Clock5-Minute Read

Disney Dreamin’ on a Dime: Trip to Disney World on a Budget!

Walt Disney World is known as the most magical place on earth, but it can also come with a hefty price tag if you add up the costs of tickets, accommodations, food, and souvenirs.

However, it is indeed possible to travel to Disney World and enjoy the Disney experience without breaking the bank.

In this guide, we will explore 13 ways you can do Walt Disney World, Orlando on a budget.

Walt Disney World Orlando

13 Ways to Do Disney on a Budget

1. Visit during the off-season

One of the best ways to save money on your Disney World trip is to visit during the off-season.

The advantages of travelling during the off-season include-

  • lower prices on accommodations
  • shorter wait times for rides and attractions
  • special discounts on tickets
  • cheaper airfare.

Typically, the off-season at Disney World is from mid-January to early February, September to early November, and the week after Thanksgiving in late November. Avoiding the peak season from mid-December to early January can save you a significant amount of money.

2. Look for discounts and deals

discounts and deals for Disney Orlando

When you’re planning your trip, keep an eye out for discounts and deals on Disney World tickets, accommodations, and meals.

Disney frequently offers special promotions and discounts, especially during the off-season. You can also check websites like Undercover Tourist or with your employer to see if they offer any discounted rates for Disney World trips.

Being on the lookout for such deals will end up saving money on your trip!

3. Stay at a non-Disney Resort/Hotel

While staying at a Disney resort can be a dream come true, it is often the most expensive option.

Consider staying in an off-site hotel like Westgate Town Center (which is just 1 mile from Walt Disney World). These accommodations are much more affordable and offer the same amenities as most Disney World resorts.

4. Bring your own snacks and drinks

Food can be a major expense when you visit Disney World, with meals costing upwards of $20 per person. But luckily, Disney allows guests to bring their own food and non-alcoholic drinks into the parks.

To save money on food, pack your own snacks and drinks to bring into the theme park. Small coolers are allowed for this purpose, and you can also refill water bottles at water fountains throughout the parks.

If you do decide to eat at the park, consider sharing a meal with someone to save on costs.

5. Take advantage of free activities and entertainment

Disney Springs Orlando

Believe it or not, there are plenty of free things to do at Disney World that are often overlooked.

Take time to explore the various resorts, visit Disney Springs attend parades, watch street performances, and catch character meet-and-greets. There are also free activities at the resorts, such as movie nights and pool parties.

These experiences don’t cost a penny and can add to the overall magic of your trip.

6. Use Disney gift cards for purchases

Before visiting Disney World, purchase discounted Disney gift cards from retailers such as Target or Sam’s Club to save money on your purchases at the Disney parks.

You can also use these gift cards to pay for your Walt Disney World resort stay, meals, and souvenirs. Plus, it’s an easy way to set a budget for yourself and avoid overspending.

7. Skip the Park Hopper Ticket

For some of you who don’t know about Park Hopper, the Disney Park Hopper option gives you access to multiple theme parks in a single day

While it may seem appealing to have the option to visit multiple parks in a day, choosing the base Disney Park tickets option can save you money.

The Park Hopper add-on costs an extra $65 per day, which can quickly add up for a family vacation. Instead, focus on one park per day and fully explore all of its attractions and activities.

Unless you have a specific reason to visit multiple parks in one day during your Disney trip, stick with a single-park ticket and save some money.

8. Take advantage of free transportation

free transport- hotel shuttle service

Disney World offers free transportation to and from their parks for guests staying on-site.

Instead of spending money on rental cars or ride-sharing services, use Disney’s complimentary transportation options to get around the resort.

You can get a ride from Orlando International Airport or to Disney World using your hotel’s shuttle service, which is usually free/ affordable than booking an Uber ride.

9. Eat at quick-service restaurants

Food at Walt Disney World Orlando

Disney World has a variety of dining options, including pricey table-service restaurants and more affordable quick-service options.

If you do decide to eat at the park, opt for quick-service restaurants instead of sit-down restaurants. These meals are usually cheaper and come with larger portion sizes (and are equally as delicious as the pricier eateries!)

Bonus tip: You can also save money by purchasing refillable mugs at your Disney resort, which allows you to get free refills on soft drinks, coffee, or tea throughout your stay.

10. Do your souvenir shopping outside of the park

Souvenirs for free at Disney World Orlando

Souvenirs in the Disney parks cost a pretty penny, but you can find similar merchandise at much lower prices outside of the park.

Consider doing your souvenir shopping at Disney Springs or other nearby outlets. You’ll likely get better deals and have a wider selection to choose from.

Souvenirs for free-

Instead of buying expensive souvenirs, look for ways to get them for free. Many rides and attractions offer a free souvenir photo that can be downloaded or printed at home.

You can also ask for complimentary celebration buttons at guest services or take home a free map of the parks as a souvenir.

11. Consider purchasing a multi-day pass

If you plan on spending more than one day on your Disney vacation, consider purchasing a multi-day pass instead of single-day tickets.

Multi-day passes are typically cheaper per day and allow you to visit multiple parks during your stay. Plus, it gives you the flexibility to take breaks in between park days without feeling like you’re wasting money.

12. Don’t overspend on unnecessary extras

Disney World offers a variety of add-ons and upgrades, such as dining plans, special event tickets, and VIP tours. While these can enhance your experience, they also come at an additional cost. For instance, the Magic Kingdom After Hours event costs around $125 per person for just three hours of park access after regular closing time (which can be quite expensive).

Before purchasing any extras, consider if they are truly necessary and worth the additional cost. Stick to your budget and only splurge on things that are important to you and will enhance your trip experience.

13. Choose the right time to splurge

Having fun on your trip is equally as important as saving money. Choose one or two special experiences that are a must-do for you and your family, and splurge on those instead of overspending on multiple extras.

This will allow you to create memorable moments without going over your budget. Plus, it’s always good to have something to look forward to during your trip!

Main Takeaway for your Disney World Trip Planning

Disney World may seem like an expensive vacation, but there are plenty of ways to do Disney World on a Budget.

From taking advantage of free activities and transportation to planning ahead and setting a budget, these tips can help you have a memorable and affordable Disney World vacation.

Remember to do your research and plan ahead, so you can make the most out of your trip and create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.

Happy planning!

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