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My family is planning a vacation to Orlando late July, or early August. Can anyone help us do Disney and such cheap? Is there such a thing?
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!
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.
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.
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
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!
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
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
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!
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.
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!
What to do, see, and eat in Orlando when celebrating my wife's 30th birthday?
Bonus info 1: We are not from the US, but traveling there in October.
Bonus info 2: The group will include small children (3.5 and 1.5 years).
Go to your local book store and visit the travel section. They usually have books on travel destinations such as Florida. Look up the section on Orlando. Orlando is famous for Disneyland and all their attractions, Universal City, Sea World, Kennedy Space Center, and many other attractions for adults and kids.
I am looking for information for cheap and exciting vacations in Orlando.
By kumaran from Orlando
Good luck with that! If you live in Orlando, you know the theme parks are expensive. However, there are so many nature-oriented things to do in Florida; beaches, nature preserves with trails, parks for picnics, etc. The theme parks often have special discounts also.
I agree with Kelly about the Space Coast, I work at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor's Complex.
A lot of people don't take advantage of the fact that the regular tickets to the Kennedy Space Center are actually two day tickets. Just have your ticket validated as you leave and you have 7 days to come back for another full day of fun! The parking is FREE too! Also included in the admission price is entrance to the Astronaut Hall of Fame, which is located 6 miles west of the Space Center. (On the very same road!). The regular bus tour, to all three tour stops is also included. A really good value.
You can usually get discount coupons at McDonald's too! Or check on line. It is a wonderful place to visit, really makes you proud to be an American! Katie
I am traveling to Orlando with my sister, my mom and Aunts (ages from 35 to 82). Does anyone know of things we can do while there?
Audrey from Canada
if you go to a Book Store they have books that are about the size of National Geographic they have everything you can possibly want to do.The nice thing if you stay at one of the Motels at the resort is the fact they have busses and the tram and boats to get you where ever you want to go which is the greatest thing.You do not have to worry about anything they get you where you want to go and back again.My husband and I loved West downtown Orlando.Planet Hollywood is there. Among other things to do.MGM studio's, Universal studios,and Epcot are the best places for you to go for adults.Also the best thing we found out was to go through a Travel Agency,They have special deals as well as helping you figure out what you want to do,Also some places require reservation's in advance to go to so they would be very helpfull for you.The one thing I found I loved the most were the fireworks as well as the Electric Light Parade at Disney world after dark.When you go to leave though we found out the boat's were the best way to go back to our Hotel as everyone under the sun wanted to ride the Tram.The reason I suggested the places I did was due to the fact that these places are for the more mature and they are just not based on rides.I wish I were going with you I loved every minute of it!!Good Luck have as much fun as you can.Take care, dar
There are LOADS of things for adults to do in Orlando! Not only can you have a lot of fun at Disney (even without children!), but there is also a lot of things on International Drive that might interest you. There is Wonderworks, 3 really nice malls, Arabian Knights, Medival Times, SeaWorld, a couple nice outlet malls, Kennedy Space Center (about 30-45 minutes east of Orlando International Airport) and the beach!
Sheila in Titusville, FL
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At the museum, Nate becomes "distracted" and misplaces himself. Fortunately, he is so enthralled he keeps his head together and does not panic. It was a fun vacation for all!
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I am going to Orlando, Florida in September 2006 and would like some info on free or discounted/cheap ideas for things to do. I plan to go to the theme park one day. So I'll be free for 2-3 more days. My husband and I are not interested the bar scene.
Nailfanatic from Poteau, OK
Having lived in Orlando for 4 years, I can give you both driving and site seeing tips! My best offer of driving advice is to stay away from using the "big roads" unless you know exactly where you are going. By "big roads" I mean the major highways: I-4, State Road 528, State Road 408, and State Road 417. If you can remember this tip, you can drive anywhere in Orlando and not get lost: State Road 50 (Colonial Drive) runs east-west all the way from one end of Orlando all the way to the east coast of Florida, Orange Blossom Trail (not as pretty as it sounds!) runs north and south across Orlando as does State Road 436 (Semoran Blvd which is the road you are on when you come out of the airport). 528, 408, and 417 are toll roads and those tolls add up!
