Disney World Vacation-How to save for a Magical Experience

Disney World is probably one of my favorite places to visit. This year my husband hasn’t committed to a vacation plan, so I did. I wouldn’t mind making it a yearly vacation because I really do enjoy going to Disney World.

In this post I wanted to share our breakdown of costs and how to save/make money for Disney. I have less than four months until I would like to go but it is a pretty doable plan for any budget. I have included transportation, hotel cost, park tickets, dining plan and miscellaneous expenses.

Our first trip to Disney when Tinley was 6 months old!

Transportation: $250 round trip

We opted to drive to Florida. It is only about $100 for going down and back up to Illinois so I added an additional $50 for driving around Orlando. I have a Chevy Sonic so that’s saves us big time! It is a 17 hour drive for us and the first time we did it we failed big time! On the way home we didn’t stop for a hotel which pissed my six month old off but I think this time it might be better. This time around I won’t have to worry about pumping/nursing.

We are staying at a Disney Resort and they have a shuttle that takes you around the parks and restaurants. This will save us on transportation costs while we are at Disney World.

Hotel: $570 for 5 days

We are staying at the All-Star Sports resort which is a Value Hotel. I didn’t plan it that way my husband just said he wanted to stay at the sports hotel and it worked out in our favor. We are checking in on Monday and checking out on Friday. Since we are going to gone most of the time I just got the standard room.

Park Tickets: $600

This is where it is hitting our wallets the hardest. Thankfully when we go Tinley will be under 2 and will have free admission. I decided to only get the 2-day ticket with 1 park a day. We are going to be there for 4 full days. Two of those days will be spent in the park, one at Disney Springs and the last visiting family. Alex and I know for sure we will visit Epcot one day as for the other day we aren’t sure. Magic Kingdom might seem like a no brainer but I would rather have Tinley experience that park when she’s a little older. Animal Kingdom was so much fun so we might go back. Personally I don’t remember Hollywood Studio’s but Olaf is there so it could go either way.

Dining Plan: $270

This is not a necessity but I never had the option to eat at Disney World as a child so I’m taking in the full experience this time around. Growing up we would always pack a cooler for lunch or pack snacks we never ate at Disney World. If you’re on a tighter budget then I totally say pack your own but for this trip we are not. Future trips when we pay for Tinley’s ticket we may have to!

I went for the Disney Dining Plan this includes 1 Table-Service Meal, 1 Quick-Service Meal and 2 Snacks. The hotel room has a mini-fridge so I may bring my own supplies to make quick meals and a variety of fruits and veggies to fill us up as well. We may go out to eat somewhere in Orlando as well.

Souvenirs: $300

Again this is not necessary and we may not need the full amount I just wanted to budget it in just in case. Last time we went to Disney World we went a little crazy at the gift shop because it was Tinley’s and Alex’s first time. This year we may just get a few things to remember the trip including our $30 Christmas ornament, its tradition.

Miscellaneous: $110 (Make it an even number) 

It’s for those just in case emergencies. The chance we have to stop on the way down or up we could use this money. Or we could use it for quick bites to eat even though I usually pack more than enough or our morning coffee. Always budget a little extra for that “what-if.”  

Total: $2100 for a family of three

Needed to save per week: $131.25 (that’s 65.63 each per adult)

Once it is broken down like this it doesn’t look that daunting at all! To me I see that as a few orders of cupcakes or 6 shirts I have to design and sell a week. For my husband it is a day helping out our local Moose Lodge or his carpenter buddy. All of this can be done in four months even with buying a house this year and a new truck. It will take sacrifices like eating more leftovers but it is totally do-able! See you in October Disney World! 




20 thoughts on “Disney World Vacation-How to save for a Magical Experience

  1. A great guideline on prices no matter what country you are from. I like that you budgeted for experiences you didn’t have as a child but included that as an option.

  2. This is a great plan. We went to Disney back in 2006 and did something similar. And you’re exactly right; when you budget, save, and plan, it’s not so overwhelming at all. I hope you have a wonderful trip! I can’t wait to see pics.

  3. Good budgeting. I like how you save for emergencies–always important when other or unexpected expenses come our way. I went to Disney World when I was like 12 years old, and I have never been able to go back, but maybe one day I will go with a friend or my brother if he’s ever up for going. I like how you drive from IL. I’m also from IL, so the time it would take to get to FL would be about accurate.

  4. I love how you broke that down and made it seem attainable. Disney is very expensive but with a little saving and planning it’s def. do able! What kind of cupcakes do you make?

  5. Thanks for the breakdown, heading there in 2 months, and I hadn’t planned to do the meal plan, but I am rethinking that now. I did see recently that there is a free meal plan available, but that is worth checking out.

  6. This budget breakdown is very helpful in giving people an idea of how much they need to save for a trip to Disney World. I have yet to go, but I would love to someday! Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *