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If a trip to Disney is on your want list, some Disney vacation insider tips can get you there sooner rather than later-and on less money than you may think. You can even enter to win a Disney World vacation at the end of this post!
We are planning a Disney family vacation this winter since the kids are all at ages where they will be able to experience the Disney magic. Disney World was like a fantasy land for me as a kid. It was always a great time full of magic and adventure…even if we had to wait in line for the rides. I don’t remember those annoyances, just fun time with my family. I want to experience the same fun with my own children.
We have to start saving now if we want to make a Disney vacation work for our budget, and in the process of researching how to travel to Disney on a budget, I put together this list of resources from Disney experts and insiders who KNOW all the ins and outs of taking a family vacation to Disneyland or Disney World.
I have some insider secrets: the tips and reviews that you want to read before you decide which Disney parks and resort hotels you want to visit. Many of these tips may save you money, and will give you great ideas for how to start saving now for your family vacation to Disney. Plus, you can pose with your best Chiquita smile for a chance to WIN a Walt Disney World® vacation from Chiquita!
Disney Vacation Insider Tips
All of these tips were shared by fellow moms who have taken a Disney vacation with their families. Many have traveled to Disney more than once, so their tips are tested!
This is my go-to list as I plan a Disney vacation for my family. Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win a family vacation to Disney World!
40+ Disney Vacation Planning Tips
Grab a free Disney planning video. To start exploring.
Set up a separate savings account and set aside your tax return, extra income, or even just spare change to start savings up over time.
Save the money you need to go to Disney first, then set a date when you want to go. Setting a timeline before you have the money can lead to undue stress or overspending.
Stop buying coffee shop coffees and put that money into your savings account-you’ll be amazed how quickly those little “treat” expenses start adding up to allow you to go on your family trip.
Book a hotel that provides free breakfast.
Look for hotels that are within walking distance of the Disney parks, or check if your hotel offers a shuttle to and from the parks. (Often you can pay a per-day fee to ride the shuttle as many times as you like.)
Bring along snacks that can stay in the hotel room for breaks in the day.
You can pack lunches and snacks and bring them along in a backpack or stroller bag to save money while in the parks.
If you’d rather not bring food with you into the parks, leave packed food and snacks such as bananas and granola bars in your room so that you can save money when snacking back at your hotel.
Don’t get a park hopper pass unless you are absolutely sure you want to pack in more than one park per day. You can go in and out of Disneyland as many times as you want on one day, and go in and out of California Adventure the next day without needing park hopper passes.
Bring a water bottle that can be refilled. Restaurants in the parks will refill it for you.
Check out these 10 tips for doing Disney on a budget from Cheapism.
Check your receipts from shops and restaurants in the parks. They often have coupons you can use to save.
Plan ahead for what to pack if you are visiting Disney with toddlers and preschoolers – Crafty Mama in Me
Bring a stroller, sunhats, and a backpack – East Coast Mommy
Grab a free printable stroller label to find your stuff fast after each ride. – Happy and Blessed Home
Review this mom’s suggestions for best times to visit the Disney parks. – Honey and Lime
Download the official Disney apps to plan your days around the events you want to attend and check ride wait times. – Something 2 Offer
Read up on the Disney FastPass options. – Happy and Blessed Home
If you have children with special needs, check out deatils about TSA Cares at Every Star is Different
Traveling to Disney during the summer months? Plan ahead with these 10 tips shared by Sunshine and Hurricanes
Get the kids really excited by watching these favorite Disney movies as a build up to your trip. – KC Edventures
For specific park information such as hotel reviews and events or ride experiences, this next set of tips is split up for Disneyland and Disney World. I even found some fun facts that may help you decide which attractions to put on your must-see list.
Tips for Rainy Days at Disney Land – Highlights Along the Way
Eating Gluten-Free at Disney – The California Table
Paint the Night Parade – Highlights Along the Way
Why It Is Best to Visit Disney Land on a Rainy Day – Latina Mom TV
Fine Dining Restaurants at Disney – Highlights Along the Way
Staying at the Disneyland Hotel in California – Honey and Lime
DISNEY WORLD tips
Things to do at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Honey and Lime
Did you know that the ambitious plans to bring Star Wars to life in Disneyland® Resort and Walt Disney World® Resort include creating Disney’s largest single-themed land expansions ever at 14-acres each! Find out what this new land is for.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios with Toddlers and Preschoolers – Crafty Mama in Me
10 Best attractions at Disney’s Wild Animal Kingdom – Honey and Lime
The biggest animal in height in the Disney Animal Kingdom Theme park might be the giraffe but the biggest all-round creature you’ll see, by far, is the elephant. Check out why!
Visiting Magic Kingdom with Toddlers – Crafty Mama in Me
Don’t Just Focus on the Rides at Magic Kingdom – East Coast Mommy
Review of Disney’s Wild Animal Kingdom Lodge – Honey and Lime
Visiting Wild Animal Kingdom with special needs children. – Every Star is Different
Visiting Epcot with Preschoolers – Crafty Mama in Me
Did you know that Epcot® was the second theme park to be built in the Walt Disney World® Resort? Find out more.
Review of the Disney Contemporary Resort – Honey and Lime
Tips for visiting Disney World with Toddlers – Mom Inspired Life
Great rides for all ages at Magic Kingdom – Honey and Lime
It’s a Small World® attraction appears in all of the Disney theme parks worldwide, including Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. Read more about it.
26 tips for visiting Disney World on a budget – Mint Life
Visiting Epcot with special needs children. – Every Star is Different
Did you know there are over 1,000 Hidden Mickeys at Walt Disney World® Resort. Do you want to know where one of them is? Find out here.
This is a big list of tips that I have found really helpful as I plan a Disney vacation for my family. As a kid, it did not matter if I was 5 or 11, the times I was able to visit Disney World were fun and magical.
There isn’t a set age that your children must be to visit the Disney parks. We are trying to visit before the twins turn 3 so they can get in free. It will make our Disney vacation more realistic for our budget.
If it helps, make your Disney vacation a whole family affair: We are inviting our parents to join us so the kids’ grandparents can experience Disney through our children’s eyes. It gives them that special experience with us, and also gives us more hands to help with the kids!
One last tip: The most important tip to remember when planning a Disney vacation is from School Time Snippets. I think it helps keep the whole experience in perspective.
Love Walt Disney World®? Enter to WIN a Walt Disney World® Resort family vacation or a prize package compliments of Chiquita! Details below:
- Take a picture sharing your best Chiquita smile-like the kids and I did below.
- Click here and follow the steps to enter your info and share your Chiquita smile.
- Comment on this blog post below to let me know that you finished your entry.
- You will be entered for a chance to win! [No Purchase Necessary 18+ 50 US/DC/CAN (excl Quebec) Ends 6/19 RULES: http://bit.ly/22zJSCG]
I can’t wait to hear your Disney vacation insider tips! Share them in the comments below.
Enjoy your time at home!