Let’s be honest, things are a little more expensive now. That doesn’t stop you from wanting to visit the happiest place on Earth. So how can still have a great vacation and not break the bank? Disney on a budget ! Yes, you can do Disney on a budget and still have an amazing time.
Places to Stay
Walt Disney World has 3 categories of resorts. These are the value, moderate and deluxe resorts and each has a wide variety of price and theme. Since we are budgeting, we will be looking at the values. There are five value resorts to choose from and range in price from $185 – $205 a night for a standard room (two resorts have suites and those have a higher cost).
All-Star Resorts – These 3 resorts are together, although each one has their own bus stop, lobby for check in and food court area. You can not walk between them, but they do share bus transportation from the parks. Check out our past article here for more information about the All-Star Resorts.
Pop Century Resort – This resort is a fan favorite value resort. With a stop on the Disney Skyliner and bridge to Art of Animation, makes it a popular, but affordable place to stay. Icons, catchphrases and more, check what makes Pop Century top contender for a valuable choice here.
Art of Animation – We haven’t spotlighted this resort yet, but it is hands down of my favorites. The whimsy of animation surrounding you, makes you feel part of the movies that are represented. This resort does have family suites, which is a great option for larger families.
Walt Disney World also has some amazing hotels surrounding them. They all offer transportation to the parks, and some are within walking distance of Disney Springs. While some of these hotels are less expensive than the onsite resorts, they don’t offer the same perks as booking onsite. But they are a great options for staying on budget. Fort Wilderness Campground also offers a variety of camping options from tent camping all the way to 50′ camper spots.
All That Walking Makes You Hungry
Dining on budget ? You can have the best of both, some of Disney’s amazing food and staying on your budget. Depending on the length of your stay, will help you decide how many restaurants you want to try, if any.
There are many options for grocery delivery to the resorts, or an Uber to a local marketplace. Breakfast can be had in the room before heading out to the parks. Snacks and coolers for lunch can be brought into the parks (please look at the Disney website for the latest rules regarding coolers in the parks). There are even lockers that can be rented so you don’t have to carry your cooler with you all day (remember wagons are not allowed in Disney parks).
Disney restaurants can be a little expensive, compared to “normal” eating out at home. That being said, you are paying for and getting an amazing experience. So I suggest trying to budget at least one good meal a day. A good sit down meal during the day will help recharge the batteries and make everyone feel a little better.
I Want All the Souvenirs …
Every time I go, I want it all. I want to take it all home with me. I have bought bags to carry my loot home, I have shipped home and I have said to myself, why? That is not very budget friendly. There are lots little things you can do, especially with kids. Make the memories just as magical without needing the extra luggage coming home.
I pre-bought little Disney themed items at home and each day gave it to my kids. Starting the day off with a little souvenir always put a smile on their face. And now you have room in the suitcase for the few souvenirs you do buy.
Set a budget for souvenirs. Never buy the first one you see on the first day. The parks are going to have some much that you are going to want. If you want, you can also start a collection. Disney Pins have a huge following, with many people buying to trade for odd or rare ones. We use these as a great, yet somewhat budget friendly, souvenir. We each pick one out on the last day, to remember the trip. Favorite ride, favorite place we stayed, food we had, the possibilities are endless and fun. We don’t trade them and the kids (and I admit I do as well) display them year round in their rooms to remember the vacation.
Disney’s Memory Maker is another amazing souvenir. There are so many Photopass photographers around the parks. Some with magical shots, that everyone gets to be in the picture. As many times as we have been, we still get Memory Maker and make sure it’s in our budget. They are able to capture so many things and we get to download them when we get home. I have made scrap books and decorated the walls with memories of our vacations from them.
As you can see, there are many ways to have the magical vacation that you want and still stay in a budget. One of the best budget friendly options is a payment plan with Disney. It only takes a small deposit to book your vacation. And you have until 30 days before your arrival to pay in full. With 2023 packages open right now, that can give you a year to pay it off. Your favorite Enchanted Adventures Agent will be here to help you find the accommodations that fit within your budget.