2013 trip help - weather and wdw and stuff

Discussion in 'Australia' started by alicia1506, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. alicia1506

    alicia1506 DIS Veteran

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    so my sister calls me last night.. she wants to go back to the usa in 2013 but this time, she wants it to be the 4 of us that had originally planned on going.. her, me, my partner carlo, and carlo's brother: calin.

    she wants to do a cruise - the 14 day to hawaii, but i instead talk her into the 7 night caribbean on the fantasy.

    then she wants to do a 7 night stay at wdw.

    then a 2 night stay at wwohp, just to touch base with harry, and drink so much butterbeer we roll out the door.

    then back to dlr for a 3 or 4 night stay then home.

    so.... not much planning involved there at all. and all 3 mickey locations in one trip. that's a lot (A LOT) of disney.

    so my planning begins. my Dreams TA got me some prices for an overnight stay at the hyatt MCO and then the cruise for the 4 of us -- in 3 seperate staterooms no less. i'm really, really happy with the prices we've been given.

    it's the fact that we'll be going to wdw that has my stress-o-metre skyrocketing. so much planning. so many decisions to make. so many decisions to make in conjunction with 3 other people.. ugh!! so... i'm coming to you on bended knee and begging for help.

    we're going in september 2013. the dates have been pretty well locked in. we'll probably be in wdw from 21st to 27/28th. can anyone shed some light on the weather (temps/rainy-ness etc) we should expect. we normally travel in november, so i imagine it will be somewhat warmer in september.

    we're also going to wdw. the problem is we're going not in value season (at least, i don't think so) and we'll need either a 2 bedroom villa (both my sister and his brother require their own seperate sleeping space, plus room for me & carlo) or 3 x rooms. 3 rooms at disney world is looking very expensive, even at a moderate, so am i better to go villa/family suite route, or the multiple bedrooms at someplace like pop???

    also.. is deluxe dining worth it? we typically like to pay for our food as we go along, as not everyone feels like eating at the same time... and i don't want to waste food... but the idea of having 2 or 3 lovely sit down meals in some really lovely restaurants all over the place... seems like a no-brainer to me...

    and i've heard rumours that free dining may be offered in september? anyone know from previous years whether that is a possibility?? also, am i better off using my current TA or just booking it myself? the rates i found online via the website for the Art of Animation family suite + deluxe dining + 7 day hoppers + free transport was about $1500 less than he quoted me... not sure what's causing the mark-up there :( if anyone has a great TA for wdw travel, i'd love to hear about it :)

    i think that's it for now...but i'm sure i'll be bugging you all with more questions the closer we get to this epic disney trip... :scared1:
     
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  3. aussietravellers

    aussietravellers <font color=blue>who LOVE disney holidays!<font co

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    Just a thought. With you and DBF going in December, then to both WDW and DL next year (within a year). Look at getting the Premier pass :thumbsup2 It is expensive, but if you add up the 14 day DL pass (or the AP you will get, then +WDW tickets, then + DL tickets for next year) the Premier may be the way to go. You can still get the dining and tours and merchandise discounts at DL. That also means you can buy the Tables In Wonderland card for WDW next year and it gets you 20% off at most TS restaurants at WDW (and some CS restaurants, but not many). If AP discounts come out, that may end up being a cheaper route for you with so many adults as you will only need one TIW card to get the food discount for the whole group of you.

    What I suggest you do it make a spreadsheet in Excel (or even on a piece of paper) and do a list of the the different accommodation options for your dates and how much they are (then you can see which accommodation will be cheaper).

    Then you need to work out if the dining plan or getting an AP discount on accommodation + TIW will be the cheaper way to go. Again, work out the AP discount for each of your accommodation options, work out how much deluxe or regular dining will add to your total (in a separate column) So that you have all of your figures, your different options all laid out. That's the way I always do it.

