Need tips and advice for planning a budget friendly Disney World trip

Discussion in 'Disney World Tips' started by suzybeezy, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. suzybeezy

    suzybeezy I'm taken, but I have two evil stepsisters - lol

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Messages:
    451
    I'm hopin' to go sometime in April. Need help or advice on how to do it as cheaply as possible. Also of the weeks available in April, which would you recommend to be the best to go (lowest crowds). Is it cheaper to fly on the weekends or weekdays? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. ~April J~

    ~April J~ Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Messages:
    123
    Hi. I'm new so I won't be much help just wanted to say we are going in April. We are also from Pa (Wyalusing)

    The only tip for cheaper I have found to be true is book your flight asap. We could have saved ourselves $500 had we booked our flight sooner, prices went up fast!!!

    Also go to a travel agent. Ours knew of some code when she made our reservations and saved on our hotel a little.

    We are leaving the 8th but have found that several schools will have off for spring break so it will be a bit more crowded I have read that the end of April is better for crowd reasons.
     
  4. DisneyGirl1991

    DisneyGirl1991 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Messages:
    82
    Sorry, I have no idea on what time is best in April. :confused3 We are going in April and this will be our first time at that time of year. I hope you have a wonderful trip though!:)
     
  5. MichelleinMaine

    MichelleinMaine DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,401
    If the lack-of flights from this area is any indication, most of northern New England will be hanging out in the parks. :)(Might want to try the week after?)

    It's usually cheaper to fly Tues-Thurs. Check alternate airports too (in FL,you could try Sanford, for example, instead of Orlando.) If you have choices from your hometown, check out those as well. A site like kayak.com will let you check various airlines with an option to check alternate airports too.
     
  6. ilovecountry

    ilovecountry seeing isn't believing, believing is seeing

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    373
    Well depending on the kind of things you were looking for, you can also book through a discount travel site (like expedia, etc) They can book your hotel & flight relatively cheaper then it would be through disney. The only downside would be you wouldn't be able to do the dining plan- which is what a lot of people prefer. *My friends & I couldn't afford an expensive vacation so after we booked through the travel site, we just made reservations at the buffets in each park since we couldn't do the dining plan. To cut down costs we sent down a package to our hotel room full of pop, water, snacks that we love, etc. In the morning, we would grab a couple of bottles & some snacks to eat in the park. Then at night if we were still hungry, we just grabbed a burger. Each day I spend no more then 30-35 dollars. That included the buffet, a few snacks, burger, etc later on. Sending the drinks & random snacks for the morning really cut down on costs. If the DDP isn't essential to you, maybe booking through a travel site could work out. Good Luck :)
     
  7. dimimi

    dimimi DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,623
    I would try to go to the a travel web site and put in a variety of dates to see the airline prices. Then, I would go directly to the airline to see if the price is cheaper. That is the only way to know the airfare.

    You could drive.

    I would suggest you book quickly, April will be busy.

    You could stay at a Value Resort or stay off disney. If you stay on-site, you won't need a rental car.

    Have fun! I love planning Disney Trips!
     
  8. wano

    wano Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    61
    I saved $300 with a travel agent on the same package that disney had online.I priced my package then went ask them if they could do better some of them also have some good tips and can tell you what and when to do things. they understand you are looking for a bargain after all they're working people too.


    couldn't hurt to give it a shot
     
  9. Rylee

    Rylee DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    Messages:
    1,928
    Starting with Easter, 3/30 - 4/25 will be "Spring Break" for some districts, or colleges.

    • Flights are usually cheaper on Tues., Wed., Thurs., and Sat.
    • Value resorts start at $99 per night during April. Weekends are slightly higher with Disney's new pricing system.
    • "Standard location" rooms are cheaper than "preferred loctions."
    • If you have AAA, you can receive a discount on the room.
    • If you stay at a Disney resort, use ME to and from the airport and Disney transportaion around the world... no car rental or parking fees.
    • Buy MYW base tickets... no hoppers or add-ons. Take advantage of EMH to make the most of your park time. Swim at the hotel pool.
    • Pack breakfast and snack items... pop-tarts, granola bars, friut snacks, mini cereral boxes, etc.
    • Lunch is cheaper than dinner... if you want to eat at a few TS restaurants, schedule ADR's for lunch.
    • At CS meals, try sharing some items - for 2 people, order 1 complete meal... sandwich, salad and/or fries, and drink, plus one sandwich and drink.
    • If there is something you really want... go ahead and SPLURGE on it, and save the other stuff for the next trip!
     
  10. 1stluvispooh

    1stluvispooh <font color=blue>Go straight and never ever stop<b

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    903
    Ok I realize what I am going to say may be sacereligous to some, I am prepared to be flamed, but here is what we did to cut cost
    1) Drove We live in Ohio so the trip would be the same amount of time for you as it was for us. We saved over $400 including gas being over $3/gal and hotel for night.
    2) Stayed off property. We stayed at Windsor Hills townhouse and it was $79 a night so even with paying for parking we saved $12 a day in just lodging not to mention that we had breakfast at the condo every morning which for the week we were there cost about the same as 1 breakfast for my family of four at a counter service.
     
