Last night at dinner, Peter said the magic words:

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Aliceacc, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Mar 21, 2011

    I've always wanted to stay at the Grand Floridian. Sadly, it is NOT in my budget!

    But now that a million things have cropped up (a wedding, a birthday party, a Labor Day party - all out of state, all this summer), we've decided to cut out our Spring Break Gainesville trip and do an Epcot trip :). It'll just be overnight, but now I'm thinking about the hotels, too...
     
  2. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Mar 21, 2011

    YAY!!

    What are you thinking?
     
  3. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Mar 21, 2011

    Right now, I'm thinking Fort Wilderness - I'm mourning the loss of Ginnie Springs, Devil's Millhopper, and Paynes Prairie! Plus, I've never stayed there.

    I'd love to do the Poly, but I have a tendency to stay late at the parks - I'd miss all the perks of staying there. And there's always the teacher discount at the Swan & Dolphin...

    And, of course, Old Key West - it's kind of an improvement on the real thing :lol:
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Mar 21, 2011

    My sister stayed at the GF a few years ago. She enjoyed it, but stayed at the Poly the next time she went.
     
  5. Miss.W

    Miss.W Companion

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    Mar 21, 2011

    Alice, was there anything your sister did not like about the Grand Floridian? We are staying there and Fort Wildnerness for our Honeymoon in July.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Mar 21, 2011

    No, she loved it.

    The Poly was cheaper, but she adored the Grand Floridian!!
     
  7. Kindergarten31

    Kindergarten31 Cohort

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    Mar 22, 2011

    The Grand Floridian is just 'Florida elegant'. It is so beautiful and I like that it is right on the monorail line. I have stayed there, the Polynesian, Port Orleans, Dixie Landings (when it still existed), Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach, the Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge, Fort Wilderness, and all of the what I call 'star' resorts. Each one has it own atmosphere and everyone likes different ones for different reasons.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 3, 2011

    Peter got back from the Senior Trip a few hours ago. We just finished a DVD he got on Disney World.

    I want to go.

    Now.
     
  9. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Apr 3, 2011

    Haha!

    Me too.

    At least you have a trip to look forward to and plan...
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 3, 2011

    Yeah, but it's a year and a half away! In between that there's a trip to Mystic (CT) in 3 weeks, and this summers' trip to Lake George.

    Still, I really want to go to Disney!

    Peter keeps saying I should put in for our Senior Trip. But I can't go to Disney without my kids!!!
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Apr 3, 2011

    Think of it as a scouting expedition, Alice...
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 3, 2011

    Nope :)

    I'm fine with him going. But I'm not going without my kids.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 30, 2011

    Well, I've spent the last few days deciding on a travel agent.

    I certainly know enough to do a decent job of booking my own trip. But we're very fortunate to both have steady jobs in this economy and to be able to hit Disney every few years; I see no reason not to let someone else make a commission off my trip.

    For those of you who don't know, there is such a thing as a Certified Disney Specialist. I figured it was time to work with a travel agent who knew at least as much as I do.

    So, in typical psychotic fashion, I emailed 15 travel agents the other day. Of the 10 responses, I narrowed it down to 3 and chose one last night.

    (What they don't know is that I'm talking to 2 other friends who are also considering going at around the same time. If they're interested, I'll be happy to share the name of my travel agent. So this could be 3 bookings, not just one, for the agent who did such a wonderful job answering my many questions.)

    I'm very happy with the woman I've chosen, and with her agency.

    For anyone curious, my top 3 agencies were (in alphabetical particular order since all 3 sound great):


    http://www.dreamsunlimitedtravel.com/vacationplanning/index.htm

    http://earstoyoutravel.com/

    http://www.ourlaughingplace.com/walt_disney_world/wdw.aspx

    We'll be booking 7 nights at the Beach Club when prices are released in August. I'm thinking first week of August 2012.
     
  14. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    Apr 30, 2011

    thanks for the info Alice. With a little bit more convincing with michael, I think we will also be going, I am thinking of August 12-19th 2011
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 30, 2011

    This year??? How wonderful!!

