How to Take a Frugal Disney Vacation
Guest Post by Julie Harrington-Travel Planner
Did you know there are many hidden (and not so hidden tips!) to save money while you are on your Disney Vacation? Here are a few great tips put together by Julie Harrington, a travel planner with Family Time Getaways.
* Purchase a case of water online from a site like Walmart.com and have it shipped directly to your resort at Disney World. Currently, you can snatch up a case of Great Value Purified Water 1/2 liter bottles 24 ct. from Walmart.com for just $4.45 shipped (that’s just $0.19 per bottle!). When you arrive at the resort, pick up your shipment from the front desk and you’ll have cheap water for your entire stay. Note that some Disney Resorts are now charging a fee for deliveries, so I suggest you contact your specific Resort for complete details.
* If you prefer reusable water bottles, consider purchasing a few Disney-Themed water bottles from DisneyStore.com. Stash them in your suitcase and surprise your kiddos with their new water bottles on your first day of vacation.
* Pre-purchase souvenirs! Check your local Disney Store and DisneyStore.com for sales frequently. If you find a great deal on something, snatch it up, pack it in your suitcase and give it to your kids when arrive. You may also want to keep some of these on hand to disperse to your kiddos throughout the vacation (this will prevent you from buying these same souvenirs at the park and paying 2-3 times as much!).
* One of my kid’s favorite traditions at Disney World is buying their box of Disney themed Potato Head Pieces at Downtown Disney. Disney offers two options: (1) Pay $19.99 to put as many pieces into a box as you can fit (2) Purchase the actual Potato Head, which costs more and will also take up valuable space in your box. Instead, consider buying the Potato Head ahead of time (or even better, bring one that you already have!). This will ensure that your child has the Potato Head to put the pieces on later and has more room in the box to fill with Disney themed pieces.
* If you have been to Disney World or any large theme park for that matter with young children, you know that having a stroller is a MUST. Even my 8 year old gets in the stroller to relax after a long morning walk in the parks. Renting a stroller at the parks can get expensive (plus, the park strollers are not all that comfortable). I would highly suggest using an outside company such as MagicStrollers.com to rent your stroller. The prices are amazing for what you are receiving. You not only get a very clean, comfortable, compact stroller, but they also deliver to the resort for you the day of your arrival and pick it up for you the day of your departure.
* Take your own photos! Any of the Disney Photographers are more than happy to take a picture using your own camera as well. If you do want to take advantage of the Disney Photographers while you are in the parks, I highly suggest that you pre-purchase your PhotoPass CD (starts at $99.95). When you get to the parks and come to a Disney Photographer, you’ll ask them for a PhotoPass card and let them know that you have pre-purchased your CD. It’s always a good idea to take a photo of the back of your photopass card in case you lose it as you will need the number to retrieve your photos online after your trip. Once you return home, register your cards online and check out your photos. If for any reason you do not like your photos or do not wish to buy the CD, you will get a full refund of of $99.95 (love that!). If you decide to wait until after your trip to order the CD, it will cost $149.95.
* FREE Pixie Dusting! What little girl wouldn’t want Pixie Dust sprinkled on her? At Castle Couture, right outside Cinderella’s Castle, you can bring your little girls to have pixie dust (glitter) sprinkled on them as they make their enchanted wish. It’s so cute and it’s FREE! Shhh…If you’re worried about finding this “free” Pixie Dust, bring a bag of glitter/confetti with you.
* Want to do something extra special while at Disney World? Have you heard all the buzz about the Bippidi Boppidi Boutique, but just can’t swing the price tag? Then consider another option with a much lower kick to your wallet…the Pirates League at Magic Kingdom. It is just as cute and fun and perfect for little boys and little girls (and even Moms and Dads!). Get your make-up done up like pirates, put on some pirate gear and learn the pirate lingo.
(A BIG thanks to Julie Harrington-Travel Planner with Family Time Getaways for all these awesome tips! If you need help planning an upcoming Disney vacation, you can contact Julie at (978) 707-9047 or follow her on Facebook.)