Question for all you Vacation planning Pro's?
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    Question for all you Vacation planning Pro's?

    The wife and I have always said when our youngest child turns 5 we are going to take all three girls to Disneyworld. Well December 10th my youngest turns 5 so we are planning on going to DW hopefully the week of 12/7 - 12/11. We have been looking for deals by going to the Disneyworld website but wondered if there was a better way or a cheaper way.

    We want to stay on site and would like to fly out of Des Moines but have found that flying out of KC saves a wad of money. Are we better off going through a travel agent or better off booking everything through the DW website? Any help would be much appreciated.

    The website if we stay on site for 5 days and get the middle of the pack meal package and flying out of KC for a family of 5 looks to cost about $4,500.

    Thanks in advance



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    Re: Question for all you Vacation planning Pro's?

    Flying, hotel, amusement park, meals for $4500 doesn't seem to high to me.

    Flying 5X$300=$1500
    Tickets 5X$50X5Days=$1250
    Hotel 5X$200=$1000
    Meals 5X3X$10x5days=$750

    Sounds like it would be right on par.



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    Re: Question for all you Vacation planning Pro's?

    We were just down to Orlando this summer. We flew Southwest out of KC and got a pretty good deal on airfare. At the time they were doing a free mealplan if you got like 5 or more nights hotel and tickets, which made for a really good deal. Staying on property is a great idea if you don't plan on doing anything else in Orlando. You won't need to rent a car. Disney has a shuttle service to the airport, and the bus and monorail system will get you anywhere you need on their property. Plus, resort guests get several perks, like extra magic hours in the theme parks when you can come an hour before opening or stay 3 hours after closing to the general public.



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    Re: Question for all you Vacation planning Pro's?

    www.disboards.com will give you all the disney info you could ever dream of needing, lots of hotel info there as well. Just keep in mind that you won't be spending a ton of time in the hotel, so getting the value hotel may be just as good as a moderate resort for the amount of time you are in the room. You won't find much for discounts unless Disney is running a dining plan special or stay X nights and get X nights free.

    If you are willing to stay off property, you might be able to priceline or hotwire a room, did that a few years ago and stayed for $50 per night at the Courtyard in Lake Buena Vista. www.biddingfortravel.com can give you all the info on bid pricing and what others are paying. For Disney though, the perks of staying on property are pretty nice.



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    Re: Question for all you Vacation planning Pro's?

    Go to a book store and invest $15 in "The unofficial Guide to DisneyWorld" Full of great tips and EVERYTHING in the book is true. How to avoid lines, how to avoid walking, where food is overpriced, etc. Besides the help there is some great insight on how frickin brilliant Disney is at getting money out of you. They come out with a new version every year.



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    Re: Question for all you Vacation planning Pro's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonesrule91 View Post
    The wife and I have always said when our youngest child turns 5 we are going to take all three girls to Disneyworld. Well December 10th my youngest turns 5 so we are planning on going to DW hopefully the week of 12/7 - 12/11. We have been looking for deals by going to the Disneyworld website but wondered if there was a better way or a cheaper way.

    We want to stay on site and would like to fly out of Des Moines but have found that flying out of KC saves a wad of money. Are we better off going through a travel agent or better off booking everything through the DW website? Any help would be much appreciated.

    The website if we stay on site for 5 days and get the middle of the pack meal package and flying out of KC for a family of 5 looks to cost about $4,500.

    Thanks in advance

    Well, you are practically a genius because I think that is the best time to go to Disney World. We went in 2002 that same week and it was basically like having the place to ourselves. We rarely waited in any line and a lot of the time we could just double back and get on the same ride again if we wanted.

    There's a couple of things I'd note for you:

    1. I've done it both ways, staying on site and staying just in a regular hotel in Orlando. The on site was good for the time we went in the summer because of the crowds. It was also nicer. The time went in December, we stayed off site and it was fine because parking wasn't a problem or anything and then we had a rental van so we could go to the ocean for a couple of days. It was also much cheaper and there were 2 adults and 5 kids, so the daily cost of the trip was high for our family.

    2. I'd book through a travel agent if I were you.

    3. The price you quoted seems pretty good.

    4. I highly recommend getting tickets for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas. It is kind of pricey (I think it was $40/person when we went), but it is fun and since your kids are young they will like it. Basically they close down the park and leave it open for a limited number of people. You get free reign of the park as well as a special parade, hot chocolate and cookies, and "snow".

    5. It's colder in Florida then you would think that time of year. I think I wore shorts once and spent a lot of time in jeans and a sweatshirt.



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    Re: Question for all you Vacation planning Pro's?

    Seems a bit late to get any deals to save anything. But here are a few options to consider.
    We drive it. Leave after work Friday, drive about 6-7 hours, all day
    Saturday, stay in North FL, short drive Sunday.
    Make sure you have Park Hopper passes (but NOT the waterpark option - too cold usually) Take advantage or extra hours for on-site guests, buses, etc.
    We usually packed our own food in the park for lunch, but did go to Rainforest Cafe and one Character lunch.
    Value resort, if available.



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    Re: Question for all you Vacation planning Pro's?

    Make sure to check Allegiant Air for direct flights to Orlando from DSM. They don't show on the usual travel sites and are usually about as cheap as you'll find (and did I mention direct?).

    My wife just got RT from DSM to LA for $150 including 1 bag.

    Downside is you're really handicapped on travel dates/times.


    Edit: Just checked allegiantair.com, 91.

    $59 down, $39 back. Count on x2 after fees and seating and such. But you'll be hard pressed to find better I think.


    Last edited by DaddyMac; 11-19-2009 at 11:55 AM.

