Advice on my upcoming WDW trip - outlined

Charley_68

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
I am in the planning stages for a trip to WDW from April 30 to March 3. I will be travelling with my wife and twin daughters - age two. I have decided on the following but would appreciate any advice on my decisions in respect to getting the most value for my money:

Flying from: Washington, DC to Orlando on least expensive flight we can get

Transportation: Mears shuttle

Resort: Caribbean Beach (or other moderate only)

Package: Resort magic (basically we want to be able to go to MK, AK and Epcot and have one character breakfast)

Dining: Breakfast and lunch - mostly in room; food either brought with us (snacks) or purchased from grocery store and kept in refrigerator in room. Dinner at a restaurant.

Other: Will bring mist sprayers, film, sunscreen, filtered sports bottles, ponchos etc... from home. Thinking about renting a double stroller each day rather than bring one from home.

Questions:
1. Would booking this package through Disney's website be the best way to go? (The price I keep getting is reasonable - less than $2000 and they are one-stop shopping for the rest of the package outline above) Alternatively, should I use a travel agent or is there a better way?
2. Is the resort magic package the best way to get the park admittance that we want and the character breakfast or should these be purchased separately?
3. As the flight seems to be the most variable expense in the equation, any advice on how to get the best price (flight times, best days to travel etc...)?
4. Is renting the stroller the best way to go (long lines early in the morning) or should we bring one from home? What are the chances that it could get stolen or mistaken for someone elses?

Sorry that this is so long. I would value and appreciate any input and will answer any further questions you may have.

Thanks!
 

WDW/Wendy5

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 10, 2001
If you are looking to save money you can get the same package at the All Star Resorts. Purchase the refillable mugs in the food courts. Caribbean has a food court but the All Stars is great for the kids.
Also join the Disney Club you may find the discount worth the $65 fee. The Character meals are great, my kids enjoy the breakfasts. If only doing one I would recommend Chef Mickey, be sure to make your priority seating reservation. If you can afford to do another I highly recommend it. As for the stroller bring your own this way you can use it at yours or any other resort you go to, and yes there is sometimes a line for them early. There is a grocery store across from Downtown Disney at the Crossroads a small shopping center. I can't help on flying we usually drive. Have a great trip

4/91-Off sight
8/91-BC
6/92-BC
4/93-POLY
8/93-YC
3/94-DXL
10/94-YC
6/95-ASSp&YC
12/96-ASSp&YC
6/97-ASSp&YC
8/98-BW-w/sister&kids
8/98-YCme&kids 2wk later
5/99-POLY(make a wish)
12/99-ASM(Mill.New Year)
8/00-ASSp
9/01-YC/SO EXCITED!!!!
WENDY

 

WDW/Wendy5

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 10, 2001
If you are looking to save money you can get the same package at the All Star Resorts. Purchase the refillable mugs in the food courts. Caribbean has a food court but the All Stars is great for the kids.
Also join the Disney Club you may find the discount worth the $65 fee. The Character meals are great, my kids enjoy the breakfasts. If only doing one I would recommend Chef Mickey, be sure to make your priority seating reservation. If you can afford to do another I highly recommend it. As for the stroller bring your own this way you can use it at yours or any other resort you go to, and yes there is sometimes a line for them early. There is a grocery store across from Downtown Disney at the Crossroads a small shopping center. I can't help on flying we usually drive. Have a great trip :D

4/91-Off sight
8/91-BC
6/92-BC
4/93-POLY
8/93-YC
3/94-DXL
10/94-YC
6/95-ASSp&YC
12/96-ASSp&YC
6/97-ASSp&YC
8/98-BW-w/sister&kids
8/98-YCme&kids 2wk later
5/99-POLY(make a wish)
12/99-ASM(Mill.New Year)
8/00-ASSp
9/01-YC/SO EXCITED!!!!
WENDY

 

Charley_68

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
I think that we would rather stay at the moderate resorts. I know it is a bit more expensive but I love the look of the Caribbean and it seems to have a bit more that my daughters would be interested in: beaches, parrot cay, 45 acre lake etc... Great info on the character breakfasts. We may just end up bringing our own stroller for convenience and to save the $$$. If my kids like the character breakfast we may do another. Can you tell me more about the Disney Club. Where can I get more info on it online?

