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Old 12-30-2012, 08:52 AM   #16
rjvose17
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Thanks for all the replies friends. We are still wavering back and forth. One day it's Aulani the next it's a cruise. I think we have ruled out DL for now and may save that for when our girls get older and we can explore CA a bit more. DH really wants Aulani and I really want a cruise....so it will be a battle of the parents I guess. More opinions and thoughts would be extremely helpful especially from those who have been since we are basically only relying on others experiences. Have a happy new year all!
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:12 AM   #17
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Your airfare to orlando is sadly going to be double your estimate. I've gone Feb vacations a lot and have never been able to find good airfare deals from our part of the USA. The only way to make it a little less outrageous is to go from Tuesday to Tuesday, thereby taking 2 days off into the next week if that is possible. All of the airlines jack up the prices that week.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:34 AM   #18
rjvose17
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I understand the possibility of it going up, but I don't foresee it doubling. For an example this April break we got all four tickets from Portland Maine to Orlando for 816.00. Perhaps closer to 1000.00 but if you book as soon as the dates are released you can sometimes get some decent rates. I don't pretend to know it all, so please don't take it that way....just speaking from experiences that we have had with the airlines. We call it "the game" that you have to play with the airlines. My DH has a routine that he checks flights every morning, and several times during the day. Watches the release days and plays with times that we can go...typically we schedule all vaca's around the airfare, then combine that with days that we can go, etc. We really do find it to be a game, but a game that can be crazy frustrating. I know airlines like to jack up the prices during different vacation times and have made the accommodations to travel on a tues vs a friday etc. The difference with this trip is we aren't just going to Orlando ....If we do a Cruise we do go to Orlando, but if we go elsewhere we are just as new as many others. The airfare has always been the thing that has kept us from Hawaii or CA because of it's crazy costs, but since we are only planning one trip this year vs two, we don't mind spending the extra on airfare. Thanks for the heads up though....I asked for opinions and am thankful to get them. Where in New England are you from if you don't mind me asking?
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:50 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjvose17 View Post
I don't know if this is the proper section of the boards to post on but I thought that it might be the best for the most varied opinions. My family and I are regular WDW visitors, but I have a new school job that only allows me to take vaca's (like most schools) on school vacation times. This really limits my ability to take "affordable" vacations. We have been lucky enough to have been taking two a year for the past few years. We are going this January for a mini vaca and then for April vacation (which is different then most schools, for some reason Maine's is a bit different) Anyways....my difficult choice comes down to this.....

After this April ONLY school break vaca's.
*NO summer vacations because of my and my DH summer jobs don't allow
*We don't want to attempt to be there for Christmas or Thanksgiving.
*Do we do a Cruise in Feb 2014?
*Do we go to Aulani in Feb 2014?
*Do we go to Disneyland Feb 2014?

We want to try something different and since it will be the ONLY vacation we take instead of the two we normally take we can splurge a bit. We have NEVER done any of those options. We are DVC so the possibility of getting a DL California rooms is possible but limited, same goes for Aulani but not as bad. Disneyland is the most expensive option, Cruise coming in second and Aulani being the cheapest option as far as we can see as of now.

My question is....if you could pick one what would you pick???

There are too many variables and I'm getting stressed!!!

I would really interested in hearing opinions!!!

Thanks in advance!
Aulani sounds like a good option, but the airfare can get OUTRAGEOUS. I've been to DL twice and it isn't all that. I would go for the cruise. Depending on which cruise you take it can get pricey, but it wing get pricier than Aulani airfare/food/souvenirs, and you will have a better time on a cruise than you would in DL. I honestly think, based on your circumstances, the cruise is the way to go. They have nice itineraries and February is usually their cheaper season (lets face it, Disney never has a cheap season) Whatever you choose, I hope you have a magical time!!

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Old 12-30-2012, 03:30 PM   #20
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I would choose either Aulani or DL if you are going to go to other parts of Southern CA as well. My fiance and I have often considered taking a week to travel around Southern California, hitting Disneyland, Universal, Hollywood, etc etc. If you would just spend 7 days at Disneyland, I wouldn't choose that option.

