Help me get my kids to WDW cheap!!


Earning My Ears
Jan 7, 2001
Last year, our kids were so disappointed that many of their classmates were spending spring break at WDW. We told our kids (current ages 6, 10 & 12) that we would try to go this April, and they have talked about it ever since. NOw, as the time to make plans is approaching, my husband says that we cannot go, due to unforeseen expenses. We have not told the kids--I know that they will be devastated. Rather than just give up, I want to see how inexpensively I can put together a trip for 4 days or so. I would be willing to stay off-site, but obviously would prefer on site. SOunds like the AS resorts are out because of our 3 kids, but I'd be willing to squish if they'd let us! We live in MD, so I have to either consider airfares or a long drive. After just spending 3 hours browing these boards, I am confident that you experts will offer suggestions to get my Disney-loving children (who have not been there since 96) there! Thanks!! <IMG SRC="/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif" alt="confused">

[This message was edited by mdmomof3 on 01-07-01 at 10:38 AM.]

[This message was edited by mdmomof3 on 01-07-01 at 01:12 PM.]
Disney doesn't let you "sqwish" in a room. Some people have tried it and have been turned in by house keeping, or so I have read here. Dxl does have rooms for five with the trundle bed. Also I bellieve the Swan also has rooms for five. At the Swan you can possible get a entertainment rate. Other options would be "renting" points from DVC members.
As far as off site goes there are plenty of cheap ones, which of those that are good is hard to find out. The one offsite that is spoke of highly here is the HIFI suites. Try the orlando attractions and hotels board. They maybe able to help out
You gotta go - the kids are quickly growing up! Before you know it, family vacations may be a thing of the past for some - this may or may not be a good thing!!! :D
Anyhow if you don't mind staying awfully close to WDW - try your chance with for an incredible deal. But first read their discussion forum for deal examples and bidding suggestions ( search "priceline bidding forums". I have found this site extremely helpful as being Canadian dealing with a poor dollar and Disney fever for the past month. Good luck!!!
Right now Southwest Airlines has unbelievably cheap airfares. Check their website for prices. If you are a AAA member, you get a discount on your hopper passes. I bought the Entertainment Book of Orlando, and got my offsite room at 50% off (40.00 a night), but I don't know if they offer that discount during a peak time. We too, are on a very tight budget, and to me staying offsite is just fine, as long as we're at WDW! We stayed at Howard Johnson Maingate East on 192 last year, and the kids ate free at the IHOP next door. That can help too. If you don't need bells and whistles for your hotel stay, you should be able to find something reasonable. AS long as we have a clean place to sleep and shower, we're happy. I truly hope you can find someway to do this trip. I know how we would feel and my kids would be devastated too. Keep posting and let us know how your doing. :)

Have you considered camping at Fort Wilderness? April would be a good time to do that. It has all the charm of Disney, the onsite perks, and even somethings like the Chip n Dale fireside (free) that are fun and unique. There are also nice showers and laundry room (did I mention pools too?). Campsites for tents about $50-$55 last I checked.

I would fly instead of drive though. Who wants to be exhausted from such a long drive on vacation. Beside, even if getting there wasn't so bad, driving home would be because everyone would be tired. Go to and search under Ultra Fare Saver. Some good rates out there.

You can do it. Hope this helps
Although I know you would prefer on-site (who doesn't? :D ), you may want to check out the Hotel Discounts section of this site, where there are some good deals for hotels that are very close to the parks. That's the only two cents I've got, but keep asking away, and you'll get all the answers you need. Good luck, and let us know what happens! :)

GO!!!!!!!You can do it on a budget! Priceline treated us very well last year. We stayed at the 4* Wyndham Palace Resort in Downtown Disney for $40 a night during Easter week!! As an earlier post stated it is important to do your homework before bidding on priceline as it is non-refundable. Even if you're not brave enough for priceline there are plenty of economy places to stay--besides how much time do you really spend in the room. To me--if it has a nice pool area and is within 10 min. to the parks that is fine.
Holiday Inns are great as the kids stay and eat free. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Niki Bird a couple years ago during Easter break and it was fine. The hotel discounts offered on the DIS site are great too...and you have the benefit of knowing that they are quality facilities or else it wouldn't be here. Good luck!! Let us know what you do. Besides they're only kids once!

