Wow! I'm not really sure *how*. I was just fooling around, pricing things out, when I got the free dining pin. DH didn't even want to go - we went to MK for one day last year while we were on a larger Florida trip, and he though that was enough Disney. (???!!!)
The kids and I REALLY want to go back, and since he is always the good guy, LOL, he agreed to it if it was under $3000.
So, free dining was a start - then I looked at airfare. DD10 and I went on a girls trip to Minneapolis last year through Spirit Airlines, so my $9 fare club was still in effect. I went on Spirit's website and looked for the days with the lowest fare. I also had to work around only taking up to 4 days off since we weren't expecting to take a vacation and we had used most of our vacation days for two other mini-trips this year. So, I found that Thursday - Monday were the cheapest fares - $58/each way, per person. I added a checked bag for $40 (we will bring 16X12 personal bags as well, for free), and Voila! $628.90 total roundtrip for the 5 of us.
Since we will have 5 travelling, and DS7 is a skinny 45 lbs and barely 4 feet tall, POR was the best option. AOA and the other value suite were more expensive. POR also came with the regular DDP (free, remember!). I also opted for 3-day tickets because last time we were in Fl, we stayed at the Hilton on I-Drive and my kids would have seriously stayed at the pool for the entire 6 days we were there and been totally happy.
The 3-day tickets actually work out great for us, anyway, because DD LOVES Africa/Asia animals (big cats especially) and is really the only one who is super excited about going to AK. DS13 LOVES Star Wars and would love DHS, but could care less about seeing an animal. I would like to do it all, but DH and I decided that he would take DD to AK and I would take the boys to DHS on one of the days, then we would do Epcot and MK the other two as a family. Our flight gets in around 2pm the first day, so I know that the kids are going to want to check out the pool before we go to dinner at O'Hana at 8pm. We will have to leave for the airport at about 3pm the last day, so again, another pool day, and possibly DTD if the kids want to (although I doubt they will!)
So, the resort and tickets priced out at about $2100 and the airfare at $628. So, my math is a little off....the total was $2728 out the door
4 nights/5 days, airfare for 5, and free dining! We can do it! The kids have NO idea...we are surprising them the morning of the trip. Wen they wake up, they will be heading to the airport instead of school. They will be taking a total of 2 days off of school due to the vacation wrapping around a long holiday.