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Disney2013
09-14-2012, 09:30 AM
Newbie here!!! Need help!!!! My husband and I and our 2 oldest daughters have been to WDW once...a long time ago!!! We r planning a trip for spring break 2013, (March), with our now 6 children (2 sons in law) and 3 grand kids, a total of 13!!!! At first I thought it would be best to find a resort that would accommodate all of us, but after reading a lot of posts on here, it's looking like we will be better off booking separate rooms. Here is the breakdown: DD and husband with 2 small children, DD and husband and 1 small child, DH, myself, DD (18), DS's 13, 9 and 7. We obviously want to be at the same resort and I'm thinking 2 rooms for us for a total of 4 rooms!!!

What are some of the favorite resorts????? Where can I find the best info on "meal plans" , are they beneficial or not? We will be flying (need to book these also)!!!! Staying for 10 days/9 nights. I don't even know the lingo for all the abbreviations used, like PoP, AoA!!!!! Lol help me!!!!!!!!

Honestly, I hope I've typed this in the right place that it will show up in the right place, that's how new I am!!!!! But with that said, we are so excited for our trip to Disney, I just want to be prepared so that we can make the most of our trip!!!!!

Any suggestions, tips and comments would be GReATLY appreciated!!!!!!!

Maggie'sMom
09-14-2012, 09:45 AM
Newbie here!!! Need help!!!! My husband and I and our 2 oldest daughters have been to WDW once...a long time ago!!! We r planning a trip for spring break 2013, (March), with our now 6 children (2 sons in law) and 3 grand kids, a total of 13!!!! At first I thought it would be best to find a resort that would accommodate all of us, but after reading a lot of posts on here, it's looking like we will be better off booking separate rooms. Here is the breakdown: DD and husband with 2 small children, DD and husband and 1 small child, DH, myself, DD (18), DS's 13, 9 and 7. We obviously want to be at the same resort and I'm thinking 2 rooms for us for a total of 4 rooms!!!

What are some of the favorite resorts????? Where can I find the best info on "meal plans" , are they beneficial or not? We will be flying (need to book these also)!!!! Staying for 10 days/9 nights. I don't even know the lingo for all the abbreviations used, like PoP, AoA!!!!! Lol help me!!!!!!!!

Honestly, I hope I've typed this in the right place that it will show up in the right place, that's how new I am!!!!! But with that said, we are so excited for our trip to Disney, I just want to be prepared so that we can make the most of our trip!!!!!

Any suggestions, tips and comments would be GReATLY appreciated!!!!!!!

First of all, :welcome:

Second of all, yes, the abbreviations are confusing at first. There is a thread under the Welcome to the Disboards forum that lists common abbreviations. Here's a link: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1660743

For rooms, what is your budget? Pop is Pop Century, a value resort. AoA is the new Art of Animation resort, they have regular single rooms in the Little Mermaid section, but also family suites that can accommodate up to 6 people. You should also look into renting points from DVC members. You can stay in a deluxe DVC villa for a lot less by renting points than by booking a cash reservation with WDW. There's also a thread somewhere here on the Disboards regarding that. I'll have to go looking for it. It's probably under the Disney Vacation Club forum. ETA: I'm having trouble finding a good thread that describes how renting points works and the pros/cons of it.

As for the meal plans, there are 3 different dining plans. You can find info on these under the Restaurants/Disney Dining Plan forum. For some people, the dining plans save them a lot of money. For others, it's more cost effective to pay out of pocket for dining. One thing you should do is start researching the different restaurants. Another option is to look into the Tables in Wonderland card, which you can purchase if you have an Annual Pass. With so many people in your party, you might get more benefit out of upgrading one of your tickets to an AP, then purchasing this card. It gives you a 20% discount at many of the WDW restaurants.

