How to Save Money on a Disney Vacation 2024

How to Save Money on a Disney Vacation 2024

Saving money on a Disney Vacation or while you’re in the parks doesn’t have to be elusive. As Disney bloggers who “have” to go to Disney to get content for this blog, we are ALWAYS looking for how to make a Disney Vacation cheaper! It’s easier when you know where to look for deals, where to cut corners, and how to vacation so that you’re saving money before you even get there. Here are all the ways you can Save Money at Disney in 2024.

Sign up for Disney Vacation Information

Whether you’re hoping to save money at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or Disney Cruise Line, the key is to get on the list for promotions. So to get started with our How to Save Money at Disney list, it’s important to do all the things that automatically get you on the Disney nice list. Make sure you have a My Disney Experience account and have signed up for the Adventures by Disney or Disney Vacation Club Vacation Information digital content or DVD. Even having an account on shopDisney.com, which automatically syncs to your My Disney Experience account sends the signal that you mean business and are ready to take a Disney vacation. Why is this important? Because in order for Disney to send you deals, and discounts, and show you ads as you’re searching through Google, they need to know you exist. Signing up for stuff means you’ll be the first to know. 

Sign up for Emails

Another tried and true trick to get those email discounts is to just make sure you’re signed up for all the Disney emails. Discounts are generated for guests who routinely visit the Disney website, or add vacations to their carts and then don’t checkout. Much like any good “abandoned cart” email you see from retailers, Disney has the same things in place. So you can take advantage of it, by browsing your vacations months ahead of your planned booking to score the best deals. Sign up for a Disney account here.

Remy's RAtatouille Adventure Fountain Walt Disney World

Subscribe to Disney+ Plus for Disney Park Special Offers

Believe it or not, just being a Disney+ Plus Subscriber means you get discounts on resorts and vacation packages. In fact, you can often get a 25% discount on rooms, and packages, just be on the lookout for offer dates. Last year Disney Cruise Line even had a discount offered for subscribers showing proof of membership to the Disney Plus streaming service. If you’re already subscribing, be sure to keep an eye out for Disney deals. 

Disney Free Dining Dates 2024

A FREE Dining Plan has arrived EXCLUSIVELY for Disney+ Plus subscribers. Starting Jan. 3, 2024, Disney+ subscribers can get a FREE dining plan when purchasing a non-discounted 4-night, 4-day Walt Disney Travel Company package that includes a room at a select Disney Resort hotel and theme park ticket with a Park Hopper option. This offer is valid for arrivals most nights July 1 through Sept. 30, 2024.Visit DisneyWorld.com/SpecialOffers beginning Jan. 3 for additional offer details!* And, to learn more about other perks available to Disney+ subscribers, click here.  

Be a Disney Visa Cardholder

We’re sharing all the details about the Benefits of the Disney Visa Card, and discounts on Disney Vacations are one of the big ones! In fact, if you’re looking to visit Disney Parks, or sail with Disney Cruise Line, you can often earn a statement credit with purchases over a certain amount! Check out the latest Disney Visa Card Offer! Spend $1000 and Get a $300 statement credit within the first three months of having the card. Not to mention all the discounts you can get in the parks and on the cruise while you’re vacationing. 

Visit During the Cheapest Times at Walt Disney World

Make it easy on yourself and plan your Disney vacation during one of the cheapest times of the year. We actually learned this trick on our recent DVC tour. As there is actually a calendar that shows the cheapest times to visit Walt Disney World. And frankly, until there is an update to this pricing schedule we’re gonna treat it like the gospel it is. The cheapest times to book usually mean low crowds, lower ride waits, and cheaper ticket and resort rates. Disney calls this the Adventure Season. And if you’re looking to save the MOST MONEY on your overall trip to Walt Disney World, here are the dates you should consider booking. 

Adventure Season is the Cheapest Season to Visit Walt Disney World.

  • Jan 1-31
  • Sept 1-30
  • Dec 1-14

Visit Disney During the Off-Season

Disney’s Off-Season has slowly been dwindling over the last few years. But, the general off-season is January to March 4, the end of August to the end of September, and the first three weeks of November. You can check out the Disney World Event Calendar  for a better idea of major events that could affect your vacation. 

Get the Cheapest Tickets to Disney World

You can get the cheapest Tickets at Disney World in August, September, and January. 

Aim for the  Cheapest Days to Visit Disney 

Disney World has a ticket-by-day structure which means certain days are more expensive than others. Generally, the cheapest days are in January, February, August, and September. Check Disney Ticket Prices. 

Only buy tickets for the days you’re in the parks

In general, it’s easy to skip park tickets for your first day or your last day of any Disney Vacation. This gives you time to settle into the resort, look around, and get acclimated. And as we always have other things we enjoy ing outside of the parks on our Disney Arrival Day and Disney Departure day it just makes sense not to add the parks to a day that s already filled with travel plans. You can opt for a great dinner at Disney Springs or your resort on arrival night, so you can wake up refreshed for your first day in the parks. If you’re looking to save yet another day without park tickets we always recommend a resort crawl on the monorail, boardwalk, or gondolas. All are free, and no Disney park ticket is required.

Not staying on-site? Buy Discounted Tickets

If you’re not buying a Disney Vacation Package and not staying on-site, then buy tickets at a discount. We trust Undercover Tourist for discounted tickets. It’s worth noting that if you’re vacationing at WDW and need a resort and tickets- the package deals are usually cheaper than trying to purchase these things separately.

If Visiting a Water Park, buy the Park Hopper Plus

If the Disney Water Parks are in your plans, consider adding the Park Hopper Plus to your vacation package instead of a water park ticket. While water park tickets will cost you $60 bucks per person per day, a Park Hopper Plus add-on is closer to a 22-dollar upgrade and if you were adding the park hopper anyway, it’s a substantial saving.

Plan for One Park Per DAy Disney

Plan for One Park Per Day

If you’re ready to exercise your vacation planning muscle, focus on just doing one park per day. While we love the park hopper and have become somewhat addicted since becoming pass holders, in the good ‘ol days we just planned one park per day. It’s a great way to save some money, and by not getting the park hopper you can maximize your time in each park better. There is so much to do in each park and at the resorts or Disney Springs that one day is hardly enough for one park, let alone multiple parks. Check out the Walt Disney World checklists for each of the four parks so you can plan your one-day per-park experience.

Plan 4 days or more for the Lowest ticket-per-day-prices

One of our favorite ways to save money at Disney is to just Stay Longer!!!  At the 4-day mark, tickets begin to dip below 100 bucks per ticket, and at the 6 or 7-day mark, they get close to 60 bucks per day. That said, a longer vacation is always cheaper to some extent just because the per-day ticket price drops. In truth, the best Disney vacations usually last 9-12 days, though we’ll stay for longer whenever we can get it. Check out our How Many Days Should a Disney Vacation Be post for an overview. 

Festival of the Arts Food

Get the Disney World Vacation Deals for 2024

Disney Family Spring Vacation Package 2024

On Nov. 14, 2023, Walt Disney World will introduce a special package offer for families looking to save on a spring vacation! Children’s (ages 3 through 9) theme park tickets and dining plans will be half off with the purchase of a non-discounted 4-night, 4-day Walt Disney Travel Co. package for you and your children that includes a room at a select Disney Resort hotel, theme park tickets, and a dining plan. Valid for stays most nights March 3 through June 30, 2024, this will be a great option for those who also want the convenience of having their tickets, room, and meals already paid for before they arrive! Visit DisneyWorld.com/SpecialOffers beginning Nov. 14 for additional offer details! 

