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Topic: Well, looks like we're going next year< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
mamaloya Offline
Sandra Loya




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Posted: Dec. 17, 2007, 9:47 pm Quote

Well Julie, the best way to do WDW after you pass the room max, or just feel crowded it to camp at Fort Wilderness.  We tent camped there the first time, then bought a popup so our trips there would be more comfy, but now have a regular camping trailer that sleeps 10.  This next trip though, we may put up a tent outside for the boys to have their own "room".  A tent site is around $40-50 a night in the off season and a full hookup is around $60 a night.  During the holiday season though, it is close to $100!!!  YIKES!!!  $100 for a piece of land with an electric plug!!!  Anyway, still less expensive than any other choices and I would much rather FW than the value resorts.  There is a boat that takes you from FW straight to MK.  There is a boat to the Poly and Contemporary.  We like to eat there.  The boat to MK also stops at the Wilderness Lodge if you want to eat there.  You can take a boat to the Poly and then hop a monorail to TTC and then to Epcot as well.  Oh and the boat to MK allows you to keep the kiddos in the stroller.  The boat to the Poly though requires them to be taken our and the stroller folded.

Anyway, this is OT, but you mentioned you wanted a large family and I just wanted you to know the cheapest way to do WDW with a large family.


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Sandra / mamaloya
6 disney kids, dd21, ds18, dd13, ds9, dd8, and dd6
1 Disney granddaughter 6/19/2008


'77 First trip to WDW
'82, '85, '88, '89, '97, '98, 2000 off site
2004 Ft. Wilderness in a tent
2006 Ft. Wilderness in new popup
2006 First trip for MVMCP at Ft. Wilderness
2008 Ft. Wilderness in new TT

2010 Ft. Wilderness in a tent again
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Julielizabet Offline
Julie




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Posted: Dec. 18, 2007, 12:04 am Quote

Oh yes, thanks! I don't think it's off-topic at all. I've also thought of the cabins at FW, which seem like they sleep a lot of people. They're pricey, but comparable in price (or better than) rack rate at a DVC villa. I've watched Rich and Carol's video review of the time they stayed in one of the FW cabins. The only negative I've repeatedly heard about FW is that because it's so spread out, the bus system is less than desirable and most people want a car to get around, and this imposes another cost.

I've thought of doing the villas on the cheap ("renting" points). I was thinking mainly of Wilderness Lodge Villas but others might be good too. I've heard positive things about doing this, also. I'm looking at your list of places stayed at the bottom of your post, and it doesn't look like you've done any of these things, have you? What pros and cons have you weighed in your decision to go with the camper/FW option as opposed to not buying a camper and doing a cabin or something else? Please excuse my curiosity. I love talking about this kind of Disney-related planning.


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Julie



Snakes don't walk, they slither. -Hiss, Robin Hood
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Julielizabet Offline
Julie




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Posted: Jan. 03, 2008, 12:01 am Quote

An update on something unfamiliar to me up until now: those Visa prepay cards. A good idea in theory, and something I'm still going to do/doing. But there are better options out there depending on your financial situation and vacation plans.

For example, if I had more money at the moment I'd instead take out a short-term CD or look into that AAA vacation account I've heard about. If you have extreme restraint/willpower, putting money into your savings account would be a great option. (In my case I'd be tempted to transfer money to my checking account when things got tight, so I'd wind up spending it. So at the moment trying to actually save $ in my savings account isn't a great option for me.)

Anyway, about the greendot prepaid "credit" cards...  I picked up a Visa at Rite Aid. They have a few drawbacks, for any of you who may be considering them as a way to save for your WDW vacation. I thought I'd share them with you, along with some of the positives I thought of.


:thumbsdown:
Drawback 1: You must pay for them with cash, like a money order. (Luckily my bank was right across the street and my kids weren't with me, but this is a pain in the neck.)

Drawback 2: They charge you $10 on top of whatever you opt to put on the card initially. (I put on $90, so it was $90 + $10 = $100)

Drawback 3: They charge you $5/month just to "use" the card (or in my case, just to have it since I'm just using it to save). That means after a year (I plan to use mine in about 11 months) it eats $60. Compare this to a savings account that pays you interest rather than charging you just to have the account! Yuck.

Drawback 4: Every time you add money you must buy another card, and that card costs $5. (In other words, try to put as much money on at any given time to make the most of your $5.)

Drawback 5: You are capped at $500 on your card at any one time, if you choose the regular "plan."

Drawback 6: To activate my card, I selected the Premium plan (the regular plan cost money too, I just forget how much) so that I could add up to $2500 and get a second card for my husband to use while we're at WDW. The premium plan cost $20.

Drawback 7: You do not receive a real card right away. What you purchase is just a piece of cardboard. You have to register it online :computer: or over the phone and they send you the actual plastic card in the mail. I haven't received mine yet.


A few potential positives: :thumbsup:

+1: This card is not connected to your bank, so you may not be as tempted to spend the money on it. This is the only reason I'm going with it. You could always opt to keep it in your dresser drawer and not on your person if you're using it to save for a trip and not for daily purchases.

