Disney on a Budget 2017

Disney on a Budget 2017

Many Americans spend about $4000 on their Disney vacation but YOU will spend less than half of that with these tips on going to Disney on a budget in 2017. 

disney on a budget 2017

Let’s figure out how to book and plan a Disney vacation on a budget, specifically in 2017.  Our goal?  To maximize every dollar and pinch every penny. 

The first thing I did was ask everyone I could how much they usually spend on their Disney vacation. I asked friends, family members, and complete strangers.

Here is some of the data I collected:

“It would cost about 3.5K for my family of 4 to visit for 7 days and we go on a budget”

“4200 for a family of 4”

“I went to Disney alone and spent 1600”

“Depends on the vacation but let’s say $200/day for a family of 3”

Disney is my happy place, and though my family is only two of us right now, I couldn’t be ok with spending any more than $1500 for a week stay.  I had to make this happen in 2012 to take my sister on the trip of her lifetime and now I make it happen because I want go so often but still experience other things in life.  I also find a ton of ways to save to come back to the blog and share with you guys. 

Check out the newly updated Disney on a Budget ebook!

disney on a budget
Add to Cart

 

Let’s go through the bolded sections below and find some ways to do Disney on a budget in 2017:

Spending on a 5-night/6-day Disney Vacation (for four):

Accommodations:  $680

Transportation:  $300

Souvenirs: $50

Food:  $400

Park Tickets: $1120

Total: $2550

Accommodations

I’ll be honest from the beginning. Staying offsite will always be the cheapest option.  You can get a decent room in a great location for less than $50/night.  I went in December, 2016 and paid $20/night at a Ramada less than a mile from the entrance to WDW.  The best way to go about saving here is to pull up hotel prices on a few websites like Priceline and Expedia and spend some time getting to know hotels that seem to be priced and rated where you want them to be.  You don’t have to buy the first “ok” deal you see.  I checked at least 12 times, in a span of two weeks, before the Ramada dropped so low.

If you want to be close to the magic without breaking the bank, you can stay at one of the Disney Springs hotels.   Those rooms will be around $80/night with better and worse deals available depending on the season.  What’s great is that these rooms are on location, have great perks and the extra $30/day can be made up elsewhere. 

Perhaps your set on staying at a Disney resort but you want to make sure you are getting the best value from your dollar.  Cut your accommodation cost by up to 70% by renting DVC points through David’s. 

Souvenirs

Pre-buy souvenirs.  I cannot say it enough.  The dollar store has a ton of Disney stuff and you can give a few to your kids daily to avoid having to pay crazy prices for the stuff in your park. 



Otherwise you can set a strict budget, transfer that to a Disney gift card and really stick to it.  I usually do a combination of both but with the pre-purchased souvenirs you can completely eliminate this area of the budget.

Park Tickets

Free Tickets = Undercover Tourist

Discounted Tickets = UnderCover Tourist

Pay 2016 prices in 2017 = UnderCover Tourist


Discount Disney Tickets

 

Maximize Those Dollars

Once you have maximized ways to save through each category, your next job is to find ways to maximize every dollar.  What I mean by that is finding ways to get discounts (like coupons), get free money, save money without it heavily affecting you, etc.   Three ways to maximize those dollars:

Ebates

If you do any shopping online make sure to use Ebates which is basically cash back opportunities for free.  Ebates makes deals with large stores and promises them traffic in return for a percentage that they, in turn, give you a piece of.  I was getting 12% off Groupon and 7% off Walmart and Target at one point.  Signing up is free

Discounted Gift Cards

Use Raise.com to purchase gift cards for EVERYTHING.  Disney, Amazon, Target, Pizza, anything you can think of to spend less than what you planned.

Amazon Pantry

We are huge fans of Amazon. With Amazon Pantry you can send yourself non-perishable groceries. Your Disney resort will hold your package for you. Shipping is free for Prime Members and also orders over $35.

2017 Discount Packages

Save up to 25% on Disney resort rooms – Comes out a few times a year but first announced the summer before (June 2016 for 2017).

Plan, Stay, and Dine – Releases late in the year, after September.

Free Dining – Released April-August for dates later in the year.

Summer Meal Vacation Package – If this happens again it will be released at the end of the year for travel in 2018.

Other Packages (Magical Family, Disney Junior, Kids-Sized) – Randomly throughout the year so keep your eye out. 

The nice thing with all of these discounts is that you can book prior to their release and the just call Disney to have your reservation adjusted.

Current Disney World offers can be found at https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/special-offers/

My top 5 tips to save:

  1. Discounted giftcards
  2. Coupons from Birnbaum’s 2017 Walt Disney World Guide (guide book on Amazon)
  3. Groceries
  4. Visit during the value season
  5. Take advantage of the free things to do at Disney World

disney on a budget

How to Set Up a Budget

The easiest way to start your budget is to find somewhere to write either on paper or online (google drive, word doc, my expense form that comes with my eBook) and break it down by the sections listed in the budget above.

Transportation

Figure out how you’re getting to Orlando and price that out. Here are a few tools you can use

Park Tickets

You can start on the Disney website to check their prices and then head over to UnderCover Tourist to see their cost.

Accommodations

This is pretty self-explanatory but make sure to maximize on ways to save.  Use the guidelines mentioned above to estimate if you need to.

