Looking for help to make this trip a reality

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by Rosarum, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Rosarum

    Rosarum Earning My Ears

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    It's been a number of years since we have been to WDW. Things seem to have changed drastically since then, leaving me with logistical questions as well as trying to budget out the trip. I'm trying to come up with a workable plan, and any help, guidance, or advice would be lovely. I apologize in advance if this becomes long.

    Basics: We are a large family, 6 in total. 5 adults and 1 child by Disney standards. The sheer number of us seems to be a budget buster. We are looking at a weeks stay, on property, and it has to be in January due to DH's work. I want it to be January 2020, however, I may not be able to save up that much money in one year, and if I can't make my goal, it will be January 2021. The tickets alone are going to cost about $3k (they have to be Park Hoppers). Lodging will be a minimum of $2k. Plus travel, food, and spending money. I don't want to be eating PB&J in the hotel room, so I'm budgeting $3k for travel, dining, and souvenirs. This leads me to my questions.

    I obviously cannot go online and book or price this vacation, but I believe I can (correct me if I'm wrong), call them and book January 2020. But I think that's a room only reservation. I'm not sure exactly what that means, other than I can't book the tickets. Could I add the tickets later? At what point could I add the tickets? I'm also aware that I could buy tickets from another source (not sure if I'm allowed to name it here), but I also have no idea how that works in today's world with all of the MDE online stuff. Is it a pain to add tickets bought from somewhere else to your reservation? Does it make things more difficult with the fast pass bookings and such? We didn't book fast passes the last time I went, so that's new to me.

    Also, my biggest question is this: If I do book for January 2020, and at some point add my tickets, but I feel like I'm running short on money and want to postpone until January 2021, how does that work? Is it even possible to do that? Will I lose any money I've paid? Will I lose a deposit? What I'm hoping, and I could be completely off base, is that if I decide to postpone the trip, I could just call them and reschedule, with whatever funds I've paid going to the later trip.

    Any insight is greatly appreciated! Feel free to talk to me like I'm a child when trying to explain things since I just want a better understanding of how Disney works these days.
     
  2. Darcy03231

    Darcy03231 DIS Veteran

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    With tickets now expiring, I wouldn't buy tickets from another source, just in case you end up putting off your trip.

    At this point I'd book the room only portion for January 2020. Once the window opens up I'd add the tickets and dining plan (if any). You have until 45 days before you leave to get your money back if you cancel.
     
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  4. Alynw

    Alynw Mouseketeer

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    Not sure how it works with booking onsite and then canceling but my buddy had a trip booked onsite for the 1st week of December this year and he was able to cancel the week before and got a full refund. But i do know that u can purchase tickets an add them at any time and if u do need to postpone ur trip,u wont lose any money on ur tickets. the tickets now have an expiration date but no worrirs, u just pay the difference(if any) of the new price for the tickets. Lets say u buy tickets today for 2k and they expire Jan 2020 and u postpone until 2021. In 2020 if disney increases the price of ur tickets to 2.2k, u will have to pay the difference and will b issued new tickets with a different expiration date...if that makes since
     
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  5. Alynw

    Alynw Mouseketeer

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    Is stayn onsite and hopper tickets a must. If ur worried about not being able to save enough money for a 2020 trip, u could look at stayn offsite and goin with base tickets and save a pretty decent amount.
     
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  6. wendow

    wendow We create happiness.

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    We are another large fam - same size as you and same make-up (5 Disney 'adults' and 1 child). I would suggest not doing PH'ers and looking at two value rooms. We also do not do the dining plan. It never makes sense for us, even if it is free because we don't buy PH'ers, and we tend to eat on the lighter side.

    You can book a room only reservation now for Jan 2020. You will have until 10 days before (pretty sure that is right) to cancel and get all your money back including the 1 night deposit. Once you know you are definitely going, you can either buy tickets from Disney (hopefully paying with some discounted Disney GC's) or from a reseller. The tickets can be linked to MDE and they work the same for FP's as tickets from Disney. Just make sure to link 60 days out, of course!!

    Follow the Disney GC thread here on the budget forum for ideas on where to get those!
     
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  7. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    Stay offsite. If you're going for a week, a 3 or 4 bedroom condo/townhouse will cost you around $700-$900. You'll literally save thousands and have all the room your large family needs.
     
