There’s no denying that a Disney World vacation is at the top of many folks’ travel bucket list. But it’s also the case that traveling to Disney World can be expensive, especially if you’re traveling with the whole family. While there are some costs you won’t be able to avoid, there are ways to save money at Disney World.
If you’re heading on a vacation to Orlando, you can use credit card rewards points to help pay for your flights and hotels. It can be more challenging to get discounts on park tickets themselves, but there are a few tricks you can use when you are saving for Disney World. Read on for the full rundown on how to save money at Disney World.
Trips to 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 that they can take their kids to Disney just to see the looks on their faces when they walk into the Magic Kingdom. It’s not just kids though — many adults also dream of taking a trip to Disney World.
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Using Credit Cards Efficiently on a Disney World Vacation
One of the best ways to save money at Disney World is by responsibly using a credit card. Many credit cards offer rewards or cash back for each purchase you make with the card. Additionally, it’s common for credit card issuers to offer a welcome offer that you can earn by signing up for the card and making a certain amount of purchases within the first few months of having the card.
Using these credit card rewards can help if you’re considering how to save money on a Disney vacation. You’ll just want to ensure you understand how credit cards work and how to use your credit card responsibly to ensure your Disney savings efforts don’t undercut your overall financial health.
Using Card Travel Rewards on a Disney World Vacation
Applying for a rewards credit card that offers credit card miles or cash back rewards can help augment your Disney World budget.
The two areas where earning travel rewards can help you with saving money at Disney World are on 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.
Another way to save money at Disney World is by using a cashback credit card or a card that earns bank points.
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Tips for Saving Money at Disney World
Besides using credit card rewards to travel for less, here are a few other ways that you can save money at Disney World.
Taking Advantage of a Free Disney Dining Plan
Once you’re at Disney World, one of the biggest expenses you’ll have is your food costs. Food can be quite expensive at Disney World, 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.
Picking the Right Season
The cost of Disney World park tickets is the same no matter when you go, but the cost of hotels varies 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 might be lower and there may be smaller crowds.
Never Paying Full Price for Hotels
Your hotel cost will be one of the biggest items of your Disney World vacation, so one tip to save money at Disney World is to not pay top dollar for hotels. One option could be using different credit card rewards to pay for your hotels. There are hotel credit cards that offer a signup bonus that could provide enough points to pay for most or even all of your Disney World trip.
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Sticking to Your Budget
Just like all aspects of your financial life, it’s a smart idea to set a budget while you’re at Disney World. Not only can this help you save the money to afford your trip, it can also keep you from spending too much while you’re there.
Remember, though, that saving money on a trip to Disney World doesn’t have to mean not having 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.
Picking Free 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 Disney’s 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.
Buying 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.
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A Disney World vacation can be quite expensive, especially if you’re traveling with multiple people. 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 like the SoFi 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.
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.
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The SoFi Credit Card is issued by The Bank of Missouri (TBOM) (“Issuer”) 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.
You will need to maintain a qualifying Direct Deposit every month with SoFi Checking and Savings in order to continue to receive this promotional cash back rate. Qualifying Direct Deposits are defined as deposits from enrolled member’s employer, payroll, or benefits provider via ACH deposit. Deposits that are not from an employer (such as check deposits; P2P transfers such as from PayPal or Venmo, etc.; merchant transactions such as from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.; and bank ACH transfers not from employers) do not qualify for this promotion. A maximum of 36,000 rewards points can be earned from this limited-time offer. After the promotional period ends or once you have earned the maximum points offered by this promotion, your cash back earning rate will revert back to 2%. 36,000 rewards points are worth $360 when redeemed into SoFi Checking and Savings, SoFi Money, SoFi Invest, Crypto, SoFi Personal Loan, SoFi Private Student Loan or Student Loan Refinance and are worth $180 when redeemed as a SoFi Credit Card statement credit.
Promotion Period: 4/5/2022-12/31/2022. SoFi reserves the right to exclude any Member from participating in the Program for any reason, including suspected fraud, misuse, or if suspicious activities are observed. SoFi also reserves the right to stop or make changes to the Program at any time.
Eligible Participants: All new members who apply and get approved for the SoFi Credit Card, open a SoFi Checking and Savings account, and set up Direct Deposit transactions ("Direct Deposit") into their SoFi Checking and Savings account during the promotion period are eligible. All existing SoFi Credit Card members who set up Direct Deposit into a SoFi Checking & Savings account during the promotion period are eligible. All existing SoFi members who have already enrolled in Direct Deposit into a SoFi Checking & Savings account prior to the promotion period, and who apply and get approved for a SoFi Credit Card during the promotion period are eligible. Existing SoFi members who already have the SoFi Credit Card and previously set up Direct Deposit through SoFi Money or SoFi Checking & Savings are not eligible for this promotion.
New SoFi Checking and Savings customers and existing Checking and Savings customers without direct deposit are eligible to earn a cash bonus when they set up direct deposits of at least $1,000 over a consecutive 30-day period. Cash bonus will be based on the total amount of direct deposit. Entry into the Program will be available 4/5/22 to 5/31/22. Full terms at sofi.com/banking. SoFi Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. Member FDIC.
SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 2.00% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on all account balances in their Checking and Savings accounts (including Vaults). Members without direct deposit will earn 1.00% APY on all account balances in Checking and Savings (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. Rate of 2.00% APY is current as of 08/12/2022. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.