Believe it or not, you can live it up at Walt Disney World Resort - whether you plan on visiting Disney's Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios or Disney's Animal Kingdom - without making a huge dent in your wallet. By planning ahead, seeking out the best online deals and following the money-saving tips listed below, you can enjoy significant savings on your Disney World vacation getaway - without sacrificing any of your family's comfort or enjoyment.
1. Seek out discount Disney World tickets, budget accommodations convenient to Disney attractions and individually tailored Disney vacation packages before you arrive in Orlando.
2. If possible, plan your Disney World trip during the off-season and you will usually discover significantly lower airfares and hotel/resort rates.
3. If you are staying at a Disney resort, take advantage of complimentary transportation to all Walt Disney World theme parks, water parks and Downtown Disney.
4. Some of the area factory outlet stores such as Orlando Premium Outlets sell Disney merchandise at significantly lower prices than you will find at stores within the Disney World theme parks.
5. Check out some of the free things to do at Disney World such as strolling around Disney's Boardwalk and Downtown Disney, or hiking through the Disney Wilderness Preserve.
6. Take the family to one of the all-you-can-eat buffets that lie just outside Disney World property such as Bill Wong's Famous Buffet, Sweet Tomatoes, Boston Lobster Feast, Golden Corral, Ponderosa, Sizzler, Captain Nemo's Seafood Feast or Angel's Lobster, Crab & Prime Rib Buffet.
7. If you don't mind staying off Disney property, you will discover numerous budget motels and hotels (many of which provide complimentary transportation to Disney World theme parks) along Highway 192 in Kissimmee just East of the main entrance to Walt Disney World Resort.
8. Look for free publications such as I Love Orlando magazine, which contain a multitude of discount coupons to Disney area attractions, restaurants and specialty shops.
9. Before you book a hotel or motel, check if they offer guests a complimentary continental or full breakfast each morning.
10. Check out comprehensive online guides to Disney World such as Orlando, Florida Guide for in-depth information on Disney World discount tickets, accommodations and vacation packages.
11. For larger families, reunions or any other get-together at Disney World, it may make better financial sense to look into renting a vacation home, many of which offer enclosed garages, private backyard pools and washer/dryers.
12. If you are visiting one of the Disney World theme parks with young children, don't forget to bring along a backpack with some snacks or juice boxes.
13. You don't have to shell out big bucks to stay on Disney World property at one of Disney's budget all-star resorts - Disney's All-Star Movies Resort, Disney's All Star Music Resort and Disney's All-Star Sports Resort (all of which offer complimentary transportation to Disney theme parks and feature onsite food courts).
14. Instead of spending a fortune at a Disney character breakfast, take your kids to Town Square at Main Street, U.S.A. for autograph and photo opportunities with Disney characters.
15. Choose the appropriate Disney World ticket deal based on your family's length of stay in Orlando and remember not to overdo things - you will want to schedule time for rest and relaxation during your trip.
16. If you choose to eat at the Disney World theme parks, try to make lunch your big meal of the day when prices are considerably lower than for dinner (especially at Epcot's World Showcase).
17. Whenever you leave one of Disney World's theme parks, make sure to get your hand stamped. Then after you rest awhile and enjoy a cheaper dinner off site, you can head back to the park after the crowds have thinned out.
18. You may want to schedule your Walt Disney World vacation around one of Disney's highly acclaimed annual events and festivals, many of which are included with the price of admission such as the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, Star Wars Weekends, Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Festival of the Seasons, ABC Super Soap Weekend, Festival of the Masters and Holidays Around the World.
19. Carry your own water bottle into the Disney theme park and you can fill it up at any of the abundant water fountains throughout the day.
20. Establish a budget for Disney World souvenirs and stick to your budget (no matter how many cool gifts you see as you stroll through Epcot's World Showcase!).
21. If you are an AAA or AARP member, take advantage of any special rates or discounts that are available during your Disney World vacation.
22. Many off-site hotels and motels with onsite restaurants offer "Kids Eat Free" deals (one child eats free per paying adult).
23. Purchase such necessities as film and sunscreen before you arrive at Disney World, since prices at the theme parks are more expensive for such items.
24. If you are staying at one of the Disney resorts, take advantage of Disney's Magical Express, which provides complimentary shuttle service to and from the Orlando International Airport (reservations are required for Disney's Magical Express).
25. If possible, try to avoid Disney World during holiday weekends and Spring Break when prices are higher and the theme parks are most crowded.