andrencau
09-14-2012, 10:07 AM
First of all, don't stress. It will all work out. Next there is a ton of information that someone might need to point you in the right direction.
1. Are you park hopping/planning to go to all the parks? (If you are only going to EPCOT and Magic Kingdom,MK, then you might want to find a monorail hotel or stay in the EPCOT area. We go to MK multiple times during a trip. Almost daily after visiting another park for the first half of the day. We stay at the Contemporary)
2. Do you have your own transportation? (If you depend on Disney Transportation, it could take up to an hour to get from hotel to a park, that is one of the longest travel times.)
3. What kind of budget are you guys on? (There is a huge difference in price between value and deluxe. Deluxe gets you closest to the parks and provides many more services than a value).
4. Do you plan on taking time out to sit down and eat (character meals, resort restaurants, etc.)--I have gone with and without the dining plan. If you use the dining plan, especially the one with the Table Service meals, it requires a good deal more planning because you are STRONGLY encouraged to make Reservations (ADR's). My experience with the dining plan is that if you plan on eating at a table service restaurant daily, this might be the best for you. Our last trip was without and we didn't have to plan where we had to be for the entire trip and that was kind of nice. It is really a personal preference call. Disney website has some information about dining plan. Allears.net breaks it down pretty well too.

Favorite resorts. My family LOVES the Contemporary. As I said earlier, we go to MK ALOT!. Our kids 6,5, and 2, love the monorail probably as much as seeing Mickey. I mean LOVE it. What is cooler than walking out the front door of your room and watching the monorail pass through the hotel? People talk about it being too corporate of a hotel, it is hands down our favorite. Our other resort that if it were closer to where we enjoy spending our time, would be Animal Kingdom Lodge. It has Disney written all over it. If you have the extra, splurge for a savannah view room. Almost as cool as the monorail, is waking up and walking out on your balcony to see giraffe and other animals milling around in "your backyard."

Hope this helps. So much information to ingest before you go, but my best piece of advice is slow down and enjoy it. 10 days is plenty of time to do the headliners. Don't go home tired from a vacation.

WDGPCFR
09-14-2012, 10:11 AM
We just came back from Pop 3 weeks ago. I would suggest that you look at a suite at AoA and rooms at AoA or PoP for the others. It is a short walk between the two resorts over the bridge. We received the QS dining plan with our booking and we were apprehensive about the under 9 choices for our daughter. Turned out there was enough variety using a little imagination so she wasn't eating chicken nuggets every day.

WDWINFO.com is the best when it comes to finding information.;)

Disney2013
09-14-2012, 11:37 AM
Thanks so much for the responses-I think that the park hopper would be nice, in my head I'm thinking we would spend a day at Epcot, one at universal studios and animal kingdom then 3/4 days at MK, leaving a couple of days for them to go back to the one they liked the best and maybe a day to stay at the resort or a water park.

Disney2013
09-14-2012, 11:40 AM
Didn't mean to hit send-anyway-I've been saving for this trip and know that for 13 of us it's going to be expensive. We (mom and dad) are footing the bill for this entire trip even for our married kiddos-so I really don't know what my budget is, I mean is it reasonable to say that we could do rooms for 6-8 grand for 9 nights for all 13 of us????

Disney2013
09-14-2012, 11:47 AM
Didn't mean to hit send-anyway-I've been saving for this trip and know that for 13 of us it's going to be expensive. We (mom and dad) are footing the bill for this entire trip even for our married kiddos-so I really don't know what my budget is, I mean is it reasonable to say that we could do rooms for 6-8 grand for 9 nights for all 13 of us????

Then is a park hopper going to be good for us if they want to go back and forth, I don't know what all the other parks have, so how much time should we a lot for those parks????

We didn't plan on renting a vehicle, should we??? The kids would love the monorail, but realize there is probably a wait time.

Honestly, I'm so overwhelmed, I just want to make sure my grand babies have a memorable trip with Mimi and poppy and my boys have a great trip. The 2 granddaughters must have a princess dinner in their somewhere and the boys a themed dinner for them. Other than that, they are going to be so excited they probably won't even know they have missed anything!!!! I just will feel much better once I get all this booked and just look forward to getting there!!!!!

