A trip to Orlando and Disney World doesn't have to break the bank. It can be affordable!
Saving money in Orlando is possible (even at theme parks), and I'm going to tell you how!
Choose your theme park packages carefully. Whether you're going to Orlando for Disney World or Universal Studios there are plenty of options to save money. Check out the multi-day passes and the ability to go from park to park. Don't forget to use a discount like Florida Resident if you can. You don't always have to use multi day tickets during the same week if you plan on returning in the near future. Plan ahead, keep an eye out for special discounts, and seasonal events. Don't forget that there's four Disney World Parks- Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center, Disney Studios, and Animal Kingdom and Universal has the original Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure. Also in the Orlando area is Sea World Orlando and Busch Gardens is a short drive over to Tampa.
Make lodging decisions based on your family needs. There's many choices for lodging. You can go with a traditional hotel room, a condo, a timeshare, or home rental. The Universal Studios hotels and Disney Resort hotels on the properties of the theme parks can have special benefits, but it can be expensive. Other options are more affordable when staying in Orlando. There are many hotels in the area, including most of the US chains like Choice Hotels, Hilton, Marriott, and Starwood properties. Check out condos and homes for rent on VRBO or AirBnB. Sometimes the timeshares like to rent out the condos during weekends when they're not being used. One of the primary benefits of condos/homes are multiple bedrooms, living rooms where everyone can hang out, and parents can relax after the kids go to bed. Usually there's a kitchen and eating area as well. At the beginning of your week you can go food shopping, so you can save money by not having to eat out so frequently.
Balance eating out and bringing in some food to eat at where you're staying. Orlando has many of the fast food restaurants that you would expect for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can also find some local options in town. You won't have to go far to find burgers, pizza, seafood and other types of fare. In town there's also supermarkets in the area if you choose to buy food and bring it back to your lodging. If you'd like to splurge there's always Disney springs and Universal City Walk which both have fine dining and a great atmosphere
Mom and Dad should set aside some time to do something they enjoy (if it ain't theme parks :)) if you're like my wife and I, you may want it some time off from away from the theme parks. Depending on where you stay in Orlando, and the season, you may be able to use the pool or relax in the hotel area or you can go shopping. There's at least three major outlet shopping areas and additional traditional malls. There's also plenty of places to shop for souvenirs along State Road 192 or international drive.
While in town there's plenty of options to fill some gaps and give mom or dad a break. there are also many things to do that are off the beaten path. There are water parks, smaller theme parks like Fun Spot, mini golf courses, and other things to do in Orlando. Check out fun spot or gator land for alternative attractions that are more affordable. You can also find great discounts on some of these attractions that may make sense for your budget.