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There’s a million and one posts and tips out there about how to save money at Disney World, and they are all useful to varying degrees. Heck, I’ve written plenty of posts on the topic, but now for the first time since I was a kid we are actually staying at a 100% real Disney resort as opposed to just staying nearby or at a sort-of-Disney resort like the Swan or Dolphin. While staying at a Disney resort isn’t necessarily cheap, it has allowed us to save some money both on transportation to and from the airport via the Disney Magical Express Bus, but also in one other fun way I’ll share in case it helps your family, too!
First some background… If at all possible I do not check bags when we fly. I didn’t check bags for an around-the-world trip, I didn’t check bags on our last ski trip with ski gear, and I sure as heck wasn’t going to check bags for a few summer days at Disney. Checking bags slows us down both coming and going and increases the likelihood of lost or delayed items exponentially over just carrying them yourself. Remember the $135 pink Vegas bikini incident?
However, Disney tries to make it really easy to just arrive at the property and start having fun by sending you some tags to put on your checked bags so you don’t even have to claim them at the Orlando airport if you are staying in one of their resorts. You simply tag the bags at your home airport with both the airline checked bag tags as well as the Disney personalized Disney tags and you don’t have to touch the bags again until they are delivered to your hotel room by Disney staff a few hours after you arrive. It’s a fantastic concept, but since I don’t like not having my bags and stuff at the ready, I wasn’t going to use this service.
We were all packed and ready to go to Disney when I realized that we actually could take Disney up on their offer to deliver a bag…a bag full of snacks and waters! Our visit is short and we aren’t going to have a car, so there was no super easy way to stock up on a few juices and waters once we arrived without paying much more than we pay at home – though there are grocery delivery services we could have used. However, by devoting one checked bag to waters, juices, and snacks we would easily save a decent amount of money and would barely have to lift an extra fingers thanks to checking the bag in at our home airport and then having it delivered to our room by Disney later that night.
About three hours after our plane arrived in Orlando our bag of drinks and snacks arrived to our hotel room at no out of pocket cost to us. If you had to pay a checked bag fee to your airline obviously this strategy wouldn’t be totally free, but there are lots of credit cards out there that come with checked bag waivers and of course Southwest doesn’t charge for two checked bags if that is your airline of choice. As soon as the bag arrived, we stocked a few drinks right into the room’s fridge and now we can drink and snack both in the room and the parks without having to spend any extra cash or haul an extra bag around. Thanks, Disney!
I’d love to hear your other little easy ways to save at Disney!
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- See Rates & Fees