How to plan a cheap walt disney world vacation
Here are some other ways to save on your Walt Disney World vacation…. How expensive is parking and are there discounts?
Best to buy a 7 day ticket with no park hopping. Even if you don't use it up, you have the option to go more frequently later in the week. This is pure Disney profit. Disney has got you from day one. Staying off-site with a rental car gives you plenty of options. You eat breakfast and dinner where you live. Try to stay at a hotel that gives you free continental breakfast like Best Western. You bring your lunch.
Only occasionly will you find yourself buying an expensive on-site meal. Buy your Disney souvenirs at the outlet stores on International Drive. The less you pull it out, you succeeded in going cheap. Anthony Murphy February 13, at 5: You are on vacation after all! If you seriously are trying to squeeze that last penny, Do as Robert said. I am still a little weary on the Theme Park tickets. Disney really does not like to give discounts on tickets for Walt Disney World Disneyland is a different story. AAA and Military appear to be the areas where you can get some significant cash off.
The true way to save at Disney is to make investments for future visits and to find the value in what you are paying. I will not mince words, DVC is incredibly expensive up front, but as long as you go at least once a year using the points, it will pay off in no time. Is this for the once in a lifetime traveler?
No, but if you know that you wouldn't mind visiting once a year or going on a cruise, its a good option. Robert did touch on this with the pictures, but if you know that you at walt want 15 of the photos, then getting the Photo CD would be a great return on investment. The CD costs about as much as 14 world priced photos at Disney World. They also throw on some extra professional pictures. The meal plan also falls under this.
For the amount of food you get and the price they charge for food, it is worth it. Deidre Dennis February 13, at 7: Sure it may be cheaper to vacation off site but there is something truly awesome about staying on site.
We price everything out at least a year in advance and save up to pay for it. Like how previous poster stated, it's vacation and we work hard to splurge for the experience.
If you can commit to saving and planning, you can get what you want, perks included. Of course I don't recommend breaking the bank but cheap sites like themeparkinsider. Kelly Muggleton February 14, at 6: I always find it worth a look, especially if your favourite characters arent in the parks mainstream - you could find them here!
I live in UK and just know a bargain when I see one! Anon Mouse February 14, at 8: What if you can't plan enough to stay on-site for that exclusive Disney experience. A once a year extravagant vacation isn't possible for many people. I will not do that even if I can afford to.
A dollar saved will be spent on other more important things. Theme park vacations are not yearly things. They are once in a few year trips. However, for some that do want to do it yearly or a few times a year, doing the budget cheap trip is the best way. Barbara Sims February 14, at The Value resorts are still affordable for any budget. I still do it to this day.
I've stayed at enough cheapo motels and have become spoiled by the Disney cleanliness and guest service. Anon Mouse February 14, at Disney's Value resorts are at the upper end of the budget resort category.
How To Do Disney World On The Cheap
You can stay at an off-site budget resort for world the price of the Value resorts. The savings can be substantial and can offset the price of park admission. If you travel at off-peak times, there are deals to be had. But it might be easier is to simply book a hotel outside the park or one that offers free breakfast to save the cost of one family meal.
You can stay a few miles away in a hotel that offers free shuttle service to and from the parks at all times of the day. The Holiday Inn offers free food to young children and a variety of family programming, and the reliable Homewood Suites offers free breakfast. Book in advance, do your research and find a bargain.
Again, the key here is to plan ahead. Bring a backpack and fill it up with drinks and snacks ahead of time how both can be quite expensive. Plus, you can bring in healthier options so your kids aren't munching on french fries and candy all day.
There is a security check at the park entrances, but they won't cheap your food or beverages. Another trick is to have one big meal of the day out, and have smaller meals the rest of the time. The character meals may be expensive, but they are fun and typically buffets where you can load up. Another suggestion is to dine off the grounds, easier when you have a car. Of course, you can also walt for food and cook in your rooms if you have a vacation, or pick up a box of cereal and milk and have breakfast in the room.
If you have your bigger meal during the day, it will be fun to plan for a delicious dessert at Epcot where they offer food from around the world. Well, trust us, you need to do some research before you go any further. There is so much to do, and everyone does something slightly different. Depending on the plans and attractions you want to visit, you may find certain hotels and resorts are much more convenient.
We list the best guidebooks on the Disney Guidebooks page. But after you learn how much there is to do, you may re-think your plans. Our first visit to Walt Disney World was 4 days. We thought that would be plenty of time. I think we bought two bottles of water when we ran out but other than than… nothing!
These are such great tips, thanks! I would be tempted to return knowing that you can do it on a budget. Interesting to read that you found Disney park accommodation better value given that you save on parking etc. This is a fantastic list and pretty much to a T how we do it, too. I like saving our spending for a few good meals, as our family ritual is the Crystal Palace for lunch on our day in Magic Kingdom.
Great tips — especially Bring Grandma! We had to buy ponchos during a rainstorm at Disney several years ago, brought them home and have taken them back with us every trip since — no way I was going to make that mistake more than once! I love all of these tips! People are always asking me where they can find Disney discounts. Disney discounts can be hard to find, but these money-saving tips can help theme park goers, no matter their budget.
We went the week after New Years and could run onto any ride we wanted! Taking ponchos are a MUST. Pack drink and snacks is also a must.
In-Depth Planning Topics
I did not do the once and spent A LOT of money. Thanks for the tips, Krystel! It makes sense that employees would get a discount and I never considered the Disney Store.
These are awesome Disney tips, we are passholders and still love learning ways to save during our visits! Go at non-peak times This is a great tip for crowd control in general. Pass on the meal plan Many travel agents selling Disney packages will tout the cost-savings of Disney meal plans. Stay on Disney property This is a debate for its own blog post, but if you want to save money at Disney World, I found that staying in the Disney budget hotels was the best bang for the buck for us.
Katie is a busy mom living in Northern Virginia with her husband and five children ranging in age from toddlers to teens. When she isn't traveling, she is planning her next trip. Katie loves all types of travel, but she especially loves beach vacations. The Outer Banks of North Carolina is a favorite family destination. Beth Henry January 10, Bethaney - Flashpacker Family January 11,