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(12 Posts)
gazrob Wed 30-Oct-13 21:01:39

Hi everyone,
The family and i would like to Holiday Easter 2015 near Disney for 3 weeks.Has anyone used Florida Holiday planner,a company which arranges the whole package at a cheaper price than the big operators.Looking at flight,villa and car hire,they responded with the flight times,various properties and car hire booked and priced ALREADY.Can this be true .A deposit is required with the remainder a few weeks before departure?

Chopstheduck Thu 31-Oct-13 10:30:24

It's run by someone working from a flat - I really wouldn't! It says ATOL protected, but it looks a bit fishy to me.

I can recommend this one as a small company that worked out cheaper for us -

Ascot Travel House

They are very local to us, used them last year, they were excellent. Took the time to work through lots of different options, flexible with payments, were great.

mummymeister Thu 31-Oct-13 12:33:27

tbh it is so easy to do it yourself don't use someone else to do it for you. people book Disney 2 or 3 years in advance so can believe this, yes. don't use tour operators at all. book your own flight - going into tampa is cheaper. we personally like Miami some dont but its a doddle with a sat nav and its only the airport you need not the surroundings!! book your car (we usually do it all through BA) how near to Disney do you want to be? buy the book WDW with kids and look at the DIBB site. please don't be tempted to get someone else to do it for you. planning is half the fun!!

flatmum Thu 31-Oct-13 22:19:20

We just got back. I did it all myself and very last minute - people book years in advance but you can still get availability if not a busy time (think Easter might be tho?). You've got loads of time, I'd do it myself or get a package from virgin, ba, first direct or such as you'd be able to take advantage of the early booking discounts, free child places, dining plans etc.

It looked overwhelming at first but once I booked the tickets (July) I them managed to book villa, tickets and car hire in September weeks before we went. Including a character meal at chef mickeys (these apparently book up months in advance especially the princessy ones if you are interested in these). Not suggesting you use my last minute approach but just that it I possible to do it all yourself quite easily.

I'd order a couple of books (we had the Brit guide) read through and then start booking. Biggest decision is whether you want to stay in a Disney hotel or villa nearby. We stayed in a villa. Had a great time.

We used that same Ascot Company for the park tickets by the way, very good.

flatmum Thu 31-Oct-13 22:20:47

Flights in July I meant

tory79 Thu 31-Oct-13 22:25:13

We like Golden Villas and Best At Travel. We've been going to Florida for years and they've consistently had good prices.

Chopstheduck Fri 01-Nov-13 07:47:43

the only reason we used someone else is that it allowed us to pay for the flights over a period of time rather than having to save or use a credit card. We booked the flights, car hire and first three nights in a hotel with the travel company and then did the rest ourselves.

gazrob Sat 02-Nov-13 12:14:23

Thank you to everyone posting advice.We will take heart from this and book everything ourselves,the important part i can see is booking the flight first,put that to bed ,then villa and car hire later.We would like to stay fairly close to Disney but the 3 week stay is to include Universal,sea world maybe one more.Passes into these places....Is it best to plan out all 21 days and decide which and how many days attending each park,having rest days in between?Purchasing before the holiday or on arrival?We have Two children who will be aged 13 and 11 at the time of Departure, if this helps.Thanks once again to you all for the kind advice

newfavouritething Sun 03-Nov-13 23:21:04

If you're planning on visiting parks staggered over the 3 weeks I'd get a 14 Disney ticket and a 14 day flex ticket (for the universal parks, seaworld, busch and aquatica). The tickets are activated on the first day you use them and for the next 14 days. This means the first week you could go to Disney, second week all parks and third week universal etc.
I'd buy park tickets before you go, but planning is completely up to you. Some plan each day/meal/ride with military precision to get the maximum from the parks, others get up and see what the weather is/what everyone feels like doing that day. No hard and fast 'rules' as such. Enjoy :-)

newfavouritething Sun 03-Nov-13 23:22:59

Sites such as 'the dibb' are very helpful, but can also be very overwhelming - there's a lot of info and even more opinions out there!

flatmum Mon 04-Nov-13 09:09:40

If book the tickets before you go I think as I don't think there's a significant price difference and the parks are very hectic and crowded in the mornings so it is much easier it to have you pass ready and you can just swipe in. We were there for 2 weeks and I checked all combinations and we ended up getting the 14 day Disney and 15 day flex passes for seaworld and universal. Seems easiest to me and no significant cost penalty - I don't know of it would be slightly cheaper to book day passes but you'd have to be incredibly organised to know which day you were going to which park etc. Thibk you have to have a bit of contingency built in for overcast days (if you'd been planning a water park for example) and days when you're just too tired to get up from the day before and have a pool day - esp as you will have enough time to do all parks and have some chill days. We had 2 pool days and used the water parks as chill days and managed to go to all the parks in 2 weeks (part from Busch gardens as children younger) but it was tight. And no time to go to beach or Kennedy space centre which you might like to do.

It seems overwhelming but once flight and accommodation sorted you can then book park tickets, car hire, any special restaurants, shows etc and start putting an itinery together.

You'll have a great time!

flatmum Mon 04-Nov-13 09:10:26

14 not 15!

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