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Heading to meet Mickey Mouse? Buying these items before you go could help you save money at Disney World.
If you’re currently in the midst of planning of a trip to Disney World (or even Disneyland for that matter) you will know that it’s not a cheap undertaking. While many of us do feel that it is 100% worth the money we pay, there are still plenty of ways to save money at Disney World.
We found one of the best ways to do this was to buy certain things before we even left the U.K. A little bit of extra planning could easily save you lots of money in the parks. Here are eight things to pack to save money at Disney World
1. Kids Costumes
If you have kids then it’s likely they are going to want to get dressed up as their favourite Disney Character while they are there. There are two ways to go about this and hopefully both will help parents avoid having to pay out for pricey costumes from Disney itself. Of, course if you want to treat your children to one or two dress up items while there that is absolutely fine too – just be prepared for it to easily run into the 100s of dollars.
- So the first approach I have seen people take is to buy and take a costume for everyday of their holiday they plan to spend at Disney. While this may seem excessive it could be as simple as also having a few Disney t-shirts that are cheap to pick up from places like Primark and B&M. If you want to be super organized you could even plan bag them up with date and day on each to coincide with what your plans are. For example, a Belle costume for the day you plan to visit Be Our Guest.
- The second approach is a little more tricky to pull off and involves having a good idea of which costumes your child is likely to want, so definitely works better with younger children. If you know your child is likely to want a Cinderella costume, for example, buy one before you travel and keep it hidden. Then when they ask for it in a Disney shop say that you are going to have Tinkerbelle magic it back to you villa or room. Then have it ‘magically appear’ in their wardrobe or bedroom when you return. Small children are unlikely to notice if there are small differences in the design.
Most people book their Disney World holidays at least a year in advance, if not longer, so this gives plenty of time to source cheap costumes. Argos, Primark, B&M, Home Bargains and the supermarkets are great places to pick up kids costumes from. I also recently saw some Elsa costumes in Poundland, but I’m not 100% if they were a £1 or part of the ever increasing £2 and £3 ranges (even if this is the case it’s still wayyy cheaper than Disney World)
Drinks in the parks are super expensive. If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan you can use snack credits to buy drinks but this isn’t the best value way to use them. Add to this the fact Disney don’t do refillable soda cups like many of the other theme parks in Florida. If you have a large family carrying around gallons and gallons of water can be right pain.
Robinson’s Mini Squash provide a great solution to this, especially if your little ones don’t like drinking plain water. The super strength squash comes in a tiny plastic bottle and a small squirt is enough to flavour a bottle of water. You could take plastic bottles and refill them from the water fountains dotted around the parks. Also anywhere in Disney World that serves fountain drink should also serve cups of ice cold water, FREE. Just queue up and ask for how many you need, they often have them made up and ready to go. Once outside, add squash to taste.
3. Plastic Ponchos
Ah Florida. The Sunshine State. While on holiday there we had four days of solid rain. Much more rain than the daily storms – which usually last about an hour and are gone as quickly as they arrive. While it didn’t ruin our holiday it did put a bit of a dampener on things – especially when you’ve got back to the room, warmed up, dried off – it’s not always tempting to go back out in it again.
For these reasons a Plastic Poncho is an essential for a trip to Disney World. It’s one of those things where it’s better to take it and not need it than need it have to shell out over $50 for four in one of the parks. Can be purchased from most Poundland stores, I’ve also seen them in Superdrug and Boots.
Oh, might be worth popping a poncho on for the Kali River Rapids too!
While you may not need these for Disney if you have magic bands, they are still useful, especially if you plan to visit other parks. I very nearly bought some before we left – and then didn’t thinking we wouldn’t need them in Disney. Totally forgetting we had 3 days booked in universal studios. Cue us spending almost $30 on 3 lanyards on our first day there, when I could have got 3 for a fiver from eBay . . .
5.. Pins for Trading
Never heard of Pin Trading? Don’t worry, lots of people haven’t. It is a fun, yet pricey, activity at Disney World. Children (and adults) can buy and then trade pins with members of staff at Disney at designated Pin Trading shops and stations. But fear not, if you feel it’s activity you and you’re children would enjoy, then you can buy a job lot of pins from eBay. These a great for sharing out between several children and they don’t have to be official pins to be swapable at Disney World.
6. T-Shirts & Accessories
It’s not just the kids that like to get dressed up at Disney! While Disney don’t allow adults to visit in full fancy dress, Disney themed t-shirts, dresses and accessories are welcomed. I bought loads from Primark before I went – they have so much Disney stuff in all year round you can take a Disney t-shirt for every day of your holiday without breaking the bank. The -shirt I’m wearing below was just £4.
I don’t think we were prepared for just how expensive everything is in Disney World. In particular snacks like crisps and biscuits. While we were on dining plan and had lots of snacks included using them on crisps is a bit of a waste as there are much better value items to spend them on.
8. Autograph Books
Official Disney Autograph books, bought in the parks are super expensive. Try buying in the U.K from eBay or buying plain autograph books and getting the kids to decorate them with Disney stickers before you go! Personalized autograph books can also be picked up for as little as £5.99 on eBay.