Is waiting and going right after school is out an option? I think you would find much lower rates and better crowds than Easter week.
Gosh, I am so grateful to see all of these suggestions so quickly!! I really appreciate them, and after reading your comments I am even more determined to make this thing work! We have always stayed off-site, so that doesn't bother me--just need something clean, close and cheap! I would be willing to try Priceline (used to do it with groceries), except I understand it is only for 2 people. Would I have to go for 2 rooms? And what if they weren't adjoining? I would not want my kids in a hotel room that wasn't adjoining. As for the camping--we love to camp and do it often, but I would not want to schlep all our gear down there. And as for waiting til the kids get out of school--we could, except they are expecting to go for spring break, which is April 12-22. We are flexible to go anytime during their break; any thoughts on what days would be best? Also thinking about tickets--we've always done park hoppers and enjoyed the flexibility, but might have to downgrade this time. Please, please keep your ideas coming; I really appreciate everyone's input.
I'm in much the same boat as you. My three kids (5,7,11) have been after me for YEARS and after stepping into airline tickets, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to go. Since my husband and my vacation is 3/19, I only have a little over two months to save and plan and the wonderful people on this board have helped tremendously. I also went to a site and found a hotel (the HoJo's previously recommended to you) for 5 days 4 nights for 598.00 for 2 adults and up to three children. They even throw in 1 adult 4 day hopper. I added a few days for 69 per night and your kids eat free at the IHOP as well. Good Luck and check back often. I've been copying tips left and right and they really add up. 71 days and counting!
1)If you drive you'll save airfare and car rental. Be careful if you have a leased car this your trip doesn't makes you go over your mileage.
2) Priceline only guarantees double occupancy. Don't use them for 5 in a room.
3) Many off-site suite hotels offer free breakfast, micro, refrig etc. Check the sponsors on this board.
Just to let you know... the ticket prices have increased in the last couple days. On another post there is info about The Disney Stores not raising the prices till Jan 14, so I would give your local Disney Store a call and ask them about the tickets. If you can purchase the tickets at before the store post the increase, than you will have saved yourself some $$$$ already. Just in case you cannot make your trip this year (I hope not), The hoppers don't expire, so you can hold them till you can visit DW.
Try Priceline! Stay with the 4 star hotels. I don't think that you can really go wrong with any of the ones people have been getting. Especially if you don't care about staying off-site. I happen to the that the Marriot would be a great steal and people have gotten it for $50 a night. They are right outside Disney property. I mean it is only over the overpass to the big Welcome to Disney arches. You can also do it for airfare. I just did Boston to Orlando for July and got Midway airlines for 150.85 including all taxes and fees. Last year I got Delta for $168 w.taxes and fees. Last year I also got the Swan for $68 a night(I haven't seen to many with that lately). They do have some good discounts if you are a goverment employee) Try this link for info.

Hope this helps. I do know that all the 4 stars peopel have gotten have been able to accomodate 5 people!

