1st Time Planning
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  1. #1

    1st Time Planning

    Hi everyone I'm a first time planner for a WDW trip, an I feel like my head is starting to spin. I went to WDW in high school on a school trip but didn't have to plan lol. We are looking at going the 2nd week in September 2016 an there are 15 of us going. So I need to know where to start we would like to at the at the disney hotels, an staying at least 7 days. Help please.

    💚 Haley 👑

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by h_cook78 View Post
    Hi everyone I'm a first time planner for a WDW trip, an I feel like my head is starting to spin. I went to WDW in high school on a school trip but didn't have to plan lol. We are looking at going the 2nd week in September 2016 an there are 15 of us going. So I need to know where to start we would like to at the at the disney hotels, an staying at least 7 days. Help please. ddc9a Haley ddc51

    How exciting! The first thing you want to figure out is your budget for a hotel & how many rooms you will need depending if your going with groups of families or friends.
    Tori

  3. #3

    Re: 1st Time Planning

    agreed, you need to know how many rooms and how much your looking to spend. I have stayed in alot of the hotels and well all are uniquely themed! post back what your thinking we would be happy to help out!

    MB
    Mike
    "Drink up me Hardees... Yo Ho"
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  4. #4
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    I have just booked up for September 2016!! Get in quick as you get the best deals, it's also free Disney dining too at the moment I managed to get it so make sure you do too it's so worth it!! There's so many great places to stay now I would seriously get looking around and research it lol. Go on www.wdwinfo.com they are a dis board they have all the ins and out and top tips it's amazing, it's helped me plan every single vacation to Disney, coming all the way from England it's harder to plan sometimes also get your reservations in from the end of March next year when it hits the 180 mark as they go quick, but sept is a perfect time, kids are back at school so it's nice and quiet. Hope this helps :-)

  5. #5
    We will have a total of 5 families going, (mine, mother in law, sister in law, sister, mom) we are hoping around no more that $3000 per family if that is possible. I have 2 boys they will be 5 & 9 next year so of course we want to do Lego land to lol help help

    - Haley

  6. #6
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    Re: 1st Time Planning

    Quote Originally Posted by h_cook78 View Post
    We will have a total of 5 families going, (mine, mother in law, sister in law, sister, mom) we are hoping around no more that $3000 per family if that is possible. I have 2 boys they will be 5 & 9 next year so of course we want to do Lego land to lol help help

    - Haley
    How many adults and how many children? I couldn't quite tell from your post...is it 6 adults 2 kids?

    Ages of the children aside from yours that you mentioned? (really, don't care about the exact age, just if any are less than 3 or 10+.)

    I did Legoland from Disney in 2013, and there are several options for doing that as well...

    Do you all plan to rent a car?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneybelle View Post
    I have just booked up for September 2016!! Get in quick as you get the best deals, it's also free Disney dining too at the moment I managed to get it so make sure you do too it's so worth it!! There's so many great places to stay now I would seriously get looking around and research it lol. Go on www.wdwinfo.com they are a dis board they have all the ins and out and top tips it's amazing, it's helped me plan every single vacation to Disney, coming all the way from England it's harder to plan sometimes also get your reservations in from the end of March next year when it hits the 180 mark as they go quick, but sept is a perfect time, kids are back at school so it's nice and quiet. Hope this helps :-)
    To clarify this, you can book at any time, but the final deals and resort pricing has not been announced for 2016 yet.

    Free Dining for 2016 will not be announced until probably April/May of next year, and room rate deals and packages until later this year.

    This is why, if you go to the Disney Website, you can't choose a date beyond December 2015 for check-in. You can BOOK, and pay the $200 down payment, but your rates may actually change (up or down) after the deals and 2016 rack rates are announced.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Just going off first blush, here's what I'd look at.

    Get 3 rooms.

    1 for yourself, your husband and your children
    1 for your MIL and SIL
    1 for your Mom and Sister

    When you place the reservation, you can request that the rooms be placed near each other, or even adjoining (the interior door is a nice feature, I've done it).

    So, from that point, standard rooms at any of the resorts that meet your pricing would work.

    Poke around on the Disney Website using a group of 2 adults / 2 kids for your search to get a feel for the pricing.

    But, due to the age spectrum and other family matters, I think having the extra space (and time away from the larger group) will pay off dividends. And, at a value, even with park tickets, you can come in under 3k a head.

    However, there are some other options.

    A family suite at AoA will run you about 3900 (including base park tickets), and could sleep you and your husband, your Sister and Sister in law (sharing a bed each with a kid). Then you get a single room in the Little Mermaid section for your MIL / Mom to share. That will run you about 1500 (including base park tickets). So, total spend for room + tickets...5400 / 5 "families", about 1080 per family.

    Another option is to get a 2 bedroom Villa. The prices range on these dramatically, depending on which hotel. Old Key West or Saratoga Springs will likely be the cheapest, with the Monorail Loop resorts being the most expensive, and Animal Kingdom Lodge fitting somewhere in the middle.

    I'd look at Animal Kingdom Lodge, myself, in Kidani Village. They have 2 bedrooms, one with a king one with two queen beds queen, a living area with a pull out queen sized sleeper sofa and a twin sized pull out chair. This will run you a bit more than AoA will, but not by much (7900 including base park tickets). But, if you want to have everyone in one "room", that's probably a more comfortable way to go. And, for only a few hundred more (8600) you can get a Savannah View Villa so the kids can see the animals from your balcony.
    Last edited by englanddg; 05-12-2015 at 04:57 PM.
    B.C. (Before Child) '82, '87 - '95, 2004
    A.D. (After Daughter)
    2010 - 2 weeks @ CBR
    2011 - 3 in DC, 14 @ CBR
    2012 - 3 @ Uni Royal Pacific, 12 @ Pop
    2013 - 3 @ DLR | Contemporary, DCL Fantasy, POFQ
    2015 - 2 in DC, 3 @ Uni Portofino, 3 @ AKL, DCL Fantasy, 4 @ AoA

  7. #7
    Kids are 5 total kids, 1,,5,5,9,13 yes old. Then 10 adults

    - Haley

  8. #8
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    Re: 1st Time Planning

    Here's a Family Suite Tour at AoA



    Here's a 2 Bedroom Villa Tour at AKL


    Also, if you are planning a year out, you MAY be able to rent DVC points and save a bit of money if you go with the 2 Bedroom Villa option (regardless of resort), but it's not something I'd concern yourself with learning at this stage of planning. First decide on hotel and comfort level. Then we (you and the larger TalkDisney community) can look at how to help you streamline / deals to watch for, etc.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by h_cook78 View Post
    Kids are 5 total kids, 1,,5,5,9,13 yes old. Then 10 adults

    - Haley
    Ah, perfect. That changes things a bit...let me think...

    Budget around 15k.

    bbiab (conference call for work, but I just have to listen so I'll poke around on this while I do that...I love being able to telecommute!) <wink>
    B.C. (Before Child) '82, '87 - '95, 2004
    A.D. (After Daughter)
    2010 - 2 weeks @ CBR
    2011 - 3 in DC, 14 @ CBR
    2012 - 3 @ Uni Royal Pacific, 12 @ Pop
    2013 - 3 @ DLR | Contemporary, DCL Fantasy, POFQ
    2015 - 2 in DC, 3 @ Uni Portofino, 3 @ AKL, DCL Fantasy, 4 @ AoA

  9. #9
    Great thank you for all the help, fingers crossed I can figure this out lol $3,000 per family for a week at Disney is do able right ?

    - Haley

  10. #10
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    Re: 1st Time Planning

    Ok, I really need some more info. Sorry if these seem like silly questions...but I'm trying to think what is most affordable as well as most comfortable for the families involved.

    How many of the 10 adults are willing or will share beds?

    What I'm looking for is a bed count, frankly. For example, the 5 year olds can share a queen easily. The 13 and 9 year old, easily. And the 1 year old will probably be with a parent.

    So, for example, that means the kids can share 1 room with 2 queens.

    But, that leaves the adults.

    10 adults. I assume there are 5 couples there, but will they be sharing?

    On the low end, I'd say get 6 rooms at Pop. That will be your cheapest option (and come in under 3k per family).

    However, there are other options.

    3 family suites at AoA could work.
    2 2 bedroom Villas could likewise work.
    Or...and this is the biggest option... 1 3 bedroom Villa...which I think would be the BEST for you, but it is also pushing the very edges of your budget (it ranges from 1500 a night up to 2500 a night)

    This is a 3 bedroom at AKL (note, I'm not trying to push AKL...just using it as an example of what you'd get). The Grand Villa. This would fit all of you into a single room.



    - - - Updated - - -

    Scratch that...you are 3 too heavy for the Grand Villa.

    2 Bedroom Villa it is then for the high end option!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by h_cook78 View Post
    Great thank you for all the help, fingers crossed I can figure this out lol $3,000 per family for a week at Disney is do able right ?

