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Old 08-14-2012, 10:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Disney Vacation: NEED ADVICE!!

So, my son is now 10 and we decided to do a Disney World vacation in Orlando Florida. Our airfare is taken care of, so I just need any advice anyone can give on where to stay for a week, and where I can get the best deals on Disney World passes. I would prefere a condo/house rental but would be open to any 2 bedroom accommodations. Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks, STUMP
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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stay on the grounds and get the meal plan--then take the buses and monorail
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Bring wheelbarrows full of cash. Everything is hyper-inflated at Disney. Last time, and the LAST time I ever go was in 1993 and I think the "Tastes-Like" Hamburgers were $8.50
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah, if you don't have the cash, don't jump on the hotels with the monorails. They are THAT much more expensive, atleast when my family went every year a couple years back. You may get to the park a few minutes faster, but the buses work just fine.

Just my take. Have fun wherever you decide to stay, it really is an enjoyable trip down there.
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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First off, let's be honest, it won't be much of a vacation but just an expensive headache.

Kidding, have fun and prepare for lines. Enjoy.
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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We just came back from Orlando and did both Disney and Universal Studios. My sons are 11 and 12 and were bored with Disney World but we only did 1 park at Disney (Magic Kingdom). My sons loved Universal studios though and we did both parks. I booked the trip through Universal studios and we stayed at a hotel off the property (Crowne Plaza). 3 night stay and 2 day pass for 4 was just under a grand, which is a decent deal and the hotel was very nice. Best bet is once you get there see if you can haggle a bit for 4 extra nights stay. Let me know if I can help in any way.
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you got $$$ it is awesome. I've been to Disney world and universal studios each many times. I like the allstar hotels. As for what to do in the parks, the best attractions are (not counting roller coasters because I'm scared like a little girl):
MK-Mickeys Philharmagic
MK-Haunted Mansion
MK-Jungle Cruise (cheesy but classic)
MK-Tiki Room (see jungle cruise)
MK-It's a small world
MK-Monsters Inc Laugh Floor (new and awesome)

HS-Lights, Motors, Action
HS-Tower of Terror
HS-Great Movie Ride
HS-Toy Story Mania

Epcot-Only went once, best thing was soarin

US-Simpsons, Dissaster, Twister, T2 3D, Animal Actors
IOA-Poseidons Fury, Spiderman
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone. I've been looking at renting a house and driving into the parks. We'll have a rental car anyway. The house rentals seem very reasonable and I don't mind the idea of cooking a meal or 2 to save some cash. Anyone rented a house or condo in Orlando before?
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think a hotel room is a much better option than condo or house. But then again I'm under the age of 25 and don't have access to a timeshare. We stayed at the Clarion Inn in Buena Vista. Also as a fun activity idea get your son into Disney Pin collecting before you go. You can buy them on eBay (25 pins for $14). Versus at the parks where it can be 1-2 pins for sometimes $6. The park employees have pins that you can swap (they cannot say no by Disney rules!!). If he has a favorite disney character that'll be something fun to do to pass time. My disney pass was provided by one of the cast members working there. If you know someone who knows someone who knows someone else vaguely you might be able to score free passes lol. Good luck though!!
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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stay inside the park bc they run buses at the hotels that takes u too the park and drop u off at the front gate i have been 8 times and thats the best bet and if u stay inside the park they offer extra park hours to the people who stay inside the park and the rooms are just as cheap
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:01 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Pins are awesome, (my other hobby). I highly suggest buying 25-50 pins for your son in a lot off eBay (usually .80/pin) to trade with employees. They are $7-$15 in the stores. 10 pins to trade in one day is a good number but if he sees the lot he'll want to keep some. He will feel like the coolest kid with his 30 pin lanyard in front of all the other 7-8 pin people
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:07 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Have you tried VRBO? That's the vacation rental site, I'm using it to go up to Portland this October and the prices are really good. Unless you really need a cleaning service to come in daily and want room service, hotels and all their fees can add up quick.
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:52 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stumpfreeman View Post
So, my son is now 10 and we decided to do a Disney World vacation in Orlando Florida. Our airfare is taken care of, so I just need any advice anyone can give on where to stay for a week, and where I can get the best deals on Disney World passes. I would prefere a condo/house rental but would be open to any 2 bedroom accommodations. Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks, STUMP
When my wife's folks visited we stayed at one of the many rental condos in Orlando... easy drive to any of the parks...

check hotels.com for 'Disneyworld', your travel dates, and go by star ratings. The wife narrowed it down to anything 4.5 and up. This was 3 years ago and we don't remember the exact place we stayed.

As long as you are in Orlando proper, east of the resort, it's easy peasy to get there...
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:54 AM   #14 (permalink)
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bill.knows.disney@gmail.com

Ive booked through him multiple times and he has some GREAT deals on Disney Vacation Club rooms. All the free transit etc from park to hotel. I strongly suggest shooting him an email with your dates. He is usually 65% off Disney rates. Posted this out in the open as he is a great resource for rooms. 7 trips through Bill and Ive referred a ton of people at absolutely no gain for myself. Best of luck.
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:29 AM   #15 (permalink)
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People forget, but aren't there still travel agents in your neck of the woods? Let them show you some hustle. If nothing else, you can say "no thank you" and move on.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:02 AM   #16 (permalink)
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From a Tampa/Orlando native, if you have a car and don't mind driving just a bit, there's a couple of important pieces of info that will help.

