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Disney World Florida: Common Sense ways to enjoy while on a family budget

Updated on October 5, 2010
Visiting Mickey can be done for less!
Visiting Mickey can be done for less!
No one can resist Mickey
No one can resist Mickey

Walt Disney World is a dream trip for a lot of people, but few can actually make it a reality because of how expensive it can be. There are many ways that you can save a lot of money on a Walt Disney World vacation and have the vacation of a lifetime. Disney is always having promotions to help you make the trip more affordable to you, and there is a discount out there for almost anything. With careful planning, you can make your dream Disney vacation come true.

You can save a lot of money by planning your vacation to Disney World in the off-peak season. This has many advantages. First of all, the hotel rates are significantly cheaper if you plan to stay on Disney property. Second of all, the crowds and lines at the theme parks are a lot less, so you tend to get to see more when you are on vacation. These seasons are after New Years Day and right after Labor Day in September.

If at all possible, drive to Walt Disney World. Airfare can be so expensive and this will help you save a ton of money. Driving to your vacation destination has a lot of advantages, such as being able to take your time, packing as much stuff as you can hold, as well as you can bring food into your car and hotel and make meals on the go. This will save you a ton of money because restaurants on Disney property can be quite expensive.

Book a package deal with your hotel stay and your park passes together. The more you combine, the more you save. Park hopper tickets are nice as well because if you are staying on Disney property you can use their transportation for free, and you can also go to as many parks that you want to in one day. This is nice if there is a park with a couple of attractions you want to see, but maybe you want to see the fireworks at one place another day.

Eat a bigger breakfast at your hotel before you leave for the day, snack during the day, and eat a meal in the evening time. This can be easily done if you are renting a vehicle, because you can bring breakfast foods and snacks with you, so you are only purchasing one meal for the family every day. You can even purchase dining plans through Disney if you cannot bring food with you and save yourself some money. Make sure that you make any restaurant reservations well in advance because character dining can book up quite quickly.

Get to the parks early. One of the advantages of staying on Disney property is that there is one park that will open early every day just to people staying on Disney property. This is the best time to see some of the more popular attractions because there are very little lines. You can do a lot of things in this small time period, so even if you are on vacation, you will want to be the early bird. If you are too tired by the afternoon, take the transportation back to your hotel and rest up for the evening.

Use the fastpass option at major attractions. This will allow you to get a ticket with a time, and go and do whatever you would like to do until that time is up. This allows you to come back at the time stamp and get right on the ride. No longer will you have to wait in line, just make sure that you are back in time, otherwise you will have to get another pass or wait your turn. Typically the larger and newer rides will have the option of fastpass.

Don’t purchase your souvenirs in the park. They typically will run you twice as much as going to the Orlando outlet Disney store. If you are traveling with a lot of children, let them decide ahead of time on what they would like to get. If they are into collecting pins or postcards, let them decide but don’t give in when they see more items.

Plan ahead. You will be amazed at the amount of more things you will be able to see and do if you plan ahead. You can check out the daily schedule of the parks online so that you can plan your days. It will be able to tell you which park has special events during the day and night such as fireworks, so that you will not be able to miss these attractions. Try and book your restaurant reservations the days that have special evening events so you do not have to leave the park. The more preparation that you do ahead of schedule, the better off you will be.

Make a list of everything you need to bring and check it twice. Simple things like camera cards, film, batteries and toiletries can be quite easy to forget, but unfortunately these items will cost you a fortune if you do not plan ahead. Make sure you have plenty of everything so you don’t have to shell out a lot of money at the parks for something that you will need. Keep in mind that items such as baby diapers and formula can be extremely hard if not impossible to find unless you find a shuttle that can bring you off of the Disney property.

Pack lots of cool clothing. Unless you are familiar with the area and weather, you can expect extreme heat and humidity. Walking around the parks can make you quite warm, and while the attractions are air conditioned, the outside is not. You would not want to have to purchase additional clothing, so you want to make sure that you are prepared as it is going to be hot. Most Disney hotels have on site laundry machines if you need them as well.

These are just a few ways that you can save yourself a ton of money and make your dream trip to Walt Disney World a reality. While it may seem so out of reach, you can save yourself some money and have the vacation of a lifetime.



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    • pennyauctionviewe profile image

      pennyauctionviewe 7 years ago from Canada

      Thank you.

    • vicki simms profile image

      vicki simms 7 years ago from northamptonshire

      Great tips, I work in travel and I couldn't have put it better myself!!!

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 7 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      Wow, great tips! I will have to pass this on to my kids