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The happiest place on earth is also one of the most expensive. With travel, lodging, park tickets, and souvenirs only being a part of the expenses you’ll incur on a Disney World vacation, it’s important to save money where you can and get the most for out of your budget.
Disney ticket prices have had a steady increase every year for the past few years and show no signs of stopping. Currently, Disney has a ticket purchase system in place where the prices fluctuate for different dates. What this means is that depending on the time of year, your ticket could be higher or lower in price than on any other date. [Source]
So finding out how to get cheap Disney World tickets is essential for being able to afford entry into this happy kingdom. In this post, we will cover different ways to get discount Disney World tickets and gift cards to make your vacation more frugal.
How to save money for Disney World vacation
There are a large number of ways to cut costs and save money on Disney tickets. We are going to cover so many different techniques that are tried and true.
First- remember who can get into Disney for free
Children ages two years and younger are free! They must be this age when you check in. So if they have a third birthday while you are at your Disney World vacation, you can still get the freebie price!
While not free, kid tickets are still decent. Kids ages range from 3 years old up until age 9. The costs for kids are much less than that of adults, so definitely consider these discounted kid prices when you are booking your trip to Disney.
Plan your Disney vacation strategically
You wouldn’t walk into a grocery store and go shopping for a month’s worth of dinners without a meal plan in place and expect to stay within your grocery budget would you?
Having a list and a game plan in place is one of the most important things that you can do to save money and stay aware of the costs and your budget.
So what can you do to better plan your Disney World vacation?
Think about what you want to do at Disney. Are you wanting to be there for a specific holiday or special event or would you be okay with an off-season time of year where entry tickets are normally cheaper?
Do you want to stay in one park all day or do you want a Park Hopper?
A Park Hopper is a ticket that allows you to visit more than one park within a day. This means that you can start your day early at one park and end it in another. With parks having their own operating hours this is a great way to get in a full day of Disney.
There is also a Park Hopper Plus ticket that you can get which includes admission to all of the parks as well as water parks and other select activities.
While these upgrades might make sense if you plan on having an extended stay at Disney World, it may be better to not upgrade at all and to simply save that money.
Plan a longer visit
Think of purchasing more days at the park as an item you’re buying in bulk. Normally, when you buy multiples of something, the price for each item goes down, making the deal even sweeter. That thought process is the same here.
When you buy more days at Disney World, the prices for each day get cheaper, and your deal gets better. So, if possible, consider having a more extended vacation at Disney World, so that you can save money per day.
Avoid the tempting annual pass
As luring as the price may seem, it is best to avoid the annual pass to Disney World unless you can honestly say that you’ll be there for more than 11 days per year. This is about the same price as you’ll invest in one of these passes. If you can’t dedicate that much time to Mickey Mouse and his gang, this pass isn’t an economical option for you.
Discount Disney tickets
There is a lot of different ways that you can purchase authorized and discounted Disney World tickets. This helps you to save money before you ever even get into the park.
There’s a Florida resident discount
If you reside in Florida and have some documentation such as a drivers license to prove it, you can get a discounted ticket price. The discount only applies to your ticket, but it’s still a lot of money to keep in your wallet. Disney Florida park tickets are a great way to save money on a Disney World vacation.
There’s a military discount
When you are active duty military, you can find discounted Disney World tickets on your military base. Purchasing your tickets there can help you to get the special reduced rates.
There are 2 discount ticket retailers
One of the best places to find discounted tickets for Disney World is online. Looking for discounts online can be tricky as it often hard tells the difference from scam websites and the real ones.
Undercover Tourist and Park Savers are both two trusted discount ticket retailers.
Other ways that you can save money on your Disney vacation
Purchase Disney World gift cards at local retailers and save them up for your trip. As crazy as it may sound, it actually makes a lot of sense. With several offering 5% discounts, it adds up!
The average person will spend about $1,200 per person for a six-day 7-night stay at Disney World. That would mean a $60 savings per person for a four-person family -that’s $200.
For Disney, $200 isn’t much, but think about how much you can get for $200 in your own home. How many groceries, nights out, hours of babysitting or debt can you pay using that $200? It’s this small thought that helps to keep the drive to save money on Disney alive for many people.
So where can you buy Disney World gift cards and save money?
You can buy Disney World gift cards at Target. Not only that, but you can use your Target Redcard as a way to save 5% off of the purchase price. So that means you save money right off the bat by paying less than the retail price.
Disney World gift cards or tickets at Walmart aren’t a great way to get discounted prices. With that said, you can still be efficient with your grocery shopping by grabbing small gift card amounts every time you shop.
Sam’s Club or Costco
These bulk stores are a great way to make a significant difference in your discount Disney gift cards. With card bundles normally costing $150 and getting a 5% discount you can pay $142 and with time, that really adds up!
If your wholesale club offers a special cashback reward program or bonus, you can save a lot of money on Disney World gift cards.
A smart way to shop for Disney World gift cards
When you purchase your Disney World gift cards, look for grocery stores that offer more than just a few dollars worth of savings. Look for the ones that also offer cashback rewards bonuses or gas perks so that you can save even more money!
Use side hustles to pay for your Disney World Vacation
Believe it or not, there are a lot of side hustles that you can do to make some quick cash. Using the ones that pay in cash or in gift cards like Swagbucks is a great way to save up money for Disney World.
With hardly any physical effort and just a little patience, you can save money on Disney by using cashback apps like the ibotta app to help pay for your Disney vacation. This is done by scanning grocery receipts, so it only takes a minute of your time!
Don’t forget about Black Friday!
Black Friday is more than just a bunch of toys and clothes on sale. It is also a great time to fins retailers offering exclusive deals on gift cards. Disney World tickets may also go on sale for Black Friday so it’s worth looking to see if you can save more money by booking your vacation around that date.
Disney Visa Card
I’m not one to promote credit card use, but if a Disney world vacation is something you want to do on a budget, a Disney Visa card is an option. These cards earn you 1%-2% in Disney Rewards as you shop at gas stations, grocery stores, and most Disney locations.
You can redeem these credits for airline miles, resort stays, Disney Theme Park tickets, the Disney Cruise Line and more.
If you can manage the responsibilities associated with a credit card (not many of us can) then you can use the card exclusively for your normal bills and pay it off each month. Rent, electricity, and water usage are all bills that you plan on paying monthly and budget for automatically.
Using a Disney Visa to pay for these and then paying off the Disney Visa with your budgeted money can help you to save money for Disney World in a passive way. That being said, a credit card can be used as a crutch and overspending can happen as it is easy to talk yourself into paying it off later. So do not choose this option if you cannot contain the shopping urges.
Using a gift card at Disney World
I mentioned several ways to save money on Disney World gift cards, but I also feel it is necessary to explain how these cards work, just in case you didn’t already know.
Using gift cards at Disney World is easier than you may think. With Disney World gift card transfers, you can put the balance all on one or more cards allowing you to budget properly.
A lot of people will divide spending money into days and have a card designated to each one. This is a great way to stay frugal during vacation and still be allowed to have fun.
Can you use Disney gift cards for food?
Besides merely buying your Disney World tickets with gift cards, you can use them while on vacation for pretty much everything else! You can use your Disney gift cards for annual passes, food, resort hotel rooms, the spa, dining, recreation and on Disney merchandise.
With dining plans you will have to order your food months in advance, but there are still plenty of ways to save money on food when you’re eating in the park.
You can also use your gift cards at all four theme parks. Including Disney Springs, Disney World Water Parks, and resort hotels.
What are your favorite ways to save for a Disney World vacation?
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