Family Fun
Disney World employee shares 10 insider tips to save money at the theme park
Trips to Disney can get expensive. Now you can save money using these tips.
Rebecca Reid

When you wish upon a star…you might get a few magical tips to save you a lot of cash when visiting “The Happiest Place On Earth.”

Visiting a theme park is a great way to make family memories that stay with you your whole life. Aside from the endless hours of fun and adventure, the parks can also wreak havoc on your wallet.

Before you even step one glass slipper into the Magic Kingdom, have a plan for what you want to spend. All it takes is one look in a gift shop or a stroll past the frozen lemonade stands with your kids on a sweltering hot day to ruin your budget.

Thanks to a former Disney employee, there are actually some things visitors can do to make their trip more fun and less financially straining.

In an article, a former Disney employee writes “I worked at Disney World for 2 years. Here are 10 things I wish tourists would stop wasting money on.” –

Here are 10 things you can do to save money at Disney parks.

1. Parking doesn’t have to cost you any money.

You don’t have to spend any money on parking if you are willing to be a little patient. If you don’t want to spend $25 a car per day, you can park at Disney Springs. This is a shopping center at Disney World. If you go there, you can get on a Disney bus for free to the resorts and then transfer to a bus going to the park.

2. Don’t forget to buy a refillable mug.

You can purchase a refillable mug at any Disney resort. It has unlimited refills for the duration of your stay. The mug can cost $20 but this insider says you will save way more than that by using one.

3. Bring essentials with you on your trip to the park.

Don’t forget to pack smartly so you aren’t wasting money on essentials. These include things like sunscreen, pain medication, sunglasses, etc. You will end up paying park prices for these items that you may already have at home.

4. Try to avoid purchasing park apparel.

“I get it. It’s cute and makes for awesome photos. But all I can think is that this family of five just spent about $125 on T-shirts alone.” –

The insider says that you can get way more for your money by purchasing shirts online prior to going on your trip.

5. Beware of the really cute souvenirs.

The park insider tells Disney fans to try their best to avoid buying cuddly souvenirs from the gift shops. She states that these are items are tempting but advises visitors to use some self-control and really think about whether or not they need the ‘buzz light year bubble blower.’ –

6. You don’t need to have the Photo Pass for park pics.

No need to spend extra money on the Photo Pass. The former employee shares a very valuable tip for taking photos at the parks.

“Every Photo Pass employee can take pictures for you from your personal device…like a phone or camera…All you have to do is ask.”

7. Pin trading can get pricey!

Disney fans love to come to the park and purchase/trade pins. There are so many unique pins and it can be fun to find new and old ones. The former park employee advises visitors to buy cheap, bulk bags online and trade them at the park for ones that they prefer. She mentions that some people traded $15.00 pins for less expensive ones so trade wisely.

8. There is no need to stay at an expensive Disney resort.

The former employee doesn’t see the need for people to spend a boatload of money at one of the expensive resorts. There are some resorts that are much cheaper and you still get a lot of the same frills. Most people spend their time at the parks anyway so she says it isn’t really worth spending more on the resort. –

9. You will spend a lot of money on drinking water at the parks but you don’t have to.

According to the former Disney insider, you can refill water bottles for free at any water fountain in the park. You can also ask for a free cup to use if you don’t have a water bottle. This can save you a lot of money especially in the Florida heat.

10. You only need one popcorn bucket.

Disney sells seasonal popcorn buckets that are refillable. While they are tempting to collect, the Disney insider says that you only need to purchase one. This will save you a lot of money.

“I hate to break your heart but you do not need multiple popcorn buckets…one will do the job.”

With these cost-saving tips, you will be enjoying more of the magic without fear of your trip turning into a pumpkin.

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By Rebecca Reid
Rebecca Reid is a contributor at SBLY Media.