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View Full Version : budget/ pre-trip critique please.-


Misty89
06-23-2004, 08:00 AM
hoping mad4themouse is still around....she always has good advice! :)


cast: Me, DH 2 DD's ages 13 and 5.
mon nov, 29th 2004 - friday dec 3 2004.

day 1 : - arrive at MCO 10:30am. hope to be at WDW by noon..renting car, and grocery stop.
arrive at CBR , check in and then head over to epcot.
day 2- head over to CR check in then off to MK. MVMCP that evening.....
day 3 mgm - check into counrty inn and suites for 2 nights
day 4 free day/ DTD
day 5 free day/ DTD - flying our at 6:50pm for home.

we will have a room credit of $ 250 for the onsite hotels....planned on using that for Ohannas, chef mickeys. and lunches.

park tickets are still undecided....DH wants to keep an open option in case we or the kids get worn out...so we are thinking about bringing our ticket money down and just buy tix at the gates...( or hotel, does that work?)
the only advance 3 day tickets i could find was from alamo and they were 3 day plus...we have no use for the plus feature, so that is out...
AF from MKE to MCO about $875.00 - hoping to get cheaper.
country inn 2 nights $133.00
car rental $120.00
food ( additonal to room credit $$) $300 - will eat ofsite also.
tickets $650
onsite hotels $0
spening money $200 ( $50 each)
parking at airport $50
MVMCP -$140

tenitive total - $2,068

anything else i am not thinking off?

thank you

pjlla
06-23-2004, 08:38 AM
Just curious why you are changing hotels three times. I understanding wanting to stay at CR and having to limit the number of nights there due to high cost, but it seems like it will take an awful lot of your time all that checking in/out and repacking etc.

RE: the budget. I understand that the three day park hoppers are only available in a few limited places and that you won't have a need for the plus feature, but in the long run it may be cheaper to buy those tickets versus three one day park tickets/pp for three days. You may find that the plus features are sort of "free" if you look at it that way. And you can always save the tickets with the plus features for another trip.

If your budget is really tight I'm sure that you could find something cheaper on those last two nights. We have stayed at the Homewood Suites in Kissimmee twice for $59/night each time. That is only a small savings over what you currently have booked, but they do offer free bkfst and free hot "reception" in the afternoon, plus they are close to WDW. And I'm sure that there are cheaper places out there.

Also, not a budget tip per say, but would you not want to consider going to a park on day 4?? I notice you are not including AK park, which is really one of my favorites. Since you are already spending all that $$ on airfare and hotel, why not try to budget a bit more for 4 day park hoppers, which I believe are available without the "plus" feature and spend a day at AK. You may find that the 4 day park hoppers without the plus are the same price as the 3 day park hoppers with a plus or the same price as three one day admissions. I would definitely do the math if I were you. Unless there were some reason you were not going to the parks on those last two days that I don't know about. ..........Anyhow, sorry to ramble. I would definitely do some math about the ticket...................P

Misty89
06-23-2004, 08:56 AM
thank you for your reply.....i realize it is a bit adventureous for us to check in and out 3 times, but- the way we have figure it our.we would have to drive from CR to get to epcot anyways, so why not stay closer to it and save a bit of money while were at it ( reason for staying at cbr)
the CR is our MK/mvmcp stop....close to that park and the dinner and breakfast we have planned. the offsite hotel is close to DTD that is why we are staying there.....seemed also foolish to stay at the CR to drive over and spend most our time not around that resort.
days 4 and 5 are free days....we like to relax while on vacation so we have set aside 2 days to do what ever we want..if the kids decide on the way to hotel ( like last year) they would also like to check out the old town we have time to do that and not feel gulity about leaving WDW property to go offsite ( meaning, paying the high ticket price and leaving )
we are not doing AK. dh and i agree, we can go to the zoo here( no flames please, we have a great zoo 1 hour away) if we want to see animals.
the ticket thing, is just as mentioned above DH and i have discusseed many times....we will pay at gate because if we want to not go to park" free day", we dont have to ( IE- having pre bought hoppers) i know they dont expire, but we are not going to WDW again for a long time.

country inn and suites does not seem to bad for price...59$ per night- $133.00 total for 2 nights.and they do have a breakfast-
thanks for your tips.

