Disney on a Budget

For those that aren’t aware, a Walt Disney World vacation can cost a small fortune. Some people have referenced it being the same price as a trip to Tahiti or the Bahamas or Europe…you name it. Being the cheap person that I am, (so cheap that I went 10 years without buying trash bags) I have figured out some ways to make Disney cheaper. Here’s an insight into my cheap ways:

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Animal Kingdom – Day 2!

Despite the constant rain all day long, we had a wonderful second day at Animal Kingdom! We saw so many animals on our Safaris adventure because it wasn’t very hot, so the animals were out and about. We even got stuck for about 10 minutes and enjoyed listening to the lion roaring for a bit before he retired to  his throne! It was so neat!!

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Animal Kingdom!!

I absolutely LOVE Animal Kingdom because it is such a great opportunity to learn about all kinds of animals! This is a homeschool mom’s dream field trip! We had such a great time and could’ve spent many more hours there! We did Kali River Rapids, Flights of Wonder, Lion King, and much, much, more!

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Feelin’ Happier Already!

For those of you that don’t know, Duraburb, Inc. just happens to be located in Apopka, Florida. Apopka just so happens to be about an hour from the happiest place on Earth!!! So, of course we had to plan a Walt Disney World vacation in conjunction with our Suburban drop off! Duh! Actually, it was a complete shot in the dark, but totally paid off and appeared planned to perfection!

Since we were dropping off the Suburban, which is obviously our first choice for road trips, we had to fit everything for the trip into the hubby’s car. Yikes! I have a new found respect for those earth friendly Sedan families out there! I also learned why stroller rental companies are so incredibly profitable. Here I thought it was just for families who fly into Orlando, but it’s really for those people who are less crazy than us and want to use their trunk for actual luggage and not a huge jogging stroller! Lesson learned, but we made it fit! Check it out!

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All set up with our newest library books! I highly recommend hitting up your local library prior to any road trip! We were stocked with tons of books and audio books! These are a staple for any road trip for us!

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After a long rainy drive in two separate cars prior to dropping of the Suburban, we are finally here!!! WooHoo!!!

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How to Plan a Disney World Vacation

Walt Disney World is one of those vacations you can’t go in all laissez-faire and have a relaxing vacation. If I’m being brutally honest, Disney isn’t really a relaxing vacation at all. It is wonderful, fun-filled, action packed, and enjoyable all at the same time! Sure you can relax in France and have a glass of wine with creme brulee, or margaritas and tacos in Mexico. However, you should be prepared that you’ll want a vacation after your Disney vacation if you do it right! 😉 This is coming from someone who loved Disney before and after kids! It is a blast at any age!

I started planning this particular trip over 6 months in advance. First, you pick a date, pick a hotel or campground, purchase tickets, figure out which parks to go for each day, where to eat at those parks, and last but not least, choose your fast passes and park itinerary. We made hotel reservations first, purchased the tickets and linked them with any family members or friends who may be joining, made dining reservations, and made fast pass reservations all over those 6 months. Before beginning this 6 month planning adventure, I first did all my pre-planning.

For my pre-planning, I use WDW Prep School and Kenny The Pirate for everything. I use their crowd calendars to determine what month and week to book our trip, which park is best for the days we will be there, and even the park hours and extra park hours for those staying on the property. I personally, only go to Disney World when the crowd rating is under a 6/10 and only go to parks that are yellow or green. I REFUSE to go when it’s red which is in the summer or during holidays. You can go to Disney World when the crowd calendar is a 4/10, but Magic Kingdom may still be “red” one day because they have a special event that day. Epcot is mostly red the entire length of the Food and Wine Festival, but I highly suggest attending that!

WDW Prep School also has a Facebook group where you can ask questions once a week and get answers from someone who truly knows what they’re doing! I highly recommend stalking their Facebook pages a year prior to beginning to plan your vacation. You’ll learn when and how to book the best and most popular restaurants, rides, etc. For example, on our last trip I learned that Be Our Guest Restaurant, which was impossible to get a reservation at for lunch and dinner, had just started serving breakfast beginning a few days before our trip. We were able to snag a reservation and absolutely LOVED the meal and the experience! Another great suggestion is to make breakfast reservations as early as possible so you can get into the park prior to the official opening that day. This gives you the opportunity to walk around without tons of people everywhere. We were able to snap pictures in front of the castle with hardly anybody in the background, which is such a rare opportunity!

Another great planning tool that is a necessity is the Disney World app called “My Disney Experience”. You can use this at your desktop or on your phone. I booked our dining reservations online so I could print off the confirmations since sometimes you have to input your credit card information. However, I used the app to reserve all our FastPasses because it is so easy to use! You can also link your tickets if traveling with extended family and/or friends, that way you can reserve fast passes for the entire group all at once. Also, if you purchase the Memory Maker Photo Package, you can see each others photos without actually having to be together for every picture.

That’s about all I have as far as a quick guide on how to plan a Walt Disney World trip! Please comment below if you have more specific questions, or suggestions for other readers! Sharing is caring ya’ll! 🙂