Ways to travel better

Travel Better

Vancouver, BC #61207 Okanagan #203886 Milos, Greece #208258 Vancouver, BC #133171

You can never travel enough, for there is always something new to discover, higher mountains to climb, deeper caves to explore. Finding ways to travel better is a challenge for every trip. Every place we uncover leaves us a little wiser; every pavement we’ve paced is a lesson learned. Here are some of those lessons that can make your travel more enjoyable and memorable.

Pack light. Maybe it’s a cliché but this is the number 1 rule when you talk about traveling. You must know the difference between what you need and what you want. Pack everything you need, the basic items, those you can’t survive without. And maybe after packing and realizing you really don’t need a lot, you might still have some room for extra shoes or that paperback you are currently reading and trying to finish. Traveling light is traveling freely.

Know the local basics. It is important that you have basic knowledge of the place you are going to visit. Rules and regulations, as well as customs, vary from one place to another. What is legal in your city can be prohibited in another. Knowing the basic rules and policies can save you from doing something offending or upsetting to the locals while you are in their area. This will serve as your guideline in your traveling. Remember: ignorance is not an excuse.

Speak their tongue. It will also make a huge difference if you have some background in the local language. A few local words or phrases will go a long way. Communication is an essential part of traveling. Investing in the basics is a great idea.

Miraflores, Peru - put your <a href="http://www.rosettastone.com/learn-spanish">Spanish</a> to the test! Unit ID - 124785

Miraflores, Peru – put your Spanish to the test!
Unit ID 124785

Be spontaneous. Planning a trip is exciting. It is thrilling to make itineraries of places you want to visit, of activities you want to do, of foods you want to try. But please do not plan too much. Over-planning kills endless possibilities and opportunities. You might miss a lot of unexpected surprises as you are trying to keep to your schedule. Let the experience be more spontaneous, not stressful. Traveling is about meeting new people and making new memories, not living another day of routine or checking lists and following timetables.

Stop the fear. Don’t be afraid to acquaint with strangers. Go ask for directions if you don’t know where to go. Don’t hesitate to try new things. This is what the trip is all about: facing unfamiliar challenges, encountering extraordinary adventures along the way, expanding your horizon. Be open and explore the unknown.

Mingle with the locals. When you visit a place, make sure to get to know the people. Knowing its people is learning about its culture. Go where the locals spend most of their time, eat where they usually eat. When moving, it is better to use their public transportation system. This way, you can really get around the place and get to know it more intimately. Find time to mingle with the crowd and you will learn everything you need to learn about the place.

Ferry crossing to Charoa Island Resort, India

Ferry crossing to Charoa Island Resort, India

Spend less. Don’t spend your time, money and effort on buying things that will occupy a lot of space in your luggage. By the end of your vacation, you might find yourself carrying too much. Instead, spend them on experiences that don’t weigh at all but matter most. Like dining out and trying local foods, plucking up some courage and take part in activities offered, visiting important landmarks and many more.

Prioritize. Time is always scarce. So you need to know which places you need to see first. Traveling without priority is like traveling without a compass. You might visit loads of places and realize you didn’t get where you really needed to go.

Get lost. Getting lost is the best way of immersing yourself into the experience. Talking to strangers and asking for directions is a sure way of learning about the place. Wandering off the grid aimlessly while enjoying the people, the weather, the scenery is an excellent way of relaxing and spending a vacation.

Water Lilies and a Swim Pond. 206589

Jay Peak, Vermont – Water Lilies and a Swim Pond. Unit ID 206589

Make memories and document them. Taking pictures and collecting small mementos is encouraged. You don’t want to forget a superb vacation, right? You can even make a scrapbook to document your travels and make notes of the things you need to improve. So the next time you plan another trip, you can flip its pages and add a thing or two to your checklist.

Exotic Car Rentals for Every Occasion

Here’s a guest post regarding luxury car rentals. What a great way to make your vacation even more special by renting an exotic car at your destination!

Rent an Exotic Car on Vacation

Exotic Car Rentals for Every Occasion

The world of luxury cars is tantalizing, even if you aren’t a car person. There are vintage muscle cars for old-school motor heads, luxury sedans for consumers who crave elegance and exotic cars for aficionados. Today, the options are endless. Luxury cars can be rented for any kind of special event, like a romantic drive on the byways and scenic highways of America, a night on the town or a trip to the beach. There’s no question that a luxury car rental can make any occasion special.

