Disney World Hacks: 5 Ways To Rock A Disney Trip Without Going Broke

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Disney World hacks are needed to do Disney World on a dime because that’s the only way a family vacation in Orlando is going to happen for most folks. For others, doing Disney World on a budget will help to extend the trip or afford a few extras. There are many Disney World hacks to help you enjoy that family vacay with Mickey without losing your mind or all your dollars, but here are the easiest ones!

view of Disney World Castle Fireworks for Disney World Hacks


5 Disney World Hacks

These five Disney World hacks will save you a few of those dollars to really relax and enjoy yourself on that upcoming Disney vacation.


As mentioned on the Disney World tips and secrets, the time frame matters if you really want to do Disney World on a budget.  Not only will the crowds be lower at non-peak seasons, but the prices are also generally lower on tickets and resorts as well!  Check out that link for suggestions of the best times to kill two birds with one stone.


Have you considered staying in one of Disney World’s value resorts?  I think these Disney resorts have a lot going for them with the lower price point by appealing to kids of all ages and offering great pools, food options, and bus transportation. For most, the smaller size and noisier locations are a small sacrifice for saving so much money on accommodations. 

Art of Animation is the newest and most expensive of the Disney value resort hotels but has options for larger families.  The choices are:

  • Pop Century Resort
  • All Star Music Resort
  • All Star Movies Resort
  • All Star Sports Resort
  • Art of Animation Resort

Another idea is to stay at The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Don’t have an RV? That’s OK because there are tent sites as well as you can get a spot for as low as $55 during off-peak seasons (refer back to #1).


All parents typically cringe at the thought of wasting spending tons of money on Disney World souvenirs that may or may not live for another year.  Disney World hacks that we discovered last year were to (a.) buy apparel and souvenirs at non-Disney stores outside of the park, (b) have fun with Disney Pin Trading, and explore the parks for Disney Pressed Pennies that can be collected in a book and a valuable memento for generations to come.


One of the Disney hacks that helped us save A LOT of money was to plan our meals a bit ahead of time.  My advice is to only buy one meal inside the Disney parks each day if at all possible – and preferably buy only breakfast or lunch within the parks.  These are the cheapest meals that are served compared to the more expensive dinner entrees which can get very pricey.

A perfect scenario for families with kids is to eat a big breakfast before entering the parks and bring snacks to fill in the gaps before and after lunch.  Purchase lunch at a Disney restaurant.  Eat dinner at your hotel or at a restaurant outside of the parks.  You can save so much money with this Disney World hack if you simply adjust it according to your family’s needs.


Now you know how much I love the official Disney parks, but there are so many other low cost and free things to do in Orlando as well that can help you extend your Disney family vacation.  Activities, like spending time at your resort and visiting FREE Orlando attractions, are a couple of the big ones that would add life (without spending) to the life of your vacay.

I would venture to say that almost EVERYONE could benefit from a “chill day” spent completely at your Orlando resort.  Especially if you stay at a Disney resort, there will be plenty to do and see.

Have you been to Disney Springs?

We fell in love and ended up spending two full days there on our last Disney vacay because it’s wonderful and can be completely free (unless you shop or buy food).  It’s free to park at Disney Springs and you can get samples at times at different stores.  It’s a lot of fun to hang out there as a family at this beautiful Disney destination.

watch “Happy Hints” at Disney’s Haunted Mansion
Some FREE things to do in Orlando, Florida are:


You get a bonus one -> One of the Disney World hacks I haven’t mentioned that we enjoy is to ride the monorail around to the deluxe resort hotels.  If you are visiting Disney World during a holiday, it’s a must to see the decorations in each of these fabulous accommodations.  Not only does riding the monorail give your feet a break, but it’s also such a fun family sightseeing experience!


Which of these Disney hacks do you plan to implement?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

I hope these Disney World hacks were helpful to hang on to as much of your hard-earned dollars as possible.  Let me know if I can help in any other way!


Published on HuffPost, Okefenokee Living Magazine, and more, Shan is a Family Travel Journalist with a passion for helping women lose the overwhelm of planning family-friendly trips in the south. She shares travel reviews & insider secrets that Women REALLY want to know about Georgia, Florida, & the Carolinas vacations.

☕️ It’s THE REAL DEAL around here ☕️



  1. Shan
    October 15, 2018 / 1:37 pm

    Hate that you spent a small fortune, Kate, but it can happen quickly at the happiest place on earth for sure! haha Thanks for your kind words and here’s to hoping you can return to Disney World soon! 😉

    much love,

  2. lau
    October 15, 2018 / 4:36 pm

    thank you for these hacks! It’s always been a dream to visit DIsneyland!


  3. Lois Alter Mark
    October 15, 2018 / 6:52 pm

    When my kids were growing up, the pressed pennies were such a lifesaver in terms of souvenirs- they’re cheap, lightweight and more unique than most other items around. Thank you Disney for keeping the affordable options around!

  4. Stephanie
    October 15, 2018 / 7:31 pm

    We just started planning a trip to Disney this coming summer for 13 people, so this is great! With that many people, the budget is definitely in mind. Right now, we are looking at hotels, so this helps to know which are the value resorts.

  5. Christa
    October 15, 2018 / 8:46 pm

    These are such helpful suggestion! Disney is fun but can be so expensive. I’ll need to look into those resorts. I certainly don’t mind a bit of noise!

