Travel

When going to Disney, it can be a cheaper world after all

Walt Disney once said, "It takes a lot of money to make these dreams come true."

It definitely takes a lot of money to vacation at Disney World, but with preparation and a good budget, you can still make that dream a reality.

Here are some good "Disney on the cheap" ideas from readers and USA Today:

Call in favors. Know anyone who lives in Orlando, or maybe even works at Disney? Consider making a few calls.

Timeshares. While these can be great bargains, beware of expectations such as attending sales presentations to qualify for Disney passes. Check out www.timeshareorlando.com.

Do your research. A great website to start with is www.mousesavers.com. This website offers links to other websites that offer discounts. It also lists cheap and even free activities at the park and surrounding areas. From budget-friendly transportation to inexpensive dining choices, this website is a must.

Don't stay on the property. Look at accommodations close by. But be sure to note that parking by non-Disney hotel guests may cost you extra.

Food. Think ahead and grab food to go while getting to the park.

Perks. If you stay in the park, be sure to know all the perks. This may include free shuttles, saving vacationers the expense of car rental.

Plan ahead. Know which attractions you want to visit and the amount of time you expect to spend there, and buy your tickets accordingly.

Vacation Club. Consider researching the Disney Vacation Club if you plan to visit Disney several times over a lifetime.

Discounts. Take advantage of all your discounts, including AAA or AARP.

Book. I also suggest downloading an e-book written by former Disney employees, "Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide eBook." Because it's electronic, you'll continue to get updated information on new attractions and accommodations.

Summer reading

Having a hard time getting your children excited about summer reading?

Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores have reading programs that might spark some interest.

At Barnes & Noble, read eight books (they don't have to be purchased at the store), jot down the titles in a "passport" and receive a free book from a list of paperback titles. Download the passport at barnesand noble.com/summerreading/

At Borders, read 10 books, complete a form at borders .com and bring it in to choose a free title.

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