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Old 01-27-2013, 07:15 PM   #1
mousefan1972
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Well, we did it.....

DH and I swore we would never invite friends or family to come to WDW with us on our points. I've read too many horror stories of how badly things can go. Plus, neither of us are close enough with any of our relatives to even consider vacationing with them! Well, we've become good friends with a couple who's daughter is our daughter's BFF, and our sons are also good friends, though they aren't as close as the girls. We have been spending a lot of time together and we always get along great.

After much discussion, we decided to invite them to Disney! And they said yes! They have been twice before and stayed at the Poly both times. We booked a dedicated 2 BR at our home resort of BLT. The trip will be 5 nights in mid-August. The boys will be 8 and the girls 10 at time of travel. Actually our DD will turn 10 during the trip. We have already told them that we don't expect to be joined at the hip with them and won't be offended if they want to split up during the day. We do plan to eat dinner together each night. We are still debating DDP vs TiW, which we would need to purchase. Does anyone have any advice? Either on the dining question or just general advice about traveling with another family. We are excited, but also a little nervous. Btw, we invited them and thus are not accepting any compensation for the villa. Thanks in advance!

Last edited by mousefan1972; 01-27-2013 at 07:59 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:31 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mousefan1972 View Post
DH and I swore we would never invite friends or family to come to WDW with us on our points. I've read too many horror stories of how badly things can go. Plus, neither of us are close enough with any of our relatives to even consider vacationing with them! Well, we've become good friends with a couple who's daughter is our daughter's BFF, and our sons are also good friends, though they aren't as close as the girls. We have been spending a lot of time together and we always get along great.

After much discussion, we decided to invite them to Disney! And they said yes! They have been twice before and stayed at the Poly both times. We booked a dedicated 2 BR at our home resort of BLT. The trip will be 5 nights in mid-August. The boys will be 8 and the girls 10 at time of travel. Actually our DD will turn 10 during the trip. We have already told them that we don't expect to be joined at the hip with them and won't be offended if they want to split up during the day. We do plan to eat dinner together each night. We are still debating DDP vs TiW, which we would need to purchase. Does anyone have any advice? Either on the dining question or joist general advice about traveling with another family. We are excited, but also a little nervous. Btw, we invited them and thus are not accepting any compensation for the villa. Thanks in advance!
Congrats. I would prefer to take friends over families any time. Are these friends experienced Disney travelers, I.e., do they know how much tickets and meals cost? Will each of family purchase a TiW card or are you thinking of just doing one or the other? If you are doing TiW, will they reimburse you with cash or try to pay with to cards? Some places will let you give two cards, but I think the rule is only the name on TiW card and credit card can pay. I think as long as you have that conversation with them up front, then everything will be ok.

Also, with room charges, I think I read you can have them split to different accounts, but never done that part. Enjoy your planning.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:48 PM   #3
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They've been twice before, most recently May '12 so prices shouldn't be too much of a shock. The Dad is in the Navy Reserve so on their past trips they've done the Military Salute room discount and tickets. They are planning to buy Salute tickets for our trip together (we have APs). We haven't figured out how we would pay if we go with the TiW card. Good idea to talk about it in advance. Thanks for the reply!
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:27 PM   #4
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I think AirGoofy has some sage advice. Just talk things out before you go and have an understanding of who is paying for what and how costs are going to be shared. I'd also expect there to be some misunderstanding somewhere along the way, and if you want to continue to be close to these folks, you take it in stride (i.e., you might pay for some stuff you didn't intend to--but you like them, and within reason don't mind paying for a few drinks or sandwiches).

I'd also make sure that your friends understand that nobody is joined at the hip, and if anyone wants to split off and do something different, there are no hurt feelings.

Have fun. We have some friends who we'd really enjoy sharing DVC with, but I just don't think they're all that interested.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:30 PM   #5
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Our very first trip to WDW was with Friends who took us on their DVC points. We purchased on our very next trip and we have all been to WDW a number of times together.

You can designate a Credit Card for different room keys.

As for meals, if you are getting TIW, then you may have to work out how they reimburse you. Just keep all the receipts and make sure you keep track of the costs. We usually don't worry too much as we trust each other implicitly.

As stated above, just have all those conversations up front be patient in terms or sharing time and waiting for each other etc.....and most of all....

HAVE FUN!!
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:00 PM   #6
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We use the TIW for our trips. Last summer, my wife's sister and her family came with us. They had a Disney Rewards card and we presented that along with our room key to pay for the meals. We would tell the server how much to put on the Rewards card. You could probably have your friends purchase some Disney gift cards at Target or The Disney Store to use for meals, if you do the TIW.

