You don’t have to get a second mortgage to visit the Walt Disney World Resort. There are ways to save money and still have a great trip.

Everyone is getting into it, even The Wall Street Journal. What is it? Advice on ways to save money when visiting the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.

While costs for some travel-related expenses, such as air fare, have declined, the cost for other parts of a visit to Disney World continue to be expensive. But you don’t have to get a second mortgage to visit WDW. There are ways to save and still have a memorable trip.

Take hotels for example, Disney-owned hotels, all located within the Resort property, begin at around $100/night and can run to more than $400/night. While some benefits, like early entry to the theme parks have been discontinued, there are still advantages to staying at one of these hotels – the best among them, in my opinion, is the access to free Disney transportation. I just love being able to walk from my room to the monorail, boat or bus and be at the park in minutes!

However, hotels outside Disney property can be found at bargain prices. Remember that there are plenty of hotels, many new, in the Orlando area. Some of these hotels offer family-size units for the price of a single, small room at one of the on-property hotels.

Why not consider the Radisson Resort Parkway? Only 1.5 miles from WDW, it offers all newly-renovated rooms, great pools, and family-friendly food outlets. They even offer special, low internet rates. You can also take advantage of their free shuttle service to WDW, Universal and Sea World! But even if you decide to rent a car and you factor in the cost of automobile expenses (rental, gas, parking, etc.), you are still saving money.

Don’t forget time-share units and condominium or home rentals, which are also available and often quite reasonably priced. These can be especially economical for families because kitchen facilities help save on meals and snacks as well as lodging.

While you’re thinking about food, let’s look at the cost of eating while you visit WDW. There is no question that food is one of the most costly items during any visit, especially on Disney property. Heck, you’re a captive audience and you gotta eat!

Again, there are ways to save. First, if you have a rental car, you can always plan your meals for places outside the parks. There are plenty of restaurants to pick from and there are, of course, fast-food options for the kids.

Second, whether you stay on- or off-property, you can bring your own snacks into the parks. The trick to snacks when you’re staying on-property is to plan ahead and either bring them from home, get them on your way from the airport, or stop at an area market while driving to WDW. Bringing your own snacks will save lots of money during your park visits – a granola bar and a juice box from home will cost only a fraction of what a churro and cold drink cost at the park.