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View Full Version : Trying to budget it together...


veedubtek
03-27-2005, 07:44 PM
Well, my wife and I have been researching for weeks now..allearsnet, mousesavers, dis, unofficial guide, etc...To say the least, we are just completely overwhelmed trying to plan our first real vacation and trip to disneyworld.

We were going to go in June...finally decided that was a bad idea. As much as I hate to pull the kids from school (8 and 9 year old), I think we've decided on May 15th - 22nd.

Ok. Now trying to budget it all together. Total package from disney was about $2800 including airfare and meals. Bleh...After hours of frustration and aggravation, the best deal I can piece together currently (keeping in mind we don't need the no-expiration option, we don't think we need park hopper) is getting the tickets and hotel off WDW ($1526.72, all-star movies resort), and the flights from expedia for $652. Transportation from the airport to hotel is free we understand at that time (After May 5th to on-site hotels), and it doesn't appear it's much of an issue inside the park.

Meals, we're pretty easy to please. Probably do a character meal or 2, but we eat unhealthy garbage for the most part. We are budgeting roughly $700 for meals and souvenirs and incidentals, keeping the total package under $3000.

Being resident disney experts, how does this sound like it may please first time disney-goers? Any other cost-cutting methods? I see lots of mention of disney being the most expensive to buy from, but I can find it no cheaper elsewhere (including the ticket links off mousesavers newsletter). We're trying to pack the most bang for our buck, and thus far planning the vacation is worse than going to work.

Any tips and pointers would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance,

Walt, Karie, and kids...

mscoryb
03-27-2005, 09:27 PM
We (Myself, DH, DD12, DD7) did our first Dinsy trip last July... and our budget was comparible to yours. I think you did fine. We stayed at POP and ate all meals except one at the food court... even did breakfast in our room a couple of times (granola bars, cereal, fruit, ect.). We splurged on the Fantasmic dinner package at Mama Melrose's (unplanned) and still stayed within our $100 a day budget. I used the envelope method -allowing a set amount per day and moving any unspent $ into the next day's budget or to souvies envelope. Relax, and try to enjoy the anticipation. I assure you it will all be worth the headache once you've experienced THE MAGIC!! Good Luck! :wizard:

veedubtek
03-27-2005, 09:34 PM
Awesome...that's what I like to hear....

Upon slightly further investigation, it seems we've saved even more now. Going through Orbitz for airfare, and changing the dates from a wednesday-tuesday stint (knocking down missed school to 4 days), got the airfare to $496. 4 day MYW tickets and 6 nights at All-Star Movies resort @ $1383 from WDW site.

Any advantage to one of the All-Star resorts over the Pop Culture? I read somewhere about walking distance to several restaurants from the All-Star's...haven't read alot about the Pop Culture one yet.

BTW, I've seen it alot now...what do the acro's stand for? (DD/DH/DS/etc...)

sunie
03-27-2005, 09:43 PM
I'm not sure where you are flting from, but I think you could get your airfare for less than that, maybe through Southwest's "ding" feature or bidding through priceline princess: . That is if the $600ish amount you listed was per person. If it was total it sounds great! You could stay somewhere nice onsite and buy DVC (Disney Vacation Points) from someone for around $10 per point. As an example, a studio at the Beach Club Villas runs 13 points per night Sun. through Thur.(?) for a studio. The mousesavers link is the best price I have found for tickets, but you might want to consider a park hopper. The reason I say this is because there may be a park that you ebjoy more than another and want to go back if you get through one of the others early, or decide you just need more time at one of the others. If the price difference is alot, you could consider adding an extra day onto the number of days you will be there, to allow yourself to go to two parks in one day. You also should call and check the AAA rates if you are a member, and if not and the savings are substantial consider joining. I was quoted $937 at port orleans for 5 nights including tickets. There is also a thread called free stuff in the parks with a list of free things. I believe it is on one of the last pages. Hope this helps.

HaleyB
03-27-2005, 09:50 PM
The DD/DH/DS stands for DearDaughter/Husband/Son. Sometimes it stands for Darn instead of Dear...

I like the Pop better than the other budget resorts. We stayed there last year and I found the bus service to be great. I don't know exactly what I liked better.

We were able to stay within our budget of $100 a day for all incidentals and food. We ate a lot of ice cream, yum. One thing I would advise is to reconsider park hopping. I am not sure how much it adds to the tickets (I haven't gone yet this year) but we utilized park hopping almost every day last year. Weather, crowds, whim, all are factors.

Haley

veedubtek
03-27-2005, 09:52 PM
Thanks! I'll definitely be giving AAA a call tomorrow just to find out. That airfare is for all 4! Took some homework, but I'm extremely pleased with the rate. Going through mousesavers, I found the tickets for $698. If I go through Orbitz for airfare and hotel, I can cut another $400 off the total, but it's off-site. Is that worth considering? Seems transportation would be a pain that I don't want to have to deal with on vacation, but maybe it isn't as bad as it seems. I think we're all kinda leaning towards on site resort anyway, but I figure it's an option worth considering.

Thanks again!

HaleyB
03-27-2005, 09:59 PM
The cost per day for for your park tickets is much less when you go up to 5 days, you are only paying about $8 per person for the 5th day! With only 4 days in the parks you will have some really hard choices to make.

