Families at Walt Disney World on a Tight Budget

By Dave Shute

FAMILIES GOING TO WALT DISNEY WORLD ON A TIGHT BUDGET

This site has two sets of guidance for families going to Walt Disney World on a tight budget.

WHAT TO BUDGET LINKS

For the basic December trip recommended by this site

  • See this for what to budget during the basic December trip
  • See this if you are on particularly tight budget, for (difficult) ideas to reduce the December trip budget by more than $1,000

If you can’t go the week this site recommends, see Estimating Budgets for Different Trips

For help getting to much lower budget numbers,

 

 

  • For reducing your transportation costs, see this

 

For Walt Disney World price seasons,

  • See this for resort price seasons
  • See this for Disney Dining Plan price seasons
  • See this for Walt Disney World theme park admission tickets

For the Tightwad’s Guideto Walt Disney World, see this

For the Comfortable Guide to Walt Disney World, see this



22 comments

1 Dave { 10.05.09 at 2:25 pm }

Thanks to LandChildWorldAdult for the mid-week arrival and departure idea!! Dave

2 Vivian { 01.15.12 at 2:45 pm }

Cool blog!

3 Dave { 01.15.12 at 2:50 pm }

Thanks, Vivian!

4 FL Family of 6 { 03.05.12 at 3:54 pm }

Here’s a sugguestion:
We are a family of 6, so budgeting is a MUST with us. Our solution might work for others out there to – so here is goes:
We stay at the Embassy Suites at Lake Buena Vista (family room to fit us all only about 2 miles from Magic Kindgom), using our reward points from our credit card. 4 nights only cost me $270 out of my own pocket which is really nice. Embassy offers a free cook- to -order breakfast which includes omelettes filled with your choice of just about everything you can imagine, muffins, breakfast meats, scrambled eggs, biscuits, hot cereals, grits, you name it, they’ve got it. They also offer a free shuttle schedule, which saves $14 a day on parking at Disney parks.
Before leaving the hotel, we’ll all grab a piece of fruit to snack on and a water bottle, throw it in a back pack and you’ve got your morning snack. Since drinks at Disney are pricey to say the least, we refill the water bottles throughout the day when needed.
By doing just these little things, it cuts the spending tremendously!

5 Dave { 03.05.12 at 4:33 pm }

Thanks for sharing your great plan!

6 Beth { 01.24.13 at 1:52 am }

I have a reservation at Art of Animation in October 2013. I’m wondering if I can use this reservation, buy tickets through the Youth Education Program (great discount), and still add a dining plan. I called the reservation hotline, but the lady only knew of the YES program for groups. The website offers individual enrollment. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

7 Dave { 01.24.13 at 10:48 am }

Hi Beth, sorry, all I know about re YES is the group stuff…

8 jose L { 02.01.13 at 4:41 am }

Hello Dave, great page !!!

i have a question, i am driving to Orlando, Can I stay in a hotel inside Disney with my car??

9 Dave { 02.01.13 at 7:43 am }

Hi Jose, and thanks!

There’s tons of parking at the WDW hotels for registered guests of the hotels…

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook!

10 Joe { 03.27.13 at 6:18 pm }

we are a family of 6 going to disney world for the first time. We have a hotel outside of disney. 155.00 for 3 nights. Shuttle runs until night fall. Our hotel has a full kitchen. We are going to eat there and pack snacks. Will we be able to survive on $1300.00 for our trip?

11 Dave { 03.28.13 at 7:43 am }

Hi Joe–ticket prices–which may go up any day now–are the big variable, and as they vary by age and you don’t give ages, I can’t answer that for you. See this for the current numbers: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/06/03/disney-world-ticket-prices-2012-to-summer-2013/

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook!

12 Emily { 04.07.13 at 12:35 pm }

We are a family of 6 (15-12-10-4) ages, going to Disney world this April . How can we save money tickets , hotels, airplane . Which park should we go to visit? If we can’t visit them all? First time going !

13 Dave { 04.07.13 at 1:26 pm }

Hi Emily! On the money side see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/10/03/introduction-to-the-tightwads-guide-to-walt-disney-world/ and for the parks, take a look at this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/basic-itinerary/alternative-itineraries/itineraries-for-the-rest-of-the-year/v2-of-2009-autumn-winter-spring-itinerary/

Both will likely raise more questions than they answer, so come back with more questions!

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook!

14 Felicia { 04.28.13 at 1:50 am }

I am addicted to finding huge deals at Disney. It seems like a great deal of my day is devoted to finding new tips and tricks. One of my favorite recent tricks I just read about using a credit card to buy a Disney gift card and save a lot of money.

http://simplisticsaving.com/2013/04/walt-disney-world-on-a-budget-saving-money-tickets-part-3/

15 Dave { 04.28.13 at 11:39 am }

Hi Felicia, and thanks for the link!

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook!

16 Miranda Terhune { 10.14.13 at 10:01 am }

I have a family if 19 wanting to go that’s 9 adults 2 kids 10 and up 4 kids 3 and up and 4 kids under 3 I don’t even know where to start I’m just looking for the best deal we also have on military and 3 with disabilities but not sever any advise so I don’t go broke please and thank you

17 Dave { 10.15.13 at 7:12 am }

Hi Miranda! Each active or career retired military person can get 6 low price 4 day tickets, and discount rooms. They can also sponsor, depending on the time of year, 3-6 (6 with a spouse) rooms at the lower-priced resort Shades of Green. Take a lok at the stuff that’s here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/special-circumstances/military-families/

Was this even remotely helpful?

Well then mosey on over to the home page, and like it on Facebook or pin it on Pinterest!

18 Anonymous { 10.22.13 at 8:06 pm }

want to know on a budget for 1,500 2 adult and 1 child 5 found a hotel for 234.00 at otel.com and want to know is it enough money for diseny and busch garden going for aweek and driveing

19 Dave { 10.23.13 at 7:25 am }

Not sure what you mean the $1500 to cover–just tickets and food? Or the hotel and driving too… I don’t know about Busch Garden costs, but you should budget about $125-$150 a day for food for the three of you, and 6 day tickets at WDW for the three of you will cost about $950–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/06/02/walt-disney-world-ticket-prices-summer-2013-to-summer-2014/

20 melissa { 01.22.14 at 12:05 pm }

hello, we are a family of six. 2 adults and 4 teen. we are looking to go to disney for the first time ever and looking to find the best deals. we want to fly out of charlotte nc and stay for 1 week, i need to find the best deal for airfare, hotel, tickets and food. coud you please help, i can not afford a 8,000 trip but i also am willing to change the dates and amount of time there if needed

21 Dave { 01.23.14 at 7:23 am }
22 Tara { 02.20.14 at 8:10 pm }

We live on a small budget. But I wanted to give my kids some kind of Disney World experience while they were still young. I planned a trip for our family of 4 for $500.00 out of pocket. This is how I did it. : http://www.disneyfor500.com/2014/01/how-i-did-it.html

Leave a Comment | Ask a Question | Note a Problem easy 15 banner

My response to questions and comments will be on the same page as the original comment, likely within 24-36 hours . . . I reserve the right to edit and delete comments as I choose . . . All rights reserved. Copyright 2008-2014 . . . Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by me--even the ones in focus--except for half a dozen from my niecelets . . . This site is entirely unofficial and not authorized by any organizations written about in it . . . All references to Disney and other copyrighted characters, trademarks, marks, etc., are made solely for editorial purposes. The author makes no commercial claim to their use . . . Nobody's perfect, so follow any advice here at your own risk.