Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Disney Plans Continued...

So here's the rundown... We're talking Disney World sometime late next year. Jamison likes August. I like November. Brew hates Disney. I think we should kidnap him and drag him to the Magic Kingdom where he will be forced to admit that it is both fun and magical. Except maybe for the being kidnapped part.

So here we can post all things Disney without having to scroll down to Jamison's Expired Milk post.

63 comments:

bigsip said...

I am fine with November.

I just want to get as good as or better deal as we did last time. I want to eat, ride, and enjoy!

Jamison said...

heck, i am fine with ANY time of the year honestly...

If I am still working here I am sure I can leave for a week...

If I go where I think I might be going, I will have as much freedom, if not more. So If August is out, so be it.

Rachel said...

The first full week of November has the same low crowds as August, but with 72 degree weather. Also, Epcot has a Food and Wine Festival in Epcot, which is pretty cool. But it's during "regular" season as opposed to value for the resorts. This comes out to about $20 extra per night.

The first 2 weeks of December have the lowest crowds of the year; lower even than when we went in August, and they are a "value" season. The temps reach the 70s but average in the high 60s.

Just some info for you to chew on.

Rachel said...

Anyone who wants to go should sign up for their free vacation planning kit; this gets you on their e-mailing list for special promotions like we used last year. Sorry I don't remember how to make the link pretty.

https://secure.disney.go.com/wdw/myVacation/vpk?id=VPKPage

Jamison said...

My top priorities for a Disney trip

1. Low crowds
2. Low prices
3. Weather temperatures
4. Weather conditions (rain, hurricane, etc)
5. Month of visit

bigsip said...

So, November is not Value Season?

I'm confused. I am on the same priority scale as Jamison, btw.

#5 is lowest pri for me, but I would like it to be warm weather. I HATE cold weather.

Rachel said...

I was surprised to see that November was "regular" season. $20 a night difference.

FYI, my family went swimming at Disney in December one year. It was 80 degrees. Cold weather doesn't happen till January-February.

If low crowds and low prices are the priority, the first or second week of December is the best choice.

Jamison said...

first or second week is okay for me... traveling alot between thanks and xmas for larissa and I... dunno how itll be this year.

My philosphy this year is if Rachel can get us as great a price for as much as we got as last year, ill behappy. If she can get more for less, ill be really happy...

I would like to throw this in:
I loved our cute little hotel room, but if the "next step up" isnt TOO much more per night, id like to investigate that...

Rachel said...

I'm thinking the same thing about the resort. Will let you know what price diff. is.

Rachel said...

Yikes, next step up is an extra $60 a night!

bigsip said...

Rachel, it might be a good idea to tell everyone how much they should save for their family to go.

Need to start putting back money right away!

bigsip said...

Including food, gas, etc.?

Rachel said...

Rough estimate, around $2000 for everything.

Jamison said...

you said $2,000 last time and we found ourselves with like $600 extra... so yeah, say $2,000 per couple, extra money is good.

bigsip said...

Cool...$2000 is good! Extra is good, too!

Jamison said...

In a nut shell, starting next month, save $100 per month till time to go... we'll have plenty of money and some left over.

bigsip said...

yep. cool! man, i can't wait to go!

Diana said...

That is so much information; I can't even handle what homework I have for next week, let alone all that.

When we go or how much it costs doesn't really matter to me. I'm ok with y'all making all of the decisions. Anyone in my family who offers to get me a graduation gift, I’m going to ask to put toward this trip. Anything that Charlie and I can’t cover, we’re just going to put on a credit card because, heh, I’m working hard to get through school, and I’m going to get rewarded by seeing Mickey. That’s just how it is. Oh yes, I will be at Disney World.

Was I getting a little too carried away there? I apologize. I’m better now. 

I am concerned about one thing. I’m wondering if I could get off for that long from school. That will be my first year teaching. So I don’t know if a) it’s allowed b) if it is allowed, would that be professional my first year or c) if I should leave my class with a sub for that long. I don’t know that sort of stuff yet.

I"m going to call my friend Rachel now.

Brewster said...

It's really not that I hate Disney or am against it in some way. I'm sure its fun, I'm sure you guys will have a great time.

