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.
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 500 Disney on a Budget Tips ebook!
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):
Park Tickets: $1120
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.
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.
Free Tickets = Undercover Tourist
Discounted Tickets = UnderCover Tourist
Pay 2016 prices in 2017 = UnderCover Tourist
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:
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.
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:
- Discounted giftcards
- Coupons from Birnbaum’s 2017 Walt Disney World Guide (guide book on Amazon)
- Visit during the value season
- Take advantage of the free things to do at Disney World
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.
Figure out how you’re getting to Orlando and price that out. Here are a few tools you can use
- Priceline.com for flights and rental car prices
- http://fuelgaugereport.aaa.com/fuelcostcalculator/ for estimated fuel cost
- Other transportation costs such as oil changes, tolls, etc
You can start on the Disney website to check their prices and then head over to UnderCover Tourist to see their cost.
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.
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?