  11. karajeboo

    karajeboo DISmom by land and by sea!

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Messages:
    6,584
    I disagree with staying off property, only because there is a price to convenience, too. Look at staying in a value resort and go the very end of April, early May (we'll be there the first week of May!). That is "regular" season so prices are lower than in early April during Spring Breaks.

    I do agree with driving though. Leave the day before you want to arrive and stay somewhere outside Orlando (we stayed in Kissimmee the first time we did this for around $50/night) then check in to your resort first thing the next morning. Your room probably won't be ready but you will get your park passes and you can enjoy a full day at the parks! Then kind of do the reverse when you leave. Hang out at the parks until around 3 or so, then get on the road and find a hotel somewhere on I-95 on the way home - Savannah, GA is only about 4-5 hours from Orlando.

    Plus, if you drive, bring a cooler and keep in the room with bottled water, drinks, etc. Plus, while you're on the road, you can keep sandwiches, drinks, etc, in there to cut down on the cost of stopping to eat on the way. We just refill our cooler with ice each morning/evening at the resort and keep it stocked. You can also pack pop-tarts and breakfast foods, snacks to take to the parks, if you drive.
     
  12. karajeboo

    karajeboo DISmom by land and by sea!

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Messages:
    6,584
    Oh I almost forgot - I read one time that if you're looking for flights, the best time to purchase is at 12:00am on Wednesday morning. Don't know why and I've never tried it, but just thought I'd share!
     
  13. karters*mom

    karters*mom Vacation_Junkie ☼

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    432
    Family of 3 . Child 7 year old
    flying out of Buffalo $627 for flight for our family. Southwest Airlines
    :cool1:
    Staying All-Star Sports 7 nights 8 days
    :banana:
    8-day park hopper Water parks and more option
    Basic dining Plan
    :dance3:
    We paid $2265 for the package
    Booked through CAA/AAA
    :yay:
     
  14. gigsmoke

    gigsmoke Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    20
    just a couple things to consider

    First - consider renting points. Also consider 6 nights versus 7. if you are willing to skip 1 night make sure you skip either Friday or saturday, those are the expensive nights. Total point for 6 nights starting Sunday is 94 points. At $10 dollars a point the room is $940 for a very nice room.
    Second - No Park hoppers. Use the magic your way tickets. Plan your days at each park ahead of time and stay at that park for the day.
    3) Ship bottled water from a website like Staples.com Case of water is about $10 versus $4/bottle
    4) Ship a box of breakfast food, poptarts, cereal bars etc. Consider eating early lunches, treat like a brunch.
    Goodluck
     
  15. pisces219

    pisces219 Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    14
    we wanted to do this trip on a budget too. we typically get a rental car, i know, i know u dont really need a car at WDW but we really like to have one and use it everyday. we typically dont just visit disney. we visit friends/family in FL too. we also like being able to leave the property for dinner. with it being just us too adults, we really enjoy taking a break from the crowds, finding local restaurants and getting a chance of scenary. we also cant get the dining plan. so this trip we priced things out with dining on property with no rental car vs off property and the rental car costs. dining off property and having a rental car(assuming the cost is less then $20 a day) is cheaper. to us it was easier and more pleasurable to dine off property for dinner(we never waited, nor made reservations) however we have been to disney many times, been to many restaurants etc. so each trip we like to change things up and try new things. if we could get the dining plan we would be dining on property. anyways, i think the best money saver is bring your own snacks/drinks or buy off property. just for comparision....we bought two vitamin waters at our hotel one night, it was $5.52. the next day we stopped at walmart, i got two gatorades, two vitamin waters, one dr. pepper and a chapstick for $6.

    the earl of sandwich in DDT has awesome sandwiches and are inxpensive.

    shared counter service meals

    carry water around with you for a drink.

    eat at a breakfast buffet late morning. we had a 10:10 ressie for the crystal palace. we were not hungry till 5pm.
     
  16. d1gitman

    d1gitman Mad About The Mouse!

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    4,440
    If you don't mind me asking, what length of stay are you looking for and what is your budget, # of adults, # of children? Also, an FYI, for the past couple of yrs. we have taken advantage of the free dining promo in Aug-Sept. No guarantee they will offer it again but well worth it if they do. Disney usually posts it is April and has a May or June deadline for booking. That would be your biggest point of savings if you can wait.
     
  17. PiratesRock

    PiratesRock Mouseketeer<br><font color=blue>I swear to be a ha

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    396
    We saved some on souvineer budget by hitting the $1 store for glow sticks, parkas and such. We do this for any amusement park trip. The risk of wasting $4 on parka we don't need is nothing compared to wasting $30+ on parkas cause it's raining and we had to buy the ones at the gift shops.
     
