Top 10 Money-Saving Secrets for an Orlando/Disney Vacation

By Nigel G. Worrall

With theme parks like Disney World and Universal in town and great beaches just an hour away, it’s no wonder Orlando, Florida is one of America’s most popular vacation destinations.  But just because you want to go where everyone else does doesn’t mean you need to spend as much money as everyone else will be spending.  Follow these secret tips, and you’re bound to save hundreds – even thousands – of dollars on your dream trip.

1.         Start with a budget

Plan in advance how much money you’ll need to spend on transportation, accommodation, meals and entertainment – including those all-important theme park tickets.  The total price may shock you, but better to experience sticker shock now than when you’re already there and it’s too late to rethink your plans.  Knowing how much things cost in advance will not only prepare you for the worst, it will also show you where you should be looking for places to save money.

2.         Book in advance.

This is a no-brainer.  Book your airline tickets a few weeks before departure, and you’re likely to pay through the nose.  Book months in advance and you’ll take advantage of the best possible deals.

3.         Travel during off periods.

Most people like to travel when the kids are out of school for summer – and especially when they are off work for holidays like Memorial Day, Labor Day and the Fourth of July.  This is exactly when you should NOT be traveling, because that’s when everyone charges the highest rates.  Florida is warm, so consider traveling earlier or later – or if you must take your trip in summer, avoid the holiday weekends!

4.         Use bonus points, miles and discounts

This is the time to check your balance on the credit card that gives you frequent flier miles, not to mention your frequent flier accounts.  Try to plan your air travel early so you can avoid blackout dates.  Check for rental car discounts as well.

5.         Use coupons!

When you arrive at the airport, there will be a display filled with different brochures filled with coupons and special offers.  Take them and use them!  You can find deals on everything from rental cars to meals to attractions.

6.         Buy theme park tickets in advance

Did you know you can save money buying theme park tickets online in advance rather than at the gate?  In some cases, seven-day passes can be bought for less online than a single entry pass at the park entrance.  So don’t just plan ahead, check out the website for every park you plan to visit buy ahead – and save some serious cash in the process.

7.         Check out the Orlando visitor center

Another great place to score theme park discounts is at the Orlando visitor’s center, located at 8723 International Drive.  The Orlando CVB also offers the Orlando Preferred Visitor Magicard™, which offers significant discounts at 97 area establishments.  The card is available at the website  Other websites like offer discounts and deals that can lead to huge savings.

8.         Buy your souvenirs out of the park!

Passing by all the shops and displays at the various theme parks can be tough.  But the rewards can be huge.  Schedule a special visit to local outlet stores like Orlando Premium Outlets, where much of the merchandise you see at the theme parks is available at serious discounts.

9.         Eat major meals outside the theme parks

Theme park food can be expensive, unhealthy, and sometimes both!  So grab a light lunch at the park if you must, but try to save money on breakfast and dinner.  There are plenty of restaurants in the vicinity of the theme parks, including several all-you-can-eat buffets that will fill you up even after the longest day of riding rides and seeing shows.  Or better yet, find an accommodation like a vacation home that provides a full kitchen.  Then you can shop for the foods your family likes at regular grocery stores and use the money you’d spend on restaurants for more exciting activities.

10.       Stay in a vacation home instead of a hotel

Vacation homes are probably the best-kept secret when it comes to saving money on an Orlando vacation.  Located in upscale, safe neighborhoods just minutes from all the major attractions, these homes offer full kitchens where you can cook your own meals, private swimming pools and living rooms for relaxation, and space to accommodate even a large family or group for the price of an ordinary hotel room.   Vacation homes range from the clean and comfortable to the downright luxurious – meaning there’s something for every family and every budget! 

Follow these ten tips, and your trip to Orlando/Disney will be exciting, memorable AND affordable.  For more information about vacation homes, click here or call 407 870 1600

©2008, 2009

*** The articles on this website are made freely available to all members of the media and the press. The only condition is that credit be given to Nigel G. Worrall as author of the articles.

About Nigel G. Worrall:

Nigel Worrall is President / CEO of Florida Leisure Vacation Homes & Total Real Estate Solutions. He is regularly sought by the media as a vacation home and real estate expert and has featured on NBC, ABC, Fox, CBS. He has also featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times, Newsweek, Chicago Sun Times, Washington Post, Orlando Sentinel, Orlando Business Journal and several other publications. Nigel is also the best selling author of “Big Ideas For Your Business” (Advantage Media)

Nigel serves many clients around the world as a Realtor®, Real Estate Broker, Real Estate Investor, Mortgage Broker and Real Estate Trainer.

About Florida Leisure:

Florida Leisure Vacation Homes is the leading vacation home company in the Orlando, Fla. – Disney area, offering 3-7 bedroom private vacation homes near to all the Orlando area attractions. Each home has it’s own fully equipped kitchen, 3-7 bedrooms, lounge, dining room, laundry, 2 car garage and best of all, private swimming pool.

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