rlando seemed like a fun place as a kid. You know, you’d go to a theme park, perhaps even a roller coaster or two. As parents, you may experience the drudgery of unpacking strollers, increased food costs, and even long lines (which Toddlers tend to hate).
If only there were apps to help you save…
Staying on premises in the Disney World and at Universal Studios could cost you a bit more than just outside of it. Either way, consider utilizing grocery delivery. Amazon Fresh, for example, offers a wide variety of food and drinks options to fill your refrigerator and cabinets. Since you can create your own delivery time, you can plan on when to send the groceries to your stay. Find out great ways to save on groceries online and avoid falling for touristy Leaky Cauldron Menu at Harry Potter World.
Travel Credit Cards
Responsible credit card use, like paying off your monthly balance, is recommended here at MoneyHax. If you do this, you can earn incredible benefits. Most of the time, credit cards will reward users for using their card during a specified period, and once you’ve done that you could earn a bonus!
We booked a whole vacation to Orlando using the Plastiq app and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus Card. Find out how we did it here!
Vacation Home Rentals
If you like to shop around for the best hotel, consider using someone’s home for your stay instead. You can even rent out a house and bring more than one family, like a family reunion, and have everyone chip in on the final cost. You’ll experience everything a resort has to offer but possibly lower price. Make sure to shop around and check for cleaning and reservation fees. Sites to find home rentals include:
Crowd Calendar App
If you go to theme parks quite often, you’ll know that on any crowded day at a theme park, it could be a draining experience. Waiting up to four hours to ride the Avatar ride, and the impending Star Wars attractions will cost you some time if you visit the Disney Parks. Luckily, there is one primary tool available to all of you that not many people are aware of that will show you the best times to visit Disney World (and other Orlando parks)
So how do you beat these crowds?
Undercover Tourist has spent years or research into this a fantastic time hack! The Crowd Calendar from Undercover Tourist will tell you the most and least crowded days at the park. Save yourself not only money but heaps of time, especially at parks like Walt Disney World Orlando!
By using the tool you’ll be able to find out when parks are recommended and not, and how to plan accordingly based on your vacation stay!
Where the Crowd Calendar Works
Undercover Tourist has laid out the best days to go to theme parks in three major park areas: Orlando, San Diego, and Los Angeles. Of these cities you’ll find times and locations of the least and highest populated days at these parks:
- The Magic Kingdom in Orlando
- Disneyland in Los Angeles
- Seaworld in San Diego
- Seaworld in Orlando
- Universal Studios in Orlando
- Universal Studios in Los Angeles
- Islands of Adventure in Orlando
- The Animal Kingdom in Orlando
- Epcot in Orlando
Generally Speaking (Regarding Crowds)
When it comes to the best times to visit Disney World and other popular tourist destinations, there are some general rules that fellow Theme Park bloggers tend to follow when it comes to crowds, they are:
- Avoid Peak Season (When School is Out)
- Try For Mid Week Visits
- Avoid Holiday Seasons (like New Years and Christmas)
- Order Food Online (through the Disney World App)
Get Discounted Tickets
Undercover Tourist also sports some great discount tickets for those interested, and for a few credit cards, these purchases do count as Travel redemptions (check your credit card rules for redemption). You can save even more on their discounted rates by using an Undercover Tourist discount code.
Get Tips from Bloggers and Influencers
Imagine if you lived in Orlando and loved the experiences Disney has to offer almost every day. Well, for a select few this is a reality! Follow several influencers who go to Disney and experience the parks on a weekly, even daily basis to find unique tips that they have uncovered. Want to learn more from these influencers? Here are a few we have seen!
- Inside The Magic
- Disney Food Blog
- Orlando Informer
Live in OTown? Use Airbnb!
If you have a room, house, or space available to list, especially in the Orlando (Florida) Region, Airbnb has a great answer to make additional cash. Leverage tourism in your area in your favor!
In the Doctor Phillips area, just outside of the Disney World area posted above, you could rent out your home three days a week and earn close to $1200 a month! This is enough for rent in many places! Of course, finding your place to stay may be a bit of a hassle. However, homes in the Orlando area are below market value today and are affordable!
People often seek home rentals in vacation spots because a home brings more comfort and cleanliness. Think about it; a Hotel will churn out visitors every day so that bed a person has utilized, has been slept on hundreds if not thousands of times! With a home rental, a visitor will feel more at home! Plus, with family reunions being popular in the Orlando Region. Airbnb is a great option to have. Though there are competitors in the home listings space, Airbnb has the growth and the reach of your home listing.
Worried about the whole logistics of the home sharing concept? Airbnb has this also covered with their newly introduce co-host option. For more information on what a co-host can do for you, find out what exactly a co-host does.
What About the Disney World Annual Pass?
Disney World is a magical place where you’ll find enjoyment not only inside the famous theme parks, but also through several restaurants, water parks, and entertainment areas. Visiting the popular Orlando destination also comes with a price…and it’s not cheap. If you take multiple trips to Disney World, it’s worth it to get an Annual Pass, even with pricing continuing to rise.
Here are some of the reasons why it’s worth getting a Walt Disney World Annual Pass!
Discount is Free!
Disney recently started charging people for parking everywhere at Disney, including stays at their on-resort properties like Disney’s Animal Lodge. Spending a night there should already cost you a month’s worth of groceries, but that won’t change the fact you’ll be charged for parking. With a Disney Annual Pass, however, you can still enter the four major theme parks: Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and the Magic Kingdom without any charges whatsoever! Sure the parking is not the Preferred designation, but theme park(ing) is close to $20-$30 a pop. So if you visit each park for a week, this perk makes the Annual Pass worth it!
Though not all Disney World shops offer a 20% discount (ask an attendant) many of them still do, in the year 2018. Some shops offer only a 10%-15% discount but think of it as saving taxes and a bit more.
Welp, here it is! If you’ve ever been at a Disney World Theme Park, you know how hungry you’ll get. Especially when you are hopping from country to country in the Epcot Theme Park. With a Disney World Annual Pass, you’ll receive a 20% discount on most on property restaurants and stops. This makes the annual pass worth it as well!
Update in 2018, they’ve managed to scale this back a bit to 10%-15% at most stops and dining selections, but that’s still a decent discount!!
Free Photos (Disney Memory Maker)
We love the fact that you don’t have to go crazy about taking pictures with your smartphone at Disney, in fact, you’ll find many photo opportunities with Disney’s Memory Maker (aka PhotoPass). Let a cast member, photo booth or stand, take a picture for you and have it ready on the Disney Experience App prepared to download. For those without the annual pass, it’ll cost you…money, lots of it. But with a yearly pass, you get that included!
Special Event Discounts
Love going to Disney during Halloween or Christmas? With an annual pass, you get first dibs at these types of events, which means there are no guarantees that a non -pass holder can get into the parks during these days. With a Disney World Annual Pass, you get access to these events plus a bit of a discount included!
As you can see, having an annual pass is worth the price of admission, no pun intended. Costs differ, but if you are a Florida resident you save a fortune! So, if you live in Florida and go to Disney World often, you would be saving a ton of money by switching to an Annual Pass…it’s worth it, even with the changes in 2018.
There are also many free things to do in Orlando, like walking around Universal CityWalk after park hours (parking becomes free) or walking around the International Drive area. Have a unique Orlando Saving Tip? Comment below, and we’ll look to add it to this post!