Get the Disney Bounceback Offer 2024

If you’re staying at Walt Disney World this year, be sure to check your room booklet for a Disney Bounceback Offer! These offers include up to a 35% discount when you book for certain dates. But, you can only book this offer up to 7 days after your checkout date. While this is a quick-think offer, it really pays to know before you go on your trip, if you’re planning a Disney trip for the following year, so you can take advantage of this. Check out the Disney Bounceback Offer 2024. 

Regularly Check the Disney Special Offers Page

Believe it or not, Walt Disney World’s Special Offer Page is updated FIRST and regularly whenever a new offer drops. This includes room-only, package, and free dining deals.

Book Through a Travel Specialist

Feeling overwhelmed and want to make sure you get the best price on your Disney Vacation? A DIY Disney Vacation isn’t for everyone. Thankfully, Disney Certified Planners are 100% FREE to use! Here are 10 reasons why we suggest using a travel agent. Not only can they help you stay on track with your Disney planning dates and deadlines, but also make sure you’re finding the best deal along the way. Check out our Disney Vacation Planning Services to help create your perfect Disney Vacation. 

Access Disney’s Website through a Rebate Site first

Ever use Rakuten, formerly Ebates? This rebate site/ app just requires you to go through them first. By typing in your site/ store they’ll redirect you to whatever retailer and then give you a rebate just for shopping.  Sign up through this link and you’ll get $10 just for joining! We also like Shopkick to help us earn gift cards.

cheapest times to visit disney world Caribbean beach resort

Save Money on Disney Resorts

Book with a Third Party

Nervous about booking with a third party? We have talked about booking Disney through a third party before. And yes, truthfully, Disney itself is sometimes just cheaper. But, to Save Money at Disney, a third-party deal is always worth a look before a final decision. We most like hotels.com for Disney resort stays. After you make a reservation you can call Disney and connect your room to your My Disney Experience account. 

Stay Off Property

We’re always a little hesitant about staying off the property on a Walt Disney World vacation. Mainly because so much of the magic is about staying on-site. Especially when Value Resorts can go as low as 60 bucks during deal times.  But, if you’re staying far enough outside of Orlando or combining a beach or a  Universal Studios vacation, it may be your cheapest option. We most like Holiday Inn Express for the Free Continental Breakfast and cheap rates. Check out our pros and cons of staying off-property post.

Use Reward Points for Hotels Near Disney World

If you’re part of a hotel rewards program like Marriott Bonvoy or the hotels.com rewards program, you can save up your loyalty points for a stay at Walt Disney World. With so many Hotels Near Walt Disney World, why not save money at Disney by cashing out your points? Check out the Top 10 Best Hotels Near Walt Disney World to see which ones could work for you! 

Stay at a Vacation Home Near Walt Disney World

While staying at a Vacation Home may not always be cheaper, it often has more space and more options to help you save money. From providing a kitchen, so you can cook some meals at home, to free parking in the driveway, it’s easier to save money on a Disney Vacation if you’re not at a traditional hotel. Check out the BEST Vacation Homes Near Walt Disney World for some of the most convenient and cheapest places to stay in Orlando. 

 

 

Wilderness Lodge Christmas

Saving Money at Walt Disney World

Take the DVC Tour on your first day

Ever consider the Disney Vacation Club? Depending on where you’re staying you have the chance to get up to 150-dollar gift card just for taking the tour. And seeing what the DVC is all about. Plus ice cream in the ice cream parlor afterward. Not too sales-y, these people really just want to clear up all your curiosities. It’s a win-win. You get transported at a time of your choice to and from the DVC office where you’ll get the spiel on cost, benefits, etc. plus take a  tour of a DVC villa while you’re there. Then you can use that gift card for a meal or souvenirs later, regardless of whether or not you decide to become a DVC member.

