Planning a family trip to Orlando can come with a lot of planning and expectations, especially when you have children. It’s easy to fall under the illustrious spell of the world’s most famous family destination, but it can also come with a lot of stress, especially when you have limited time, financial resources and several parks to visit. With an abundance of activities, restaurants, adventures and excursions to keep even the most active travelers and families happy, it’s no wonder Orlando, Florida, is the most popular tourist destination in the world. Visiting Walt Disney World® Resort is one the main reasons traveling families journey to the Orlando, along with SeaWorld Orlando® and Universal Studios® Resort and its Wizarding World of Harry Potter and its bloody good scare at Halloween Horror Nights, filled all month long with chainsaw- wheeling cast members and numerous themed haunted houses during the whole month of October. But a week-long family vacation with trips to the major theme parks can be very expensive. For every family hoping to get the most fun out of every magical hour and of course, every dollar, there are Best Vacations Ever promotional vacation packages with complimentary accommodations, provided through Preferred Guest Resorts (PGR), that make all your dreams come true. Visit bestvacationsever.com and download our educational videos. You can even ask your Best Vacations Ever representative, at 800-656-2780, about extended stays in Daytona Beach also with free accommodations. But if you don’t manage your budget with careful pre-planning, you could find yourself blowing a lot of your money right out of the gate, especially if you’re basing your family vacation around Walt Disney World® Resort.
Best Vacations Ever ensures accommodations located in the heart of the Central Florida action. The Walt Disney World® Resort is composed of the Magic Kingdom® Park, EPCOT®, Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios™. It also features two themed water-parks, Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon for soaking up even more thrills and chills. Investigate your options before your trip to Orlando, so you can book a Best Vacation Ever trip and buy ticket packages that are best designed your fit your family and number of days and parks you plan to visit, while staying within your budget. Maximizing your time and money are more critical than ever when you are basing your family vacation around Walt Disney World® Resort. Preferred Guest Resorts makes sure your resort, hotel or luxury vacation timeshare rentals are within close proximity to all of the Central Florida’s hottest attractions and parks, and it also offers outstanding money-saving automobile rental specials through one of the leading rental agencies, Alamo® rental cars. Call your Best Vacations Ever representative at 800-656-2780 now to discuss your options and Orlando itinerary. Here are 12 ways to get your started maximizing your time and money around a Walt Disney World® Resort-based Best Vacations Ever adventure!
1. If flying in, watch airline websites for specials of airfare so you can book for travel at a great rate. Sign up for text or email alerts when great rates become available. Also watch the Walt Disney World Resort website for specials and discounts, which can save you a lot of money on advance ticket purchases. When in doubt, also check at your Preferred Guest Resort hotel/resort for advance ticket purchases they may offer to avoid beating the long lines and front-gate crowds.
2. If you’re planning to spend a majority of your time at the multiple parks of Walt Disney World® Resort, the multiple day packages like the Park Hopper® Option is one of the most cost-effective ways to mind your budget and enjoy all the parks. You can go from park to park at any time during the day, and during your entire Best Vacations Ever visit. If you know your family will be coming back to Walt Disney World® Resort in the future, even a couple years from now, you can save a lot of money purchasing the No Expiration Option on your ticket package options, so you can spend a few days at the parks, knowing you’ll use the remaining days on a future trip down the road. That way you can enjoy Orlando’s myriad of attractions and adventures on your vacation as well as the parks. Along with complimentary accommodations of a Best Vacations Ever trip, No Expiration tickets can be a great option and super money-saver for budget-minded travelers who pre-plan for return trips to Orlando. EXTRA INSIDER TRAVELER TIP: Get there early for nearby and available parking during the peak season. Snap a picture of your car location in the labeled lot and write it down (example: Goofy 100-150), so you remember where the tram needs to drop you off when you’re worn-out day at the end of the day.
3. Pack breathable comfortable clothing and a couple of great pairs of walking shoes. Flat sandals, unless appropriate walking sandals, can sometimes cause shin splints with excessive walking, and flip flops (or slip-on shoes) have been known to fly off on rides, which means you may end up buying more expensive replacements at the park’s merchandise shops. Stashing a sweater in your backpack during the colder months can also save money on buying expensive sweatshirts when the sun goes down. EXTRA INSIDER TRAVELER TIP: Despite Florida’s year-round sunshine and higher temperatures (measured in Fahrenheit and Celsius, and heat indexes reported in daily newscasts), it can get a bit chilly when the sun goes down and temperatures drop during the fall-winter months. Though many northern U.S. travelers find the temperature drops quite refreshing after such strong daytime heat, a sweater or wrap can save you money if it gets a bit too chilly or windy. Check the local news every morning during your vacation before heading out, so you know temperatures, weather forecasts and projected heat indexes and wear sunscreen, even in winter months if you have sensitive skin that easily burns.
