How cheaply could my budget minded disfriends do this trip?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by bigdisneygroup, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. bigdisneygroup

    bigdisneygroup Mouseketeer

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    Hi, just looking for some suggestions after seeing akamadforthemouses post re: the $1600 challenge.:goodvibes A little background: I would like to take the family to disney next August for a belated Christmas present i.e. they won't get gifts other than that for Christmas this year. :santa: THere are my dh, me, dd 20, ds 19, dd 17, dd 17, dd 16, ds 15, dd 13, dd 11, ds 10, ds 8, dd 6, dd 4 and dd 2. I was thinking along the lines of a two weekish trip with lots of disney included but I'm open for other suggestions as well. On site, off site, camping on site? Food? Eating in parks - out of parks? Tickets 10 day, less? water parks or no? Probably not hoppers - too many people to hop. :rotfl: I've spent hours and hours looking and figuring and then thought of all of you. Any info, plans, suggestions would be greatly appreciated. TIA.
    Now I'm off to do some :laundy: while you all help me figure this out. :laughing:
     
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  3. Smile4Me

    Smile4Me DIS Veteran

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    With the amount of people you would like to take I would definitely look into Grand Gatherings!
     
  4. punkin

    punkin <font color=purple>Went through pain just to look

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    Is that 13 kids? Wow, bless your heart!

    OK, I cannot imagine staying onsite with that many people. It would cost a fortune. I suggest you look into renting a house. 4 bedrooms would be the bare minimum, but there are bigger houses out there that will fit 15 no problem. I would also minimize park days for logistic reasons and to have lots of pool time at the house. out of two weeks, I would do 6 park days (2MK, 2Epcot, 1DS, 1AK).
     
  5. Justsyd2

    Justsyd2 I snorted Coca-Cola out of my nose when he said th

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    I would see about renting a vacation home off property to save the most amount of money on lodging, and add to the savings by being able to have meals at the vacation home.
     
  6. Darcy03231

    Darcy03231 DIS Veteran

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    A couple of years ago we did a two week trip with 9 people. I definitely found it was more economical to stay offsite and rent two cars (we had four adults and 5 children).

    Are you driving or flying? If driving and don't have to rent a car I would definitely stay in a vacation villa with a private pool. We loved having our own pool, especially in August.

    I also found we saved a lot of money by eating meals in. We usually had a big breakfast, snacked in the parks, went back the rental house in the early afternoon for a late lunch/early dinner, swim, rest, ect. and then went back to the parks at night. Since it was hot no one really wanted much to eat in the parks. It was mostly ice cream and drinks.

    Have a great trip!
     
  7. bigdisneygroup

    bigdisneygroup Mouseketeer

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    Yup, that's 13 children! ;) Thanks for all the great suggestions so far. I'll definitely start leaning more towards the vacation homes and I was hoping to get in on the give a day, get a day promo. You don't have to stay on site to do that, do you? Thanks again everyone.
     
  8. Our 2 Princesses

    Our 2 Princesses DIS Veteran

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    I would pack lots of snacks and/or lunches to bring in the parks with you. It especially helps the little ones when standing in long lines to have their favorite snack. We bring granola bars, Disney fruit snacks, Pringles, etc. Hope you have a great trip with your family and have lots of fun planning!! :)
     
  9. DisKate

    DisKate DIS Veteran

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    Just to point out, and I'm not totally familiar with the numbers, but I believe that once you get to 5 or 6 day tickets the cost to get more is really low, so you might as well get the 10 days if its not much more then the 6 (though with 13 children+2 adults, it may rack up the $$$)
     
  10. hsmamato2

    hsmamato2 <font color=magenta>Tink in Training-Good Girl,Bad

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    with 13 kids...I don't know how you pay for *anything* !:thumbsup2 wow- I'd say go off season,rent an offsite home big enough for all of you- eat breakfast at home, budget all food carefully,the tix will cost you the most,and other than the one free day each,you can't change that too much. probably drive there too....pack snacks for the kiddos to take with them- have them save their own souvie money till you go- look online for lots of printable coupons etc for cheap orlando restaurants to eat dinner nightly
     
  11. neatokimmo

    neatokimmo DIS Veteran

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    Can you go during free dining? These number aren't exact but:

    Rooms would be $400 X 14 = 5600
    Tickets (10 day with water parks) = 3800
    ------------------------- 9400

    This sounds like a huge number but it does include all your food. We did a 14 day trip and it was fantastic!

