Tips for Visiting Disney on a Budget

I married into a Disney family. My father in law is a member of the Disney Vacation Club and we have been fortunate to be able to stay at the Old Key West resort for many years. We like to visit Disney a few times a year if we are lucky. We have found ways to see some sights on a budget and I’d like to share some with you. I just sent this to a friend whose family member is going for the first time. I hope it helps!

Some tips:
1) Pick up Disney toys/stuffed animals/clothes at Wal-Mart before trip and hide them/bring out during trip.
2) Bring snacks into the parks – we brought cereal bars, raisins, etc. They check your bag but it’s allowed.
3) Take the monorail around to the Grand Floridian, Polynesian and Contemporary resorts and walk around each resort to see each theme.
4) Ask to ride the front of the monorail and kids get a monorail operator license!
5) Eat at Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney – great sandwich, low cost – they even have breakfast.
6) Walk on Disney’s boardwalk – it’s just like New Jersey and there are carnival games, etc. Restaurants, a bakery, ESPN zone, a boat ride, you name it! You can see the fireworks at Epcot here too.
7) Make a reservation for character dining and make it the end of the brunch time around 11 – 11:30 before it ends. You have more time for characters and less people by then. (our favorite place is at the Contemporary – Chef Mickey’s)
8) You can get a mini-fridge and stay at the Pop Century or All-Star resort and you can take the bus to the parks.
9) See the characters at the Epcot Character Spot – they are all lined up inside the building and if you go early, there is little wait time.

10) Go “around the world” at Epcot:
– we like to eat at the Rose & Crown in England – make advance reservations – good kids menu,
– pick out an oyster in Japan and get a pearl – under $20 – our girls LOVE this
– sample foods from different countries (cheese plate in France), watch shows
– log flume ride in Norway (a little dark/scary for younger kids – Vikings)
– so much more!

Happy trails!


Posted on September 10, 2008, in Disney World, Travel tips and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Best rides:

    Magic Kingdom – Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, lots of kids rides for memories (small world, dumbo ride, peter pan, etc.)

    Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM) – Tower of Terror, Aerosmith Rockin’ Rollercoaster

    Epcot – Test Track, Soarin’

  2. Great ideas… Especially, for me, The Boardwalk and the Earl of Sandwich. Also, as far as eating goes, if you hit up Epcot during their annual Food and Wine Festival (October), you can sample various ethnic cuisine for just a few bucks per “country” and enjoy some great food for minimal coin. And you’re absolutely spot-on about bringing your own snacks!

    Of course, the best way to enjoy Disney on a budget is by staying “on property” at a Disney resort. Guests get extra, exclusive time at the parks (“Extra Magic Hours”), use of Disney transportation is included (or park for free), and they have some really great packages right now, some including meals. Again, from a budget standpoint, for those who like camping, don’t forget about Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campgrounds, since it’s even less expensive than their “Value Tier” resorts.


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