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Original Poster:

9,869 posts

80 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
Hi folks

Just thinking about holidays at the moment (family of 6). Normally we probably spend about £3k to £4k per year going abroad and usually go to Turkey, Egypt, or Asia. However, for a change, the kids would love to go to Florida (and so would I biglaugh).

How much will I need to spend for a decent holiday? By "decent" I mean reasonable hotel, maybe 3/4 theme parks, and all food and drinks.

Also I'm looking for minimal stress "all-in-one" package so which would be the best company to book with?

Thanks in advance

Crafty_

7,234 posts

84 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
Don't do an all in one - book it yourself.

For that many people get a villa, will be so much easier and I reckon cheaper too.

Picked entirely at random : http://www.ownersdirect.co.uk/usa/F2235.htm

High rate is £450 a week, so £900.
7 seater minivan, £450.
Flights to Sanford airport with thomas cook £462 each.

£4122 so far. Depending on how much st you buy (and there is plenty of it smile ) I would say £8k would see you right.

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Original Poster:

9,869 posts

80 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
Cheers crafty.

However I'd prefer the package approach if possible. Have seen them for about £800 plus food plus theme parks so far so, back of a fag paper calcs suggest £1200pp ??

einsign

3,728 posts

130 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
Note best times to go for lowest crowd numbers:

http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/09/12/disney-world-...


pherlopolus

700 posts

42 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
having usually booked it all ourselves, last year we were warned that a lot of Florida villas are being repossessed and the owners are still taking bookings but dont own the villa, you only find out when you get there and cant get in.

We now use Dial-a-flight for Flights/villa/car (villa worked out about the same price as going direct tbh) and 'attraction tickets direct' for the park tickets.

by using this approach we get a similar package/standard of villa, with direct Virgin flights, for about 2-3000 less than virgin villa holidays equivalent.

As an example, in the first THREE weeks of next years summer holidays, we have a 4 bed villa with pool (executive/deluxe standard), morning flights, and a 7 seater mini-van for around £6250 for 4 people.

We then meet up with family in the states and share the villa costs with them (they give us cash in dollars which covers most of the food for us)


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Crafty_

7,234 posts

84 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
Countdown said:
Cheers crafty.

However I'd prefer the package approach if possible. Have seen them for about £800 plus food plus theme parks so far so, back of a fag paper calcs suggest £1200pp ??
What is so attractive about the package route? There won't be reps etc around like euro holidays, you have to do the car thing/check ins etc yourself. Other than you only make a single booking there is no advantage IMHO.

Does £800 include car?
I'd guess that's hotels on international drive? Holiday inn or similar?

Parks are expensive to eat in, other than that food is pretty cheap. Don't forget you need to pay for car parking at the parks. Waiters/waitresses need tipping. Petrol for the car..
£400 for food, park tickets and buying stuff is pretty skinny IMHO.

How old are the kids?
The advantage of a villa is you have your own pool and don't have to share it with all the other Brits. You also get lots more space and obviously a fridge/kitchen facilities - even if only to make tea etc.

International drive can be hectic, I went last year in early September which is relatively quiet, yet some of our party found the eateries on Idrive very busy. We were in a villa 15/20 mins away (closer to Disney) and it was much quieter and dare I say it less chavvy..

If worried about the villa repossession thing mentioned by the poster above is look on thedibb.co.UK, villas are offered there with feedback etc, anything iffy would get pulled quickly I think.

Edited by Crafty_ on Saturday 6th October 20:46

pherlopolus

700 posts

42 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
I know that having stayed in a villa 3 times now I wont be using Hotels/Packages again.

But some people like staying in hotels I guess, but nothing seems worse to me than after being in a busy park all day, having to either stay in your hotel room or spend more time with crowds of excited holiday makers and their parents.

(Did I say we just had our Discovery Cove tickets arrive for next summer?woohoo)

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Original Poster:

9,869 posts

80 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
Firstly thanks all for the info so far - lots for me to think about.

Because its the first time for us in the US and with 4 kids in tow I want everything to be zero hassle, that's why I'm thinking package deals/hotels/on site Disney kind of thing. Appreciate ths might cost a bit more and didn't realise villas were so cheap.

With regards to sharing with other families that's actually part of the attraction smile

pherlopolus

700 posts

42 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
depends if you want to spend all the time just doing Disney as well... last year we spent 1 day in Magic Kingdom, 3 in sea world, 4 in Universal Islands of adventure,1 in Aquatica and a day on the space coast for me just to watch the Juno launch with my brother in law, we had 4 rest days and chilled in our own pool with a beer most nights while the kids were in bed (try doing that in a hotel), and were still worn out! dont forget to take a spare case for souvenirs wink

At the end of the day for your first trip I can see why you would want to go down the package route, but I bet next time you have a villa, or Condo at least.

