Planning a trip to the House of Mouse in Orlando? Here are our top 10 tips to help you save money and make the most of your holiday at Disney World Florida.
How to do Disney on a budget
How to do Disney World Florida on a budget
If you are staying at a Disney resort, take advantage of the Magical Express Transportation shuttle service, which is complimentary to and from your hotel/Orlando International Airport.
Travelling with children under the age of three? They get free admission to all Walt Disney World parks. If you're not taking your own buggy, it can be cheaper to pay for your buggy hire in one go ($13 for multiple days instead of $15 for single days) – or even consider buying a cheap buggy.
Eating healthily at the parks doesn't have to be expensive – for example, you can buy apples, pears and oranges for just 85 cents. And the ever popular giant turkey legs (which go a looong way and are made for sharing) are around $9.
Take water bottles so you can fill up at the fountains in the parks and save money on buying soft drinks which will quickly mount up in the Florida heat. If you're staying at a Disney resort, buy the refillable cup ($5.95 to $9.95) and then your soft drinks, tea and coffee will be free at your hotel.
Make sure you have a big breakfast to set you up for the day and take your own snacks and drinks into the park – there are absolutely no restrictions on doing this. Tom Sawyer's Island in Magic Kingdom is a relaxing place to stop and have a picnic.
Consider staying at a Disney value resort – choose from the Pop Century Resort and the three All-Star resorts. Rooms start at just £19 per person per night (based on four sharing), and you get all the benefits of staying at a Disney hotel, including Disney's Extra Magic Hours giving you more time to enjoy the parks before the crowds start arriving and free use of the transportation system (including the boat, monorail and bus).
For an inexpensive souvenir your kids will want to keep forever, get them an autograph book (around $6) and then they can collect characters' signatures as you walk around the park. And if you're going to give them some spending money, set a limit, and stick to it – they'll have fun working out what to buy with their US dollars and it will teach them how to budget, too.
Book your holiday as early as possible to get the best savings. For example, if you book for 2013 now (by 20 June), you get extras including dining for free for the duration of your stay, $200 spending money and a 14 day ticket for the price of seven.
The longer you stay, the less you pay - a multi-day ticket works out cheaper than buying individual day passes. Not only does your entry ticket give you admission to all the rides, but the parades and fireworks are included as well, making it great value for money. You can find out more info about ticket options here http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/tickets-passes/
The Disney Dining Plan is an easy way to budget for food during your stay. There are different packages available, saving you up to 40 per cent of the cost of meals, and you can choose from over 100 different restaurants.