Disney World budget travel guide

Disney World on a Budget: Top 8 Ways to Save Money

In Florida, North America, United States by Sheena25 Comments

The Happiest Place on Earth doesn’t come cheap… we show you where to buy the cheapest tickets & all the essential tips you need to spend absolutely no money in the parks!

#1. Buy the Cheapest Discount Tickets with Undercover Tourist

We spent 7 days at the Happiest Place on Earth! Why? Because Disney is for adults too!

Buy your Disney World tickets in advance with an authorised ticket seller such as Undercover Tourist – they have the best reputation & cheapest prices, save $13 on the gate price.

Undercover Tourist often has a promotion for a “4 Day Ticket + extra day.” This means that you receive a 5 Day Ticket for the same price as a 4 Day Ticket (Magic Your Way & Park-Hopper only).

For prices & more information, see our post Disney World: How to Buy the Cheapest Discount Tickets.

Screenshot of Undercover Tourist website
Find the cheapest discount Disney World tickets on the Undercover Tourist website

#2. Stay at the Cheapest Budgets Hotels

The cheapest way to enjoy Disney World is to stay at a hotel that offers free shuttle services to/from the parks.

You can find many budget hotels with shuttle services along W. Irlo Bronson Hwy in Kissimmee.

Prices start at $30 a night with 2 double beds, for 2 adults & 2 children – many booking sites or hotels offering discounts for longer stays.

For more information, see our post Kissimmee Budget Hotels & Free Disney World Shuttles.

Continental Plaza Kissimmee
The Continental Plaza was one of the cheapest hotels in Kissimmee. Credit: Andrew Simpson

#3. Take the Free Hotel Shuttles

The cheapest way to travel to/from Disney World is by using the free hotel shuttle services offered by many Kissimmee budget hotels.

These shuttles only run a few times a day & make many stops, but you won’t have to worry about the costs & hassles of renting a car, parking, taxis and/or Uber.

For the ultimate savings, use your hotel’s free shuttles & your transportation to & from the theme parks is absolutely free!

For more information, see our post Kissimmee Budget Hotels & Free Disney World Shuttles.

Kissimmee hotel free Disney shuttle
Choose a hotel with free shuttle services to Disney World. Credit: Photo courtesy Hampton Inn Orlando.

#4. Bring Your Own Food & Water

Eating & drinking at Disney World is very over-priced so save money by bringing your own food & water.

There are supermarkets, convenience stores & fast-food restaurants within walking distances of most of the budget hostels along W. Irlo Bronson Hwy in Kissimmee.

Pack bananas & muffins for breakfasts, sandwiches for lunch & dinner and chips, chocolates & fruit for snacks throughout the day.

Bring along a filtered water bottle that you can fill-up with at the tap & have safe water to drink at any time – we recommend using LifeStraw.

For more information, see our post Disney Dining on a Budget: BYO Food & Free Drink Tips!

BYO Sandwiches to Disney
Save money by bringing supermarket sandwiches & rolls to Disney World. Credit: The Telegraph.

#5. Enjoy Free Drinks

You don’t need to go thirsty at Disney World – there are water fountains around the parks & counter-service restaurants or snack stalls will also give out cups of ice-water for free.

If you’re at Epcot, be sure to visit Club Cool in Future World, where you can try different soft drinks from the world. Help yourself to the self-serve dispensers & sample flavours from Peru to Japan and Greece.

For more information, see our post Disney Dining on a Budget: BYO Food & Free Drink Tips!

Club Cool free drinks at Epcot
Sample free soft drinks from around the world at Club Cool in Epcot. Credit: Diswhiz

#6. Use FastPass+ to Join Express Lines

Take advantage of the free FastPass+ system at Disney World to gain express entry to your favourite rides, attractions, character greetings & viewing areas for parades & fireworks

You can make 3 reservations a day, all must be at the same park. For each booking, you are allocated a 1 hour window where you can enter an express lane for your chosen ride or experience. I know it is hard to keep track of all these Disney Fastpass secrets, but keep reading for a few more!

Once you have made use of your 3 reservations, you can make more FastPass selections at special FastPass+ kiosks around the park.

You can create an account on the Disney World website but the easiest way is to download the My Disney Experience app to your phone. Link the accounts of the people you’ll be visiting with, so you can all have the same reservations.

You can make FastPass+ reservations between 30-60 days in advance & change them at any time.The earlier you make your selections, the more choices of available times & attractions you have.

Fastpass at Splash Mountain
Fastpass holders get express entry to their selected attraction. Credit: Theme Park Insider

#7. Pick-up Special Occasion Buttons as Free Souvenirs

Many people celebrate special occasions at Disney World – if this is you, pick up a free button to commemorate & celebrate!

