My kid is going to Orlando 4/18-22/2013. The wife and I would like to go as well. I need to book a room in the park, four day park hopper passes, quick meal plans, and flights from Boston (preferred) or Manchester, NH. I am looking on advice on how to plan / book this and would appreciate any inside tips.
Hotels- Do not discount staying at the non-Disney hotels on Disney property (i.e. near Downtown Disney). There are some incredible deals on great hotels with their own transportation. But I am assuming your kid will be staying in a Disney hotel and you will want to also. Again, hold off to see what happens with Disney dining, as that may be a driving factor.
For lodging... Here is a way to get deluxe accommodations at a waaaay cheaper price. People who are Disney Vacation Club members regularly "rent" their points outs... you can easily find different discussion boards on the major disney fan sites such as disboards that have people offering their points, and looking to "rent" points. People rent points from about $9-$12 a point. Different DVC accommodations cost different amounts of points.
You can also check out David's Disney Vacation Club Rentals ( http://www.dvcrequest.com/ ) . They act as a middle man charging $13 a point. We used them to book 4 nights at the Boardwalk Villas for less than $800. The comparable room in the hotel side of the Villas was about $350 a night. You pay a little more using them, but they take care of all the logistics and also takes the risk out of being scammed by someone.
The downside to going the DVC route is generally, the reservation can't be changed and is non-refundable, so if your plans change, tough.
FYI, I read about this trick in a book called the Dark Side of Disney which in addition to tips like this, also (as the name implies) gives tips for some less than Disney-esque type behaviors, such as sneaking into various closed areas, best places to drink, and even best places for public hoo-haaing. I just got back from taking the kids so it wasn't that type of trip, but will be returning with just the wifey in Jan . The book also talks about ways to save money on the food and things like the photopass.
posted: Oct. 10, 2012 @ 10:41a
Also, there are photographers at every park all over the place, taking all the iconic photos for you. They will add all photos to your Photopass (which you get from them). There's a cd you can buy that will have all of your photos including the rights to them. If you purchase it before your vacation it's cheaper ($119) than if you buy afterwards ($165). Here's the link for more information http://www.disneyphotopass.com/previsitoffer.aspx
You can also add multiple passes to your account, so if you know other people going, you can split the cost of the CD.
Senior Member - 5K
posted: Oct. 10, 2012 @ 11:17a
wizwor said: My kid is going to Orlando 4/18-22/2013. The wife and I would like to go as well. I need to book a room in the park, four day park hopper passes, quick meal plans, and flights from Boston (preferred) or Manchester, NH. I am looking on advice on how to plan / book this and would appreciate any inside tips.Might want to search this forum, this topic has been covered ad naseum. Pretty much every question has been answered many times.
posted: Oct. 10, 2012 @ 5:24p
I would also check out the DISboards.com forums
posted: Oct. 10, 2012 @ 5:46p
Disney dolphin and swan are Category 4 starwood properties (i.e. they rent out at 10,000 points per night). It surprises a lot of people, but they indeed are not Disney owned! One is Sheraton branded and the other is Westin (I think).
If you really wanted to rake up the points, you could get 50k right now using the AMEX promo (25k each for biz and personal, was 30k a month ago), and then use the card for all personal expenses earning @ 1 point per dollar.
Probably a long shot, but in case you have any hotel stays coming up, then look at the Platinum Challange where you get their platinum status for staying at some spg properties for 18 nights within a 3 month period. You get a lot of extra benefits if you are a platinum.
posted: Oct. 10, 2012 @ 10:15p
It sounds like your child may be going on a marching band or other school trip.
When my daughter went on band and choir trips, parents could go for the same low price (they did have to do a little chaperoning duty.)
I don't think you could beat the price the band directors get if that's the case--I think school trips are the best bargain going.
I was in Disney World last week (after a conference.) We stayed in Disney at the All Star Sports Resort. The All Stars are huge--Sports has 9 buildings, and I think that each building could hold 700 people easily (maybe more depending on how many per room.)
And it was full (Columbus Day Weekend.) We paid $96 a night there. It's worth it because you're on site, you can use the Disney transportation system, etc.
When our kids were younger we'd go to the park in the morning, hit a waterpark when the crowds got big and go back to the park around 7 p.m.--when they were almost always quite peaceful.
You can't do that if you're not staying at Disney.
posted: Oct. 11, 2012 @ 8:27a
Mousesavers is a good website but it takes about a month to start receiving their newsletter so I would sign up now.
posted: Oct. 11, 2012 @ 9:34a
I'd also recommend getting the Unofficial Guide To Walt Disney World - It's only ~$13 on Amazon. We used the 2011 version (and just picked up the 2013 for next year) and it was invaluable, especially the touring plans. Your head will explode with so much Disney World knowledge that you just might hate yourself for buying it.
posted: Oct. 11, 2012 @ 11:27a
last time I went we stayed in a wonderful condo that was about half the price of a hotel with twice the space.
Senior Member - 10K
posted: Oct. 11, 2012 @ 2:32p
My two cents (and worth exactly that) Be careful to avoid timeshare pitches in exchange for cheap accommodations; these "deals" are rife in the Lake Buena VIsta area around Disney area. Be aware that sometimes they are direct about the need to attend a "short presentation," sometimes they are ... not. And the presentations are NEVER "brief." These folks are expert manipulators - and they can and will chew up a day of your vacation with no remorse whatsoever.
Save Money, Travel More
posted: Oct. 11, 2012 @ 2:48p
wordgirl said: My two cents (and worth exactly that) Be careful to avoid timeshare pitches in exchange for cheap accommodations; these "deals" are rife in the Lake Buena VIsta area around Disney area. Be aware that sometimes they are direct about the need to attend a "short presentation," sometimes they are ... not. And the presentations are NEVER "brief." These folks are expert manipulators - and they can and will chew up a day of your vacation with no remorse whatsoever.
Oh no, get ready for SP weather cloud to come in and stir things up.
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