Disney Florida

RedAlix

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Thinking of doing Disney next year with our whole family (13 of us!). We will have to go during the school summer holidays 2018.

I know some of you have been before so please can you give us your tips.

We are looking at staying in a villa for 2 weeks. How many days do you recommend for Disney and what parks are best to visit?

Would also like to go to universal studios whilst we are there.

Thinking this is going to be an expensive holiday!
 

Jon

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Thinking of doing Disney next year with our whole family (13 of us!). We will have to go during the school summer holidays 2018.

I know some of you have been before so please can you give us your tips.

We are looking at staying in a villa for 2 weeks. How many days do you recommend for Disney and what parks are best to visit?

Would also like to go to universal studios whilst we are there.

Thinking this is going to be an expensive holiday!
@Moneyless Man has literally just come back from a big family holiday there and I'm sure will have some tips!!
 

PhilN

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More than happy to help, and I'm very envious! (Take me back with you?!)

I'm just off to a wedding anniversary party, but will answer your questions when I get back this evening.
 

Jon

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Thinking of doing Disney next year with our whole family (13 of us!). We will have to go during the school summer holidays 2018.

I know some of you have been before so please can you give us your tips.

We are looking at staying in a villa for 2 weeks. How many days do you recommend for Disney and what parks are best to visit?

Would also like to go to universal studios whilst we are there.

Thinking this is going to be an expensive holiday!

I'm at home now so I can reply

My experience is booking for 3 of us (@Moneyless Man did 6 people I think and he was in charge of everything!)

Anyway, we are about to go on our 3rd trip there in 3 years and we've NEVER stayed on-site.

We've stayed at the Hilton Doubltree at Seaworld (https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel...lton_Orlando_at_SeaWorld-Orlando_Florida.html)

and the Comfort suites at Kissimee just outside Disney (https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel...t_Suites_Maingate_East-Kissimmee_Florida.html) - Which we are going back to again this time because it INCLUDES breakfast each day and as we found at the Doubletree that cost soon adds up over 14 days!!

Now before we go ANYWHERE make sure you read my post about using the ebookers loophole ( https://blog.themoneyshed.co.uk/hotel-ebookers-lowest-price-loophole/ )

It's shaved HUNDREDS off the cost of our accommodation booking!!

We used TopCashBack when we booked at eBookers so I have £230 coming to me which is actually mean to appear about 3 weeks before we leave!

We've flown both indirect with United Airlines (Cheaper price but not an amazing aircraft) and Virgin Atlantic (bit more pricey but larger plane and feels more special). Both get you from A-B ;)

We've got 14 day DisneyTickets which I got from FloridaTix which cost around £270-£280 each I think, again we used TCB for around £30 back
Those 14 day tickets are great as you can use the adventure golf courses at Disney as well which are great fun.
btw FloridaTix let you LOCK IN the price when you buy them but you can pay the balance of the tickets off up until you actually go. You may find that useful as with your party you are probably looking at spending a few thousand on tickets alone!

We've been to Universal everytime. First time I think I bought overkill and got 2 week Universal tickets which covered bother Universal and Islands of Adventure and the harry potter train between them both (WHICH IS AMAZING!)
The second time I used Undercover tourist who offer 1 / 2 / 4 day tickets for universal parks so we just bought a 2 day ticket and that was enough.
THIS time I am wanting to go to Volcano Bay which is the new 3rd Universal Park so that is an additional cost but it is what it is. Attraction Tickets Direct / FloridaTix / Undercover Tourist are currently offering 3 park tickets (universal+islands of adventure+volcano bay) but the only reason I'm holding off at the moment is I am currently in discussion with Universal to get complementary tickets in exchange for a blog post which would cover the base universal parks so I would just have to buy Volcano Bay tickets on the day when we turn up..

I LOVE Universal. I think the areas of the park from Harry Potter to Jurassic Park to Marvel is just absolutely amazing and the rides are something else!

The 2 Disney Water parks are amazing. You can't gauge just how amazing until you get there..

Do you like Dolphins? If course you do? If so then do Discovery Cove (https://discoverycove.com) - We've done it twice and it's an amazing day with all food and drink included and it's a MUCH slower pace to normal theme parks so it's a nice 'down day'

The Parks are HUGE. Disney alone is the size of Manchester!!! You just can't grasp how big the resort is until you see it in person!

Car Rental - Use Alamo. end of story, you have no idea how easy the whole thing is. Just make sure you take decent car insurance because the last thing you want is to hit another car over there by accident and not be covered.

