Please help a very confused WDW hopeful!!! Please...


<font color=deeppink>Cinderella looked at me like
Jan 18, 2001

I am planning a trip to WDW in Febraury of 2002. I have three small children who will be 5, 3 and 1 1/2 at the time of the trip. We will be flying (free due to AirMiles). We are on a tight budget but my husband WANTS to stay on property. These are my questions and concerns...

1. I am thinking about PO-Riverside. Many people here have recommended it for small children. I was scared away from the AS due to negative reviews here... too small for 3 children, service so-so, etc... When should I start checking reservation costs? I was thinking September? Would that be too late to get some of the discount from codes here on this board?

2. I am worried about the cost of food. I know it would be approximately $100/day for our family. Also, how much junk food can these kids eat (ie. fries, hot dogs, pizza, noodles, pop...) I am trying not to have them eat that stuff. Is there a grocery store on property to at least get juice or other stuff in your room?

3. If we depend on airport transportation to get to WDW, are we stuck there once we arrive? Can we go anywhere besides MK, Epcot, MGM, etc?

4. I used Priceline to get a hotel in Frederick MD for another vacation this June and ended up getting a room with ONE king bed. Nice, with three kids, eh? So, I am a whole lot nervous thinking about using it to book our WDW vacation if we decided to stay off property.

5. My advantages to off property are: better food for kids and us, less $$ for food and probably lodging. My advantages to staying on property are: the whole Disney Experience, less work leaving the park if we want to take a break, always wanted to stay on property.

6. Do all resorts get into the parks early?

Thanks alot for listening to me. My husband is SICK :rolleyes: of me already talking about this!! I am just so CONFUSED with all of the choices!!

Karen in WNY :cool: :rolleyes:
I'll try and help with a few questions,ok?

1) If you are going this fall I would check out the codes link.There is a code to get you a very nice rate for this fall(around $89).There are only a certain amount of rooms at this rate so I'd call now.

2)I know the ALLStars has juice/milk,friut and lot's of other healthy choices in the food court.They also sell juice/milk at the gift shop cheaper than in the food court(I don't know why,it just is).I would think PO would have a similiar set up.

3)If you use airport transportation then I believe you are stuck at Disney (that just doesn'y sound right ;) ).You could take a taxi somewhere but that would be expensive.

4)Never used Priceline.

5)I would suggest staying on-site.We've stayed at the ALLStars twice and never had a problem.I'm surprised you heard negative things about it,I'd give it nothing but rave reviews!If your 1 1/2 yr.old would sleep in a crib you'd fit!

6)If you stay on-site you would be eligable for all EE days.Each park has them except for Animal Kingdom which opens @ 7:00 a.m. anyway.

Hope that helps a bit.Don't get discouraged,planning is half the fun.We'll all help in any way we can!
You've come to the right place. Ask all the questions you want or need to.
We DH & 2 sons (5 & 15 mos)like to stay in a condo or home away from home type setting. We love having the extra bedroom for the children. This way when we leave the parks to take a nap, we aren't stuck in a dark hotel room trying to be quiet. We put them in their own room and let them nap. Also, we like having a kitchen. We like to get up and eat breakfast in our PJ's. A condo also gives us a full size washer and dryer and seperate bathrooms. Not to mention a freezer. I always freeze bottles of water to take to the parks the next day. Generally, we eat breakfast and lunch at the condo then do dinner at the parks. We've always stayed off site because we exchange our vacation property. But, this Oct. we are going to try the cabins at Fort Wilderness. We've tried and tried to get into Old Key West and the Boardwalk Villas but no one ever trades out. Anyway, I've read somewhere that you can rent points from DVC owners. You might try that if you want to stay on site and have a home away from home setting.

Oh, and we usually bid on a rental car through priceline.

I hope this helps. Feel free to email me if needed.

1980, 86,91,96,98 - off site
2000 - 7 day Cruise
May 2001 Cypress Harbour has great info on discounts on rooms/tickets and food. How to save money at WDW.

Call CRO for room reservations 1800 828-0228.

Keep asking questions at the all the DIS board.

Check out main board. ticket info/park times, discount hotels

Dreams unlimited at this site.

Planning and sharing your finds is what makes these boards so much fun. ;) :cool: WELCOME!

Ask all your questions here! Keep reading the boards....a lot of them and you will have a great, inexpensive trip. Now here are my answers to your questions.

