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So, my roommate has a cousin getting married in St. Augustine, Florida at the end of September and now we're plotting that it would be the perfect excuse for a trip to Disney World. I'm now looking for details and options to cut costs so we can afford this. Any ideas based on the below would be more than welcome (especially if you have a couch/floor we could crash on within 30 minutes of Disney).

The History
Me: I have never been to Disney World. The closest I got was Downtown Disney with azraelz_angel and avamclean a few years ago prior to our Halloween Horror Nights at Universal excursion. Before I was born and when I was little (as in before I remember time), my grandparents lived in Florida. During that time, my brother got to go three times and my sister twice and me zero. My sister vaguely recalls being told to be quiet so as not to wake me up when they were preparing to leave for Disney while I stated with my grandparents.

The Roomie: He worked at Disney for a year in college. He did one of those college work programs and Disney is his 3rd greatest love next to Coca Cola and hot guys. So he wants to play the former Disney park know-it-all and show me around.

The Plan
The wedding is Sept. 29th in St. Augustine. I have a relative who lives in Ormond Beach which is roughly an hour away. So the goal will be to see if she is available and stay with her and drive up to the wedding and back to cut hotel costs there. The downside is that her place is about 2 hours from Disney. We would like to spend either 3 days at Disney OR 2 days Disney / 1 day Universal (Harry Potter!). To do that, we would really need to stay somewhere that is at least 30 minutes or less from the parks to not be wiped out driving, etc.

We would like to make the park days Mon-Wed October 1-3. That would mean staying in Orlando somewhere Sun-Wed nights (4 nights). Then we'll head back to my relative's place to finish out the stay in Florida on the beach.

If anyone has any tips, links to travel sites, etc. that has discounted deals that beat the prices straight from the Disney site, that would be awesome. I was even browsing that Couch Surfer website, but that seems kind of scary. Anyone?


( 13 Campfires — Leave a Comment )
Feb. 19th, 2012 08:44 pm (UTC)
hrm...when I was planning my trip to FL, Liz Tucker in fandom was very helpful. She lives only a few hours from Disney. Drop her a shout out on Twitter and see if she has any suggestions.
Feb. 19th, 2012 09:02 pm (UTC)
I will... I'm just sad my great aunt's place is about 2 hours from Disney. I don't think I want to deal with a 4 hour drive each of the three days I want to go, gas wise that would be around $30 a day and there were some hotels within 20-30 minutes that went for that on Expedia with a breakfast.
Feb. 19th, 2012 09:28 pm (UTC)
October is snowbird season, so the prices are a bit more than in off-season. That doesn't mean you can't get deals, but it might not be as cheap as it could be.

The easiest way, although not necessarily the cheapest, is to stay at one of the Disney complexes. A few hotels in the area have package deals other than Disney. Others may have shuttle service which is great if you can get it. You don't have to walk miles from parking to the entrance. If anyone in your party with you is from Florida, you can get a local discount, not that it is much of one.

One of the best sites to hook up a hotel with is http://www.visitkissimmee.com/leisure/places_to_stay/walt-disney-world-hotels?gclid=CK-Or7T5qq4CFRJR7Aod53RyTQ which tells you just exactly how far from the parks you are.

The site is also good for deals. Depending on how soon you need to make the reservations, you might be able to catch a last minute deal.

Verify on Google Map or Mapquest the relative distances, although that site is the most accurate I've ever found.

If you're willing to make your reservations at one of the parks, just consider the fact that you won't have any travel to deal with. There are over 20 hotels connected to one of the parks, from Disney World to Epcot to Magic Kingdom and Universal as well. Go to this site for further information: http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/

Also check out www.mousefantravel.com for deals. While I've not dealt with this particular site, I've heard that they are pretty decent. Many travel agents book through them as well.

Good luck and if you have any further questions, let me know.
Feb. 19th, 2012 09:33 pm (UTC)
Thanks for all the great links! I'll start checking them out.

The Disney World go website has already been frequented and we've determined their packages for staying on the property to be too expensive for our us. Even going to the value Disney resorts.

But I have started checking places within 30 minutes via Expedia and have found some potential places.

I'll definitely check out those other sites and see what they have! :)
Feb. 19th, 2012 10:54 pm (UTC)
While not all the hotels offer it, several in Kissimmee (and maybe Orlando proper) will offer free shuttle service to Disney, that is one thing to check into.

Liz pointed out a ton of great sites to help plan.

One thing to keep in mind is that food inside the parks is VERY expansive. A backpack with a few snacks in the bottom under camera's or something else. They do "bag searches" but all they really do is a little poke with a stick so you can "smuggle" some food in.
For tickets... sorry can't help you really there. I know there are tons of places that will buy unused tickets and resell them but there are some risks.
Feb. 20th, 2012 12:47 am (UTC)
Seconding this, re food. Also, Kayla, if I remember correctly, you're a fellow allergy sufferer, right? Get a note from your doctor saying that you have food allergies, and you'll be able to bring food in with no problem.
Feb. 21st, 2012 04:57 am (UTC)
Gotta love food allergies! Cinnamon and spice is everything not nice for me... ;)

From what I've read, they've relaxed the outside food policy. Just no hard cased coolers and no asking for a stove/microwave/open fire to fix what you brought...

So we should be good on that end. We'll likely one good sit down meal and then wing the rest with what we take in. I also tend to not eat much when doing parks. Usually a lot in the morning before going and then when I'm done at night. I also mainline the water which means I'm taking my own water bottle and refilling if possible.
Feb. 21st, 2012 04:54 am (UTC)
We're planning to take food in. From what I've read, they only say not to take food that you have to cook (duh!) and that you can't have a hard cased cooler. My roomie has a soft sided coca cola cooler... and there are locker rentals, so that should work.

Several of the ones I've found on Expedia for really cheap have the shuttle, which would be nice.
Feb. 20th, 2012 05:04 am (UTC)
I've been to DW/US twice. My boyfriend and I stayed @ Best Western Lakeside which wasn't that far away from the Magic Kingdom. If u can wait til later today (as it's 12AM here in Baltimore City) I'll ask him what site he went to when looking for a bargaining deal on tickets/hotels/food, etc. [I promise to check back in 11 hrs after I post this- need sleep...]
Feb. 21st, 2012 04:58 am (UTC)
I've found some pretty cheap / nearby places with shuttles to Disney on Expedia that we're considering...

More site links are always welcome! :)
Feb. 20th, 2012 02:33 pm (UTC)
As for driving, you can always park at any of the Disney hotels for free and take the bus/boat/monorail over.

Try All Ears for information. http://allears.net/index.html

I lived in Orlando for four years and can give you all kinds of hints regarding the parks, what to do, how to do things, where to eat, etc.
Feb. 21st, 2012 05:02 am (UTC)
That's a new link! I'll check it out.

I think I'm at the mercy of the roomie for Disney because he'll be on his 'I worked here for a year' kick when we get there. I'm just gonna have to curb his spending because his eyes are bigger than his budget.

I didn't think parking at the Disney hotels would be an option... I might like that better than taking a shuttle from whatever place we stay at. Because if you miss the shuttle...
Feb. 28th, 2012 08:32 am (UTC)
Message me sometime. I have that horrible hotel job still so I might be able to get you a good rate. I just don't want to post all the details but I can give you a friends and family site for Hilton and you can see what deals are there.
( 13 Campfires — Leave a Comment )

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