Rental Options

Driving through the city or cruising on the open highway is a pastime that can become unforgettable in a luxurious vehicle. Some of the most popular rentals today are the iconic Ford Mustang, a symbol of American power, the high-speed Chevy Camaro and the convertible Mercedes-Benz SLK 350. Putting the top down is more fun and more exciting in a luxury sports car. No doubt.

Making a big impression isn’t only about horsepower and muscle. Many luxury rides come in discreet packages. Mercedes S-Class sedans lead this category. This posh sedan is the vehicle of choice for business, pleasure and especially traveling dignitaries. Rentals are also about affordability. So if you want a practical option, try a Volvo, Volkswagen, Lincoln, Audi, Cadillac, BMW or Jaguar.

Who says you can have luxury and off-road power? Hummer, Mercedes and Land Rover lead the SUV pack. Hummers have become a modern classic, and Land Rovers are the original off-road wagon, but the Mercedes G-Class SUV is a serious rival with its rugged exterior, agile handling and handcrafted components. The Cadillac Escalade is the most popular vehicle in the burgeoning SUV category.

The Upper Echelon

Cadillac, Lincoln and Mercedes are certainly luxurious and definitely exciting, but they aren’t the only exotic rentals out there. The most exotic cars have world-class styling, extreme performance and a host of luxury features. They have fancy foreign names, more horses under the hood and enough style to turn heads on any drive. Anyone who admires German engineering will love the Mercedes SLS-Class Coupe, an absolute beast with gull-wing doors and a roaring hand-built engine. Of course, there are also fancy James Bond-worthy cars like Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo, Bently and Rolls-Royce. The modern superhero might also choose a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Lotus or futuristic driving machine that’s built for speed. Driving an exotic car is the difference between arriving in style and making a statement.

Exotic Car Rentals

The one percent who can afford the ultimate car are likely to buy one. For the rest of us, there are rentals. In most cases, drivers need to be over 25 to rent a speedy sportster and complete the rental agreement. Exotic cars and vacation home rentals are available in most major cities, including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., New York City, Miami and many others. Choosing the car is part of the fun. Do you want a classy, understated ride, a smoking fast roadster, vintage muscle or an all-purpose SUV that’s ready for any adventure? Make a list of your top three choices to make sure that you get one of the rides on your list. Luxury car rental services from VIP Concierge connect clients to the hottest, most exotic cars in every city, and they can find the perfect car for any special occasion. What are you waiting for? Rent a car, and grab the keys.

Pet friendly vacation rentals for you and your furry friend

Pet friendly vacation homes

Scottsdale, AZ #205534 Croatia #204904 Big White, BC #202059 Vancouver, BC #205479 Sun Peaks, BC #203919

It used to be very difficult to find accommodations that opened their doors to the furry members of the family. Thankfully this has changed! Many vacation home owners have dogs of their own or have simply realized that welcoming pets is a great way to attract a wider range of guests who plan their vacation getaways to include their dogs and cats. As dog lovers, we know that our furry friends love the snow, those great beach days and long hikes just as much as we do, and quite frankly the vacation would not be the same without them. No longer is it necessary to leave our four-legged friends behind, only to worry about them and wonder whether they will forgive us after we return. Here are some great pet friendly vacation rentals to get you started. The snow has started to fly, xc ski areas are opening and the downhill resorts are not far behind. Check out this great dog friendly condo up at Big White Ski Resort, located just outside of Kelowna, BC, Canada.  There’s room for everyone to warm up beside this fireplace.

Dog Friendly Big White Condo

Property ID 202059 - Dog friendly Big White condo

Along one of the most amazing coastlines in the world, we found a fantastic “let your tongue hang and chase the waves” beach for Fido by using a private path from this Arch Cape, Oregon unit. Located just 4 miles up the road from Arch Cape is the world-famous Cannon Beach, which is one of the most dog friendly towns along the coast of Oregon.

Unit ID # 207799 - Arch Cape, Oregon

Property ID # 207799 - A dog’s dream beach!

