Wondering how to plan a Disney vacation for cheap?
What could be more exciting than a trip to Disney World—the rides, the characters, the cuisine, your favorite movies brought to life?
But as Disney park tickets prices rise with each year, knowing how to save money on a Disney vacation becomes an art form.
How do you make the cost of your holiday hurt a little less?
Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Stay on property
Many people criticize Disney hotels for being too expensive. However, you receive much more than just a room to sleep in.
For example, at Disney World, you get complimentary shuttles that run 24/7 to every park.
This means that you don’t have to worry about paying for parking or renting a car–a huge perk considering how far away the parks are from alternative non-Disney hotels.
In addition, guests of Disney hotels get access to exclusive opportunities like Extra Magic Hours.
With Extra Magic Hours, certain parks either open early or close late on specific days.
Is your trip to Disney World on a tight budget? Camping at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort is an exciting and cheap alternative.
DISNEY NERD TIP: Magic Bands will help you enter parks, rides, and even your hotel room. Which are free when you stay at a Disney resort. Just know they aren’t required. However, if you choose to stay outside the parks, they’ll cost you.
2. Buy tickets up front
If you want to know how to plan a Disney vacation for cheap, my number two tip is that you need to start planning as soon as possible. If you spend more time in the park, it will cost less per day.
To illustrate, if one person wants a regular admission ticket for one day, it will cost $109.
However, if they stay for three days instead of just one, then the price lowers to $105 per day on average.
The longer someone stays at Disney World or Disneyland Resort Parks generally means a lower daily rate.
For example; four days brings the rates down even further- now each person would be paying approximately $101 Per day while five days reduces it even more so that Now its only costing around $83 dollars per day!
Furthermore, purchase your tickets as soon after you know you’ll be in Orlando.
Disney is notorious for increasing its entrance fees on a yearly basis, so if you plan ahead, you may save money.
3. Visit during non-peak times
Although Disney parks are decorated beautifully for holidays, it is not the best time to plan a budget-friendly trip.
The main holidays—Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and Spring Break—as well as all of summer should be avoided if you’re looking to save money.
Single-park admission prices increase during these times.
NERDY TIP: Ticket prices vary every day depending on the season.
Plan a trip when most others aren’t going.
The mid-January to early March and late August through late September are the least expensive times to visit Disneyland.
Take your children out of school during the week and go to Disneyland for even more savings.
3. Shop around
Finding discounts for Disneyland is becoming increasingly difficult.
However, if you are employed by a large corporation or in the military, chances are you will have access to discounted tickets for Disneyland and Disney World.
Check with your HR department to see if your company offers any perks.
4. Take advantage of free activities
Staying at one of Disney World’s more affordable hotels is a great way to save money on your vacation.
The Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of the more luxurious places to stay, but there are plenty of things to enjoy outside the gates of the park as well.
You might see some animals while you’re at the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campgrounds.
There are zebras, giraffes, gazelles, and flamingoes.
If you’re up for an adventure at night, don’t miss the campfire sing-alongs with Chip ‘n’ Dale.
They provide s’mores! Every night at 8:30 p.m., there’s a Disney movie screening in the park.
The best part is that no tickets are required!
Both Disney Springs and Downtown Disney feature a bevy of stores, eateries, and performances that will captivate people of all ages.
5. Plan every thing for every day
At Disney World and Disneyland, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.
There’s so much to consider when you go on a Disney vacation. Rides waiting in lines, choosing tasty Disney restaurants, scheduling the shows, purchasing trinkets, and finding time to unwind are just a few of the things on your mind. While it may appear difficult to organize all of these specifics ahead of time, putting together a plan of action will save you a lot of money.
When you know what you want to do and see, it’s much easier to find ways to save money.
For example, if your family wants to watch the new “Beauty and the Beast” live show, you’ll need to book tickets in advance.
By doing so, you can take advantage of early-bird discounts or package deals that include other popular attractions.
Once you have an idea of what your family enjoys, it’ll be much easier to find more wallet-friendly ways to enjoy your vacation.
After all, one of the best parts about visiting Disney World and Disneyland is making memories that will last a lifetime.
NERDY TIP: To minimize wait times, make a timetable of when to go on the most popular rides.
You may also use the Disney app to keep track of ride wait times while you’re in the park.
This will allow you to determine where and when to stroll throughout specific sections of the park.
We also recommend planning your lunch and dinner beforehand.
In the Disney App, you can pre-order meals from select eateries and have them delivered to your resort room.
This will save you a lot of time by eliminating waiting at lineups.
6. Make the most of it
If you think the Disney Parks are only for daytime fun, you’re sorely mistaken.
Not only do they stay open late, but there are also nighttime shows and activities.
In fact, some of the best moments happen after dark. So don’t leave just because the sun goes down!
One of the most popular nighttime activities is the “Main Street Electrical Parade.”
This parade has been delighting visitors for decades, and it’s easy to see why.
With over half a million lights, this parade is truly a sight to behold.
For those who want to enjoy some thrills, we recommend checking out the “Guardians of the Galaxy” ride at Disneyland.
This is one of the newest additions to the park, and it’s a must-do.
And finally, no trip to Disneyland would be complete without seeing ” Fantasmic!”
This nighttime show is a must-see. It features fireworks, pyrotechnics, special effects, and of course, Mickey Mouse.
To make the most of your Disney vacation, we recommend staying until the parks close.
This way, you’ll get to experience everything that the parks have to offer.
And who knows?
You may even find a few hidden gems along the way.
7. Skip buy Park Hopper passes
Park hopper passes may appear to be a bargain, but they are more expensive.
You can designate each day to each park depending on how many days you’ll be staying in the park.
This will minimize the cost and still allow you to experience all 4 parks.
