Monday, April 11, 2011

Disney on a Budget - Part 3

Be sure to check out the first two parts of Disney on a Budget - Part 1 and Part 2.

Now let's get down to business.  So I have told you about using a vacation planner (me), about the meal plans, about planning your meals (this is mainly if you are not on the meal plan), about your kids age - go before 3 when they are still free and before 10 when they are still "kids" - resort options and resort seasons.  Ok so what are this weeks 3 tips....

1.) Transportation.  Did you know that by staying on Disney property you can save quite a bit on transportation?  Airline transfers to your resort can be very costly!  For a family of four - 2 adults and 2 children - you are looking at around $100 to ride on a shuttle that makes stops other places.  Think of what you could do with that $100!  By staying onsite at a value resort - which is usually comparable in price to the off site resorts and you get the Magic 24/7! - or any resort onsite you can take advantage of Disney's Magical Express.  This is a FREE service provided by Disney to get you to and from the airport.  They will even get your luggage for you!!  Also when staying on property you get the use of the Disney transportation system.  Really anyone with a park ticket can utilize their internal transportation, but it really benefits those on property since it takes you to and from your resort hotel.  This is not about staying on or off site though, right?  So lets say you thought you saved money by staying off site and you got a rental car because well you are renting a house and well you get the idea - did you add the cost of the rental that you wouldn't have needed had you been on site to the money you thought you saved?  Rental cars are around $150-$200 a week for a sedan!  Now there is gas and oh yeah parking - $12 a day last I was there!!  A day!!  So you are there for 7 days - That is almost $300!!  Yikes!  So save a little by staying on site and getting free transportation for a week!  :-)

2.) Bring it from home. There are SO many items you can bring from home instead of buying there.  And if you have been before pack it and bring it with you for that next trip - think light up spinning toys, one only needs so many of them!!  What we bring from home - T-shirts bought at the Disney Store (much cheaper than the ones in the park, although we usually get one on the trip), Light up Spinny Toy know what I am talking about :-), Tylenol or any medicine really (you never know if you will need it and it costs a fortune there), Misty Fan, Hand held fans, etc.  We also drive down so we buy a case of water outside of the parks and keep it in a cooler in our room and bring our own water into the parks and our own snacks.  If you don't have a car - did you know you can ship stuff to the resort?  Yup you can do this!  Check shipping prices before as it may be more costly than buying down there and I have never done it.  But I know those that have - if not water definitely snacks and meds and stuff of the like. 

3.) Park Tickets. Well there isn't much wiggle room here, but a few years ago Disney did decide to give us choices.  They call the tickets Magic Your Way for a reason!  :-)  First of all they have them tiered so that the more days you are there the cheaper they are per day.  For instance currently a one day base ticket is $82/day and a 10 day ticket is $26.20/day or $262 for an adult.  Now of course they are doing this to entice you to stay longer and you will spend more by doing so!  One option, that I spoke about in a previous post, is the park hopper.  This is one I always get, but it is not a necessity and can save you a couple hundred dollars to not add on - it is $54 a ticket.  So bear this in mind and know there are ways to save on this must have!

What are your tips for saving on Disney???


  1. Definitely, keep your Misty fan if you buy one and bring it with you on every trip. The first time we went to Disney we bought one because it was so hot. It cost $17.00 I think. We saved it and packed it when we returned for our next trip. We also made sure we saved and packed the autograph book and pen as well as the coin book we purchased. We'll continue to save and pack those items until they are filled. Too expensive to keep buying these items on every trip. Good advance you are giving.

  2. Good Tips!! We do the DDP and I pack drinks for us to bring into the park so we dont waste our snack credit on a bottle of water.. Not really saving us money per say but getting a better value for our buck. I also pack glow sticks for the parades and fireworks, my little one doesn't care where these come from just as long as she has one. And we also do the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique but I buy a princess dress of her choice at our Disney store which is significantly cheaper and then I do the $50.00 package instead of the $200+ package.

  3. We used Garden Grocer ( when we went down with a toddler. Their prices were comparable to grocery stores and they delivered right to our room. You also pay for delivery and tip, but it's still better than buying in the parks. We bought diapers, wipes, snacks, juice. We also participated in a fridge swap since you have to pay for fridge rentals at POP. (FYI we tried the fridge swap again in 2010 and it didn't work out, but in 2009 it was great.)