Walt Disney World On a Budget

How to save on hotels, food, attractions and souvenirs at this Orlando theme park.
 

Photo by brocreative/Thinkstock

Wondering how you can save money at Orlando’s Walt Disney World Resort, no pixie dust required? We’ve got a few suggestions.

Stay at The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

Reserve a tent or pop-up campsite for US$55 a night at The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Located in a 750-acre pine and cypress forest minutes away from Magic Kingdom and Epcot, the campsite’s amenities include a picnic table and grill, transportation to the parks and Orlando airport, a pool area with a 67-foot water slide, nightly campfire activities and tons more.

disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts

Eat at Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Epcot

Try the loaded Greek tots (US$8.49) at The Friar’s Nook in Magic Kingdom Park for lunch, then hop over to Animal Kingdom’s Tamu Tamu Refreshments to snack on a Pineapple Dole Whip Cup (US$4.49 or US$7 for a coconut rum version). For supper, Epcot’s Joy of Tea serves the Lucky Combo: a curry chicken pocket, egg roll, pop and your choice of caramel ginger or strawberry red bean ice cream for US$10.98.

disneyworld.disney.go.com

Go to Disney Springs

Take a day off from the parks and stroll through Disney’s outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment complex. Ride on the Marketplace Carousel (US$2), check out waterfront dance parties, munch on free chocolate samples at The Ganachery and build all sorts of creations at The LEGO Store.

disneysprings.com

Get unique souvenirs at Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios

Sign up for the free interactive role-playing game Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom at the Firehouse on Main Street U.S.A. to receive five collectable Spell Cards featuring Disney characters. Or volunteer the Padawans (a.k.a. kids) for Jedi training at Hollywood Studios and receive a personalized certificate perfect for framing.

disneyworld.disney.go.com

Explore Animal Kingdom Lodge 

Head to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge for a free daily tour of its Boma – Flavors of Africa and Jiko – The Cooking Place restaurants. Hotel guests and non-guests can learn about the intricate African-inspired theming and sample breads, soups and coffee-flavoured Zebra Domes. After dark, head outside to the savanna overlook and borrow night vision goggles from a Disney naturalist to spot the creatures that roam around the resort.

disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/animal-kingdom-lodge

See entertainment at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Take the monorail to Disney’s Contemporary Resort to watch Magic Kingdom’s Happily Ever After fireworks display. The hotel’s fourth floor balcony blares the show’s music and offers great views of the fireworks. Afterwards, head to the Contemporary’s waterfront to check out the Electrical Water Pageant parade where brightly lit sea creatures float by. (Schedules vary so check online for times.)

disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/contemporary-resort