8. Ignore add-ons
There are a lot of unusual add-ons to consider while looking for ways to save money on a Disney trip.
The secret is to recognize that things like the Memory Maker photo pass or water park ticket aren’t necessary.
You may just as easily take your own photographs.
And, yes, Disney World’s water parks are enjoyable, but if you skip them, you’ll still not have enough time in the parks.
There’s already a lot to see and do without the extras.
So don’t feel obligated to get them if you’re on a budget.
9. Skip the Character Meals
Although it may be tempting, you don’t have to book a character meal at Disney World- there are plenty of chances to see and take pictures with all the princesses and other beloved characters without breaking the bank.
If you want to save money, stick to quick service restaurants or counter service meals.
You’ll still get plenty of opportunities for character interactions.
10. Use a Travel Agent
This may be the most important tip on the list!
A travel agent can help you plan and book your entire Disney vacation- from flights and hotels to dining and FastPasses.
They can also keep an eye out for deals and discounts that you may not have access to.
When it comes to booking a Disney vacation, there’s no such thing as being too prepared.
Use these tips to save money on your next trip to the happiest place on Earth!
11. Visit during the off-season
The best time to visit Disney World is during the off-season, which generally runs from early September to mid-November and again from January to early March.
You’ll avoid the crowds and the heat, and you can often find discounted rates on hotels and tickets.
12. Stay at a Disney Springs Resort Area hotel
There are a number of Disney Springs Resort Area hotels that offer free transportation to and from the parks, as well as other benefits like extra FastPass+ selections and early access to dining reservations.
You can often find great deals on these hotels, especially if you visit during the off-season.
13. Purchase your tickets in advance
You can often save money on tickets by purchasing them in advance, either online or through a travel agent. If you purchase tickets at the gate, you’ll pay full price.
But if you buy them in advance, you may be able to find discounts of up to 30%.
14. Use a Disney Gift Card
If you have a Disney Gift Card, you can use it to purchase your tickets, food, and souvenirs while you’re at the parks.
This is a great way to stick to your budget and avoid overspending.
15. Take advantage of Disney’s free dining promotion
If you visit Disney World during the off-season, you may be able to take advantage of Disney’s free dining promotion.
This offer provides guests with a free dining plan when they book a non-discounted room at a participating hotel.
16. Use a travel rewards credit card
If you have a travel rewards credit card, you can use it to pay for your Disney World vacation.
This is a great way to earn points or miles that you can use for future travel.
17. Join the Disney Vacation Club
The Disney Vacation Club is a timeshare program that offers members discounts on hotels, dining, and merchandise, as well as access to exclusive events.
If you’re considering joining the Disney Vacation Club, you can often find great deals on membership fees.
18. Purchase a Disney World annual pass
If you live in Florida or plan to visit Disney World multiple times in a year, you may want to consider purchasing an annual pass.
Annual passes come with a number of benefits, including discounts on hotels, dining, and merchandise.
19. Use a Disney Discount Code
If you’re booking your trip through a travel agent or third-party website, you may be able to use a Disney discount code to save money on your vacation.
These codes are typically available for a limited time, so be sure to check back often.
20. Split your stay between multiple hotels
If you’re planning a longer trip, you may want to consider splitting your stay between multiple hotels.
This can help you save money on accommodations, and you’ll also have the opportunity to experience more of Disney World.
There are a number of ways to save money on your next trip to Disney World.
By following these tips, you can enjoy all that the parks have to offer without breaking the bank.
Common questions for how to plan a Disney vacation for cheap
What is the cheapest month to go to Disney?
The cheapest month to go to Disney is typically in the off-season, which runs from early September to mid-November and again from January to early March.
How much would it cost for 4 people to go to Disney?
It would cost $1,512 for 4 people to go to Disney.
This price includes tickets, food, and lodging.
Does Disney do payment plans?
Yes, Disney does payment plans.
This allows you to spread the cost of your trip out over several months, making it more affordable.
For more information, visit the Disney website.
What is off peak season for Disney World?
Off peak season for Disney World is typically from early September to mid-November and again from January to early March.
This is when you can find the cheapest tickets, food, and lodging.
How do I plan a Disney vacation?
To plan a Disney vacation, you’ll need to start by deciding when you want to go.
The cheapest month to visit Disney World is typically in the off-season, which runs from early September to mid-November and again from January to early March.
You can find tickets, food, and lodging at a discounted price during this time.
If you’re looking for a more expensive experience, you may want to consider visiting during the peak season, which runs from mid-November to early January.
How many days should you spend at Disney?
The amount of time you should spend at Disney World depends on your budget and how much time you have to spend.
If you’re on a tight budget, consider spending three or four days in the parks.
If you have more money to spend, you may want to consider spending five or six days.
Do Disney tickets get cheaper closer to the date?
Yes, Disney tickets do get cheaper closer to the date.
If you’re looking to save money on your trip, be sure to purchase your tickets as early as possible.
Is 7 days enough for Disney World?
No, 7 days is not enough for Disney World.
To really enjoy all that the parks have to offer, you’ll need at least 10 days.
What is the slowest day of the week at Disney World?
The slowest day of the week at Disney World is typically Tuesday.
This is when the parks are the least crowded and you’ll have the best chance of getting on all of your favorite rides.
What are the lowest attendance days at Disney World?
The lowest attendance days at Disney World are typically Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
What days are the least crowded at Disney World?
The least crowded days at Disney World are typically Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Final thoughts on how to plan a Disney vacation for cheap
Disney World is a popular tourist destination, which means that tickets and accommodations can be expensive.
However, there are a number of ways to save money on your trip.
By following the tips we’ve provided in this article, you can enjoy all that Disney World has to offer without breaking the bank.
Thanks for reading!