Just recently we came back from a wonderful family vacation to Walt Disney World. It was fantastic! We had fun, family bonding and great food. It was a trip that we will remember all year. Being a South Florida resident, I have made it my missions to travel to Disney at least once a year. I would go more but my husband adamantly refuses.
Why? Why would he not want to visit the happiest place on earth more then once a year. (Crazy I know?) Mainly, the steep price tag. It is not cheap to visit the Mouse. With the price rising year after year, we have had to scale back our Disney travels. For this reason it has become very important to me to make our time the most magical it could be. Here are some tips I have learned in my Disney travels that might improve your stay.
Take advantage of discounts programs
Most companies and organizations like AAA have a discount program that could save you some money on your trip. Sadly, in my experience it is near impossible to get a discount on tickets. Even Florida residents only save something like $8-9 for a one-day park pass. However, you can save a pretty penny on a resort stay and food using these types of discounts.
Do not go for a high-end hotel if you are spending all you time at the parks
It is not worth spending $250 a night for a comfy bed if you are spending every vacation day at a theme park. It is much more cost effective to stay at a value resort or off premises, where the per night cost is considerably lower. Don’t get me wrong the more expensive resorts are beautiful and have some great fun things to do like lazy rivers, bonfires, movies under the stars. But if you are spending everyday in the packs you will never get the time to fully take advantage of theme, making the higher price just not worth it. These type of resort are a vacations destination by themselves. If you must stay in a high end hotel, leave one day free for pool, exploring and leisure time at the resort.
Bring or make breakfast in your room
While you are staying in Orlando you and your children will be waking up bright and early (mine woke up at 5 am) to get to the parks. You can hit the snooze button a bit longer by having a ready-to-eat breakfast in your hotel room. Food such as a protein bar, smoothie or to-go oatmeal cups you can make using hot water from your coffee maker will make breakfast a lot easier quicker, easier and cheaper. A sit down breakfast for four can cost you $30.00 to $50.00 in some cases. Go to a local convenience store like Walgreens or CVS and stock up a cooler for the week. Eat breakfast in. This will save you time and money.
Use Fastpass and plan out your day
I am someone who likes to have a plan for my day. However, even if you are more of a “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of person, it will make your trip a million times better by mapping out what you really want to do on your Disney trip. Is Disney history your thing, character greetings? Maybe there is a ride or two you just have to go on? Take advantage of the new Fastpass feature to see if you can preschedule the most busy rides, making your time in line much shorter. Also by knowing what you really want to see, you can prioritize where to spend the bulk of your time because lets face it you can not see everything (A lesson I had to come to terms with myself.)
Nap your kids and yourself