The Walt Disney World park admission, hotels, and food costs can become very expensive very quickly! In an effort to entice families, there are now many Disney World vacation packages available, but upon closer inspection, these all inclusive Disney World packages aren’t always a great deal.
This is why I have sought out an expert to help identify how to take your family to Walt Disney World without bursting your vacation budget. Kelly Goode, author of “A Mom’s Miserly Guide: Orlando, Disney & Universal on $25 a Day!”, has generously offered to share some of her tips when planning a Walt Disney World family vacation.
Your guide to planning a family vacation in Orlando for $25 a day is such an intriguing concept! How did you come up with this idea and how long did it take you to write the book?
Having been a travel agent for over 15 years in Florida, and an avid Disney World fan, I sensed the need long ago for a comprehensive, realistic guide for families to save money when visiting Orlando and Disney World. I learned that people dream about and plan these vacations for years in advance, and it broke my heart to hear and see people struggle to afford their vacations when there were actually cheaper ways for them to enjoy their Disney Dream Vacation. The book took about a year to write, but it is an ongoing project due to the constant changes in Orlando and the theme parks.
When you say that you can go to Walt Disney World for $25 a day is that per person or is that based on a family of four, two adults and two children?
Families can visit Walt Disney World on $25 a day – and that is for real. The $25 is a per person rate and is based on real hotel choices, car rental choices, and discount tickets. I actually have a chart in my book that shows exactly how families can achieve this goal. All families may not, of course, only spend $25 a day because they may want different hotel choices, different theme park choices, or various restaurant choices that increase their vacation budget. My book, however, allows families to see how they can achieve this vacation on this basic budget and move up if they like.
How often is the eBook updated with information? I know that when I seriously consider buying such a guide, I worry that the information is dated.
As I mentioned, the book is an ongoing project because it must be constantly updated to give people the new information they need on hotels, attractions, and prices. I update it continually and I also have a blog which I update daily with updates that pertain to Disney, Universal, Sea World, Orlando, and saving money on their vacations.
What are the 5 top most expensive errors that families make when going on a Walt Disney vacation?
Well, every family is different, so I hate to label them with “errors,” but if you force me I have to say that these are the most common ways families deny themselves savings:
1. They travel at peak times, as opposed to taking the kids out of school for a day or two. Value season decreases prices tremendously.
2. Families think that the only way to see Disney is to stay at a Disney Resort, and quite often they are the most expensive accommodations to be found.
3. Discount airfares aren’t secured because people aren’t comfortable with purchasing discount airfares on the Internet – and they aren’t savvy to the sales. (My book helps with this tremendously)
4. Families don’t take advantage of theme park discounts, whether that means going through a special operator, purchasing tickets online, or just taking an extra step or two to find discounts.
5. Parents aren’t aware of the restaurant and food savings they can get from various venues in Orlando. Hundreds of vacation dollars can be saved with coupons, kids-eat-free locations, and special planning.
Again – my book helps in all these areas!
A Walt Disney vacation could easily cost thousands of dollars in a week if a family hasn’t planned an appropriate budget. How far in advance do you recommend families plan their Walt Disney vacation to ensure that they are squeezing every dollar effectively?
Planning is very important because everything from the dates, to the airfares, to rental cars, hotel accommodations and theme park tickets come in to play. I believe a family should start about 9 months out, but continue to be flexible when searching for the ultimate savings in vacation dates.
What impresses me most about Kelly’s Walt Disney vacation guide is that she doesn’t accept any sort of payment from the companies that she recommends. It really adds credibility to the guide as well as offering a 100% guarantee. Being creative with budgeting for vacation can often be part of the vacation experience! The more you plan in advance, the more likely you will be able to stay on budget while creating memories for your family.