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Old 09-14-2012, 06:18 PM   #1
seasonal recluse
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Help Plan First Time Trip for 2 Adults

Hello I am new to the boards and thank you all in advance for any help offered. :D

My husband and I are planning our first trip to Disney World (Oct.17-23), we've never set foot in Florida so we also plan to take a side trip into Keywest before heading back home (5 days will be spent at Disney World).

We are on a tight budget so we were wondering what is the best suggestion (cost wise) visiting WDW.

As of now, we already booked our airplane tickets and car rental. We haven't bought Disney tickets yet, and are wondering if we should go with a meal plan or bring our own food (yeah, I know, weird, but our budget is tight).

So any help is greatly appreciated if it can save us money. I have AAA too, if that would help.
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Old 09-15-2012, 06:00 AM   #2
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Key West is far from Disney and I don't know if you can drive there. You might have go drive to Miami and then take a boat over. But either way, it is a long distance.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:03 AM   #3
lisaross
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I would skip Key West and use that money to spend a few extra days at disney. I would look into staying on property and getting the dining plan. See if it works for your budget - call them. The 1st experience will be so great - as for tickets if u stay the six days u can still buy park tickets for only 4 of the days but u can still eat on the dining plan the others - thats an experience in itself. Call and get prices thru them - maybe they have a promotion going on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seasonal recluse View Post
Hello I am new to the boards and thank you all in advance for any help offered. :D

My husband and I are planning our first trip to Disney World (Oct.17-23), we've never set foot in Florida so we also plan to take a side trip into Keywest before heading back home (5 days will be spent at Disney World).

We are on a tight budget so we were wondering what is the best suggestion (cost wise) visiting WDW.

As of now, we already booked our airplane tickets and car rental. We haven't bought Disney tickets yet, and are wondering if we should go with a meal plan or bring our own food (yeah, I know, weird, but our budget is tight).

So any help is greatly appreciated if it can save us money. I have AAA too, if that would help.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:26 AM   #4
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I would so not skip Key West. That place is alot of fun, especially without kids.
My DH and I visited WDW last November for my birthday for 4 nights, 5 days. No dining plan because when we don't have the kids we just don't think its worth it.
Our total cost was about $1300 including food and lots of goodies at the food and wine festival. We got a discount at Pop Century, bought our park tickets through mouse savers and mostly ate counter meals. We used points for our airline tickets and ME.

We did eat a couple sit down meals but we would order an appetizer and then split a meal. I brought breakfast bars from home and that did save some money also.

Sounds like a fun trip. DH and I plan to visit Key West this spring without the kids.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:26 AM   #5
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Unless the two of you are big eaters, you can eat cheaper at Disney by paying for your food OOP rather than buying a meal plan.

My mom and I just got back from a 10 day trip. We bought breakfast foods at the grocery store and had breakfast in our room each day (we find its easier). We ate mostly counter service meals and even split some of them. We each spent around $300 for the 10 days, not including the money we spent on groceries.

I bought our tickets through Undercover Tourist and saved a bit there too.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:47 AM   #6
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I would pay for your own food too. Much cheaper than the dining plan. I've bought tickets from undercovertourist.com and they were cheaper. If you sign up for the Mousesaver's newsletter they send out a newsletter once a month and if you use the link in there the undercover tourist tickets are even cheaper http://www.mousesavers.com/sign-up-f...-deals-emails/ . There are a number of hotels that are close to Disney but not owned by Disney such as the Swan and Dolphin. Those two hotels get you extra magic hours and Disney transportation just like Disney hotels but are usually less expensive. There are also a number of hotels in the Downtown Disney area. If you will be renting a car you have even more options. I always buy some breakfast foods and snacks to keep in our room.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:09 AM   #7
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Another vote for OOP is cheaper than dining plan. As a 1st visit, I wouldn't do a lot of TS restaurants anyway due to the amount of time lost eating. I wouldn't scrap Key West, even though it is Far, I bet it is a blast! (never been) I would assume rental car, since going to keys, so grocery store for drinks & snacks, breakfast in room & mostly counter service will be cheaper than dining plan. I would look into a value room as well. Parking can get expensive: the parking fees at swan/dolphin or the parking at parks if you stay off property. Good luck, have fun!
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seasonal recluse View Post
My husband and I are planning our first trip to Disney World (Oct.17-23), we've never set foot in Florida so we also plan to take a side trip into Keywest before heading back home (5 days will be spent at Disney World).

