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Florida on a budget with young children? Utter maddness?

(72 Posts)
KitKat1985 Fri 17-Aug-18 13:37:21

So we've stumbled across a deal to Florida for 2 weeks next May for me, DH our 2 DDs (who will be 4&2) and my Mum which works out about £800 a person for flight, villa and car hire. It's a really good price but it's money we don't really have right now, and we would be paying it off over 2019 if we went (and of course spending money, park tickets, ESTAs, insurance etc would be on top of that). BUT, I'm desperate to go and take the kids and my Mum (all of which have never been) and part of me thinks we should just say 'sod it' and do it before DD1 starts school and we have to face crazy prices to go in the school holidays (I checked and it's about 3 times the price!) and whilst my Mum is still in good health to fly and enjoy it (she's in her late 60's). Then I also remind myself about the 'joys' of flying for 9 hours with 2 small children, and getting them to adjust to the time difference / jet lag. Would it be complete and utter madness to just do it? Is taking small children long haul just hell? Will they appreciate the Disney parks at such a young age? Advise me oh wise Mumsnetters!

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Member341379 Fri 17-Aug-18 13:39:33

Your kids wont remember being there at that age. I would save it till they are 7 and 9 and get the value (they also.wont be able to go on lots of the rides)

rainbowfudgee Fri 17-Aug-18 13:40:31

Do you have a link please? Sounds fab to me!

avocadosrus Fri 17-Aug-18 13:41:02

My only thoughts are that they probably won't remember it at all, I took my DS when he was 4 and he has very few memories of it, he's now 18. When he sees pictures it does jolt his memory a bit and of course he enjoyed it at the time but maybe you would be wise to save that money for when they are a bit older to really enjoy it and remember it

Freshprincess Fri 17-Aug-18 13:42:55

I think the parks will be wasted on the 2 year old, and don't think the older one will appreciate it that much more. Id wait till they were both in school before going.
Tricky decision with your mum included. My parents are early 70s, my dad is very fit and well and would cope with all the walking, my mum not so much.

KitKat1985 Fri 17-Aug-18 13:45:49

Rainbowfudgee it's on Travel Republic and staying in their Disney are standard accommodation with Virgin Atlantic flights from Gatwick.

I get your point Member and Avocadosrus about them possibly being too young to appreciate it. It might make more sense I guess if we're going to spend that much on a holiday to wait until they are a bit older (and just suck up the ridiculous school holiday prices).

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DragonMamma Fri 17-Aug-18 13:47:35

I wouldn’t. Largely because the cost of park tickets is eye watering (£700 for a 14 day Florida Freedom ticket for Disney, Universal etc.) so difficult to do on a budget and I don’t think the DC would get that much out of it at 4 and 2 anyway!

theveryhighlife Fri 17-Aug-18 13:47:45

I say go for it.
My children have travelled long haul since they were tiny. Going west usually means they'll be waking up early for the first couple of days. Traveling East is more difficult.

I've never understood this - disney needs to be remembered forever business. My parents waited until I was 10 and I hardly remember anything about the trip. Who knows what the future will bring. Perhaps you'll visit again when the children are older, perhaps you won't.

I say, you've got the opportunity to go, so take it. The kids will love it.

KitKat1985 Fri 17-Aug-18 13:48:13

FreshPrincess yes my Mum desperately wanting to go does make the decision harder. We lost my Dad last year (he was 66) which has rather hit home the point to me that my Mum also won't be around for ever, and probably won't always be in good enough health to do the things she does now.

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FormerlyFrikadela01 Fri 17-Aug-18 13:50:25

They might not remember it but you will. Or do we only do things for our children to make memories???

I'd go for it.

LoniceraJaponica Fri 17-Aug-18 13:51:33

Have you actually priced up the park tickets? A 14 day Disney Parks ticket is £378 per adult, and £358 per child aged 3 - 9.

ESTAs are only $14 each, then there is food, parking (it was $20 a day at each park when we went 2 years ago) insurance and other incidentals. IMO if you are on a really tight budget I wouldn't do this kind of holiday. It just isn't a cheap holiday.

Lalaland44 Fri 17-Aug-18 13:51:48

It’s a good deal and you could self cater which will save you $$. But factor in around another £2400(2 week Disney and universal) for park tickets for 4 people. That’s what we’re paying to go in May next year but my DC will be 12 & 8. Have you considered Disney Paris whilst they’re young and save Florida until they’re old enough to remember and tall enough get on all the rides?

