Have reservations about going to Walt Disney World? Of course you do!
Disney World is not just some little theme park. Instead, it's a vast wasteland of mandatory entertainment on a plot of land the size of Maine. There are four major theme parks, a handful of minor parks, piles of hotels, copious shopping venues, and thousand of acres of not-yet-exploited swamp and wilderness. And believe us, if you don't pick exactly the right hotel and exactly the right itinerary, your trip will be ruined, your money will be flushed down the tubes, and your family will be scarred for life. Not that there's a lot of pressure or anything.
Why not save your blood pressure and just not go? Even better, with Rat Trips' assistance you can not only not go on a high-stress vacation, you can also save a pile of money! Just follow these simple Rat Trips Certified© steps:
1) Decide how you don't want to get there: Because Walt Disney World is hermetically sealed off from the rest of reality, there are only a few ways you can reach it. You can drive, burning great amounts of your vacation time staring dry-eyed at endless blacktop and listening to the kids scream. Or you can take an airplane, enjoying crowded airports and massive 757s filled with other people's impatient kids. To maximize your savings, either don't fly or don't rent a car and drive.
2) Decide where you don't want to stay: There are dozens of Disney-owned hotels on Walt Disney World property, ranging in price from moderately to horribly expensive. High-end hotels can charge as much for a one-night stay as you might pay for a month's rent in the real world. Budget hotels are garishly decorated so you'll never want to go there again. Staying home is a financially attractive alternative.
3) Decide where you don't want to go. This is a biggy. The resort has literally hundreds of major theme parks (Epcot, The Magic Kingdom, etc.), small parks (Typhoon Lagoon, Pleasure Island, etc.), activities (fishing, sports, classes, tours, and the like), shows, shopping venues, and other ways to suck up your money. The more of them you avoid, the more you don't spend. Be sure to seek out high-end experiences -- such as the chance to drive a real high-speed race car for $1,500 -- for the biggest nonparticipation savings.
4) Decide where you don't want to eat: Avoid the grilled antelope in lime chutney at Victoria and Alberts and you've already saved $175 per person (and you don't have to wear a tie). Character meals, dinner shows, and other premium eating experiences can also be bypassed to keep your bank account fat. And remember -- when you eat at home, you don't have to tip your waiter.
5) Decide which package not to buy: The variety and complexity of vacation packages available at Walt Disney World is enough to make an actuary plead for mercy. There are different types of tickets, different options for tickets, meal plans, entertainment options, travel add-ons -- it really is mind boggling. We suggest that you avoid an all-inclusive package that covers a premium hotel, all meals, all entertainment, and all park admission, and opt for an evening of watching the travel chanel instead.
6) Decide how long to stay home. The more time you spend away from Walt Disney World, the more money you save. Nobody goes there for just a day, and by not going there for a week a family of four can save as much as $10,000!
7) Once you have made your decisions, put your plan into inaction! Don't call a travel agent, don't check out the official Web site, don't start calling around to see how much you can raise by maxing out your credit cards. Then add up all the money you saved and go out and buy that car you had your eye on!