    I worked out for us last trip, that AP discount, with TIW card was by far the cheaper option for us. We tend to have more TS meals than CS meals (even though we don't eat a lot at the TS meal, we may only have a starter as our meal), so we would have had (like we had a previous trip) lots of CS meals left over. We are not big snackers, we tend to have snacks delivered from Garden Grocer and have had heaps of snack credits left at the end. Then we didn't have enough TS credits. The deluxe dining just seemed too much though, because whilst it did come with three dining credits, just because we ate at a TS didn't mean we wanted to eat two or three courses. So sometimes an $8 was a waste of a credit. So it was SO much better for us to have TIW card, then we could each have an $8 or $12 starter as a meal, get 20% off and not waste a dining credit. Then also if something came up and we didn't end up using the credit, we weren't stuck with anything at the end.

    Anyway, as you have heaps of time. It would be good to now start doing your sums, to really see which way is best for you guys. With everyone travelling differently, it's really best to do your own sums to see which option will suit your group.
     
  4. battymum

    battymum DIS Veteran

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    My 2c

    It seems like an awful luxury to have two singles having their own room - I understand they are not a couple, but they know and trust each other - they wouldnt have to share a bed:confused3

    OR

    Maybe you could have a boys and girls room, it would be like school camp! :rotfl:

    Cutting it down to just two rooms would save heaps - you could even be stingier and have a deluxe room with two queens, one for boys (they are brothers) one for girls :hug:- but that might be pushing it.
     
  5. battymum

    battymum DIS Veteran

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    Oh, and we went in September last year and it was hot, hot, hot!! Rain pretty much every afternoon which was a welcome relief. !!

    I swore I wouldnt go again in September, but looking at crowd calendars its by far the least crowded month and we had free dining. So yeah, would probably go again in September, but would be more prepared for the life sucking heat.

    As for deluxe dining, its a big jump to have 3 TS meals per day, remember you will have to make ADRs for all of these. If you stay at a value resort and there is free dining, it will only be QS - its worth upgrading to regular and having 1 TS per day.

    Include the price of upgrading in your comparisons, about $15 per person per day, as regular dining is included at Moderate resorts if its a "free dining" promo.
     
  6. alicia1506

    alicia1506 DIS Veteran

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    OMG!!!!

    there is so much i don't know!!!

    what is tables in wonderland? also one of the women at my work mentioned an epcot passport that she said we should do.

    and now i'm stuck in the mire of QS and CS and TS dining. i didn't know you could only get certain kinds of dining plans for certain kinds of resorts???

    does that mean that if i buy the magic your way package + QS dining, i can only use that if i'm at a moderate resort???

    the wdw website is very vague about a lot of this stuff.

    i'm thinking at wdw, we might do a girls room and a boys room. my sister said that last time we shared a room, i snored (LIAR!! i breathe like a little kitten in my sleep :) ) but i think she would find that preferable to sleeping with carlo's brother :)

    i told her and carlo's brother that if they want seperate accomodation, they're paying for it, and it would be at a premium. they are currently planning on paying for seperate staterooms on board the cruise :confused3

    are there any FAQs or 'An idiot's guide to WDW resorts & dining' links or threads or guides out there??? i feel like such a novice.
     
  7. battymum

    battymum DIS Veteran

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    Thats what the Disboards are for!!!

    Now this is assuming there is a free dining offer

    If you stay at a Value Resort - you will get free QS dining, you will get 2 QS meals, (meal, drink, dessert) and a snack, for each person per night of your stay as well as a mug you can fill up at any time at your resort. You can use your credits at any quick service places on property, parks, resorts or Downtown disney. Think food on tray type places - plastic cutlery no waitstaff. Its not all burgers and fries, (unless you want it to be)

    If you stay at a Moderate or Deluxe resort - it will be Regular dining, this includes one QS meal and one Table Service meal, as well as the snack and (pretty sure it now includes refillable mug) - Table service are the restaurants you will need to make an ADR for,think character meals, waitstaff, cutlery and crockery . There are more than 100 to choose from. You will get your meal, a drink and dessert, appetisers and alcohol are additional. You will also have to tip at these places.

    Some TS restaurants are signature restaurants and will require using 2 credits per meal.

    You can upgrade again to Deluxe dining which will give you 3 TS credits per person per day - which is good if you plan to eat at a lot of signature restaurants, but thats a lot of ADRs - most people find Regular dining is enough. Its also quite a lot of $ to upgrade.

    Not sure about the TIW card - but it might be worth researching.!!!
     
  8. aussietravellers

    aussietravellers <font color=blue>who LOVE disney holidays!<font co

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    My favourite guide is the Birnbaum's WDW guide. It has coupons in it too (I am so obsessed with coupons :rotfl: ) http://www.amazon.com/Birnbaums-Walt-Disney-World-2012/dp/1423138619

    No need to feel like a novice. Once you get there it will all fall into place. And that's what's fun, learning all about it and we all love sharing info so ask away. :goodvibes
     
  9. alicia1506

    alicia1506 DIS Veteran

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    oh no... life sucking heat!!! i loved the cool temps we had in november, and even then in florida the humidity was less than pleasant... hrmm. will have to factor this in if we go...

    i ran the prices and it seems this trip will run us approx $3000 each (for the singles) more than the last trip. and the singles are screaming about reducing the prices... so now we are most definitely looking at some girls vs guy rooms :)

    awww. thanks you guys... :grouphug: i feel totally overwhelmed with the info. thank goodness for long weekends and lots of bed rest prescribed by the doctor so i can ask all my questions :)

    awesomeness... i think the regular dining may be fine for us... we'll probably stay at a value or moderate to save money as well :)

    i just looked this up on amazon and have an order in for this guide, the guide for wdw dining and the disneyland guide :)

    our first trip, i used the lonely planet usa guide as a basic reference point. this trip, i think i need to bone up on wdw, so this looks like a great guide. so glad the DISboards, and all my fellow Aussie and NZ Disers are here to help me...

    you guys rock!! :grouphug:
     
  10. Sugarglider

    Sugarglider DIS Veteran

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    I have done Deluxe dining twice now and if you are planning to have signature dining (worth 2 points) every night, it is the way to go. So I was at Cali Grill, Flying Fish, Narcoosies, Yachtsman etc everynight for a 3 course meal and then used the 3rd point to go to a character meal. For one or two nice meals - not worth buying it - even if you are thinking of upgrading a free standard package. If you are going to eat CS then stay with the standard plan.

    With the Deluxe I ate my own body weight daily!! On my last trip I still had TS points left over. (used all the snack point at the F&W booths) But I really dislike disney counter service. I enjoyed every restaurant - not a bad meal among them - YUM!

    I agree with the excel spreadsheet comparison method. I worked out what meals I wanted and then did rough costings using the All Ears menu pages and compared the costs - proving that Deluxe was the way to go.

    This coming trip I am going to do what Aussie Travellers suggests. I am staying a fortnight and don't want to eat as much as the past. So an AP + TIW works out cheaper for me. I will go to less signature dining, less character meals, and eat less at each meal.

    I can appreciate your sister may be uncomfortable sleeping in the same room as a man she doesn't really knows. Or you all having to share a bathroom.

    Renting DVC points will give you a good discounted price on villas. OKW have the largest rooms on property and lower prices than other DVC so not a bad deal if you need a bit of space. Whip up that spreadsheet and comparing renting an OKW (or any) 2 bedvilla with 3 pop rooms - the pricing may be similar.

    Maybe an offsite house/villa may be for you.

    I usually use a UK based disney travel agent so that I can purchase the UK WDW packages which are usually cheaper than the US agents can offer. The UK WDW also offers these off-site houses.

