I find myself searching the internet for any deals from Australia, and there is not any current information.
I am as enthusiastic as the rest of the liners on here, but have trouble planning due to the lack of info about what I am able to be part of from over here in Australia. There are a lot of UK deals… but I cannot be part of that.
I’m thinking my only option for tickets is an AP. We are thinking of staying 21 days (yes, I know that is a lot), and I want a slower pace than I did last time (9 days back in 2016) so that I can have free days enjoying my resort, or other resorts, Disney Springs etc. There is just so much to enjoy… I don’t want to feel my time running out before I’ve made myself feel at home we would also include some tours available around Florida within this time.
Planning for late January thru to mid Feb 2020… which is 15 months away.
Do I use an agent overseas, a specialised Disney agent?
Australian agents have no idea on deals. Last time we came I seemed to know much more than our agent here, and we were not eligible for any offers or discounts. I feel like I have to research all on my own, which I enjoy… but I’m not getting any answers.
Are there any Aussies on here that have any info to share on planning?
Love this forum
I don’t know any Australian Travel agent, but having an AP would mean you can get a discount on meals, rooms and get as many days as you want.
We will be making our third trip to WDW from Australia in November. The last two trips we spent 2-3 weeks in Orlando and this time we will be staying at WDW for 43 nights! We bought annual passes because we’ll be there so long and that will probably be your best option too.
We’ve never used an Australian travel agent, this trip we’re renting DVC points directly from an owner for part of the time & using MVT for the rest. We have a 10 resort split stay (1 night at the start and end of trip, then 4-6 nights in each resort).
If you want to stay on site you might want to look into http://www.magicalvacationstravel.com/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to check if they have an agency exclusive offer for your dates, which can be a lot cheaper than booking a hotel directly from Disney. If you want to stay deluxe you could also check out the DVC rental sites like https://www.dvcrequest.com/ and https://dvcrentalstore.com/.
Our last two trips we stayed a few nights on site then moved to Wyndham Bonnet Creek which we booked through https://www.vacationstrategy.com/. I think it cost just over $100 per night for a two bedroom condo which was great. The only downside is that you need to rent a car or be happy to uber to the parks because they have limited shuttle times and it costs money to use them.
For airfares we usually watch out for Qantas sales through Dallas or LA and last trip we got a really good deal flying through San Francisco. This trip we had enough frequent flyer points for the return flight from Canberra to LA and then we booked flights from LA to Orlando separately.
Not sure if you’ve done the Kennedy Space Center before, but it’s definitely worth a visit.
With a bit of luck our dollar might pick up by the time you have to start paying for things - it’s pretty bad right now. Thankfully we had already paid for our passes and a lot of the accommodation before it started dropping.
Wow. That is amazing.
Are you going to Disneyland while connecting through LA?
Thank you so much for all this information.
Your trip sounds amazing!!! I would love to hear more about it How many of you going?, ages of those going ? etc…
I have learned SO much about WDW over the last few years, but have never understood in detail about DVC… as our last trip was suppose to be “once in a lifetime”.
Yes, Aussie dollar is hopeless at the moment. This is also why I’d love to find out how to save a few dollars.
Went to Kennedy on last trip. Loved it. Had the Ultimate Tour booked but we were not able to visit launch pads and other areas due to Hurricane Matthew damage. We did Split stay last time 9 days WDW/10 days Universal area.
We want to revisit POFQ, as we loved having a smaller resort, and the boat to DS is great. I thought others would think I’m odd for staying 23 nights… I think 43 would be awesome!!!
Yep, we’re super lucky! This is a one-off, not the way we normally travel.
No, we thought about it but we arrive on the Monday of Thanksgiving week so it was a bit too hard & more expensive to get flights across to Orlando later in the week.
It’s me, DH, DD14 & DS13. We’re staying at POP 1 night, BC 6 nights, Poly 5 nights, BWV studio 5 night, AKV 1 bedroom 6 nights, VGF 1 bedroom 4 nights, BLT studio 4 nights, BWV 2 bedroom 6 nights (over Christmas), WL 5 nights, then BC for the last night.
We figured if we were travelling around the US we would be moving every few days, so why not do the same at WDW and they’ll move our bags for us. The kids are old enough now (and mostly get along well enough) that since we’re staying onsite they will be able to go to the parks together sometimes while we do something else.
