If you are planning a Walt Disney World vacation on a budget, you will most definitely notice a lot of opportunities to pay a little bit more for some added magic. You can take a guided tour or a cruise. You can pay for after-hours tickets, dessert parties, or any number of other events at a premium. However, even if you steer clear of these added costs and stick to the basics, there are Disney World budget busters that are bound to sneak up on you.
Minnie Vans are a Lyft powered service operated by Disney. You use the Lyft app within Walt Disney World to access the Minnie Van option. Minnie Van drivers are trained Disney cast members, and they will take you to select Walt Disney World locations. They also provide airport shuttle service. Having said that, the pricing for this service has never been great. You can argue the value of a Disney run ride share service over non-Disney, but Uber always seems to have a promotion going and is the better choice from a budget perspective. Walt Disney World also has plenty of complimentary transportation that runs very smoothly.
Disney Dining Plan
If you are looking to save money on dining at Walt Disney World, the Disney Dining plan is one of the biggest Disney World budget busters there is. Unless you are very careful with your credits, you will almost certainly wind up paying out of pocket for food in addition to the plan, and in order to get a value from the plan, you have to be relentless about purchasing the most expensive things and always getting dessert at table service restaurants. You are better off budgeting your meals, using quick service and other strategies to save money on food at Walt Disney World.
You can and should bring your own bottled water into the parks. It’s essential to stay hydrated, and bottled water in the parks and resorts is way too expensive. Pack enough water for your trip before you leave, and you could save $100 or more just on water. If you have Amazon, Amazon Prime Now was a game changer for us. Baby supplies and groceries right to our room in less than 1-2 hours. Pro-tip: You can ask for ice water at any quick-service/counter-service restaurant for free, even without dining there!
Renting a car in Disney World is a budget buster in general, considering you have no reason to drive anywhere on your own. If you plan to leave Disney World for other Florida attractions, you may want to drive, but in most cases, car rentals are major budget busters. Mainly because of the constant parking fees you insure on top of the rental cost. You have to pay a nightly parking fee at your hotel and pay for parking whenever you visit the parks.
Park Hopper Multi-Day Passes
Another prepaid option not to consider when booking your vacation is the multi-day park hopper tickets. You are paying for the privilege to park hop with every one of your passes. You may do this once or twice, but park hopping is not that convenient, and it’s a big waste of time going from one park to another and going through security all over again. Park Hopper Plus is the worst value of all. You are better off buying the single park multi-day tickets and sticking to them. You know your family best, but one park a day is a lot for any age.
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