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  1. #1

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    First time planning DisneyWorld! Please help!!

    We are on a two month family trip starting right away.. Its my wife, three children aged 10, 7, and 5 and myself. We booked our flights so that we are dropped off in Orlando for 5 days. Our thought being we could hit a few amusement parks! After some research and talking to some others we have decided to spend all four days in Disney World. So now comes the trying to figure out our best way to do it! We enjoy travelling backpack style and don't need to be in a 5 star resort and always are travelling watching our budget but also understand the value in convienence etc..
    Basically looking for the best bang for our buck!

    So here goes, the three options we have came up with are:
    1.Staying in Disney (PROS: shuttle from airport to hotel, we're in the park, no transportation needed CONS: most expensive option<$1000+>, all meals will most likely be disney meals<should we buy meal passes?>)
    2.Staying at a nearby hotel (PROS: cheapest option, shuttle to disney, free breakfast, able to purchase groceries or eat out of park CONS: seems according to tripadvisor most of the nearby cheaper hotels are real dirty etc.)
    3.Staying at a nearby condo (PROS: mid cost option, lots of room, full kitchen, close to stores CONS: transportation)

    Im sure there is more I could add if I took a little more time but am really looking forward to seeing if there is a traveller like myself that will be able to help me make up my mind!! Stoked to find this forum even though wish I would have found it months ago and not right before leaving haha

    For any help and your time, Thanks so much!!

  2. #2

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    Re: First time planning DisneyWorld! Please help!!

    1. Did you look at the current special offers at Disney World Special Offer | Disney World Deals | Walt Disney World Resort

    Staying onsite is simple and a nice vacation.

    Meal passes, you mean the Disney Dining Plan. Be careful, it only saves money if you eat all the food and carefully choose where you eat and have the expensive menu items. You may have a problem with this short planning period to get the reservations you want if you do the regular of delux plan.

    You might save money by staying onsite, but buying tickets from a ticket vendor like Undercover Tourist or expedia. This means you would not be using a Disney Travel Package, and thus not have the option for a Dining Plan, but would get onsite privleges.

    2. The offsite hotels really run the gambit from roach motels to luxury, and cheap to expensive. Finding the right blend is difficult. The shuttles can be a painful way to get to the parks, slow, and sometimes extra money. Plus you need a shuttle to and from the airport, which can be costly. And maybe a taxi to get groceries.

    3. Thier are lots of condo and house rentals around. You will need a car in many cases. This means rental cost and parking cost at WDW.

    I can't tell you what's best for you. I've done them all and stay onsite because the cost is not my biggest concern but the convinience and experience is.

  3. #3

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    Re: First time planning DisneyWorld! Please help!!

    swampymarsh,

    thanks for your input and I do agree with what you are saying! also in looking at it more closely and reading more I feel the meal plan would not be for us.. However still torn on accomadations?! Another couple questions.. Can I book the hotel and get the airport shuttle without booking my park tickets through Disney? Where is the best rates for buying tickets alone?

    I still look forward from hearing from more of you on what you think is our best option!

    Thanks

  4. #4

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    Re: First time planning DisneyWorld! Please help!!

    I checked undercovertourist and for our family for 4 days is $1303.42 and through Disney it's $1327 and through my travel agent I was quoted $1182.16 this is just for magic your way tickets

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    Re: First time planning DisneyWorld! Please help!!

    Quote Originally Posted by kienle View Post
    However still torn on accomadations?! Another couple questions.. Can I book the hotel and get the airport shuttle without booking my park tickets through Disney? Where is the best rates for buying tickets alone?
    All you need to do is stay in a Disney Hotel, to use Magical Express for the tranportation and baggage service. No need for a package

    For tickets you found a fine seller, under cover tourist. Tickets are taxed and internet sellers out of the area don't collect the tax and share that savings with you.




    Quote Originally Posted by kienle View Post
    I checked undercovertourist and for our family for 4 days is $1303.42 and through Disney it's $1327 and through my travel agent I was quoted $1182.16 this is just for magic your way tickets
    Take what's cheapest.
    Be Cool Stay in School!
    Next year I'm trying for a summer internship at Stark Industries.

