Budget Honeymoon - Is there such a thing?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by johnaalexis, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Shanti

    Shanti Momketeer

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    One bit of advice: Since you're looking to save money, do not buy the dining plan. The dining plan is not designed to save guests money.

    A lot of people like the dining plan in order to have more of their trip paid off in advance, or because without one they wouldn't make reservations for table service restaurants, or because without one they'd pinch pennies on food during the trip, etc., but none of those reasons are about actually saving money.

    Guests typically pay more for the dining plan than for buying the same meals out of pocket, so skipping it is a great way to save money without sacrificing any WDW experiences.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
  2. johnaalexis

    johnaalexis Live Long and Prosper

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    Sharing this for anyone who may be reading - My Boss (A Disney TA on the side) suggested we buy a Disney GC or Visa/Mastercard GC and every pay day add $5-$10 too it then take it do Disney! I thought this was a good idea and a way to save up some spending money!
     
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  4. johnaalexis

    johnaalexis Live Long and Prosper

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    Awesome! :thanks:The more have looked into it, I've begun to feel this way. The only thing that would change my mind would be if we lucked out and got free dining but I don't think that will happen. Also, I noticed in your signature that you have stayed at Pop Century, what were your thoughts if you don't care to share :)
     
  5. Shanti

    Shanti Momketeer

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    We stayed there and it was fine. Actually, it was one of our very best WDW trips, but that was not due to staying at Pop Century. I won't lie, the value resort rooms feel a bit like motel rooms: small, not elabortately decorated, utilitarian beds and bathroom, etc. However, our room at Pop was clean and we never had any kind of problem with our stay. (Also, the rooms at Pop are currently being renovated, so that's a plus in my book.) We really liked the theming of the outdoor section of the resort, and got great photos there by the oversized statues. There is nice landscaping, trees, and a lake nearby, too, which also gave the outside area of the resort a pleasant vibe. The lobby/gift shop areas were bright and inviting. The bus service was good: one advantage of Pop over the All Stars is that Pop never shares buses with any other resort. That makes transport more efficient.
     
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  6. kymom99

    kymom99 DIS Veteran

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    A relative of mine set up a fund online called honeyfund or something like that . You could pay for a spa treatment, excursion, etc. you could also give a custom amount. You might think about that although I'm not a fan of those things myself
     
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  7. kymom99

    kymom99 DIS Veteran

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    I really thought all star movies was so cute and fun. Such neat photo opportunities.

    I recommend O'Hana for a special meal. The Poly is fun to visit and the food is really good. You could watch the fireworks outside afterwards.

    You might like playing a game of putt putt. We liked winter summerland. It wasn't crowded either so it can be a nice break. Also renting a surrey bike at boardwalk is fun.
     
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  8. Distinkt

    Distinkt Mouseketeer

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    It's likely you will be there during the Food and Wine Festival, so you could sign up for some of the events/meals that they present. We did a special lunch at one of the French restaurants in Epcot, and also one of the special cocktail tastings, and it was so much fun. These are not opened until mid-summer before and fill quickly, but they were the highlight of our last trip and something special. We also did a special dessert event (complete with champagne) there and it was super fun. Though the evening had torrential rains, our group had a great time and it was something "special". Perfect for a honeymoon!
     
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  9. starry_solo

    starry_solo DIS Veteran

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    I enjoyed Dining (lunch) with an imagineer at The Brown Derby in Hollywood Studios. Four course meal, non-alcoholic drink, and gratuity was about $80-100 per person (kind of pricey) but you learn a lot from the imagineer, as long as you're inquisitive and ask questions.

    Soup, Brown Derby Cobb salad, choice of entree (from three or four) and dessert
     
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  10. Cosmic

    Cosmic Mouseketeer

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    For a special meal you don't have to dress up for:
    - Boma. Great buffet with African flavors as well as "plain" stuff for picky eaters. Plus, it gives you a chance to explore Animal Kingdom Lodge and see the animals on the savanna. Also, zebra domes!

    Special meal to dress up for:
    - Jiko. Also at AKL. Consistently gets great reviews, and it is a signature restaurant... you could dress up a bit and not look out of place. There might even be a dress code there, although I think Disney is pretty lax on the dress code outside of V&A's.

    Character meal:
    Ohana breakfast. I love the way the Poly feels in the bright sunshine of the morning while you're drinking tropical juice and looking at the castle across the water.

    My wife and I did our honeymoon in Disney in 2006. Years later, we found in our Passporter that we shared a Sprite for lunch one day! :rotfl2:I think we were being pretty frugal.
     
  11. Shanti

    Shanti Momketeer

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    I think of Sci Fi Dine-In Theater at Hollywood Studios as a special meal, even though the food is as far from gourmet as you can get, and no one dresses up. I just really like the theming of being in a virtual drive-in. You and your new husband would share the seat of a car and have milkshakes & ribs or burgers while watching retro film clips and drive-in ads. Kind of romantic in a fun way.
     
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  12. johnaalexis

    johnaalexis Live Long and Prosper

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    It's funny you mentioned Boma & Jiko, Fiance was wanting to stay at AKL but.... we just can't afford it :( (His bosses boss stayed there an told him about it. He wanted a giraffe to wake him up :rotfl2:. He's never been to Disney and I'm beyond excited to take him!) As a trade off, I told him we could do a meal at AKL possibly, breakfast or lunch so we would have a chance to see the animals and we would get to see the resort. We haven't decided on character meals yet, we want to do at least one or two but not sure where. I'll put Ohana on my list :thumbsup2 I'm currently stuck on Crystal Palace. Until I was 15 my grandparents took me to Disney ever year for my birthday and every year my grandfather and I did a special breakfast just He and I at the Crystal Palace. Shortly after my 15th birthday my grandfather got sick and we quit going to Disney due to his illness. He passed away last year and now that I'm going back for the first time since his passing, I want to go back to Crystal Palace as a way to keep our tradition going. Which is why I'm considering doing two character breakfast. The other's I'm thinking about are 1900 Park Fare, Tusker House, and Ohana.

    As for the sprite thing...:worship: :rotfl2: This is great! We are big water drinker (at least right now) I'm doing the whole diet-workout-water for the dress thing and furture hubs is kind of keeping up!
     
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  13. johnaalexis

    johnaalexis Live Long and Prosper

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    Sci Fi Drive in sound awesome! Like a great lunch spot! :banana:
     
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  14. johnaalexis

    johnaalexis Live Long and Prosper

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    I am hopping we are there during Food & Wine :woohoo: We like food (who doesn't!) and we love to have "graze" meals (as we call them) where we sample a little bit here, and little bit there and I've not really heard bad things about FWF.
     
  15. missnic

    missnic DIS Veteran

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    As two adults, Dh and I always (try to, anyway) stay at Pop - we love it, especially the price. We go for the parks, not the room :) One of our favorite things is breakfast at Boma - and then go hang out on the balcony and watch the animals. It's relaxing, usually. A late Ohana dinner is a favorite as well, especially if you can time it right for the fireworks.
     
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  16. Ryan2016

    Ryan2016 Earning My Ears

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    Congrats! On the wedding!

    My wife and I have been to disney a few times and love it there!

    We have stayed at the Pop Century and we love it there but lately we have used the 3rd party DVC stores get into a moderate hotel for cheaper prices. The fell in love with Old Key West resort and we are going done in September this year. I don't know what your hotel will cost in 2018 but right now our room rate is $167 a night vs Pop at $147. It is a little more expensive but we loved that is was quieter there and they have hot tubs and they have a boat ride that you can take to Disney Springs. That is always nice on a clear night.

    I know you said you were on a budget so the extra money for the other resorts may not be worth thou but it is something to think about as you are over a year away.

    One word of wisdom that we have found over the years is there are always discounts on the hotels but not the tickets so we always book the hotel room only and buy tickets later. We do this to try to take advantage of the travel offers disney has. IE 25% off room rates for dates A to B. They do have special offer for packages as well but we always found this cheaper.

    Another world of wisdom is watch your booking dates and plan everything to a T with plan A and Plan B. I always make sure I know I have be online at X oclock to get restaurants on this date and x oclock for fastpasses. Also when booking rank your restaurants 1-10 and book your must restaurants first regardless of which night they are on your trip. Or the hardest reservation 1st (which is usually O' Hana). Dont book day 1, day 2 etc. Book and fill it in. If you miss IE Sanaa on your first try usually it will open up but Ohana's may not.

    As for a must do if you have never been it is the Halloween Party. It is worth the money because the magic kingdom is decorated in my favorite holiday and they have special shows, parades and fireworks. Although tickets are usually easy to get you are planning one of the busier times for the Halloween Party so if you want to go you should tickets as soon as they are on sale. This years Halloween night sold out fast. We have done the dessert party there too but it is not worth it and it eats up too much trick or treating time.

    We have never tried the dining plan basically because 1. you can't get the free dining plan unless you buy the disney packages 2. We thought it was too expensive 3. We won't eat that much food.

