We just took our cheapest trip to Disney World ever. This is how

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Even though the entry costs have increased, we still managed to save.


Important points

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

My family took several Disney vacations before the pandemic broke out. And while we were trying to get back there in 2021, we failed to get a repeat trip until the spring of 2022.

When my husband and I sat down to buy our tickets, we almost gasped at how much the entrance fee had increased in the last two years. But unfortunately, we connected our credit card number, made our reservations and prepared to give our kids a wonderful surprise.

Not only were our kids surprised, though we was actually surprised when we sat down to look at our credit card printout after the trip. Despite the fact that we paid more for our tickets, this last Disney trip was actually our least expensive to date. Here’s how we managed to save.

1. We went on a free week

As someone who takes learning seriously, I did not feel good about pulling my kids out of school for several days to go on vacation just two short weeks after the spring break. But I thought that if we went on a week off, we would save money on tickets. It turns out I was right. I compared the cost of our tickets with the tickets of my friend, who was booked for the spring holiday week. The difference was quite noticeable.

2. We drove down instead of flying

My family has taken many car trips, so we are no strangers to logging hundreds of miles on the highway to reach a destination. Although the plane tickets were not extraordinarily expensive the week we wanted to travel down to Florida from New Jersey, we knew we had the potential to save a package by driving – even with such high gas prices.

3. We barely ate in the parks

When we took our first trip to Disney, we wanted to experience everything – and that included $ 200 grade breakfasts where my kids could wave to Mickey Mouse while nibbling on a muffin. But these days, my kids are too old to care about meeting the characters. And they could not care less if they eat breakfast at a regular dinner or a Disney restaurant where it costs five times as much. And then with the exception of one dinner, we ate no meals in the parks, and that saved us a bundle.

4. We did not buy souvenirs

During our first trip to Disney, we decided to treat our kids and let them buy a souvenir every day. This time we limited them to one item each for the entire trip. Not only did my kids take part in it, but they happened to choose affordable items that didn’t really make a big dent in our overall category.

5. We did not buy a passport

There are many great photo opportunities at Disney, and sometimes it can be difficult to take your share of family photos (because, after all, someone has to be at the other end of the camera). During previous trips, we paid for the photo service, which gives you access to Disney photographers who take as many family photos as you want. This time we skipped it 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 hardly a cheap vacation. But we also found ways to keep costs down. If you are eager to visit Disney but have limited funds, you can think of ways to spend less. For example, see if a Disney credit card can help you save a little more money. A few small adjustments can mean the difference between a trip that fits into your budget and one that puts you in debt.

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