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Thrifty Disney World Vacation

Category Travel
A trip to Disney World is fun and can also be very expensive. There are some easy ways to save money, such as taking your own water, food, and snacks. This page contains suggestions for planning a thrifty Disney World vacation.


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October 14, 2010

We are going to Walt Disney World on Oct 22, 2010. Any tips on this?

By Judy from Xenia, OH


October 16, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try to eat outside the park most of the time or take your own food. Restaurants inside the park are twice as much as those outside the park. A $3.00 McDonalds hamburger outside will be $6 to $6.50 inside the park.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

August 29, 2010

What is the "Thrifty" way to get to Disney World and still enjoy all it has to offer? We would like to go next summer '08. Any advice from those who have gone? Thank you!

Andjerm from TX


Thrifty Disney World Vacation

When you get to Orlando just go on a 90 minute tour of a time share and they will give you free tickets for Disney or Sea World. There are so many different places it takes time, but is worth it for a 100 dollar value. You don't have to buy into the timeshare and you can tour a few different places and get free tickets to a couple places. (08/18/2007)


By Abigail

Thrifty Disney World Vacation

You can get free tickets from a timeshare presentation but the sales people get very aggressive and pushy. If you choose that route do not let them know you never intended on buying or they will be very rude. Of course it is a little dishonest to get the freebie tickets with no intention to buy. (08/18/2007)

By tracey

Thrifty Disney World Vacation

If your credit is good, I would apply for the Disney Rewards Visa card through Chase. For all your purchases you earn 1% in Disney dollars, which you can then get on a gift card and spend anywhere in the Disney parks, including for your food, souvenirs, or tickets. Also, check out this website: to see if there are any discounts you can take advantage of. My family owns a timeshare in Disney and love the place to death so I hope you have a *great* trip! (08/21/2007)


By Courtney

Thrifty Disney World Vacation

We went to Disney a couple times and loved it. However food is really expensive there. We found out it was way cheaper to buy food from the vendors. Also, if you have small kids a wagon helps you can put water in a small cooler; it seems you are always thirsty while there. Also, if someone is tired it gives them a chance to rest. People who stay at the Disney hotels can get into the park much earlier then other people. If you go early when it becomes really hot you can go to your hotel and swim or watch movies. Then have dinner and Epcot has its own fireworks and programs at night and so does Disney.

You can go back a little later and rested up and be ready for the electric light show or any thing else you chose to do. One thing I would recommend is to go to the book store and get the book they have which tells you all about Disney so you can pretty much plan where you want to go before you go.


If you have a pop up or RV that also helps keep down the cost. Also, check travel agencies they usually have great discounts or go to Disney on line. If you have a Disney store near by you can buy Disney Dollars a great way to save some extra money. They make nice gifts and believe me the kids will want to have their own money so this is great for them. And it is something easy for you to buy and for grandparent's for birthdays and Christmas. One thing when you stay to see the electric light show try to stay as close as you can to Cinderella's castle for a quick getaway! The one nice thing about staying at one of their resorts is the fact you will always have a way where ever you want to go, be it by bus, boat, or tram it is a plus! (08/21/2007)

By Dar

Thrifty Disney World Vacation

This is another good web site with Disney tips. (08/21/2007)

By Marta

Thrifty Disney World Vacation


Summer is the worst time to go. Too hot, too crowded, too everything. We used to go for Easter vacation. We hardly ever had to wait in lines and the weather was magical. One time we stayed off Disney and it was a hassle. Then we stayed on Disney and it was fantastic. No more expensive then off, considering time to travel and gas money. My mom would also pack a backpack with food, snacks, drinks, and such. We would take turns carrying this backpack. If you have a lunch size cooler, you can put sandwiches. Then because we were right there on Disney, we would catch the train back to our hotel and relax or eat at our room then go back. (08/22/2007)

By k

Thrifty Disney World Vacation

For the last two years, Disney has offered the dining plan for free during the month of September when staying in one of the on-site resorts. We stayed at All Star Movies, $99 per night, and enjoyed free food throughout Disney, more than we could eat, all week. We figured it out that the dining plan would have cost us over $800 and when we figured up what we ate, we ate more than that. We recommend going in September right after school starts when it is well known that there are only 1/3 of the people there. Log on to for all of the Disney info that you need. That is where I heard about the dining plan being free in Sept. You will need to ask for the discount when you call the Disney number. (08/22/2007)


By Sharon

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October 14, 2010

Help. The prices are overwhelming for two adults and four kids. I have the rooms booked, but the theme parks are so expensive. Epcot Center is a must. Can any one help?

By Donna Davis from Disney World with grands


Thrifty Disney World Vacation

I honestly recommend going through a travel company like Kingdom Magic. You can book a year in advance, put $200 down and make payments on it. It needs to be paid 45 days in advance of your trip. Also if the free dining plan comes available, they credit it to you. We are doing 4 adults at a moderate resort for 6 nights in the resort, 5 days in the parks, with park hopper passes and the meal plan for $2340. That comes out to $97.50 a person a day. We are driving there. (08/30/2010)

By Anna

Thrifty Disney World Vacation

Unless you are the recent heir to a fortune, any Disney vacation is very expensive. After many trips to the Walt Disney World in Orlando, we finally decided that the most expensive of all was the food, and that was the very thing we were more able to control. We took our own water and food. We bought very little in the way of treats, and figure that every trip we took our food and water saved our family of 4 about $200.00 a day (at least). That's counting breakfast, lunch, dinner, and several snacks and drinks throughout each day. Over a period of 5 days, that's easily $1000.00 and was probably more like $1500.00. When a bottle of water can cost as much as $4, think what dinner is going to cost you for 4 people.

Admittedly, our meals weren't homecooked and probably were not the best balanced in the world either, but we enjoyed everything we were able to do with the money we didn't spend on food and drinks. Bananas are a great mid-morning snack and don't have to cost $3 each. Apples, celery, and carrot sticks are great when kept cold and eaten on a hot summer day. Sandwiches eaten out-of-hand fed the hungry wolf in the tummy just as well as the $12 hamburger would have.

One day after we win the lottey, we'll go first class and eat at every restaurant in Disney. :-)

It's the other experiences you can have at Disney that will make the best and longest memories, "not" the food.


By Julia

Thrifty Disney World Vacation

We applied for the Disney credit card, and got 200 Disney rewards right off the bat. We plan to use this card for every thing up until we go. (10/08/2010)

By Lee

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