5 Ways First Timers Waste Money at Walt Disney World

Budget is always a major concern when heading to Walt Disney World! Saving money at Disney World in the parks is always a goal.  There are some common mistakes first time visitors make that will cost you money!

Here are our top tips for not wasting money at WDW.

5.  Parking 

We made this mistake on one of our first trips!  Thankfully a parking attendant finally helped us out.

Parking at the theme parks is now $20/day!  If you are staying at Disney World resort, parking is free!  You can drive to any of the theme parks and park your car free.  Just show your parking pass from your resort.

4. Bottled Water

July in Walt Disney World is hot, really hot! And so is most of the year.  You need lots of water to stay hydrated.  We have seen people pulling rolling coolers of drinks into the parks.  Other people use up all their snack credits or use all their spending money on buying bottles of water.

All WDW restaurants will give you a cup of ice water free!  Save your money and just pop into the nearest restaurant to hydrate.  You can even ask for a cup of water at the counter service restaurants.

We bring a back pack with a water bladder.  During meal breaks we refill with ice and water.

3. Pin Trading

Pin Trading is a fun activity while touring the parks.  Pins are available for sale everywhere!  The pins sold range from $6-20 and up.

Don’t trade these!  These should be your souvenir you take home.

For pin trading, look for the pin trading sets or buy some online before your trip.  Trading pins sell online for less than $1 each.  So don’t trade your $10 pin away!

2.  Light Up Toys

At any of the night time parades, fireworks or shows you’ll be surrounded by light up toys.  As soon as the sun starts to set you’ll see these carts begin to emerge from everywhere.  These toys can be very expensive and not always the most durable products at WDW.

Be prepared for the avalanche of neon glowing toys, bring your own.  A few dollars on Glow Sticks from Target will save you lots of money!

1. Souvenirs

You are going to buy souvenirs, but you need to plan ahead.  Disney is a marketing machine.  They know how to drive sales.  It isn’t hard to blow through hundreds of dollars in souvenirs in a day.

Knowing this ahead of time, you can make a plan.  Set expectations with everyone traveling with you.  Set a limit of 1 souvenir per day for example.  Give the children their down Disney gift cards to keep them on a budget.  Just be sure to talk about this ahead of time.  Otherwise you wallet will empty quickly or you will have disappointed children.


Want learn more tips for saving money at Walt Disney World?  Check out Lou Mongello’s book!

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