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Monday, May 30, 2011

Money Mondays: Saving Money on Resorts in Disney World

Todays money saving tip is all about accommodations.  Where are you going to sleep while in Orlando?  It is one of the largest costs of the whole trip, so choosing wisely can leave a chunk of money in your pocket.

Disney is famous for some spectacular resorts.  You can go all out luxury, if that’s what you are looking for, but no matter what level of resort you choose, you will always get that world famous Disney quality and service. 

Basically, Disney World has three tiers when choosing a resort.  First is the deluxe.  These rooms are generally more spacious and offer more amenities such as room service, childcare options, spectacular views and closer proximity to certain parks.  The luxurious nature of these properties will have you feeling as if you have arrived!  These resorts, generally offer more dining options as well. 

The moderate level  resorts have a slightly more down-to-earth feel about them.  Theming is fun, and there are decent dining options. The pools at a moderate level are some of the best for kids, in my opinion.   Travel to some parks may take a bit longer by bus. 

The value level resorts are often priced quite nicely.  Theming is “over-the-top” and exciting.  The rooms are basic, but if you are really using them for nothing but sleeping then it gets the job done.  There are no full service restaurants on property of any value resort, but they do have large food courts.  These resorts sit the furthest out from the parks, so travel time is a little longer.

There is one other “level.”  The campground.  Now, this can be your least expensive option, but not necessarily.  If you have a pop-up camper or a tent, the partial hook-up sites are the least expensive spots to sleep on Disney property.  If you have a camper that requires a full hook-up, then the cost begins to near that of a value resort.  The campground, however, is a spectacular property!  It is loaded with amenities and very close to the Magic Kingdom.

One last option is one that I never recommend.  I will put it here, though, because it is an option: Staying off property.  The cost of many off property resorts may look appealing, but once you factor in the extra travel time, the cost of parking, and the need to leave the “magic” every day, it adds up to one big headache and not much savings.

After you have chosen a tier, it is now time to book a room.  There is almost never a reason to pay rack rate.  Disney offers deals all the time!  Before you book, check online and see if there are any offers out there for your dates.  If you are an annual pass holder, or a Florida resident deals will frequently be offered for those.  Also, it never hurts to ask if they are running any AAA or military discounts. 

Nothing for your dates yet?  Keep checking.  Even if you have already booked, if a deal opens up just call and have the discount applied to your reservation.

A little homework goes a long way!

Look for more money saving tips next Monday!


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