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Disney World (Orlando) Deals and Discussion

serra 11,049 January 11, 2011 at 08:16 PM
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This thread is for Disney World (Orlando, Florida) Deals and Discussion.

Feel free to discuss:
  • resorts and park deals
  • disney vacation package deals
  • accommodations around disney
  • disney transportation
  • disney dining deals
  • ticket deals that include other attractions
  • special events & promotion happening at the park

official walt disney world website [go.com]
free vacation planning dvd [disneyvacations.com]

379 Comments

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#31
Quote from yacorie View Post :
Any comments on the dining plan? We are going in may there are 2 kids and 2 adults. We are not big, big eaters. I would like to do a few character meals like chef mickey or something similar. Is it worth the price?
Our family travels to WDW at least 2x a year and have tried most of the table service locations, including most character dining options. We love dining in Disney. For us, the dining plan (DDP) has been a good value. We've used it twice, most recently this past Christmas break. However, we couldn't come close to finishing all the food it came with! If you're not big eaters, I might be a little wary of it. Also, please be aware that tips are not included in your table service credits, so that is an extra expense you should plan for.

We plan our reservations around getting the most value possible out of the dining plan. Restaurants like the Garden Grill, Akershus, or 'Ohana (dinner) can all give you a big bang for your buck (that's the SD way, right?).

I recommend looking through menus online to see if it would be a good fit for your family. It can be more than worth it, but it's also not hard to feel like you're wasting quite a bit of food and money if you don't plan well or eat much. It just depends on how you want to budget your time and your money. Either way, Disney is a wonderful place to travel with your family. Smilie

HTH...have a great vacation!
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#32
Quote from vaultaddict View Post :
nice!

and thanks for the new forum!

heading to DW in April

I am heading there April 29th!! Just made reservations at Westgate towncenter a mile from Disney World with full kitchen, big screen TVs, pools, activities include miniature golf, reg paddle boats,swan paddle boats, bikes, pools, playgrounds, a theater which plays Disney movies and mini water park.

Is it April yet? When are you heading there?

Maybe we can pass on the best deals we find during the time we will be there.
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#33
We are heading down to WDW in April. Not staying on property (using points to stay the the WDW Maingate Hilton for extra Magic Hours without using real $$).

Will be a party of 6; 4 adults with two teenagers. Not worried about most impulse purchases...seems like FOOD might be the biggest expense. Anyone have specific ideas on how to cut cost?
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#34
Quote from wdwamanda View Post :
Our family travels to WDW at least 2x a year and have tried most of the table service locations, including most character dining options. We love dining in Disney. For us, the dining plan (DDP) has been a good value. We've used it twice, most recently this past Christmas break. However, we couldn't come close to finishing all the food it came with! If you're not big eaters, I might be a little wary of it. Also, please be aware that tips are not included in your table service credits, so that is an extra expense you should plan for.

We plan our reservations around getting the most value possible out of the dining plan. Restaurants like the Garden Grill, Akershus, or 'Ohana (dinner) can all give you a big bang for your buck (that's the SD way, right?).

I recommend looking through menus online to see if it would be a good fit for your family. It can be more than worth it, but it's also not hard to feel like you're wasting quite a bit of food and money if you don't plan well or eat much. It just depends on how you want to budget your time and your money. Either way, Disney is a wonderful place to travel with your family. Smilie

HTH...have a great vacation!

cinderella castle is a must kids and adults -it is just magical-have to bk really early as this sells out-it will be 2 of your meals but well worth it(character ones are).
at hollywood studios-sci-fi, and 50's prime time are fantastic! If you go to epcot-the coral reef-this also books well in advance. toward the end can end up w/extra snacks, but those are easy to finish up by getting small things to hv for breakfast the nxt day, late night snacks or finish up by grabbing snack items to take bk on your trip home.
hope this helps=ENJOY!
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#35
Quote from rjrich View Post :
We are heading down to WDW in April. Not staying on property (using points to stay the the WDW Maingate Hilton for extra Magic Hours without using real $$).

Will be a party of 6; 4 adults with two teenagers. Not worried about most impulse purchases...seems like FOOD might be the biggest expense. Anyone have specific ideas on how to cut cost?
They'll allow to bring in any food you want so, if you're really concerned, consider going to one of the local supermarkets and preparing sandwiches or something similar ahead of time. Otherwise, you can probably find some meals at the quick service restaurants for as low as $7.
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#36
We always use the dining plan and LOVE it! Just a thought if you aren't big eaters ... are you driving or flying?

We drove (about a 10 hour drive for us), and even though we ate very well, each trip we wound up with a few quick service meals leftover, and also a few snacks.

On our last night there, we were in magic kingdom and went to the awesome turkey leg stand. We used a few meal credits to stock up on turkey legs/bottled drinks/bags of chips, wrapped them all in foil and ziploc bags, and when we got back home the next day after a long drive, we popped them in the oven. Not only was it an easy meal, but we felt like we had brought a little of disney home with us.

We did the same with snack credits - on our way out of magic kingdom, stopped in the candy store and got some stuff for the road. In the morning, stopped at our hotel's restaurant (it was on property) and got things like bags of sliced apples, grapes, carrot sticks for snacks in the car. We didn't waste a single meal or snack credit by the time we left.
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#37
OH, I have to respectfully disagree about Cinderella's castle, or at least offer a different perspective.

