This deal is just too good not to share. If you are planning on going to Orlando in April or May, you need to get on kayak.com asap. Round trip flights from SLC to MCO for as low as $254, that’s taxes and everything! Compared to the $550 they were asking yesterday this is amazing. People ask me all the time how my family can go to Disney World so frequently and this is the main reason. I log on to airfarewatchdog.com every tuesday just to see if there are any good deals.
Ok, so I’m going to give you the lowdown on my economical opinion of Disneyland vs Disney World. I live in Utah where most people frequent Disneyland. It’s within driving distance so it cuts the cost of flights for most families. However, I really dislike driving long distances so we fly. On average we pay $200-$220 round trip to California. I watch for airfare sales to Long Beach, LA, and Orange County, but the days to fly out and get the low price are usually too restrictive. Not to mention the best sale I’ve seen in 2 years has been for $160 round trip, not super stellar. So when an Orlando sale comes up, it’s like Christmas! So for about $50 more I can fly all the way to Florida compared to California, crazy. The times of year that I notice these Orlando sales are January, late April, May, September, October, & occasionally after Thanksgiving and the first 2 weeks of December. That’s a lot of options! Now, we are only a family of 3 so that does make it cheaper for us to fly than most families. But I have more comparisons for you…
Ok I’m only comparing Disney destinations since that’s what most families travel to California and Florida for so that’s all I’m basing this off of. Plus I’m totally unscientific so what works for me may not work for you. But you can enjoy what I call “Disney Math”, haha. Alright, in Disneyland they have 3 hotels that they own. Just going off of the cheapest hotel (Paradise Pier) the least expensive room you could get (limited times of year) is around $200 plus tax (17%) and parking per day ($15). There are hotels around Disneyland, but if you would like to walk and avoid having to pay to park there as well ($15 per day), you are going to have to keep an open mind. The hotels are older and really not Disney quality. The least expensive and cleanest place that I like is the Howard Johnson. On average during all months of the year we pay about $140 per night plus tax.
Alright, moving on to the Disney World lodging. In order to keep this from turning into a novel I’m going to really generalize. Dis World has 24 Hotels, Value, Moderate, and Deluxe. My fave place is one of the least expensive, Pop Century. There is a big range of prices during the year for the exact same rooms, but Disney always has some kind of sale going. On average we pay about $100 per night plus tax (parking is free). I have to say though that when we go in October and January, rooms usually only run us $75 with promotions. Another thing I love is that transportation from the airport to the hotel is included as well as the transportation to all the theme parks, water parks, and other Disney owned attractions. So we save at least $40 per night on our hotel and we don’t have to pay for a rental car or shuttle service.
Next up, food expenses. I think Disney does a great job offering a variety of food options but they aren’t always the most economical. At Disneyland I’ve noticed that the prices tend to be a bit more expensive than Dis World. No idea why since some of the items seem almost exactly the same. On my most recent Dis trips a pickle at Disneyland was $3, but that same pick was only $1.50 at Dis World, go figure. Also the character meal prices at Disneyland, 32.99/17.99 (kid/adult) for breakfast at Ariel’s Grotto vs character breakfast at Dis World’s Crystal palace, $24.49/$13.84 (kid/adult). There are a bajillion was to make comparisons, these are just the top 2 that I remembered from personal experience.
The moral to my story is to do your research :). For my family, the extra costs of flying to Florida are more than made up for in less expensive hotels, transportation, and food options. And my last little plug for Disney World is that if you haven’t seen it…it’s gorgeous there. Seriously! If you are used to the run down surroundings outside Disneyland like I was, you will be amazed at how extensive the beautiful the grounds are at Disney World. I could go there and not even set foot in a park. It’s so pretty. Ok, I think I’m done obsessing about Land vs World for today.
Feel free to shoot any questions you may have about either locations my way!