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Old 03-16-2010, 11:46 AM   #1
hsmomof3
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Hi, I'm Stacey and I'm overwhelmed

We have the dates that we want to go May 22-26 BUT we are a family of 5 on a tight budget and I am finding out that budget friendly on site lodging is hard to come by for a family of our size.

We have been to Disney 3 times before but this will be our first trip during a Star Wars weekend (my kids and DH are HUGE Star Wars fans).

Can you help with:
Do I need TGM? Is the cost worth it? (I told you I was on a tight budget )
What are your recommendations for a family of our size (kids are 15,10, and 5)?
Should we do a vacation package or get the tickets and lodging seperate?

Any advice would be appreciated!
Thanks!
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:54 AM   #2
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You have several great questions but it would be best if you ask them on our appropriate boards. For instance our Theme Parks board would be the best place to get answers for your first two questions. You can take a look at our Resorts Board and their Codes and Rates sub-board to get advice on the different booking options.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:14 PM   #3
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:59 PM   #4
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hsmomof3 View Post
We have the dates that we want to go May 22-26 BUT we are a family of 5 on a tight budget and I am finding out that budget friendly on site lodging is hard to come by for a family of our size.

We have been to Disney 3 times before but this will be our first trip during a Star Wars weekend (my kids and DH are HUGE Star Wars fans).

Can you help with:
Do I need TGM? Is the cost worth it? (I told you I was on a tight budget )
What are your recommendations for a family of our size (kids are 15,10, and 5)?
Should we do a vacation package or get the tickets and lodging seperate?

Any advice would be appreciated!
Thanks!
Welcome!

I think if you research these boards you can probably get by without TGM. As far as a family of 5 on a budget the least expensive accomodations on site would be a standard room at POR with a trundle bed for the 5 year old. Space would be cramped though, with only 1 bathroom. You could also look at a family suite at All Star Music Resort or two rooms at a value resort. One other option in the moderate category would be a cabin at Fort Wilderness resort, while still only one bathroom you would definitely have more space with a separate bedroom area and a small kitchen to help with food costs.

The roomier economical option would be staying offsite and renting a condo. It would be less expensive and afford your family more space, but you would have to factor in driving and parking expenses which can add up quickly. If you are flying to Orlando spending more to stay onsite may actually be better for you in the long run.

You have come to a good place to get more information, I know everyone on here loves to help!
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:48 PM   #6
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Old 03-16-2010, 08:22 PM   #7
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Stay on site if at all possible. Well worth the money and a real time saver! POR would be a little cramped but how much time will you be in the room except to sleep if you are only going tobe there a few days?
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:44 AM   #8
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We are a family of five too - that's why we bought into Disney Vacation Club to have more space.
But... since you're on a budget like we were when my daughter was 5, I would recommend POR with the trundle bed - it worked great for us and there is a little more space than in the All-Stars (unless the Family Suite or two rooms works out cheaper for you).
You will not need TGM - we had friends that went with us and spent the money on it, but with all the tips from me and the DIS they hardly looked at it.
For meals, which we always found to be the biggest expense (that's why we have DVC - I have a full kitchen to buy groceries and not eat out!), we did not get the dining plan ever. We pack breakfast items for in the room (breakfast bars, cereal, pop tarts, whatever the kids want - there's toasters and microwaves in most food courts) and buy a refillable mug or two (these are a great money saver for morning coffee/tea/juice and pop for evenings or afternoons). We just share one or two, never go to the expense of buying one for everyone.
Eating out, before DVC, we would have one big meal a day either with a reservation at a buffet or sit-down restaurant, and then a counter service we would share for the other meal. My kids would love it when we would suggest a huge fruit turnover for lunch from the Main Street Bakery at Magic Kingdom (only $2.29 each), and then maybe an ice cream later, then have our big meal for dinner. And to save on buying bottled water, ice water is free at any of the carts/counter services, you just have to ask - it's not tap water, it's from the soda fountain and it's very refreshing and FREE! We also pack snacks from home for days in the parks - fruit snacks, baggies full of whatever the kids like (crackers, cookies, granola bars, etc.). It helps with those rumbling tummies in between meals and saves buying snacks at the park. I usually pack a small rolling suitcase full of snacks if I'm not renting a car for grocery shopping (with breakfast items, chips, chocolate bars and other snacks), and then I have an empty suitcase for souvenirs to take home!

I'm sure there's a million other things you can learn - those are just a few budget savers I can think of from past family trips.

Happy planning!
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Old 03-17-2010, 05:19 PM   #9
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:35 AM   #10
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hsmomof3 View Post
We have the dates that we want to go May 22-26 BUT we are a family of 5 on a tight budget and I am finding out that budget friendly on site lodging is hard to come by for a family of our size.

We have been to Disney 3 times before but this will be our first trip during a Star Wars weekend (my kids and DH are HUGE Star Wars fans).

Can you help with:
Do I need TGM? Is the cost worth it? (I told you I was on a tight budget )
What are your recommendations for a family of our size (kids are 15,10, and 5)?
Should we do a vacation package or get the tickets and lodging seperate?

Any advice would be appreciated!
Thanks!
the cheapest onsite option for a family of 5 is the Alligator Bayou section of POR. This is the only section of the only moderate to accept families of 5. And the 5th sleeps on a trundle stored under one of the beds.
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Old 03-19-2010, 03:40 AM   #12
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:32 PM   #13
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My husband and son love star wars too!

Will you have a car? If so try windsorhillsrent.com. It's only a mile or two outside the gate and you can drive to any park in about 15 minutes but you will have to pay $11 or $12 per day to park. We like the 3 bedroom townhomes. They have patio pools, washer and dryers, and there is a large pool with a slide and a playground inside this gated community that you can use. Most of them are around $100/night. We go to WDW 2 or 3 times a year and we like to alternate staying on and off property. My kids love the space and the pools and I love driving to the parks instead of waiting in line at bus stops and standing on the bus after a long day. Have a great trip!
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Old 03-28-2010, 09:39 PM   #14
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welcome!
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Old 03-29-2010, 04:22 AM   #15
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welcome to the forum!
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