PartyofSix
06-23-2004, 09:23 AM
Have you considered priceline for your offsite hotel stay? We won the best western in DTD about 2 years ago for 25 a night. It was a great room SUPER large room and it was clean the staff was friendly and i'd stay there in a minute. It's so close to everything you want to do offisite. Just a thought.

hercamore
06-23-2004, 09:55 AM
Hi

Coming from the midwest, your airfare is going to be one of the most expensive parts of your trip.

The best price for airfare tickets are at least a 7 day turnaround. If you stay a week, you probably will get a better price on airfare.

I agree that switching hotels 3 x in 5 days is going to be time consuming with checking in and out, repacking, etc.

Remember, you are traveling at a time when all the wonderful holiday decorations will be up at the parks and the resorts.

AAA has a plain (no plus) park hopper for not much more than the 3 day plus.

herc.

hercamore
06-23-2004, 09:59 AM
I meant to say AAA plain no plus 4 day hopper fo not much more .

herc.

mad4themouse
06-23-2004, 10:14 AM
Yes, I'm still around for a few weeks. We leave in 15 days! It's just been a bad week and I haven't had the time to post much, although I have been lurking.

Your budget looks fairly good to me, especially since you will be making a grocery stop before checking in. Between the room credits and the additional $300, your food budget will be fine.

Make sure that the rental car includes all the taxes and fees. Decline the additional insurance if your own policy covers you. Those insurance costs can be budget busters. And make sure that you return the car with a full tank of gas. They will soak you on the cost of refilling the tank themselves.

Airfare may not come down anytime soon, given the high cost of fuel right now. Keep an eye on the prices and jump on any good fares if they become available. Check all the available carriers' websites for specials and consider flying out of an alternate airport or into Sanford or Tampa/St. Pete if the prices are right.

The choice of tickets is a personal thing. You will spend more by purchasing at the gate each and every morning than you would by purchasing the 3 day/3 park passes on your first day ($58.31 per adult pass per day vs. $164.28 for 3 days per adult). The Alamo passes 3-day PHPs cost $178.93 adult, $143.79 child, making them the most expensive of ticket options available to you. If you are unsure as to whether you will spend 2 or 3 days in the parks, I would recommend buying the 2-day/2-park passes on the morning of your first visit. You can always buy a 1-day/1-park pass on the 3rd day if you are so inclined. This would save you about $5 per ticket over the cost of individual 1-day/1-park passes.

I have to agree with your decision to skip the AK, but not because you have a very nice zoo at home. The AK is not a zoo. It is so much more than any zoo I've ever visited. However, with only 3 park days and the inability to hop between parks, this would also be the one park I would be disinclined to visit. To each his own.

With 2 days in DTD, you may end up spending more on souvenirs than you anticipate. DTD is mainly restaurants and shops. There is very little there to keep you occupied for 2 days without spending money. You may want to consider just spending a day relaxing by the pool at your hotel and saving DTD for the last day before you depart.

Lastly, make sure that you factor in some of those "hidden" costs like tips for housekeeping, skycaps and bellhops. Add in the 11.5% to 12.5% tax on the hotel room that you will be getting. Check to make sure that they will not be tacking on a "resort fee" when you check in. If you will be using a cell phone while there, make sure that you will not be charged roaming charges for using it in WDW. Do a search for other budgets on this board to see what other DISers didn't anticipate when developing their budgets.

Good luck with your planning. You still have a lot of time to work out the kinks.

pjlla
06-23-2004, 10:20 AM
Originally posted by Misty89
country inn and suites does not seem to bad for price...59$ per night- $133.00 total for 2 nights.and they do have a breakfast-
thanks for your tips.

Sorry, didn't realize you had included tax in the prices.......P

Sumac
06-23-2004, 02:52 PM
It seems like the first part of your trip is packed full of stuff - parks, different hotels, etc... and the last couple of days are very open and undecided.

If it were my trip, here's what I would do...

