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Unlocking Magical Savings: How to Keep Your Disney Trip Budget Friendly

budget disneyland genie+ military saving money universal walt disney world Nov 01, 2023
Saving Money on your Disney Trip

Are you ready to embark on a magical Disney journey without breaking the bank? As a Travel Agent, former Disney Cast Member, and mom to a lively toddler, I understand the importance of making every dollar count during your Disney adventure. Here are some tips and tricks to making the most of your vacation dollars. 

Choose the right dates

While there is no longer a true "off season" there are slower weeks/months than others. Disney will offer really great package discounts during these times of year. My favorite weeks to look at are January 9th to January 31st. These dates often have multiple available discounts, the weather is cool, and the crowds are lower too!

Plan well in advance whenever possible

The less expensive resorts/rooms book up first, so your best bet is always to reserve your room early. While Disney won't release discounts until a few months prior to a particular date, I look at previous years' discounts, coupled with the events schedule and can pretty accurately tell you which dates will be most likely eligible for discounts. Then when those promotions are released, I can apply the discount to the pre-made reservation, often saving hundreds of dollars! Every time a promotion is released, I'm checking to see which of my clients have eligible reservations.

When planning last-minute, be prepared to be a little bougie

There are lots of great discounts available for many last-minute reservations, but you'll find most of those discounts at the Moderate and Deluxe resorts.

There are huge discounts for military

If someone in your travel party is military (active duty, reserve, etc), be sure to work with a travel agent who is personally familiar with the Military Salutes program. There are huge discounts available to you, but also some very specific issues I've personally run into when buying the tickets from the ITT office on base.

Have groceries delivered

Even if you don't want to cook on vacation, a great way to save money is to have some easy breakfast food, snacks, and drinks delivered to your room. Having breakfast in your room also saves time, so you can get to the parks faster, and having snacks and drinks in the room helps avoid those frequent trips to the vending machines.

Bring reusable water bottles

It can get HOT at the Disney parks, and the average person walks 7 miles a day while there, so it's important to stay hydrated. Not only can you bring your full water bottle into the parks, but there are also refill stations throughout the parks (often near a restroom). My family still likes to order sodas during meals, but having the water available to solve the basic hydration needs adds up to a big savings.

Don't split your time between Universal and Disney

if you can devote 3+ days to each one, then ignore this tip. If you're thinking you want to do 2 days at Disney and 1 at Universal to "save money", I'm here to tell you that this is actually a very expensive option. These theme parks offer bigger discounts on tickets the more days you purchase. So by doing just one or two days, you're paying top dollar for these tickets.

Bring your own...

Bubble wand, princess dress, and misting fan (in the Spring/Summer/Fall), and sweater for the evenings (in the late Fall through early Spring): These items in the parks are very pricey, so be sure to bring them from home.

Buy Genie+ 

I know this post is about saving money, not spending it, but hang in there with me. When used properly, Genie+ allows you to wait in much shorter lines throughout your day. When do children get antsy? In lines. When do children (and adults) get cranky? In lines. When do adults start wondering "why did we spend this much just to wait in lines all day?" While they're in those lines. Buying Genie+ helps reduce tantrums (from children and adults alike) and increases the overall return on investment for your trip.

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