Initial Planning – WDW On The Cheap

When to Go and for How Long

When:

Before you actually decide, check out this easywdw.com page (http://www.easywdw.com/category/disneybest/besttime/)which shows each month, room costs, and how busy the parks are.  You’ll find lower prices and smaller crowds during slower seasons.

Any time kids are in school is best. Slower seasons are October/November, and again in mid January to mid February.  Busiest times are Christmas and Spring Break.  The week of Christmas/New Years and the weeks of Spring break are the BUSIEST.

Slow is relative – even during the slowest season, there’s still tens of thousands of people at the parks every day. Don’t worry, there are ways to avoid crowds (see http://www.easywdw.com).

How Long:

There are 4 major parks in Disney World – Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.  There are also 2 water parks, 2 mini golf courses, multiple big golf courses, some good restaurants, water activities (boat rentals, fishing, etc), other activities at the various resorts, and Downtown Disney.  It’s impossible to see everything in one trip.  To see ‘the best of the best’ and not be totally exhausted, we think 2 days in each park, plus one day of rest is near perfect — so 9 days – not counting your arrival and departure day.

Once you know When and How Long:

1a. Go to www.easyWDW.com and read the sections “Best of Disney World” and the “Crowd Calendar” for your month. While you’re at it, check out the forums (click on the link at the top of the main page. If you’ve got more time, read everything else too!

1b.  If you’d rather have a paper guide (or something for your Kindle or Nook), purchase The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. Of the thousands of Disney books out there, this one seems to have the best overall information in an easy, fun to read format.

2. Go to www.themouseforless.com and sign up for her free newsletter. It’s got all the info on discounts and specials.  She only sends it out once a month.

3. Go to www.disneyvacations.com and order the free vacation DVD.  There’s great information, is fun to watch, and will also get you on the mailing list for possible ‘special’ discounts.

4.  Apply for the Disney Visa Card If you’re good about paying off your cards right away, this one pays you 1% in Disney dollars, plus other park perks. It also makes you eligible for room discounts.

5.  Do not call Disney or your Travel Agent and book the first “deal” you see on TV. Package deals may be your cheapest option, but you’ll only know after you’ve done all your homework and decided exactly what amenities and ticket options you need.

Special Accommodations in the World:

Disney parks are well-known for being very good at making things accessible to nearly everyone. Guests with food allergies, physical disabilities and other limitations will find that the parks have many ways to make things work for you and your family.

Check out our Special Needs page for a good overall view of what’s available, and this dedicated Dining at Disney with Allergies site: http://www.allergyfreemouse.com/

Disney’s own site has the following:

DAS System: http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/disney-parks-disability-access-service-card-fact-sheet/

Disabled Guest FAQ’s https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/faq/guests-with-disabilities

Dietary Needs https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/special-dietary-requests/

CUT TO THE CHASE, HOW DO YOU SAVE THE MOST?

Go during Value season. Fly Southwest or any other discount airlines that allows free checked bags.  Stay at a Value Resort.  Wait for the best room and ticket package discounts from Disney or AAA.  No rental car.  Bring your own food and drinks for breakfast, lunch and most dinners.   Plan ahead – bring medications for colds and flu, have the right clothes, bring hard alcohol if you want it – doing these things means you won’t be buying overpriced staples at resort “convenience stores”.
Bottom line — Planning is the key. The more you plan, the better time you will all have, and the more money you will save.

 

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