Disney World ideas?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out Archives' started by Aliceacc, Jul 2, 2007.

  1. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jul 2, 2007

    Last night Peter and I were talking about vacation NEXT summer (yeah, a little psychotic, I know.) We're thinking that we would like to take the kids to Disney World in August 2008. Now that I'm back to work, we can probably find the money, and want to go while the kids are still young enough to really love the magic.

    The last time we were in Disney was 1990. We were married a year, and had no kids. We stayed off site, rented a car, and spent from dawn till dusk in the parks. We took a side trip to the Kennedy Space Center.

    Obviously this will be a different trip.

    For starters, we want a reasonably priced on site hotel that has rooms large enough for a family of 5. I'm thinking the All Star or the Sports one-- I know there are several in the "moderate" price range.

    Does anyone have any tips/cautions? etc to offer? Has anyone ever stayed in those hotels?
     
  2.  
  3. Ms.P

    Ms.P Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 2, 2007

    I'm getting ready to leave on Wednesday for Orlando for 5 days. We are staying at the Disney Coronado Springs Resort. It was fairly cheap (compared to the other hotels) - our rate before taxes and everything is $119 a night. I'll post here after I get back and let you know more specifics.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jul 2, 2007

    Thanks!!
     
  5. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,598
    Likes Received:
    35

    Jul 2, 2007

    My kids were 10 and 13 when we went and it was great for us! We were determined to wait until they were old enough to walk all day without assistance - no rides on Dad's shoulders or strollers for us - and they were better able to deal with irregular mealtimes. We shied away from the resorts that you're talking about because of stories of large rowdy groups using those. We paid a little extra for the Animal Kingdom Lodge and it was excellent. We didn't stress out over seeing everything in the parks and enjoyed hours of relaxing time in the pool. We didn't buy a food plan and felt like money was flying out of our wallets. We settled on a large pizza every day in the hotel and that was the best food for the money. Have fun!
     
  6. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Messages:
    3,722
    Likes Received:
    295

    Jul 2, 2007

    Alice,
    If she doesn't pop in, you need to PM mommaruthie - she is the expert on Disney!
     
  7. LakeSophie

    LakeSophie Comrade

    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 2, 2007

    I'm an Orlando local...

    I've stayed at the All Star Resort (the music one, but the three are rather similar), and at Caribbean Beach. I've also heard good things about Pop Century.

    The great thing about staying on site is the transportation system. Buses & monorail take you everywhere (no need to move the car unless you want to)

    Disney offers meal packages for those staying on site, I'd compare the price of that vs just paying for it all. (there are pros & cons of it, I've personally never used it.)

    Lunch prices are cheaper than Dinner prices, I'd make your big meal at lunch if you can. Making reservations can be a lifesaver for the restaurants, but that's something to think about closer to your trip.

    Look to see if any special events are taking place while you want to go, some are great to take advantage of, others you might want to avoid. (super soap weekend-but that's in November, etc. )
     
  8. Superteacher81

    Superteacher81 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Messages:
    306
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 2, 2007

    I'm also an Orlando local! I have stayed at Coronado Springs resort, but none of the others. It is good that they have the transportation for you. However, I have known people to go really cheap and stay outside of Disney and rent a car. I honestly don't know how much you'd save especially when you factor in food. Food at the parks is very pricey! I recommend taking a bag and putting snacks and water in it to last you the day. Also, there is so much to do and see, you will not enjoy yourself if you try to "do it all." Just enjoy it and enjoy being with your family. It is extremely hot here right now. Don't forget sunscreen! Have fun!
     
  9. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Messages:
    7,630
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 2, 2007

    We were just down in May and stayed right across the street from Downtown Disney. We stayed at the hilton which offers it's guests special offers on park tickets. The Double Tree Resort, which is also right in the same area, has a fridge, microwave, etc. in the suite which would be worth looking into. The hotels in that area offer free bus service to all the parks......saves on the headache of driving and parking fees. It is just a short ride and very convenient.
     
  10. Lilu0819

    Lilu0819 Companion

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 2, 2007

    I've stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort and that was really nice. When I was younger and went with my parents, we stayed at a hotel off of Disney properties. It also had a shuttle to and from the parks and was within a short walk/drive to many restaurants.

    I have heard good stuff about the Animal Kingdom lodge from some families at my school.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jul 2, 2007

    I'm thinking of staying on site because it's so easy. We're planning to do the parks in the morning, come back for/after lunch and do the pool for a few hours, then head back to the parks at night. I know my kids; a full day at the park will leave me with cranky kids.

