There is no doubt about it…. a family vacation to Walt Disney World in Florida is an expensive proposition. Each year we’ve seen the price increase on everything from staying at a Disney Resort…… dining…. and tickets.And it has taken an effect on Disney’s bottom line. The crowds are supposedly getting smaller.
Even though pricing has increased, there are die hard followers of the Mouse that will sacrifice some things to make sure they are allowed the magic pleasure for another year….. and yes…. I am included in this insane group. My wife and I rarely go out to eat while at home…… and rarely spend any discretionary income unless we are at Walt Disney World.
But darn it……. our play time with Mickey is getting more expensive every trip! And as older adults….. our $$ are becoming harder to spend every year. I know we both plan on visiting every year…. once or twice but as my wife ponders retirement….. we treasure our dollars more.
I feel for my clients that are much younger…. with several children…. and needing their Mickey fix! Just this week I had to answer several questions for clients concerning what part of their trips could they save money on.
Yes… it is possible to save money and still have a magical trip…. and working with a good Travel Agent is the first tip I’d give.
Travel Agents that work with an “Earmarked agency” like Up and Up Travel, LLC not only have been extensively trained by Disney….. with live and breathe Disney every single minute of the day. We know the best deals…. the best Disney Resort for your family…… and the best time to be at Walt Disney World.
An Up and Up Travel agent knows all the little hidden secrets to a fun, magical and amazing family vacation because we practice this ourselves. We can SAVE you money on your trip…. yes we can!
To Park Hop…. or not to Park Hop? That is the question. Two clients asked, “do we need Park Hopper Tickets? We’ve never had them before.” That’s a good question.
At certain times of the year, I feel not having Park Hoppers limits your fun way too much… and at other times it can add to your over all vacation by allowing freedom to travel to another park when the park you’re in closes earlier. Is not having Park Hopper tickets going to ruin your vacation? Probably not….. but your travel agent will know…… listen to their advice.
How many days in the parks do we really need to have fun? This is a loaded question for sure. Can you go for just one and have fun? I wouldn’t suggest it but…..Yes…. my wife and I did this the very first time we went to Walt Disney World. We visited the Magic Kingdom and fell in love with it.
A couple of days later we bought another one day ticket and went to Epcot! I promise you…. we have never made that mistake again. I recommend at least five days in the parks.
If you do not have a park Hopper ticket, I recommend no less than a five-day ticket. It gives you one day in each park and one day extra in your favorite park.
We typically visit Magic Kingdom three times, Epcot three or four times, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom two times each trip and we park hop to make the best of our time. We will start out at Magic Kingdom and then hop to Epcot…. or start at Animal Kingdom and hop to Magic Kingdom.
If you purchase one ticket today for somebody age 10 or more…. for five days worth of park fun, one park per day…. it will cost you $340.00.
If you add the Park Hopper option…. it will cost you an additional $69.00 bringing your total to $409.00. So you can see….. if a family of four, wants to visit, the one park per day ticket will cost $1,360.00…… add the park hopper option and it would cost $1,636.00…… or another $276.00 for the family.
Dining plan…. or no dining plan? Does your family want to eat a sit down dinner together every day? If so…. you would need to make your dining reservations as early as possible….. or risk not having anyplace to sit down at. Dining reservations can be made 180 days prior to your trip. And some of the most popular Table Service restaurants are almost impossible to get reservations for.
My wife and I have purchased the Disney Dining Plan and found out we couldn’t eat all the food that was paid for already. And…. I didn’t like the fact that we had to be at some place every single evening on top of having to plan out Fast Passes in advance.
The cost of the Disney Dining Plan is $63.70 per adult (age 10 and above) and $22.85 for children (aged 3 to 10) for each night booked. That includes 1 Table Service Meal, 1 Counter Service Meal, 1 Snack and 1 refillable mug to be used at your resort.
So with those prices in mind….. the same family of four, staying five nights can expect to pay an additional $1,274.00. Can your family eat for less by utilizing counter service for most meals while on vacation? I bet they can. We’ve found that most counter service meals run us about $15.00 per person so it’s about half the cost of the dining plan. We even splurge for a Table Service meal that might run us less than $100.00 and it makes us happy….. and we are still saving money.
These are just a few tips that will allow you to still enjoy a Walt Disney World vacation and help keep it affordable.If you would like some help planning your next trip, please feel free to contact me. I never charge you a planning fee and you get my experience for free. Mickey pays me to help you.