One of the great things about having lived in Kissimmee for a couple of years was that we had family passes to the happiest place on earth year round! Dexter was only 16 months old when we first moved there, and he spent many happy days going through the park, seeing the shows, eating at the fabulous restaurants and growing big enough to ride some of the rides. When Daniel came along, we had him hanging out at Downtown Disney within his first week! We sadly moved away just before baby Chester was born, so he’s never been there. But it’s definitely in our plans to go back again soon!
The problem is, it’s a lot less expensive to go to Disney World when you’re a Florida resident than it is when you’re from anywhere else! But lucky for us all, I happen to have the inside track on how to save money on your next trip!
Every year there are certain times of the calendar that are popular with guests, and these peak seasons usually fall when kids are on summer break and during the holiday seasons, when folks have the ability to travel. The demand for time and resources also means that everything is more expensive both at the parks and around them. When you only have peak season to work with, it can be hard to put together an affordable Disney World trip where you know you will get your money’s worth in the time that is available to you.
Use these 5 tips to help you plan a budget trip to Walt Disney World during the peak seasons of the year.
Timing is Everything
If you know that you are going to make Disney World a priority, pick the dates of your vacation far in advance and book everything as early as you can. Disney allows for you to make payments towards your vacation so that you do not have to pay all at once initially, nor defer the expensive payments when you are ready to travel. Doing this means that you snag the dates you want, and you get the best prices available to you, because they will only go up after the initial price quotes are given.
Skip the Weekend
Even if you have to travel during peak season, avoid the weekends because not only will the majority of guests be traveling in for a couple days at the parks, but locals will flock to the parks at the same time. Monday through Friday are guaranteed to provide you with better rates for everything from hotels to dining to car rentals and airfare. Lines will be shorter too, which means you get more done in the park and more for the money you’ve spent.
Consider Alternate Forms of Transportation
From flights to getting around the parks and the city of Orlando, think of alternate forms of transportation that you can take. Orlando has two airports, and the smaller one is serviced by budget airlines that do not fly into any major airports, but might also be closer to your home. A road trip or train travel might also work out to be much cheaper than flying too. When in town, forgo a car rental and rely on hotel shuttles, Disney’s own transportation services and the now popular Uber or other taxi providers that can get you almost everywhere.
Ask for Discounts
Most online booking options are set prices that merchants are going to put up because they know people are willing and ready to pay those rates. It is possible, and fairly easy, to pick up the phone and call places directly to ask about special discounts or deals that are being offered. If there are none, ask for a discounted rate just for you– yes, management has the ability to offer these and often do. Even if it is just a ten percent discount on your room rate, it can be the difference between being able to book three or five nights at a place.
DIY Your Hotel Stay
Staying on Disney property is all part of the fun and can sometimes make things easier, but during peak season its going to cost you a lot more, be harder to book because of availability and might be more crowded than you are comfortable with. Booking an apartment or rental property off site is a great way to save a lot of extra cash during peak season, and a lot of the popular vacation booking sites even have hotel or suite accommodations available for up to half the price of a Disney stay per night.
All in all, there are a ton of ways you can save money when making Disney travel plans. I guarantee that if you’re saving money, you’re going to be so much more willing to spring for that awesome keepsake cup or the cute t-shirt you find on Main St USA!
Have any other tips to share? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear your ideas!