Disney Vacation Tips & Discounts
How to Save on Your Next Disney Vacation
One of the most memorable vacations is a trip to Disneyland or Disney World. Your family will create memories that will be talked about for many years to come. However, anyone who has taken a Disney vacation will tell you that the trip can be expensive, even after you have purchased your vacation packages. These tips can help you save on your next trip to visit the Big Mouse!
Stay On Property
Disney now offers a wide range of prices for their on-site hotels and you can pay as little as $100 per night. At Disney World, there is even a campground if you are willing to stay in a tent or RV during your stay, saving even more money. When you stay on-property, you also get several perks such as Magic Hours which give you exclusive access to the parks. Although you may be able to find a less expensive hotel off-site, you must also plan on the additional transportation time it will take you to get in and out of the parks. Some hotels have shuttles, but they have limited pick-up and drop-off times which could mean less time in the parks and more time on a shuttle bus.
Buy Tickets in Advance
You can wait to purchase your Disneyland tickets when you arrive but it is highly recommended that you do so in advance. If you stay in an on-property hotel, you can purchase your tickets within 14 days of arrival while staying off-property you must purchase them 30 days in advance. When you purchase tickets online, you can elect an e-ticket which is sent directly to your email. You simply print the tickets and present them at the gate for entry.
Visit During Non-Peak Times
The busiest times at any of the Disney Parks is during the holiday season and during times most schools are out of session. The best times to visit Disney World are during January and early February which is the height of winter in Florida. Another peak time at that park is in early September through mid-November. For Disneyland, non-peak times are from the first full week of January through the middle of February as well as the third Tuesday of February to mid-March and Mid-April through the third week of May. During these periods, you can often find less expensive packages that may even include a food plan for free, fewer crowds and shorter lines.
Shop Around for Good Packages
Although it may seem that getting a good deal through Disney Parks is the best way to go, you can actually find discounts on Disney tickets at a wide range of places. Often, stores like Costco or Sam’s Club offer Disney World tickets or other discounts to the parks to members. You can also find packages through travel agents or online sources. One of the best ways to save money on Disney tickets and packages is through EmployeeandMemberDiscounts.com where you can find savings that were previously only available to employees in certain industries or members of specific organizations. Also keep in mind that if you do plan to stay off-property, you may need additional services like rental cars where discounts may be beneficial.
Take Advantage of Free Activities
Despite the belief that Disney charges for everything, the fact is that there are many free things you can do, especially if you are staying on-property. You can wander through Animal Kingdom Lodge even if you are not a guest and glimpse flamingos, giraffe and more that reside there. You can visit Fort Wilderness and enjoy a fun campfire sing-along with Chip and Dale. The Boardwalk offers shops and restaurants but also offers fun shows that are free. The Lego store offers play tables and giant models of characters. Live music is available throughout the parks as well and many of the parks offer free movies under the stars. If you are staying on property, you can also relax by the swimming pools for a day in order to recharge for your next trek into the parks.
Plan Everything in Advance
One of the best ways to save money on a trip is to plan every detail out before you go. This means planning where you will have each meal, how much you want to spend per day and which parks you will visit when. By planning ahead, you will be less likely to spend money you didn’t plan to spend or to waste part of your day trying to decide what activity to do. If you are traveling with small children, be sure to plan in nap times each day to avoid cranky toddlers when it is time to head back to the room. You can download the Disney Parks app which will help you track wait times for rides and manage any FastPass reservations.
Take Advantage of Hopper Passes
Hopper passes are a great way to get the most out of your vacation. In Florida, you can use a hopper pass to visit all of the parks in one day rather than regular Disney World tickets that only allow you entrance into one park per day. If there are events happening at one park you are not interested in, you simply hop on a bus and head to another park to see something you are interested in seeing. With the many parks available at Disney World, a hopper pass is extremely beneficial. In California, Ride the Cars and California Adventure are very close. This can save you a considerable amount of money on your trip.
Avoid the Extras
It may be tempting to purchase extras like the Memory Maker photo pass or water park tickets but remember that those add-ons can be expensive. You will be taking your own photos, whether with your phone or a camera, so the Memory Maker photo pass might not be worth it for you. If you stay on-property, you will have a pool to splash in, many with slides and waterfalls for children so there may be no need to invest in a waterpark pa
Bring Your Own Food and a Reusable Water Bottle
You can bring your own food into the parks as long as you do not bring glass bottles or anything that needs cooking. Rooms on the property have refrigerators and the resorts allow you to have food shipped in prior to your arrival. Bring light breakfast items to eat in the room before you head out and pack lunch foods to eat at some of the beautiful picnic areas in the park. This means you only spend money on dinner. Carrying your own water bottle can also save you as much as $5 for every bottle you would have purchased. There are water fountains throughout the properties so you can fill the bottle as you need.
Make the Most of Your Vacation
Try to take in as much of Disney World and Disneyland as you can when you visit. Be sure to see the fireworks and light show at Magic Kingdom as well as the IllumiNations light show at Epcot, both of which are free. Throughout the day, shows are staged on the steps of the castles and throughout the park. There are shows inside cool, air-conditioned theaters as well which allow you to get inside out of the sun for an hour or so.
If you are planning a vacation to one of the most famous parks in the world, be sure to sign up for EmployeeandMembersDiscounts.com to save money on Disney World or Disneyland tickets, rental cars, pet care, bathing suits, backpacks and more. You can even add tickets to Universal Studios for one day outside the parks. There is no membership fee and you can begin saving money immediately.