26 Ways To Save Money on a Walt Disney World Vacation

Disney World

Now that it’s spring and the government rebate checks are starting to roll in, many people are sounding like that old Super Bowl commercial:

“You’ve just received your rebate check! What are you going to do now?”

“I’m going to Disney World!”

If you decide to go to WDW this summer and you want to stretch your rebate money (or your own funds) a little further, here are some tips to reduce the costs of a WDW vacation.

1. Do your research before you leave. Disney World is not a small place with just a few options. It’s sheer size and the number of things to do can overwhelm many visitors. If you go to WDW without a clue as to what is going on, y


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9 Responses to 26 Ways To Save Money on a Walt Disney World Vacation

  1. disneysteve says:

    Surely, someone would come looking for me if I didn’t respond to this post.

    #5 is incorrect. Base tickets DO expire. If you want your tickets to not expire, you need to pay extra for the non-expiry option. It can still be a good deal, though. We buy a 10-day non-expiring ticket and use 5 days one trip and 5 days the following trip.

    #25 is a fuzzy one. We can absolutely save far more money staying off-site. You mention free parking if on-site, but if the hotel is $30 more per night (or more), that parking isn’t really free. It is just included in the hotel rate.

    Disney rooms are also quite small. They are okay for 2, 3 or perhaps 4 people, but if your family is larger than that, or if you are traveling with extended family or friends, the off-site options are far better. For example, a friend just rented a 5-bedroom pool home for less than $100/night. That sleeps 12 people. You’d need at least 3 rooms onsite to hold that many.

    There are great sites like vrbo.com and skyauction.com where you can explore all the off-site options. In recent years, we’ve been renting a 2-bedroom, 2-bath timeshare unit for under $40/night. Even when we pay for parking, we still come out way ahead and have much nicer accomodations.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Sorry about #5. Steve is totally right. My fault there. Sometimes my fingers go faster than my brain. I had that in the piece, about how base tickets do expire and you need to may for the upgrade, but when I was editing it got chopped out for some reason and my brain forgot to put it back. Apologies.

  3. Scanner says:

    I am not a huge Disney afficiando but I know my way around.

    The only other suggestion I could offer and it’s a “fuzzy” one is if you are going for let’s say 10 days. . .the biggest way you can save is to perhaps just do the parks 7 days. . .and spend time relaxing at the pool and eating at resteraunts or doing Downtown Disney instead of theme parking (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, MGM, and Animal Kingdom).

    The problem with that is Disney is ingenious on how they structure pricing. . .the difference between a 7 day Park Hopper and 10 ain’t that much.

    Still, you may be able to shave a few hundred off for a family of 4.

  4. A Marino says:

    We stay at all inclusive resorts. In the long run. You can rent out these units through various rentals including hotels.com, expedia.com, travelocity.com. etc. I also use wwww.tripadvisor.com first for resorts in the area.

    We always get a kitchen and 90% of the time have a washer and dryer in the unit. You can get 1,2, or 3 bedroom. Sometimes, you will get a large jacuzzi in the master bedroom. We cook alot of our meals at the unit.

    Once I know where I’m going to stay, I go online and map out all of the businesses that are close to where we will be staying.

    We also just do 1 or 2 activities. I totally agree with Downtown Disney. No parking fees there. No fee to go in. We stayed very close to there off the Disney site. We like to use part of the vacation for relaxation as well. If you are in an all inclusive resort, there is very little that would cause you to leave the area. Some of the better and larger resorts have exercise rooms. Some have saunas, steam rooms, game rooms, internet rooms, restaurants on the sites, and some offer massages for a fee.

  5. kenny the water man says:

    Hi I have been to disney several times once or twice in the nice hotels (caraben beach, dixie landings) I also stayed at the pop culture resort. Now my girl friend has a time share off property. I spent the most money off property and had the worst time with out a doubt. Car rental was close to $500.00 then you need to fill the tank and pay for parking. If you like to drink, at the parks that allow you to now you have to worry about driving home. When we got back last month I saw an ad for a four day stay at about $600.00 and that includes hotel, tickets to the parks, and the food plan for 4 nights. The best value was the pop resorts, they have every thing you need and you only sleep there then your off for the day. They do have pools and all the same food in the food court. I would highly recomend it to any bargin hunter!

  6. Sarah says:

    We went to Disney World for two weeks for our honeymoon. We stayed at the Encantada Condos in Kissimmee. We went through Craigslist to find these condos and were able to get them for $89 a night. They were 3 bedrooms and 3 baths with a private pool right outside our back door. We were so close to the parks you could every now and then see and hear the fireworks from one of the parks.
    We now use Craigslist for any of our big vacations. We find the resort of our choice through hotels.com and then just simply find that location on Craigslist at a much cheaper cost.

  7. Jacob says:

    5 i agree with but not 25
    see Disney hotels pay for transportation, parking and usaully moderate sleep up to 5. also if your staying at a disney resort
    there is so much more to do. Last time i went i decided to stay off-site and it was terrible it was worldgate resort it had no disney touches it was terible ad considering i payed he same as a value resort i regret not staying on-site

  8. Jacob says:

    you are the only person that agree’s with me

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