How Can You Make A Disney Vacation Cheaper?

Visiting Disneyland or Walt Disney World is expensive. More and more people say it’s too expensive. However there are ways you can have a Disney vacation and not necessarily break the bank…or at least not break it too badly. Here are some suggestions…

Before we start – people always want to know if they should use a travel agent or not. Travel agents’ services generally don’t cost you anything extra, and they may know of discounts that you don’t. But they’re still not for everyone. This article might help you decide if you should use one or not.

Anyway, if you’re going to plan a Disney trip as a DIY project, there are 5 broad categories that should be considered when planning a Disney vacation (or any vacation, TBH). Some of the links below are specific to WDW, some are specific to DL, and some will be of use for whichever Resort you’re planning to visit. Obviously, some of the points may not work for your specific situation (i.e. if you live in England, you can’t drive to a Disney Resort) but you may be able to adapt the suggestions (i.e. fly to an airport that has cheaper fares and drive/train to Disney). I also didn’t include any extras like souvenirs, special events, etc. because although fun and nice, they’re not 100% necessary for a vacation.

Flights

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Food

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  • If you stay on WDW property, you may have access to a Disney Dining Plan or even free dining. Remember that nothing “free” is actually free. Disney gives nothing away for “free” (unless it somehow benefits them) and you’re really paying for it somewhere along the way. These various plans also may or may not work for your family from a financial standpoint. Check out this post from 2019 to see if Free Dining is worth it, and this one from 2018 that explains the other types of Disney Dining Plans.
  • It’s not very well known, but there’s a WDW Dining Plan that you can get without staying at a WDW hotel, too.
  • Generally speaking, the food at restaurants off Disney property is cheaper than similar fare on property. Added benefits are that you can make reservations for popular places a few days out instead of several months (and if you make reservations with this app, you’ll earn points that can go towards free or discounted meals! The app works for a handful of restaurants on Disney property, as well, but not as many as it used to). These are some of our favorite restaurants in Central Florida that are off theme park property. They vary in price, distance and kid-friendliness.
  • Getting a hotel room with a small kitchen, or renting a home (sometimes called a “villa”) allows you to cook some of your meals, which can save a ton on costs!

Hotel

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Rental Car

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Tickets

 

As you can see, you CAN go to Disneyland or Walt Disney World without breaking the bank. It just takes some extra planning (on top of the planning that’s involved in going to WDW or DL). For some people, being able to save that much money on a visit will be the difference between going and not going. For others, it means being able to go sooner than anticipated, or maybe being able to go more than once. For yet others, the money saved can be used for something else. Whatever the case, I hope you have a wonderful vacation!

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

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