Large family trip on a budget help

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by Sundowner2, May 23, 2018.

  1. Sundowner2

    Sundowner2 Mouseketeer

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    I need advice for larger families visiting Disney World on a super budget. My coworker and his family have been wanting to do Disney for years. They are a family of 9, so a regular resort room is out of the question. Can you give me any ideas of what camping is like there, and any other large family tips? I'll be googling too, but really curious about your personal experiences.
     
  2. QueenIsabella

    QueenIsabella DIS Veteran

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    There are nice condo/townhome/house rentals available in the vicinity. Obviously, they don't have the benefits of on-site, but they come with their own perks--you can get a 5-6 bedroom house with a private pool, for example. It would include everything a house would normally have--laundry facilities, full kitchen with equipment, some even have a game room. The family could cook many meals, as well as saving on lodging costs. A large house would rent in the $1000-1500/week range--a condo or townhome would be cheaper, but smaller.
     
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  4. Sundowner2

    Sundowner2 Mouseketeer

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    Definitely cheaper than 2 or 3 reaort rooms!! Do you know what is the citt name I should look up to find a house rental? I guess just searching "near Disney" might pull places up?
     
  5. HopperFan

    HopperFan "It's a bug-eat-bug world out there, princess."

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    The one thing you have the least control over is the tickets. There are a few that might help discount like Undercover Tourist, Tickets At Work ... so start there.

    Camping at Disney is no bargain, I agree their best bet is to rent a home, town home or condo. There are some 3 bedroom condos, but they would have no issue with the house/townhouse with more bedrooms. It will be MUCH cheaper even than camping plus you "aren't camping", have A/C, some have private pools and all should have community pools, multiple bathrooms, laundry and a full kitchen.

    We've not done house thing but there are several on here who have and should jump in (@Klayfish) - we like condos and I usually get them via SkyAuction but it comes with it's own set of parameters so research it well. BUT I can get 2 bedroom nice condos for under $100 per night.

    For us - we eat breakfast at lodging, pack lunch and snacks to eat in park, only pay for dinner. For dinner we like to split appetizers, split full meals or get kids meals where it's an option. We rarely buy any snacks.

    Most trips we spend zero on souvenirs, when kids were small they had a set amount to spend ($25 each) and they would usually look all week before they actually bought something. It is totally possible to have a GREAT time without all the extras.

    Also post over here ... this is where all the offsite lodging folks can jump in ~
    https://www.disboards.com/forums/orlando-hotels-and-attractions.15/
     
  6. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    As noted above, the price of tickets for the most part "is what it is". That's the one thing you pretty much have to suck it up and deal with it. We're a family of 5 and do things on a super tight budget. We're not poor, but we're also limited in disposable income so we try to make our budget stretch as far as we could. Instead of spending one week at WDW in a fancy hotel there and doing the dining plan, we choose to buy APs, stay off property and pack our food. We get literally 50 days out of our AP pass for about the same money. Here's some details....

    We use VRBO to find a 3 or 4 bedroom, 2 to 3.5 bath house for around $100/night including all fees and taxes. Far, far cheaper than any accommodations at WDW, and we actually prefer to be off site anyway. Works 100x better for us than cramming into a hotel room.

    We bring almost all of our own food into the parks. It's nowhere near as much work as you may think. Our "cooking" is making sandwiches, putting something in a crockpot, etc... It's my understanding that people who eat on property spend between $50-$100/person per day. Let's take the middle number and say it's $75/day. For a family of 5, $375/day. So for a 7 day trip, you're looking at $2625 for food alone. In the same amount of time, we'll spend around $500...and that includes buying snacks in the parks for the kids and/or desserts outside the parks.

    I'd guess that we'll spend $2500-$3000 less per week than most people who go everything on WDW property.
     
  7. ENJDisneyFan

    ENJDisneyFan DIS Veteran

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    For a large family it's almost always most cost effective to stay offsite. Windsor Hills is a beautiful resort VERY close to Disney. They have 3 bedroom town homes and 4-6 bedroom houses. Here are a few that I have rented from and always had a great experience:

    http://luxurydisneyvacationhomes.com/ethans-dream-house/
    www.sunkissed-villas.com
    www.storytimeorlandorental.com

    Having a full kitchen can really help the food budget by allowing them to get groceries and take snacks or even meals into the parks if they choose. There will be added expenses like car rental (if they are flying) and parking at the parks, but generally that cost is easily offset by the savings on the accommodations.
     
