Saving Money on a Walt Disney World Vacation: Choosing Affordable Accommodations

HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Mickey and Minnie Mouse are ready to participate in the 2005 Hollywood Christmas Parade on November 27, 2005 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)Walt Disney World is easily one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world, and as such, it is the place that millions dream of visiting each year. Along with those dreams however, comes a hefty price tag. It is possible though, to plan an affordable Disney vacation, and a great way to start is by looking at your accommodation options, as there are several ways that you can reduce your vacation budget by saving money on where you stay.

What do you need to consider when deciding where to stay at Disney World? When you go, whether you will need transportation while there, and even the size of your family will all need to be taken into account as you choose your accommodations.

The busier times of year, such as holiday weekends, Christmas/New Years, and summer, tend to be more expensive on Disney resort properties, and you may find many of these rooms booked, especially if you are not planning far in advance. For this reason, during peak season, and on short notice, off-Disney properties may be the most economical.

You will also want to think about the size of your family and the amount of space you will need. For several children, or a larger family group, it is likely that you will need more than one motel room. If so, you may want to consider hotel suites, villas, or even rental homes as a way to have the space you need, for the most affordable cost.

And you will want to consider what you will need in the way of transportation to and from the parks. Staying on Disney property allows you to use their resort transportation for free. If you stay off-site, then you need to see if your hotel has a park shuttle. If not…or if you are renting a vacation home…then you need to budget for a rental car.

Now, what kind of accommodation choices do you have at Walt Disney World?

It is becoming more frequent for families to choose vacation homes or condos for a Disney World vacation. With this type of property, you will have a lot more space for your family: some can sleep as many as 16 people, making this an extremely affordable option for anyone traveling with a large or extended family. Plus, you will have the use of a kitchen which will allow you to eat in if you wish, which can be a huge cost savings.

Another option is to stay on an off-site property. Generally speaking, non-Disney properties cost less than Disney World resort hotels. However when choosing to stay off-site, be sure that this is truly the most economical option for you, by factoring in things like a possible car rental.

What if you really want to stay at a Disney World resort property? While Disney hotels are typically more expensive, the “perks” available for Disney resort guests can sometimes outweigh the cost. Things like free transportation to and from Orlando International airport, as well as to and from the theme parks can save you a lot of money. Disney’s “Extra Magic Hours” will also provide you additional time in the parks. Plus Disney often offers promotions that can make a Disney vacation extremely affordable if you are able to take advantage of them.

The great news is that affordable Disney vacations are possible, by doing some research and taking the time to compare all of your options for accommodations. With a little planning, Walt Disney World can provide a memorable vacation without breaking the bank in the process. And that may be the very best kind of magic there is!

Nancy Bobby has been saving money on Disney World vacations for over twelve years. When not planning her family’s next trip to Walt Disney World, she helps others who want to plan affordable Disney vacations at her blog, The Affordable Mouse. There you can pick up her free Disney planning guide and learn about the Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide, one of her favorite resources for saving hundreds of dollars on a Disney vacation.

Related posts: