Flying to experience all the wonder and magic Orlando has to offer doesn’t have to break the bank. There are many ways to find cheap flights to Disney World, but the number one way is to have a strategy.
I know that when I’m looking for flights from and to Orlando, I want the cheapest option available. The airlines know this and are always competing with each other to get your booking.
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Many websites offer last minute, cheap flights to places throughout Florida, but I want to show you how you can book a flight on any budget to Walt Disney World or the other Orlando theme parks the right way.
But first let’s go through a few things you need to know for your trip.
How much does it cost to fly to Disney World?
This is a common question that I am asked about A LOT!
Although I can not give you an exact cost because of the endless variables I can give you an industry average for direct flights to Orlando.
The typical Disney Florida flights average around $185 round trip per person domestically.
What is the cheapest way to fly to Orlando?
Flights to Orlando can be really cheap or super expensive depending on when and from which company you purchase your ticket.
The best way to get a cheap flight ticket to Disney World is to book your tickets within 3 months before your departure date.
We’ll breakdown all the specifics in the tips section of this article.
Southwest Flights to Orlando
Southwest Airlines is one of the most budget friendly airlines you will find. They are able to give you a cheaper way to fly to Orlando because of their boarding process.
Seats are not assigned on Southwest flights.
When you check in, you are assigned a boarding group and position. Both the boarding group and position will let you know when you’ll be able to board the plane.
Group A goes first, followed by Group B and Group C.
Having this business model allows for Southwest to be one of the low-cost airlines who are good at giving last minute cheap flights to Disney World.
Delta Flights to Orlando
Delta airlines is a company everyone recognizes. The advantage of Delta is that you’ll be able to use them for international flights if you are coming to Walt Disney World from another country.
Delta flights to Disney World can be reasonably priced if you purchase them within the 3 to 6-month time-frame of your trip.
There are times when you can find travel deals with Delta just in time for your vacation.
How can I get to Disney World for cheap?
You can save money by budgeting for your Walt Disney World vacation in so many ways.
Don’t stress yourself about breaking the bank for a chance at experiencing the famous mouse.
1 – Shop Around
Remember that hotels are less expensive off-site. If you do stay on site you will get special perks such as free transportation within the property which can save on car rental or cabs.
2 – Book a Vacation Package with Your Tickets
Through the authorize vacation sellers, you will be able to get a significant discount on your Walt Disney World vacation package.
Your theme park tickets will also get scooped up in that whole package price.
3 – Stay at an All-suite Hotel with an In-room Kitchen
This is important because it gives you the chance to save on your dining budget.
You can go grocery shopping and based on the planned-out meals, you do breakfast and dinner at your hotel or vacation rental and do a lunch at one of the parks.
Just have it all mapped out. It will cut your dining budget in half.
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4 – Purchase the Multi-day Park Pass
Get cheap Disney World tickets that are one or two days short of your total vacation length. If you will be at Disney for four days, maybe book only two days to go to a park.
On the first day in Orlando you may be tired or jet-lagged. Use that day to explore Disney Springs or discover your resort.
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5 – Book Vacation During the Off-season
Be sure to use Disney crowd calendars to help you determine the best season to book your Disney vacation. I recommend early November or mid-January.
You will be able to maximize your days and really enjoy the whole property offered by Walt Disney World.
7 Tips for Flying to Disney World
Now that we have all the basics covered, let’s go through the best tips for getting cheap flights to Disney World in Orlando.
1 – Book on Tuesday for Flights to Disney World
During my research, there has been a consensus that the cheapest day to buy a flight to Orlando is on a Tuesday around 3 p.m.
Airlines usually have a sale on Monday nights, prompting other airlines to follow by Tuesday. Usually the other airlines will have price matching incentives or have cheaper flights to get you to buy from them.
You’ll save about $11 per ticket, which may not be a huge deal to you, but I’m always happy to save money when booking a flight anywhere.
