Presidents’ Day & Mardi Gras At Disney World

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It is Mardi Gras on the Gulf Coast.  The schools actually close.  Some lucky schools get a week off.  This is a great time to go to Disney World unless Mardi Gras coincides with Presidents’ Day.  Presidents’ Day is often when the schools along the East Coast take a week long winter break, making it one of the busiest times of the year at Walt Disney World. In 2010, Presidents’ Day and Mardi Gras coincide.

My son, Tyler, has a free long weekend.  Here I am with an opportunity to go to WDW, but have no plans.  I have just now entertained the idea of going — 4 days prior to leaving.  I am already going in March for the Disney’s Princess Half Marathon.  I don’t want to spend a lot of money. This is peak season. The rooms are expensive and of course there is not much availability.   We will either have to change hotels every night or we will have to stay off property.  It makes me wonder if we should even attempt it? Have I lost temporary hold of my senses? Of course, we should attempt it.

As inexpesively as possible, we will attempt to arrange a last minute Presidents’ Day trip to WDW.  Crowds don’t bother me, but we do need a place to rest our heads at night.  Can this even be accomplished?  Last minute trip, busy season, inexpensive?  Tyler and I will take on the challenge and report back to the results.  We would love your tips.

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Posted on February 8, 2010

9 Responses to “Presidents’ Day & Mardi Gras At Disney World”

  • Caroline,

    My tip would be to stay off property. My husband travels every month to Orlando for business and ocasssionally I’ll travel with him. He stays at one of the hotels in the Marriott Village. It’s only minutes from WDW and the Fairfield and SpringHill Suites offer free breakfast.

    Good Luck! I look forward to seeing what you decide to do.

    • by Caroline Baggerly on February 10, 2010, at 10:16 pm EST

      Thanks so much for the tip. My son’s basketball teams just made the playoffs. Now the schedule is even more up in the air than I thought. I don’t want to stay at Disney where I need 5 days to cancel. The trip is getting more last minute by the day.

  • I’ve been disappointed by the lack of good Disney resort discounts (including those for Passholders and Florida residents) for weekend trips like the one that you are planning. Although Disney does not seem to care, I have rebelled by staying off-site. If you want cheap during a busy time, that’s your only option, and it can be a good one.

    If you have a car and free parking (via Annual Pass) at the parks, staying off-site is a no brainer unless you specifically need to take advantage of the wonderful Disney resort service and amenities.

    In particular, I’ve had good luck with Hotwire. Hotwire now lists satisfaction ratings for many of its properties. And you can often use betterbidding.com to figure out the hotel you’re getting before you book.

    • by Caroline Baggerly on February 10, 2010, at 10:20 pm EST

      Hi David,
      I am with you 100%. Don’t get me started on the lack of AP benefits/discounts. ;)
      Staying off site is really my only option as my son’s basketball team keeps progressing in the tournament- (I thought they’d lose.) Thus delaying our trip.
      Thanks for the tips. I truly appreciate it.

  • Try the Orlando Vista. Off-site, but a block up the street from the Crossroads shopping center, so it’s practically there. In 2006, my then-girlfriend and I went down to WDW for 3 days between Christmas and New Year’s to get engaged. At 2 months out, we were able to book a room at the Vista for $90/night or so, and the season doesn’t get any more peak than that week. Even this late in the game, give it a shot.

  • by Duston McGroarty on February 11, 2010, at 4:45 pm EST

    Caroline,

    I’m not sure how “outdoorsy” you are but there are a few different camp sites around the park that I’m sure would take you last minute.

    Just another option even though it may be out of the question for you depending on if you like to camp.

    • by Caroline Baggerly on February 23, 2010, at 9:27 am EST

      Duston,
      Thank you for your advice. I am not very outdoorsy, but I could try camping — especially at WDW.