Day 1 - Check into CBR and enjoy the resort for the afternoon, then hit somewhere like Chef Mickey's or Ohana's for dinner. Get yourself rested and ready for the next couple of days.

Day 2 - Spend the day at Epcot. (whether you switch to another resort is purely your preference, but 3 hotels in 3 days would be too much for me and my family).

Day 3 - Spend the day at MGM.

Day 4 - Relax and recover during the day - go to DTD or a character breakfast. Hit MVMCP in the evening - you can get into the MK after 4 pm with just a ticket to the party. You would have most of a day 4 pm - midnight at the MK and it probably won't be terribly crowded.

Day 5 - Sleep late after a late night at the MK. Maybe enjoy a character breakfast or DTD. The Boardwalk area is also very nice.

Good luck with your planning and have fun.

CheapMom
06-23-2004, 03:08 PM
Day 4 - Relax and recover during the day - go to DTD or a character breakfast. Hit MVMCP in the evening - you can get into the MK after 4 pm with just a ticket to the party. You would have most of a day 4 pm - midnight at the MK and it probably won't be terribly crowded.

Good tip-We did this a few years ago- it was a great way to get a 'park day' in without using a day on our hoppers. I would seriously reconsider all that checking in and out. (although mvmcp was terribly crowded)

We just did 2 hotels in 6 days and it was a hassle. We did it because we had 2 free nights at the Disney Hilton. Having to spend half of a day packing, checking out, transporting, checking in, and unpacking was not worth it. Rethink the 3 hotels thing. I would advise against it.
Remember- all that extra checking in/out may mean more bellhop tips. Unless you won't use bellmen.

maggiew
06-23-2004, 04:33 PM
Originally posted by Sumac
It seems like the first part of your trip is packed full of stuff - parks, different hotels, etc... and the last couple of days are very open and undecided.

If it were my trip, here's what I would do...

Day 1 - Check into CBR and enjoy the resort for the afternoon, then hit somewhere like Chef Mickey's or Ohana's for dinner. Get yourself rested and ready for the next couple of days.

Day 2 - Spend the day at Epcot. (whether you switch to another resort is purely your preference, but 3 hotels in 3 days would be too much for me and my family).

Day 3 - Spend the day at MGM.

Day 4 - Relax and recover during the day - go to DTD or a character breakfast. Hit MVMCP in the evening - you can get into the MK after 4 pm with just a ticket to the party. You would have most of a day 4 pm - midnight at the MK and it probably won't be terribly crowded.

Day 5 - Sleep late after a late night at the MK. Maybe enjoy a character breakfast or DTD. The Boardwalk area is also very nice.

Good luck with your planning and have fun.

I really like this plan. You are still doing all the same things, but are spending your time more wisely. You may be too tired to completely enjoy MVMCP if you have just spent all day at MK. By going in the evening on your "free" day, you will be able to make it all the way until midnight!! (at least, you have a better chance). PLus, 2 days at DTD is a lot. As mentioned before, all there really is to do is shop and eat, which cost money. Maybe try out the boardwalk one evening. There is lots of boardwalk entertainment there. You may also want to spend some time at Fort Wilderness on your free day. You can enjoy the free petting zoo and go to the campfire and movie. YOu can also eat at Trails End Buffet which is a really inexpensive (Disney wise) buffet.

Also, going to EPCOT on your check in day is really wasting some precious hours. I would do as stated above and plan your "free" day for your check in day. That way you could spend a FULL day at EPCOT. We love EPCOT so much that we usually go there almost every day of our trip, even if just for the evening. (Kids love it too. They love learning about the different countries and eating the different food. Plus filling in the country masks, passports, etc.)

As far as AK goes, it is not a zoo. It is nothing like the zoos I have ever been too. There is so much culture plus rides (Dinosaur, Triceratop Spin, Safari, Its tough to be a bug, etc.) While it may be our least favorite park, I would still maybe visit it if I were you. At least, I wouldn't exclude it because you can visit a zoo at home.

