Author Topic: Disney Vacation  (Read 4400 times)

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ladyknight1

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Re: Disney Vacation
« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2013, 04:05:39 PM »
Snip

6. Get on Disney, Universal and Seaworld's email lists. Disney will send you regular offers of discounts and free dining options that are worth using.   Also, if you belong to AAA -- they often have great deals. For example, this year they had a deal so that if you bought a Seaworld one day pass, it became an annual pass.
 
 

That pass upgrade is not exclusive to AAA members and if you do upgrade your ticket to a Fun pass, it does not include parking.

I would like to reiterate that I don't think two weeks is too long. I do recommend you look at the family suites available at Art of Animation, it is a little more room and may be better for a long stay.

Edited to update incorrect information from last year's Fun pass.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 12:42:18 PM by ladyknight1 »

Morticia

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Re: Disney Vacation
« Reply #31 on: March 12, 2013, 04:10:04 PM »
If you are planning on doing Universal, it might not be a bad idea to spend a few nights there. The Royal Pacific Resort is lovely, and the onsite perks are spectacular. If you join Loew's loyalty program, you also get some extra bonuses.
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Cami

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Re: Disney Vacation
« Reply #32 on: March 13, 2013, 10:13:54 AM »
Snip

6. Get on Disney, Universal and Seaworld's email lists. Disney will send you regular offers of discounts and free dining options that are worth using.   Also, if you belong to AAA -- they often have great deals. For example, this year they had a deal so that if you bought a Seaworld one day pass, it became an annual pass.
 
 


That pass upgrade is only available for Florida residents, and it is not exclusive to AAA members.


[/quote] Not true. I do not live in FL and I got that upgrade from AAA, fair and square.  You may not be aware of this offer, but that does not mean it does not exist.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 10:16:07 AM by Cami »

kudeebee

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Re: Disney Vacation
« Reply #33 on: April 11, 2013, 01:01:15 AM »
Thank you for everyone's input. We are looking at the most of 10k..We are trying to find ways to save money as well..whatever we don't spend will go for other things we might want to save up for later. We do have to pay for flights which we are looking around 2k. The hotel we are guesstimating around 5k..and tickets to other places for another 2k..so that leaves food expense and souvenirs and other expenses..we would rather save to much and have it for elsewhere then not have enough..We plan also to go to Universal studios, sea world, and water parks.. I was hoping people would have tips to cut back on the expense for the 14 day vacation.

That total amount for vacation seems awfully high to me.

This amount that is bolded for hotel seems way, way high!  Look at one of the budget hotels and you will cut that cost in half or more.  Check out the meal plan.

In a suitcase, pack snacks for in the room or to take to the park. Take along water bottles that you can refill in the parks.

If you don't have a car, how do you plan to go to universal, seaworld, etc?  Maybe look at staying offsite--with a rental car--for one week and doing the non-disney things, then onsite for the other week.

Check flights frequently and you should catch a deal.

Souvenirs--plan a budget and stick with it.  Perhaps put money for souvenirs in an envelope and when it is gone, it is gone.  You don't have to buy something right away--think about if it will really be used/worn/appreciated after the magic of the trip is gone.   

lilfox

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Re: Disney Vacation
« Reply #34 on: April 11, 2013, 01:36:38 AM »
Sorry if this is late info, but I think you can get a good idea of hotel room price online - I had to do some digging for our own vacation research, but was able to get an idea of the price range ahead of time.  FWIW, when I priced out the Port Orleans French Quarter, for a basic room it was around $200 a night, give or take the day of the week.  So ballpark for 14 nights you'd be looking at just under $3k.

Multi-day passes seem to be the way to go, as well as taking a day off here or there just to lounge by the pool and do the free things at the various resorts rather than be at a park.  Chip N Dale's sing-along gets good reviews for little kids (not sure where it is, Downtown Disney maybe?) and others have mentioned the Animal Kingdom resort's free animal viewings and story tellings, among others.

We'll be there for only 4 full days, one of which will be spent at Universal and the others at Magic Kingdom/Animal Kingdom, so we'll probably feel strapped for time to "see it all."  I think you'll find plenty of things to fill 2 weeks, though by the end you'll probably really look forward to that flight home!

sammycat

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Re: Disney Vacation
« Reply #35 on: April 11, 2013, 01:49:02 AM »
8. We have stayed at a variety of Disney hotels and off-Disney hotels. Our favorite Disney hotel with kids is Pop Century. It's a value resort and has a good cafeteria right on site, as well as numerous pools. Another huge advantage is that the Disney bus service for Pop is only for Pop, unlike many other resort buses, which are shared. We do not find any value to spending a lot more money to stay at the moderate Disney resorts such as Port Orleans.

