Cheapest trip without feeling like it is

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by Mickeyflower, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. hsmamato2

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

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    yeah,as noted with pp, it all depends on what feeling cheap means to each person! I'd much rather stay value, and not have to cook,clean, or drive around at Disney. But as noted, others prefer offsite, with different choices to feel like it's a better vacation. it really all depends on preference.
     
  2. ellie05

    ellie05 DIS Veteran

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    Well I think your budget is doable. I personally think it will be cheaper to stay onsite at a value than rent a car, pay for parking and rent a condo offsite. I think it will it will also make it feel less cheap than having to cook. I don't think my vacations at a Disney value have felt cheap it certainly didn't feel high end by no means. I priced out a Disney value (AS movies) through orbitz March 2-9 with the code was $889 for preferred room. It is hard to estimate ticket cost because there most likely will be a price increase from now until then. But let's says $750. You are at $1630 without flights and food. I have no idea how much flights would be so you will have let's take the number from pp $600. That leaves you $770 for food. Which is doable but it will be hard getting TS everyday. I think if you could increase your budget to $3500 you can have trip that doesn't feel cheap as long as you are ok with a Disney value or renting a condo. I think that extra $500 could give you the buffer to have a drink and seat down and have a meal with out watching every dime you spend too closely.
     
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  4. littledebbie335

    littledebbie335 Mouseketeer

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    When we're saving up for Disney, we often tell people to get us Disney gift cards if they're looking for gift ideas for Christmas/birthday gifts. It's a win/win because it's an easy gift to get and we put it to good use! Not sure it that's a possibility for you, but it might give you a little extra money to use for a dinner out or a fancy drink.
     
  5. kymom99

    kymom99 DIS Veteran

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    Believe it or not, the value and moderate food courts have pretty decent food. Of course it depends on what you are used to eating. I'm not much of a cook so anything someone makes for me tastes pretty good. They typically have a counter with hot choices such as chicken with side dishes, etc. they are pretty filling and not too bad. you certainly don't have to eat chicken nuggets every day
     
  6. DisneyWorldbuff

    DisneyWorldbuff Colorado

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    We live in Colorado and have to fly too. We always stay onsite and use Magical Express and park transportation. Bring food from home to eat for snacks and breakfast. Bring your own alcohol in checked luggage for drinks at the pool. If you plan to stay offsite you need to budget for daily parking fees and a rental car as well. I think you can have a great budget trip at WDW if you adjust your expectations accordingly. Have fun!
     
  7. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

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    Unfortunately, Disney charges peak pricing for the weeks leading up to Easter and the entire month of March 2018 will certainly be "peak" with Easter on April 1,2018. Right now peak pricing for All Star Movies in March 2017 is $155 per night on weekdays and $195 on weekends. That's an average of $166 per night and rates WILL go up next year. You will probably get a small discount and you can look here for historical discounts: https://www.mousesavers.com/historical-information-on-walt-disney-world-resort-discounts/#codetrends .

    Even at those prices, I also agree that staying onsite would probably be better for you. Still, I would go ahead and book a car as soon as reservations come available in April or May. You can always cancel and rebook if you find something cheaper and it'll be good to have a backup plan. When you do book Disney, I would NOT book a package because the cancellation deadline is 45 days for a package and 5 days for a room only. Get your park tickets from Park Savers or Undercover Tourist. Again, it gives you more flexibility.
     
  8. Mickeyflower

    Mickeyflower I find that The Dis is my happy place frequently

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    We're not certain we'd rent a car. DBF works for our local city bus company and we're comfortable taking public transit. If we did rent a car, we'd probably use it for dining outside the park if we ended up off property. Is there a shuttle system like ART in Disneyland?

    We are in what I call "dreaming stage" of planning. Nothing set in. Due to our occupations, we are free to travel anytime of the year.

    I've thought about renting DVC points, but if wasn't for bad luck, I'd have no luck. No matter how careful I think I am, I tend to get the short stick A LOT. So I am EXTREMELY APPREHENSIVE about that, but I know where to go to look for that information.

    Thank you for all your suggestions it's been very helpful.
     
