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How much does Disney really cost?

we are wanting to take a family trip this year it will be my husband and I and are 3 kids they are 6, 4, and newborn. Im so confused trying to plan a trip because neither one of use have ever been and we dont really know much about everything and there seems to be so many different things we can do but we want to get the most out of the trip and do whats going to be the most fun for the kids. we also dont know if we should just do a one day trip and then do other things in florida or do a more than just the one day trip anyways how much does a trip to disney really cost

by on Apr. 15, 2012 at 4:12 PM
Replies (41-49):
Tara922c
by on Apr. 17, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Yes, but there are people out there who think a reservation means when I walk in at 7 for my 7 o'clock reservation, a table is going to be waiting for me. :)  I was a host at a nice restaurant for years, and you would not believe how many people yelled at me because they had to wait for a few minutes past their reservation time. We have only had to wait for a long time at Disney at table service restaurants in the parks at peak dining times.

Quoting MamaJessx3:

Of course, that's how reservations work :)

Quoting Tara922c:

I have witnessed people screaming at the poor hosts because their table was not ready as soon as they walked up to the podium, and I have witnessed people doing the same thing because they didn't have a reservation and couldn't get in.


So let's all agree, lol, because I  think everyone is on the same page but wording it different.


You need to make reservations if you want to eat at a table service restaurant. You will most likely experience a short wait upon arriving at your reservation, and it is possible to experience a long wait if the restaurant is behind. You can make dining reservations 180 days in advance, and many popular restaurants are booked solid months in advance.


My main point is Disney doesn't hold a table of 4 waiting on the Doe family to arrive at 7:15. When the Doe family arrives at 7:15, they are given the next available table for 4 based on their reservation and arrival time.



 


Quoting MamaJessx3:

I didn't want the op to think you didn't need reservations. It IS a reservation and you DO need it bc there aren't many places u can get into without one. At least not in the parks during busy seasons.
And I've never waited more than 10 minutes for a reservation. Sorry you've had such bad luck with them.



Quoting Tara922c:


It's not a reservation where a table will be held for you until you show up. I look at it as more a "Reservation to be put on the waiting list." I think that is good for people to know who have never been to Disney World before. On our last trip we waited for an hour and a half to be seated at The Crystal Palace and over 30 minutes at several other places. So yes, it is a reservation, but don't expect a table to be waiting for you, you simply get then next available that will accomodate your party.



Back in 2009 we had dinner reservations at Le Cellier, and we were told that it would be at least 2 hours before we were sat and there was no guarentee we would be seated before the parked closed! I was pretty mad, but with a 2 year old at the time, we asked to be taken off the list, and grabbed something quick to eat.



I get what you are saying, and I am pretty sure the op meant the same thing but used different wording.



Quoting MamaJessx3:

Any reservation made online or over the phone in advance IS a reservation, not priority seating, you may have to wait a few minutes but that's typical with reservations at any busy restaurant.



Quoting swiperno:



Coming from someone living in the deep south and used to hot hot summers, July is a hard time to do Disney. Of course if that is the only time you can go, then you will need to plan to go early in the morn, come back to the room, and go back in the evening. No way those babies are going to be able to take the heat all day. (Just my opinion)



I'll be the first one to say that purchasing the dining plan is NOT an economic benefit for our family. You need to look at the costs and see what types of meals it covers then compare the cost per day with the amount you would spend out of pocket. try the site easywdw dot com. They have a lot of info. It is cheaper for us to pay out of pocket dining based on the dining choices that we wanted to make (we wanted some table meals and some quick service) and with my calculations for the places we plan to eat we would not have saved any money on the dining plan. Please be aware that if you are looking to eat at any of the sit down places, advanced reservations are strongly recommended. you can make these on disneyworld dot com. But just know that this is not actually a "reservation" it is more like priority seating and you may still have to wait.



We are going Memorial Day arriving Sunday May 25 and departing Friday June 1. We are staying at Pop Century with 4 day base tickets. The cost was a little over $1500 and we used a spring discount code for the room. We are paying $300 in gas, $750 for food and about $300 for spending so $2850 total for a family of 4 but you can spend less on food if you bring your own.



We have been down there several times and the best advice I can give you is visit the disney planning sites and you will find a lot of information.