How about exploring some of the designated hiking trails for dogs throughout Smoky Mountain National Park in Gatlinburg, Tennessee? While the park somewhat limits where your dog may go, for a real sense of adventure try the Gatlinburg Sky Lift, taking you and your pooch up 1800 ft. over the Crockett Mountain and providing you with the most spectacular view of the Smoky Mountains.

Endless trails - some designated for dogs

Property ID #107489 – Great Smoky Mtns. of Tennessee

While we have showed you just a few of our pet friendly vacation rentals, we want to assure you that finding your ideal accommodations to include your pampered pet is very easy. Simply visit Owner Direct Vacation Rentals, choose your desired destination then toggle “yes” in the search settings option for “pet friendly rental” on the left side of the page. Remember to wag more and bark less!

Featured destination: Big Island, Hawaii

Big Island

Kailua Kona #74659 Kailua Kona #140662 Kailua Kona #142934 Kailua Kona #112939

This week we have a guest post from Discover Hawaii Tours:

The Big Island is definitely one of Hawaii’s most beautiful spots. Though Oahu is usually the first island most people think of when Hawaii is brought up, there is just as much to see and do on the Big Island – if not more! With beautiful rainforests, beaches, volcanoes and wildlife, the Big Island certainly has its own unique sights and landmarks to experience. Spending a day, or even a few there is definitely a must do when visiting.

Nature awaits with many surprises in Hawaii and on the Big Island. But not only does the Big Island have many natural sights, it also has a rich history. Guided tours can shed light on times past, when the Hawaiian natives developed the traditions and rituals that remain to this day.

With regards to beaches, there are many great ones to stop at and take a swim at, such as Onekahakaha Beach Park near Hilo, Kahaluu beach near Kona, or Kealakekua Beach south of Kona. Don’t forget to visit the Punaluu black sand beach as well. You can even visit the Kapoho tide pools if you’re looking for something besides the beach.

One of the Big Island’s most amazing landmarks has to be Mt. Kilauea. One of the most active volcanoes on earth, visiting this mountain and the Volcanoes National Park gives you the chance to see the lava flow, walk through a lava tube, and learn many things about volcanoes at the museum.  You could even take the Big Island Hawaii Volcano Eco-Adventure Tour, which can get you an amazing view of the volcanoes!

You can purchase locally made products, such as Kona coffee and raw organic honey right from the Big Island. On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, the Hilo Farmers Market is open from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Featuring over 200 local farmers and crafters, this market is certainly an amazing one, with an abundance of fruits and vegetables, many of which are grown on the Hawaiian Islands.

There are also a few Eco tours available that will take you to and from the Big Island. One of them, for example, takes you around the island to various sights and then to the Volcanoes National Park. Some include Waipio Valley, an amazingly beautiful and remote valley, not accessible by car. Zipline tours are also available. If you want to be adventurous and see the beauty of the Big Island in an exciting way, you should consider going snorkelling, going out to see whales in the ocean, swim with the dolphins or going on a sunset cruise that departs from the Kona Coast. The options for fun things to do on the Big Island are endless.

There are many things to do! Check out Discover Hawaii Tours to get started. You can experience many things on the Big Island, making it a trip that will be an experience of a lifetime.

Canadian Film Festivals

Have you always wanted to attend a world renowned Canadian film festival but finding accommodations was impossible?

We have great news! How would you like to come “home” to your very own private luxury accommodations, rivaling any posh hotel, after spending an evening rubbing elbows with some Hollywood stars while taking in new and innovative films at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival? We’ve got your covered!

Elegant modern condo #204944

Elegant & modern 1 bedroom condo in the heart of Toronto #204944

Gourmet Kitchen & Private Patio

Gourmet kitchen and private patio – Toronto #204665

Chic 1 bedroom + den condo in the heart of downtown Toronto #204038

Chic 1 bedroom + den condo in the heart of downtown Toronto #204038

 

Each vacation property offers the ‘home away from home’ experience with that special touch. Simply pack your bags and be sure to bring your camera; you’ll want to snap pictures of this year’s scheduled attendees: George Clooney, Kate Winslet, Sandra Bullock, Colin Firth, Hugh Jackman, Meryl Streep … and the list goes on!

For further information on the Toronto International Film Festival ticket packages as well as the list of films please visit tiff.net. The 2013 festival runs from September 5th through to the 15th.

