Not everyone who travels to Orlando is looking to spend the wad. There are many who would like to experience the ultimate vacation without financial regrets.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
One cost to eliminate is car rental.
Think about it...where are you going?
Obviously, if you are staying at a Park resort, then you're all set. You're right there in the action; having gotten shuttled in and shuttled out. You'll miss seeing the other sites, but if you are a first-time visitor, or someone prone to taking it easy, seeing the Parks may be enough for you.
If you are staying at a hotel with a shuttle, that's great too. In some ways, it's better to be staying outside of the Parks. It's cheaper. It's still just minutes away from the Park. You can be close to the array of cheap buffets and affordable restaurants offered.
What about staying at a hotel/motel without a shuttle?
Highway 192, in Kissimee is full of choices.
You have to be careful to avoid those motels that have started to cater to the working poor of Central Florida. Those places have become flophouses that act like a magnet for crime. You'll know which to avoid by the price. If they advertise that they are cheap by the week, then they are housing borderline clientele.
If you are situated in a hotel/motel on 192 then, even without a shuttle service, you can make it to Disney cheaply: take the bus. The 56 bus costs $1.75 each way and comes about every 30 minutes. It will pick you up at a bus stop on 192 (make sure that's it's not just a bench without a sign) and drop you off at the Disney Transportation Center. It's fast, with no stops past the Disney designed town, "Celebration." Oh, and you don't have to look at the map to figure out where you are...or how you got lost. The bus driver does all the work and you relax.
By taking the bus, you eliminate car rental for that day (around $25) and the parking lot fee ($11). You paid $3.50. That's a savings of $32.50.
The buses are very nice. They are chilled to almost freezing. Clean. They even have TVs with the latest headlines playing. The people who ride are courteous. Infact, many of the people traveling to the Transportation Center on the bus are low-level employees of the Parks. You'll also see other thrifty Park visitors as well.
For me, traveling in high style isn't really my thing. There are times to splurge, but I don't think the whole trip needs to be a gluttonous affair. Traveling by local transit grounds you a bit in reality and keeps you from losing perspective. It also keep you from losing your money needlessly.