Money Saving Tips for Walt Disney World

According to Fodor's Travel, the average cost of one day at Walt Disney World is $500 for a family of four. That cost only includes hotel, food and tickets. Add airfare, rental car costs, admission to special venues and souvenirs and the price of a Disney vacation can skyrocket. Smart travelers can find ways to save money at Walt Disney World by researching affordable options and planning well in advance.

Annual Pass

Consider purchasing an Annual Pass if you travel to Disney at least once a year. Good for 365 days from date of purchase, Annual Passes entitle the holder to unlimited admission to all four parks and complimentary parking.

Take advantage of additional discounts for Annual Pass holders including reduced admission to Disney Quest, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. Receive discounts on specialty events such as Night of Joy, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and the Pirate and Princess Party. Save up to 45 percent on select Walt Disney World Resort rooms.

Schedule your annual trip at least one week earlier the next year to get two weeks in on one Annual Pass, effectively cutting the cost of the pass in half.

Take advantage of Annual Pass dining discounts such as 20 percent off at Fulton's Crab House, 10 percent off during lunch at eight Epcot restaurants, and discounts at select Disney Resort restaurants. Get 10 percent off Disney merchandise at select stores in Downtown Disney and 15 percent off backstage tours in Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Epcot. Other discounts include sports, spas, recreation and rental car offers.

Breakfast in Bed

Pack breakfast items from home to save on the cost of eating out. Include boxed cereal, boxes of Parmalat (a processed milk that requires no refrigeration), juice boxes, bagels, muffins and fruit brought from home or purchased at one of several markets near Disney. Most resort rooms have refrigerators and coffee makers.

Take nourishing snacks such as trail mix in plastic baggies or packs of crackers into the park each day in hip bags to provide an economical alternative to expensive snack cart treats. Pre-made sandwiches and cold sodas from local stores can be carried in flexible coolers and stored in lockers at each park's entrance.

Value Resorts

Book a room at a Disney Value Resort for the cheapest on-property hotel. Disney's All-Star Movies Resort, Disney's All-Star Music Resort, Disney's All-Star Sports Resort and Disney's Pop Century Resort offer over 6,000 rooms with food courts, pools, Internet access, playgrounds and arcades. Ride the buses to all Disney attractions for free.

Standard rooms typically cost less than $100 per night with the exception of peak season weekends and can accommodate up to five people. Plan your visit during the non-peak season for the greatest savings.

Transportation

Save hundreds of dollars on a rental car by taking advantage of all of Disney's free transportation. Sign up for airport transportation on Disney's Magical Express. This complimentary shuttle and luggage delivery service transports resort guests from the Orlando International Airport to the hotel and back. Luggage is taken straight from the plane to the room by using special luggage tags that are sent to your home prior to the trip. Use monorails, boats, buses and shuttles to get around once you are there.