By Tim Burton
What you are about to read will save you loads of money !
Many families get quite a shock when they calculate what it will cost them to have a Walt Disney World holiday.
You’ll need flights, accommodation, car hire/driving costs, food, passes to Walt Disney World (they are expensive – children are classed as ages 3-9 years old and costs not much less than adult prices), entertainment, and more…
I am going to show you how to have a budget-wise Disney holiday.
Tip # 1. Do it Yourself
Book your Disney World vacation online.
You will find the cheapest rates by booking each component separately yourself – air, accommodation, car hire and even theme park tickets.
You can book way in advance and still get the same savings as if you had booked last minute. The difference is that booking last minute can cause you stress. So Relax !
Take your own food and drink. If you’re taking a charter flight, you can pay far more than you want to pay for in-flight food and drinks. You might not even enjoy it.
Tip # 2. Rent an Orlando Villa directly from the owner.
Stay in a privately owned villa or vacation rental home within 20 minutes drive of Walt Disney World.
People in Europe have been holidaying in private villas for years. Many Europeans and North Americans now own villas in Orlando all within 20 minutes drive of Disney.
These privately owned homes belong to families just like yourselves. Because these families vacation in their homes as well, they are fully equipped with everything that you could hope for.
The price you pay is where the bargain comes in if you book directly from the owner of the property. Vacation homes near Disney can start from as little as $79 to less than $160 per night for a whole family sized house. Price often depends on the season and quality, level of privacy and amenities of the villa that you want.
Your whole family could have room to themselves instead of cramming together in the same hotel bedroom.
Plus, you can have lounge, private pool, spa, game room, full kitchens and much more than I can mention here.
To make your holiday even cheaper, split the cost of your villa with another family.
Orlando has many huge villas that can sleep 2-3 families. Many have multiple master bedrooms. So each family can have a master bedroom and extra bedrooms for the rest of the family. They also have multiple bathrooms and multiple living/dining areas.
So if you don’t mind sharing with friends or family you could save even more money on accommodation.
Sign up for newsletters on Orlando vacation rentals websites. That way you can keep abreast of special deals available.
Look out for last minute deals from private villa owners.
Once you rent a private villa you won’t want to ever use a hotel again.
Tip # 3. Go Off Season
Prices plummet when the kids are back at school ! You save more than 50% on flights, and at low season, Orlando vacation rentals are much cheaper.
You would be amazed how much you can save in airline tickets if you go low season, especially if your family is large.
Sign up to newsletters with your favourite airlines to hear about the best flight deals first.
Seize the specials by looking out for bargain flight offers in good time.
Many websites specialise in finding air fare deals. Use farefinders. These are websites that search for cheap airfares.
Look out for newspapers that offer flight discounts that involve collecting tokens. Some have ‘buy one get on free deals’ on flights at specific times of the year.
Don’t fly at weekends if there are surcharges.
But, who wants to go to Walt Disney World when kids are Back at school ?
If you are a bargain hunting holiday-maker, you might consider it if you realise the savings you could have.
Tip # 4. Spend Less on Your Family’s Food
Food is expensive in the theme parks without a doubt.
You can eat meals in your Florida Villa and save money. You get a fully equipped full-size kitchen. You don’t have to cook. You can fill the refrigerator with food from the Supermarket.
Bring snacks and drinks with you from your villa, to the Disney Parks, especially on hot and humid days when your kids need to drink lots of liquids all day long. Freeze drinks in a drinks cooler and take them with you frozen.
You and your family can return to your villa for lunch and a rest and go back to the Theme Parks refreshed and fed.
If you drive from home to your holiday villa, shop before you go. Bring your favourite items from home.
Have breakfast at restaurants that allow kids to eat free. They advertise this in their windows.
Look out for restaurants offering free kid’s meals.
Pick up money saving booklets from the local Supermarket. They are loaded with money saving coupons.
Look out for coupons that save you money at full service restaurants as well as your fast food chains like McDonalds.
You can find some good deals at Walt Disney World if you choose carefully. A family of four can easily spend $50 for little more than a snack.
A better option is for you to splash out once or twice in the Disney World ‘Parks on the ‘all you can eat character meals’ or on ‘fun themed restaurants’. This can make your
holiday even more memorable and make for good photo opportunities.
Popular buffet restaurants with fairly good prices include character breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table, and the Polynesian Resort’s dinners where food is cooked at a firepit, games are played with the kids, and food is brought to your table time and time again. The Boma restaurant at Animal Kingdom Lodge has a huge selection.
Also, for a bit more than $50, you and your family could eat a full buffet at a fun restaurant such as the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom, which has Winnie the Pooh and his pals in attendance
Breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets are $15-$29 per person. Kids have their own meal choices, plus a make your own sundae bar. There is a good selection for parents and your glass of drinks will be refilled to your content.
Tip # 5. Save money on Theme Park Tickets and General Entertainment
It’s always wise to spend some time developing an itinerary before you buy your Theme Park tickets, because the right passes for you depend on how you plan to spend your days.
Be sure to check all your options. You may be overlooking a special deal for which you qualify, such as Florida resident, military/civil service, and corporate discounts
There are lots of legitimate ways to get discounted Walt Disney World passes.
Unfortunately, there are also lots of places where you can get ripped off.
So be very careful.
The WalMart at 4444 W. Vine in Kissimmee, has a travel agency called Wal-Mart Vacations that sells discounted Disney World tickets. The prices are discounted about 5%. But, they may not carry every type of ticket.
Pick up a money saving coupons booklet from the local supermarket. It is not just for food.
There are also money saving coupons in those booklets for admission discounts to places like Universal Orlando, Sea World, Busch Gardens and more.
Some popular events are also promoted at times such as Disney on Ice, “buy one get one” coupon.
You can even save money on adventures like go-cart racing, with free ‘buy one get one free coupons’.
Tip # 6. Free Admissions at Disney !
Visit Disney’s resort hotels (for example when you dine at Boma), but you do not have to dine.
Tour the grounds, marvel at the gardens and architecture, listen to the music, and mingle with the cast members.
If you do dine make sure you give yourself a lot of time before dinner, so that you have plenty of time to savour the sights in daylight.
Tip # 7. Car Hire Savings
Look out for car rental savings from almost all of the national car hire companies.
Tip # 8. Airport Parking
Book your airport parking in advance. It is much more expensive on the day.
Check your car insurance or roadside assistance membership for special offers on airport parking.
Some airport hotels offer one night pre-flight stays that include holiday parking.
Look out for other parking offers.
Book your cab/minivan in advance. Negotiate a deal with the driver to pick you up on return as you are giving them double business.
Tip # 9. Buy Low Cost Travel Insurance
Compare prices and make sure that it has what you need. If you’re going away more than once in the year consider an annual policy.
I always save loads of money whenever I go to Disney, and I still have a Disney holiday in luxury and style… you can too!
About the Author: Tim Burton writes travel articles for the popular
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website Copyright 2006 by Tim Burton