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  post #11  
Old 07-09-2013, 04:50 PM
LoriH LoriH is offline
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Originally Posted by redraider25 View Post
From what I have been able to find and read about, I may choose to stay at a value resort and do the quick service dining plan. I will be flying so I won't have a vehicle unless I choose to rent one. I am not that interested in doin anything else besides Disney so I think this may be the best thing. Who knows though, I still have awhile to decide!
Definitely makes sense. All the details matter! My trip was with a toddler and that makes things a zillion times different too. There's tons of research you can do between here and there.

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  post #12  
Old 07-09-2013, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by LoriH

Definitely makes sense.
Thanks for giving me some ideas and ways you did it. I will still be frugal but its disney so I gotta splurge :D
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Old 07-10-2013, 01:52 PM
Athinker Athinker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redraider25 View Post
From what I have been able to find and read about, I may choose to stay at a value resort and do the quick service dining plan. I will be flying so I won't have a vehicle unless I choose to rent one. I am not that interested in doin anything else besides Disney so I think this may be the best thing. Who knows though, I still have awhile to decide!
You will need a car. You can not get around Orlando without one.

I have not been to Disney since a child because it costs equal or more than a week in Europe. I have stayed in Orlando. I second the staying outside of the Disney resorts but be careful of the hotels. I would look for Homewood Suites since they are affordable and have full kitchens in each room.

From my vast knowledge of traveling state side and abroad, always get snacks and food at the grocery stores. Make your own food in your room. It will save you a lot of money and give you needed breaks from the park. I am not saying never eat out, be smart about it.

I never purchase souvenirs unless there is a real life application for the item. For example, during one of my trips to Sweden, I bought oven mitts with a Swedish motiff and a hair curling iron. Both are of much higher quality than what I can find here (not made in china) and they will last a long time.

Walk where you can to keep the cost of parking and gas down.

Pay everything in cash but the car.and airplane tickets. You are less likely to over spend with cash in hand.

Also, make sure to have enough food when you return home. You can easily blow through money getting food before you go on a regular food shopping trip.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:18 AM
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i know this is an old thread but i figured i'd put my 2 cents in cause i love disney so much!
RED: i do recommend staying onsight if you can afford it. i think the on and offsite experiences are very different and it's so nice to be able to go back to the hotel for a few hours or if you forgot something.

I LOVE THE TIP ABOUT PURCHASING PARK TICKETS THROUGH EBATES!!

THE DOPLPHIN AND THE SWAN HOTELS ARE NOT TECHNICALLY DISNEY HOTELS BUT ARE ON PROPERTY. THEY OFFER DEALS TO NURSES, MILITARY AND TEACHERS THAT ARE COMPARABLE TO VALUE RESORT PRICES AND THE ROOMS DON'T LIMIT YOU TO 4 PEOPLE MAX(WHICH IS GREAT FOR ME WITH A FAMILY OF 5). BOTH HOTELS ARE SITUATED WITHIN EASY WALKING OR BOAT DISTANCE OF HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS AND EPCOT PARKS WHICH IS AWESOME BECAUSE THE BUSSES ARE A DRAG SOMETIMES. WE WALK TO EPCOT FOR DINNER SOMETIMES AND JUST GRAB SOMETHING FROM THE STANDS OR COUNTER SERVICE REASTAURANTS IN THE COUNTRIES. IT USUALLY ENDS UP BEING CHEAPER THAN EATING IN THE HOTEL. (THE FISH AND CHIPS STAND IN ENGLAND IS GREAT). THE SWAN EVEN HAS A CHARACTER MEAL IN ONE OF ITS RESTAURANTS. ALL OF THE PERKS OF STAYING IN A DISNEY HOTEL ARE GIVEN TO SWAN AND DOLPHIN STAYERS(EXTRA MAGIC HOURS, DISNEY TRANSPORTATION...)EXCEPT THE DINING PLANS AND THE RIDE FROM THE AIRPORT.

