My Trip to Walt Disney World & Some Magical Savings Tips

Last week, my family and I boarded a plane and headed to the Happiest Place on Earth. Fifteen – yes 15 – of us went to Walt Disney World! We all had a fantastic time, and I’m happy to share my trip with our readers, along with some ways we saved money while we were on vacation.

If you’ve read my other blogs, you might remember that I have 4 nieces and nephews. Haley, the oldest, plays travel softball and her team was invited to play in the USSSA Softball World Series in Orlando. (Go Hurricanes!) This sounded like the experience of a lifetime to all of us , and we couldn’t miss it. The team didn’t win the World Series, but they played their hearts out, so we couldn’t really ask for more!

My family knew we were going about 9 months ago, so we had plenty of time to search for the best deals on plane tickets, hotels, and rental cars. We actually changed our rental car reservation 3 times because my sister kept finding a better deal! My sisters did a lot of research on plane tickets, and we ended up getting a decent price on those, but could have paid less if we decided to travel during off-peak times. (We flew out on a Saturday morning and returned on a Sunday afternoon.)

We stayed at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, which was absolutely beautiful! A lot of us have wanted to stay there for a while, so we decided that this was the year we would do it. The cost of rooms was split between more people than we usually travel with, so that helped with the price. There were a few money saving perks to staying at a Disney hotel too. We got free parking at the parks ($20/day if you stay off property), extended hours in the parks, free entry to all of the softball games ($85/per person for the week otherwise), and we were able to use the Disney Dining Plan.Dole Whip - Yum!

IMG_0509As many people know, eating anywhere on vacation adds up extremely quickly! We took advantage of the Dining Plan this year because last December we did not, and spent a lot of money eating in the parks! I un-fondly remember 8 of us getting breakfast to-go from Panera one morning and spending $90! The Disney Dining Plan is included in the price of your room, and basically has you prepay for your 2 meals and a snack per person, per day. (If you’ve never had a Dole Whip in Disney, you are missing out!) We had reservations at some popular restaurants, so we made the most of the plan. I think the Dining Plan was the right choice for us, but maybe it isn’t for everyone. It really depends on how you want to spend your time on vacation.
We also saved a lot of money during the trip by bringing in our own waters, granola bars, and fruit. It was SO hot all week, and we drank tons of water. We ordered 15 cases to our rooms, and we finished all of them! Had we bought those waters in the parks, we would have been paying $3 each for them. Some quick math to show how much that would have cost us: 15 cases of water x 24 waters per case x $3 per bottle = $1080!! Imagine spending all that on water? Bringing our own snacks like fruit and granola bars saved a lot of money too, and was a healthier alternative to what Disney had to offer.

IMG_0373I tried really hard not to spend a lot of money on unnecessary souvenirs, but sometimes it was hard! Luckily, I had earned some points with my Disney Visa card, and could use them towards buying souvenirs in the parks plus I got 10% off in select stores. I also bought a Disney gift card at Target before my trip and got 5% off because I used my Target Red Card. These little savings really added up!

One thing I would do differently, however, is linking a debit or credit card to my Magic Band. I did link mine, and thought that it made it too easy to spend money. I realized this on the first day, and made myself more aware of what I was spending on the rest of the trip.

We definitely “got the most bang for our buck” during our time in Disney. We utilized every minute of the trip, and that made me really happy. It was great to get our money’s worth, but even better because we made awesome memories doing it! There is nothing like opening Epcot and being some of the first to ride the brand new Frozen ride, and on the same day running across Animal Kingdom less than 5 minutes before the park closes to ride the Everest Rollercoaster just 1 more time. Our 9 day adventure seemed to fly by fast, but these memories will last a lifetime!

Are any of our readers going on a trip this summer, or did you go somewhere already? What’s your favorite way to save some cash on vacation?IMG_0319

 

7 Responses to “My Trip to Walt Disney World & Some Magical Savings Tips

  • Amanda Bridge
    12 months ago

    Love this!! I am a huge advocate for bringing your own snacks and waters everywhere you go! Saves a lot of money you don’t realize.

    • Kaelagh Haley
      12 months ago

      We saved so much money doing this! I cannot imagine paying all of that money for water!

  • Great tips! I just came back from Disney also and it can be an even more expensive vacation if you don’t prepare properly!

  • Great blog!!!

    I recommend looking into the concierge level rooms. Although more expensive than regular rooms, when you factor in the value of the waters, food, adult beverages available on the concierge level, it may be cheaper than purchasing meals or the meal plan.

    • Kaelagh Haley
      12 months ago

      That’s a great tip! Definitely something we should try next time. Thanks Kim!

  • My brother recommended I may like this blog. He used to be
    entirely right. This put up truly made my day. You can not imagine just how so much time I had spent for this information! Thank you!

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