Friday, June 24, 2022

How To Book A Disney World Vacation On A Budget

Select Your Disney Resort Hotel

How to Plan a Disney World Vacation! 10 Steps to Planning a Disney Trip

There is a Walt Disney World Resort hotel for just about every family vacation budget. The hotels come in four categories: Value, Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villas. Each category offers something unique.

The first question I am asked when someone is seeking Disney planning advice is: Where should I stay? This is a very personal decision that only you can make. Here are some facts that may help you narrow down your choices. Each room can accommodate a set number of guests, plus 1 child under age 3 in a crib.

Other Ways To Save Money At Disney World

  • Drive instead of fly if you live within driving distance, it is almost always cheaper to fly. Unless you have a credit card with points yada, yada, yada. We dont do credit cards so Im honestly not sure how that all works. We live 12 hours away and always drive. This alone can easily save a family of 4 up to $1000.
  • If you do fly, take Magical Express its a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel . That way you can save the cash from renting a car.
  • Pack proper essentials Although it can seem a little daunting, packing well can save you some serious cash. Essentials like sunscreen, pain reliever, etc are going to add up to a big savings if you bring them from home.
  • Take your own photos Passholders get a free photo pass , but even if you dont go that route, you can take photos with your phone. Many park photographers will snap a shot with your phone if you simply ask.
  • Meals Snacks & Drinks

    Food and drink at Walt Disney World can literally eat up a huge portion of your budget. There are some discounts available for the restaurants at the Disney parks and resorts and you can save money by knowing a few tips and tricks, eating off-site, and finding Disney World dining deals and coupons.

    Read Also: Which Disney World Park Is Best For Toddlers

    Make Basic Choices Then Budget

    First, choose which Disney resort you most want to visit. In many cases, going to the one thats closest to you is the most affordable option. For example, if you’re within easy driving distance of Disneyland or Disney World, that could save a significant amount on airfare if you dont have your heart set on one specific theme park.

    Next, determine how much you can realistically pay for your Disney vacation. It’s easiest to work backward from that total and adjust the vacation length, hotel choice and tickets to fit your trip within the allotted amount.

    Buy Souvenirs Before You Leave

    How to Plan a Disney World Vacation on The Cheap

    Buying souvenirs at the park is an expensive proposition that’s best avoided. Disney blogger Nelson suggests buying Disney products at lower prices from a vendor such as Target or or even sale items from the Disney store itself before leaving home. Stash the keepsakes in your luggage and hand them out to the kids after you arrive. “This not only lets them have some new fun things at a budget price,” Nelson says. “It helps deflect squawking when passing merchandise stands.”

    Read Also: Can You Bring A Backpack To Disney World

    How To Use Dvc Points To Save Thousands On Your Disney World Vacation

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    Categories Accommodations

    This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. All opinions are my own.

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    The single easiest way to save money on a Disney World vacation is to rent Disney Vacation Club points for stays at Deluxe resorts.

    My family has been doing this for years and it allows us to visit Disney World often, even on a limited budget!

    In this post, Ill walk you through how to book your Disney World vacation with Davids DVC Rental, which is the simplest way to rent Disney Vacation Club points.

    When you rent DVC points with a broker they do all of the hard work for you.

    Ive had lots of readers ask me if this is too good to be true, but I promise it is the real deal! Read on to learn how to do it for yourself

    Making Your Vacation Dreams A Reality

    When it comes to Disney vacations, we appreciate that you want the best value for your money and the flexibility to choose the length of your stay and the add-ons you want most. Rest assured, WestJet Vacations has an extensive flight schedule, so you can choose to stay 4, 5, 6 even 14 nights its up to you. In addition, you have the option to purchase theme park tickets, meal plans and other ticketed events in the local area when you book your package with us, saving you the hassle of extra research and planning. Moreover, we regularly have great deals and promotions on offer, making it easy for you to find something in your price range. Experiencing the magic of a Disney theme park is closer thank you think: browse our exciting vacation packages now.

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    Dont Forget About A Vacation Home Rental

    A vacation home is another great option where you can get a wonderful deal on lodging for your Florida vacation.

    I am a fan of vacation home rentals with resort amenities for families or friends traveling to Disney on an extended vacation.

    Its a great way for everyone to help contribute money to lodging without you having to take the whole burden on yourself.

    Youll want to choose one of the best vacation homes near Disney and also convenient to top restaurants and major Orlando attractions.

    An Orlando, Florida vacation home gives you the option to stay on a property in a resort community with options to have a condo, townhouse, or single-family home.

    Have Flexible Travel Dates

    Disney on a Budget | Save $ on booking your Disney world vacation | Debt Free Disney

    Its no secret that Walt Disney World resort is a madhouse during the summer months and school breaks. With this in mind, do your best to travel during an off-peak season and have a flexible schedule. For instance, between arranging flights and hotel rooms, you may find cheaper rates if you plan a trip in the middle of the week.