Tickets:
Buying 3 one day one park tickets will cost you $58.31 adults ($46.59 child). Thats 3 x 3 x 58.31 + 46.59 * 3 = $664.56

If you buy all 3 days at one time, you save a little, it would be 3*164.28 + 129.13 = $621.97

Buying a 4 day park hopper from disney in ADVANCE would be $215.13 * 3 + 172.53 = $817.92. But days never expire.

I am not sure how much the 3 day Alamo tickets are, but the good thing about them is that you can hop from park to park. Also, the plus feature never expires, so you can use it on your next trip.

Maggie


Maggie

renessa
06-23-2004, 09:39 PM
I think you're crazy!!!

Have a great vacation!!!:teeth: :teeth:

CheapMom
06-23-2004, 10:06 PM
When we arrived in Orlando in the afternoon on our trip we went to Chef Mickey's for dinner. IMO the dinner is a better value than the breakfast and you could get checked in relax, swim, shower... then go to dinner and still do something "Disney".
It was a great way to start our trip.
You are going to have a blast whatever you decide.
Here is an album of my photos- you will see our Chef Mickey pics on the first 2 pages of the album.
http://dmaher1.photosite.com/surprise/

DisneyMomOK
06-23-2004, 10:12 PM
111111111

Tiggerlover91
06-24-2004, 01:15 AM
Originally posted by Misty89

we are not doing AK. dh and i agree, we can go to the zoo here( no flames please, we have a great zoo 1 hour away) if we want to see animals.

Please let me explain something to you as one who works in a zoo.
Our zoo here in Gulf Breeze is fabulous!! Many visit from all over the country and have said that our zoo in comparison to larger zoos is so much more friendly, up close and personal. :tongue: :teeth:
We have a super train ride that takes you out on a 30 acre preserve where all the animals roam around free. We also have camel rides on our dromedary camel named Hank....who doesn't spit...and is wonderful in spirit! ::yes::
So would I not go to the AK because I work at a zoo which I love and see behind the scenes everyday...absolutely not! There are things I can do in the AK that I cannot do at my zoo that I love. Although our train ride is fabulous...the Kilamanjaro Safari is better. Our zoo also doesn't have something called the FESTIVAL OF THE LION KING or POCAHONTAS AND FRIENDS. I can see that nowhere but at the AK in Disney. I can get up close and personal with any of the animals in our zoo anytime I wish...I cannot do that at the AK so that leaves so much more for me to wonder and explore. Now that I work in a zoo, I understand what goes on to maintain animals of the sort. It's amazing....truly amazing! :D
My zoo also does not have a wonderful icon called the TREE OF LIFE with over 200 animals carved into it. I can never get tired of looking at it or taking pictures of it..NEVER! :p
So please don't not go to the AK because you have a wonderful zoo at home. I'm glad that you do, but they ARE NOT the same thing. The AK is not just about "seeing the animals", there's so much culture in that park it just blows me away everytime I enter. I also can't wait til we get back in 2006, because by that time EXPEDITION EVEREST (http://allearsnet.com/tp/ak/ak_ee.htm) will be open and that sounds to be a FABULOUS ride!
There were no flames here, just some insight and I hope I've helped shed a new light.

Blessings to you,

Denise :wave: :sunny:

Misty89
06-24-2004, 08:13 AM
I think you're crazy!!!





ok- i see alot of people took it the wrong way.....we are just not
going to AK. thats that LOL :sunny: did not mean to stir people up, we are as a family just going to skip that aprk. i realize it is not only a place to see animals- but we are still not going to it :earsgirl:
mabye i am crazy.... i have taken what everyone here has said to heart and will will think about changing a free day since all the posters think i dont have a good paln set up.i still have 6 mths to plan this post was to see how you all thought that sounded.

no more flames please.......i promise next pre- trip plan i post for critique would make everyone think we are not crazy
:teeth::hyper:

maggiew
06-24-2004, 08:26 AM
Misty89,
Please, don't take people's comments the wrong way. I believe most people were just giving suggetions to help you make the most of your trip. Truthfully, I did not see any flames in the thread. I think the person who said you were "crazy" really meant that you were "ambitious".

