Follow our tips to visit Disney World on a budget, and you will have more money to spend on Dole Whips!
tips for disney world on a budget
disney world discounts
Disney offers discounted vacation packages throughout most of the year. Discounts are usually announced 4-6 months in advance and will include specific travel dates and resorts.
BUT you don’t have to wait until a discount is announced to book your vacation. Disney lets you modify existing reservations to apply new discounts. If you use a travel agent, they will watch for discounts and apply them to your vacation for you.
book your room and tickets separately
Disney often offers room-only discounts that make it more cost-effective to purchase your park tickets separately rather than as part of a package.
travel during value season
Traveling during Disney’s Value Season will significantly reduce your room expense. A week stay at a Moderate Resort in Value Season can save over $200 compared to travel during the summer. Plus, there may also be additional discounts available during that time.
stay at a value resort
If money were no object, I would stay at a deluxe hotel on every visit. But alas, most of the time I travel to Disney on a budget. Value resorts are comfortable and just as much fun (maybe more fun) as the more expensive hotels. And they are a fraction of the price.
bring snacks and breakfast foods
Bring breakfast foods such as granola & fruit bars or dry cereal from home instead of buying a hot meal at your resort or the parks. Not only will you save money, you will save time and get to the park faster. You can also bring snacks from home to eat in the park or at your hotel.
don’t rent a car
save on stroller rental
Bring your stroller or rent one from a local company rather than renting one from Disney. The daily stroller rental fee at a Disney park is $15/day for a single and $31/day for a double. There is a $2/day discount for multi-day rentals. For a week that is between $91 – $203 and you don’t even get to use the strollers to get to the buses or around your resort. In comparison, a seven-night rental from an independent company is about $60 for a single and $70 for a double.
Even better, bring your own stroller from home or purchase a stroller through Amazon and have it delivered to your hotel. After your visit, you can bring it home or leave it at your resort as a donation. Our favorite stroller is the Cosco Umbria Stroller, Circus (if you purchase through that link I will receive a commission) It is small, easy to carry on the bus, has cup holders and a basket underneath for your stuff, and has a hood to keep your child shaded.
make a souvenir budget
Make a Souvenir Budget and stick to it. Let your kids know ahead of time what you will and will not buy for them. We buy our kids a t-shirt (usually from the resort or a special event) and a Christmas ornament. The rest of their souvenirs are purchased from their individual budgets.
let kids earn souvenir money
Before your trip, give the kids an opportunity to earn extra vacation money by working around the house. Pay the kids in Disney money.
give souvenir money as gifts
Give your kids Disney money as gifts before your trip. Vacation money is the perfect addition to a Christmas stocking, Easter basket, etc.
put souvenir money on a gift card
If you run out of money on the gift card, you are done shopping.