1. Travel During Off-Peak Seasons
In other words, travel when school’s in session. Summer Break, Christmas Break, and Spring Break are all peak travel seasons for Disney vacationing. Because of the increase in demand, you’ll be paying a higher price. This is true for Disneyland, Disney World, and especially true for Disney Cruise Line. Consider a family of four embarking on a 7-night eastern Caribbean cruise from Port Canaveral. This itinerary in mid July is priced as high as $8,956 whereas the first week of March it’s priced at $5,695. That’s over a $3,000 price difference!
2. Don’t Buy High Mark-Up Items in the Parks
Sun-tan lotion, batteries, misting fans, peanut butter and jelly, and bottled water are items that you should NOT buy inside a Disney park or on a Disney cruise. Their mark-up is anywhere between 180% and 375% when compared to normal retail store pricing. These items should be bought either before your trip or away from the parks.
Genie Tip: Instead of buying bottled water, simply go to a Starbucks or a counter service location and ask for a glass of ice tap water — it’s free!
3. Buy Disney Gift Cards to Stick to Your Budget
When you’re on a Disney vacation it’s hard not to break the bank on Disney souvenirs. There’s just so much cool stuff you’ve never seen before! That’s why we recommend buying a Disney gift card to fit your souvenir budget. Once that money’s spent, that’s it!
Genie Tip: This also works for buying food from the pavilions at Epcot during the Food & Wine Festival, Flower & Garden Festival, or the Arts Festival.
4. Use Every Disney Discount Available
It amazes us how many Disney vacationers don’t utilize perks they already have. Whether you’re a Disney Vacation Club Member, Disney World annual passholder, Disneyland annual passholder, or Disney Visa card holder, you should KNOW your discounts and USE them.
And if you’re not any of these, we strongly recommend you consider the Disney visa card. It comes with some pretty awesome perks that can save your family serious money, including:
0% APR on Your Disney Vacation Financing
Exclusive Character Experiences
10% Off Certain Dining Locations
10% off Merchandise
20% Off Select Disney Cruise Line Onboard Spa Packages
Click HERE for a full list of benefits.
And if you’re a foodie family traveling to Disney World, consider Tables in Wonderland. It’s a membership card that entitles you to a 20% off discount on food and beverage purchases (including alcohol) through-out most of Disney World. And while the $200 price (150$ for annual passholders) might seem steep, it’s not when you consider the cost of most table-service meals. It will pay for itself quicker than you think.
5. Buy Souvenirs Before You Go
While there are some souvenirs you can’t buy until you’re on your Disney vacation, there’s many you can buy before. And if you can, do it — you’ll save money! Trust us, your kids or significant other won’t care where their plush Mickey came from, they’ll just be happy to get it! Just make sure you keep it hidden until you’re on your trip and the moment’s right.
6. Use a Disney Travel Agent
Disney is always running several promotions at once, making it time consuming and difficult to figure out which offer is the best deal for your family. Hiring a Disney travel agent doesn’t cost you anything, and they’ll make sure you get the best deal for your family by comparing all the offers available. As a added bonus, they’ll keep checking to see if Disney releases any new deals, even after your vacation is booked. (Check out our services HERE.)