I don’t mention it often here on the blog, but I probably should – I’m a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations! So I thought I would bring you some more tips about trip planning. If you’re thinking about going to Disney anytime soon I would love to help you plan your trip. Many people don’t realize it but the services of a travel agent are completely free and hugely beneficial. You can email me at my travel agent email here: BeckyG@castledreamstravel.com.
One of the most common reasons why people tell me they can’t go to Disney World is because it’s too expensive. And I get that, I definitely do. Disney is not a cheap vacation. But I believe it doesn’t have to be totally out of your budget if you’re flexible and a little bit creative (this is where working with a travel agent helps – I can get you the best rates available!). It is possible to take a family of 4 to Disney for under $2,500 and stay on Disney property, and here’s how.
And yes, it’s possible to go for even less than this if you’re creative, willing to make more compromises, etc. If you’re curious about going to Disney as cheaply as possible, let me know in the comments and I’ll do a future post on it!
Time of Year
This will probably make the absolute biggest difference in the cost of your trip. If you can travel during an off-time you will save a ton of money. The best times to go are in January and September. The worst times are around any holiday or right in the middle of the summer.
Disney has lots of resort options, but they have a number of affordable value resorts, so you should definitely look into these. They are really fun for families and kids, with themes like the movies, music, or sports. Or Pop Century, which has areas themed after different decades. The rooms are mostly standard hotel rooms that sleep 4 (though there are options for bigger families), and you get all the perks of being in a Disney hotel. Staying off-property is another option, though I would keep in mind that there are sometimes hidden costs with staying off Disney property.
Here’s another way that flexibility comes into play. Disney often offers discounts on packages or a certain percent off the price of the room. Sometimes these offers are only available for certain resorts or certain dates, so if you’re able to be flexible you can take advantage of these deals and save a good bit of money.
Length of Stay
Obviously the longer you stay, the more it will cost. I recommend staying 4 nights – that gives you three full days and two half days (depending on how long your travel time is). The full days are probably best spent at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. Then you can do Animal Kingdom with a half day. That means 4 day tickets (no park hopper) should cover what you need.
If you’re willing to bring/prepare most of your own home you can do this trip for under $2,000. But if you want a taste of Disney food, the Disney dining plan is a great way to go so you know upfront how much money you’re spending. The quick service dining plan gives you two meals per day plus one snack. Learn more about the various Disney dining plans and which one might be right for you here.
You’ll notice I didn’t include how you’re getting to Disney World here because it can vary so widely depending on where you’re coming from. If you’re driving or flying makes a huge difference, so this is something I left out of the equation.
Let’s look at a trip for a family of 4 – 2 adults and 2 kids under the age of 10. For them to stay 4 nights from January 24-28, 2016 at Pop Century resort, with 4 day park tickets and the quick service Disney dining plan, it would cost around $2,150. Not too bad considering that covers your hotel, tickets, and food at Disney! Of course this price can vary based on the dining plan you choose (or no plan – without the dining plan you’re looking at around $1700). I wanted to show that it is possible to do a Disney vacation without spending $5,000 or more, like you often hear of people doing.
Does a Disney trip sound more possible to you now? If you’re thinking about booking please send me an email at BeckyG@castledreamstravel.com and I’d be happy to help you plan your trip! Planning Disney trips is my favorite thing to do 🙂