Save money on your Disney World trip

Caroline Cassidy
Cheap Disney World holidays
Cheap Disney World holidays

Pic: Getty

For many kids it's the stuff of dreams, and even for some adults, a trip to Walt Disney World in Florida is a once-in-a-lifetime break. But 'discovering the magic' can quickly mount up - here are a few tips on how to save money on your visit to the Magic Kingdom.

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Which ticket?
Depending on your holiday plans, you'll need to decide between buying base tickets, or day tickets, or an ultimate ticket that includes entry to all four of the Disney parks in Florida.

For basic entry to one park for a day, the Disney World US site is the cheapest option. It allows you to book your day trip (around £62 for an adult) and avoid queuing at the gate, a real bonus if you're going during peak season. If you plan on spending a few days at the park - and given that it covers 40 square miles, that's a real possibility - you'll get a cheaper price for each day added. You can also pay for add-ons where you can get entry to some of the other parks, such as the Water Park.

Do be aware that prices change quite frequently, and do not include taxes or charges, and in order to get the best prices you'll need to make sure you're booking via the US site, and not the UK version.

If you plan to spend most of your holiday enjoying all Disney World has to offer, however, the UK site is the place to go. Here you'll get seven, nine, 14 or 21-day 'ultimate tickets', which grant entry to all parks, and allow you to go to more than one park in a single day if you so wish. Check the 'Deals' section of the site to take advantage of their best offers, including nine days for the price of seven if you book before 30 June 2014.

Package or DIY?
Once again, this depends largely on whether your whole holiday in Florida will revolve around Disney World, or whether just a few days will be spent exploring the theme parks.

For instance, book your 2015 trip directly via Disney World's UK site and stay in one of the on-site resorts, which range from the 'value resort' to deluxe villas, and you'll get 14 park days for the price of seven, with access to all the parks.

On the other hand, if you plan to do more than just Disney, you might be better off booking your hotel, flights and park days separately. You may be able to pick up bargain Florida flights by comparing online with the likes of Skyscanner or Kayak, and the same goes for hotels. Alternatively, it's worth checking the cost of a standard package holiday for Florida, including flights, hotel, transfers and so on, and then factoring in the price of entry to the park.

Try a specialist
Though it's always worth checking Disney World's own site for offers and deals, there are other specialist websites that might provide a cheaper option. American Attractions and Floridatix are both approved and official UK Disney ticket vendors, while Undercover Tourist and Maple Leaf Tickets are others worth considering. Many of these offer free UK delivery of the tickets, and some also allow you to pay in pounds sterling, thereby avoiding the exchange rate cost. Though you may find that there is a charge for paying by credit card, always consider this option as it affords you some protection if there's a problem.
Beware hidden costs
Finally, remember that there are other costs involved over and above entry to the parks. For instance, parking at Walt Disney World costs in the region of $17, so you might be better of taking the i-ride trolley bus service, which costs just £2 or $5 for a whole day.

Other extras to watch out for are pushchair hire (around $15 per day at the park), and food. If you're spending the whole day at the park and are on a tight budget, consider taking snacks and drinks bought elsewhere, as the on-site eateries aren't cheap.

Have you enjoyed the magic of Disney World recently? What are your top money-saving tips? Leave your comments below...