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  1. #1

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    Question Planning a vacation.. any tips?

    My friend and I would like to go to WDW next summer together kind of as a graduation celebration (we'll both be graduating high school in June and we'll be 18 for the trip). We're trying to figure out how to do this. Should we buy a vacation package that includes hotel fees and park fees? Or should be do our own thing with a hotel and buy annual passes to the park?

    We're trying to figure out the cheapest way to do things. Is airfare a ton of money? We're both starting to save up now and putting away money from part time jobs for this. I was just wondering if anyone had any tips on what we should do. We're looking to spend a week (we'd really love to spend two if possible) at WDW and the surrounding parks.

  2. #2

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    Re: Planning a vacation.. any tips?

    Well depending on where you are coming from airfare can be expensive... If you are on the east coast and JetBlue or Song Air are at your airport, you can probably get a nice cheap roundtrip flight...

    When you decide on hotel, you need to decide if you want to stay on property or off. If you decide on property, then stay the Pop Culture resort. Its a moderate hotel, and the prices shouldnt be that bad, especially if you are splitting it with someone... If you decide off property, there are some nice cheap hotels right across from Wet & Wild by Universal. The only thing is then you would need to take a shuttle bus to Disney.

    Tickets are tickets. I dont think there is anyway to get a good deal on a parkhopper unless you go and take a time share walkthrough and they will give you a ticket for your troubles.. I would suggest getting like the 6 or 7 day park hopper pass. They are expensive, but they never expire. So if you only use 3-4 days on it, if you go back sometime down the road, you can use that same ticket. I remember at one point you could trade in that ticket and use the credit to purchase a new 7 day park hopper. Not sure if they are still doing that.

    Also, search the web for deals. Sometimes disney has good deals on packages, which include hotel and park tickets... Or check with your travel agent, and even look at sites like orbitz or expedia...

    All in all, if you start saving now, you should be good to go next summer.

    let me know if you need any other information.

  3. #3

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    Re: Planning a vacation.. any tips?

    For the airfare I purchased 1 way tickets from 2 different airlines and it came out to less then a roundtrip on either one. I got my tickets for $237 pp including taxes and fees from CA.

  4. #4

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    Re: Planning a vacation.. any tips?

    We're coming from California. I've been looking at Disney World packages online and trying to find the best deal. Is a week enough time to really see and do everything in all 4 parks during the summer? Because if that's the case then I'll settle for a 7 day park hopper and use the other week to see the other parks around there (six flags.. I know there's a sea world too right?)

  5. #5

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    Re: Planning a vacation.. any tips?

    Hey Eagle Wings,

    A week is definitely not enough time to see everything out there. I have been there 5 times and have always come back missing seeing some of the attractions in the parks, plus I was never able to make it to any outside parks. I really want to go and see Islands of Adventure, part of Universal Studios, I hear it is awesome.

    One of my trips was with the cast member package, which was pretty inexpensive and the rest were thorugh AAA. They have good pacakages that are really affordable. the only things we had to spen $$ on was meals and souvenirs. Hope this helps.

  6. #6

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    Re: Planning a vacation.. any tips?

    Also get Birnbaum's guide to WDW. you can buy it at Borders, Barnes & Nobles. It is a wealth of info and is updated every year.

  7. #7

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    Re: Planning a vacation.. any tips?

    Thank you Glenn, I will be sure to check out the book at Barnes and Nobles. Plus, I have been a AAA member for two years so I'll be sure to swing by the local AAA office and pick up a couple travel books. I'm almost wondering (after more internet research) if we should make our trip for September since there are supposedly small crowds.

  8. #8

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    Re: Planning a vacation.. any tips?

    I'm also seeing that the Magic Your Way packages through Disney have a dining option you can add on that features 2 meals and a snack every day you're there so I'll definetely be adding that on.

  9. #9

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    Re: Planning a vacation.. any tips?

    Hey Ashley,

    Good to hear you are a AAA member. I remember getting their brochures and let me tell you it surely puts you in the mood to go. It is also good to get a package that offers meals and snacks. To me the best time I went was either in November or February. The crowds were not bad at all and more importantly, NO HUMIDITY!!! That is what ruined it for me during the one summer I went and also in Sept and Oct.

    I also have a planning video too, if you ever want to borrow it. Just let me know.

  10. #10

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    Re: Planning a vacation.. any tips?

    Hmm I really want to go in the summer, however reading about their Christmas decorations and things sounds nice. So maybe I'll switch the planning around to November 2006.

  11. #11

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    Re: Planning a vacation.. any tips?

    1. To save money, you should go off-season for the hotel and (possible) airline discounts. the Disney web site's hotel prices indicate dates and costs for offseason.
    2. To save money, stay at a value hotel. If you plan to stay in the hotel all day, then maybe you might want a nicer hotel room.
    3. You won't see everything, but there probably won't be lulls in time, either. And, your story implies that you are young and WDW will be there for another 50 years or so.
    4. Get "WDW for Dummies." Birnbaums might be nice, but it's an "official guide" which makes it less objective (and less objectionable to Disney).
    5. if you plan to go offsite during your stay, then rent a car.
    6. For cheap, use Mears or other van shuttle service from and to airport. For comfort, use a "limosine" (private car, not prom-stretch-limo) service.
    7. For MYW food add-on, make sure that's how much you want to spend on food. Don't be fooled by adding it on earlier and then getting "free food" later. To get the most out of those vouchers, you need to go to the nicest restaurants, which these days means calling for ressies precisely 90 (?) days ahead for each day of your trip.
    8. There is some "AP break-even number of days staying." If you plan to stay that long or longer (and don't forget to consider discounts, especially the hotel!), get an AP, and plan your next vacation within the year. For your updated dates, I suggest early Dec 2006, followed by late Nov 2007. However, once you get an AP, the choice of seeing non-Disney parks is marginally more expensive.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  12. #12

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    Re: Planning a vacation.. any tips?

    ^ Thanks for the tips!

  13. #13

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    Re: Planning a vacation.. any tips?

    Definatley suggest Disney in November over the summer.. the Christmas decorations are just amazing.. but even more important.. you do not want to be outside in Orlando during the summer.. humidity like you've never seen.. a thunderstorm every day between 2-4, and it doesn't even cool things off.. if anything the rain makes it even more steamy (if thats even possible)

  14. #14

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    Re: Planning a vacation.. any tips?

    I would highly suggest going to Disney in the fall.

    1. Florida is to damn hot and sticky in the summer.
    2. to many crowded places
    3. Lines are to long


    I could keep going... Honestly I think you would enjoy it either the 2nd week of October, when it is really dead, and all you have to deal with are the british people on vacation, or sometime after thanksgiving, so that you can see all the christmas decorations, and the park will still be relatively empty.

    Good Luck

  15. #15

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    Re: Planning a vacation.. any tips?

    So it really is empty during December? No joke? Because we're beginning to plan our vacation for November/December now. Our only concern is hurricanes. How likely would there be a hurricane around those two months?

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