  9. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

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    No, there is nothing like that. Some off-site resorts will offer very limited bus service and there is the LYNX public transport which is doable but very inconvenient. The best non-Disney bus service would be from the hotels on Hotel Boulevard. You could also Uber from an offsite resort if you don't want to rent a car but round-trip transportation to/from the airport will run you about $125.
     
  10. momto4obkids

    momto4obkids DIS Veteran

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    Take a look at www.skyauction.com for offsite condo deals. We have used it several times and so have lots of other posters on here and gotten nice 2 bedroom condos for cheap! You have to make sure you look through the auction and understand any date surcharges and service fees. But, we usually end up paying $300 to $350 for a week.

    They have Silver Lake Resort on there quite often and its right around the corner from Animal Kingdom, so it's a good location. It's up right now for March 10 and 25th of this year, along with many other dates for $319.00 total for 7 nights.

    So, $319.00 for a week in a condo, $210 is what we tend to pay for car rental and if you have 5 park days at $100 total for parking that's $619.00

    As the poster mentioned above March is at peak pricing. A value resort with the fun and sun room offer March 25th for the same nights as Silver Lake is $1051.00
     
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  11. Marionnette

    Marionnette Children see magic because they look for it

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    Here's my experience with a "cheap" trip:

    We became a family-of-5 long before Disney decided to create family suites or Value Resorts. So, our first trip as a family-of-5 was off site. The hotel had 2 rooms (a living area with pullout sofa bed, and a bedroom with 2 full size beds). There was a fridge but no microwave. They had complimentary bus transportation to both Disney and Universal. And there was a continental breakfast offered each morning. We got tickets thru a discounter (I think it was Orlando Fun Tickets?) and took Mears transportation from the airport to our hotel and back.

    First the good: it cost less than staying onsite and buying a package. We got to visit Disney World for a week and the kids still had fun.

    Now the bad: The hotel was not some place that I would stay again. The room was dark and musty. It was noisy. The beds were not comfortable. And on top of that, they had the nerve to charge a "resort fee" at the desk ("cash only, please") when the room had been prepaid.

    The bus service was inconvenient, crowded and not pleasant to deal with every day. There was not enough space for all of the strollers and backpacks that people tend to drag with them. It never departed early enough to make rope drop and it only went to the TTC, where we would have to board Disney buses to get to the park we wanted to visit. To get back to the hotel, we had to make our way back to the TTC in order to get the bus back. And of course, bus service ended well before park closings. Relying on the hotel's buses also meant that once we arrived in Disney, we were there for the day. There was no running back to the room to retrieve anything we forgot.

    The continental breakfast consisted of coffee or tea and a box of powdered donuts in a corner of the lobby. When the box was emptied by the first couple of people, there were no additional donuts provided. At least the hotel was close enough to shopping that I was able to walk over and pick up some breakfast items to have in the room.

    The Mears transportation was a shared ride van, which meant that we stopped at a number of resorts before actually getting to ours and then the same was true for the return trip.

    I wish that I could say that even though it was done cheaply, it was still a memorable trip. In a lot of ways, it was. But they weren't positive memories. If I learned anything, it was that I'm not happy being cheap with vacations. We don't get away often enough for me to spend one or two precious weeks of time off in misery just for the sake of saving a few bucks. I would rather shorten my trips and go less frequently than repeat that cheap trip.
     
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  12. kreckl

    kreckl DIS Veteran

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    For us, part of the fun of a Disney vacation is staying onsite. With DME it feels like our vacation starts before we leave our city, and I love not having to drive in an area I'm not familiar with. I would suggest looking into the cost difference of staying at a value or a mod. While we recently stayed and an all star hotel for an add on night and it was fine, I think the vibe of POR would be so different and warranted especially for an adult trip. I would certainly stay one less night to make up the price difference and choose that. You would have a fun place to dine, a beautiful resort to enjoy, and the boat to DS.
    Look for ticket deals and also the tons of free/cheap non-park options. We like our non- park days and play mini golf and walk around another resort and have a burger, or simply enjoy our resort with some pool time and a nice meal.
    As far as $, try the $5 thing. You will have hundreds soon. And let your loved ones know that you would like Disney cards for gifts.
    We always bring english muffins, oatmeal, peanut butter, granola/ luna bars, trail mix, etc. A small grocery order is worth it too, imo, for cheese and crackers and pepperoni and some fruit, etc. So when we come home at night we can just have a muffin or something later at night, and there are quick cheap breakfast choices.
     
