Mom and Daughter at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Room
  • On Sep 16, 2015
    Jennifer from TX Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    I really want to plan a trip next year but trying will be on a tight budget. Also I have never been to WDW by myself. Do you recommend it? I would love some tips on how to plan and where to start. Thanks. Have a magical day!

    Hello Jennifer! You sound a lot like myself. I'm always finding new ways to budget travel, and most of the time it works out for me. If you include my upcoming October trip to Walt Disney World, I will have traveled alone four times in the past year to Disney, so I guess you could say I absolutely recommend it! I have a specific way that I tour the parks, so what works for me might not work for you, however, here is my usual planning process:

    First, I will look online at the crowd calendars. has some great ones that predict the  anticipated crowd level of each park on each day of the year and are typically pretty accurate. This is how I decide when to travel because I'm always looking to travel during less crowded times. After I decide the 'when' I will figure out the 'where'. Being a single parent and full time graduate student means that I'm always on a budget. I'm a frequent Disney Value Resort Hotel goer, and sometimes will split the cost with a friend to cut the cost even more. This October my Moms Panel friend Brandy B. and I are staying at Disney's Pop Century Resort and splitting the cost. As for food and drinks, I mostly stick with the Quick Service Restaurants and schedule one Table Service meal a day if the budget allows it. Sometimes snacks are big enough to count as meals for me, so that is another way to get more for your money. I also always bring my water container into the parks because you can get free ice water at any Quick Service location. This has saved me so much money because I never have to buy water bottles in the parks. Before my trip I also like to purchase Disney Gift Cards whenever I get the chance. Disney Gift Cards are accepted at most locations on property for food, tips, merchandise, etc. Sometimes it seems easier to save up when you purchase Disney Gift Cards intermittently before a trip.

    I'm running out of space, but if you need any more planning/budgeting tips I'd love to help! Have a magical Walt Disney World vacation!
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Meet the Panelist: Sarah, Indiana

I am a recent graduate from Ball State University and mother to my 5-year-old son. We love all things Disney and when we aren’t watching Disney films or planning our next vacation, we love to go to touring Disney shows. I also love to cook, listen to music, read books, and paint. With my experience planning vacations and navigating the parks from a single parent’s perspective, I hope to be able to add a little “pixie dust” to your vacation! Learn More About Sarah

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