KIDS LOVE TO JUST RIDE ON THE FERRY AROUND THE LAGOON. IT'S FREE! WHEN MY KIDS WERE LITTLE WE COULD EASILY MAKE A DAY OF THE POOL AND RIDING THE MONORAIL AND BOATS. THAT SAVED A DAY OF PARK TICKETS AND THEY LOVED IT JUST THE SAME!

I'M SURE I HAVE A TON MORE BUT THAT'S IT FOR NOW

lesley wife to phill mother to sophie jane and mae
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:34 AM
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We have booked our trip to disney with paying for each thing seperatly.

We booked our room through priceline and did an express deal. We went to the downtown disney area, and picked one that was SUPER close to the parks; we ended up eith the Clarion, Lake Buena Vista, which is a Disney Good Neighbor Hotel.

Then we purchased our tickets through the military and their Armed Forces Salute (i know this is not an option for everyone)

we are now saving our money for gas to drive there and back, food; (we found a blog where you can eat at disney for about $20 a day, but we are making it about $40 a person a day), and souvineers. (ok; mine is the scrapbook store at DTD)


Good Luck!

Lena, wife to Sam (SGT Hall), Momma to my fur baby, Peaches, & my 11 Angels & my furbaby Rollie (Aug 19th, 2014)
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:24 PM
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If you are active or retired military, you are much better off to get the tickets using the salute if you can use 4 days or less.. You must show an id though. You can also get great military discounts on the rooms and include the dining plan with the military discount, but there are black out days. I have a family trying for April and they can only go while the blackout is on.

The Downtown Disney area is very convenient but some people think you can walk from place to place, like hotel to DTD or Animal Kingdom Lodge to Animal Kingdom, however, it's not that way. The roads are super busy and there are no sidewalks to use. It is dangerous to do that. (Not that you are planning on walking, but wanted everyone to be aware so they wouldn't be trying it since it does look so close on the maps.)

With over 200 trips taken, I'm still attempting to save up for my next Disney adventure!
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:01 PM
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Anyone know where I can find a Disney Cinderella costume for our disney trip size girls 7-8. costumes are $50-$60 each plus accessories inside the park. looking for something 1/3 or less this price. Thanks
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:16 PM
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Check on the All Star resorts!! We usually stay at one of those and they aren't nearly as expensive as the others and they all have buses!

Lukas and Ella are my


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Old 02-11-2014, 04:19 PM
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101 Frugal Disney Tips ~ Activities, Sites and Entertainment - Saving the Family Money
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:42 PM
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I love disney!!!!!
We go at least once every year, but most years its 2x or more. This year we will be going 4-5x. We have already stayed 3x. Once was a 2week trip the others were 4 days. IMHO just like couponing disney trips are enhanced with detailed planning and prepping.

Where to stay.....
Many people will tell you to stay off site because you can save loads of money, and I will agree for one case only. If you need loads of space (for example a family of 5 or more). There is no comparison between a villa on property and off property you'll save thousands no doubt about it. This doesnt appear to be the case for red and afrugalcouponista. If you stay at a value resort the rooms run from ~90 to 150 depending on the time of year you go.
Whereas if you stay off property a decent (imho) hotel runs ~70 to 100 depending on the time of year. These offsite hotels have a few hidden fees that they dont list on most websites. I havent seen a single one that doesnt have a resort fee. The resorts fees range from 10-25 per night. Then most charge for parking usually ~7 to 14 per night. On to of that you will be paying to park each day at the parks. I think disney parking is up to $15 (Sorry I havent paid to park in years so I dont pay attention to the cost).

The math
off site
room cost $70
resort fee $10
parking $7
disney parking $15
total offsite per day $102

Disney resort
Room $90
resort fee NONE
parking free
Total cost at a disney resort $90