HaleyB
03-27-2005, 10:04 PM
Thanks! I'll definitely be giving AAA a call tomorrow just to find out. That airfare is for all 4! Took some homework, but I'm extremely pleased with the rate. Going through mousesavers, I found the tickets for $698. If I go through Orbitz for airfare and hotel, I can cut another $400 off the total, but it's off-site. Is that worth considering? Seems transportation would be a pain that I don't want to have to deal with on vacation, but maybe it isn't as bad as it seems. I think we're all kinda leaning towards on site resort anyway, but I figure it's an option worth considering.

Thanks again!

STOP!
Don't think about it for one second. You need to stay on site, really. It is worth every penny, and you would NEED a car if off site so it is not really $400 savings (plus pay for parking each day). Stay on site, stay on site, stay on site.

On our last day we drove to a park (we had a car because we drive to WDW) and we knew for sure that it is much better to not have to deal with a car. You get lost, It takes 2 hours to go 6 miles, you walk a mile extra, you get stuck in traffic jams, you miss turns and then get really lost, you pay to park, and so on....

kandeebunny
03-27-2005, 10:23 PM
Easiest way to save is bring snacks with you for the parks (think granola bars/pb crackers/cookie packages in individual sizes) also eat breakfast in your room. I bring a box of cereal with me and get milk from the store in the hotel NOT the food court and it saves a ton on that.

Try southwest.com
jetblue.com
flysong.com

they have pretty reasonable airfare.

Stay onsite...it's not worth the $400 savings to be offsite, it will kill a lot of time waiting for hotel shuttles.

zdesiree
03-27-2005, 10:42 PM
Did you try travelocity? My experience are better deals than Expedia or Orbitz, also try directly with the airlines websites. I found the flight tickets cheaper in Spirit's website, than in Travelocity, Expedia or Orbitz.

Good Luck!

veedubtek
03-27-2005, 10:48 PM
Yeah, I tried expedia, travelocity, and orbitz. Orbitz was almost $100 cheaper out of Pittsburgh. Haven't tried individual airline websites yet, but will definitely check into it tomorrow.

My wife dismissed the off-site idea immediately, and sounds like she was right on track. I definitely don't want to hassle with a car while we're there.

Thanks again for all the help! Going to continue shopping the next couple days and make the final reservations this week. Already looking ALOT better than my original estimate! Things keep going like this, maybe we'll go twice this year!

EthansMom
03-28-2005, 09:32 AM
Just a suggestion...since you 're on the East Coast, have you thought about driving to WDW? We did the drive from MD a few years ago in 13 hours. We're planning on driving down from CT this spring (will stop overnight at a hotel halfway down and back).

veedubtek
03-28-2005, 05:43 PM
Yeah, I'd actually prefer to drive, I'm a car/driving nut. But, my wife and kids have never flown anywhere, and they want to give it a go. Uncle Sam flew me around enough in 6 years I couldn't care if I never saw a plane again!

veedubtek
03-28-2005, 08:51 PM
Ok, checked airfare through the companies themselves, and didn't find any better deals for the times we wanted to fly. But, I'm pretty happy with the airfare anyway.

Did a little more digging for ticket prices, and am saving an additional $12 and getting an extra days tickets through ticketmania now :D (5 day tix for the 4 of us, $704)

Got me thinking though, is there a cheaper place to book an on-site resort (all stars) than disneyworld.com? I can't even find the on-site resorts listed on most travel agency sites.

Another quickie, all the remarks about the park-hopper option got me looking into that as well. Curious though, if I buy say a 10 day MYW ticket, go to magic kingdom the first morning, and another park in the afternoon, and just counts as 2 tickets used? I ask as it's cheaper to buy a 10 day MYW ticket than it is a 5 day ticket w/park hopper.

Thanks again for all the advice! You all have been a huge help, the kids are very excited! (I guess we are a bit too ;) )

zdesiree
03-28-2005, 09:02 PM
Did you check Expedia for the Disney Resorts?, because I just did and I found for May Disney's All-Star Movie Resort Lowest avg rate $99.00 :cool1:

jenndisney
03-28-2005, 10:34 PM
Another quickie, all the remarks about the park-hopper option got me looking into that as well. Curious though, if I buy say a 10 day MYW ticket, go to magic kingdom the first morning, and another park in the afternoon, and just counts as 2 tickets used? I ask as it's cheaper to buy a 10 day MYW ticket than it is a 5 day ticket w/park hopper.


No. The 5 day park hoppers get you into as many parks as you want for 5 days. You can not used the 10 day non hoppers for 2 parks on 5 days. Does that make sense? If you are going for 5 days and want to hop, you need the park hoppers. That being said, make sure you will hop. We did not our first trip. We were just trying to figure it all out. But that was us.

Have a fun trip. Also, I would lock in your airline tickets soon. I work at an FBO at our local airport (we sell fuel) and our fuel prices are going up like crazy. I know that the airlines will be passing that on to the customers as soon as the fuel they purchased at the lower price is gone.

Keep reading this board for more money saving ideas. With a family, it is amazing how much you can save by shaving 4 dollars here and there really add up!

veedubtek
03-28-2005, 10:47 PM
Yup! Makes perfect sense, exactly what I was asking. I think we may hold off on the park hopper, but not positive yet. It is our first trip, and only 5 full days there. From my gatherings thus far, it seems even if we bore of a "park of the day" there is plenty of scenery and such to fill the rest of the day. We're still way under-budget, so we may go for it anyway...but any excess funds just go towards the next vacation (trying to squeeze in 2 this year) so that could very well be a good thing.

Thanks for the airline tip. Gonna have to book that flight tomorrow.