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Old 01-01-2014, 08:24 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Planning "epic" trip for 2016

Good morning and Happy New Year!!! I am already planning our epic adventure for the first anniversary of my 39th birthday in 2016. By planning, I mean making lists of everything that I want to do or want my kids to experience (BBB!!! Finally!!!), saving money (I've got a dedicated piggy bank . . . no really!), reading the DIS and spending lots of time daydreaming.

Since I've never really planned a trip this far out, I've never had to worry about when things will open for reservations. How far ahead do they open the hotel reservations? Is it advantageous to book as early as possible and keep an eye on any special offers that may come up after booking? Should I consider using a TA for this one??

We're a family of 5 and potentially have up to 10 people in our party (there will be more people coming and going during the trip but I will only take responsibility for 10 of them!) IF I decide to let my husband come along (he rains on my Disney parades even though both previous trips have been at least partially his idea), we would need a room for 5 which (I believe) limits us to POR. One of the reasons I'm stressing is b/c I want to make sure that we have a room that he won't complain about if he comes along.

Thanks for any help or suggestions!!
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Old 01-01-2014, 08:30 AM   #2
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I will help you with one thing. Reservations for 2016 packages will more than likely open up by August 2015.
Room only reservations are further out, but I only think 2 years or less.

This statement is based on historical information. Your mileage may vary;Void in Bergen County NJ on Sundays.
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4/76 - offsite, 4/77 - CR, 4/78 - CR, 4/79 - FW Trailer, 5/80 - CR, 5/82 - Disney Inn, 12/82 - FW Trailer, 5/83 - DL California, 12/83 - CR, 9/84 - CR, 1/85 - CR, 3/88 - Disney Village suites (later Disney Institute, where SSR is now), 8/96 - DxL (POR), 8/07 - CR, 10/08 - CR Atrium
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:49 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by sassie_kat View Post
we would need a room for 5 which (I believe) limits us to POR. One of the reasons I'm stressing is b/c I want to make sure that we have a room that he won't complain about if he comes along.
The Deluxe hotels will sleep five to a room, and there's also the DVC Villas that you can either rent points or book as a hotel guest through Disney.

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Old 01-01-2014, 09:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Meghatron View Post
The Deluxe hotels will sleep five to a room, and there's also the DVC Villas that you can either rent points or book as a hotel guest through Disney.

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FW cabins will sleep 5 too. Plus AoA and ASMu suites
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:19 PM   #5
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in my opinion you should/might as well book as soon as rates come out if you are particular about what you want and are willing to pay full price. (never do this myself or plan far enough out so i couldn't tell you how far out that would be).

I do believe that you can book the room only further out then a package. (so again I don't know how far out you can make it a package with dining/tickets if you wanted to do that because i have never been so early/on top of it)

if you plan to book around a discount and especially if you are not going during a peak time i would just wait and see. take a look at this to see historical discounts and release dates (obviously no discount is guaranteed but its not unreasonable to keep an eye out for something similar to past discounts on your dates) http://www.mousesavers.com/historica...ort-discounts/

not sure when in 2016 you want to book but our favorite time is mid September for crowds. check out sites like easywdw.com, undercovertourist or touringplans.com (sorry if i misspelled one of those but if you google several similar sites pop up)

as far as where to stay i can only offer my own opinion. not sure what your budget is but you said the trip will be epic whats the breakdown of the party? is your family you, husband and 3 kids and then the other 5 another family or what is the deal? that would make a difference in my suggestion at least to room type.

we love the polynesian and depending on the break down of the group you could do 2-3 regular rooms. for us, we kind of like our space if its financially feasible. thinking of your husband here - maybe do 3 or even 4 rooms if its possible so that everyone is a little more comfortable. if construction will still be going on ? (not sure) both the contemporary and gf would be nice choices with 5 in a room as well. you could also go the dvc route (others will have different opinions but that wouldn't be my choice for a special trip) I would want to do club level at a monorail resort if it were an option. i would also look into some of the larger suites at those hotels too...again if it is in budget.

the grand villas sleep 12 i believe and are available at okw, ssr(i think), akv, blt, gfv.....i THINK all the dvc resorts.

