No matter which way you want to look at it a Disney vacation is going to cost you a lot of money. but it doesn’t have to break the bank! Here are my top 5 ways to save some of your hard earned pennies when visiting Disney World from the UK.
Buy stuff ahead of time – As with any trip, the simple things will often cost you more if you wait until the last minute. Save yourself the agro and buy your bits and bobs before hand. I got out rain ponchos, nappies (Diapers) wipes, snacks and bottled drinks our first morning in Orlando from Wal-mart. With all these ready to roll I didn’t waste any time or money buying these in the parks. Many hotels will even let you ship stuff over before you arrive. Some will even do your grocery shopping for you so its all there when you arrive.
Bring necessities with you. – They will cost a fortune in the parks. By this I mean things like sun screen, tissues and stuff you’ll probably want but don’t care if they aren’t ‘Disney’ branded like a rain poncho or pair of back up flip flops. Although simple things; flip-flops, rain poncho and a back up t-shirt will run you a minimum of $15 each in the park VS $1-$8 each outside. Make smart choices people!
Share! – Food portions can be pretty large at Disney (and the USA generally for us Brits) I often shared my meals with Pygmy and we were both pretty happy with our share. (and that’s saying something coz the kid loves his food!) If you do your research you’ll find there are even some restaurants at Disney which serve food Family style!
Disney is not the only place to buy Disney merchandise! There are literally merchandise shops all over the place when you’re staying off site but in the general area of Disney. And there are some pretty good stuff to be had if you’re looking for a Disney T-shirt, hat, shorts etc. They are likely to he 50% cheaper than what you find in the Disney stores and you wont feel as morally destroyed when your kid ruins it with chocolate and food stains! (See you didn’t even think about THAT did you!)
Ditch the taxi and use local transportation. It’s actually pretty easy to get around outside of your shuttle pick up times – If like me you don’t stay on Disney property your hotel or villa complex will probably offer you a shuttle service to get you to and from the parks at designated times of the day which is great….unless you want to leave/ return outside of those times. If this is the case (and if you have small kiddos it most likely will be) let me direct your attention to the Lynx bus system.
Now as a Londoner I am no stranger to using busses or their potential pitfalls but I can say that I genuinely L.O.V.E the lynx bus system. The routes are great, on time and the staff are really friendly. But most importantly they are really cheap! Many routes even start and terminate at the Disney Ticket and Transportation Centre (T&TC) which is great.
The Disney cast members stationed here near the bus stops hold route maps and can help you get to where you need to go. If you’re lucky like I was (well actually I half chose some of my hotels because they were close to lynx stops) the bus stop will be just outside or down the street from your hotel. Which I’m sure I don’t need to tell you is a wonderful wonderful thing!
Of course there are probably 100 more ways you can save money on a trip like this but lets face it…being militantly frugal isn’t exactly enjoyable for most and definitely not fun when you’re embarking on a holiday of a lifetime. Be sensible, have fun and you’ll be fine.
Oh and if you save enough for an extra ticket…I’m always available!