+2: If you compare it to using a credit card (which I'm not), the fee situation seems inconsequential. $60 a year ($5/month) + $10 to purchase + $20 to activate + $5 each time put on money = total of +$95 is still nothing compared to what most cards wind up getting out of you!!! :punched: Don't even get me started on credit cards. We are living without any credit cards (not counting bank cards, of course) and God willing will never have one again.

+3: The card (there are AE, Visa, and Mastercard versions) is able to be used, so far as I know, exactly like any other credit card. The only difference is that they are prepaid.

+4: When compared to "Disney Dollars" (which was not my means of comparison, but I know others live near Disney Stores and make use of DD) you can still use your prepaid credit card anywhere you like when you get home from WDW, and you aren't locked into using your money at a Disney Store, for example. If there's any $ left on it you can get a pizza to eat the evening you return and don't feel like making dinner.

+5: Compared to a Disney package... You can use it to create your own "package." You can effectively prepay your entire trip by putting all the money you'll need on your card. This costs less than any package Disney has to offer and is almost as convenient.

+6: You can add money all year in anticipation of your trip, and budget accordingly. (Encourages responsible budgeting and discourages superfluous spending.) :dollar:

+7: :computer: You register your card online/over the phone. I have no idea as of yet, but it is possible that this online registration adds some means of protection. I also do not know if this means you can add money over the phone/online just like a prepaid calling card or pay-as-you-go cell. As I find out more details I'll let you know.

I plan on using extra money I make working on weekends to the card. It's not much, but this is mostly work for which I'm paid cash. I will stash the money until I'm able to throw it on the card.

:help: Do any of you have experiences with these prepaid cards or experiences of creative ways to save for a trip, such as Sandra has suggested?


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Julie



Snakes don't walk, they slither. -Hiss, Robin Hood
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Julielizabet Offline
Julie




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Posted: Jan. 06, 2008, 3:23 am Quote

One ticket at a time...

My dear mother-in-law gave us a check for Christmas (which we tried to turn away several times, but with lines like, "I want you to enjoy it while I'm still around" it's hard to refuse...). I plan on using the money for park tickets for 2 out of 4 of us.

Don't want to buy plane tickets yet since I'm still considering the option of driving. It'd be cool to visit family for Thanksgiving in Tallahassee and then head further south to WDW, but I also hate long car trips with our young children. Last time they got very car sick. :barf: :barf: :barf: and :barf: again, to be blunt. It was a nightmare. So even with the convenience of having a car and the money saved, I'm not sure it'd be at all worth it! Could you imagine having a horrible trip down and then being faced with having to do it all again after an otherwise wonderful trip? :punched: :tissue_cry: All I could do would be to try to get a spot on the autotrain, but as I recall they book up quite early. But I digress. Back to tickets.

I considered getting just one AP so I could get room discounts, but even with all the possible restaurant discounts and doing the break-even analysis, it wasn't worth it. With no car there wouldn't even be any parking discounts. So MYW it is.

I don't plan on buying a ticket for our youngest, who'll be 3 when we go. Last Dec. we went with our then three-year-old and they never, ever requested a ticket or asked his age at any park entrance. Boy I would've kicked myself if I'd bough a ticket for him! It seems like in reality they don't charge for 3-year-olds at the World.

I used undercovertourist.com for our tickets last time and had good results. But I'm considering buying from mapleleaf this time around just because their MYW parkhopper options differ somewhat. Undercover offers a 7, 8, and 10-day option. Mapleleaf offers only 7 and 10. Depending on what ticket you get the prices differ a little, too. For the 10-day the prices are the same (by $1). But if I wanted to save a little money and go for the 8-day I'd have to go with Undercover. Dates aren't written in stone so it's nice to have some wiggle room and the extra days only cost you a couple extra bucks. How have your experiences been with Mapleleaf?

So anyway, it's good news as I move ever so slowly toward our much-needed trip a whole year away!

:hula:

Oh, and please pray for my husband as he interviewed for a possible [P-T] job on Friday that would allow him to quit his gruelling and low-paying overnight work and develop his freelance business because he'd have more time.

:mickey:  :minnie:


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Julie



Snakes don't walk, they slither. -Hiss, Robin Hood
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MKBaughan Offline
Marsha




All-Star, Pop Century, Happy Birthday & Games/Role-Play mod.

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Posted: Jan. 06, 2008, 7:25 am Quote

Julie, looks like your plans are coming together....  I also have paid for a room little by little before I go... it helps....  I really think you should look into POP or ASR.... I usually stay there because of the price... the rooms are not huge or anything, but the resorts are totally family friendly... your deposit would cover several nights there.... compared to what the cabins at FTW would cost... they are deluxe resorts too...  so not a whole lot of savings there, but you could fix meals there, so it's a trade off...If I can answer any questions you may have on ASR or POP, let me know, would be happy too... Also they have the few family suites at ASMusic.  They are cheaper than a deluxe resort and they have a kitchenette in them... that might be a good option for you... plenty of space...  And a lot cheaper than the wilderness cabins... the bus service at ASR is the best on Disney property.... I know that Passporter has pics of the rooms, if you are interested, let me know... I'll post the link for them after work...

