Putting the Magic Back into the Magic Kingdom – How to Make Your Dollars Stretch at Disney

A trip to a Disney World is a wonderful thing, but if you’re paying the bill then you might be concerned about how much a vacation to the Magic Kingdom will cost.

The good news is that, with a little planning and preparation, it’s still possible to be frugal while enjoying the vacation of a lifetime. 

Here are just a few tips on how to get more for your money at a Disney resort.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse at Disney World Magic Kingdom

Consider a DVC membership

For people who love the experience of a Disney World holiday, and who want to return as frequently as possible, becoming a part of the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) could be an affordable alternative.

It’s essentially a timeshare scheme which you buy into and get access to accommodation, perks and privileges as part of the package.

Obviously this is only worthwhile if you’re planning to visit several times a year, and you might not want to be tied down to a deal of this kind. 

The good news is that by going over a breakdown of resale vs. direct purchase, you’ll see you can actually sell on your share, or even buy from a previous owner rather than going straight through Disney.

Time your trip wisely

As with any vacation destination, peak periods come with higher prices at all Disney resorts. So if you have the flexibility to arrive outside of these expensive windows, you could save a bundle.

This might not be ideal if you’ve got kids, because costs always skyrocket during school vacation periods. But if you are child-free and you are a Disney fan, choosing to book a trip in the spring or autumn rather than the height of summer is financially savvy.

Choose on-site accommodation

Plenty of people wrongly believe that they’ll save money by staying at a hotel outside of the resort, then traveling to the park on the days they want to explore.

In actuality, you could wring more out of your budget if you book in at one of Disney’s on-site hotels. Part of the reason for this is that you’ll usually receive benefits and bonuses for doing so, including not having to pay for parking. You’ll even get the famous Magic Band free of charge as well, which is normally available at an additional cost to day visitors.

Snap up a meal plan

It’s tempting to just wander the park and pick up meals and snacks as and when you feel like it, but this isn’t the most affordable choice.

You’ll get better value from a pre-purchased meal plan, of which there are several tiers that you can select based on your budget.

Each plan effectively gives you access to food and beverages at various outlets, and of course the more people in your party, the bigger the savings you’ll make compared with purchasing each item separately.

Get your reservations in place months in advance

Disney is like any resort operator in that it likes to have plenty of people booked into its rooms and attractions as far in advance as possible, so that it can plan to accommodate them accordingly.

For this reason, the sooner you can make a booking, the better the price you’ll pay. In some cases you’ll be able to book more than a year in advance of your actual trip, but it’s still possible to cut costs if you’re around seven months away from the big day.

Whatever you do, don’t delay if you want to make your budget go that little bit further on a trip to any Disney resort.


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