Q. We would like to take our daughter and her three youngsters to Disney World. We cannot afford unlimited expenses, yet we do not want to stay in a dumpy motel. Please advise how we can keep costs down without spending two or three nights in a distasteful place.
And please tell us something about the overall expenses for food, tickets, etc. Is there a way to stay "on the grounds" and keep costs down?
A. Where did you get the idea that you'd find a lot of "dumpy, distasteful" motels in and around Disney World? There are so many motels on Disney World's doorstep that competition forces low prices and fairly high standards. Also, there are so many eateries on and near the 12-mile stretch of U.S. 192 between Florida's Turnpike exit at Kissimmee and the Di sney gates that dining out can be a real bargain. There are a few motels that qualify as "dumps" based on outward appearances, but they are easily spotted and avoided. Without reservations, you can just drive along that route, read the prices and eyeball the places to see which one suits you. Or, get a copy of the current Vacation Guide, full of discounts, by calling the Kissimmee-St. Cloud Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 526-KISS. In the current fall-winter edition, motels offer discount coup ons for rooms in the $20s and $30s accommodating up to four persons. For over four, you'll pay a small surcharge. Or, choose one of the all-suite motels, sleeping six or eight, at slightly higher prices with coupons. There are 30,000 visitor rooms in the Kissimmee-St. Cloud area. Other coupons in the book offer discounts on dinner shows and various attractions. If you want to make reservations at one of the motels, call (800) 333-KISS. Orlando, north of Walt Disney World, also has discounts, including some for senior citizens. Call (800) 551-0181 for a free vacation planner including the Official Visitors Guide, Official Accommodations Guide, Official Attractions Guide and the Orlando Magicard offering discounts for dining, shopping, lodging and attractions. Another possible source for bargains are the magazine-size booklets offered free at restaurants, shops and service stations along the Interstate and other main highways. Walt Disney World itself now has 22,452 accommodations in 27 different resorts, including campgrounds and villas. Rooms at its lowest-price "value resorts" go for $69 to $79 a night. Children stay free in rooms with adults, and there's a surcharge for more than two adults per room. Most rooms have two double beds. There are 3,840 rooms in this "value" category. Another 5,168 rooms on Disney property, considered in the "moderate" category, cost from $95 a night and include Dixie Landings, Port Orleans and Caribbean Beach. To make reservations at Disney on-site hotels, call (407) W-DISNEY or your own travel agent. …