Published: February 28, 2013 at 2:59 PMI had sticker shock by the end of the second paragraph. By the time I finished reading this I wound up in a sticker coma. :P
Published: February 28, 2013 at 3:56 PMI'm surprised that the Luau dinner show doesn't have a special VIP seating area. When I went to Hawaii, many Luau's offer special VIP seating that can sometimes cost $40 more for close-up seating, a picture, food, and drinks. Also, I am sure you can look up more expensive specials. I didn't see much in this report.
Published: February 28, 2013 at 4:19 PMHow do I arrange to win the lottery? ;-)
Published: February 28, 2013 at 11:08 PMSo, Robert, what was the grand total cost of such a vacation? Say a 7 night trip for a family like yours.
Published: March 1, 2013 at 12:10 AMRough, back-of-the-envelope figuring, for a week in the Grand Floridian theme park view room, seven-day park tickets for four with the park-hopper option, the VIP tour guide for four of those days, with the Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Backstage Tours on the other days, plus top-of-the-line meals, some spa treatments and a few sports extras -- I figure between $20,000 and $25,000 total for the week. And that's not including airfare or any significant shopping.
Published: March 1, 2013 at 4:57 AMFor a much, much, much, much less expensive room with a view, my family always gets a 3rd floor Polynesian room with an MK view. It's beautiful to watch the fireworks on a balcony literally 10 steps from your bed. The view is mostly uninterrupted, and it goes right down the center of the Magic Kingdom, meaning that you can see a few of the taller rides as well (I actually took a picture from my hotel room showing a log on the top of Splash Mountain. You can actually see the log.) The room costs about half of the view ones in the AK lodge.
Published: March 1, 2013 at 6:58 AMWhen my wife and I visit WDW we always visit Victoria and Albert's. Its a pricey evening for most but you do get what you pay for and it is worth every nickel. It's less of a restaurant and more of a supper club. A great experience and well worth what they charge.
Speaking of club level hotel stays. Try the Boardwalk Inn Resort Club Level. You get basically the same amenities as at the Grand Floridian at a less insane price. Plus, its within walking distance to EPCOT, a much better choice of locations for adults with no children.
Published: March 1, 2013 at 10:01 AMHere's the thing: Most visitors are going to enjoy something in between the ultra-cheap vacation and the ultra-luxe one. Pick elements from each -- what you're willing to splurg for and what's left you can afford. Then go enjoy what you've put together!
Some people stay in cheap motels on 192 so they can afford a dinner at Victoria & Albert's. Others eat counter service in the parks and skip all extras so they can afford a really great on-site hotel room with a view. (And a few people can afford to do it all and experience a vacation like I described anove.) You've got a wide range of options at Disney. It's your call on how to use them.
Published: March 1, 2013 at 10:30 AMWe certainly couldn't afford the vacation Robert describes but we did build in one or two 'treats' to our stay, including the Wild Africa Trek he mentions. I can't speak highly enough of this. For $180 each (I think) we got the best three hours or our two week vacation and a set of amazing photos to remind us of it all. We also used our (free) dining plan wisely to trade up to several meals at signature restaurants, (not quite Victoria and Alberts but still pretty darn nice). We didn't skimp but ended up paying the equivalent of what we would have spent in an 'ordinary' restaurant somewhere but instead got several fantastic dinners in Jiko, Narcoosees, Citricos and, best of all, Artist Point. Vacations are supposed to be about memories and we have plenty thanks to Wild Africa Trek and the dining plan....
Published: March 4, 2013 at 9:33 AMThe Fireworks cruises are an awesome splurge, too.