  18. suzybeezy

    suzybeezy I'm taken, but I have two evil stepsisters - lol

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Messages:
    451
    Thanks for all the great help.

    Currently we're planning two adults, two kids. I'd like to stay around $2500.

    Ideally we'd like to do 2 days at Magic Kingdom, 1 day at Epcot and 1 day at MGM, then 1 day at Sea World and 1 maybe 2 days at Universal. We could skip Sea World and eliminate 1 day at Universal if we have to. But I can't imagine going all the way to Florida and not riding the Mummy so we have to find a way to do one day at Universal.

    We definately want to fly rather then drive. We want to avoid a rental car. I was online lookin' around and trying to compare staying on site vs staying off site. Seems the benefit that interests us for staying off site would be the shuttles that also go to Universal and Sea World. I've also notice alot provide continental breakfast, which will cut down on our costs for food.

    I can't figure out if its better to do an all inclusive package at Disney including the dining package or customize everything separately.

    We've been to Disney before but budget has never been a concern - so its really hard trying to make plans taking limited funds into consideration.
     
  19. d1gitman

    d1gitman Mad About The Mouse!

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    4,440
    I tend to go pretty crazy with all kinds of spreadsheets for analysis on costs. Everytime I compare onsite vs. offsite, onsite wins. Everytime i compare Disney packages vs. seperates, the Disney packages win. We live in MA and fly to Orlando for our trips. With the free dining package, we were able do 9n/10d at a value resort, MYW H2O fun-n-more, no hopper, 4 airline ticks for a total of $2650. We fly to Orlando on a Friday night because the price of Friday afternoon/evening airfare has been slightly less than Sat. early AM. This offsets the price of the friday checkin vs. saturday checkin. This gives us a full saturday. The free dining in Aug-Sept is what makes it all so affordable. We have gone on the last day of promo in Sept. and they allow the free dining to continue for up to 14 days. The other bene of going from a Fri-Sun is that the airfare is the same for a 2 day trip or a 10 day trip. The MYW passes are virtually the same cost from 3 days -10 days. Free food is free food. So the only added expense from the 6n7d package disney promotes is 3 more night of hotel at approx. $100n. We think $2650 for the entire trip is fabulous. $2500 for airfare, food, disney, universal might be a stretch. I will see if i can figure out a way because i am always open finding more ways to 'skin the cat'.
     
  20. suzybeezy

    suzybeezy I'm taken, but I have two evil stepsisters - lol

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Messages:
    451
    Thank you d1gitman. We don't really want to go in the summer cause my youngest son has a condition where he can't tolerate heat well, that's why we're thinking Spring may be best.

    I've noticed that it saves the more days park tickets you buy but then the cost of adding more hotel days and food increases. If we stay on site is there a way to still go to Universal one day? How would we get there without renting a car? We were leaning towards the off site option so it would provide transportation to not only Disney, but also Universal plus alot of hotels offer free breakfast, which would again reduce cost.

    Still can't figure out what day to fly out and work in for attendance in parks? Are weekends bad for crowds? We thought going to the parks from Monday to Friday, arriving early Monday and leaving Saturday - thinkin' we could do MGM on Monday, MK on Tues, Epcot on Wed, and Universal Thursday, then MK for the last day.

    Doing a check on air fare - on expedia best price I can do for the week of May 5 thur the 10th was $958, best price on Southwest for same week is $696. I was able to price out staying on site at an All Star resort plus 4 day tickets was approx. $1400 (no dining option); adding the first dining option takes it to $1885. Offsite - at a Doubletree with free continental breakfast came to $899 plus 4 days tickets at $780 = $1679. Whereas I found a hotel, Polynesian Inn, which has free shuttle to Disney & Universal, plus free breakfast for a total of $327.00 - then when we add on tickets from disney site it comes to around $1100 and we then only have to buy dinner and small lunch on site and if we use Southwest we should be able to stick around the $2500 mark.

    UGH - too much information - all so confusing :scared:
     
  21. RllngRckBrw

    RllngRckBrw DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,646
    Be sure to take into consideration all of the costs of something taht may appear cheaper. We found that once you factor in the price of a car rental and parking prices is is much cheaper to stay at a on-site hotel for us. These things can greatly effect your overall price.

    We also see that food has been a huge part of our budget. We are unwilling to give up our TS resturants, however if you are willing to find unique CS resturants and/or are willing to eat burgers and fries everyday you can save money there as well.

    Also, buy only what you need regarding your tickets. If you can plan well enough to get all the shows, parades rides, etc done in one park a day, dont buy the hopper (I have also been told you can add the hopper any time you want if you do decide this later). If you are unsure about waterparks, Pleasure Island or DisneyQuest leave that off as well.

    Dont be afraid to play with the number of days you go to the parks. The more you go the cheaper per day it is. We ended up getting a ticket for day 7 that only cost $7 more. It was well worth the price even if we only go over for the evening on our first day.

    I hope this helped. Enjoy your trip!!!
     

Share This Page