From WKYW CBS 3 in Philadelphia...
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3 On Your Side: Disney World Survival Guide
Jim Donovan Reporting
(CBS 3) PHILADELPHIA
Mickey, Minnie and Cinderella. They're family friends that over a million Delaware Valley residents visit each and every year. 3 On Your Side's Jim Donovan has a Disney survival guide that can save you time, money and keep you from going goofy when you get the final bill.
It's the most magical place on earth. Where cartoon characters come to life!
A trip to Disney World can be a vacation of lifetime, but it may feel like a lifetime before you pay it off.
That is unless you know some secrets to save.
Start with your admission tickets. A hopper pass will allow you go from park to park within the same day.
"If you're staying longer than 3 days, you can get a hopper pass ahead of time at a discount through a Disney authorized ticket discounter," said Beth Haworth author of Ultimate Disney World Survival Guide.
But if you're just popping into the park for a day or two, buy your tickets at the gate. You'll save the processing fees that are charged on the web. That's according to Haworth.
You'll pay a premium for souvenirs at the park. Instead, "In the Orlando area, there are many, many discount Disney stores. It's a great way to go pick up a souvenir at 50 to 75% off what you would normally pay in the park," said Haworth.
Food prices at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot are out of this world.
While you're allowed to bring food and drinks into the parks, if you're staying at a Disney resort, consider the Disney Dining Plan, $39 a day for adults and $14 a day for kids ages 3 to 9 will include a snack, lunch, and dinner with entertainment.
But be sure to plan ahead.
"It's very important to make your reservations ahead of time, especially at some of the best restaurants. Disney reservations for dining can now be made up to 180 days in advance," explained Haworth.
Kathy Williams and her sister Celeste are using the Ultimate Disney Savings Guide for an upcoming trip.
"I saved over 800 dollars on a four night, five day trip," said Kathy.
It's been 15 years since she's been to Disney.
"I can't wait to go back just to see how things have changed," added Kathy.
When she gets there, the savings guide advises you to head to the left, the lines move faster.
And use the Fast Pass option, it's free and allows you to bypass the long lines on popular rides like Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin.
So you can see more, while spending less.
If your family likes to take lots of pictures you may want to sign up for Disney's Photo Pass. For $125, Disney's photographers can snap unlimited photo's for you. They'll put them on a CD and you then own the rights to print as many copies as you want.
The Disney property resorts may seem more expensive, but they do have a wide price range. As a guest you can enjoy additional park hours, free transportation between the properties and access to services like the Disney Dining Plan, so it could pay in the long run depending on your needs.
(© MMVII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
Nothing quite that good, Cinderella2,
PhotoPass photographers are stationed all over the parks. Remember the people who used to take your picture as you walked up Main Street USA, and you got a slip of paper and were told to go to the Camera Center before you left the park to see your picture? This is the latest upgrade to that.
It is free to get a PhotoPass - a little plastic card with a bar code. The first photographer you see will be happy to give you one. Any time you ask a PhotoPass photographer to take your picture, they will scan the card. Then you can look at the photos at the parks photo centers or on your computer by logging in to www.disneyphotopass.com and entering the card number. There is no cost to look at the pictures, and they remain online for about 30 days.
You have the option of buying prints, of course. There are all sorts of fun things you can do to enhance the pictures (borders, character autographs, etc.) on the PhotoPass site, and you can choose from a few different sizes. They also now have PhotoBooks and PhotoMovies you can make from the pictures.
The $125 option the reporter eludes to is a CD you can buy with all the PhotoPass pictures taken during your trip. You can buy them at the camera centers (best at the end of your trip, so that all the pictures will be on it), and they will make a CD of all the photos for you. Then you can take them home and print them yourself, use them in your screensaver, whatever.
One of the nicest things is that you can get the whole family in the picture (without worrying about who you just handed your camera to), and they have PhotoPass photographers at most of the popular photo spots, as well as at the character meet & greets and it also works with some of the attractions on-ride photos now. If you're traveling solo, it's a great way to get pictures of yourself at the parks, too. If you ask nicely, the PhotoPass photographers will usually also take a picture or two with your own camera.
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Thanks for the great info!
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