 


 


AnnaNonamus
by Silver Member on Apr. 17, 2012 at 3:50 PM
With the reservations, I would recommend showing up15-30 minutes early, unless it is the first seating of the day. The reason for this is that sometimes, seated tables Amy take a bit longer. Once they know you are there and waiting, your reservation is "active", meaning you are on the list of people waiting fora. Table.

If you show up on time, or even late,you may wind up waiting longer, because others with the same time slot were already there and waiting.

When you get there, ask how long of a wait it is,because you can always send part of the group to explore a nearby shop, or if there is a fast line right there, even ride something.

We had 7 reservations over 6 days, and never waited at all. We wound up getting in about 30 minutes early at 50's Prime Time because the kids were in desperate need ofa nap, so I went over early and asked, rather than just leaving the park.

At Rainforest in DTD, we had one heck of a time getting where we needed to be on time- lots of bus transfers, a boat ride, and another bus because we dropped the kids off at a child care center. We wound up arriving an hour late, and the place was packed, but they were able to seat us immediately, in front of people whe were waiting.

magicalkingdoms.com Ticker
Join me on my blog: http://annanonamus.com

disneymom0822
by Member on Apr. 18, 2012 at 10:00 AM

If you've never been to Disney World before, might I suggest getting a travel agent to help you and walk you through each step  :D  As a Disney Travel Specialist, I know I have been able to save my clients a lot of time and grief by doing a lot of the work for them and helping them better plan their days.  Send me a message if you'd like some help ;)

Missy

1LovelyAngel
by New Member on Apr. 28, 2012 at 3:20 PM


Quoting emkirkley:

I think that's pretty typical when the kids nor the parents really know what to expect.  My suggestion for anyone new to Disney would be to purchase the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World...they have done so much research and give great advice for visiting with kids and adults of all ages.  If you are unprepared it can be overwhelming and not as fun as it could have been if you had better known what to expect.

This is our second time buying the UoG2WDW, and we love it, we love the plans, the tips, hints, reviews, ideas, and realistic views of what really happens in the parks....but it's like 900pages, so if you are going to go this year, get it and start reading now.

Quoting mommynac:

Just wanted to add--the experience I mentioned was our first one with Disney. My son is 6. He liked swimming in the pool the most! That said, we loved Hollywood Studios (our first day) and were not feeling MK at all. I would research what's at the parks, and think about what your kids would like. Watch the videos on YouTube of the rides with your child to see what his reaction is. I did not do this with the haunted house ride, and DS was really upset with me. In fact, after 2 1/2 hours, he was ready to call it a day. If I had to do it again, I would probably only do two days again, and have a day at the pool in between. i would also check out something different like Sea World, or the beach, or Discovery Cove (we actually went to Legoland as a warmup and it was a really nice park experience). I would absolutely stay off property and maybe even in a place where I could cook (you can get places with BBQs). I was not into the counter food, or the high prices for food in general at the WDW. But I am not big on eating out all of the time, and the meal plan didn't make sense for just the two of us. Whether you take a car or not, there's transportation everywhere in that area, from taxis to city buses to shuttles that go directly to the theme parks. I personally felt overwhelmed by the experience of being in the park. My DS did, too (it wasn't always magical). After this year, I think I have an understanding of how it should go, without the expectations, if that makes sense. Be prepared to walk away from the park if it's not going well, is what I would say. But most of all, have fun! Whether you go for one day or one hour, you're in Florida on vacation. Good luck.


where do you buy these guides at, and i noticed you said you bought some more guides ,do they change from year to year. Have you ever taken your guide with you and how helpful is their  Disney's DVD they send you

karamille
by Member on Apr. 28, 2012 at 6:10 PM

IMO... one day at disney will just stress you out and you won't enjoy it.  First time disney trip, the more days the better.  If you can't dedicate 5 days to disney for your first trip, go somewhere else and save disney for when you have time.  It took us two days to figure out the park's layout, the buses, the fastpass process, etc...  We had a good time.  We are going again, but the first day and a half were stressful, overwhelming and less than spectacular.  We really felt we got into the swing of things late in the second day. Now that we have been indocterinated into disney, we will do some shorter trips and hit the things we love best.

emkirkley
by Bronze Member on Apr. 29, 2012 at 4:32 PM

you can get them from several places, my hard-copy came from books-a-million, I have one I downloaded for free on my kindle, and a pools one I got for the kindle for free or $.99, and there are loads of them online too...touringplans.com is owned by the people who put out the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney world.  

