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8 Ways To Visit Walt Disney World On A Tight Budget

8. Choose a value season

Certain times of year are cheaper to visit Walt Disney World than other times. If you’re looking at room rates for a Disney resort, always go with the ones that say “value season.” During these times of year, room rates are cheaper, and some other experiences like character dining for instance might be cheaper as well. Choosing to visit during a value season works best if you have a flexible schedule, as these weeks are not going to be holidays or school vacation weeks.

7. Get a deal on airfare

If you’re flying to Walt Disney World, try to get the best deal possible on airfare. Check rates multiple times a week, and if any one day they seem particularly lower, go with it and book that day. In addition, you can also use credit cards that give you rewards points in the form of airline miles and put this towards your trip. One of the best ways to spend enough money for the points might be to use the airline’s card to book your Disney vacation.

6. Don’t go with a package (usually)

In most cases, Disney vacation packages lump together your hotel room and tickets, and throw in a couple of extra perks for a set price. Make sure you research what those perks are before you book the package. If the perks aren’t things that you’re going to use, you’re likely better off just booking your hotel and tickets separately. While booking online, also be sure to check the special offers portion of the official Disney website. Sometimes there are offers for room discounts, which would be cheaper to use those and get a percentage off the room and book the tickets separately.

5. Get tickets from an authorized Disney ticket seller

If you’re looking to save some extra money on tickets, don’t go to Ebay. Look for an authorized Disney ticket seller. The best one that I know of is Undercover Tourist. Tickets from this vendor are legitimate Disney tickets, and they can save you a couple of dollars per ticket over buying them from Disney. (Tickets from Ebay, and other places offering ridiculously low prices such as $39/ticket, are generally scams, so be careful about where you getting your tickets from. If you already have an annual pass, you can still save some extra money by remembering to bring your discount card to the parks to make sure you take full advantage of the other discounts you get, like 10% off merchandise for instance.

4. Don’t forget to pack the basics

You’ll want to make sure you pack all the basics on your next Disney vacation so that you don’t end up paying inflated Disney prices for them from your resort’s gift shop. Although you can go off property to replace these items in a much cheaper way, this would take good chunk of time out of your vacation. By forgetting the basics, you’re either wasting money or time, so double check that you have everything you need before you go.

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3. Research restaurant menus prior to making reservations

By researching the restaurant menus ahead of time (all of which can be found on Disneyworld.com or My Disney Experience App, and they include prices) you won’t be shocked by the bill when you finish your meal. This can help you better decide which quick service locations to prioritize, or to pick more affordable table service options.

2. Never pay for water

There is no need to ever pay for water at Walt Disney World. At $3.50+ a bottle, purchasing bottled water for an entire family can quickly add up. Instead of paying for bottled water, simply go to a quick service restaurant and ask for cups of water. If you’re worried that you don’t like the taste of Florida tap water, I would still recommend getting free cups from a quick service location. The water they give out is filtered, as it comes from the soda machines.

1. Choose a value resort

This might seem pretty self-explanatory, but I bring this point up because there is an option that is “technically” cheaper. Staying off property is the absolute cheapest way to do Walt Disney World. I prefer to stay on property, for a couple of reasons, but staying off property will save you the most money. Although hotel rates are cheaper off property, you might need to pay more for taxis or rental cars to get to the parks if your hotel doesn’t provide transportation. Some resorts also only drop off at certain places, and not all of Walt Disney World if they are not on Disney property. If you’re on a tight budget, I’d recommend staying on property at a value resort, where you’ll still be close to the magic, and have the ability to use Disney transportation for free, including the Magical Express service, that is a complimentary ride to and from the airport. Disney resort guests are also the only ones who can take advantage of extra magic hours, which means that although you’re paying the same price for a ticket, you’re getting a greater value for it.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a graduate of St. Anselm College, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree in History. She completed two Disney College Programs, one at Dinoland U.S.A., in Animal Kingdom, and one at Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Hollywood Studios. She is the author of “Brittany Earns Her Ears,” a memoir about her experiences on the college program, and she currently resides in Massachusetts.