We just had our cheapest trip to Disney World. here’s how

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Even though the cost of entry went up, we still managed to save.


Key points

  • Disney World can be an expensive destination.
  • Consider driving instead of flying and see if you can schedule your trip for a less busy time.
  • You can also save money by not eating at the parks or paying for additional services, such as photography.

My family took several Disney vacations before the pandemic hit. And although we tried to go back in 2021, we didn’t manage to make a new trip until spring 2022.

When my husband and I sat down to buy our tickets, we almost gasped at the increase in the price of admission over the past two years. But alas, we plugged in our credit card number, made our reservations, and prepared to give our kids a super surprise.

Not only were our children surprised, but we were surprised when we sat down to look at our credit card statement after the trip. Although we paid more for our tickets, this latest Disney trip was actually our cheapest yet. Here’s how we managed to save.

1. We took a week off

As someone who takes learning seriously, I didn’t feel great about taking my kids out of school for several days to go on vacation just two short weeks after spring break. But I figured if we went on a weekday we’d save money on tickets. Turns out I was right. I compared the price of our tickets to that of my friend, who was booked for spring break. The difference was quite noticeable.

2. We rode instead of flew

My family has been on many road trips, so we’re no strangers to driving hundreds of miles on the highway to reach a destination. While plane tickets weren’t extraordinarily expensive the week we wanted to get down to Florida from New Jersey, we knew we had the potential to save a lot while driving – even with gas prices so high. .

3. We barely ate in the parks

On our first trip to Disney, we wanted to experience everything – and that included $200 breakfasts where my kids could say hello to Mickey Mouse while munching on a muffin. But these days, my kids are too old to bother meeting the characters. And they don’t care if they eat breakfast at a regular restaurant or at a Disney restaurant where it costs five times as much. And so, with the exception of one dinner, we had no meals at the parks, which saved us a bundle.

4. We didn’t buy souvenirs

On our first trip to Disney, we decided to treat our kids and let them buy a souvenir every day. This time we’ve limited them to one item each for the entire trip. Not only were my kids ok with this, but they picked out inexpensive items that didn’t really make a big dent in our total tab.

5. We didn’t buy a photo pass

There are plenty of photo opportunities at Disney, and sometimes it can be difficult to take your share of family photos (because, after all, someone has to be on the other end of the camera). On previous trips, we’ve paid for the photo service, which gives you access to Disney photographers who will take as many family photos as you want. This time we skipped that and relied on the kindness of strangers to take our pictures for us.

Let’s be clear – the trip we just took to Disney World was not a cheap vacation. But we have also found ways to reduce our costs. If you’re looking forward to visiting Disney but your funds are limited, consider ways to spend less. For example, see if a Disney credit card could help you save a little more money. A few minor tweaks could mean the difference between a trip that fits your budget and one that puts you in debt.

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