If you are thinking of going on a vacation, and Walt Disney World (WDW) is what you fancy, but have a shoestring budget, you can still enjoy, if you plan it right. Disney World is one of the most visited theme parks in the world, so much so that it is crowded almost throughout the year. Simple economics of supply and demand dictate that when it is the holiday season, many will visit Disney World, and at times like these, the rates are considerably higher.
For a better understanding of the general population, Disney has divided its seasons into different parts, and these are fair indicators for travelers, to choose a time that suits their budget. The best time to go to Disney World is during the first week of January, second week of February, or the first week of December, although you can find good deals throughout the year as well.
The Value Season
The value season is when there is minimum crowd, and the cost is reasonable, so that you can easily manage an otherwise expensive destination in your limited budget. Most destinations are expensive during the tourist season, as they try to make the most out of that time, and Disney World attractions are no different. Some of the busiest times at Walt Disney World are Christmas, college spring break, and the summer months of June, July, and August. If you are a budget traveler, it is best to avoid these times for visiting Disney World.
Facts indicate that prices on rides and accommodation go down when the peak period ends; for instance, a week after the new year celebrations, the crowds dwindle, and you will find good deals for value accommodation and resorts. The park trims down the charges for rides, and Park Hopper passes also go down, though they may go up a little on weekends.
Plan a vacation for the weekdays after the first week of January to the second week of February. This is one of the good times to go to Disney World. Out of the three options, the first week of December is the best, since the weather is pleasant. You can also enjoy swimming in the pools which is otherwise not possible during winter i.e., in January and February.
Although the value season is a good option (if you are a budget traveler), one thing to note here is that there are many attractions like the special parades and additional fun activities that are offered by Disney only during the peak season, and these are definitely worth the money you put in.
- While planning a trip, make sure there are no weekends, public holidays, or a convention in Orlando.
- Once you are there, use your time wisely. Start your day early in the morning, and hit most of the rides before afternoon; that's when the crowd turns in. If you are staying in Disney World premises, then you can utilize your afternoon for a heavy lunch, and a quick nap. Come back to finish the rest of the rides at dinner time when (again) the crowd will be away, letting you enjoy the thrill of night rides.
- Once you get to the park, snag a Fastpass for the busiest rides, for example the Splash Mountain. These machines are located near the ride entrance. The pass will allot you a time when you have to return for the ride, and enter via a shortcut.
- Also, to economize on multiple-day admissions, purchase a one time multiple-day Park Hopper pass which will give you access to different sections of the park.
- The moment you think of going to Disney World, subscribe to various travel groups, the Disney newsletter, and travel package notifications which will keep you updated with the best possible options.
- Keep a check on food prices since they are one of the most expensive aspects of Disney World, and they are adjusted according to the quantity of the crowd.
- You can also avail the free vacation planning DVD from the Disney World website which will help you plan better.
Disney theme parks are the most preferred holiday destination for kids, and thousands of children visit it every year with their families. One of the less expensive times to go to Disney World is when schools are in session, so try to plan a vacation during September, or Thanksgiving. You will also get good packages during this period. A tip for accommodation is to subscribe to a mailer from the Disney resorts to find out some great discounts.
Disney, being the most favored destination, there are no off seasons per se, but if you do some research, you can visit the attraction any time of the year, even if you are planning a budget holiday. Search through the various types of accommodation, flight options, and car rentals, so that you do not have to wait for the proverbial discount time to go to Disney World.
It is wise to book your flight well in advance, as this will not only save you money, but also spare you from the stress of last-minute booking. Check all the options with a travel agent, and also look for the best travel discounts that are on offer. Get a good travel insurance that suits your needs the best, and pay special attention to what the insurance covers, if you are traveling with kids.
One of the best days to travel is Sunday, since business travel is very low on this day. Also, prepare for a 3-4 day stay, if you wish to enjoy all the activities and rides there. This also gives you the time to visit other places around Orlando. Therefore, check for a flight which will make you reach late at night or early in the morning, giving you a complete day's stay.
When booking for accommodation, check the rates on Disney vacations' holiday packages, and also on individual deals. You will be surprised to find low-cost accommodation during peak times also, if you look hard enough. An easy way to know about the best deals, is to subscribe to the e-mail feeds of the hotels and resorts. If you are traveling with other families, look for holiday villas around Orlando, as they might fit your budget if you book them together.
The end of April is also one of the best times to go to Disney World, because the visitor volume starts to dwindle after the spring break. Proper planning and thorough research will save you a lot of money, when traveling to a tourist destination like Disney World.