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Opinions please from any UK visitors

Discussion in 'Transportation & Travel' started by Slowhand, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Seeing as we own a villa in the Orlando area and with us also being DVC members, whenever my DW and I visit WDW, we only have to fund the air fares as our accommodation is "free". As such, it`s been quite a while since we have had to cost out a trip including accommodation etc., which I`m sure is what many of my fellow UK visitors do when planning a visit.

    Some close friends of ours [2 adults, 2 children aged 13 & 5] are now in the planning stages of their first visit to WDW and have asked me for some help so I thought I would throw it out to you guys. [Unfortunately our villa is booked for their planned visit [July/August 2013] so I can`t offer them a good deal on our place :sorry:].
    Which would you feel would be their most cost effective means of taking a two week holiday to WDW?

    1. Book a package holiday with on-site accommodation inclusive of park admission passes for the duration of their stay AND [this hurts :lol:], any available dining plan so they don`t have to worry about the cost of meals etc.
    2. Book flights only and stay in a villa. This would obviously involve car hire costs and the purchase of park admission tickets etc.
    3. Book flights and stay at one of the DVC resorts in say a studio....could they also get park admission and dining plan "thrown in" with this option?
    4. Any other suggestions?
     
  2. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    As designated Disney-planner seemingly for everyone I know and everything THEY know :lol: I get asked this one a lot.

    Honestly I wouldn't start from price, I'd start from the type of holiday they want. Once everything is added up, the one thing that's certain is it'll be more than they think and into seriously expensive holiday range anyway so once there, the slight cost differences won't amount to much and it always ends up being something more like "ok so the villa offers way better space so you're not living in each others pockets and you'll save money on offsite food choices but you're not in the heart of the action and will have to drive each day V staying onsite gets you that Disney feel from the second you check in, buses to all the parks and dining plans let you budget and pay up front for just about everything but dining needs to be planned and booked early"

    The two options are so different to my mind that it's worth trying to decide on that first.

    Then, if onside decided, look at the Disney packages with, as you mention, everything in. They'll get a good deal on the tickets, hotel AND the dining plan. With the dining plan, the answer now is they may as well. Though it pains me too, Disney clearly want everyone on the dining plan and they're pricing the out of pocket prices accordingly. Truly, when I pay out of pocket at disney now, i feel like I'm in a giant game of financial chicken with Disney corp. Who'll blink first?!

    This trip, all I hear around me are explanations of what they can have since they're on the dining plan.

    So I'd start by getting the base Disney offer price and then I'd offer it up to Disney Travel agents to see if they can beat it.

    DVC probably wont be a good deal unless they really really want a compromise between space + Disney in which case, be prepared to really pay unless there's a special offer on.

    If Villa is decided then of course it's a careful research process to ensure that the villa option chosen is cost effective v nicely looked after and reliable. (villa owners look away now please whilst I'm pragmatic :lol: ) I've had some crazy high quotes in the past from villa owners who felt, entirely reasonably, that it was their special home and if people weren't prepared to pay huge fees with huge deposits, they'd rather it stay empty. That's an absolutely fine position for an individual to take, but it'll normally reflect a very high outlay from the consumer. Then at the other end there are the places you book and you don't know where you're going to be staying until you get to Orlando :/ I just don't like the idea of that however reliable the holiday company is. *SO* I believe theres a middle ground where there's a pragmatic villa owner or someone who owns a few and runs them as a business. They're less likely to have over the top expectations and more likely to be competitive whilst still caring about their properties. We don't have a great villa database but I can definitely give you a couple of hints/people to talk to if they want the villa route.

    Finally, the package holiday on site is the easiest for a new start to Disney IHMO. Everything will be in there for them and once paid, that's it. Disney will happily walk them from gift shop to gift shop and keep them happily onsite the whole time. No stress, no what-next, no unexpectedness.

    Once they start on the villa route, assuming not a package inc a villa, it starts to pay to REALLY plan. Will they REALLY do disney EVERY day? what about universal/seaworld etc.... take all those non-disney days off and perhaps they only need a few day disney ticket? Eating offsite before they go to a disney park will save a huge amount every day. Would they really want that level of pre-planning though!?
     
  3. Britchick
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    Britchick Serious Forum Regular

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    I can recommend pricing up everything individually with complete Orlando, they usually come out best price wise. There are no credit card charges so you get the benefit if extra protection.

    Villa is cheaper if you don't intend to eat at Disney every night in which case the dining plan wins price wise. I'm completely turned off to this idea now and will be definitely staying in a villa next time.
     
  4. Dawn
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    Dawn carpe diem-ing Forum Host

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    Villa with a bit of planning and a lot of off site dining. :thumbsup:
     
  5. Johnie
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    Johnie Budget Queen Forum Host

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    After this past trip and seeing Disney food prices increase even more, I am telling people to get the dining plan if they plan to stay on site. It's almost as if you're being punished if you don't :-(
     
  6. Esmeralda
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    Esmeralda Serious Forum Regular

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    I think I just lost the will to live Keef.
     
  7. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    I would definitely suggest they go for a villa Terry, sorry yours isn't going to be available.

    It definitely takes a while to decide on where to stay but I'm sure R & J can help them find somewhere. They will save money on food and drinks as you know and the drive to and from WDW is sign posted very well, it would be strange for first time drivers, but I'm sure you could print them up a map of how to get out of MCO.

    You know my idea of flights as well, I always book my own, even when paying, a company has never been able to find flights for better value than me. If they don't want to pay for all the flights upfront then they will be better booking them with a company so they just pay the deposit.

    Whatever they do though, tell them to rent the car from somewhere else, in a package it is a rental free car, it doesn't include insurances and the companies charge a fortune for them.

    I'd look for attraction tickets on the internet, In the spring there are often deals available on the Universal Studios site and the same for SeaWorld and Busch. I've advised our friends to wait until then before they look for tickets.

    If they want to save money on flights then they could always fly into Sandford :unsure:
     

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