Once you’ve nailed down your dates and bought your park tickets, it’s time to book your accommodations. And sure, the Disney resorts are pretty magical, but their prices are anything but.
Here’s a smart way to keep your spending in check: Save money by opting for a hotel or apartment within walking distance of the park—or one with a free shuttle (more on that later).
The Hilton Garden Inn Lake Buena Vista, for example, is just one mile away from Disney World and offers free Wi-Fi, free parking and free shuttles to the parks, starting from just $76 per night (not including taxes and fees). Compare that to Disney's cheapest resorts (Disney's All-Star Music Resort, Disney's All-Star Movie Resort or Disney's All-Star Sports Resort), which start at $110 per night (again, not including taxes or fees). That means on a seven-day trip, you're looking at savings of over $200 ($238, to be precise). Cha-ching.
Determined to splurge on one of the theme park's resorts? Here’s another tip for saving money: Leave your car at home. Lots of hotels offer free shuttles to and from the park, and there are plenty of other transportation options that don’t involve spending $20 to $40 per day on parking. Phew.