    Or you could camp out at Fort Wilderness - that's the cheapest stay of all. :thumbsup2
     
  11. alicia1506

    alicia1506 DIS Veteran

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    hey sugarglider -- thanks for the info. i chatted more with my sister last night and we talked about the living arrangements. we are most likely going to go with the girls room + guys room, and cross our fingers for free dining.

    my goal for today -- comparison charts for dining expenses vs regular dining vs free dining if available and 2 x rooms vs a villa, and park hoppers vs regular tickets etc. essentially working out all the various options for wdw and which configuration will work out best for us.

    i did read on the disboards that free dining does not apply if you're in a villa or at art of animation... eek. that might change our minds on the room configurations too.

    we have decided though that if we do get a villa... my sister gets the main bedroom & carlo & i will share the sofa bed, and the murphy bed will be used by his brother. one bathroom for us girls and one bathroom for the guys.

    now... off to research. wish me luck.
     
  12. battymum

    battymum DIS Veteran

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    We stayed at Pop Century last year with our family of five - we had two rooms with a connecting door between them - 2 double beds and a bathroom in each. You can choose who sleeps where when you get there. But you wont be far away.

    This was the cheapest option for us to stay on-site, the next step up was a big jump in $$ for two rooms. (please dont pipe up about DVC rental, I wanted free dining) I was very apprehensive about taking the cheapest route - but we had absolutely no problems and just loved the resort - it felt like we were living in a Disney animation. There are a lot of families there, it is Disney afterall, and the food court is a bit crazy - we only ate at breakfast -my plans were to eat in the parks, but my DH cant function without breakfast - But Definitely would stay there again.

    As for park hoppers - I planned our itinerary so that we didnt need them - as it would have cost an additional $300 for our family - I didnt regret it, my thought was that we could upgrade them at the time should we want to "hop" but there was never a time that we needed to. That said, if I was just paying for a single or couple I would have paid the extra $50-60 so you have that option, but you dont have to, until you need them. Same goes for the waterpark option.
     
  13. battymum

    battymum DIS Veteran

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    OK, I have nothing better to do on Easter Saturday than plan someone elses trip. But I am always up for a challenge to save money.

    I wonder Alicia if it is possible to book the two rooms with 2 adults in each, with magic your way package (this includes your base tickets and hopefully free dining). And then book an additional room, (under another name) as a room only, often when Disney has free dining promotions, you can choose to have the free dining or % off room only bookings - value resorts is usually 25% off - which would bring the price of the room only to $60 -$70 per night . If you plan on buying an annual pass, there might be discount with that.

    I dont know if this is a bit dodgy, and you probably wouldnt link the bookings so the room may not be close by. But just a thought if you really want to have seperate rooms! :hippie:
     
  14. Sugarglider

    Sugarglider DIS Veteran

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    Not a bad idea Batty Mum - I see where you are coming from! However the names have to be supplied - so do you think they would cross check? Suddenly there are 2 John Smiths staying on the same dates. Might be possible if a different address is given for the other room. It may not be noticeable if the 4th stays at a different resort.At the end of the day, Disney don't care how many rooms you book - as long as you pay for them

    If nothing else put the free dining on the room with the most people in it (the more people in a room the deeper the discount) and then start sharing some meals between you all. Some of those servings are HUGE. If you do buffets or family style it is counted per head - so it won't work. But if you go to counter service and snacks a lot you could easily feed 4 off 3 servings. Even some of the 1 point table service would work if you just let the OOP person buy the cheapest things - say China pavillion or Yak and Yeti where a dish is easily shared anyway.
     
