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Old 02-15-2011, 03:34 AM   #1
fd1972uk
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Orlando Target: June 2013

Hi,


Well as you can see our trip isnít for some time, however guess you can never do enough planning. A combination of finances and our little girl (aged 5) starting school this year means a couple of years is the expected time to hit Orlando. Obviously between times anything can happen, but remaining positive 2 years is possibly going to be the target.

The wife and I have been to Orlando at the end of the 90ís a couple of times and as a family we managed to get to Disneyland Paris in June 09, but our little girl will be 7 and I hope that sheíll still be at that age to take in the magic as well as enjoying a lot of the rides and shows on offer.

Havenít done too much looking in, just the usual getting a brochure or two, quick visits on-line to travel companies and DVDs. Finances are going to play a huge part, as we ainít flushed with money, at early looks it seems that not including spending money on the cheapest option Iíve saw so far is the All-in-one package from First Choice (Iíve found them to be the best priced company everyone else seems sky high like Thomas Cook and Virgin), weíre from Glasgow and intend to leave from there, I understand we can get cheaper prices from other departure airports but I want to leave from Glasgow so not an option, we also will be going when our little girl is on her summer holiday, so Iíve based the prices on the first two weeks that she stops school (end of June), presume itíll only get more expensive as the weeks progress. The package (just under £3,000) includes accommodation at Orlando Continental Plaza on I-Drive and includes transfers, Disney Ultimate 14-day ticket and a 14 day Universal 2 park bonus ticket. The only thing over and above that Iíd possibly like to see would be Seaworld, there is Busch Gardens which weíve not been too, but not sure if that would be in the plans (weíre not the biggest Rollercoaster fans which is a big part of Busch). Thatís would be roughtly £200-£250 extra on top.

Iím guessing that the accommodation is basic, does have a pool and seems to offer if memory serves me right free transport to all the parks (I guess timeís do not tie in with the parks though and maybe the bus isnít in synch with opening/closing times of the parks). The other places we have looked at are obviously Disney itself, I quite fancy Movies resort but guess any of the value resorts (thatís what we would be looking at tbh as I like the layout of it) would be suffice. Also noticed the Art of Animation resort that looks great would be another. However I guess looking at those could easily push the price to the the same as the AIO package without the tickets. The other accommodation that appealed was the Splash Resort Coco Key West (or something like that) in I-Drive I believe. This again wouldnít be too far off the AIO total price, possibly save a few hundred pounds and then have to consider the park tickets being in excess of £1k. The only thing is the whole Disney experience of staying on-site, however not sure if it will out-weigh the price in the end. We also will have to take into consideration any increases over the next two years also.

I do know that eating out daily will be a money issue too, but I donít think there will be any major issues on that front, and although with a kid it will be different our last visits we seemed to hardly spend much apart from the keepsake things and in the end spent a lot on clothes and stuff at the Belz Factory Outlet, but donít see this being in the plans this time.

Any tips or the likes would be greatly appreciated.


Cheers


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Old 02-15-2011, 04:28 AM   #2
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Just a quick question, why June? I have never been in June but I believe its peak time & the crowds are higher (not sure when it starts maybe early June is OK) If you are taking DD out of school wouldn't you be better off peak, or does she have holidays in June?
Just looked at difference in hotel prices (Coco Key Hotel, 14 nights) June £600+ compared to Sept under £400
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:19 AM   #3
fd1972uk
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Technically we can't afford after school care or the likes, therefore we rely on people to watch our little girl, she's at nursery at the moment half-day, so we rely on people to watch her till we get home from work. When it's a school holiday we can't cover every holiday with our allowance, therefore we rely on people to watch her again.

With School it's better as my wife will collect and take her to school, but still need people to help out with holidays.

So basically we don't want to take her out of school as it helps no-one bar ourself and our families then have to take up another 2 weeks of watching her which I think is unfair.

The only time we can get 2 week holidays are April break (which looks quite hard to get actual flights from Glasgow during these motnhs) and the summer holidays.

