Doing Disney World onsite cheaply

Lets not kid ourselves here, Disney World and cheap probably aren't two things that go together but don't be fooled because it doesn't have to cost the earth. It's all about research, planning and booking at the right times and with the right people if you want to keep those costs as low as possible.


I'm not going to pretend I'm made of money and that's how I've been fortunate to enjoy my trips abroad, far from it but I have been lucky enough to enjoy a few trips to Disney World and other places including Disneyland California, Disneyland Paris, Las vegas, New York and some more and  this is all thanks to my extensive research, knowing when to book and spending time working out how to book to save money.
For instance, when it comes to Walt Disney World trips a lot of people seem to jump on the free dining at Disney resorts thinking they're getting a great deal but I reckon I've done my trips more cheaply by not using it and sometimes staying at 'more expensive' resorts. Personally I wouldn't make use of all the food on the dining plan, I find portions so large in America that I tend to just eat a main meal, maybe a starter or dessert now and then and I also like to eat offsite sometimes, I can't go to the US and not visit my favourite restaurants like Cheesecake Factory and Outback. Having done some calculations for paying for meals and paying for the 'free dining' (yes, it's not always free because you can book the hotels cheaper) my calculations always show I save money by not booking the free dining offer, however I may give it a go in 2017 just to experience it and see how it compares.


Now when it comes to booking hotels and if you're wanting to stay onsite don't alway presume booking direct with Disney holidays UK is the cheapest, I found All Stars Music £20 cheaper per night last year when booking with hotels.com, Kayak.co.uk will be one of your best friends when looking for hotel prices, it will do a lot of the hard work for you and I have to put my hands up and admit I spend a LOT of time on this website, I'm always comparing hotels, flights etc even just for fun haha, anyone else plan pretend holidays?! So how does Kayak work? If you've not used it before, basically you can put your dates in, location and it will search a lot, if not most of the possible booking sites for the hotels in that location and list them with the prices, you'll be shocked by some of the differences, I've seen the same hotels with over £100 difference in cost depending on who you book with, see I told you it's all about doing your research before jumping the gun and booking with the first company that gives you a price.


Obviously for us unfortunate soles in the UK, stuck miles away from WDW, flights are a big portion of the cost and if you're a large family probably the biggest chunk. Now I can't speak for families but it's probably the same, if you're a solo traveller or couple my biggest and I mean biggest piece of advice is DO NOT BOOK A PACKAGE, this will almost certainly cost you more than if you booked your trip separately I.e flights separate from hotel (obviously this doesn't apply if you find some bargain late deal but under normal booking circumstances and you'll unlikely find one for an onsite hotel). This is something I've been doing since 2007, that was the last time I booked a package holiday and I'm pretty certain I've probably saved myself at least £800+ every single holiday I've been on since by doing it is way. 
When it comes to Orlando my flights have always been with Virgin Atlantic, however like hotels I haven't always booked them direct with the airline, there's been a couple of occasions that Expeida have actually came out cheaper but one thing has always remained and that is that I've never payed more than £450 for my flight. Obviously if you can travel at anytime of the year and aren't restricted to school holidays you can have the same luck and if you aren't fussy with airline or if the flights direct you can likely get an even cheaper price, Kayak once again is your best friend here as is sky scanner, it will search all airlines that fly the particular route you're looking at and also all agents to book those flights through and you'll get a whole range of costs, waiting for a flight sale is always another great idea and something I've always done, most airlines have them at numerous times throughout the year and I know Virgin Atlantic and British airways are always certain to have them around Christmas/New year and the August bank holiday but the others they have are more random throughout different dates in the year.


Dreaming of staying at Grand Floridian, Boardwalk, Animal Kingdom lodge? And thinking it will forever be out of your price range, well don't give up just yet because there is a way to stay in those gorgeous deluxe resorts for a smaller cost than you've been horrified and upset to see when pricing up that dream trip. It's called DVC points, now you may have heard people say they own DVC points and bought well you can't afford to buy those either but you may be able to afford to rent the points from them, points usually rent out for about £8 per point and with stays in the resorts costing on average 10-30 points per night depending on resort and time of year it's a much more affordable way to stay somewhere special, even if it's not for your whole trip and just a couple of nights for a special occasion or to end your trip with a special treat. I've been lucky to stay at Animal Kingdom lodge twice, Bay Lake tower at Contemporary resort and Saratoga Springs all for less than £130 a night and all thanks to renting DVC points. You can usually find people to rent the points from on Disney forums such as The Dibb or there's even companies specially set up to help you find the points to rent, they do charge a slight more per point but it does come with more safety, check out David's DVC rental

So there is just some of my advice for doing a Disney trip onsite for as cheap as possible, if you have any questions or would like any help then feel free to ask away, researching holidays costs is a firm favourite hobby of mine. What are you tips for getting a good deal and keeping costs down when it comes to a Disney trip?

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