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Florida/Disney planning - Resort hotel or not?

(11 Posts)
KatrinaCutts Sun 01-Sep-13 10:49:34

Hi, we are going to Disney next year, we have booked our hotel, Disney's Port Orleans Riverside and got the free dining plan but we booked this when the hotels first became available. It has cost us around £3200 for 5 of us including tickets, I booked direct via Quidco so got some cash back as well. I still need to book some flights does anybody have any tips to the best company or airline to go with. I have heard good reports about Virgin but I have also been told that you get more room and a better service on Thomas Cook. I could do with a few pointers please. smile

mrscardigan Sun 25-Aug-13 19:43:48

Well, I have looked at the Old Key West and Saratoga Springs and both look good.

A week there booking though Disney is coming up as £2499 for villa for 7 days plus park tickets £1370 (doing 21 days tickets as plan to return at end of the holiday for a few nights) - also get a free dining plan with that. So grand total of £3,869. And that's meant to be with a 35% discount!

I realize I would have to buy park tickets wherever I stay so I might as well get them and get the free dining plan.

There are no other hotels available to book yet with Disney apart from OKW and SS. So my question is will other hotels (moderate) offer free dining plans when they do become available if I wait?

I did look at DVC but that was the same price as Disney but without the free dining plan so am totally confused! Was expecting it to be less. Has anybody and experience with DVC? I have worked out the points I would need and multilpied it by $14 (Dave's website) and it worked out the same as Disney!

So confused!

Groovee Thu 15-Aug-13 14:35:20

I'd consider a week on disney property. Old Key West and Saratoga Springs have villas and would give you the extra magic hours for a week then maybe a stay at Universal if you were doing there and then a villa.

Taz1212 Thu 15-Aug-13 09:24:32

DVC is Disney's timeshare so what you'd be looking to do is rent points from an existing owner. There's various sites where owners post- if you want a British site, the Dibb has a section on their forum or if you want to use a company, David's Disney Vacation Club acts as an intermediary to find an owner - he has a really good reputation. We own DVC and are going in October- we didn't have enough points so we're using our points for one week in a 2 bedroom at the Wilderness Lodge Villas and renting from an owner for another week at the Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas. The upside is that renting lets you stay on site for a lot less than two rooms would cost. The downside is that you can't get free dining (though you can buy the dining plan), once your dates are booked you generally can't change them and you don't get housekeeping every day. You're best trying to book as close to 11 months out from your trip to get where you want as they do book up very quickly.

I would have a look on the Dibb and DIS boards- lots of people will give you advice on every sort of accommodation option in Orlando!

Shodan Thu 15-Aug-13 08:48:45

We stayed at Saratoga Springs last year in a two bed apartment. More expensive than a villa off-site, but there were two major plusses- 1) free dining (worth a lot) and 2)- no driving for DH.

We've been to Disney 3 times- the first was staying in a 3 bed 'villa' (more like a maisonette) which was nice, with a free shuttle to the parks. The shuttles weren't frequent enough to give good flexibility, although what we could have done was get taxis in and out when we wanted to. We found those on Expedia. Second time was in a private villa- nice and spacious, but we found the driving in and out tedious (managed to forget which area of the car park we were in and believe me-all the rental cars look exactly the same) and having the choice of cheaper restaurants not worth it.

Last year's was definitely the best option. Far more chilled. Food-wise- Disney clearly think that everyone eats about three or four times what they do- we found it hard to use up all the points. Having said that, you could go to 'posher' restaurants and use double the points- we did the twice to go to Fulton's Crab House, where the food was wonderful (and the service nearly better- one of waiters did magic for the kids!)

Like you say, there's lots of choice- we didn't feel overwhelmed staying onsite, because SS is sufficiently quiet as to make it feel relaxed. SS and Old Key West do special offers on prices too.

mrscardigan Thu 15-Aug-13 08:33:25

This is brilliant. Thanks everyone.

I have ordered that book and been trawling the web as you suggested. Have had a look at the DVC points scheme, but not clear about how it works. Is it like time share? How do I find available villas?

Do you think 7 days is enough to do Disney? I know DC will want to spend every minute at the parks, but also important that we have some down time too I think.

MOSagain Wed 14-Aug-13 22:53:28

You'd be best off with a villa. You could get a 4 bed 2 bath with private pool and games room 4 miles from Disney for around 450GBP pw. I'd recommend loyalty homes, a company owned by an English lady who now lives there and only manages luxury homes within 4 miles of Disney.

Taz1212 Wed 14-Aug-13 16:50:16

I would look into either renting a villa offsite or renting DVC points from a DVC owner and staying in one of the 2 bedroom Disney DVC villas. Otherwise you're looking at 2 rooms at a Disney hotel (pretty expensive) or one of their family suites (one bedroom plus pull out sofas in the living room- still quite expensive). It depends on how much you want to stay on property. You can get offsite villas that are still pretty close. There's also Wyndham Bonnet Creek which has two bedroom apartments to rent and is practically on property. I've never stayed there but it gets very good reviews and is cheaper than the Disney options.

MelanieCheeks Wed 14-Aug-13 13:16:20

I can only tell you what we did - self and OH, my 2 then aged 17 and 15, and his 13 with special needs.

We rented a villa in Kissimmee with a pool, and a car. That gave us great flexibilty over what and where to eat, including relaxed and cheaper breakfast options, as well as our own space to chill and relax. And a room each. All the parks are an easy drive from there.

mummymeister Wed 14-Aug-13 13:04:50

buy the books wdw with kids and beyond wdw with kids. have a look on the dibb website and also at every reply on the current Disney thread. personally I think you should be looking at a villa within 20 mins or so drive. don't like I drive too busy Disney dining plans are expensive and not good vfm. loads and loads of advice on mumsnet but you need to trawl through it.

mrscardigan Wed 14-Aug-13 11:34:01

Can anybody please help me with planning a family trip to Florida next August?
I am completely overwhelmed by the options on offer. We have never been before and will be taking DC (11 and 8 yrs), my mother, and of course myself and DH - so 3 adults and 2 children in total.
My mother would like her own room or one big enough to share with the children. Hubby and I would like a separate room although don't mind sharing with the children either.
Are there such rooms in resort hotels? Have been told it's best to stay on International Drive, but I have been looking at the Disney dining plans available at the resort hotels. Do they offer good value for money?
We are planning to go for three weeks. So would be some time (say, a week) at Disney, then somewhere in a villa on the coast to chill out. Any recommendations for areas?
Thank you for taking the time to read. I'd be sooo grateful for any advice going.

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