A great way to save money on your Disney experience is to select one of the official Disney World Vacation Packages – known as “Magic Your Way vacation packages” – available from Disney. These packages can be as simple as park entry passes and lodging, or come with long list of extra benefits ranging from free childcare services to Disney spa treatments. Most also come with discounts to activities that are not included in the package.

Magic Your Way Package

This most basic of the Magic Your Way vacations allows you to choose the length of your stay and select between Disney’s campground, value resorts, moderate resorts, deluxe resorts, or deluxe villas. Guests who select this package may choose an entry pass to one theme park for each day of their visit, and may also access the Extra Magic Hours available to all Disney resort guests.

Packages can add up to both savings and convenience.

Packages can add up to both savings and convenience.

The Memories deal is identical to the Magic Your Way base package except for one detail: it comes with a Disney’s PhotoPass Book that takes your vacation photos and incorporates them into a custom Disney-designed scrapbook.

Magic Your Way Package Plus Quick-Service Dining

This package is identical to the basic plan but includes two quick-service meals per day for each package guest, a refillable resort drink mug, as well as one snack. Designated quick-service restaurants are mostly counter-service or buffets, and any children included in the package must eat from the children’s menu when one is available.

Many Disney World guests find themselves naturally gravitating towards quick-service meals since they help to maximize the time spent on theme park attractions. Also, keep in mind that just because the dining plan is included in the package you purchased does not mean that you can’t spend money on a nice sit down meal once or twice. However, budget conscious vacationers should keep their eyes open for an even better deal before booking this package – during slower times of year Disney will often throw in a free quick-service dining plan when you book a basic Magic Your Way package.

Adding upgrades, like dining, to your ticket and hotel package can be very convenient.

Adding upgrades, like dining, to your ticket and hotel package can be very convenient.

Once again, the room and theme park details of this package are identical to the basic package. For guests who plan to  enjoy Disney World at a somewhat more leisurely pace and take advantage of the many great table-service restaurants at the resort, this option makes more sense than the quick service option. The package comes with one table service and one quick service meal per day, as well as one snack and one drink mug.

Magic Your Way Package Plus Deluxe Dining

This is the package deal for true foodies, who want to spent at least as much time enjoying the exotic aromas around Epcot’s World Showcase as they do riding the attractions. This package allows each guest to enjoy three meals per day (table-service or quick service) and two snacks in addition to a refillable drink mug. Many past guests say that this option is simply too much food for most people, and that it is difficult to get your money’s worth. For that reason, this package is really best for guests who place a deluxe dining experience near the top of their vacation wish list.

Magic Your Way Premium Package

Things start to get really interesting with the Magic Your Way Premium Package. In addition to park admission, resort accommodations, and three meals per day of stay, the Premium deal also provides guests with a heap of attractive extras.

Premium Package guests may enjoy unlimited use of certain recreation opportunities such as all four championship golf courses, boat rentals and fishing, and water based activities of all kinds at Sammy Duvall’s Watersports Centre.

Each guest included in the package gets a complimentary ticket to the permanent Cirque du Soleil show La Nouba located in Disney Springs. Reservations are still required to ensure availability on the evening you plan to attend.

Dining packages can be convenient, but they aren't always a deal - especially if you don't use up all the food credits in the package.

Dining packages can be convenient, but they aren’t always a deal – especially if you don’t use up all the food credits in the package.

Free admission is available to select tours at the different Walt Disney World theme park, such as Magic Kingdom’s Keys to the Kingdom tour, or Epcot’s Around the World at Epcot tour. When planning for a tour, keep in mind that many of them involve extensive walking and have age limits as a result.

Parents, especially those with younger children, are often eager for a little time to themselves during their Disney vacation to enjoy an adult meal or other night time entertainment. Guests with this Premium Package may make unlimited use of the Children’s Activity Centers around the resort, which typically open in the afternoon and remain open until midnight. These centers provide supervision, games, and one meal to children during their stay.

In order to book the Magic Your Way Premium Package, Disney requires a minimum resort stay of three nights. With the number of activities available through this package, most guests will need at least that long to truly take advantage of this deal.

Magic Your Way Platinum Package

Is money no object?  Or perhaps you are looking to book the ultimate vacation?  The Platinum Package crams just about every entertainment and luxury option to be found at Walt Disney World into one neat package. As with the Premium Package, a minimum stay of three nights is necessary.

Given the emphasis on luxury with this package, Disney has not bothered to include the campground, value resorts, or moderate resorts in the deal. For better or for worse, the Platinum Package requires guests to book a room at a Disney deluxe resort or deluxe villa.

All of the entertainment extras and resources included in the Premium Package are available to Platinum guests, and several more besides. Two incredible evening events have been added: a reserved seat for Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and a cruise to enjoy either IllumiNations at Epcot or Wishes Nighttime Spectacular at Magic Kingdom.

A single spa treatment at one of the several spas found around Walt Disney World is available to each Platinum guest. A PhotoPass CD of your vacation is included, with photos taken throughout your stay by a professional photographer.

Finally, Platinum Packages guests may make use of Disney’s itinerary planners to arrange their activities, make any necessary reservations, and get advice about the best way to maximize their stay at the resort.

Is a Magic Your Way Package Right For Me?

Getting your money’s worth out of a Magic Your Way package is all about determining what you and your family need or want from a Disney World vacation. Keep in mind that these packages only include accommodations and entertainment at the resort itself. Disney wants you to spend all of your time and money at Disney establishments, and Magic Your Way packages provide an incentive to stay onsite. Cheaper hotels, and flight/hotel/rental car deals may be found elsewhere around Orlando for guests on a very limited budget.

For many people, staying at a Disney resort hotel is a highlight of any Disney World vacation, and Magic Your Way packages are usually the cheapest way to do so. Choosing the right package then becomes a matter of determining what services you need, what services you would use if the price were right, and what services you are unlikely to use under any circumstances. No matter how good the deal, don’t pay extra to access luxurious features you don’t really want or simply won’t use. At the same time, don’t be afraid to upgrade if it makes financial sense.