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Old 11-16-2012, 02:07 PM   #1
rscherrer
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Looking for help- WDW trip scheduled jan 31-feb 6

My family and I have been to DL several times (with pkgs, and with ala carte), but I am a complete newbie to WDW,.
I purchased and am reading thru the "unofficial guide to WDW" but it is slow going, and I am looking for expert advice from anyone. MS website has shown me some deals, for tickets, but what about pkgs? everything I have priced seems expensive. Any help? Is it better to stay in the park?
also, I looked at park crowd expectations for our dates, and for some reason they rate 7/10?? I thought feb was slow up until presidents day? any comments?
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:43 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rscherrer View Post
My family and I have been to DL several times (with pkgs, and with ala carte), but I am a complete newbie to WDW,.
I purchased and am reading thru the "unofficial guide to WDW" but it is slow going, and I am looking for expert advice from anyone. MS website has shown me some deals, for tickets, but what about pkgs? everything I have priced seems expensive. Any help? Is it better to stay in the park?
also, I looked at park crowd expectations for our dates, and for some reason they rate 7/10?? I thought feb was slow up until presidents day? any comments?
There is a package deal for February and a room only discount out. It will depend on your dates, but you can price out a trip with the discount through the 'special offers' tab of the website.

Are you going over President's Day weekend in February? That tends to be a bit more crowded.
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:37 AM   #3
nanhol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rscherrer View Post
My family and I have been to DL several times (with pkgs, and with ala carte), but I am a complete newbie to WDW,.
I purchased and am reading thru the "unofficial guide to WDW" but it is slow going, and I am looking for expert advice from anyone. MS website has shown me some deals, for tickets, but what about pkgs? everything I have priced seems expensive. Any help? Is it better to stay in the park?
also, I looked at park crowd expectations for our dates, and for some reason they rate 7/10?? I thought feb was slow up until presidents day? any comments?
From the title of your thread I see you're headed to WDW from Jan 31-Feb 6. Our trip overlaps with yours, so I've been watching the crowds. According to this site:
http://www.undercovertourist.com/pla...uary-2013.html
the crowds are at 2/3/4 level for the days of your trip. Some of the parks are coded "red" for some days, based on EMH and perhaps park events--but overall it should be a time of low crowds. Sunday the 3rd is Superbowl Sunday, and based on my experience the parks will be less crowded, particularly as game time approaches. Monday the 4th is the day of the Superbowl MVP parade at MK, so if you want to avoid crowds I'd not choose Magic Kingdom that day.

The choice of staying on-site vs off-site depends on a lot of factors. You can probably save $$ by staying off-site, but then you'll be driving in each day and parking and dealing with the extra hassle of that (time & cost), and you won't be able to take advantage of EMH, which is a fun perk of being on property.

If you stay at one of the Disney hotels you have a choice between value, moderate and deluxe. You can use Disney transportation to get around (buses, monorail, boats) and won't even need to rent a car (use Magical Express from the airport). You can catch some good deals with the room-only discount or the stay-play-dine specials that Disney is running right now. We choose to stay on site and we do the dining plan because it makes sense for our family--you have to figure out what works for you guys.

If you're terribly overwhelmed then consult a travel agent. I haven't used one for Disney travel, but I commit many hours to the planning of the trip (because I love it!) Disboards is sponsored by Dreams Unlimited: http://www.dreamsunlimitedtravel.com/ and other folks report using AAA for help with Disney travels. Using a travel agent won't cost you anything--they get their $$ from Disney. I definitely recommend you do some reading and planning on your own, but using a travel agent is a good idea if you don't have the time or energy to learn all there is to learn about Disney before your trip!

If you do book this trip and plan to eat at any of the Disney table service restaurants then get your reservations in ASAP. Restaurant reservations opened up for your trip back in August. If you wait till February you will be able to get a reservation somewhere--but not necessarily at the place or time you want. Planning on meals will pay off for you--particularly if you end up using the dining plan.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanhol View Post
According to this site:
http://www.undercovertourist.com/pla...uary-2013.html the crowds are at 2/3/4 level for the days of your trip.
Easywdw.com is showing the same crowd numbers for your dates, so I don't know who's claiming 7.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:40 PM   #5
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I think that mid-week during your trip will not be crowded at all, with more people but still relatively low crowds on the weekend.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:19 PM   #6
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Part of the problem with the deals is it is so close to departure. I just got in on the Play Stay Dine package for Feb 1-7, but that offer expired on 12/31/12, if you weren't booked by then it vanished. The current discounted days now seem to start feb 18, they might have sold all discounted rooms. My keyboard is acting up. I think the crowds will be fine though. hheavily
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:12 PM   #7
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We just changed our room only rez to the SPD package last night & avails looked good for that time (jan 31-feb 6)
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:03 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by 5mouseketeersforus
We just changed our room only rez to the SPD package last night & avails looked good for that time (jan 31-feb 6)
Yay! Did you need one of those codes or did they just do it for you? I busted my bum to make that dec 31 deadline! Where are you staying?

