Overwhelmed by the cost of taking a big group trip to Disney? Don’t be! There are plenty of ways to save money when traveling with a group to Disney World or Disneyland. Whether planning a family reunion or an educational trip with kids, these travel tips can save you a fortune. Fabulously Frugal TravelingMom has planned large group Disney vacations to the happiest place on Earth and still maintained her sanity, and a positive bank balance. Find out how!

How to plan an affordable group trip to Disney World

How to plan an affordable group trip to Disney World | Photo credit: Disney World Photographers

How to Save Money: Disney Vacations

There are many ways to save money when planning group Disney vacations. You just have to know where to look, where to splurge, and where to save. These tips will help you with all of that.

Book through the Disney group sales page

If you are traveling with friends or family, make sure to go to the Disney Group Getaways page. If taking a group of kids through a church or school, go to the Disney Youth Programs page. Both offer discounts on purchases of group tickets for Disney Vacations.

Even if you are tech savvy and love doing everything online, pick up the phone and call Disney. You can find the number on the website. They sometimes have deals and promotions that you will not know about otherwise.

Read all the options to find the best prices

This is a tip that I picked up from a friend who called the Disney group ticketing department. Buying multiple day park hopper tickets is a cheaper option for people outside of Florida, however if you live in Florida it is cheaper to buy each day’s ticket separately (still through group sales) because the FL resident group rate is much better than the multi-day park hopper option.

Get refunds for ticket cancellations

Planning a group trip to Disney might seem rough because people inevitably cancel at the last minute. Luckily, Disney will consider refunding your ticket. When you buy, someone from Disney will be in charge of your account. They will email you all your information. Email them and ask for the ticket refund paperwork. Send it in ASAP so you can get your money back!

Get the best deals on travel

If you live within driving distance, you should definitely carpool. Flying? Check out these tips for flying to Orlando.

Book a hotel outside of the park

Group ticketing does offer reduced rates for rooms in the park. However it is much cheaper to book a room outside of the park. With so many suites options near Disney World, it seems silly not to. Our favorite pick for suites outside of Disney is Buena Vista Suites.

Buena Vista Suites is the most affordable suite option near Disney World. It is perfect for a large group.

Buena Vista Suites is the most affordable suite option near Disney World. It is perfect for a large group. | Photo Credit: Hannah Rinaldi, Fabulously Frugal TravelingMom

Limit park meals

Disney food is great. Seriously, when it comes to theme park food, Disney knocks it out of the park. Even though Disney has amazing food, it can be difficult to get a large group to eat together for three meals a day, not to mention that those prices add up fast.

When you have a large group at Disney, it's best to only gather once a day for meals in the park. Otherwise, meals get to be too costly.

When you have a large group at Disney, it’s best to only gather once a day for meals in the park. Otherwise, meals get to be too costly, and crazy with such a big group! | Photo Credit: Hannah Rinaldi, Fabulously Frugal TravelingMom

Instead of sitting down to three meals a day at Disney, consider doing breakfast at your hotel. Then opt for fast food or bring your own food in the park for either lunch or dinner. Choose from several great fast food restaurants near Disney. We always pick up food at the Lake Buena Vista Chick-fil-a on our way into Disney World.

Stock up on snacks

Go to Costco, Sam’s Club, and Dollar Tree before leaving for Disney and stock up on all sorts of snacks you enjoy. This way you will have plenty of snacks available when you get hungry. Have each person from your group carry their own snacks.

Stock up on treats 

Not only should you pack food for your trip, pack all sorts of treats you might be tempted to buy on your trip. If traveling with a group of kids, consider buying these big suckers from the Dollar Tree. They are 1/8th of the price of a sucker from the gift shops.

Stock up on candy and treats outside of the park. Large lollipops are only $1 at The Dollar Tree, compared to $3 in the park. | Photo Credit: Hannah Rinaldi, Fabulously Frugal TravelingMom

Stock up on candy and treats outside of the park. Large lollipops are only $1 at The Dollar Tree, compared to $3 in the park. | Photo Credit: Hannah Rinaldi, Fabulously Frugal TravelingMom

Going to a night parade or fireworks show? Buy a bunch of glow sticks before your trip instead of caing to the temptation to buy them in the park.

Get group pictures for free

You know those fancy photographers all over the park? They will take pictures with your camera too! Hand over your camera or smart phone and get a professional photo for free!

How to plan an affordable group trip to Disney

Get free pictures on your phone or camera by asking the photographers at Disney to take your picture! | Photo Credit: Hannah Rinaldi, Fabulously Frugal TravelingMom