International Drive is known as "tourist central", in addition to the attractions areas. There are tons of shops along I-Drive, as there are places to eat and things to see. There is miniature golf, every type of cuisine one could desire, outlet centers, Wonder Works (a totally cool science based attraction, the building is upside down!), Pointe Orlando (multiplex movie theaters, toy stores, various shopping/dining places) and so much more! The Orlando Science Center is near downtown off of State Road 50, as is the Leu Gardens (not sure of spelling, but it is beautiful).
Please feel free to print these instructions if you would like and save them to use on your vacation. Enjoy your visit, be safe and if you choose to use a "big road" remember to stay in the "slow lane"; (right land) because the natives don't go slow and they will run over you if you are in the "fast lane" doing the speed limit! E-mail me if you have any other questions. I live on the East Coast now and can give you pointers/tips should you decide to check out our Space Center and our beaches, too! (07/29/2006)
By Sheila in FL
I haven't been to Orlando for so long I am sure there are so many new things to do and see. The one place I have to eat at is Race Rock. If you and hubby are race fans of any kind you will love this place. I recommend the Blackened Chicken with Fettuccine Alfredo. The food and service are excellent, bar none. The last time I was there I wanted to go so bad I used all the pennies I had rolled just to eat there, BF was a truck driver and had a load to deliver and it wasn't pay day yet.
One of my favorite theme parks is Epcot. It is geared more to technical and science, more adult oriented in my opinion. If you have never been in a helicopter there was a place next to Race Rock kinda pricey, but it is about a 10-15 minute ride, we did and I loved it. Great picture opportunity. I also loved Sea World. I don't know of any discounts, but there is so much to do there I just wanted to through some ideas out. Hope someone who has been there recently can help with discounts. (07/29/2006)
We live 45 minutes from Orlando. One of the places we like to go to is called "Old Town". It is geared towards older days. They have shops, restaurants, rides, and entertainment. etc. It is sort of like a shopping center, but offers more. The streets are brick paved.
Old Town is located on Hwy 192 right by Disney, east of I-4. (07/29/2006)
If you or you know someone who is a AAA member go and get a tour book on Florida and Orlando area. Also, all over Orlando there are racks with fliers on places and things to do. (07/29/2006)
Go to http://www.mousesavers.com and check that site out for great deals. (07/29/2006)
Do a search for the local Chamber of Commerce. They often have hotels, restaurants, etc. with specials or coupons offered. Good luck! (07/30/2006)
About a month ago my family and I went to Orlando and Daytona. We did one of those resort timeshare presentation things. A bad experience, but at least now we know!
We discovered "Old Town". My husband's sister lives in Vero Beach Florida and she told us about it. It's a great place, the kids loved it! There's a go-cart track, old-fashioned carnival-type rides and lots of shops to go in and places to eat. It's not a large place, but there's plenty to do.
My son rode a mechanical bull (he's 14).
On Thursday night they had a car show, which the guys loved. My daughter and I loved the different shops. We also went to the mall in Orlando. They have a RonJon Surf shop there.
Have a great time! (07/30/2006)
I've lived in the Orlando area for nearly my entire life. There are really too many great places to list, so I will just focus on dinner theaters:
Medieval Times- (in Kissimmee, near Orlando) You watch an exciting jousting match between knights on horseback and eat medieval style food, only without throwing the bones on the floor in a castle. Stadium-type seating.
Arabian Nights- Dinner with a terrific horse show. Stadium-type seating.
Dolly Parton Dixie Stampede. Haven't been, but I've heard it's good.
Pirate's Adventure. I've heard it's fun.
