Finding the Best Deals on Disney Vacations

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If you have never been to Disney World before you are guaranteed to experience two things.  The first is good news…you are going to have a ton of fun with your family.  The second experience is not quite as exciting, and that is the feeling of being overwhelmed by all of the different vacation deals and packages you will have to sort through.  Not to worry though, if you spend some time doing your research you can make sure you are getting a solid deal.  Here are some simple strategies to get you started in the right direction.

On-Site or Off-Site AccommodationsDisney Vacation Deals

Deciding whether or not you will be staying on the resort property should be one of the first questions you ask yourself.  Obviously, the benefit of staying at an on-site Disney resort is the convenience of location.  But there is a significant increase in cost for this luxury, and it spans across multiple categories such as food and entertainment.  If you are working with a tight budget you should consider an off-site hotel.  Not only will the room rates be cheaper, but you will have quick access to cheaper outlets for meals and souvenirs.

Always Call for the Best Prices
While we all enjoy the accessibility of the internet for research purposes, it never hurts to follow up with a real person on the phone.  Many internet packages offered online are take-it-or-leave-it propositions.  They are structured as automated sales and therefore they don’t always calculate the maximum savings offered.  Even if you find the deal of a lifetime, it never hurts to pick up the phone and see if you can’t find a better price.  Depending on cancellations and the time of year, a hotel might grant you a special rate if you can prove to them that you are shopping around.

Disney isn’t Always the Cheapest
You would figure that since Disney owns its resort properties that they would be able to offer the biggest discount on packages, but this is not always true.  There are a number of experienced travel agents that buy inventories in advance at wholesale prices with the risk of having to resell them.  Because of this fact they can still make significant returns while be able to provide you substantial savings over the current market rate.  Comparison shopping is the key to unlocking these deals.  Don’t just assume that Disney is the cheapest – get out there and do your homework!

These are just a few things to consider before making your vacation reservations.  No matter how attractive a package can appear online, it is always best to make some phone calls to test the market.  Of course you also need to check your sources to make sure they are reputable so that you don’t fall victim to a travel scam.  This can typically be avoided with a simple internet search of the company or person you are buying from.

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I'm a stay at home dad who created this site to share my strategies for saving money at Disney World. Hopefully you'll find some tips here to maximize your WDW budget!

Geoff has written 116 awesome articles for us at DisneyVacationSpecials.com

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Markeeta Hardin March 4, 2008 at 6:06 pm

What are the prices for vacation packages and are there payment options?

DisneyVacation March 5, 2008 at 1:44 am

Hi Markeeta -
Thanks for stopping by. Here is a link that should give you more pricing information for Disney World Vacation packages…

http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/wdw/magicYourWay/magicYourWayAffordable?id=MagicYourWayAffordablePage&bhcp=1

Tabitha Addison June 26, 2008 at 1:31 am

I would like to find an affordable package to bring my family-5 adults and 2 children to Disney World for a 7 day 6 night stay. Most of the online offers I have seen do not accommodate this many. I would like to plan on coming in an off peak time, maybe mid August or Thanksgiving. I would like to have something inside the park with park passes and meals included. Can you direct me to somewhere to visit to find what I am needing?
Thank you
Tabitha

DisneyVacation June 26, 2008 at 3:13 am

Tabitha -

5 adults is a bit of an odd number, which is probably why you are having problems. Try the calculator on this page: http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/wdwi/en_CA/reservations/ticketsAndReservationsLanding?id=TicketsAndReservationsLandingPage

You might also call the main reservation line to get some pricing info (407) 939-6244

I would compare costs across a couple of different sources before buying. You might also consider booking your hotel and park tickets seperately if it saves money.

Good Luck!

Stacey (sept 4 2008) September 4, 2008 at 6:31 pm

my husband and i are trying to plan a family vacation possibly in june 2010. Some of our other family members may go but they will stay in seperate rooms. We wanted to know when we should think of start booking a trip that far in advance. We were also thinking of doing the meal plan and getting hopper passes. This will be the first time my 2 daughters have ever gone to disney. They will be 7yrs old and just 2mths shy of 4yrs old and the time. Do you have any special tips you could give us so that we can make this special for them.

DisneyVacation September 5, 2008 at 2:49 am

Hi Stacey -
I think you are on the right track with the park hopper passes and the meal plans – both are great ways to save money.

As far as making your trip a special one, don’t forget to reserve a spot at one of the character dinning experiences – they are great for the kids. You might also look into visiting Universal Studios just to mix it up a little while you are there.

You are wise to plan ahead with your reservations. With gas costs increasing you can lock in a much cheaper rate now on flights and tickets. Lord knows they will only go up from here!

Stacey (sept 4 2008) September 5, 2008 at 2:34 pm

Thank you for relpying back so soon. I really appreciate what you told me. I will
take all the info you gave me in consideration. I think as soon as tax season approaches i am going to take and put a down pymt on a vacation for us.

thank you again
Stacey

Lisa October 10, 2008 at 3:42 pm

Hi. We want to play a vacation to Disney in Fla in Jan (2 adults and 2 kids). Is it cheaper to go in Jan? I heard that Jan is discount Disney month. Is this true? Should we go thru AAA? Would the prices be better? Is it cheaper to fly or drive (we only plan on spending about 3 – 4 days in Disney)? Any tips would be great!
Thanks!
Lisa

JOAN BARTHEL December 27, 2008 at 3:57 pm

HI,
MY HUSBAND AND I ARE PLANNING A RETURN TRIP TO DISNEY WORLD,BUT WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GO…MAY OR SEPT.,TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ANY SPECIAL’DEALS’..IS THERE A FREE MEAL PLAN OPTION OFFERED IN SEPT?
THANK YOU.
JOAN

Jim March 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Hello, Planning Disney vacation..Where can I find best prices..All included plane, hotel , tickets….Open to all price ranges..prefer med..low high…Thank you…

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