The reality is that yes, Disney etc all costs money. We've booked this time for Be Our Guest + Chef Mickey, all of which cost extra money but if you go to Orlando you need to accept it is going to cost a LOT of money and when you get there you will fork out more money. You are just going to end up hating your holiday if you go there and wince every-time you have to spend money. Move on! Accept It! and Enjoy it!

Hope this helps, I'm sure others will have experience of staying on-site if that's something you have considered.
 

Jon

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Thanks @Jon, there is lots to read there.

I want to work out rough prices and then just have to sell it to the rest of the family lol

price wise it will depend on when you are looking to go.

Peak time is obviously going to cost more for flights. We go in July/August and it's costing around £3500 for 3 adults for flights + accommodation... When we went before in November time it was a fair bit cheaper.
 

RedAlix

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The villas we are looking at cost between £1350-1860 which isn't bad for 13 people in August!

Can't get flight prices for a few months on the websites I have looked at.
 

Jon

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I would imagine you are looking around. £800-£1000 per person on flights
 

Amy

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I've been to Florida 4 times in two years, we have stayed onsite at Disney, offsite in Kissimmee and with friends. We've only done Universal once but Disney every time.

When booking flights I recommend setting up Sky Scanner! I have daily alerts so I can book when the price is in my budget. I've found the cheapest is Black Friday, all air companies seem to do deals from the ones in the UK to the ones abroad. I went to Florida last March for 4 weeks and our flights were £658 for both of us direct from London with Virgin! And that was two weeks of Spring Break/Easter so it is classed as peak. Definitely look at indirect, we've done that twice too and it's so straight forward. Boston was a lovely airport to spend a few hours in!
 

Amy

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As for days, my kid would do all day every day in Disney and we still wouldn't do or see everything! We don't do water parks as it's too much of a struggle as a single mother! We also have a lot of friends so we tend to go for rope drop and stay until 9pm but take things slow. In August it's going to be so crazy hot, even our Floridian friends avoid the parks so make sure you schedule loads of swimming!

When I was a kid this was our break down. We used to stay in a Villa and my dad drove.

Lazy Day, Epcot 2, Magic Kingdom 3, Animal Kingdom 1, Hollywood Studios 1, Universal 2, Typhoon Lagoon 1, Blizzard Beach 1, Shopping & then another lazy day before flying home.
(mixed up of course although we usually did US back to back)

HOWEVER with the Pandora expansion & Volcano Bay I would probably add another day to Universal and another to Animal Kingdom and do one less at MK and do shopping after a water park day.
 

Jon

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Ah yes the Heat....

We went in July last year and OH MY GOD THE HEAT

The second those airport doors open it's like a NEVER ENDING WARM HUG is the only way I can describe it!

I remember the first night be stood in Main street in Magic Kingdom watching the electric parade so I wasn't even moving anywhere and sweating BUCKETS!

Middle of the day is the worst but each and every afternoon you will see the most AMAZING thunderstorms that last all of 20 minutes but clear the air!
 

RedAlix

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I think we would have to go for direct flights. Last time we flew to America we had a connecting flight that we missed due to delays. Because there was so many of us in our group (Only 8 that time) they couldn't get us on a flight together till the next day, we had the most horrific time and didn't even get an apology.
 

Jon

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Yes it was. I'll have another look later. A lot of the cars say 5 people and only 1 case which would be no good if we had hire from the airport.
If you book with virgin holidays car hire is included with alamo
 

charlyn

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Following this thread :) I'm hoping to go next autumn 2018 and trying to work out how much its going to cost. There will be 2 adults and 2 children (plus probably my parents who will pay for themselves) but I read on a different forum that most people spend around £8/9000! That sounds a lot! I haven't been for 7 years now and it sounds a lot more expensive than I remember. We don't want to stay on the actual Disney site but rather hire a villa for 10-14 days.
 

Jon

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Following this thread :) I'm hoping to go next autumn 2018 and trying to work out how much its going to cost. There will be 2 adults and 2 children (plus probably my parents who will pay for themselves) but I read on a different forum that most people spend around £8/9000! That sounds a lot! I haven't been for 7 years now and it sounds a lot more expensive than I remember. We don't want to stay on the actual Disney site but rather hire a villa for 10-14 days.

It can cost that much but I don't think that's SET IN STONE

do you know what parks you want to go to while you are there?
 

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