On top of the cost comparison, most disney resorts are within a 10min drive if you take your own car or rent a car. If you don't drive I havent waited more than 10min for a bus in years (though it is possible to have up to a half an hour wait) for disney's FREE bus boat or monorail transportation.
My favorite part of staying at a Disney resort is the actual resort itself. The grounds are amazing!!!! The pools and pool areas are always sparkling clean and themed soo well. You can literally spend a week or more just walking around the resorts enjoying the landscaping and special touches. Disney pools are all heated and can be enjoyed year round. This is not the case with all offsite hotels.
The one negative is the actual rooms. They are not big. I have always found them to be clean (but we always clean our rooms ourselves upon check in). It doesnt matter if you stay at a value or a deluxe you are not talking about a big room. For the room itself a deluxe is very similar to a value. Location and amenities are the main differences between the three categories. Being able to walk from your room to a park or the monorail is the biggest amenity (imho).
We always stay at POP in a perferred room now. The perks with deluxe just aren't worth the 200-400 a night price difference to me. POP is the best value (imho) because of the buses. POP doesnt share buses like the other values and deluxes. It is a straight trip from your resort to your destination(s). If you pick POP pay the $10 difference and get a preferred room. POP is host to many many tour groups that dont tend to be polite at 2am.

Also if you stay at a Disney resort you can make FastPass Plus reservations 60days in advance. This is a huge deal now that they got rid of paper fastpasses. For those of you that have never been fastpasses let you jump to the front of the line. This is a wonderful thing since many of the best rides have an hour to a 2 hour wait.

Planning your Park Day

This can be the difference between spending all day waiting on line to ride and spending your day riding and playing. I veiw it like planning a big couponing trip no detail can be missed. This is what I recommend.
Read about each of the rides right on disney's web site and pick the ones that interest you the most. For example you might love rollercoasters and each park has atleast one. Rollercoasters almost always have an hour or more wait so planning your fastpass and arrival is important.
Every touring site or forum for disney will recommend you arrive at a minimum 15min prior to the parks opening time. The one exception to this is DHS (Disney Hollywood Studios) which has a soft opening about 15-20min before the posted time. If you want to be at the front of the line for Toy Story Mania you need to arrive 1hour or more before the park opens. For most parks the lines for major attractions are short for the first hour. This is the best time to run around and get the big rides and ride all the coasters multiple times.
Also you can have success during evening magic hours when most of the kids are out of the park. Lines shrink significantly which means people who cant get up early can ride lots of rides with short wait times.
Between the hours of 10-5 are the worst times to ride big rides. My favorite thing to do during this time is find lunch and take a siesta. No, you dont have to take a nap, but relaxing in your room,or going to the pool will seriously refresh your mind and body. If you are a diehard park goer, this is the time to go to shows, ride the smaller rides, take fun pictures, scope out your seat for the parade, use your FastPass Pluses, or even shop. As the smaller kids start trickling out resume riding the bigger rides with shorter wait times. There are websites with minute by minute plans to ensure the shortest waits times. It is effective let me tell you it works. I have literally ridden 15 rides in the first hour and a half.

Dining Plans...

There is only one dining plan that will save you money unless you have kids or love character meals. That dining plan is the deluxe dining plan. If you are a foodie and want to try lots of different meals and spend a ton of time on your trip eating, I dont recommend this plan. We have done the deluxe dining plan many times and love it but half of our trip is eating out and shopping.. On those trips we might spend 3-4 hours a day in each park. The other dining plans just dont save you money. There are a few RARE exceptions but you will spend tons of time planning to have the plan save you even a few dollars a day.

All disney food is not created the same. There are huge gaps in quality from from venue to venue. I just cant make myself spend $10-15 for a mcdonalds quality burger at the park. There is some really good food if you know where to look. Much of it is fairly reasonable for disney standards. For example lets stick with a burger, for a chilli's or better quality burger the restaurant called The Wave in the Contemporary Resort (which is a 5min walk or quick monorail ride from Magic Kingdom) will only cost you $15.99.
A few of my favorites are
Turkey Legs (in any of the Disney parks dont try them at any other parks like sea world they are horrible there)
Jalapeno Pretzels
Waffle Sandwiches at sleepy hollow in Magic Kingdom
Cupcakes - each resort has a specialty cupcake as to several of the pastry shops around the parks
Eating around the World in Epcot
Funnel Cakes in each park


Sorry this is soo long... I could go on and on.... Its one of my favorite topics other than couponing...
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