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Old 10-23-2009, 03:07 PM   #31
CherylA
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Originally Posted by mickeymaker2003 View Post
The "give a day" promotion is great, if you aren't booking a package. The birthday passes were upgradable, so hopefully these will be as well. If they are, you could upgrade those tickets to longer tickets and get credit for the price of a one day ticket towards your new, longer ticket. If you are staying on site and booked a package, you won't be able to do that as you can't combine two tickets (your free one and the one-day base you had to buy for free dining) into one.

Even if the tickets are not upgradable or they want the free dining package, they could still use it to get a day 11 for the older ones and have it be a pool day for the little ones and a parent if they are doing the free dining package.

You're right. I forgot about being able to apply the value of the ticket toward a longer day ticket. Well in the spirit of akamadforthemouse's challenge here is my breakdown of how I would do this trip as cheaply as possible...

14 nights in August (which ends up actually being one of the more expensive times to rent) at an offsite pool home that is large enough to accomodate 16

$3920

9 10 day adult park tickets at the gate+tax price of 258.80 minus the 84.14 credit for each of 9 give a day get a day tickets you get = 1571.94

2 10 day adult park tickets purchased though an online discount ticket retailer= 497.90

3 day day child park tickets purchased though an online discount ticket retailer= 650.85

Groceries for 14 days of breakfasts at your offsite home and some snacks $400

14 counter service lunches in the parks or offsite $1400

7 counter service dinners at parks or offsite $840

7 sit down off site dinners= $1400

individual purchased snacks at Disney parks or other locations (this isn't a snack for everyone every day but rather either shared snacks every day or everyone gets their own snack every other day) $450

parking for 10 park days at $14/day= $140

Grand total comes to 11,271.00 plus transportation there and back and gas for your vehicle while you are there. Thats it, thats the cheapest I could do it!
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Old 10-23-2009, 08:31 PM   #32
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Grand total comes to 11,271.00 plus transportation there and back and gas for your vehicle while you are there. Thats it, thats the cheapest I could do it!
Holy cow, and I thought it was expensive for my family of 5 because we can't stay in a standard room.

Good Luck OP I hope you can make this trip work out for your family.
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Old 10-23-2009, 08:53 PM   #33
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Smile money savers

If you go 2 weeks, one of you may want to purchase an annual pass which would give you free parking, and a 10% discount on many stores.

Stay off property at an off peak time at a home for 600 to 800 for the whole week, and the second week may be discounted.

Driving will save huge on airline as well as not having to rent a car when you get there. Hotwire.com will save if you rent complete weeks at a time.

Walmart and Super Target have reasonable food prices, unlike some of the local stores

Eating at home, and packing lunches will save money as well. I recommend Septmeber or October because the park lines will be at a minimum.

make you sure you stop and enjoy the kids along the way
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:13 AM   #34
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I just have to say, I would have a blast planning this trip!

If it were me, I would do my best to stay onsite at a value during free dining and take the qsdp and 10 day base tickets. I would choose Music because they have so much going on at the pool during the aft/evening, it would provide great fun for everyone on the non park days and the older kids would have the freedom to go where they like using Disney transportation. I think this provides the biggest cost savings and schedule flexibility with least amount of sacrifice. I would give up the private pool and the extra space for the food savings alone.

Take away the free dining portion, and the scale tips over to offsite for sure mainly because offsite eating is cheaper. The flexibility for the older kids get chopped however I do think, with some inconvenience to the parents, this is still an option. The older kids can stay longer at night or in the afternoon while the parents return to the house or one parent drops other parent and younger kids at the house and then returns.

Whatever lodging I choose, it would NOT involve much cooking. I would give up other things before I gave up the convenience and expense of eating out or ordering in. It just wouldn't be vacation without this. I would however keep lots of snacks and quick make yourself stuff on hand (like bagels, cereal, granola bars, fruit, etc).
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:54 AM   #35
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Maybe figure in the cost of renting another car if you stay offsite. Then the older kids could come and go from the parks if they need to.

Looks like Value season starts on August 15. With tax, that is $92(weekday) and $104(weekends) per night per room. If you got a AAA discount card, you could get the rooms for $79(w/tax) weekdays and $88 weekends per night per room. So for 4 rooms for 14 days, it would be 790 x 4 rooms(weekdays) + 352 x 4 rooms (weekends)= $3160 + $1408= $4568 for rooms.

Then you have the matter of tickets, which a PP posted as around $2720.

Then you have food. I would bring things like Poptarts, nutrigrain bars, muffins, cereal, milk(bring a cooler) for breakfast in the room. You can toast and microwave things at the value food courts.

For lunch, I would plan to bring in sandwiches and fruit for lunch. Stack all the sandwiches in a soft side cooler, along with a bag of chips. If you don't want to do that every day, get kids meals for anyone who isn't a really hearty eater. They are $5 at the CS restaurants and include a side and a drink. Do not buy drinks; ask for free ice water. Bring in flavor packets for those who don't like the water. If you eat lunch AT the parks for 4 days, that would be about $400. Definitely bring in snacks like fruit snacks, granola bars, cookies, etc.

For dinner, I would plan on going out to eat offsite. Leave the park around 5 and then come back after dinner for more fun. There are lots of inexpensive places around Orlando, like Cicis All you can eat pizza for $5/person. You may even be able to find some great coupons on Restaurant.com to get a really good deal. I would budget $100 night for a total of $1400 for dinners.

So, not including souvenirs and gas, I am up to $9088. I guess considering you are taking 15 people, that isn't too bad.

Oh, are your older children contributing at all? Maybe they could do something. Are you even sure they will enjoy DIsney for 14 days? You may want to spring for the $99 7 day unlimited for them for Universal/IOA.

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Old 10-24-2009, 08:55 AM   #36
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I agree with the other posters who recommend staying at a value during free dining as the best option.

We purchased the quick service dining plan last year and we loved it. We like having the flexibility to eat where ever we liked, and we also liked not having to pay a tip.

Also the logistics of making table service ADRs for such a big group during free dining and making sure everyone is there for the meal (with the ages of some of your kids, I see them wanting to do their own thing), would be overwhelming.

Having access to Disney transportation would be a great advantage.

You wouldn't be able to take advantage of the "Give a day promotion," but 14 days of food would be a much bigger savings than having one park day free.
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:15 AM   #37
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Okay, offsite, here is a 6 bedroom house for $1199/wk--we'll add in the 12.5%tax, as I'm sure that's not inluded, so $1350/wk for a total of $2700 for lodging. This is during summer season http://www.vrbo.com/72346

Tickets stay at $2720

Okay, food. I would stay simple for breakfast, so cereal, donuts, poptarts, etc, which would be from your regular budget. Since you are staying offsite, I would spring for counter service for everyone for lunch. At $8 each, you could get any of the CS combos for 10 of you at $80 and get the youngest 5 kids meals for $25, so $105 each day for lunch. If you went to the parks every day, that would be $1470. I would still get ice water--it's better for you and saves you lots of money.

Now, I would go back to the house for dinner and a rest from around 4-6, but that is just me. I would not want to "cook", but you could do easy meals and let mom, dad and older kids take turns preparing and cleaning up. You can get things like rotisserie chicken and prepared sides from Walmart one night, pizzas from the store one night, spaghetti one or two nights, sloppy joes, hamburgers and hotdogs, tacos, etc. etc. I bet you are good at inexpensive means for a large family, and I would think $30/day for dinner at the house would be pretty easy to do. So that would be $420 for 14 dinners.

Oh, I forgot parking. I guess it is $14/day now, so that is $196 for parking.

Total offsite would be around $7500.

With that many people, I would do offsite. That way you can get out from under each other. The older kids can stay up later without waking the younger kids. There is a pool and a gameroom in this one, which is nice for the evenings or even an off day.

Good luck! It sounds like you have your own tour group!

Marsha
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:18 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tink fan View Post
I agree with the other posters who recommend staying at a value during free dining as the best option.

We purchased the quick service dining plan last year and we loved it. We like having the flexibility to eat where ever we liked, and we also liked not having to pay a tip.

Also the logistics of making table service ADRs for such a big group during free dining and making sure everyone is there for the meal (with the ages of some of your kids, I see them wanting to do their own thing), would be overwhelming.

Having access to Disney transportation would be a great advantage.

You wouldn't be able to take advantage of the "Give a day promotion," but 14 days of food would be a much bigger savings than having one park day free.
Since most of the OPs kids are in school(with several in high school), the timing of traditional free dining would probably not work. It usually starts right when school starts, at least where we live.

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June 16-25 2010--Universal AND Disney for 10 days (Emerald Island)
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:38 PM   #39
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Since most of the OPs kids are in school(with several in high school), the timing of traditional free dining would probably not work. It usually starts right when school starts, at least where we live.

Marsha
That's true for us as well. It would be pretty tough, if not impossible, to pull eight kiddos out of school for that long, unfortunately and we normally start back right around the time free dining starts.


