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SPORTSPHOTOG's Photo SPORTSPHOTOG SparkPoints: (21,019)
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3/4/13 9:20 A

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That I knew, but that's a separate charge. We have ours from the Boardwalk. I just didn't realize that they were included in the dining plan. We stopped doing the plan for two reasons, first when they changed it a few years back to not include an appetizer and the tip and second, because quite honestly, it's way too much food. Half the time I order appetizers as my entree and I rarely (I would be lying if I said never, this is Disneyworld after all) have dessert.

Sandy
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LECATES's Photo LECATES SparkPoints: (173,859)
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3/4/13 6:56 A

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You can also buy that mug at your resort and refill it there at any time---and they are great souvenirs---still have mine from the first time we stayed at Disney---and that was almost 23 years ago---LOL---gosh, can't believe the baby I took on that trip will be 23 this month.

Eastern Shore of Maryland
USING CAPS FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED FRIEND TILL SURGERY! Team leader for Empty Nesters and the Gardening Team.


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ALLELUIA525's Photo ALLELUIA525 Posts: 18,447
3/3/13 10:35 P

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The mug has been part of the DDP for a little while now (at least a year...maybe two).

~ Tanya ~

"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward..."

"All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them."

(quotes: Walter Elias Disney)


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SPORTSPHOTOG's Photo SPORTSPHOTOG SparkPoints: (21,019)
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3/3/13 9:40 P

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Carrie, is the refillable mug as a part of the DDP new? I hadn't heard that before.

Sandy
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VIOLET1019's Photo VIOLET1019 Posts: 1,955
3/3/13 9:32 P

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I will be planning my 2nd trip to Disney in a few short months (DD8 (who will then be 9) and I are going Aug 2014). I recommend allears.net for Disney info. It's a wonderful website with amazing information about all aspects of trip planning for Disney before and during your trip. They have a newsletter as well.

I highly recommend staying on property because it is so easy to get everywhere. Magical Express takes you to and from the airport and your luggage magically appears in your room. Plus, when we went DD was 5 and we would go back to the room mid-afternoon and then enjoy the pools at the resort. That offered a reprieve from the excitement of the parks and some downtime. We are planning on staying at Art of Animation which is the newest Value Resort.

In terms of dining plans...last time we did the deluxe dining plan. It was nice because we did a lot of character meals since it was our daughter's first trip. This time I plan to do the regular dining plan simply so I don't have to worry about prices. With this plan you get a refillable mug for your resort, 1 quick service (counter service) meal per day, 1 snack per day, and one sit-down meal per day.

It all really depends on what you are able to spend and what your preferences are. Oh, we also get the park hopper passes so we can go to more than one park in a day and the water park option. As for purchasing the trip...I go through AAA because the travel agent is free with my membership and they literally will help you every step of the way. I even brought my sit-down restaurant list to our travel agent and she made the phone call and made all the reservations for me while I sat with her. So easy... Oh and I like to use the Birnbaum Guide to help plan/get DD ready for the trip.

Enjoy!

~Carrie

"It is what it is and it will be what you make it."





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MRSBETH99's Photo MRSBETH99 Posts: 2,170
2/3/13 8:30 P

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I love Disney trip planning! I second the Disboards recommendation. We've found the absolute cheapest way to do Disney is to stay off-site, eat a good breakfast at home, 1 meal in park, pack snacks in our day packs, and have dinner waiting in the crockpot. We've used undercovertourist for base Magic Your Way tickets. There are even better deals with the Youth Education program called YES. We now have a son in the military so we'll use military discounts this year.

Blessings,
Beth in OH, EST
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GRACEISENUF's Photo GRACEISENUF Posts: 12,752
1/26/13 4:27 P

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I don't have any advice but... HAVE FUN!

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Eleanor Roosevelt
1884-1962

"Girls compete with one another, WOMEN empower one another".


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OHIOMOM's Photo OHIOMOM SparkPoints: (93,202)
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1/10/13 7:30 P

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Welcome to the team and so glad you found us. I sent you a rather long PM. If you have any questions, be sure to PM me. I have several trips under my belt at this point. I did not go into to much detail, so much more I can tell you. I did not want to overwhelm.

