Disney World on a College Student’s Budget
College was a great time. In fact, its only been four years since I left and I remember it well. Probably too well. I worked my way through college so it wasn’t always the best of times but that’s why a Disney vacation was in order. In fact, the vacation that ended up being the motivation for this website happened when I was in school.
I want to help you have a great Disney trip even if you’re on a college student’s budget. Here are the tips you need to make that vacation possible.
Travel During the Low or Value Season
This tip is going to apply to all budget travel. When you travel during the offseason, everything is much cheaper. Accommodations lower their prices trying to get more rooms filled, flights are cheaper to get more people going, and more.
The Disney value season for this year is January after New Years until Mid-February and also Autumn. Late August – through Sept, and late October- Early December.
Monitor Flight Prices
Sign up for fare alerts on airfarewatchdog
Put your airports in and get alerts on deals.
Look up fare history to figure out when prices are lowest from your are to Orlando International Airport (MCO). Take these prices lightly. When I use it always gives me higher prices.
Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with traveling alone. In fact, Disney is probably the perfect place to go alone.
However, when trying to go to Disney on a dime, bringing someone is the way to go.
Invite your significant other or a few friends, (or both). The more people you bring the more ways you split some of the budget items, like the hotel.
If you were going on your own, $110/night for a hotel might seem like a lot. But split it in half and $55/night isn’t too bad.
Stay on-site at Disney World
Why do I suggest this?
Staying onsite not only creates a magical and immersive experience but removes vacation complexity completely. Disney World is full of free shuttles going everywhere within the world. You stay on site and you remove the complications of the vacation which end up costing money.
I’ll just start with being completely honest, apparently that’s part of being an Aquarius…
The cheapest you will ever get a Disney owned hotel is $106/night. But don’t fret. We will either set your vacation up where $106/night is possible or we will shave a few dollars off of that per night.
While the savings tips to free up enough money are within the article, let’s go over how to get something a little cheaper and still stay on the Disney property.
The Disney Springs hotels are 7 hotels not owned or operated by Disney. There is a Hilton, a Best Western, a Wyndham, and more.
My top choice is the Wyndham Garden. The rates are great and it’s a quick walk to Disney Springs. Which means a few things that we can go over later. I’ve seen rates mostly at $79/night.
The Wyndham wins for a few reasons. It’s proximity to Disney Springs is great, the prices are doable, and it has one of the best character dining options. No one is too old for character photos and signatures.
Best Western Lake Buena Vista usually has really good rates too.
Check all Disney Springs resorts for pricing before you choose one.
All seven links
Don’t Eat Out
It’s a tough but a doable exercise.
Eating out is so expensive even when you’re at home. And I know that you know because you’re in college. And I was there once too.
Almost all of my money went to food because all I did was order food late at night and eat junk.
Take this mentality to Disney and you will go over Budget.
Here’s the thing. You’re going to be too busy for a lot of sit down meals. Pick a few places to experience and try to avoid eating out otherwise.
Make sure to gather groceries for drinks, snacks, breakfast and whatever else you think necessary.
More at Eating at Disney on a Budget
Free Tickets = Undercover Tourist
Discounted Tickets = UnderCover Tourist
Pay 2017 prices in 2018 = UnderCover Tourist
Watch me put together a budget for you with the totals at the end!
Download a free Disney on a Budget Worksheet