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Old 07-09-2013, 06:25 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 46

Best off site hotel for student groups?

Considering taking my choir students to participate in one of the Disney Performing Arts workshops in June of 2015. I know it's 2 years away but I'm planning early to see if this is something we can start fundraising for now.

I would like recommendations for the best off site hotel for a group of teenagers. There will be 20-30 students plus about 10 adults traveling. It needs to be clean, and rooms accessible from inside corridors only. It would help if the rooms were at least somewhat large (at least not tiny) and a nice pool would be a plus.

I guess the main thing is I would like a hotel that is friendly towards student groups. My students are very well-behaved and I don't allow them to be noisy on overnight trips.

I am open to both regular rooms and to suites.

I'm open to all price ranges right now, but would appreciate recommendations in all price ranges.
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:03 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: NW of Chi Town
Posts: 350

We did this very trip last summer with my DD's dance troupe, which I helped to coordinate. We negotiated a group rate at the Holiday Inn near DTD. We paid under $100 per night, which was much, much cheaper than the cheapest Disney rate. Disney will provide you with their options for rooms and tickets. Room prices I could beat, but get your tickets through Disney. By far the best ticket prices around for the Performing Arts trip were through Disney.

Your best bet would be to call the hotels and ask for the group sales manager. Have an idea of how many rooms you will need and ask for their best rate. We needed to guarantee a certain number of rooms and there was a contract that needed to be signed by the studio director, which is, I think, pretty standard. If you need rehearsal space, ask if that can be provided. If you need group meals, ask about that, too. You might be able to negotiate those things into the contract.

Hotels that we considered:

Holiday Inn DTD
Hilton DTD
Fairfield Inn and Suites
Buena Vista Suites
Time Shares (we had parents that belonged to the same system, but couldn't get enough units to house everyone in the same place)

I'd be happy to answer any other logistical questions that you have (like you MUST charter a bus when going backstage - either to rehearsal space or to your performance venue). Feel free to drop me a PM or reply if you need more info.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:56 PM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: PA
Posts: 1,656

My son's marching band stayed at the Fairfield Inn in the Marriott Village. It's very close to Downtown Disney, and has free breakfast.
me DH DS 22 DS 21 DS 18 DD 16 DD 14 and our Collie, "Belle"

2014-June, Windsor Hills pool home and HRH; 2012-July, RPR and Reunion resort pool home; May,Marriott's Grande Vista; 2011 -Jan: CSR; May: CBR; 2009 - Wyndham Bonnet Creek Presidential Suite!; 2008 - Wyndham Bonnet Creek and RPR; 2007 - POR, Wonder Cruise, BWV; 2006 - Springhill Suites, UO and PBH, Nick Hotel; 2005 - Ft. Wilderness Cabins; 2003 - Poly, OKW, AsMo; 2002 - UO and RPR; 2001 - Sheraton Vistana Villages; 2000 - Holiday Inn Family Suites, ASMu; 1996 - Swan; 1995 - Swan, ASSp, ASMu; 1994 - POFQ
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:17 AM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 108

Our band always stays at the ASM resort. Find a travel agent who specializes in Disney groups to help you. Our group used a combination of charter buses and disney buses to cut costs and keep groups together.

As a parent, thank you for thinking ahead and fundraising. These yearly trips are costly!
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Old 07-12-2013, 03:52 PM   #5
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 46

Thanks, everyone. I will look into those. I got the group prices for the All-Star hotels, but the discounts aren't very good so I would rather stay offsite.

And as far as fundraising, I wouldn't be willing to take a trip like this unless the kids could fundraise for it; I just wouldn't feel right about asking parents to spend so much money.

As far as costs go. I am curious how charter buses work? I have been told you will pay anywhere from 700-1300 a day for a charter bus, but does that mean for a full day of driving or just per day no matter if you drive one mile or a thousand? Meaning, the arrival and departure days...will they cost a lot more than the days the driver just takes us to the parks?

Thanks so much!!
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