    Any idea of what arrangements you'll be making?
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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  17. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    Apr 30, 2011

    oops, wrong year, next year. sorry 2012.

    this week should be in between new teacher orientation and my own school starting

    my youngest daughter graduates private preschool next june, and enter the world of "Free" public education, so, I am thinking that her fall tuition will be going towards Disney with no major financial strain, kwim?
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 30, 2011

    Sure.

    And I'm glad you said next year... we can plan together!
     
  19. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 14, 2011

    Surprise, surprise!

    YESTERDAY Disney released their 2012 package rates-- about 6 weeks ahead of their normal timing. (My guess is because they're opening their Art of Animation resort and want to open up the bookings.)

    I really, REALLY need some sort of PIN code or discount, or this is going to be an incredibly expensive vacation!!

    I emailed our travel agent, and asked her to start putting together some numbers for us. Since the deposit is refundable up until 46 days out, there's no reason not to book now-- and guarantee the room we want-- and hope for a discount next spring.

    Anyone hoping for Art of Animation, be warned-- the family suites there are much more expensive than similar rooms at All Star Music.
     
  20. old_School

    old_School Rookie

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    Jun 14, 2011

    Sad Face lol Im to poor to visit Disneyland I think. Ive never been and Im afraid to see what the cost would be. Ive herd its 2k and up. Bit pricy for a vacation for me. Still would be nice to go sometime. I hear its an amazing place. But Id likely take the money for it and reinvest it or something.
     
  21. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jun 14, 2011

    We have a timeshare that's right next to Animal Kingdom. Unfortunately, we can't afford to do the parks. So we just spend our time at our timeshare. It's very resort like, no need to leave.
     
  22. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 14, 2011

    Would an Annual Pass make things more affordable for you?
     
  23. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jun 14, 2011

    Here's a tip some of you sports fans might want to consider during your Disney trip. I'm now working at the ESPN Wide World of Sports and there are tons of events that are scheduled throughout the year that any Disney guest can attend. There would be an entrance fee, but if you would like to watch competitions (some professional), this might be a park you would want to consider during your stay.
     
  24. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jun 15, 2011

    I've thought of that. The trick is getting my hubby not to spend all of our Christmas money on Christmas gifts & then put that money toward park tickets. I almost had him convinced this past Christmas & then he went shopping. He has to have presents under the tree!

    With the new rates that just came out, for a family of 4 it would be almost $400 just for a 1 day park pass. (what did I hear last night, $90 a ticket for 1 day?!?!)
     
  25. Chrissteeena

    Chrissteeena Companion

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    Jun 15, 2011

    I've tried so hard to stay away from this thread. I want to go to Disney so bad! It would just be BF and I, but the prices have went up so much. We can't even afford two 1 day tickets to a park with our FL discount.

    kpa, yes it is just about $91 for a one day pass for adults $85 for kids. For a FL resident it's about $82 for an adult and $75 for kids.
     
  26. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jun 15, 2011

    Well my youngest is 15, so I'm guessing he'd be the adult rate.
     
  27. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 15, 2011

    Adult rates start at age 10.
     
  28. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Alice, I was thinking of you yesterday when my students were working on their trip planning assignment. One group was struggling to find some information about Disney and I wanted to tell them, "Just ask Alice!"
     
  29. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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  30. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jun 16, 2011

    Thanks for the links--I'll let you know what they come up with!
     
  31. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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  32. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Jun 22, 2011

    Did you consider using Kingdom Konsultants?http://www.kingdomkonsultant.com/

    I hope you have a wonderful time. I wish I were going then as well. There is nothing like a Disney vacation in my book. My daughter's dream is to live in Disney World. :)
     
  33. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 23, 2011

    Yes, but honestly I wasn't impressed with their original response. I forget why.
     
  34. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 25, 2011

    I'm really excited about this YES program stuff... I spent way too much time on the computer yesterday researching it.

    Aside from a choice of really cool 3 hour classes, it has the potential to save us some serious money!
     
  35. ally06

    ally06 Companion

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    Jun 29, 2011

    Hi Alice - I will be in New York at the end of August and my sister is coming over for a little holiday with me. We had an 'oh, we should go to Disney World' conversation but thought it would cost too much. I have been looking around the internet today and have realised that it is not as expensive as I thought and may just be possible.
    We would be going at the end of August (30th) but would only be able to stay a max of 3 nights because of other travel plans. Do you have any ideas of how we can do this as cheaply as possible or where the best places to look are? Thanks!
     
