This economy has been tough on all of us so the last thing we need is to see prices go up especially when it comes to the cost of a Walt Disney World vacation.
Thus it makes sense from time to time to revisit the topic of how to get around the high cost of going to Orlando and how to get the most out of your vacation dollars.
So let’s take a brief stroll around this issue and point out some things that you may or may not already realize.
Airfare is not getting any cheaper and I am finding that I am now looking at all flights on the day I plan to fly and opting for the cheapest flight. The savings can be significant.
Look for flight times that most people prefer not to use. I have found that early flights are most popular and that mid-afternoon and late night flights seem to be not just sometimes less expensive but also less crowded.
This may not be true of all cities but it’s worth a look for your particular airport.
If you are renting a car don’t ignore potential savings by renting through your airlines. Not only did I save money but also got credit towards my frequent flyer miles.
Of course the cheapest way to go from the airport to Walt Disney World and back is Magical Express.
Theme Park admission continues to rise…not to mention the cost of parking at the theme parks
Get this: A 10-Day Magic Your Way Adult ticket (base cost of $258.80 (includes tax)”¦with a park-hopper adder ($55.38)”¦with a no-expiration adder ($209)”¦for someone who stays off property and must pay the $14 parking fee ($140 for 10 days), will realize a total expense of $663.18.
You have to drop down to a 6-day ticket before your price actually drops below the cost of an Annual Pass ($520.79).
It makes you think more and more about that Annual Pass doesn’t it?
If you do stay on property you would not have to pay that $14 a day to park.
However, besides admission, that Annual Pass is also helpful in your cost workarounds
Lately the Walt Disney World Resorts have been offering some very attractive discounts but whatever you hear for the announced rate be sure and always look for something better. Use vacation planners (travel agents) to help you and always look for the Annual Pass rates.
Usually many people will try to get the most out of their vacation and fly down on a Friday night”¦.stay the weekend”¦.plus the whole next week and weekend and fly back on a Sunday night for a total of 10 days. Nice erh?
However, several of those 10 nights will be more expensive than the other six because they are weekend nights.
Yes, it cost more to stay at a WDW resort on a weekend night than a week day night.
So”¦if you really want to stay ten days I would start your first night on a Sunday. Again, check with a vacation planner to be sure.
I would like to go on record right now to say that unless the Disney Dining Plan goes through some major changes then I would avoid it like the plague.
Reason number one”¦fewer restaurants are on the plan today than were several years ago”¦.you have less options
Reason number two”¦.you are not really given the flexibility of choosing from the entire menu”¦at least in every restaurant”¦there are restrictions.
Reason number three”¦.appetizers are no longer included”¦.you can have them for a price.
So what to do?
Three words: Tables of Wonderland.
This little discount card offered to Annual Passholders, gets you 20% off meals at virtually all WDW sit-down restaurants. I say virtually because policies are always changing.
The last time I checked the card costs $75 so if you expect to pay around $380 in sit-down meals on your trip then the card will pay for itself just on that trip alone.
Something else to keep in mind”¦.if possible eat the latest lunch you can in a sit-down restaurant and opt for a quick-service meal for dinner”¦on average you will save at least 15% on your meal budget every day by adding that to your overall plan of attack.
Those are the basic things I do and they seem to work and allow me to not just save on my trips but allows me to take more than one trip in a calendar year”¦again which makes the all important Annual Pass and Tables of Wonderland my allies in the battle against the high cost of a Walt Disney World Vacation.