    Has anyone gone and stayed with 3 kids? I'm curious about getting a room for 5.
     
  12. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Messages:
    1,715
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 2, 2007

    I don't have kids of my own, but I know a few people with 3 or 4 kids who have gone and gotten adjoining rooms to fit everyone...Maybe you could look into staying in a condo-like place for a week...plenty of room, and you could make meals yourself so it's not so expensive. Most places in Orlando offer shuttle services to the parks almost every hour of the day, so traveling wouldn't be terribly difficult. If you know anyone that owns a timeshare and wouldn't mind sharing a week with you, you could transfer a week to Orlando without too much struggle/money.
     
  13. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    6,809
    Likes Received:
    190

    Jul 2, 2007

    I know some of my family went they had 3 kids. Can't remember the ages because it was a few years back. They stayed at Animal Kingdom.

    Just to tell you I have a friend who goes & has everything planned. My family did this they got the schedule of the show they wanted to see & the worlds they were in so they could just go to that world do everything there they really wanted to & move on.
     
  14. ABall

    ABall Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    2,738
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 2, 2007

    I can not say anything about Disney world but when we went to Disneyland we stayed at the hotel that had made to order breakfast, and I'm sure they have one near Disney world too, it started with an "E"....... we just called it the E hotel...... doesn't that make me sound dumb at the moment but the idea was it really saved on breakfast..... and they have a "managers" gathering every evening where they served something like popcorn or little snacks and hot chocolate or tea or punch at about 8 pm. Our room had a microwave and a little refrigerator so we could keep things like microwave popcorn or little microwave snacks on hand as well as keep our bottled water cold and we each took a bottle of water with us instead of buying it at the park! We got back from the park for dinner each night and walked to a near by resturant or ordered chineese once....... we could see the fireworks from the hotel room (make sure you ask to be on that side of the hotel if it applies to you).
     
  15. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,048
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 2, 2007

    I took my daughter on the Disney Cruise...I know its not the same, but it was a great trip on a budget. My daughter still talks about this trip. But I know your kids would much rather go to the parks.:D
     
  16. karrie723

    karrie723 Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 2, 2007

    magical memories

    Check out magicalmemories.com
    I know that you said you would like to stay on Disney property, but it will get expernsive with a family of 5. At magical memories they offer villas/townhomes (make sure you get the elite series) We have stayed at a brand new townhome with full kitchen, laundry room, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms for about $130 a night. And it was not too far from Disney. It is easier this way that you can save money by not eating at restaurants for all of your meals. Go grocery shopping the first night you are there, and then you can eat at least breakfast and dinner at "home". It is also nice that you will have your own room/space and the kids will have theirs.
     
  17. Lesley

    Lesley Habitué

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Messages:
    952
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 3, 2007

    We have 5 kids and stay off site each time we go-it is less expensive to get a condo or a house than 2 hotel rooms. Plus there is a kitchen-saves on breakfast and snacks and you can do laundry-which is a big plus when packing for a week. For our next visit I am looking into
    http://www.floridaparadisevillas.com/
     
  18. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,439
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 3, 2007


    Yes, my brother in law and sister in law and the three kids.. ages, 8, 5 and 1

    They stayed at the Polynesisan and loved it.
     
  19. wdwteach

    wdwteach Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Messages:
    716
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 3, 2007

    I love Pop Century. Pay a little more to stay in the 60's. It is by the pool, food, and buses. Absolutely sunscreen and bring your most comfortable shoes. Switch out shoes each day and your feet will not get too sore. Really take care of your feet- the trip will be miserable if someone can't walk. I think the meal plan is expensive and you will gain 10 pounds if you try to eat that much food. My husband and I find that lots of the meals there are huge and we can split stuff. Also, the kids meals are a reasonable size for adults sometimes. If you plan to take mid-day breaks then really do it at least a couple of times. It can be hard to tear yourself away from the parks but it can be worth it. Cool, quiet, slow rides or shows are great for mid-day. Keep cool! Drink lots of water and use wet paper towels, misters, and lots of stops in gift shops to keep cool. You can get heat exhaustion after a few days. I know I made it sound miserable but it is my favorite place to go and I want you to get the most out of your trip.
     
  20. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Messages:
    5,363
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 3, 2007

    The All-Star and sports hotels are fine (because you're into being on site)... As for me, I've stayed in a Wingate, and there's also a decent Radisson close to Disney with many awesome amenities (a tremendous pool area, for one- http://www.radisson.com/kissimmeefl). It's just slightly over $100 a night. The Nickelodeon hotel is also very close and is a better price when it's off a reduced site (http://www.nickhotel.com). There's also an on-site Best Western- there's 7 hotels on-site not operated by Disney.