P.s. then DH and I can always go back by ourselves and see the things we missed!!! Lol

Brook1099
09-14-2012, 12:05 PM
Welcome to the Boards!!

This is a great community with great people to always help out!!
We have been going every year since 2004 and I still get boat loads of info from the boards.

I would suggest u take a look at allearsnet.com it has such great info to use for planning your trip. I still use the website every year.

As far as resorts go, it can be overwhelming especially planning for a large group. I would probably sit with every one and maybe see how they feel about room types and so forth.
There is a great company out there called Davids DVC rentals. What is does is give u the option to purchase points from a DVC ( disney vacation club member) for X amount of dollars per point. They are fantastic to work with and are VERY reputal company. I have worked with them many times. Saving are amazing.

AAA is a good source to help plan a trip as well.

Park Hopper tickets are a great option if u know u will be doing more than one park a day, if not, then don't bother. Waterparks can be added.

Dining plans are offered. Reservation are made 180 days out from your vacation.

You don't need a vehicle for anything on Disney property, outside of Disney( Universal) than u would need transportaton.


Hope u have fun planning and a great vacation.

MMS1125
09-14-2012, 12:09 PM
What are your spring break dates? Playing with numbers is my favorite thing to do when I'm not overwhelmed planning my own trip.

I think you can go within your budget especially if a discount comes along. I like to plan within my budget without a discount just in case my dates aren't offered for anything so I'm not out of a trip by relying on one being released.

Disney2013
09-14-2012, 12:17 PM
Our dates are- travel to Florida (flying)Friday, March 15th, leave Florida, Sunday March 24th.

Emteach
09-14-2012, 12:30 PM
Thanks so much for the responses-I think that the park hopper would be nice, in my head I'm thinking we would spend a day at Epcot, one at universal studios and animal kingdom then 3/4 days at MK, leaving a couple of days for them to go back to the one they liked the best and maybe a day to stay at the resort or a water park.

Are you planning on doing Disney Studios. We spent a couple of days there and it ended up being one of our favourites - especially if you like shows. There is American Idol, Indinana Jones, Beauty and the Beast, Light Motor Action plus Fantasmic which I dont think can be missed. Just a thought.

Welcome to the DISboards - finding here is an excellent step one. There are so many amazing people on here who, who have a wealth of information. I think taking it one step at a time - deciding when you want to go and where. We recently stayed at the Polynesian and adored it! Going to one of the values and getting Family Suites may be a good idea as well. How old are the little ones? May already be written but maybe I missed. If they are under 3 they are free (room/ticket/food wise, if they share). I think you are also allowed 1 under 3 in the rooms in a crib, I could be wrong.

Staying on property you dont absolutely need a vehicle. I think for the most part the Disney Transportation is awesome. At the Poly, Grand Floridian and Contemporary you have access to MK and Epcot via the monorail.

For food you can book 180 days in advance, please correct me if I am wrong folks. If you decide on Disney Dining Plan or want to eat at table service it is a must to book asap (esp. during Spring Break). We went the end of August and booked end of May but that being said was a time less in demand.

Whew... that seemed like a lot of information. If you have any specific questions just ask. Feel free to PM me - I am by no means an expert lol (not even close) but we just got back so everything is pretty fresh in my mind.

Disney is the best and planning is so much fun as well, imo.

