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Any Disney experts?

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by captainron62, Sep 15, 2013.

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  1. captainron62

    captainron62 VIP Whale

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    Taking the kids to Orlando Fla. for a week in March. We want to stay near Disney and do a bunch of the local attractions. I have been looking at packages on Southwest and trying to do some research. If anyone can make recommendations on how to save a dollar or two and where to stay it would be appreciated.

    thanks!
     
  2. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze Low-Roller

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  3. Criminole

    Criminole Low-Roller

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    My mom is the expert not me but she likes tour guide Mike at tourguidemike.com. We stay at a time share called Bonnet Creek which is close to everything. I doubt you want to sit through a time share to get a free room but I have seen others staying there that have. There are meal plans that save money. If you are going to go more than once the prices for 10 day passes are much cheaper per day, don't expire, and are bought at today's prices.
     
  4. JustNgo

    JustNgo Low-Roller

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    I've found that renting a house or condo within a few miles of Disneyworld for a week is MUCH cheaper than renting hotel rooms (particularly if you need to have multiple rooms). Many 3+ bedroom houses with pools can be had for 800-1500/week (versus 1000-2000+/room/week depending on which hotel you choose), depending on proximity and how nice of a house you want. While you do lose out on some of the benefits of being on-site (shuttle/monorail service, early admission, and Disney themed decorations), you get a kitchen and the ability to cook meals (also to prepare snacks and store food in a fridge).
     
  5. MickeyMickey1975

    MickeyMickey1975 Tourist

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    I agree that Wyndham Bonnet Creek is great. Disboards.com is an extremely active message board, with a ton of information. Like this or Vegas x 100!
     
  6. dfalk

    dfalk VIP Whale

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    I've been to Disneyland once, back when I was like 9. The only thing I still remember about that trip was getting sunburned as fuck, like second degree blister burns. My only advice it to bring a shitload of sunscreen.
     
  7. nyr2

    nyr2 Tourist

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    for great info on everything disney...and saving money try mousesavers.com. I use it every trip. I'm not a fan of booking packages, I do each seperate.
     
  8. Criminole

    Criminole Low-Roller

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    It sounds like you are set on March but if not I would say go when it is least crowded. If you do you can spend more time on rides and not spend all of it in lines. We went once in January and walked onto almost every ride.
     
  9. mikenhe

    mikenhe VIP Whale

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    disboards is to Disney (and seaworld/busch gardens) what this place is to vegas.

    except they are all nuts of course. whereas going to vegas and extreme planning involved is totally normal....
     
  10. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    They have three levels of hotels to choose from in Disney

    The lowest are basically 2 story motels with food courts. You then get into the middle and luxury levels which give you better restaurants and nicer and bigger rooms.They also have some home away from home properties that give you a kitchen etc. Most travel agencys have certified Disney experts who have passed a course and toured the whole complex who can give you a detailed run-down on the hotels,dinning and ticket options.
     
  11. Ty

    Ty ?

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    We love staying in the Disney resorts, Pop Century is cool. They have bus service to take you to the parks.

    I have heard the local condos in Orlando are a good deal, many have pools.

    How many kids and how old?

    You could spend a week doing just Disney stuff: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, DownTown Disyney, plus two Disney water parks.

    In addition to Walt Disney World, Orlando also has Universal Studios, and Sea World.
     
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  12. weluvvegas

    weluvvegas Vegas Slot Junkie

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    I second that! I've been a member of Disboards for almost as long as I've been here. Just beware, they aren't as nice as VMB!

    Also some more sites:

    www.allears.net
    www.mousesavers.com
    www.passporter.com
    www.wdwinfo.com
    www.couponingtodisney.com
    www.chipandco.com
    www.disneyfoodblog.com

    If you are going in the fall - Disney has a free dining plan promotion going on for select dates.


    We've been to Disney World 7 times in the last 10 years. Let me know if you have any questions!
     
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  13. Boone

    Boone Tourist

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    www.vrbo.com

    lots of people trying to rent their timeshares. You can usually find a great place cheap.

    My recommendation is at least 4 to 5 full days of parks. 2 to 3 days at Disney and 2 days at Universal if your kids are over 46" (I think it is 46 - I can't remember now) My kids like Universal much more than Disney but they are not scared of big rides - at all!

    Disney provides the Fast Pass deal where you can make a reservation at most rides. I found this quite effective if you plan ahead and get two sets at one time. It will not let you do three different Fast Passes at once. I think the way to do on Disney is to plan a park in the morning then another after noon. Watchout for holiday deals where you can get into the main park at Disney after hours. Those are usually great deals compared to doing it during the day. The park is still crowded but not as much and cooler! An example of this was "Mickey's Spooktackular" which was an after hours at Magical Kingdom during September and October.

