We actually just got back from Disney World, but I am already thinking ahead to our next trip. We are a family of 5 but this time my youngest was only 1 so he was free and we could stay in a standard room. However when we go back in 2 years, my oldest will be 10 (moving up to full price) and my youngest will be 3 (so we’ll be charged for him, and be required to stay in a bigger room). My middle child will be 8. We have always gone on the Free Dining Promotion, and plan to do the same in the future. Just wondering what is our cheapest options for accommodations? And how we can make our vacation as frugal as possible?
Welcome back Rosanna!! You sound like me – I’m planning the next trip before we even leave. We are also a family of five so we’ll be in your shoes very soon (my youngest is currently six months old and she has two big brothers – 8 and 5). Art of Animation was a serious consideration for our family on our upcoming trip because of the extra space and bathroom alone. You will need to do some math and see if using a room only discount is a better deal than free dining depending on what’s available before you travel. If it makes you feel any better, we’re not alone in this challenge – Disney has a special section of their site dedicated to groups of five or more.
As for making the trip as affordable as possible, you can visit Meet the Magic for lots of tips and tricks to make the trip affordable and save up for any splurges you might want to make. I suggest at least one person in your group get an annual pass if possible. This could save you money on parking fees if you’ll be driving on property, give you discounts on merchandise along with food if you purchase the Tables in Wonderland card. It’s completely doable and the fact that you’re already thinking about your trip says you’ll be able to make it work for you and your family. You’ll also want to really compare the cost of “free” dining to resort options – both on and off site. Sometimes getting a steal on an offsite property and save some money.
Enjoy your planning and seeing your hard work paying off!