You’ve probably realized that booking an Orlando theme park family vacation is not going to be an inexpensive vacation but for the families that go to the parks, these vacations can create memories to last a lifetime.  Some love these theme parks so much that they go time and time and time again.

These are the top Money Saving Tips from My Vacation Lady’s Disney and Universal park specialists.

  1. Purchase a meal plan- especially if you have older kids that can eat a lot.  There are a number of different meal plans offered at the theme parks and you’ll end up saving a good amount of money by adding it to your reservation.
  2. Free dining vs. discounted room rates?  Check with your travel specialist to see if the “free dining” is a better promotion for your family than the 20-30% off room rate promotions.
  3. Bring your own snacks.  If you purchase the Disney dining plan, 1 snack a day is included but if your kids are constantly hungry like so many are, packing granola bars, etc can save a good amount of money.
  4.  If your kids want to dress up as a character, buy the costume at home and bring it with you.  Plan ahead and watch the Disney Stores sales (even with the sales a princess dress may be $40).  Buy a size larger so that the kids can wear shorts and and a tee shirt underneath, just in case the costume is a bit scratchy.
  5. Bring refillable water bottles or buy a souvenir cup to get free refills.  The Freestyle Cup at Universal Studios includes free icees all day and it’s only $6 if you buy a meal plan that includes it.
  6. The refillable Popcorn Bucket at Disney is a great value.  The original bucket costs $10 (2017 prices) and yu can get them refilled as many times as you want for $1.50 for each fill up.
  7. Stay at the park hotels so that you can take advantage of their transportation system.  You won’t need to rent a car and that alone can save a couple of hundred $$ for a week long.
  8. Schedule meals that will give you the most bang for your buck.  Have a later buffet breakfast and an earlier dinner, so you can eliminate a lunch stop.
  9. Buy Disney Gift cards at a discount. If you buy them at Target with a red card, you can get them for 5% off.  BJ’s and Sam’s Club stores offer them at a discount as well.  You can also get e-gift cards online so you don’t have a zillion plastic cards to keep up with
  10. Check the current Disney bounce back offer before you check out.  If you don’t know what that is, the Orlando Theme Park Specialists at My Vacation Lady can help you with that all all of these tips and more.

We’ll be working on a list of terminology for Disney and Universal so that you can learn to speak their language.  Watch for it in the next few weeks!