LovingDisny
09-14-2012, 12:57 PM
Hi! I hope this is helpful.

with the age of the kiddos in your party I think your family would enjoy all four them parks and probably the water park. What I always do first is sit down and plan out which park I will be going to each day. it is a good starting point and will help you to know what your meal needs will be. We had park hoppers on one trip and found that we were "hopping' just because we could so on the second trip, we saved some money and didn't get the park hopper. adding the hopper will put $50.00 extra on each ticket, so for 13 people that is $650.00 bucks! just one way to save money.
We always get the disney dining plan - even if we break even the convenience of not having to pay out of pocket for every meal is worth it for us. It is not for everyone, but I love having meals paid for before I get there! We also use magical express and never rent a car. We love Disney transportation. no loading everyone in a hot car, driving, gas - none of that. again, not for everyone, but we love it. Favorite resort is Port Orleans Riverside. They have rooms that sleep up to five people and it is great for kids and adults alike.
I am doing a 10 day trip in 2013 and our days look like this:

Day 1 - arrive at 10:30am - magical express to Port Orleans Riverside - leave carry on's at the hotel and go to Magic Kingdom for lunch at the plaza, do some shopping & ride a few rides. back to the resort about 5:00 pm for dinner at the food court, unpacking and swimming.

day 2 - breakfast in the foodcourt - Blizzard beach water park until 5:30 pm then back to the resort to rest - watch Yee Ha bob jackson show in the lounge.

day 3 - Character breakfast at the Beach Club resort Cape may cafe then walk over to Epcot - whole day at Epcot with dinner at Le Ceiler

day 4 - character breakfast at Magic Kingdom Crystal Palace - all day at Magic Kingdom -maybe a mid day break to swim at the resort - dinner at Be our guest.

day 5 - sleep in!! when everyone wakes up - off to Downtown Disney, have an early counter service lunch, shop & explore most of the day - then dinner reservations at Ohanna at the Polynesian resort.

day 6 - character breakfast at Animal Kingdom - Tusker house - all day at animal kingdom - then dinner at the resort at 6:00pm, swimming and bed.

day 7 - All Day Resort day - we spend the whole day at the resort , sleeping in, swimming, doing a little laundry, taking pictures and just recharging.

day 8 - all day at Hollywood Studios - Breakfast & lunch at the park - not sure where yet.

day 9 - morning at Magic Kingdom - evening wherever we want.

day 10 - check out, spend a few hours at hollywood studios - then to the airport.

I wrote this out for to give you an idea of what a typical 10 day vacation would look like. Once you have planned your days, you can look for dining locations that fit your family and make reservations accordingly.

I hope this is helps and is not info overload!! happy planning and I hope you have a great vacation. !!

Oh, for cost I would play on the Disney website, put in your dates, choose a resort, meal plan, etc and you can see what it will cost you.

LisaTC
09-14-2012, 01:20 PM
Wow...I don't blame you for being overwhelmed. You have a lot to whittle down and a lot of people going along. However, you did the right thing coming here! :lmao: We will walk you through this and hold your hand and wish we were going with you!

Here's some places to investigate besides the Dis and wdwinfo.com

For your family: yourfirstvisit.net, easywdw.com and touringplans.com

Touringplans helps with crowd calendars and how to maneuver the parks with small children. I found them exceedingly helpful.

We got park hoppers last year. We used them, but there were only 3 of us. I can see how some of your group may want park hoppers. While you may be paying for the whole clan, I'd almost be tempted to book each family separate. Getting ADR's (advanced dining reservations) for 13 would be daunting. You'll have a lot of together time, perhaps you'd like to have dinner separate once in a while.

Art of Animation family suites look nice for holding 6. Don't know who'd like to room together or if nobody would. I'd go Pop then and all have your own rooms??? If dining is offered in a special pkg deal, don't know if it will be in Spring, POP/AOA have the Quick Service Plan - 2 quick service meals/pp/day and snack and beverage cup. The QS plan is nice for people with young ones that may not be into a sit down dinner.

1. You know your dates.
2. Get a tour book - Passporters is good, Unofficial Guide (on Kindle as well), etc.
3. With your budget, I think it would be doable..it will be closer to 8K. Are you driving?
4. You can always talk to a AAA agent, but find somebody around you that specializes in Disney. You don't have to book with them, but you can get information.
5. Work the numbers...go to Disneyworld.com and plan a vacation with your various scenarios. You can save them.