  15. alicia1506

    alicia1506 DIS Veteran

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    lol. i also had nothing better to do than plan my trip on easter saturday :) thanks for the help/suggestions.

    after having done some sums... and spent all day hunched over my notebook and calculator like some old miser ... it is very, very hard to try and do this trip for the same price as our previous trip, which was the goal set to me.

    trina and calin (my sis and carlo's brother) originally set a target of $5k per person (plus individual spending money) for our last trip, which included dlr, nyc, wwohp and vegas. that was absolutely do-able.

    this trip, they want a 7 night cruise on the fantasy, a 7 night stay at wdw and then a 2 night stay at wwohp and a 4 night stay at dlr for under $5k.

    eeeek. i just don't see how it can be done. oh, and that's for an onsite wdw hotel and an offsite dlr hotel, and an onsite wwohp hotel and seperate staterooms on the cruise.

    so far, the cheapest i can manage is about $5700 per person including the cruise, wdw and wwohp, but no dlr. or i can do it for approx $4700 for the cruise, wwohp and dlr but no wdw.

    grrrr.

    unless disney offers some ridiculously low prices for rooms (i was looking at POFQ, but may have to change to pop or art of animation) for that period, or we can find another month to go in with even lower prices... i just don't see this trip costing less than $6000 per person... and that's all inclusive for esta/insurance/flights/accomodation/food/transfers/tickets/tours/shows etc.

    the only thing not included in the budget is individually determined amounts for discretionary spending like souvenirs, clothing, electronics etc.

    this trip is a year and a half away and it's already doing my head in :)
     
  16. battymum

    battymum DIS Veteran

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    Another suggestion,

    Have you considered looking at Royal Carribean Freedom of the Seas for the cruise - she follows the same itinerary, alternating between Eastern and Western Carribean routes.

    Freedom really is a beautiful ship, I've heard many people actually prefer RCI to Disney for a more adult feel and the prices are much better than Disney - but if you have your heart set on Fantasy -:rolleyes1
     
  17. alicia1506

    alicia1506 DIS Veteran

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    since it will be both katrina and calin's first time to sail with DCL, i think they want the experience of sailing with disney.. rather than the actual ports of call.

    i've explained the logistics of this trip to them... there is only so much penny pinching i can do to reduce costs, but there is a base price for the cruise, wdw stay, wwohp stay etc which means it can only be done for a set price.

    having said that, we spend easter sunday together and she is torn between putting that money aside for her house deposit (she will not rent, she is saving for her house deposit only and then when she has the loan, she will move out) and travelling again, which might put her 3/4 of a year behind in her savings...

    so now i'm in limbo.. waiting for a 'go' order.

    gah. the waiting. this is the bit i hate.

    oh, well. back to planning our trip for this year again :)
     
  18. battymum

    battymum DIS Veteran

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    Gosh, you deserve sister of the year :worship:- its hard enough trying to organise a holiday for yourself - tell her this is how much - we cant have it all, are you in or out?

    I still think thats a lot of holiday for the money - assuming you have budgeted about $1800 for airfare - you also have to remember that everything else is at the mercy of the exchange rate, which could drop back to 80c or lower in a flash.

    But for now, you still have a holiday to plan for this year, which should keep you occupied. :surfweb::goodvibes
     
  19. alicia1506

    alicia1506 DIS Veteran

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    lol. i don't think i'll ever get sister of the year award. she would say that she deserved it :)

    it is a lot of holiday for the money... the cruise alone is $2000 for their individual cabins, and only $2280 for carlo and i to share. the wdw + tickets in POFQ with a girls room & guys room comes to about $780 each, allocating $1500 for flights and $114 for esta & insurance, about $400 each for wwohp accomodation, approx $150 each for dlr accomodation, approx $227 each for dlr tickets, approx $600 each for food costs.

    some of those costs are slightly inflated like the airfares (they usually release promo fares around $1000-1200 right before we go) and the wwohp tickets & accomodation (we might move offsite & save) and the food costs have been inflated in case we want to try some $$$ restaurants instead of the cheaper options etc.

    but still... the cheapest i can do this trip is about $5600, with a buffer of about 10-15% for inflation/deflation in the $ exchange rate ...

    sheesh.

    i think i'll put this on the back burner now... read my books when i get them,and then start stressing a little closer to the time. i'm already massively stressed about this whole trip this year.
     

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