In 2013, my then family of 3 took a week-long trip to Disney World for about $1,500. We had a ton of fun, made memories, and most importantly didn’t break the bank.
Here is how we did it…
Kids under 3 are FREE at Disney
Yup, that’s right, kids under 3 are FREE at Disney. People thought we were CRAZY that we were taking an 18 month old to Disney, but it was basically FREE to take her (other than food).
Kids under 2 fly for FREE
If your child is under 2 and will sit on your lap, they are FREE! We actually got extremely lucky on the way to Florida, there was a row of 3 seats (we paid for 2) and no one sat in the 3rd. Emersyn sat in a seat of her own for the majority of the time and we didn’t pay a dime.
Funny story, as soon as the “fasten your seatbelt ” sign turned on to prepare for landing, Emersyn decided that it was a great time to poop AND it leaked through right onto Justin as he was holding her! They would not allow us to get up to change her, so he had to sit, poop covered for about 30 minutes…the joys of parenthood.
Car rentals are CHEAP on OFF season
We rented a car for about $12 a day! Just look around and book directly.
Fly into Tampa
If you are going to rent a car, fly into Tampa. Now, if you choose to stay on-site at Disney World I would suggest flying into Orlando due to the fact that Disney offers a complementary shuttle that takes you to your hotel, but if that is not the case fly into Tampa. We flew into Tampa and drove to Orlando. We also did this in order to make more of our trip. We went to Clear Water Beach for a few days, went to Sea World, AND went to Disney World.
You can find hotels that are inexpensive that are less than 15 minutes away from Disney World. We decided to stay off-site for a few reasons the first time taking Emersyn, but the mains reasons were to save money and because she was too little to really care where we stayed. Most of the off-site hotels have a shuttle that can take you to many of the surrounding parks. We decided to drive ourselves and pay for parking only because the shuttles run at certain times, we just weren’t sure with an 18 month old how the times would work for us.
Pick a hotel with breakfast
This is a GREAT feature! We found a hotel that was both inexpensive AND had a hot breakfast. This feature saves you and your family for one meal, your morning coffee and shhh you can grab a few extra snacks to take with you.
Bring snacks, drinks and water bottles
We only went to Disney World 1 day which also saved us $$$. I had mentioned before in my post about how Disney allows you to bring food into the park. AWESOME! Like mentioned previously, you can basically bring in anything (non-alcoholic of course). What a money SAVER!
Downtown Disney is FANTASTIC!
We quickly discovered that Downtown Disney is a fantastic place to visit while we were in Orlando. There are a ton of little rides that only cost a little bit, entertaining restaurants, water play (which is FREE), and it is just nice to walk around the shops. We actually visited Downtown Disney 3 times while we were in town.
I enjoy finding ways to save money, especially if that means that we get to take more than one trip a year.
How do you save money on vacations? What tips do you have?