    By staying on property, you'll save transportation hassles that could occur by having multiple vehicles.

    You can save some money by booking the three dinner shows where tip is included. We shared a few meals in order to make up for the two TS credits being used. For $45 pp pd... I think that is pretty good for room, food and Disney tickets.
     
  12. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

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    If you were to stay on-site you would need a minimum of 4 rooms with 15 people. You and your hubby could share a room and your kids could share 3 rooms. The baby does not "count" toward a head count in the room and she can sleep in the pack n play. If you go during free dining (usually late August) as neatokimmo suggests you would have to pay rack rate for your room. The cheapest rooms are at the Value resorts and the go for about $90 or $101 with tax. You say you want to say 14 nights, so your per room charge would be $1400 (or $404 per night) or $5645 for your room and food. I believe that the value resorts now get the Quick Service DDP, so you would have all counter service meals but it also includes a refillable mug per person. You can still eat breakfast at your hotel. We would keep a cooler for milk and juice (and beer ;)) and then eat cereal in the room.

    Park passes are going to be your biggest expense as you have 11 Disney Adults and 3 Disney Kids. The baby is free. If you go with a 10-day base pass you will pay $2838 for the "adults" and $669 for the kids for a total of $3507. Adding the Water Parks and More option is a flat $55 per person more.

    Since your park pass costs are fixed, your savings will come from where your stay and how you eat. If you can find a vacation home with that will sleep 14 people for less than $400 per night then you will have to access the amount of money you would spend on food per day and calculate your break even point. I'm sure that you have a good handle on how much you spend on groceries now (btw, you should include your weekly grocery budget into your vacation budget since you're not spending it cooking at home). In addition, if you're not driving yourself to WDW an off-site house will require you to rent 3 cars for that many people (or a 15 pax van). That's a LOT per week ... expect to pay about $175ish per car per week so that's an extra $1000 in rental car or $75 per day :scared1:.
     
  13. aka-mad4themouse

    aka-mad4themouse <font color="blue">Budget Board Co-Host</font>

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    Offsite is definitely the way to go for a family of that size. You're going to want to have areas where you can gather together as well as places to go for privacy and time away from each other.

    Here's an example of the kind of vacation home that you can expect to find in the Orlando area:
    http://www.storytimeorlandorental.com/index.html

    Both houses sleeps 14 and the rate on these 6-bedroom homes runs $240/night during "high season". You will not be able to find onsite accommodations for 15 people for that kind of rate! And there are many, many properties in the Kissimmee and Lake Buena Vista area that are just like this one. So do a web search and check them out.

    For tickets, there's the "Give a Day, Get a Day" promotion, which would get everyone over the age of 6 the opportunity to get a 1-day/1-park ticket for free in exchange for a day of volunteer service. Check out the details here:
    http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/di...ebrate/index?name=Give-A-Day-Get-A-Disney-Day
    The nice thing about these tickets is that they are upgradeable to any number of days that you wish to add. So you basically get an $84 discount off of all adult multiday passes and $72 off of all the children's multiday passes. You cannot get that kind of a discount from the ticket resellers.

    In order to qualify for free parking and some dining discounts, you might want to consider buying APs for a couple of the adults in the group instead of multiday passes. The above-mentioned "Give a Day" pass can also be upgraded to an AP. Check here for a list of AP discounts and benefits:
    http://www.wdwinfo.com/discounts/discounts-ap.htm#general

    Feeding a crowd like that is going to be a challenge. Having a full kitchen will help to keep the costs within reason. Plan to do breakfast at the house every morning. I would also make it a point to also do dinner there as much as possible even if it's frozen lasagna instead of homemade. Bring snacks into the parks to fend off hunger while waiting in long lines and have everyone carry their own refillable water bottle to stay hydrated. Fill them at the water fountains or get a cup of free ice water at one of the counter service restaurants. Packing lunches will help with the cost of dining but you can also share some CS meals between family members.

