The sights, smells, sounds, and merchandise at Disney World can make it really hard to stay on any kind of budget when you visit. While challenging it is totally doable and I am gonna share some tips with you on how to do just that while still enjoying your family trip! Start by planning at home and stick to it throughout your visit to the park.
Staying on Budget at Disney World
Create a budget before you go
If you go without a dollar amount for various categories like- food, souvenirs, etc.. in mind you are much more likely to overspend. Create a budget in advance and STICK to it! I promise you will thank me!
We like to give our kids each $20 to spend on souvenirs, they know they have $20 and ONLY $20 to spend. Throughout the trip, they keep that in mind, I have one boy that spends his right away on the first thing he wants and the other waits until the end of the trip to pick. It’s a great way that we’ve been able to keep them from asking for all the little things along the way!
Make sure everyone understands the budget guidelines
This goes along with our souvenirs budget but it works well for snacks and drinks too. Give everyone their allotted amount and help little ones budget their money on snacks or souvenirs in the park.
Bring the basics from home
Items like bandages, sunblock, and chapstick can really take a lot out of your pockets if you buy it at the park or hotel. Bring in everything you can rather than purchasing at the park. Don’t forget to bring a portable charger for your phone, especially if you want to take photos all day long!
Make or buy shirts before you go
Save some souvenir money by making matching Disney shirts or pick some up at Walmart or Target, you save a ton of money on this alone, they are far less than park prices. You can grab a mickey silhouette online and use it as a template to paint your own shirts for the best deal.
While it can be tempting to use credit cards and go all out it is so much easier to blow a budget when you are swiping a card instead of physically handing over the green. Not to mention that the interest you will be paying on your trip is a definite budget breaker.
Take snacks along
For the hotel room and to carry in your bag, while it is not advertised Disney will allow you to carry unopened bottled water and snacks into the park and this can be a big money saver. Save your food budget for meals and a special snack or two.
The first thing we do when we get to Orlando is stop by Walmart and pick up cases of water, soda, coffee creamer for at the hotel and snacks! It saves us a TON!
Skip the meal plan
While it sounds like a great idea, between the heat and the excitement you are rarely going to feel like eating a whole meal yourself so likely you won’t get your money worth. We like to get a meal and split it several times throughout the day to save money and to get a little taste of everything the park has to offer. Head for the counter service restaurants, maybe having one special sit down meal at character dining (these require advance reservations).
Avoid the photo souvenirs
They can get pretty pricey. If you really want a family picture as a souvenir, even though the employees trying to sell you photos they are usually more than happy to take one with your camera. Take turns snapping each other’s photo so everyone including mom gets in them.