It's just when I think of vacation there are so many other places I'd rather spend my $2000. I'd rather spend half that and go to Yellowstone and see some spectacular nature. I'm hoping to spend some time in Canada this summer with my folks. I'd rather wait a year and save more money and see the parts of Europe I missed last time (Greece anyone?) or visit my sister in china or....Disneyland is just way down on my list of places to go.

But have fun.

Jamison said...

I agree with you Brew, Disneyland in california sucked... very small. Disney World is soooo much better...

Rachel said...

We've got to figure a way around this school thing, Diana! We just can't afford money-wise or (less importantly) crowd-wise to go when kids are out of school. That's what they base prices on. Hmmm, is there some alternative religious holiday we could come up with for the 1st week of December??? (j/k)

Jamison said...

yes, the crowd thing is big time important to me.. last time we went, all the southeast schools were in their first week of school, but most of the north east kids still had one week off, so to me, it was still kind of crowded that week in auguest we went... however, i did get to ride space mountain 3 times with no line, so i cant complain...

bigsip said...

Low crowds and low cost are a MUST in my opinion. I am liking the beginning of Dec more and more considering the crowds should be very low and the cost should be, too!

But, I still don't mind some heat.

mullinz8 said...

I don’t guess my wife has seen this post.

I’m sort of along the lines of Brew but I know that at some point we’re going to go because every kid should see the Disney parks.

For us (me) Disney isn’t really a big deal. The kids would rather see the Nickelodeon parks due to their overdose on Sponge Bob and the other animated brain dullers. Toy Story is the only Disney movie we own so the idea of staying in a Buzz Lightyear room could be fun but I think the “oomph” will be lost because there is not currently a fascination with any of it.

I think there was a mention of Aug and that for me will be out. Dec could work better though for a dime I’d suggest post Christmas till Jan but I don’t know what the rates are. My PTO will be tapped out by the end of the year too.

I don’t know if this trip is for us until I hear Jules input. $2K is a heck of a deal really.

bigsip said...

We won't be going till Dec of 2007, so there's plenty of time to decide. But, the saving would have to begin immediately.

Put back $100 per month and you'll have it my friend!

Rachel is the resident DW expert and can answer pretty much any questions anyone has.

She's been there close to 20 times in her 25 years, so she knows all the good stuff.

bigsip said...

I could take or leave the water parks, but Luke LOVES them.

Of course, he'd probably be fine with the hotel pool...

Jamison said...

Was thinking about this....

while I am hearing that Dec in Orlando is warm, I wonder; Could the water parks be taken out of the equation if we go in Dec? Possibly allowing for a nicer hotel instead?

They were fun and all, but to be honest, they were disappointing considering they were supposed to be a Disney park and offered little more than a fraction of what White Water in Atlanta offers.

bigsip said...

Well, I have to be honest. By the time we go again, it will cost for Luke to go.

So, Caleb and Isaac will both cost, too.

Disney used to have the 3 and under for free thing, but they apparently changed that policy.

So, any kid 3 or over is going to cost money, although the tix are discounted for young kids.

The special deal we got last time also kept our expenses way low, but we might luck out with a phenomenal deal this time, too. Just need to keep our ears to the ground!

Jamison said...

Rachel said $2,000 Mulls, but she told us that last year and it cost us UNDER $1,200 (Thats $1,200 fincluding hotel, FOOD, snakcs in the park, and the park tickets)

... and Rachel is planning on doing this trip at an even cheaper time of year... and I think your littlest one gets in free...

Larissa had no desire to go to Disney world, but she is now pumped about going back... it is a place no adult really thinks they want to go, but given the fact these people have enjoyment down to a science, everyone leaves happy... heck, they bathroom sweepers smile and are nice to you there...

bigsip said...

I know one thing, I don't care a thing about going back to Disney Quest. The "design and ride your own roller coaster" thing was great, but I didn't really dig the rest.

I DO like the water parks, but I'd only want to do one day of that.

Of course, there's Pleasure Island for all who want to go, but kids are NOT allowed there.

Much to discuss...

Rachel said...

Yes, water parks would be out in my opinion; too risky that it might be just a bit too cool outside. But that only saves $50 per person or $100 per couple; the nicer hotel costs an extra $60 per night!

Mullins, Early January is also a cheap and uncrowded time to go, though not as uncrowded as December. But it will be cold by then, so take that into consideration.

bigsip said...

