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New2Disney2008
02-19-2008, 07:10 AM
Hi

I posted this on the Families board, and someone suggested I post it here....

I just found out my dh has a conference in Orlando at the end of April and we want to make a family trip out of it. We are a family of six--2 adults, 4 kids (ages 8, 6, 3, and newborn) After a few days trying to figure out Disney, I checked the availability of Port Orleans Riverside (with trundle) and All Star Music (family suite) because they look like the only financially reasonable places we could stay. They both show no availability. What do we do now?

How strict are they about the # of people in the rooms in other resorts? My 3 yo won't even use his own bed anyway since he prefers to sleep in dh and my bed or with his brothers. Is it a thing where dh could just check in and we just go to the room or would we get in major trouble for having an extra child? I know we would need a ticket for 3 yo for admission into the parks, but could we just book the rooms and ticket separately?

If this isn't an option, what do you all suggest? I really want to stay on-site because transportation seems like it would be easier. We will have a car though. Dh's conference is at the Hilton near Downtown Disney. I am going to be alone with the kids so I really wanted a place with a pool and things to look at/walk to on these days.

thanks!

dairyqueenmom
02-19-2008, 07:28 AM
Have you tried to get connecting room at one of the values, they are usually cheaper then the family suite at ASMus. We have done that with our four kids. I loved the family suite but they are hard to get this close to your travel date. I would book two rooms at a value, and they will give you connecting because of the ages of your kids. I would defiantly stay on site if you will be doing this on your own for the most part. The transportation is huge. I would also suggest Pop Century because it doesn't share buses llike the All Stars do. Good Luck. I personally would not try and sneak an extra child in your room. It won't work if you want to do a package, tickets and dining. Visa just came out with discounts if you have the Disney Visa.

Rylee
02-19-2008, 07:34 AM
Hi,

Did you call or check on-line? I would definitely call, and call back again if necessary (people cancel all the time.)

Disney accomodations for family of 5+ - lowest, going up in cost...

Port Orleans Riverside w/trundle
2 rooms at a value resort
All-Star Music Suite
Fort Wilderness Cabin
Deluxe Resort - any room that sleeps 5

There are other options, but are quite costly.

If you can afford the ASMu suite, 2 rooms are slightly cheaper, be sure the CM understands you need connecting rooms, only a request but we've always received it.

If you have AAA, you can receive a discount (not required at the time of booking, but needed at check-in.)

Disney is very strict about room occupancy... fire code regulations, and you would be forced to move to another location, most likely resulting in more $$$.

I strongly recommend you stay at a Disney resort, so keep trying. Call, you'll stand a better chance of getting what you're looking for.

Aliceacc
02-19-2008, 07:38 AM
Hi and welcome!

(edited to add: I see that Rylee types faster than I do, so there's lots of repitition. sorry!)

To answer your question, I understand they're very strict on the room occupancy numbers-- it's by order of the fire marshal.

Now, some things to consider:
a) join AAA. You'll get a discount ranging from 10-20% percent depending on the resort and the time of year.
b) Take a look at the Contemporary. I know it's Deluxe, and more expensive. but look at the cheapest room in the Garden Wing, and apply the AAA discount. Does that bring it closer to something you can afford? (And keep in mind: you can WALk from the Contemporary to the Magic Kingdom. That may make it a lot more attractive when you picture your 3 year old in a meltdown because he's hot and tired.)
c) Look into adjoinging rooms at the value resorts. It won't be much more than the Family Suites. Call Disney now and see what they can do for you.
d) also, take a look here for other stuff: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1715551

tmli
02-19-2008, 07:42 AM
I would also suggest considering a cabin....perhaps with a AAA discount or another discount that may come out. Initially it may seem like more $$ per night but you could make up some of the cost by having your own snacks/drinks and perhaps a meal or two in the cabin. It has a pretty complete kitchen.

I also agree the idea of two value rooms is a good one.

However to answer your original question....No, Disney probably won't know if there is an extra child in the room. They may or may not find out during your stay....honestly I don't think they would. You wouldn't have a room key for the 3 yr old which would mean no access to extra magic hours or dining plan (if you were going to add it)

I am not condoning breaking any rules, just stating my opinion. I agree they are VERY strict with the rule, IF they know.

StitchandPooh'sMom
02-19-2008, 07:43 AM
:welcome: to the DIS! Hope you have a great trip! I agree that staying onsite will make your life much easier.