Of course we would not forget about our West Coast folks! While December is a little ways away, the Whistler Film Festival is an extremely popular event and is being dubbed “Canada’s Sundance”. Last year’s  stars were Harry Potter’s very own Daniel Radcliffe along with film and television actress, Rashida Jones. This year’s Whistler Film Festival takes place December 4th to  8th, 2013.

Luxury Whistler retreat property #205982

Perfect place to share good times with family and friends in Whistler #205982

Private hot tub & free wifi property #206276

Private hot tub & free WiFi property #206276

Huge 2 bedroom with private hot tub on huge deck property #30127

Huge 2 bedroom with private hot tub on huge deck property #30127

 

To learn more about ticket sales, films and event times, please visit Whistler Film Festival.

As many can attest to, both of these featured destinations, Toronto, ON and Whistler, BC, are exciting vibrant locations that not only offer world class cuisine, arts, theater and diverse cultural experiences but top notch accommodations to suit everyone’s tastes and needs.

See all the accommodations Owner Direct Vacation Rentals  has; there’s one waiting for you!

Everyone’s talking about vacation rentals

Everyone's talking about vacation rentals!

Osoyoos, BC #86997 Estepona, Spain #69539 Mount Helix, California #206720 Canmore, Canada #203010

In the past, when people were on vacation, a hotel stay used to be the common choice. While this option is still highly popular today, more and more tourists are raving about another accommodation option instead of a hotel stay, camping or simply staying at a friend or relative’s home: A stay in a vacation rental is growing to be more and more popular, largely due to word of mouth from customers who have tried this option.

See these customer testimonials for example, showing how much guests are loving vacation rentals. There are just too many reasons why people prefer getting a vacation rental over staying in a hotel, camping or staying at a friend’s house.

Avoid expensive hotel rates

First, vacation rental rates are way more affordable compared to those for hotels. You can easily find a vacation rental that has the same high quality facilities as a hotel but does not charge as much. For example, there are plenty of great value condominiums  for rent that will still allow you to enjoy high-end facilities and amenities similar to those in a hotel, without spending as much.

Receive extraordinarily warm customer service

Guests love the customer service they receive, not only from providers of vacation rentals, but also the owners of these vacation rentals which they get to communicate with directly. Guests rave about the excellent customer service and the hassle-free transactions in general. Let’s face it, staff in hotels receive a lot of customers day in and day out and their customer service can get very ordinary. But guests who book with owners of vacation rentals receive extraordinary customer service and warm responses. Owners of rental properties can’t wait to serve another set of guests in their vacation homes. Property owners will ensure that guests have all they need for them to have a great vacation in the home they are renting. Remember, these owners are excited to get new guests, so expect that extra warm customer service!

Have all the SPACE you want!

Have you ever felt so suffocated and space-bound in that room inside the hotel? It’s time to not have to worry about this anymore. Vacation rentals can provide you with all the space you need. Whether you are traveling in a small or large group, you can find the perfect property to rent at a fair price. With vacation rentals, you can get a unit, such as a vacation home for example, that makes you feel right at home. This gives you more enthusiasm and energy on your vacation instead of just lazing around in a small room.

Have a new experience each time

The feeling of being in a new place is great. We all know that! While hotel rooms can vary, they all have pretty much the same structure. But for vacation rentals, you will never run out of new experiences on your vacations. You can stay in a sprawling beach vacation villa one time or stay in a cozy ski condo the next time. Perhaps you want to try staying in a bungalow or a houseboat or perhaps stay in a private mountain cabin. You’ll have a rich experience of different accommodations. You will never be bored!

Be safe & enjoy an exclusive area

Avoid the risk of sleeping in a camp and ensure safety during your holiday by staying in a vacation rental. Plus enjoy a private and exclusive area which you will never have if you only stay in your friend’s house.

The perfect experience is waiting for you when you rent a vacation rental property!

See this related post on the Top 10 reasons why a vacation home is better than a hotel.

When is the Best Time to Visit Disney World Florida?

04-29-2013-blogIf you are planning on visiting Disney World, one question may be: When is the best time to go?  There are a few factors to take into account such as crowds, weather, special events and park hours.