You can always upgrade to parkhoppers after you get to the resort. Even though we got them last year, I'm waiting until we get there to upgrade in case we decide to. We don't do a lot of things on travel days. We usually arrive Sat-Sat. You will find there will be a lot of tired little ones and you will need a resort day to rest/swim/relax and be glad you did.

My daughter's first visit, we went to AK, MK & Epcot. 2 days at Epcot, 2-3 MK (hopping) and 1 @ AK and 1 rest day. Perfect. We aren't that much into DHS - will have a short day this trip there.

We rent a car because we can fly into Tampa cheaper. However, you don't HAVE to HAVE a car and even though we did have one, we took the bus to MK because they drop you off at the front entrance practically!

EDIT: After looking at your numbers/groups, I think you'd do well with your family at Art of Animation (AOA)...I'll check it out for you :)

Alice BlueBonnet
09-14-2012, 01:30 PM
Welcome to the boards, :wave2: you are in the right place for help.

First things first, take a deep breath. You're going to Disney!!!! And with your whole family, that is amazing. I'm sure it seems overwhelming now, but you have plenty of time to book a trip of a lifetime.

I'm going to ask a few questions before offering up any advice.

Food/Dining

What is your dining style? Do you eat three big meals a day? I ask because this will help me determine if I would recommend a dining plan, and what type. I am not a big breakfast eater at all, so I am usually content with a bagel from a quick service in whatever hotel I happen to be staying at, but do like to sit down for lunch and dinner.

A few observations based on the age of people in your party.

1) I see that there are a few small children going, so I'm going to assume you would want to do a few Character Meals (these are meals, usually some sort of buffet or limited menu options, where while you eat characters come around and visit the table). If this appeals to you, I'd suggest figuring out what characters the kids would like to see. Basically, the options are Princesses, the Fab Five (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and either Pluto or Daisy), Playhouse Disney and Winnie the Pooh. There is also a Lilo and Stitch breakfast. Once you know what characters they would want to dine with, you can determine which, if any, character meals would be a good fit for the family.

2) With the small children, if you aren't planning to return to the resorts for a break in the afternoon, I would suggest planning a sit down meal for lunch. These are referred to as Table Service. This gives you a few benefits. First, no one has to worry about finding a table, gathering all the food, etc. Second, you are able to just sit and be served in a nice, air conditioned environment. While its not a nap, it is an excellent "rest" from the parks. Third, for the most part, the food options and quality are a bit better. Fourth, you're going over March Break, when Disney tends to be a bit more...crowded :) Having dining reservations made in advance for a sit down meal means that the little ones are eating at a time that they are used to, and fed children are happy children.

Parks

I see you mentioned Universal. Just wanted to make sure you know that this is not on Disney property, so you would either need to rent a car to get you there and back, or book a shuttle. Given how many of you there are, it will likely be more economical to rent a car (or two). Also this will require a separate ticket. Maybe check out the various rides available there and make sure there are enough things for the younger ones to do to warrant the whole group going.

As for how many days in each Disney park...that's a hard one. As I'm sure you know, Disney World is comprised of four parks and two water parks.

Given the age of the children, your main focus will probably be the Magic Kingdom. I would think one day planned at each other park would be fine, although again, just pull up park maps on any site and you can determine what sort of rides your family would be most likely to enjoy.

The water parks at Disney are amazing (I am partial to Typhoon Lagoon), but make sure you check the average weather for when you're going to make sure everyone will want to be running around in a bathing suit. I went once on March Break and it was freezing. As a previous poster mentioned, water parks are an additional cost per person.

Ticket Options

The way it works is you start with a base ticket. This gives you access to the four main parks, one park a day.

You can add a "hopper" which allows you to go to one park in the morning, and then another in the afternoon or evening. You could, in theory, visit all four parks in the same day. The fee to add this is per person, and is an additional 57 dollars.