    Off-peak seasons and times for Disney World are typically:

    • Mid-January through the beginning of March
    • May
    • Late August through the beginning of October
    • Mid-November through Mid-December

    If curious, check out a Disney World crowd calendar for peak and off-peak times to visit.

    Also Check: Disney World Year Pass Florida Resident

    What To Pack & Bring

    We are almost there, the only thing left to do is pack your bags. Walt Disney World is a unique place and there are many things you might not think about packing that will be very helpful on your trip. We usually think we packed everything, but inevitably leave something at home, thats why its best to have a list.

    Here are the most important things to pack:

    Luggage/Bags Make sure your suitcases are in good condition before packing and are big enough to hold all your essential items. Decide how many bags each person is bringing. This will also depend on how many bags your flight permits.

    We always pack too much on our trips to Disney World and we find ourselves swimming in bags. If you have a room with a washing machine, take advantage of that and do a load of laundry to save space in your bags.

    If you have colorful, character-themed bags, this is the time to use them, your kids will love them. Also, make sure to bring a small backpack. We like to carry one during the day so hold our camera, a bottle of water, sunscreen, medicines, and other necessities.

    Shoes This might be the MOST important item on the list. If you dont have comfortable shoes in Disney World, you are going to have a miserable time. On average we walk between 8-10 miles PER DAY on our trips. You may not walk as much as us, but it will be at least 2-3 times more than what you are used to back home.

    Here are some other important things you need to bring with you Disney World:

    If You Want To Spend A Bit Less

    The budget figure given above $3,927 involves a stay at one of Disneys All-Star hotels, few-to-no table service meals , and a discounted ticket option. Its a relatively low target if youre booking a traditional Disney World stay.

    To go below that, youll need to start thinking out of the boxbooking around only the best Disney deals booking non-Disney hotels or Airbnb waiting for deep deals on Priceline cutting a day off your tickets buying groceries and bringing your own food. We cover much of these in the rest of this guide in the appropriate sections.

    Beyond the rest of this post, we also have a separate post of 50+ Ways to Save On Your Disney Vacation.

    Read Also: What To Know Before Going To Disney World

    Explore All That Walt Disney World Resort Has To Offer Including:

    • Magic Kingdom® Park, Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, Epcot®, Disneys Hollywood Studios®.
    • Stay at one of the 26 Disney Resort Hotels.
    • Make a splash at Disneys water parks with a visit to Disneys Blizzard Beach or Disneys Typhoon Lagoon.
    • Satisfy your appetite with award-winning cuisine at fine dining restaurants.
    • Enjoy shopping and entertainment at Disney Springs.
    • Dine with some of your favorite pals at Disney Character Dining locations.
    • Don’t miss Pandora The World of Avatar at Disneys Animal Kingdom Theme Park.

    Book your Walt Disney World® Resort vacation package today and learn about everything the park has to offer at our Walt Disney World® page.

    Use Discounted Disney Gift Cards

    How to Plan a Disney World Vacation on The Cheap

    Nearly all the Disney budget experts suggest buying Disney gift cards at a discount. Megan DuBois notes that using a Target Red Card to buy Disney gift cards nets 5% off the purchase price. “That savings might not sound like a lot, but these gift cards can be used for everything at the parks,” the Disney Instagrammer and blogger says. “So if you buy multiple cards, the discounts add up.”

    Don’t Miss: Walt Disney World Resort Hotels Prices

    Research Dining Options At Walt Disney World

    The dining options at Disney can be overwhelming. It is very important to plan out what you want to eat at each theme park.

    Have an idea of whats on their menu. If you plan on having lunch there, then decide where you want to eat and possibly what you want to eat.

    This is a very important first timers tip in enjoying Disney on a budget. Disney Dining Plans are also a good way to stick to a dining budget.

    Listen to a Disney Expert: Is the Disney Dining Plan Worth It?

    Resorts And No Parks Days

    If you have some free time, or if youre planning a meal at one of Disneys hotels, you may want to set aside some time to explore their resorts. This is particularly a good idea if youre planning a future visit and want to scope out the hotel.

    You can easily visit the monorail hotels by riding the monorail between them. You can easily visit the Boardwalk hotels by walking between them, particularly while walking between Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

    And if you want a full day of relaxation , you may want to set aside time for a no parks day. This is a day where you dont go to the parks, instead focusing on the other activities your resort and Walt Disney World have to offer.

    Don’t Miss: Four Seasons Orlando At Walt Disney World

    Additional Information On Walt Disney World Resort Activities:

    A trip to Walt Disney World® in Orlando is the ultimate family vacation. Follow your dreams to a magical place where storybook fantasies come to life for children and adults alike. Family activities and fun-filled entertainment are endless and there is no shortage of theme park rides and exciting attractions to choose from to fill up each day and night of your Disney vacation.