And yes, we do take copies of the touringplans with us into the parks and do as much as we can on it before lunch, then go back to the room (most days) for rest/pool time and come back to the parks in the afternoon--while in the room we plan out what's left on the list we want to do. (touringplans.com membership gives you access to their mobile app LINES as well)

Quoting 1LovelyAngel:


Quoting emkirkley:

I think that's pretty typical when the kids nor the parents really know what to expect.  My suggestion for anyone new to Disney would be to purchase the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World...they have done so much research and give great advice for visiting with kids and adults of all ages.  If you are unprepared it can be overwhelming and not as fun as it could have been if you had better known what to expect.

This is our second time buying the UoG2WDW, and we love it, we love the plans, the tips, hints, reviews, ideas, and realistic views of what really happens in the parks....but it's like 900pages, so if you are going to go this year, get it and start reading now.

Quoting mommynac:

Just wanted to add--the experience I mentioned was our first one with Disney. My son is 6. He liked swimming in the pool the most! That said, we loved Hollywood Studios (our first day) and were not feeling MK at all. I would research what's at the parks, and think about what your kids would like. Watch the videos on YouTube of the rides with your child to see what his reaction is. I did not do this with the haunted house ride, and DS was really upset with me. In fact, after 2 1/2 hours, he was ready to call it a day. If I had to do it again, I would probably only do two days again, and have a day at the pool in between. i would also check out something different like Sea World, or the beach, or Discovery Cove (we actually went to Legoland as a warmup and it was a really nice park experience). I would absolutely stay off property and maybe even in a place where I could cook (you can get places with BBQs). I was not into the counter food, or the high prices for food in general at the WDW. But I am not big on eating out all of the time, and the meal plan didn't make sense for just the two of us. Whether you take a car or not, there's transportation everywhere in that area, from taxis to city buses to shuttles that go directly to the theme parks. I personally felt overwhelmed by the experience of being in the park. My DS did, too (it wasn't always magical). After this year, I think I have an understanding of how it should go, without the expectations, if that makes sense. Be prepared to walk away from the park if it's not going well, is what I would say. But most of all, have fun! Whether you go for one day or one hour, you're in Florida on vacation. Good luck.


where do you buy these guides at, and i noticed you said you bought some more guides ,do they change from year to year. Have you ever taken your guide with you and how helpful is their  Disney's DVD they send you


Mom to three beautiful girls


FabDarling
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 8:20 AM

 i just figured out my trip coming up in december.....

family of 4

staying at port orleans french quarter for 7 nights

6 day park hopper park admission tickets

that comes to just short of $2700.

we drive (from Jersey).....and the gas total will probably come to around 500-600

then we need spending money and food money (we do NOT do the dining pan - as with driving we can bring lots of stuff with us - and becasue we show up at night on the first day and leave early in the morning on the last day - we relaly are only there 6 days - and would have to pay for 8 days of dining plan)

we figured that food should run us around......$1000.  (that's just aprroximate) - and for spending for little things or this and that.....i always take extra just in case.....

so 2700 for the tics and rooms, about 600 for gas.... 1000 for food and say another 500 cash on hand.....

that comes to about $4800.

 

littlefoots
by Gold Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 8:52 AM

When looking into the dining plan.. Dining plans correlate with the number of nights you have booked. The credits do not expire until midnight of your checkout date.

ex. booked 5 nights/6 days at a resort with Plus dining plan= 5 table meals, 5 quick serv meals, 5 snacks (and a mug) per person. You can use the credits until midnght of your 6th day. After the 6th day, you no longer have them on your card.

Liveyourlifeval
by Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 1:56 PM

It really depends. Disney tries to meet all budgets. There are many ways that you can cut costs like:

-Planning your vacation when the free dining plan ( Quick-service dining plan)  is offered

Book: 3/5-5/18/12
Travel: 8/25-9/29/12

-Plan around the summer offer:

Summer Offer

Book: 4/2-6/14/12
Travel: 6/15-8/14/12

-Choose accomodations that will allow you to take advantage of Disney's Magical Express service or shuttle buses.

These options and more can save you a bundle upfront. Proper planning is key.


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