  36. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 29, 2011

    Oh, the words I love to see.

    Hang on a second and let me get you some info.
     
  37. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 29, 2011

    Go here:http://bookwdw.reservations.disney....ework/components/processEngine?startOver=true


    August 30, 2011
    Check Out September 2, 2011

    Travel Party2 Adults

    Resort Chioce: Disney's All Star Music Resort

    Dining and Entertainment Choice: Magic Your Way Package

    Park Ticket Choice: 4 day Magic Your Way tickets

    TOTAL: $785

    If you want to include the Quick Service Dining plan, the total is $985)

    Now, for airfare. I checked www.kayak.com and found:
    New York Orlando
    JFK 7:59am MCO 10:39am Nonstop 2h 40m
    American Airlines 1777

    FLIGHT DETAILS
    Tue. Aug. 30 (Arriving Aug. 30) New York, NY to Orlando, FL
    New York (JFK) to Orlando (MCO)
    American Airlines 1777
    Economy / Coach Class (Q), Boeing 757
    Depart 7:59am Arrive 10:39am
    Duration: 2h 40m
    Total trip time: 2h 40m | 938 miles

    Only 2 tickets left at this price! Orlando New York


    FLIGHT DETAILS
    Fri. Sep. 2 (Arriving Sep. 2) Orlando, FL to New York, NY
    Orlando (MCO) to New York (LGA)
    Delta 1876
    Economy / Coach Class (L), BOEING (DOUGLAS) MD-88
    Depart 2:00pm Arrive 4:43pm


    Roundtrip
    $233
    total $262 $233 Fare
    +$29 Taxes & Fees
    $262 Total per person

    (Note, you're leaving from one NYC airport and returning to another. But I know them both; they're both NYC.)

    Total price for this trip: $522.80

    So basically, it would be ballpark $1500 for airfare, room, park tickets and food for the two of you.
     
  38. ally06

    ally06 Companion

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    Jun 29, 2011

    Thanks ever so much Alice! I will have a good look at it all tomorrow (looong day and I'm ready for sleep!) and I'm sure I will have some more questions for you.
     
  39. ally06

    ally06 Companion

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    Jun 30, 2011

    Hi Alice - We have decided to definitely do Disney and love the look of the All Star Music Resort - the price is good too! Before we book it, is the dining plan worth the money or are we better off buying our own food as we go? Also, we don't think we will add the park hopper option, I assume there is enough in each park to keep us busy each day?
    I tried to book flights through Delta but they wouldn't accept my card (I think because it is not a US card) so I will be visiting a travel agent here tomorrow morning to see if they can help me.
    Thanks again for your help, it's great to have some first hand reccomendations!
     
  40. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 30, 2011

    I LOVE the meal plan. I don't know that it necessarily saves us money, but I love the fact that it's prepaid, and the fact that it pushes us to sit together as a family each night for a table service meal.

    But before you book the meal plan, take a look at some of the table service restaurants and see if the ones you want have openings. Table service can be booked 180 days before your trip, so some of them may be full for the dates/times you want.

    Some of our favorites are Le Cellier and the Coral Reef in Epcot (try for lunch if dinner is booked), Chef Mickeys at the Contemporary (easy to reach from the Magic Kingdom via monorail) and Yak and Yetti in Animal Kingdom. Then again, as 2 adults, you're probably a lot more flexible in your eating habits than my kids, so maybe availability isn't a huge issue.

    Hit http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/reservations/dining/ and plug in your dates and times, and see what's available.

    We always get the parkhopper because it adds to the convenience; I can book restaurants 180 days out and not care whether or not I'm in that park. But it's probably an unnecessary expense for you. And if you do decide you want parkhoppers while you're there, you can always add it on. The price is the same regardless of when you book it So if you're in Animal Kingdom and the weather turns awful, pick up a parkhopper and go to Epcot (a lot more indoor stuff) then go back to AK another day.

    Also, ask the travel agent whether any of the specials currently running (particularly free dining) would apply to your stay. And take a look at the POP Century resort as well; a friend stayed there and loved it. Any of the 4 "value" resorts will have the same price and ameneties, so don't sweat it if you get one of the others (All Star Sports or Movies or POP) instead of AS Music.
     

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