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  8. QueenIsabella

    QueenIsabella DIS Veteran

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    Windsor Hills is the pick of the litter--super close, nice community amenities--but is also the priciest. If you went on vrbo and put in "Kissimmee", it would list a number of neighbohoods/communities--your friend is bound to find something that works for them. If they have young children, they might like some of the highly-themed rentals, which have over-the-top bedrooms (Frozen, Lion King--pick your theme!). This is especially nice if they have to limit park days due to cost.

    We're a family of 6, and we like renting a 4BR/4BA house with private pool and jacuzzi. One year, my kids wanted to go to Florida, just to stay in the nice house. Seriously--no Disney required. But, I think it's been established that my kids are weirdos, so take that for what it's worth. In any event, even if your friend had to limit park days, the family could have a ton of fun.

    Another, pricier option would be Wyndham Bonnet Creek--it's not "Disney", but very close, and has more resort-like amenities (restaurants and water parks on-site, etc.) They have condos with 3+ bedrooms.
     
  9. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    I've never stayed at Windsor Hills, so it's definitely not first hand experience. However, I've looked at it hard based on so many people talking about it here. Honestly, I'm not all that impressed. Definitely nice, no doubt, but to me it didn't seem any better than dozens and dozens of other places that cost less.
     
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  10. halfpintpeggy

    halfpintpeggy DIS Veteran

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    :rotfl2::rotfl::lmao:::yes::
     
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  11. Sundowner2

    Sundowner2 Mouseketeer

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    Thank you all so much!! You've given great advice, hopfully I can put together some ideas for them!!
     
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  12. Carrie Ellis

    Carrie Ellis DIS Veteran

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    We have always camped at WDW. We own a RV so it was just the campsite we paid for. The very first trip in 2005 they gave us a military discount and it was $23/night!!! Now there are no discounts and it is about $123/night! ha The last trip we did in 2017 we rented a VRBO for the very first time. Disney has priced us out of a room. I have 4 kids that are grown (17, 17, 21, 21). It is very difficult to figure out hotel rooms. Plus my oldest have girlfriends that want to go. I thought I was going to be super sad not staying onsite!!! But, actually it was ok and fun! We rented this one and it was soooooo close to the entrance with no traffic! What you have to watch for is WHERE you rent! She has everything themed and a beautiful pool. We rented a 12 passenger van so all of us went together to the parks. We would sing there and back! Once back everyone could chill. We did a online order and swung by Walmart to pick it up the first day. My sister and her family split the VRBO with us so it made it very reasonable. My mom and dad pulled their RV to Fort Wilderness so since we were tied to them we were able to do FP's early. Here is the one we stayed at www.stayhappilyeverafter.com We are booked for December 2019.
     
  13. QueenIsabella

    QueenIsabella DIS Veteran

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    Wow, I didn't realize that a campsite had gotten so expensive! They can definitely go cheaper, staying offsite. There are many options within, say, 5 miles of WDW.

    I know the PP mentioned doing a Walmart pick-up, which would work fine, but there's actually a Super Target on 192 that's closer to WDW, and it's open 24 hours. I always try to find the location of a 24-hour store, preferably with a pharmacy--knock wood, we've been lucky as the kids have grown up, but I've dealt with sick kids on vacation more than once. In addition, there are literally dozens of restaurants, fast food places, gas stations, souvenir shops, and grocery stores along 192. So, it would be very easy for them to splurge and still stretch their budget--cook most meals, maybe get delivery one night, buy off-site souvenirs, etc.
     
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  14. halfpintpeggy

    halfpintpeggy DIS Veteran

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    Sometimes the tent sites are around $100 per night! For a piece of dirt! lol o_O
     
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  15. kreckl

    kreckl DIS Veteran

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    Ive never had any luck finding places that inexpensively. Whats your secret? Do you stay at the same place every time? We are fortunate to have a shared, family, DVC membership so can use points when its our turn, but would love to find some great places offsite too. Thanks!
     
