Orlando on a shoe string

Old May 21st, 2002, 06:54 AM
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Orlando on a shoe string

I and my girlfriend (both early 20's) are planning to visit Orlando, and would appreciate any ideas to minimize our trip cost. We don't want to rent a car, would prefer to stay in a low-priced, but clean hotel from where we can pick up public (bus?)transportation (upto 30 mins drive) to Disney/ Universal.

Any suggestions would indeed be very helpful.
Old May 21st, 2002, 07:24 AM
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We did a similar trip about 6 years ago. We found the cheapest hotel in Kissimmee that offered transfers from the airport and shuttles to the WDW parks. It was a Days Inn or something and the cost was close to $40/nt. Check out some of those hotels on the main drag in Kissimmee...
Old May 21st, 2002, 07:42 AM
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Go the the Orlando Visitors Bureau site and click on get free information. Fill in the form and they will send you a magic card which is good on discounts on hotels, restaurants and sites. We stayed in a Hampton Inn with free shuttle service to WDW and free breakfast for $47 with the card....
Old May 21st, 2002, 07:43 AM
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Forgot to add the site is:

Old May 21st, 2002, 08:23 AM
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check these two sites-quikbook.com for hotels. good booking site-no fees if you switch or cancel & mousesavers.com-a site devoted to Disney by a devoted and knowledgable disneyholic. You will find many hotels/motels that have transportation to the park. However, if you are planning on going to the theme parks, remember, its not cheap-a basis entry ticket is about $50. then you have to eat, drink, souvenirs. there are some nice deals at the disney properties-depending on your length of stay-a few more bucks per day may convert to a lot more time for fun.
Old May 21st, 2002, 09:05 AM
Owen O'Neill
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Good suggestions already provided - I might add that Priceline is a great way to get a hotel room for far less money. See the Hotels FAQ at the www.biddingfortravel.com website for tips on how to bid wisely and get the best price. If the FAQ doesn't make sense just email me and I can send you a Powerpoint presentation that shows how to do it step-by-step along with screen shots of the bidding process (you must have MS Powerpoint to view this document). If you don't mind giving up a few hours on anygiven day you could sit through a timeshare presentation and get free tix for two to one of the theme parks. many of us lack the time or patience to bother with this but if you have the patience and money is tight it will help. Most hotels have shuttles that get you to Disney and if not there is adequate public transportation. Also - check around in the parks before you decide where to eat - there are sometimes options that are less pricey for what you get but they're tucked out of the way. Another tip is to get a big breakfast outside the park before you go so you can eat less (and spend less) while you're there. If the hotel you choose has a microwave and fridge (many do in this area) you may find a grocery store nearby that has lots of ready-made microwaveable meals for sale. There are so many familes trying to budget who stay in the area that these meals are well stocked in almost all large grocery stores. Not as good as eating out in a decent restaurant but better than froaen TV dinners by a long shot and much cheaper than dining out.
Old May 21st, 2002, 12:28 PM
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PG, the BBC show Holiday has been doing several episodes on shoestring travel and they just did a feature on Orlando. Go to www.bbc.co.uk/holiday and check what they suggest.
Old May 21st, 2002, 01:38 PM
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Try www.disboards.com They have a section on budget travel to Disney. Also try www.wdwig.com and www.mousesavers.com
Old May 21st, 2002, 02:02 PM
Jean Valjean
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Old May 22nd, 2002, 01:27 PM
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I was in Orlando in January and rented a car, but found I could done well without one.

I stayed at a Quality Inn at 9000 International Drive. I found the I-Drive trolley service cost only $1/day for unlimited travel with frequent service from Belz Outlets to the north to Premium (?) Outlets to the south. I also found I could have taken a shuttle from the airport to most area hotels for about $12, ( https://secure.mearstransportation.com/shuttleidx.htm )or could have used local transportation ( http://www.golynx.com/ ) for $1 and some change to get to WDW area (International Drive nearer to Universal Studios than WDW).

