View Full Version : Planning a trip to Disneyworld!

08-18-2005, 07:49 PM
We think we're going the first of December to hopefully avoid crowds and see Christmas decorations. We have no idea where to stay or the best prices on things. Of course I'm researching like a fiend and have found www.disboards.com and www.mousesavers.com and a couple of others.

BUT I would love to get tips and suggestions from my fellow BBBers. :)

Specific questions--where to stay (we are probably looking at Moderate level) and how to book (AAA or travel agent or ??).

THANK YOU! I am so excited! :)

Mama to Gracie (Sept '03) and Eli (July '05)

Edited to specify Disney*world* and correct grammar.

08-19-2005, 03:23 PM
December is a good time. Between Christmas and Thanksgiving is the lowest attendance time of the year! This can get you some better prices.

I would call AAA and ask them what deals they have. In my experience the WDW packages offre more than you need and you are still paying for it, so a la carte is cheaper, however you may find a special that makes it worthwhile. Regardless you should be able to get discounted tickets through AAA.

Once you book a hotel (particularly if it is a Disney resort) KEEP CHECKING the price EVERY day! If the price goes down or a better room becomes available you can re-book! We did this and were able to move up from a standard room to a junior suite at the Contemporary for less money.

For hotels, we actually stayed at the Contemporary. I know this is a deluxe hotel, but it is the cheapest one and in terms of location it can't be beat. It is a 10 minute (or less) walk to the Magic Kingdom and a 2 minute monorail ride back. This makes it SO easy to hop in and out of the park if your kids have tantrums or need a good nap. You can also hop the monorail in the Contemporary and easily connect to the Epcot monorail.

If you don't stay on property (or stay at a hotel that is a good distance from the parks) you will want a car. It is much faster and easier to drive around the parks rather than take the WDW transportation (with the possible exception of Magic Kingdom to Epcot via monorail).

If you plan on ever going back I strongly recommend that you buy 10 day tickets with hopper and no expiration option. The extra few days you get on them will be incredibly cheap and this saves you a lot for future trips.

For food, we found the cheapest way to do it was have a big meal in the middle of the day. This way we filled up and didn't have much for dinner (which is more expensive). I also brought food for the kids and kept it in the fridge in the room. You can bring in small baby/toddler food and milk cups and they don't bother you about it.

If you want to do a character meal, I recommend the Crystal Palace (Winnie the Pooh characters), Chef Mickey's (main Disney characters) and Cinderella's Royal Table. Cindy's can be VERY difficult to get into for breakfast and is the hottest meal ticket in the park. We actually ate there for lunch and it was fabulous. Cinderella isn't in the dining room at lunch but she is downstairs in the lobby and you still get to meet her. And dining INSIDE the castle is super cool for everyone.

I strongly recommend getting the Unofficial Guide to DisneyWorld as it has a pile of great information and tons of tips.


08-19-2005, 11:42 PM
How do you check the prices every day? Keep calling the travel agent or... (probably a stupid question!)

Thanks for all of your tips! I'm getting the book tomorrow. I was going to borrow it from a friend, but it's loaned out to someone else and I can't wait! :)

Mama to Gracie (Sept '03) and Eli (July '05)

08-20-2005, 10:18 AM
I actually checked on the Disney website. At the time I was booking they had 'winter specials' (I went in January), but they usually list their major promotion on the main page. You can click on that and request a room. Once you have made a booking or know EXACTLY what you want, be as specific as possible or they will try to give you 'alternatives' that you are not interested in.

Also, the search will pull up an expenisve room first. Alter the room type and see the price go down.

For example, right now the special is 'stay play and dine for one price'. I think this basically means they have thrown in the food package very cheaply. You click on that line BEFPRE you do your booking search, otherwise you will get the rack rates.

calling your travel agent or the Disney telephone people once a week doesn't hurt either.