I hate the cold. I'm not for January. I'm really giving on the December thing.

I'd still rather have it warmer, but I understand it's not for everyone. I'm starting to feel like October is better again.

I want cheap, warm, and empty...

Rachel said...

Oh yeah, the prices I'm giving are rack rates; there's always a chance we could get a better package deal. And I loved the meal plan, so I recommend it highly. $37.99 for adults, $10.99 for children 3-9 yrs.

That's a counter service meal, a sit-down meal, and a snack for each day. We were able to split some sit-down meals and save up so we could use 2 sit-down credits for 1 "signature" dining. i.e. sushi, LOBSTER, and dessert; yummy! All the meals include dessert, too; my personal fave.

One more note... We were able to include up to 3 rooms' worth of people on our special deal last year; you have to have a coupon code to get it. But I highly recommend signing up for Disney World's emails so everybody has the chance to get one of these coupon-code emails. I'd hate for one or two families to have to pay full price while everybody else gets a huge discount.

Rachel said...

Josh, josh, josh, you sun-worshipper... here are the stats to make you feel better.

Walt Disney World Climate for December:

Avg Daily (nightly) Low-51
Avg Daily High-73
Avg Daily Temp-62

And these averages take late December into account; we'd be going the 1st week when it's slightly warmer. Not exactly snow-skiing weather.

bigsip said...

I can handle that...

All must be aware, though, that all the special deals, the low crowds, etc. are tied directly to WHEN we go.

So, setting a date is very important.

Jamison said...

Still, if you take the water parks out, and the downtown Disney out (that arcade was pretty dull to me too) then you are pretty much cutting your trip short one day, and saving $100, so $60 extra per night is still more, but not such a huge shot in the arm...

Like Sip said, much to discuss... but much MUCH time to discuss it.

bigsip said...

You know, I think I can do without the water parks. If I really want to get wet, I'll jump in the hotel pool!

I'd much rather cut the trip short a day and do just the big parks and stay in a nicer hotel.

We'd still be there for around 5 days, which is plenty of time...

Rachel said...

For $139 a night, we could stay at Coronado Springs, which in my well-informed and personal experience opinion is the nicest in that price range. The rooms are slightly larger and everything is prettier than at the All Star. There's a really cool pool, and my main props go to their food court. You can get anything there. Italian, American, of course Mexican- you name it. And if you're on the Dining Plan price is no object. I'd love to stay there.

Another recommendation I have is to plan one day just to stay at the resort and relax, in the middle of the stay. It does wonders for your energy and enjoyment for the rest of the vacation.

Rachel said...

Ooh... small refrigerator is standard at CS!

bigsip said...

I can vouch for Coronado Springs, too.

It's WAY better than the All Star resorts, IMO.

I'd LOVE to stay there.

Rachel, how comparable is the Polynesian? Wilderness Lodge? etc.

Rachel said...

Polynesian: $315/night cheapest
Wilderness Lodge: $205
Animal Kingdom Lodge: $205

Multiply that out by # of days. Ouch.

bigsip said...

Just curious...

I like weighing the options.

But, Coronado is great to me! Very nice and not way expensive.

I'm not ruling out the All Stars, though. They were nice, too and for me it's all about a place to sleep. The food and fun are mostly in the parks!

Jamison said...

Coranado... yall stayed there shortly after you were married? or before?

Brian and Liz W stayed at the wilderness lodge on their honeymoon... i dont recall them "raving" about it, but they liked it...

Refrigerator would come in handy with babie and all, no stupid (no offence sip) cooler to drag around and fill up with ice every night...

the all star food court left something to be desired... plus, if you stay at CS resort, you cut out some riff-raff that are just going to stay in the all star because it is cheaper... oh wait, that was us last year...

Jamison said...

Oh, I would say cut animal kingdom off my list cuz i hated it last year... HOWEVER, they just opened a new thrill ride and I must ride it... great marketing: take a boring park/zoo, put a great ride in it. people will come.

Of course, I know luke enjoyed it, I could have done without it myself though, but hey, now I know!

Rachel said...

Great thing about park hopper tix is yall can go to Epcot for an extra day while we do AK, and you can just drop in for an hour to do the thrill ride a couple of times!

bigsip said...

