Disney Travel Tips and Coupons

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It's hard to imagine a more magical vacation for young ones than a Disney theme park adventure. 

With a little know how (and the help of the Internet and some online coupon codes and travel discounts), you can plan the trip of a lifetime for a lot less than you might think. 

Order Your Free Disney DVD
The first thing you'll want to do is order a free Disney Parks Vacation Planning DVD. This official Disney DVD ships free of charge in the United States and Canada, and it will take you on a complete tour of the resorts. You'll go inside the parks and get a bird's eye view of the Disney complexes in both Florida and Southern California. Preview the water rides and roller coasters, shoes, and attractions. Get tips on keeping your trip affordable. You'll also get "pocket-sized planning guides" for both Disneyland and Disneyworld. Order your free Disney Vacation Planning DVD here (one per household).

Finding Hotel Deals
Next, you'll want to find the best Disney hotel deals. 

It's important to note that you'll play lower prices on both lodging and park passes if you plan your trip during the off season, which runs from October through April. (March is typically spring break month, so you might see more crowds during this time of year.) 

You can choose from a number of on-site Disney hotels, which have a lot of advantages, including – in come cases – discounted park passes, and, of course, convenience. But the experience of staying at an on-site resort comes at a price: sometimes triple the cost of neighboring hotels. If budget is your primary consideration, look for hotels deals near the resort. Many of these nearby hotels offer comfortable, clean lodging and may provide a complimentary shuttle service to the resort. 

Accommodations range from value-priced or mediocre to deluxe rooms with amenities to match. Make a list of the things that are important to you and refer to them when deciding on a hotel. If you don’t mind parking your car and walking instead of using the valet, or if you don’t mind limited room service, then you don’t need to pay more for a deluxe hotel stay. 

The distances to and from the park can differ so be sure to ask how far away the hotel is located and whether or not they offer complimentary transportation, such as shuttle bus or monorail service. There are lots of choices and you can find many different package deals depending on your budget and preferences. The Internet has made it so easy to compare Disney area hotels, and their amenities, at a glance.
 
First, visit the official Disney website. You'll find resources, customizable maps, itineraries, and tips based on your children's ages: http://home.disney.go.com/travel/index
And here are Disney area hotel coupons and special offers. 
Travelocity's Disney Deals Page

Momscape.com compiles Travelocity Coupon codes here, for additional savings. So check before you book.
More Travel Deals: Orbitz.com

Saving on Meals

Officially, Disney does not allow you to bring food into the park, but you can still save money by having breakfast before entering the park – and eating dinner after you leave. Lunch prices tend to be quite a bit lower than dinner prices at the restaurants inside the park, so you can experience the magic of a meal in the park for less. 

For breakfast and dinner, Restaurant.com dining certificates can help you save more than 50% on dining, when you purchase them ahead of time. (Learn more about how Restaurant.com works here). You might also want to look into buying an Entertainment Book for the zip code in which you are traveling, to help you save on retail and restaurants. 
If you're going to be exploring the area beyond the Disney parks, it might pay to purchase a Go Visitor Card for the area. A Go Visitor Card offers visitors unlimited admission to top attractions and activities for a single price. Here's more information on the Go Orlando Card and  here's more information on the  Go Los Angeles Card  

More Disney Travel Tips

· Some hotels and travel agents offer discounts to nurses, teachers and government workers as well as AAA, AARP and Entertainment Book members. You can find even more information about travel discounts at the DIS Discussion Forum

· Make sure to purchase your tickets before you get to the park, so you don't have to stand in line when you get there.

· Read your tickets and passes and make sure you understand what you are paying for. Remember, too, that some rides have certain height requirements for children. 

· Walking the parks may be fine for the grown-ups, but you may want to either bring your own stroller or rent one for your child or children.

· If you have a child who is too small for a particular ride, take advantage of the Disney "Baby Swap" option. All you need to do is tell the attendant. When you reach the front of the line, one parent will be able to ride while the other parents holds the child. When the ride is over, you switch – so both parents can enjoy the ride. 

· The weather can be unpredictable so don’t be caught off-guard. Make sure to bring an umbrella, ponchos and some cool weather clothing. Plan ahead for rainy days. Have a list of indoor activities you want to do in the area, just in case. 

· If you're planning a trip to Disneyworld, check out order a free vacation planning kit from Orlando's Travel & Visitors Bureau: http://www.orlandoinfo.com/requestform/ You'll get information and lots of coupons, too. 

You can save lots of money with just a little bit of planning. And you'll have a relaxed, memorable, even magical vacation that you and your children will remember for a lifetime. (You might even have so much fun, you'll decide to go again next year!)