Thanks again,
Charle
 

WDW/Wendy5

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 10, 2001
You can never go wrong where ever you stay. The kids will love the pool! and the rooms are a tiny bit bigger. Disney club has discounts on rooms(according to the season) and select restraunts and an occational specials and 10% at the Disney Stores and select stores at Downtown Disney area. The cost is $65 for a two yr. membership. Just go to the disney sight and they have a link.

4/91-Off sight
8/91-BC
6/92-BC
4/93-POLY
8/93-YC
3/94-DXL
10/94-YC
6/95-ASSp&YC
12/96-ASSp&YC
6/97-ASSp&YC
8/98-BW-w/sister&kids
8/98-YCme&kids 2wk later
5/99-POLY(make a wish)
12/99-ASM(Mill.New Year)
8/00-ASSp
9/01-YC/SO EXCITED!!!!
WENDY

 

PTKeil

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jul 20, 2000
You may want to check into Tiffany Towncar from the airport instead of Mears. They do a complimentary grocery stop for you.
DEFINATELY shop around for these separately. The fact that your daughters are two makes a big difference. Two years old and under are FREE (other than food...that means entry to the parks and everything) at Disney, so the price you were quoted was based on ONLY you and your wife. I would think you could get a much better deal if you purchased these pieces separately.
 

cprior

Earning My Ears
Joined
Dec 15, 1999
The daily cost of renting a stroller will add up and you will have to wait in line for it. You will not have a stroller for the very long walk from the park to the bus stop and from the bus stop to your room. When we went in May, we had two umbrella strollers that could be folded up easily and quickly. One stroller had a basket underneath to store our stuff. At the end of a long and tiring day, my kids wouldn't want to walk to the bus stop and I wouldn't want to have to carry them.

It seems that pricing out a trip on your own is cheaper than a package "deal", unless you benefit from each of the package benefits. Price it out separately and compare it to the package price. Remember for a character meal, that your children will be free since they are under the age of 3.

I always fly on Southwest - they are cheap, always on time, and the flight attendants are the funniest I have ever encountered. They will not give you a seat assignment, but becuase of your small children, they will allow you to preboard.
 

PTKeil

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jul 20, 2000
By the way, if you have any fold up strollers that you can bring from home, they are much easier. The double strollers that I saw being used looked very cumbersome to navigate, especially in heavy crowds. Also mark your stollers with something cheap like a bandana, balloon, etc. It makes the stroller easier to find after the cast members play stroller shuffle while you're at the attractions, and it also deters people from theft.
 

drogerstn

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 19, 1999
Here are some rough estimates I came up with.

For 5 night stay and not considering any dicounts:
CBR-$745 @$149 per night
One character breakfast approx. $50 2adults/2child
5 dinners-$300 @$60 each
4-day hopper, 2adults, $384 @ $192 ea.
TOTAL: $1480

4 night stay with no discounts:
CBR-$596
Char Brkfst-$50
4 dinners-$240
6 single day tickets-$288 (3 per adult @$48)
TOTAL:$1184

You may be able to get discounts and may spend more or less for dinner. When you get the Resort Magic Plan, you are basically paying for 2 days in the park that you may not use or may not feel like you get your money's worth (arrival day & departure day). I did not consider ground transportation; don't know if that comes with your package or not.

I like Chef Mickey's for breakfast as well


 

dbltrbl

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 2, 2000
Just in case you didn't know, children under 3 are free at the buffets (this includes character meals!). We didn't do any character meals last year when DD was 1.5 because she ate like a bird, and I thought she would be too overwhelmed with the characters to want to eat. This year I already have 3 PS for character meals as I found out (here at the DIS!) that she is free! :D


84 - Disneyland
00 - offsite (HIFS)
01 - offsite (HIFS)
 

Ladygator

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 23, 2000
We took strollers with us to WDW last August and we bought neon colored tape and wrapped it around the handles and put it on the canopy, etc. to distinguish it from other strollers. We also put our last name and hotel on the stroller for ID in case it got lost. We had no problems. You might consider bringing something to cover the strollers if it rains so they don't get wet.
 









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