A trip to Disney World Orlando is a dream for many families, and especially for kids who love to meet their favourite characters, go on rides, and watch a show or the fireworks in the magic kingdom. However, it’s pretty well-known that a trip to Disney World, especially if you’re travelling from abroad, can be costly, with the bills mounting up if you’re not careful. However, there are plenty of ways you can make your trip to Disney World more budget friendly, and in this blog post we’ll be sharing our top tips on how to take your family to Disney World without breaking the bank. From planning ahead to finding the right accommodation for your trip, you can be confident that you and your kids can experience the true magic of Disney!
Plan Well in Advance
The best thing to do when going to Disney World Orlando on a budget is to make sure you’re planning your trip, and your itinerary, well in advance. There are a few changes to how the park runs from 2022, so it’s best to keep these at the forefront of your mind. The most important change to remember is that if you wish to visit a specific park, you’ll need to make a reservation using the new Disney Park Pass Reservation System which you can find on their website. This will allow you to check park availability and start to craft your itinerary before you go ahead and book your full trip.
It’s also useful to note that the Fast Passes available have now been replaced with Genie+ and Lightning Lanes, which you can find out more information for online. Certain areas of Disney World, like the shopping area Disney Springs, don’t require a ticket, so you can always boost your time in Florida with these extra adventures that are more budget friendly. Just remember, although there are four main parks, there are other water parks and locations that might require you to spend some extra time on your holiday, so planning ahead can save a lot of heartache.
Decide How Long You Want to Stay
Making the most out of your stay at Disney World, and also ensuring you’ve got the most for your money, means it’s important to decide how long you want to stay. A common recommendation from travel advisors and past visitors to the park is to go for at least four full days, as this will allow you to have a day in each of the four main parks. If your budget does allow, you can go for six or seven days, which could give you time to visit the water parks or take a rest day in between.
If you want to explore Florida, this will also give you some extra time to visit attractions outside of Disney World, like Universal Studios, which is hugely popular with Disney visitors, as it is home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and a host of rollercoasters and other rides. If your trip to Disney is part of a longer travel plan, you can always just pick one or two of the parks to go to and decide based on the ones you are most interested in. So, whatever your reasons for visiting Disney World, you will certainly be able to find an outcome that works for you.
Choose the Right Place to Stay
Although it may be tempting to stay in one of the Disney parks, it is much cheaper and often just as convenient to stay offsite, where the accommodation is better value even with taxis or Ubers to the site included – that’s if you don’t want to hire a car, which is a popular choice with many guests. Some motels even offer a free shuttle service to the Disney Parks, so it’s worth checking what’s included with your booking.
Another great thing about staying offsite is that choosing a villa in Florida will mean you are close to grocery stores and inexpensive restaurants, so your food budget can be greatly reduced if you decide to plan your meals ahead. This is also a fantastic option if you are visiting Disney World as part of a longer travel plan, or you’re hoping to visit other attractions like Universal Studios, as you can choose a location that’s more suitable for everything you want to see.
You’ll need to factor parking costs at the Disney Parks into your budget, but this approach still makes it a no-brainer if you’re visiting on a budget, especially if you find a deal on a villa near to the parks. Ocean Florida, for example, offer some fantastic deals on Florida villa holidays which will give you plenty of opportunity to find a villa that is budget-friendly, but that will still bring you close to Disney World and other attractions.
See here for the options with Ocean Florida – they are a great choice as they offer a selection of over 5000 handpicked Exact Villas, most with their own private pools, and they provide detailed information about the community you will be staying in, as well as being fully ATOL & TTA protected. Villas in the Kissimmee area, for instance, are just outside the parks and are just a 10–15-minute drive away, so it’s definitely worth checking out options in this area and its surroundings when searching for the right home away from home.
Plan Your Meals
In the past, Disney World have offered the Disney Dining Plans, but these are currently unavailable, and it is unclear when they will return. Even so, as mentioned, it’s usually more budget-friendly to avoid using the Disney Dining Plans anyway and instead try to cater for yourself where possible. This is a lot easier if you are staying in a villa rather than in one of the park accommodation options, as access to cheaper supermarkets and restaurants outside of the Disney parks means you can create a perfect meal plan and be aware of your spending as you go through each day.
Even just shopping at supermarkets for breakfast and lunch, then deciding whether to eat dinner onsite or in a restaurant outside the grounds can make a huge difference to your overall spending, and if you are travelling with a pre-planned itinerary that makes space for this, you’ll find that you won’t need to stress about where you’re going to eat. On top of this, by shopping offsite for your meals, you’ll be able to make sure that the food you’re eating while at Disney World is exactly how you and your family like it, while staying healthy and full of energy for your days of exploring.
Essentially, the most important thing to remember when planning for Disney World on a budget, is that the memories your family will make at the parks will be treasured for years to come, so whatever you decide will definitely be the right choice for you and your kids. By planning in advance, making sure that you have the right villa in the best area for the attractions you want to see, and planning your meals ahead, you can take some of the pressure off and let yourself enjoy the magic of Disney without worrying about your finances!