It seems like only yesterday that we let our then 7 year old daughter know that we were finally “going to Disney World”. The memory of her squeals and excitement are with me to this day. We had saved for a long time in order to be able to take this trip, and had a wonderful time when we went. I learned a great deal about the best way to plan a Disney vacation, and quickly realized that in order to have an affordable Disney family vacation, there was a lot of research involved. And I also learned that a Disney savings guide was essential if I wanted to save any kind of money on this trip at all.
It can be challenging to choose the best Disney travel guide though, because there are so many! They all look promising, with colorful pictures of happy families having the time of their lives. But which ones will actually help you save money on your Disney vacation? This article will review some of the most popular, and provide my opinions on what each has to offer.
To begin, there is Birnbaum’s Walt Disney World, the Disney-approved, classic travel guide. This was the first guide that I bought for our initial trip, and it was a helpful beginning to my planning. With great pictures, some nice maps that help the Disney novice to become familiar with the layout of the parks, and reviews of the major rides and attractions, it is a great start to learning all about Disney World. However, it does not provide much information about how to save money: since it is the “official” Disney vacation guide, there is not much discussion about non-Disney options for food or lodging. So, while this is a great guide to start with, particularly for your first visit, it would not be my first choice for a good Disney savings guide.
Probably the most well-known of the many Disney World vacation guides is the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. It is also arguably the most comprehensive guide as well, at well over 800 pages. There is a lot of information in this travel guide, as the author thoroughly covers nearly every potential aspect to a trip to the Orlando area in extensive detail. And it is unbiased as well, which is appreciated by many who want to know more than the Disney perspective. The author does an admirable job of providing lots of options for saving money, and it can be a very helpful option for a Disney savings guide. With all the detail in this book however keep in mind that it will not be a little guide that you will want to take to the parks with you.
The travel guide that I have found to be the most useful in terms of saving money on a Disney vacation is the Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide. This is actually an e-book that was written by a former Disney castmember, and I have appreciated the “insider” information that has been very helpful in planning an affordable Disney vacation. The author shares a great deal of cost-savings tips and ideas that can potentially save the Disney vacationer hundreds of dollars. This book provides the money-saving strategies that make it an excellent choice for a Disney savings guide. Now if an e-book is a new concept for you, let me just say that I love the flexibility that an e-book offers: being able to download it immediately, reading through, and then printing out only what I need/want to take to the parks with me for reference.
While there are probably hundreds of Walt Disney World travel guides, if having an affordable Disney vacation is important to you, then the Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide is my recommendation for a truly excellent Disney savings guide. Well organized, easy to use, with lifetime access to the author’s website for the most current Disney updates, and literally hundreds of money-saving tips and strategies make this guide, in my opinion, a must-have for saving money on your Disney vacation.