  8. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

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    Staying offsite is the most surefire way to save money for a large family. Like @Klayfish says above, you can book a condo or house for far less than $2000 per week. Yes, you'll have to pay to park, but you're still saving money. You can also eat breakfast in your room every morning and maybe come home for dinner a couple times in the week. I would also skip park hoppers to save money. You really won't need them.
     
  9. Alynw

    Alynw Mouseketeer

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    I rent a 3 bed 2 bath 1700sq ft house with private heated pool for $700 a week. House is located in Kissimmee, Windwood Cay, 5 min from disney
     
  10. easyas123

    easyas123 Mouseketeer

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    I'm going to go against the grain here....I (personally) think Hoppers are a must. But - our family likes the flexibility of them, and we are in the habit of doing one park during the morning/early afternoon and wondering over to EPCOT for the evening dinner/cocktails. Add in a larger family, folks wanting to go their own way and possibly meet back up later in the day....dinner in park other than the one you spent the day in, fireworks. Whatever. I can also see staying onsite for the convenience of not needing to worry about transport when more people than rental cars (or what you drove down in) are available for each to go their own way.
    So if - for your family - hoppers & onsite fit the bill, I say stay with that and go in 21 if not 20.
    Good luck planning your trip, have fun no matter when you go & where you stay!
     
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  11. kymom99

    kymom99 DIS Veteran

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    We stayed st pofq with family one trip we did not request connecting rooms, but did note on our reservations that we were together. We ended up just around the corner from each other. If you get 2 value rooms and make a request, Disney will try hard to put you near each other. Unless your adult children are all really young adults, there’s not really a reason they couldn’t sleep in a room a couple doors down. If you couldn’t get rooms together you might have to put mom in one and dad in another but I really can’t see that they would separate you all like that.
     
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  12. QueenIsabella

    QueenIsabella DIS Veteran

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    Another vote for skipping park-hoppers and staying off-site. You will save so much money! Plus, have much more space, plus have a full kitchen and laundry facilities. A condo rental would be cheapest, but if you got a house, it would have a private pool with a whirlpool. I'm not exaggerating when I say that my 4 kids, who wouldn't agree that the sky was blue, vote for the private pool as their #1 favorite feature of our Orlando vacations. Some rentals have elaborate themes, if that's of interest to you, and depending on the development, there might be a community pool, game room, movie nights or rentals, etc.

    While I suspect a DVC rental will be out of your price range, but you should at least run the numbers. I've also heard wonderful things about Bonnet Creek (never stayed there), which has resort amenities (onsite dining, several pools and water features, etc.). I would price out all the options, including extra costs (parking if you stay off-site, etc.). Hopefully, you can find a good combination of value and enjoyment that works for your family.
     
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  13. Alynw

    Alynw Mouseketeer

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    Also, transportation is available whether u stay onsite or offsite. There are several options for transportation offsite and although there will b fees, u wont be paying for parking so it balances out
     
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  14. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    You can book a resort for January 2020; it will be a room-only reservation and they will quote you 2019 rack rate, which will adjust once the 2020 rates are released. 2020 rates are likely to be released in summer 2019, at which time you can do online booking as well, including packages. A room-only reservation requires a deposit equal to 1-night's stay, and can be canceled without penalty up until 5 days prior to arrival, cancellation within 5 days of arrival loses the deposit. A "package" (room+tickets/dining) has a flat $200 deposit, but cancellation is 30 days out. Pushing a reservation out to the future is usually fairly easily -- assuming resort availability for the new dates; the rates and available discounts may change but the package price or room-only rate can be adjusted without penalty.

    Tickets changed considerably this past October, and tickets are now date-based with expiration dates. I don't believe you can purchase a ticket now for 2020. Presumably those will be released sometime this spring or summer, but since this is all new it's hard to guess. I'd say definitely by the time 2020 room rates are released. But purchasing tickets right now -- from WDW or another vendor -- isn't an option.

