An Orlando vacation can be quite expensive, but there are some clever ways you can keep your costs down. Let’s get right to it and cover three ways you can keep your costs down when every penny counts.

1.         Skip the free upgrades

It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes a free upgrade can cost you more. For example, a family who rents an economy car for the week may be thrilled to show up at the airport and discover they’ve been upgraded to a crossover SUV. Great news, right? Well, maybe. Unless they really need the extra room it may not be a great value for them at all. Compare the gas mileage of an SUV to that of an economy 4-door sedan, and then consider not just the drive time from the airport to the vacation home, and into the parks each day, but all the time the car will spend idling and just eating up gas. In this case, it could be quite a savings to stick with the economy car you paid for.

2.         Consider the annual pass upgrade

Even if you don’t plan to return to the parks within a year, it can sometimes save you quite a bit of cash to have one member of your family upgrade to an annual pass. Benefits include free parking at the Disney theme parks, which can save you $17 a day. That’s $119 if you stay for a week. You’ll also get 10% – 20% off merchandise, and the ability to purchase the Tables in Wonderland card. With this card you can save 20% on most table service meals – including character meals. This can save you a significant chunk of change.

disney world character meals

If you do plan to upgrade to an annual pass, your best plan is to buy a discount ticket and then upgrade it at the parks. You’ll pay the difference between the gate price for your ticket and the cost of the annual pass – not the difference between what you actually paid and the annual pass.

3.         Take a day or two off from the parks

There’s a lot more to do in Orlando than just visit the parks. Whether you want to check out some of the other unique local attractions, or just take a day to relax by the pool, taking a day off from the parks is an exceptional way to both save money and recharge so you can make the most of the time you’re there.


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