Travel Advice: Planning For Your Spring Break Getaway

Air Date:
Heard On The Larry Meiller Show

Larry Meiller finds out how to best plan for your spring break getaway, and how to make the most of a Disney vacation. Plus, ways to save money on flights all year long.

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  • Travel Expert Says Pre-Planning A Disney Vacation Pays Off In Time, Mood And Money

    When it comes to the quintessential American vacation, trips to Disneyland or Walt Disney World would probably rank alongside visits to Mount Rushmore or the Grand Canyon for many travellers. But theme park destinations can also be expensive and stressful to organize, with all sorts of package options to choose from and fellow travelors to compete with.

    Rick Seaney is the CEO of FareCompare, and has spent a lot of time at Disney properties. He said that the right planning can make a big difference in the experience, and the price.

    Seaney offered the following tips for those interested in a Disney vaction:

    Choose Flights Wisely

    Deciding when to go is one of the first steps most travelers will take. While the tendency for a week’s vacation might be to squeeze out every possible day, Seaney said that being more flexible with arrival and departure dates can mean lower ticket prices.

    “Usually, the cheapest days to fly are Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday. Even if you choose just one of those for your outbound or inbound ticket, you’re liable to save money,” Seaney said.

    Similarly, choosing a flight with layovers instead of a non-stop flight can result in big savings amounting to as much as 50 percent.

    Seaney offered other flight tips, like choosing the arrival airport wisely. For example, he said that while Orlando is the closest airport to Disney World, a flight into Tampa can be about 30 percent cheaper. While it is about 90 miles away, if a rental car was already part of the plan, it may well be worth it.

    For California visitors, similar savings are possible by flying into Los Angeles instead of Orange County/Santa Ana. For some travelers, looking at a JetBlue flight into Long Beach may also be a good option, Seaney said.

    Minimize Time Spent In Line

    A Disney vacation can include a lot of waiting in line, especially for the most popular rides and attractions. Seaney said that investing in a FastPass+ gives visitors the option of reserving a spot in line for their high-priority activities. One warning is that it comes with a limited number of reservations, so deciding in advance what the not-to-be-missed spots are makes sense.

    For Disney hotel guests and annual pass holders, there is also the option of the MagicBand that includes other perks, such as charging food and souvenirs purchases and using the band as the hotel room key card. Seaney said, however, that while MagicBand is currently available at Disney World, it is being rolled out in a more limited way at Disneyland for the near future.

    Seaney is not only a travel expert himself, he also talks with other experts as well. He said conversation he had with a traffic analyst at Disney led to some interesting insights.

    Families with small children often can’t get up and out as early as other visitors. If parents can buck that trend, it can pay off.

    “Most of the 1, 2 and 3-year olds don’t start arriving until 10:30 or 11 in the morning. So if you want to ride the teacups and Peter Pan … and Small World, you should go first thing in the morning, before the little ones get there and it gets completely packed,” Seaney said.

    Similarly, knowing the common park behaviors can allow visitors to work around them.

    “If you walk into the door of the Magic Kingdom, you’d be surprised to know that 65 percent of people go to the right. So if you’re rushing in, head left!” Seaney said.

    Don’t Be Afraid To Take A Break

    While the acres upon acres of rides and attractions are enough to keep visitors busy for days on end, Seaney cautioned against being on the go non-stop. A little downtime can do wonders for both adults and kids. For the older visitor to the California properties, he has a special recommendation.

    “My most favorite place on the planet, especially as your kids get older, is in California Adventure Park, which is right next to Disneyland. Look for the Wine Country Trattoria, where you can actually sit at a table and drink a glass of wine and watch your kids run up and down like yo-yos,” Seaney said.

    For more details on planning a trip to Disney, and for three things to be sure to bring along, check out Seaney’s article on FareCompare, “Disneyland, Disney World: 7 Tips to Save Money, Time, Stress.”

Episode Credits

  • Larry Meiller Host
  • Judith Siers-Poisson Producer
  • Rick Seaney Guest