• The Adventurous Alfords

Make Disney Affordable again!


TICKETS:

I cannot stress this enough: Target red card is a debit card account that runs through target and saves you 5% on all purchases including Disney gift cards! 5% is pretty much the highest percentage off that you can find today. Even Sam's Club cannot match that. So between now and your anticipated trip, you should be purchasing a $25 Disney gift card every trip you make to target, using your target red card. Not only does this save you money, but it also puts all of your money for tickets away and ready to spend when you are ready to book. And don’t forget; anyone that asks what you want for Christmas or for your birthday, be sure that person knows your love for Disney! I am constantly gifting Disney gift cards to people on special occasions. It may not get used right away but it will be put towards other savings when that person is ready to make that magical trip!


FOOD AND DRINKS:

There is absolutely no way around it, Epcot is the most expensive park to visit at Walt Disney World due to all of the kiosks offering cocktails, specialty drinks, and food at very expensive prices. Budgeting and saving for this park alone is very much encouraged. As for the other parks, I highly recommend packing a small cooler bag with peanut butter and jellies or other sandwiches of choice and lots of snacks. Don’t for get your water bottles! Water is FREE at all Disney locations so that you can fill up and stay hydrated. This is the most affordable way to save on food and water. If you are staying in a house or hotel with a kitchen, you can also bring things to cook. Don't for get that most food delivery services can deliver to you. Most also offer discounted delivery fees for first time orders. So consider having your affordable food delivered to you. And last but not least, so many hotels and restaurants in Walt Disney World sell pizza. On our most recent trip, our family ordered a large for less than $20 and it fed three people!


WHERE TO STAY:

Hotel costs are increasing significantly every year. Sharing a room at a hotel can be difficult if your group is larger than four. For this reason, I usually encourage people to look into house rentals. They are not much more expensive than a nightly rate at a hotel but they accommodate so many more people. And the more people you have the more ways you can split the cost. So get that group together, and start searching VRBO and Airbnb. If you do decide to book a resort on property, consider the value hotels like Pop Century and Art of Animation. They will have the lowest rates as well as Skyliner transport to Epcot and Hollywood Studios.


SOUVENIRS:

Disney outlet malls and non-affiliated souvenir shops near the parks, offers the lowest costs on souvenirs. However, there are free options as well. One that is gaining more attention everyday (therefore, it may not be around much longer) is the free necklace you can get simply by walking inside and asking for one at International Diamonds Store at Disney Springs. Another fun freebie is that the Magic Kingdom near sir Mickey’s shop, next to Princess hall, awaits cast members who are excited to sprinkle you with actual pixie dust. Course this is more of an experience than a souvenir, but who doesn't want to be sprinkled with pixie dust? And of course, our family's favorite freebie are always the celebration buttons. All guest service areas have a plethora of buttons that help you celebrate different accomplishments and milestones. And if they don't have what you are looking for, they have blank ones that they will write on for you OR you can take your button to an ornament shop that does personalizations and have your button personalized for approximately $3. And consider applying for a Disney Chase Visa card (with plan to keep it paid off). You can slowly collect rewards that are added to a special rewards card that you can use in most Disney gift shops in a few Disney restaurants. You also will get 10% off purchases of $50 and more at Disney stores.


WHAT TO WEAR:

This is definitely not a necessity, but lots of people do love to come dressed with a theme in mind when headed to Disney. I can't tell you how many amazing Disney ears, shirts, and purses I have found on the Mercari and Poshmark websites are. You can even find sets of shirts for the whole family that are gently secondhand at a fraction of the cost.

I purchased this adorable toy story shirt off of Mercari for about $10

GENIE+:

If you are willing to get to the park over an hour before it even opens… you MIGHT get to ride a few rides without a long wait. Many plan on doing this, but very few succeed. Unless you are certain about a strict itinerary and making it to the park way before they open, the genie plus is recommended to keep your wait times low. My recommendation, to get the biggest bang for your buck on the genie plus, is to still arrive early and hit the most popular rides first, while scheduling out other rides on your genie plus throughout the day. Don't bother waisting a lighting lane option on a show with stadium seating. The two parks that are needed the most on genie plus, are Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.


I hope that this has helped you figure out a way to experience the magic of Walt Disney World and Disneyland. As of right now prices are skyrocketing and show no signs of relief anytime soon. But we're only this age once, our kids are only this little once. If it's something that you really want to experience, or want them to experience, beginning to put money away now is key.

Cheers!


The Adventurous Alfords

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