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Archive for December 15th, 2009

Biggest Bang for the Buck


After a year of declining sales of travel to virtually all destinations around the world, and strong discount offers on Disney products, changes are expected for 2010.

Disney C.E.O. Bob Iger recently announced the company’s plans to “dial back” specials during the upcoming year.  As we mentioned in the post Family Values the company has viewed promotions not only as a means of keeping attendance high, but as a tool to attract a new demographic of people who might otherwise not have taken a Disney vacation.  As most visitors know, once bitten, there is generally no cure for the Disney bug!  Guests can expect not just the usual rate increases that each new year brings, but fewer deep discounts than they may have seen in the past.


Whether you’ve chosen concierge-level accommodations at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, or are traveling on a budget for a stay at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort, you want the best value for your vacation dollars.  Here are some recommendations to help minimize the impact of increasing prices:

Pay attention to the season. The price for the same room fluctuates hugely over the course of the calendar year.  Room rates are affected by weekend dates, holidays, special events, and the Disney “season.”  If your travel dates are flexible, your Concierge will inform you about the differences in pricing from one season to another.  Often, moving your plans forward or backward just one week can save many hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars.

Consider a Disney Dining Plan. There are three major costs associated with a Walt Disney World vacation:  accommodations, park tickets, and food.  While transportation costs will vary from guest to guest, these three will be major components of just about everyone’s trip.  Although most guests find food prices very much in line with their expectations, they still add up quickly. A Disney Dining Plan is a wonderful way to plan ahead for this expense and saves most visitors money.

Review the inclusions for each package. The most commonly requested Disney vacation package is the Magic Your Way package with the standard dining plan, park tickets with the Park Hopper option, and Disney’s Magical Express transportation.  Guests often forget that there are several different types of packages and the Magic Your Way package is almost infinitely customizable.  Try to avoid paying for the elements you don’t need and spend those funds on the things that are important to you.

First-time visitors or those with very young children may not need the Park Hopper option but might really appreciate the convenience of private car service with a stop at a grocery store.  A couple celebrating an anniversary may find the Deluxe Dining Plan suits their wishes for a relaxed and indulgent experience.  The park-commando group may not want to take the time for a table-service meal and choose the Quick Service Dining Plan.  Golfers often discover that the Premium Package offers them the best value.  Your vacation is unique and your travel arrangements should suit your own style.

Some careful planning will help you put that Disney vacation on the calendar for 2010!

December 2009
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