8 Ways To Save Money At Disneyworld Florida

A trip to Disneyworld isn’t easy on the budget, but there are plenty of ways that you can save money at Disneyworld. 

Buy Before You Go

Some items have a massive markup in the theme parks so you can save money by buying them before you go. If you don’t want to take them in your luggage then you can easily get them at a nearby supermarket for a fraction of the cost. You can make some big savings if you buy the following items before you step foot into a park:

  • Sunscreen 
  • Ponchos (for the rides or the rain!) 
  • Fans 
  • Water 
  • Snacks 

Don’t Buy Water In The Parks

A bottle of water costs over $2.50 in the parks, and if you want a bottle of Smart water then expect to pay close to $5. Instead of paying for water in the parks you can:

  • Ask for a cup of free iced water at places that have a soda fountain - booths and quick service locations usually do. 
  • Use the water fountains dotted around the parks. 
  • Take your supermarket bought water into the parks. 

Are You Celebrating?

Disney has created free celebration badges for almost everything! Whether you are celebrating a birthday, an engagement, honeymoon or something else entirely, there are free badges for you to pick up from guest services at each of the parks, or your hotel reception if you are staying in a Disney hotel. These badges are great - cast members will interact with you a bit more and you might find yourself getting some celebration freebies. We have had free cupcakes at meals and even free snacks.

The Food Portions Are HUGE

If you aren’t used to American sized portions then let me tell you...they are HUGE. We always struggle to finish off a meal so don’t feel bad for wanting to share a meal. It helps you to cut down your costs and cut down on waste. Alternatively, if you are staying somewhere with a fridge, you can ask for a doggy bag to take your leftovers away with you.

Visit The Outlets

Whether you are a massive shopping fan, or you just want to pick up a few souvenirs, the outlets are the place to go! Last February I spotted a Rapunzel statue that I really wanted, but at $50 it was a little too steep for me. When we visited again in November I found the same status for £20 in a Disney outlet store. There are Disney outlet stores at both Premium Outlets and the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores outlet.
Budget, Budget, Budget

When you are making your budget for Disneyworld and deciding how much spending money to take, don’t forget about three things that can always trip people up:

  • Sales tax - usually 6-7% on top of the price displayed. 
  • Gratuity (tips) - a lot of jobs within the service industry (e.g. servers) pay less than the minimum wage, based on the fact that they will receive 18-20% gratuity on top of the bill. This means that the service you get is amazing, but it is important to budget for this. Other places you will be expected to tip would be bell services (if they handle your luggage), bartenders ($1-$2 per drink) and sometimes even drivers. 
  • The cost of parking - parking is now $20 per day at the Disney theme parks, with all of the other big theme parks charging a similar amount. This can really add up, so be sure to account for it when you are budgeting. 

Have Breakfast In Your Hotel Room Or Villa

Eating out in America is one of the perks of visiting Orlando, but you can save a tonne of money and still enjoy American cuisine (Lucky Charms!) in the comfort of your own hotel room or villa. Don’t forgo breakfast out entirely - you have to try IHOP (International House of Pancakes) at least once!

When You Look At The Price Of Disney Hotels, Remember The Benefits

Staying onsite in a Disney hotel is definitely one of the more expensive ways to visit Disneyworld, but do you know what benefits staying in a Disney hotel offers?

If you choose to stay in a Disney hotel you will get:

  • A free transfer to and from the airport with Disney’s Magical Express. 
  • Free magic bands for everyone staying. 
  • More time in the theme parks with extra magic hours. 
  • Free parking at the theme parks (usually $20 a day). 
  • Free transportation across Disney with a monorail, boats and buses. 

At certain times of the year, you can get a promotion that offers you the Disney Dining Plan completely free!

Whilst a trip to Disneyworld is a treat, there are still plenty of ways that you can save money on your trip.

Thanks to Emma Drew for this guest post. Emma has lots of tips on how to save money on her blog Emma Drew. 
If you are off to Orlando soon you can read more here about my money saving tips in Orlando and my planning tips for a holiday in Orlando.


  1. Great post Emma. Another tip would be to register with your favourite non-Disney restaurants a couple of weeks before you go. If it is your birthday whilst you are there, they will send you vouchers to use at the restaurant eg for a free entree

    1. Yes, that's a great tip, I did this myself at Maggianos.

  2. Thanks for the great tips, my kids woudl love us to take them there. Mich x

    1. Hope you get the chance to go one day Michelle

  3. These are great tips! I can't wait to visit one day in the future!

  4. It's things like this that sometimes you simply don't consider. I know I have been to theme parks in The UK here, and been blown away with the costs of simple things like a bottle of water. Good to share.

    1. They will give you a cup of iced water if you ask for it. You can always take a very small bottle of squash and add it to the water if your kids prefer.

  5. It's a dream for me to go one day, such a helpful post - hopefully once I finish Uni I can go and use those tips xx

  6. I never wanted to go until I had been to Paris and now I just want to see it full scale and go all out x

    1. Florida is amazing, Paris is good but not quite as good.

  7. We are planning on going next year so the handy tips are brillant x

  8. Thank you for sharing. I have never been so good to know for the future :)

  9. These are fantastic tips! I've only ever been to Disneyland Paris, but I'd love to visit Disneyworld one day!

  10. I have never thought that this is possible, Mellissa. Awesome tips!