Tips for a Disney RV vacation
For most families (and even couples) a trip to Disney World is a dream. Whether it is your first time or you’ve been a hundred times, there is always something to see and experience. If you are planning your next visit to the Magic Kingdom, you might consider going in your RV. RV Advisor offers some tips and tricks when visiting Disney World in your RV.
Benefits of Going to Disney in an RV
RV-ing to Disney is not only an adventure; it is also convenient and can help you save money. First, you have the freedom to bring more with you, including a kitchen. Being able to cook your own meals adds up to huge cost savings when you consider the expense of food in the parks or eating at restaurants for every meal. It also gives you more freedom to move around and visit other places and parks in the Orlando area.
A campground also means more outdoor time and activities that are geared toward children. Plus, if you travel in your RV, you will also have the option of bringing your pets. Disney World has an onsite pet resort, Best Friends Pet Care, where you can leave them while you’re enjoying the parks.
Where to Stay in Your RV?
First, you will have to decide if you want to stay on the Disney property itself or go “outside the World.” Onsite, the only option is Fort Wilderness. This is a great, family-friendly property that has many advantages including:
- Magic Hours – Guests staying at Disney hotels/properties enjoy early/late park hours.
- Early access to Fast Passes – Reserve attractions like Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, or the Frozen ride in EPCOT first.
- Free Magic Band – The band can be used to pay for everything from food to shopping with no cash needed.
- Complimentary parking.
- Complimentary Wi-Fi.
- Onsite laundry facility.
- Free transportation to the parks.
- Free transportation to/from the airport.
- Variety of dining options onsite.
- Pet friendly – Pets are welcome to stay at the campground.
If you decide to stay off the property, there are plenty of campgrounds nearby, including a couple of State Parks. Be sure to do your research to see what amenities are offered and how close the campground is to Disney World.
Budgeting for Your Disney World Trip
The happiest place on earth is not cheap. It can get very expensive, especially if you are bringing the entire family. Here are some things to consider when creating your budget.
Tickets. Obviously, you will want to buy tickets to the Disney parks. Prices to the Disney parks change annually. To save money, you might consider buying multi-day passes, rather than single-day tickets. Park Hopper passes will let you jump between the different parks on the same day, but they do cost more.
Lodging. Whether you stay at Fort Wilderness or off-site, you will have camping fees and site rentals.
Food. Eating in the parks or at onsite dining facilities is another expense to consider. Even the price of a hamburger and fries can make you flinch. You can save money by cooking many of your meals in your RV, but you’ll also need to budget for groceries.
Parking. There is a parking fee for the Disney parks. If you plan to go multiple days, multiply the amount. Even if you take an Uber/Lyft, you will still have to pay to go to the parks and then back to your campground. This can be one advantage of staying at Fort Wilderness. Free transportation!
Souvenirs. You know someone is going to want Mickey ears or an Elsa dress. You will most likely leave the stores with more than you planned. Try to determine a budget and stick to it, even when Disney tries to “upsell” you. If you can be strong, save your money for big treats like a behind the scenes tour, Wild Africa Trek or dinner at Fort Wilderness’ Hoop-De-Doo Musical Revue show.
Gas and Tolls. If you drive your RV from home, you’ll have to factor in the cost of gas, which can vary according to the time of year and the states you pass through. You are also likely to drive on toll roads. Florida has a Turnpike, which carries a fee.
When to Visit Disney World
There are pros and cons of visiting Disney in the various seasons.
- Summers are crowded and hot, and you are more likely to be rained out by an afternoon thunderstorm. However, that is usually when the kids are out of school.
- The fall and winter offer cooler weather and smaller crowds. However, the two weeks around Christmas break is extremely crowded. If you don’t get to the park early enough, you could be turned away.
- March through April you’ll run into families on Spring Break.
Best times to go:
- January (after schools are back in session) – March
- September – Mid-November
- Between Thanksgiving and Christmas
- During the week
Going to Disney World in your RV can be a magical adventure with the right planning. It can truly be an experience you and your family will never forget. Follow these tips to help you make the most of your vacation. For more helpful tips, become an RV Advisor Member today.
One thing I always find funny when I read Disney planning articles is that the writer assumes that you won’t buy groceries if you’re home eating. I do not budget for food because I eat weather at home or traveling.