As far as room occupancy limits, some of the Deluxe resorts can sleep five plus one in a crib. Have you checked out the Polynesian, Contemporary, Beach and Yacht Club, Grand Floridian? The Polynesian, Contemporary and Grand Floridian have the added benefit of being on the monorail - convenient for mid-day nap and swim breaks and also easier to negotiate a stroller than the busses are. You can also sleep six in the Fort Wilderness cabins, but transportation is not great. The PP's suggestion of connecting Value rooms is a good one. Disney does not typically guarantee connecting rooms unless there is only one adult, but you can call and plead your case and I'm sure they would do whatever they could to accommodate you. Since your DH will not be around during the day to help, you could explain that you need a room for naps and a room for the other kids to hang out but you would be the only adult during the day time and would really need them to connect.

The Animal Kingdom Lodge one bedroom villas sleep five, but I don't know the cost or availability. You would have more space plus a kitchen and washer/dryer. I think the other one-bedroom villas sleep four.

For Disney purposes, you are a family of five plus an infant under three. From what I have read here, room limits are based on fire codes and Disney can ask you to leave if you are found to be violating them. This topic gets very heated on these boards - many will tell you that you should just do it and not worry about it - others will tell you that it is against Disney policy and the limits are for safety. Disney will not allow you to book five people plus an infant into any room with an occupancy of four plus an infant. If you choose to try to circumvent the rules, it is at your own risk and you can be asked to leave.

Since you will have a car, I think the Doubletree at Downtown Disney sleeps six. It might be close enough for your DH to walk to his conference (not sure about that) and you could have the car. He can take a shuttle to wherever you are in the parks after he is done.

Good luck with your planning!

Rylee
02-19-2008, 07:44 AM
What are your actual dates?

wilda
02-19-2008, 08:44 AM
Wonder if a DVC would be an option?

LSU
02-19-2008, 10:22 AM
Have you checked out the resorts in Downtown Disney where you are meeting? They are much roomier, cheaper, offer bus (nicer buses) transportation to disney parks, and some sleep 5/6. Check out mousesavers.com for preferred disney hotels for big savings. I think the Hilton is listed there - but they may not have the best price.

The all star resorts are too small for 6 if you get one room and the walls were paper thin.

New2Disney2008
02-19-2008, 02:09 PM
Thanks everyone! I called and got 2 connecting rooms at the Pop Century with AAA. Someone must have cancelled. It is more money than we were hoping, but I at least wanted to reserve it while it was available.

My dh's conference is at the Hilton. I originally checked there and the cheapest rooms we would fit in would be $2118.38 for 7 nights. If I add in the tickets for us, it would be an additional $1020.27 for 4 day passes (2 adults/3 children). Did I figure those tickets out correctly? can someone check?

If I did, the Hilton + passes are $3, 138.65 and the 2 rooms at pop century is $2544.65.

Now, my next question is this: do I not use my AAA discount, and go for the meal plan instead so I can get a package?

Is it really true that the meal plan is for the # of nights at the resort, NOT the # of days that you bought the passes? I was confused, so I didn't get the meal plan,and now I am reconsidering.


Also, with the meal plan, how much time is taken up going to the "table" meals. The days we are at the park, I'd prefer just to go to counter meals so we can better use our time. The days of dh's conference, I could see us doing a table meal. My concern is the day we are going to the parks. Can you exchange it for some quick counter meals or something?

thanks again!

StitchandPooh'sMom
02-19-2008, 03:17 PM
You can book a package with a AAA discount, but you have to do it through AAA instead of through Disney. You don't have to give up that discount, but I wouldn't cancel your Pop rooms unless you were booked on your package. If you cancel the rooms first, someone else could get them and you would be stuck if you couldn't get a package. (If there are no rooms available and you cancel yours, someone else calling in could reserve them while your AAA agent was trying to book a package for you.)

The meal plan can be a good value if you would typically eat one table service meal per day. If not, you probably would do better to pay out of pocket. If you'd rather do quick service most of the time, you probably wouldn't get your money's worth.

Has your DH checked to see if he can get discount tickets through the convention? Sometimes they have discounts, and they also have different tickets like a ticket just for admission after 2 pm. You might be able to do some half-days depending on your DH's schedule. The price you have for tickets sounds about right for 4-day passes. You can look at all the options at mousesavers.com. A five day ticket is only a few dollars more than a 4-day if you are arriving early or leaving late.

