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  1. #1

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    Question Package vs separate pricing?

    DLR vet here making plans for my sister's upcoming trip to WDW. (Lucky her!!) She and her friend want to visit in early or mid November (10 days) and stay in a moderate resort, preferably one that's a bit quieter. I thought Port Orleans. Being the MiceGeek that I am, I started looking at package pricing and then over to kayak to look for hotels around Universal studios since they want to spend a day there as well. Imagine my surprise when I saw Port Orleans rooms on Kayak for $24 less per night than on the WDW website.

    You can imagine a bunch of questions flew through my head so I'm asking for your thoughts and experiences planning such a trip and the most meaningful ways to save money. I mean $24 a night for 9 nights is significant.

    Some questions I considered:
    Would it be better to start the trip at Universal studios for 2 days and then go to WDW?
    How difficult would it be to make a Universal visit while staying on WDW property? Would a rental car be required?
    My sister likes the idea of extra hours and the "free" bus ride from the airport, would you get those perks if you booked through another travel site like Kayak?

    Thanks for all your help!
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  2. #2

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    Re: Package vs separate pricing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fantasmico! View Post
    DLR vet here making plans for my sister's upcoming trip to WDW. (Lucky her!!) She and her friend want to visit in early or mid November (10 days) and stay in a moderate resort, preferably one that's a bit quieter. I thought Port Orleans. Being the MiceGeek that I am, I started looking at package pricing and then over to kayak to look for hotels around Universal studios since they want to spend a day there as well. Imagine my surprise when I saw Port Orleans rooms on Kayak for $24 less per night than on the WDW website.

    You can imagine a bunch of questions flew through my head so I'm asking for your thoughts and experiences planning such a trip and the most meaningful ways to save money. I mean $24 a night for 9 nights is significant.

    Some questions I considered:
    Would it be better to start the trip at Universal studios for 2 days and then go to WDW?
    How difficult would it be to make a Universal visit while staying on WDW property? Would a rental car be required?
    My sister likes the idea of extra hours and the "free" bus ride from the airport, would you get those perks if you booked through another travel site like Kayak?

    Thanks for all your help!
    Just in my personal opinion I would either start or end your vacation at universal. this would give you one ride either to or from the airport on magical express. i believe there is a way to get this service without booking a package but i usually like to do things through the wdw website as i find it a lot easier to pick the seasonal deals i want as part of my package.

    my personal opinion would be to start at Disney so you can get the magical express experience, ride in video ect. then head to your moderate resort (my suggestion would be PO riverside) and enjoy disney for the 8 days. then at the end of or midday on your ninth day transfer over to a universal resort and enjoy a day and a half or so at universal. the perk of having the free fast pass in the parks will make your time there a million times more enjoyable. for those resorts the best quality would be the Portofino bay while the best deal is probably the royal pacific. hope this helps you out.

  3. #3

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    Re: Package vs separate pricing?

    I am a fan of starting in the lesser place because I think it's better to go from bad to good, rather than to downgrade and realize what you are missing. I'd start with Universal.

    The best way to get from Universal to WDW and vice versa is a car. You can also take a taxi.

    You should be able to use Magical Express as long as you are staying in a WDW hotel... it does not matter who you booked through.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Package vs separate pricing?

    if one of them purchased an annual pass they could save 30% on a hotel and other places. its not much more than a 10 park hopper. its what i do every year i go there. if you already have a dlr premium pass you can upgrade it to a premier pass for only $200 more then your pass will work for florida and california and that is way cheaper than a magic your way ticket. i have had a premire pass since its existance in feburary of 2010 and it is well worth it. last year i stayed at the fort wilderness cabins ( my favorite place to stay )for 12 days and saved $1600 (40%) with my ap discount
    Last edited by Trav1Disney; 04-16-2012 at 01:34 PM.

  5. #5

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    Re: Package vs separate pricing?

    For a quieter resort, I'd look into Coronado Springs. It is definitely quieter than Port Orleans Riverside. Or perhaps Port Orleans French Quarter, which is much more compact than Port Orleans Riverside.

    I have never booked a Disney Hotel, without calling Disney to do it. I wasn't aware that you could do it any other way.

    I usually stay away from packages, and do things separately. Of course anyone interested in the perks, which are offered on occasion, usually must book a package.

    I don't drive, so I'd be interested to know if anyone has been to Universal during a Disney trip, and how exactly they got there without the use of a car. Surely there must be alternative means of transportation for a fee.

  6. #6

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    Re: Package vs separate pricing?

    Wow, I didn't realize it had been this long since I posted! So Sorry!
    Thanks so much for all your kind suggestions! On to the super duper long replies. . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by goofy donald View Post
    Just in my personal opinion I would either start or end your vacation at universal. this would give you one ride either to or from the airport on magical express. i believe there is a way to get this service without booking a package but i usually like to do things through the wdw website as i find it a lot easier to pick the seasonal deals i want as part of my package.

    -Snip- hope this helps you out.
    That was my thinking too, but my sister's friend needs to get four dialysis treatments during the trip so they need to stay in one place. I contacted Fairy Godmother Travel to help with the discounts. I tell you what, Tracy knows her stuff! Highly recommended for fantastic customer service!

