Have you ever visited the happiest place on Earth? It's easily one of my favorite places to be! As annual pass holders, we have really figured out how to do Disney on a budget!
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1. No Driving or Park Parking
I know this seems almost impossible, but seriously. Take advantage of Disney transportation! I obviously suggest staying at a hotel that provides transportation to the parks, (there are very few that don't) and then keeping your car put at the hotel. BUT if you don't have that option OR are just making a day trip, there's definitely ways around this! Go to Disney Springs, where parking is FREE, and take a bus from there. While there aren't any "direct" buses from Disney Springs, there are buses to the Disney Resorts. We used to hop on a bus to the Port Orleans Resort, get off, and get right back on their bus to any of the various parks! It can be a pain, but totally worth saving the $25 on a parking pass, PLUS gas while you're in town!
2. Bring Snacks!
… and waters! Disney charges an arm and a leg for their food, just like all theme parks. There are some semi-affordable options within the park, but I ALWAYS suggest saving the money and planning ahead. We bring in popcorn, chips, sandwiches, water bottles, and pretty much anything you can think of food wise. We put our food in a compact cooler like this one. Don't forget to add an ice pack to keep everything fresh!
** The top open flap is super convenient to quickly & easily grab things out on the go! **
3. Prepare for Florida Weather
I was born & raised (and still currently reside) in Florida, so I know alllll too well about the random rain that quite literally comes out of nowhere. Even if it's supposed to be a GORGEOUS day it is NEVER a bad idea to prepare. Some items you should buy ahead of time include rain ponchos (these are $10 each in the park) and portable fans. Sunscreen is also a great idea, the heat is no joke!
4. Buy Merchandise Ahead of Time
This one should be a no brainer. BUT.. here's what usually happens.
Me : "I don't need to waste money on a Disney shirt for my upcoming trip, I'll be fine in my normal boring clothes."
**Disney trip begins, enters park, immediately regrets decision**
Brain : MUST BUY $60 DISNEY SHIRT
Seriously.. it's the worst. If you a have cute gear ahead of time, you'll surely skip this entire process. I have this adorable "Whip It Real Good" shirt from Modern Mouse Design (it's a pun on Disney's amazing Dole Whip soft serve dessert). They also have these adorable fanny packs that you can collect your pins on (how creative)!
5. Experiences, not things!
Remember that you're going to Disney for the experience! Not the things! Watching your family and friends enjoy themselves at the happiest place on Earth is an incredible thing. Don't take it for granted! Disney has a funny way of making everything they sell super appealing, so really try hard not to give in! Enjoy your time by creating magical memories with the ones you love!
I hope this helps you pinch some pennies!
Happy Disney Days!