I know we'll save money on our holiday, but I personally think we're being unfair relying on family to once again help us out, and our parents (wife's Mum) have done great but they ain't getting any younger.

We actually will not be taking time off together too many times as me and the wife will need to try and take our days off to cover as many holidays as our allowance will cope with.

Sorry, bit long winded.


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Old 02-15-2011, 08:10 AM   #4
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Red face

My DH and I stayed at the Best Western Lakeside in Kissimmee last time we went. They too offer free transport to the parks but the times are quite restrictive. For example there is only one bus each morning to each park and the same again in the evening, and we ended up spending money on cabs so that we could stay later at certain parks. For this reason, we will be staying on site when we go next year. We now have a daughter who will be turning 4 whilst we are there, and so we think it may be useful to be able to go back to the resort in the afternoons for a power nap which could not be done if staying off site (we never have a hire car), so do bear this in mind.
One advantage of staying off site however is the easy access to other restaurants. At the BWL we had a Denny's and a Sizzler a few minutes walk as well as an excellent breakfast buffet restaurant in the hotel. There is also a Walgreens on the doorstep which was great for stocking up with "pop" and snacks as the BWL has fridges and coffee makers in the room. (if u want proper tea bring a travel kettle as the water "boiled" in the coffee maker for tea ends up tasting very coffee like! Yuk!)
Busch Gardens : if your daughter likes animals then B.G is well worth a visit - it is not all roller coasters and has some excellent animal attractions. When we go next year we are doing sea world and busch gardens as opposed to uni studios and islands of adventure as we think our DD will get more out of these.
An excellent book you can get is "the brits guide to orlando" by susan and Simon Venness. It has loads of info about all of the parks, height restrictions on rides where to eat etc.

Hope this helps

Happy planning (its never too early to start!)

Claire
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Old 02-16-2011, 01:13 AM   #5
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We live in Scotland too and our schools have a 2 week break in October, which is a lovely time to go, not quite as busy and the weathe is still hot. You can usually check what dates the school holidays will be on the council website.
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:15 AM   #6
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DMH - Yep, had these thoughts on the likes of the hotel buses running at certain times (which is understandable really) and the pro's and con's of staying off-site. When we went as a couple we stayed in the park from the morning till the park closed, but as you rightly say what do we do now with a kid? If we did decide to stay off-site, it would really just have to be a case of going to the park until a certain point and then heading back home and then maybe switching vice-versa for the likes of firework displays etc etc.

Due to the outlay of the holiday it is somewhere that won't come along many times and I might be a little bit selfish but I do want to take in the new areas of Universal with Harry Potter and stuff, whilst I don't think our little girl would be fussed so this eats away some more days.

Lin85 - I could well be wrong here, but I was looking at the holiday dates and I can't actually recall seeing on the Glasgow Council website a 2 week break at October, I will check our little girls Primary School booklet which we got that did have holiday dates in them, so will check that again. However I was checking prices and I was pretty sure these prices where just as expensive if not more than when we intended to go, would need to check again the dates to be sure. I always thought that the worse times to go was Summer Holidays, April and October holiday breaks anyway.


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Old 02-16-2011, 06:12 AM   #7
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Hi there,

I'm no expert but just wanted to say we're going in October from Glasgow with First Choice so I've been looking into how it is in October and a lot of people rate it as one of the best months. Our schools (fife) have 2 week hols, my daughter will still be in nursery but my niece in high school so we had to watch when we were going. I think because the October hols tend to be different dates over the UK it doesn't make a huge difference to crowds. Happy to be corrected if thats wrong

Happy planning
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:18 AM   #8
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Defo confirmed that the school our little girl is going to is on holdiay for one week in October from 17th - 21st October.

Presume the same will apply for the year after etc etc.

So looks like it'll be during the summer, between end of June and mid-August when the schools return. I will check again for October in case it changes to 2 weeks, but I doubt it.


