Saving Money on your Disney Trip Before You Go

5:00:00 AM

Here are a few ideas I have to save money by prepping before you go on a Disney trip. You're already spending lots of money, so any little bit helps!

Make your packing and souvenir lists early.

If you plan ahead, then you will have time to wait on shipping, hit seasonal sales, and use coupons. There are many sites out there with “ultimate” packing lists for all age groups. Take advantage of these lists and make a shopping list as early as possible. You can also decide what you can live without, what you can buy, and what you can make (see below).

Explore Thrift and Consignment Shopping.

Consignment sales are full of Disney clothes for kids for a few dollars per shirt. I think the most I spent on any one article of clothing for them was $3. It really is worth the effort to get up early and dig through the piles of stuff.

Look at Disney Movie Rewards.

If you buy any movie made by Disney on Bluray or DVD, then you can earn Disney Movie Rewards by entering codes on their website. They also occasionally release bonus points that you don't need to make a purchase to use. We had accrued quite a few points, and just for kicks I went looking to see if there was any Disney stuff that I could get for free from using my Rewards. The inventory changes constantly, but we were able to find some fun stuff for me and Lil Bit. I got a Mickey hat and some Minnie Sleeves (like leg warmers, but for arms). Lil Bit got a baseball hat. These were all super fun items that we got just because we had purchased movies (or received them as gifts) that we would have owned anyway.

Make your own gear.

If you have a craft cutting machine like a Silhouette Potrait or Cameo, then making a mickey head shape is very easy, but even if you don’t own a craft digital cutting tool, it is a simple shape that you can cut out with an xacto blade. If you cut it out of vinyl, you can apply it to various surfaces. You can also cut shapes out of contact paper (or vinyl but contact paper is cheaper) to use as a stencil to paint shirts and other items.

Buy snacks ahead of time.

It is a lot cheaper to have some emergency snacks in a bag from the grocery store than to have to shell out a lot of money inside the park. Even better if you buy those snacks on sale!

Bring a water bottle.

99% of the time, Florida is hotter than the rest of the U.S. California is pretty mild, too. You will be outside and moving around more than usual, most likely. It is important to stay hydrated, and like everything else, water bottles and drinks can get pricey. And you can personalize your water bottles.

I made some for the kids with Mickey, or you can go with a more sophisticated one with names like Allison at House of Hepworths did here.

Do research.

Is staying on site the way to go? Or is renting a house? Or would you prefer an off-site hotel? You need to figure out what makes the most sense for your group. Since our group consisted of 2 families with a lot of little kids, we decided that a house worked best for us. That meant we couldn’t use the meal plan, since we stayed off site. We decided that the extra room was worth the lack of meal plan and the commute to the parks. If you look, you can easily spend around $150 a night total, even for a house, depending on the season. It may work better to be on site, but that’s the point…do your research!

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