Believe it or not, it is possible to have a great vacation at Walt Disney World without spending a small fortune! By planning ahead and following the money-saving tips below, you will find significant savings without sacrificing your family’s enjoyment or comfort.
1. Plan your family’s trip during the off-season if possible. Not only will you find better hotel rates and airfares, you will encounter fewer crowds. The highest attendance occurs at Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day weekend, and June through Labor Day. The best time to visit is January, Labor Day through the 2nd week in November, and the week after Thanksgiving until the week prior to Christmas.
2. When you are ready to purchase your Disney tickets, make sure you choose the appropriate deal based on your family’s length of stay. Do your research, because there are different packages and passes available. Your travel agent can advise you and help make the most of your vacation dollars.
3. Although there are advantages to staying inside the park’s resorts, you can save a lot of money by choosing some of the numerous accommodations located just outside the property. There are often great deals to be found here and almost all of the hotels will shuttle you and your family to Disney. If you have a large family or a group of families traveling together, you may find that renting a suite, condo or vacation home will make better financial sense. If you are set on staying inside the park, Disney does offer budget resorts. Disney’s All Star Movies Resort, Disney’s All Star Music Resort and Disney’s All Star Sports Resort will offer you the best value. Each of these properties offers free transportation to the park and they all have a food court. The Disney Resorts also offer a free shuttle service to and from the Orlando Airport.
4. Dining and snacking at Disney World can often be the most expensive part of the trip. If you know that your family will be in the park all day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you might want to consider purchasing a Disney dining plan for the duration of your trip. Another way to save on food inside the park is to make lunch your largest meal. Prices are considerably lower for lunch than what you will find on the dinner menu, especially at Epcot. If you eat outside the resort, you will find many all-you-can-eat buffets that will help your family’s budget and some that offer “Kids Eat Free” deals. Look around for free publications, such as, I Love Orlando magazine. These often contain discount coupons to restaurants, area attractions, and specialty shops. When your family is ready to visit the parks, carry your own water bottles. Water fountains are plentiful, so you can fill it up throughout the day. You can also pack your bag with some snacks.
5. Make sure that your family establishes a budget for Disney World souvenirs. There is great merchandise everywhere, especially in Epcot’s World Showcase and you will be tempted to overspend. Some of the factory outlet stores outside of the park sell Disney items at significantly lower prices than you will find in the Disney shops.
6. Don’t forget to check out some of the free things that you can do at Disney World, such as hiking through the Disney Wilderness Preserve, or walking around Disney’s Boardwalk or the Downtown Disney area. Visit Town Square at Main Street, USA in the Magic Kingdom for autograph and photo opportunities with the Disney characters.
Disney World is a magical place for both kids and adults and is a great vacation choice. You and your family will return with wonderful memories.