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Old 10-10-2012, 07:03 PM   #1
dtnrhi
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Cheap Spring Break Trip

My last thread got deleted...

Anyways, based on the feedback, my senior trip has changed quite considerably!

Before, there were five of us going, but due to prior engagements, it appears there will only be four of us. This isn't that big of a deal, as it only costs us about $5-10 more for gas, since our room situation is already figured out.

We are planning on staying at the Days Inn Anaheim Maingate. It is on Harbor, and according to google maps, a 20 minute walk from the parks. We could also drive since we will get free parking with our AAA tickets, but aren't sure if it is worth the extra stress of driving, riding trams in and out and all that. The Hotel will cost us $45 each for a two double-bed room. It includes a continental breakfast.

We are driving from Phoenix. My grandpa will cover gas one way. To drive back, my three friends are paying. That is $25 a person.

Now comes the part we are unsure about. We are planning on going March 11-14, which is Monday-Thursday during our Spring Break. Our original plan was to get up there and relax the first night, then hit the parks early the next two mornings, spending $200 on 2-day PH. We then discovered that through AAA we could get them for $190 including parking, or 3 Day PH with a MM for $237.

Will it be worth it to get there the first day at 3PM and spend the night in the parks? It is Spring Break, and we are hoping they will extend hours.. but it will come at the expense of our FOOD.

We are aiming to have a $350 trip per person (before incidentals and spending cash) With a 2 Day PH, our trip total allows for $90 for 7 Meals. With a 3 Day PH, we would be looking at $45 for seven meals.....

The general consensus is to skimp on lunches, and eat the continental breakfasts in order to add the extra day AND MM. Basically allow for $12 a person for each dinner, and take the other $45 to buy sandwich materials for four lunches and snacks. We would then make a point to have decent dinners we can share (Mrs. Knott's Fried Chicken, pizza).

Questions:
Would it be worth it TO YOU sacrifice food for an extra day in the parks? My gut tells me YES, it's DISNEY, but I wonder if we will still have that reaction when we live it.

Should we drive to the parks or walk?

What is the Disney Policy on taking food into the parks?

How much are the lockers outside of the parks?

What could we get done with a MM?

Thanks for the help, guys!
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:11 PM   #2
Mommy2PrincessAbby
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I would totally fill a cooler at home and haul a ton of food with you if I were you... you can bring sandwiches, fruit, snacky stuff into the park... they won't let you bring a loaf of bread and fixin's... so pre-make your food... Do the continental breakfast, have some protein bars to tide you over, and some fruit, eat sandwiches for lunch, and then spend your leftover $ on a counter service dinner. Totally doable. Oh, and bring water containers, and emergen-c packets or whatever and flavor up the free water during the day. I would totally rather more time in the parks than spend $ on food--and I like to eat at the parks

MM will cover all of fantasyland usually (Peter Pan, Toad, Pinnochio, Snow White, Tea Cups, Alice, Buzz) and give you time to either rider Space or time it to grab FPs for it as soon as it is open. Or conversely, if you use it for DCA you can get Carsland done.

I'd walk to the park as trams are not my thing...
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Walt's Park:Two trips as a kid, stayed off-site. Oct '07, 4 days @ DLH, dh, dd & I. May '08, 5 days "girls only trip" @ GCH dm, dd & I. May '09, 6 days @ DLH, dh, dd & I. October '10, 5 day trip, dd and I @ PPH. And 6 days at PPH--December 5-10, 2012 for all 3 of us!

OMG--dare I say it? We went to the World!! Split Stay! CSR May 6-10 and AKL Savannah View May 10-13, 2014 (with a dash of the Darkside thrown in for good measure the 13th & 14th.)
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:23 PM   #3
dtnrhi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommy2PrincessAbby View Post
I would totally fill a cooler at home and haul a ton of food with you if I were you... you can bring sandwiches, fruit, snacky stuff into the park... they won't let you bring a loaf of bread and fixin's... so pre-make your food... Do the continental breakfast, have some protein bars to tide you over, and some fruit, eat sandwiches for lunch, and then spend your leftover $ on a counter service dinner. Totally doable. Oh, and bring water containers, and emergen-c packets or whatever and flavor up the free water during the day. I would totally rather more time in the parks than spend $ on food--and I like to eat at the parks

MM will cover all of fantasyland usually (Peter Pan, Toad, Pinnochio, Snow White, Tea Cups, Alice, Buzz) and give you time to either rider Space or time it to grab FPs for it as soon as it is open. Or conversely, if you use it for DCA you can get Carsland done.

I'd walk to the park as trams are not my thing...
I thought MM were only at Disneyland. Also, is Tomorrowland open? We'd probably look to ride the Matterhorn and Space Mountain if we could!
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:26 PM   #4
Mommy2PrincessAbby
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Originally Posted by dtnrhi View Post
I thought MM were only at Disneyland. Also, is Tomorrowland open? We'd probably look to ride the Matterhorn and Space Mountain if we could!
I think you are right... I think early entry at DCA you have to be staying on site...

Anyhow... yes, Matterhorn and Space are usually open... but they haven't always been on our trips during MM, same with Small World...
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Walt's Park:Two trips as a kid, stayed off-site. Oct '07, 4 days @ DLH, dh, dd & I. May '08, 5 days "girls only trip" @ GCH dm, dd & I. May '09, 6 days @ DLH, dh, dd & I. October '10, 5 day trip, dd and I @ PPH. And 6 days at PPH--December 5-10, 2012 for all 3 of us!

OMG--dare I say it? We went to the World!! Split Stay! CSR May 6-10 and AKL Savannah View May 10-13, 2014 (with a dash of the Darkside thrown in for good measure the 13th & 14th.)
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:26 PM   #5
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I always prefer parking at the Toy Story lot on Harbor. It's not as large as the Mickey and friends and they have buses rather than trams. Sometimes you can share meals, too. At the Plaza Inn you get 4 pieces of fried chicken and the meal is enough to share with someone if you don't eat a whole lot.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:30 PM   #6
dtnrhi
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I always prefer parking at the Toy Story lot on Harbor. It's not as large as the Mickey and friends and they have buses rather than trams. Sometimes you can share meals, too. At the Plaza Inn you get 4 pieces of fried chicken and the meal is enough to share with someone if you don't eat a whole lot.
We are 17 and 18, we eat a LOT!
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:38 PM   #7
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Definitely do the extra day in the parks, and just try to scrimp now to save money for food on your trip.

I'll also say that it is the unanimous opinion in my family that the fried chicken at Plaza Inn is way better than the chicken at Knott's!! So, maybe not worth the trip for that meal...
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:44 PM   #8
dtnrhi
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Definitely do the extra day in the parks, and just try to scrimp now to save money for food on your trip.

I'll also say that it is the unanimous opinion in my family that the fried chicken at Plaza Inn is way better than the chicken at Knott's!! So, maybe not worth the trip for that meal...
Is Plaza Inn a hotel? How much is it? We were going to get the Family Meal for Under $40 that would provide us with leftovers.

Also, what would you guys recommend doing that first night? I'm thinking WOC!!
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtnrhi

Is Plaza Inn a hotel? How much is it? We were going to get the Family Meal for Under $40 that would provide us with leftovers.

Also, what would you guys recommend doing that first night? I'm thinking WOC!!
Hehe no it's a restaurant. You get 3 pieces of chicken (thigh, leg, breast), mashed potatoes, green beans, and a biscuit for $15.99 I believe. Portions are huge and it's all reallllly yummy.

Also the thing about doing WOC your first night if you aren't arriving until later in the day is that you might not be able to get a Fastpass that late, and need one to get into the WOC viewing area.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:15 PM   #10
nikkislaght
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We went in Feb of this year. and took our lunch in everyday.

Couple of months before we left every shopping trip I would buy some type of non perishable food to take.. I would go to the dollar tree and get the tuna and cracker packs. crystal lites, fruit snacks, nuts and energy bars. canned foods like olives , I would save my mayo and catchup packs from take out dinners.

then when we got to Anaheim, we go to Vons and get snack pack carrot sticks. fresh fruit, chips etc..


