With all the recent posts about my Disney trip I decided to post about how I took my daughter a few years ago for less than $1,000. I hope it helps you plan a trip for you and your kids too. Now is the time to start planning and paying your way to Disney. You won’t regret it.

In 2004 my daughter and I took a trip to Disney World. I had just graduated from college and gave myself this gift to reward myself for all the hard work. It was also an opportunity to take my daughter to Disney World for the first time.

I planned the trip a few months ahead of time but didn’t go all out like I see many families do. I was a college student, a mom, and a part-time intern. My money at the time would only stretch so far. But I made it work by using my research skills to sniff out deals.

Planning a trip to Disney typically starts at around $1,500. I didn’t have that kind of money to spend so I scoured the Disney websites and boards to get tips on how to get there with less than $1,000. I needed airfare for me and my daughter, a nice place to stay, food and transportation. I also needed tickets to the parks.

How to Get Discount Disney Park Hopper Tickets

The first thing I did was buy the park tickets. I worked on a military base at the time so I had access to their discount tickets because I was a government employee. I could buy park hopper tickets at a discount of about 35% or so. My daughter’s ticket was less because I could get the child rate. The tickets didn’t have an expiration date on them so I could go at any time I could schedule the trip. That was important and gave me a lot of flexibility.

Tip: If you work on a military base get your Disney tickets from MWR office. If you know someone who works on a military base or government facility ask them to purchase tickets for you.

Plan in Advance to Get Cheap Airline Tickets to Disney

The next thing I did was look for airline tickets. The earlier I booked them the cheaper they were. This was during the time when airfare was a lot less expensive. If I remember correctly, I was able to purchase round-trip tickets for about $150 or less each. So that was about $300 for our tickets to fly to Orlando, Florida.

Tip: Plan your trip at least three months ahead of time and buy your airline tickets weeks in advance. You will get a much better price at least two weeks in advance. You can try bidding sites as well but your mileage may vary.

In the next post I’ll share how I found a hotel on Disney Property for only $25  per night!