  16. Carrie Ellis

    Carrie Ellis DIS Veteran

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    VRBOs are like everything else they are priced according to market and value! We went down to Orlando for my daughter's volleyball team and it was the first time I ever did a VRBO. I planned it and made sure it was a big house that had good reviews! It was disappointing but I learned. Pictures can be from when they first set the VRBO up and reviews are not always accurate. What I also learned is DO NOT rent one that requires you to get on the highway to get to WDW! Rush hour traffic and 1 wreck and you will be at a stand still forever! When we decided to do the VRBO for my family (and my sister's), I did a lot of research and talked to the lady that owned it. I was more than willing to pay more to get quality and close. I mean a Disney resort was going to cost me at least $600 a night for my family. The one I posted above is really only about 2 stop lights on back roads to the entrance of Disney. Once you know which neighborhood it is in, you can even search for other VRBOs in that neighborhood. When we split the one above it came out to around $150/night per family. We are going in Dec 2019 so her prices are higher this time and it will be closer to $250/night per family. That is still a really good deal for us. It holds 20 or more people, has 5 bathrooms heated pool and LOTS of towels!

    We still have our RV but we are planning on selling it and buying another in a year or so. So, we will be back to my favorite place Fort Wilderness in the future! It is just not possible or fun to fit that many adults in a RV. I looked at pulling our RV and renting a RV when there but after adding the cost of 2 campsites and the rental it was more than the big VRBO house. I love it at the Fort though. The campsites and comfort stations are clean and beautiful. I would totally tent camp too if the weather was not bad and my kids were not all adults.
     
  17. QueenIsabella

    QueenIsabella DIS Veteran

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    I've definitely seen houses in that price range on vrbo. I strongly recommend you look at a map while searching, so you have an accurate idea of where they are. Even a little further out is going to be cheaper. There are many developments just off 192. We rented at Windsor Hills and it was $1200/week, but that was 4BR/4BA and included pool heat. You can go cheaper, for sure. Obviously, a large house is going to cost more, like the OP is looking for, but a smaller family could also do a townhome (10'x10' splash pool, versus a bigger one with a hot tub), or a condo (no private pool, but a nice community pool steps away, and laundry facilities for the building versus private ones). Our family values space, so the extra few hundred bucks was worth it to us. Another family might choose smaller and more park days--that's fine.
     
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  18. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    Yep, pretty much this. We don't stay at the same place every time, we search for the best deals. There are some places we've stayed at two or three times because we like it, got a good deal and got to know the owner a little. The place we're staying in a few weeks is the same one we stayed at for Thanksgiving.

    We just go onto VRBO and put our search parameters in. For us, it must be 3 bedroom, 2 bath minimum. From there, I simply sort by price...lowest to highest. I prefer to find privately owned condos and townhouses, as you get better service and more "personal" touches IMO. As posted by QueenIsabella look along Rt. 192. We love staying right along that road. It runs east/west on the south side of WDW. There's a huge pocket of communities just on the east side of WDW and one on the west. We like both areas, but slightly prefer the east side. There's endless shops, restaurants, etc...and it's a 10-15 minute ride to the parks.
     
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  19. DisneyOma

    DisneyOma DIS Veteran

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    Renting offsite is the only cheap way for a family of 9. Do they want a hotel or condo? How are they getting there? If they have their own large van, would it be cheaper if they drove down? Then they wouldn't have to rent a large van down there, or two cars, or pay for flights.
     
  20. ptlohmysoul

    ptlohmysoul DIS Veteran

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    If they are military, or are bringing a military relative, they could possibly get discounted tickets.
     
  21. Fosteringaprincess

    Fosteringaprincess Mouseketeer

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    We use VRBO and stay at Windsor hills. Our townhouse is 115 a night in the fall. 3 bed 3 Bathrooms for 8 people. With it's own splash pool and very nice resort pool. It's only a few miles to Disney property. We love it there! We are not campers so I can't really offer advice or tips there.
     
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