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vacation planning

September 6th, 2018 at 12:00 pm

I consider myself somewhat savvy with vacation planning. I typically can find good deals on flights, hotels, and just stuff in general for trips. But we've decided to go to WDW next August 2019 and I'm overwhelemed. I'm even stupid to be honest.

So I might as well write here the step wise intensive planning I'm doing. Somehow even international travel seems easier than WDW.

I'm starting with knowing I want to go the last week of August. It's still a month too early for plane tickets which will obviously influence our hotel. But right now the thought is Friday to Sunday of labor day. We may fly into ft lauderdale and then drive to disney to see friends.

I found a website that sells off the DVC timeshares that seem reasonable. 5 days at animal kingdom is $900. But it was suggested we stay at the 4 main resorts by magic kingdom. I'm not sure what to do. It's around 5 days for $1500.

So the next few weeks while waiting for my airline ticket is to figure out where we want to stay. I am realizing that going to WDW it's not the flights or hotels it's the cost of the tickets. Wow is it expensive to go to disney.

I think this will be our 1 in a lifetime trip. I'm doubtful we'll want go back. We're more likely to travel elsewhere but we want to do WDW before the kids get too old to enjoy the magic. While we might go back when they are older my older one wanted slightly better rides than the younger one this last trip.

Ugh I suspect this will be a very expensive trip comparatively. I just did 2.5 weeks in asia for probably less than 10 days will cost us at Disney. The flights while pricey compared to last year were still reasonable. Last year we went for $2800 for 4 people, this year we paid $3600 for 4 of us. Our hotels were around $150/night on average we spent around $2000 in total. Then another $1500 on tickets for activities including disney and universal and bus tours, entry fees. Then eating out probably another $2000. We did it less than $10000.

I see Disney being $2000 hotels, $2000 flights, and then tickets alone being around $1500 not including buying that line cuts. I'm forgetting rental cars and food. I'm not sure even what to budget for that since it'll likely be park food.

That being said the disneyland hong kong buffet was the nicest buffet I've ever been to. Way better than normal buffets plus it was cute for the kids. Pricey? Way more than anywhere else we ate in hong kong but we sat and relaxed for 2 hours. And since it was at the end of our trip we needed the destressor. We stay at the hotel and literally just walked upstairs and relaxed before and after the meal and then left the next day. PERFECT.

We'll see how this all plays out.

6 Responses to “vacation planning”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    WDW can be expensive if you don't know what to look for. I've never done the time shares. We stayed on site at a Moderate Resort our first time there. It was fine, but nothing I would need to do again. The second time we stayed off site at one of the Marriott Village resorts, where we found a pretty good deal at Mousesavers. Sign up with them and other forums to learn how things work and ask questions before you start booking things. You have nearly a year to get it all worked out. We usually ate in our room for breakfast or at hotel, lunch in the park, and most dinners at area restaurants. We were fortunate to get military discounted tickets, and had a cost of $3000 total (with airfare) for four people for four to five nights. The last time we went was eight years ago I think so I'm sure costs have risen. We had a blast and did a good job of not falling for all the extras.

  2. livingalmostlarge Says:

    CCF the tickets alone now are running at least from what I can $1600 for 5 days for the 4 people. So around $400/ticket not hopper just 1 park a day. That's what made me blink. The tickets to disney are really expensive I think compared to other things and it's something that you can't seem to get a deal on. Food and stuff I think people on frugal boards have got it down. I see the best savings for people with annual passes and stuff.

    That's a great price of $3000 for airfare for 3 people.

  3. Jenn Says:

    We went in 2013 and while it was expensive (and we're a family of 7), I bought a book for about $20 that saved us a ton. I wish I could remember the name - it wasn't one with glossy photos but instead one with descriptions and strategies. On the hotel, we stayed on-site (Animal Kingdom Lodge) and purchased vacation club points from a broker to pay for it. Before reading the book, i didn't know about that possibility. Our suite had a full kitchen and we used a grocery delivery service to order food in advance. Then a couple of nights we went out to the Disney restaurants instead of eating in.

    We did find some level of discounts on tickets but it wasn't much.

    It's not an experience I ever need to do again, and prices are indeed insane, but I did feel like we had the top-of-the-line experience for the best price possible. I'd suggest that you take your time and do the research.

    As an aside, we also ordered Disney cash to put in Christmas stockings. It was a hit.

  4. MonkeyMama Says:

    Is there any particular reason you want to stay on site? Orlando has some *really* cheap rentals. (Thinking vrbo.com). To the point I didn't even really care if we had a free timeshare stay last time we went. YMMV, but a few years back the real estate was just so worthless in that area.

    I am guessing you asked Disney Steve for some advice on this front? Big Grin That would be the quick/easy way to go about it.

  5. Trying to get ahead Says:

    As a Floridian, July and August are not only the hottest months of the year, but it rains torrentially every day. Plus that is when WDW is the most crowded. Have you considered going in the Spring or the Fall instead? Sometimes there are special deals for the off-peak season and the weather is milder.

    I agree with MM about getting a cheap rental or looking into neighboring Kissimmee, FL for good and cheap rentals. The further out you go the cheaper it is.

    But.... no matter what you decide to do, WDW does not disappoint. You will have a wonderful time Smile

  6. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    Turns out that DH has a conference so 4 days will likely be covered by the company at the Contemporary Hotel at WDW. I'm thinking it might be more of a headache to move hotels now. I was looking at animal kingdom but I think we might as well just buck up and pay for the extra days and not move.

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