Wandering around Disney’s Magic Kingdom is one of the most memorable experiences on Earth, and so is camping at the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, Disney. By making that simple choice, you’re already saving a lot of money, but you can save even more with our tips.
How to Camp at Disney On a Budget
You’re planning an exciting family camping trip to Disney, but you want to do it without breaking the bank. Here are 7 simple but effective tips and tricks for camping at Disney on a budget.
1. Plan Ahead
When planning a camping trip to Disney, it pays to be prepared ahead. Book your camping site well in advance so you can take advantage of early booking discounts and other offers. Check out Park Savers for Disneyland news and planning advice, including coupon announcements.
Research deals and plan what you’ll need to bring and the activities you’ll do. If you don’t, you may have to purchase something on the lot, which can be expensive. Consider bringing your furry friend along (i.e., big or small dog) if you want to save money on a pet sitter or a kennel.
2. Consider Your Accommodations
When camping at Disney, you have a few options. You can opt for tent camping, which is the cheapest and simplest option. If you have the budget, you may want to splurge on an RV or cabin, which can offer more comfort and luxury. Or, try out a boat to quickly get to the parks.
A piece of underrated advice is renting a golf cart. Fort Wilderness contains 750 acres of forests, and a golf cart is a cheap way to get around. But grab them early; they often sell out.
3. Choose Campsites Wisely
When camping at Disney, you’ll want to carefully choose your campsite. Look for campsites close to the attractions, as this will save you on transportation costs. Also, pay attention to the amenities offered by the campsite, as these can help you save money on activities and meals.
On the Fort Wilderness Resort Campground, loops 1000, 1300, 1400, and 1500 are the best because they have quick access to a pool, bikes, and trading posts. However, loops from 1600 to 1900 are the most scenic and beautiful. Avoid any sites within 40 yards of the entrance.
4. Make Your Own Meals
Eating out at Disney can be expensive, so consider bringing your own food or making meals at your campsite. Stock up on simple ingredients like canned beans, pasta, and cereal from the grocery store before you arrive. Don’t forget to fill up on smores; they’re the perfect camp food!
If you have some cash to spare, try dining at Trail’s End Restaurant. This hidden gem is surprisingly affordable, especially if you don’t eat large portions and love grab-and-go items.
5. Pack Wisely
Make sure to only pack the essentials. Pack light, but bring all the gear you need to be comfortable, like sleeping bags and food items. If possible, try to borrow items like camping supplies and bicycles from friends or family. Buying these items new can hurt your budget.
In your Disney day bag, pack things like a hat, sunglasses, reusable water bottle, phone charger, hand wipes, umbrella, and rain poncho. Don’t forget to grab your sneakers, some snacks, a first aid kit, trash bags, toiletries, a swimsuit, water shoes, and extra socks.
6. Take Advantage of Free Activities
Camping at Disney doesn’t need to be expensive. Take advantage of free activities like hikes, seminars, and shows. You can also explore nature trails, watch animal shows, and take part in educational programs. If you’re creative, there are endless things to do in the forest.
We recommend getting to know your neighbors if you’re spending a long time at the resort. If you’re friendly, they may invite you to an activity they’re part of. It’s always nice to make friends!
7. Start a Savings Plan
Planning a camping trip to Disney? Start a savings plan now. Put aside a little each month and use that money to pay for your trip. This will also help you save up for any unexpected costs that may arise. There’s virtually no downside to building a money cushion before leaving.
To make a savings plan, consider your current spending habits and your liabilities (anything getting in the way of saving money). After that, establish your savings goals and decide how much to allocate towards each goal. For a Disney vacation, you may need $4,000 to $20,000.
Camping at Disney doesn’t need to be expensive! With a bit of planning and these tips and tricks, you can have a memorable camping experience without breaking your budget. While saving money is important, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy your family time while at camp.
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