Three Tips from Mouse Misers that Will Save You Money on Your Next Disney Vacation

A big “Thank You” to Amanda for allowing us to write this guest post. We at MouseMisers specialize in providing information on saving money on your Disney trip, but that usually centers around package and other discounts well before you arrive at your destination. We wanted to write a bit about saving money while at Disney, after all, who doesn’t love saving money?

Disney Mickey Gift CardDisney Gift Cards

If your kids are anything like mine, you will spend half of your Disney vacation fending of requests from them to purchase just about anything they can get their hands or mouths on. On our last trip, we purchased a $50 Disney Gift Card for each child, and handed it to them when we arrived at Disney World. Each child was told that they could purchase anything they would like, they did not need our approval before hand, but that $50 would be all they would get during their entire trip, and that they needed to spend it wisely. During our 11 night trip, not one of the kids asked us to buy them anything! They each took their time finding items they wanted to purchase, and all chose fairly wisely, and were happy with what they got.

Not only did this make it a much more relaxing vacation for us parents, but it saved us a ton of money in the long run. We didn’t have to fight the kids over purchases, our expenditures were budgeted before we even left home, and the kids had a fantastic experience, as they were in charge of their purchases. Having now done this, I wouldn’t do another Disney trip without the Disney Gift Cards.

Le Cellier Steakhouse at EpcotDisney Dining

Dining at Walt Disney World can chew up a large portion of your vacation budget. The restaurants at Walt Disney World have earned a (not-undeserved) reputation for being quite pricey in comparison with nearby off-property eateries. However, the good news is that there are many ways to save money on food while at Walt Disney World.

An easy way to start the day saving money (and time) is to eat breakfast in your room. All Walt Disney World Moderate and Deluxe hotels come equipped with a mini-refrigerator, and Value hotel guests can request a refrigerator for a small additional fee. Simply stock up on milk, juice, yogurt, fruit, cereal, bagels, coffee, or anything else your family enjoys for breakfast and grab a quick bite before you head to the parks for the day. This not only saves you money, but you’ll get to the parks before all the other guests who are waiting in line at a restaurant for their breakfast.

You don’t have to give up a meal at the many fun and delicious Walt Disney World table-service restaurants to save money – you just have to alter your normal meal times a bit. Rather than having your large meal of the day at dinnertime, consider eating your big meal at a table-service restaurant for lunch. Most of the Walt Disney World restaurants feature the same or very similar lunch and dinner menus, with the only difference being the lower prices on the lunch menu items. You can then grab a bite at a quick-service location for dinner where the prices remain the same throughout the day.

In addition, you can even save time as well as money if you eat your table-service lunch meal during off-peak hours. If you choose to eat during the 2pm – 4pm time frame before the table service restaurants switch to the dinner menu you’ll enjoy even more advantages. You still get the low lunch menu pricing, reservations are much easier to obtain, and the lines for rides and attractions will be much smaller during the peak lunch hours of 11:30am – 1:30pm when everyone else is in the restaurants trying to eat.

Disney vinylmationDisney Souvenirs

While on our trip, I fell in love with Vinylmation. Well, I fell in love with a few of the Vinylmation characters. The problem with Vinylmation is that when you purchase them, you don’t know what you are getting, it is an unknown until you open the box. Rather than purchasing boxes at $10 a pop, and hope that I got the figurine that I wanted, I headed to ebay. I was able to find all of the figurines I wanted, and for most of them, I was able to pay less than the $10 Disney was asking, and I wasn’t saddled with a bunch of extra Vinylmation guys.

In addition to ebay, the Disney Store now offers many items found at the Disney Parks available online. Many of these items end up on sale online for some significant savings. It is also a great way to pick up those personalized Mickey Ears you forgot to get your neighbor before you left (might not save you money, but definitely cheaper than making a trip back to the parks).

This post sponsored by MouseMisers: MouseMisers aims to provide money saving tips and tricks to all those going to Disney. We provide Disney discounts and codes to help save money on your Disney reservations, along with Disney news that may help in your planning.You can find MouseMisers online at, as well as on Twitter @mousemisers and on Facebook at We are always happy to answer any questions you have, we want everyone to have the best Disney vacation possible while saving money at the same time.

  • TheAngelForever

    Love the Disney Gift Card idea. My oldest is almost 7 and I think next time we head to Disney (soon I hope), we will try this with him. We did the Disney Dining plan for our last 4+ trips. On the last two with our kids, we brought a lot of snacks with us. Things like oatmeal bars served as a breakfast on the way to catch the bus, or while waiting on line for the parks to open. There were also few times that we used snack credits to get a danish or cinnamon bun. Love the Vinalymation advice. I was too cheap to take a risk while there in February and just the other day was kicking myself. Like you, I went to ebay and may splurge on a few that I really like soon. Thanks for the great advice!

  • We did this with DD during last years Food and Wine Festival at Epcot. She loves to go sample all the foods but they add up. We got her the wristband gift card loaded it with $50 and said…there ya go. Get whatever you want but this is all you get…choose wisely. She liked the independence of having her own budget too.

  • Jon

    We use the gift card idea at Disney and also for non-Disney excursions (Giants or SJ Sharks games, Universal Studios, etc). The real savings here is your sanity. Also it teaches desirable attitudes about scarcity to kids who may otherwise think your credit card is an endless fountain of toys and snacks for them.

  • Well put. Its a charge card for convenience instead of a credit card for credit

  • RoriTravel

    Great tips here. My brother and sister in law don't actually give them gift cards (though I'll suggest it for the next trip) but they do set an amount for the kids (then buy a few extras for Christmas gifts).
    One thing we found was that there are all the area gift shops – and there are plenty – with more Disney than you can imagine, and at slightly to largely lower pricing. But also much lower quality.
    But for the really cheap gifts – or gifts to bring home – its an idea.
    Don't overlook WalMart & Target as well. Again, quality isn't always the best, but often better than the gift stores, and the prices are better as well.
    Have to say though, if you're going for many of the WDW products, especially clothing, the quality of Disney stuff really off sets the pricing.

  • I always take my visiting friends to the WalMart on 535 near Disney property. They have an entire section of the store devoted to Disney. Same with the Target on 192 near 535. Great tip Rori!

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