Family planning a trip
  • On Jan 24, 2022
    Susan from SC Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Trying to budget

    Hiya, Susan!

    You're as welcome as can be! I'm always happy to see a fellow Mouseketeer stop by planDisney, so thank you for this excellent question. My parents saved for years to take my siblings and I on our first Walt Disney World Resort vacation when I was 11 years old. Knowing how hard they worked to make our dreams come true makes that family vacation even more special in retrospect. My husband and I are teachers and have to save for our trips now too, so I understand the importance of budgeting first hand.

    I know the idea of trying to budget and plan for seven people to go on the magical adventure of a lifetime can seem a bit daunting, but it's definitely not impossible. You'll want to keep an eye out for any special offers, deals, or discounts being offered on Disney Resorts Collection hotels. It looks like there is a discount available for the dates of your trip at this time (subject to availability). If you haven't yet booked your accommodations, I suggest you consider making Resort reservations at one of the budget-friendly Value Resort hotels using this offer. In my experience, Disney's All-Star Music Resort and Disney's All-Star Movies Resort are the most affordable per night. You could book two rooms and request that they connect to be near each other.

    After you've found the perfect place to be a sleeping beauty, you'll need to purchase your theme park tickets. I suggest you purchase the Standard Theme Park Tickets that allow entrance to one park per day instead of upgrading to the Park Hopper option to save a bit off the cost. The good news is the more you plan to play, the less you pay per day.

    Of course, no trip is complete without dreaming of all the delicious food you'll eat at one of the many dining locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort. Guests can make dining reservations up to 60 days in advance, and since you're within your booking window, you will want to do that soon. I suggest you peruse the restaurant menus before booking dining reservations. Many of the menus list the cost per child, adult, or menu item. In general, Quick Service dining locations are the most affordable, but know that you are also able to bring your own food and drinks into the theme parks if you really need to keep the cost down. Narrowing down where you will eat each day will allow you to budget for approximate meal costs for the length of your vacation.

    You might consider purchasing Disney Gift Cards to pay for expenses on your trip. Some nationwide retailers, like warehouse clubs, sell Disney Gift Cards in discounted multipacks. While not a massive savings, this does allow you to shave a little off the cost of your trip as well.

    The single most important tip I can give you when planning a Walt Disney World Resort vacation is to get to know My Disney Experience. This digital tool allows you to manage your party's plans with ease from a browser or in the app. Enjoy making magical memories together!

    See ya real soon,
    Alyssa
thumbnail image for Alyssa

Meet the Panelist: Alyssa, Texas

Greetings, dreamers of all ages! I'm Alyssa, a lifelong lover of all things Disney and educator of future Imagineers. My dress collection rivals that of any Disney Princess, and I can almost always be found singing a Disney song with a bow in my hair. You can find me exploring all the magic Walt Disney World Resort has to offer on adults-only getaways with my Disney-loving husband or our multigenerational family. Tomorrow is just a dream away, and I would love to help you plan your own magical vacation! Learn More About Alyssa

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