Pony at Fort Wilderness

The typical Walt Disney World vacation can cost a family thousands of dollars. Between travel, park tickets, hotel accommodations, and meals, it’s no wonder so many families are looking for smart ways to save on their vacation.

Whether you’re working with a strict budget or you just want some crowd pleasers that will keep the kids happy without emptying your wallet, here are a few smart picks that you can enjoy for just $5 or less.

1. Pony rides at Fort Wilderness

Pony Rides at Fort Wilderness

Head back to the Settlement at Fort Wilderness and you’ll find a small stable surrounded by paddocks and a winding path. Follow the signs to the center and you’ll find a little-known treat. Children can ride the small ponies here for just $5. An adult must be present to lead the pony around the trail. This is a great activity for parents and preschoolers to share. Since there’s no Cast Member leading you around the path, you have the leisure to go at your own pace (though you can’t stop unless the pony needs to take a restroom break) and chat about the experience as you enjoy a stroll.

There are some restrictions for riders since the ponies are so small. You must be under 48 inches and 80 pounds to ride. Children must also be old enough to hang on by themselves. The pony rides are available from 10:00amto 5:00pm. They accept cash payments only, but an ATM is located nearby.

2. Train rides at Downtown Disney

Downtown Disney Train

In Downtown Disney, you’ll find a child-sized train circling a small track. Kids can hop on and enjoy a ride for just $2. This is a great way to appease small ones who can quickly get bored with hours of browsing the stores in this popular shopping and dining area. Adults don’t need to ride with them. You can watch the entire experience from the sidewalks surrounding the attraction.

3. Satisfying soups at Sunshine Seasons

Sunshine Seasons Soups

Sunshine Seasons is the food court located inside The Land at Epcot. Found on the bottom floor, this dining space offers ample seating in a relaxing air conditioned environment. While the diverse options can make for a great meal, this is also a good place to stop when you need a small snack or a little something extra to get you through the long Disney days.

A quick bowl of soup is less than $5, making this one of the cheapest and most satisfying hot snacks in the park. During our visit in September 2014, you could try the Latin Chicken Soup for $4.79 or the Five Bean Vegetable Soup for $4.49.



Another recently found gift is a Disney Sand Castle mold with a shovel. They come in different colors and are sold in the main gift shop at downtown Disney. I was shocked by the sticker price (in a way that I'm not used to) when I saw $4.95. Great souvenir for that price.

I also recommend the pins (Disney Pin Trading). Though I believe the cheapest price point is $5.95, they still make a good souvenir. And in some cases they have 2 pins for under $10. Warning: becomes surprisingly addictive to collect for both kids and adults. Especially since you can trade with cast members at no cost. And I found you can get the same authentic pins starting at $0.01 onwards, by using eBay. :-)

In reply to by Halsey (not verified)

Be careful buying pins for .01 on Ebay, they're likely "scrapper" pins and shouldn't be traded. Your better bet is too go on Facebook and type in Disney Pins you'll find a lady that sells a mystery lot of 8 Authentic Disney pins for $20 shipped. Use those to trade with and stop the crooks from selling these junk pins to people.

I am currently at Fort Wilderness and the pony rides are now $8.00 to do.

I am currently at Fort Wilderness and the pony rides are now $8.00 to do.

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