Disney Resorts on a Budget

When planning your Walt Disney World vacation, there are so many things to take into consideration to maximize your trip and your money that it is easy to overlook or not even to consider so many things. One of those things, whether or not to stay on Disney property.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village

For some people this is a no-brainer, for others there are a lot of factors that come into play and for still others, they don’t even consider the option. So what is right for you. In this post, we are going to take a look at how to stay on property for less.

Cost is probably the most significant factor that goes in to determining not to stay on property. When you take a look at some of the off-property options, it is easy to write-off a stay at any of the Disney resorts in favor of an off-property option. It’s true, staying at a Disney resort can come at a premium but it doesn’t have to.

pop centuryThere are several on-property resorts that can be booked for a steal. Art of Animation and Pop Century are two of these less expensive resorts. These options are NOT premium resorts and you should know that going in. Magic comes at a price but these options provide a bed and perks of staying on property but on on budget. There are perks that come with these resorts that you simply won’t find when you stay off-property and that can result in saving big time bucks on your trip.

These resorts are called moderate resorts and you can book these, even at peak Disney times, typically for less than $200 a night. These resorts still come with complimentary transportation to and from each Disney Park, Disney Springs and all throughout Disney property. Staying at these resorts, you get your complimentary mug that can be refilled at any quick service location throughout Disney property, which can really save you money in the beverage department and you, of course have access to all of the Disney amenities including pools.

fort wilderness
Fort Wilderness Lodge

On top of that, you also have early magic hours for the parks. Early magic hours allow you to access certain Walt Disney World theme parks earlier than all of the guests staying off property. You get an extra hour before the park opens and an extra hour after the park closes that no guest staying off property has access to. This could mean getting into Animal Kingdom early in order to get on Flight of Passage, getting to Epcot for Frozen Ever After or Magic Kingdom for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

contemporary cntraveler
Contemporary Resort photo courtesy of CNTraveler.com

Another great option for staying on property is to seek out hotels that are undergoing improvements. In 2016, my husband and I were able to snag a week at Animal Kingdom Kidani Village for the price of Pop Century because the resort was undergoing major renovations. Many people feel that this takes away from the magic of Disney and prefer not to stay on properties that are undergoing improvements but for us, it gave us the opportunity to stay at an incredible premium resort for a fraction of the price and we did not feel jipped out of any magic.

beach clubThe truth is Disney goes to great lengths to ensure every guest is happy and that means that workers adhere to strict guidelines on all Disney properties and guests see very little of the construction and hear even less of it. You will be able to see that there is work going on; large tarps and fences are erected to contain the work within those walls and if you think that is an eyesore and a discounted room at a premium resort is not a worth a large wall and a few beeps of trucks backing up, then avoid staying at these resorts. But for the rest of us, this is a prime opportunity to snag a what could be a once in a lifetime experience at these incredible resorts.

Polynesian Resort

My last tip for staying on property on a budget is to search for deals. Do you research. Disney, just like any other destination has peak times. Peak times like winter break, summer and holidays are going to come with a premium price, even for moderate resorts. Find times that are less crowded like January and the beginning of the school year and check for discounts being offered during that time. Sometimes you can even stumble onto discounted park tickets or meal plans offered during these times to bump numbers and encourage guests to travel during off-peak times. If you are flexible when you can plan your trip, you are far more likely to come across amazing deals than if you go into it having certain dates in mind.

grand flor
Grand Floridian Photo courtesy of DVCRentals.com

So there you have it, tips and tricks for staying on property for less. I hope that this has helped you in your Disney vacation planning. Please leave a comment and be sure to follow the page to be notified when new posts are up! Thank you for stopping by, we’ll see ya’ real soon and for the love of the mouse never forget, that it all started with a mouse.

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