With the trip now only 10 days away I realize that my promised posts on planning this trip have yet to occur. This I intent to remedy now...*trumpets* Planning our Disney Vacation! *fanfare*
We've been talking about this trip for over a year. We priced out various packages directly from Disney and compared them to deals through travel web sites and AAA, etc.
The clincher for us is that we knew we weren't going to fly. This helped us to elimate a lot of the travel deal clutter, since most online travel sites were offering packages including flights.
One nice thing about Disney now is that there are soooo many resorts. I know at first that fact seems overwhelming, but actually it pretty much insures that you are going to find the type of hotel you want, at the price you need. There are also a lot of resources on how to get good deals and money saving tips. We used Fodor's, this book by Beth Haworth, and a little common sense.
We choose the value resorts, specifically the All-Star Movies resort. The price was right and we knew the kids would really love the decor. Free parking, the pool looks A-maz-ing, dining options in the hotel...I think we made the right choice.
Next we priced out park tickets. This was a tougher process than picking a hotel, for us. We thought about the following: How many of the parks would be appropriate for our 6 and 4 year olds? Is it realistic to expect to "park hop" (visit more than one park per day)? Will it take more than one day to see everything in a given park? We originally decided on a 4 day pass, no hopping, no water parks (both are additional costs).
Next we checked out the Disney Dining plans - new since my childhood visits. This is a no brainer, if you are staying on property. We chose the plan that allows 2 meals and 2 snacks per person, per day.
We were close to booking, when Joel got an email with Disney's current promotion - a Disney Gift card upon arrival. We decided to go up to a 5 day pass, and that package earned us a $300 Disney Gift card. This is huge! We can use it for meals or merchandise! That sealed the deal and we booked in January.
I started saving for this trip last summer, and now it's almost here. I really can. not. wait!