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Old 02-16-2011, 06:19 AM   #9
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I went for the first time in April last year, because we were taking two kids for the first time, and wanted it to be in the School holidays.

In peak times (like School holidays) Virgin fly direct from Glasgow (although that won't help your price much). We flew with them, and stayed in Disney's Pop Century, so we could use the Disney transport for the full two weeks. It wasn't cheap, but like you, we decided to go for it, as we don't know when we'll all get to go as a family again.

April was lovely for weather, and not as bad for crowds as I had expected, but we made full use of being able to get to the parks early, leave mid afternoon when they got busy, and then go back, or somewhere else, in the evenings after relaxing by the pool at the hotel.

There's so much choice, it takes a fair bit of working out to find what suits you. I just thought I'd throw my tuppence into the mix.

Happy planning!
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:56 AM   #10
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Thanks for the replies, really appreciated, will gladly accept more bits and bobs. :D

Vaila - Sorry wouldn't even bother probably looking up Virgin, they had the value resort for £4800, whilst Thomson/First Choice are £3300. That's not even including the price of the tickets for both so already a huge difference.

Am I right in still saying that if you buy the ultimate ticket your transport is already included to get you between the parks from the transport system or has that stopped?


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Old 02-16-2011, 12:41 PM   #11
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Cool! Its lovely to start planning no matter how long the wait is!

Just a thought - have you looked at the Orlando Flexticket rather than Universal pass? The 5 park option covers Universal, Islands, Seaworld, Wet 'n' Wild and Aquatica and the 6 park option adds in Busch Gardens. Might be worth it if you want to do several of those parks.
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Old 02-16-2011, 01:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachandgarry View Post
Cool! Its lovely to start planning no matter how long the wait is!

Just a thought - have you looked at the Orlando Flexticket rather than Universal pass? The 5 park option covers Universal, Islands, Seaworld, Wet 'n' Wild and Aquatica and the 6 park option adds in Busch Gardens. Might be worth it if you want to do several of those parks.
Flex tickets used to be good value but just recently its been cheaper for some to buy other options. All tickets need to be compared when ready for purchasing, could be new offers by then
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Old 02-17-2011, 03:04 AM   #13
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On the Universal ticket, that was the one we got many years ago, we bought the one minus Busch Gardens.

I'll obviously need to look out for any deals as Wayne has said because that would be the plan, don't think I'd bother with the Waterparks personally.

Mind you if we went for this all-in-one package then we will already get the Universal 2 park 14 day pass included, so we'd just need to get a ticket for Sea World and Busch Gardens. When booking this, do you still get teh transport included? And if so do they pick you up at your hotel or is it a certain bus you get at a point?


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Old 02-17-2011, 03:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fd1972uk View Post
we'd just need to get a ticket for Sea World and Busch Gardens. When booking this, do you still get teh transport included? And if so do they pick you up at your hotel or is it a certain bus you get at a point?
Just checked TR website for the SW, Busch & Aquatica ticket (they are best price just now)
Bottom of the info it says
"Includes free bus transportation to Busch Gardens on the Busch Gardens Shuttle Express.
This service departs from SeaWorld Orlando and various locations on International Drive and in Kissimmee. Reservations are a must. The service can be pre-booked by calling 1-800-221-1339. This service is subject to change."
http://www.travelrepublic.co.uk/Attr...il.aspx?PI=376

Looks like you can book it online here https://secure.mearstransportation.c...schGardens.asp
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:48 AM   #15
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Thanks Wayne, I thought it would turn out something like that.

I'm not too fussed with Aquatica myself, although that ticket is a good price for the 3 park, £70 (bit less for the kid). Whilst First Choice are £98, even just the SW/BG one is £75, so guess it's a better option.

It does do my head in though with these Disney tickets that have 7 and 14 days the same price or a few pounds of a difference. Just stupid in my eyes. I can remember this being the same when we went over 10 years ago and still doing it now.


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