1. I've stayed at As Movies and PO-Riverside. I like PO better just because it is more romantic to me. However, Movies (AS in general) are very nice. Our room was clean, the pool was great and the food court was pretty good. Don't shy away from it if you can get a great rate there. Keep an eye on these boards and you'll find a great rate. When you see it, call CRO and book it. You only have to pay one nights deposit and it is refundable up to 3-5 days prior.

2&3. If you don't want to rent a car, you will be "stuck" on WDW property. But there is SOOOO much to do! Use a towncar service, we love Tiffany Towncar, and you can stop at the grocery store prior to check-in. A great $$$saver. Bring a big cooler from home or rent a fridge ($10/day).

OR Alot of people on the boards have stayed at Holiday Inn Family Suites and love them!!!!

Like I said, keep reading the boards!!!!!! And don't be shy about asking those questions.!

<font size=2><font color=green><font face="Comic Sans MS">
DxL'95,PO'99,ASMo'00, Riverside 2001</font></font></font>
How about considering the Fort Wilderness Cabins? We have stayed there 3 times with our 3 children and it worked out great!!

There are many free things to do at Fort Wilderness, such as outdoor movies and two pools. Also, a boat ride to the Magic Kingdom!!

You mentioned 100.00/day for can save a fortune by having the kitchen in the cabins!! Especially with kids! You can prepare snacks to take in backpacks to the parks!!

There is a bedroom with a double bed and bunks...and a pull-down double bed in the living room! A table to eat at; dishwasher; and, best of all MAID SERVICE!! Oh yes, a picnic table and grill outside.

Last time we went we rented a car at the airport and drove to WDW. We went to the supermarket and bought our groceries before dropping the car off at the car rental site at Disney.
Then, the day before we left, we rented a car again to return to the airport. We only rented for two days total...but, didn't need it while we were at Disney...too much fun stuff to do!!

Hope this gives you some options to consider. It is possible to stay on-site and still within a budget.

Have fun!!! :D

<font face="Comic Sans MS" color=#006600>Fort Wilderness Home - April '95</font>
<font face="Comic Sans MS" color=#6600CC>Fort Wilderness Home -April '00</font>
<font face="Comic Sans MS" color="#FF9900">Fort Wilderness Home - Nov. '00</font>
<font face="Comic Sans MS" color="#FF0066">French Quarter - Jan. '02</font>
until I found out what was available offsite for the same $$ or less. I have friends who really don't care. They'd stay at Disney no matter what. But since you are obviously the type to ask the questions - find out whats out there - there's alot of good stuff available offsite. If you follow the "Orlando Hotels" board for a few days, you'll get a good start. Some of the info might be enough to sway your husband's opinion too.

I'm not going till May, so I don't have any first hand experience. But I did find the web company at had really good deals on accomodations.

Unless you really want to grocery shop and cook on YOUR vacation, I didn`t think that the foodcourt at PO french quarter was very expensive. They had healthy foods to choose from at reasonable prices. My daughter proclaimed their french fries "the best" she ever had. Taking small children on vacation is enough work for the mom without cooking too. I suggest staying onsite and you won`t need a car. I found that my family didn`t seem to eat as much when we were kept busy doing exciting Disney things. I actually lost 4 pounds that week. Hubby looked thinner too, but I don`t know how after all those Mickey ice cream bars he ate. LOL! Take Tiffany Towncar from the airport and get the grocery stop for breakfast cereal and evening snacks and take a vacation from all that cooking. You deserve it.

OK, it's been a while since I travelled with smaller children and at the time I wasn't as cost conscious. But, travelling now as adults, we frequently meal share at places like 50's Prime Time Cafe in MGM. You can't really do that at any character brefexes but we sometimes schedule a big brefex and then dinner and limit it to two meals a day. There is a coupon site that I'll try to link for you; I've not used it yet but it may help.
Staying on property will allow you to make priority seating arrangements 60 days out and some of the experiences you can't miss. Take the leftovers (what you can) back to the hotel after for a snack. I've found that if you tip well and the server knows it, they don't care that much WHAT you do. And I would try Priceline to rent a car; many have on the board but check the site for experiences. I think you spend so much money to get to WDW, you don't need to waste time waiting for a bus. Good luck. And like the others said, feel free to ask more questions


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