Today I want to introduce you to Amusement Park Camping!! No, you can’t actually park inside your favorite amusement park, but you can usually find a campground nearby. Some times they’re owned by the park, other times they’re private.
To save even more, and get cash back on your trip, I recommend downloading Groupon and Ebates. Right now you earn 6% cash back from Ebates when you purchase something through Groupon. Also, if you sign up for Ebates through my link above and spend $25, both of us will get $25 back. Clicking the Groupon link and making a purchase gives me $10 and you’ll get a link to refer your friends. That’s more money both of us can use for epic camping trips, right?
Now, let’s get started!
Did you know that you can camp at The Happiest Place on Earth? Here you have a lot of options, some are super cheap. First let me tell you about Wilderness Campground, because we have stayed there and love it. For this example I am using August 18-24, 2019 and my kids ages, 12, 4, and 2. Since you’re camping you can cook your own meals so I’m not including meal plans and we aren’t into park hopping. You can go in and add those if you would like. Or ask me and I’ll give you a quote for free. I’m not making money off of this, I’m just a nice person, I swear. lol
So, for a family of five with passes staying on property it costs $2,144.88 compared to $2,668.20 staying at Disney’s All Star Music Resort. That’s not adding the meal plan, which you’ll need since you can’t cook in your room. The campground also has other benefits, like the boat that takes you to Magic Kingdom and the Monorail. The boat is rarely crowded and if you leave a little early you can get stranded on Bay Lake and watch the fireworks.
If you don’t mind staying off property, or if you’re doing other theme parks in Florida, you can save even more. You’ll have to join Passport America to get the discounted rate I’m going to tell you about, but it is worth it!
Ponderosa RV Park is 21 miles away from Magic Kingdom, but it’s $12.50 per night with the P.A. 50% off discount. Let’s just say you have to pay $7/day in gas for this one. You’ll also have to pay $22 to park per day. So, all together it would cost $1,930.50 for a family of five to camp, park, drive, and enjoy Disney.
I know there are a lot of other theme parks in the area, but Disney is the most popular. You can find all of the information you need on the other parks and do a price comparison, but there are other areas I want to cover.
Dollywood is located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and is a great place to take your family, but it can definitely get expensive if you have to get a hotel or a cabin. If you want to try primitive camping, Eagle’s Nest Campground is right in Pigeon Forge and has a trolley stop at it’s gate. Primitive camping is only $24.70/per night and the trolley costs $2.50 per person over the age of three per day. Or you can buy one gold season pass and the rest regular season passes and get free parking for a few dollars more than a three day pass. My family and I are going soon and we’re going to be buying three season’s passes. We’re going to Georgia and North Carolina first and the entire 14 day trip is going to cost less than $1,500 including camping, food, gas, and amusements.
There is more to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg than just Dollywood so be sure to check them out before you go. The Mountain Coaster looks cool, but I have never been on one.
My husband and I used to live in Virginia so this park holds a special place in our hearts as we spent a lot of time there. The closest campground is called Anvil Campground and it has a really cool history, which is especially important this close to Colonial Williamsburg. They charge between $20 and $35 per night, but it’s not primitive. They guarantee you have WiFi and cell phone reception.
For 7 days of camping plus two days at the park, you’re looking at $485. That is not including gas, food, or any of the other amazing attractions in the area.
This by no means an exhaustive list, there are campgrounds and theme parks across the country. I’m just showcasing the ones I have visited. As my family and I travel more I will write about other places and I may update this list. Or I may just create a page and list theme parks and the campgrounds near them. If that’s something that interests you, please let me know in comments!
Thank you so much for visiting!