Disney World on a Budget..... Family of 5, Any Tips to Keep Costs Low?

Updated on January 18, 2011
C.W. asks from Denton, TX
8 answers

I know this has been discussed before, but i know alot of the disney resorts are only designed for 4 people. It will be me and my husband, 4 year old daughter and 3 yr old twins. I am also trying to decide between a disney resort and staying off property. I am not a good planner, so would love some advice on planning, or possibly using a travel agency?

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answers from Kansas City on

The FIRST PLACE to go for ALL THINGS DISNEY ON A BUDGET is couponingtodisney.com!!

Here's the page for "Disney World Training:" http://www.couponingtodisney.com/disney-world-training/
It covers everything from where to stay and when to go, to what to do and where to eat!! Just click on the links (in green) to find out all you need to know!!

Have a wonderful vacation!! :o)

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answers from Detroit on

If you are planning to do a character meal I would suggest that you do a breakfast (much cheaper than dinner) and make your reservation for 10:50am - most breakfast reservations end at 11:00. The breakfast is a buffet and you will probably be there about an hour so this would be your brunch.

Most everyone will be finished and clearing out by the time you arrive so that your kids will get more character time.

In addition, many people go back to their hotels at lunch time for a break - this means the parks are less crouded around lunch time. After brunch go to the park and have fun.

Glow in the dark sticks from Michael's - $1 for a pack of 12
rain poncho's from the dollar store.


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answers from Philadelphia on

We went with a family of six :) We only had one room, two double beds, a trundle and pack and play. We were only in the room to sleep so the lack of space was ok.

I checked a bag that was full of snacks and breakfast. (i also packed water bottles) I had packs of the small cereal boxes with a plastic bowl and spoon per person. We would clean them out and use them each morning. (we only had to buy milk and oj) We had the meal plan for lunch and dinner. It was very worth it! You get one sit down, one counter meal and i think a snack or two per day.

We payed about $4200 or $4600 for the 6 of us.... i cant remember. That was for 7 days. That included the airfare, hotel (in disney called port orleans riverside), dining plan, parks....everything. We did 5 park days. The park hopper package was a really good deal. This was in 2006, so a few things may have changed.

There was a website that you could book the whole plan. Go disney, i think? I am so sorry i can remember. I was so proud of myself for going and having a blast on what i think was a tiny budget :)

I hope you have a wonderful time!!

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answers from Dallas on

If you book now, Disneys running a special that kids 3-9 are free. so book a room/tkt package and you don't have to pay for your kids tickets. That is a huge savings since the park tickets are one of the most expensive on a Disney vacation. Port Orleans Riverside is a moderate hotel that fits 5 people. It's also our favorite hotel. Lots of things for the kids to do and the pool is great. The hotel has a fridge so you can bring your own food to help cut down the cost of food. You can go to Gardengrocer.com and order food to be delivered to your room for $12 delivery charge if you fly. Take water and snacks into the park to keep from wanting to buy it in the parks. It's expensive. We pick one meal a day to eat out and the rest we eat in our room. Good Luck.

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answers from Dallas on

Order a free vacation planning dvd from Disneyworld-it will give you some great ideas and get you excited about going. You can also search for old Disney posts right here on the Mamapedia site. Parking is $14 per day at Disney which is something to consider if you stay off park grounds. Check on the Disney site - they often have some good discounts at some of their moderately priced resorts. Also if you stay at a Disney resort, you can take the Magical Express bus from the airport for free. Can your 3 kiddos sleep comfortably in a queen bed? That might determine whether you need a larger room. You won't be spending too much time in your room anyway. It is very convenient to stay on property- you can use free disney bus transportation or monorail to get around, you can bring the kids back to the hotel for naps if you need to, and you get free extra magic hours. Stay out of the gift shops to save money. Visit the dollar store before you go and stock up on some Disney stuff and surprise the kids at night. Bring sippy cups with lids and rinse them out between uses. Some travel agents are disney experts --they might be able to help you plan your trip too. Have fun --take sunscreen and a camera !



answers from Sacramento on

I'll be interested to see what tips people post here. We're going to Disney World for the first time this April. It'll be the first time for all of us, adults and five year old.

We're staying off property because I own a timeshare and traded for it. It was worth the trade off to me to be off property but have two bedrooms and a full kitchen since we'll be there a week.

Anyway, that's the only part of the plan I have done. Still haven't figured out how many days of a park pass to get, what to do about a car, whether to do a character meal/ which one to do etc.

Good luck. I figure it'll be fun regardless.



answers from Kansas City on

i will be watching to get some tips myself! my inlaws are from florida and have been several times - we're going with them this summer for the first time. i do know that we are staying off site, as it is cheaper. and they have free shuttles. i don't know, but most hotels i have stayed at, three year olds aren't really considered a full person, so you may be fine with a regular, "four person" room. they will probably work with you. one suggestion i do have is to go to disney.com and get the free dvd sent to you - it is awesome :) oh, and if you are planning on flying - my FIL says that a taxi from the airport to disney is like fifty bucks. if there's a way to avoid that, i would! we're driving down ourselves. good luck!



answers from Atlanta on

You may want to check out Budget Travel magazine this month. They have a whole article on this!

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