Don't Waste Your Money: Disney on a budget - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Don't Waste Your Money: Disney on a budget

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Cinderella's Castle. Image courtesy Wiki Commons. Cinderella's Castle. Image courtesy Wiki Commons.
(Toledo News Now) -

The ‘happiest place on earth' is also becoming one of the most expensive places to visit due to recent price hikes, but if you're concerned a trip to Disney is getting out of reach, we have good news.

Almost every kid – and kid at heart – loves a trip to Disney, but the latest price hikes have brought a 1-day ticket up to nearly $100 per person! It's $95 at Florida's Magic Kingdom, and $92 for Disneyland California.

Lesley Sawhook is a travel agent whose house is filled with Disney souvenirs and photos. She has some tips to saving money on your trip to Disney.

Sawhook says never buy a 1-day pass. You can't see it all in a day, and you are overpaying. Instead, buy a multi-day ticket.

"When you average out that ticket price, it's only $40 per adult per day," she said.

As for hotels, Sawhook says you'll find the best deals at Disney's Value Resorts, avoiding July, spring break, and Christmas.

"The Value Resorts can be as cheap as $69 per night in the off-season," she said.

You may find lower rates at non-Disney hotels, but Sawhook says you lose a lot of time commuting each day.

When it comes to eating, Sawhook says Disney's prepaid dining plan is a good value, especially if you want a character dinner.

"I've run the numbers," she said. "We save about 25 percent when we do the dining plans."

She also suggests buying a kid's meal for lunch, even if you are an adult, and bring in snacks and bottled water – it's allowed! Cups of tap water are also free at Disney restaurants.

When it comes to shirts and souvenirs, Sawhook suggests buying them in advance at Walmart, Target and dollar stores.

"This spray fan has the same lanyard you get in the park for $3.99 or $4.99 at Target. You're going to pay $20 for it in the park," she said.

Sawhook recommends extending your days into the evening: it's cooler and the lines are shorter. You'll find the shortest lines just before closing time, when other families are watching the Electric Parade.

For more money saving tips, download the app from Undercover Tourist, check the website mousesavers.com, and choose the service of a good travel agent.

And if you can visit Disney when school is in session, such as October, you'll find better weather, smaller crowds, and many more deals.

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