Has anyone bought a vacation pkg to Disneyworld?
I go to Disney all the time and I always do a package. It is really nice to have everything as a group, and not have to do everything seperate. Also, you have the option of doing the dining plan, which you can only do in the package. Dining will save you a lot of money off of your dining and it will really allow you to have nicer options. So, I definitely recommend doing a package.
As far as the best deal on a package, that would be when you are going. Disney offers promotions for just about every day of the year. It can range from money off your room, to a free ticket upgrade, to even free dining during some dates. They only release certain dates when they do this, it is not for the whole year. For example, the most recent promotion was from mid-April, all of May and the first few days of June and gave free ticket upgrades. Any day before the first few days of June has already been offered for a promotion and will not be offered any other promotions. Sometimes, Disney will send past guests a pin code they may be able to use on their vacation, but not many people receive these and they are usually for limited dates. So, if you are flexible with your dates, then I would go later in June. Usually, the best promotions are offered in mid-August, through September and the first few days of October, which has been free dining the past few years.
Personally, I always book with my travel agent. I don't usually have the time to watch for codes and promotions, once I book she will automatically put the discount on my vacation (as long as what I have is available) and I don't have to worry about it. If Disney does not offer the discount for my hotel, she will give me some options of what I can do. She also helps me to look into the different dates and everything like that so I don't have to, I have found it to be a big time saver. Plus, she doesn't charge anything for the services and she books all my dining, reservations, answers questions, etc. I used to book with AAA, but their service does not come close to all the benefits I get from my current agent, so it is really great for me. Plus, after Disney's promotions, there is no better savings you can find outside of Disney or a travel agent.
As far as which hotel, it really depends on what you are wanting to spend. Disney has three levels, value, moderate and deluxe (also villas, which are anything from a studio to two bedrooms.) All of Disney's resorts are great, you really can't go wrong. Personally, I find in the values that Pop Century is a little better than the All Stars, because of better transportation, newer, etc . As far as the moderates, you will be getting a little larger room and the property tends to be more quiet. Also, the themes are a little more modest. As far as which resort, they all offer similar benefits At Port Orleans, you do get the added benefit of the boats and at Cornonado, you have a few more dining options. There are so many deluxe resorts, it is hard to choose. The benefit to Animal Kingdom and Wilderness Lodge is that they are the least expensive deluxe. With Boardwalk, Yacht and Beach Club, you have the ability to walk right to EPCOT. And at Contemporary, Polynesian and Grand Floridian, you have the monorail. Really, all the deluxes are great, so it just depends which one will have the most for you.
I hope this helps. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions, I go to Disney many times a year and I love to help.
Good luck with your planning!