Although the Disney theme parks are getting to be almost $100 per ticket – everything else around your stay can be significantly cheaper. Disney realizes that not everyone has the money to stay at one of their resorts, eat at their theme park, or pay $17 to park in their parking lots.
Here are some money-saving Disney tips for spending some time at Disney pre or post-cruise:
1. Go Early, Stay Late.
I was talking to a 30-year annual season passholder while at the park and he was telling me to get to the theme parks when the ropes drop in the morning and leave around noon. Then return early evening and spend the rest of the night at the park. We took his advice and it was genius.
2. Stay at a good neighbor hotel.
A good neighbor hotel has a lot of the benefits that staying at a Disney property has. One Good Neighbor Hotel I always stay at is the Sonesta Suites in Orlando. Free breakfast, transportation to the parks, and every room is a suite so you don’t have to eat out every night; you can whip up a quick dinner in your kitchenette instead.
3. Pack a snack.
Bring plenty of snacks and a couple of bottled waters to hold you over while you’re at the parks. Better yet, you can pack a small lunch in an insulated cooler and eat it in a park or venture to a resort.
4. Take your own photos.
The Disney cast members will take your photos for free, as much as you’d like (just like photos on a cruise), but if you ask them to take a photo with your camera, they will do that too.
5. Venture to the resorts.
During the day if you don’t want to leave the park, head to a Disney resort to eat your lunch poolside, check out their properties, and dip your toes in the pool. Outside of Walt Disney World’s main gate there are buses that go to each resort. Pick one and go. The buses run between resorts and all the Disney theme parks every 20 minutes. You never know if you will fall in love with one of the their resorts and book it on your next Disney vacation.
6. Play off-season.
Orlando hoteliers consider the month of May and the fall as their off-season. Coincidently, that is also the case for cruises. Plan your vacation in the off-season and save. It’s been said before but when the kids are in school, pricing is at its best.
Have you ever stayed at Disney pre- or post-cruise? Do you have any tips?