You can also add the "water parks and more", giving you access to the two water parks on property. The fee to add this is per person, and is also an additional 57 dollars.

IF YOU ADD BOTH the hopper and water parks, the fee is only 79 dollars per person.

I personally never hop parks. I wake up, I go to a park, I stay there. Or I nap in the afternoon and then go back to that park (as re-entry to the same park is allowed). I just don't like to spend my time travelling between parks, but that is just me. You will know better what your family would want to do.

Resorts

Disney has three levels of resorts. Value, Moderate and Deluxe. As you go up in level, you go up in size of room, types of amenities, etc. I have stayed at all levels, and actually at most of the resorts. The choice to stay at what level is going to be heavily influenced by two things. Your personal preference and your budget. A Value resort will run you on average 100/night per room. A Moderate about 200 a night and a Deluxe about 350/400 a night. Some are more, some are less. So my advice to you is to look at each resort and see what appeals to you most.

A few things to think about in this category.

Value's have double beds, most moderates and all deluxe's have queens. The decor is a bit more "in your face" and may appeal most to the children. I haven't seen it in person yet, but the pictures of the Art of Animation look super amazing. The only transportation option for Value's is the bus system, so it tends to be quite efficient but can also be quite busy at times.

Moderates tend to be "sprawling" in their size. Most have multiple bus stops within each resort, which can mean a bit of a wait at times. And a fair bit of walking to get to the main building from your specific room. Moderates are also mostly bus based for their transportation, with the exception of the boat to Downtown Disney from Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter.

Deluxe's, while more compact in size than a Moderate, do tend to "share" buses. So the bus to MK from Beach Club will also stop at Yacht Club, Boardwalk and on occasion the Swan and Dolphin. But, if you are planning to be mostly at MK, I'd suggest staying closest to that park (meaning a Deluxe resort). I've stayed at the WL, the Poly, the Contemporary and the Grand Floridian, which are the four closest to MK. The latter three are literally on a monorail line, a phenomenal bonus when frequenting the MK, especially if there are little ones looking to go down for a nap mid afternoon. Also, you can take a monorail to Epcot as well.

Of the three resorts on the monorail, I love the Poly the most. Great theming, the restaurants are good, the pool is great, etc. Again, personal preference will factor in huge here. I just liked the resort best overall, and you could walk to the Ticket and Transportation Centre to catch the Epcot monorail, rather than take one monorail there, disembark, and then move to a second monorail. However, you can walk to MK from the Contemporary in about 5 minutes, so that may play into your plans as well. As andrencau mentioned, the Monorail is usually a big hit with kids (and adults!) so even though it took longer to get to the park riding the monorail, we usually did that instead of walking anyhow lol.

I realize this was a TON of information in one post, I'm sorry, I just love the planning phase of trips :goodvibes

Any specific questions you may have about anything, ask away!!!

pixiedust: for your upcoming trip

disneydee6
09-14-2012, 01:41 PM
Just my two cents.

Stay on-site, and use disney transportation. Getting a cab to and from universal for one day is not expensive, and far better than the cost of a rental car. You can use a grocery delivery service for all your needs for the week.

Allears.net gives you some very good ideas of what prices will cost you. Disney offers discounts often, either for dining or resort, see if something comes up. I personally never used the dining plan.

We ALWAYS use the park hoppers, but don't buy hoppers unless you will be using them! You will save $ if you don't hop, but I prefer the ability to go from one park to another.

The value resorts (like you said, Pop or AoA) obviously will have the best prices for four rooms, but look into the moderate resorts or deluxe resorts too. I really like the amenities that come with those resorts, esp if you are planning on doing some swimming.

