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Old 04-14-2013, 11:19 PM   #1
grandall
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Ideal Vacation is Too Much $$$, what can we do?

Hi all, looking for advice for trip next year, late May into early June. We've been to WDW three times before and want something a little different -- we aren't as daring as we used to be with regard to the big rides (ToT and EE), DH is getting motion sick, and we aren't that interested in character interaction anymore...we would also really love to visit Discovery Cove, SeaWorld, and Legoland but we aren't willing to say goodbye to the Disney water parks (best times we've had as a family) and I don't want to stay off-site because, well, it's not Disney.

Our ideal vacation would look like this:

Day 1: Arrive Disney deluxe hotel (heart is set on AKL this time around), visit Magic Kingdom, fireworks, etc.
Day 2: Water park during day, Epcot dinner at night
Day 3: Discovery Cove during day, dinner at resort
Day 4: SeaWorld during day, Epcot dinner at night
Day 5: Water park during day, dinner at resort
Day 6: Legoland during day, MK at night
Day 7: Depart

My concern is the cost. I can rent points for a reasonable amount of money, but we are going to get murdered in park admission costs, and how can I pay all that money for Epcot just for dinner? How would you tweak this itinerary so that it is affordable (and by affordable I mean around $5,000 for the five of us -- it's hard to find non-Disney hotels that can accommodate a family of five in an affordable way). If anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them. Thanks so much.
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:58 PM   #2
Marionnette
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grandall View Post
Hi all, looking for advice for trip next year, late May into early June. We've been to WDW three times before and want something a little different -- we aren't as daring as we used to be with regard to the big rides (ToT and EE), DH is getting motion sick, and we aren't that interested in character interaction anymore...we would also really love to visit Discovery Cove, SeaWorld, and Legoland but we aren't willing to say goodbye to the Disney water parks (best times we've had as a family) and I don't want to stay off-site because, well, it's not Disney.

Our ideal vacation would look like this:

Day 1: Arrive Disney deluxe hotel (heart is set on AKL this time around), visit Magic Kingdom, fireworks, etc.
Day 2: Water park during day, Epcot dinner at night
Day 3: Discovery Cove during day, dinner at resort
Day 4: SeaWorld during day, Epcot dinner at night
Day 5: Water park during day, dinner at resort
Day 6: Legoland during day, MK at night
Day 7: Depart

My concern is the cost. I can rent points for a reasonable amount of money, but we are going to get murdered in park admission costs, and how can I pay all that money for Epcot just for dinner? How would you tweak this itinerary so that it is affordable (and by affordable I mean around $5,000 for the five of us -- it's hard to find non-Disney hotels that can accommodate a family of five in an affordable way). If anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them. Thanks so much.
If I were concerned about money, I wouldn't be doing Disney AND all of those "other" parks in a 6-day visit. I would not feel as if I was getting my money's worth from the Disney tickets.

I would forget about dinners at Epcot. I would try something offsite. Maybe one of the dinner shows like Medieval Times or I would eat in Downtown Disney. Perhaps do Splitsville? Or eat at T-Rex?

In any event, if I were doing "those other parks", I would not be staying at a Disney resort. I would look into a timeshare rental at Bonnet Creek or even a vacation home rental. There are plenty of places that can accommodate a family of five without breaking the bank.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:14 AM   #3
grandall
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OK, my wheels are turning, I think I can skip SeaWorld and maybe only take my oldest to Discovery Cove. So that is a big savings right there. And you are right about Epcot, but oh how I love the World Showcase at night...

Here is my revised itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive AKL, check out the place, go to MK for fireworks (this is a tradition)
Day 2: BB during day, Epcot at night
Day 3: Discovery Cove during day (boys hang at resort), resort hop for dinner
Day 4: Epcot, try to stay for an early dinner
Day 5: TL during day, dinner at resort
Day 6: Legoland during day, MK at night
Saturday Day 7: Depart

So now my goal is to buy a package (hopefully with a discount or free dining), and add two side trips (one to Legoland for five people and one to Discovery Cove for two people) for $5,000. Is that doable?? My heart is set on AKL but maybe I can try a moderate this time...
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:16 AM   #4
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If you're going to Discovery Cove, you get free Seaworld admission with that . You could also try taking everyone to Discovery Cove but not doing the Dolphin Swim for those uninterested in it - the resort-only package is cheaper than the resort and dolphin package. I would also go for a Moderate (we stayed at AKL before and were dying to go back, but instead we went for POFQ and it was lovely) but go to AKL to visit. You could do dinner there as one of your resort dinners, and they have a safari trail where you can look at all the animals on the savannah and sometimes have a better view than those with savannah-view rooms!
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:01 AM   #5
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You're buying four day WDW tickets with Water Parks. Three of the four days, you're using the tickets for admission only at night. This is totally up to you, but that's a lot of money for tickets, without getting very much use of them. If money weren't an issue for you, I would say go for it. Since money seems to be a problem, maybe you want to consider WDW or the other parks, but not both?
If you don't rent DVC points for AKV, then POR has rooms for a family of five in the Alligator Bayou section.
Good luck with your decision and planning.
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grandall View Post
OK, my wheels are turning, I think I can skip SeaWorld and maybe only take my oldest to Discovery Cove. So that is a big savings right there. And you are right about Epcot, but oh how I love the World Showcase at night...

Here is my revised itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive AKL, check out the place, go to MK for fireworks (this is a tradition)
Day 2: BB during day, Epcot at night
Day 3: Discovery Cove during day (boys hang at resort), resort hop for dinner
Day 4: Epcot, try to stay for an early dinner
Day 5: TL during day, dinner at resort
Day 6: Legoland during day, MK at night
Saturday Day 7: Depart

So now my goal is to buy a package (hopefully with a discount or free dining), and add two side trips (one to Legoland for five people and one to Discovery Cove for two people) for $5,000. Is that doable?? My heart is set on AKL but maybe I can try a moderate this time...
You cannot get free dining if you are renting DVC points. If you want free dining (if it's even offered, June is not typically a free dining month) you have to book a package and you will pay the rack rate for your room.

The least expensive AKV 1-bedroom villa, 4-day tickets and the waterpark option and nothing else would run almost $6300 this year. Staying at a moderate will save you some money but you would be limited to POR if that's what you want. That package would run about $3400 this year.

But let's say that you rent points and buy your tickets from Undercovertourist instead. You're not likely to get a value 1-bedroom at AKV. There aren't a lot of them and you would need to start contacting AKV owners soon to get that room 11 months in advance. But if you were lucky enough to get one, the villa would run $1800 at $13/point. 4-day Disney tickets with waterpark fun purchased from Undercovertourist now (before any price increases) would run you another $1500+. Right there, you're at $3300 and you haven't fed your family or bought tickets for the other parks.

Legoland tickets will run another $300. Discovery Cove/Sea World tickets for the 2 people would be about $600. Add SW tickets for the other 3 people and it will be $200+. So, figure another $1100 for all of those.

That brings you to $4400 (2013 prices) and you still haven't eaten at those TS places you want to do. So, I'm going to say that $5K is still a little short for your modified plans.
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Last edited by Marionnette; 04-15-2013 at 06:26 AM.
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:32 AM   #7
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If you're trying to do it for $5,000 then you probably need to go to POR instead of AKV.

You mentioned renting points. You need a 1 bdr standard villa for 5 people and looking at the 2014 points charts for your time frame, that's 200 points for a week. Unless you are getting a super great deal from a DVC member you know, that's going to eat up half your budget right there.
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:04 AM   #8
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You can stay at POR for less than AKL. Like other posters have said, that's a lot of money to spend on tickets for a few hours a night.
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:19 AM   #9
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The Deluxes are an experience of their own BUT I would book a moderate since it appears your going to be so busy and keep the Deluxe for a trip when you can relax and enjoy the resort more.

Seriously this is what we have done and it works so much better when you can take the time to take a break from the park come back and relax at the pool or check out the resort gift shops or lounges, relax in your room or walk the resort.

For those busy trips where you are just basically going to sleep/shower in your room Id say moderate or even value ASMU would be my suggestion on value and POFQ on mod
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:20 AM   #10
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PPers have brought up excellent points. Yes, you are correct that you cannot do your vacation as it currently stands. Here are a few options as I see them:

1. Skip AKL this time for POR. Lovely resort with many more food options and great boat transportation to DTD.
2. You said you have been to WDW, but did not say how recently or what time of year. June is high season at WDW, if you have not been during peak times, you may not plan on long waits for EVERYTHING. It may take longer to accomplish what you would like to see/do at WDW.
3. Your chances of free dining are slim and you will pay rack rate for room. This will eliminate AKL as an option.
4. How about not doing off site places and doing "more" at WDW? Miniature golf, Disneyquest, DTD, explore the resort??

Just a personal note. We went with 3 kids for $5K--but that was 10 years ago, 2 rooms at a value resort, military discounts for the 3 kids, an already purchased AP for me, 1 TS for the entire time and breakfast in the room. It did include airfare (discount) to/from Nashville.
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grandall View Post
Hi all, looking for advice for trip next year, late May into early June. We've been to WDW three times before and want something a little different -- we aren't as daring as we used to be with regard to the big rides (ToT and EE), DH is getting motion sick, and we aren't that interested in character interaction anymore...we would also really love to visit Discovery Cove, SeaWorld, and Legoland but we aren't willing to say goodbye to the Disney water parks (best times we've had as a family) and I don't want to stay off-site because, well, it's not Disney.

Our ideal vacation would look like this:

Day 1: Arrive Disney deluxe hotel (heart is set on AKL this time around), visit Magic Kingdom, fireworks, etc.
Day 2: Water park during day, Epcot dinner at night
Day 3: Discovery Cove during day, dinner at resort
Day 4: SeaWorld during day, Epcot dinner at night
Day 5: Water park during day, dinner at resort
Day 6: Legoland during day, MK at night
Day 7: Depart

My concern is the cost. I can rent points for a reasonable amount of money, but we are going to get murdered in park admission costs, and how can I pay all that money for Epcot just for dinner? How would you tweak this itinerary so that it is affordable (and by affordable I mean around $5,000 for the five of us -- it's hard to find non-Disney hotels that can accommodate a family of five in an affordable way). If anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them. Thanks so much.
Skip the water park, Discovery Cove, SeaWorld and Legoland and stay at POR instead of AKL.
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momof2gr8kids View Post
if you're trying to do it for $5,000 then you probably need to go to por instead of akv.

You mentioned renting points. You need a 1 bdr standard villa for 5 people and looking at the 2014 points charts for your time frame, that's 200 points for a week. Unless you are getting a super great deal from a dvc member you know, that's going to eat up half your budget right there.
my thoughts exactly.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:13 AM   #13
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I would probably do a 3-day WDW ticket, do all the Disney stuff I wanted to do in one chunk of 3 consecutive days, then I would leave Disney property and find a good deal on an offsite hotel to do the other parks. Hopping back and forth is going to cost a fortune. Another bit of advice, do Legoland, Sea World, and Discovery Cove first, then WDW your last 3 days. I always like to end with Disney.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:43 AM   #14
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Ideal Vacation is Too Much $$$, what can we do?
Story of my life..... You're getting some good advice here.....
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grandall View Post
Hi all, looking for advice for trip next year, late May into early June. We've been to WDW three times before and want something a little different -- we aren't as daring as we used to be with regard to the big rides (ToT and EE), DH is getting motion sick, and we aren't that interested in character interaction anymore...we would also really love to visit Discovery Cove, SeaWorld, and Legoland but we aren't willing to say goodbye to the Disney water parks (best times we've had as a family) and I don't want to stay off-site because, well, it's not Disney.

Our ideal vacation would look like this:

Day 1: Arrive Disney deluxe hotel (heart is set on AKL this time around), visit Magic Kingdom, fireworks, etc.
Day 2: Water park during day, Epcot dinner at night
Day 3: Discovery Cove during day, dinner at resort
Day 4: SeaWorld during day, Epcot dinner at night
Day 5: Water park during day, dinner at resort
Day 6: Legoland during day, MK at night
Day 7: Depart

My concern is the cost. I can rent points for a reasonable amount of money, but we are going to get murdered in park admission costs, and how can I pay all that money for Epcot just for dinner? How would you tweak this itinerary so that it is affordable (and by affordable I mean around $5,000 for the five of us -- it's hard to find non-Disney hotels that can accommodate a family of five in an affordable way). If anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them. Thanks so much.
A few suggestions. I've highlighted in red the times you are planning on being in a Disney theme park. You are paying quite a bit to get very little use out of your theme park admission. Based on what you have listed as to what you want to do, may I suggest the following:

No Disney theme park admission. Instead, purchase Water Park Annual Passes. They are about the same cost as two days of water park admission. If your kids might enjoy it, you can get Water Park APs with Disney Quest admission for slightly more.
Your Discovery Cove admission will also give you free admission to Seaworld Orlando and the Aquatica Water park for 14 consecutive days.
Eat at an Epcot Resort area restaurant instead of one in the park. There are many good choices. Or, for that AKL feel eat at Boma or Saana one evening.

You can have a grand time at Disney without being in a theme park. I know, we've done it a number of times, and we've still had that "Disney" feel. Be flexible, and enjoy!
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