How to Experience Walt Disney World on the Cheap

How to Experience Walt Disney World on the Cheap

Walt Disney World can be a budget vacation if you plan it out right, but it’s a lot harder to make it into a cheap vacation. Things at Disney World are not cheap, by any stretch of the imagination, nor are there all these deals being advertised to help you save your money. Instead of piling on packages that save you money on each individual item, but add up to a lot more than a general admission ticket to Disney World would cost, try putting together a trip on your own and save cash.

Just being at Disney World is an experience, so you do not need to sink a lot of additional cash into playing at the parks. There are however, several spending necessities that can really drive up the cost of a day, or week at the parks, so use these tips to make it through as cheaply as possible.


Stay Off Disney Properties

Staying on Disney property is less per person, per day, when you choose a budget or moderate hotel stay and have a party of four. But, these fees can and do add up, especially when you need to eat on resort because you are relying on the park transportation being offered. Looking for alternate lodging near the parks is a great way to save a ton of cash and make the experience affordable.

Do Meals On Your Own

Meals and snacks at Walt Disney World can cost up to half a ticket per day, so instead of eating all your meals at the parks and in the resort dining rooms, opt to have meals on your own. There are a lot of nearby options to dine, and even more places to grocery shop for snacks and drinks. Disney allows for coolers and backpacks to come into the parks, so there is the ability to pack quite a bit for snacking throughout the day and even having one or two meals.

Combine Parking for Deals

A lot of folks want to get in a special meal while at Disney World, even with the high price. Instead of opting for taking all your meals, pack lunches as mentioned and then schedule a nice dinner at one of the resorts or other areas with a restaurant. When you reserve to dine at any of the resorts that are on Disney property, you can park in those lots for free. Park, dine and then use the park’s transportation system before ending your day and driving home.

Purchase Disney Gifts and Clothing Before Your Trip

Shopping at Disney is a huge part of the fun for everyone, and most folks feel like they need to bring home a souvenir from their trip, even if it is a branded Disney item. To help get over this urge, and save a ton of cash, start shopping for Disney gifts and clothing before the trip. Another option is to do the shopping down in Orlando, but at one of the several deeply discounted Disney stores where all the surplus merchandise goes.

Save On Tickets

Saving on the cost of park tickets seems to be the hardest obstacle for most families, but Disney makes it easier to spend even more on these than necessary. Buying single park tickets for whatever number of days you want to be at the parks is enough, the hoppers are great and give

you freedom, but most of the time folks just feel like they should hop when they don’t really need to. Plan out your days so that you see what you want and can focus on each park. Another great way to save on tickets, and maybe get a couple free ones is to cash in your credit card rewards, especially if you have a Disney card that can be used specifically for days at the parks.


  1. Dandi D says

    This is all good to know. We’ve never been to Disney World, and we would definitely be on a budget!

  2. Best vacation we ever took as a family!

  3. Karen Glatt says

    Do my own meals. It is so expensive to eat at Disneyland. I have been to Disneyland, and I ate in my room, and brought my own drinks. The drinks also cost a fortune. I also stayed in a motel not far from Disneyland with a free breakfast that did not cost a lot of money!!

  4. Elisabeth says

    Love the idea of making your own meals! When we go on vacation, we at least try to do that for breakfast!

  5. Rosie says

    These are wonderful ideas. I’m sure there are many ppl who just assume they can’t afford to go to Disney, but if they can make use of suggestions like these, perhaps it would be doable!

  6. courtney b says

    wow GREAT post.
    always looking for ways to save money when going to Disneyland.

    We all know it can get SUPER pricey!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Sarah L says

    I didn’t know you could bring a cooler into the park. I’d sure do that.

  8. CR Williams says

    I would love to go here one day. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Jo-Ann Brightman says

    These are great tips on how to save money at the theme park. Thanks for the info.

  10. Anne says

    DisneyWorld has always been rather intimidating to me, mainly because I assumed it would cost a bundle. But with your tips, I think we might be able to make it work. Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. The week after Thanksgiving is the quietest week at Disney AND it’s decorated for Christmas already. A great week to go!

  12. G K says

    These are some great tips especially staying at a hotel not on Disney property.

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