My older ones might like the 99 Universal tix. I'll definitely check into it. We would probably have to take two cars as 15 passenger vans are for just that - passengers. They have very little packing room, so we would still have some flexibility for the older set if we do end up off site. I would love to full into a way to stay on site, but that might have to wait a few years till we are taking fewer of them.

To the poster that asked if the older ones would contribute, I was actually thinking of asking if we paid for the housing and food if they would pay for their own tickets. Feel sorta bad since it is a gift, but I would think that they would still think they had gotten a pretty great gift.

Oh, well, enough dreaming for today. Back to work.
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Old 10-24-2009, 02:32 PM   #40
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So, OP, how much is your budget? What were you thinking of spending?
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Old 10-24-2009, 02:48 PM   #41
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Fourteen days is a very long time to stay with all ages. The laundry alone if staying onsite could be expensive. Have you considered just staying for one week and not worrying about seeing everything. The free dining promotion in August is cheaper than the one offered in December and the value resorts in August 2010 are the ddp not qsdp. The December offer was qsdp. I would also break my reservations for dinners up so that accomodates everyone. Allow a few meals where everyone is present. Even ten days would amount to less of everything to consider. It is cheaper to usually book multiple rooms at a value rather than the suites the cabins at fort wilderness may be worth looking into as well.
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Old 10-24-2009, 03:03 PM   #42
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The free dining promotion in August is cheaper than the one offered in December and the value resorts in August 2010 are the ddp not qsdp. The December offer was qsdp.
FWIW, free dining has not even been offered for August of 2010 yet. We have no idea if it even will be offered and we certainly don't know if they will go back to the DDP instead of the QSDP. I would assume that it will stay the QSDP instead of the DDP since they have already changed over to it in December.
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Old 10-24-2009, 03:44 PM   #43
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FWIW, free dining has not even been offered for August of 2010 yet. We have no idea if it even will be offered and we certainly don't know if they will go back to the DDP instead of the QSDP. I would assume that it will stay the QSDP instead of the DDP since they have already changed over to it in December.
True. There are no guarantees that Disney will offer free dining to the general public next summer. But they have offered bounce back free dining to guests who were staying in WDW resorts during this last free dining promotion. This is a good sign that they may offer it again next summer for comparable dates. Well, we can always hope, right?

And the bounce back offer included the DDP, not the QSDP, for value resorts.

However, this is a moot point for the OP since she cannot travel to WDW at that time.
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Old 10-24-2009, 04:30 PM   #44
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So, OP, how much is your budget? What were you thinking of spending?
Welllllllll, not over $11,000, that's for sure. But seriously, I was thinking if we could do it in the $7000 range, it would be a little easier for my DH to swallow. One thing that I've been doing that I forgot to mention is saving my cashback from discover to get restaurant giftcards for some evening meals and then thinking of doing crockpot meals (if we stay off site). This would really help with the food costs, I'm thinking. My main expense from the looks of it is still going to be tickets, so I'm starting to think even more seriously about asking the bigger ones to chip in some for them. One thing that I hadn't thought about was the fact we could use our grocery budget for two weeks down there as part of the trip budget!
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Old 10-24-2009, 04:58 PM   #45
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Welllllllll, not over $11,000, that's for sure. But seriously, I was thinking if we could do it in the $7000 range, it would be a little easier for my DH to swallow. One thing that I've been doing that I forgot to mention is saving my cashback from discover to get restaurant giftcards for some evening meals and then thinking of doing crockpot meals (if we stay off site). This would really help with the food costs, I'm thinking. My main expense from the looks of it is still going to be tickets, so I'm starting to think even more seriously about asking the bigger ones to chip in some for them. One thing that I hadn't thought about was the fact we could use our grocery budget for two weeks down there as part of the trip budget!
Seriously, your six oldest would probably be fine with 1-2 days at Disney and then the rest at Universal. Actually, they would probably be happier that way. My DS15 and I skipped Disney for Universal last year and he didn't even want to leave to use our left over pluses for Disney Quest! Disney is fun, but for most teens, there are not enough thrill rides to make it worth the cost of the ticket, IMHO. MK has Space Mountain and Splash Mountain, Epcot has Test Track and Mission Space, DHS has RRC and TOT, and AK has Expedition Everest and Kalu River Rapids. Universal has parks full of thrill rides.

Marsha
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June 16-25 2010--Universal AND Disney for 10 days (Emerald Island)
August 10-20 2011--Universal and Disney(Indian Creek)
July 6-14 2012--Universal and Disney--doing YES again!
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