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please help me price up a disney florida holiday

(26 Posts)
pud1 Thu 18-Jul-13 20:15:10

my oh has suggested a trip to florida Disney next year. I have just sat down to look into it and I am lost already. we have a budget of about 4.5k for the actual holiday ( not inc spending money). we are a family of 4 with 2 dds aged 4 and 5.

I don't know where to start. villa or hotel? which parks? car?

please can I have an idiots guide

Tobagostreet Thu 18-Jul-13 20:34:07

Go to the Dibb website for loads if planning tips and a forum where you can ask specific questions.

Are you happy/comfortable driving in the states? If so, a condo or villa is a great idea. If you don't want to drive, staying on site at Disney is a good option, as transport to the theme parks is free with their transportation service.

The cheapest deals can often be a DIY effort, where you book flights, car and hotel separately, but best savings are had when flying indirect, which may not be suitable with the DCs.

If you do go for a villa, I'd recommend booking that separately to ensure you get accommodation to your exact specification (private pool, games room, Internet access, etc) rather than go for an 'accommodation on arrival' type deal.

If you stay on site with Disney, you might be able to get a package which includes the free Disney Dining Plan which is a great saving.

That's a good budget to start off with grin.

Groovee Sat 20-Jul-13 14:29:21

Where do you want to fly from?
Will you be driving?
Would you want to stay on site at Disney or off site in a hotel? Or do you want a villa for your own pool and privacy?
What parks do you want to do?

The Dibb is a great website for people who don't know where to start. Some people take a package the first time but once they know what they are doing, do it all separately. There is also the UK Planning Board on Disboards and a great facebook group called It's Orlando time.

MOSagain Sun 21-Jul-13 15:20:53

I personally prefer villas, you get so much more freedom. You can do a busy morning at the parks then come home and relax by your own private pool, not having to worry about not being able to find a sun lounger.

Have a look at Loyalty homes, a company owned and managed by an english lady who now lives out there. She only manages luxury homes within 4 miles of disney most of which have private pools and many have gamesrooms.

This is one of their villas :

I'd also suggest looking into flying into Tampa instead of Orlando as its a lot cheaper. Last year we saved £1,200 (for 6 of us) by flying into Tampa and it was only an additional 20 - 25 mins drive to the villa.

MOSagain Sun 21-Jul-13 15:26:04

Meant to say, you'd get a villa such as the one above from around £425 pw for a 4 bed 2 bath villa with a private pool and gamesroom. A 3 bed will be a little cheaper

MadeOfStarDust Sun 21-Jul-13 15:32:40

Would also recommend a villa - you can go for park opening (especially in the early days when you wake up at silly o'clock due to time differences) come home and relax over lunch, in the pool, let kids nap, then go back to the parks and watch the fireworks/evening parades etc... makes for a more relaxing holiday....

We usually book a villa, but also a one night stay at a Universal hotel - you get to skip the long queues (and just have a shorter express line for guests) at Universal parks on most rides if you stay at the hotels... and get to have a drink with a meal out without having to drive anywhere - you can do each Universal park in a day - and if you check in (any time after 6am) on the first day, you get the skipping lines privilege that day too....

calamityjane Mon 22-Jul-13 11:06:11

Can anyone recommend a villa for 3, dh, ds (13) and me? All the villas I've found are huge 4 or 5 bed, although the extra room would be lovely

Sorry for the hijack OP

spottybanana Mon 22-Jul-13 11:24:17

Think it depends on how much you want to do the theme parks - we would never rent a villa as the kids just want to be in the parks every day, so we do first stage in a Disney hotel, then second stage in a Universal one. Transport from Disney hotels to parks is fantastic, Universal you can walk from them all really quickly.

We never hire a car because the different insurance costs can really add up - cheaper to just take taxi if you do go anywhere else.

All depends on what you like as a family though - we could never do each Universal park in a day each (even with the fast passes you get staying on site), and that's with days where we start when they open and leave at kicking out time!

Time of year will affect things too - if you go at quieter times, less queues so that might determine where you stay and for how long.

So, in summary, we've gone for Disney and Universal hotels each time (apart from once when we booked late and stayed at non-theme-park hotel - hated it).

We get 10 day Hopper for Disney (you can go between parks so, for example, Animal Kingdom during day, Magic Kingdom at night) , 5 day Universal ticket.

Never hired a car - need a break from all that - but, when we have looked into it, seems you need to be very careful about insurance.

In recent years, have always booked it ourselves by doing flights etc separately. When we last went (January), we did get a quote from Virgin, they said they'd beat anything else. Priced it myself, came in £1,500 cheaper, they told me to grab it as there was no way they could match those prices.

Thinking of doing California next January though - so if anyone has any advice on that . . . . wink

Groovee Mon 22-Jul-13 11:35:13

Calamity We stayed here Its a smallish villa but we felt like we had lots of room. You can book direct with the owner. We were AOA but would definitely book direct next time.

