Hello. Family of 3 first trip in Nov

Discussion in 'Welcome to the DIS' started by BeefSqueezins, Sep 30, 2018.

  1. BeefSqueezins

    BeefSqueezins Earning My Ears

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    Like many others, I’ve been lurking for a while and gathering up as much info as I can for me and my family’s first trip to Disney World. I’ve been going to Six Flags Great America since it opened in 1976. I had always wanted to go to Disney since I was a kid, but financially and realistically, it wasn’t going to happen.

    Now that I have a family of my own (wife and 10 year old son) and live much closer to Disney World, I’m going. I was quite surprised at the amount of planning that has to go into this trip. I was used to rolling out of bed, picking up my friends, driving 3 hours to Six Flags, staying until close and going home. With this trip I’ve had to pick accommodations, dining plan or not and then which dining plan, select fast passes, park hopper or not, and plan to spend days there, not just a day trip.

    Luckily, I have a friend that’s a Disney travel agent and helped me immensely during this phase. After discussing what we wanted, she took care of the details and built us an itinerary so we can get the most out of our time there. I’m looking forward to taking my son and wife on our first real vacation.
     
    TangledHairDon'tCare likes this.
  2. indoshakespeare

    indoshakespeare Reach out and find your Happily Ever After

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    Yay. I'm looking forward to seeing the trip report ^^
     
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  4. chris benton

    chris benton DIS Veteran

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    I'm doing my second - 2 parents and 9 yo son. I'm the planner - wouldn't trust a TA for the amt of $ being spent.
    If you want any help or suggestions, just holler. I research ad nauseum - everything - resorts, transportation, street shows, especially food, rides, and tours. My motto is - "Try to even plan the spontaneity!" When we get there, all of the hard work of planning pays off in spades. We just relax, and do what we're there to do.
     
  5. mrd7896

    mrd7896 Earning My Ears

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    Would like to just put in my 2 cents on the comment about not trusting a TA for the amount of money being spent. but isn't that specifically the reason that you should use a TA?
    When I plan my wedding am i not going to trust a wedding planner for the amount of money being spent?

    If you work with a TA who is part of a Disney EarMarked Agency they are completely trained and up to date with everything that is Disney.
    They do most of the planning for you, make your ADR's and FP+ at the crack of dawn so you don't have to.
    Stay on hold with Disney for 3 hours when a promotion comes out and can apply it to your booking..so you don't have to worry about that.
    Can get you some additional little goodies for free (helllooo autograph books!)
    Are your go to when you are in Disney and something isn't right.
    And plus...some TA's are free.
     
  6. BeefSqueezins

    BeefSqueezins Earning My Ears

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    My TA has been fantastic. I trust her. She’s a good friend of ours and she’s been to Disney many times with her family. She works for a legit travel agency. She offered us her service for free. Honestly, like I said before, I was clueless about how to plan a trip like this. She’s been a huge help. She showed us how to save money, which won her brownie points in my book. If you’re planning a first time trip, I highly recommend at knowledgeable travel agent.

    Overall the cost isn’t as bad as I had envisioned. Three 4 day park hopper tickets with mid level dining plan, staying at Pop Century for about $2,700. After money saving tips from out TA, it was about $2,400. I would have preferred to stay at a moderate resort but my wife is very frugal when we go on trips, while I like to spend a little more for amenities and convenience. I do agree that our room is for cleaning up and sleeping. “Every dollar we don’t spend on the room is a dollar we can spend elsewhere.” We do have a minimum level of what kind of hotel we’ll stay in and while Pop Century violates our “doors must be on the inside” rule (Red Roof Inn Plus in Charleston brought that on), I think we’ll be fine.
     
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  7. chris benton

    chris benton DIS Veteran

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    I don't doubt your TAs are awesome. Use their services with confidence. The few I've consulted did not make a favorable impression. I'll admit that 2 of the 3 were not wdw specialists. For the $$ being spent, I'd just rather do my own planning. Last trip was pretty smooth. Lotta planning, but it was worth it.
     
  8. TangledHairDon'tCare

    TangledHairDon'tCare Earning My Ears

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    Planning has been half the fun for us!

    We are also a family of 3 taking our daughter for her first real vacation too! She's been to visit family out of state, but that's it. We can't wait!
     
  9. chris benton

    chris benton DIS Veteran

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    Yup. There's that part of it too. I forgot to mention that. It truly IS fun. I don't get all nutty for adr's, but there is a certain rush when the res finder gets your perfect time at 2am, and you score it. Fastpasses are pretty uneventful, maybe i've been lucky, but i've gotten the big ones we wanted at the perfect times with no big issue. Dining Plan doesn't matter for us, it would be too hard to make it work out financially in our favor, or even break even, and Costco handles our resort, tickets, airfare, and rental car all in one place (and this year, they crushed it in comparing prices <for us.>)

    I'm not against travel agents, and I probably painted too broad of a stroke with my statement of "I wouldn't trust them with the amount of money being spent." Apologies to all TA's or TA fans for that one.
     
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  10. siren0119

    siren0119 Mouseketeer

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    We stayed at POP last fall, which was my first trip in 27 years (so may as well have been the first time!) It's a great resort, might not have some of the amenities that the moderates have but the room size was perfect for the 4 of us (me, DH, and my DS age 8 and 10) considering we were only there to sleep, shower and pack lunches LOL. Art of Animation is a quick walk over the bridge too, you can't use the pool there but the lobby is really fun to walk around!
     
  11. beachgirl32931

    beachgirl32931 Earning My Ears

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    Welcome! Have a great trip.
     

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