We live in Florida, too--as so many others here have already said, do yourselves a favor and stay in Kissimmee; the hotels and motels are much cheaper and there are tons of restaurants that aren't as pricey--and it's still just down the road.
You'll also pay less for gas; the closer to WDW, the higher it gets. The same goes if you're venturing east to the beaches at all; stay at least two miles west of the beaches and gas up and eat there, too.
Off-season ( late June through November--with the best likely being September and October, when hurricane season is most active down here!) is also when you can find better deals in the hotels.
We usually go from the Fort Lauderdale area to Key West in early October for our anniversary, and the hotels are usually trying to throw you deals to stay an extra couple of days, then. It seems to be the same all over Florida in that time frame.
Just a suggestion, though: if you're brave enough to book during the peak of hurricane season, get travel insurance. The cost is really minimal and in the rare event your vacation coincides with a storm--you're not out anything!
I have been visiting a lot of web sites about how to get a cheap trip to Orlando. One of the web site http://www.findcheapmotel.com helped me a lot. Please give it a try.
Lowest prices on airfare & Rental Cars.
Call 1800 Phone# for Days Inn and ask for the DAY LIGHT SAVING SPECIAL 34.99 Weekdays 39.99 Weekends staying right in Orlando!
Check out www.wdwinfo.com (the message boards are especially good here)
I got tons of great ideas and tips here before we went in March 2000. Have fun!
Sue in Wisconsin
Kissimmee is less pricy than Orlando. Contact a time-share office, (there are so many), that handle new sales, resales and "rentals." Remember lots of people buy time-shares and don't use their time, so rent them. Check out the motels that have a refrigerator and microwave. This saves on cost of snacks, and it is nice to have a cup of coffee and juice in your room in the morning.
Use the internet to search small motels not listed with 800 numbers. Suggest doing your homework well in advance of your scheduled trip. Check with travel agents, they handle airline travel as well as book motel rooms and car rentals; they can look up accommodations that are reasonable to fit your needs. When you have a reservation, you can call the provider's direct and see if you could get a better rate yourself. Sometimes you can! Then negotiate.
TIP: Remember travel agents make their living booking reservations & providing service; don't try to undercut them.
I made a reservation for two @ $49.00 per night, recommended by a friend, (not a chain but had an 800 number) on my own and when I checked in asked the clerk if there was a better rate. She was kind enough to advise that they had a coupon in one of those "famous coupon booklets" at most businesses and motels. When I brought the coupon back that day, the room rate was reduced $20.00 per day. We lucked out since the motel had a refrigerator and microwave; we stayed there the whole time using that as our base! This was located on US l92, W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, considered main gate, in Kissimmee. The motel was located next to a water slide park. This was January l997 but this "same strategy has worked for me since then."
Ms. Syd Barr - Dunkirk, MD
Order an Orlando Magic card at 1-800-643-9492 it will offer you discounts throughout the Orlando area. Also a Magic Kingdom card will give you a 10% discount on Disney tickets. Renting a home in Kissimmee, Florida is sometimes less expensive than a hotel room especially if you are able to share the cost with family or friends. A 3 BR 2 BA with an in ground pool is around $700 per week, peak season even less off season. Renting a home or condo also saves on dining out, a big plus. We found one on Vacationspot.com Good Luck!
I live in Florida and just took my family to Disney in March. DO NOT STAY IN ORLANDO! Stay in a hotel/motel in Kissimmee (which is right outside of Orlando). It is much cheaper. Another idea is to bring in a cooler/sandwiches and rent a locker inside the park. Bottled water is something like $5 inside the park. Also, buy Disney T-shirts and gifts at one of the T-shirt/gift shops in Kissimmee before you go to Disney. The T-shirts are like 3-$10 at a store in Kissimmee instead of $20 for 1 at Disney. Always bring your own camera and film and never have it developed there. It is very expensive. Also, another tip: To avoid staying in lines forever - go during the week instead of the weekend and if a line is busy, then get a ticket that lets you come back at a specific time to ride the ride. They just started doing that and you avoid the 1 1/2 wait in line. You can go ride something else and come back at whatever time they specify on the ticket. I forget the exact name of it, but you will see them at the major rides. Good luck!
Kim - Florida
Disney World has a great camp ground (the only place I would willingly go camping). It's clean and safe, approx. $60 per night. It is considered one of the Disney resorts so you are able to take advantage of the early entrance to different parks available only to resort guests. Plus you won't need a car to go from the resort to any of the parks. For the Magic Kingdom you just walk down to the lagoon and take the (free) boat over. There are bus stops throughout the camp ground with buses going to all the parks (also free). You can pretty much spend the amount of time at the camp ground you want. We stayed at the camp ground one full day enjoying the beach, petting zoo and just relaxing (doing laundry). I hate camping but the next trip to Disney World I would camp, we tried staying in a motel on our second trip and it wasn't anywhere near as enjoyable.
If you know someone in AAA, they can get tickets at a discount. Also, AAA has a great coupon book for hotels. Don't ever pay full price for a room. Coupons are out there. Check your local restaurants for coupon books, too.
Call the Orlando/Kissimmee Visitor's Center (you'll see them advertised in the back of ladies magazines, check your public library) and tell them you are planning a vacation and would like a packet of discount info. They will mail you more stuff than you could ever use! Also -- the closer you stay to Disney World, the more outrageous the price. It might be cheaper to stay farther away and rent a car!
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