We went back and forth for a while over whether to spend 2 meal credits there. After a lot of research, we decided to instead eat at the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Epcot. We LOVE it there. It's only one dining credit, and most of the princesses are there - not just Cinderella. We've been twice, and you see Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Ariel, Belle ... and I am not sure if I'm forgetting anyone. You also get for free an 8x10 nice picture with Belle (taken as you walk in). I would opt for this over Cinderella's castle personally.

Same with Ohana - we thought about doing the 2 credit meal offered there (I think it's a luau), but really didn't want to waste 2 credits. So instead we just ate there one night - only 1 credit. And it was awesome! And they still have music, put on a show, have the kids come up and dance, etc.
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#38
I don't this we can do the dining plan, since we will be at the Hilton...
We are flying. Again, using points!nod
Quote from moozle View Post :
We always use the dining plan and LOVE it! Just a thought if you aren't big eaters ... are you driving or flying?

We drove (about a 10 hour drive for us), and even though we ate very well, each trip we wound up with a few quick service meals leftover, and also a few snacks.

On our last night there, we were in magic kingdom and went to the awesome turkey leg stand. We used a few meal credits to stock up on turkey legs/bottled drinks/bags of chips, wrapped them all in foil and ziploc bags, and when we got back home the next day after a long drive, we popped them in the oven. Not only was it an easy meal, but we felt like we had brought a little of disney home with us.

We did the same with snack credits - on our way out of magic kingdom, stopped in the candy store and got some stuff for the road. In the morning, stopped at our hotel's restaurant (it was on property) and got things like bags of sliced apples, grapes, carrot sticks for snacks in the car. We didn't waste a single meal or snack credit by the time we left.
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#39
Quote from rjrich View Post :
I don't this we can do the dining plan, since we will be at the Hilton...
We are flying. Again, using points!nod
Oh yeah, you're right. You can't use the dining plan if you aren't in a disney hotel. I was suggesting it more for yacorie who had asked about it specifically.

I have heard really nice things about that Hilton though! Enjoy!
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#40
Quote from REDCELL View Post :
The only concern I had was that I didnt get a booking with Payless or Advantage. I have read waaay too many horror stories about them. Once I got confirmation it was a "Major" company...I bit. I have used Hotwire for many things and never had any problem.

Im still stoked about the deal...
Do you know which rental car agencies Hotwire typically uses in Orlando? I have read through the betterbidding website, which lists the hotels that are generally used, but I did not see a listing for the rental car agencies. That would be my biggest fear...getting a crappy rental car agency to deal with. It looks like a rental through Hotwire right now is $3XX.XX as opposed to $6XX.XX through some of the agency sites. Big savings...but worth the risk??
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#41
Quote from dancemom View Post :
Do you know which rental car agencies Hotwire typically uses in Orlando? I have read through the betterbidding website, which lists the hotels that are generally used, but I did not see a listing for the rental car agencies. That would be my biggest fear...getting a crappy rental car agency to deal with. It looks like a rental through Hotwire right now is $3XX.XX as opposed to $6XX.XX through some of the agency sites. Big savings...but worth the risk??

From Hotwires site:

You're guaranteed a car from a major car-rental agency: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar (International only), Hertz, or National.
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#42
Quote from REDCELL View Post :
From Hotwires site:

You're guaranteed a car from a major car-rental agency: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar (International only), Hertz, or National.
Thanks!
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#43
I have used Priceline for car rental many times. I had sticker shock at the taxes and insurance EEK! but overall I saved a lot of money compared to retail.
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#44
Just to let you guys in . . . The House of Blues is probably the BEST dining option around Disney for the value. It is in Downtown Disney . . . right next to DisneyQuest. Their food is OUTSTANDING.

Utilize restaurant.com to get a gift certificate . . . they have the $25 ones when you spend $35 and they have the $50 ones when you spend $100. Don't be embarrassed about the restaurant.com certificate . . . I presented to her when the waitress go to the table . . . and she was like "they must have a deal or something because we have gotten alot of restaurant.com coupons today".

The GREAT thing is, the purchase of alcoholic beverages are included. Utilize this during their Happy Hour . . . which is from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. or from 10 p.m. to closing time. Happy Hours has half off bottled beer, draft beer, wine and ALL appetizers. They have appetizers that you will consider entrees when they bring them to the table. It was funny because my girl and I ended up getting 6 appetizers and 2 beers, and it totaled just over 35 bucks . . . plus the gratuity and tax, I believe in the end we spent 20 bucks (bought a certificate during the 80% so it was 2 dollars). We left with 3 containers and had food for the entire day after.

They also have a club next door and have live shows during the week. Just don't get too drunk, on the way back to the car, there were 5 police cars in front of my vehicle and they were giving the DUI test to a couple of people . . . those Disney cops are serious.
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#45
Quote from marcj55 View Post :
I have used Priceline for car rental many times. I had sticker shock at the taxes and insurance EEK! but overall I saved a lot of money compared to retail.

Really? I have used both Priceline and Hotwire and NEVER been charged beyond what I was shown at the time I booked.
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