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Taking a Disney Vacation on a Budget

Think Disney is too expensive? Think again.

Do you think a Disney vacation is not in your budget? I have some tips to help make a Disney Vacation affordable. I'll explain how you can save money on food, tickets, accommodations, and transportation.

When you are thinking about booking your trip to Disney, you first need to think of where you want to stay. Luckily Disney has three tiers of Resorts: Value, Moderate, and Deluxe. So there is something for everyone!

Value Resorts are great for first timers or families with children. Moderate Resorts are great for people who have been to Disney before and like more amenities such as pools with water slides.

Deluxe Resorts are great for those with an affinity for Disney. They offer even more amenities; some are closer to the Theme Parks with easier access to them. Value Resorts would be an inexpensive alternative to the Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. 

Once you decide where to stay you can start thinking about ticket options whether you want a single park day pass or park hopper pass which allows you to "hop" from park to park in one day. You can also add on a Water Park and more options for an additional cost. Which means you can go to either of the two Water parks Disney has to offer.  For those of you who have never been I would suggest the Magic Your way base ticket which is one park per day pass, that way you can spend one day at each park and take everything in, instead of feeling rushed and move from park to park.

Once you decide on your tickets you can start thinking about the Disney Dining Plan, which can save you money. You can take advantage of some of the counter-service places or character buffets that are all-you-can-eat. If you're really into food, then definitely go with the Disney Dining Plan. A family of four can save up to 30 percent on this plan. It is totally worth it!!

Once all of that is taken care of you can start to think about Disney's Magical Express. Disney's Magical Express is like having the combination of a car service and luggage valet all wrapped up in one. All you have to do is check your bags at the airport, and they are magically waiting for you when you arrive at your Disney hotel. Be sure to request your Magical Express luggage tags when you make your reservations. Don't worry about transportation to the hotel; a bus will pick you up at the airport and take you right there!!

There is something else to consider: Disney does have a Value Season.

 You and your family can head to Walt Disney World during the off-season when lines are shorter, the weather is more comfortable and the prices are lower. The rates are usually lower from January to February; for a few weeks in April and May; mid-August through September; and between Thanksgiving and Christmas. You can really save money when visiting on those dates, but I know it can be hard with kids to take them out of school. I tend to go in May or September with my husband and daughter. Shorter lines, better prices - and cooler weather. 

There is a little secret that only you can take advantage of if you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort, you get Extra Magic Hours! It is offered to only guests of Walt Disney World Resorts, they are either early morning hours or after hours when the parks close. It's a great way to enjoy most of the rides without huge lines. 

You don't have to rent a car while staying at Walt Disney World, if you are staying on property Disney offers complimentary transportation to and from the Theme Parks. You can go from park to park by monorail, buses, and even boats! 

I truly believe there is a Disney Vacation Package for everyone out there. 

For more information on pricing and packages, visit www.mickeytravels.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Michelle Slimak July 03, 2011 at 10:53 AM
Thanks Kim for the great ideas! I have been to Disney with my family twice in the last 5 years, and last time we did a short cruise. Can you do a post about the Disney Cruise Lines? I heard they were going to be offering crusies out of NYC?
Kim Meyer July 07, 2011 at 02:38 PM
Hi Michelle, thanks for the comment! My next post is going to be about Disney Cruising. They will be starting in 2012 cruising out of NYC! The ship is spectacular and there will be amazing destinations for everyone!!

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