Saving Money At Disney By Buying The Right Ticket For You
So you want to go to Walt Disney World? Good plan. You go to Disney’s website, select your travel dates and find a room. Now Disney offers you some tickets. You take their offer and move on to the next step of the process. But are you saving money at Disney or wasting it by letting Disney guide you through the process.
Or maybe you are taking advantage of one of their special offers. One of the most popular options is the Free Dining Promotion. Suppose your trip includes five days at Disney World. You really don’t want to go to the parks for five days though. You only want to do one day at each park. But if you don’t buy tickets for all five days you cannot get the free dining plan right? You are saving money by buying that extra day you do not want. Or are you wasting it?
By default Disney tries to sell you a park ticket for every day you will be staying at one of it’s Disney Resort Hotels. That is not necessarily good nor is it necessarily bad. It’s just Disney being like every other company in the world and trying to transfer money from your pocket to theirs.
If your goal is to saving money at Disney you need to take the control away from Disney and make the decisions that are best for you and your family.
Take for example the Free Dining offer that Disney has been using. It normally goes something like this:
Book at minimum four night stay at select Disney resorts and get the Disney Dining Plan for free.
Grumpy loves the free dining plan, don’t get me wrong. Of course to get the deal you also have to buy five days of park tickets right? (A four night stay equals five days in Disney and Disney tries to sell you a ticket for every day you are going to be at Walt Disney World.) No. You absolutely do not have to buy a five day ticket. To qualify for the Free Dining Plan you have to book a minimum four night stay and purchase at least a one day ticket for each person in your party. (Yes it really does work that way. Grumpy has done it.)
The Disney Dining Plan is not tied to your park tickets. It is tied to your room reservation. Each night at a Disney Resort Hotel equals one day of credits for the Disney Dining Plan.
Before you decide you can start saving money by cutting down on the number of days on your tickets you need to understand how Disney ticket prices work. You also need to think about options you can add to your ticket like Park Hopper but that will be covered in a future article.
The Price Per Day Goes Down If You Buy More Days
Disney sells tickets that range from one day to ten days. One day tickets start at $94 for an adult. Unfortunately Disney considers anyone over nine to be an adult.
$94 dollars is pretty steep and some of you are deciding right now that you can never afford a Disney trip at those prices. There is good news. If you buy your tickets for more than two days the prices per day start dropping.
It works like this. If you buy a one day ticket it’s $94. If you buy a three day ticket it is $274. That breaks down to $91.34 per day. Not much cheaper but it is cheaper. If you buy a four day ticket it is $294 or $73.50 per day. If you go all the way out to ten days the price for the ticket is $354 or $35.40 per day.
So Should You Buy More Days Or Fewer
This is where you have to know what your plans are. If you are planning a five day trip to Disney how many days are you actually going to spend in the parks? Buy a ticket for every day you know you are going to spend in the park. Disney will let you add days to your ticket as long as you still have one unused day on it. Disney will not let you subtract a day from your ticket. Any unused days are just money lost.
Arrival and departure time will have a lot of impact on how many days you spend in the parks. If you arrive at Disney World at eight in the morning you may want to go to a park. If you arrive at eight in the evening you probably will not. If you are leaving Disney at eight in the morning you are not going to the parks. If you are leaving at eight in the evening you might.
When it comes to the day you arrive you also need to consider how you got there. If you drove 18 hours straight through you might be too tired to go to a park. Maybe you just want to relax. If you took a two hour flight and arrive early in the morning then you might well want to hit one of the parks.
Families who are taking a longer vacation may also want a day off from the parks. Maybe a trip to Universal for some butter beer or a day just spent at the pool. There are options.
While adding a day to your ticket is probably only going to cost you about $10 per person you have to decide if it is worth it. Sometimes it is and sometimes it is not. It all depends on you. Some people like a day to relax. Others think of all the money they have spent to get to Disney and say what’s $10 more to hit the Magic Kingdom even if it isn’t a full day.
What To Do If You Don’t Go To The Parks
If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort don’t worry. You do not have to be bored. All resorts have pools. Many resorts are so beautiful just walking around them and taking photos can be an afternoon well spent. Many resorts also show movies on outdoor screens nightly (check with your resort to make sure.) Or you can take a bus to Downtown Disney. Your package may have also included some credits at the resort arcade. There are plenty of things to do that do not involve spending more money.
Using The $10 Extra Per Day To Save Big Money
How often do you plan on taking a Disney vacation? Are you planning more than one trip this year? Or maybe you are looking at a trip this year and next year. If you are planning multiple short vacations why not combine them and take one longer vacation?
Look at this example:
If you have a family of four all of whom are over nine and you take two three day vacations it costs you $2,192 for tickets. If instead you take one six day vacation the cost is only $1,256. That almost a thousand dollars saved on tickets.
You save even more when you consider you only have to travel to Disney World once. For four people to fly from Grumpy’s home town and back it costs $1,040 dollars per trip. If your costs are similar you just saved another one thousand dollars.
Just something to consider. What are your tips for saving money at Disney World? Share in the comments.
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