Getting to Disney World is a big part of the vacation budget. It’s also the one that makes my stomach turn the most. I love to fly, but I detest the prices of airfare. The last time we went to Walt Disney World, we ended up paying way too much to fly down there because we planned the vacation late, and it was over Christmas break. It was awful, and I vowed to never pay that much for airfare again!
Airline tickets can be a fickle thing to find at a good price. There do seem to be patterns out there as to when the prices dip down. From research I’ve done and just watching these patterns, I have gathered that prices seem to drop between Monday night and Wednesday afternoon. It’s not an exact science, and the ticket prices may not drop a lot one week, and then drop drastically the next. The best thing to do is start watching the tickets, check in every other day or so and start really early. I have read from various places that the “sweet spot” to buy is between 2 and 3 months before your trip. After this, the prices will start to climb and keep going. The best thing to do is to probably start looking as soon as you know your trip dates, and once the tickets dip to a price you can stomach, take the plunge!
Some websites that I like to check for airfare, in case you are looking for some good ones to start with, are priceline.com; skyscanner.net, and kayak.com. I like looking at all three of these for researching prices. Then, I like to check the actual airline sites too, just to see what the listed prices are there. Every once in a while there will be a better price directly from the airline’s site, so it’s worth a visit to see.
One other way you can really save money on airfare is to check different airports. We live in the Baltimore area, so picking another airport to fly out of is easy for us. If you live within 100 or even 200 miles of a few airports, check all of them. The cost of getting to one and parking your car in an economy lot may be worth the money you save in airfare. Now, Orlando International is the best airport to fly into for Disney, but if you are really brave and looking for ways to cut some costs you can try to fly into other Florida airports, like Tampa and rent a car or find other means to get to the parks. Just make sure the cost of doing this is worth all the savings! Over Christmas when we flew down to Florida, we saved $200 a ticket by flying out of Reagan International in DC, rather than BWI. I’m so happy we saved so much, but it was embarrassing how much we paid even with that savings (hint: it was over $500 per person!! Moral of our story: DO NOT spontaneously plan to go to Disney for the holidays!)
Of course you can always drive to Florida if you live within a sane distance! Even if you do not, you can make a fun road trip out of it! We have yet to do this, but we keep saying that we have to try and hit all the fun places along the east coast on our way south. We hesitate because it takes about 18 hours to drive to Florida from Maryland, and we always figure we would rather use the time in the parks.
No matter how you get to Disney World, it’s great if you can save some bucks along the way, so that you have more to spend ON and IN the most magical place on Earth!
Tina works full time as a school counselor in an elementary school. She lives close to Baltimore, MD with her husband Dave and her 13 year old stepdaughter, Ashley. They also have a furry family member, a cat name Frodo, that keeps life interesting in their house! Tina began visiting Disney World as a child with her family, and now her, Dave & Ashley take a trip to the World every year. She considers herself a Disney “fanatic” and once her family is finished one trip, she is already planning their next one. Tina loves to find the best deals, even in the busy seasons (she can only go when schools are off!) and loves sharing those deals & tips with anyone and everyone! What Tina loves most is the magic of WDW, it makes her feel like a kid again. She hopes that every family has the opportunity go to the World and experience the magic for themselves because it has a way of reminding its visitors that dreams do indeed come true! Read more of Tina’s work on her blog A Not So Bland Life, where she writes about home decor, cooking, couponing, traveling, and and of course, Disney!