Disney World. Even just hearing those two words has the instant ability to make me feel like a kid all over again. Despite all of the places in the world we have traveled to, my family and I always have the most magical time in Disney World. Wanting to keep making those magical memories is what keeps people coming back to the Disney Parks over and over again, but that can get pricey. One of the top things people ask or search for when planning a Disney trip are budget-friendly tips. I have 9 unique tips for visiting Disney on a budget to share with you, so hopefully you can experience the magic even more.
How much is the average trip to Disney World?
Seriously though, it’s tough to say how much an average trip to Disney World is, especially in the future of travel, since there are so many things you can do (or not do).
But there are definitely some tips and tricks, plus free ways (like this scavenger hunt) to have fun while planning a trip to Disney World on a budget.
If you easily sign up for my newsletter (at the bottom), you’ll be instantly directed to a free “healthy travel checklist”. You can download and print it for all the best travel essentials to have before your next trip.
How To Visit Disney on A Budget
This is a great website to search when trying to find Disney World packages.
When searching Travelocity’s site I always start out by looking for hotel & flight vacation packages, because booking them together usually provides a discount. They don’t charge hotel cancellation fees and offer 24/7 worry free travel support. This can offer you peace of mind instead of worrying about being scammed while booking hotels online.
If you choose a package with a Disney hotel, then Disney’s magical express transportation service will be included. That alone is a nice savings since you will not have to rent a car during your vacation.
Disney’s magical express will pick you up at the airport and also take you everywhere you need to go during your stay (on Disney property of course).
2. Orange Lake Resort in Orlando
If you are traveling to Disney with a large family, a group of friends or want to save some money, then I definitely recommend staying at Holiday Inn Club Vacations Orange Lake Resort over Walt Disney World hotels.
This resort offers a home away from home feel with its spacious villas, full kitchens, variety of amenities, activities, places to eat, fabulous pools and kids clubs too. People often think you have to be a vacation club owner to stay here, but it’s readily available to rent to non-vacation club owners at any time.
Orange Lake Resort is less than a 30-minute drive away from both Disney World and also Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
3. Pack lunches and snacks
Now, this tip is more of a personal preference, but our family has found that you can save money when traveling by not purchasing Disney World food or meal plans and instead pack lunches and snacks for Disney World park days.
This works especially well when we stay at a hotel or resort that has a kitchen area, because we head right to the local Publix after our arrival to stock up on our family’s favorite foods, drinks and snacks.
4. Visit Disney Parks during non-peak times
Now this is getting harder and harder to do, especially when Disney packs the people in pretty much year round, but if familiarize yourself with some crowded Disney Park strategies, you can be well prepared so you can have a better experience.
Visiting during Disney’s off-peak times, or at least not on or around holidays and special events (like Disney World Halloween Not So Scary), will allow you to have less wait time for rides, shows & restaurants, and sometimes without even having to reserve any fast passes.
5. Skip Animal Kingdom
Don’t get me wrong, my family and I absolutely love Animal Kingdom, in fact my husband used to work there and Pandora is one of my favorite places ever.
But if you are not able to visit all of the Disney Parks in one trip, or don’t want to pay for a park hopper, I recommend skipping Animal Kingdom and heading over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge where you will be able to see many of the animals for free. You can also eat delicious foods at the themed restaurants there.
*Tip – if you visit around 11am, which is right after the animals have been fed, they are all ready to come out, be seen and even pose for pictures.
6. Disney Resorts
A fun and inexpensive way to spend a day in Disney World is to visit and explore the many beautiful Disney Resorts.
The resorts are free to walk around and explore, plus they are all themed in a different way, boast beautiful decor and many offer some surprising activities, especially around the holidays.
One of our favorite things to do when visiting the Disney Resorts is to check out the different and exciting modes of transportation they offer, like the new and exciting Skyliner.
7. Watch Fireworks
Would you like to see the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom but do not want to pay Disney World prices or fight crowds?
Besides taking a virtual tour, the the Contemporary Resort offers a perfect view of the fireworks over the Magic Kingdom. This area is free, less crowded, and also offers an easier exit when it’s over.
8. Disney Boardwalk
A budget-friendly Disney day for my family always includes a visit to the Disney Boardwalk for some good old-fashioned Disney themed fun!
You could spend all day and evening just walking around the Boardwalk. Make sure to check out the sights, rent bikes, take a ride or two on the ferry or even the Skyliner.
There are Disney resorts to visit, fun restaurants such as the ESPN Club, shops, nightlife, street performers and lots of carnival-style foods and games.
There is even a beautiful view of the fireworks from Epcot while standing along the Disney Boardwalk bridge.
9. Don’t Buy A Hopper Pass
My last of the 9 tips for visiting Disney on a budget that I have to offer you is if you have the time to spend at the Disney Parks, then skip paying the extra money for a hopper pass.
Try and dedicate yourself to spending a full day in a particular Disney Park. Park hopping can be exhausting, especially with kids.