Four Tips for Disney Vacation Ideas

by Christy

I went on a vacation with my boyfriend to Disney World two years ago. I love the parks and don't want to skimp on getting the 7 Day Hopper. Plus, I love buying a few Disney souvenirs. However, my budget does not allow for me to do this, plus stay in posh hotels!

The first way I saved money was by not staying in the park. Even the budget hotels in the park are pricier. I stayed at the Buena Vista Suites.

I booked with the hotel directly, which in my opinion is the best way to go. The reason I picked the Buena Vista Suites was because it has a kitchen, the number two biggest money saving tip! Making your own meals, grocery shopping and packing a lunch!

My boyfriend and I went out for dinner two times and enjoyed it, but the rest of the week we were very strict with only cooking our dinners and packing snacks and lunch for dinner! Disney can be a cheap vacation, if you keep in mind a few simple Disney World vacation tips!

By Ted from Boston - I went on a Disney vacation with my girlfriend a few years ago, right after graduation from college so I was certainly on a limited budget.

We chose to go to Disney World in Orlando, FL as the flights were cheap and we knew we would be able to plan out all details on the trip to ensure we stayed within budget. When we looked in the Disney experience, we knew we would mainly be spending each day at a Disney park so it was important that we had easy and cheap travel arrangements.

We chose to stay in the cheaper Disney All Star sports resort as it allowed for us to travel to the parks on a shuttle each day and the rooms were a very decent rate.

Another way we traveled on a budget was to avoid eating our meals or buying alcoholic drinks on the Disney resort itself. We would take a shuttle or cab to other local Orlando destinations and reviewed the menus beforehand so we knew what we were getting ourselves into.

Another way to save money on Disney vacation is to bring in your own water or fill up a bottle before heading into the park to avoid paying outrageous markups on all food items. The longer you stay on the Disney resort, usually the better the packages are. Another item to consider is the timing that you decide to travel to the park.

Once school season is in session, lines are smaller and rates are reduced due to the lessened demand. Overall, I think there are many ways you can plan a Disney vacation on a budget.

By Jennifer, Tallahassee - Here's some Disney World vacation tips from my recent experience. I took my family of four to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida and spent $495.00 for a 4 day/3 night vacation. We stayed on the Disney property and ate meals 2 meals each day at Official Walt Disney World resort restaurants. This is how we managed to secure what I feel was an awesome deal.
First, I went to the Official Walt Disney World website. When you go into their reservation system, there are banner ads that advertise special prices, make sure that you click the ads. I did numerous quotes and they were always lower when I clicked through the offer banners.

Second, I searched different combinations of travel dates. It is to your advantage to go during the middle of the week during the off season. You will experience not only lower prices but also smaller crowds. We are Florida residents and Disney gives us a further discount. If you are a Florida resident, make sure to check to see if it's less expensive to buy a 4 day pass that is separate from your hotel package, it can work out that way sometimes.

We purchased a meal plan at the time that we booked our hotel. The meal plan, which is only offered at the time of reservation, will save an average of 25-30% from the price of going to the restaurant and paying at point of sale. In addition you can pre-budget several of your meal expenses. The best part is that Disney does not skimp on the meals just because you purchased a meal plan.

We received an appetizer, entree, desert and non-alcoholic beverage with every meal purchased on the meal plan. My biggest suggestion is to check quotes for multiple resorts on the property. Check it often. The prices seemed to vary depending upon the time of day and the day of the week that I searched. Keep looking until you find the right price.

By Betsy from Connecticut - We went to Disney World in February 2010. I'd like to share my Disney World vacation tips. We found a few ways to save money during our vacation. The two best places to save were on food and lodging.

We skipped staying on the grounds of Disney World and instead opted for one of the hotels in the area. These hotels cost a fraction of the resort hotels and frequently offered the same, if not more, amenities. Even for our large family of six, we found a nice suite hotel with a AAA discount which had two pools, Jacuzzi, laundry facilities, and a large, complimentary hot breakfast.

It was reasonably priced and very comfortable for us. A second way we saved money was on food. We filled up on breakfast at the hotel. Also, we took food and water into the parks in our backpacks. Lines could be long so it was good to have something on hand, especially for little ones.

We brought our own snacks so that we did not overspend on a soda or bottle of water. When possible, we packed lunches too; bringing our own food was much cheaper than buying it in the park. We did work a character dining meal into the budget which the kids very much enjoyed, but doing that everyday just wasn't feasible.

While in the parks we found a few money saving tricks. We knew we needed to rent a stroller, so we went ahead and paid for all of the days up front. We saved both time and money doing that, but you can avoid the expense altogether by taking your own stroller. Also, we used our own camera. While Disney had photographers all around the park to take professional pictures of us, these photographers were happy to take a picture with our camera too.

There was no reason to purchase their pictures which weren't exactly cheap. Lastly, we waited until the end of our trip to purchase souvenirs; that was a good way to stay within our budget. It is easy to impulse buy at the Disney Parks, but since we waited, we all got what we really wanted. I am super-cheap and for my souvenir, I picked up handfuls of napkins with Mickey Mouse on them; they are all over the park at the eating establishments.

I brought home tons of them and they lasted for months; they made us smile every time we used them. Disney is one of the best vacation ideas ever. I hope you find these Disney World vacation tips useful.

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