Updated: Dec 8, 2020
It’s a small, small world!!! Well, Disney World isn’t that small but it can seem small with its crowded parks! For our family trip to Disney, I was quoted $800 for four days which didn’t include food or flights!!!! Yikes! I ended up saving about $200 by going my own way instead of booking with AAA and staying in the parks! Continue reading to learn more...
I could only spend a certain amount of time on this trip which would be three days. But in order to stay at Disney resorts with my family, I had to stay a minimum of four days for at least $800 which didn’t include a meal plan nor my plane tickets. After hearing that, I decided to be own travel agent instead going through AAA with my family. Therefore, I went onto my Citibank credit card’s travel site and searched for hotels near my family’s resort. I ended up staying at a Waldorf Astoria resort about 10 minutes from them.
The hotel was immaculate to say the least (except for the wifi). The hotel also had a free shuttle to and from the parks! I ended up spending $145 to stay here for my entire stay.
I booked a round trip flight with Southwest Airlines who is known for competitive pricing. Oh and free checked bags! My flight ended up costing me $220 round trip from Atlanta. It wasn’t what I wanted but it was the best I could find.
So I went dancing, shopping, etc. Not lol! Isn't this article about Disney? Yep! So that’s what I did...went to Disney World and Disney World only! I booked a Park Hopper pass through the Tickets At Work website through a former employer discount. The Park Hopper pass allows for you to go from park to park all day every day. The total pass for three days was $381. Yep...TOO MUCH MONEY LOL! You can save money here by not buying the park hopper pass. They have several cheaper options. But since I didn’t know the full itinerary in a timely manner, I had to take this route.
P.S. I visited Hollywood Studios twice, Epcot, and Magic Kingdom.
So since I went a different route, I didn't have a meal plan like the rest of my family which I am glad. The options in their plan meant to eat greasy fried food for pretty much every meal. After doing that twice with them, I passed on the other meals. I actually ended up getting an extravagant dinner outside of the parks one night just because. With that said, I spent a total of $159 on meals which includes food at the airport, breakfast at the hotel, meals at the parks, and my extravagant meal. Definitely not bad considering the location. You can save money here by buying food from a grocery store and by not having an extravagant meal.
My family and I went in December before the holidays. This was a better time as it was less crowded yet still crowded enough at times. It is great to go during this time if you have availability and the children can miss school (not recommended). Beware of winter, spring and summer breaks...you will definitely want a fast pass during those times which would mean more money to skip the exhausting long lines. I’m not sure of the cost of this as I didn’t buy a fast pass.
Unfortunately there was a cost to get to and from the airport which is quite some time from the parks. I also took an Uber twice outside of the hotel. My total costs for transportation was $103. Avoid this costs by finding a resort with a free airport shuttle and don't Uber anywhere the bus can't take you.
Oh and by the way, I had to buy sunglasses as mine broke a few weeks prior. This for a total of $31. Hmmm...I wonder if this included something else?
My grand total spent at this magical world was $1,039. Now, I'm trying to figure out how people travel here every year. This biggest saver here is to buy one day passes for each park. Yes, you lose flexibility but 9 times out of 10, you will be at the same park all day anyway. It looks like I could've save $80 this way. And if you are a Florida resident, you could've paid around $160 less. And if you are a member of the military, there are discounts there as well. I'm just glad I saved from what I could've paid which would've been about $200 more.
Do you travel to Disney? What are your tips on saving money there?
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~ Kita the Explorer
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