runDisney on a Budget: Part II

Because of our own budget issues and my runDisney addiction, last week I was inspired to write a post about I runDisney on a budget (check it out here to see my first round of tips).


My readers had even more great ideas on how they save money while still managing to runDisney.  Here are some of the ones they shared with me.

  1. Get a Disney Visa card and earn reward points all year long.  You can use the points for Disney gift cards.  And you often get a discount on race registration with the first 4 digits of the card too!  This only saves you money if you remember to pay the bill off every month though!
  2. If you’re driving and have the room, bring a toaster, Keurig or water filter pitcher along with you.  I love having my own coffee maker and fresh water in the hotel.  It makes skipping a few restaurant meals much more enjoyable.
  3. Volunteer!  If you volunteer for a vendor at the Expo you can get some free merchandise and if you volunteer for runDisney at the Expo or the race you can earn free park tickets and often get a free shirt and or jacket.
  4. Buy Disney gift cards throughout the year (and put them on your gift lists for birthdays and holidays).  Sams Club and Costco sell the gift cards at a small discount and you can use your RedCard at Target to get 5% off.  If you save your prescription 5% off coupons at Target you can (so I hear, I’ve never done it!) combine the two to get just under 10% off the gift cards.
    1. I will say that although this saves money, it can be a pain to keep track of all the cards since you have to buy them in $50 units.
    2. You can pay for your hotel room with them as well, if you’re staying at a Disney resort of course.
  5. If you live near Orlando or have a friend who does, sometimes the race merchandise will end up at the Disney Outlet stores.  I got some of the $40 I Did It shirts from Princess 13 for $15 including shipping this way.  There’s no guarantee and lots of things sell out and never make it there, but it’s an option if you’d like something but can live without it.
  6. For Disneyland races, GET Travel is the official travel partner and offers legitimate discounted tickets for the parks.
  7. I mentioned in my original post that military members get discounts at Shades of Green.  My awesome readers told me that there are military discounts at all the runDisney resorts, so if you’re military (1) THANK YOU! and (2) check out all the resorts for the best discounts.
  8. If you’re a Florida resident, there are lots of discounts for the resorts and tickets.  Southern California residents also get discounts at Disneyland.
  9. Camping at Fort Wilderness is really affordable (if you have a camper or tent already) and lets you keep the magic of staying on site!
  10. You can always share meals at the restaurants to cut your meal budget in half!  The portions are often big enough for two, especially if you add in an appetizer or dessert (cupcakes are a great option).

Thanks to my awesome readers for adding these new tips!

One other tip I got from a savings group on the Disboards a couple of years ago was to join Quick Rewards.  If you have extra time and a computer, you can take surveys to earn money.  I used to do this pretty often when Eli was younger and napped a lot, but now that he’s more active and I spend my limited online time updating this site, I’ve slacked a bit.  It is a legitimate site though and I have gotten at least one $50 Disney gift card (that worked!) from taking surveys.  Most only let you earn $1 or less, so it takes time and patience, but it does eventually add up.  If you’re interested in checking it out, I have a referral link here.

So, are you independently wealthy or do you have other tips for how you afford to runDisney?


runDisney on a Budget: Part II — 10 Comments

  1. I am always looking for new ways to save at Disney! I love the Disney Gift Card buying throughout the year idea. My husband and I try to share meals often as well. At the Food & Wine festival it is perfect because we specifically budget for that and split everything we try!

    • Food & Wine is so much fun! I love noshing small bites from the different kiosks!

    • Until that big sponsorship (or lottery ticket) comes in (LOL), I have to find ways to save a little to keep enjoying runDisney as often as I do!

    • I saved all year for my first Princess Half. I had a jar that I’d put cash into every month and when we went it was enough to pay for all our meals and snacks and my expo splurges!

  2. I have a Target red card and the one thing it did was show me how much I spend at Target each month!
    The only reason I do runDisney races is because I’m local. If I had to travel, I’d make other choices. They’re fun, but there is so much to experience out there, I wouldn’t spend vacation time and money to do the same thing over and over again.
    Jen recently posted…MaleficentMy Profile

    • Our only Target is on the other side of town and I hate the traffic to get there so I only go 3-4 times a year. If there was a closer one, it would be very dangerous for my budget! If I couldn’t drive to Disney (it’s about 1 1/2 hours away by car), we certainly couldn’t do runDisney nearly as often. I’ve only been to Disneyland once (and that was synced up with a work trip) because the airfare makes such a huge impact on the cost of the trip, especially if you have four people going.