I’m not sure how the trip got so long, we started planning when we got back from our last trip two years ago and it got longer with more nights on site the more we talked about it! We got given some money we weren’t expecting earlier this year so that made things easier.
We were like you, we had our “once in a lifetime trip” in 2014. Then we thought we’d do one more trip in 2016 and before that trip was even over, we had started talking about being there over Christmas on the next trip.
After this trip we are planning a more sensible length trip for the 50th at the end of 2021 after the kids finish year 10 & 12.
If you decide to look into renting DVC points make sure you’re ready to book at 11 months out, because some resorts can book out quickly. You can use this calculator https://www.dvcrequest.com/cost-calculator.asp to work out roughly how much a stay at different resort for different dates will cost. The main downside to renting points is that you can’t cancel so you need to be really sure of your dates and have travel insurance.
I forgot to ask - where in Australia are you?
Hi Thank you so much for sharing all the details. I truly appreciate it.
I am in Sydney.
I will have to look into trying to understand the whole DVC thing… everything Disney always turns into a massive need to learn all the ‘ins & Outs’ I’ve always just rolled on past the DVC stuff. But we do love the POFQ… although if we happen to save a good amount of $$$… then I’d definitely consider changing.
Your kids are at a great age for more independent holiday experiences. They will have so much fun.
Do you have a grocery service deliver food items? … we did last time, which saved us buying breakfast and some snacks. By the time we arrived home in Australia, we were very keen on having home cooked meal after all the food we had over there.
Meanwhile, how I wish I could go to Australia for a month!! Only been once, and sadly only had two weeks, so we only saw Sidney and Perth, but it remains my most favorite trip ever and I have traveled to many places. Just a beautiful place with by far the NICEST people I have ever met in my life.
That is so lovely that you created such beautiful memories here
At least from Sydney you can fly straight out. We’re flying through Brisbane on the way out and Melbourne on the way back. MY SIL and her family live in Sydney so we drive up there a bit.
MVT usually have specials for POFQ so you should definitely check with them, although you might find Boardwalk, OKW or AKV studios slightly cheaper than POFQ if renting DVC points. We stayed at AKV for 3 nights our first trip and the Poly for 5 nights last trip (both DVC rentals) but haven’t stayed at any other deluxe resorts yet, so looking forward to trying the others.
We will be eating most breakfasts in the room and will probably get groceries delivered more than once. We’ll have a full kitchen for some of the time so we will probably do a bit of cooking too. We are renting a car for a week and we may do one or two shorter rentals if we want to get out and do things away from WDW.
Howdy VJB and LandDownUnder! I’m a Melbournian, just returned from a 2-week stint at Disneyworld last week, which is my third trip, and my longest yet (and still not enough!). My work sent me to the Disney Customer Experience Summit, and then I took 10 days vacation afterwards.
First tip to you, VJB: Have a look at whether you can be flexible with the time of year you go. Late August and early September are DEAD in the parks, and as a result, Disney does lots of great packages and discounted rooms, so if you’re like me (I also find DVC a biiiiit too much to get my head around—for now!), being flexible with the booking window can really give you some great savings.
On this trip, I travelled solo, and for the vacation part of my trip, I decided to keep it cheap and cheerful (because I only found out I was going to the conference about 8 weeks prior, so no opportunity to save up!). I stayed 8 nights on a Delicious Dining Package at All Star Sports (arr 30 Aug, checking out 7 Aug) and then transferred to All Star Movies for my final night (was annoying not to get the 9th night at All Star Sports, but they were fully booked up so close to travel). I travelled solo on this trip, which was really fun and self-indulgent! But usually I travel with my partner.
The Delicious package is great—you get the base Disney Quick Service Dining Plan at the Value resorts (or the Disney Dining Plan w table service once per day if you stay at a mid resorts) plus tickets. I upgraded my dining plan from Quick Service to Table Service for about US$150, upgraded my park tickets (10 days) to Park Hopper Plus so I could do the water parks, and added on Memory Maker (which is just SO much fun, and a fixed cost regardless of how many days you stay). Total cost was AUD$2767.57 for 1 person on the package + AUD$165 for my 9th night at Movies. This was significantly cheaper per night/per person than our previous vacations.