Tuesdays also give you a variety of airfare selections, allowing you to find the best flight deals to Disney World.
Now go set your reminder for Tuesday at 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time!
2 – Choose the Cheapest Day to Fly In and Out of Orlando
I know most Florida theme park visitors would probably prefer to land in Orlando on a Friday, but if possible, I always recommend coming mid-week.
Wednesdays are the best days to fly into Orlando for your Disney trip.
Not only can you save around $40, Wednesdays are slow days at all of the Walt Disney World theme parks.
So, you could fly into the Orlando International Airport early Wednesday morning and by lunchtime you’ll be screaming your head off on Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom.
On the contrary, Sundays are the worst days to fly out of Orlando, because it’s one of the most expensive days with Fridays coming in at close second.
Go ahead and read the full Disney Planning Guide here!
Fridays are bad days to depart Orlando because the airport is a madhouse with business travelers leaving after a conference and families arriving to start their theme park vacation.
I recommend trying to book a return flight home on a Tuesday.
Tuesdays are usually less hectic, plus you will save about $40 on your flight ticket if you choose that return day.
Cheap Flying Days in the U.S.A:
Cheap Flying Days for International Travel:
Expensive Flying Days in the U.S.A.
3 – Purchase Your Airline Tickets One at a Time
I know this may sound a bit strange and a lot of work, but if you can, try to buy you Orlando flight tickets one at a time.
When booking your flight, you have to go through the airline reservation system. This system is setup where there is a single seat available at the cheapest price.
But, you’ll most likely be looking for more than one ticket to fly into the Disney area.
Once you put in two or more tickets, the airline system will automatically increase your order to the next highest pricing tier.
This means that the two tickets will now be the same higher price.
Here’s an Example
Let’s say you’re going to purchase two tickets for your Orlando flight. The airline may have one ticket for $165 with the others at $185. This means you will end up spending $185 for each ticket to Orlando.
If you book the two flights one-at-a-time, you will pay $165 for each of your tickets.
The downside to this option is that you may not be seated next to anyone in your party, so that’s a risk you’ll have to think about.
4 – Know the Cheapest Month to Fly to Orlando
On a previous article I went over the best days to visit Orlando as far as the crowd level, but if you want to save money on your Disney trip than maybe August might work for you.
Mid to late August is when most of the local schools start back up again, so you’ll be delighted to enjoy the moderate crowd level at the parks.
August is also usually one of the hottest months to visit Florida (temperatures reaching well over 90 degrees), so saving around $20 in airfare may not be worth it at all to you.
January, February, and November are still the best months to visit any of the theme parks in Florida. Especially, Walt Disney World.
If you can deal with the heat, then make sure you enjoy one of the many water parks offered in Orlando.
Read the BEST water park tips here!
5 – Use Flight Booking Sites to Compare Airline Prices
When shopping for anything, you never want to go with the first one you see. You always want to shop around and compare prices.
This is a must do tip when finding the cheapest flights to Orlando, Florida.
6 – Know When it’s Too Early or Too Late to Book Your Flight
I have been guilty of waiting to the very last minute to book my flights in the past. Sometimes it worked out for me and other times I paid dearly for that procrastination.
I don’t want this to happen to you, but I don’t want you to shop too early either.
If you buy your airline ticket too early, you may lose out on some deals and discounts offered by the online retailers.
Start looking for Orlando flights early, but don’t book until 25 to 30 days out if possible. Flight tickets to Orlando can be $200 cheaper if booked in advance, but a lot more expensive if book less than 10 days out.
If you’re traveling from another country, then I recommend booking a flight once it’s in your budget.
I’d hate to have you miss the opportunity to get a flight book, just to save a few dollars.
Hipster Power Tips:
- Cheapest seats for domestic routes are 3 months before your departure date
- Best shopping window is 3 months to 30 days before your departure date
- The best shopping window for International travel is 6 months to 2 months before your departure date
- Book your flight at least two months in advance for times around the most popular holidays
7- Signup for Email Alerts
Make sure that you always subscribe to the email list or download the app of your favorite online flight booking site such as CheapOair. This way you can stay on top of finding cheap flights to Disney World once they are posted.
