Posts Tagged With: magical express

My Top 5 WDW Money Saving Tips


As much as I love Walt Disney World, I am the first to admit – it is NOT a cheap place to visit – Resort room, park tickets, food, souvenirs, transportation, incidentals…it all adds up QUICK. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help lessen the financial burden that comes with planning a WDW vacation. Check out my top WDW money saving tips:

Sharing Is Caring: WDW has some seriously amazing food – they serve up every style of cuisine you can imagine, and it’s all delicious. Much of it is also very LARGE – their portions tend to be big, and this can be a big plus for you budget-conscious travelers. Many meals are so large that they can be easily shared by two children or even two adults. Check out some sharable meal/snack options here

Stay at a Value Resort: Walt Disney World has a TON of hotels on property, and all offer amazing service and helpful staff, but some are definitely fancier (ie – more expensive!) than others. There are Deluxe, Moderate, and Value level Resorts – with corresponding price levels as well. If you’re on a budget, the Value Resorts are the way to go for you and your family. They are all great places to stay (I should know, as I have stayed at all 5!), and while the rooms are pretty standard (nothing fancy, no frills), they are quite a bit cheaper than the other WDW Resorts, so if cost is your bottom line, the Value Resorts are worth checking out
*Bonusstaying on property will also help save on transportation costs – as Resort guests get complimentary shuttles to/from the Orlando airport via Disney’s Magical Express, and they are also able to utilize all on-site transportation options (boats/monorails/buses) free of cost as well

Plan Ahead: Anything you can do in advance will help you in the long run – researching restaurants (including costs, menus, etc), making lists of things to bring, checking out which rides/shows/foods your family might like, and just overall knowing the lay of the land will help avoid impulse purchases and unnecessary spending (buying a $4 bottle of water when there’s a bathroom/water fountain right around the corner, for example…)

Set A Budget: Use that research and those “planning ahead” skills to come up with rough estimates for costs of: airfare/gas, rental car, food, drinks, hotel, park tickets, and incidentals. Set a souvenir budget for your kids, and one for yourself too – and then make sure you stick to it – no matter HOW much they beg for “just ONE MORE PIN!”, or that giant balloon/stuffed animal/hoodie – trust me, your wallet will thank you – as souvenirs are pretty expensive at WDW, and the cost of just “one more thing” per person adds up QUICKLY

Pack Smart: In addition to making a list FAR in advance of items to pack, I suggest you start packing way in advance too. A few weeks before my trip I will print out my packing list (yes, I type it – don’t judge), and set my suitcase out with items I know I won’t need again before my trip. I also have some “must pack” items – ponchos, sunscreen, park-friendly snacks (trail mix, granola bars, etc – another big money saver!), a water bottle, and comfortable sneakers
Packing Tip – I wear all my “bulkiest” items when flying to save precious suitcase space: sneakers, jeans, and a hoodie are all a part of my standard travel attire, which leaves me more room for other necessities in my bags

Hopefully you can use some (or all!) of the above advice to help you save money on what can otherwise turn into a VERY costly Walt Disney World Trip – and even though I try and save money whenever possible and am all about budgeting, I know that a Disney vacation is worth every penny in the end – the fun you’ll have and the memories you’ll make are items you can’t put a price tag on

Categories: Adult Walt Disney World, Disney Food, Disney Restaurants, Disney Rides/Attractions, Disney Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

So How Much Does A Disney Trip REALLY Cost?

Statue Castle

I talk a LOT about how amazing Walt Disney World is, how it’s a vacation you will never forget that is worth every penny, and I truly believe this.

But you may be wondering….exactly how many pennies will it take to get there? I have mentioned before that it’s not a cheap vacation, and that you will want to plan ahead and save up for it. How much saving, you ask? Well, for 2 adult travelers it goes something like this:

Lodging – You can expect to pay around $100 per night for a room at a WDW Value Resort, for a total of around $750 for 7 nights. The Value Resorts are the cheapest on property, and are nothing amazing, but we love them – they are fun, playful, and more than adequate for a place to rest your head. If you are looking for something a little more luxurious, Disney has PLENTY more options in their Moderate and Deluxe Resort Categories

Park Tickets – Adding a 6 day Park Hopper Ticket to your Disney Resort Stay as a “Package” will cost around $60 per person, per day (this is one easy way to save money, by purchasing a 6 day ticket instead of a 7 day ticket- as you probably won’t have time to enjoy 7 full days in the Parks due to travel times etc), for a total of $720

Dining – approx $56 per day, per person, for a total of $780 for the week. This Disney Dining Plan includes one Counter service meal (similar to a fast food restaurant), one snack, and one table service meal per day, per person – which is more than enough for us! Portions tend to be large, and a table service could be a buffet if you choose, so you certainly won’t go hungry!

Transportation – This one is tricky, because it all depennds on where you live and how you plan on getting to Disney. Since we live in New York, we fly into Orlando, which usually ends up costing about $260 per person, for a total of $520 for the two of us. I like to include airport parking in this too, so I usually budget around $600 for transportation. Once we arrive in Orlando, we take the free Disney Magical Express shuttle to our Disney Resort, and from there on out we use all Disney Transportation for the whole week, which is also free! If you want to rent a car to get around Disney and the surrounding attractions more easily, then that is something additional you would want to think about budgeting for

Souvenirs/Miscellanous – This category includes anything and everything from tipping your waiters to airport snacks and souvenirs and sunscreen and a million bottles of water….yeah, it all adds up, and you will want to be prepared for it! We usually average around $100 a day for all incidentals, some days it may be more some less, but around $700 seems to be a good amount for us

So….$750 Lodging + $720 Park Tickets + $780 Dining Plan + $600 Transportation + $700 Souvenirs = A Grand Total of $3550 for a 7 night, 6 day stay at Walt Disney World for 2 Adult Travelers

Does this dollar amount shock you? I don’t blame you – it’s not a small number. BUT – think about this – most other trips would cost just as much (a cruise, a trip to an all inclusive resort, etc), and there ARE ways to make your trip more cost effective. Check out the Walt Disney World website, and play around with their vacation planning tool, and while you’re there check out the current deals and promotions they are offering to see if any of them can work for you! Plus you really are getting a lot of bang for your buck – you will never be bored at Disney, there is always something to do or see or experience, and that is worth the price to me!

We book our Disney trips through AAA, and they can’t always get you a better deal, but they will try, and they know a lot about Disney so if you’re planning your first Disney trip they can be a great resource!

Now I would like to place a HUGE disclaimer on all of this – this is simply our experience, as 2 adults traveling to WDW, and we don’t take full advantage of all the discounts/promotions that Disney offers, mostly because we like to plan our trips a year or more ahead of time and those deals don’t always come out far enough in advance for us to be able to utilize them. So you may have a VERY different experience when it comes to pricing your trip – but I find that this is what works for us, and it’s a good example of what you can expect to pay to enjoy the Happiest Place On Earth!

Categories: Adult Walt Disney World, Disney Dining Plan, Disney Food, Disney Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Disney’s Magical Express – Helping Make Your WDW Vacation Easier

There are many reasons why you should stay at a Walt Disney World Resort when you plan to visit Walt Disney World, one of them being Disney’s airport shuttle – The Magical Express


It is a service that offers you and your luggage round trip transportation from Orlando International Airport to your Walt Disney World Resort. Best of all, it is free!
Here’s how it works: When you book your Walt Disney World vacation, you can select the Magical Express service, and when you receive your trip information (either in the mail from Disney or from your travel agent), there will be a little booklet with vouchers and luggage tags for the Magical Express service. Put the luggage tags on the bags you will be checking and that is it – you don’t have to worry about those bags anymore, and they will magically appear in your Disney Resort Hotel room after you check in. As for you and your party, once you arrive at the Orlando airport, you can head straight to the Magical Express check in (there are signs in the airport to direct you to this area), and hand them your vouchers and the staff will direct you to a line where you will wait for your motorcoach that will bring you directly to your Disney Resort.

When it’s time to go home (saddest time of all), you can actually bypass airline check in and receive your boarding passes and check your luggage right at your Disney Resort, and then board the Magical Express coach which will take you and your luggage back to the airport (the Resort check in is only available for certain airlines, so check the FAQ information below to see if yours is one that offers this service)

There are a few small negatives that I have found about this service:
-Long time on the coach: The coaches often stop at several Disney Resorts, so you may have to wait a while before you get to your hotel (Over an hour on the bus isn’t uncommon)
-Luggage delivery inconsistent: sometimes your bags beat you to your room….sometimes they don’t show up until the next day (one way to avoid this one is to NOT tag your luggage and just claim it yourself in Orlando)

Overall it’s a great service, and makes staying at a Disney Resort even more amazing, in my opinion! Check out Disney’s Frequently Asked Questions about the Magical Express for more information.

Categories: Disney Resorts, Disney Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

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