Before you leave you should check out what restaurants are close to DL that you would like to eat at and try and get some coupons from them...
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommy2PrincessAbby View Post
I would totally fill a cooler at home and haul a ton of food with you if I were you... you can bring sandwiches, fruit, snacky stuff into the park... they won't let you bring a loaf of bread and fixin's... so pre-make your food... Do the continental breakfast, have some protein bars to tide you over, and some fruit, eat sandwiches for lunch, and then spend your leftover $ on a counter service dinner. Totally doable. Oh, and bring water containers, and emergen-c packets or whatever and flavor up the free water during the day. I would totally rather more time in the parks than spend $ on food--and I like to eat at the parks
I second this. If we drive down, I always take a cooler full of things like milk, yogurt, fruit, lunchmeat, etc., plus a couple bags of snacks, bread, cereal, etc. If you don't have a refrigerator in the room you can use the ice machine to keep your ice chest stuff cold. We usually do breakfast in the room and pack a light lunch and snacks. Even with all of that we still manage (it seems) to spend a ton of money on food & snacks, but at least this helps.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:17 PM   #12
dtnrhi
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I second this. If we drive down, I always take a cooler full of things like milk, yogurt, fruit, lunchmeat, etc., plus a couple bags of snacks, bread, cereal, etc. If you don't have a refrigerator in the room you can use the ice machine to keep your ice chest stuff cold. We usually do breakfast in the room and pack a light lunch and snacks. Even with all of that we still manage (it seems) to spend a ton of money on food & snacks, but at least this helps.
Our room has a mini fridge and microwave. This works great for leftovers, and we could even do something like hot pockets for a meal!

EDIT: The Continental breakfast has WAFFLES!!!

Last edited by dtnrhi; 10-11-2012 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:39 AM   #13
rjb702
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Was at the parks in June with my son, so here's my thoughts. If your in shape and pretty active, you should be ok walking from your hotel. But at the end of the day, that's gonna be a killer walk back! After being in the park 10-12 hours. We ate breakfast before we entered the park, McD's since our hotel didn't have any free breakfast. Then we had lunch a bit later than normal, say 2ish. We ate at a quick service and it was basically 10$ for burger/fries and drink. Although expensive, the burgers were very good. Had some ice cream later in the day, it was a great time to relax and just enjoy the scenery! After we left the park, we hit Denny's(maybe it was Ihop) at 1am! we realized we were hungry!! and they were busy, lots of people doing the same. I wish I would have thought to bring in the flavored packets for water. That would have been a great idea. We did bring in some snacks... I forgot. Keep it simple, remember you have to carry everything all day. But if your choice is food or extra day at the park, i say extra day at the park! Also you could go to Downtown Disney that first night and check out stores. We did. Helped us get our bearings also. And the LEGO store is pretty cool!

That second day you will start to slow down, as you probably don't get as much sleep, and your body is on Disney overload, trying to do as much as possible.

Have a blast!
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:10 AM   #14
theluckyrabbit
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Agree with the previous posters, bring your own food to save money. Disney's restrictions are no glass containers, no separate sandwich fixings (i.e. you can bring in a sandwich, but not a loaf of bread and deli meats), and no large coolers. Drinking water can save you a LOT of money (soda and bottles of water cost at least $3 each -- that adds up quickly). Bring in a refillable water bottle -- you can refill it with cold, filtered water at first aid, Rancho del Zocalo, Plaza Inn, etc. If the restaurant has a soda fountain, they should be able to fill your bottle or give you a free cup of water so you can fill it yourself. Bring in protein bars and filling snacks. Don't wait until you are starving to eat -- you'll end up paying so much more that way. Plan your meal times and share when you can. Even for just a few days, it really will save $$$! There are lots of threads here on how to save money on food at DLR -- lots of good tips to be found there.
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:05 AM   #15
dtnrhi
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Does anyone know what hours we can count on for March? I am hoping their Spring Break long hours are started..
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