50s Prime Time Cafe
  • On Jan 9, 2022
    Autum from IN Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Hi! I am trying to plan a vacation for a family of 4 with a budget and would LOVE any help I could get!

    Hello Autum, from a fellow Hoosier!

    Planning a vacation is always so much fun, and when you can get that experience in without breaking the bank you really feel like you won the lottery!

    Let me give you some of my best budget-saving recommendations.

    • Disney Authorized Vacation Planners. When it comes to a Walt Disney World vacation, a Disney Authorized Vacation Planner can simplify your search and save you some real money. For one of our big milestone trips my no-fee planner found a Disney vacation package that saved us almost $900 over what we would have booked on our own. Because she was a no-fee agent we paid the same as if we booked direct on our own, but I would have never found the discounted plan that she discovered for us. That makes for a lot of extra Mickey Ice Cream bars!
    • Meal Substitutions. There can be a lot of pressure to go to this character meal or that signature dining experience. While they are great, you can often find a lower cost alternative that is still a fun experience, without breaking the bank. One recent example for us was passing on going to the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and instead enjoying the chuck wagon fun of the Whispering Canyon Cafe, saving us about $120 for a family of 4. 
    • Value Resorts. Friends always ask if staying off property will save them money. I always find that with a Disney Value Resort I either break even or save money, and I get to stay in the magic the entire trip. My favorite has always been Disney's Pop Century Resort, but you really can't go wrong with any of the Value resort options. 
    • Snack time. Disney has so many wonderful and iconic snacks, but you don't have to try them all. Bring your favorite snacks from home in your backpack and you will save a lot on your food bill. 
    • Bottle time. Bring water bottles to stay hydrated in the Orlando sun, and save a lot of money at the same time. Want to refill your bottle? Read this recent answer of mine about bottle refill stations.  

    That should get you started, but there are so many other ways to save. Write me back if you want some great dining swaps suggestions that will save you money without sacrificing a fun and satisfying dining experience!

    Have a Magical Vacation!


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Meet the Panelist: Doug, Indiana

I am one of the Dads on the planDisney Panel, and I love to help parents plan their vacation, with a focus on showing them how it can be fun for them too. I am also here to help Dads plan some nice surprises for the Moms in their life (they deserve it!). Learn More About Doug

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