Skip to Content

Planning A Trip to Disney World on a Budget

Planning A Trip to Disney World on a Budget

Planning a trip to Disney World on a budget requires some research and just the right technique.  Why?  Because Disney World is the size of San Francisco, and after over 30 trips, even I haven’t done it all.

This isn’t going to be the typical plan a Disney World trip post, or even the usual save money at Disney World post.  It’s going to be more of us taking a step back and looking at planning a Disney vacation the right way.

Let’s start with a Disney World overview.

Disney World Summary

The main focus at Disney World is the theme parks, Walt Disney World (WDW) has four.  Magic Kingdom is home to the famous Cinderella Castle.  Then there is EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

There are the two water parks, Blizzard Beach with its ski resort them and Typhoon Lagoon.  Whose theme is….well…the aftermath of a Typhoon on a tropical island.

Can’t forget about Disney Springs, a free shopping and entertainment complex filled with great things to do, shopping, and yummy places to eat.

& more!

  • Over 20 differently themed resorts
  • 5 Golf Courses
  • Lakes for boating and fishing


Go into planning this vacation with the right mindset.  Here are the 5 things you need to start with.

  1. Planning a Disney vacation takes time and is complex.
  2. A Disney vacation is not inexpensive.  There’s a way to make it cheaper, (which is why PTM exists), but be prepared to spend money.
  3. Go for what you want and make it fit your budget.  It’s definitely possible.
  4. You can do it, I promise.


Disney World earns its name simply for its vastness and complexity.  Not only does this make planning a Disney vacation easy to mess up and complicated, but it’s also what makes Disney World so perfect and magical.

What do I mean by all of this? Be patient.  Follow my tips and you will plan the perfect vacation.

Since you’re planning a Disney vacation on a budget, it adds a level of complexity.  The more you know, the more money you will save. 


The first thing you want to do is familiarize yourself with Disney World in general.  What does it offer and consist of and what do you want to accomplish?

Everything you need to know about planning a Disney vacation is on the web.  For free.  But it’s in a bunch of different formats, different layouts, different ways of delivery, and in different places.

For that reason, its imperative for you to be organized.  And to keep things organized, all you need is a notebook and an email draft.

Why an email draft?  So you can save links to articles and posts that you want to read.  A draft works best because you can access it from anywhere.  You can sign in to your email on your personal email, work email, even on your phone. So anywhere you are you can catch up on your readings.

Get yourself an inexpensive notebook and jot down notes.  You can have just pages of tips or you can separate it into sections.  More on that below.

You can take the notebook to Disney, organize the tips right before your trip and just take a few sheets, or take images of the pages with you to the parks.  No need to add something to carry.


In your handy dandy notebook, start working on a very rough draft of a budget.

Break it up into 5 sections

  • Transportation
  • Lodging
  • Food
  • Entertainment
  • Other

And then you can put subsections within those sections

  • Transportation
    • Getting there (driving or flying)
      • Extra “getting there” costs (gas, oil change, snacks at the airport, luggage and seat fees)
    • Getting around
      • Rental car or Uber costs
      • Parking ($20/day)
  • Lodging
    • Hotel cost + any fees
  • Food
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    • Drinks
    • Snacks
    • Alcohol
  • Entertainment
    • Theme Park tickets
  • Other
    • Souvenir Tickets

Download the free Disney on a Budget worksheet for an easier setup.


What’s next?

Request a free Disney vacation planning video from Disney World. Click below

Free Disney Vacation Planning Videos

There’s a lot of information out there, and all of it will help you to some extent.  But don’t forget to take a step back from the vacation planning and keep the right mindset, be patient and organized.

Let’s start with an overview about planning a trip to Disney World on a budget.  Here.

I also have 50 intense and actionable tips.  Here

Figure out the right blogs to read and follow.  Here

disney on a budget

chloe parker

Thursday 7th of June 2018

OMG thank you so much for sharing your experience and tips. Your post is really useful and helpful, thank you.

Toni | Boulder Locavore

Tuesday 22nd of May 2018

These are really awesome tips! Saving this for future reference!


Monday 21st of May 2018

We are passholders and we definitely have to do our trips on a budget to be able to go multiple times a year!

Melissa Chapman of The Staten Island Family

Monday 21st of May 2018

This is such a great resource for any family who is planning to head to Disney to do it without breaking the bank! We are bookmarking this post so that we have these tips handy when we plan our next trip to the happiest place on earth!

Amy Desrosiers

Monday 21st of May 2018

We are thinking about going to Florida next year. We do need to do it on a budget so tips like these will come in handy.

Comments are closed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.