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Updated: 12:15 p.m. Monday, April 22, 2013 | Posted: 2:33 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, 2011

Best time to plan a Walt Disney World trip

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By Clark Howard


Fall is the best time for Florida vacations each year. That's the time of year that Walt Disney World offers discounts to Florida residents that fill the parks with daytrippers. That creates some traffic, but not as much as you would have encountered over the summer.

The real time to book, though, is during the first two weeks of December. Almost nobody goes on vacation at that time.

But as we all know, going to a Disney park can be expensive, so you have to do what you can to save on any other feature of your trip.

I recommend that you buy The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World as a starting point. They'll tell you all kinds of money and time-saving tips that the parks don't want you to know. That's the key to getting the best value out of a trip.

For example, it's so important to know how to navigate the parks: What order to go to things, where to go first when you arrive, what time of day to arrive. Knowing that makes a trip so much more enjoyable.

For my money, I say make sure you take ponchos from the dollar store with you for afternoon and evening thundershowers instead of buying overpriced ones for $10 at the park. Sure, they won't have cute characters on them, but they'll help you keep more of those other kinds of "characters" in your wallet.

Two other websites you need to know about too: MouseSavers.com also features a lot of info on how to save on the experience. And if you want to stay on the property, try renting a timeshare. MouseOwners.com has resources for both owners and potential renters.

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