They usually send daily to weekly emails on some of the best flight deals. If you’re doing your research ahead of time, then you may just luck up and grab that epic cheap airline ticket to Orlando.
CheapOair also offers a FREE rewards program that allow you to get up to 20% off flights and up to 55% off hotels.
You can sign up here to get enrolled into their Rewards Program and starting earning points today!
What to Know Before You Go
Where do you fly into for Disney World?
- Orlando International Airport (MCO) about 20 miles from Walt Disney World – the closest with Disney’s Magical Express offered
- Sanford International Airport (SFB) about 44 miles from Walt Disney World
- Tampa International Airport (TPA) about 70 miles from Walt Disney World – the farthest, but may come out cheaper especially if you’re already going to rent a car
What are airport procedures for first time flyers?
- Check into your flight a day before your departure using the airline app
- Make sure your phone is fully charged the day of your flight since you’ll be using it as your boarding pass
- Arrive to the airport at least 1.5 hours early (I’m paranoid so sometimes I get there 2 hours early which my friends hate, lol)
- Check your luggage if applicable (this is where you go to your airline’s counter and have them label and take your bag…I prefer packing light so that I can have a carryon bag to bypass this step)
- Have your government issued I.D. available along with your boarding pass
- Head to airport security
- Be sure not to have any of the prohibited items in your carryon or personal bag
- You’ll be required to remove your shoes, coat, belt, and jacket
- Grab your things on the other side of the security check point
- Find your airline gate and head that way
- If you have time, grab a snack at one of the eateries
- Be sure to be back at your gate 35 to 40 minutes before departure
- Listen for your boarding group number
- Board the plane and find your seat
- Enjoy the plane ride
- Once you arrive at Orlando airport, head to baggage claim to grab your luggage
- Get on your designated transportation of choice
- Check into your hotel near Disney
- Have fun!
What are the best Disney resorts for Solo Travelers?
- Swan and Dolphin Resort
- Windsor Hills Resort (perfect if friends or family are coming on the trip later)
- Fort Wilderness Resort
- Coronado Springs Resort
- Buena Vista Palace
Who to use for your Disney World vacation package?
Planning an epic trip to Disney World can be stressful, but a cure for the stress is using an authorized Disney Planner or Travel Agent.
A Disney travel agent is a specialist in all things Disney. They stay up to date on all the upcoming attractions and customize your itinerary based on all the interests of you and your family.
Many agents even attend a special Disney “college” to make sure they know the best way to put your package together.
Most travel agencies do not charge you to plan your vacation. Disney covers all agent fees themselves.
So, whether you book through them or do it yourself, there’s no extra cost for the service!
They can also help you find cheap flights to Disney World and stay on top of the latest Orlando theme park deals.
A thorough conversation with your agent is usually all you’ll need to completely customize your vacation.
If you’re traveling with family, just let your agent know, and they’ll be sure to include family-friendly events.
The reason I prefer authorized planners is because they are an earmarked agency with Disney. This means Disney recognizes them as an official agency.
As Laura explains in episode 27 of my ThemeParkHipster podcast, this also means Disney is more likely to honor special requests from them because of their legitimacy.
For a free service, I think that’s pretty cool.
Overall, do your own research. Remember not to jump in right way and purchase your flight tickets to Orlando too quickly, but definitely don’t wait until the last minute.
I love using CheapOair because you not only get the cheapest flights to and from Orlando, they also give great details on the particular flight you will board.
Information such as length of flight, specific airline policies, passenger ratings, and so much more.
What’s your number one way of finding inexpensive airline tickets to Orlando? Let me know in the comment section below.
Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!
(Original Article written in Spring of 2019/Updated April 10, 2020)