    Go to http://mousesavers.com if you're into the big savings.

    Any questions about the parks? Do you plan on venturing anywhere else in Orlando?

    (I know lots and lots and lots and lots and lots... because I'm only an hour and a half away. I hope I can help you out. :))
     
  21. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Messages:
    5,363
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 3, 2007

  22. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 3, 2007

    The All Star resorts may be a bit cramped for 5. My Dad, Sister, and I stayed in one awhile back. Memorial Day 2004? Anyway I'm now 27 and my sister is 16. You're the math wiz, and I'm to tired to calculate. Anyway so we weren't young, but I think it would have been a little cramped with more than 3 of us.
    Another time we stayed there and my friend and I got one room and my sister and dad got another room.
     
  23. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 3, 2007

    My number 1 tip for traveling the parks with little kids is get there 30 mins before the park opens and head right to Fantasyland (most people will head for hte roller coasters right away). You're likely to get to ride more rides in that first hour than you will all day. (If you skip Dumbo). I think the parks discontinued their "Surprise Mornings" which was when the parks would open one hour early for hotel guests.

    Bring Snacks. (Try to avoid paying for Disney's Blah food for mega bucks). Eat dinner out of the parks. It will be much better and less expensive. Two of Chicagos Famous Pizzarias actually have locations in Orlando. Unos (which is a national chain- and hte menus are different, but I like the Chain menu better!) and Giordano's- ummmmm yummm. I know there is a big New York VS. Chicago pizza thing, but well to me Pizza is pizza and good anyway you eat it! :)
     
  24. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Messages:
    1,715
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 5, 2007

    Ms.Jasztal might know better because she is close, but I saw a few commercials for the Universal that are advertising deals...no, it's not Disney, but it is close and the hotels might be cheaper.
     
  25. daisy8869

    daisy8869 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 5, 2007

    Alice,

    I'm planning a trip to WDW as a honeymoon for next March. Disney has not released their rates yet for 2008, they probably won't have them posted until the end of July.

    The last time I went to WDW, we stayed at All-Star Sports and the rooms were comfortable for three adults. If your children are small, then I think you will be fine. I believe you can request a fridge/microwave combo unit for $10 a night at the value resorts. This will probably be a good idea for bottles/milk/breakfast items.

    I found a great website with all kinds of WDW information and reviews of everything : www.allears.net

    Good luck with your planning!
     
  26. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jul 5, 2007

    Based on what I've read so far (and I love a project...this is just the beginning), I'm thinking of either:

    a) 2 rooms at the All Star Movie @ around $84 per room per night (this year's prices though) Pros: kiddie atmosphere, 4 queen sized beds, great food court, 2 bathrooms, 2 pools, sleeps 6

    b) "Family suite" @ Port Orleans Riverside (alligator alley I think) @ around 152 per night. Pros: fridge, micro, sleeps 6, 2 bathrooms

    Are there other lodging suggestions you can think of? I've been to Disney 4 or 5 times before, but never with kids.

    Has anyone stayed at either of those 2? How is the bus service? How long is it from the Magic Kingdom?
     
  27. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 5, 2007

    I didn't realize you were going to get two rooms at the All-Stars, that makes it much better. Otherwise I'd worry you'd be squished. I don't remember how long it is (I'm bad with directions), but we've stayed at sports, moives, and music and I don't think we ever drove. It is less than 15 mins if I had to guess and the buses run pretty frequently.

    The downside is sometimes the buses service all three (music, sports, and movies) so sometimes the are pretty packed depending on which one you are staying at.

    You mentioned the pool in the PM (we've never really done the pools at the hotels- I grew up in Florida, not so novel for us), but the pools at all three of those resorts are large and "themed." Also they are right by the food courts (which have a variety of fast food, like a sandwhich shop, pizza shop, etc-- think your local mall food court (not sure if you have local malls- we really don't in Chicago-) anyway your local mall food court sans Chineese food. All three basically have the same food, the restruants just have different names based on the theme. If I remember right the food is also pretty close to the buses so you can go on the way out in the morning if you don't do cereal at yoru house. Which is a big saver (but at all starts you don't have a fridge to keep milk).
     
  28. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jul 5, 2007

    Yeah, I can't see squeezing the 5 of us into one standard hotel room. For starters, those cots are just so uncomfortable!! And additinally, my kids are a whole lot nicer to be with when they don't feel like sardines!