We have had good and bad experiences with traveling with friends. Based on your description, it sounds like you have a good chance at having a good time. The hard part, for me, is getting the invited guests to understand why we start planning at 180 days. Sometimes it is hard for Disney newbies to understand how difficult it can be to get reservations at certain WDW restaurants.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:14 AM   #7
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It sounds like a fun trip, but my only concern is if you are close enough to share a 2 BR or if 2 1 BRs might have more privacy for all. There are very few people I'd want to share a 2BR with.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:48 AM   #8
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As for meals, if you are getting TIW, then you may have to work out how they reimburse you. Just keep all the receipts and make sure you keep track of the costs.
You can use multiple forms of payment when using the TIW card (credit cards or room charges with different last names). I've done it several times. You can even tell them how much to put on each card.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:54 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by mousefan1972 View Post
DH and I swore we would never invite friends or family to come to WDW with us on our points. I've read too many horror stories of how badly things can go.
And for every horrific story, there's probably 5 reports of people never having a problem! The good stuff seldom makes the threads, the negative always seems to!

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Originally Posted by mousefan1972 View Post
We are excited, but also a little nervous. Btw, we invited them and thus are not accepting any compensation for the villa. Thanks in advance!
That's how I do it, if I invite, you're my guests! Often friends and/or family will treat us to a nice dinner but it's certainly not expected but always appreciated!

We have 3 families that we share our DVC/vacations with, our kids have grown up together since they were very young, and adult friendships were formed through our kids. You find out a lot about people when you share accommodations, just as they will find out things about you. All of those wonderful times we've shared together with our kids only solidified the friendships even more!

Best advice, don't sweat the small stuff! As far as the DDP, doesn't work for how we eat like to eat and vacation, we use the TIW card! The TIW card ends up paying for itself, as we always travel in groups of 6-8, with huge dinners and drinks included, it's the best savings for us!
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:34 AM   #10
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We brought my parents with us to California and stayed in a two bedroom, we decided after that trip we wont do it again. I love my parents deeply but after a few days the limited space and my very active two kids really started to have a strain on my dad.

We are taking a family with us to Hawaii next year, we couldnt decide whether or not to ask them to pay for some of the room until they actually offered. We decided the fair way would be they are paying how much extra it would be depending if we book either a two bedroom or grand villa. They will pay the difference on how many points we will have to borrow in order to book the room.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:53 PM   #11
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Thank you for the comments! You have given me lots to think about. We will certainly talk with our friends ahead of time in terms of expectations of who pays for what, how much time we'll spend together, etc. I'm not concerned about being in a 2 BR with them as we don't plan to hang out in the villa much. Plus the BLT 2 BRs are a very good size and have 3 full baths. Finally, we have gone to Disney dozens of times; 3-5 times per year since 2007. There isn't much we haven't done and/or seen. I can't think of anything in Disney that would be worth ruining our friendship with the family we are bringing. If they want to do something we normally wouldn't do, no big deal. We'll be back soon enough. That's the beauty of DVC. Thanks again!
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:09 PM   #12
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I've invited a friend on my first "staying on points" trip. Crazy- I know. I have an amazing friend I've become close with and her DD and mine are BFFs. She's had a tough year and I wanted to get her away. The girls bdays are a week apart so the weekend in between- taking them to Disney- and my other 2. At the time, we were leaving the hubbies home. Since then hers left her, even more reason she needs this.

Like others have said, I invited her and expect nothing. We'll split gas on the way down and back and she'll reimburse me for her meals (TIW). A few months ago I listed out what she'd need (money wise).

I'm so excited to go, I know it won't be like when we do Disney but like you said, that's the joy of DVC, we'll be back (in July) and can catch it then, there is nothing worth getting bent up over.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:23 PM   #13
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We have invited close friends of ours to come with us twice and we had a blast. We did get separate rooms so we had our "down time" and their credit card was on their own room key. We split the restaurant bills down the middle when the bill came. They treated us to dinner one night each trip as a thank you for inviting them. We never took compensation for the room.
We have the TIW card which really came in handy.

They recripocated and we went to Hilton Head on their RCI points and stayed at the Shipyard Wreck (?). Had a whole house with our own built in pool and, again, had a fantastic time. They are really easy to travel with, anything goes, any food as long as there are beer and drinks! Would take friends in a heartbeat.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:34 PM   #14
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We have had friends and family... and family friends travel with us.

The best thing, as others have said - you know how everything is going to play out in terms of payment, you know how it works - so just make as much advanced arrangement as possible.

Our friends always feel guilty that we pay for the lodging - so they paid for all the food this past time.

We are in better financial shape at this point in their life...but that's going to change (he's been in med school)! HAHA So they said they are taking us to Aulani next year or the year after. I don't doubt it will happen! HAHA

Anyway - just make sure you know who is going to cover what, and what is going to be shared, and what is totally on your own.

As long as you have everything nailed down - you won't have anything to worry about!

With proper planning and discussion, in the end, a good time will be had by all!
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:47 PM   #15
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You guys are the best! The horror stories I've read on here are fading further and further from my memory... lol.
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