Want to Start Saving For a Mega Holiday to Florida for 2014.....

(42 Posts)
BaconAndAvocado Sat 10-Aug-13 23:03:05

....but need a ball park figure.

We plan to go,for 21 days, 2 weeks theme parks, 1 relaxing.

There'll be 3 of us. Me, DH, DCs aged 16, 7 and 6.

Have had a look on Virgin and flights, accommodation and car hire coming up around the £8k mark, which is what I expected.

Would like to know prices of theme park tickets and how much to budget for food etc.

Very excited already smile

scarlettsmummy2 Sat 10-Aug-13 23:15:19

Add at least another 1k on for the theme park tickets.

AnneEyhtMeyer Sun 11-Aug-13 10:56:59

I'd say 5 people would be more than £1k for theme park tickets if you are doing more than just Disney.

BaconAndAvocado Sun 11-Aug-13 22:18:28

Wow! That's more than I thought.....at least we've got 2 years to save up for it!

ihatethecold Sun 11-Aug-13 22:21:33

An extra 1.5k spending money.

If you find your accommodation cheaper then virgin will price match.

I saved £800 on my last Florida trip last year.

I can recommend treasure island on the gulf coast to have a week relaxing.

Tampa airport may also be cheaper to fly to.

AnneEyhtMeyer Sun 11-Aug-13 22:25:07

Well Disney Ultimate tickets (14 day passes - same price as 7 day passes) are £255 per adult this year and £235 per child. As they count over tens as adults for park tickets that's £1235 for the five of you already, before you consider Universal or anywhere else.

Do you mean you are going in 2015?

cece Sun 11-Aug-13 22:27:41

My friend went for 3 weeks and I think it cost her not far off of £12,000!

BaconAndAvocado Mon 12-Aug-13 08:54:26

Thanks ihatethecold for those fab tips!

Yes anne we're going in 2015. So no holidays next year for us.

BaconAndAvocado Mon 12-Aug-13 08:57:36

I am a true Disney virgin so welcome all advice and suggestions!

E.g. Is there enough to do at Disney for 14 days?

Best recommendations for theme parks warmly received, there are so many of them! (Theme parks that is)

AnneEyhtMeyer Mon 12-Aug-13 09:12:57

We find there is easily enough for 14 days at Disney, but your children are older and may prefer Universal.

Have you looked at the Dibb forums? They are the best for all things Disney / Orlando. Also it is worth getting the Unofficial Guide, as this has loads of information.

Taz1212 Mon 12-Aug-13 11:00:05

Agree with Anne, get yourself onto the Dibb. There's also the DIS Boards which can be overwhelming and mainly American but does have a very friendly UK section.

Are you staying on Disney property? If so, keep an eye out for the Free Dining periods. Or look into renting DVC points from a DVC owner (the Dibb has a section on this). It obviously depends on whether you just want the ease of booking a package, but if you want to cut costs doing it yourself might save quite a bit. I also agree with looking into flying into Tampa. We're going in Oct and saved nearly £100pp by doing so. It's just over an hours drive to WDW but it's an incredibly easy drive- you drive out of the airport and pretty much straight onto the highway. The car rental agencies are also right across the pedestrian crossing when you come out. Dead easy.

mummymeister Mon 12-Aug-13 12:00:40

Bacon just posted on another link with 2 villas we stayed in in Orlando that can recommend on to you. plenty to do in 2 weeks with Disney and universal together. for our 3 week florida trip we flew to Miami, drove just over an hour to Florida keys had the most fantastic week there ever, drove back past the everglades up to Orlando (5 hours in one hit or split it up) then did 2 weeks around the parks. pm if you want all the details. Look to fly into another airport - Tampa or Miami. don't be put off by everyone saying Miami is a nightmare to get out of - it isn't just use a satnav. would budget around 12K for everything.

BaconAndAvocado Mon 12-Aug-13 16:09:06

How do I access the Dibb forums?

Will definitely think about booking things separately though it does scare me a bit!

AnneEyhtMeyer Mon 12-Aug-13 17:00:21

Link here

They are really great for answering any questions you may have.

FreckledLeopard Mon 12-Aug-13 17:23:55

The Dibb is great! It also has a lot of nice villas on it. We have just booked our Orlando holiday for April 2014 - we found a lovely villa via Owners Direct (which we used for our last trip there).

Staying in a villa saves a huge amount compared to a hotel. It would be worth staying in a villa for at least part of your trip.

As well as Disney and Universal, don't forget Busch Gardens (over near Tampa) - that can occupy you for at least two days.

I looked into flying into Tampa but the saving compared to flying to Orlando wasn't huge. However, if there are five of you, it might make financial sense to fly there. Also, flights to Miami are sometimes cheaper (and you can spend some time relaxing and shopping there, or in the Florida Keys).

