We all know that a WDW trip is expensive, but it doesn’t have to break the bank – here are 4 things you DON’T need to spend money on at the most magical place on earth:
Unless you live in Florida, most of us fly into Orlando. Once you arrive at Orlando International Airport, you have a couple of options to get to WDW. You could grab a taxi, but we all know how pricye that can be. Another option is to rent a vehicle. The price of the vehicle will depend on how many people are in your family and how much room you wanted in you vehicle. Other factors include what time of the year you are visiting and how far you will be driving. Most rental companies will charge you per day for the vehicle, and the bigger the vehicle the more money it will cost you. On top of the daily charge in most cases you will be charged for mileage. Then when you add on taxes to this, it can be very expensive.
A great option is to use the Disney transportation system. WDW offers the Magical Express that will transport you from the airport to your hotel. Then during your stay you can use the Disney bus transportation system, boats, or the Monorail to get around. These options are completely free! It is a great way to save your money to use on other parts of your trip to WDW.
A few years ago WDW rolled out Magic Bands. These are a great addition to your Disney trip. They help you keep track of your dinning reservations and attraction FastPass+ reservations. No more showing up at the wrong restaurant at the wrong time or running around the park like a crazy person to get a paper FastPass. Best part about the Magic Band is that it is totally FREE when you stay at a WDW hotel.
You do have the option of upgrading your Magic Band for $20 or $30 dollars. The battery on this version last for only 2 years then you have to buy another one. Why would you pay for something you can get for FREE? The free Magic Bands come in several different colors.
There are a few fireworks parties available at WDW, including The Wishes Fireworks Dessert party, Illuminations Sparkling Dessert Party, Ferrytale Wishes Dessert Party Cruise and some other seasonal offerings. The Wishes Fireworks Dessert party is hosted at the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant. Desserts include: chocolate covered strawberries, cupcakes, chocolate mousse, and ice cream. After munching on these treats and sipping on some drinks, you can see the show from a covered patio.
The Illuminations Sparkling Dessert party offers more selections on dessert but they are still nothing amazing. You will be offered desserts from around the world including: baklava, cannolis, tarts, chocolate pudding, strawberry shortcake, and cookies.
To attend the party you will pay $49 for each adult and $29 for each child. You will also have to show up at the restaurant an hour before the fireworks start. This seems very overpriced for the selection of desserts.
Save your money and just find a comfortable bench or table to sit at. You can even just look up at the night sky and see the beautiful display. If you are wanting to have dessert just grab a Mickey Bar or your favorite snack from a vendor and enjoy.
We all have seen cute pictures of kids and characters taken at character dining restaurants but is it really worth the price? There is a wide range of character dining options for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You can choose to dine in the parks or at a hotel, but trust me you are going to pay a pretty penny for it. Most dining options start around $25/child and $40/adult. These prices can change depending on meal and location.
So you pay to have a meal, which is often times a buffet, but sometimes a full service meal, and you wait until the characters come to your table. These meals usually last around 2 hours between eating and taking photos with the characters. Let’s talk about the time these meals take. In the same amount of time it takes to have one of these meals you could have been in the park meeting the same characters in the Meet and Greet locations – for FREE (with park admission). You can meet these characters in the parks for free. If there is a character you are just dying to see you can even use a FastPass+ reservations. This will save you both time and money.