UniveralStudios is the park IN Orlando. Disney is not, they are well outside of Orlando proper, to the west, in a place called Kissimmee. Look for houses/rentals just west of Disney and you will see rates drop SIGNIFICANTLY, specifically for those condo type rentals you're looking for. Hotels, not so much, but nobody realizes that being outside of Orlando will be easier on you mentally - driving is a pain in the butt in Orlando proper. It is also closer to the park(s) of Disney. It's really not as bad as everyone makes it seem to be. Disney is really an interesting place and it's something that most only do a handful of times in a lifetime (those outsdie of FL). Be ready to spend cash, get a cheesy souvenir and have some fun. If you can, take some time to go to Downtown Disney as well, there's a lot of fun stuff there for the family, but then I don't know how your arrangements are, there's also some upscale clubs/bars and eateries as well.

Hope you have a good time!!
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:29 AM   #17 (permalink)
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My wife and I took our 3 year old in june which is the busy season. A few things I noticed were:
Sure it's pricey but it's not really that insane. The way people spoke, I expected to pay $6 for a coke and $20 for a burger and fries
PLAN YOUR DAY!!!!!!!
If you are not staying in the parks you can still use their transportation to get from park to park or to different hotels on property
If you are not planning on cooking get the deluxe meal plan...well worth it
Sure there are lines but also not nearly as bad as people say. Get there when park opens and use fast pass and you'll be fine.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:50 AM   #18 (permalink)
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If you're planning to eat at one of the more popular restaurants in Disney, be sure to book a reservation FAR in advance! I went for the first time this past November, and quite of the few places we wanted to try were fully booked for dinner. There are still plenty of great slightly less popular options, but for the really popular places, get on that early!

Take advantage of fast passes! Time management is key at Disney, and every 15 minutes you can lop off of a line wait means more fun later on! I do have to say though that Disney has mastered the art of keeping folks entertained while they wait on line. But fast passes can be clutch for the most popular rides. Be sure to grab them early in the day because they will run out!

I stayed at the Wilderness Lodge, which I really enjoyed...we took the boat over to the Magic Kingdom a lot. I realize the deluxe resorts aren't for everyone, but if you can manage it, there are a lot of perks that come with staying there (extended hours, etc.). Just a thought!

You'll have a blast though! It's only been 8 months since my first Disney trip and I can't wait to go back!
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:38 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Dinner isn't expensive if you do it right. Last time we went it was around $1200 for 2 for 6 days 5 nights. That included our flights, all our food and passes. They are always giving away the dining plan or a huge gift card if you our patient.

We stay on property at a value resort like Pop Century. Disney isn't relaxing so we just choose the cheaper hotel. Much easier to use Disney transportation.

We would love to go out to San Diego or Vegas but it would cost almost a whole disney trip just to fly to some of the places
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:13 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Thanks again for all of the advice, it was very helpful. I ended up booking a 3 bedroom house in Kissimmee for 9 nights as we actully prefer cooking a meal or two ourselves. The house comes with a private heated pool, flat screen tv's in every bedroom, and a game room with a pool table, foosball in the garage. It also has a washer and dryer. All of this for under a grand with all taxes was a no brainer for me. We're getting 5 day hopper passes with one water park option for 3 people and that also will be just under a grand. Not half as expensive as we were expecting.
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:18 AM   #21 (permalink)
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^ Well done! That's a perfect idea. Would love to know where you found the house, if you could PM me the website you used? We travel a lot and if you found a great deal on a specific site, I'd love to know what it was.

I hope you have a blast!!
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:18 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metsfan1121 View Post
If you got $$$ it is awesome. I've been to Disney world and universal studios each many times. I like the allstar hotels. As for what to do in the parks, the best attractions are (not counting roller coasters because I'm scared like a little girl):
MK-Mickeys Philharmagic
MK-Haunted Mansion
MK-Jungle Cruise (cheesy but classic)
MK-Tiki Room (see jungle cruise)
MK-It's a small world
MK-Monsters Inc Laugh Floor (new and awesome)

HS-Lights, Motors, Action
HS-Tower of Terror
HS-Great Movie Ride
HS-Toy Story Mania

Epcot-Only went once, best thing was soarin

US-Simpsons, Dissaster, Twister, T2 3D, Animal Actors
IOA-Poseidons Fury, Spiderman
Soaring was pretty cool, and then Expedition Everest is pretty unique, changes direction twice, when it switches to backwards it overlooks a cliff with the track supposedly torn off by the yeti. Make sure to get the Fast Passes for the bigger rides, saves a lot of time in line.
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:47 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Well i went a few years ago while in high school for Our "senior trip"
We stayed at one of the all star resorts. Very very nice hotels but tons of people there.
We just took the buses that drove to the parks there. Never waited more than 5-10 minutes for a bus.it was a great time. Have funon the trip!
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:54 AM   #24 (permalink)
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We rented a 4 bedroom house 10 min from Disney for $750/week and drove over. House had pool, hot tub etc. Won't ever stay in a resort again down there house was great.
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:01 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stumpfreeman View Post
Thanks again for all of the advice, it was very helpful. I ended up booking a 3 bedroom house in Kissimmee for 9 nights as we actully prefer cooking a meal or two ourselves. The house comes with a private heated pool, flat screen tv's in every bedroom, and a game room with a pool table, foosball in the garage. It also has a washer and dryer. All of this for under a grand with all taxes was a no brainer for me. We're getting 5 day hopper passes with one water park option for 3 people and that also will be just under a grand. Not half as expensive as we were expecting.
You did good but there is one thing to remember... PARKING
I think the main gate is up to $14 a day to park.
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