LoniceraJaponica Fri 17-Aug-18 13:52:18

I didn't include the Universal park tickets in my prices BTW.

HermioneWeasley Fri 17-Aug-18 13:53:28

I wouldn’t get into debt for a holiday the kids won’t appreciate or remember

Disneyland Paris is much more manageable at their age, and you can get cheap deals outside school holidays

weasledee Fri 17-Aug-18 13:54:49

Oooo do it!!! We did some similar when my mum got the all clear from breast cancer!
Mine were 2 and 4 and they loved it. It's a different experience with young ones, they believe the characters are real and it's so magical. My oldest most definitely does remember Disney (ask to go back)
As for the flight I was dreading it and no issues. They played with their pads or slept, it really was nothing like I thought it would be.
Also as u say, are parents are here forever so if you want your mum to enjoy it, is definitely book it.
Let's be a honest, a holiday in Florida is not something you're going to regret smile
(Check out for ideas)

Jowak1 Fri 17-Aug-18 13:55:34

As non of us know what tomorrow will bring I am going to say go. Your mum will love being with your children there. I have been fortunate enough to go 3 times , the first when my daughter was 2. She was great on the plane, slept, drew, played , watched tv. She may not remember the holiday but she certainly had lots of fun as we all did. Our latest trip was last year when she and my son were older and we went with their grandparents who had always wanted to go to Florida with them before my son got a bit too old. They loved being there with them and made precious memories. When your children are older things may have changed so I'd grab it while you can x

KitKat1985 Fri 17-Aug-18 13:57:36

We would probably just get Disney tickets to be honest rather than Universal / Freedom pass etc as I've been to Florida once before and visited Universal and definitely felt that it was aimed at older children / adults.

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LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Fri 17-Aug-18 13:58:11

I did it when DS was four, exactly the same reason (being forever tied to school holidays and not being able to afford it) and I would say 100% go for it.

That said, we only spent two days in Disney! It is sooooo expensive (and actually very tiring for little ones). There is loads to do in Orlando itself so I would say go, but plan to spend time doing other things to keep the cost manageable. A 2 and 4 year old are just as happy splashing in the pool, you don't need to do 14 days of the parks.

Butterflycookie Fri 17-Aug-18 13:59:17

Like others have said I think they would be too young. However I’m sure they will enjoy it, seeing all the Disney characters and what not. I first went when I was 8 and I would say it was the best holiday I’ve ever had. The only thing is that you will spend the whole day walking and that can be very tiring especially with young children.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Fri 17-Aug-18 14:00:57

We did, for example: crazy golf (there's loads of it in Orlando and DS4 got a bit addicted); visit to downtown Orlando for a look around; visit to Celebration for a walk and lunch; drove to a swamp place to go on a hovercraft boaty thing and see alligators; we also spent two days in a park (a 'normal' park, not a theme park) which was brilliant - it had a petting zoo, playpark, lake, and bbq points.

It was such a good holiday!

KitKat1985 Fri 17-Aug-18 14:01:11

I do agree that whilst the children won't remember Florida at their age, on the flip side it will feel really magical at their age with all the characters / parades etc.

We did so some rough costings on tickets for Disney, and I think it was about £400 a person (but DD2 would be free as she would be under 3). I'm guessing about 2-3k spending money on top for food, although could do for less I guess if we cooked at the villa some nights.

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LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Fri 17-Aug-18 14:02:20

You can rent strollers at Disney (I think it may be free actually) which makes it a lot easier for LOs - even though DS was 4 at the time he was happy to have a seat while we pushed him around all day.

God the memories are flooding back, I'll shut up now!

KitKat1985 Fri 17-Aug-18 14:02:56

Gaaah I'm so torn! Lol! grin

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katienana Fri 17-Aug-18 14:03:38

I would go, life's too short to wait for 'maybe next year'. Also if the kids don't remember so what, you will remember! And they'll have fun on the day

KitKat1985 Fri 17-Aug-18 14:04:02

If we did go as I say we'd just get Disney passes I think and probably do a lot of it as half day visits each time we went so the kids (and us!) didn't get too knackered.

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