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  1. Default Summer Vacation for kids

    We NEVER take vacations do to cost. We are planning on trying to take one this year. We live in Oklahoma and have discussed a roadtrip to Orlando. At least one day at Disney World. We are just tossing around ideas right now and would consider another state. Kids are girls 10 &14 boy 16. Does anyone have any reccomendations or ideas? We are looking for money saving ideas.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default More for Less

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Consider this: For less than the cost of one ticket for one child for one day at Disney World ($89), you can gain admittance for the entire family to all ($80) of the following: Petroglyph National Monument, the Petrified Forest, the Grand Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, Mesa Verde, and the Great Sand Dunes, and throw in Cadillac Ranch, Wolf Creek Pass, the Sandsage Bison Range & Wildlife Area, and Dodge City Then throw in the fact that all of those places can be gotten to with about the same number of miles driven as one round trip to Orlando, and lodging will most likely be less expensive than near Disney World in Orlando. If that seems like something your family (and your wallet) may enjoy more, we can help with details.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I have to agree with Buck that you'd be hard pressed to find a better value in a vacation than enjoying our National Parks.

    But even if you decide to visit the mouse - or anywhere else - there are lots of things you can do to keep costs down.

    Meals are an area where you can save a ton. If you pack a cooler and a grill, you can have nearly all of your meals and snacks from groceries stores. That will be much cheaper than eating at restaurants and gas station snacks, and shouldn't really cost much more than what you spend for food at home.

    Lodging - camping could save you a lot of money, if that's something that might appeal to you. A campsite will generally cost $20-25 vs. $50+ for a budget motel, so even if you have to buy a tent and sleeping bags, it would pay for itself quite quickly (especially with 5 people, where you'll either need two rooms, an extra bed, or have someone sleep on the floor). If you go the motel route, you can find pretty good deals by shopping online, or picking up coupon books often found at interstate truck stops and rest areas. If you end up going to Orlando, there are often excellent hotel deals in Kissimmee, if you're willing to stay off the Disney property.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    If you are set on visiting The Mouse in Florida, here are some other thoughts:

    Check with your employer -- it's possible that they could offer cheaper tickets for WDW than you'll get either at the gate or on line. Just for the record, though, it would be hard to do WDW in one day. There are at least 4 big parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios), 2 water parks, and some smaller areas (ESPN World of Sports, for one).

    If you stay off-site, be sure that the hotel will provide transportation over to the park you want to go to. Otherwise you will be out $17/day for parking.

    From another perspective, however -- when my husband, myself and the kids were all younger, we did a lot of tent camping in order to enjoy a vacation here and there. We enjoyed it a lot! That's the way to go for a national and state park vacation.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    If you stay off-site, be sure that the hotel will provide transportation over to the park you want to go to. Otherwise you will be out $17/day for parking.
    Actually, it's "only" $14 a day to park. Still a factor to consider, and a pretty big jump from the last time I was there a couple years ago. I only looked because the last time I was there, I thought it was in the $10-12 range, and $17 seemed way to high.

    Certainly, if you're only going to be at Disney for a day, you really should just plan on visiting one of the 4 major parks. You'd have to pay extra for park-hopper passes anyway. I've done 2 parks in a day (Magic Kingdom/Hollywood Studios once, Animal Kingdom/Epcot the other), and it was very rushed, and things had to be skipped. I had the park hopper option included with my ticket in a special deal I got through my line of work, and I wouldn't pay extra for it. There's enough to do at each of the parks to spend more than a full day.

  6. #6


    Disney ticket prices are set up that it pays to stay longer as the price per day declines significantly with each additional day you buy. For example, a one day ticket is $89 (plus tax), so that's $89 for the day......a five day ticket is $268 ($53 per day) and a ten day is $318 ($31.80 per day). If you're not staying on-site, you also have to pay to park.

    What do your kids want to do? Are they still into Disney or would they enjoy something else that involves an amusement park anywhere?

    If you're in OK, you can do an amazing loop trip to NM, UT, CO, KS and back to OK - there are tons of great national parks to see, plus lots of other options like amusement parks, water parks, float trips, etc. That you can do for a lot less than Disney and still have a great family vacation!

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