Thursday, July 26, 2012

Back from Neverland

Well, I'm calling it Neverland, but really we have been spending the past several months in BABYLAND! That's right, after much anticipation, the DizKrazKate family now has it's very own Princess.  Since she is the first princess in my husband's family in over 40 years, we are feeling especially blessed and thankful to have her join in our jamboree.  I am currently planning her first trip to Walt Disney World in just about 6 weeks. So my popular posts of "Going to Disney Pregnant Part I and II" will be joined with "Taking a Baby to Disney" when we return. 

Our Little Princess

Also in the works is a post I have been working on all about Disney Vacation Club, how it works, should you purchase and the like.  We have owned DVC since 2009 and we love it!  The post has a lot of information and is getting rather big, so I'll probably release it in parts. If you have ever thought about purchasing a part of the magic, or even just considered renting points to try it out, this post will be for you!

But for some valuable information right now, lets talk about the current Disney promotions, and how you CAN afford a fall trip to Disney!

If you are willing to take your kids out of school this fall, you can get some great deals on a Disney vacation.  For travel to Disney for arrivals August 15th through September 29th, Disney is currently offering a "Room Only Discount".  You can save 15%-20% on values, 20%-25% on moderates, and 20%-30% on deluxe and villa accommodations. Not everything is discounted, and availability is limited, but you can get some very good deals.  Staying at All Star Sports for a week will run you $70/night during the week and $82 on Friday and Saturday.  A total of 7 nights at a Disney Resort for only $578 is about as budget as your going to get at Disney. Adding 6 day base tickets to your room brings your total to $1,645, and adding Disney's Quick Service Dining Plan will bring your total to $2,302.  So for that $2302 price you get 7 nights at Disney with park tickets and food for 2 adults and 2 kids!

Southwest Airlines is also offering some great prices right now, if you are willing to fly on Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays you can get some excellent fares.  From Chicago Midway for example, using Southwest's Low Fare Calculator on their website I found fares as low as $81 each way! That gives a family of four round trip airfare from Midway to Orlando International for a grand total of $654!  That is a STEAL in my book!

Add those two deals together and you get a week at Disney for just under $3K. The same week at Caribbean Beach with a 6 day base ticket and Regular Disney Dining Plan will run you $2,993, and after the same airfare your total vacation would be around $3650.  This would include a sit down meal each day of your trip. One thing to consider though under this option is that with the previous deal of Free Dining being offered during this time frame, many of the best table service restaurants such as Chef Mickey's, O'hana, or a princess meal will either be booked, or have very limited availability, so you may be better off skipping the regular Dining Plan and paying cash for your meals, or sticking with the quick service plans.  Remember you can always have groceries delivered to your room and use your mini-fridge to have some meals and snacks at your resort if you are on a budget. If you decide to skip the dining plan and pay for meals a la carte, you can save a tiny bit more by not buying park tickets through Disney and instead purchasing your tickets through UnderCover Tourist.


Currently, Disney is offering their popular Free Disney Dining Plan deal for select dates in October, November and December. For budget travelers, this is one of the best deals around. Now, if you are not on a tight budget, and will be looking to stay at a Deluxe Resort or Disney Vacation Club Villa, the room only discount is usually a better deal, but for those looking to stay at either a value or moderate resort, Free Dining is the way to go! And if you have kids ages 10-17, Free Dining becomes even sweeter.

The current promotion offers free Quick Service Disney Dining Plan (2 quick service and 1 snack per night stay) for those booking a value resort, and free Disney Dining Plan (1 quick service, 1 table service, and 1 snack per night stay) for those staying at a moderate or higher level resort. You must stay a minimum of 3 nights paying rack rate for your room, and buy a minimum of a 2 day park ticket per guest. (no Undercover Tourist savings here)

Free Dining is available for the following check-in dates:
Sept. 30 - Oct. 4, Oct. 19 - Nov. 1, Nov. 9 - 15, Nov. 23 - 29, Dec. 10 - 13
Now you can extend your stay past these dates and continue the promotion, but you MUST check in on a date included in the deal in order to receive the free dining plan.  

If you check-in on Monday October 1st and check out on Tuesday October 9th, you can stay 8 nights at Caribbean Beach with 7 day base tickets and Disney Dining Plan for $2802 in a standard view room!  Airfare for those days on Southwest for 4 round trip tickets is $700 (remember bags fly free on Southwest!).  That means slightly more than a week at Disney with round trip airfare, moderate level resort, character meals, snacks, refillable resort mug and park tickets for a family of 4 for $3,500. Not bad at all.

Why 8 nights you ask? Well, using Southwest's Low Fare Calculator, I could see the best fares for that week were to fly in on Monday and back on Tuesday.  It was actually cheaper to spend an extra day at Disney than to fly back on Monday.  So a little flexibility can save you some serious bucks.

The same deal at at a value resort All Star Music with quick service dining plan (no character meals, just quick service meals) is $2,137. With the same airfare that brings your total to $2,837.Again, AWESOME DEAL!!!

So if you are flexible and can handle doing a mid-week to mid-week vacation, have non-school age kids or are willing to take them out of school, a great Disney Deal can be had. I also saw fantastic airfares out of Chicago and New York the week after Thanksgiving and the first two weeks of December. This is a great time to visit Disney, because the holiday decorations are up and you can even attend Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.

DS's 9, 7 and 5 at Kidani Village our Disney Vacation Club "Home" in February 2012
For those of you who have been looking to plan a trip, or waiting for that great deal, I hope this encourages you to plan that magical trip! Feel free to comment below, or even email me directly if you have more questions!