Tips for Visiting Disney World on a Budget.

Disney World on a BudgetSpring break is here! Many local families will be traveling to Orlando next week and I wanted to share what I have learned from visiting Disney World through the years with our family.

I married into a Disney family. My father in law is a member of the Disney Vacation Club and we have been fortunate to be able to stay at the Old Key West resort for many years.

Here are a few Disney World on a Budget tips:

1) Pick up Disney toys/stuffed animals/clothes at Wal-Mart/Disney Store before the trip and hide them/bring them out during the trip.

2) Bring snacks and water into the parks – we brought cereal bars, raisins, etc. They check your bag, but it’s allowed. Also, pick up some rain ponchos at a dollar store and bring them in case of rain.

3) Take the monorail around to the Grand Floridian, Polynesian and Contemporary resorts and walk around each resort to see each theme, eat at the restaurants.

4) If you stay at a Disney World resort, each day one park is usually open an hour early and closes late for Disney resort guests only. These hours are called extra magic hours and are available to resort guests only, not the general public. Each guest will have to have a resort pass and their park ticket. Visit, click parks, then park hours for more information and specific days for which park remains open late.

5) Eat at Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney – great sandwich, low cost – they even have breakfast. While you are at Downtown Disney, visit the Lego store and let the kids play with hundreds of legos for free. You can also take a boat ride and see some of the resorts.

6) Walk on Disney’s Boardwalk – it’s just like a boardwalk in New Jersey and there are carnival games up and down the boardwalk. There are restaurants, a bakery, ESPN zone with arcade, boat rides, a large family bike rental, you name it! You can see the IllumiNations fireworks at Epcot here too on the bridge.

7) Make a reservation for character dining and make it the end of the brunch time around 11 – 11:30 before it ends. You have more time for characters and less people by then. (our favorite place is at the Contemporary – Chef Mickey’s)

8) You can get a mini-fridge and stay at the Pop Century or All-Star resort and take the bus to the parks. Also buy the refillable mugs and get free drink refills at your resort during your stay. Check out your resort’s activity calendar for outdoor movies, crafts and more at the pool and recreation center.

9) See the characters at the Epcot Character Spot – they are all lined up inside the building and if you go early, there is little wait time.

10) Go “Around the world” at Epcot:
– We like to eat at the Rose & Crown in England – make advance reservations – good kids menu, great food.
– Pick out an oyster in Japan and get a pearl – under $20 – our girls LOVE this.
– Sample foods and drinks from different countries, watch shows.
– Log flume ride in Norway (a little dark/scary for younger kids – Vikings)
– Log flume ride in Mexico (Donald Duck short movie during ride)
– Take a boat ride from the world showcase back to the other side of Epcot.
– Visit each country’s KidCot fun stop for a free craft. Look for the sign in each country.

For more tips, Sue Rodman from Field Trips with Sue recently wrote Free Things to Do at Disney World – I especially like the free hula lessons at the Polynesian resort.

The key is to get creative and mix the higher cost events with lower cost activities to stay within budget.

What else can you share that helps your family on a Disney trip?

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  1. Katrin Mayfeld says:

    These are some great tips, especially the specific recommendations (restaurants, Epcot…) – I wish I would have found this before my trip! Well, already planning for next time ;-)… As another money saving tip I´d like to add: Think carefully about small things you could need and bring them from home (I forgot spare batteries for my digital camera and they were so pricey at the park). Also there is this Ebook I can recommend (for details check out ) that I was so happy to have, it saved us a fortune. So this is a good one…


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