Disney World Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Grand Floridian, MGM Studios

      Disney World on a Budget

Budget Tips to Save on a Disney World Vacation

If you are vacationing to Disney World on a budget—there are many ways to save a few dollars that can add up to paying hundreds of dollars less.

Tickets: If you wait to buy your tickets at the gate, you will pay full price. Save money by purchasing discounted tickets before you arrive at the park. Tickets are sold as adult tickets—age 10+, or child's tickets—ages 3-9. Admission is complimentary for children under 3 years of age.

Disney World Budget TicketThere are several different ticket options that can be purchased. The least expensive ticket is the Base Magic Your Way Ticket With Expiration. This ticket expires 14 days from first day of use. You can purchase one day or a multi- day entrance ticket to the parks. With the base ticket you can go to one park per day. Be sure you don't overbuy days...that is the most common mistake in purchasing the expiring tickets. If you under buy you can always add an additional day before your ticket expires; you do not need to buy a more expensive one-day park pass.

Where can you buy discounted tickets?

  1. Disney online for advance purchase tickets. See chart
  2. Kiosks and ticket desks in Orlando area: Many restaurants and businesses in the Orlando area have ticket desks or kiosks that sells discounted tickets to Disney World and other attractions.
  3. Ticket Discounters: Locate authorized sellers online like Maple Leaf Tickets, who buy discounted tickets in bulk from Disney. Occasionally these ticket sellers may offer specials, such as 5 days for the price of 4. Savings on discounted tickets over gate tickets will typically range from about $1 to $30 per ticket, depending on which options you purchase and how many days.
  4. EBay: Some ticket discounters also offer tickets on eBay as well as individuals who bought tickets but were then unable to use them. Be sure to read the caveats on DW Insider's page on purchasing tickets on eBay before bidding.

Lodging: Another expensive item on a Disney World vacation is lodging. Staying at a Disney World Resort is an experience in itself, but costly. If you are planning to spend all your time at the theme parks and not the resort, I recommend staying off site to economize. You will find moderate priced hotels in the Downtown Disney area and in the town of Lake Buena Vista located just east of Disney World. Budget accommodations can be located in Kissimmee, Orlando, and the outlying areas.

Disney Dining Chef

Dining: If you have selected off site lodging, you will also have less expensive options for dining. Many local area hotels offer a free continental breakfast. A fast food breakfast at a Disney Resort will cost over $40 for a family of 4; over 7 days, that would be a savings of at least $280. The Disney World area is packed with local favorite restaurants as well as the chain restaurants you are familiar with.

Disney World on a Budget package vacations: Periodically Disney provides attractive discounts on vacation packages for the value and moderate resorts. I have received information on these promotions because I have provided Disney with contact information several ways: using a Disney Visa card, participating in surveys at the park, registering at the Disney World online site, and taking behind the scenes tours at the parks.

Discount Disney shopping: Early in your vacation, allow time for visiting the local Disney Discount Stores. If you are able to get Disney souvenirs at a discount, you will not feel the need to buy as many items at the theme parks where they are full price.