Contempo Cafe Quick Service Disney Tofu Rice Bowl

Be Strategic about Meals

If you’re not on the Disney Dining Plan, food can be the most expensive thing! In our Disney Dining Budget post, we shared that you need about 80-100 dollars a day/ per person just for food- and that includes 1 quick service, a snack/drink, and 1 sit-down meal. It’s not even including a full sit-down breakfast, so that amount could definitely go up. That said, there are ways that you can save money on food. Plan for a light breakfast in your room by packing granola bars, yogurt, and pop-tarts to hold you over until lunch. Limit your sit-down meals to just 3 or 4 for your entire vacation. And plan quick service meals (closer to 15 dollars a person) for the rest of them.

A little planning ahead of time, when you’re booking your table service restaurants, can give you insight as to per-person costs. Remember, Disney automatically charges an 18% gratuity for parties of 6 people or more. If you’re looking to Save Money at Disney and be serious about it, check out how to set up your Disney Dining Budget to make sure you’re not dropping thousands on food. 

Buy Disney Giftcards at a Discount

Gift card hacks are becoming the norm! Whether you’re buying your gift cards at a local store that gives you discounts on gas or groceries OR saving  5% at Target on Disney gift cards when you use your RedCard be on the lookout for gift card deals to get you to Disney a little cheaper.

Use your Disney Magical Extras!

One of the Best Ways to Save Money on a Disney Vacation is with Magical Extras. With your vacation package, you will get a card that offers miniature golf, access to the ESPN complex, and coupons for tons of restaurants and stores at Disney Springs. So you can save 10% or more on everything. Check out the Magical Extras for 2023 here.

kidcot at walt disney world free souvenir

Grab the FREE Souvenirs at Disney World

Those Disney gift shops can get dangerous! Mainly because you always need another poncho, pair of Mickey Ears, snacks, or a gift you forgot to grab for someone. So, make this easy on yourself and just try to grab all the Free Disney Souvenirs instead! While a celebration button may not make a great gift for someone, it may help you get free things like cupcakes, congratulations, and special treatment across the parks. And don’t forget to play the fun and free Disney Games for digital and physical souvenirs too. 

Festival of the Arts Kitchens Disney Epcot

Use the EPCOT Festival Kitchens to Supplement Meals

While there is nothing like a good sit-down dinner, during EPCOT festivals, you can actually get away with just eating a few dishes from the outdoor kitchens. Definitely take advantage of this major way to save money at Disney. By not footing the bill for lunch or dinner costing upwards of 100 bucks. Instead, have everyone in your party choose 2 or 3 dishes at the festival to hold them over instead. That bill can easily go from $50 bucks a person to $15, so it’s a great option if you’re sticking to a Disney Dining Budget. 

And if you’re visiting during the cheapest times to go to Disney World there are festivals that annually happen during each of these date ranges. 

Beware the Annual Price Increases at Walt Disney World

Ahhh, Walt Disney World Price Increases. Every February, June, and October, historically, we’ve seen price increases on tickets, rooms, and/ or annual passes. If you’re hoping to renew a pass or book a vacation do so before these months in general. While we sometimes hear ahead of time about the looming price hikes at Disney, sometimes they drop without warning. Don’t get caught off guard. If you’re looking for a cheap vacation, booking sooner with the deals available now is usually going to be cheaper than waiting.

Money-Saving Tips for a Disney Vacation

Need more ideas? Check out our 13 Ways to Save Money post and our Disney on a Budget post to get you started. Hopefully, this has given you a look at a ton of ways to save on your vacation. While we never suggest going completely budget-focused on a Disney Vacation, if you’re aim is just to get there…there are tons of ways to do just that, and can sometimes be cheaper than other family vacations. Just be sure to avoid the hidden fees at Walt Disney World along the way, to keep your budget on track. And remember to check out the Disney Calendar of Events for the best times to visit the parks. The cheapest times of year typically have fewer crowds, and lower resort costs. so take a look! 

Saving Money at Walt disney World is just about knowing where to look for the deals! Here are all the ways you can save money at Disney World on your vacation, and in the parks. #polkadotpixies #disney2021

Co-Founder and Director at Polka Dot Pixie Co LLC | Website | + posts

Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.


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