You want to visit Disney World and you want to do it on a budget. It seems that spending less is the only way to achieve that goal, right? Well, you may be surprised to learn that there are actually a few ways that spending a little more cash in one arena can save you a lot in another. Let’s take a look!

1.         Stay closer to the parks

One of the biggest mistakes people make is to look for the absolute cheapest hotel they can find. After all, accommodations can account for up to half your entire vacation budget! While it seems to make the most sense to get your hotel as cheaply as possible, consider what you’ll lose. If your hotel is 40 minutes from the parks that’s roughly an hour and a half you’ll spend away from the parks every day. That means you won’t be able to head back and take a break for lunch, that means you’ll be exhausted every night and morning. It’s especially unnecessary because there are so many affordable hotels and even vacation homes within 15 minutes of the parks.

orlandovacation_stay-near-disney-world

2.         Consider the hoppers

When you buy your discount theme park tickets you’ll have two main options: park hoppers or no park hoppers. You’ll pay a little more than $60 per ticket to add the park hopper option. Clearly this is a large extra expense, especially for a larger family. In many cases it may not be worth it, but think long and hard before you make that decision.

discount disney world tickets

If you want to see all four parks you’d have to either get a hopper or spend four days in the parks. It’s cheaper to add a fourth day to a three day park ticket than it is to add a park hopper, but consider that this also means an extra day of food, another night in a hotel, etc. It may be cheaper to add the hopper and keep your trip to a 3-day trip.

3.         Character meals may be a great bargain for you

One of the unique options at Disney is a character meal. There you get a meal, plus you get to meet some of your favorite characters. These can be expensive meals, but if you’re planning to pay for a meal anyway, the added cost of a character meal versus a regular meal may be minimal – and it could prevent hours of waiting to meet characters when you’re in the parks.

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4.         Look for optimal flight times

It’s common for families to get so caught up in finding the absolute lowest airfare that they forget what they’re really comparing. Is it worth it to save $35 per person if it means getting into Orlando at 10 PM versus noon? Those extra ten hours may well be worth the added expense.