Tips Series: Top Five Tips for a Budget-friendly Disney Vacation

By • Apr 1st, 2011 • Category: Family

Here is todays post on Save Money Tips

Disney World is a much sought-after destination for family vacationing. However, with all of the activities and sights to see at the Magic Kingdom, the bills could pile up as high as Space Mountain. Even with the tightest wallet, a family of four could spend thousands to see Cinderella’s Castle. If you and your family are planning a trip to Disney World, saving every penny will allow you to see more parks and spend more time in the Kingdom. A budget-friendly Disney vacation can be yours – and these five tips can help make that a reality!

Tip #1: Go for the package deal.

Millions of people visit Disney World each year. So, of course, Disney has a number of package deals available to help make your stay more convenient. Many people opt to instead stay in other non-Disney hotels, plan budget meals, and so forth, but the truth is that you can save a lot of money by simply making your trip centered on Disney. The packaged deals they offer really do help you save money.

Tip #2: Compare your travel options.

Some families choose to drive instead fly when going on vacation. However, with gas prices through the roof, this may not be the best option. It depends on a number of factors including the efficiency of your car, the distance to Orlando, the size of your family, the ages of your children, and the time of year during which you plan to travel. If you have a small family, want to travel during the off-season, and live far from Florida, heading to the airport may be your best choice.

Taking a train or bus to get to Disney World is another option many families choose. A bus or train is a great choice if your children are older and you live within a reasonable distance from Orlando. The key to finding the best price is to research and compare options. If possible, also work with a travel agent to find the best prices in a package deal or group discount. If you want to make the most budget -friendly choice for your Disney World vacation, be sure to explore every travel option before packing your bags.

Tip #3: Check into Disney Club prices for accommodations.

Some families visit Disney World more than just once, and, if your family qualifies, being a member of the Disney Vacation Club can save you money. This club is not equivalent to owning a timeshare with Disney, but you get “points” for your membership, which can then be redeemed at any one of their many club resorts, which are only available to club members. It is important to note that this is not a real estate investment. It is simply a way to save money and make the most of a Disney World vacation if you live nearby and plan to travel to the Magic Kingdom more than once..

However, even if you don’t have the resources to do that, the Disney Club may be able to help you. Points expire after a certain period of time, so if a member cannot make it to Disney, it is possible to sell the points. Once you purchase these points, Disney accommodations become available for a reduced rate! Do your research, and, if the points can help you save, buy some for your family vacation.

Tip #4: Buy a meal plan and eat off-site for the meals not covered.

Food is expensive in the Magic Kingdom, and, you are not permitted to take your own food into the park. If you plan to spend the entire day exploring Disney World’s parks, you will most likely dine at them as well. While time may fly when you’re having fun, hunger does not, so consider one of Disney’s meal plans, which is part of the vacation packages they offer. With the meal plans, you pay one set price for a certain number of dinners and snacks per day. That means you can get more for your money! Another option is getting your hand stamped and leaving the park for lunch. Orlando does have some great family options that are less expensive than food in the park itself. So, perhaps this would be the best option for your family.

Tip #5: Buy Disney Dollars online.

Disney Dollars are exchangeable at a 1:1 rate, but only in Disney itself. You can use them for most souvenirs and food in the parks, as well as in some non-park stores. Many people like to buy Disney Dollars to give their children a “Disney allowance” for items at the park, which is a great idea. However, if you buy them online ahead of time, it is possible to save some money. Because Disney Dollars cannot be used anywhere else or exchanged back to regular dollars, people who have them left over usually sell them for less than a 1:1 rate.

Disney World can fill your imagination but it does not have to empty your wallet in the process. There are many affordable options you and your family can take advantage of in order to place this vacation in your price range. Do your homework, do some research, and you should be able to find a Disney World option that works for best you. Above all else, have a great time, and enjoy your stay in the Magic Kingdom!

Craig Smith is a freelance writer who writes about topics involving vacations and the travel industry including Disney World | Disney Vacation

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One Response »

  1. If you’re going to be doing a lot of traveling this summer, I would suggest getting a prepaid cell phone. This way you don’t have to worry about losing your phone or any extra fees. I got a TracFone and it definitely was worth it. I pay only for the minutes as I use them.

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