Dot
Goal: To do better today than I did yesturday.




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SPORTSPHOTOG's Photo SPORTSPHOTOG SparkPoints: (21,019)
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1/10/13 10:38 A

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It sounds like this is a first time trip for you? My suggestion is to find a Disney knowledgeable TA to help you out. Also visit DISBOARDS.COM, a Disney fanatic discussion board and ALLEARS.NET the WIki of Disney info. Mousesavers.com has great tips for the budget concious.

For tickets, I agree with the suggestion of UNDERCOVERTOURIST. I've done the comparisons and they are consistently the cheapest.

If you want to plan the trip on your own, look for the kids eat free deals that are being offered. With kids, I strongly advise staying on property, not only for the convenience of using Disney transportation, there's the magic that staying at a Disney property offers. You can find reasonable prices at any of the budget hotels like Pop Century and All Star Movies, Music and Sports. While you may find cheaper options offsite, it adds the need for transportation and it's more difficult to take a break in the middle of the day, should you desire it. There's nothing like taking a break mid-afternoon, especially in the heat of the summer and taking a dip in one the the beautifully themed pools. You also have the convenience of Disney's Magical Express from the airport to the hotel, which is a free service offered for Disney Resort guests.

And now is a great time to go with the opening of the New Fantasyland that replaces what was Toontown. New dining venues like Be Our Guest Restaurant and Gaston's Tavern and atttractions like the new Storybook Circus, Ariel's Grotto, Journey of the LIttle Mermaid, the Enchanted Forest and Barnstormer.

And don't worry about getting off your diet. With all the walking you'll be doing, it will more than make up for whatever you eat emoticon

Sandy
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LECATES's Photo LECATES SparkPoints: (173,859)
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1/10/13 7:59 A

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We stayed at All Star Movies---great sites for picture taking---with kids, definitely staying on property will be the least stressful for you---and I think worth the money. You can do timeshare vacation and just keep your kids with you and tell them to be bad---LOL---you just have to be really tough and say no! I actually own timeshare and love it---but we turned them down the first time we visited as we could not afford it---but we love staying at timeshare. But when we do Disney, we stay at Disney because of the bus service and other little perks. You might also want to check the Disney site for planning info---they are very helpful---I don' t know much about booking flights, etc as we always drive--I don't fly plus that is such an added expense that makes a trip out of the budget for us.

Eastern Shore of Maryland
USING CAPS FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED FRIEND TILL SURGERY! Team leader for Empty Nesters and the Gardening Team.


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ALLELUIA525's Photo ALLELUIA525 Posts: 18,447
1/9/13 11:35 P

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emoticon to the happiest place on SP!

We are going to WDW next week.

Cheapest tickets that I found: www.undercovertourist.com -- This is my first time using them, I am picking up the tickets at a UPS store since I ordered them a week ago and didn't want to pay for expedited shipping. I can let you know how it goes when we get back.

If you stay at a WDW hotel, you can get free bus transportation between the airport and resort. We stay at Pop Century (value resort)...we are paying about $72 per night.

I have tried the meal plans. Unless they are free, I usually spend less for meals than the meal plan. There is just too much food with the meal plans for us.

~ Tanya ~

"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward..."

"All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them."

(quotes: Walter Elias Disney)


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NMWELSH SparkPoints: (16,596)
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1/9/13 11:08 P

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Hello All,

I have been dabbling with SparkPeople for awhile and just got seriously involved in getting healthy. However, I also have 2 kids who have been begging to go see their Aunt Di (my best friend who relocated to FL a year ago) and to go on an airplane.

So, mind as well kill 3 birds with that 1 stone: fly to FL, see Di and go to Disney!

However, with all the B.S. out there, need to know how to QUICKLY sort through the bogus offers, and get to something really family friendly and financially friendly.

I am NOT LOOKING TO INVEST OR BUY A TIME SHARE. I just want good advice on experiences that other parents have had, good or bad, in dealing with a Disney based trip to Orlando.

I appreciate your candor in your responses.

Nicole

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