? For those who book everything separately??

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by DisneyJen0504, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. DisneyJen0504

    DisneyJen0504 Married Prince Charming. Mommy to Avery & William

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    Maybe someone can help with this.
    I have booked our last 3 trips with Dreams Unlimited and have had wonderful service each time. I enjoy not having to search on my own for additional discounts and having the DU agent book all my ADRs.
    DH and I got AAA this year andwere hoping to get a discount with it for our upcoming trip to WDW. I like that I can book my air, resort and park tickets all at once through AAA with a discount but I am unimpressed with their service right now and I haven't even booked yet! I miss using DU! So I am considering booking the room only AAA rate thru DU. But then I need to book airfare and get park tickets on my own and frankly, I dont know where to begin with that. Can anyone give some suggestions or opinions?
    Thanks!!! :wave2:
     
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  3. Montana Disney Fan

    Montana Disney Fan <font color=blue>GAT-Master Extraordinaire<br><fon

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    This probably won't be much help but I'll tell you what we do every year.

    1). We are DVC members so the hotel room has been prepaid. NO need to worry about that except you have to plan the trip 11 months in advance to ensure you get your room. Before joining DVC we went to the DIS DVC boards and would rent points from a member (usually $9-$10 per point). We just love having the convenience of a kitchen and a seperate room for our kids to sleep in. We usually get a 2-bedroom unit. 250 points (or around $2500) will get you a 2-bdroom for a week at most of the DVC resorts.

    2). I fly a lot and we also use a United credit card for EVERYTHING we can so we earn enough frequent flyer miles each year for all of us to fly down first class (or biz class). A friend of mine doesn't fly often but uses the credit card and earns enough miles for at least 2 of the 3 tickets just from the credit card charges. The trick is to be dedicated to using it. Groceries, gas, furniture, even taxes if you can. Anything that takes a credit card can be used to earn miles. We used our credit card to purchase our DVC membership and of course paid it off when the statement came due. Don't carry a balance or it's not worth it.

    3). We purchase annual park passes (AP) and use them for TWO trips. We go every October for the food and wine festival but will go late in October on year 1 (purchase AP) and go early in October on year 2 (no need to purchase any tickets as AP is still good). We get in about 20 days of park hopping between the two vacations which costs us about $20 per person per day. We use our DVC discount to purchase the Annual Passes.

    4). We purchase the Disney Dining Experience card for $50 (discounted since we are AP holders) and get 20% off all meals including alcohol plus we get into Pleasure Island for half price. The card pays for itself after 3 meals and we can use it for two vacations (it's good for 13 months).

    5). We always rent from National since they are AT the airport (no shuttle busses) and I am an Emerald Card member. The cost on this for my upcoming trip is $275 for 10 days and we choose the car from the Emerald Isle. Typically that car will be a Trailblazer, Envoy, or Impalla. Plenty of room for a family of four.

    For our upcoming trip:

    Park Passes paid for last year.

    Disney Dining $50.

    Airline tickets FREE.

    Rental Car - $275

    10 nights in a 2-br at OKW - DVC prepaid


    Not counting food and alcohol, my trip for 10 days will cost my family of four $325. Over the 10 day period we will probably purchase around $1,000 worth of meals and drinks but will save $200 with the Disney Dining card for a total of $800.

    We have $1500 set aside for the vacation which should be more than enough and should cover gas, souveniers and other incidental items we may purchase.
     
  4. rileyroosmom

    rileyroosmom DIS Veteran

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    Purchase tickets through Ticketmania.com. They are cheaper than getting them through Disney, especially if you use the Mousesavers code (you can subscribe to Mousesavers.com and Mary sends a monthly newsletter with discount codes to Ticketmania, she releases the newsletter on the 15th of each month.)

    As for airline tickets, you can go straight to each airlines website or you can use Expedia, or Travelocity which will give you all the prices and flights at once.

    Hope that helps, that's how I plan my trips!
     
  5. DisneyJen0504

    DisneyJen0504 Married Prince Charming. Mommy to Avery & William

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    thanks for the tips!
    rileyroos-when you get your tickets thru ticketmania-do they put them on the room key/card at the resort or do you have to carry around separate park tickets?
    Thanks
     
  6. WaltD4Me

    WaltD4Me <font color=royalblue>PS...I tried asking for wate

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    Hey Jennifer! :wave2: ... I had to tell you, everytime I look at your sig picture I think that is you and Garth Brooks! :rotfl: -- I know it's probably your DH, but he looks like Garth!