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  13. clori

    clori DIS Veteran

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    Does it really have to be in March? If not try pricing the first week of February. We stayed that week once and while the parks were not dead they were not super crowded. In addition it was value pricing at the All Stars and Pop Century. Don't go the week of President's Day. That is vacation week in some states including Massachusetts. For us we like to take the free bus from the airport to the hotel and view stops at other resorts as a quick tour. We love staying at Pop Century. Once we went the second week of January and it was great crowdwise. One day it started out in the 30s. We had Fantasyland almost completely to ourselves and could walk from one ride to the next getting right on for the first hour or so. People were bundles in winter coats, gloves, hat, and scarves and we were fine with our sweatshirts since the 30s were much warmer than at home and it was going up to high 50s.

    We buy some refillable mugs which we use for breakfast and perhaps at the end of the day and those are our big souvenirs to bring home but otherwise we don't spend much on items to bring home. We might bring some food from home for breakfast like fruit and grain bars, poptarts etc. We may pick one or two sit down meals but never the most expensive ones (unless we are on a dining plan) and see if the food is what we want at lunch when prices are less. At quick service places we may split a meal, leave off fries, get one kids meal to go with one regular counter service meal etc for two of us. We love park hoppers since we go to Epcot most nights after Animal Kingdom or the Studios but they are not necessary for a great time. An early evening can be a good time to swim, check out resorts, look around downtown, take a free boatride from Port Orleans Riverside etc.

    That said if staying offsite makes the trip more affordable I would look into that for two people. Just make sure to factor in cost of car and parking when making a comparison to onsite vs offsite and look up the onsite benefits that aren't available offsite to see if those make any difference to you. We love early entry but don't care about later nights but that could be of no value to another person.
     
  14. sarah4770

    sarah4770 DIS Veteran

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    If you have not been to disney in a long time, you will probably not spend much time in your room. I def would not get park tickets for arrival and departure day. There are plenty of free ways to pass that time, and you will be tired by the time you settle into your room.
    I would just stay at a value and use magical express. I am not sure if free dining packages come out for the fall? Usually there is some kind of discount package that comes out for the end of September, which is a cheaper time to go.

    Just looking at a non discounted package for room and 4 day tickets for the last week of September at pop for 2 is $1600.
     
  15. Pintail

    Pintail Looking forward to our next Disney trip!

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    Disneyworld is awesome, but because you live in Oregon - your money would go a lot further if you went to Disneyland and California Adventure.

    The flights and hotel could be significantly less, and you would still have an awesome time.

    Your travel time would be a lot less too, so you could spend more time in the Parks.

    There are lots of decent affordable hotels within walking distance of Disneyland. (on

    Food could be manageable too, there is a McDonalds and Panera right there and Target and supermarkets are nearby.

    Something to consider....have a great trip!
     
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  16. pens4821

    pens4821 DIS Veteran

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    I enjoy staying on property myself. Have done off but by the time we rent a car and pay for parking everyday it really (to us) isn't worth the money saved. We like getting off the plane onto the magical express and being driven around all week.

    Our biggest saver is we buy Disney gift cards (as well as southwest for our flight) as we have money. Our local grocer offers discounts on fuel for buying gift cards. When they have sales we end up saving something like 13%. It's not off the gift card itself, but the free fuel and credit card points.

    As others have said we save with little things. We pack breakfast (different kind of quick packaged bars-think nitrigrain/oatmeal/kashi/etc), booze (plastic fifths of your liking if you drink), snacks (usually Pringles as the container is stronger than a plastic bag of chips), and some bottles of water (not a case of course but a few just to have in the room). We also use the refillable mugs. While some think there is no value they are a must for us. A couple cups of coffee in the AM, drinks while dining at the hotel restaurant, and filling them up for the pool or at night for in the room save us quite a bit. We also always order water when dining (unless using the mugs at the resort).