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    Re: Question for all you Vacation planning Pro's?

    Quote Originally Posted by jsb View Post
    Well, you are practically a genius because I think that is the best time to go to Disney World. We went in 2002 that same week and it was basically like having the place to ourselves. We rarely waited in any line and a lot of the time we could just double back and get on the same ride again if we wanted.

    There's a couple of things I'd note for you:

    1. I've done it both ways, staying on site and staying just in a regular hotel in Orlando. The on site was good for the time we went in the summer because of the crowds. It was also nicer. The time went in December, we stayed off site and it was fine because parking wasn't a problem or anything and then we had a rental van so we could go to the ocean for a couple of days. It was also much cheaper and there were 2 adults and 5 kids, so the daily cost of the trip was high for our family.

    2. I'd book through a travel agent if I were you.

    3. The price you quoted seems pretty good.

    4. I highly recommend getting tickets for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas. It is kind of pricey (I think it was $40/person when we went), but it is fun and since your kids are young they will like it. Basically they close down the park and leave it open for a limited number of people. You get free reign of the park as well as a special parade, hot chocolate and cookies, and "snow".

    5. It's colder in Florida then you would think that time of year. I think I wore shorts once and spent a lot of time in jeans and a sweatshirt.
    Thanks for the replies everyone. I have always heard that from Thanksgiving to Christmas was the best time to go to DW so that was our plan from the onset. Of course it also has to do with the fact our youngest daughter turns 5 on Dec 10th and my wifes birthday is on the 11th.

    I would like to see the ocean while down there as my kids have never seen that so that might not be a bad idea. Figured staying on site would be the simplest even though it is more money and with 3 kids 10 and under, simple can be good.



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    Re: Question for all you Vacation planning Pro's?

    Quote Originally Posted by DaddyMac View Post
    Make sure to check Allegiant Air for direct flights to Orlando from DSM. They don't show on the usual travel sites and are usually about as cheap as you'll find (and did I mention direct?).

    My wife just got RT from DSM to LA for $150 including 1 bag.

    Downside is you're really handicapped on travel dates/times.
    Someone told me that we should avoid Allegiant because if for any reason a flight is cancelled then you are stuck there for another day at least where with the other airlines you might just have to wait another hour or 2. Is that a legitimate concern?

    Looking on the DW website, the difference between flighing direct from DM to Orlando and direct from KC to Orlando amounted to about $1,400 for our family of 5. I would like to fly out of Des Moines if possible though.



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    Re: Question for all you Vacation planning Pro's?

    Quote Originally Posted by CYKXBUT View Post
    Seems a bit late to get any deals to save anything. But here are a few options to consider.
    We drive it. Leave after work Friday, drive about 6-7 hours, all day
    Saturday, stay in North FL, short drive Sunday.
    Make sure you have Park Hopper passes (but NOT the waterpark option - too cold usually) Take advantage or extra hours for on-site guests, buses, etc.
    We usually packed our own food in the park for lunch, but did go to Rainforest Cafe and one Character lunch.
    Value resort, if available.
    CYKXBUT brings up a good point, and this is something that has changed over the last few years in regards to Disney policy. You can now bring your own food and drink into the parks. This can save you a ton of money. If you do have a car, there are several grocery stores pretty close to the property. We hit up the Super Target just southwest of Disney. It is basically at the intersection of the Western Expy and 192. There are a few other places closer, but the Target didn't seem to jack the prices as much. Of course if you get the Disney dining plan or don't have a car, this won't be much help. But even bringing in a couple drinks and some snacks for the kids can save you some cash.



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    Re: Question for all you Vacation planning Pro's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonesrule91 View Post
    Someone told me that we should avoid Allegiant because if for any reason a flight is cancelled then you are stuck there for another day at least where with the other airlines you might just have to wait another hour or 2. Is that a legitimate concern?

    Looking on the DW website, the difference between flighing direct from DM to Orlando and direct from KC to Orlando amounted to about $1,400 for our family of 5. I would like to fly out of Des Moines if possible though.
    Legit concern? Absolutely. I don't think they'd cancel the flight, as much as you might be really delayed. Hours. Perhaps call them and ask what their policy might be if they had extreme issues? Would they put you on another airline? Does another plane come in?

    But my sis-in-law lives in LA and since Allegiant started the direct flight there, my wife has gone several times over (including last week), the sister has used them several times going back, and we've used it once for a Vegas trip. Never had an issue beyond the normal delays.

    So we've used them without hesitation. I think you'd have similar issues with about any airline in DSM aside from routes to Den, Chi, or DFW.

    Edit: If you've never used them before - that upfront price on the calendar IS NOT what the final is. They stick you for baggage (buy up front saves I think $15 per), seat fee, and number of little extras that you can cancel (insurance, priority boarding and such).


    Last edited by DaddyMac; 11-19-2009 at 12:03 PM.

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    Re: Question for all you Vacation planning Pro's?

    http://www.bookit.com/us/florida/orlando/

    Complete 5-day travel package starting at:
    $2349.65

    That is all.


    Last edited by Broodwich; 11-19-2009 at 12:05 PM.

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    Re: Question for all you Vacation planning Pro's?

    First I would not fly.....Save that for the road trip....I hazve 5 kids also and I drive ....there are pros and cons for this...but in short you can save 1k driving



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    Re: Question for all you Vacation planning Pro's?

    Use Allegiant, never had a problem. If possible try and take only carry ons and you'll save from paying for your luggage (or at least minimize what you check) If anything did happen to your flight you can drive an hour to St.Petersburg and still get back. Like someone said earlier, roundtrip flight for just over $100.



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