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Disney on a Budget: 8 Money Saving Tips

So you have saved your pennies and planned what you hope to be the most amazing destination vacation to Disney World or Disneyland, but lets face it, Disney is expensive.  To top it off, it looks like the pricing is just continuing to rise with extra fees like the new resort parking fee that has just been announced.  So how can your family save some money and visit your favorite Disney Characters while still feeling like you are not going to break the bank.

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8. Make Ears and T-shirts at home: There are so many fun amazing videos on YouTube on how to make your own ears, these can be made fairly inexpensive and are so much fun because you can give them a personal flair.  Ear Headbands in general cost $25 at the parks plus tax.  So if you can make some fun family ears for $5 – $10 you have just saved yourself a ton of cash!

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7. Purchase those pretty princess dresses at home: This is a big one for little girls, they see all the amazing dresses in the parks and want to wear them around.  If you are able to get them on sale ahead of time, you will be saving yourself bundles of money vs purchasing them at the park, or at Bibbity-Bobbity-Boutique, where the prices are much higher.

6. Travel During the off-season: This may seem silly but Disney does actually have better savings and specials during the off-season.  Just for fun, price out a Spring Break vacation, then price out one during mid-September, the price differences are pretty significant. Not to mention you can actually get in on some of the fun seasonal parties like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, which starts in August of this year.

5. Bring Snacks into the park:  One of the greatest things about Disney parks is they allow you to take food in.  Bring in a few snacks so that when you are waiting in a long line you can munch and help curb those cravings.  That way when you do decide to spring for the Mickey Pretzel, you can share vs buying everyone their own.

4. Share meals:  There are a few quick service and table service restaurants that are known for giving overly generous portions.  Here are a few quick service locations that we love to share a meal at:

  • Magic Kingdom:  Casey’s Corner Meals, especially the corn dog nugget meal, this is easily split with family members and is more then enough food for two!
  • Epcot: Tangerine Cafe platters, these come with generous portions and are fun to split
  • Hollywood Studios: ABC Commissary, especially the Chicken and Ribs combo platter, talk about enough food for two, and tastes AMAZING!
  • Animal Kingdom: Flame Tree Barbecue, especially the combo platters, nice big portions make sharing a meal possible.
  • Bonus: If you are ever in the Polynesian, try the Pulled Pork Nachos at Captain Cook’s.  So delicious and a big helping to share!

3. Low cost Souvenirs: One way to spend your money quickly is to walk into any of the beautiful shops in Walt Disney World.  The stores are perfectly laid out, and just suck you in.  I am guilty of this often.  Who can resist a store like this.  The problem is, all of the items in here are retail price, you typically never find a sale in a Disney World shop.  Now, if you want to venture out, you can check out the two Character Warehouse locations and get some awesome deals on your Disney merchandise.

These outlets are AMAZING, you will find Authentic Disney Parks merchandise for less than half off, and in some cases even more then that.  You can get everything from clothes to mugs, to pins.  It is such a great way to get affordable souvenirs that are Authentic Disney.  One tip about the outlets, they can be VERY busy, so it is best to go right after they open at 10:00 am or right before they close, this will help you avoid some of the crazy crowds. See Outlet Locations Below:

  • Character Warehouse, Orlando Premium Outlets Vineland Road (closer to Disney), 8200 Vineland Avenue,Orlando, FL 32821
  • Character Warehouse, Orlando Premium Outlets International Drive (closer to Universal), 4951 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819

2. Free Water:  Don’t buy those pesky bottles of water, just walk up to any counter service restaurants and ask for a glass of ice cold water, they will give you one for free.

1. Squished Pennies:  This is such a fun souvenir that is only a few dollars, and is so much fun.  Prep the kids, clean up some nice shiny pennies before you head to Disney, and then go on the hunt for penny machines.  The kids feel like they have gotten a souvenir, and you have some extra money in your pocket vs buying a more expensive option.

Disney Squished Penny


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About the The Pixie Dust Life:

At The Pixie Dust Life we believe wholesome traditional Disney values. We want to offer a safe place to keep you informed of everything Disney for all ages. From Shopping news to Travel news, we have you covered. Our mission is to bring the Pixie Dust home to you, wherever you are!


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