The Unofficial Guide to Disney I find is the best way to get some knowledge on what to expect in disney. Another, is this website!! Any questions you have, there are so many people willing to answer, and help! :woohoo:

LisaTC
09-14-2012, 01:43 PM
Pop Century for your dates for 2 adults/2 children (I didn't put any child over 9 or under 2) is 2127.22 for your dates. Your own immediate party is 6 - technically 3 adults/3 children. Unless one of your children wants to bunk with their relatives, your rate at Art of Animation is pretty costly. For 3 adults and 1 child at Pop Century the rate is 2225.00 -- thinking your 18 year old could bunk with them and divide it up. That leaves you with your hubby and 3 kids (5) at Art of Animation at 3555.46.

The grand total - this isn't discounted with any specials or anything is: $7907. BARELY EEKING under your budget high.

I presumed your airfare budget is separate...That's not too bad really for 13 people. If any are under 3 years old, it would be less.

There's obviously other resorts and configurations. I know a family of 15 that is going and getting 2 Villas at Animal Kingdom Lodge (AKL). They have 3 BR villas that actually hold 12.

wvulion
09-14-2012, 01:56 PM
Also--Buy a Birnbaum's Guide....and...wait for it...read it. :thumbsup2 I have people call me for advice all the time, and they tell me everything they've bought, but haven't actually read. It's broken down into managable sections with specific sections devoted to specific age groups; that sounds important based on your description of who you're traveling with. That said--you'll have a great time, but a little advance planning will help alleviate you feeling overwhelmed. And cheer up--the last time I went, I took 327 people with me (literally a marching band), and everything turned out great:tinker: Yours will too!

Disney2013
09-14-2012, 05:29 PM
OMG-thank you guys so much!!!! I'm headed to my kids football game this evening, then it's back to Disney research!!!! Everyone is so nice, I just can't wait to get it all down and share what plans we make!!! Any more input is greatly appreciated!!!!

DSDisney
09-14-2012, 09:01 PM
I don't want to step on anyone's toes here... but the OP might...might consider renting a villa off property. When DH and I took our family of 7 (6 adults 1 DGD10) during Easter time 2011 I did all the research and found that even the value resorts couldn't touch the price I paid for the 5 BR villa we rented at Emerald Island Resort. I found that car rentals were cheaper from the Tampa airport so DH and I flew into Tampa a day ahead and rented a mini-van and drove to the resort. Then we went to Walmart and picked up all the groceries and necessary items for our stay. Having to shop for TP and milk during vacation made me a little cranky but by the next afternoon when everyone else had arrived I knew I had made the right decision to rent the villa rather than hotel rooms onsite. Everyone had their own space, no one was tripping over anyone and this kept tempers cool and everyone happy. We also had a pool literally steps from our back patio door and I think DGD10 spent every waking moment we weren't at the parks in that pool.

I found 7 bedroom villas for around $3,000 for the dates mentioned by the OP. It may not have the exact same Disney magic as on property but it may be worth a looksee. :thumbsup2

MMS1125
09-14-2012, 09:57 PM
Pop Century for your dates for 2 adults/2 children (I didn't put any child over 9 or under 2) is 2127.22 for your dates. Your own immediate party is 6 - technically 3 adults/3 children. Unless one of your children wants to bunk with their relatives, your rate at Art of Animation is pretty costly. For 3 adults and 1 child at Pop Century the rate is 2225.00 -- thinking your 18 year old could bunk with them and divide it up. That leaves you with your hubby and 3 kids (5) at Art of Animation at 3555.46.

The grand total - this isn't discounted with any specials or anything is: $7907. BARELY EEKING under your budget high.

I presumed your airfare budget is separate...That's not too bad really for 13 people. If any are under 3 years old, it would be less.

There's obviously other resorts and configurations. I know a family of 15 that is going and getting 2 Villas at Animal Kingdom Lodge (AKL). They have 3 BR villas that actually hold 12.

I had 2977 for 2/2 at POP with 10 day base. I haven't looked up any of the others. How many park days do you want?

are any of the kids under 2?