I see where you are figuring Aulani to be the cheapest, but food costs there are very high. When you add that in, plus tips, I wouldn't be surprised if you came out higher than the cost of the cruise which includes food.
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Old 01-01-2013, 02:59 AM   #21
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I say go to Hawaii. Many feel Oahu is their least favorite island because Waikiki and Oahu in general are more crowded, but there is PLENTY to do and see. First of all, the lagoons by Aulani in the Ko Olina Resort area are great! They have little to no surf, so the kids can play in the water with ease! There are 4 lagoons in that area that you can utilize, and minimal parking for non-resort guests, so they are never really that crowded. If you rent a car (which you had in your calculations) you can see so many of the sites! There is Hanauma Bay for snorkeling, Makupuu Lighthouse for an easy hike with a beautiful view of the little islands to the east and possibly Maui in the distance, Diamond Head crater hike with views of Waikiki, the North Shore beaches (in February there are still giant waves, so there will be surfers and possibly a surf competition). Haliewa Town on the north shore has some great "hole in the wall" type restuarants and the famous Hawaii Shave Ice stand Matsumoto's. Ko Olina has a great luau and then along the leeward coast there is the Polynesian Culture Center that puts on a great night show. Then there is the history- Pearl Harbor and the USS Missouri are great tours. For cheap eats, grab a "plate lunch" for around 5-6 bucks and you'll be full all day! Sure you can spend a lot on food at the grocery stores, but the normal restaurants in my experience living there were not that much higher than the mainland (minus the resort area itself). In my opinion, if you have just one week, there won't be enough time to see all that Oahu has to offer AND travel to another island. Best of luck in your decision! Happy New Year and Happy Planning!
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:00 AM   #22
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Three fun options!

That said Feb can be iffy in Hawaii just like any state. That is a fairly rainy time. The first year we lived there it rained for 40 days straight. Literally...I've never seen anything like it. Our friends flew over from Seattle and that's what they got! We spent a week on Kauai in Feb the next year and it was so cold and rainy that we didn't even swim!

I think the thing with Hawaii is to consider what you'll want to do there. Are going all that way and then just spend time at the resort? Swim and beach? Costs won't add much except food!!! If you want to sightsee, it can add up very quickly plus the travel time around a very crowded island. . It's so terribly expensive to get to Hawaii from the east coast, travel to/there is long, you're jet lagged when you arrive...We lived in HI three years and made four trips back to the mainland--one to WA, one to CO and two to GA. 10 hour flight to GA with a six hour time difference (HI doesn't do DST) and flights from HNL to east coast usually leave at night arriving early morning east coast. It's painful!

The cruise can be all inclusive. If you don't book expensive excursions at Nassau, Castaway Cay is gorgeous and lots of things included there. All food on ships is free, most drink (non alcoholic of course!), entertainment, kids clubs, AquaDuck, movies, shows, etc. obviously much easier travel to get there and you can add on a few days of parks "for free" with your passes and DVC points.

I think it just depends on what you're seeking. Good luck either way!
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:22 AM   #23
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If it were me, I'd go for the cruise.
Hawaii is amazing, but the time change is hard on LO's, and your kids seem like they are the perfect age to really enjoy all that a DCL offers.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:43 AM   #24
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[QUOTE=shburks;47044630]

The first year we lived there it rained for 40 days straight. Literally...I've never seen anything like it. Our friends flew over from Seattle and that's what they got! We spent a week on Kauai in Feb the next year and it was so cold and rainy that we didn't even swim!

Sorry to go off topic, but I remember that 40 days of rain- my parents got one sunny day on their visit! I felt so bad for those that did their "once in a lifetime" vacations to Hawaii over that time!
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:29 AM   #25
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[QUOTE=gjl;47044886]
Quote:
Originally Posted by shburks View Post

The first year we lived there it rained for 40 days straight. Literally...I've never seen anything like it. Our friends flew over from Seattle and that's what they got! We spent a week on Kauai in Feb the next year and it was so cold and rainy that we didn't even swim!

Sorry to go off topic, but I remember that 40 days of rain- my parents got one sunny day on their visit! I felt so bad for those that did their "once in a lifetime" vacations to Hawaii over that time!
It was horrible. I swear, I thought Noah was going to come through with his ark. Never seen anything like it! And it was the month we had all our visitors...friends from Seattle (trying to escape the rain...), in-laws for two weeks (caught the tail-end of the rain and got some sun) and both sisters-in-law. Longest month ever!
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:07 PM   #26
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Thanks for all the replies. I didn't even think about Hawaii having a rainy season! I am definitely leaning towards the cruise while DH is still stuck on HI and of course two days ago we were back to the same old just going to WDW because it's cheapest and easiest. I think that I am just going to have to bite the bullet and book a cruise with or without any input from the DH, he will have fun once we get there. LOL. I hope everyone had a safe and happy new year! Here's to another year of vacation planning! Keep the opinions coming these are exactly the reasons I started a thread! THANKS!
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:48 PM   #27
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Please don't think it's impossible to get VGC because it's not your home resort.
We're booked there from 1/12 thru 1/18/13 in a one bdrm and our home resorts are VWL and SSR. I booked at the 7 month window and didn't have a problem..... the key is booking at the 7 month window. Also, don't know what your family's dining habits are.....we typically eat half in and half out when at WDW, however, from everything we've read dining at DL is not as prominent (you know....making ressies months in advance) as it is at WDW and we've decided we will have all breakfasts and all dinners except for one in our DVC unit and probably most lunches also, since everything at DLR is within 10/15 minute walking distance and you really don't need to take into account the transportation time to get from a park back to your DVC for meals. I'm currently working on our Von's (the grocery delivery service at DLR) grocery order and will submit it and schedule a delivery time this week.....it looks like our grocery cost for the week will be right around $200/220....not too bad for 4 people (3 adults and 11 yr old grandson) for 5 1/2 days. I'm planning on simple meals....frozen pizza/salad, spaghetti/salad night w/leftovers for lunch, taco night, homemade mac/cheese/salad w/leftovers for lunch, homemade soup/crusty bread for lunch one day....breakfasts will be eggs, sausage or bacon, french toast, waffles, and cereal depending on the day we have planned. I've also included snack stuff and two cases of water in the grocery order. We're getting 4 day PH passes to DL w/the current online special for $245 each and also planning to go to Universal Hollywood one day on a Grayline shuttle for $100 each w/transportation included. We considered getting the SO California Citypass, but, since we're only there Sat to Fri and actually Sat and Fri are both travel days...we decided against it. We decided against renting a car since we have no desire to fight the CA freeway traffic. We're flying into John Wayne Airport which is only about 13 miles from DLR and are using taxi to/from airport at a cost of under $50 each. Our airfare was $940 rd trp out of pocket for 4 of us.....using 2 SWA Rapid Rewards free one ways. So, bottom line is.....don't discount DLR simply because you don't think you'll get accommodations at VGC.......actually the only thing I'm NOT looking forward to is the long flight from NE PA to Southern CA.....don't mind flying at all...just the length of the trip.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:41 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjvose17 View Post
I understand the possibility of it going up, but I don't foresee it doubling. For an example this April break we got all four tickets from Portland Maine to Orlando for 816.00. Perhaps closer to 1000.00 but if you book as soon as the dates are released you can sometimes get some decent rates. I don't pretend to know it all, so please don't take it that way....just speaking from experiences that we have had with the airlines. We call it "the game" that you have to play with the airlines. My DH has a routine that he checks flights every morning, and several times during the day. Watches the release days and plays with times that we can go...typically we schedule all vaca's around the airfare, then combine that with days that we can go, etc. We really do find it to be a game, but a game that can be crazy frustrating. I know airlines like to jack up the prices during different vacation times and have made the accommodations to travel on a tues vs a friday etc. The difference with this trip is we aren't just going to Orlando ....If we do a Cruise we do go to Orlando, but if we go elsewhere we are just as new as many others. The airfare has always been the thing that has kept us from Hawaii or CA because of it's crazy costs, but since we are only planning one trip this year vs two, we don't mind spending the extra on airfare. Thanks for the heads up though....I asked for opinions and am thankful to get them. Where in New England are you from if you don't mind me asking?
I pretty much play the same airfare game that you describe, it's just that I've had NO luck for MA Feb Vacation week.. in 2008, 2011, and 2012. Maybe Maine vacation is a later week in Feb, I know NH is. When we are in Orlando that week, it seems that there are lots of MA, CT, NY, NJ, and RI people with us. I only will choose a non stop flight, so this may be my downfall. I also always find Jet Blue and Southwest can't be beat, from Boston or Providence however no airline is less than $450 RT per ticket unless I book into the next week..say going from the Tuesday (day after President's day) to the following Tuesday. Good luck with your decision
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:41 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teentoddlermom
Your airfare to orlando is sadly going to be double your estimate. I've gone Feb vacations a lot and have never been able to find good airfare deals from our part of the USA. The only way to make it a little less outrageous is to go from Tuesday to Tuesday, thereby taking 2 days off into the next week if that is possible. All of the airlines jack up the prices that week.
I'm going to Orlando in feb and just looked at airfare and it's only $240/pp so I don't think the estimates would be double. And I've seen it less on other days on feb.

I would say DCL cause it would seem perfect with the kids ages plus you also get the benefit of still having some time at WDW to get that fix. You said you have a PAP for Disney as well so you are getting more value out if being able to use that. Hawaii can be VERY expensive when you get there and flights are usually pretty pricey.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:42 AM   #30
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I'm going to Orlando in feb and just looked at airfare and it's only $240/pp so I don't think the estimates would be double. And I've seen it less on other days on feb.
.
What are the dates that you are looking at in Feb? We've gone to FL the last 3 years and airfare this year has been really high. Each year my budget has had to increase and I don't think we will be going next year b/c of how high airfare is. I also teach and it's really hard to get good cheap flights out of BOS. The only reason we are flying this year is that I am using SW points for flights there and we are flying in and out of Manchester instead of BOS or PVD.
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