The number and diversity of package tours to Orlando is staggering. If Disney is on your agenda, head to www.disneyworld.com (where you'll find loads of information and can book a package as well). Disney's array of choices can include airfare, accommodations on or off Disney property, theme-park passes, a rental car, meals, a Disney cruise, and/or a stay at Disney's beach resorts in Vero Beach or Hilton Head, South Carolina. Some packages are tied to a season, while others are for special-interest vacationers, including golfers, honeymooners, or spa aficionados. For more information, or to book a Disney vacation package, call 407/939-6244 (but be prepared to wait on hold).
Although not on the same scale as Disney's options, Universal Orlando packages have improved greatly with the addition of the Islands of Adventure theme park, the CityWalk food-and-club district, and Universal's Loews-run hotels (along with several off-site hotel partners added in recent years). The options include lodging, VIP access to Universal's theme parks, and discounts to other non-Disney attractions. Some include round-trip airfare. Contact Universal Vacations at 877/801-9720, or go to www.universalorlando.com.
SeaWorld also offers packages that include rooms from a choice of a handful of SeaWorld-area hotels, car rental, and tickets to SeaWorld. Call 800/557-4268, or go to www.seaworldvacations.com.
For linksters, Golf Getaways (800/800-4028; www.golfgetaways.com).
Package Deals -- Just about everybody seems to be in the business of package deals these days. Although Disney itself offers a handful of package options, the discounts aren't usually that considerable. However, do ask reservations clerks about the latest and greatest promotion, or what may be running at the time you intend to visit. Promotions tend to run for a limited time, so be sure to get all the details -- when it runs, what it includes, what it doesn't, and so on. You should also search the Disney website (www.disneyworld.com) for special deals and promotions.
For up-to-date coverage of promotional offerings and discount codes good at Disney World, check out www.mousesavers.com. The site also offers its own slate of Disney specials.
One constant, reliable way to get a cheaper room is to use an air/hotel package. No domestic company operates charter flights to Orlando anymore, but several packagers buy cheap hotel rooms in bulk and sell them with scheduled airfare. Check Funjet (www.funjet.com; 888/558-6654), Lastminute.com (866/999-8942), as well as some of the vacation wings of major airlines such as Southwest Vacations (www.southwestvacations.com; 800/243-8372), JetBlue Getaways (www.jetbluevacations.com; 844/528-2229), Delta Vacations (www.deltavacations.com; 800/800-1504), and American Airlines Vacations (www.aavacations.com; 800/321-2121).
Internationally, Virgin Holidays (www.virginholidays.co.uk) is a huge player, with lots of customer service reps available on the ground should things go wrong. Increasingly, these websites may sell hotel-only deals using their negotiated rates. Use properties highlighted on specials pages, though, because prices often come out higher in searches.
Disney Cruise Packages
There's hardly a Florida tourist market that WDW hasn't successfully tapped. Ocean-going vacations are no exception. Disney Cruise Line (800/951-3532; www.disneycruise.com) will have six ships in a few years, and all of them are pegged to the upper middle class.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.