On today's show, Mike and Mark talk about what information you need when helping first-timers understand why it's so important to plan.
You can subscribe to MouseStation from the links at the bottom of this page, or via your favorite podcast aggregator. If you'd rather pop up our podcast radio player into a separate window so that you can continue browsing MousePlanet in this window, click here. (NOTE: Our podcast radio requires Adobe Flash Player. You can dowload the player here.)
Send in your suggestions, comments or tips via our email feedback form or via voicemail on our toll-free feedback line (1-866-939-2278).
Mike and Mark talk about what information you need when helping first-timers understand why it's so important to plan.
After some silliness, Mark and Mike got down to business.
This week's topic came about because Mike is taking his wife Kayla to Walt Disney World on what is essentially her first trip this fall. Kayla's only previous trip to Walt Disney World was a school band trip over a decade ago that had perhaps 12 hours total in three theme parks, and the group's itinerary was closely controlled. Kayla's understanding of Walt Disney World trip planning is roughly the same as a first-timer. Mike had a hard time getting Kayla to understand why planning was so important, and why some of it had to be done so far in advance. So let's take a look at what you may need to do if a first-timer asks you for advice on planning a trip to Walt Disney World.
We skipped the planning for the time of year of the trip, as many people do not have the flexibility to choose when they go. Kayla and Mike are going in November.
Mike began with trying to get Kayla to look at the guidebooks and start making a list of things that she wanted to do and places she wanted to eat. Mike focused on restaurants so that they could plan where they will need to make Advance Dining Reservations when their window opens. It also helped them to decide what type of dining plan they wanted to get. A dining plan was important to them so that they wouldn't have to worry about any out-of-pocket costs for meals. While the Deluxe Dining Plan will likely be too much food for them, Kayla was adamant about having appetizers included in their plan, so they did select the Deluxe plan.
Next, they began discussing resorts. They decided that they wanted something nicer than the Value resorts, and Deluxes were out of their price range, so they looked at the Moderates. Mike likes Caribbean Beach, but Kayla was enchanted by Port Orleans, especially French Quarter. The day after they booked the resort, they received the Disney planning DVD, and after watching it Kayla fell in love with the new Royal Guest Rooms at Riverside. They immediately rebooked into the Royal Rooms. Mike used the Unofficial Guide to select which specific room that he wanted to request based upon views and traffic.
Next up was tickets. While the Park Hopper option was an unquestioned necessity, the Water Parks Fun and More option was a big question. Going to water parks is unlikely due to the fact that they'll already be taking a side trip to Discovery Cove, but they'll likely make a couple of trips to DisneyQuest, which will justify the cost of that option. They decided to get their tickets for the entire length of their stay, just in case they decide they want to go to a Disney park for dinner or fireworks when they get back.
Their budget is largely where it needs to be, so they'll be able to enjoy themselves without worrying about expenses.
Mike recommended that first-timers work with an Earmarked Disney specialist travel agent. Mark noted that MousePlanet has three preferred Disney travel partners: Small World Vacations, Mouse Ear Vacations, and Get Away Today.
Let us know what you think of the show!
Mark will be spending his birthday this year walking to raise money for the March of Dimes. MousePlanet readers and MouseStation listeners have helped Mark to raise about $20,000 for the worthy charity over the last six years. This year, his goal is to raise another $4,000. This month, he has issued a special challenge: Mark will match, dollar-for-dollar, every donation that comes in by March 31 from any MouseStation listener or MousePlanet reader. If it's in by March 31, he'll match it.
You can also walk with Mark, either in person or virtually, by joining Team MousePlanet and getting your friends and family to contribute! The Kid is also raising money this year. You can go to Mark's fundraising page to sponsor him, The Kid's fundraising page to sponsor him, or the Team MousePlanet page to join in and walk yourself! Help us to provide a better chance to prevent prematurity and to help those babies that are born prematurely!
Jeff sent us an email to let us know that the podcast was so boring. Let us know if you agree or disagree.
Jennie wrote to wish us a very happy five years, and to tell us that we help her deal with her post-Disney depression. She also asked us to keep the bloopers in the episodes. What do you think?
Vance Cope left us three voicemails from the One More Disney Day celebration at the Magic Kingdom—at the start, the halfway point, and the end. It sounds like the Magic Kingdom's event went very well, unlike the Disneyland Park event. Were you there? What did you think?
Sharla Manglass called to fill us in on the trip that her family took recently. She, Lou, and baby Nora sailed on the Disney Dream, then stayed a couple of days at the Polynesian Resort. They loved the Dream and everything about it, but were somewhat disappointed by the Polynesian. They loved their free upgrade to a Lagoon View room, but felt that the resort as a whole seemed run down and in need of a lot of work. One thing that impressed her, though, was the Baby Care Centers in all of the parks. This was their first trip with Nora, and the Baby Care Centers made everything so much easier.
Join our networks
Don't forget to go to the iTunes podcast directory and give us a good rating for the combined feed!
You can get your MousePlanet (or MouseStation) swag from the MousePlanet CafePress store and the MouseStation CafePress store. If you'll be walking in the March for Babies or CHOC Walk; running the Walt Disney World Marathon, the Disneyland Half Marathon or any other endurance event; or even just trying to keep fit, you can also get your Team MousePlanet running wear from our Team MousePlanet Zazzle store!
Thanks to our announcer, Andrew Rich!
Thank you for listening!
The MouseStation is now available through Stitcher Radio!
(Send an email to MouseStation Crew)
The MouseStation crew (@MouseStation) currently consists of Mark Goldhaber (@MPMark) and Mike Demopoulos (@MPMike).