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Old 05-01-2013, 08:29 AM   #1
suzydisney971
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What to do?

I'm not sure what to do. I really want to go to Disney at the end of July (7/23-7/30). Airfare is at a great price. However, I'm having a hard time justifying the cost of staying at the Riverside. They are quoting me $3355 for 5 day hopper, dining plan and taxes. It's just me, DH and DS (5).

I also priced out the Dolphin 1458 for 7 nights and tix from undercover tourist (didn't use the mousesavers email link, waiting on the next email) for a total of 2420. But then I pay for food oop.

We really enjoy the dining plan since we are able to do sit down restaurants for nice breaks and character meals. But since this will be DS's 3rd trip we can probably just do one character meal and just a couple of sit downs and the rest of the time do quick service and just wing it. DH is mostly worried about the heat and crowds so he is thinking of pushing the trip to April (spring break). But then I worry about crowds then too. We've been in July when DS was 2 and it was so crowded that we didn't get on too many attractions.

Any advice or experience. TIA!!!
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:42 AM   #2
monorailsilver
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I love the summer!! I won't go any other time, although I have been at other times.

Yes it is crowded but I took a pit stop home from Ft. Myers (to CT) 2 weeks ago & we stopped in Downtown Disney on a Friday night for dinner & it was mobbed. I could only imagine the crowds.

My dh & I got engaged in Disney, March 1999. We arrived the week before Easter & by that Thursday it was getting more crowded. I left MK early that Saturday night because the lines were crazy & I never leave a park early. I said I would never go back Easter week/spring break again.

In the summer, you don't need to pack a jacket or long pants/sleeves for going home or heck, even those chilly nights or days depending on when you go.

We go to the park for opening & we do the park that opens early, go back for a mid day break/nap/swim & then back to a park at dinner time. We try to only do a park 2 days in a row & then have a rest day/pool day. Every ride (just about) has a/c & while waiting in line you can feel it. There are the water sprinklers all over as well. Believe me I try to get wet to cool off just like my kids do.

We only plan a sit down/character meal on a day we don't do a park. We don't have to rush as much.

We do CS the rest of the time & decide where we are going to eat by what park we are going to that night.

Oh & I am going the first week of August & we are a family of 5, dh, me dd12, ds9, ddd7. We are staying at the Poly & I only did 5 day park hoppers & we got a 1 day water park free & I am paying around $4700-$4800-room & tickets.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:43 AM   #3
spiceycat
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think the dolphin has EMH and that is almost necessary for summer travel - of course with a little one - you can't do the late night ones as easily.

so would go with dolphin - after you verify that it does have EMH.

bus only to MK and AK (plus DD). You can walk or take the boat to Studios and Epcot.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:57 AM   #4
danceintherain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzydisney971 View Post
I'm not sure what to do. I really want to go to Disney at the end of July (7/23-7/30). Airfare is at a great price. However, I'm having a hard time justifying the cost of staying at the Riverside. They are quoting me $3355 for 5 day hopper, dining plan and taxes. It's just me, DH and DS (5).

I also priced out the Dolphin 1458 for 7 nights and tix from undercover tourist (didn't use the mousesavers email link, waiting on the next email) for a total of 2420. But then I pay for food oop.

We really enjoy the dining plan since we are able to do sit down restaurants for nice breaks and character meals. But since this will be DS's 3rd trip we can probably just do one character meal and just a couple of sit downs and the rest of the time do quick service and just wing it. DH is mostly worried about the heat and crowds so he is thinking of pushing the trip to April (spring break). But then I worry about crowds then too. We've been in July when DS was 2 and it was so crowded that we didn't get on too many attractions.

Any advice or experience. TIA!!!
First of all, you may want to reconsider the dining plan. We spend quite a bit less money without doing it, and still do a sit down meal pretty much every day and order exactly what we want. If you always want soda and a dessert, then your results would likely be different.
For our last trip, we ate 2 CS and 1 TS with a snack thrown in pretty much every day and spent close to $500 less than what we would have spent on the dining plan. We ordered sodas and desserts sometimes, but we would usually get water and get a dessert later somewhere else.
We did two buffet type meals (Ohana-dinner and Chef Mickey's-breakfast).
This was for 3 adults and one infant.

I could easily spend less than $1000 on the food I actually want to eat, but you might not be able to. In which case...things will be about equal.

I recommend sitting down and calculating out what your meals would cost (ordering exactly what you would want every time...not what the dining plan suggests) or using the dining plan spreadsheet over at the seeyareelsoon vlog
(http://seeyareelsoon.wix.com/seeyare...alculator/cxc0) if you don't want to look up the exact costs yourself.

As for the crowds...I thought the crowds I experienced during my July trip were better than the ones from more recently in April.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:10 AM   #5
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I just priced it out myself using the discount for your dates listed under Special Offers....and the total came out to $3021.53

July 23-30, 2 adults 1 child, POR Garden View 5 day hopper with regular dining plan.
A different room category would be a bit more...but I haven't gotten the same number as you once. Even a River View Royal Room is only coming to $3336.

As for the heat and crowds. As I mentioned before...our April trip crowds were pretty bad (although the lines were short most of the time) and it wasn't over Spring Break. The heat was pretty bad too (worse because it was unexpected).
Also, you will spend more going over that time period, and depending on the exact week, may not qualify for a discount at all.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:45 AM   #6
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Something to consider, the swan does not offer DME service (unless this has changed). So that is another cost to add in if you are not renting a car.
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:11 PM   #7
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We prefer to eat small meals during the summer, so we don't do any of the big meal TS restaurants, especially buffets. Weighs you down and makes you uncomfortable to eat that much at once. In the summer we'll do Plaza, Trail's End if we just spend the evening at Fort WIlderness, Beaches & Cream, and mostly all CS shared or snacks. So the dining plan may not be a good value if you don't go with the more expensive TS restaurants.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:10 AM   #8
suzydisney971
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Thank you everyone for all your ideas. We booked last night at the Dolphin. So excited. The quote for POR was directly from Disney and included insurance. We usually love the dining plan because I like to be able to plan out where we are going to eat and not have to worry about cost. However, since this will be DS's third time, we have hit most of the character meals. So I am only going to book the Garden Grill since we haven't done that one yet. Most other sit downs will probably be at lunch and will cut down on the cost and we will be in the Epcot and Boardwalk area so there is plenty to choose from. Plus the Dolphin/Swan have a ton of CS choices so we will probably hit that. I'm going to see exactly how much we spend on food and see if the dining plan in the future is better or not. If it was free, it would be a no-brainer

Considering we weren't sure if we could go, I'm happy with all my choices.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzydisney971 View Post
Thank you everyone for all your ideas. We booked last night at the Dolphin. So excited. The quote for POR was directly from Disney and included insurance. We usually love the dining plan because I like to be able to plan out where we are going to eat and not have to worry about cost. However, since this will be DS's third time, we have hit most of the character meals. So I am only going to book the Garden Grill since we haven't done that one yet. Most other sit downs will probably be at lunch and will cut down on the cost and we will be in the Epcot and Boardwalk area so there is plenty to choose from. Plus the Dolphin/Swan have a ton of CS choices so we will probably hit that. I'm going to see exactly how much we spend on food and see if the dining plan in the future is better or not. If it was free, it would be a no-brainer

Considering we weren't sure if we could go, I'm happy with all my choices.
Yay for your trip booking! It is always a tough choice.... We are staying at the Dolphin in June and can't wait! I just wanted to mention that most of the restaurants at the Swalphin give a 20% discount off your check with a AAA card. And yes, you have to show it each time. The only restaurants that do not take it I believe are their signature ones, such as Shula's and BlueZoo. Hope that helps!
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:26 PM   #10
suzydisney971
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That definitely helps since I'm a member and will definitely cut down on the price of meals. We'll be spending most afternoons at the pool so if we want a snack or light meal, it will come in handy.

Speaking of which, do you know if we can use the discount at the pool bar (drinks) too or is it just at the restaurants? I'm not the big drinker but sometimes a frozen something tastes really good on a hot day Also, how much are the refillable mugs?
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