Yep! Park hop till you drop...

Diana said...

I have a Disney planning guide that says the high for January is 71 and the low is 49.

So, decent weather.
Crowds not so bad.
Babies are old enough.
I'll stay whereever. Charlie and I stayed in Port Orleans for the Honeymoon which was quite nice. Cheap but nice. I would rather stay in Coronado or somewhere else, though. Just to try others out.

I think the first week of January is a REALLY good idea.

And, oh yeah, I can go then, because I won't be back in school yet. Which is a plus.

bigsip said...

That might do...

As long as it's not cold, I'll be fine.

Since we wouldn't be doing water parks, it would probably be ok, but I'd rather have it warmer.

We still have lots of time to go. If the first week in Jan is extra value, it'll be fine.

But, something tells me the crowds will be bad since school is still out.

We need the low cost, low crowd, not-too-low temp time...

mullinz8 said...

I had no idea this was a 2007 trip. That changes things a lot. If we make it I think the $160 place is fine, I also like the idea of a park hopping ticket. The boys love checking out the critters.

Weather for me isn’t an issue, I like the idea of being able to swim but the last time we went to the beach Isaac wanted to spend his time in the pool so a water park isn’t a big deal.

I also like the idea of a meal plan. More than anything I like the idea of having a way to get back to the hotel for a mid day child rest and then hitting the park again in the evening, where is that deal.

Dec 2007 is a long time from now so really the whole thing seems a bit crazy to plan, but you guys are the pros.

Jamison said...

Yeah, I was thinking what Sip was thinking... if school is out, thats when all the parents rush their families to DW so the kids dont have to take any time off school...

Jamison said...

Oh, and Mulls... I know you arent thinking DW has good food, but my friend, in all the places I have gone with you to eat, the California Grill on top of the Contemporary Resort in park was the best place I had ever eaten in my life... The "fast food" places put mcdonalds and the like to shame as well.

bigsip said...

If you stay in the parks, the Disney buses come to your hotel compound in cicuits and pick you up/drop you off anytime you like.

So, once we get there, we don't have to drive anywhere unless we want to.

As far as meal plan, park-hoppers, hotel, etc. If we get the right deal, it'll all be all-inclusive and we just plan the activities from there.

Rachel is a real pro at this. When we went this last time, it was like we owned the parks, man!

Rachel said...

Mid-day rests are mandatory in my book, Mullins! That's when the parks get crowded, too, so there's no point being miserable in line when you can be napping by the pool or whatever.

Rachel said...

Hey guys. I started a new blog for all this Disney stuff. If you don't get an invite, let me know and I'll try again. May have old email addresses.

Diana said...

Hey, guys. I just wanted to let you know that Charlie and I are just going to go in May when I graduate. Charlie wants to make it a special trip for me to celebrate my graduation. It’s nothing against any of you. Then you all can plan and not have to worry about us. I think that’s fair to everyone.

Jamison said...

But think of how much fun youd have with us! (More so, think about how much fun I'd have with CHARLIE!)

Diana said...

I know. I'm sorry, Jamison! You know I love you! It's really best this way. Of course, anyone who would like to come with us in May is welcome. We just know it's not a good time for everyone else and will understand if you guys go later.

bigsip said...

Yeah, our baby will be very little in May. So, it wouldn't be a vacation for Rachel in any sense.

Sorry it didn't work out for us all to go together :(

tnmommieof2 said...

not too sure about the mullins clan
isaac will have just started
kindergarten and i don't know if it would be a great idea for him to miss so soon after he starts..

i reckon we will just have to talk about it and see what's going on...

Rachel said...

Wow, I didn't realize Isaac had gotten so grown up! Time goes by soooo fast.

bigsip said...

Wow! Kindergarten!

Totally understandable, Julianna.

We'll see how things pan-out.

Jamison said...

But of course they can come down for a 3 day vacation... i mean, no one would have to stay the whole 5 or 6 days... it would save money and help with people's scheduals.

bigsip said...

Absolutely! Just because we're planning one way doesn't mean everyone has to.

But, to travel all that way and only do 3 days might be a little disappointing. Might not be able to get park hoppers that way either. Noth sure. Rachel will know, though.

Either way, it'll be fun!