    - Haley
    Yes, doable.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Ok, 2 two bedroom Villas will probably work best, I think.

    So, here's where I'm at...

    Cheapest option - Value Recommendation

    5 rooms at Pop @~100 a night
    700 per family
    7 day tickets = $1410
    So now we are 2110 per family.
    Add Disney Dining (the base DDP, I won't describe all the levels, but this version gets you one Quick Service, 1 Table Service and 1 Snack per Day plus a resort refillable mug with unlimited refills during your stay)

    You come out right at 3000 per family. (it's actually less because I included it as families of 4, 2 adults, 2 kids, not an actual breakdown, so you have more tickets in there than you really need, for example, and the per head cost of the Dining Plan is skewed) I can come up with an actual estimate if you want if you decided to go that route.

    Also, mind you, discounts will apply after they are announced, as will free dining. This is a WORST CASE estimate. As you get closer to the trip, keep checking as deals are announced. The "back to school" packages they run in late August / early Sept are fantastic. Likewise, Free Dining (which would get you the same plan) will come out around this time next year. The catch with Free Dining is that it isn't "Free"...basically you pay a higher room rate, but you get the Dining Plan tossed in at "no cost"...it's shuffling the cost back to the room rate <wink>.

    Or, if you got 2 2 bedroom suites, that would give you some more luxury and comfort on the trip (and put you at a much higher class of resort, the Deluxe level). Prices range here, so I'll put in the lowest cost one (Old Key West or Saratoga Springs) and the one I think your family would enjoy the most with the "Wow" factor (Animal Kingdom Lodge Savannah View).

    Old Key West 2 bedroom Villa
    Each villa with 7 day tickets will cost you around 6700. Total trip cost is 13400, so that's still under budget and you are at a much better resort than Pop (not that Pop is bad, not by a long shot), and I think a better and more relaxed "family vacation" style experience (I mean, just having washers and dryers in room alone is worth it, with 5 kids running around, amirite?) Also, this is room and tickets only, no Dining Plan.

    But, my top recommendation, I think, is still AKL. Tad more expensive to be in Kidani, but I think you all will enjoy the stay.

    It does bust up your budget a bit though, with it coming in at around 8250 per room, so 16500. About 1500 over budget. No Dining Plan.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Ok, here's a more accurate (and easier to read) cost breakdown for you. Note, I spread the kids out across all the rooms to get you the accurate ticket / room prices. You don't have to follow that model, the prices won't change if you book them with their parents, as would probably be how you'd want to do it. It's merely to make pulling pricing easier.

    Pop Century

    Total Cost - $8550
    Booking 1 (2 adults, 13 yo) - Room and base tickets - $1795
    Booking 2 (2 adults, 9 yo) - Room and base tickets - $1773
    Booking 3 (2 adults, 5 yo) - Room and base tickets - $1773
    Booking 4 (2 adults, 5 yo) - Room and base tickets - $1773
    Booking 5 (2 adults, Infant) - Room and base tickets - $1436

    Port Orleans Riverside (for a slightly "nicer" hotel)

    Total Cost - $11,299
    Booking 1 (2 adults, 13 yo) - Room and base tickets - $2344
    Booking 2 (2 adults, 9 yo) - Room and base tickets - $2323
    Booking 3 (2 adults, 5 yo) - Room and base tickets - $2323
    Booking 4 (2 adults, 5 yo) - Room and base tickets - $2323
    Booking 5 (2 adults, Infant) - Room and base tickets - $1986

    (sleeping arrangements - 4 kids in one room if you can get adjoining with a door, and then 1 room for each adult couple and the infant. Advantages, price, quiet time from the kids at night, and 5 bathrooms, though they are pretty standard bathrooms)

    Two Bedroom Suites at Old Key West or Saratoga Springs - Cheapest "Deluxe" option

    Total Cost - $13,293
    Booking 1 (5 adults, 13 yo, 9 yo, 5 yo) - Room and Base Tickets - $6994
    Booking 2 (5 adults, 5 yo, 1 yo) - Room and Base Tickets - $6299

    Two Bedroom Suites at AKL Kidani Village - Experience Recommended (but over budget)

    Total Cost - $16,519
    Booking 1 (5 adults, 13 yo, 9 yo, 5 yo) - Room and Base Tickets - $8607
    Booking 2 (5 adults, 5 yo, 1 yo) - Room and Base Tickets - $7912

    (sleeping arrangements 2 king master bedrooms...Mom and MIL?, 2 double queen bedrooms (3 beds for the other adult couples, and 1 for the five year olds to share), 2 double pull outs or use the 2 twin pull outs for the 13 year old and the 9 year old to each have their own bed. Advantages, all in two rooms, full kitchen, in room laundry, living room allows for quiet spaces but still keeps everyone together)

    - - - Updated - - -

    So, with that said, if your room and ticket budget was 3k per household, I'd say do Pop. Keep an eye out for Free Dining in the spring of next year, and add that to your trip to alleviate some of the out of pocket meal costs. Also add Park Hoppers, and maybe even Water Parks and More to your base tickets. And, it still leaves you fluff money for souvenirs, and, of course, Legoland!

