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View Full Version : new member - no idea where to start??


libbyjade
08-27-2009, 09:56 AM
Hi to anyone who'll listen/read :goodvibes

We're looking at booking a 2 week trip to Florida and visit the Disney Resorts in 2010 but have no idea where to start. I'm looking to do it as cheaply as possible, however the difficulty is we can only go in school holidays!

I've considered direct booking villa's / travel agents etc but still not sure what's best to do so I am looking to you guys, the experts for help.

There will be 4 adults, a child aged 3 and a child aged 1. Looking to go end July or early to mid August.

Ideally we'd like a villa with a pool, not fussy if it's a shared or private pool.

Any help on whether we should hire a people carrier for the 2 weeks? I'd imagine we would be best to get one?

It's not vital that we stay on top of the resorts, but somewhere within a reasonable traveling distance (maybe 10 miles or so?)

Not sure whether we would be best to get our disney tickets as well straight away?

Am I best just contacting one provider who will arrange all of this for us?? -
if so who would be the best/cheapest provider?

Should I consider booking the villa, flights, car hire, tickets all separately?? - if so who would be the best/cheapest provider?

I don't want to create lots of work and turn this booking into a chore, but if I can save a few bob by not going directly to the main travel agents I don't mind doing a bit of digging & haggling.

Or am I totally on the wrong path and a travel agent will give me a really good deal??

Please please pass on your wisdom :cool1:

Thank you in advance!!!

disney_princess_85
08-27-2009, 10:42 AM
I can't really help you as I've never stayed in a villa/hired a car/gone in a large group, but I just wanted to say hi and :welcome: to the Dis. Someone will be along to help you soon! :goodvibes

loobylou44
08-27-2009, 10:50 AM
Welcome to the Dis!
There are lots of people here with more experience than me, and they will come along soon, but I think you have made a good start coming here. The other thing I would do is get a good Orlando guide book, I would recommend 'The Brits Guide to Orlando' by Simon and Susan Veness, it is a permanent fixture on my bedside table!! :goodvibes

disney_princess_85
08-27-2009, 11:01 AM
Ooh, my book recommendation would be The Unofficial Guide To Walt Disney World by Bob Sehlinger. It's a hefty book (800+ pages!) but it really is indispensable as it's got loads of info on pretty much everything, including villas (e.g. the best locations etc.).

Lisa x
08-27-2009, 12:16 PM
I have been to Orlando quite a lot and booked both package and DIY. Its impossible to say which will be cheaper, depends when you look, where you look, time of year to go, sales being on etc!!

I would say, if you are prepared to do some work looking and searching for best prices then most people would probably say that they got it cheaper this way! Full on Disney fans like to do it this way as the booking and planning is a fab part!

So, if you contact an agent, they can put everything together for you and it involves little work for you other than telling them what you want. In the mean time when waiting for prices, you can check yourself!

This year, I booked villa car hire and flights all separately! For next year, I have booked it as a package through travelcitydirect, flying PE with Virgin and got a good deal on Hard Rock Hotel and convertable car! :woohoo:

I have heard that dial-a-flight are really good on their prices (just what another Virgin passenger told me - never used them myself)!

A good villa location is Kissimee, close to Disney with plenty of shops and restaurants etc, im staying at a development called Formosa Gardens this year, never stayed there before but the villa we have booked is amazing!

IMO, I would say that a hire car/mini van is a must, especially when staying in a villa, good to get to the parks, supermarkets, malls etc!

As for Disney Tickets, there is a post by Pegasus every Sunday/Monday monitoring the prices of tickets, you can get them so close to your trip that I would say concentrate on booking the holiday first and the tickets later! :thumbsup2

Hope this helps a little bit! :goodvibes

Goofyish
08-27-2009, 12:19 PM
Welcome to the DIS :yay:

I'm sure you will get all the help and advice you need here :cool1:

JohnnySharp2
08-27-2009, 02:21 PM
Hi,

I think given the size of your family a villa is a sound choice.