    Anyway, I always book everything seperately myself for travel and have always done well. (NOTHING against TA's, I know many are wonderful!) But I also enjoy the planning and looking. To some people it is just not worth the hassle.

    When 10 of us went in December 2004, I tried using AAA, they quoted me $8,000 for everything, room, hotel, air, tickets, ect....I booked everything myself and it wound up being $6,200. A pretty good savings, but it was alot of work and computer time. Worth it to me though!

    I got a great deal on tickets from Discount Orlando Vacations (sign up for their email newsletter, they email you when there is a ticket sale...also sign up for Mousesavers newsletter, she also sends ticket deals in her monthly newsletter)

    As for airfare, this was harder, I checked daily, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day.
    I wound up getting GREAT airfare though....$150 roundtrip from Cleveland, non-stop. Couldn't beat that with a stick!

    It's easier if you know the airline you want to use and can just keep checking with them, instead of having to check multiple carriers. In my case we only wanted non-stop flights and since Continential is the only airline that flies non-stop Cleveland to Orlando, I only had to keep checking Continential, which made it easier. You can sign up with Fare Watcher services though. I know Orbitz offers this and so does Expedia I think. You enter the amount you want to pay and they email you when a flight shows up at that price. Pretty handy! Do a Google search for "fare watcher" and you should find a few.

    Good Luck to you and Garth! :teeth:
     
  7. DisneyJen0504

    DisneyJen0504 Married Prince Charming. Mommy to Avery & William

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    Haha-yes that is my DH~I have never heard that before! :)
    Thank you for the tips!
     
  8. Wendaeh

    Wendaeh Mouseketeer

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    Don't know if you're flying out of Philly or Newark, but for our Dec 2005 trip, I checked ALL the airlines. We got a great deal on AirTran out of Philly for $122.70 per person (inlcudes all taxes and fees)! We're non-stop going down, but 1 stop (about an hour) coming back in Atlanta. It was $49 per leg.

    Check out also Southwest, USA3000, JetBlue, Spirit (out of AC)...as well as traditional ones like USAir, Delta, and Continental (they were much more expensive).

    For tickets -- definately subscribe to Mousesavers and use Ticketmania.

    Have a great trip!!!!
    Wendy
     
  9. mommyrom

    mommyrom Happy to Call SSR Home :-)

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    We have done much better looking around and booking everything separately. Mousesavers has helped immensely (Govt. Employee hotel rate at AS Sp next month for $46 per night!!!! :cool1: ), and I also have always gotten our tickets through Mousesavers link to Ticketmania. As far as flights, we did great with Delta Song for our trip this past May, but went ahead and booked a surprise trip in Sept. flying with Southwest for $105/pp RT. BookingBuddy.com allows you to enter flight dates once and then search various airlines through links to their websites. Saves some time in not entering info. repeatedly...I have personally found the TA's are very helpful, but I find it enjoyable to find our deals by myself...I get bored if I am not trying to plan our next trip to the World!!! Good luck and have fun! :wave2:
     
  10. rileyroosmom

    rileyroosmom DIS Veteran

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    DisneyJen - just ask at check in and they will transfer your tickets to your room key, it worked out great.
     
  11. grinningghost

    grinningghost <font color=green>Has a thing for the Swiss Family

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    Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz are all good for checking multiple airfares, but definitely check out Jetblue and Southwest separately, as they don't come up on those other services. They often have super cheap fares, and I'll just plug Jetblue again, it's a GREAT airline. :) (No, I don't work for them ;) ) :teeth:

    Have fun - I love booking separately - it's more work, but hey, the planning is half the fun! :banana:
     
  12. pdchris

    pdchris DIS Veteran

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  13. tink_n_pooh

    tink_n_pooh <font color=darkorchid>my TP isn't going anywhere.

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    AAA can be great but sometimes they just aren't that helpful. This trip we booked each part separate since part of our trip was on DVC points (which buy they way are a great option if you would like to rent points). We booked rooms at Pop via AAA. For our airfare we booked on the southwest website out of philly airport with a great rate. AAA uses Continental if are in NJ and flying out of Newark, they get the same rates you can get on the continental website. As far as park tickets, AAA has good discounts if you are staying for the # of days they have available. Not all tickets are available thru AAA. We tried the discount with ticketmania & mousesavers and it was actually cheaper to order in advance direct from disney's website (you get a discount if you order them in advance).
    One thing to note, if you book via AAA you must use your AAA agent to make any changes to your reservation. And AAA agents don't make commision on room only reservations at wdw so most of them probably won't jump to help you like if you had booked a package. We did this on our last trip and had a few snags but nothing to worry about.
    Good luck planning your trip and have fun!
     

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