I think you should look at what people have suggested, they are really good suggestions, and not focus on how people are criticizing your plans. Everyone here just has the best intentions and wants to help you have a great trip!

Maggie

renessa
06-24-2004, 08:47 AM
Wow thanks maggiew!!! I never thought my post would come across as a flame?!?

Yes- crazy as in ambitious...you have lots planned in a quick trip...but I completely understand. I'm sorrry that I didn't elaborate, but I was trying to DIS and do dinner at the same time. Please don't take what I said (or anyone else on this board says to heart!) Also remember that you did ask for a "critique", and you may not like all the suggestions you get (AK lovers???!!)- but you did ask.

I live in Indiana, and only get to disney every 3+ years. We are crazy to be going to FL in July during the week of the 4th with a group of 7 teens and adults...mom, siblings, dh, myself, and mom's BF (which I have never traveled with before and can't handle all 4 of us sibs together!!!!). I may be a "commando" as everyone here calls it. Yes we will have afternoon breaks and such (due to the heat mostly) , but I'll rest when I get back to Indiana!!!!:teeth:

Have a great trip!!!

Hope there's no hard feelings!!!:wave:

Misty89
06-24-2004, 08:56 AM
HI-

i am not taking anything in bad way......it is sinking in what you all have said...:wave: i am happy to have this borad to help keep my wild dreams under control :)

i did ask for a citique and i am glad i did.....cause you all have helped out alot. i hope i did not come across as angry or anything i am not.... :)

the reason i said no more flames is i did not mean to offend anyone about AK. and it seemed like i did i am sorry.

no hard feelings at all! :)



Tina:wave: :wave:

Tiggerlover91
06-24-2004, 11:31 AM
Originally posted by Misty89

the reason i said no more flames is i did not mean to offend anyone about AK. and it seemed like i did i am sorry.

no hard feelings at all! :)



Tina:wave: :wave:

Hey,
No offense was taken here at all. Everyone has their opinion and that's all there is to it. If you're not going to the AK fine, but you never know what may hit you while you're there. ;)

PattiPB
06-24-2004, 01:49 PM
Sounds like a great vacation, and we are overlapping just a bit!!!!

We have done the "check-in-out" dance ourselves. Pack light and you'll be fine! Consider the pre-made outfits in Ziplocs people have suggested for kids. The suitcases won't get quite so ransacked.

My comment is re: MVMCP. As someone else suggested, consider having an off-park day on your MVMCP day. We are having a quiet day, and will arrive at MK by 4 pm to start the MVMCP as early as possible. We WILL stay until closing. The next morning will also be an "off" time for us. Water park if it's warm enough, or just a late arrival to a park. We've been to WDW/DL many times, so that MVMCP night will be a "best of" ride night and we will concentrate mostly on holiday activities.

Food budget seems a touch high from my perspective, but that is the first item to get slashed when I'm running short of cash. With all your breakfasts "free" (CI&S and BYO at Resorts), and two dinners pre-paid, perhaps that amount could be cut down if necessary.

I also agreed with the comment about having two "down" days at the end of the week being a "let-down". Consider splitting the down days so the last day is a awesome culmination for the vacation!

Hope I added some constructive suggestions for you! See you there! (That sounds soooo good!!!)

TonyS20
06-24-2004, 10:34 PM
My only concern is that you are checking into CR and will not really have an opportunity to enjoy that resort. I understand selecting it so you can be close for MVMCP; but, I think it would be more beneficial if you could spend the day enjoying the deluxe resort. My $0.02. :earsgirl:

disneymom2one
06-29-2004, 11:51 AM
I would make some changes. As a lot of people said, I would definitely cut down on the number of resorts. Also, we tend to do any offsite stay BEFORE the onsite stay because otherwise it's a tremendous let-down. If you don't stay at the Contemp you could probably swing an extra night or two at a moderate too. If you need the free breakfast we would often do breakfast in the room before we even had DVC. Poptarts, bagels (with cream cheese in a cooler)doughnuts, fresh fruit. Treats we don't normally have at home. It worked well and saved $$$. And we rarely spend more than an hour or two in Downtown Disney with our young daughter.