    One final note about traveling as a group: Sometimes it's not a bad idea to split up every once in a while. It can be a nightmare trying to keep a large group together all day, especially when the ages vary as much as those in your group. You might want to make touring plans that include 2 or 3 groups going their own way and then meeting up at a predetermined location for parades or a meal.
     
  14. MickeyMomOfThree

    MickeyMomOfThree DIS Veteran

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    WOW! I just have to say you are my inspiration for today. I have a hard enough time keeping up with the laundry for my family of 5 on a good day, but we had a plumbing issue we just got resolved and have a lot of catching up to do today. I was feeling overwhelmed by it all, but then I read this, and you are doing laundry for 15. :scared1: So, I am using you to motivate myself.

    I wish you luck in taking your family. I don't know anything about planning for big groups so I am of no help, but good luck and have a great trip, I can only imagine how memorable it will be for all of you.

    Now, off to start my own pile of laundry... :laundy:
     
  15. Belle5

    Belle5 DIS Veteran

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    I am so happy you are planning this trip for your big family! I just helped a friend with ten children (2 sets of twins) plan their trip for this December during free dining. Two of their adult children cannot go, so there are only ten of them going. You would just need to do what they did plus one extra room. They are staying in two rooms at POR. Alligator Bayou allows five to a room if one of the children is nine or under. (There is a trundle bed) They are staying for eight nights with free dining and non-hopping park passes. You could do the same plus one other room next Aug/Sept during free dining. It is such a treat for parents of a big group to have a break from cooking and to have all transportation covered, as well. We only have six children and when we fly into Orlando (or wherever we vacation) we always rent two cars. Staying off-site would cost me $28 a day in parking--with three cars that would be $42 a day just to park!!! (We have found it to be a lot less expensive to rent two cars through Priceline than to pay for a large rental van) If you already have a fifteen passenger van that you will be driving to Florida, then you would only have to worry about $14 a day to park should you stay off-site. If you really need to go inexpensive, try booking two timeshare resorts through Skyauction for two weeks.

    Happy planning! You are going to have so much fun!:thumbsup2

    Editing to add: I searched your previous posts and noticed you were driving a big van and looking into camping in FW. Just and FYI--if I remember correctly, tent campers are not eligible for free dining. If you were thinking of three cabins, that would be different.
     
  16. bigdisneygroup

    bigdisneygroup Mouseketeer

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    Thanks - you are all just great!! I knew that I could count on everyone for some great suggestions. I am taking note of all of them.

    Thanks to those who took the time to run some numbers for me, as well.

    As far as camping goes, I didn't think that free dining would be included, unfortunately. My main concern with then is the heat. We have an a/c pop up but that wouldn't fit all of us.

    At the moment, we are definitely planning on driving down.

    MickeyMomofThree - It made me feel good that I might have been someone's inspiration. :) There are times it's tough, but I wouldn't trade a minute of it for the world. :lovestruc

    Madforthemouse - as far as the give a day, get a day promo - I thought that somewhere I had read that only eight people per household could participate - do you happen to know if that is correct? I am definitely going to check in the AP passes for my husband and myself - just maybe we could sneak away a day or two on our own sometime? ;)

    I'm off now to check out the links you all were so kind to send me. :surfweb:
     
  17. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

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    I have to disagree that staying offsite is cheaper. It seems like a nobrainer to pick a $220 house over staying on property but not when you run the numbers. The house with tax will be about $245 per night. Parking is another $14 per day which brings the cost of the house up to about $260 per day. Compare that to about $400 per day at Pop and the difference is $140 per day to feed 15 people on vacation. Now, I'm sure that the OP can feed her creator less at home, but Leftovers and "brown-bagging" it for lunch at WDW for that many people could be problematic.