    So, lets talk about Legoland. For a group that large, the way I see it you should take the Legoland Shuttle. It's $5 per rider, and departs from just off Disney Property in the morning, and will bring you back to it's departure point at night.

    You'll need to split the group up into a few taxis (or book a taxi van) to get you there and back (the Shuttle departure place) as well.

    Info here:

    http://florida.legoland.com/en/buy_tickets/shuttle/

    The shuttle is a full sized tour bus. Quite nice.

    So, I'll stop now and give you a chance to process all that. Sorry so long, but I was trying to be thorough. I enjoy trip planning, and glad to help! (as is pretty much anyone on TD).

    Look forward to your responses/questions!

    - - - Updated - - -

    One final note, cause this will come up later as your trip gets closer, and fixing it later can be a hassle (I know, I had a multi-room booking that got slaughtered last year and took Disney hours to fix over the phone)...

    Call Disney for this. DO NOT book online. You will save no money. They have the same packages (and sometimes other ones) available to them over the phone. So...call and place your reservation with a real person. Then ask them how to set up MDE for this. (My Disney Experience). You'll have a rather complicated set of Family and Friends that you'll want linked together for certain things to work properly (like Dining Reservations and FP+).

    I don't want to get too much into that, aside to say Disney is great about helping you out, so call and ask them and let them do just that. If you do it on your own online, and mess it up, it can be a rats nest to untangle!

    Also note, if you are all going to eat as a family at a Table Service restaurant, your party is large enough that an automatic gratuity (18%, I believe, is the current rate) will be applied, even if you have the "Free Dining Plan"...so, budget that in for any large meals.

    Ok, I'm done for now, I promise!! <wink>
    Last edited by englanddg; 05-12-2015 at 07:07 PM.
    B.C. (Before Child) '82, '87 - '95, 2004
    A.D. (After Daughter)
    2010 - 2 weeks @ CBR
    2011 - 3 in DC, 14 @ CBR
    2012 - 3 @ Uni Royal Pacific, 12 @ Pop
    2013 - 3 @ DLR | Contemporary, DCL Fantasy, POFQ
    2015 - 2 in DC, 3 @ Uni Portofino, 3 @ AKL, DCL Fantasy, 4 @ AoA

  11. #11
    Wow that's a lot to process lol but thank you so much that helps put more than you know. We may end of going with the POP hotel just for the cost, with the kids wanting Legoland and me Universal for Harry Potter lol that may be the way to go.

    - Haley

  12. #12
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    Re: 1st Time Planning

    Quote Originally Posted by h_cook78 View Post
    Wow that's a lot to process lol but thank you so much that helps put more than you know. We may end of going with the POP hotel just for the cost, with the kids wanting Legoland and me Universal for Harry Potter lol that may be the way to go.

    - Haley
    The only advice I'd give is...when making a resort decision...don't just think about the irritability factor for the children...think about the comfort factor for the adults.

    Especially as you have such a large group of them.

    That said, I think Pop is probably the best move for you guys. DO NOT do All Stars (even though you'll find it is a tad, and I do a mean a tad, cheaper. Pop is the place to be if you do Value Level single rooms resorts for a variety of reasons that I'm glad to share, but won't right here.

    Just, trust me on this (and if anyone disagrees, feel free to chime in).

    But, if you aren't renting cars for your stay...you do NOT want the All Stars as a Value Experience. I'll leave it at that.

    PORS will get you slightly larger rooms, and keep you in budget, and that is also a consideration. The rooms at Pop are small. The bathrooms, are tiny.

    A moderate resort resolves some of these issues (the rooms are far more comfortable).

    Caribbean Beach Resort is another moderate that is cheaper than PORS that you could look at. I won't break down the prices, but it will fall somewhere between Pop and PORS that I posted earlier.

    I've stayed there twice, and adore the resort (but, that is a rather mixed opinion thing, right Winkster? <grin>)

    The extra space may be appreciated though. It's amazing how 100 or so extra square feet can really change a room from feeling cramped to feeling relaxing.