MOSagain Mon 22-Jul-13 13:49:41

calamaty when are you going? Might be able to get you a good deal on a 4 bed with private pool for price of a 2/3 bed depending on when you are going

calamityjane Mon 22-Jul-13 15:47:25

MOSagain we are thinking of going October 2014 but nothing confirmed yet as just researching prices but that offer would be great, thank you

Groovee that villa looks great - will show to dh later, thank you

kilmuir Mon 22-Jul-13 22:39:24

Stealth advertising mosagain

MOSagain Tue 23-Jul-13 07:20:22

So kilmuir, if people ask for recommendations other posters are not allowed to recommend? I've recommended a company that manages over 70 villas, hardly stealth advertising. And no, I don't own the company or have any financial interest in it, have just used it for over 10 years as have a number of my friends.

kilmuir Wed 24-Jul-13 13:43:28

You always give details of your villa, pops up on most florida villa posts

Fluffy1234 Wed 24-Jul-13 15:22:20

Spottybanana, we stayed in Anaheim which is great for the California Disney Parks. We found one day in each of the two parks was just right, but went Feb half term and had no queues. The hotel we stayed in was called Hyatt Regency in a two room kids suite. The hotel provided a free holy shuttle or you could walk to the parks. My DS and DH also spent a day visiting Universal Studios which was an hour away. They booked a coach trip from the hotel as we also don't like driving on holiday.

Quejica Thu 25-Jul-13 10:51:33

Kilmuir, I'm sure people would rather stay in a villa owned by a long-standing Mumsnetter than in some random's villa.

MOS gives way more to Mumsnet than she 'takes'.

Groovee Thu 25-Jul-13 11:48:59

I'd much rather take a recommendation from someone who'd been there than randomly choosing one. Don't know why it needs to be made in to such a big deal as I recommended one too, which we have returned from having stayed earlier in the month.

newfavouritething Sat 27-Jul-13 19:52:56

I go quite budget when visiting the states, orlando is no different. It really depends what you want to do, and how you usually holiday, eg, if you visit Alton Towers do you stay in the hotels and dine there, or do you go for the day with a pack-up? I'm a day-trip and pack up type of person, so for easter next year, I've booked flights and car hire for £2000, will be staying in cheap motel accommodation (17 nights c.£400)as long as there's a pool we're happy. Am not a fan of the Disney parks (sshhh) but will probably go to the universal studios parks, aquatica, seaworld and busch gardens (favourite one) on a ticket that costs about £800 for the 4 of us to visit the parks for 14 days. Look at a site such as floridatix to learn about which park does what, and how much it will cost. £4.5k will buy you a nice holiday, but chances are you will be told that you need to spend more - I've recently been told that you can't go for less than £6k.......

Hope you have a fab time, when are you thinking of going?

Oops, bit of an essay but hope it helps

MakingAnotherList Sat 27-Jul-13 20:28:47

With young children I would suggest staying in a Disney hotel and leaving universal studios for your next holiday. Disney world has plenty to keep young children occupied for a couple of weeks.

Groovee Sat 27-Jul-13 21:51:11

New where do you find your flights? Cheapest I've found is £2700 for our flights for next summer.

newfavouritething Sat 27-Jul-13 22:10:59

I use ebookers for flights and book them early. Also go via quidco for cashback (was 8% cashback when booking car and flights together) so actual price was higher, but when cashback knocked off, came to £2004, although cheaper hire cars were available (we use budget as no additional driver fee) so could've got there for less. Also 2 adults, 2 children (8&6).

newfavouritething Sat 27-Jul-13 22:15:54

Also flying in to Tampa which is cheaper too. We're spending a couple of days driving to Fort Lauderdale to visit family, then back up to orlando for a week or so and back to Tampa for the last few days. At least that is the plan at the moment! Have only booked the first night in motel close to airport as like to be a bit flexible in deciding where to go and when. Don't think summer flights will be available to book yet, as have only just booked easter.

newfavouritething Sat 27-Jul-13 22:24:11

Have just looked, latest flights similar to ours that are bookable are from 2 - 19 june at £2263 Manchester - tampa. That's the flights and cheapest car hire for 17 days. Book through quidco and get 8% cashback so overall cost of £2081. Hope it helps!

Groovee Sun 28-Jul-13 09:17:00

Ah Manchester. We need to go from Edinburgh or Glasgow. That will be why they're more expensive. Pain in the rear cos it's a shorter flight from Scotland lol.

newfavouritething Sun 28-Jul-13 11:36:06

Groovee, was the £2700 including car-hire? Have just looked at similar easter flights from Glasgow and flight + 17 day car is £2700, take off the cashback, and it would be £2484 which saves a bit.

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