    Universal - pay the big bucks and get the line skip passes ( there are bundles of unlimited skips all the way to 1 time I think ) I went with the two line skip pass deal and was very satisfied. It is expensive but we got to every ride that allowed this twice in one day. It was worth every penny. There are a few rides that do not have this option (Harry Potter) but we still had time to wait in line and ride those once. Don't bother with Universal with small kids in my opinion. They can go see a few of the motion rides but other than that Disney wins. Older kids will like Universal better I think as it is more exciting.
     
  14. captainron62

    captainron62 VIP Whale

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    The kiddos will be 9, 10 and 11 when we go!
     
  15. golfnut

    golfnut Low-Roller

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    I go to disney world every year with my family. We enjoy staying in the moderate resorts. Not that much more than the value resorts, but there atmosphere and food seem to be much nicer in our opinion. We always do the dining plan were you get one snack, one quick service meal, and one sit down meal a day per person. It makes for a very worry free vacation. I can't recommend eating at O'hana enough. It's all you can eat Hawaiian style. Delicious.

    We don't want to deal with renting a car. So for us staying on disney property and using the bus system is a must.

    Have fun.
     
  16. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze Low-Roller

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    We did the whole Disney family vacation thing around 5 years ago- my kids were 8, 11 years old. Lots to do and everyone is sure to have a good time.

    The highlight of the trip was Universal Studios / Islands of Adventure. We live in Ohio, and visit Cedar Point each year, so our amusement park standards are pretty lofty.
     
  17. captainron62

    captainron62 VIP Whale

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    thanks, thats the ages my kiddos are and we too live in Ohio and visit Cedar Point and Kings Island! I am reading more and more good things about Universal Studios!
     
  18. daveg000

    daveg000 High-Roller

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    Ron, I've been there a couple times, I agree with the poster that said you should read the Unofficial Guide - Walt Disney World.

    I HAVE the 2013 book , since we were there in May. I will gladly ship it to you if you PM me your address.

    The book will let you get the most out of your vacation, whether you stay on property or off. Tells you where to be when, what to do at certain times, what to skip.

    The most important thing I learned from the book, was from a survey that was taken. When they asked the kids about what was the most favorite part of their vacation, they answered "the resort pool"

    So when the kids started whining, and said that they wanted to go back to the resort and the pool, we believed them.

    I tried not to be a trip NAZI and make sure the 5 grandkids, ages 3-17, saw as much as they could, yet didn't force them to do more than they wanted to.

    On the other hand, my wife's daughter spent one day at the Magic Kingdom with us (she stayed with her dad, who lives down there, and trip Nazied us to stay out for the parade, laser show, and fire works, and I was glad we did.
     
  19. Criminole

    Criminole Low-Roller

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    Agree on O'hana at the Polynesian resort. Favorite meal (evening) although breakfast was good too. That was my one must meal for our next trip coming up soon.
     
  20. sweetcanadian

    sweetcanadian High-Roller

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    It is probably cheaper to stay off site but i don't think you get the same experience. We stayed at coronado springs resort and loved it.

    I found disboards to be a tad better than this one for trip planning because it has way more info.

    I loved the unofficial guide as well.

    We went for 10 days and easily could have done 2 weeks.

    If you stay onsite and do the dining plan book character dining as to make the most of it. those run 25 or more a person starting with breakfast all the way up to over 60 for dinner (you still pay tips though) so it makes it worthwhile. We did mostly breakfast so that our day wasn't centered around reservations. We did the supper one with cinderella & prince charming, that was cool.

    I would go with the photo pass plus and buy it in advance. It gives you digital ride pics as well as all from the character dining. The pics start at 14.99 for digital and 29.99 for the character ones so for 149$ advance price it is well worth it and adds up fast. You then get to add borders to your pics and order a cd.

    I don't think the water parks are open in march and would not be worth it at that time of year anyways. Not a good option to add to your tickets for that time.

    The more days you add to your tickets the cheaper it gets.

    I also would not add park hopper option. There is enough to do in each park and they won't be open that late. It will be a few hundred in savings by just doing straight tickets.

    We did a car rental and used the bus to go to the magic kingdom. I would still do a car rental anytime. We needed water and snacks so made trips to target and then walmart when we needed more supplies. We also used it to go to the main building. We wanted breaks in the afternoon and did not want to waste the time on the bus.

    Make sure you schedule a full day of rest to spend at the resort in the middle of your trip, you will need it.
     
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