The Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is a wonderful place to spend time together as a family, and you’ll be giving your children an experience they always remember. The good news is that, with a little savvy financial planning, that world-famous Disney magic doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Once you’ve found the best tickets to suit your needs at the best price, there are still things you can do to keep costs low once you arrive to start your Florida holiday. Before you even get on the plane, work out how much you realistically have to spend, and stick to it.
Everyone in your party will have to accept that you won’t physically be able to do absolutely everything. Try and do too much and you could just end up exhausted: remember the idea is to have a fun-packed break!
By ensuring you arrive at the parks as early as you can bear to, you will be able to maximise each day by beating the queues and getting the most from your tickets.
When planning your budget, you of course need to factor in all those extra costs. These can include things like parking and petrol costs, if you are determined to hire a car. (Bear in mind that there’s also a trolley bus which runs all day between parks, leaving every 20 minutes which could be the cheapest option.)
Get a realistic feel for distances between the various parks and your accommodation using an online aerial map website before your departure. If you do hire a car, satnav may not be included so if you already have one it could be cheaper to download the US map software before leaving, and take your console with you.
For families needing a pushchair for more than a few days, save on the costs of hiring a buggy by taking a light model, or even buying an inexpensive one from somewhere like Wal-Mart when you get to America.
Likely to split up once you hit the parks? Keep in touch with walkie talkies rather than playing sky-high overseas mobile costs. You can’t legally use a British-built model in the States, but you can find them cheaply when you’re in Florida, and with some villas they are included in the rental package.
You can also save money by stocking up on snacks and drinks more affordably from local supermarkets, rather than buying these things in the parks. Once you’re in the parks, keep an eye out for coupon booklets which provide savings on shops, restaurants and attractions. Places like International Drive Orlando and Flamingo World also offer discount coupons which you can print off and take with you.
Another tip for planners is the Walt Disney World guide book, available to buy online, which has maps of the parks and information on what to see once you arrive.
Finally, Florida is a beautiful state, and, if you can drag the kids away from the big theme parks, and experience some of the area’s natural geography, you’re in for a treat. Many of the lovely state parks, such as World Heritage Site the Everglades, charge just a few dollars to get into.
So if you and your family have your sights set on a holiday in Florida this summer, get planning and start saving now. It can all be a lot more affordable than you thought.