I want to thank all of you who sent me email tips on how to save money at Walt Disney world - here are some tips I recieved from one source.
Disney World Savings Secrets
Almost every family loves Disney World....but high gas prices and the sour economy threaten to dash the vacation plans of many Disney fans this year.
Lisa shared some of her secrets with me... beginning with visiting during off season.
Off Season Deals
From August 24 to September 20th, you can eat free, if you stay at a Disney Resort.
Lisa says she tries to take advantage of "the end of august and beginning of september, because of their free dining plan." She'll take the kids out of school for a day over Labor day weekend....and make a 4 day getaway.
Also, hotel and package prices are lower in September and October.
But even in peak season, she says, the $37 a day Disney Dining Plan is worth buying if youre staying onsite.
"Buying everything a la carte," she says, "You'll pay more than $40 a day for food per adult!"
Save on Souvenirs
Speaking of a la carte... Lisa buys souvenirs, like a $3 Mickey Mouse t-shirt she found, before entering the park, where a shirt can cost $30.
She's philosophical about it. "Your kids never need to know they didn't come from Disney World."
If you must shop at the park, she says the best kept souvenir secret is "Mickey's Mart" in Downtown Disney...Where everything is under $10. Its much cheaper than buying a stuffed animal at the gift shop at the end of every ride.
Stay on site or off?
Lisa actually recommends staying in the park -- not offsite --where driving and parking can be expensive and a hassle.
Lisa says the "value" properties such as the "All Star Resort" or "Pop Century Resort" are as affordable as off site hotels.
She says "off season you can get it as low as $89 a night."
Other Money-Saving Tips
Among Lisa's other money saving gems: Avoid spring break, Christmas week, June, and July: It's expensive and crowded. In July, it's expensive, crowded, and HOT.
She says skip the pricey "Park Hopper" pass --which lets you visit 3 parks in one day. A multi day "Magic your Way" pass is cheaper. And who really does 3 parks in one day?
Skip expensive "character" dinners: Choose a character breakfast or lunch instead, where the kids meet Goofy and Princesses during a much less expensive meal.
Also, bring your own bottled water into the park, and -- if you see any -- purchase a reusable drink mug (sold at most of the on-site hotels)
Don't forget Discounts
Finally, Lisa says be sure to ask about special discounts for AAA members, military families, and Florida residents...if you have relatives living in Florida.
And she recommends check the money saving website mousesavers.com where you will find many more ideas...so you Don't waste your money.
Walt Disney Board for savings