How to Do Disney On a Budget

How to Do Disney On a Budget | thegoodstuff

Photo by s_bukley

When I was 10 years old, my sister and her husband surprised me with a trip to Disneyland. It was my favorite vacation as a little girl. In fact, it was my only big vacation, and other than leaving my favorite doll at home, it was perfect!

With improvements in the Disney parks to the tune of one billion dollars, this year may be the most magical time to take the family. The happiest place on Earth can also keep your bank account very happy if you know a few tips and tricks to saving at Disney World and Disneyland.

For family of four with children under the age of 10, the average cost for airfare, hotel, and park admission at either Disney World or Disneyland will run around $3,000. That includes four days and four nights. If you want to stay at one of the Disneyland hotels, your tab will increase by about a thousand bucks! And in case you’re wondering, depending on where you’re traveling from Disney World can be a bit less expensive.

Here are a few ways to do Disney on a budget!

Tip #1: Check for Disney coupons

How to Do Disney On a Budget | thegoodstuff

Photo by Joe Seer

Always check for coupon codes to save on your Disney trip. You’ll find promotions for discounts on packages, rooms, and park passes.

Tip #2: Brown bag your lunch

How to Do Disney On a Budget | thegoodstuff

You’re allowed to bring your own food and drinks (non-alcoholic and non-glass containers) into the park. This alone can save you hundreds of dollars in food costs!

So you don’t have to carry your lunch and dinner around, consider renting a locker for about $5 a day to store your food in. Be sure to bring non-perishable food and drink items, though!

Your packed lunch doesn’t have to be plain old sandwiches. Try whipping up these easy hotel breakfast ideas or pack these TSA-friendly snacks, both of which will save you from having to buy expensive hotel and airport food!

Tip #3: Check your membership perks

How to Do Disney On a Budget | thegoodstuff

Photo by Katherine Welles

If you belong to a credit or labor union be sure to check to see if they offer discounts. Many times they’ll offer discount programs that are especially set up for members.

Worried about running into travel problems? Relax a little and plan ahead with our travel nightmares series!

Tip #4: Save more at budget travel sites

How to Do Disney On a Budget | thegoodstuff

Photo by Lauren Elisabeth

We all know sites like Expedia offer some of the best rates, but did you know you can also find coupon codes to save even more money at budget travel sites?  Before you book a flight or hotel, check to see if there’s a coupon code to boost your savings even more. is the perfect place to check for Expedia coupons, Travelocity promo codes, Kayak coupons, and CheapOair coupons all in one place!

Tip #5: Buy Disney merchandise in advance

How to Do Disney On a Budget | thegoodstuff

Photo by Jonathan Weiss

Your kiddos are going to want to buy souvenirs, but they can be more expensive at the park itself. Instead buy a few Disney items that are easy to pack ahead of time so you can give them to the kids instead of buying them there.

Planning your Disney souvenir purchases ahead of time also gives you a chance to check for Disney Store coupons!

Tip #6: Use Airbnb

How to Do Disney On a Budget | thegoodstuff

Consider staying at an Airbnb near Disneyland or Disney World. You’ll be able to have your breakfast and a couple other meals there to save on restaurant bills. You can also prepare snacks to have with you. Believe it or not, you can also find coupon codes for Airbnb!

Bonus: How to find extra spending money

How to Do Disney On a Budget | thegoodstuff

It’s not just about saving on the Disney trip itself. It’s about saving in other areas of your household budget so you have extra money to pay for the trip.

If you plan on going to Disneyland or Disney World this summer, start cutting back in other areas of your monthly budget now. For example, if you’re buying your lunch out everyday, start making and bringing your lunch to save about $600 between now and August!

Need more easy money saving ideas? Don’t buy that scone and coffee every morning. Grabbing your cup of joe from home and buying your pastries at the grocery store can save you about another $260. And by planning your weekly meals around what’s on sale at the grocery store and using coupons you can shave about 40 percent off of your monthly grocery bill.

It’s not just about getting the best deal on hotels and tickets, it’s about saving enough to help cover your vacation costs!

Starting your budgeting now is a smart move, and also gives you time to check out some of these ways to get the best deals on travel.

Need more ways to save money on groceries? Check out our slideshow of helpful grocery shopping guides below!


2 replies on “How to Do Disney On a Budget”

Please write an article of tips and recommendations on spending a few days at Disney for an adult without kids.

Hi Sharon,

Many of these tips still work — and many of us here have used them on our own trips to Disney without kids! (Though we’re a bunch of kids at heart.) We still recommend checking out the Disney store before you go, because we found a few mementos of our trips were nice to have. Brown bagging your lunch is another great idea, since adult meals are even more expensive than kids’ meals!

We hope you have a great time at the happiest place on Earth! :)

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