1. Check Disney for Deals. Disney World used to avoid discounting, but these days it’s aggressive about marketing packages that give you freebies, such as free park tickets or free food during your stay. Look at disneyworld.disney.go.com/special-offers and at sites such as MouseSavers.com, which share the latest coupon codes. Caveat: Packages usually require four-day stays and are not valid during holidays and in July.
2. Buy a Multiday Disney Pass. Heavily discounted Disney theme park tickets simply aren’t available, no matter who tells you otherwise. Consider those your only fixed cost. However, the longer you stay, the less you pay per day for your theme park tickets. An adult would pay approximately $100 for a single day, but the equivalent of $44 per day for a seven-day pass.Caveat: Do you need a week at Disney?
3. Visit Disney in the Low Season. There are close to 9,000 rooms in the lowest-priced category of hotel rooms (known as value properties) on Disney property that start at $85 a night in low season (late August, September, and January) with prices peaking at $200 for the basic room in peak season. Caveat: You get what you pay for…these are not four or five-star properties but if you’re going to be spending most of your time (and money) at Disney then who cares?
4. Buy the Disney Dining Plan. This can be a good deal for families as it includes two full meals and one snack a day. Since this is for big eaters, maximize the plan by using it for two kids rather than one child. Adults can share too if they eat a big breakfast or want a light meal if dining out that night. Plus, the meals can be augmented with snacks you have brought with you, such as fruit, string cheese, peanut butter crackers, trail mix, and protein bars or drinks.
5. Skip the high-priced stuff, such as breakfast at Cinderella’s Castle (a huge rip-off). Instead, meet Disney characters throughout the theme parks. Make it a game for the kids! Skip the high-priced souvenirs and sit-down meals. Take advantage of free stuff, such as the daily parade and nightly fireworks, as well as the free ferry ride, monorail, and free shuttle.