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Old 01-18-2010, 08:30 AM   #1
RIDisneyFan
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Help needed planning budget Dec WDW trip

My family (me, DH, DD10, DD12) has been to WDW 3 times in the last 5 years and have gotten a lot of useful information from the Disboards. DH and I would like to surprise the girls with a WDW trip in December - we'd like to see the Christmas decorations, and DD10's b-day is in December; in the past we have gone in Sept, on or close to DD12's b-day. All of our trips have been budget - value resort, during value season, free dining. If we do go in Dec, it really has to be budget, especially if there is no free dining in Dec this year. I was thinking of going right after Thanksgiving (during the short period of value season) but need help/suggestions for planning as inexpensive a trip as possible. Some of my questions are:

Onsite or offsite? I'd prefer onsite, but I'm open to suggestions if it will save me money.
Would it be cheaper to buy a MYW package or buy room and park tickets separately? We have AAA, I think we can get a room discount - do we have to use AAA travel, or can I book directly thru Disney and get the AAA discount?
How about park tickets? I just subscribed to Mousesavers. They mention Undercover Tourist; has anyone used them? Is there any other way to get cheaper park tickets, other than E-Bay?
Is the new dining package (counter service only) worth buying? Will it save me money? We'd like to have at least 1 table service meal (there are several WDW restaurants we like) but we can do counter service only if it will save us a lot of money.
Any other money saving suggestions would be welcome!
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:48 AM   #2
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I can answer a few of your questions.

You can book a AAA room only rate without going through AAA, just ask for that rate when you reserve. If you get a PACKAGE, I am almost sure you have to got through AAA.

If you are driving, offsite could definitely save you some money. You could get a hotel within 15 minutes of Disney property for around $50/night. Of course, you would have to drive to the parks and pay $14/day to park, so it may only save you $20/night. If you're going during value season and can get the AAA rate(or a code), I would stay onsite. Weekdays are cheaper if you could work it that way.

I don't think the DDP will save you much money. Your kids will both be priced as adults, so you might break even. The counter service one would be 29.99/day for each of you, so $120/day. I never spend that much money on counter service food and snacks. I buy the kids meals many places or split a meal. We also don't buy drinks; we get free ice water and bring along flavor packets. You DO get a refillable mug each for the resorts with that plan, so that may make a difference.

Don't buy tickets on ebay! You could do the GAD promotion to get a free one day ticket each and then upgrade it to whatever you need once you get to Disney. They have black out dates, but I bet not during the time after Thanksgiving until value season ends. The GAD ticket has a $79 value, so you could get a 7 day base ticket for $155 plus tax.

Good luck!
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:57 AM   #3
RIDisneyFan
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We live in RI, so I really don't want to drive, but we would consider doing that if necessary.
I already do some volunteer work, so I'm definitely willing to do the GAD promotion (and finding something the whole family can do). I know you can use that free ticket towards a discount on a multi-day ticket. Does anyone know how much the discount is? We would probably be getting either a 5-day or 6-day ticket.
I'm thinking we can eat cheaper than what the dining plan would cost, so unless it's free, I doubt we will get it this time.
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:08 AM   #4
torinsmom
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Yeah, wouldn't be driving from RI, LOL. Onsite would definitely be better for you,especially since you plan on value season.

The value of the GAD is the value of a one day ticket, which the Disney website says is $79. a 5 day ticket is $228 and a 6 day is $231, so the ticket would cose $149 or $152 plus tax.

It's amazing that I will be getting a 7 day Disney ticket for a few dollars more than a 7 day Universal ticket---grrr
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June 16-25 2010--Universal AND Disney for 10 days (Emerald Island)
August 10-20 2011--Universal and Disney(Indian Creek)
July 6-14 2012--Universal and Disney--doing YES again!
July 14-21 2013--Universal and Disney with family
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