Special Events and Park Hours

Even busy days can be rewarding, depending on when you go to the park. Daytime hours may have long lines but evenings can be wonderfully uncrowded. Parks are typically open from 9am to 11pm but it is best to check the official Disney Park Hours as they do vary for different times of the year.  Special Events take place often and can be great fun. Disney offers a complete special events calendar for the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom parks.

Weather

During the summer months, expect plenty of heat and humidity. However, for many rides, line-ups are in the shade or in air-conditioned areas. There are other coping measures such as enjoying a wet ride or leaving the park at the heat of the day and returning in the evening.

Thunderstorms do happen often in the summertime but the rain doesn’t usually last long and it’s a chance for things to cool down. Hurricanes are rarely a problem in Orlando because it is inland.

Crowds

As Disney World is a popular place, there are definitely peak periods. We have found a couple of 2013 Disney World crowd calendars to help you find the best and worst days to go. Generally, January to early February, early May (after Spring Break and Easter), late August and the Fall months are the least crowded.

Ticket pricing may also be another factor in your trip planning. Find out how Disney World ticket prices compare  over the years.

When it comes down to it, the best time to visit Disney World Florida is when you can go. Everybody should travel to Walt Disney World and the Magic Kingdom at least once in their lives.

Have you ever been to Disney World? What time of year did you go? What was your experience?

Ski Season is Here!

Enjoy it in a Ski Condo….

Now is a great time to book a ski vacation! The resorts are opening and there is lots of snow in the forecast for this winter. A variety of rental accommodations are available for you to enjoy after a day of skiing, tubing, skating or tobogganing. Take your family or friends, and enjoy relaxing in front of a cozy fire or soaking your muscles in a hot tub. Owner Direct can help you find the right cabin or condo for your needs. Here are some tips for some of our favourite resorts.

Big White Resort

Big White, famous for its ‘snow ghosts‘ and light fluffy powder, offers plenty of lodging options on the mountain but you can also choose to stay in Kelowna to enjoy the city amenities.  To get the most value out of your ski holiday at Big White:

  • Purchase multi-day tickets and save $10/day. Prices also include night skiing.
  • Redeem your Air Miles for a lift ticket (with no blackout dates) 525 air miles get you one full day lift ticket. Pretty sweet deal!

The Okanagan is famous for its delicious wines so why not plan your ski holiday around one of two wine tastings events at Big White: Big Reds takes place December 7th and 8th, while Big Whites takes place March 23rd. Both events offer a selection of locally inspired appetizers.

Whistler-Blackcomb Ski Resort

Rated one of the top ski resorts in North America, Whistler-Blackcomb should be on every skier’s list to experience at least once. Vacations can be expensive and we all like a deal so here are few tips on how to save:

  • Purchase an Edge Card (available only to Canadians and residents of Washington State). These are preloaded passes available for 1, 3, 5 or 10 days of skiing during the 2012-13 season (with no blackout periods) at discounted prices.
  • Alternatively pre-purchase your ski passes and save. Savings depend on the length of the ski pass and when you are skiing. For instance, purchase an 8 day ski pass good until December 14th and you would save 27% off the regular price.
  • Kids under 6 ski free!

Park City

Park City, Utah is famous for its epic snow and first class service. When planning your Park City ski holiday, there is a variety of rental lodging mountainside as well as in nearby Salt Lake City. Park City Mountain offers a variety of ways to save. One of the most original allows you to convert your boarding pass into a same-day lift ticket. This applies to Park City Mountain as well as Deer Valley Resort and the Canyons Resort.

There are a number of prestigious events held throughout the season, which you may want to consider when planning your trip:

  • SkiFest, where you can enjoy skiing with Olympians, TV & film stars,  takes place Dec 8-9th.
  • For more celebrity spotting visit during the Sundance Film Festival, January 17th – 27th.
  • Freestyle World Cup, a premier ski event including aerial and mogul competitions, will be held January 30 to February 2, 2013.

Mont Tremblant

Enjoy some of the best skiing east of the Rockies at Mont Tremblant, about  90 minutes from Montreal, Quebec. There are a variety of ways to save. If you won’t be a frequent visitor to the mountain consider the following offers:

  • The Latitude Card requires you to purchase your tickets at least 48 hours in advance but you can save up to 34%.
  • School break offer where kids (6 to 17 yrs) ski for 5 days for $99.

