Taking a Disney World Vacation? How to Budget for Hotels, Tickets and Food

A Disney vacation can be a budget-friendly trip or a veritable spending spree—depending on how you plan it.

The trick to finding deals is deciding which experiences are most important and planning accordingly.

“Our pricing structures are much more granular, much more flexible than they’ve ever been before,” said Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney’s parks, experiences and products division.

Here’s a guide on navigating Walt Disney World on three different budget levels. (Note: Many of these tips translate to a Disneyland vacation as well, though the two resorts do vary in terms of offerings and pricing.)

Disney World on a Saver’s Budget
Hotel: When planning a Disney vacation on a shoestring budget, one easy way to save money can be to stay off-site—meaning at a non-Disney-owned hotel. You don’t need to stay at a roadside motel, though. Look for deals on sites like Expedia or Priceline for Disney’s “Good Neighbor” hotels, which are located close to Disney’s theme parks. These hotels are AAA-approved and vetted to meet Disney standards. Some advertise rates that are competitive with Disney’s “value” resorts, which start at around $100 per night. A five-night stay at the Holiday Inn Resort Orlando-Lake Buena Vista costs $641 in late October through Expedia.

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