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Family Vacation at Disney World on a Budget
Saving money on a Disney vacation is truly one of my passions. My Disney obsession began when I was just eight years old when I walked through the entrance to Magic Kingdom. I love it just as much today with my own family as I did when I was a kid. Now I am a bit wiser and have learned a few tips that have saved us a bundle on a family vacation at Disney World and I am sure these tips will help you save money too.
Where to Stay?
Our first order of business involves your accommodations, whether you are flying or driving you will still need a place to stay. On our first trip with our kids, we went through a travel agent and spent a ton on a cramped room with two queen-sized beds. It was neither comfortable nor affordable but it sure taught us a bunch.
After talking with as many Floridians as I could I discovered we could have rented an entire house complete with a private pool for much less. In my opinion, this is the only way to go and where you will save your biggest bucks. Do an internet search for Orlando vacation rentals and select your home. Be sure you use safe internet practices before deciding to rent from someone, use a reputable rental agency and it does not hurt to ask for references. For an additional fee, you can purchase pool heat which is a wise idea because sometimes the weather is a little cooler than we've expected but the pool heat will overcome any weather challenges you may face, temperature-wise.
How to Save Money on Meals
The second place you will save a bundle is in stock your home with food. You would have to purchase groceries for the week even if you stayed home so once you have arrived at your home make sure to go out and purchase your groceries. The week before you leave for vacation, make sure to make your shopping list complete with your coupons and viola! You will eat like the Kings on a pauper's budget. Be sure to purchase bottled water, which is expensive in the parks. Place your water bottles in the freezer and you can take them into the parks with you and they will stay cold a long while. You can refill them anywhere in the park.
On park day, bring a bag with you and place your frozen water bottles on the bottom and stack some sandwiches and snacks on top, it will be like a mini cooler which will help prevent those little expensive snack breaks. When your mini cooler is, empty it will be nearly dinnertime and with all of the money you have saved yourself thus far, you will be able to have a nice dinner in a fancy restaurant.
Get Your Tickets!
The third area I will talk about is free tickets and ticket deals. It seems at nearly every turn you will find someone offering you a “ticket deal”. Be careful here, many involve lengthy visits to timeshares with pushy salespeople wanting your purchase. We were sucked into one of these ordeals once and wasted an entire day, we did get the tickets in the end, but it was very difficult because we were not purchasing the timeshare.
My suggestion is to either buy your tickets online, which saves a bunch of time, but if that is not possible. Stop into any gift shop or hotel lobby and grab yourself a few of their brochures. You will find great deals in them often, buy one and get one free deals on meals and free-gift with purchase deals.
More to See
The final thing I would like to say is that there is more to Orlando than Disney World. In the brochures I just spoke of, you will discover many, off the beaten trail, things to do that have become family favorites of ours that are very inexpensive to do. I am sure, too, that you will find them a refreshing break from all the lines and waiting at the parks.
Now, put your walking shoes on and go have fun, these memories will last a lifetime. Oh, one last tip, once in the parks, grab a map and start in the back of the park and work your way to the door. Most everyone else will start from the beginning and all wait in line but you will not because no one will be in the back for a long time. When the day is over you will already be in the front of the park to see your last attractions maybe the parade and out you will go to your trolley.
Have fun, Disney is magic!
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