How to Budget for a Walt Disney World Vacation: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

How to Budget for your Walt disney World Vacation

When 2017 Walt Disney World Vacation Package Pricing came in 2016, prices went up. Price increases shouldn’t discourage you from planning a vacation. NOW is a great time to think about and plan how to budget for your next Walt Disney World Vacation. Want to know WHY you should plan your vacation now rather than later? Soar into 2018 with your plans set and have one less thing to worry about next year. If you plan and book now, you have between 5 months to 16 months to budget, save up, and pay for your 2018 vacation.

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A Disney Magic Your Way Vacation Package includes your resort, park tickets and optional dining plans. This package allows your family to benefit from the many perks Disney gives its guests. These Perks include:

  • Free Airport Transportation Via Disney’s Magical Express
  • Free Resort to Park Transportation via Bus, Boat or Monorail
  • Free Resort and Theme Park Parking
  • No Resort Fees
  • Extra Magic Hours at the Parks When Only Open to Resort Guests
  • Earlier Window to Make Attraction FastPass Reservations than Non Resort Guests
  • Being on closer to the parks and attractions than non-resort guests
  • Magical Extras – Discounts to some restaurants, shopping, and recreational extras



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Plan Ahead To Lock In Current Rates:

While spring break, summer, fall or the holiday season might seem like a long way away, now is the best time to plan for your next Walt Disney World vacation. You will the most options for resorts and accommodations the further out the further out from your vacation. Once decided, you can lock in your resort of choice and the type of room at the current rate with as little as a $200 deposit.

Low Deposit:

Disney’s vacation Magic Your Way Vacation Packages let you pick the vacation you want – resort, accommodations, tickets, and dining.  Once you decide on your vacation package options to meet your needs, you can place a deposit on your package. No matter WHAT the size of the package, your deposit is only $200 per resort room. This deposit will guarantee your room and the rate when booked. If ticket prices go up or dining prices go up, you are locked in to the prices that were in place when you booked your trip.

Pay as you like:

The balance is due on your Walt Disney World Vacation Package is 30 days prior to arrival. You are free to pay the balance on the day due, OR you can pay it in increments up until the due date as needed with no hidden interest or finance charges.

Fully Refundable Up to 31 Days Prior to Arrival:

The deposit is also VERY flexible in that it is 100% full refundable up until 31 days prior to your arrival date on your vacation. For vacation packages, this includes your park tickets. If you purchase your park tickets alone, they are NON-refundable and expire the end of the next calendar year. If you have to cancel your vacation package 30 days or less than your arrival date, never fear, your package is refundable less a cancellation fee.

Flexible Payments Accepted:

Yes, you can pay your vacation with a major credit card or more than one credit card too if you need to. Did you know you can also use Disney Gift Cards towards vacation payment?  Target Red Card holders can purchase Disney Gift Cards with automatic 5% savings, so when you use the Target Red Card purchased gift card towards your vacation, you are getting 5% off!  Be forewarned though, IF you need to cancel and you have paid with Disney Gift Cards, your refund will be how you paid….so if you paid with gift cards, refunds are back to the gift card.

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Disney Vacation Account:

Want to self budget your trip?  Disney offers Disney Vacation Accounts you can use to pay deposits and payments on vacation.  Set up a your Disney Vacation account for free and deposit money in your account as you wish. There are NO fees with Disney Vacation accounts and you can request full withdrawal at any time.  You’ll be eligible for a $20 Disney Gift Card for every $1000 you spend on qualified vacation purchases with your Disney Vacation Account prior to December 31, 2017 (date subject to extension), up to a total $500 in Disney Gift Card(s) per household.

Trip Insurance Coverage:

Did you know when you purchase optional trip insurance with your Walt Disney World Vacation Package airline tickets are covered with the insurance?  YES, even if you did not purchase your airfare through Disney as part of your package and purchased airfare separately, your airfare is COVERED!  Trip insurance often covers more than just the resort and tickets, so its wise to consider for peace of mind the cost of insurance when planning a vacation as you never know what life might throw your way.

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Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess


Disney’s Cheapskate Princess


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Call Mike at 919-606-6725 or e-mail him at

Amanda Major CheapskatePrincess.comAmanda Major is the creator of She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.

Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast. 

We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Travel Consultant with Pixie Vacations, Mike Ellis. You can also e-mail him at