How much does a Disney vacation cost? We regularly hear from people that Disney is too expensive and that they have to save for a long time to go on their big trip. We’ve even heard that one local agent says you need $10,000 for a Disney trip. THAT IS COMPLETELY OUTRAGEOUS! It is true that a trip to Disney can cost a lot of money, but it doesn’t have to.
Here is a sampling of some of the offers that Disney has released in the past that could make your Disney vacation very affordable. Make sure you talk to your local travel agent to see if any of these or others might apply to your trip.
OFFER #1: 20% OF PARK TICKETS FOR CANADIANS
For the past two years Disney has offered a similar discount of 20% to 25% off tickets. We think this offer has the potential to save you significantly. There is usually a deadline to purchase and pay in full and sometimes also a deadline to travel. However, sometimes you can buy the tickets by that deadline and then wait to purchase the rest of your trip when you are ready. This allows you to keep your travel dates flexible. You have to show proof of your Canadian citizenship when you arrive at the parks for the first time.
|OFFER #2: UP TO 25% OFF RESORT ROOMS
This discount is periodically offered and one that you should make sure to ask your travel agent about because it could make your vacation very affordable. The more expensive resorts qualified for more of a discount but even 10% off a value resort can equal big savings. When this offer was live, we saw rooms for $110 per night at Pop Century. Some specialty rooms didn’t qualify, like the Little Mermaid Suites or Port Orleans French Quarter but with over 30,000 on-property rooms, you were likely to find one that fit your budget.
|OFFER#1+#2 = AMAZING!||Disney allows some discounts to be combined. And when you saved 25% off your park tickets and up to 25% off your room, the savings were really significant.|
OFFER #3: FREE DINING
This is one offer that many people anticipate all year. In fact, Disney’s phone lines went crazy the last time Free Dining was announced. For 2017, if you were planning a trip to Walt Disney World from August 21 to September 30, November 14 to 20, November 25 to 27 or December 8 to 23, 2017 you would have qualified for this offer. It is hard to say if this offer will be available around similar times for 2018 but we hope so. Free Dining is limited to certain days and certain resorts. Because it can`t be combined with other offers and it doesn’t include gratuities, it may not actually be the cheapest option. But we can’t argue that eating for free feels great. It can also make budgeting easier because you can pay off many of your meals before you travel. Free dining is especially nice if you plan to eat at lots of character meals or if you have big eaters in your party. This deal will go QUICK. Some restrictions apply.
TRAVEL WHEN THEY ARE LITTLE
Kids under 3 are free. This means you don’t pay extra for them to stay in your room, go to the parks or to eat on the meal plan. Children under 3 don’t need park tickets. And if you purchase a dining plan option, children under three can just eat off your plate. We actually took advantage of this when our oldest was two years old. We would order meals for ourselves that he would like too and the waiter would give us a plate so we could share our food with him. While we sometimes had to choose our second favourite meal, it meant that we weren’t paying for food for a little guy who was too excited to eat. The portions were always generous enough to fill us up.
A kid is 9 and under. Once your child turns 10 years old they are considered an adult and you will pay more for their accommodation, dining plan and park tickets. Our next Disney trip is planned before our son turns 10 to take advantage of those child prices.
DON’T WAIT FOR A NEW OFFER
You don’t have to wait for a discount to be announced to book your trip. Offers can be added to your trip right up until you travel. We’ve seen savings of $600 by adding offers after travel was booked.
CHANGES ARE OKAY!
When you book with a travel agent, you can modify and even cancel your trip up to 30 days before your travel date with no penalty. This is not true with all Disney wholesalers (like Costco).
PAYMENT PLANS WITH NO INTEREST
Booking with a travel agent allows you to budget. You can secure your Disney trip with a $200 deposit. Then you can make interest free payments of any amount at the time that works for you. The remainder of your balance will be due 30 days before check in. A good agent should be happy to set up a personalized payment plan for you and send you payment reminders. There is nothing better than paying off your trip before you have even boarded the plane.
TIMING IS KEY
Perhaps one of the best ways to save money is plan your trip during the summer or in September. Even the first few weeks of December and January can be very budget friendly. As an added bonus these times have fewer crowds so you can see more of the parks. Travelling over any holiday automatically increases prices and wait times in the parks. We recently found a 5 day trip in August that would cost $910 per person with the dining plan!
We love Disney for family vacations because there is so much to do and such amazing service. We have traveled to other places with our kids but our experiences at Disney have been so much better. There is no time like right now to start planning your trip.
We’ve also complied our best tips to save money at the parks.
All prices are listed in USD and are subject to availability.
Video on Value Resorts: