You Are At: AllSands Home > Travel > Howto > Disney World on a budget
There are both pros and cons to staying at a Disney Resort. If you stay at a resort, you get many privileges, but of course, the hotel cost is much higher. Resort guests get free transportation, but that transportation is crowded and neither efficient nor timely. There are monorails, boats, and buses that transport the Disney guests around the park.

The boats are very convenient, but the buses can take up to an hour to bring you to your destination. The monorails can get congested as well, and they go from a few resorts to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot only. Even though the transportation is free, you may want to rent a car simply for the ability to leave the Disney complex.

You see, when you are at the liberty of the crowded transportation you will spend much time waiting, and you are also forced to buy the high-priced food. If you rent a car, you are able to go to nearby restaurants and stores for more inexpensive food choices.

If you stay at a resort, you can save thousands of dollars by not including meals and flex features in your package when you plan your trip. Another tip is to check about special offers offered to resort guests. Many of the resorts sell thermal cups that can be refilled for free beverages at the participating restaurants in the resort. One of these cups may cost you around nine dollars, but it will pay for itself if you get plenty of refills.

Beware! Do not press those cute little buttons with pictures on them that you will find on the phone in your room at the resort. You will be charged 75 cents for each call to one of those Disney services, since Disney considers them local calls. These can add up very quickly.

Although the resorts are beautiful and close to the parks, a more economical choice would be to stay at a hotel that is very close to the main gate of the Disney area. You may have to fight the traffic, but at least you will not be standing with sixty other people in a crowded bus.

Even with the cost of the hopper passes, rental car, and gas, you will save so much money on food if you rent the car. An average burger and fry meal for four people costs around fifty dollars at all the Disney resorts and parks. This is twice what you would spend elsewhere for the same food.

Let me reiterate, it is much less expensive if you do not stay at a resort. It is much more economical to rent a car and venture into Orlando for lower priced meals. Plus you will get to see more of the beautiful Florida landscape.

Although Downtown Disney is very crowded, especially at night, the prices are somewhat better there. There is even a McDonalds at Downtown Disney that is close and might be a wise choice also. Keep in mind that some of the shops at Downtown Disney are a little bit more reasonable than the ones at the parks and resorts.

If you use common sense and behave in moderation, you will enjoy your Disney World Vacation.