Disney Savings Tips

By Staff

Our family is in the very early stages of mapping out a Disney World vacation in the next year. Our kids are old enough to enjoy, and remember, the vacation, and we would like to go before they get too old to appreciate it. I’m curious if it is possible to weave some frugality in our Disney vacation plans while still making it a memorable trip for our family. That’s where I need your help finding Disney vacation tips.

Photo courtesy of aw101101

Stay Inside or Outside the Park?

At first glance, it seems finding a hotel or other lodging outside of the park seems to make the most sense. However, there are advantages to staying inside the park, too. I’ve taken particular interest to the Animal Kingdom Lodge, but it’s pricey with rates starting at $240 a night (and even higher with “savannah views”).

If we decide to stay five or six nights that could add up to over $1,000 pretty quickly. Then again, since we’ve never been to Disney World, and likely won’t go back for a while, it might be worth the splurge (I can’t believe I just typed that!). Anyone have experience with staying inside or outside the park? Advantages and disadvantages? Any tips savings tips for the Disney resorts?

Finding a Deal On Park Tickets

I noticed at the Disney World website you can purchase a package deal through their “Price Your Dream Vacation” widget. Out of curiosity, I scheduled a six-night stay inside the park with a “5-Day Magic Your Way Ticket with Park Hopper®” pass. We would like to take at least one day off from Disney to visit Sea World. Depending on different room configurations, it looked like the package would cost around $3,500, or $580 a day. Ouch!

Is it cheaper to buy the Disney Park Hopper Pass separately? Are there discounts for those with retired or active military in their family?

Meal Plan or Wing It?

According to the Disney World site there are various meal plans available. I’ve heard horror stories about the meal prices at Disney World, and since I’m normally a dollar-menu kind of guy, the thought of spending tons of money on food hurts. Is the meal plan really a great deal, or do you do better to try to live off snack foods and bottled water (which I think you can take into the park, correct?).

Over time, I plan to compile another post with some of your tips and I’ll be sure to give you credit. And of course after our trip I’ll hopefully have some frugal Disney vacation tips to pass along to all of you. However, at this point in my plans I’m counting on readers to steer me in a frugal direction. Thanks for any travel tips!

Additional Resources:

For those of you who have visited before, what favorite Disney vacation tips can you share with fellow readers?