happy planning

2015October 8 days poly cl tpv June- 5 day concierge double dip dream cruise March- 9 days Boardwalk villas spring break January GF RPC and disney dream 2014: December: YC CL, 12/12 dream concierge, 10 days AKV-CL October 4 days GF RPC Halloween Party TripJuly: 4 days boardwalk villas/Boardwalk Inn club level June -1 day OKW, 8 days GF RPC May - 4 days GF RPC march-April - 10 days Poly cl/ 2013: Bay Lake Tower TPV, fantasy concierge, bc cl, poly cl (2x), gf sl, vero beach resort 2012 - Vero beach resort, OKW, Poly cl 2011 - Disney Dream and AKV- Kidani (our son's first disney trip) 2010 Disney's Vero Beach Resort 2009 Disney's Vero Beach Resort (our son's first vacation)
Husband, myself and 5 year old son
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:58 PM   #6
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The "epic" part of the trip has become somewhat of a family joke. We've been to the World twice since having all three of our kids (with different extensions of family for each trip) and each time I have gotten roped in to the planning and made sure that everybody else was more than taken care of but didn't get to do many of the things I wanted. Then I realized that I'm turning 40 in a couple of years AND that the year I turn 40 is the last time we won't have to pay adult prices for my oldest son. And then I said to myself, "Self, we are going to WDW and it is going to be all about me." (well, with a bit thrown in for my kids.)

The main party is going to consist of me, DH (if I cave and let him come along . . . the D in this case doesn't usually stand for dear! ), DS (9 at time of travel), DS (7 at time of travel) and DD (probably 6 at time of travel). All three kids will be in school so I don't want to push the trip until September of 2016 (also, I'd have to pay for the oldest b/c he'll turn 10 in July). My birthday is in March and in 2016 will fall on the Tuesday after Easter - I am NOT doing that for our epic trip! I was thinking either the last week of February or first week of March, also potentially trying to time it around school holidays in February or *maybe* even January (the kids will have two days off for teacher work days).

The rest of the 10 people would be my mom, dad and sister's family (her, BIL and nephew 7). Friends may or may not be joining in for parts of the trip but I am not going to coordinate their hotel.

We stayed at POP! for our first trip and my husband did nothing but complain. We stayed at POR for our last trip and that was acceptable to him and the kids loved it. While I would love to do a deluxe, the amount that I'm going to be able to save isn't going to make it to that level.

I'm thinking a 10 day trip (not 10 park days though, we need a break in the middle.)

Is it possible to change from room only to a package if a good deal comes out? The other thing I'm considering is to buy tickets piece-meal as I have saved enough. I *know* that I'll need 1 adult and 3 child's tickets of at least 7 days. I was thinking of buying them off of UT as I saved enough for each ticket.
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:35 PM   #7
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Hello!! We are also a family of 5 and we are going in January 2015 to celebrate that we are both turning 40 and our 10 year wedding anniversary!!! So, my plan so that I can book my ADRs at 180 + 10 is to book our January package as soon as rates for 2015 come out. Make dining ressies, wait for any deals that come out....then likely go online and book discounted deal and call when the phones aren't so crazy to cancel the original ressie. The only issue with buying tx from UT would be if you wanted to add the dining plan to your package, then you would need to buy at lease 2 day tix as part of the package. You would also need to buy these tix for any package discount as well. So, it might cost more to buy 5 day tix from UT, then 2 day tix from Disney. We stayed at AOA last year in a suite and LOVED it but it was pricey. Next year, we are going budget since I'll still be in nursing school but saving every penny from my PT job to pay for the trip. So, we are going with POR. I'm looking forward to it..it looks beautiful!
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Old 01-04-2014, 10:27 PM   #8
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I, too. am planning a birthday trip in 2016. I'll be turning '15' on Feb 29, which is on a Monday that year, so will be down there that week! Am already making lists and following different resort threads. I'm thinking of ASSports or CBR,(depends on whether my SIL goes too, or I go by myself) but I'm sure I'll change my mind a million times before actually booking. Will definitely book as soon as possible in 2015, than watch for discounts.
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Old 01-04-2014, 10:42 PM   #9
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I would seriously consider looking into an AoA suite. I stayed in one in September (Lion King Suite) and it was really wonderful. If you're looking for a spacious room...that would be a good choice. It's also a fun resort. You can save some money by buying some groceries too as it has a kitchenette...which would be great for snacks, breakfast foods, sandwiches, drinks, etc. You would have 2 bathrooms and a separate bedroom too...definitely some nice bonuses.

My suggestion is to figure out where you want to stay and what tickets you need and cost of food...add all that up...and then break it down by month what you need to save up/set aside. You could even buy a gift card a month at target or whatever and then collect those until you have enough saved up for the Disney trip. Much easier to save that way in my opinion because you won't be tempted to spend those gift cards on anything BUT Disney.

You're going to have a great trip!

Stayed at: AOA Lion King Suite, Bonnet Creek , POP Century, Coronado Springs Resort, Port Orleans Riverside, and The Dolphin (when I was really young)

Next Stay: Caribbean Beach Resort September 2014
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