PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — You can do Disney on a dime; well, actually not a dime.
But there are ways to definitely get your family to Disney World this summer on a budget; and if you know the tricks, you can save a lot.
If your dream is getting to Disney this summer, we found some experts to help.
“You may find that it’s difficult to find Disney’s discounts and that’s really how my site started,” said Mary Waring, of MouseSavers.com.
Waring runs MouseSavers.com, which has special deals and tips on how to save.
Then, there’s the Williams family from McCandless. Brett Williams has created a spreadsheet so they don’t waste time at Disney.
“You want to talk about Disney, time is money,” he says.
Tip #1: Undercover Tourist
Undercover Tourist is a site to get discounted park tickets, which can be a big expense.
“They buy in bulk from Disney, and they’re able to sell it at a slight discount,” says Waring.
She says they’re definitely on the up and up, and you get even better discounts from them through the Mousesavers’ newsletter.
Tip #2: Fastpass
With the idea that wasting time is costing you money at Disney, check into a Fastpass. It’s free and is basically a reservation for a certain ride so you can bypass a long line.
“Some of the lines are an hour and a half long,” Waring says.
Tip #3: Hotel Discounts
When it comes to rooms, Disney is offering 15, 20 and 25 percent off stays at select hotels this summer.
For instance, a week at the All-Star Sports Resort costs $700 bucks, which is 15 percent less than the regular price.
But be careful, if you don’t click on a particular part of the website, you won’t get the discount. For the very same week at the same hotel, you’ll get the regular price.
Tip #4: Book By Phone Or Use Travel Agent
Waring recommends you book with Disney on the phone or use a travel agent who specializes in Disney, which won’t cost you anything.
“They really know the ins and outs of all the different discounts,” Waring adds.
Tip #5: Transportation
Next tip, if you stay at a Disney resort, there’s transportation to take you to the parks, to and from the airport and they even deliver your bags to your room.
You can also get into the parks earlier or stay later on certain days.
“We can go and hit almost every ride before it gets crowded,” said Renee Williams, of McCandless.
Tip #6: Staying Off-Site
“It can be very costly, particularly for families of five or more because all of Disney’s basic, most inexpensive rooms only sleep four people,” Waring says.
So, she says you may want to consider going off site if you have a family of five or more.
“You could potentially save hundreds of dollars on your room,” she adds.
Mousesavers has exclusive deals with about a dozen hotels not owned by Disney.
Tip #7: Souvenirs
Toys for kids at Disney can add up, but the Williams family saves by packing souvenirs like glow sticks from the Dollar Store.
“The kids don’t care where it came from,” says Renee.
Tip #8: Air Fare
As far as getting there, you may be able to save by flying out of Latrobe on Spirit Airlines’ new nonstop flight to Orlando.
For a week in July, for a family of four factoring in four checked bags because both AirTran and Spirit charge for bags, it broke down to:
The differences aren’t huge, but if Latrobe is closer anyway, it’ll save you money, and parking there is free.
Tip #9: Dining
Which brings us to the free meal plan deal; if you’re able to go in late August or September, Disney will give you a free dining plan if you pay for a full-price package.
If you stay at the less expensive hotels, you get a lesser plan, but you still get it.
“You’re going to get all this free food, and pay very little for your hotels,” said Waring
The only catch, you have to book by Friday, May 18, and use the right booking code.
Tip #10: MagicCard
Tip #11: Military Discounts
Members of military can get a deal on park tickets, and up to 40 percent off at selected resorts this summer.
Tip #12: Disney Parks Mobile Magic App
Finally, the Disney Parks Mobile Magic App is free and will tell you where Disney characters are at any given time in the park. It’ll also tell you if there’s a long line for a certain ride.
All so you avoid wasting time, and get the biggest bang for your buck at Disney.