Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by bigdisneygroup, Oct 22, 2009.
I thought it was changed to 14 days last year?
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We just came back from 14 days of free dining.
That's what I thought. Thanks for clearing that up.
We are 100% agreement there!
$100 per day will not even cover a SINGLE QS meal for a family of 15!
The Value resorts have QS DDP only, so no I did not factor in tips for TS meals .
But then you need to add the price of an AP into the equation. It's more than DOUBLE a 10-day non park hopper at $520. Even when you subtract the free parking benefit they are spending nearly $200 MORE for each AP. The other benefits don't make up that difference, IMO.
Yes, you can picnic. I almost always pack a PB&J for my fussy DD to eat. BUT ... as someone who pays for my CS meals I would request that if they do picnic they not sit at the CS tables if it's busy.
Of course, they can also bring one of these:
I couldn't believe they would let that family into AK with that thing but they did ! On a more serious note, they can bring a smaller cooler and store it in stroller basket. Heck, I would even bring a stroller for the 4-year old so they could bring two coolers.
Robinb - love the picture!! I'm not computer savy enough to know how to pull individual quotes off of the board and incorporate them into my responses. but I can certainly see that there is pros and cons to both staying on site and off site. I didnt' realize that you could take anything other than maybe a couple of munchies into the parks so that would be an option. And I promise that we won't sit on paying customers seats. Seriously, I am really enjoying getting all these ideas and I'm going to keep crunching numbers to see what will work out the best.
I'm thinking the older guys would love the freedom of being onsite as I can see them getting thru the parks much more quickly than my dh and I could with the younger set. I don't know if that would be doable tho as normally my gang is back in school by the time free dining starts and I don't think we could stay onsite without having the free dining. If I could get free dining, I would actually be willing to back off to a 10 day trip.
Madforthe mouse - We are all at one address. They are all mine and his together and even the oldest is still living at home. I thought that it was eight total, tho, so that is still one more person than I thought I could volunteer. If we can get most of the adult passes discounted, maybe I could try undercover tourist or somewhere for the other passes? Thanks again to all.
Our family isn't as large as yours (we're only a family of 6) and we would not consider staying onsite for any reason other than free dining. If we're paying for our meals, then we stay offsite.
Just a note on the give a day get a day, while I think that the idea of the promotion is wonderful I don't really see it's value for a family like yours that wants to stay for a long trip. The cost to add one more day onto a longer theme park ticket is peanuts. So instead of buying 10 day one park expiring passes you could buy 9 day one park expiring passes. I don't have the exact number in front of me but I beleive the difference is cost between the 9 and 10 day is about $2 even times 15 I don't even think it's worth the paperwork to get the free days in the give a day get a day.
I stand corrected. Maybe I'm thinking of the Oct-Dec free dining from this year? Or maybe it was one of the PINs I got? One of them had a minimum of 3 nights and a maximum of 10.
if You can't go during free dining (which used to be limited to 10 days) then the house would work fine for you. The in-home laundry would be a real advantage for such a large family. We do about laundry about 3 times in 2 weeks but there are only 3 of us!
The "give a day" promotion is great, if you aren't booking a package. The birthday passes were upgradable, so hopefully these will be as well. If they are, you could upgrade those tickets to longer tickets and get credit for the price of a one day ticket towards your new, longer ticket. If you are staying on site and booked a package, you won't be able to do that as you can't combine two tickets (your free one and the one-day base you had to buy for free dining) into one.
Even if the tickets are not upgradable or they want the free dining package, they could still use it to get a day 11 for the older ones and have it be a pool day for the little ones and a parent if they are doing the free dining package.
You're right. I forgot about being able to apply the value of the ticket toward a longer day ticket. Well in the spirit of akamadforthemouse's challenge here is my breakdown of how I would do this trip as cheaply as possible...
14 nights in August (which ends up actually being one of the more expensive times to rent) at an offsite pool home that is large enough to accomodate 16
9 10 day adult park tickets at the gate+tax price of 258.80 minus the 84.14 credit for each of 9 give a day get a day tickets you get = 1571.94
2 10 day adult park tickets purchased though an online discount ticket retailer= 497.90
3 day day child park tickets purchased though an online discount ticket retailer= 650.85
Groceries for 14 days of breakfasts at your offsite home and some snacks $400
14 counter service lunches in the parks or offsite $1400
7 counter service dinners at parks or offsite $840
7 sit down off site dinners= $1400
individual purchased snacks at Disney parks or other locations (this isn't a snack for everyone every day but rather either shared snacks every day or everyone gets their own snack every other day) $450
parking for 10 park days at $14/day= $140
Grand total comes to 11,271.00 plus transportation there and back and gas for your vehicle while you are there. Thats it, thats the cheapest I could do it!
Holy cow, and I thought it was expensive for my family of 5 because we can't stay in a standard room.
Good Luck OP I hope you can make this trip work out for your family.
If you go 2 weeks, one of you may want to purchase an annual pass which would give you free parking, and a 10% discount on many stores.
Stay off property at an off peak time at a home for 600 to 800 for the whole week, and the second week may be discounted.
Driving will save huge on airline as well as not having to rent a car when you get there. Hotwire.com will save if you rent complete weeks at a time.
Walmart and Super Target have reasonable food prices, unlike some of the local stores
Eating at home, and packing lunches will save money as well. I recommend Septmeber or October because the park lines will be at a minimum.
make you sure you stop and enjoy the kids along the way
I just have to say, I would have a blast planning this trip!
If it were me, I would do my best to stay onsite at a value during free dining and take the qsdp and 10 day base tickets. I would choose Music because they have so much going on at the pool during the aft/evening, it would provide great fun for everyone on the non park days and the older kids would have the freedom to go where they like using Disney transportation. I think this provides the biggest cost savings and schedule flexibility with least amount of sacrifice. I would give up the private pool and the extra space for the food savings alone.
Take away the free dining portion, and the scale tips over to offsite for sure mainly because offsite eating is cheaper. The flexibility for the older kids get chopped however I do think, with some inconvenience to the parents, this is still an option. The older kids can stay longer at night or in the afternoon while the parents return to the house or one parent drops other parent and younger kids at the house and then returns.
Whatever lodging I choose, it would NOT involve much cooking. I would give up other things before I gave up the convenience and expense of eating out or ordering in. It just wouldn't be vacation without this. I would however keep lots of snacks and quick make yourself stuff on hand (like bagels, cereal, granola bars, fruit, etc).
Maybe figure in the cost of renting another car if you stay offsite. Then the older kids could come and go from the parks if they need to.
Looks like Value season starts on August 15. With tax, that is $92(weekday) and $104(weekends) per night per room. If you got a AAA discount card, you could get the rooms for $79(w/tax) weekdays and $88 weekends per night per room. So for 4 rooms for 14 days, it would be 790 x 4 rooms(weekdays) + 352 x 4 rooms (weekends)= $3160 + $1408= $4568 for rooms.
Then you have the matter of tickets, which a PP posted as around $2720.
Then you have food. I would bring things like Poptarts, nutrigrain bars, muffins, cereal, milk(bring a cooler) for breakfast in the room. You can toast and microwave things at the value food courts.
For lunch, I would plan to bring in sandwiches and fruit for lunch. Stack all the sandwiches in a soft side cooler, along with a bag of chips. If you don't want to do that every day, get kids meals for anyone who isn't a really hearty eater. They are $5 at the CS restaurants and include a side and a drink. Do not buy drinks; ask for free ice water. Bring in flavor packets for those who don't like the water. If you eat lunch AT the parks for 4 days, that would be about $400. Definitely bring in snacks like fruit snacks, granola bars, cookies, etc.
For dinner, I would plan on going out to eat offsite. Leave the park around 5 and then come back after dinner for more fun. There are lots of inexpensive places around Orlando, like Cicis All you can eat pizza for $5/person. You may even be able to find some great coupons on Restaurant.com to get a really good deal. I would budget $100 night for a total of $1400 for dinners.
So, not including souvenirs and gas, I am up to $9088. I guess considering you are taking 15 people, that isn't too bad.
Oh, are your older children contributing at all? Maybe they could do something. Are you even sure they will enjoy DIsney for 14 days? You may want to spring for the $99 7 day unlimited for them for Universal/IOA.
I agree with the other posters who recommend staying at a value during free dining as the best option.
We purchased the quick service dining plan last year and we loved it. We like having the flexibility to eat where ever we liked, and we also liked not having to pay a tip.
Also the logistics of making table service ADRs for such a big group during free dining and making sure everyone is there for the meal (with the ages of some of your kids, I see them wanting to do their own thing), would be overwhelming.
Having access to Disney transportation would be a great advantage.
You wouldn't be able to take advantage of the "Give a day promotion," but 14 days of food would be a much bigger savings than having one park day free.
Okay, offsite, here is a 6 bedroom house for $1199/wk--we'll add in the 12.5%tax, as I'm sure that's not inluded, so $1350/wk for a total of $2700 for lodging. This is during summer season http://www.vrbo.com/72346
Tickets stay at $2720
Okay, food. I would stay simple for breakfast, so cereal, donuts, poptarts, etc, which would be from your regular budget. Since you are staying offsite, I would spring for counter service for everyone for lunch. At $8 each, you could get any of the CS combos for 10 of you at $80 and get the youngest 5 kids meals for $25, so $105 each day for lunch. If you went to the parks every day, that would be $1470. I would still get ice water--it's better for you and saves you lots of money.
Now, I would go back to the house for dinner and a rest from around 4-6, but that is just me. I would not want to "cook", but you could do easy meals and let mom, dad and older kids take turns preparing and cleaning up. You can get things like rotisserie chicken and prepared sides from Walmart one night, pizzas from the store one night, spaghetti one or two nights, sloppy joes, hamburgers and hotdogs, tacos, etc. etc. I bet you are good at inexpensive means for a large family, and I would think $30/day for dinner at the house would be pretty easy to do. So that would be $420 for 14 dinners.
Oh, I forgot parking. I guess it is $14/day now, so that is $196 for parking.
Total offsite would be around $7500.
With that many people, I would do offsite. That way you can get out from under each other. The older kids can stay up later without waking the younger kids. There is a pool and a gameroom in this one, which is nice for the evenings or even an off day.
Good luck! It sounds like you have your own tour group!
Since most of the OPs kids are in school(with several in high school), the timing of traditional free dining would probably not work. It usually starts right when school starts, at least where we live.
That's true for us as well. It would be pretty tough, if not impossible, to pull eight kiddos out of school for that long, unfortunately and we normally start back right around the time free dining starts.
My older ones might like the 99 Universal tix. I'll definitely check into it. We would probably have to take two cars as 15 passenger vans are for just that - passengers. They have very little packing room, so we would still have some flexibility for the older set if we do end up off site. I would love to full into a way to stay on site, but that might have to wait a few years till we are taking fewer of them.
To the poster that asked if the older ones would contribute, I was actually thinking of asking if we paid for the housing and food if they would pay for their own tickets. Feel sorta bad since it is a gift, but I would think that they would still think they had gotten a pretty great gift.
Oh, well, enough dreaming for today. Back to work.
So, OP, how much is your budget? What were you thinking of spending?
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