Thursday, 30 August 2012

Disney planning

As all who've visited Orlando before will tell you the thoughts, dreams and plans for a 'once in a lifetime' or 'never go anywhere else' holiday are truly never ending. As DVC members the accommodation has been sorted for ages..

1st week at Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo House. We own at AKL but have only ever stayed at Jambo House (I'll save the Kidani Village discussion for a likes and dislikes post). I'm going to wander off track a moment while I explain our buying into DVC...

So before we bought into DVC I'd always dreamed of staying in Jambo House, what's not to love, it's amazingly themed throughout and is surrounded by animals. Yes, it's a little further out than the other resorts but with free Disney transport and free park parking when you're staying onsite how can anyone grumble (I've heard people grumble!). Some say it has dark decor but it's themed that way with an African feel. Anyway, we were staying at the Boardwalk using a fellow DIBBer's points and out of curiosity had a look around the bigger size villas, got chatting and fancied doing the tour, again out of curiosity - we loved the tour (we toured the DVC place at Saratoga Springs Resort), AMAZING! I loved the storybook room that you enter pretty early on in the tour, I wonder if they've kept this the same? as it really got my attention. Disney never fail to get my attention...
Anyway, so the tour came to an end and we went into a room with our tour guide - Darren from Ireland, very handy to have a guide from the UK as when you start talking money they actually know what you're on about... So as the talks of money begin I feign interest while un-beknowst to me my husband has started working out if we can afford it! Cue childish grin and pure delight when he agrees to it and begins signing all the paperwork!! Wow, were DVC owners and our home resort is my absolute favourite place in the world, I get so emotional when we walk in for the first time each trip - for me this comes so close to entering the Magic Kingdom, the sounds, the smells, the view!!

Back to the planning part, and our 2nd week will be spent at our very close favourite resort, the Boardwalk. We've stayed at the Boardwalk only once before but visit every single we spend hours just watching the world go by. Our boys love the magicians and other acts that are on each night and I must confess we are pizza lovers and so the hatch is a must for us. To make the most of our points we only ever book a standard view and a studio which as a family of 4 with 2 still young boys is ample room. We have tried out other resorts and on one occasion even a bigger room too but I'll leave that discussion for another day...

Today I've started looking into the ticket options and each year I become more disheartened by the increases in prices, I can see why so many people have been priced out of Florida - even though it's way more value for money than a European summer holiday and even Butlins (we've priced up so many other holidays but when it comes to the final costs it still works out better for us to go to Florida off-peak). My husband would like to try out Busch gardens and Legoland this trip as well as the compulsory Walt Disney World, Universal studios/ Islands of Adventure and occasional Seaworld and this has sent costs soaring, so we may later be discussing what we can do without, cue my worried face :( ... dare I say I'm leaning towards talking him out of Busch gardens, somewhere we've never been and suggesting a future trip that doesn't include Disney!!!

Is it wrong to base family planning on the increasing costs of a Florida holiday?!


  1. We absolutely HATED busch, its very coaster orientated and all the animals are poorly kept (in my opinion) the only animals that looked happy were the free roaming giraffes and zebras.

    The elephants paced in a small enclosure - it was quite sad, we drove a long way but gave up after lunch. We will never go back. Universal is a no for me this time too, its old and tired, we will probably do it in around 5 yrs time when they spruce it up.

    I agree with you about the magic and the butterflies you get when walking into a resort or arriving through the gates. We thought about DVC but like you the tickets are a big turn off, dues and other expenses and for me at this moment DVC isnt best for us, the package deals with free dining are, but when they stop, we will probably get DVC.

  2. Thanks for that Nicola, having showed Richard the prices that I made a spread sheet of yesterday he was very quick to rule out Busch gardens. I think we'll buy the ultimates and 2 park bonus and see how our spending goes before visiting maybe seaworld or legoland and paying the gate prices...