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Tips on Saving Money For Your Disney Vacation

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You’ve decided! You’re going to Walt Disney World for your next vacation. But what are the best tips to help you save for the trip? While some suggestions are clear (who hasn’t put loose change away in a piggy bank before?), others aren’t always so obvious (like joining TheMouseForLess Facebook Group, with members eager to help fellow Disney fans save money.) Here are some fantastic money-saving tips that we think will help raise funds for the trip a little easier.

Use a Disney Authorized Vacation Planner

The Magic For Less Travel

Based on the need to fill rooms, Disney offers a variety of discounts and special promotions throughout the year for Walt Disney World Resort Rooms and Vacation Packages. These discounts come in the form of strategically released codes. If you are not keeping abreast of discounts, you could miss out on saving hundreds of dollars.

While you can do the footwork of finding these discounts yourself, the more straightforward solution is to utilize a Disney-specialized travel agent to make sure you don’t miss out on any savings. Not all Disney-specialized travel agencies are equal, though. Visit our Authorized Disney Vacation Planners page to learn more about what sets these Disney-specialized travel agencies apart.

Disney Gift Card

Purchase Disney Gift Cards for Special Occasions

Many guests spend months planning for their Disney vacation. Therefore, Disney gift cards are the perfect way to save money for Disney. They’re the perfect option to give to the kids (or yourself) for special occasions such as birthdays, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, and holidays.

Disney gift cards can be used for purchases at participating locations at Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, aboard Disney cruises, and DisneyStore.comDisney Gift Cards can be used for purchasing merchandise, meals, recreational activities, room charges at Disney-owned hotels, park tours, theme park admission tickets, and annual passes. Some restrictions may apply.

Often, many retail and grocery stores will sell Disney Gift Cards. You can check your local stores such as Walgreens, Kroger, Target, Walmart, and more.  With a little time and planning, you can save money purchasing Disney Gift Cards. One option is to buy gift cards when they are discounted for store sales, like Black Friday.

You can also choose to order your Disney Gift Cards online at DisneyStore.com. Two different options will work at Disney destinations — the Disney gift card, featuring a choice of your favorite characters to appear on the front, and the personalized gift card, which allows you to include a personal photo and message and a specialized 5×7 card carrier of your choice. Both of these options are available in $25 increments, up to $150 plus denominations of $200, $250, $300, and $500.

Sign up for a Disney Visa Rewards Card

Saving Money for Disney

The Disney Rewards Visa Card from Chase Bank is Disney’s official reward credit card. Cardholders can enjoy various Disney discounts, theme park perks, promotions, and advanced vacation bookings. This card is a must for all Disney Parks fans! To learn more, visit our Disney Rewards Visa Card page.

Invest in a Disney GuideBook

A Disney World guidebook can help plan your vacation and budget, saving money. Here are a few guidebooks that TheMouseForLess recommends:

Birnbaum’s Walt Disney World – This is the official guidebook to Disney. In addition to a wealth of planning information, this book is also a source of valuable coupons. Previous editions have come with plenty of discount coupons that include select Walt Disney World tours, restaurants, shops, recreation, and more.

Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World – This is probably the most comprehensive Disney guidebook available on the market and gives very objective opinions. It shows both the good and the bad.

TheMouseForLess has compiled a complete selection of Disney Guide books to view at your local library and read a current one for free.

Discounts on Visit Orlando

The Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau has great deals for the Orlando area listed on its website. There are area restaurants, attractions, hotels, and rental cars. A list of area discounts can be found on the website.

Save on Memory Maker or Disney PhotoPass

Disney’s PhotoPass and Memory Maker photography services allow park guests to have great high-resolution photos taken by Disney photographers using state-of-the-art digital equipment at some of the parks’ most picturesque locations. Even better, your photos can be accessed, shared, and ordered online.

While Disney’s PhotoPass service is free in the parks, keep in mind that it is not necessarily cheap to purchase these photos online. Several discounts can make buying your PhotoPass photos a little more affordable, though. Often the most effective way to save on those family photos is to pre-order a photo package.

To learn more, about Disney PhotoPass, Memory Maker, and more visit our PhotoPass and Memory Maker pages. There, you’ll also find money-saving tips and how to get a special discount offer when you pre-order Memory Maker.

Join TheMouseForLess Facebook Group

Get all your vacation planning questions answered by our veteran members and group moderators on our Facebook discussion group. Our group covers all Disney Destinations and vacations such as Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Hong Kong, Tokyo Disneyland, Shanghai Disney, Aulani – A Disney Resort and Spa, Disney Vacation Club, plus share money-saving ideas and tips. To learn more or to join, click here.

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Subscribe to The Mouse For Less Newsletter

If you are thinking about a Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland, or Disney Cruise Line vacation, you’ll want to subscribe to our free and informative newsletter, The Mouse For Less Newsletter, and receive email alerts about special money-saving promotions to Disney destinations.  To subscribe, click here and enter your email address.

Know how to Find Discounts

You can locate savings throughout TheMouseForLess.com website. If you are planning a Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, or Universal Resort Orlando vacation, the absolute best place to start is on our Current Code page. In addition, here are some other great places to check are the following pages:

If you’re planning to take multiple trips to Walt Disney World, make sure to check out this page, full of great tips for saving money for Disney.

Tips From TheMouseForLess to Save for Your Trip

Accruing cash for your vacation is just a matter of creativity. Here are a few ideas from MFL Group Members:

  • Round up your savings from coupons and sales to the nearest dollar and deposit them into your savings account. ~ Joan F.
  • Saving money for Disney is something everyone wants to do. Any money that I take out of the family checking account for carry-around cash, if not spent by the next payday, goes into my Disney savings account. ~ Dorothy B.
  • I try to put a little bit of money every week on a Disney gift card. Instead of buying coffee 2 or 3 times a week, I put it on a card. The last time we went to Disney, I had saved around $500. That was a pretty good chunk of our food budget. ~ Becky in Illinois
  • We have a continuous “trip fund” savings account. In the jar goes any rebates, taste test checks, and recycling money, along with loose change collected daily. We’ll also put in part of our tax refunds, have a garage sale, and take any old books and videos we don’t want anymore to HalfPrice Books who’ll buy them from us. ~ Shannon
  • Last year when I was planning a family trip, I started buying Disney Gift Cards about a year before the vacation. I bought one for each of my kids, their significant others, and my grandson, and once a month, I added money to one of the cards. By the time we went, they each had enough money to spend on whatever they wanted. ~ Debra B
  • As soon as we know, we will take a Disney vacation, we begin saving all of our quarters and pennies for the pressed penny machines. Pressed pennies are fun, inexpensive Disney souvenirs for our children. The kids help with the savings by earning quarters and finding pennies wherever we go. It’s a small savings, but it gets the children involved and teaches them to save, too. ~ mablawson

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