Disney offers Special Occasion buttons to mark many milestones. These include:

  • Happy Birthday
  • Happy Anniversary
  • 1st Visit
  • Just Married
  • Family Reunion

Head to Guest Services to pick-up any or all of these buttons.

Even if you’re not celebrating anything, go ahead & grab a button anyway. Why? Because YOU are special & this is your free Disney World souvenir!

Disney special occasion button
Pick-up a Special Occasion Button as a free souvenir! Credit: WDW Info

#8. Take Advantage of Other Free Services

  • Free wifi
  • Free maps
  • Kids under 3 eat free at Disney restaurants
  • Free PhotoPass
  • Free snack samples on Main Street, USA in Magic Kingdom
Disney World 2016 map
Free Disney World maps are available at every park. Credit: WDW Magic

Find more inspiration in one of the Disney guide books below!

Got your Disney tickets? You don't have to spend a cent more once you're in the park. Find out the best Disney secrets and hacks to the cheapest ever DIY Disney vacation #disney #disneyworld #disneyhacks #diytravel
If you've bought your Disney tickets in advance visiting Disney doesn't have to cost you a cent more! Find out the best Disney hacks and secrets to the cheapest ever DIY Disney vacation #disney #disneyworld #disneyhacks #diytravel
Planning a trip to Disney World? Check our our list of Disney World tips and tricks and find out how to save money on Disney World food, tickets, accommodation and more #disneyworld #disney

*** The Final Word: Follow these tips & you won’t have to spend any money at Disney World! ***

Do you have any other money-saving tips for Disney World?

Visited in January 2016

Cover image photos courtesy of Hello Disneyland, Orlando Vacation, Military Disney Tips, Chip and Co.Spilling Coffee, Foodspotting, Hotel Coupons & WDW Info.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means that we receive a small commission if you click on a link & purchase something that we’ve recommended, at no extra cost to you.


  1. These tips were actually really handy, as I’ma person who saves every possible penny. Especially the secret tourist option!

    1. Author

      Another tip is to sign up for Timeshare presentations… we didn’t have time to look into this but it seems like you can get awesome deals, if you know what pitfalls to watch out for beforehand…

  2. How much would you recommend budgeting for a family of four? $30 a night for a motel room is pretty good.

    1. Author

      The hotels in Kissimmee are really great value. For a family of 4 for 5 days including base tickets, budget hotel, free hotel shuttle, BYO food & spending no money in the parks, you’d be looking at a minimum of $2300…

  3. I remember my trip. I had taken food and water along.
    Excellent money saving tips there, may be I could have saved more had I read this post prior to y visit.

  4. Such great tips! Expenses can really add up when visiting Disney so these tips will definitely come in handy in keeping the budget under control. I also like the handy maps to be downloaded. It is good to have a plan when going to Disney as the place is so large. Wouldn’t want to spend the day lost for sure.

    1. Author

      Downloading park maps is a great tip! We picked some up at the hotel before going to the parks & it helped a lot with planning our days & to get a sense of how big & where everything was. You can really waste a lot of time otherwise & there’s already so much to see & do at Disney!

  5. Disney is fun anywhere in the world. We had a great time when we were at Disneyland, Hong Kong, last year. These tips are really helpful as you can have a whale of a time and also make it cost effective.

  6. These are great trips especially for those who’d be coming to the Disney World for the first time. I know from experience that visiting theme parks can be expensive, so listing tips from getting tickets to choosing accommodation is really helpful. 🙂 I’ll try to remember this since I have a lot of nephews and nieces who might one day go to Disney World.

  7. Wow! Awesome hacks for Disney World! What’s your favorite ride?
    Theme parks can get really expensive esp with the food because of all the rides.

  8. Wow! These tips are really helpful and I would use this one day if ever I would come visit Disneyland (like who does not like to go to Disneyland, right?) I’ve heard there are also amazing rides there. What do you think would be perfect for first-timers if ever? 🙂

    1. Author

      I’d probably say get a 5 or 7 day pass – there are 4 huge parks, so having a few extra days means you have time to take it a little slower & go back to your favourite ones 🙂

  9. I’ve been to Disney in Hong Kong and in Tokyo, but still haven’t been to the U.S. one. I picked Six Flags theme park over than when I visited the U.S. I’ll definitely go to Disney when I return. Thanks to your helpful tips I’m sure I’ll have a grand time when I go.

    1. Author

      I’m the opposite, I’ve been to Disneyland California but really keen to go to one outside the US next. I want to go to Six Flags too, they seem to have more extreme rides. Good luck!

  10. We are going there this winter so these are awesome tips! As a family of 5, we are always looking for more ways to save!

  11. I visited HK Disneyland but this is the theme park I really want to visit. Thanks for the tips! I’m sharing this one!

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