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Now is the time for Disney vacation deals

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No, really, get up and go right now if you want to snag the best Disney vacation deals. My son has two long weekends every fall when school closes for teacher workdays or something similar. If you, too, can squeeze in a visit, September is one of the best times for a Disney vacation. I know it’s early in the school year, blah blah, but if you want a really good deal and the chance to do a lot in little time, seize the month of Mickey deals. Here, I draw on my years as a Disney vacation aficionado for insider tips that may inspire you to plan a last-minute trip:

  1. Cheap eats! It’s Magical Dining Month in Orlando, which translates to top restaurants offering top-notch 3-course meals for $33, and because this is the land of magical vacation experiences, most of them cater to kids or at the very least will help find them something to do so you can the hubs can get your whine (I mean wine) on. Discount packages at neighboring Sea World and Universal Studios also expand this month to include free all-day dining. Check out for more details.
  2. No lines! OK, maybe that’s a tiny bit of an exaggeration but I can tell you from experience this month has some of the shortest lines for rides and attractions, which means you can see and do a heck of a lot more in less time. To stay ahead of the game, I am obsessed with the My Disney Experience app. It has up-to-the-minute deets on wait times for all rides, so you don’t have to trek halfway across the park only to find out your little one doesn’t want to see the new Little Mermaid ride badly enough to wait another 20 minutes. It also spills secrets on where to find characters for free meet-and-greets, parade and show times and even dishes on your best dining options (including wait times there). Since downloading this thing, I’ve saved more minutes and meltdowns than I can tell you.
  3. It’s not that hot! OK, fine, it’s still pretty warm out, but had you been here in July, you might have been able to fry an egg on the sidewalk—wait, I think my kid did fry an egg on the sidewalk (is that what that was?). Each day the humidity level is lower and the chance for rain-free afternoons is higher. All of this means more opportunities to take advantage of amazing hotel pools. For really great deals on hotels with awesome swimming holes, try those that cater to business travelers during the week. They tend to drop their rates significantly come weekends. Some of my faves include the Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate, complete with water slides and a lazy river, and the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center.
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