If you’ve ever visited Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, there’s little doubt that you know why it’s called “The Most Magical Place on Earth.” But you’ve probably also concluded that it’s among the most expensive places on Earth — there’s a reason, after all, that t-shirts that say “Most Expensive Day Ever” and “Hakuna NoDolla” exist.
However, with some legwork and elbow grease, it is actually possible for Guests to visit the Orlando, Florida theme park for free. As you continue reading, you’ll discover some ways you can save a fortune on your Disney World vacation.
Stay In an Offsite Hotel
The first, and easiest, way to save money on your next Walt Disney World trip — thereby making it less difficult to cover the costs and go for free — is to book an offsite hotel. There are numerous hotels in the Disney World area that are not technically on the theme park’s property. These include the Drury Park Plaza Hotel Orlando, the multiple hotels at Flamingo Crossings — such as Homewood Suites and the Fairfield by Marriot — and the the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort.
Recently, some Disney Parks fans took to Reddit to share their opinions regarding offsite hotel deals.
u/djkmart offered a positive review of the Wyndham, writing:
We’re currently staying at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista resort. Booked it through Virgin. It’s next door to Disney Springs (literally, 2 minute walk). They have hourly buses to all the disney parks, and an uber to Universal will set you back about $20. We booked it because it classes as a Disney partner hotel, so we get the advantage of early access to the parks, but it’s not official Disney, so it came in at half the price of Disney hotels.
Meanwhile, u/goodasgoldGOLD endorsed the Flamingo Crossings area:
The hotels at Flamingo Crossing are about a year old and the prices are much better than on property. We stayed at the HomeWood Suites there last August and it was very nice! Only about a 10 minute drive to Disney depending on the park.
Edited to add: We stayed 7 nights for $140/night in the 2 queen bed suite
Use Survey Sites
One of the most popular ways to earn money towards a Walt Disney World Resort stay is to use online survey sites. Many of these websites, including survey and deal giant Swagbucks, offer apps as well so users can earn extra money on the go.
Depending on specific websites’ rules and regulations, there are various ways to use the money you earn to help pay for Disney. You can, for example, send the funds to your PayPal account, get Visa gift cards that can be used like cash, deposit money directly into your bank account, or obtain Disney gift cards.
Swagbucks, as previously noted, is among the most popular platforms for Guests who want to visit Disney World for free. The website even offers the following information on a page entitled “Ways to Help Pay For a Disney Vacation”:
Nothing will delight young children and create memories of a lifetime quite like a Disney vacation. Though, making them happen isn’t easy because Disney Vacations are not cheap. Luckily, Swagbucks is here to help!
To help with savings, countless Disney fans also use Swagbucks to help them pay for their dream Disney vacations. Swagbucks is the most popular digital rewards program that has paid out over $325 million to its members. They offer free promotions to save while shopping online and as a way to earn money online.
SurveyJunkie allows users to earn money for Disney in two ways — by taking traditional surveys and by participating in behavioral market research, such as in-home product testing. The website shares various pieces of information about the platform, including:
As a member, you may choose to participate in one or both of our communities.
Our core Survey Junkie community offers opportunities to share your perspective via attitudinal based market research. Our SJ Pulse Community offers opportunities to engage in behavioral market research.
Attitudinal research includes activities such as taking surveys or participating in focus groups. Behavioral research includes opting in to share digital browsing activity, which is collected in a privacy compliant way via SJ Pulse.
Survey Junkie is an online market research community wholly owned by consumer insights platform DISQO, which delivers data and analytics to the market research industry.
Use Credit Card Points
Using credit card points is another great way to minimize your Disney World vacation costs. While there are many cards that offer cash back on purchases, some are better for Disney fans than others. Forbes offered a rundown of the best credit cards for Disney vacations, noting:
Disney vacations are notoriously expensive. While we can’t say “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo” and make the costs disappear, with strategic credit cards rewards usage you can save on your visit to the house of mouse. Between sign-up bonuses and free hotel night benefits, your trip to the happiest place on earth doesn’t have to empty your wallet.
Chase Disney Premier Visa Card
Chase offers two Disney card options — the Chase Disney Visa Card and the Chase Disney Premier Visa Card. The Premier option includes numerous perks, outlined below, and has a $49 annual fee that the non-Premier card doesn’t have:
Special Vacation Financing
0% promo APR for 6 months on select Disney vacation packages from the date of purchase, after that a variable APR of 14.24% – 23.24%
Disney Cruise Line
Savings aboard Disney Cruise Line when using your card to pay for select onboard purchases.
Disney Parks Shopping & Dining
10% off select merchandise purchases of $50 or more at select locations and 10% off select dining locations most days at the Disneyland® and Walt Disney World® Resorts.
Save 10% on select merchandise purchases at shopDisney.com.
Disney Parks Photo Opportunities
Pose for special photos at our private Cardmember locations at the Disneyland® Resort and Walt Disney World® Resort.
Cardmember Limited-Time Offers
Your Disney Visa Credit Card gets you access to limited-time offers in addition to year-round perks. Take advantage of savings, exclusive products and other special opportunities just for Cardmembers.
Capital One Venture Cards
The Capital One Venture Rewards line of credit cards is a great choice for anyone who loves to travel, including Disney theme park fans. There are multiple options — VentureOne Rewards, VentureOne Rewards for Good Credit, Venture Rewards, and the high-end Venture X Rewards.
Capital One describes their travel points cards as:
Your travel credit card miles can take you wherever you want to go.
With Capital One’s travel rewards cards, you’ll earn unlimited miles on every purchase you make. You can use your travel rewards credit card to book any airline, anytime, anywhere with no seat restrictions or blackout dates. You can also redeem your travel rewards for car rentals, hotels, ride sharing apps, cruises and more. Miles don’t expire for the life of the account.
These are just a few of the ways you can visit Walt Disney World Resort without paying a cent for your vacation. Even if you don’t pay for your entire trip with these money-saving techniques, you can cover souvenirs, hotel, or food with the extra money you earn!
Are you going to try to go to Disney World for free during your next trip?
Visit the official Walt Disney World Resort website to plan your next magical vacation to Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district!