The cheapest way to book a Disney World Florida holiday
By Helen Wright
One of the questions we get asked the most, is the cheapest way to book a Disney World Florida holiday. A holiday to sunny Orlando from the UK is never going to be cheap, but there are definitely ways to find great deals and save money. In our series of mini guides to Disney and Orlando, we share some clever ways to save on theme park tickets, meals, attractions, car hire and flights.
Booking a Walt Disney World Florida holiday from the UK
Travel agent, ORLANDO PACKAGE DEAL or DISNEY DIY?
This is the first hurdle when you start planning a Disney World Florida holiday and the first point where you consider giving up on the idea completely and just going to Blackpool again… Package deals can save you money by including certain perks and discounts. But even if they don’t, some people prefer to use a travel agent to save the time it takes to search for each component individually and have everything looked after in one place. There is also the security of booking with a respected agent which, when you’re splashing out on the trip of a lifetime is a big comfort.
Why use a travel agent for a Disney World Florida holiday?
Even in this digital age, travel agents are an important travel resource and some holidays would be almost impossible to plan without one. Whether a Disney World Florida Holiday is one of them very much depends on you, the needs of your party and how much time you have to get organised.
There are a lot of positive reasons to use a travel agent. One of the top reasons on a big holiday to Orlando is that you can spread the cost of the trip over a longer period of time by paying in instalments. This works well when it comes to a Disney holiday because most people start planning their trip a year or more in advance. Especially if you have a big group, paying in a series of small amounts will definitely take the sting out of the total cost of a Disney World Florida holiday.
It’s likely that a travel agency will have an expert on Orlando on staff and you can fire any questions or concerns at them face to face, if you feel confused. Of course, you can also Facebook, Instagram or Tweet us for unofficial advice and we will try to help if we can! If you don’t have a lot of time to do you own planning and booking (or you just can’t face it), using an agent will solve that problem and lessen any stress. But, of course, like any professional service this does come at a premium. Travel agents or agencies provide a good service but, unsurprisingly, the cheapest way to book a Disney World Florida holiday is to create your own trip and book it yourself. Hopefully, we can help guide you with our series of Orlando and Disney mini guides.
Where to start when planning a Disney World package holiday yourself?
Personally, I am very much in the DIY camp but that’s because I am one of those weirdos who enjoy organising all the ‘bits’ and find it fun – hence the birth of this website! For a little backstory, I have been a professional travel and lifestyle journalist for 18 years and through the course of my work, I have spent a lot of time in Orlando and at the theme parks (28 visits and counting). I have traveled alone, with my partner, with my children and with friends, so I understand the complexities of accommodating different interests, ages and logistics. Below, I have put together some examples of how you can build you own Disney World Florida holiday and look at how it compares to an Orlando package deal from a travel agency.
(Any prices or packages mentioned on this post are intended as a GUIDE ONLY to give you an idea of what’s on offer). This post contains affiliate links.
Firstly, which type of booking is best for you? There are different ways you can book a Disney World Florida holiday:
Flight + hotel package
Hotel + theme park ticket package
Flight only + accommodation
(Obviously these vary depending on the grade and type of accommodation you are looking for, but I have listed some examples below).
**UPDATE: This post has not been updated to reflect new Covid-19 rules or restrictions, so we advise you look carefully at the small print on any booking to make sure you are covered for cancellations or changes to your trip.
Flight + hotel package
VIRGIN HOLIDAYS are currently offering seven nights in Orlando from £675 per person.
What is included:
Virgin Atlantic economy flights from London Gatwick to Orlando International. Room only accommodation at 3* Coco Key Hotel & Water Resort, with basic car hire included. Price is per person, based on two adults sharing a Standard Room and including all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges.
This can be booked at www.virginholidays.co.uk, by phone 0344 557 3870 or by visiting one of the Virgin Holidays counters in Debenhams, House of Fraser, Tesco, Sainsbury’s or V-Room stores nationwide. You can no longer book Virgin Holidays packages through external travel agents.
BRITISH AIRWAYS HOLIDAYS are currently offering seven nights in Orlando from £549 per person.
What is included:
British Airways World Traveller (economy) return flights from London Gatwick. Seven nights accommodation at the 3* Maingate Lakeside Resort. You can book at ba.com/orlando or call 0344 493 0124.
We also approached Thomas Cook for information but they did not take the time to respond to our enquiries, so we’ll just leave that there…
There is also a different type of package on offer for Orlando too. If you are planning on staying at the Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando Resorts you might find a cheaper option by booking flights independently and then taking advantage of a HOTEL+PARKS PACKAGE.
HOTEL + PARKS PACKAGE
ATTRACTIONTICKETS.COM , the UK-based theme park specialist, offer Universal and Disney hotel, ticket and dining packages that are cheaper than booking a flight inclusive package. They are currently offering seven nights at a Disney hotel plus Disney Ultimate park tickets from £582 per person.
What is included:
Seven nights at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort based on two sharing. Disney Ultimate ticket with free Memory Maker (14 days) and also Disney’s Magical Express airport transfers (a package usually costing $169). In addition to this they are currently throwing in a trip with Florida Airboat Rides as an extra incentive and these extras change monthly.
You may find this post on the perks and pitfalls of staying at a Walt Disney World or Universal resort hotel helpful (opens in a new tab)
WATCH MY VIDEO ON THE SIX REASONS TO STAY AT A DISNEY RESORT HOTEL
CLICK HERE FOR HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT UNIVERSAL ORLANDO HOTEL FOR YOUR FAMILY
FLIGHT ONLY – a top tip to finding the cheapest Disney World Florida holiday
With a hotel + parks package, you will need to book your flight separately. Low-cost airline Norwegian now fly to Orlando from £205 one-way for an economy low fare or £355 low fare return, making this option very attractive if your budget is tight. Information can be found at www.norwegian.com/uk. On British Airways, the return economy fare from London to Orlando starts from £413. More info at ba.com
NOTE: The above section is in the process of being updated after Norwegian Air announced they would no longer be flying to the USA from the UK. We are sourcing a different, reputable low-cost alternative so watch this space.
Since some of the airline deals include CAR HIRE, as a guide, holidayautos.co.uk offer seven days, mid-size car rental from £161.
Orlando HOTEL OR VILLA
But wait – the options don’t end there! The holiday villa game in Orlando is strong and there are both perks and drawbacks to renting a holiday home for your trip to Disney. We cover why and where to rent a villa for your trip in our detailed post on holiday homes Vs hotels in Orlando.
HOTEL + FLIGHT + PARK TICKETS
It’s worth noting that British Airways also offer a Disney Flight + Hotel + Park package from £999 per person.
What is included:
Seven nights at the 3* Disney’s All Star Music Resort Package. Includes World Traveller (economy) return flights from London Gatwick, accommodation and Disney Park passes for the duration of the stay. Visit ba.com/orlando or call 0344 493 0124.
Based on top line calculations for the cheapest flights and deals available, the breakdown is roughly this: