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One of the most popular destinations in the world, Walt Disney World Resort has crafted a reputation on being fun for the whole family. From groundbreaking amusement parks to world-class accommodations, Disney World has become synonymous with magical memories. Despite this, a Disney vacation may feel out of reach for many people's price range. That's why we're here to share our tips on how to plan a trip to Disney World on a budget.
Create A Disney World On A Budget
First thing's first, create a budget for your trip to Walt Disney World just as you would for anything else. Once you have your budget in place, you can begin crafting your itinerary and consider methods to saving money while on your Disney Vacation. When crafting your budget, we recommend breaking it into three categories: activities, accommodations & transportation, food, and shopping.
Park Hopper Tickets
While we don't recommend Genie+ for every ride, the new pay-per-ride fast pass system at Disney World can save you money if you have a full day planned. Sometimes, time is money and if you'll be able to see more by waiting a quarter of the time, then you should consider using Genie+.
Are you a Florida resident visiting Orlando? If so, Disney World has several Florida resident discounts that you can take advantage of to save money. Do you plan to go to parks multiple days throughout the year? If so, Disney World's Annual Pass Program might be the best option for you.
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Activities That Don't Require A Ticket
If you'd like to avoid the theme parks everyday (or going to the parks at all!), the Walt Disney Resort has a lot to offer. Whether it's watching movies under the stars at a hotel or catching live entertainment at Disney Springs, some of the best, most affordable memories can be created outside of the park.
Accommodations & Transportation
While many might try to save money by staying off property, hotels at Disney World have perks that may save you money in the long run. Disney World has over twenty-five resorts at a variety of price ranges. Value resorts like All Star Resorts have all of the Disney World parks without breaking the bank. When looking at your dates, keep in mind that hotel prices change based on how busy the Disney parks are, so stay away from Spring Break, Summer Break, and holidays to find the best rate.
Disney World's transportation system is truly innovative. With buses and boats across the property, there's never a need for an expensive rental car or taxi while on property. Likewise, with transportation options like the monorail and gondola systems, you might find your family more interested in public transportation options than a car rental. Furthermore, if you are staying on property, there are many bus services that will take you from the airport to Disney World at a discounted rate.
While the Disney parks are known for their snacks, the cost of them can weigh down your wallet. If you are trying to save money on food while on your Disney vacation, preparation is key. If you are planning to eat one of Disney World's food stands, restaurants, or beach bars, it's key that you research where you are dining. While you might think the snack stand is a more cost-effective option, the popcorn buckets can add up. It might be more cost-effective to spend a few more dollars on a meal and keep to the snacks in the backpack. Which leads us to what food to pack…
While you might want to avoid the grocery store while on vacation, having a few snacks in your backpack while at the Disney parks potentially save you hundred of dollars and a lot of stress when a member of your party's stomach in the middle of a long line. Our pro tip is to stay hydrated but never pay for water! Bring your own water bottle and you can refill with free ice water at most food stands.
If you are planning to budget our a shopping expedition, Disney Springs is right for your. With around a hundred stores, you are almost guaranteed to find what you are looking for. From outfits to souvenirs, look no further than the stores of Disney Springs.
While “free” might sound like a foreign word at Disney World, there are many ways that you can find souvenirs without dropping a dime on your Disney vacation. Are you celebrating something fun? Hop by guest services to grab a celebration button so you can proudly display you first time at Disney, your engagements, your birthday, or anything else that you’d like to show off! Not only is it an easy way to celebrate the day, but also serves as a wonderful souvenir to remember for years to come.
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Are you staying at one of the Disney World resorts? If so, you and everyone in your party will have a magic band to serve as your room key, credit card on the property, and – of course – a souvenir. Likewise, while park maps serve a very practical purpose, they also can be framed, thrown in scrapbooks, or the like. Everyone deserves the chance at a Disney vacation no matter their budget. While it might take planning and dedication, it is possible to visit Disney World on a budget and still have a magical time!