As part of our last US trip, we stayed at Pop Century for 2 weeks in Nov 2009. I loved, loved, loved it!  Did I mention I loved it?! ;D  We checked out some of the other resorts and weren't impressed, and found that most of them shared a bus service, which made travelling very tiresome. Being able to hop on the non-stop Pop bus was great.

We found 2 weeks wasn't enough time, and I could've easily stayed another 1-2 weeks at least, although I think DH was a bit Disneyed out by the end. :P  After that we did go and spend the following 2 weeks at Disneyland, so I didn't need to go cold turkey lol.

We flew from Washington DC-FL-NYC, (2 adults/2 kids) plus paid for 2 weeks accommodation and Park Hopper tickets (3A/1C). Originally we had purchased the snack/sit down meal plan, but that was later converted a free dining  plan which did save us about $2,000, so all up I think we spent about $4,000. We priced it out and found it was still cheaper to pay for the dining plan than not have it, so we would've bought it anyway. It meant we had about 10 character meals, which was great.

4. The best way to get the most done with the shortest lines is to get to the parks at "rope drop" -- which is as soon as it opens. By doing so, you will be able to get on rides while waiting the shortest possible time, which allows you to get on more rides before the kids get tired and/or the parks get crowded. If you do not get there for rope drop, plan accordingly and understand that you WILL have to wait on lines, sometimes long lines.  Prepare everyone for that reality.

This was one of the best 'tips' I got from disboards, and it definitely paid off.

lilfox

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Re: Disney Vacation
« Reply #36 on: April 30, 2013, 07:56:35 PM »
Borrowing heavily from Cami, as we're just back from DW ourselves:

2. Kids often surprise parents with their preferences. Example: kids are often just as thrilled to go swimming than they are to go on rides. So make sure your hotel has a good pool and you bring swimsuits and PLAN for swimming (and also the need to take decompression breaks because the parks are often overstimulating for children).

YES.  DD was asking to go back to the hotel after 2 hours at the parks.  We took a 5 hour nap + swimming break every day, which really ate into park time but worth it to have a rested, happy kid. 


3. I'd skip Epcot and possibly Hollywood Studios at Disney. We love Epcot, but with a very few exceptions, most kids are not fans of it.

Granted, we only spent about 2 hours at Epcot but DD loved the Nemo ride, which shares a building with a decent-sized aquarium and she could have spent at least another half hour staring at the fish.  Definitely varies by kid tastes.  We would have liked to explore more but a lot of the walk-through exhibits close at 7 pm even though the park is open until 9 pm. I think by 8, only a few of the big rides were still open (and still had 45+ min waits!) and everything outside of the International Village was shut down.  If you go, go in the morning!

4. The best way to get the most done with the shortest lines is to get to the parks at "rope drop" -- which is as soon as it opens. By doing so, you will be able to get on rides while waiting the shortest possible time, which allows you to get on more rides before the kids get tired and/or the parks get crowded. If you do not get there for rope drop, plan accordingly and understand that you WILL have to wait on lines, sometimes long lines.  Prepare everyone for that reality.

Painful to get up that early but totally worth it.  We walked on to the most popular rides with little or no waits.  The FastPass system works well too, although they do run out an hour or two before the park closes.

FYI, watch for the different park closing times - Magic Kingdom is open til 11 pm most nights, Epcot til 9 (though lots of things close earlier), and Animal Kingdom only til 6 or 7 pm.  Staying at a Disney resort is supposed to mean you can take advantage of earlier mornings and later evenings at the various parks, but they were so infrequent that it never worked out for us.

Similarly check the daily schedule for the other parks.  We planned to go to Universal on Friday, only to find out that it closed to the public at 6 pm for a private event (high schools rent it out, apparently).  That was a real bummer.

OSUJillyBean

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Re: Disney Vacation
« Reply #37 on: May 09, 2013, 10:29:05 AM »
I am not a parent but DH and I stayed at Port Orleans Riverside on our last Disney vacation.  I love staying onsite but the Port Orleans bus system was (at that time) awful.  Port Orleans was the largest Disney hotel, having over 3,000 rooms.  Unfortunately, this resort had the same number of buses as much smaller resorts with perhaps only 400 rooms.  We would leave the parks late every night (being young 20-somethings at the time with lots of night-owl energy) and would be stuck waiting for close to two hours in line for the buses.  Complaints to management went nowhere and you just had to suck it up and wait.  I felt so bad for parents of young children either passed out in strollers or screaming b/c they were worn out and bored. 

If you can, try another resort.  Staying on property at Disney is well worth the hassle (extra magic hours are awesome) but getting to and from the Port Orleans was just nutty.