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Budget-Friendly Disney Vacation Tips

Please welcome my guest blogger, Krystel from! She has graciously offered her Disney vacation tips on a budget. This is something I don’t excel at when visiting Disney, so I’m taking notes too! Enjoy!

Budget Friendly Disney Vacation Planning Tips

Once Upon A Time…

I was talking to a friend who used to be a Cast Member. She was telling me a story about a time she helped a family who had spent 10 years saving for their Disney vacation. Wow! If you’re trying to go to Disney on a dime then Krystel wants to help you, but let’s start with how you can save on your Disney resort stay.


One of the most overwhelming things to do for your Disney vacation is put together your package. Where should you even stay? Many will claim that staying at a Disney resort is a matter of convenience and not cost effective but I fully disagree. It’s possible to stay at Disney and not break your budget. Here are a few tips to get you there.

There are four Disney vacation resort discounts that I want to discuss:

Free Dining

Imagine a vacation where you didn’t have to spend a dollar on meals. Well, that’s what Disney offers with their free dining discount. The way it works? If you can visit Disney in the fall, can book your vacation by late spring, and were planning to book a full Disney package, then you’re eligible. That’s it. I can’t give specific dates because they change from year-to-year. If you want to take advantage of this special I highly suggest hiring a Disney specialized, no-fee travel agent. Because this package saves you so much money a lot of people want it and a travel agent is going to be able to do the best work to get it for you. This discount = huge savings.


Kids Stay & Play Free

Another well-known Disney discount is the Kids Stay & Play free discount. The simplest definition that I can give to this discount is that kids get free theme park tickets if you book a Disney resort package. This is really great for people who have more than two kids. Technically speaking, kids already stay free aka there’s no extra charge for a child in a Disney resort room so you’re just saving on the tickets.


Room Only

Disney also offers room only discounts, especially during their off-seasons. What’s nice about this one is you’re not forced to purchase tickets or the dining plan through Disney. This allows you more flexibility to find other ways to save. Discounts can be anywhere between 10 and 40%. You definitely want to head to this link [] to find out what’s going on with Disney discounts and to book. An unknown fact: If you don’t use the special offers page to book, you won’t get the discount.


JetBlue Getaways

I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes staying offsite just makes more sense. I talk about my famous 2012 trip on my site all the time and that’s what I did for that trip as well as others. I really love JetBlue Getaways for off site stays. Their prices are amazing and you’re really saving when booking through them.

Disney Vacation Budget Tips

Let’s move on to a different aspect of your vacation…

A lot of people think of Disney and think of the four main theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. But Disney really is much more! To name a few there are 2 waterparks, golf courses, and a ton of other stuff.


The five things we are going to discuss here are FREE. You might or might not know that Disney World is a tiring vacation. Being on your feet all day, dealing with the kids, and going on rides in the Florida heat is not very relaxing. You’ll see a common theme here – these activities allow for some rest and they’re…well…FREE. Use these not only to help your pocket but also to help your sanity. So let’s get started:

Budget Disney Vacation Tips



Disney Springs

The most commonly known free thing to do is visit Disney Springs. With the new makeover it’s become so much more appealing and fun. Disney Springs is Disney’s marketplace full of entertaining shops and places to eat, It’s also home to one of the biggest Disney stores. You can go here for a nice stroll or a cheap lunch. I’ve gone so many times just to walk around and I’m still not tired of it. With the new additions the adventures are endless.


Disney’s Boardwalk

Not well known but not a huge secret is Disney’s boardwalk. As you might know Disney has a Boardwalk Inn & Villas and at this resort you will find a boardwalk like any other. There are so many fun things to do here- there’s a huge candy store and there’s always entertainment outside. You name it. You can check out Disney’s description of their boardwalk right HERE, but I promise if you go you won’t regret it.


Monorail Resort Loop

Towards the end of my Disney trip my feet are so tired. And it’s at these times that I resort hop. Now, resort hopping means different things to different people, but for me it means getting on the resort monorail and going from the Polynesian, to the Grand Floridian, to Contemporary, and through Magic Kingdom. I get off the monorail as often as possible. I usually like to get off, walk around the resort, try a new restaurant, or browse the shops. But not getting off would be just as fun. The convenience of the monorail is that you don’t have to close your stroller on it.

Budget Disney Vacation Tips


Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

I’m going on a trip to Disney this month and I’m not visiting any theme parks, but I’ll still be watching fireworks. How? The beach at the Polynesian of course. Grab a drink and a comfortable chair to enjoy a view of the fireworks and more.


Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Have you heard of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge? If so, you are one step closer to our next free activity. AKL is home to acres and acres of savannah, there’s actually three. You can see impala, cattle, giraffe, zebra, and more. But guess what? Use of the Savannah is not only for resort guests. Head over to take in the beautiful ambiance, African artifacts, and see the animals! There are always guides around to answer any questions and share interesting facts.


With all these free activities and resort discounts, you’ve been armed with enough information to shave a few hundred dollars off of your Disney vacation. There are more resources out there so make sure to keep reading and share this if you know anyone who could benefit.

Want to read more of Krystel’s Tips?

Budget Disney Vacation Tips

Halfway through college Krystel decided to take her 10 year old little sister to Disney World on a shoestring budget. In order to have the most magical vacation possible she had to find every tip, trick, and best kept secret to go to Disney on a budget. They had a great time! Learn everything she knows by visiting PlanningTheMagic.Net and checking out her eBook!

Find Krystel on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest too.

Christine - The Choosy Mommy

Tuesday 4th of October 2016

I had no clue about these specials! We are planning for a Disney trip NEXT December so I will have to be on the look out for these kind of deals, especially since we will be traveling with 2 kids.


Tuesday 27th of September 2016

Free dining is an amazing package especially if you have a big family! I'd love to stay at Disney Resort.

jill conyers

Friday 16th of September 2016

Budget friendly and disney is not something you hear in the same sentence often. You've nailed the tips to make it work.

Ellie Augustin

Friday 16th of September 2016

I've never been nor my kids to Disney and it's our dream trip! WOW this looks like so much fun. I bookmarked this because you have some wonderful tips. Thanks for sharing.

Rachel Langer

Thursday 15th of September 2016

You are so right. If done conservatively Disney World is no more expensive than any other family vacation!

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