There’s no denying that a Disney World vacation is at the top of many a travel bucket list. But Orlando’s ultimate amusement park can also be expensive, especially if you’re traveling with the whole family. While some costs are unavoidable, there are ways to save money at Disney World.
It can be challenging to get discounts on park tickets themselves, but there are a few tricks you can use to cut costs overall. Read on for the full rundown on how to save money at Disney World.
Tips for Saving Money at Disney World
For many kids and adults, a trip to Disney World is a once-in-a-lifetime dream vacation. Many parents look forward to the day they can take their kids to Disney just to see the looks on their faces when they walk into the Magic Kingdom.
Here are a few ways that you can save money at Disney World.
Taking Advantage of a Free Disney Dining Plan
One of your biggest expenses at Disney World is meals. Food can be quite expensive in the park, since they know that you’re a captive audience.
You can bring your own food to Disney World, but it usually isn’t a great option for many people. Occasionally, Disney runs sales where a Disney Dining Plan is included in the cost of your ticket. While it may not make sense for every situation, it’s worth checking out in order to save money on food.
The cost of Disney World park tickets is the same no matter when you go, but hotel rates vary throughout the year. Your Disney World hotel cost will depend on a number of factors, but a good rule of thumb is that the more popular times (spring break, summer vacation, holidays) also come with higher prices. Consider staying during the off-season or during shoulder season, when prices may be lower and there may be smaller crowds.
Another option is using credit card rewards to pay for hotels. Some hotel credit cards offer a signup bonus that can provide enough points to pay for most or even all of your Disney World trip.
Stick to Your Budget
It’s a smart idea to set a budget in advance for your Disney World vacation and to create a separate travel fund. Not only can this help you save the money to afford your trip, it can also keep you from splurging too much while you’re there.
Saving money on a trip to Disney World doesn’t have to mean cutting down on the fun. Just make sure you budget appropriately and identify what is and is not important to you. This will help you stick to the important credit card rule of keeping your balance in check.
Choose Low-Cost Souvenirs
Like in-park food, souvenirs are another area where you’ll pay for convenience. If you have extra days in Orlando, consider shopping off-property for Disney souvenirs — like at the official Disney’s Character Warehouse store. If you’re traveling with kids, consider giving them an upfront “souvenir budget” and letting them choose how they want to spend it.
Buy Discounted Disney World Park Tickets
Because Disney World park tickets are usually in such high demand, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to buy them at a discount. To snag Disney World savings in this area, one option is to use cash back rewards toward the cost of Disney park tickets.
Another option is to look for stores that sell Disney gift cards. You can use Disney gift cards for almost anything at Disney World, and some stores will occasionally discount them. Even if you pay full price for a gift card, you might be able to get credit card rewards or credit card points with your gift card purchase.
Use Travel Rewards on a Disney World Vacation
Applying for a rewards credit card that offers credit card miles or cash back rewards can subsidize your Disney World budget.
The two areas where travel rewards can help you save are flights and hotels. If you apply for an airline credit card, the miles you get might help cover your flights. Similarly, the hotel points you earn from a hotel credit card can help pay for your lodging while on a Disney World vacation.
A Disney World vacation can be quite expensive, especially if you’re traveling with a family. This makes it important to learn all the tips you can to save money at Disney World. Look to use your credit card travel rewards toward flights and lodging costs, and consider a cash back credit card to help cover the other costs like park tickets, souvenirs, and food during your vacation.
One opportunity for saving money at Disney World is to use credit card rewards to help pay for your vacation with a cash back credit card. With the SoFi credit card, you can earn unlimited 2% cash back rewards. Cardholders earn 1% cash back rewards when redeemed for a statement credit.1 Plus, you can earn even more when you set up direct deposit on your SoFi Checking and Savings account.
The SoFi Credit Card offers unlimited 2% cash back on all eligible purchases. There are no spending categories or reward caps to worry about.1
How can I spend less at Disney World?
There’s no denying that Disney World is an expensive place, but you have a couple of options if you’re trying to spend less at Disney World. One is to use your credit card points to help offset the cost. The other is to set a budget for the necessary costs that are important to you. Having a budget can help prepare you mentally to spend less.
How can I get airline miles to cover my flights to Disney World?
Airline credit cards are great for earning airline miles to help pay for flights. Look at the cost of airline tickets to Orlando from where you live, and see how many airline miles it would take to fly there. Then, look at signing up for an airline credit card to help get you the miles that you need.
When is the best time of the year to visit Disney World?
There isn’t only one set time of year that is the best to visit Disney World — it will depend on your specific situation and how flexible you can be with your travel plans. Typically, Disney World will be more crowded (and hotels more expensive) during peak travel periods like summer, spring break, and holidays. Conversely, you may experience smaller crowds and lower prices if you travel in the off-season.
How can I save on souvenirs at Disney World?
If you’re buying souvenirs inside the parks themselves, there’s no denying that the prices will be expensive. One way to overcome the souvenir sticker shock is to determine what kind of souvenirs are important to you and set a budget to cover that amount. You can also consider buying some Disney souvenirs at the Disney outlet store (Disney’s Character Warehouse).
Photo credit: iStock/miniseries
1See Rewards Details at SoFi.com/card/rewards.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
The SoFi Credit Card is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A. pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
1Members earn 2 rewards points for every dollar spent on purchases. No points will be earned with respect to reversed transactions, returned purchases, or other similar transactions. When you elect to redeem rewards points as cash deposited into your SoFi Checking and Savings account, as a statement credit to a SoFi Credit Card account, as fractional shares into your SoFi Invest account, or as a payment toward your SoFi Personal Loan or Student Loan Refinance, your rewards points will redeem at a rate of 1 cent per point. For more details please visit the Rewards page. Brokerage and Active investing products offered through SoFi Securities LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. SoFi Securities LLC is an affiliate of SoFi Bank, N.A.
SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a deposit to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.
SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.
SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.
SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.
Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.
Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet..