OT: Can't afford Disney - where else to go?

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by JJ&JSMOM, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. JJ&JSMOM

    JJ&JSMOM DIS Veteran

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    Good morning,
    We're a family of 5 - DH, DS10, DD7, & DD5, and me. No way we can afford Disney this year or next probably. Just thought I'd ask where else people go.

    We live in Maine so we'd have to travel to go anywhere. Last summer we went to a couple Red Sox games in Boston. But this summer I'd like to plan a road trip. Our backup vacation is StoryLand in NewHampshire - we could always go there but have been many times already. We are thinking Pennsylvania or Virginia but not sure yet. Is there any places you all would reccommend?

    Thanks for any ideas.
     
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  3. Maggie'sMom

    Maggie'sMom DIS Veteran

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    I'm assuming you are thinking of a summer trip. What about Virginia Beach and Williamsburg? Or Washington DC? If you don't mind a longer drive, how about Myrtle Beach or the Outerbanks?
     
  4. LWatson

    LWatson I Still Do!!!!

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    DC was a fun trip when I went w/ my Aunt & Uncle.

    I would see what theme parks are in your area and see if you can afford a season pass.
     
  5. disney1990

    disney1990 <font color=royalblue>Wow, it make my heart skip a

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    And 99% of the museums in DC, along with other attractions such as the zoo, are FREE.
     
  6. mjkacmom

    mjkacmom DIS Veteran

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    Our family loves Hershey Park, and there are tons of inexpensive hotels in the area.
     
  7. JJ&JSMOM

    JJ&JSMOM DIS Veteran

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    Great ideas. Thank you. Yes it would be a summer trip. Our friends went to Baltimore for a couple baseball games and said that area had a ton of things to do. Washington DC - I need to research more.

    Thanks again.
     
  8. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    The ones mentioned already were all the same ideas I had too. A Virginia Beach/Williamsburg trip would be nice. Williamsburg was way more interesting and fun than I thought it would be! There's a Busch Gardens park near there too, right?

    D.C. does have a lot of free museums and monuments, but the hotels and restaurants, parking fees, etc. are $$$$. Averaging it out, it may be worth it, but not cheap!

    I haven't been but I've wanted to go to Hershey Park. Also Kings Island in Ohio. I'm terrible with geography so I don't know if those would be combinable.
     
  9. JJ&JSMOM

    JJ&JSMOM DIS Veteran

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    We are definitely thinking about Hershey Park. I just want to make sure theres stuff for every age. And we could travel to Gettysburg - where I want to go.
     
  10. polkadotsuitcase

    polkadotsuitcase Disney-loving mom! Approved Advertiser

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    I second (third...fourth) DC and/or Baltimore. So much to do and such fun. Don't forget Bengie's Drive-In theater north of B'more.
     
  11. JUJU814

    JUJU814 DIS Veteran

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    Hershey Park!!! It's a wonderful amusement park..very reasonably priced..clean, family friendly. The surrounding area is good. You can go to Amish country. All the restaurants in this area (hershey etc) are IMHO CHEAP compared to where we live. We are in New Hampshire.

    If you wanted to drive a little further, (didn't catch the age of your kids) you could also go to Sesame Place.
     
  12. Tigger1966

    Tigger1966 Addicted to Disney

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    We have the same problem and living in southern IN. there isn't much here especially since we are spoiled with Disney and FW.:confused3
    I have looked at a lot of places online and the campgrounds have nothing to do or they are too far from the attraction. Since we drive a MH we are prety much locked into where we park it unless we can drive the golf cart.
     
  13. HeatherC

    HeatherC <font color=blue>Alas...these people I live with t

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    Not trying to be nosy, but wondering what your budget might be? Reason I'm asking is because you may find that Disney can be done more cheaply than you might think.

    Another idea might be the Lake Champlain region of VT. or Lake George in NY State.
     
  14. dapookie09

    dapookie09 Earning My Ears

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    Responding to the OP who was talking about Cincinnati's Kings Island (which is not open year round, just April-Oct or something like that) and Hershey Park, it would be about an 8 hour drive between the two, but there are plenty of fun family things in Cincinnati within a 30min drive of Kings Island. Kings Island is about a 30 minute drive from downtown Cincinnati

    Cincinnati Tourism Info: http://www.cincinnatiusa.com/

    Kings Island is a very thrill-ride oriented park. There is a childrens area (currently being converted to a Snoopy and Peanuts theme) and an area with classic rides, but mostly big coasters and such. KI has a lot of special events throughout their season, including concerts with big name bands. There is also a huge waterpark attached and that is included in the admission price to Kings Island

    One Lodging option is the Great Wolf Lodge (Indoor Waterpark) which is literally a quarter of a mile from the park (but you'd still have to drive to the park as it's a very busy road)

    Also nearby:

    Coney Island Theme Park: a very classic-rides family oriented park, I'd recommend for kids in the 12 and under set especially. Very cheap, also has an attached waterpark (separate charge). Think bumper boats, scrambler, ferris wheel, bumper cars, that kind of thing. This is right next to Riverbend (a big concert Venue)

    Monster MiniGolf: Indoor Blacklight Putt Putt Golf

    Cincinnati Museum Center: Huge childrens Museum, Omnimax Theater, Natural History Museum (with a very cool walk-through cave)

    Newport Aquarium (actually in Northern Kentucky but right across the river from downtown Cincy)

    Underground Railroad Freedom Center Museum

    Creation Museum (This is a very Christian oriented thing, so may not be right for your family, but as it's a popular attraction in the area I figured I'd include it on the list)

    Sports Games: Hockey (Cyclones), Baseball (Reds), Football (Bengals)

    Lots of parks with events going on in the summertime, esp Sawyer Park (on the riverfront in downtown)

    Local foods to try: LaRosa's (pizza), Graeter's (ice cream), Skyline Chili and Gold Star Chili (Cincinnati Chili), Busken Bakery (awesome cookies/baked goods)

    Movie Nights on Fountain Square Downtown (Big screen a la Times Square) where you can bring a blanket and snacks and watch a movie under the stars

    (One heads up...Cincinnati is not a town with much public transportation, so be prepared to drive your own car or rent a car to get around)
     
  15. dougsmom98

    dougsmom98 DIS Veteran

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    We are also from Maine. Every summer, we rent a house on the coast. We have found Old Orchard to be the least expensive coastal town and believe it or not, it is very quiet if you stay 1/4-1/2 mile away from the pier. We looked into going to Hershey Park and when we added up the cost of gas, tolls, hotel, park entrance prices... we decided it was less expensive to vacation in state. As you know though, the weather here was awful last summer. We did luck out with the sunniest week of the summer when we were on vacation. We also go to Aquaboggon at least once each summer. They have $12 Mondays. We get there before they open, find a spot to set up camp and spend the entire day there. That being said, I still would like to go to Hershey Park or Virginia Beach some summer.
     
  16. MineMail

    MineMail DIS Veteran

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    At Hershey Park, check out the Chocolate Museum tour - it's awesome and free - you don't even need a park admission pass! Great rest stop if you're just passing through and can resist the park temptation.

    Also in Pennsylvania is Dorney Park and Whitewater Kingdom. It's a amusement park and a water park - you can park hop all day long. Not terribly expensive, but has plenty to do. Not too far away is Shankweiler's Drive In Movie Theater, which is a great place to wax nostalgic about parking at the drive in, lol. It's a great arrival-night activity and the popcorn is delicious since they use real butter.
     
  17. JJ&JSMOM

    JJ&JSMOM DIS Veteran

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    Thanks again for all the ideas. We're thinking Old Ochard as well for something different if we need to stay instate. Not sure what our budget will be. Last year I planned our trip to Boston piecemeal. After I got paid I would purchase a "piece" of our vacay. One time I bought the RedSox Tkts, and one time I booked/paid for our hotel, then Amtrak tkts as the trip got closer. Right now airfare to fly to Florida alone is over $2,000 for 5 of us. I think we can do alot for that amount of money closer to home.
     
  18. snowbunny

    snowbunny DIS Veteran

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    From Maine as well. Formerly from Pennsylvania...a 9-hour drive to Hershey Park is not something I would ever do. If you are willing to drive that distance I'd say definitely Washington, DC. You can get very nice hotel rooms (e.g. Marriott, Hyatt) there in the summer for well under $100 a night (check Travelzoo etc.).

    Get a hotel close to a metro stop and park your car for the week. There is so much to see and do. Your kids will love the Air and Space museum and the Smithsonian. Walk down the mall to look at the monuments and memorials (early evening if it's summer, DC is as hot and humid as Florida). It is a completely different vacation from Disney but in a good way.
     
  19. JUJU814

    JUJU814 DIS Veteran

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    Just wondering WHERE in Washington DC can you get a nice hotel for that price in a SAFE area?
     
  20. snowbunny

    snowbunny DIS Veteran

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    Oh my gosh--there are tons of them, do the research. Check AAA "hot deals" and specials. In the summer especially there are lots of great places to stay in good areas. As long as it's on the metro it is easy to get anywhere. Here is a cut and paste from Travelzoo as of right now:

    This Week's Top Pick from The Westin Alexandria
    $80 -- Washington, D.C.-Area 4-Diamond Hotel at Half OFF
    Three blocks to metro; Eight miles from downtown D.C.
    Select dates through February; Book by Dec. 31

    This Week's Top Pick from Getaroom.com
    $99 -- Last Minute Sale: Capitoll Hill Hotel at 45% OFF
    Stay three blocks from the Capitol in the heart of Wash. DC
    Through Jan. 3; Book by Dec. 31

    This Week's Top Pick from Sheraton Crystal City
    $99 -- Washington D.C.-Area Hotel w/Breakfast & Parking
    Adjacent to Crystal City Metro station and across the river
    Travel most dates through Feb.; book by Dec. 31


    $69 -- Washington, D.C.-Area Hotel (Reg. $219)
    Sheraton National Hotel Arlington
    Thursday-Sunday through February + holiday dates
    $79 -- Historic Washington, D.C., Hotel, 50% OFF
    Crowne Plaza Hamilton
    Through Dec. 30; +Thursday-Sunday through January
    $74 -- Holidays at D.C.-Area Hotel 50% OFF w/2-Nt. Stay
    Sheraton Premiere at Tyson's Corner
     
  21. JeffreyY

    JeffreyY Stitchtastic

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    Have you thought about Montreal. I don't know how far that is from you, but there were lots of things to do. We went twice and both times the kids had fun. There are inexpensive hotels, amusement parks, water parks and they speak french so it makes for a nice experience.
     

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