So every mom out there who loved Disney World visits as a child,, just CANNOT wait to take their little one to Disney World (or Mickey’s House as my little one calls it) to create new memories of their very own. I know I was daydreaming of taking my daughter to the parks – and at the same time dreading the dent it would put in my pocket.
For that reason I decided to share 5 “Budget Hacks” that I have used and still use in order to visit Mickey’s House multiple times a month on a very low cost – $28 a month plus gas to be exact!
Before we start I must share that I am a Florida Resident living very close to Disney World and just a 30 to 45 minute commute gets me to the doors of the “Most Magical Place on the Planet.” With that said you can imagine that my gas cost is very minimal per visit. I also have purchased the “Silver Annual Pass” with blackout dates that include very busy times such as school holiday breaks and summer breaks – times in which a local like me would not want to wait in long lines or the heat of the summer sun anyway.
5 Disney Budget Hacks to Help Save Your Wallet
#1. Purchase a Florida Resident Annual Pass using the money you’ve earned on Ibotta or other money-back apps and programs.
(by clicking the hyperlink you can use my referral link to sign up for your very own FREE Ibotta savings account. By clicking the link and using my code you can also earn up to a $20 welcome bonus)
This step alone has provided me with a Disney Annual Pass by only paying the monthly fee out of pocket. By incorporating a pre-existing “Budget Hack” of mine, I was about to place the down payment on my Disney Pass that was free for me. I just simply used the money back earnings to pay my down payment on my Disney Annual Pass.
You can learn more about using Apps and “money-back” programs by reading my Budget Hack blog post “Making Money to Shop.”
#2. Pack Your Lunch/Snacks to bring with you inside of the park.
Most Disney park goers do not know this very simple time and money saving hack. Heck I stumbled on this idea on accident a few years back when my friends and I “carb loaded” on some homemade pasta salad in zip-locs before “drinking around the world.” Ever since then I have become much more resourceful.
I tend to pack a frozen water bottle at the bottom of my insulated pocketed back pack to keep snacks cold. The frozen water bottle also does a great job keeping me cool on the many hot and sunny Florida days. Easy foods and snacks to pack for the kids and save money include:
- Uncrustables – Disney Charges an upwards of $7 each (you can literally buy a BOX for that price)
- Fresh fruits – peeled and ready cuties, pre washed berries
- Crunchy snacks like cheese-its, crackers, pop corn
- Dinosaur chicken nuggets – now I pack these right next to the frozen water bottle and frozen Uncrustables and when hunger strikes we make our was over to the Child Care Centers (usually located next to or near first aid) and pop them in the microwave
You can even double up on the discounts here when you use coupon apps or money back like Ibotta on the snacks you pack to bring with you. My favorite way to save is to double up on the savings.
#3. Pack Favorite non-alcoholic Beverages to bring with you inside of the park.
Don’t forget to pack your favorite reusable/refillable water bottle. Cups of ice water are FREE at any food and beverage stands. I also love to pack a reusable bottle for my daughter as well as her other favorites like apple juice in juice boxes.
Honest Apple Juice usually goes for a whopping $6 at Disney stands – Im pretty sure I got 2 boxes at Publix last week on BOGO sale — love a good Publix BOGO.
#4. Sign Up For Disney Perks with Your Chase Debit Card.
Obviously this tip isn’t the most helpful for people without a Chase Bank account, but if you were looking to open a new account and you also LOVE Disney, then Chase is the Bank for you! I promise I’m not a Chase Bank spokeswoman, I’ve actually had this bank account since it was WaMu that was baught out by Chase.
This tip happens to be another one that I stumbled upon on accident. I needed a new debit card and happened to be in the actual bank when I got a new one and was offered to choose a free Disney Debit card design. Little did I know that, not only would I get tons of compliments on the look of the card, but I also enjoy lots of Disney Perks like free photo experiences in select parks and discounts of merchandise and sit down dining options.
#5. Eat Lunch – NOT DINNER – at the Park When Doing a Sit Down Dining Experience.
To me, this one is a no brainer, but yet again not everyone knows that lunch menus tend to be MUCH CHEAPER than dinner menus at sit down locations. You can also apply tip #4 to double up on your discounting abilities here. Obviously this is a HUGE mommy win here. Don’t forget to save time and reserve your lunch ahead of time, days before going to the park.