One of the best things about traveling to Walt Disney World is that anyone can do it, no matter what their budget is. For someone who is traveling on a tight budget, there are some tips and tricks to follow that won’t leave your bank account hurting in the morning. Here is a list of 8 Walt Disney World budget travel trips for your next stay at the Most Magical Place on Earth.
8. Stay in a value resort
If you are staying on Disney property for your trip, the best way to save money and stick to your budget is to stay in a value resort. These rooms are smaller, more of the bare essentials, but if you plan on spending most of your time in the parks then the size of the room doesn’t matter so much, right? Before becoming a DVC member, I would stay at the All Star resorts and I loved them! The food court was good, the pools were great, and there seemed to be always something to do. This is definitely the way to go if you want to stick to a smaller budget.
7. Travel during off peaks
Disney charges higher prices when the demand is higher, so travel when the demand is lower! The summer times and holidays are when resort prices skyrocket, so why not travel at the end of January, or in March or September? There are still weekends to avoid if you want to miss out on big crowds, but going during the off peak season will allow you to save money on your stay which means you’ll have less to worry about if your budget is tight.
6. Don’t worry about transportation
One really simple way to travel on a budget is to not worry about transportation! Disney is set up where you essentially never have to leave the property for anything, which is why you might want to consider not renting a car for your stay. Of course it is personal preference, and it depends on the size of your party and what activities you have planned for your trip, but if you want to save a little money, you can easily do so by not renting a car. You will be able to get to your resort on the Magical Express, which is a complimentary service if you are staying on property. Disney always has many modes of transportation, from buses to monorails and boats. You can get to wherever you need to go without having to rent a car!
5. Order groceries to your room
This is something that can save you money and be budget friendly. I usually order groceries straight to my room – milk, fresh fruit, bagels and peanut butter, as well as some snacks to bring into the parks to eat between meals and keep me energized. I can spend about $50 on groceries for the week, and save money on breakfast and snacks in the park. Doing this allows me to only spend money on a big lunch and maybe a small dinner. Trust me, if you have a family of four, eating your own breakfast and snacks without purchasing them in the resorts can end up saving you hundreds of dollars throughout your stay!
4. Bring the essentials
This is a broad topic, as the “essentials” are subjective, however what I mean here is to bring what is necessary so you don’t have to buy them at the resort. This includes, sunscreen, medications, ponchos, sunglasses, etc. They can all be purchased at the dollar store back home and can really save you money by not having to purchase anything at a marked up price on site.
3. Plan meals according to budget
Before you travel, you tend to have some idea of what your budget is like for food, souvenirs, etc., while keeping in mind what your family wants to do, right? If having a sit down meal is important to you, consider doing your big sit down meals as a lunch rather than a dinner. The food options tend to be the same or very similar with similar portion sizes as well at a reduced cost. This is especially true for character dining. The meal will keep you full through the rest of the day, and that way later on you might have to pick up just a small quick service meal to share. I’m telling you, if you want a great way to save money (and take a little afternoon break!) then plan your meals according to what your budget allows. Perhaps having a table service meal isn’t important at all, then quick service dining is the way to go. As I mentioned, you are able to share food with a quick service meal, and to save even more money, ask for iced tap water rather than ordering a soda!
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2. Bring souvenirs for kids from home
Of course when you’re surrounded by so much Disney magic, it’s hard to turn down wanting to buy everything you see on property, especially when the kids are begging for something they just HAVE to have. One way to really help stick to your budget is to sneak your kids some souvenirs that you purchased from home. I know that Target usually carries a pretty decent Disney line, so consider buying a shirt or two and a plush toy at a much reduced cost and surprise them with it when you get to Disney World. This will help curb their need for everything in sight as well as save your pocket a little heart ache as well.
1. Find the “free” things to do
Lastly, if you are travelling to Disney on a budget, be aware that not everything costs money! There are plenty of “free” things to do while you’re in Disney. Each hotel does a movie under the stars every night, so for free entertainment you can settle in for the movie that night. Consider also resort hopping. This is a great thing to do, especially around the holidays when all of the resorts are decorated and the gingerbread houses are up. There are fun activities in the parks that are free for kids as well. Epcot does “Kidcot” where you can visit each country and do a little activity with the kids. The Magic Kingdom has a game called Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, which is a card game involving finding villains at select locations and defeating them. There is plenty to do in Disney that doesn’t have to require extra money, which means they are budget friendly and more importantly – you will make memories that last a lifetime!
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!