11 Ways to Save on Your Dream Disney Vacation (Before They Raise Prices Again)

NEWS & TRENDING - TRAVEL NEWS
A trip to a Disney theme park can be an expensive vacation, but there are ways to keep some cash in your pocket.
Updated May 8, 2024
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Whether it’s Disney World in Florida or Disneyland in California, the Disney theme parks are a treat for young and old alike. Or at least, they’re a treat until parents see the cost show up on their credit card.

Early this year Disney announced a round of rate hikes, and in June tickets for 2023 dates went on sale. While prices vary, the rule seems to be that the longer you stay, the lower your daily ticket may cost.

Still, there are ways to reduce money stress and avoid high-priced days at the parks. So before you book your Disney trip, see how you can keep a little extra cash in your pocket.

Use your Costco membership

jetcityimage/Adobe Disney gift cards

You may be surprised to find out that your Costco membership can do more than just help you keep more in your wallet, even if you use these genius Costco hacks.

Costco can get you discounts when you purchase cars, insurance, and yes, even Disney vacations. Check out Costco Travel for Disney packages to help you save on tickets and accommodations when you book your next trip.

Don’t go in December

Wirestock/Adobe Zombie in Santa Claus clothes in Disneyland Paris

Disney theme parks have varying prices for their tickets with some days being more expensive than others. These prices might fluctuate based on how popular the parks may be at certain times of the year, especially around holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

If you’re trying to save money, skip busy times and aim for off-peak days.

Use your Disney+ subscription

ivanko80/Adobe young family watching TV together

Besides streaming shows from the Marvel and Star Wars franchises, your Disney+ subscription may come in handy when booking your next trip to a theme park.

For a limited time, streaming subscribers can get up to 25% off their stay at specific Disney resorts. It may be a good discount if you plan to stay on-site for your special vacation.

Pro tip: Get cash back whenever you binge your favorite shows with the best credit cards for streaming services.

Take advantage of military discounts

Bumble Dee/Adobe US soldiers giving salute

Disney theme parks offer discounts for active members of the U.S. military or veterans, which could help you save money for your family. 

Check with your base to see if they have a ticket office that can help you find discounts or contact Disney for more details about how to potentially take advantage of their Military Salute tickets.

Sign up for a Disney credit card

Have a nice day/Adobe brown girl in blouse in cafe holding mobile phone and credit-card

Looking for ways to save your next Disney visit? Consider applying for a Disney Visa card. You can earn Disney Rewards Dollars for every purchase you put on your card, and rewards can be cashed in to pay for Disney vacations, both at the parks or on Disney cruises, as well as Disney merchandise.

Pro tip: You can earn rewards on all sorts of purchases you’re already making by using the best travel credit cards.

Become a Disney Passholder

Mark Breck/Adobe amusement park swings

If you go to Disney parks on a regular basis, you may want to consider becoming a Disney Passholder if you aren’t already. 

In addition to getting discounted tickets, Passholders may be able to find deals on Disney’s on-site hotels, which may be able to help you stay on budget for your next trip.

Look into CA and FL resident discounts

Lux Blue/Adobe California sunset in the coast of Long Beach

Do you live in California or Florida? In addition to good weather and great beaches, you may also be eligible for discounted tickets at Disney theme parks. 

There may be some restrictions on when you can use reduced tickets or how many days you need to buy, so check with a Disney representative to see what options may be available to you.

Check for corporate discounts

hallojulie/Adobe Skyscrapers

If you work for a major company, you may want to see if they offer Disney discounts or perks. Some companies, even those that don’t have direct business with Disney theme parks, might have employee discounts available.

Check with your company’s human resources department or the department that may handle discounts for different services to find out if it’s an option.

Use your AAA membership

jetcityimage/Adobe AAA Travel & Insurance Sign

There are plenty of benefits to being a AAA member, particularly when it comes to car issues. AAA memberships are a great thing to have if you need roadside assistance, for example. 

But you can also use your AAA card to get discounts on Disney theme park tickets. Check with the automobile club and see what kind of deals they can offer you.

Pro tip: If you're renting a car to get to a Disney resort, make sure your ride is covered by using one of the best credit cards for rental car insurance.

Book with a Disney agent

OceanProd/Adobe buzz Lightyear in Disneyland Paris park in Marne-la-Vallee

There are plenty of Disney travel agents who may be able to get you special deals when you work with them on your next vacation. They may have access to reduced rates for hotel stays, tickets, or other add-ons to make your trip fun. And they also could give you ideas and recommendations about how to make the most of your Disney vacation.

Disney agents are also paid by Disney, which means their services could be free for you in addition to whatever discounts they can snag for your trip.

Stay at a non-Disney property

Simone/Adobe Marriott hotel at the Anaheim Resort

Are you signed up for a hotel loyalty program? Or have you earned points on a travel credit card? You may be able to cash those in and stay at a hotel near a Disney resort without paying Disney prices.

Several hotel chains like Marriott, Hilton, and Sheraton have hotels close to Disney resorts that may include transportation to Disney parks or special discounts. So instead of booking a Disney hotel, consider looking into a nearby resort and see if that can save you extra cash.

Pro tip: If you tend to stay at hotels owned by a certain brand, make sure you’re booking your trips with the best hotel credit cards.

Bottom line

Wirestock/Adobe Statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse located in Disneyland California

Disney trips are not cheap, and you may have to start saving months or years in advance for that big, once-in-a-lifetime vacation.

Looking for discounts could make your trip to the Magic Kingdom even more magical and give you ways to keep more money in your wallet.

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Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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