We are on a tight budget so we were wondering what is the best suggestion (cost wise) visiting WDW.

As of now, we already booked our airplane tickets and car rental. We haven't bought Disney tickets yet, and are wondering if we should go with a meal plan or bring our own food (yeah, I know, weird, but our budget is tight).
If I read this correctly - you will be arriving in Orlando on the 17th and leaving Orlando on the 23rd? If that is correct, I don't see how you can do 5 days at Disney and a trip to Key West. Key West is about an 8 hour drive one way. Working backwards you would leave Key West early AM on the 23rd to make your flight back out of Orlando, spend the 22nd in Key West, and drive to Key West on the 21st. That's the minimum amount of time you would need in order to make the side trip. That leaves you the part of the day on the 17th and the 18th -20th for Disney. Now if you are flying out of Key West it makes a little more sense. I wouldn't want to make the long drive both ways for only a day in the Keys.

I agree with the other posters - don't bother with the dining plan. It's a lot of food and it uses a lot of time you could spend on seeing the parks. Try booking a value resort. You can probably stay off site for less, but you will have parking costs and extra transportation time.

Plan on counter service meals. At DW, that does not mean burgers and nuggets. There's a large variety of really good food served at many of the counter service locations. The best variety in each park IMHO: Cosmic Rays - MK, Sunshine Seasons -EP, Flame Tree - AK, Studio Catering - HS

Use the Mousesavers link for Undercover Tourist tickets or if time is tight the All Ears link for Maple Leaf Tickets. AAA won't really be much benefit, except maybe for a room discount if there are no Disney specials being offered.

These boards are full of great info. Try the transportation section for great car rental info, resorts section for room discounts, and dining for food info.

Have fun planning!
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Old 09-15-2012, 03:12 PM   #9
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I don't think it's enough time. Are you flying in to MCO or a closer airport to Key West? Seven days total?
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KodakFigment View Post
If I read this correctly - you will be arriving in Orlando on the 17th and leaving Orlando on the 23rd? If that is correct, I don't see how you can do 5 days at Disney and a trip to Key West. Key West is about an 8 hour drive one way. Working backwards you would leave Key West early AM on the 23rd to make your flight back out of Orlando, spend the 22nd in Key West, and drive to Key West on the 21st. That's the minimum amount of time you would need in order to make the side trip. That leaves you the part of the day on the 17th and the 18th -20th for Disney. Now if you are flying out of Key West it makes a little more sense. I wouldn't want to make the long drive both ways for only a day in the Keys.

I agree with the other posters - don't bother with the dining plan. It's a lot of food and it uses a lot of time you could spend on seeing the parks. Try booking a value resort. You can probably stay off site for less, but you will have parking costs and extra transportation time.

Plan on counter service meals. At DW, that does not mean burgers and nuggets. There's a large variety of really good food served at many of the counter service locations. The best variety in each park IMHO: Cosmic Rays - MK, Sunshine Seasons -EP, Flame Tree - AK, Studio Catering - HS

Use the Mousesavers link for Undercover Tourist tickets or if time is tight the All Ears link for Maple Leaf Tickets. AAA won't really be much benefit, except maybe for a room discount if there are no Disney specials being offered.

These boards are full of great info. Try the transportation section for great car rental info, resorts section for room discounts, and dining for food info.

Have fun planning!
Thank you for the information. I really appreciate it you guys!
Actually, we are going to be in Orlando from Oct 17 to 23 for DW and get a rental car to drive to Daytona beach and see Florida's sights along the way and stay in Key West from the 23rd to the 25th and Fly to come home. We will drop off the rental car at the Key West Airport; thus, we will drive one way.

Sounds like to get cheap Disney World tickets is from Underdiscover website.
The total cost will be $538.70 5 days for 2 adults so far.

