Five Ways to Visit Disney on a Budget

budgeting to disney tips

Travel to Disney on a Budget and Have a Great Time!

Traveling to Disney is one of those dreams we all have from the time we’re kids, and often goes into adulthood. However, taking a trip to any of the Disney parks can seem like it’s out of pocket but once you have your tickets it’s time to start planning. There are ways to visit the most magical place on earth and not completely break the bank.

There are great sites that help you get those tickets on a budget, but once you’re in the parks – it’s easy to go overboard and you can find yourself spending money and blowing your budget. We’re not saying to pass up that Dole Whip or get those mouse ears you fall in love with but there are ways to enjoy your visit to any Disney park without going (completely) broke and here are a few that we absolutely love!

Save on Souvenirs and Pin Trade! 

disney pin trading
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The souvenirs at any Disney park are amazing. I do end up spending quite a bit every time I go, but I set a small budget before I walk through those magical gates. Before any trip I order a set of pins from Amazon or Ebay and hit the park. For $20 (or less) you can get a set of Disney pins before you even head out on your trip.

We all have our favorite characters – and you can go into any store in the parks and buy a pin. The pins are the best for displaying at home, but they’re small and travel easily. But each pin within the park can run anywhere from $7 to $40. But throughout the park you can trade the pins you brought with you! That means you can trade in the pins you brought for ones you like more. It’s actually a lot of fun and something your kids can do as you go through the park.

Here’s a Beginner’s Guide to Pin Trading to get your started! Make your own Pin board here!

Bring Your Own Water Bottle

go contigo water bottle
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Yes, you can bring your own water and drinks into Disney! That means you wont need to buy drinks throughout the park. You will find filling stations in every park, or can default to using a water fountain to refill your bottle. Yes, you can always buy water or other drinks through the park, but on a hot day – nothing is better than having a water bottle handy.

Pro-tip – bring one that has a carabiner on the lid so you can hook it onto your bag or purse while you go around the park. This makes it easier to carry though the park, and makes it a bit more secure while you ride roller coasters!

Make or Bring Your Own Autograph Book

disney autographs

One fun activity you can do throughout the park is get signatures from your favorite characters you meet throughout the park. You can find signature or autograph books throughout each park. But preparing ahead of time means you can have it on hand when you enter the gates and head to meet your favorite princess. No stopping in a shop to get one right away, and you can always add onto your homemade versions to expand over several trips.

Find a DIY to own Autograph book before you head into the park! You can order one from Amazon too but making your own means you have a unique one that you will treasure for years to come!

Stay off Property

wyndham lake buena vista resort
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Growing up, we stayed at a Disney World resort property and it was great since we were close to everything. But around Disney are great hotels that are within a close a few miles and your nightly cost will be a lot less. Check out hotels near Disney Springs! They offer shuttles to the park on a regular basis and it puts you near Disney Springs for more Disney fun outside of the parks. Don’t worry, they still offer character meals, pin trading and more.  Often the off property places are still official resorts and will offer you great discounts and deals while you’re there!

Buy Gift Cards Ahead of Time and Save in More Than One Way!

Disney Gift Card

This may be one of my favorite tips I’ve learned over the years. If your grocery store does point rewards, start buying gift cards ahead of time. You can use Disney Gift Cards in the parks on shopping, food and even hotel stays. But how you really win is when you do this when it’s 4x fuel point time. Buy a $100 gift card to use in the parks (and set your budget for your trip), and get 400 fuel points, or 40 cents off a gallon!

As soon as you start planning your trip start buying gift cards, you’ll be surprised how much you can start to accumulate and then you have your budget set for the trip before you leave. Don’t worry if you don’t use them all on your trip (although you probably will), they still work at your local Disney store and can be used for future trips or gifts for later!



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Detroit Mommies Expert Contributor
Becky is an interior designer, an adjunct professor, a foodie, a product reviewer and a gluten free blogger in Detroit, Michigan. Becky is gluten free, and develops gluten free recipes for her home as well as her readers. The Week99er household is a clean eating and fresh household, and the site features gardening and how to do things from scratch. Becky is a self proclaimed kitchen goddess, a bee keeper and loves to travel.
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