  6. Jessica
    October 16, 2018 / 7:06 am

    Hi Shan,
    Great tips! I remember the first time we went to Disney, although it was a hassle, we had lunch in the car on the first and second day. On our last day, we had lunch inside the park. We saved a lot of money since we planned our every meal 😉

    • Shan
      October 16, 2018 / 9:52 am

      You are right, Jessica. Planning meals is not the easy way out but it sure does save those dollars! Thanks!!!

      much love,

  7. Marcela
    October 16, 2018 / 9:25 am

    I love how you have made a point in visiting other thing in Orlando. Yes, of course the Disney will be probably the first that families cross their mind, but there is also other fun stuff to do. Love your hacks!

    • Shan
      October 16, 2018 / 9:50 am

      Aw, thanks, Marcela for your kind words. Glad it was helpful. Yes, there are SO many things to do in Orlando that it’s crazy!

      much love,

  8. Angela Tolsma
    October 16, 2018 / 10:08 am

    This post literally couldn’t have come at a better time. My husband and I are currently debating between a trip home to visit family or a trip to Disney World. The ticket prices for the park shocked me and I have been wondering if it would be worth it. The free stuff is definitely something I’ll be adding to our discussion!

  9. Jennifer
    October 16, 2018 / 3:26 pm

    Love these hacks will be keeping this saved for our Disney LAND trip in october. I went to disney as a kid so a lot of this rings a bell but def needed a refresher

  10. Becca Wilson
    October 17, 2018 / 10:11 am

    Choosing off season dates is such a great tip! The rates will be lower and it wouldn’t typically be as busy – fingers crossed!

  11. David Elliott
    October 17, 2018 / 7:31 pm

    Those are some important things to think about. I am just sad that I couldn’t do those hacks for me at Disneyland because it’s almost as if there is no longer an off-season there. Even mid-week gets crazy.

  12. Nati
    October 18, 2018 / 4:33 am

    These hacks are amazing! It can be so expensive to visit Disney World, we haven’t done it yet, but we plan to!

    • Shan
      October 18, 2018 / 8:39 am

      Thank you, Nati. I’m glad they helped. Let us know what you think when you go! 🙂

      much love,

  13. Leigh Suznovich
    April 10, 2019 / 11:46 pm

    We love taking the monorail to the deluxe resorts there and seeing the decorations! It’s always so beautiful.

    • Shan
      April 11, 2019 / 8:30 am

      We’ve discovered doing this and love it too! So fun!


  14. Julie I Aloha Lovely
    April 27, 2019 / 11:25 am

    Thank you for all the tips! We did Disneyland and Tokyo Disney last year and hope to do Disney World this year, you really gotta have some tricks up your sleeve to make the cost bearable!

    • Shan
      April 27, 2019 / 1:05 pm

      You are certainly welcome! I love it. You are right – it adds up quickly!!!


  15. Mommy Peach
    April 27, 2019 / 8:06 pm

    Great hacks and thanks for the tips. Will definitely keep this in mind when I go to Disney World.

    • Shan
      April 28, 2019 / 5:17 pm

      Thanks so much! Glad it was helpful!


  16. Carly
    April 27, 2019 / 10:40 pm

    I love these hacks! We will definitely use them when we go to Disney soon. The food and souvenirs are SO expensive!

    • Shan
      April 28, 2019 / 5:17 pm

      Yay! Glad it was helpful, Carly. Have fun!!!


  17. Angela Cardamone
    April 29, 2019 / 6:58 am

    We are huge Disney fans and have a DVC membership! We almost always go during off-season for savings and it is less crowded!!

    • Shan
      April 29, 2019 / 7:12 am

      Oh, what a joy that must be to be a DVC member! How Fun! Yes, off-season is the ticket!


  18. Jackie
    April 29, 2019 / 5:37 pm

    We are planning our first trip to Disney and I am overwhelmed by all the decisions. Thanks for the tips!

    • Shan
      April 29, 2019 / 7:08 pm

      Oh, how exciting, Jackie! I sure hope this helped. I have other Disney articles as well and be sure to reach out if I can help further.


  19. Laura
    May 3, 2019 / 6:05 pm

    Ha, #4 is definitely a big one, but my dream is to one day be rich enough that I can go to Disney world and eat all my meals in the park. A girl can dream!

    • Shan
      May 6, 2019 / 9:23 am

      OOOOO, Laura, wouldn’t that be fun to not have to worry at all and just eat to your heart’s content?! haha We can all dream!


  20. Paula I'm Busy Being Awesome
    July 9, 2019 / 9:51 am

    They sound like really great hacks, I’ll have to keep them around for the next trip

    • Shan
      July 9, 2019 / 2:09 pm

      Glad they are helpful. Every cent counts because they do add up in the happiest place on earth! 🙂


  21. jenna | the urben life
    July 9, 2019 / 10:40 am

    Really awesome tips!! We love Disney and I can’t wait to plan another trip out there. We’ve stayed at All Star Movies Resort and loved being on site. We tried to save by bringing in our own snacks and reusing our water bottles.

    • Shan
      July 9, 2019 / 2:09 pm

      Yay, Jenna! Us too! It really is so much fun and hard not to fall in love while in the Disney “bubble!” haha Glad it was useful.


  22. Leigh Suznovich
    July 9, 2019 / 9:53 pm

    My husband and I love going to Disney World but it is expensive! I especially love your hack about the souvenirs. I never buy apparel in the parks and love doing the pressed pennies to keep!

    • Shan
      July 10, 2019 / 4:11 pm

      Thanks so much, Leigh for your kind words. Glad it was helpful. We’ve got to save when we can!!


  23. Rosemary
    July 10, 2019 / 2:46 pm

    These are great Disney hacks. I especially love the idea of taking time out to “chill” and explore other attractions in Florida. Great tip on eating elsewhere for dinner as well.

    • Shan
      July 10, 2019 / 4:11 pm

      Thanks, Rosemary. We adore Disney and can’t wait to get back to the parks very soon. Glad you loved the hacks.


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