Sun Valley

Sun Valley offers some stunning and challenging terrain and is known for its perfect pitch mountain slope. Ticket prices are based on the time of year with peak periods being the most expensive. Ticket prices can be cheaper when purchasing multi-day passes, and there are also discounts for military and local residents.

Sun Valley features a variety of events held throughout the year. Consider planning your ski holiday to enjoy one of these:

  • USSA Freestyle Spectacular featuring a mogul competition on Bald Mountain, and slope style and half-pipe on Dollar Mountain on January 10th to 13th, 2013.
  • Transworld Snow Conference, March 11th to 15th, 2013.
  • Rev Tour (March 17th to 22nd) which attracts international competitors for skier-x, half-pipe and slope style events.

Panorama

Panorama Mountain is featuring one of the best deals this season, the “Snowcard”, open to all skiers and boarders. The Snowcard is good for 4 days of skiing or riding (although there are some blackout periods). An adult card is $149, which works out to $37.25 for a full day of fun! What a deal!

There are also several family events held at Panorama that you may want to consider when planning:

  • Snowflake Festival, January 19-20th, with fun activities for the entire family including a torchlight parade.
  • Mardi Gras, February 8-9th, with some fabulous food and activities for kids including mask making.
  • Stampede, March 9-10th, complete with cowboy cookouts and rodeo events for the whole family.

Where is your favourite mountain to ski or board? Do you have any deals to share with other readers?

How to get the best deal on Disney World tickets

A trip to Disney World is every child’s dream but for the parents it can be an expensive proposition. We have done some research and if you are not purchasing a Disney package that includes your admission, there are some alternative options that can save you money on Disney World tickets.

While it is cheaper to buy your tickets on-line vs. at the gate, you should be aware of a couple of things beforehand.

  •  Never buy partially used passes. Since June 2005, Disney has been using a fingerprint scan system to ensure that only person uses each ticket.
  •  Be wary of websites, eBay or Craigslist ads that offer super low Disney tickets. Too good to be true? It probably is. Either they are trying to rip you off and obtain your credit card information or get you to sit through a grueling hard sell time share or “resort preview” presentation.

Disney website. Buy direct from the source. Disney allows you to pre-purchase your tickets on-line so you maximize your time at the park. As a general rule Disney tickets get cheaper on a per day basis the longer you plan to spend at the park.

Rates range form $91 for a 1 day ticket to $31/day for a 10 day ticket. Planning on spending 5 days at Disney? It will cost you $267 or approximately $53/day. A five day pass allows you to visit each park once (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom) and spend your 5th day revisiting your favourite park.

AAA and CAA Discounts are available at select locations for 3 to 7 day tickets.  Be aware that Western Canada and many states in Western United States do not sell Walt Disney World tickets only tickets to Disneyland in California.

Not a AAA or CAA member? Consider the following authorized Disney dealers to purchase your tickets on-line…

Undercover Tourist offers a 5 day pass for $253, a savings of $14 per person (compared to buying on-line from Disney).

Orlando Fun Tickets offers the same 5 day pass for $246, a savings of $21 per person.

DWTickets.com offers a 4 day park hopper pass with a free upgrade to a 5 day ticket for $239, a savings of $28 per person from the Disney price.

What has been your experience? Have you found a cheaper alternative to purchase your Disney tickets?

For more information check out our Disney World Travel Guide to assist you when planning your Disney adventure.

 

40 Years of Disney World Ticket Prices – A Cost Comparison

Children dream of experiencing the magic of Disney. A visit to Disney will ensure smiles all round, enjoying interactions with live Disney characters, thrilling rides, live entertainment, fireworks and so much more. The amount of fun is endless, as this is the place is where dreams come true. But as adults we all know taking a family to Disney is an expensive proposition. Has that always been the case? Over the past 40 years the price of everything has increased but are things really more expensive? We thought it would be an interesting exercise to review how the cost of prices for Disney tickets has changed over the years compared with the price of gas. As well, we will also take into account inflation so we can accurately compare year over year to see if things really are more expensive now than 40 years ago.

