How to Get the Most of Walt Disney World® Resort On a Budget

Walt Disney World Resort

I want to thank Disney for hosting my family and me at the Walt Disney World® Resort where we spent a magical time filled with pixie dust.


Having an unforgettable Walt Disney World® vacation doesn’t have to be expensive. Regardless of your budget, saving money is never a bad idea and there are many ways to save without missing out on any of the Disney magic. Here are my top tips for making your Walt Disney World® vacation fit your budget.

Walt Disney World® Resort Hotels Can Be a Great Value

Contrary to common belief there are many value options when it comes to staying at a Walt Disney World® resort hotel, where you will get Disney magic without extras that you may not even need. When it comes to Walt Disney World® value hotels there are three All-Star resort hotels: Disney’s All Star Music Resort, Disney’s All Star Sports Resort and Disney’s All Star Movies Resort. These resorts feature whimsical theming and affordable rates ranging from $96-$210 per night depending on the season.  Most rooms sleep a family of four.  In addition to their colorful, fun-filled immersive décor, when you stay at a select Walt Disney World® Resort hotel you can enjoy complimentary bus transportation throughout Walt Disney World® property and from the airport with Disney’s Magical Express® Service. For our family, staying at a Walt Disney World® Resort hotel makes more sense and we have found it saves us lots of money on transportation and parking and also saves us time, which translates into savings as well because you can enjoy more time at the parks.

Take Advantage of Reduced Rates During Low Season

As with any vacation, planning ahead helps you save. When we have the flexibility we choose to travel during low season to take advantage of lower rates at the Walt Disney World® Resort hotels. Low season also means less crowds, which translates into less times spent standing in lines at your favorite attractions and being able to enjoy more of your favorite rides and attractions without needing to spend as many days at the parks. Low season may sometimes also mean there is rain, but we have found that there are so many attractions and shows that you can enjoy even if you get caught in the rain at a Walt Disney World® theme park that there is no need to leave. We’ve gotten caught in the rain many times at the parks and we just make sure to bring our own rain ponchos with us and we have a list of favorite rainy day activities at the parks which include watching live shows like Beauty and The Beast — Live On Stage at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® or Finding Nemo — The Musical at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park.

More Can Be Less

When it comes to park tickets think about your family and what you plan to do. Do Magic Your Way® tickets with the Park Hopper® option make more sense or is it better to stick to one park per day and buy multi day park tickets? For some families the Park Hopper® option make sense and are worth it even if they have to sacrifice other things.

For families like mine with younger kids or with kids that will not make it until park closing, we need to head back to the hotel at 8pm to ensure there are no meltdowns. For this reason, staying at a single park during the day makes more sense. We always buy multi-day tickets and the more days you buy the more you will save. However, if you’re vacationing at Walt Disney World® Resort for more than four days, I recommend you leave one park-free day so you can get some rest and enjoy the hotel pool. If your family plans on going to the parks early and staying until closing time, Magic Your Way® multi- day tickets with Park Hopper® option are a good choice. If you are a Florida resident take advantage of the special Florida resident rates or even better; buy annual passes and you will save big!

Save On Meals

There is a Disney Dining Plan for many budgets and dining tastes. The truth is that you spend a lot of money on food when you travel and when you vacation at Walt Disney World® Resort you have the option to choose a Walt Disney World® Magic Your Way® vacation package that includes a Disney dining plan. When it comes to savings, the best options are the Magic Your Way® Package Plus Quick-Service Dining, which includes two quick-service meals and one snack per person for each night your stay, or the Magic Your Way® Package Plus Dining, which offers one table-service meal, one quick-service meal and one snack per person, per night of stay. Both of these options also include a resort refillable drink mug for each person, which can be refilled as often as you like at any quick-service location at your Walt Disney World® Resort hotel. Meals and snacks can be chosen at countless restaurants throughout Walt Disney World® Resort. The package cost depends on which package you choose, each of your family member’s ages, and the number of nights in your package stay. When we visit the Walt Disney World® Resort parks we usually don’t want to sit down for a table-service meal as we do not want to waste time so we love the Magic Your Way® Package Plus Quick-Service Dining!

Buy Souveniers With a Plan in Mind

We love getting mementos of our Walt Disney World® Resort vacations and we focus on collecting moments, memories and magical experiences but truth be told we also love to buy special souveniers that reminds us of our Walt Disney World® Resort vacations. It’s a fact that you can find a wide variety of items at the Walt Disney World® Resort stores so I make a short list of things we actually need instead of buying out of impulse. On our last trip I was looking for a backpack to put my computer in, a sweater for my son and wanted a get a Minnie Mouse apron for my daughter. These were all things I needed to buy anyway so buying things I needed instead of stuff I just liked saved me lots of money and I only got things I was actually going to use.