because something is more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it will be “better” for your family.
For example, if you prefer to take your days a little slower or you’re traveling with people who can only spend a few hours out and about in the parks each day, park hopper tickets might not be useful to you.
On the other hand, if you do plan to spend as much time in the parks as possible, or if you’re traveling with little ones who prefer lots of Disney theming over fancy decor, a Deluxe Resort might not be worth the splurge for your vacation.
And while Cinderella’s Royal Table is a bucket list meal for many Disney fans, it may not be worth the hefty price tag if your traveling party isn’t big on the royal theming.
When planning your Disney trip, don’t opt for add-ons or high-priced options just because someone else said it was the best of the best. Do your research ahead of time to pick the experiences that your family is likely to enjoy and skip the rest.
Trying to budget for a Disney World vacation can feel overwhelming. And it’s true that there are definitely some super pricy, budget-busting options out there! But luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to make managing your expenses much easier. Keep these tips in mind when planning your next trip to help you save some money for the fun purchases on your wishlist!
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What are your best Disney World budgeting tips? Let us know in the comments!