Flying into Miami is also not without problems.

It is a long way away from Orlando and would take around 4-5 hours to arrive there. Distances should not be underestimated.

Also Miami airport is a right dump of a place, the lines for Immigration when you do arrive are extremely long (its been an ongoing problem there since before Christmas 2012). This airport has real problems in processing the many thousands of people who do arrive there and it can take at least 2 hours to actually clear immigration. This is also due to government cutbacks and Miami has been badly hit by those.

ihatethecold Mon 12-Aug-13 21:23:10

We all liked the Disney water parks more than the theme parks..blizzard beach and typhoon lagoon are brilliant.

MOSagain Wed 14-Aug-13 07:24:05

Also recommend flying into Tampa instead of Orlando. We saved over 1k (6 of us) doing this. Also look at flying Friday or Monday. We go this Friday and saved 800 by flying out Friday returning on a Monday.

Villa definitely cheaper and many will give early booking discounts.

HarrogateMum Thu 15-Aug-13 16:30:12

£8k plus tickets sounds a lot...we are going next August and I have booked a villa for two weeks at a cost off about £1100, hoping to get indirect flights for 5 of us for less than £3k, car hire for about £800 and then park tickets expecting about £2k. I was hoping to do the lot before spending money for £7k.

HarrogateMum,

Indirect flights in the US can be a right old trial both on departing and returning back to the UK. Take arriving for instance, the clock starts ticking as soon as your flight from the UK touches the ground. You would need to clear US immigration and customs at this time before boarding your next flight (which may well depart from another terminal and if you ended up going landside you would have to clear security again). It all takes time, the more time you have between the first flight and the second one the better. (You would likely need around 3-4 hours between the first and second flights)

I would also think that each airfare may cost in excess of £600 (internal flights in the US can be expensive as well). Children over the age of 12 on airlines pay adult priced fares. There are rarely discounts for children on internal flights within the US. Also luggage charges can be steep for such flights too.

With regards to the theme parks children over the age of 10 pay adult priced admission charges.

BaconAndAvocado Thu 15-Aug-13 18:36:03

Thanks all for great advice thanks

Please keep it coming!

DS2 has made a holiday savings box which he plans to,fill with 10p coins to pay for it all, awwww!

Been wo during whether its worth doing a whole week out of the 3 laying on a beach relaxing. We could be anywhere but then I know how tiring the parks can be. Thoughts anyone?

ihatethecold Thu 15-Aug-13 20:42:35

Do it.
Go to the gulf coast
It's so lovely there

newfavouritething Fri 16-Aug-13 08:23:25

Attila, I think H.mum probably means flying to tampa (for a cheap example!) via Chicago or something, which is a little different from booking individual internal flights. If the internal leg is part of the longhaul journey as such, there are no luggage charges.
I do agree with the need for a 3hr stopover though - we have 'farm' in our address, so go through an additional agriculture check too - hours of fun!! It's not a problem if you miss the internal flight though - they're like buses, you just get the next one!

newfavouritething Fri 16-Aug-13 08:28:02

And regarding the week on a beach thing, I'd probably have a couple of days on the coast/anywhere, then 2 weeks near orlando, then the last few days away again. The Orlando/parks area is like blackpool - good at what it does, but there is so much more to see and do - it always seems a shame when people travel such a distance to holiday, then see nothing of what the country has to offer.

Hi newfavouritething,

re your comments:-
"Attila, I think H.mum probably means flying to tampa (for a cheap example!) via Chicago or something, which is a little different from booking individual internal flights. If the internal leg is part of the longhaul journey as such, there are no luggage charges".

Same day internal transfers for flights within the US can be a complete faff and trial and internal flights within the US are no longer cheap nor cheerful. Chicago as an airport is vast like Heathrow is and such a transfer will take loads of time to do. Many US carriers do charge for checked bags regardless nowadays.

(I had to do battle with one US based carrier because a supervisor at the check in desk refused to believe that I should not be charged for checked luggage as I was an international passenger even though I had written confirmation from their agent stating this. I received the charge back but I had to pay up at the check in desk and it took numerous phone calls for the matter to be resolved by that airline's Head Office).

"I do agree with the need for a 3hr stopover though - we have 'farm' in our address, so go through an additional agriculture check too - hours of fun!! It's not a problem if you miss the internal flight though - they're like buses, you just get the next one"

Three hour stopover time is indeed a must. Missing an internal flight in the US these days is problematic for the passengers involved and is certainly not like waiting for the next bus to arrive. You will be rebooked but when?. The last flight to your destination may already have left. Many of these flights too are full to bursting anyway and overbooking is also common. It is all too easy to end up flying to your holiday destination the next day.

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