RV Trip Budget Breakdown: Camping at Walt Disney World
Ever wondered how much it costs to take an RV trip? Brandy Gleason breaks down the various expenses for her family of ten’s seven-day, six-night trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando.
Disney has always been a part of our kid’s childhood, and we love being able to take them to the various Disney parks and witness their amazement. But the packing and prep for a Disney World trip can feel overwhelming, especially if you have to check multiple bags and purchase multiple tickets. Here is our RV trip budget breakdown: Walt Disney World.
Taking our RV made the whole processes so much easier. We could pack a ton of stuff, make stops along the way, cook our own meals, and enjoy the Disney World campgrounds (which is like another park itself!). Staying at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort was a huge saving and allowed us to spend extra days inside Disney World. Plus, when you go to check out, if you want to still enjoy the park, you can park your RV in a designated parking lot and take a bus directly into the park.
RV Trip & Disney Vacation Budget Breakdown
Below is a breakdown of the various expenses for our family’s seven-day trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando. We’ve provided a comparison of what we estimate the same vacation would have cost without our RV (including hotels, food and entertainment).
Driving from Columbus, Ohio, to Orlando, Florida, covers over 1,000 miles. If you don’t make stops along the way, you can get there in about 15 hours. But will little kids in tow, we needed to break up the long drive into a few days. Luckily, once we got to Disney World, we didn’t need to drive or purchase any additional gas, so our grand total for the trip was about $900.
Camping at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort costs $119 per night. Four nights at the campground is the equivalent to one night at a deluxe hotel, so we saved a lot on lodging. Plus, with those savings, we could afford to stay extra days and enjoy the park for longer.
We used our RV as a base camp throughout our stay. We ate all breakfasts and dinners at the RV, and occasionally returned back to it for naps or snacks. I prepared easy breakfasts each morning, and then lots of crock pot meals for dinner. We would get lunches and snacks inside the park, and did one special brunch buffet at The Crystal Palace.
For a five-day park hopper ticket, it costs $540 per person. In addition to Walt Disney World, we also took advantage of the fun activities at our campground. There is a daily slate of paid entertainment at Fort Wilderness, including archery, fishing and boating. But there are a lot of free activities as well—nature walks, the Electrical Water Pageant and campfire sing-alongs every night.
Total Savings: $4,073.40 (34%)
By owning an RV, we have been able to cut down on traditional vacation costs – allowing us to travel more, stay longer and create more memories together.
*”Without RV” trip costs are estimated based on current national averages for airfare, lodging, fuel and food unless specified by contributor. “Without RV” estimates assumes entertainment costs would be identical to what was provided by contributor. Accuracy is not guaranteed.*
Tips and Tricks for Budgeting for Your Own RV Trip
1. Key Factors and Considerations for Trip Preparation and Budgeting
We chose to visit Disney World in the “off-season,” which is typically the month of September and the first two weeks of December. During the off-season, the tickets are cheaper and the crowds are lower. This meant we didn’t have to wait in super long lines or pay premium prices. Booking and reserving far in advance also helped with budgeting as well. We knew we’d be traveling in a group of ten, so we wanted to ensure we could all get tickets and secure any group discounts.
2. How RVing Helped Us Save Money
Having an RV on this trip saved us a lot of money. First, traveling down to Florida from Ohio is a long drive, so having an RV to stop and make lunches for the family was a big saving. Plus, we could use our own bathroom and avoid making multiple stops. Being able to cook once we got to the Disney World campground was another way to save hundreds of dollars. We chose to eat at a fun restaurant only once per day, and the rest of the meals were prepared at the RV. And finally, finding affordable hotel rooms that could house all ten of us was nearly impossible. But having the RV made is easy for everyone to have a nice, comfortable place to sleep and we could all spend more time together.
3. Elevating the Experience
Since we have a big family and eight kids, we were able to pack everything into the RV and avoid paying for multiple bags at the airport. I also loved having our own designated space where the kids could run around and meet other campground kids, and I didn’t have to worry about them getting noisy or restless inside of a hotel room. And even though Disney World is busy, our campground offered plenty of seclusion, so my husband and I could relax and decompress after the busy days—something we could not have done if we were in a hotel room.
4. What to Avoid When Planning Your RV Trip
Try to plan out each day before you leave, including any souvenirs you’ll buy. If you don’t think about what you want to do a head of time, you may find yourself spending more inside the park. We gave each kid a small amount of money per day that they could use to spend on whatever they wanted. If they knew they had to use their own money, they were more selective about what to buy. If you’re planning to drive long distances to get to Disney World, it doesn’t hurt to join AAA or Good Sam’s Club. You may never have to use them, but it’s always good to have in case of an emergency or any sudden maintenance issues.
5. Our Top Tips for RVing on a Budget
If you’re trying to plan on a budget, I recommend making a meal plan and sticking to it. Food inside the park is expensive and can quickly add up. I also recommend booking enough days so you don’t feel like you’re rushing through the park. Plus, multi-day, multi-park tickets are often a better value than single day or single park passes. And lastly, don’t overpack clothes. Lots of campgrounds around the park have laundry facilities and you’ll save space inside your RV without all of the excess clothing.
6. Tips for RVing at Disney World
If possible, try to book your Disney World campsite a year in advance. Prices change with demand and by the day, so check periodically and book when you see a low rate. Bundled rates also change with the season, but you can often purchase your park passes as an add-on to the campground fee, which will help you save as well.
Original article written by Brandy Gleason, and published on THORIndustries.com. For More RV Trip Budget Breakdowns, visit https://www.thorindustries.com/trip-calculator.