Food

Decide what your ideal food budget would be using either Disney dining prices or mapping out where you want to eat, how much it would be, etc. Don’t forget to factor in groceries.

Set a spending budget

There you have it!  You’re fully armed to successfully plan Disney on a budget 2017.  You know how much Disney vacations can cost, how much they should, ways to save based off sections, Can you think of any more tips that you can share with the PTM community?

disney on a budget

35 thoughts on “Disney on a Budget 2017

  • at
    Permalink

    We go every year, so other than a dated ornament, we don’t even bother with souvenirs anymore. I think it’s an awesome idea to buy them ahead of time – the stuff at the parks is so expensive.

  • at
    Permalink

    I love that there are so many hotels that are affordable in Walt Disney World area, it isn’t like that over here near Disneyland you’ll never find a hotel under $100 a night. I will pass along this to my daughter who is planning a Walt Disney World trip.

  • at
    Permalink

    Great tips! I would also add that you can cut souvenirs out altogether. Kids can save, bring and spend their own money, if they are old enough. Little ones will never know the difference. Photos taken on your own camera or even cell phone make the best souvenirs 🙂

  • at
    Permalink

    Ok – I know this might be obvious, but your suggestion of “pre-buying souvenirs” is genius! I would have never thought of that to do beforehand to then distribute while on site! Totally saving a TON right there!

  • at
    Permalink

    These are some great budget tips for traveling to Disney! This is still on my bucket list to do with my kids when they get older so I am planning now!

  • at
    Permalink

    We went last year. Even though we thought it was going to be very unaffordable, we really didn’t spend nearly as much as we thought we might. Driving cut back on a lot of the costs.

  • at
    Permalink

    I would have never of thought of pre buying souvenirs but what a fantastic way of cutting down costs. I think it depends where you live as well to be honest x

  • at
    Permalink

    I love all these tips, they are brilliant. Definitely sending this post to my friend who’s travelling to Disney on a regular basis – she could do with some budget help haha x

  • at
    Permalink

    I don’t know you could save that much when you go to Disneyland! Always wanted to visit the happiest place on Earth. Thanks for sharing these tips!

  • at
    Permalink

    I always stay on Disney property when we go, BUT I also always book through Hotels.com and use Ebates to get money back lol.

  • at
    Permalink

    I would love to go back to Disney. Yeah budget and get coupons seem to helped me. xx

  • at
    Permalink

    Awesome!! I have never heard of undercover tourist so I will be checking that out! I live in Orlando not far from Disney, so I am going to see how I can figure out how to take my kids on the cheap!

  • at
    Permalink

    What a great idea to use Amazon Pantry to send items. I really am going to look back on your tips when I get ready to plan our trip!

  • at
    Permalink

    This is so fab! we have always wanted to visit Disney and when we expand to a family of 4 it’s gonna be more expensive so these tips are fab!

  • at
    Permalink

    These are all great tips! We are Disney fanatics here, so the one thing I suggest to people, as you mentioned, is stay on site! I think that is such a huge part of the experience!! I think it is great that they have reasonably priced hotels such as All Star for accommodations too!!

  • at
    Permalink

    Me and my husband really loves to travel so it’s really a must to plan it first and of course make a specific budget on our trip. Wow, these are all amazing suggestion and tips! Thank you so much.

  • at
    Permalink

    I love all of these. Prebuying souveniers is a great one. Those alone can cost you.

  • at
    Permalink

    Thanks for these saving tips! I am really surprised how expensive going to Disney is now, so any tips you have is so helpful!

  • at
    Permalink

    I’ve never been to Disney and I can’t really say that I have any desire to, but I have TONS of family who go all the time and I will certainly pass this on to them. Pre-buying souvenirs is genius!

  • at
    Permalink

    I’ll have to keep those sites in mind for tickets. I can’t beleive how expensive the tickets have gotten now and you can’t even stay at the park all night.

  • at
    Permalink

    Disney can be really expensive. I would highly recommend planning at least six months in advance of a trip and consider all options before deciding where to stay or eat and so on.

  • at
    Permalink

    Love all these tips. I haven’t taken my kids to the parks yet but we have done the Disney cruise. So much fun. Maybe we will go to the parks this summer.

  • at
    Permalink

    I lived in Orlando for years so it always shocks me she. People tell me they spend a fortune on a Disney trip! Disney doesn’t have to be that expensive if you book it right.

  • at
    Permalink

    My big goal this year is to save enough to take the kids to Disney! They would love it and you e given so many tips I think we could afford it.

    • at
      Permalink

      Brittany you guys can def do it! I’m glad to help. It makes me happy to hear that I’ve lent a hand.

  • at
    Permalink

    I’m going to have to pin this for later because our little one is quickly approaching the age of Disney! She loves the movies and I’m pretty sure she’d flip if she met Anna and Elsa. Lol.

  • at
    Permalink

    I have yet to go to Disney with my family and I’ve heard that it can be very expensive! Thank you for sharing these tips. I’m going to save them and put some of them to use when we go sometime soon I hope!

  • at
    Permalink

    Wow, great recommendations and tips to work out a disney vacation on budget. We are not able to make it this year, but my little girl is still waiting for her turn. So we’d love to make it there very soon. So this is especially helpful!

Comments are closed.