From what you guys have mentioned it is more time efficient to eat in Disney. Without a car is it difficult to access supermarkets around DW? Also if we stayed off site, is it a fight to get a seat on the buses provided by the off site hotels?

Are there any additional suggestions for buying cheap Disney World Tickets and/or food?

Is there any advice for cheap transportation from MCO (Orlando Airport) to Kissemme (if we stayed off site)?

I am so excited for our vacation trips
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:53 PM   #11
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Car rentals in Orlando are crazy cheap through Hotwire. You can likely get a 7 day condo through skyauction.com for about 225-325 for a week. Then you could make food at home.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:11 PM   #12
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I like to stay onsite and use Disney transportation. If you are flying into MCO you could use the Magical Express to get to your hotel and to get around the World. Eating there is not crazy expensive and it great never having to leave. When you check out, you can rent a car from the Car Care Center (in WDW, they will pick you up from your resort) or you could go back to MCO (we have found the rentals cheaper from there). Then just have the car for the days you will be driving.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seasonal recluse View Post
Thank you for the information. I really appreciate it you guys!
Actually, we are going to be in Orlando from Oct 17 to 23 for DW and get a rental car to drive to Daytona beach and see Florida's sights along the way and stay in Key West from the 23rd to the 25th and Fly to come home. We will drop off the rental car at the Key West Airport; thus, we will drive one way.

Sounds like to get cheap Disney World tickets is from Underdiscover website.
The total cost will be $538.70 5 days for 2 adults so far.

From what you guys have mentioned it is more time efficient to eat in Disney. Without a car is it difficult to access supermarkets around DW? Also if we stayed off site, is it a fight to get a seat on the buses provided by the off site hotels?

Are there any additional suggestions for buying cheap Disney World Tickets and/or food?

Is there any advice for cheap transportation from MCO (Orlando Airport) to Kissemme (if we stayed off site)?

I am so excited for our vacation trips
Since you've already booked your airline tickets, it makes little sense to tell you that a side trip to Key West is probably not a good idea with the amount of time that you have, so I won't even enter into that discussion. I'll just limit my advice to Disney World.

It is not impossible to go grocery shopping offsite without a car. But to be honest, you cannot simply walk to a grocery store from any of the Disney resorts. If you stay onsite, you would do better to either get a cab or rent a car for the day.

It can be a fight to get a seat on the offsite resort buses during the peak times. Everyone must be seated, so you cannot stand on those buses and the seats are first-come, first-seated. Some resorts make you reserve your seats ahead of time, which can be a hassle but at least you know that you have transportation.

Cheap tickets? There is no such thing! But you can get a discount from Undercovertourist, as already mentioned, or any of a number of ticket sellers like Mapleleaftickets, Discountorlandovacation, or Ticketmania. They are all pretty close in price but each will run their own specials, so check them all for the types of tickets that you want.

Cheap food? If you're offsite, choose a resort that offers free breakfast. And not just a free doughnut and coffee but a free breakfast buffet. Eat well before you head to the parks. Pack a light lunch. You can bring your own food into the parks. Then do a counter service dinner. Do buy beverages. Either ask for a cup of ice water at the counter service restaurant or bring a refillable bottle and use the drinking fountains. You can also search websites like Groupon or Living Social to get discounted coupons for meals in the Orlando area. Just make sure that you know where those restaurants are located in relationship to your hotel before you purchase.

The cheapest way to get from MCO to anywhere in Orlando would be to use the Lynx bus system. But the routes are not direct and it will take a long time to get where you are going. The second most affordable way to go would be to use a Mears shuttle (about $20 per adult before tip, one-way). You will share with a few others and you will stop at other hotels but it will take less time. Or for a little more, you can get a town car service (like Tiffany Town Car) that will make a half-hour grocery stop along the way to your hotel (about $60 before tip, one-way). Or, you might want to check out pricing for a compact car, one way for a single day. If you rent from Alamo or National, you could drive from the airport, pick up groceries and drop everything off at your hotel and then drive to either the Swan/Dolphin or the Disney Car Care Center to drop off and head to the parks from there.

Good luck with your planning. Without knowing your budget for things, it's a little difficult to be more helpful.
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