How important is staying onsite for you? If it's a must it can be done but it will be tight. If it's not then I tend to agree (maybe) with the PP about staying offsite. You will get a lot more for your $$ but you will miss out on the offsite perks and will need to rent a car.

LisaTC
09-15-2012, 08:20 AM
Renting offsite was a thought I had as well dependent upon what you are actually looking at experience-wise for Disney. 7Br would definitely give you space! You'll need to rent 2- 7-plus passenger vehicles while there and that could easily be around a 800-1K for both if you have any discounts or belong to a rental car frequent renter program. Still bringing you well below your budget and you will need to pay for parking at the parks. This would also give you the opportunity for different members in your part to go to different parks (if you had 2 vehicles) which is something you can do when you stay on property because of Disney Transportation. Once you make that choice...on or off property, then you need to get your park tickets. Undercover Tourist has Disney tickets. You can get them from AAA and Disney itself. You wouldn't need to get the meal plan if you have a large home with a full kitchen because you can eat there. Not sure about how you feel about that...some don't cook on vacation, but breakfasts are a no brainer and not much fuss. Hamburgers on the Grill are easy at the end of the day. Just a few thoughts.

MMS1125
09-15-2012, 12:05 PM
you could also do YES tickets (http://www.disneyyouth.com/individual-enrollment/) for the kids as long as there's a class available during your time period and that allows you to buy tickets for the whole family as well. They save about $150/ticket for an 8 day hopper so that's a big savings as well. (based on 2012 pricing 2013 schedule isn't out yet) The kids would be enrolled in a class at one of the parks and you'd get 8 days of park tickets with hopping option. At WDW the 8 day hopper is 355 for adults and 337 for kids 3-9 with YES it's 203 (prob slight increase for 2013). That would save you over $1800 in tickets alone. Hopefully you could get a room discount if you stayed on property then just pay OOP for food.

cwt580
09-15-2012, 12:24 PM
to OP.. i saw you mentioned Universal studios. hopefully you are not thinking part of wdw. disney's is hollywood studios. Hopefully you werent thinking UniStu is part of wdw.


Just wanted to make sure you were clear on that.....

Disney2013
09-18-2012, 10:40 PM
OK-WE ARE BOOKED!!!!! Thanks so much for all the help, my daughter and I got the resort booked tonight as well as some dining reservations that were important to the kiddos!!!! I have our flights on hold, just wanted to confirm our resort reservations first!!!!! Got the tickets, the park hopper and the dining plan!!!! Whewwwww!!!!! We don't have our complete agenda yet, but at least the important parts are booked, SO EXCITED!!!!!!! Now... How many days til we leave...only 178!!!!!!! Lol can't wait to keep going to all the posts and taking notes!!!!!

Alice BlueBonnet
09-18-2012, 10:45 PM
YAY that's so great :thumbsup2 You are all going to have an amazing time!!

MMS1125
09-19-2012, 12:03 AM
OK-WE ARE BOOKED!!!!! Thanks so much for all the help, my daughter and I got the resort booked tonight as well as some dining reservations that were important to the kiddos!!!! I have our flights on hold, just wanted to confirm our resort reservations first!!!!! Got the tickets, the park hopper and the dining plan!!!! Whewwwww!!!!! We don't have our complete agenda yet, but at least the important parts are booked, SO EXCITED!!!!!!! Now... How many days til we leave...only 178!!!!!!! Lol can't wait to keep going to all the posts and taking notes!!!!!

details! Where are you staying?

Disney2013
09-19-2012, 06:13 PM
We are staying at the AoA-booked the family suite (Nemo) for us and 2 standard rooms (little mermaid) for our daughters and SIL's!!!! We booked one dinner for Chef Mickeys, one for Cinderella's round table, one BBQ dinner show at Ft. Wilderness and then a character breakfast at Hollywood and Vine. Now that we booked those we are figuring out which parks to go to on which days working around the reservations. We are soooooo excited!!!!!