Trip Planning: $140.18 + 65,000 Points= Trip for 3 To Orlando

family trip
image: google maps

We’ll be leaving on our first trip of 2015 tomorrow morning which will be a quick one.

This weekend I’ll miss watching the Super Bowl for what I can recall, the first time ever since we’ll be on our way home from Orlando, Florida.

I know, Orlando isn’t the most exciting destination (and not one that I’ve visited yet or have really cared to then again). However, when considering that Disney’s Magic Kingdom ranks at the top of most visited tourist attractions in the world & Epcot isn’t far behind, the time has come for us to finally see what the fuss is all about.

(FYI- I did visit Disneyland in California when I was around 10 years old.)

With the limited time that we have, we’ll definitely be visiting the Magic Kingdom but I’m not sure yet if we’ll get to check out Epcot.

Since I’m not a fan of rides (although I’d recommend a visit to Diggerland), I’ve never had much of a desire to visit Disney World. The idea came about after writing a post about the most visited attractions (link above). After sending an e-mail to Disney about how we travel as a family, I was invited to come visit the parks for a day! Boy was I surprised!

Since Kim, Lucas and I are not off from school, we decided to take one day off and head down for a quick visit.

Besides spending a day at the Disney parks, we’re not sure what we will do with the parts of two other days we have during this quick getaway. We have a few ideas but are open to suggestions if anyone has some good, budget tips!

family trip
Mickey in Malta

Trip Planning: We’ll be using a combination of points and cash for our trip.

The Flights:

I originally considered using my United voucher from when Kim, Lucas and I got stuck in Norway last year but I still would’ve had to spend $300+ on flights. I ended up booking something else with my voucher and found us a flight using British Airways Avios.

(FYI- There is currently a 40% bonus offer available for transferring Amex Membership Rewards to Avios until 1/31/15.

We are flying roundtrip on American Airlines:

  • New York (JFK) to Orlando (MCO)
  • Orlando (MCO) to New York (JFK)

The tickets for the three of us to fly to Orlando (roundtrip) cost 15,000 Avios per person with tax of $11.20 each. The total cost for our flights came to 45,000 Avios + $33.60.

If I had decided to purchase tickets for this exact itinerary, it would’ve cost $780.60 ($215.81+$44.39 tax per ticket.) Without using miles/ points, a short trip like this would not be possible. (It’s just way too much money to spend for a quick weekend getaway!)

Lodging/ Hotel:

We had a decent amount of options thanks to having points in a variety of programs. However, with a Marriott free night certificate (that I received from signing up for their credit card) soon expiring, my plan was to use it in Orlando.

This led me to the Fairfield Inn & Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista in the Marriott Village, a Walt Disney World Good Neighbor Hotel. We’ll be staying two nights at the hotel.

Here is what we booked:

  • Night 1- Cost: Marriott Free Night Reward Certificate
  • Night 2- Cost: 20,000 points

If I opted to pay for this stay it would’ve cost $122.62 for night 1 and $120.38 for night 2 for a total of $243.

Other costs: The hotel charges $6 per day for parking ($12 for our stay) and there might be a resort fee.

The total cost for our stay is one free night certificate, 20,000 points & $12 for parking.

Rental Car:

Car rentals seemed to be a bit pricey in the Orlando area. After looking over a bunch of different options I decided to book a car with Hertz. We could’ve gotten a rental for a few dollars cheaper with a small company but figured it was best to rent with Hertz since the price was so close.

We rented an intermediate car for 3 days which came to $94.58.

Total Trip Budget:

  • Flights: 45,000 Avios + $33.60
  • Lodging: Free night cert., 20,000 points + $12 for parking (during our stay)
  • Car Rental: $94.58

Our total out of pocket trip planning expenses are $140.18. 

This trip should be a fun, quick getaway and I’m hoping that Lucas is really excited when he sees what the surprise trip is that we’ve been mentioning to him.

I plan to write about our experience visiting Disney World and the Orlando area. Again, if you have any suggestions for things to do, feel free to share.

14 thoughts on “Trip Planning: $140.18 + 65,000 Points= Trip for 3 To Orlando

  1. The hotel website says complimentary on site parking. I think they should honor that. Actually I picked the same hotel for a 6 day stay in June.
    Let me know how your stay goes

  2. Max- I made a mistake and linked to the wrong Fairfield Inn. (I just fixed it.) The one we are staying at is in the Marriott Village. I double checked and it does have the $6 parking fee. Sorry for the confusion! Enjoy your trip in June.

  3. Stayed at that hotel last November for a Disney half marathon weekend. The hotel was OK for me, plenty of restaurants and a few grocery stores very close by. I found the biggest downside to be the traffic bottleneck on kissimmee Vineland road where people get on and off I4 (its 2015, use ur Google maps to get around that area during Fri & Sat rush hour). Hope you all enjoy yourselves.

  4. If you can, you must visit all 4 parks. Each is different with Magic Kingdom being the most for kids, Epcot for the adults, Hollywood Studios for movie lovers and Animal Kingdom for animal lovers. If time is limited, be sure to get a park hopper, make use of the “fast pass” (free), and be there on time to go to the most popular attraction first. It’s also nice to book a dinner reservation in one of the hotels on another day (you don’t need admission tickets) and visit Downown Disney (free). I have probably been there 100+ times and still love it. I also had 2 kids work there.

  5. ag- The hotel seems decent enough for the price we’re paying! Would love to hear what the half marathon was like… Thanks for the tip. That traffic sounds painful!

    Karen from Florida- Sounds like you might just be a Disney expert! 🙂 We were given a hopper pass for one day but I don’t think it will be enough time to see more than Magic Kingdom. If possible we’ll try to stop by Epcot too. We made a late breakfast reservation at one of the hotels for our last day which should be great for Lucas and will most likely check out Downtown Disney. Much to do and not really enough time… Same old story!

  6. being from orlando, disney indeed does get old and somewhat tiring. because it should be quite warm already, there are ALOT of outdoor activities and tours available. has some pretty good packages for non-touristy activities in orlando, definitely check them out!

    1. Last time I stayed at that property, it was on a LNF rate of $12.50 a night.

      I am using my cert this year, for a property that is currently over $200 a night.

      So yes, you are getting very poor value for money by using a cert.

  7. ouch – that rental car price hurts. I just returned a rental to Alamo at MCO yesterday and paid $132 for 8 days in an intermediate car…

  8. Eric- The car rental was pricey. The best I could find for the size car we needed was like $2 cheaper with a small rental company. Sounds like you got a great deal on your rental!

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