UPDATE:  Here is the link for Jennifer's pics of the ASR Family Suites...  I will post this in the ASR forum also...

All Star Resorts Family Suites Passporter


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ModEARator of the Disney Echo's "Happy Birthday" forum, Games & Role Playing Forum,  Virtual Disney Forum, all the forums in the Magical Gatherings & Net-Meets category, and the Value Resorts Forum
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Grayson sleeping in Tim's Duffle bag.  He wanted to go to WDW with us.

 Miracle, the Wonder Cat!  She was in the position most of the time she was around me!  She is scary!

Trips: WDW- '74, '96,'98 (also DL),'99,'00, '01, '02, '03, '04, '07/ DL '05
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Julielizabet Offline
Julie




Disney EchoEar Grand Mouseter

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Posted: Jan. 10, 2008, 1:17 pm Quote

Hi Marsha. Funny you should mention the new ASR suites since I just read that thread here on the echo.

At this point I think I'm pretty sold on staying at the Polynesian. We'll see what the finances are like when the time comes, as we'll still be able to switch if we really have to. But since my husband and I never see each other and the Polynesian is so very relaxing to us, and the convenience unparalleled, I think this is where we'll stay. Right now my balance is only $2,000. Over a year I think I can pay that down. I just found out from my travel agent that I can send her checks for paying down our room and she'll forward our payments to Disney for us. Great news!

In other developments, I'm now trying to decide two things:

1. Which longhouse to request (Fiji)
2. Transportation from NJ

1. Last time we stayed in Fiji, which as I recall was our first choice. 3rd floor, GF side. It was beautiful and the location close to perfect. It was very close to GCH, the launch, and our view was gorgeous for a GV price. This time I'm thinking of requesting 1st floor so when the kids are in bed we can walk right out to the grass or beach. My 2 year old is a real climber so being up on the 3rd floor may not be the best idea, I'm not sure. Any suggestions in this regard I'm open to. Since on the 1st floor marina side of Fiji has a drop-off (and other longhouses are very close to pools) I'd rather stay on the 3rd floor if we were on the marina side.

2. I have a relative in Tallahassee and a friend in Savannah. We'd like to go visit them. But driving all that way with the kids (carsickness), not to mention all the time it takes, doesn't seem like a great idea. The cost is a lot less than flying though. I'm considering, however, flying one-way to Savannah, renting a car, driving from there to Tallahassee, and then driving from there to Orlando. Then we'd fly out of Orlando. I checked it out last night and they don't seem to penalize you for flying one-way anymore. The cost is more than to Orlando, but I think this may be just a Delta thing and a smaller airport thing. Anyway, this would cut out the longest and most tedious leg of the trip and get us right to Georgia fast. From there the drives to not exceed 4 to 4 1/2 hours. I've never been to Savannah and haven't been to Tallahassee since I was maybe 3, if ever.

I'm, as always, open to suggestions.


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Julie



Snakes don't walk, they slither. -Hiss, Robin Hood
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threebeesatdisney Offline
Disney Daydreamer




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Posted: Feb. 21, 2009, 6:33 pm Quote

So did you go in Dec 2008?  Any highlights of tips you care to share about the Polynesian itself?

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three_bees_at_disney


I couldn't decide on one set of "ears"!  LOL!



2000 Mar/Apr- All-Star Movies   $225.50/night w/PH & wp tickets inc
2001 May- All-Star Music  $66.00/nt
2002 May- Coronado Springs $174.13/nt w/ PH & WP tickets inc
2003 June- Animal Kingdom Lodge $239.78/nt/savannah view
2004 July- Caribbean Beach
2005 July- Port Orleans Riverside $140.50

2005 July -Yacht Club $277.50 UPGRADED 2 JUNIOR SUITE
2006 Mar/Apr- Pop Century
2007 June- Port Orleans Riverside $167.35/nt
2007 Dec- Pop Century  
2008 February - Hilton Head Island, SC    
2008 July- Fort Wilderness Cabins $178.88/nt
2008 July- Animal Kingdom Lodge $215.16/nt
2008 October -  Boardwalk Inn - $259/nt w/o tax
2009 Jan-Port Orleans Riverside - $100.13/nt

2009 June - Polynesian $236.55/nt w/tax

2009 September - Beach Club $263.81/nt w/tax
2009 Dec- Pop Century
2010 January - Caribbean Beach
2010 July DAKL
2010 October Coronado Springs
2011 March Pop Century/ Disney Magic Cruise/April French Quarter
2011 July Pop Century/Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas KIDANI VILLAGE
2011 November Old Key West/Boardwalk Villas
2012 February Grand Floridian/ KIDANI VILLAGE
2012 May/June VERO BEACH/A-S Sports/ BAY LAKE TOWER
2013 August -  Art of Animation
:fantasmic:
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16 replies since Dec. 08, 2007, 9:45 pm < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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