No idea what its like but it gets good reviews on tripadvisor. It looked quite inexpensive to rent a villa instead, but as we have only one DS we wanted somewhere with a bit of action, also within walking distance of restaurants as I'm not a big fan of cooking evening meals.
I booked flights with United as soon as the dates came out so managed to get them for about £600 each.
We are planning to hire a car, but you could price the cost up for getting a bus/taxi to your accomodation and then if its on a complex they may offer a free bus service there each day.
If you buy the Unofficial guide to Disney with Kids, theres lots in there about cost savings. They recommend not eating in Disney itself and bringing lunch packs to cut on costs, lots of tips like that.
I'm hoping not to spend a fortune when we are over there, but DH is a bit of a spendthrift so the overall bill will probably be high despite the savings in flights and appartment
It was probably me that posted on another thread about looking at flights to Tampa as they can often be a lot cheaper than flying into Orlando. We saved £1,200 (for 6 of us) last year by going into Tampa.
For villas guaranteed to be close to Disney (many say 'minutes away' which can mean up to 59 minutes) look at www.loyaltyusa.com this is a company owned by an english lady who only manages luxury homes, most of which have private pools which are all within 4 miles of Disney. This is one of them http://www.ownersdirect.co.uk/usa/f1895.htm
We stayed at the enclaves here, booked with thomas cook.
It cost about 2,500 for the hotel (hotel was tired but in the process of a refurb when we almost a year ago) it was a fair size with kitchen, dining and living room then a bedroom off each end of that room so dd's had their own room and bathroom and so did we which was great. A grab and go breakfast was included as was car hire (do not upgrade the cars are all the same anyway!) and flights with virgin. The kids liked the pool and it's just off international drive with a TGI's opposite which we found to be quite cheap and nice food.
We spent about 900 on tickets for disney and 400 on tickets for discovery cove & sea world, discovery cove is my heaven! (all inc, relaxing day and if you want to spend more money you can swim with dolphins)
Look for a villa, it takes several sites, but if you can get one in the Windsor Hills, Rolling Hills etc. area you are nearly as close as te Disney hotels. Be warey the maps are often all of different scales to make the villas seem as close to Disney as possible. Get the Unofficial Guide and try the Dibb site for more ideas. The flight is the more expensive and tricky bit of the process.
Cost of flights during half terms always but always rockets even if you were to fly out a day or two before half term actually begins. Also Orlando is a profitable route and demand is always high for flights around Easter in particular (hence too the overall cost. Air Passenger duty is another factor here; this gets added to the overall cost of the air ticket and that is not cheap per person either). Only BA and Virgin fly direct into Orlando; other carriers like Thomas Cook use Sanford which is about 60 minutes further east.
You could look at suite based hotels; Embassy suites is one such and there are others like Homewood Suites to name another. Price per night is usually quite reasonable even around half term times. (Embassy Suites provide a buffet style self serve breakfast as part of the room rate). Booking the hotel direct may say you some money.
Not sure whether it would work for you, but combination of Fly & Drive package, and booking hotel on U.S. websites (as half-term peak rates may not apply for them?) could save a bit of money.
Oh - and buy the tickets to the parks here in the UK, e.g. here. They are much more expensive there (particularly Universal). I think the deals are there because "non-US" people it costs more to even just get there.
We're planning a trip to Florida for the theme parks during the may half term but I'm a bit startled by the mainstream holiday provider prices (eg virgin) - has anyone done it cheaper successfully? We have two girls, 10 and 8 and would prefer not to be all in one room - want a pool (assuming hot enough then to use?) and dont want to be too far from the parks. Any ideas anyone (flights, hotels, locations or packages?)