Top Tips for Doing Walt Disney World on a Tight Budget

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Photo Credit: Disney

The magic of a Walt Disney World vacation is unmatched. But for those of us striving to stay on a budget the price can seem hard to tame. Still, there are plenty of tips and tricks you can use to save money on your next Disney vacation. Use your savings to stay longer, or visit Disney again sooner than you expected.


12. Stay Within A Budget: Buy Tickets Early

Buying tickets as soon as possible means you can offset costs the month of your vacation.  My family likes to save throughout the year for vacation tickets to Walt Disney World.

11. Travel to Orlando with Reward Points

Let your money work for you by investing in at leas one credit card with great rewards.  You can use cash back, sky miles or hotel reward cards to offset travel and lodging costs that may be involved in your trip down to Orlando.  Take a look at the Disney Visa card if you are interested in saving extra money on your purchases at Walt Disney World. 


10. Plan Ahead and Finance Your Vacation

Did you know that Disney Visa has vacation financing options?  It is no secret that vacationing with a family can get expensive.  Why not take advantage of a financing program through the Disney Visa credit card that allows you to pay as you go in the months leading up to your magical vacation? You will need a Disney Visa card to tap into this perk, so start researching this option as soon as possible if it sounds like a good vacation planning route for your family.

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9. Stay at a Value Resort

Walt Disney World offers several awesome value resorts for guests to enjoy without breaking the bank.  Value resorts offer all the Disney magic and convenience of staying on the property with a cheaper price tag. Ranging anywhere from ninety seven dollars to two hundred dollar per night depending on the time of year you are traveling; you may even pay less to stay at a Disney value resort than you would staying off the property.

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8. Spend At Least One Day Outside the Parks

Spending a day outside the parks can amount to big savings when you think of the money saved from tickets for the whole family. Not to worry, there are plenty of free or lower cost activities you can do on the property that will make for a fun day.  My family loves playing Fantasia mini golf, browsing shops and snack dives at Disney Springs and resort hopping to enjoy all the beauty the property has to offer. Riding the Monorail or Skyliner or exploring Disney’s Boardwalk are completely free activities your family can enjoy without the need for a park ticket.

7. Enjoy Pool Time

One of the great amenities you are paying for when you stay at a Disney resort is the pool. All Disney resorts have fun themed pools that your family will love.  Do not miss the opportunity to stick a pool day in your schedule.  This means you can have another day of Disney fun without the need for a park ticket.  A morning in the pool and an afternoon at Disney Springs is a favorite park break day combination for my family.

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6. Pack Your Own Meals

Guests are welcome to pack snack bags to take into Disney parks.  A family of four can save as much as forty dollars during a lunch or a dinner by packing their own meal and drink and skipping the park eateries.

5. Split Meals You Choose To Buy at Restaurants

When you do decide to indulge in Disney dining, consider splitting meals where it makes sense.  Sure, you want to make sure everyone in your family has plenty to eat.  But between large portion sizes at some restaurants and lighter appetites during a hot day in the parks, my family almost always chooses to share during at least one meal a day.  Most Disney restaurants are fine with sharing but feel free to ask cast members what the rules are on sharing if you have questions.

4. Surprise Kids with Disney Souvenirs You Bring from Home

The souvenirs at Walt Disney World are incredible but throwing each item you pass in your shopping cart will blow the budget.  Pack Disney treats from home to surprise your kids on vacation.  Small items like Mickey caps and sticker books for the park or larger items like backpacks and plush are great gift ideas that will keep your little ones excited without breaking the bank.  Checking the Disney Store online in the months leading up to your vacation and shopping sales is a great way to snag Disney merchandise for a better price.

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3. Bring Your Own Stroller

Avoid stroller rental charges by bringing your own.  Not only will this save money, but also time as you enter the park each day.  Disney hotel rooms have space for a folded up stroller to be stored when you are not using it without it getting in the way.

2. Drink Water

Save the money on soft drinks by drinking water on your vacation.  Not only is water free at Disney restaurants, but the convenience of taking a water bottle and filling it up between rides is awesome.  You will feel much better knowing you are saving money while staying hydrated in the parks.

1. Take Fewer Disney Vacations During the Year and Make Your One Disney Vacation Longer

For those die hard Disney families that love seeing Mickey Mouse, saving vacation days and dollars for one or two longer vacations a year may be a better deal. If you are buying individual tickets and do not have an annual pass, you will save money by buying more days of tickets.  This means that buying a seven-day vacation instead of two three day vacations may result in cheaper tickets for your family. Take the time to check out the Walt Disney World website when planning and chat with a booking agent if you have questions.

Photo Credit: Disney

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