    There are advantages to a home even though it may cost more when all is said and done. There is more room to stretch out, more bedrooms, more privacy, a private pool, a full kitchen and washing facilities, etc. But there are advantages to staying onsite too. Her family consists of a lot of older kids. They will want the freedom to come and go more freely by bus than being attached to the family because of transportation issues.
     
  18. VillageMama

    VillageMama Mouseketeer

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    I think that is correct but it only applies to those who are age six and over, so that leaves out your 2 and your 4 year olds. Maybe you could break the remaining 13 of you into two "family" groups? Especially since two of your children are over 18?

    The 20 year old and the 19 year old could be their own group. Then maybe you could have the five other teens as your family and your dh could have the 11-6s as his group.

    Good luck to you! I hope that you have a truly magical time! :goodvibes
     
  19. Belle5

    Belle5 DIS Veteran

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    I couldn't agree with this more. We have some older children who really appreciate the freedom to hop on a bus and go where they want to go. Also, do you really want for everyone to have to leave in the big van and drive 25 minutes to the rental house just because Suzy-Q age 6 is vomiting? It is so much easier when one parent can hop a bus a take Suzy-Q back to the resort for some rest and let everyone else stay and enjoy. Been there, done that...

    The number one reason we stay on-site these days is to give our older children some freedom and independence. DSs23,21,19, 17 want to go stay at Epcot for EMH? No problem! Dad and I go back to the resort with DSs12 and 6.
     
  20. aka-mad4themouse

    aka-mad4themouse <font color="blue">Budget Board Co-Host</font>

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    You make valid points. Both onsite and offsite have their advantages and each has to be considered for their strengths and weaknesses.

    You have to keep in mind that Free Dining is limited to stays of 10 days or less. The OP wants to stay for 2 weeks, which would necessitate a split stay and the purchase of additional tickets. When you consider that they would have to purchase at least one additional 1-day MYW base ticket for each member of the family except the 2yo in order to get free dining for the second reservation, it adds over $900 in additional costs to their stay. That's some serious jingle.

    The 15 people in this family would need at least 3 rooms at POR or 4 rooms at a value resort. Rack rates for values during the traditional free dining period would run $82-$92/night (weekday vs weekend) before tax for a std room. That's $328/night for 4 rooms. POR would be $447/night for 3 rooms. Before taxes, not including weekend rates. Tickets not included. If you were to take into consideration what it would cost to dine onsite, 3 meals per day for 2 weeks, then I would agree that you cannot beat the free dining vs. a room discount and paying OOP for food. But I'm sure that even with eating QS meals and buying convenience groceries, the OP can spend less than $100/day on average to feed the family while staying offsite. Naturally some days will be more than others but the non-park days would be considerably less.

    And you have not factored in the gratuity that is automatically added to TS bills when a party of this size is involved. That comes right out of pocket and is an expense that free dining does not cover.

    Another consideration, parking fees do not become a factor if the OP has one adult AP for every vehicle that they are driving to the parks. AP holders park for free (as of right now). So it might be worth the cost of APs vs the price of 10-day passes to get at least one to save on the parking costs and other benefits.

    I'll be the first to agree with you that packing picnic lunches for the park and cooking dinner for a crowd while on vacation is not fun. But the OP wanted to know how cheaply this trip can be done and I'm just offering an alternative idea. I thought that perhap she was not aware that it is possible to bring outside food into the parks. :hippie:
     
  21. aka-mad4themouse

    aka-mad4themouse <font color="blue">Budget Board Co-Host</font>

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    Children under 3 do not need tickets, so that just leaves the 4yo without a chance to earn a free ticket.

    The FAQs state that in addition to the person enrolling online, "up to a maximum of 8 additional" household members can qualify for the free tickets. So there are 9 total out of the 13 remaining family members who can do the volunteer work and get a free pass. That's still a significant savings if it can be done.

    If the family lives under 2 roofs (as some blended families do), then they could possibly manage to get free passes for everyone by using the two different addresses.
     

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