    Are these little things going to save you $1000? Nope. But you'd be amazed at how much money you could save by eating a lite prepackaged breakfast and little snacks for that odd time hunger.

    This past February we also took advantage of the play stay dine deal they had. I don't recommend the dining plan, but if it's on sale (or free but that's only fall it seems) it's worth it. I don't know yet exact breakdown, but it seemed to us that the deal pretty much was half price off the dining plan (someone else could give you the actual breakdown I'm sure).
     
  17. Mickeyflower

    Mickeyflower I find that The Dis is my happy place frequently

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    Okay, I'm 100% sure it's been asked somewhere, but I can't find it here or on WDW web site. Whats the difference between Standard room and Preferred room at the Value Resorts?

    After some serious comparisons with faux dates at different times of the year, I think we've landed on September or early November next year and staying on property at All Star Sports (DBF is a huge sports fan, he used to play hockey). While we can get it cheaper off site, it is by a very small amount. If we were staying longer and going to more places, maybe then stay off property. But that's a discussion for another time (maybe after the wedding, which here's to hoping this trip ends in an engagement EEEEEEEEE)!
     
  18. dwonderz

    dwonderz Mouseketeer

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    Echoing what some of the others have said - I would stay not stay offsite - renting a car, paying for parking, transport, etc. compared to the potentially slightly higher cost of staying onsite (which, for us, has actually wound up being less expensive on more than one occasion) has never been worth it for us.

    We often do breakfast in the room (either get groceries delivered or throw a few boxes of cereal in our suitcase) which saves time and money, almost always do QS for lunch, and one/two really nice TS meals which we really want to do.

    We also ALWAYS spend at least one night in a deluxe resort - even if the rest of the trip is in a value/moderate - Disney will transfer your luggage to the other resort (so there isn't too much of a hassle) and we make a whole "experience" out of it (eating at the resort, spending time in the pool, etc.).
     
  19. dwonderz

    dwonderz Mouseketeer

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    Preferred rooms are typically closer to the food court/main areas/have better locations.
     
  20. arminnie

    arminnie <font color=blue>Tossed the butter kept the gin<br

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    I traveled internationally for business for years - always first class at some of the best hotels in the world. BTDT.

    When I go to Disney - being at the parks is what I am looking for - not the hotel. I've done many budget trips. I'm the kind of person that will go twice (sometimes even more often) in one year rather than go expensively every 5 years.

    I was born in Southern California, went to college there, and spent most of my career in California - so having a car is probably part of my DNA. I now live about 600 miles from WDW so we drive most of the time unless I go without my DH. I pretty much have to have a car.

    One time I did an experiment with Hotwire and booked about 4 hotels for 2 days each on Hotel Boulevard. Incredibly cheap. Another time I got a cheap room at a Fairfield Inn (a Marriott property). The breakfast was doled out by a formula that was way more than I could eat. I had some of it - ate a decent lunch - and then had the rest of breakfast for dinner.

    But there is no real answer of what works for everyone. People get to decide what is important to them. Because I now live in New Orleans which has some of the best food in the world - I do not go to WDW for the food. I'm okay with just eating enough to keep me from being hungry. I want to have a car - others consider driving to be a hindrance to be avoided.

    There's so much to do at WDW - not all is in the parks. I love doing tours of the hotels and of course now Disney Springs is even better than the old Downtown Disney.

    I have DVC now so have always been on site in recent years. I'm getting ready to sell my contracts at BLT and OKW but will keep the one at SSR. I'll be okay staying off site if we need to go more than we have points for.
     
  21. Starbritt

    Starbritt Earning My Ears

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    My family of 6 are going January 28-Feb 2 with 4 park days and I believe our grand total will be about $3500! 1800 for tickets, 700 for a 4 bedroom house 7 miles from Disney, 300 in gas (driving from TX), 80 for parking, and 600 for food (breakfast at thr house, packing snacks and waters QS lunch and dinner. The kids have Christmas money for spending money, and we have been saving change all year to use as our spending money. I think it's going to be awesome and it is extremely reasonable for 6 people at Disney!
     
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