Disney World on a Budget: Resorts and Travel

To close out this series, let’s look at the resorts and the least expensive way to get there.

Let’s start with getting to the resort. Some people prefer flying, while others would prefer to drive. If you can’t drive there in 2 days, it’s probably best to fly when you factor in days off of work and the time you’ll spend in the car. However, if you can get there in 2 days or less, then driving is probably going to be the cheapest option. In addition to being cheaper, it has several other benefits. If you’ve got kids, you can pack all the extras in a vehicle that you wouldn’t be able to put on an airplane. Think stroller. In addition to that, having a vehicle gives you flexibility when you’re down there. Run out of diapers? Just run to the store and get some more.

Once you’re down there, should you stay on Disney property or not? If you’re looking for the cheapest option, staying off property is probably your best option. If you want to get the dining plan, staying on property is your only option. One added benefits to staying on property is the transportation system. If you fly into Orlando, the Disney Magical Express can transport you directly to your resort. Once you’re at your Disney resort, you can use the Disney buses, monorail, and boat system to get around all at no cost. If you prefer to drive your vehicle to the parks, you can park for free if you’re staying at Disney resorts. Otherwise, you should expect to shell out some big money to park each day.

Disney has resorts for all price ranges. They are divided into 4 different categories from least to most expensive: Value, Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villa.

As you go up in price, you get certain benefits and better amenities. For example, more expensive resorts are usually closer to certain theme parks like the Magic Kingdom. The resorts that are the least expensive usually have the most people staying at them, which means that the buses are usually filled more than the ones going to the moderate resorts and above. You also have extra transportation options at the more expensive resorts, such as boats and the monorail. We’ve stayed at one value resort and 2 moderate resorts in the times we’ve been there. The moderate resort rooms are a bit bigger and you can tell that there is more attention given to them. I’m sure the deluxe and deluxe villa rooms are even better. If you’re looking for a great room at a lower price, check out http://www.dvcrequest.com where you can buy points from Disney Vacation Club members when they can’t use them. This could get you a Deluxe or Deluxe Villa room at a Value or Moderate price. Definitely worth checking out and something I will certainly be looking into the next time we stay.

I haven’t stayed off property, but I know some of them offer transportation to the theme parks. However, they are usually on the outskirts of the Disney property so you will likely spend more time waiting for buses and more time on them once they arrive.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series on planning a Disney World trip, making the most of it, and saving some money in the process. I’ve pulled from my personal experience when writing this. If you ask my wife, she’ll tell you that I get way to into this stuff.

If you’ve made a trip to Disney World, let me know about your experience in the comments below. If you have any questions related to planning your Disney trip, leave those as well and I’ll point you in the right direction. Most importantly, have fun!

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