4. Save some serious cash by freezing some water bottles in your freezer at the hotel the night before and bringing them in your backpack to the park (Be sure to check the park’s regulations first.). They melt into refreshing cold water, as you cruise the park and can be refilled later at water fountains, saving quite a few dollars when compared to buying the more expensive water bottles at the parks all day long. If you don’t have a freezer, just buy a few water bottles at a drugstore on your way. You’ll have more money for dining, merchandise, activities and options plum-stocked at the Walt Disney World® Resort parks that can thin out your wallet.
5. Preview the Walt Disney World® Resort websites for each park you plan to visit and determine your must-do rides and attractions. Get there early to try to ride them first, and also use the Disney Day Planner to help schedule your itinerary for the day when you arrive at the park. Collect a FASTPASS® as soon as you arrive for all available, must-do rides if you choose to do them later. They are like place holders that let you go play in the park, and come back at a later at a scheduled timeframe, bypassing the long lines and hopping right on with a smaller group of others rather expeditiously. You must have and scan your park ticket to collect a FASTPASS, and if you want your group to go at the same time, you must do them all at the same time so you are all in the same group time slot. Check the website for FASTPASS rides, and look for the distribution centers near the entrance of those rides. Be sure to come back during the window of time listed on your pass or it will be considered expired or invalid and you must get another one. You can get another FASTPASS for the same ride if available, but a few hours after your first withdrawal. You will run the risk of FASTPASSES running out if you don’t make your time slot, and they only set up a certain number of time slots per day. EXTRA INSIDER TRAVELER TIP: If children are old enough to meet you at the other end, you can also save serious time by opting to ride in the Single Rider. You may all get in the same care, but you all may not given they fill the empty seats left after parties have gone through that want to stay together. See the website for information on all your options.
6. Mass merchandisers are everywhere, throughout all of the theme parks, resorts and entertainment complexes, like Disney’s Boardwalk, Downtown Disney Marketplace, Downtown Disney West End and Lake Buena Vista shops, with all kinds of tempting goodies for kids and indulgent shoppers. Some of the most amazing, authentic items from foreign countries can be found in EPCOT’S World Showcase. To save some money, look for discounted merchandise onsite, and consider buying a few discounted souvenirs for the kids in advance of travelling at local Walt Disney World stores, outlets or on websites. Store them secretly in your luggage, so you can avoid some of the full-priced costs at the onsite retail stores and only buy must-have items. Each day, or at your discretion, give your kids an item from the days’ experiences. This way you save money, but you also get to see your kids’ happy, surprised faces when they got some fun souvenirs from their trip to Walt Disney World® Resort.
7. When planning your Best Vacation Ever trip to Orlando, ask your Preferred Guest Resorts reservation agent if any of our partnering Waly World Disney Good® Neighbor accommodations you may stay in allow you to take advantage of Extra Magic Hours. If not, watch the website for special advance-purchase ticket packages that allow the early access into the park an hour earlier than others and up to three hours later than regular daily guests. During the peak and busier seasons, more Extra Magic Hour events are added, so you should check your travel dates for any additional Early Magic Hours days or changes. If you aren’t eligible for any Early Magic Hours, travelers highly recommend that you get to the park early, especially during peak season in Orlando. Getting to the parks when the gates open is the key to getting on several of your must-do rides before the crowds arrive. Take the time the find the best Walt Disney World® Resort admission packages for you and your family.
8: The summer months in Florida can get terribly hot, with high temperatures, sweltering heat and strong humidity that take unaccustomed visitors by surprise. For the heat, check out local stores near your Best Vacations Ever hotel, resort or vacation timeshare rental for portable, battery-operated fans, as well as cheap, pre-folded plastic rain ponchos (also available at higher prices at the parks) that can all easily stash in your backpack but protect your clothes, valuables and electronics from getting wet during rainstorms and on some of the water-based rides that offer a serious soaking. EXTRA INSIDER TRAVELER TIP: Also pickup cheaper sunscreen at your drugstore and lather up all exposed parts of your body, including balding heads and tops of exposed feet. The sun in Florida is strong, even when walking around, and some painful, serious sunburn could ruin the rest of your trip.
