I haven’t taken a single trip that didn’t give me cause to recall John Lennon’s prophetic words: "Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans."
I hope your Orlando vacation goes off without a hitch. But should life throw any surprises your way, here are some insider tips to help deal with unexpected weather, delays, costs or changes of heart.
Problem: Disney character dining is sold out.
Solution: Several hotels under the Walt Disney World Resort banner offer character visits. Call them to confirm specific days and times.
Problem: The Disney dinner shows are sold out or too expensive.
Solution: Orlando has many themed dinner shows for kids that are very reasonably priced (most less than $30 per person) with additional discounts available in local tourist magazines or brochures.
KEEPING KIDS BUSY
Problem: It rains and you want to keep the kids busy:
Solution: Try one of these indoor options:
Problem: The older kids are sick of going to Disney and want some real athletic action.
Solution: Take them to one of the adrenaline-inducing activity centers including:
Problem: You’ve had it with the crowds but you don’t want to hang out by the pool.
Solution: Lake Eola — Get back to nature at this park with Swan boats, a modernist playground and no crowds.
Problem: Kids want the rides, you don’t want the lines or don’t have time to do Disney.
Solution: Try these family-friendly alternatives …
Problem: Flights or rental cars to Orlando are too expensive:
Solution: Fly into Daytona. This
wonderfully small airport is only about a 40 minute drive from Orlando
but offers several benefits in certain circumstances. Last-minute flights into Daytona from Atlanta and New York are often half the price of those to Orlando. With more manageable schedules, there are fewer flight delays for inbound flights.
Going through security is usually much faster and easier. And if you are flying round trip from Daytona, a car rental is usually less money than renting in Orlando. When we followed this advice, we saved $109 on each of our flights (Daytona to NYC) and $35 per day on a car rental. (Note: This doesn’t apply to the weekends when large Daytona Speedway races are on.)
Problem: You want to go to a theme park but have more time than money.
Several companies will give one free adult ticket to the major theme
parks (plus some perks like restaurant gift cards) if you sit through
their timeshare presentation. Do a search on the Web using keywords
like "Free Disney ticket Orlando."
Have you ever had to kick in a contingency plan for Orlando? Please let us know what you did in the comments section below.
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