    I don't know how adventurous you are with food but these were our best restaurants;

    Be our Guest or Cinderella's Castle @ 8am - Both are good breakfasts but they fun. You get into the park and you can enjoy a little lighter crowd after a breakfast. I like the castle better but my wife liked be our guest better
    *Dinner is nice at the Be our Guest but I wouldn't do it is again. It took up too much park time.
    Sanaa in AK resort- They have a bread service that is awesome and we had the lamb shank which was fell of the bone good.
    Jiko in AK resort - One of the best meals had in property. We had apps, wine and fell meal. It was a great meal
    California Grill - This is place that we went to watch the fireworks outside the park (BOOK EARLY FOR SEAT AT FIREWORK TIMES). This was a good meal better than anything in the parks but we found it is a bit expensive.
    O'Hana's - Buffet and a good one and also a great place for fireworks too. Book early too for firework hours because you will need to wait for your reservations too. IE Fireworks at 9 book for 8-830
    Trader Sam's is an excellent place for a drink but every hard to get into because it only seats like 20 people but the patio as the same meal with non of the atmosphere. The patio is good place to spend a night thou it is still very nice.
    Italy's Tutto Gusto wine cellar in Epcot is a good place for a glass of wine and an app.
    The food in Mexico is pretty good in the quick service and the restaurant.
    Beaches and cream is a great place for milkshake or ice cream

    My wife and I try a lot of the food and quick services. Usually because we attend the food and wine festival each year. We also like checking out the resorts. We have stopped in a patio for a bottle of wine and nachos on the broadwalk...excellent afternoon.

    I would never till anyone not to do something at Disney because I think you need to try everyone at least once there because I may not like Tony's town square but it maybe your favorite. The only thing I would say about the restaurants is you need to make your own. If you walk by Rose and Crown in epcot stop in for drink and snack. You may love it and comeback for dinner on another night. My wife and I's best meal of all time was buying corn dog nuggests & fries at caseys and sitting to watch the fireworks.

    Just remember it is your vacation enjoy it with your partner no matter where you are for dinner or walking around. You never know your best meal or memory maybe just sharing popcorn with your partner on the stairs of Cinderella's castle watching the parade!
     
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  17. Cosmic

    Cosmic Mouseketeer

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    AKL is great to visit, even if you don't end up eating a TS meal there. The Mara QS is very nice, and they have zebra domes to buy there, a la carte. Even Sanaa is nice at Kidani; the windows to the restaurant open up to their savanna there, so it's a unique experience. You really can't go wrong stopping at AKL for a meal.

    Crystal Palace breakfast is actually probably my #2 character buffet. I love that it's RIGHT in the in the middle of a park... you don't waste precious park time schlepping out to a resort (although that can be fun). The Pooh characters aren't as easy to meet elsewhere, so that's also a plus. The puffed French toast and the breakfast pizza... I just pile my plate(s) high with those two things!

    The best money-saving tip that I don't see mentioned often is that many things can be ordered a la carte, even if it's not apparent from the menu. We discovered this by accident on our honeymoon, actually. My wife decided she didn't want fries with her burger one time (why she couldn't just give them to me :confused: HELLO I'M RIGHT HERE!), and I was mad because I thought we would be paying the same price as we would for burger and fries. Turns out, there was a little discount on the receipt for not getting fries. At Pop... wife just wanted pasta, and didn't want the chicken with her Chicken Parmesan. Again, I'M RIGHT OVER HERE AND I LOVE THE CHICKEN PATTIES THEY USE, but DW knows best I guess, and it was a pretty cheap meal without the chicken. Also, the pizza from the food court is a LOT of food for the money. It's cheaper than two QS meals, and I'd say it's a lot more food than two QS meals. Sometimes people complain about the Disney pizza, but we have good stuff up here in Buffalo... I didn't mind it.
     
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  18. momof2gr8kids

    momof2gr8kids DIS Veteran

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    The only concern I'd have with this is party tickets are date specific and non refundable so you probably don't want to be surprised with a ticket (or more than one of them) on your wedding day after all your ADRs and touring plans are done. If you have a travel agent probably better to link to her to control that otherwise you may be going to a party every night.
     
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  19. momof2gr8kids

    momof2gr8kids DIS Veteran

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    Also one benefit of skipping the dining plan is being able to eat at the lounges. Lounge hopping on the monorail would be a fun thing to do. They have a lot of filling and delicious appetizers on their menus. Time it so you're watching the fireworks from one of the beaches on one of your stops.
     
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  20. hsmamato2

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

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    my sis did a 'budget' honeymoon a few years back- she picked what was important to her.... a free dining time (busy season) stayed at cheapest all stars, no hoppers, but they paid extra to upgrade to a fancy DDP, b/c they wanted to try the 3 TS a day. (they had fun but later decided it was way too much food) used SWA points to fly there,so all in a all a bargain honeymoon and they had a blast.If it were me, with the FD deal,I'd only upgrade to the 1ts per day plan doing this.
     
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  21. johnaalexis

    johnaalexis Live Long and Prosper

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    I agree completely, We are going for the parks not the room, as long as it's clean and the bed's not rock hard we are happy :cutie: . I checked price comparisons again last night and we have settled without a doubt on Pop, we can book a preferred room at Pop with Park Hopper & Memory Maker and still come our several hundreds of dollars less than if we stayed a basic room at Caribbean Beach which was our moderate choice. Boma breakfast with the animals sounds awesome! That's going on my list!
     
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