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Old 04-01-2013, 11:50 AM   #16
tar heel
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When my son was in the CP, we visited him in October and during Christmas. He got us hotel rooms for 40-50% off, even during Christmas. Each time, we used three days of his six days of comp hopper tickets. The December trip also included his brother who was in college, so CP son got him a hopper at a reduced price. He asked for time off ahead of time when we visited in October. At Christmas, we worked around his schedule, but we were usually at the parks when he was working. The Christmas visit allowed us to all be together and also to take most of his stuff home so he could fly home a few days later without a lot of stuf.

Our son had food discounts at some places and merchandise discounts at Downtown Disney. He had special discounts (40%?) on merchandise during a time when weren't there, but it's when he bought his Christmas presents.

Those two trips were by the far the cheapest Disney trips we've ever had.
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:08 PM   #17
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Congrats to your DD. We are facing this same situation!! DD was accepted and will arrive in early Aug. So, this year we will be doing at least 3 Disney trips. One in May for DS school competition, one in Aug to move DD to the apts and then one more in dec/jan to move her back home. I only wished we could pull off one more quick trip in the middle of her stay. But the cost of these trips are a real budget buster, so I don't know how I would pull off one more. lol

The May trip is booked with the spring discount, our Aug. trip will be booked with bounceback (until AP rate comes out then will see which is better), and we are hoping that she can get a good deal on our room for the Dec trip.
DH and I will have AP's but DS will probably have to use her comp tickets. NEVER ever thought I would be going to Disney this many times in one year!

I feel your pain with the out of pocket money part of it.
What was your DD accepted for? Mine will be in Merchandising (she really wanted photopass)
They will have soo much fun and it is an amazing opportunity!
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:55 PM   #18
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My DD was accepted also - Congrats!!!! She will start 8/12. I have a friend who is going in August, I had planned to tag along before this all came about. We are staying with a friend at the Treehouses. I will need to help with Gas and purchase his dinner out one night. I think I will just give him the $50.00 and he can do what he wants. Then we are hoping to visit in early December on her discount and for her to get the passes as we can't count on DD being available to get us in the parks each day and there are 4 of us so we would need to purchase the tickets. She will be doing Quick Service Food & Beverage. I want to go for Christmas. We are hoping that 3 of her friends that are still waiting to hear make it so that she can come home with them. If not, we are not sure if she will fly home or we will have to drive to get her. I don't mind driving. It just means so much time away from work and I only have so many days but I would really rather be in Disney but life gets in the way along with the paycheck.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:18 PM   #19
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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?
Our daughter did the program last Jan. from the 9th until the end of May. She elected to NOT extend. We went down with her the weekend leading into her check in day on that Monday the 9th. My husband drove her car down and we flew down. We stayed until Tuesday. My husband actually stayed one extra day to help get her settled. We actually had a DVC trip already planned for the end of Jan for a week so we went back. THEN..... we rented a place at Windsor Hills during spring break. THEN... We went back the end of May for Star Wars weekend/Memorial Day weekend and my husband stayed an extra day to drive her car home to MD. WE got AP's and my youngest son and myself went back in July. We got our use out of those babies.

I can't say we saved any money....because we were there so many times but THE MEMORIES WERE PRICELESS. Message me if you have any CP questions. We just got back this past Thursday from another spring break trip down there. I can also explain how the room discounts work and all too. Sounds like she is doing a longer program...so ADVANTAGE probably right?? I think those kids can actually go home for a short stay during their program. My dd got two days off each week....usually they were two days in a row but not always. Plus during peak times....they get less time off and depending on where she works....their hours can BE LONG LONG LONG. My daughter worked in MK at the Emporium. She had some extremely late nights...into the wee hours.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:26 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by tzeitel View Post
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.
The CP has them on their MAIN GATE pass, but the CP person has to go thru with them each time. SO....if they have to work one day....then their family member would not be able to get in the park. They are attached to the CP's main gate pass.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:38 PM   #21
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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!
Our daughter saved her Main Gate for when her BF came to visit on two occasions. Of course he could not use it unless she was with him. I know she had to work 1 day of the days he was there on both trips.....so he just went running around DTD and did homework.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:41 PM   #22
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Thanks for all of the advice and help. I am excited for you other CP parents too. She will be working in Attractions. She will be living my dream.

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Old 04-01-2013, 10:22 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by kellydizfan View Post
My DD was accepted also - Congrats!!!! She will start 8/12. I have a friend who is going in August, I had planned to tag along before this all came about. We are staying with a friend at the Treehouses. I will need to help with Gas and purchase his dinner out one night. I think I will just give him the $50.00 and he can do what he wants. Then we are hoping to visit in early December on her discount and for her to get the passes as we can't count on DD being available to get us in the parks each day and there are 4 of us so we would need to purchase the tickets. She will be doing Quick Service Food & Beverage. I want to go for Christmas. We are hoping that 3 of her friends that are still waiting to hear make it so that she can come home with them. If not, we are not sure if she will fly home or we will have to drive to get her. I don't mind driving. It just means so much time away from work and I only have so many days but I would really rather be in Disney but life gets in the way along with the paycheck.
My DD checks in on August 12 also! She is in attractions! She is hoping to have a car with her, so that will mean driving from ME to FL ! However, as she doesn't even have a license yet, I'm not going to worry... Yet! I will go down with her to get settled in. I am hoping to go to the Food and Wine Festival while she is there, and maybe she can get me a sweet deal at AKL. I've always wanted to stay there. Hopefully we will have enough rapid rewards points for my airfare home in August, and for both DH and me to go in October. We will both go at Christmas, and I don't know if we will even do parks then, or just take a vacation and relax. DD is worried about being alone at Christmas, but as her last day at Disney is 1/3/14, I figure we'll be going down then to collect her and bring her home, anyhow!

DH and I each have about 50000 rapid rewards points with Southwest so hopefully that'll cover most of the airfare. We'll use DDs comp passes for F&W, and hopefully she will get a good deal on both rooms and dining plan then. At Christmas, who knows? Right now my sister and brother are thinking of maybe going down too, and we'll rent a house in the area. If we do that, my sis and bil will drive over from New Orleans and we can spend the holidays together. That wouldn't stink, either!
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:58 PM   #24
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My DD checks in on August 12 also! She is in attractions! She is hoping to have a car with her, so that will mean driving from ME to FL ! However, as she doesn't even have a license yet, I'm not going to worry... Yet!
You may want to look into driving to VA and hopping on the auto train, I did this for my second program and was well worth it.
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:04 PM   #25
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CM's get 2 days off a week, the weeks are Sunday to Saturday so she could technically get 4 days off in a row (fri/sat sun/mon) as her regular days off if she requests it and they grant it. I never had an issue taking off or finding coverage even working on Main Street in merchandise which is one of the busier places, but it has been 10 years since I did the program, so a lot could have changed.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:13 AM   #26
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You may want to look into driving to VA and hopping on the auto train, I did this for my second program and was well worth it.
Good idea- I'll check it out! I love to drive, but it's 27 hours straight through, without including stops for gas, potty, sleep etc. The autotrain might be what we need!
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