Forgot to add - a table service meal takes from 1-2 hours typically, depending whether or not characters are involved. I think we usually spend about an hour for a character buffet.

allaboard
02-19-2008, 03:49 PM
I would say add the Dining Plan ... or at least plan on doing table meals once a day .... (call for ADR's)
1) You will be alone with the children some since your husband is at a conference and you will need the down time since you have an infant and a 3 year old ... plus two older kids.
2) Your three year old will need the down time ...
3) You will enjoy the fact that you do not have to find a table and feed all the children counter food while managing an infant and keeping your 3 year old from running off. The counter service lines are often crazy ... and if you are alone, you'll be using your older children to carry food and find tables ... might give everyone a break if you had a table meal at least once a day!
have a magical time!!princess:

New2Disney2008
02-19-2008, 04:44 PM
Thanks again for all the tips.I'll call AAA and see what they ca do!

I guess I wasn't clear. We are only going to the parks with dh. On the days of his conference, i'm just going to do downtown disney, hang out at the resort pool, etc. does that change anyone's answers? :)

Where can I learn more about the table meals in the parks and out of the parks?

I'm guessing that it is in fact true that the meal plan is for the # of days of accommodations, not the # of days for the park tickets. sorry still not totally sure if this is correct.

Also, can you finish up using the meal plan after you check out on the last day? (example: check out at breakfast and then use it for lunch)

thanks! getting really excited now!

StitchandPooh'sMom
02-19-2008, 05:58 PM
Thanks again for all the tips.I'll call AAA and see what they ca do!

I guess I wasn't clear. We are only going to the parks with dh. On the days of his conference, i'm just going to do downtown disney, hang out at the resort pool, etc. does that change anyone's answers? :)

Where can I learn more about the table meals in the parks and out of the parks?

I'm guessing that it is in fact true that the meal plan is for the # of days of accommodations, not the # of days for the park tickets. sorry still not totally sure if this is correct.

Also, can you finish up using the meal plan after you check out on the last day? (example: check out at breakfast and then use it for lunch)

thanks! getting really excited now!

Sorry for missing your question! The Dining Plan is based on the number of nights you stay, not the number of park days. For example, if you are staying five nights, all of you (3 and older) would get five table service credits, 5 counter service credits and five snack credits. They are good from the moment of check-in until the end of the day that you check out (midnight, assuming you could find someplace open). You can use the credits any way you want - if your DH is at his conference for a few days, you could save up his credits and use more than one TS or CS per day when he is with you. Most meals are one TS credit - some are two, like Cinderella's Royal Table and Hoop De Doo Revue. You can check out the sticky at the top of the restaurants board for more info on the 2008 Dining Plan:

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1545287

If you are planning to do table service meals, you should call to make advanced dining reservations (ADR's). You can make them 180 days in advance, so your availability might be limited at this time. Since you will need a 6-top table, you should call as soon as you can once you determine where you'd like to eat.

You can also check out www.allears.net for current menus and prices. That might help you to decide if the dining plan is a good value based on the choices you might make.

Hope this helps!

Forgot to add: even if you are not going to the parks while your DH is at his conference, he still might be able to get discounted tickets to use while you are all together. They are not dated for specific dates, although they would typically have to be used within 14 days of first use.

lazydazy8
02-19-2008, 06:15 PM
I LOVE the food plan, but from what you've toldu have us so far, I would suggest you not do it. It sounds like you are apt to have a lot of time alone with the kids. You may not want to be a slave to your eating schedule when you have your DH around.

If you DO do the food plan, book your ADR's first (just tell them that you are considering adding the food plan). You may find that this short notice, you might not be able to get appropriate dining times for the ages of your kids EVERY day, then you won't get your money's worth by buying the plan.

We all love helping to plan other people's trips!!

Shmily1
02-19-2008, 08:15 PM
Welcome!! You are going to have a great time. Have you checked at the Swan or Dolphin? You can have more people in the rooms at those two and they are awesome!!! You would have access to the Grotto pool and several other pools. You could walk around the boardwalk and your children would love the night entertainment. There are plenty of restaurants to eat at. You would be happy staying there.

If you are not wanting to eat many sit down meals, then the DDP would not be worth it to you, especially if you will be trading some meals in for counter service. If you choose the Swan or Dolphin, you cannot get the DDP. You could also take the boats to Epcot or DHS on days you would be going there.

Have a great time!!!

Rylee
02-20-2008, 07:47 AM
Thanks again for all the tips.I'll call AAA and see what they ca do!

I guess I wasn't clear. We are only going to the parks with dh. On the days of his conference, i'm just going to do downtown disney, hang out at the resort pool, etc. does that change anyone's answers? :)

Where can I learn more about the table meals in the parks and out of the parks?

I'm guessing that it is in fact true that the meal plan is for the # of days of accommodations, not the # of days for the park tickets. sorry still not totally sure if this is correct.