Considering this means you really don’t have to pay for anything on your holiday except for any extra food you want (and TBH, I struggled to get through my table service dining plan, because it’s SO MUCH FOOD) it is a great deal, and if you plan in advance to make the most out of the dining package, it’s really great value. I had a spreadsheet, booked all my table service in advance, and had a great time. I really pushed myself to visit lots of restaurants at resorts and in parks that I’d always wanted to try. Went pretty hardcore with the food planning this time and it was worth the time investment!
I actually found the All Stars to be fine. From a comfort perspective, the beds aren’t as plush as mid (Port Orleans Riverside and Caribbean) or deluxe, but I found them to be fine. So if you’re looking to save some money, consider going for the All Stars or POP. The beds are double, though, not queen—so if you’re not super-skinny like me and my partner, the Mids might be more comfy. We found we preferred to sleep in separate doubles than cram into one bed.
They’ve just renovated all the POP rooms, and apparently they’re really good. I’ve heard that they’re doing the All Stars next so you could probably expect them to be done by the time you go. I’d probably say aesthetically, Movies was nicer-looking than Sports, and had a better food court. Art of Animation is also a really beautiful-looking resort, and is in between value and mid resorts in terms of quality from what I’ve heard.
This was my first time doing a value resort for the whole trip—we usually do a mix of Deluxe and Mid. But my thoughts on this are: I don’t spend a LOT of time at the resort. I’m either in the parks, or dining at other resorts (I love the all-you-care-to-enjoy lunch at Whispering Canyon at DWL), at Disney Springs, or if you want to have a really lazy day, go to the water parks, sit in an inner tube, and float your cares away! I would totally hit the All-Stars again, no question. You may find with 4 people it’s a bit cramped, so have a read of Touring Plans’ resort reviews to inform your situation.
Other bonuses of going in September: EPCOT Food and Wine started on the second day of my vacation, so I got to experience that (and FYI, those snack credits on your dining plan can be used at Food and Wine at MOST of the booths). And Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween was on while I was there, too. Most of the rides (apart from the eticket rides: Avatar, Slinky Dog, 7 Dwarves) were all super-short waits, and I just used rope-drop strategies for all the eTicket rides anyway, so it didn’t even matter that I couldn’t get Fast Passes for the eTickets. The worst you have to contend with in September is brief thunderstorms that usually only last 5 mins anyway (ain’t no thang if you’re born in Queensland like me!). I think I missed most of the rain, and got my brolly out only once the whole trip!
Phew! Long post! Hope it’s helpful though. Feel free to ask any questions that you have. Happy to share my tips. Happy planning! I’ll probably be going to Tokyo Disney next with my partner, so it’ll be a couple of years before I’m back at WDW sigh!
Oh I booked everything myself via the Disney website. Hot tip: make sure you browse prices on the US website, as it often defaults to the EU website from Australia and the prices are ridiculously high for some reason!
I agree with @LandDownUnder, look into DVC. I went last Christmas and just booked through the US website and utilised the deals available on there.
Wouldn’t bother with Aussies TAs. I managed to get myself a better deal than the ones I tried to use. One TA I saw just used the website exactly as I would have.
I did attempt to work with a few different US TAs, several never responded to my emails, and one did, but never followed up (was a bit early when I first reached out).
Your best resources are the people right here
Thank you so much for such a helpful reply. I really appreciate it.
When we went in 2016, we went in late Sept through to mid Oct. We caught all the Hurricane Matthew drama, which didn’t eventuate into too much in terms of damage at WDW luckily, but the heat we experienced while we were there was intense.
It was so so humid, and took a lot out of us. Opening the door in the morning and feeling the heat was incredible… even at 7am. We are also fit people, live in Sydney, but the day spent at Magic Kingdom was cut short due to the fact that we couldn’t keep enough drink down to combat the humidity and I generally hate cold and love warm. It was just a different temperature to anything I’d experienced here other than in Darwin/Cairns. This is why I am opting for a cooler time of year, late January into mid > Feb.
