There's no way around it, no many how stars you wish upon-Disney theme parks are really expensive. You can easily stick to the bare necessities and have a grand ole time, but why not try out a few tricks of the trade to stretch your dollar even farther? Just say, "Hakuna Matata," and follow these worry-free, money-saving steps on the road to see Mickey and his pals, cheaper than ever.
Disney travel agents are there to actually help you successfully plan a cheaper, more efficient trip to Disney. They're total pros and can get you the sweetest deals. There are a variety of sites like the one here that can help you plan out your whole vacation to save loads of time and money.
Everyone who knows Disney knows that the parks can get insanely crowded, especially in the summer months and during the Christmas season. However, using a crowd calendar like the one here can help you find the cheapest (and least crowded) time of year possible. These calendars will help you pinpoint months when the parks are less crowded and flights are less expensive.
Popsugar | Instagram user ohyeahdisney
Several websites and travel companies feature a variety of discounts that can help get the magic started without digging a pit in your wallet. The site featured here has great suggestions for planning out your Disney World or Disneyland vacation so that you can meet the big mouse in style.
Who would've known that you could buy Disney World gift cards at Target? If you're sneaky, this hack can save you a little each time you spend. With a Target Red Card, you save 5% of every purchase, which usually excludes gift cards, but the Disney card counts as an entertainment card-so you can actually save money on Disney purchases ahead of time. Way to work the system!
Huffington Post | Walt Disney World Resort (Courtesy Disney)
If you are an active or retired U.S. military personnel, a member of AAA, or D23 club, you've gotta check out the Disney discounts offered exclusively to you! You can actually get discounted tickets to the parks, so don't pass up these deals. Learn more here.
Don't forget to mention your special occasion, whether it's a birthday, anniversary, or first time trip to Disney, because you will be gifted with a personalized button to wear around the park all day!
Bottled water may seem tempting when the temps are high, but at pretty much every restaurant or food establishment, you can ask for a cup of ice water to help quench your thirst after a full day of walking. Forget drinking fountains and sugar-heavy soft drinks, and get as much free water as you can drink. You'll need it.
Rather than waiting in more exhausting, long lines and spending big bucks on typical french fries, pizza, burgers and nuggets, you can actually pack food and drinks to bring in to the park. This is one way to save BIG money, eat healthier, and make dinners and desserts actually purchased at the park that much more special. Just in case you're skeptical, this tip is listed in the park's guidelines and regulations, here.
Matt Stroshane, photographer | ResortLoop.com
There are tons of sneaky ways to save a little green on food at Disney. Although everything is ridiculously overpriced, the website featured here has lots of tips on how to find the cheapest foods and spots in the park. They've even got advice for finding the best values for character dining and printing off coupons for restaurants nearby! Always worth a peek.
Everyone wants to take back a special memory from Disney, but sometimes they just aren't worth the insane price tags. However, you can get free souvenirs (along with as many pictures as you want), just by asking nicely. Ask a member of the Jungle Cruise for a free antique-style map and request to steer Mark Twain's Riverboat and earn a free special certificate! Scrapbook-worthy memories at no added cost.
Flickr user Payitno
If you stay at any of the resorts in Walt Disney World, you can benefit by skipping out on $17 parking and hopping on the complimentary shuttle that will take you right to the entrance of the parks. Learn more about this deal here.
Make sure you check out the AppStore to stock up on free Disney World and Disneyland apps that remind you of park opening and closing hours, special events and waiting times for various rides. They are totally worth downloading in order to get to your favorite spots and rides and beat the crowds.
Just when you thought Disney had it all, they introduce a shiny new credit card that gives you insider perks for Disney parks. If you are a true Disney fanatic, you probably already have this, but if you don't, it is totally worth checking out. You can get premiere seating at some of the shows, discounts at the resorts and rewards every time you spend. Learn more here.
Disneyland actually extends its hours in the summertime so that you can have fun on rides all day and party all night. While off-peak seasons are quieter and often generally cheaper, you get more bang for your buck with extended hours in the summer, so it might just be worth the cost for all-day Disney adventures.
While the rides and characters are obviously some of the biggest highlights of the Disney parks, there are plenty of free activities around Disney parks-especially if you are starting to feel worn out. At Disney World, the BoardWalk features street performers, carnival games, cheap eats and beautiful sights reminiscent of 1940s Coney Island. Also, Downtown Disney has interactive fountains, The Lego Imagination Center with a huge play area (with Legos, of course), and great window shopping. That's not all...learn more here.
While PhotoPass Photographers do take professional pics that you can have printed for a hefty cost, they're more than happy to snap a quick pic on your phone if you ask nicely. You'll be smiling for the camera just knowing that you saved a quick buck (or several bucks) and have a high quality Instagram ready to go. After all, photos make the best souvenirs.
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