9. Work with your Best Vacations Ever representative when you call 800-656-2780 to book a resort, hotel or vacation timeshare rentals not only close to all the parks, but is also equipped with the creature comforts of home, like a mini-fridge and microwave. Stashing your own snacks, mini meal items and drinks can help you save a lot of money that could be used the parks or on other Orlando adventures. Check the park’s policies about bringing your own food and water into the parks, and see the aforementioned tips on water bottles and snacks. Packing a bag for young children can help keep them occupied, satiated and hydrated, not to mention entertained when waiting in long lines for rides.
10: Take advantage of shuttle services available at your Best Vacations Ever lodging to save parking hassles, as well as the parking fee. If your accommodations do not provide shuttle service or transportation to the theme parks, INSIDER travelers suggest driving your automobile and parking at EPCOT, then taking the monorail to the Magic Kingdom. It can save time and effort when entering and exiting the parks. EXTRA INSIDER TRAVELER TIP: Do not try to exit the park except at designated exits, doing so can cause major tires damage due to special structures that prevent exiting through an entrance. If you do get to go through, don’t back up or your tires could be torn up.
11. Alternating park time with downtime is the best way to keep your stamina up and avoid over-exhaustion and dehydration, especially for children and elders who may need naps or downtime – adults too. You can hit the parks in the early morning hours to ride all the rides and collect fast passes, head back to the hotel for some rest and relaxation, then do go back for some more rides and the fireworks at around 9 pm – a nightly, must-see extravaganza (at least once) over Cinderella’s Castle. EXTRA INSIDER TRAVELER TIP: Get there EARLY for a good spot; the same rule applies for the spectacular character parades held daily. But if you’re not into the fireworks, this is also a great time to go ride some of the popular rides, since so many visitors are watching the show.
12. Read visitor reviews, ride descriptions and best-ride-type Best Vacations Ever blogs, and decide which places are most important to visit and rides that are most important—and decide which can wait if they have too. There is no rulebook that says you must visit every place at Walt Disney World® Resort. Plan an itinerary that suits what everyone in the family hopes to accomplish. There may even be days that half the family goes to one park like EPCOT, while the other hits the thrill rides at the Magic Kingdom Theme Park or visit one of the two water parks, Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon. Don’t try or expect to do everything or see everything all at once; seeing it all on your first trip is overly ambitious, but you can bounce around to at least see most of what each park has to offer with a Park Hopper There’s so much to see and do at the Walt Disney World® Resort that it’s hard to do in just a few days, even a week. The biggest mistake is trying to do everything in a few days, especially if you have small children and/or elders with you who fatigue or dehydrate easily especially if you visit during the hot, humid summer months. Talk to your Best Vacations Ever representative about week-long package. EXTRA INSIDER TRAVELER TIP: A big myth is that children won’t have as much fun in EPCOT, when, in fact, children of all ages actually have a great time exploring the cultures, merchandise, food and entertaining performances in each country, not to mention a few fun rides for all ages. It’s also very easy to get caught up in creative merchandise in each country, so be sure to plan a budget for souvenir.
Making the Fairytale Come True
Most of all, have fun, leave big expectations at the front gate and know when it’s time to call it a day and head back to your Preferred Guest Resorts’ Best Vacation Ever vacation package hotel for some much-need R&R, hydration and battery recharging for the next day. Keep in mind when booking your vacation at 800-656-2780 that savvy travelers save several dollars by extending a stay in Daytona onto the end of their Orlando trip for the bets of both world—Beauty & The Beach Your Best Vacations Ever representative can set up this amazing option to maximize your trip, as well as the discounts and specials available with premium partnership like Alamo® rentals cars that can cover both destinations. Above all, have realistic expectations, knowing you may not see everything on your first journey to Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort, but you do have cost-effective options that can help you save money for a future return. Do your homework ahead of time, so you can maximize your time and budget. Be sure to share your goals and expectations with your Best Vacations Ever representative at 800-656-2780, who can assist with planning and customizing your Central Florida itinerary, rental cars, ticket information and answer any questions you may have, and help save your money and get you hooked up with an automobile at special savings. Your hotel, resort or luxury timeshare vacation rental will also be ideally placed for numerous Orlando adventures, such as the theme parks, shopping, sightseeing, and the buzzing downtown district. And remember, Orlando is also close enough to the beach that you can cool off in the sea for a day, unless you opt for an extended stay at the end of your trip. Ask your Best Vacations Ever representative at 800-656-2780 about current specials and incentives offered if you book now, and get your magical vacation to Orlando underway.