Katie
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coyotesweat

Yay! Did you need one of those codes or did they just do it for you? I busted my bum to make that dec 31 deadline! Where are you staying?

Katie
They just changed it. I was mistaken though. The CM booked it under the room only then added ticket and dining - it actually worked out cheaper than SPD. I thought the Dec 31 date was the cut off but it is still showing under special offers. At least on the site we see here in Canada.

We will be @ POR!! Can't wait!!
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:59 AM   #10
Jamieann77
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Talking

This is probably too late for your trip, but might be helpful for others. I like to think of myself as a major bargain shopper!

We're going Feb 2-5 (3 nights). Short trip this time. But better than NO trip, right? My daughter is out of school for a few days and I was looking for a nearby getaway (we're in Central Texas), but I decided that since we had racked up a lot of miles with SWA, why not go somewhere more fun! It will be my 8 yr DD, my mom (her first WDW trip) and myself. So excited for a girls trip!

So first I will say... We went last year at this same time (this school break is an annual thing!). Stayed 5 nights at Port Orleans on-site. No mean plan. I think we paid close to $200 a night. We were NOT impressed with the food... at the park nor hotel. We only did one table dinner (Le Cellier -- No better than Outback. Rip-off!) and one character dinner (Crystal Palace -- This was the only food we really enjoyed! And the experience was great). Other than that, we had unimpressive counter-service food. And we went to the places people raved about. Maybe we are just spoiled by the awesome food in Texas? We did enjoy the treats like the Dole Whip, Mickey ice cream bars and baked goods at the Main Street bakery, etc. Can't live on snacks alone though.

So I said that next time we would stay off-site, rent a car and have better/cheaper meals. The convenience of the Magical Express and resort buses isn't enough to make to it worth the resort prices and blah food. Especially considering that we go during the slowest time of year. If we ever win the lottery it will be a different situation!

I had no idea "next time" would be "next year"!

So when I started shopping hotels and rental cars a few days ago (this was an exciting last minute plan!), I discovered there are indeed some major bargains during the off-season. I guess since there are a bazillion hotels to support the major seasonal crowds, this creates a flooded market the slow times of the year. I was impressed with all the excellent reviews of such inexpensive hotels nearby.

I scored the Fantasy World resort for $95/night + tax (through Expedia -- yesterday). 2br/2bath, 2 story condo with kitchen, cool water park, etc. Recently renovated. Granite counters, etc. (Not that we care about that stuff so much. But it's impressive). I initially looked at some great hotel rooms for $50+ a night, but my mom snores so bad we can't share a room. Even with the 2 bedrooms in this condo, I'll still pack earplugs and a sound machine.

Yesterday I managed to book a 'standard' size car from Hertz (through Hotwire) for $18.95/day + tax. I looked very carefully at the car rentals because the other cheaper deals are at off-site rental counters that you have to take a shuttle to. I can't spend that time and hassle on a short trip.

So, we're talking $412 total, after tax, for 3 nights room and car rental. We are fortunate enough to have free flights with SWA frequent-flyer miles. However, there are some great prices on flights as well.

Of course the park tickets themselves are not disounted, and I don't risk buying from shady 3rd party companies. We'll get 2 day park-hopper tickets after we fly in Saturday afternoon. We'll do the parks all day Sunday and Monday. Considering the small crowds, I am ok with only 2 days. My daughter knows which rides and shows she loved and didn't love. We'll plan it out and have a blast! Saturday evening and Tuesday morning/early-afternoon we'll go to Downtown Disney, the Boardwalk, etc., to make the most of the WDW experience.

Oh, and a super idea I got from someone else last year was ordering a case of bottled water from Costco for about $8 and having it delivered to the report before we got there (I should have ordered two). They don't mind at all! Some resorts apparently charge small handling fees, but PO didn't. I think it arrived about a week before we got there. You just put your name and arrival date in the shipping address area.

Also, since SWA allows two checked bags per person, and we didn't need 8 bags for the 4 of us, I packed a huge suitcase full of snacks! We carried a backpack into the parks each day with several bottles of water and lots of snacks. That was a huge savings!

We bought some Disney t-shirts before we went, at the Disney outlet, Target and Wal-Mart. Should have ordered some trading pins from eBay! We still took souvenir money and bought stuff there, but surprisingly my daughter wasn't interested in buying much there.

I should add that we did the Bibbiddi Bobbidi Boutique last year and that was a super fun experience. I bought a dress at our local Disney outlet for WAY less than they sell at the boutique. You could even get much better deals at the hotel and park gift shops than at the boutique. We're probably not going to do that this year, considering the smaller budget and lack of advanced planning.

I can't wait!!! I'm more excited than my daughter. Again! Last year we also took our 11 y/o nephew. He's a super kid and we had fun with him, but of course they weren't always interested in the same rides and activities. This time we'll do whatever my daughter wants to do (within reason).

Sorry that was so long! I hope it's helpful. I enjoy sharing our experiences.

Have a Magical Day!!
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