One warning about dinner theaters: I would always check to see what kind of seating is available, and ask if strangers will be seated together at a table. Wild Bill Hickok's Dinner Theater and the Mystery Sleuth Dinner theater have good shows, but they will seat you family-style at a table with strangers unless your party is large enough to fill a table for six. We did not like this. I felt beholden to the man who happened to sit at the head of the table who was given buckets of food and instructed to serve or pass food. He wasn't paid to serve us!- (at Wild Bill's).
At The Mystery Sleuth Dinner Theater you'll be expected to discuss the crime and chat with strangers at your table. This can be great for people who are lonely or trying to meet people, but very uncomfortable if you just want to be with friends or family. We couldn't talk to each other because we had to include everyone sitting at our table. It was pretty awkward. We preferred stadium seating. At Medieval Times, you root for your knight with the people in your area, but you aren't expected to bond with them! Just a thought.
Also, be sure to check for coupons in the lobby of restaurants or hotels or at the tourist info center. You can save $ by having coupons for the places you want to go. (07/31/2006)
By Susann L.
My husband hails from Orlando so we go there for every summer vacation. Before his dad retired from Universal Studios, one of his perks was free tickets to give to his family. Now that the ticket well has dried up, we look for less expensive things to do down there.
My favorite thing is to go to Cocoa Beach. It is only about 40 minutes away and they have a very nice public beach that is free. The park is named Lori Wilson Park and the street is I Dream of Jeannie Way. This park has a great stretch of beach, along with bathroom, shower, and swing sets, picnic area.
Cocoa Beach also has a pier, Ron-Jon's Surf shop, and some great places to eat. There are also places in the area where you can watch for manatee. One preserve I remember was down a side street near Zachary's Greek restaurant near the public works water plant.
You can usually find a good price on a room for the night. There are several mom and pop motels. My favorite is the South Beach Inn, which is on the South end of A1A and right on the ocean. We stayed there last July for about $100/night. This included a large suite-type room with queen bed, queen sleeper sofa, and kitchenette with stove and refrigerator. We took one air mattress with us and all three kids slept comfortably. The beach there is so quiet, not like the Spring Break beaches you see on TV. There were times that our family was the only one in the immediate area and it felt like we had the entire beach to ourselves. This is a pretty good feat in the middle of July.
Of course, Cocoa Beach is right on the "Space Coast" and it is very close to Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center. We like to drive by and see the huge space shuttle outside. The kids enjoy this drive, because there are always lots of alligators on the roadside along this route. Sometimes we also see armadillos. Since these critters are not native to Virginia, it is a treat.
Back in Orlando, you can walk around Pointe Orlando featuring Muvico with an IMAX theatre, Downtown Disney featuring the Lego Store, or Church Street Station downtown. All are free, but of course, you will probably end up spending money in the shops. It is also fun to drive down International Drive at night to see all the pretty lights. Universal Studios used to have a nightly fireworks show, and we parked across the street at Dr. Phillips High School to get a free viewing.
Since we usually stay with family when we go down there, and avoid the theme parks, we get a longer and more relaxed vacation.
I know these tips probably make me sound cheap, but hey this is the "thrifty fun" newsletter.
By Kelly from Shenandoah Valley, VA
Thanks for the fun info. Will go to the beach next time we go down there. Our cheapest and most enjoyable vacation ever was to Daytona. We stayed on the beach in an inexpensive motel that had a kitchenette in it and I cooked all of our meals except for one. We ate better than if we had eaten out. We also took advantage of all the free things resorts give out for listening to their sales pitches. (03/04/2006)
When we went on a family trip to Disney World/Universal Studios, etc. We took one day and went to Cocoa Beach. You're right it's lots of fun, way more fun than standing in long, hot lines at the expensive theme parks. I enjoyed this beach day the most out of our whole trip. Plus, growing up watching the I Dream of Jeannie TV show, it was a just a kick to be there. (03/04/2006)