    A family Walt Disney World® Resort vacation package offers four unique and exciting theme parks. There are so many things to do such as experience Magic Kingdom® Park, Epcot®, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park.

    Other Disney attractions include Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, Disney Springs, and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

    Please note: flight service for Walt Disney World® vacations is into Orlando.

    Transportation At Walt Disney World

    How I plan Our Disney World Vacation |Part 2 | Under $1000 | Disney Budget

    One important decision is . Even if youre sure you want a car, we recommend you read some of our tips about having a car at Walt Disney World.

    Generally, youll be relying on bus, boat, monorail, or walking to get to and between the parks. You can also Uber around Walt Disney World. If youre unsure how to get between two points, ask the concierge or desk staff at your hotel, or ask a Cast Member at a park .

    Transportation at Walt Disney World can, unfortunately, be quite slow. This is especially true of bus and boat transportation. If youre in a hurry, consider Uber.

    Disney used to off its own rideshare systemMinnie Vansthrough a partnership with Lyft, but it hasnt operated in a while. If they return, the high prices of Minnie Vans make them not worth considering for most purposes other than getting to the Magic Kingdom, where other drivers are not allowed to make drop-offs. Theyre also good if you need two car seats, as Uber Car Seat cars typically only have one.

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    What Do I Need To Know Before Going To Disney World

    Here are 9 main things to know about Disney World before going:

    • There are 4 Theme Parks in Disney World: Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom
    • There are 2 Water Parks: Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon
    • 25 Resort Hotels to stay in.
    • There are countless Outdoor Activities to do such as swimming, fishing, golf, boating, and more.
    • WDW has 5 golf courses and 2 mini-golf courses.
    • Disney Springs is the nighttime entertainment hub with dozens of first-class restaurants and shops
    • You can catch a Dinner Show at Mickeys Backyard BBQ, Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, and Disneys Spirit of Aloha Show
    • It is a self-contained city with its own fire department, water treatment, waste disposal and power generation.
    • Disney World is HUGE at 25,000 acres. That means travel time can be long between two places.

    Reconsider The Rental Car When Visiting Walt Disney World

    Depending upon your plans in Orlando, you may not need to rent a car. That can definitely help you save money on the rental fee, parking, and gas.

    If you are staying on property and flying into Orlando International Airport, I would definitely recommend skipping the rental car and saving the money. You wont need the car with the free Magical Express and Disney transportation.

    However, if you are staying off-site, its important to do the math to see what the better option is. If you wont have access to a free shuttle to the parks, it may not be worth the cab/rideshare fees, especially if your off-property hotel has free parking.

    Also Check: Best Hotels Near Disney World With Shuttle

    Staying In A Disney Resort

    Unfortunately, changes Disney made in 2020 and 2021 have reduced the advantages for on-site guests, but there are still some.

    • Accommodation is more expensive , but you can save on transport and tickets .
    • Free shuttle buses between resorts and parks so you dont need to rent a car or pay for parking. From 2022 you will need to pay for transport from the airport.
    • Resort guests can enter all parks 30 minutes early every day. This is especially useful for popular rides like Avatar at Animal Kingdom and the Star Wars rides at Hollywood Studios.
    • In addition, guests at Deluxe Resorts will be able to stay late at some parks on select days.
    • You can book Individual Lightning Lanes at 7am .
    • You can make restaurant reservations 60 days before you check-in plus up to 10 days of your trip . This is useful if you want to eat in a popular restaurant like Cinderellas Royal Table.
    • Packages purchased in park stores can be delivered to your resort.

    If you do decide to stay in a Disney resort, the cheapest options are Disney Value Resorts including the various All Star Resorts and Pop Century.

    Pop Century is generally considered slightly better, but the cheapest one available when we booked was All Star Music, which has a standard rate of $161 plus tax per night. In low season there are discounted rates.

    Our room at All Star Music was similar to the basic motel rooms we usually book off-site with two double beds, an ensuite bathroom, air conditioning, free wifi, TV, and a mini-fridge .

    Getting Around Disney World On A Budget

    How to book a cheap disney trip donkeytime.org

    Disney World has an extensive transportation network consisting of buses, ferries, monorails and gondolas. So, you can usually go directly between your Disney resort and the Disney World theme parks, water parks and Disney Springs. And, if you want to go between two resorts, you can usually do so with just one connection.

    Related: 19 mistakes to avoid at Walt Disney World

    I solely used Disneys transportation network to get around during my stay. On my Magic Kingdom day, I was concerned that I wouldnt arrive at the park early enough to beat the crowds. But, I caught the second Magic Kingdom bus of the morning from my resort and was among the first guests to enter the park.

    As one of the first guests, I hurried to the popular Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and rode after just a 12-minute wait . Best of all, Disney guests can use the Disney transportation network for no extra cost.

    Cost for getting around Disney: None

    Also Check: List Of Disney World Hotels On Property

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