    Quote Originally Posted by NeverNeverland View Post
    I am a fan of starting in the lesser place because I think it's better to go from bad to good, rather than to downgrade and realize what you are missing. I'd start with Universal.
    The best way to get from Universal to WDW and vice versa is a car. You can also take a taxi.

    You should be able to use Magical Express as long as you are staying in a WDW hotel... it does not matter who you booked through.
    I have read that people can take a taxi to US for around $60 round trip. You can also arrange for a Mears shuttle too for $18 round trip. So would you contact Disney for Magical Express arrangements after you have booked with a site such as Expedia?
    Quote Originally Posted by Trav1Disney View Post
    if one of them purchased an annual pass they could save 30% on a hotel and other places. its not much more than a 10 park hopper. its what i do every year i go there. if you already have a dlr premium pass you can upgrade it to a premier pass for only $200 more then your pass will work for florida and california and that is way cheaper than a magic your way ticket. i have had a premire pass since its existance in feburary of 2010 and it is well worth it. last year i stayed at the fort wilderness cabins ( my favorite place to stay )for 12 days and saved $1600 (40%) with my ap discount
    I will look into the annual pass idea. I thought they were like $500 though, which would be $200 more than a 10 day pass. Also looking into the Discount Orlando tickets site that advertises here on MC. A Premiere pass sounds good too since she wants to go to Disneyland sometime next year. Hopefully with me!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Barbaraann View Post
    For a quieter resort, I'd look into Coronado Springs. It is definitely quieter than Port Orleans Riverside. Or perhaps Port Orleans French Quarter, which is much more compact than Port Orleans Riverside.

    I have never booked a Disney Hotel, without calling Disney to do it. I wasn't aware that you could do it any other way.

    I usually stay away from packages, and do things separately. Of course anyone interested in the perks, which are offered on occasion, usually must book a package.

    I don't drive, so I'd be interested to know if anyone has been to Universal during a Disney trip, and how exactly they got there without the use of a car. Surely there must be alternative means of transportation for a fee.
    Coronado Springs seems to have more amenities and a bit more modern. Maybe a preferred room over there would fit the bill.
    I was surprised to find the Disney owned hotels on sites like Kayak and Expedia. I don't know if they are heavily discounted rooms though.

    I think doing things separately would be best too, especially for savings. I think the only perks my sister is really interested in would be the magical express, package delivery, and convenience.

    About getting from Disney to Universal studios I read that Mears shuttle can pick you up at your hotel for $18 round trip and that a taxi can take you either from you hotel or from Downtown Disney ($10 savings according to one person). A taxi would run approximately $60 round trip. Apparently the shuttle and the taxi drop you right in front of the gate.


    Thanks so much for all these great suggestions!
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  7. #7

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    Re: Package vs separate pricing?

    I have used an agent to book a Disney World Trip in the past. In fact, the year that I went to Disney World during the Christmas season, I went with a friend who wanted to use the Dining Plan. We started out with a package that included Port Orleans French Quarter. A better package came up that would include Coronado, and if we made the switch, we would save quite a bit of money. We made the switch, and the extra money I had for my trip was really appreciated. Travel agents usually become well aware of great offers, before the general public.

    Also an agent can also book a "room only" reservation for you. They just don't only deal with packages.

  8. #8

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    Re: Package vs separate pricing?

    I like the fact that the travel agent kept looking for better deals for you. I imagine they could also get universal tickets. More and more I like the idea of letting an agent do the work while my sister does the saving. If I ever get to go to WDW, an agent will do the booking.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Package vs separate pricing?

    There are only small differences between a Disney resort package (package means resort + at least a minimal ticket purchase) versus a Disney room-only reservation.

    Absent any special promotions one way or the other, there is no price difference.

    The major difference is the payment terms. A package requires a $200 deposit, with the balance due by 45 days before arrival. A room-only requires a deposit equal to one night's room rate plus tax, with the balance due by check-in.

    The next difference is cancellation policy. For packages, penalties start kicking in at the 45-day mark; for room-only, penalities start kicking in at 6 days before arrival.

    If you want to book the Disney Dining Plan, you MUST book a package unless you're an Annual Passholder or a DVC member staying on points.

    The ONLY other differences are very small things: packages get a souvenir luggage tag and a few vouchers (which I've never used) such as a round of mini golf, a discount at Planet Hollywood, etc.

    But EVERYTHING else is for EVERY Disney resort guest, regardless of package or room-only, regardless of how the trip was booked. EVERYONE gets Disney's Magical Express (free roundtrip airport transfers, and luggage delivery from airport to resort), resort-to-park transportation, package delivery to your resort, Extra Magic Hours, ability to set up a room charge, and so on.

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    Re: Package vs separate pricing?

    Thank you for the great clarification! My sis doesn't want the dining plan so booking room only seems to be the better option due to the more flexible cancellation policy.
    Good to know that she still gets the Magical Express and package delivery since she was concerned about those in particular.
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