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Old 05-24-2013, 06:11 AM   #1
thestevied
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Booking a package or not?

So we've been to wdw over 15 times and every time we've gone by booking a package - and almost every time we've booked through virgin holidays.
We never hire a car, so transfers to the hotel would be necessary. And we will always want to stay in a disney resort. I'm just wondering (as so many of you seem to do it this way) whether it would work out better to book hotel and flights separate. I think we'd prefer to still fly with virgin.
Is it common to book the hotel directly through the walt disney world website? Is this common and easy to do for English holiday makers? Would airport transfers be included?

I appreciate any tips/advice in advance.
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Old 05-24-2013, 06:27 AM   #2
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Like you we have always booked with Virgin Holidays.
This time we are doing things different.
We've booked direct with Disney and got the tickets,free dining & gift card included. If you are staying at a Disney hotel, you can book DME. I'm guessing that's only from MOCO though.

Before I booked, I checked out the prices of everywhere and Disney were the cheapest for our hotel. To get a rough idea of flight prices, I've been keeping an eye on the flights for the past couple of years. I also got a quote from VH for a fly drive , if I booked the fly drive I wouldn't have picked up the car.
The fly drive plus the Disney total was about £1500 cheaper than booking the package with VH.
We're going to wait for the flights to come out and then book with Virgin Atlantic, hopefully this will save us some more money.

I know there are lots of other ways but for us this is the next best option and it was pretty easy to book.
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Old 05-24-2013, 06:33 AM   #3
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This October will be our 11th trip to WDW since 2004 and we have only booked a package the first 3 times.

It is much easier for usto book everything separately but that's partly because we are DVC owners so our accommodation is already taken care of. We always rent a car but, don't forget, if you stay on-site you can use Magical Express from the airport even if you haven't booked a package.

It really depends how much flexibility you want/need. If you just want a bog-standard 2/3 week package, with flights, accommodation, tickets and maybe dining plan, then you may as well book a package.

After several trips, we prefer to mix things up a bit, see a bit more of Florida and the local area, venture off-site for meals (we much prefer off-site dining to on-site) and have the freedom to travel around a bit.

I have to admit, even though we are not using our DVC accommodation this year, we have still booked everything separately, purely because we can tailor it exactly to suit our needs.
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Old 05-24-2013, 06:46 AM   #4
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Think I always worry about booking accommodation and then not being able to get flights to match, or vice versa.

We pretty much just do the theme parks (universal and sea world too) and a day shopping.

Think I might try doing a dummy booking this weekend.

How far in advance can you book accommodation with wdw and/or flights? Anyone know?
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Old 05-24-2013, 06:56 AM   #5
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We are booking next oct next week with complete orlando as okw is still £400 cheaper with tickets than disney even with cashback and the gift card

We will then add flights at the end of the year with just paying a deposit, flights are released 11 months from return date
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:24 AM   #6
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I booked a package our 1st trip in 2007 but don't think i will ever see those prices again! The whole thing was only 2500 staying at port Orleans!! I have booked separately since. I will price up both options though.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:08 AM   #7
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I've not booked with a travel agent for years purely because I have found them very expensive. VH in particular I found ridiculously expensive, often a grand or two more than a DIY booking for a 14 night break

We always fly with VA and book the flights separately usually several months in advance, often 11 months out as soon as they are released. I tend to use WDW UK for tickets and hotel but have on occassion used Complete Orlando who have sometimes been a little cheaper. We always stay the full 14 nights on site so our needs may be a little different from those doing mainly the other parks.

I'm sure there is a place for travel agents however I get almost obsessive when researching prices and have yet to find a travel agent cheaper than a DIY booking.

To be honest, I quite enjoy the thorough ( borderline manic ) research, much to my wifes amusement
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:11 AM   #8
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it is still worth looking at package holiday prices. We normally do DIY now but when we booked last years hol the year before, we ended up booking a package as it only worked out about £100 more expensive and I had a moment of madness and thought it was worth it just to sit back and let them take care of everything. But this year we are back to DIY because it worked out about £1000 cheaper!!
We have booked the room through WDW travel co. and the flights with VA. We never bother with a car either (just don't need it) so have DME booked.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:16 AM   #9
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We've always found it cheaper and better to go DIY!
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queendisney View Post
it is still worth looking at package holiday prices. We normally do DIY now but when we booked last years hol the year before, we ended up booking a package as it only worked out about £100 more expensive and I had a moment of madness and thought it was worth it just to sit back and let them take care of everything. But this year we are back to DIY because it worked out about £1000 cheaper!!
We have booked the room through WDW travel co. and the flights with VA. We never bother with a car either (just don't need it) so have DME booked.
I agree, there's been a couple of times where there isn't much difference in the price. So we've booked the package deal and let VH sort out our requests.
I know people are always saying package holidays are the most expensive but I haven't always found that to be the case.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucys dad View Post
I've not booked with a travel agent for years purely because I have found them very expensive. VH in particular I found ridiculously expensive, often a grand or two more than a DIY booking for a 14 night break

We always fly with VA and book the flights separately usually several months in advance, often 11 months out as soon as they are released. I tend to use WDW UK for tickets and hotel but have on occassion used Complete Orlando who have sometimes been a little cheaper. We always stay the full 14 nights on site so our needs may be a little different from those doing mainly the other parks.

I'm sure there is a place for travel agents however I get almost obsessive when researching prices and have yet to find a travel agent cheaper than a DIY booking.

To be honest, I quite enjoy the thorough ( borderline manic ) research, much to my wifes amusement
Sounds like something we would probably do. We spend most days on site but get the taxi to universal a couple of times too.

Are there particular places you always go to check the prices of flights and accommodation. I definitely like the idea of booking our hotel through the wdw website.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queendisney View Post
it is still worth looking at package holiday prices. We normally do DIY now but when we booked last years hol the year before, we ended up booking a package as it only worked out about £100 more expensive and I had a moment of madness and thought it was worth it just to sit back and let them take care of everything. But this year we are back to DIY because it worked out about £1000 cheaper!!
We have booked the room through WDW travel co. and the flights with VA. We never bother with a car either (just don't need it) so have DME booked.
So how do you book dme? Is it included when you book through wdw travel co. or do you need to book separately?
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thestevied View Post

So how do you book dme? Is it included when you book through wdw travel co. or do you need to book separately?
ME is included as long as you stay at a Disney owned hotel.

If you book through WDTC they can add it for you otherwise you can book by phone or online.
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
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So how do you book dme? Is it included when you book through wdw travel co. or do you need to book separately?
When we booked the room there was a section that asked if we wanted DME. They then email you and ask that when you have paid the final balance that you reply to the email to let them know. They then send an email back to say its all booked.
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:59 PM   #15
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The OP is having exactly the same dilemma as us currently. we have been 7 times - six times booked package and the other trip booked just two weeks before (got crazy) and booked separately because that was the only option available.

I just wonder if you bookk flights separately do you have to pay for them at booking which would mean 11 months out? Also presumably cancellation policy is better if there is an issue than flight part of booking. I know WDW cancellation policy is amazing.

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