    With the new date-based tickets, you select your first park day and total number of park days when purchasing tickets. You can purchase a "flexible" option which will allow you to use the tickets anytime within the year (I'm assuming here, as the flexible option currently allows for 1st use anytime by 12/31/2019). Unused tickets will always retain a value which can be applied to purchase of newer tickets, if for some reason you were to buy tickets and end up not using them. Tickets purchased with a package can be changed or canceled easily if your trip needs to be pushed out. I believe tickets purchased direct from WDW can be changed fairly easily now in MDE or by calling (and paying higher price if needed for the new dates, no "refund" for new dates with lower ticket price). Tickets purchased from a third-party vendor can only be changed onsite; so that would impact ability to pre-schedule FP+ if the tickets were bought and then the trip needs to be pushed out.

    Good luck with the planning. I would think you can do some preliminary budget figures by looking at current prices and then +10% gives a cushion for likely increases.
     
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  15. Darcy03231

    Darcy03231 DIS Veteran

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    Having just spent a week off-site with a large group of varied ages and interests, I would not do it that way again. In fact, next trip we plan to stay on-site. We had 8 people and two minivans, but still didn't have the flexibility of staying on-site and using WDW transportation.

    OP, I would look at renting to value resort rooms. With 5 people 2 bathrooms would be a must for me.
     
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  16. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    As for some resort and ticket options -- unless your youngest is under age 3, you'll need a room for 6 people. Most economical options are the Cabins at Fort Wilderness or a family suite at All Star Music or Art of Animation. Another option is 2 rooms at a value resort, but only if you are willing to possibly split up. You can request connecting (with an interior door between rooms) but that isn't guaranteed. I have never stayed offsite, but I can see the draw especially for a larger party.

    Tickets -- we rarely park hop so I would drop the hoppers and plan 1 park per day. You can still leave to take a break, or go to a resort for a meal, and back to the same park. That hopper adds $75 per ticket, which is a good chunk of change for a group your size.

    Dining plan -- it's convenient for pre-paid meals. But look at your family's dining preferences and the places you might eat. Menus are available at AllEars.net. For the dining plan, anyone age 10+ is charged "adult" but many 10-12 yr olds aren't eating that much of a meal. You don't mention your kids' ages so it may not pertain. I prefer to put that value on a gift card and pay out-of-pocket for our meals; we always have leftover funds.

    Enjoy your vacation!
     
  17. dolewhipdreams

    dolewhipdreams Counting days until my next Dole Whip

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    Not sure if you've looked at it or not but if staying onsite is a must, then renting DVC points for a 2 bedroom may be something worth looking into. I'm not sure how that compares to 2 Value rooms though.
     
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  18. Happyinwonerland

    Happyinwonerland DIS Veteran

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    If you want to save a lot on lodging, consider renting Wyndham bonnet creek through an authorized broker. It is on disney property, so a quick drive to the parks, but not a disney owned hotel, so much cheaper. We typically pay around $70/night for a beautiful 2 BR 2 bath condo, and the resort is amazing.
     
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  19. jo-jo

    jo-jo DIS Veteran

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    Off site costs sound super, but if you need to car, that adds a big bite too. I was looking at a van for my DD's family of 6 to save time on buses....About $600. There might be ways to save on that, perhaps others have tips with renting a van.
     
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  20. Happyinwonerland

    Happyinwonerland DIS Veteran

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    As for not eating pb&j in-room, I totally understand that. But it is sensible to eat some meals in-room. We are light breakfast eaters, so we usually eat breakfast in our room before we head out. It isn't fancy, usually a protein shake for me and cereal or frozen waffles for DH and DD, but it fills us up and saves the $35-40/ day we would spend at a quick service for breakfast or the $100 we would spend at a sit down. We also typically have an evening or 2 that we spend at our resort and just have a frozen pizza, publix subs, or salad for dinner. We aren't huge eaters, so having too many sit down theme park meals is not a fun vacation for us, but I know for other families the dining is the highlight of the trip, so it really just depends on your style.
     
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  21. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

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    I *think* the OP's other 3 "Disney Adults" are actually children, but 10 and over. At least that's the sense I get. If she had adult "Disney Adults" (or older high school teens, which she may) I would agree with you that staying onsite is easier because the older people can do their own thing and reconnect easily back at the resort. BUT, I want to also point out that Uber/Lyft is generally very cheap in the Orlando area. It's usually no more than $15 one way to many of the offsite homes and condos. Onsite is great but you're saving a ton more money staying offsite even if you add in the car, parking and occasional Uber.
     
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