View Full Version : Thoughts and opinons needed please!

02-15-2005, 11:46 AM
Hi everyone! :wave2: It's been a really long time since I posted on the DIS at all and I don't think I've ever posted on the budget board before. I am hoping that this is the place to come for tips on how to make this vacation actually happen!
There will be five of us going- me, DH, DD who will be four when we want to go, and DD+DS (twins) who will be about 15 months when we go. We are planning on driving down from CT so we will have our car. Trying to drag two strollers, three kids and all their related stuff on a (potentially overcrowded) Disney bus just seems torturous so we will need our van. We are looking at September 19th to arrive and to depart on the 30th. We would arrive in the evening of the 19th so we wuold probably jsut stay somewhere, even offsite and begin our vacation package in the am on the 20th. We would stay and play through the 29th and start driving home early on the 30th. So actual park days would be 9/20-29.
I called reservations yesterday and here were the figures I was given. Staying at the Pop Century resort, with 7 day park hopper tickets, with the 5 days of "plus" features came to $1688.98. Adding on the meal package brought it to $2488.60. Any thoughts on how to reduce those figures? I need to call AAA and see if they can find a better rate but as it stands at that price it's a little high for us right now, especially considering that that doesn't include our travel costs to/from WDW, or any souvenirs, etc... (which the four year old will, I'm sure, inevitably ask for). I think that the meal plan would be a good value for our family as we tend to do a lot of character meals while we're at WDW, so I doubt we could feed a family of five for less than $80/day (the babies are free at character meals and would share with us for lunches, and breakfasts would be light and in room).
I know the obvious answer is to cut days off, but DH is quite insistent on a long vacation to make the driving there "worthwhile" He says (and I agree to an extent) that driving two days to vacation for four days only to drive two days back is too much. So any opinions, insight, or anything you can see that I'm missing please share. I'd like to make this vacation a reality!!


02-15-2005, 12:12 PM
Well, you are going during value season, and that's a good start :flower: You could try switching to a room only reservation in hopes that a good code comes out. With room only you couldn't get the dining features. But, if you purchased one annual pass you could: get good room discounts, purchase the DDE card for 20% off most food purchases at WDW. I would start by pricing everything out seperately.

Value resort standard room 9 nights at rack rate = x $$
2 Adult, 1 Child MYW Park Hoppers 7 day = x $$
Dining plan = x $$
1 Adult, 1 Child 7day ph and 1 A AP = x $$
Value resort 9 nights (probable discount 25% ??) = x $$
DDE Card = $50
Food Budget = x$$ less 20%
Package cost

Then you are going to have costs whichever way you do it:
park extras (Mickey ice cream, pics, tshirts, etc)

You can cut down on the food costs by bringing some bottled water, snacks and other easy to eat items with you. Easy to do since you are driving. If you want a fridge you will need to request one at a value resort, will cost you $10 more a night - or just bring in a cooler to your room.

Our last trip we did a package where the kids got free tickets. Saved us a bundle on a 7 night trip. I am not sure an undiscounted package will save you any money. Usually room only and splitting up the different items works out to be cheaper than packages. You can always book your package and change it if a good code comes out or a better package deal. (be sure to watch that 45 day window)

You can get a discount with AAA room only.

Let us know if you have more questions or need help pricing out the different items.


02-15-2005, 12:13 PM
I would get rid of the dining plan as it doesn't always save you money. Also, do you think everyone will use those plus features? If not, get rid of them. You might also consider with all 5 of you, you might be more comfortable in one of the home away from home or DVC resorts which can be reasonable if you rent points from a DVC member. Check out the Rent/Trade board.

02-15-2005, 12:22 PM
I think getting a quote from AAA will help get about 15% off that total. I think if you really wanted a butget trip, you could do more without the plan...eat more counter service. For the most part you could get 2 Adult meals and share...you have a car, so getting to a grocery store, or eating off site is possible. Earl of Sandwich, Caseys, and then throw in a Chef Mickey and one other Character meal(perhaps the icecream one). Bring PB/J or trail mix to parks. EAt breakfast in the room, get a pizza for a dinner.

Instead of getting park tickets for every day: do a pool day, a DTD day, go on a DVC tour, do a drive to the beach, and other local areas. So you can purchase a 7day ticket vs a 10 day ticket...Stay out of the parks on the weekend (Sat) so you can have more time when it is less crowded.

The other thing I think you could do is stay off site...(I always hate to recommend this)...but you could get a better hotel rate, you might want to check if AP get free parking (this might be worth it).

But it is all really up to what you are willing to do , and still have a good time. Good luck

02-15-2005, 12:51 PM
I am also from CT (and driving for the first time in June/July). Sometimes it is cheaper to get the room and tickets separately. I went to AAA and got a price for a package and then for two separate. It was actually cheaper for me to get the room (Pop) through WDW reservations with a AAA rate. I am then going to buy my tickets through ticketmania.com. You can get cheaper tickets through ticketmania if you subscribe through mousesavers.com. Last year we used food vouchers and found that it was not worth the money. I don't think the meal plan is worth it. You might be better off not getting the meal plan and bringing a few snacks into the parks for the kids. Also when ds was young we only bought one meal and split it. I believe if you do buy the meal plan you have to buy for everyone in your party. Also to save money on water in the parks, all food counters will give you free ice water. The only drawback is the water does not taste that great but you can always bring flavor packets, like koolaid to add to the water.

02-15-2005, 12:56 PM
AAA prices for tickets were definitely the best price so far. I have been researching for weeks now. ALso I just went on DreamsUnlimited and got awesome rates for the nights front and back to our timeshare. Best price if I wanted to stay on Disney. Keep reading, you'll do well. Good Luck

02-15-2005, 01:07 PM
ALso I just went on DreamsUnlimited and got awesome rates for the nights front and back to our timeshare. Best price if I wanted to stay on Disney.
Would you please share what rates you were quoted and for when?


02-15-2005, 03:25 PM
DU prices won't be any different than calling WDW yourself, not that I'm nocking DU.