15 Great Ways to Save Money at Disney World in 2011
Disney World is Every Child’s Dream
Let’s face it, every child wants to visit Walt Disney World. I remember back to when my parents would take my brother and I on trips to Disney. At the time, I was 8 years old or so and my brother was about 4 years of age. There was no way in hell that my brother and I were going on ANY rides because we were both deathly afraid of them. I’m talking we were afraid of EVERY ride, including the bumper cars and the tea cups!
If I could turn back time I would have seriously made an attempt to get on the rides and actually try to enjoy myself but hey, what are you going to do? I guess I just feel bad for my parents who had worked their butts off to fly us all down to Orlando as a family, purchase extremely expensive passes to get us into Disney World and in turn all that we would be willing to do was just stroll around the park while sight seeing. I remember my father getting aggravated at the time and now looking back I totally understand where his frustration was coming from. Imagine spending $3,000 – $4,000 dollars on a trip to WDW and your kids won’t even think about getting on the wussiest of wussy theme park rides? Sure, there’s plenty of other things to see and do other than just the rides but whether you like to hear it or not a big part of visiting Disney World is the exhilarating rides!
Don’t Let the Economy Ruin Your Plans
Now a days the economy is down so less people are whisking their families to Disney World. It’s unfortunate because I think all children should have a Disney experience at some point in their lives. The good thing though is that these days there are a lot of ways to cut costs on trips to Disney World and I would like to highlight 15 ways to Save money at Disney World in 2011.
These money saving tips will enable you to take the kids to Disney without breaking the bank. You may not save thousands using these tips, but you have to start somewhere, right? Saving money is SAVING MONEY! Check out these 15 great ways to save below:
Visit Disney’s Entertainment Complex
1. Be sure not to miss out on the various FREE THINGS to do at Disney World such as visiting Disney’s Entertainment Complex. Both of the entertainment complex offer free admission. Although the admission is FREE, most of the activities inside do tend to cost money but it won’t cost half as much as a ticket into one of the Disney’s theme parks. Walking around and taking in the sights is free, so if you’ve got smaller children then this might be a great way to spend the day.
Stroll the Boardwalk
2. Take a stroll down Disney’s Boardwalk. Also, be sure to check out the Downtown Disney Area, or take your family on a adventurous hike through Disney’s Wilderness Preserve area.
Utilize Disney’s Free Transportation
3. Use Disney’s FREE water transportation to take you around some of the best FREE boat rides in the park are the Downtown Disney to the Port Orleans Hotel, Seven Seas Lagoon Boats, and the EPCOT Waterway Boats.
Visit Disney in Low Season
4. Visit Disney World during off season! If possible, planning your next Walt Disney World trip during off-season can really equal big savings when it comes to airfares and hotel rates.
Don’t Blow Your Money on Theme Park Merchandise
5. Avoid purchasing Disney merchandise inside of the theme parks. Your best bet will be to shop at the factory outlet stores such as Orlando Premium Outlets. The OPO sells Disney merchandise at highly discounted prices which will be far cheaper than any purchase you make on a resort or at the theme park. Note: Go to one of Orlando’s local Walmart stores to purchase your souvenirs. Shopping for souvenirs at Walmart will surely provide you with an even bigger discount on the merchandise your kids are looking for.
Avoid the Expensive Theme Park Food
6. If you’ve got the hungry horrors, avoid spending endless amounts of cash on junk food at the theme parks. Do yourself a favor and take your family to one of the all-you-can-eat buffets that lie just outside Disney World. Some of the more popular buffets like Boston Lobster Feast, Sweet Tomatoes, Ponderosa, Sizzler, or Golden Corral will certainly do the trick.
Don’t Forget Your AAA or AARP Card
7. Are you a AAA or AARP Member? If so, take advantage of the special rates and discounts when purchasing things like merchandise, tickets, and more during your Disney World vacation.
8. BYOWB – Bringing your own water bottle to the theme parks will save you a boatload of money because you’ll be able to fill up your bottle at one of the hundreds of water bubblers throughout the park.
Hand Stamps are Cool
9. When exiting the theme parks, make sure you don’t forget to get your hand stamped. This will allow you to take off to one of the cheap off site buffets listed above in #6 and return to the park later in the afternoon after your lunch when the parks start to get a little less busy.
Don’t Try to Squeeze Everything in
10. One of the biggest mistakes that families make is to not allow enough “relaxing” time to the beginning and end of their vacations. When purchasing your Disney World Tickets, choose the tickets based on your length of stay in Orlando. If you’ve only got 5 days in Orlando, don’t buy a 5-day pass thinking you’ll be able to squish everything into the five days. Give yourself some space and incorporate some down time into your vacation. Sure, it’s for the kids but you deserve to have a nice relaxing vacation too!
Free Publications Usually Equal Discounts
11. Keep an eye out for FREE magazines such as “I Love Orlando” this magazine is full of great coupons and discounts on area attractions, restaurants and specialty shops in Orlando.
Head over to Disney’s Official Website
12. Check out Disney.com for offers on advanced ticket purchases for up to 4 to 6% off theme park prices.
Score Cheap Theme Park Tickets on eBay
13. Scope out tickets on sites like eBay. Sometimes you’ll be lucky enough to find someone who purchased a 5-day ticket that still has a few days left on it. Finding a ticket deal like this can save you a lot of money.
Finding Budget Accommodations Near Disney
14. Take a look at the various budget accommodation choices within a 10 minute drive from the main entrance of Walt Disney World. Great deals can be found at any one of the many hotels or resorts. There is so many accommodations in the area that you’ll likely be able to score a great deal on something close by. Of course great deals can be found as long as you have a rent-a-car that is. If you prefer to stay closer to the park, you can also find some very affordable timeshare rentals at a Disney Vacation Club resort. Search online for DVC owners looking to rent out their unused properties and you could stay within the park for the same price as the other budget accommodations that are miles away.
Coming with Another Family? Rent a House!
15. If you’re planning on visiting Disney with another family or two be sure to look into renting a house in the immediate area. By going in 2 or 3 ways on a house rental you’ll be able to cut down on your accommodation expenses. When traveling in groups, it’s always smarter to go in on a house or villa in the Orlando/Disney area.