We all know that Disney World can cost you an arm and a leg as a vacation destination. So how do so many people afford to visit year after year? The more you research Disney World and learn about vacation planning at the Happiest Place on Earth, the more you come across tips and tricks to save money for your Disney vacation.
As a 25 year old, these money saving tips were a little bit more of a necessity than a preference for me. As much as I loved visiting the Wilderness Resort as a kid and staying in club level (one time) it’s just not something I can afford right now. But every single part of me wants to continue to visit Disney World at least annually, so finding ways to save was big for me to be able to continue to do that.
The first tip I have for any fellow Disney World vacationers on a budget is to not look past the Value Resorts. Gone are the days of the 90’s looking carpers and bedding, wallpaper lining the tops of the room, and lesser amenities. If you haven’t seen the newly remolded Pop Century or All Star Movies rooms, I encourage you to click these links and take a look. Pop Century, All Star Movies. These renovations, which will be spreading through the remaining All Star Resorts as well, really give an upgraded look for such lost cost hotels. For someone like me who can only visit Disney World once a year with my current budget, I spend the majority of my time out at the parks anyway. So having a super fancy resort is not at the top of my priority list. However, these renovations make staying at a Value Resort feel much more high-end than the cost shows.
Another save money is always to book my trip during the window of a room or package discount period. Now, I know that it’s important to book your vacations far in advance to ensure that you get the hotel you want on the days you want. However, I have found a lot more success in having 3-4 different weeks that work within my schedule and seeing what is available for me when those room discounts come up. For a Value Resort, you can save (usually) 10-15% off the room price during those discount periods. Typically, they will be available about 4 months in advance, so that’s still plenty of time to book your airfare (if needed), plan out your days and fastpasses, and prepare for you upcoming trip!
While this isn’t necessarily a money saving tip, I love to have gift cards on hand prior to my Disney World vacation. Each time that I have a little bit extra money to spare after a paycheck, I will go ahead and purchase a Disney gift card for that amount. By prepaying on Disney gift cards, I don’t have to worry about spending as much during the trip. This also helps keep me to a stricter budget as I will only allow myself to spend what we have in Disney gift cards on food and drinks.
Last, but certainly not least, if you are not an Annual Passholder, consider looking at dropping your Park Hopper tickets and doing 1-park per day tickets instead. This has been a really hard thing for me to let go of recently as I have always been a Park Hopper person. However, seeing the cost difference between Park Hopper and 1-park per day is enough to lead me to looking into the latter option for the future. It requires a bit more planning to ensure you hit all of the things you would like during your trip, but it’s better to only be able to attend 1-park per day than to not be able to afford your trip at all!
Disney World is getting pricier and pricier as the years go on. As that continues, it’s important that those of us who are constantly researching and learning more about Disney World and the costs associated with it share our tips with others! Do you have any money saving tips I didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments!