How To Go To Disney World Without Taking Out A Second Mortgage

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wdw highway signSo you’ve decided to take a vacation to Walt Disney World, but you don’t want to go broke in the process. There’s no question that a visit to Cinderella castle will set you back quite a bit, but there are ways to cut costs on a Disney vacation without cutting out any of the fun. These tips for saving money in Disney World will help let you enjoy your trip with less worries about your bank account.

When you travel matters. If you have flexibility with your vacation dates, see if there are any deals coming up before you book your trip. Thanks to tons of special events and festivals, there isn’t really a slow season at Disney World, but they do still offer special discounts and packages to entice visitors during certain times of the year. January and fall are often times when when such discounts are generally available. The internet gives us all access to book our own vacations, but sometimes travel agents can help you score deals that pop up after you’ve booked your trip, so don’t be afraid to contact one if you don’t want to keep checking prices after you’ve already booked your vacation.

Consider your hotel. Disney has its own fleet of hotels, arranged in three basic tiers from least to most expensive: the value resorts, moderate resorts and deluxe resorts. Staying at a Disney hotel gives you some benefits– you get a free shuttle to and from the airport, free transportation to the entrance of the theme parks, the ability to enter the parks early or stay late on certain days, magic bands that act as a combination room key, room charge key and park ticket, the ability to book dining reservations before people not staying at a Disney hotel and the ability to select fast passes (to cut down on your wait time) before people not staying at a Disney hotel.

But even the least expensive of the Disney hotels is typically more expensive than other hotels close by, and those non-Disney hotels may have better amenities. If you plan on renting a car, don’t have a burning desire to eat at either of the restaurants inside Cinderella’s or Beast’s castle and have children that are too young to ride the thrill rides which get the longest lines, you might find that saving money by staying off property is a better choice for your family. But you will have to pay $17 for parking each day and it can take up to an hour to get from the parking lot to the parks, so you’ll need to plan accordingly.

Tickets to the theme parks are expensive, there’s no way around that, but multi-day passes offer discounts the more days you purchase. When you buy your tickets, you’ll have the option to purchase extras like the ability to visit multiple parks in a single day that your family may not need. It helps to come up with a rough itinerary before purchasing your ticket. Be wary of seemingly deals like the dining package or soft drink mug. Unless you plan to visit your hotel food court every time you want a drink, the mug may not be a good investment. And while the dining plan is great if you happen to receive it as a free promotion, many who pay for it find they barely break even or lose money on it. The dining plan doesn’t include tips for servers and only covers two meals a day and one snack, so it’s unlikely to cover all your food expenses.

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