A MAGICAL Disney vacation creates fairytale memories for the whole family, but if you aren't careful, you'll bust your budget faster than you can say "bippity-boppity-boo."
The good news is Disney park pros have plenty of ways of saving money on a vacation – in fact, there are lots of built-in money-savers that families don't know about.
Speaking to Insider, travel planner Kari Becker shared her favorite tips for saving money without sacrificing the magic.
She's been to Disney World over 40 times, and between that "field research" and her experiences at Marvelous Mouse Travels, Becker has plenty of knowledge to share.
GRAB GROCERIES WITH DELIVERY
"We typically have milk, yogurt, water bottles, cheese sticks, and soda," Becker told the outlet.
"There are delivery services that bring groceries right to the bellhop stand at the resort," she continued.
Though there's a fee if you want the groceries to be delivered all the way to your room, if you head down to the lobby yourself, you don't need to pay additional charges.
Becker said that her family orders breakfast items to eat in the room, "which saves us quite a bit of money and time."
READ MORE ABOUT FAMILY VACATIONS
I’m a single mom & gave my son the perfect Disney World vacation on a budget
Those groceries can also make their way into the park as an additional money-saving measure, as long as they aren't in glass containers – Disney World allows soft-sided coolers.
Becker said that she and her husband even used the alcohol delivery service Drizly to enjoy a glass of wine in the evenings while avoiding steep resort prices.
SAY YES TO A KID'S MEAL
When you sit down for a meal in a Disney park, you can often feed multiple people with one order thanks to generous portion sizes.
Along with splitting meals, Becker said her family members will choose a kid's meal regardless of age to get the most bang for their buck.
Most read in Fabulous
GOT TO RUN
I’m a gypsy girl, non travellers better run if they want to date our boys
GOT TO RUN
I bought a £13 dupe of a £500 Dyson Airwrap – you won’t tell the difference
Prince Harry speaks for first time about secret meeting with the Queen
I looked at Azaylia & knew this was day she would die, reveals mum Safiyya
"The kid's portions are often not much smaller and come with additional snacks you can save and eat later," Becker said.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF REFILLS
When you stay at a Disney resort, you can pay a fee upfront to save on drinks in the long run.
"If you know you're going to be drinking coffee or soda and munching on popcorn throughout your vacation, the refillable mugs and buckets are worth it," Becker said.
Right now, the mugs cost $19.99, and while they can't be used in the parks, you can refill them for free at the resorts while you stay there.
"Beverages at the resorts go for about $4 each, so if you have more than five drinks, you've made your money back," Becker explained.
Inside the parks, Disney's popcorn buckets operate on a similar principle.
The buckets, which have fun designs and double as a great souvenir, cost between $10 and $25 upfront.
"Once purchased, refills only cost $2 instead of $5," Becker said.
SET A SOUVENIR ALLOWANCE
As soon as your kids learn they're going to Disney World, they'll start dreaming of what souvenirs to bring home – and that's when you need to have the budget talk.
"If your kids are like mine, they want everything they see," Becker said.
Her solution is to set a strict souvenir allowance before vacation, for her kids and herself.
She loads the money onto Disney gift cards, and once the money on the cards runs out, the shopping spree is over.
"It makes you rethink some of your purchases, and my kids are more thoughtful about what they choose," Becker said.
PAY FOR YOUR VACATION WITH GIFT CARDS
Souvenirs aren't the only thing you can use Disney gift cards for.
Becker said you can use Disney gift cards to pay for "virtually everything" on your trip, from food and souvenirs to your resort booking and park tickets.
The trick is looking for sales, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, or shopping at stores that will give you a discount on bulk gift cards.
"On our last trip, we saved over $300 just by buying discounted Disney gift cards," Becker said.
SKIP RESTAURANTS AND FILL UP ON SNACKS
Though it might seem counterintuitive, on a Disney vacation, it makes sense to skip meals and fill up on snacks instead.
"Snacks can be quite filling and less expensive than a more formal meal," Becker said.
Read More on The US Sun
Murdered mom shared chilling picture before being reported missing 2 years ago
Blac Chyna almost slips out of bikini ahead of trial against the Kardashians
It also saves time, since you can eat on the go, and lets you try a variety of different dishes.
Becker's favorites are "the cheeseburger egg rolls from the carts outside of Adventureland, massive cinnamon rolls from Gaston's Tavern, and Walt's chili-cheese fries from Casey's Corner," all of which are hearty enough to substitute a proper lunch.
We pay for your stories!
Do you have a story for The US Sun team?
Email us at [email protected] or call 212 416 4552.
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheSunUS and follow us from our main Twitter account at @TheSunUS
Source: Read Full Article