Disney on a Budget

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Goofy at Disney World.I am obsessed with Disney World. If I could afford a season pass, I would go every month. We’ve gone a few times, and I am always trying to do it as inexpensively as possible, so we can go back again before too long. (Yes, I may or may not start to plan the next trip before I’m done with the current one. I told you . . . obsessed.)

Sadly, my budget doesn’t allow for extravagant trips to Disney. But we can still enjoy all things Disney AND do it on the cheap. (And then go more often!)

Stay at a Good Neighbor® Hotel

A Good Neighbor hotel is one that has a partnership with Disney World. Good Neighbor hotels still offer a shuttle to the park and the extended hours bonus. An added perk is that several of those hotels also provide free breakfast and a happy hour.

Do you have hotel points? Use those to book! Get a credit card that offers hotel points earnings and use those to stay.

>> RELATED READ :: Walt Disney World Tips & Tricks <<

Bring Your Own Snacks or Share Meals

You can easily split most meals at the park. Pack some travel-friendly snacks and plan to eat just one meal at the park. We always get the nachos, and there is always plenty for my husband and I to share! (And I have to get a pretzel and Dole Whip!)

Mickey Pretzel

We also always get a bucket of popcorn at Disney. Refills are very cheap, and they can eat and refill every day at the parks. It’s the best bang for your buck!

We grab a snack for breakfast and then eat lunch a bit later. We have another snack at dinnertime. It helps keep the cost of food down if you avoid getting a dining pass.

You can even run by a grocery store once you arrive and get all the snacks you need. That way you don’t have to worry about flying or driving with food.

Bring Souvenirs from Home

Each morning, we let our daughter open a little present we secretly packed. We pre-purchased a bubble gun, a light stick, a signature book, and a stuffed animal. She had all the souvenirs she could want, and we didn’t have to spend a bunch of money on stuff at the park. The bubble gun was her favorite, and we used that for several years!

>> RELATED READ :: Helpful Thoughts About Disney World (From a Non-Disney Person!) <<

Go During Non-Peak Season

Disney just came out with new pricing based on tiers. The busier the park, the more expensive the ticket. Look at going January, February, August, or September. (Just don’t go January 1. New Year’s Eve is the busiest day.) Avoid all holidays as a rule of thumb. Note: The price of tickets also gets cheaper the more days you go.

I highly recommend September. It’s not as busy, and you get to enjoy the Halloween and fall decorations.

I’m already saving and planning for our next visit. We’ll use all of these money-saving tips and have the best and happiest times of our lives!

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Jen was born and raised in the DFW metroplex. She now lives in Rockwall on a family "compound" with her husband and 9-year-old daughter (9 going on 18!). Her parents and brother's family live on the same patch of land. They have had cows and chickens (and dogs, cats, hamsters, and fish). Jen graduated from Texas A&M Commerce with her master's in counseling and almost finished her doctorate in Educational Leadership. She has worked at a school counselor for all levels and in the special education world. She now works from home with an online school in the state testing department—it's the best of both worlds! When she's not driving her daughter to all-star cheer, sideline cheer, or girl scouts, she's saying YES! to something. There's not much spare time left, but she likes to spend it cooking, buying supplies to craft with, planning things months in advance, reading, coaching her daughter's sideline team, serving on the PTA, listening to Christmas music year-round, and Starbucks.

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