Good luck and I hope you get to go! :D


<font size=2><font color=red>
Co-Captain & Charter Member of the Swan/Dolphin Cheerleading Team!!</font>
Inauguaral Member Of the WDW Resort Cheerleaders</font>
<font size=2><font color=green>HAPPY <font color=red>HOLIDAYS<font color=red>!
<font color=red>15 times to WDW 13 off-site three on! Next trip Dolphin in July & Swan in DEC. 2001!</font>

[This message was edited by glo on 01-07-01 at 03:54 PM.]
before trying Priceline for your family.....TravelSheryl says that Priceline only guantantees the room for 2 adults.......please check out their rules very carefully
and ask TravelSheryl any questions you have remaining about Priceline......I aslo have heard
nice things about HIFS---they say everyone gets FREE breakfast there, one mile from Disney, mom and dad get a king bed, 2 bunk beds (in a sepate room), and a sofa pull out in the living room......I hope this helps....good luck....
Your whole family could stay there and breakfasts are free. Kids eat free all the time, and the trip to WDW is quick and painless. Do a search for Holiday Inn Family Suites and see what comes up. In the meantime, check out the website at:

I saw a great deal for HIFS at: the other day.

Just as a matter of kids prefer HIFS over Dixie Landings and Beach Club! :eek:

<font color=green>Debbie &#176o&#176</font color=green>

<font color=red>I may not be able to go to WDW, but I can read about it!</font color=red>

Dixie Landings-Jan. '00 (just the parents)
HIFS/Dixie Landings-Aug.'00
7 nights/8 days
Drive: gas: $400.00
One hotel night on the way there: $ 60.00
One hotel night on the way home: $ 60.00
5 nights OFF SITE: $300.00
4 day WDW pass: $800.00
Meals: 8 breakfasts $160.00
snacks instead of lunch $100.00
7 dinners $280.00

GRAND TOTAL $2160.00

NOW, if you cut out the 4 day hopper pass and get a single or couple day tickets you will save more $$$$, you can visit other attractions not Disney and save. Your kids might be happy just visiting MK, one other WDW park, maybe a water park and Universal. I'd say $2160.00 is a great price for a whole week! Mind you, that's eating lots of McDonalds and staying off site! CALL IT A CHRISTMAS FAMILY GIFT TO YOURSELVES IN ADVANCE! Let us know what you do!

SandraC, visit our Disney family web site
1975 - off site (11 years old),
1977 - off site (13 years old),
1987 - Indian Rock Shores (23 years old with hubby, b/f at the time),
1990 - Holiday Inn International Drive/Daytona Beach (26 years old, with hubby, six month after wedding),
1998 - KIDS VILLAGE, GIVE KIDS THE WORLD, Make-a-Wish trip with 4.5 year old daughter born ill),
2001 - CBR - ON SITE FIRST TIME! YIPPY! With dd 7 years old, ds 15 mo
SandraC - what an awesome post! It was very nice of you to put so much thought into it to help this family. :)
I am truly overwhelmed at all the incredible advice that you have all given me!! There really are deals to be found! I will check into all the suggestions, and see what I can come up with. I have read a lot about HIFS, and am impressed by it. I think my kids would absolutely love it there!! THanks again, and please keep other suggestions coming. It really must be that "Disney Magic" that has made you all take time out of your busy lives to help me out. Please know how much I appreciate it!
. . . I would cut the breakfast $ out and add to the park food budget since you won't want to leave the parks to eat every day. Either stay at a hotel that has free breakfast or (since you'll be driving), bring it with you or stop at the grocery store on your way in. We always eat breakfast in the room b/c it saves time and $. I usually make a couple kinds of muffins and buy cereal, granola bars, fruit, honeybuns, juice boxes, etc. We also bring all our snacks (you can easily spend $20 buying drinks and snacks when you stop for gas) and all our soft drinks and bottled water for both the road and the hotel.
Keep reading these boards and check out some other sites and I'm sure you'll find a way to do it. I agree that you should either find a place that offers free breakfast or buy/bring your own. On our last trip we also brought snacks to the parks with us in our waist packs. Peanut butter crackers, cheese crackers, whatever we felt like. We also took a bottle of water with us and filled it up at the water fountains. Also, start saving your spare change everyday. You'd be surprised at how quickly the money adds up. If any of your kids have birthdays coming up before your trip, tell their relatives to give them Disney Dollars. That way they'll have their own spending money for the trip. Good luck!!:)


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