Comparison of Disney World Ticket Prices and Gas Prices
Adjusted for Inflation

The magic all started in 1971 with the opening of one theme park, Magic Kingdom. Disney  quickly became a worldwide sensation drawing visitors from around the world. These were the days of books of tickets, day passes had not yet been introduced. The cost of a 7 ride book was $4.75 and an 8 ride book was $5.40 or $.68 a ride. The average price of gas was $.36 a gallon. Those were the good old days. What a deal! Or was it? Taking into account inflation, current day prices for the same 7 ride book would be $28.20, an 8 ride book would be $32.06 and gas $2.13/gallon. Considering a 2012 one day pass is $85 and gas is $3.63 a gallon, yes it seems those were the good old days. Things really did cost less!

The 80′s were about growth and investment in the Park. The additions included the opening of Epcot, Walt Disney World Village, MGM Studios (presently known as Hollywood Studios), Pleasure Island and Typhoon Lagoon Water Park. Over 100 million visitors passed through the gates of Walt Disney World. In 1981 a one day pass was introduced for $13.25 and increased in priced over the decade to a high of $29 in 1989. Average gas prices were $1.25 in 1981 and $1.02 in 1989. Remember the recession of the early 80′s that sent gas prices soaring? Adjusted for inflation the current value for a one day pass would be $27.43 (1981 ticket) and $47.90 (1989 ticket). Effectively the price of a one-day ticket almost doubled in less than 10 years. While the price of gas decreased over that time from $3.61 to $1.69 a gallon.

The 90′s was known as theDisney Decade” and by the mid 90s’ over 500 million guests had visited the Park. Disney invested heavily into the development of the Brand with the addition of Animal Kingdom, a variety of new and exciting rides at all of the theme parks, golf courses, the Disney Institute, Disney Cruise Line and Blizzard Beach Water Park. A one day pass to Disney in 1991 was $33 and had increased to $44 by 1999. While the average price of gas stayed pretty consistent at $1.14 in 1991 and $1.16 in 1999. Taking into account inflation, current day prices for  a one-day pass would be $48.80 for a 1991 ticket and $58.20 for a 1999 ticket while gas would cost $1.69 and $1.53.

The new Millennium was celebrated with a year-long Millennium Celebration as well as the addition of several new rides and resorts. 2001 marked the 100th anniversary of Walt Disney’s birth and featured events throughout the Park. In 2001 a one-day pass was $48 and by 2009 the same pass was $79. Average gas prices were $1.43 in 2001 and jumped to $2.48 in 2009. Factoring inflation the current value for the same one-day pass would be $59.98 for a 2001 pass and $84.76 for a 2009 pass and gas would be $1.79 and $2.66 respectively. In less than 10 years Disney’s one-day pass increased almost $25, a 41% increase, while gas increased $.87 a gallon, a 49% increase.

Based on our analysis it does appear that Disney is getting more expensive. Disney prices have increased from $5.40 in 1971 to $79 in 2009. Adjusted for inflation, the current values would be $28.20 for an 8 ride 1971 ticket and $84 for a 2009 day pass. Granted Disney has grown substantially in those years offering much more than just the Magic Kingdom. The good news is that Disney prices have stabilized over the past 3 years as a 2012 one-day pass is $85. But based on historical trends we can expect the cost of Disney to continue to rise and these increases will not always be in line with inflation. Are you considering a family holiday in the next 5 years? You may want to hedge the cost of your holiday and consider purchasing your tickets now, locking into a known price and pay the extra premium for tickets with no expiration.

What is the future of Disney? With such amazing advancements in technology, the future of Disney seems limitless. In fact, Walt Disney is joining forces with James Cameron and Fox Films to bring the magic of Avatar to life at Disney. Walt’s vision of combining the fantastical to real life experiences is only going to get better. Avatar is one example of this. Disney really is the place where dreams come true.

Planning a trip to Disney World? Check out Owner Direct’s Disney World Travel Guide to assist with all things Disney. Consider staying near the park and rent your own condo rental or vacation home. Owner Direct offers a variety of rental accommodations to suit a multitude of budgets and sizes. Check out Owner Direct Vacation Rentals in  Kissimmee, Orlando, Clermont or Davenport. Vacation rentals provide all of the comforts of home and can often be more cost effective than staying in a hotel.