Desperate for a trip to Disney but scared of the cost? A cheap Disney holiday may be the impossible dream, but here we share some tips to saving a little money on your Disney holiday.
1. Always shop around
Always begin your search on flight finder sites such as SkyScanner, Momondo or Kayak for the cheapest deals. These sites usually have a ‘view month’ facility, where you’re able to look at dates around the time you’d like to go, so being flexible on your dates can also save money. In the below image you can see prices range from £150 – £460 for flying in the same month.
Don’t just shop around for flights though. You should do this for your car parking, insurance, spending money, car hire, hotels, tickets…literally everything you buy before you go.
2. Don’t stay at your departure airport
If you’re anything like us you’ll often aim to get to the departure airport the night before you’re flight, especially if you leave early in the morning. Consider staying a little further away from the airport. When we fly from Manchester we usually stay in the Travelodge in Altrincham. It may be a 20 minute drive to the airport but at £37 a night, it is much cheaper than the £75-£105 hotels closer to the airport charge. That saving pays for your car parking for the length of your trip.
3. Don’t forget your cash back
Remember when booking any aspect of your holiday to use cashback sites like Quidco or TopCashBack. Expedia, Hotels.com and LastMinute.com all offer up to or over 10% of booking cost. Airlines Virgin Atlantic and Thomas Cook also have deals. It may not be much in the grand scheme of things, but it’s better than nothing, right?
4. Stay off-site
There’s something magical about staying in a Disney hotel on your trip, however with that magic comes additional cost. You can find similar or (dare I say it) better quality hotels just down the road from the Magic Kingdom. Recently we stayed several nights at The Point Orlando Resort on International Drive and it was perfect. You will need to take into account the additional cost of getting to the Parks, but more often than not there is still a saving.
5. Do a Big shop
One of the first things we usually do on arrival is a big shop at Walmart. Whilst it’s great to pick up snacks and meals inside the parks, the cost can add up very quickly. 14 days of Disney snacks just isn’t sustainable for some, so head to the nearest Walmart and pick up some bits for packed lunches or for meals in your hotel.
If you don’t have the means or time to get to a store, there’s several reasonably priced grocery delivery options available in Orlando…and the usual takeaways.
Note that places like Walmart and Walgreens often stock some great Disney merchandise at a fraction of the cost of the merchandise in the parks.
6. Avoid the soda
In the soaring Florida heat it’s absolutely necessary to stay hydrated. The temptation to buy a soda (or even pay for water) is all over the park, what they don’t advertise is the free cups of iced water. Not only are these free but they are healthier than and keep you more hydrated than a Coke will. Cups of ice water are available from most dining areas with a soda machine, usually quick service places.
If the kids won’t drink just water, take it one step further and take some of those Robinson’s Squash’d fruit drinks with you to squirt in the water.
If this isn’t for you, then consider taking a refillable bottle and use the fountains around the parks to top up throughout the day.
7. Plan some days away from Parks
A great way to save some money is to reduce the number of days you spend in the parks. Florida has so much to offer alongside the Disney parks, including beautiful beaches (we LOVE St. Pete’s and Clearwater beach), some amazing wildlife and a host of other things to do; Everglades, Kennedy space centre, Miami Beach, Daytona 500 and more.
It’s always wise to include some rest days in your itinerary anyway. Go shopping at one of the many malls, or spend a day by the pool.
8. Don’t pay for Photopass
Disney’s Photopass is a great way to get some professional quality photos in good locations around the park, but these photos are expensive to purchase. Instead, politely ask the photographer to take a picture on your own camera and they’ll (usually) happily oblige.
If you are still interested in making use of Disney’s Photopass, click here for info.