22 Disney Vacation Tips That Will Save You Time And Money

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Planning a Walt Disney World vacation can be totally overwhelming. Believe me, I know. My family is planning a trip for Spring 2018, so I’ve been on the hunt for the best tips and tricks. It turns out there is more to know about Disney than I ever imagined and more experts and tips littering the internet than there is magic in all the kingdom. So, to save you time, I’ve picked out the most helpful Disney travel tips to maximize your time and save you money.

Here are 22 things to consider when planning your Disney vacation.

1. Use an authorized Disney Vacation Planner.

These travel agents know everything and anything about Disney. They can score you discounts and help make the somewhat daunting task of planning a Disney vacation a little easier. Plus, they are free to you! Use google to find one in your area.

2. Use websites that offer touring plans.

If you want complete control over your trip, consider using a website like TouringPlans—where you can quite literally make your “touring plan.” You might also check out Kenny The Pirate or Disney Dork Tom. These guy knows all the ins and outs of Disney World. The crowd calendars are a useful tool for deciding when to go.

3. Ship essentials to your hotel.

Think diapers, wipes, sunscreen and snacks. You can order from Amazon and ship directly to your hotel—saving you precious (and potentially expensive!) luggage space. Just make sure to include GUEST in the hotel address.

4. Use Disney’s Magical Express for airport transport.

Disney’s Magical Express is a complimentary roundtrip service for Disney Resort guests that takes you and your luggage from Orlando International Airport to select Disney Resort hotels via a deluxe motorcoach. Just select this option when booking your Disney Resort hotel reservation.

Flickr | brownpau

5. Kids under three are free.

That means the littlest Disney guests do not need a ticket to enter the park. They also don’t need a MagicBand. Because they don’t need a ticket they cannot have FastPass+, but fear not—they can enter at the same time you use yours.

Flickr | Lou & Traci plus

6. Buy Disney gift cards at Target using your RedCard and save 5%.

This is easy and genius. If you know you are going to spend money at the parks (and c’mon, who isn’t?), buy gift cards ahead of time and save 5% right off the top of all those snacks and souvenirs.

7. Get to the park early for Rope Drop.

Each morning Magic Kingdom opens with a ceremonial Rope Drop. Not only will you see cast members (this is what Disney calls its employees) quite literally “drop the rope,” but you’ll beat the large crowds as you and the other early birds can head to your favorite attractions while most guests are still snoozing.

8. Mention any special occasion like a birthday, wedding or first-time visit.

Then, get a free button marking the occasion. These buttons could lead to perks down the line. Disney experts say characters sometimes throw special favors like cupcakes at button wearers.

Flickr | happyskrappy

9. Disney offers special discounts for military families.

Disney offers special discount tickets for active and retired military and their family and friends, and even has a special resort, Shades of Green, which is an official Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC).

10. Check Costco before you plan your trip.

Costco is known for having great travel discounts, and Disney trips are no exception. Check the Costco website for discounts on resort packages.

11. Make note of free dining dates.

While the free dining dates have not yet been released for 2017, Disney bloggers believe we should know more in April. Typically offered each fall, these dates are a great way to save by having your meals included with the purchase of resort and park tickets.

12. You can bring your own snacks and drinks.

Remember those snacks we ordered from Amazon? Yep, bring those into the park and save boatloads.

13. Skip the bottled water.

Instead, ask any on-site food establishment for a free cup of ice water.

14. Or, better yet, don’t forget your refillable water bottle.

Bring a bottle for everyone in your family and refill as often as you’d like your entire trip.

15. Rent your stroller ahead of time.

You can rent a stroller directly from Disney, or any number of companies that will deliver directly to your resort. Reserve in advance to guarantee your little one wheels, and you can expect discounts. Or, skip the rental and just buy a cheap one on Amazon and have it shipped with the rest of your essentials.

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About the Author

Kate Desmond

Kate is a freelance writer, mommy blogger, safe sleep crusader, and wannabe inventor in search of her next great idea. She lives in Bentonville, Arkansas with her husband and two little girls. They are the loves of her life, but also drive her to insanity. She writes about living on that brink on her blog, The Tiny Fashionista. More.

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