Also, can you finish up using the meal plan after you check out on the last day? (example: check out at breakfast and then use it for lunch)

thanks! getting really excited now!

The Dining Plan (DP) for your family would cost about $106 times (X) the number of nights of your stay. If you are staying 7 nights the cost would be approximately $742 plus tips.

Since you are staying at Pop, here's a few prices on items from the Pop food court - hot dog w/fries $5.79, meatball sub $6.19, chicken penne alfredo $7.99... Kids menu - chicken nuggets, mac & cheese, pasta w/meatball $3.99 each. Kids waffles or breakfast platter $4.09 each. I think drinks are around $2 each.

If you choose to do any character meals, I think the cheapest child price starts at $10.99.

The child Dining Plan price of $10 per night will more than pay for itself, however, for it to be a value for you and your husband, you will need to make use of your Table Service (TS) credits.

Before purchasing the DP, check menus and prices at the allearsnet site. If you think you want the meal plan, I would call first and try to schedule some of the restaurants you are interested in.

If you are content with more counter service meals, the DP is not right for your family. You can still dine at a few TS restaurants and pay out-of-pocket.

If you would like any info on restaurants, just ask... everyone around here has their favorites!

May I make a suggestion... 2 adults & 3 children park tickets (base MYW, no hoppers or water parks) for 4 days is $958 (your price is correct, including tax) For 6 days the price only increases by $19, (for all six of you, not each of you) total of $977 (before tax). Extreme discount after the 4TH day.

If you think your husband will done early (or at a decent hour) on any of the conference days, it might be worth adding the additional days. The parks are open late, and even with young children, you could go to the parks and watch the evening parades, fireworks, or shows... Fantasmic at HS, Wishes at MK, Illuminations at Epcot, etc., and get in a few attractions. If you are unsure, you can up-grade your ticket to include more days, even after you arrive.

New2Disney2008
02-20-2008, 03:29 PM
Wow! You guys are awesome!!!! Thank you!

As of now, I still have us booked with a AAA discount for the POP (2 connecting rooms). Is the POP the nicest of the value resorts or is another one better? I could always try to switch. The All Star Movies looked fun! Do you think I could get a better deal? Now that my reservation is secure, I'm less stressed and can shop around. :)

I bought my tickets over the phone when I booked my room, but now I am finding places I could have gotten a discount. The Undercover Tourists has 4 day passes with a few dollars off the gate price plus 2 days free. Is that legit? Has anyone used that company? I'm wondering if I should cancel my tickets through Disney and buy these.

The idea of updating the # of days for passes are great! I didn't realize it was that inexpensive.

Also, I don't think the meal plan would be worth it for us. I booked a dinner at Chef Mickey (only a 9:15 pm-is that going to be horrible?) The idea of being tied down to a reservation each day doesn't seem fun unless I'm missing something. Enlighten me, please! :)

One more thing...will I need my driver's license for anything? I was hoping not to carry my wallet around, but want to be prepared if i'll need it.

StitchandPooh'sMom
02-20-2008, 06:59 PM
Wow! You guys are awesome!!!! Thank you!

As of now, I still have us booked with a AAA discount for the POP (2 connecting rooms). Is the POP the nicest of the value resorts or is another one better? I could always try to switch. The All Star Movies looked fun! Do you think I could get a better deal? Now that my reservation is secure, I'm less stressed and can shop around. :)

I bought my tickets over the phone when I booked my room, but now I am finding places I could have gotten a discount. The Undercover Tourists has 4 day passes with a few dollars off the gate price plus 2 days free. Is that legit? Has anyone used that company? I'm wondering if I should cancel my tickets through Disney and buy these.

The idea of updating the # of days for passes are great! I didn't realize it was that inexpensive.

Also, I don't think the meal plan would be worth it for us. I booked a dinner at Chef Mickey (only a 9:15 pm-is that going to be horrible?) The idea of being tied down to a reservation each day doesn't seem fun unless I'm missing something. Enlighten me, please! :)

One more thing...will I need my driver's license for anything? I was hoping not to carry my wallet around, but want to be prepared if i'll need it.

Undercover Tourist is great! The service is good and the tickets are legit. I wouldn't buy from them until you are absolutely sure you don't want the Dining Plan - you cannot get the Dining Plan without buying at least a one-day ticket for each person (which you don't want to do - one-day tickets are a terrible value if you are staying several days).

I have not stayed at Pop, but it is the newest Value resort and it does not share busses.

I always carry my driver's license with me to the parks. I can't remember that anyone has ever actually asked for it, though. I'm guessing you are not flying?