    As far as the pools go, we're thinking now of maybe going down for a week, but getting say a 4 or 5 day pass. That first day we would spend by the pool, then maybe take a whole day midweek: hit the shops at (what used to be called Lake Buena Vista-- near Pleasure Island. I think now it's Mickey's village or something) in the morning, then the pool in the afternoon or something. We're also planning to stay on site so that we can do the parks in the AM, pool in the afternoon, and head back to the parks at dinner time. I want the kids to enjoy this vacation-- it's going to be a whole lot different from the last time Peter and I went down together. (At the park from opening to closing, then hit the pool at midnight!!!)
     
  29. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 5, 2007

    That's how we do Disney- Stay till the night!
    The shops are now called "Downtown Disney." Last time we were there they were really nice.

    We always do the park hopper passes (it's a bit extra) but we'd do Magic Kingdom or MGM in the morning and the do Epcot int he afternoon (less crazy- easier to walk around etc. Cooler inside exhibits). They sometimes we'd go back to MGM or Magic Kingdom at night.

    Are you planning on doing a water park. We used to never do them, but last time we were there (which was 2004 and we did Blizard Beach). It was SO MUCH FUN!

    They got rid of "River Country" which was pretty low key.

    I want to go now. I'm only a few hours away....
     
  30. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jul 5, 2007

    Hmmmmm Water parks. I'm nowhere near thinking of that one, but I'll get to it :) River Country was probably the last one I was at!

    One of the guys Peter works with is a part time travel agent, so we'll probably leave a lot to his best judgement, but I'm thinking I want to start off with an idea of what we're looking for. There are sooo many choices.

    It occurred to me while driving home today from upstate (4 hour drive, and the kids were watching videos while Peter slept, so lots of quiet time for mommy): maybe we'll give them a $ 30 Disney gift cert or something for Christmas, along with Disney PJs or something-- make this trip part of their gift from us. (Or maybe not-- 8 months notice is an awful lot of "how many more days??" )

    What fun!!
     
  31. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,598
    Likes Received:
    35

    Jul 5, 2007

    My kids were older than yours but their favorite parks were the water parks. We found that they were very pleasant first thing in the morning. It seemed like most people went to another park in the morning and checked out the water parks in the afternoon. Water parks are also great after the daily thunderstorm has chased everyone else away.
     
  32. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jul 5, 2007

    Daisy, that website is great!!!
     
  33. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 5, 2007

    But think of the math lessons :)

    With your younger one though I think it could be problematic. Our kids ask every 5 mins when the field trip is when we tell them a week in advance, kids that young have trouble with the concept of time.
     
  34. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jul 5, 2007

    I know!

    We just got back from a 4 hour drive back from upstate. Being that we're on Long Island, we need to go over 2 bridges between here and their cousins (one to get off LI, the ohter later to cross the Hudson.) The first bridge is 20 minutes away.

    Julia, who is 7, asked if we were halfway there TWICE before that bridge!!!
     
  35. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Messages:
    10,120
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 5, 2007

    My mom said we stayed at Dixie Landing mom said it was reasonable.We also stayed at Fort Wilderness she said that is more expensive now.
     
  36. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jul 5, 2007


    I know I am the laziest person on the planet.

    But if I'm paying a fortune to go to Disney I am NOT going to a campground:eek:
     
  37. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 5, 2007

    Oh they have much more than a campground.

    We stayed in cool little delux trailers. It was way fun. They also had old school games. It is where I discovered tetherball.

    Though they totally redit it, so who knows.
     
  38. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jul 5, 2007

    Turtle, I think I hear the sound of you making your reservations for sometime very soon!!
     
  39. daisy8869

    daisy8869 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 5, 2007

    Alice,

    I'm glad you like that web site...it has saved me a lot of time. We are planning on staying at fort wilderness lodge...a nice resort. I forgot to mention earlier that they have rooms with a queen bed and a set of bunk beds. All of their rooms have fridges in them as well and the theming of the resort is supposed to be fantastic, you might want to check it out and see if you like it. I bet your kids would LOVE it...the lobby when you walk in is eight stories tall!
     
  40. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 5, 2007

    Not sure I'll be back down here before December...

    Though I'd love to. We used to go all the time growing up (Florida residents) and then we went maybe once a year when I was in college).

    I wanted to run the Disney 1/2 marathon the last few years, but I keep getting injured and have never gotten my milage up fast enough.
     
  41. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Messages:
    10,120
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 5, 2007

    It wasn't like a camp ground. It was kind of nice. We had our own cottage or cabin. We liked Dixie Landing better.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. miss-m,
  2. vickilyn
Total: 579 (members: 3, guests: 562, robots: 14)
test