    You didn't mention that you were planning Uni as well. I have some thoughts on that...

    But, before I go into it...

    You said a week, outline your perfect dates for 2016 (I assume) and then outline the things you'd like to see...

    That would help a lot.

    (and don't say "everything", cause that ain't gonna happen, but if you want to do Uni...well, I have thoughts on that...)

    Also, did you get my notification message?
    B.C. (Before Child) '82, '87 - '95, 2004
    A.D. (After Daughter)
    2010 - 2 weeks @ CBR
    2011 - 3 in DC, 14 @ CBR
    2012 - 3 @ Uni Royal Pacific, 12 @ Pop
    2013 - 3 @ DLR | Contemporary, DCL Fantasy, POFQ
    2015 - 2 in DC, 3 @ Uni Portofino, 3 @ AKL, DCL Fantasy, 4 @ AoA

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by englanddg View Post
    How many adults and how many children? I couldn't quite tell from your post...is it 6 adults 2 kids? Ages of the children aside from yours that you mentioned? (really, don't care about the exact age, just if any are less than 3 or 10+.) I did Legoland from Disney in 2013, and there are several options for doing that as well... Do you all plan to rent a car? - - - Updated - - - To clarify this, you can book at any time, but the final deals and resort pricing has not been announced for 2016 yet. Free Dining for 2016 will not be announced until probably April/May of next year, and room rate deals and packages until later this year. This is why, if you go to the Disney Website, you can't choose a date beyond December 2015 for check-in. You can BOOK, and pay the $200 down payment, but your rates may actually change (up or down) after the deals and 2016 rack rates are announced. - - - Updated - - - Just going off first blush, here's what I'd look at. Get 3 rooms. 1 for yourself, your husband and your children 1 for your MIL and SIL 1 for your Mom and Sister When you place the reservation, you can request that the rooms be placed near each other, or even adjoining (the interior door is a nice feature, I've done it). So, from that point, standard rooms at any of the resorts that meet your pricing would work. Poke around on the Disney Website using a group of 2 adults / 2 kids for your search to get a feel for the pricing. But, due to the age spectrum and other family matters, I think having the extra space (and time away from the larger group) will pay off dividends. And, at a value, even with park tickets, you can come in under 3k a head. However, there are some other options. A family suite at AoA will run you about 3900 (including base park tickets), and could sleep you and your husband, your Sister and Sister in law (sharing a bed each with a kid). Then you get a single room in the Little Mermaid section for your MIL / Mom to share. That will run you about 1500 (including base park tickets). So, total spend for room + tickets...5400 / 5 "families", about 1080 per family. Another option is to get a 2 bedroom Villa. The prices range on these dramatically, depending on which hotel. Old Key West or Saratoga Springs will likely be the cheapest, with the Monorail Loop resorts being the most expensive, and Animal Kingdom Lodge fitting somewhere in the middle. I'd look at Animal Kingdom Lodge, myself, in Kidani Village. They have 2 bedrooms, one with a king one with two queen beds queen, a living area with a pull out queen sized sleeper sofa and a twin sized pull out chair. This will run you a bit more than AoA will, but not by much (7900 including base park tickets). But, if you want to have everyone in one "room", that's probably a more comfortable way to go. And, for only a few hundred more (8600) you can get a Savannah View Villa so the kids can see the animals from your balcony.




    It must be different for the United Kingdom then because I have already booked up for September 2016 and I've got the free dining plan included in everything it's all booked and paid for. Staying at Caribbean beach resort

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disneybelle View Post
    It must be different for the United Kingdom then because I have already booked up for September 2016 and I've got the free dining plan included in everything it's all booked and paid for. Staying at Caribbean beach resort
    It is, depending on when and how you booked.

    US deals will not be announced until much later.
    Last edited by englanddg; 05-13-2015 at 07:29 AM.
    B.C. (Before Child) '82, '87 - '95, 2004
    A.D. (After Daughter)
    2010 - 2 weeks @ CBR
    2011 - 3 in DC, 14 @ CBR
    2012 - 3 @ Uni Royal Pacific, 12 @ Pop
    2013 - 3 @ DLR | Contemporary, DCL Fantasy, POFQ
    2015 - 2 in DC, 3 @ Uni Portofino, 3 @ AKL, DCL Fantasy, 4 @ AoA

  15. #15
    Sounds great, we are looking at staying September 9-17 2016, things we are wanting to do: WDW 2 days, universal, sea world,Epcot, Hollywood studios.

    - Haley

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