A car is a must as whilst many villa communities are well located you have to drive everywhere.
Kissimmee is a sound choice location wise as you are close to restaurants, supermarkets, the I4 and Disney too.

There are 2 main areas, Formosa Gardens and Poinciana Boulevard, both have many villa developments to suit your needs.
You will generally find the bigger the home (number of bedrooms) the more the cost, having said that it can purely depend on the owner.

Most villa's whether 3, 4, 5 bedroomed or more usually have their own private pool (so no need to share!). Some also have security gates, and their own community facilities such as clubhouse, internet access, large communal pool etc too

Car hire - minivan's are great, plenty of room and can highly recommend them.

www.usrentacar.co.uk (http://www.usrentacar.co.uk) are pretty good and www.vr360homes.co.uk (http://www.vr360homes.co.uk) www.villas2000.com (http://www.villas2000.com) are great for villa rentals, any questions would be happy to help. :thumbsup2

howlongtillsummer?
08-27-2009, 02:30 PM
Hi you are very welcome.

I can highly recommend the Formosa Gardens area, we stayed in Windsor Palms which we loved. I wouldn't hire a villa anywhere else now.

Make sure you find out the name of you development before booking as some of them can be quite far away.

Personally I like to price up what I like online, then take it to my travel agent. I know I could do it myself but I like the security.

You will be able to get any kind of car you want. We usually book the hire car along with the flights, as we got good prices this way. When we have a big group we tend to take 2 cars rather than a minivan. This is partly down to personal preference, but we like the flexibilty of being able to split up if we wish. Up to you though.

I would have a browse for flights and see what dates you are looking at, then look at your villa. There are some very good deals on villas next year! Economy seems to be biting hard.

Best wishes

PS Let me tell you a secret - - - this is the best board on the dis :cheer2:

libbyjade
08-28-2009, 08:47 AM
Many thanks for your warm welcome and all your replys!!

I've started by pre-ordering the 2010 version of both books which should be with me by Sept & Oct.

I think I'll start by trying to identify a villa in the Kissimee area, look at the cheapest flights, minivan hire and finally tickets for the resorts. I'll then give the details to a travel agent and see if they can give me a reasonable quote for everything in 1 package and if not look to book it all myself.

I'm really grateful for the links, if there are any more links that will help me in my quest please let me know.

There just seems so much choice out there that makes it harder to decide :rotfl:

howlongtillsummer?
08-28-2009, 04:34 PM
Your travel agent should be able to match your best price, sometimes beat it! I am going tomorrow with all my prices. I will let her make the booking and then I know I have it all right! I get nervous about the details:confused::scared1:

Best wishes and let us know how you get on!

Howellsy
08-28-2009, 04:53 PM
Welcome to the boards, I'm sure you'll find some great information from some very friendly people :goodvibes

In terms of when to go, I would definitely recommend mid to late August if that's at all possible for you. Out of all the school holidays, the last two weeks of August are certainly the quietest as Americans start to go back to school. Flights provided by American companies are also a tiny bit cheaper at the end of August rather than in July. From what I've heard, Easter is extremely busy. However, with a good deal of planning you can always see everything you like no matter when you go. Just something to bear in mind :)

UKDEB
08-28-2009, 04:55 PM
Hey there, libbyjade, and a very warm welcome to the DISboards. :goodvibes

Generally speaking, DIY is going to be cheaper and more flexible than booking a package holiday. I understand, though, that it's a totally overwhelming prospect. Even those of us who have visited multiple times would struggle to come up with the perfect solution for someone else as, despite a common love, we all have very individual ways of doing things. I suggest that you post your all questions as separate threads as they occur to you. That way people will pitch in with the parts that are meaningful to them. Trying to provide a neat answer to all your questions in one post is a pretty daunting task. Hope that helps. :)

howlongtillsummer?
08-28-2009, 05:13 PM
Good idea - more threads to enjoy.