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Old 03-31-2013, 12:18 AM   #1
WishUponAStar
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Good news- good news- bad news.

Good news 1. My daughter was accepted into the Disney College Program and wil be there from mid May till early Jan. (with a possible internship in the Spring)
Good news 2. Since she can't come home we will have to go visit her several times. Now we will get to make multiple trips in the next 6-7 months. Maybe a June, July, Fall and Dec at least. 4-5 day stays.
Bad news. How can we finance all those trips?

Obviously APs are the best ticket option.
Use free dining when and if offered.
Bounce back ressies would be helpful too if we could plan that far in advance. Optimally we would wait for her work schedule to come out and try to plan short trips if she has 2+ consecutive days off so that means short notice.
AP room rates may help but as a CM I believe she can make room ressies for us at an even bigger savings.
Travel costs are pretty much fixed at about $300 per trip if we drive through, $500 if we stop half way (845 miles one way).

Any other suggestions for saving money or making this possible?
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:17 AM   #2
MrsDrewsky
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She should be able to get you a great discount. Congratulations to your daughter!
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:35 AM   #3
tlh0726
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No free dining with APs. You would need to purchase additional tickets to get the offer.
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:23 AM   #4
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I have no idea but I wanted to say Congratulations to your daughter!!! That is great! You must be so proud. AND although it might be a challenge to make the trips affordable, I can't think of a better place to have to go visit!
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:41 AM   #5
amos07
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I would get the AP tickets and then get whatever discount she can get for you. I am pretty sure that it's usually better than any of the public discounts from what I have read on here.
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:50 AM   #6
bigmamimia
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You can get the annual passes, if they offer free dining then save the tickets you will have to purchase for future years. I thought I read somewhere that there will be a free dining option for AP holders. Although, a cast member discount on rooms combined with whatever discount they offer on the dining plan might be less expensive than a rack room rate with free dining plan.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WishUponAStar View Post
Good news 1. My daughter was accepted into the Disney College Program and wil be there from mid May till early Jan. (with a possible internship in the Spring)
Good news 2. Since she can't come home we will have to go visit her several times. Now we will get to make multiple trips in the next 6-7 months. Maybe a June, July, Fall and Dec at least. 4-5 day stays.
Bad news. How can we finance all those trips?

Obviously APs are the best ticket option.
Use free dining when and if offered.
Bounce back ressies would be helpful too if we could plan that far in advance. Optimally we would wait for her work schedule to come out and try to plan short trips if she has 2+ consecutive days off so that means short notice.
AP room rates may help but as a CM I believe she can make room ressies for us at an even bigger savings.
Travel costs are pretty much fixed at about $300 per trip if we drive through, $500 if we stop half way (845 miles one way).

Any other suggestions for saving money or making this possible?
First Congrats!!! Second thought is she'll probably want to do the parks with you the first time , but maybe on some of those visits consider an off site suite? She may want to do other things with you there, then you can have a kitchen (i know home cooked food was like gold to me back then!) maybe free breakfast, and save a little on meals. You can always go to the parks for a day or two once she is back at work, especially since you have a car.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:06 AM   #8
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Do CP not get comp tickets? I was a CM not in the CP so I am not sure how it works for them, but we did get comp tickets a few times a year. Plus we got to take immediate family into the parks.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:11 AM   #9
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Congratulations to your daughter! Both of my sons did a semester and loved it!! The room discount is about 40%...more if your daughter stays with you. Plus there are sometimes special offers she can find on the hub which include great deals on the dining plan. She will get six days of maingate passes for up to 3 people to use during her program. Plus merchandise discounts and a small discount on some full service dining. Have you visited the College Board yet? There is a thread over there specifically for parents of college program participants.
oh, and YAY for you getting to take extra trips! Of course you simply CAN'T leave your baby girl so far away without visiting her! A parent's got to do what a parent's got to do....
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:43 AM   #10
jgreco
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Perhaps you can work something out with someone who does VRBO near the park. If you can set pre-determined dates maybe you can get a better price to stay in the same home multiple times? You daughter may welcome a break to see you somewhere outside of work/school that doesn't include mouse ears. How nice it would be to rent a house with a private pool where you can all hang out!

Will you get "Disney'ed out"? I love Disney, but that's ALOT of Disney in a short period!
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:02 PM   #11
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If you go off season and your daughter stays with you the costs of the hotels will be phenomenal...especially if you stay value. There are also times of the year she can get the dining package at a real deal if you want to do that.

I did not depend on her to get me in the parks as I have always had an annual pass and I just kept it up so I could go whenever I wanted as we would sometimes go down during block out times or busy weeks or stay for a longer time and she would be working some of it.

As far as how to make it cheaper travel wise you should consider getting a gas credit card with perks or doing some of the reward programs where you can get gas cards as a reward.

You can PM me if you want more specifics on how we did things when we traveled to see our daughter during the CP and even now that she is full time.

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Old 03-31-2013, 12:17 PM   #12
Shelly F - Ohio
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Since FD is out of your visits I would eat off property in order to save money. You will pay a fourth of what Disney will charge you.
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shelly F - Ohio View Post
Since FD is out of your visits I would eat off property in order to save money. You will pay a fourth of what Disney will charge you.
However if she has an AP and gets the TIW or her daughter pays and uses her discount that might not be the case. Or it might not be worth the offsite travel.

Sometimes the CMs get some special discounts on food as well - especially with the Holiday coupon booklet.

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Old 03-31-2013, 01:17 PM   #14
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Just wanted to say Congrats! What a nice problem to have
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:23 PM   #15
jls886
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My sister did the CP August 2011-January 2012 and we went to visit her twice. We went once in September for nights, then in December for 10 nights (over xmas and NYE). We then all went back as a complete family in May 2012 for another 10 nights.

We did all get AP's. She got about a 10% discount on those and purchased them for us in the company store. Having an AP will get you some retail and dining discounts on its own. I think the max discount is 10% off at certain places.

We also bought a Tables in Wonderland card which gave us 20% off on pretty much all of our table service meals. I think the cost is now $100 but if you eat a lot of TS meals (we eat one per day) it more than pays for itself. You can only buy it if you are an AP holder or FL resident.

One other thing to add, if you do stay on property with a regular reservation, the cast member price for the dining plan is discounted so it is a great deal. Because we stayed DVC we weren't eligible for that.

She did look into booking our hotels, during many times of the year they get up to 40% off and then it is actually 50% off if the cast member stays with you. However, we rented DVC points for both trips and found that price to be better than her price because we wanted to stay deluxe. If you want to stay at a value or a mod, her discount will be great. Have her book them as far out as possible because there are a limited number of rooms available for that discount just like with other discounts.

That is all we did as far as discounts, but we definitely felt like we more than got our money's worth with our AP's and the TIW card.

ETA: yes, she had a few passes to get people in free but we didn't use those. She only had 6 so we let her use those for her friends that came to visit. She also did have a few dining discounts but those were only valid when she actually ate the meal with us, which wasn't that common. So we did the TIW card since she was working for the majority of the time we were there.

She got to work at Cinderella's Royal Table and was THRILLED when she found out her assignment!

Last edited by jls886; 03-31-2013 at 06:29 PM.
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