Sunday, October 21, 2007
Is it Possible to Save Money while visiting the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando?
UPDATED Review 2017
Are there Affordable Accommodations near Disney World ? Staying inside or outside of Walt Disney World ?
Which one works for your family
Disney World does not come with a Low Price. There are many perks to staying on resort .They include being picked up at the airport or even at the Disney Terminal at their cruise port in Port Canaveral. Yes, you can have extended hours in the parks on certain nights. Here's what you may not know.
Disney hotel rooms are small by normal resort standards. Unless you can afford many hundreds of dollars you end up in a room so tiny that any family of four will be stressed out by vacations end. The All Star and Pop Century Resorts have double beds only and even then hardly any room to spare.
The noise in their basic Value resorts is enough to drive you from your room. The hotels are wildly popular with young families and large sport groups. Large numbers mean lots of noise. You see it all the time at their resorts. Entire families huddling around the resort pools. Often with the look of the adults being bored stiff while the youngsters swim and have fun. Only at Disney's premium resorts do you find activities to keep the children busy whereby the adults can relax somewhere else in the resort. With tiny rooms you are forced to head out doors or to a public area that may be crowded with other families.
Combine the cost of two value added resort rooms and you will reach almost $300 to $ 400 a night. Why two rooms? After one trip a family of four realizes that two double beds in a room so tiny that you could not swing a cat. On their second trip they reserve two connecting rooms.
Travel from the airport on the Magical Express is convenient but it is a front for your being trapped on resort. Taxi's and UBER to Sea World and Universal Studios can be very expensive but you have no other options. If you plan to see any other Orlando area attractions you will save money by renting a basic automobile. You end up with the maximum level of convenience and you know where you luggage is located when you come and go. None of the Disney hotels charge for parking. Only if you plan to visit the non Disney parks only should you consider relying on local taxis and limo services.
Eating at Disney World? Get ready for a very expensive experience. The food courts are very popular. The restaurants very expensive. The few grocery stores in resort charge almost double what you'd pay at a grocery store off resort. Very few rooms have refrigerators so you are stuck anyway. While you think you may save by staying in resort your food costs can be as much as your room rate. A simple taxi ride to the closest full service grocery story can be $25 each way.
Extended Park Hours: this is true marketing genius. The Disney parks are know for crowds so they came up with this plan to extend park hours ( Extra Magic ) at certain times. While it is true the crowds are fewer the truth is that arriving at the Magic Kingdom for a midnight of extra hours may not be suitable for your family. Good for adults but very hard on the children. Returning to your hotel room at 2 AM with exhausted children in tow does not work for the average family.
Staying off resort can save you money:There are options but not too many of them at an affordable price.
Disney would have you believe that staying elsewhere is not logical or even affordable. Repeat visitors know this is not the case. It is especially true if you are one of the millions of tourists that drive to Orlando each year.
Here are a few tips if your plans include actually relaxing while in Orlando and staying off Walt Disney World Property.
1. www.roomsaver.com has been a gift for decades. At one time this tourist magazine was the number one source for traveler discounts but it recently went online. They not only sell off affordable space in Orlando they provide you the telephone numbers so you can call the hotels direct HOT TIP : the coupons imply that you can only get the deal at check in. This simply is not true. Call ahead and ask for the reservations manager. Always call between Monday to Friday as you are after the top manager. Not his weekend associate. Explain you saw them on http://rommsaver.com and are willing to pay today if they'd honor the deal. 9 out of 10 times money up front gets the best rooms at the lowest prices .
2. Rent a vacation home or condo. There are as many vacation homes in the Orlando area as their are hotels. The problem is that except for the rarest occasion they are owned by smaller companies. Unfortunately, the internet has become a haven for companies that look great online but are fake or even deceptive. vacation homes offer that home away from home experience but make sure you reserve with a reputable company. I suggest you use this website to find a reputable company. www.fvrma.com is the only organization that regulates the industry. With over 700 companies selling vacation homes in Orlando online it is a mine field for consumer fraud. Make sure that whatever company you use it is a member of the Florida Vacation Rental Managers Association and if possible is AAA approved.
3. AIRBNB : you've heard of it and they literally dominate the selection of vacation homes in central Florida. Search ZIP Codes 34746 or 34747 for the best choices .
One word of caution. Airbnb features home inside of Orlando City limits. Most are not licenced to operate by their communities.When selecting a vacation home the best choices will always be located in Kissimmee,South Orlando or just outside of Celebration town limits
4. Alexander Holiday Homes @ Disney World http://www.floridasunshine.com is one of the more reliable companies. They have been in business since 1981.They have attained the most respect in the industry. For two years running Lodging and Hospitality magazine has given Alexander's the Top Vacation Home Manager Award ."6th Place Ranking in Florida - 57th in all of North America". Alexander Holiday Homes has been selling online since 1996.That makes them pioneers with online sales. They have a gigantic website with almost 250 homes featured online and their staff go that extra mile to make clients extra happy. Best of all, at the heart of their business the Alexander family still runs the company. While other companies may lack that personal touch the Alexander's make sure their guests are treated like family.
The money you'd save, by reserving your own vacation home, is ideal for a family. Your own pool, your own kitchen and private bedrooms .If the children need some quiet time half way through the day you can drive home in minutes and head back later to the parks. Yes, vacation homes can be as close as two miles south of Disney World. HOT TIP # 1 when looking for a vacation home online be wary of any company that features homes along highway 27 or CR 54.The explosion of vacation homes in Kissimmee and area has crossed in to neighboring counties. Some companies will say they are only ten minutes from Disney World but the simple reality that is not possible if you appreciate that the traffic on the roads around Disney can be a nightmare. Ten minutes? Maybe if you are on the road at 3 AM. The sample reality is that your vacation home must have a Kissimmee, South Orlando or Celebration area address to be truly convenient. HOT TIP #2 in spite of the internet there are no vacation homes allowed inside of the Disney inspired town of Celebration. The full time residents have passed local ordinances making that impossible. Even Disney announced they will be building vacation homes over the next five years. None of them will be located inside Celebration.
Please note: this review is for information purposes only. It is not an endorsement intended to approve a property inside or off Disney property. Ultimately, doing your homework always generates you best success at enjoying your next family vacation in sunny Orlando ,Florida