(I'll stop now;) we'd go every year if we could afford it!)


Crafty_

7,234 posts

84 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
Countdown said:
Firstly thanks all for the info so far - lots for me to think about.

Because its the first time for us in the US and with 4 kids in tow I want everything to be zero hassle, that's why I'm thinking package deals/hotels/on site Disney kind of thing. Appreciate ths might cost a bit more and didn't realise villas were so cheap.

With regards to sharing with other families that's actually part of the attraction smile
Thats fair enough, Disney is expensive, as you'd expect but plenty of other deals available.

Back to your original question I think you are looking at double/triple the budget of your euro holidays smile



pherlopolus

700 posts

42 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
Crafty_ said:
Thats fair enough, Disney is expensive, as you'd expect but plenty of other deals available.

Back to your original question I think you are looking at double/triple the budget of your euro holidays smile
YES (but only if you are careful and budget wink )

LuS1fer

31,706 posts

129 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
I've been twice. Once was in a hotel and I would never bother again as many American hotels are room only.
We booked the flights, villa and park tickets separately and it came in far below any sort of package.

Don't worry too much about the cost of food as it's very cheap (you do have to budget for tips though)and volume is not an issue. I had the "Senior Special" at the International House of Pancakes and still couldn't eat it all. You can probably share one. Ate at Brannigans (I think it's called) in Kissimmee and the kids had a full 2 course meal for about £2 at the time (exchange was 2 dollars to the £ back then).

The cost-effective park approach is to grab the 4 Disney park Package, the 2 Universal parks and maybe add Sea World, Busch Gardens or even airboat rides - allocate a day to each and odn't do the park hopper.

Do Old Town in Kissimmee as that has the free car show every weekend and a fairground that is not too expensive.

Oveerall, it's like anything, it tends to pan out. A villa in Spain would be aboout £2000 for 2 weeks, it's half that in Florida for a better villa.

chopper602

777 posts

107 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
Aim for the last two weeks in August, if you're stuck into the school summer holidays. Thats when we went this year and you find most of the American kids go back to school then, so it can be a bit quieter in the parks. Indirect flights will also save some money - can be quite a bit TBH!

pherlopolus

700 posts

42 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
chopper602 said:
Aim for the last two weeks in August, if you're stuck into the school summer holidays. Thats when we went this year and you find most of the American kids go back to school then, so it can be a bit quieter in the parks. Indirect flights will also save some money - can be quite a bit TBH!
thats why it's always busy when we are there in July, as we are meeting up with an american family we have to go while all the children are off!

BUT!

there are still quiet days, and getting there early and doing a half day, then going back in the evening after a sleep in the villa means you miss the main heat of the day/crowds.

the 'Brits Guide' book also covers which parks are busy on which days of the week, and what order to do the parks in once you are through the gates

3000GT ANT

317 posts

40 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
I've been to florida a few times now. It will be the most busy holiday you could go on and you all will love it! if you like rides and shopping that is. As said going in a villa is definitly the way to go. I have stayed on southern dunes golf resort a few times and whether you like golf its a good location, not too near or far from attractions. Travel city used to be a good company to book through, but im unsure these days.

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Original Poster:

9,869 posts

80 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Hi folks

Just to say thanks again for all the comments - very interesting and lots of things I hadn't realised / thought about. thumbup

Long story short - "She who must be obeyed" has given permission for me to go ahead and book it. We're looking at the last 2 weeks in August, rough budget £1500-£2000pp for a 10-14nt stay.

Ive got a stack of brochures that Im going to go through over the next couple of weeks and then I'm sure I'll be back with more questions.

smile

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Original Poster:

9,869 posts

80 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Crafty_ said:
Back to your original question I think you are looking at double/triple the budget of your euro holidays smile
You are spot on ! yes

Normally we spend about £500 per head, this is looking 3x as much.

LuS1fer

31,706 posts

129 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Personally, we take the (young) kids out of school and go end April, beginning May when the weather is perfect and the parks aren't over-crowded.

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Original Poster:

9,869 posts

80 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
LuS1fer said:
Personally, we take the (young) kids out of school and go end April, beginning May when the weather is perfect and the parks aren't over-crowded.
Fair point. Unfortunately back end of May tends to be exam time and neither my wife nor the School will be too keen.

Now that you mention it - maybe a week before or after half term???

Damn this is complicated smile

Matt Harper

3,465 posts

85 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Hurricane risk is non-existent in May - in late August, we're right at the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane season.
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