  6. #6

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    Re: First time planning DisneyWorld! Please help!!

    Quote Originally Posted by kienle View Post
    We are on a two month family trip starting right away.. Its my wife, three children aged 10, 7, and 5 and myself. We booked our flights so that we are dropped off in Orlando for 5 days. Our thought being we could hit a few amusement parks! After some research and talking to some others we have decided to spend all four days in Disney World. So now comes the trying to figure out our best way to do it! We enjoy travelling backpack style and don't need to be in a 5 star resort and always are travelling watching our budget but also understand the value in convienence etc..
    Basically looking for the best bang for our buck!

    So here goes, the three options we have came up with are:
    1.Staying in Disney (PROS: shuttle from airport to hotel, we're in the park, no transportation needed CONS: most expensive option<$1000+>, all meals will most likely be disney meals<should we buy meal passes?>)
    2.Staying at a nearby hotel (PROS: cheapest option, shuttle to disney, free breakfast, able to purchase groceries or eat out of park CONS: seems according to tripadvisor most of the nearby cheaper hotels are real dirty etc.)
    3.Staying at a nearby condo (PROS: mid cost option, lots of room, full kitchen, close to stores CONS: transportation)

    Im sure there is more I could add if I took a little more time but am really looking forward to seeing if there is a traveller like myself that will be able to help me make up my mind!! Stoked to find this forum even though wish I would have found it months ago and not right before leaving haha

    For any help and your time, Thanks so much!!
    We have 2 kids at the same age as your youngers (5&7) and JUST got back from an 8 day stay at Caribbean Beach Resort on the Dining plan (1 QS/1 table service) WITHOUT rental car.

    A) So in thinking about our GREAT vacation a couple of things stand out - it is a bit of a straight jacket to dine with disney with kids in elementary school. I don't know about yours but ours vary in respect to when they want to eat, what they want to eat, etc. etc. If I had it to do all over again it would be food court every day. Now this is a bit different if you are looking for character breakfasts and while my kids enjoyed hugging Pooh Bear it wasn't like it was a life changing moment. If your kids are like mine Quick service dining will be your choice (and then the meal plan is essentially a convenience, not a cost saver unless they are throwing it in). You will save significantly over it if you have a car and pick up breakfast fixings - even more if you pick up some snackables.

    B) I think with kids your age and looking at April/May and for only 4 days you want to be at a Disney resort. Probably a value will be fine (that is really an adult taste preference) and the reason is that you will find the mid-afternoon break REALLY important. Nothing can prepare you for how BIG these parks are and how, sadly, HOT Epcot and DHS can become. MK & AK better for shade but I think even with them your 5 and 7 year old will be learning the phrase "I want to go swimming NOW" by day #2. Having to deal with car would be a huge hassle as opposed to walking just outside front entrance and grabbing a very frequent bus. It really can not be beat. I would "guestimate" that you will spend about an extra 30 minutes every time you break if you have your own car versus hopping on a bus (but see E)

    C) We found that the 5 and 7 year old really only "needed" 1/2 days for DHS,Epcot (Future world) and AK. We surely could have done full day commando raids on them but that would have been a lot more for the ADULTS than for the kids.

    D) We found the biggest difference between CBR and POR where we stayed before the MUCH better connection between POR and DownTownDisney. If you think you will be shopping - would recommend POR. Have not stayed (yet) at Coronado Springs

    E) Even though I think buses are great for the INTERNAL transportation to the parks, they STINK for the connection to the airport. Disney Magical Express likely cost us 4-5 hours over what we could have done with a rental car. We were "locked into" the mouse and could have saved (and benefited) from the flexibility to run off property for food/convenience items. Having a car would have opened up other parts of the resort to us. Not having a car means you can't do certain "spur of the moment" things like run over to play a round of mini-golf or pop over to DTD for some shopping with ease.

    F) TO Sum up - in thinking back while things are still fresh I would have....

    1) Rented CHEAP Car (it will be parked but you will love having it when you want it)
    2) Probably punted on the Dining Plan or gone just with Quick service only
    3) Stuck with CBR since our kids loved the pool
    4) Glad I paid for the "premium location" at our moderate. It was so NICE not having to hike to the pool.

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