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How to Plan a Cheap Disney Vacation

If you've been promising the kids a fabulous Disney vacation, but can't seem to get your finances together, here are a few tips to help you experience Disney on the cheap. Find inexpensive hotels, restaurant deals and discount park tickets.

Travel on the off-season. Disney travel is busiest throughout the summer months and the Christmas holiday. Families who travel during these times pay more money for accommodations and transportation. Plus, attraction lines are super-long. The best time to visit Disney is right after the start of the new school year in September, and after the Christmas holiday -- but before Spring Break.

Visit a Timeshare Resort. One of the best ways to enjoy a cheap Disney vacation is to arrange a 90-minute tour with an area resort. Travelers are required to sit through a timeshare resort presentation. In exchange, they receive two, three or four nights free accommodations at a local hotel or resort, plus discount attraction tickets.

Join a group. Contact a local travel agent and inquire about group vacations. Agencies occasionally plan trips to Disney. Travelers enjoy a group discount rate on airfare or chartered bus, hotel and attractions.

Buy an Orlando Entertainment Book. Entertainment Books cost approximately $30, and you can buy these books online. Inside, vacationers will find two-for-one deals for fast food restaurants and casual dining establishments. Plus, Entertainment Books include discounts on retail shopping, car rental, movie tickets and other local entertainment.

Buy airline tickets early. Some vacationers wait until the last minute to purchase airline tickets. However, ticket prices increase as the date nears. Buy airfare at least three months in advance. To save money, book seats on a discount airline carrier, and check for airfare deals or specials.

Enjoy complimentary rides. Several Disney-area hotels and resorts offer complimentary transportation to nearby attractions and theme parks. Take advantage of free shuttle services and skip the car rental.

Pick a few attractions. Some Disney vacationers make plans to visit all theme parks and area attractions. With the average Disney ticket price more than $50 per person, a family of four will spend more than $200 on a single park admission. Persons without discount tickets should plan to visit one or two major attractions.

Buy souvenirs at local retail shops. Souvenirs and tee-shirts sold inside the theme parks are expensive. Yet, many local retailers sell the same merchandise for half the price.

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