The Quality Inn ( http://www.orlandohotels4less.com )I stayed at is a hotel operated by Rosens - who own several area hotels and use electronic signboards to attract customers, and if one of their properties are full, they'll find you lodging at another property. Price in Jan was $29, and while the place wasn't 4-star, it was clean, quiet, and more than adequate.

I stayed for 4 days and never used the rental car once I checked in. BTW, the "free transportation" at many hotels is not a service of the hotel, but of the attraction, so while a bus might not stop at YOUR hotel, you can often walk to a another nearby inn and board the shuttle there.

I concur with the suggestion to visit the visitors bureau - it's at one of the stops on the i-drive trolley.
Old May 23rd, 2002, 12:17 PM
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How is $20.02 a night for Courtyard by Marriott at Downtown Disney? Learn more at http://www.orlandotripplanner.com on the ALERTS page or Hotel Message Board plus other tips for the entire Orlando area.
Old May 23rd, 2002, 01:48 PM
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Take a backpack with a couple bottles of water, and fruit and peanut butter sandwiches for lunch. (You can keep peanut butter and bread in your room and make the sandwiches before leaving for the day.) Food in the park is really expensive.
Old Jun 10th, 2002, 10:41 AM
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I want to thank all of you for your invaluable suggestions. As always, I was able to save a lot of time and money by following up on your insights.
Thanks again.
Old Jun 10th, 2002, 11:51 AM
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I'm always getting calls and offers in the mail to check out new resorts in the Orlando area for some low prices, as long as you sit in a 90 minute presentation, which usually includes a meal. I'm not sure how to find them but I know Marriot has one going on now.

Most of the hotels in the Disney area are new and many of the travel type smaller ones are more reasonable than the resorts but....

there are also some dumpy, dumpy places (ended up in one last year with a group).

Obviously the closer to the theme parks the better.

I agree with the other post about eating outside the park as much as possible. PBJ is a great idea, there are Walgreens and other small stores where you can quickly pick up snacks and little cookies, cracker, granola bar packets to take in. The drinks get tricky and that's where they really get you because you'll get thirsty the minute you walk in the park.

YOu won't need a car if you're just doing theme parks. Just a ride in and out.

Check the travel websites but then I would check with the hotel directly to make sure it's new.

There really are some gross hotels scattered throughout, especially on the main drag outside the WDW complex.
Old Jun 10th, 2002, 06:24 PM
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I paid $25 at the Wyndham Orlando thru Priceline. Beautiful grounds and nice room.
Old Jun 10th, 2002, 07:08 PM
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smartstreamer- I know of a fantastic promotion going on right now w/marriott in Orlando as AB posted you do need to do a 90 min. tour. It is 199.00 for 3 nights/4 days (this is not per person)including 2 free admission tickets to any of the parks, including Disney. If I could be sure your email address is correct I could send you some info on it if you are interested. It is totally legitimate and I think well worth the 90 min.
Old Jun 11th, 2002, 08:30 AM
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Barbara-No soliciting here!

PG-Don't waste your time going to a time share presentation....

Also, check out mousesavers.com for money saving ideas.
Old Jun 12th, 2002, 06:19 PM
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There are 3 marriott brands at Little Lake Bryan in a campus-like setting. (I-4 and SR 535). Great spot. Call them direct for prices usually less than $50/nt. Brand new property.
Old Jun 28th, 2002, 04:36 AM
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Most restaurants, malls etc have books of discount tickets allowing up to 20% off restaurant meals plus money off some of the lesser known attractions (not the big Disney ones). Many restaurants do "all you can eat" buffets in the evening. These are by no means gourmet but many are surprisingly ok with plenty of salads and fresh fruit as well as the usual stuff. I particularly recommend The Golden Corrall, Las Vegas Diner and Sizzlers. I also agree with the exorbitant price
(and poor quality) of food and drink in the theme parks. It might seem a bind to carry round a rucksack with food and drink for lunch but it really is worth it. We use a bottle with a good seal and top it up from the water fountains.
Have a great holiday.
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