I know my way around saving money on Disney Cruise Line, but Walt Disney World always leaves me feeling a little bit at a loss. How do I find a good deal? Is the website my best way to go or should I work with a Travel Agent? Packages or room only discounts or park hoppers or free dining? Tickets? Does going in the off season really save any money? And airfare. Always the airfare.
Then I read The Ultimate Guide to an Affordable Disney World Vacation thanks to a free copy of the book from a Blogorail friend, Kevin Barry.
Hi. I’m Lori and I’m a Disney Tips Pinterest addict.
So I pin hundreds of pins that explain different methods to save and spend at Walt Disney World. The problem is that these tips are floating around in my head with no clear plan of which ones work best. (Which is perhaps why I love using a good travel agent when I go to WDW, but I digress.)
Rather than overload with tons of ways to save a dollar here and there, Kevin Grady’s book focuses on the big ticket items in a vacation budget (transportation, tickets, resorts/hotels, and food) and focuses on a few good tips for each to save hundreds of dollars in that category. This is doable.
The Ultimate Guide to an Affordable Disney World Vacation – How Much Did I Save Using Just One Hint?
By following just one tip in each of the categories on our upcoming last minute vacation, how much could we really save?
We are traveling to soon to use credit card airline miles toward our trip, but by choosing to fly Thursday and Tuesday at odd hours, we’ll be spending $152 round trip each. Which is less than the best price on the weekends ($208 round trip each) or more if I wanted better flight times ($367 round trip each), even last minute. That shaved off $56 per person.
Savings on Transportation – $168
Total savings so far – $168
I always have been a park hopper girl. It’s what we book. It wasn’t until I started doing detailed trip reports that I realized quite how much vacation time is eaten by hopping. Never mind the financial cost.
Four day tickets are currently $325 for an adult and $305 for a child but if you add park hopper options they jump to $394 and $374. That’s not an insignificant price to be paying to spend extra time traveling between parks rather than staying in one park all day enjoying it.
Savings on Tickets- $207
Total savings so far – $375
I’m perfectly happy using any of the value resorts and taking advantage of the free transportation both to and from the airport and to and from the parks. However, rack rate (the cost of the hotel without booking it as part of a package) can be quite a bit higher than I’d prefer.
Rack rate for Pop Century is currently $120.20 per night. By booking our room and tickets together as a package, the cost per night drops to $96.16 per night. We’re staying for five nights. Always check if the room only rates or the package rates are better for you!
Savings on Resort- $120 and change
Total savings so far – $495
We’ll have to wait and see if we save any money in this category, but we sure stand to! I’m a big fan of splitting meals, we always pick character breakfasts over lunch or dinner, free cups of water over buying bottles and love eating our big sit down meal at lunch time rather than dinner.
All of these add up to savings but I am not going to get into the nitty gritty for the time being. I’d estimate that the overall savings is generally at least $50 per day.
Savings on Food- $250
Total savings estimate – $700-800
If I can save that much on a last minute trip for a few people when I’m only utilizing a few easy tips, I’d imagine that you can easily save thousands from a well planned trip for the whole family.
To repeat, these are some of the easier tips (and ones I’d heard before) and I could easily have saved another $500 had I booked my trip a little earlier. With a little reading, your dream trip is in reach.
You can find The Ultimate Guide to an Affordable Disney World Vacation on Amazon. It’s currently on sale for Kindle too!