Hubby is wanting to return to POFQ. I also like it there, as it is a small resort, and we enjoyed the boat to DS. I plan on visiting other resorts for their restaurants and experiences, but the rest of my family are basic eaters, and typically don’t go for anything out of the ordinary - shame ! I will definitely look at the Whispering Canyon lunch. Thanks for mentioning that one.
I will look into doing the work myself, rather than using a TA in Australia. Maybe there will be no deals available at that time of year.
It is a long flight over from Australia hey? We did ok, but it took forever as we sat on the plane for 3.5 hours before takeoff at Sydney because of a fuel leak. That added more time to the 16.5 hours to Dallas, then we missed all connecting flights to Orlando. We finally arrived at POFQ at 2.30 in the morning. We were starving. Luckily I had done a Garden Grocer order and we all sat up eating like mad when we got to the room.
We had a great time overall. I love all the planning, and I love the magic of being in the bubble. I honestly thought it would be a once-in-a-lifetime… hubby never been overseas before this, and trust me, it took a LOT for him to agree in the first place. He had the best time ever though, the time of his life. So he wants to return and do it all again… and I am definitely not complaining !
Fair enough re: the weather. I grew up in Queensland, and absolutely hate the humidity, so I get your feels. As a tip, TDR Explorer in Asia has some great recommendations for dealing with heat in their Hong Kong Disneyland guide: basically using Uniqlo’s Airism undershirts and cooling towels etc. I employed this technique on my most recent trip in Aug/Sept and felt fine despite everyone complaining about the weather around me! Have a read here: https://tdrexplorer.com/ultimate-hong-kong-disneyland-trip-planning-guide/
The other resource I’d definitely recommend to you is Undercover Tourist’s Crowd Calendar (if you don’t know about it already). They have year overviews, and then detailed day breakdowns for expect crowds at each park. I find this a lot better for planning dates of year to visit, versus Touring Plans which I use much closer to my trip to plan which park to visit what day and to minimise queue times. Here’s their 2018/2019 overview, and you’d probably find that you could use next year’s data to roughly inform the best time to go in Jan/Feb 2020. https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlando/crowd-calendar/2019/
Whispering Canyon should be pretty safe for a conservative palette! The Boma breakfast at Animal Kingdom Lodge really is worth the trip and because it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet (ahem “All you care to enjoy” I mean!), there are “safe” options for those who aren’t feeling confident (mickey waffles, bacon, eggs, sausages, fruits and cereals etc), in addition to the more diverse African-style breakfast foods, which are simply stunning. The other thing I’d recommend is the Tusker House Character Lunch at Animal Kingdom itself. It’s fairly new and if you haven’t tried it, again, there are options for all palettes, but lots of adventuresome things to try for you! All the mains I tried were fantastic, and the dessert spread was easily the best I saw on property. Really nice ambiance as well, in Africa. If you can’t be bothered hiking all the way over to AKL for Boma, it’s a pretty close second. I hear the breakfast there is also pretty great, and the characters are all dressed up in safari outfits which is cute as heck.
I stayed at PORS and LOVED it—super excited for you to stay at FQ. I think those Moderates are just fantastic, and would stay again in a heartbeat.
Yikes your flight sounds like it had the worst luck! I thin mine all up was about 24 hours, and fairly uneventful (for once!) on this most recent trip.
I personally support your plan to self-book. I’ve also found that I usually know more about Disney than any other Aussie travel agent I’ve asked (same for Tokyo, HK, Shanghai etc—sounds like a market opportunity!). Remember that with Disney, you can change your booking and dates up to 30 days before your trip without penalty, so if you see a special I think you can usually move your booking to fit that (assuming rooms are available).
I had my VPN on the UK setting today and noticed that the Disneyworld GB homepage was advertising free dining already for 2019 and the prices looked surprisingly good. Might be worth keeping an eye out for that sort of special, as they aren’t advertising ANY dining specials on the US website right now as far as I’m aware. https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/en_GB/
The last recommendation would be Disney Tourist Blog’s page on discounts. You can subscribe to their newsletter and I believe they send you emails when discounts get announced, but there is a lot of good info about Disneyworld’s most common discount types, which you might find useful in your planning. https://www.disneytouristblog.com/disney-world-discounts/
Holler with any other questions I probably spent at least 100 hours researching my latest trip (I, too, love the planning process!) so very happy to share and help in any way I can.