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Brian Bennett

WDW Trip Planning Guide Reader Feedback

by Brian Bennett

3/2/01

Q.

Bill Asks: Brian, Do you have any kind of picture of this floating garden? If so, I would like to get a copy. Thank You.

A.

Bill is referring to the instructions in MousePlanet's The Magical Gardens of Disney that explain how to build the lovely floating floating gardens that are often seen in the Future World ponds.  The information was provided by the WDW horticulture group during one of the recent International Flower & Garden Festivals at Epcot.

Unfortunately, no, I don't have pictures of the floating at the present time. We do plan to return to WDW in the Spring, and we'll be taking pictures of such things then. We'll certainly be updating the Magical Gardens of Disney after that trip!

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Q.

Robert writes This is our first time visiting Disney and we really don't know what to expect nor what to do there.  Please help with admissions and sleeping accommodations.

Shari also writes I was hoping to find a recommendation for off-site vacation home rental as we have a large party - 15 people consisting of 4 different families. Thanks.

A.

There's a ton of information at MousePlanet! I'd suggest, for admission information, that you read the page on Admission Media from A to Z.

Then on accommodations, that you read the pages that are listed on the accommodations index page (all about the on-site versus off-site issue as well as information on each of the Disney resort hotels).

Another source for off-site hotel information is MousePlanet's offsite resort reviews, provided by MousePlanet readers!  There are several reviews of vacation home rental companies in the listings.

Beyond that, if you'd like to have a travel agent work with you to do the actual trip planning, they I'd strongly recommend MousePlanet's partner company, Discovery Hills Travel. You can go to our Walt Disney World / Orlando Travel Plans page and fill out the form there, and Discovery Hills Travel will contact you to make those arrangements for you!

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Q.

Fellow MousePlaneteer Ian Parkinson writes(Note: Ian refers to the question I posed on the Asia Photo Tour page, in which there was a picture of a carving that I was not familiar with.) You should have asked me about the photo of the carving as it is one of mine.  It's just after the Tiger Tour, just before you enter the bird aviary.  Nice to see so many of my photos on line, I counted at least 16 !!!

Kent, referring to the same page, wrote When I was last at Animal Kingdom I had a interesting conversation with a CM. I asked if Disney would breed the tigers to help with efforts to save them. She said "no because the tigers are not pure breed, and only pure breed tigers can be in the programs". She also explained how you could tell by the stripes on the tigers, and that Disney had rescued the tigers from various sources.  Just something interesting to note.

A.

My response to Ian was:  Thanks, Ian. I'll make a note of it...and as far as the number of photos, don't worry....there will be many more.  :)

And to Kent:  That is interesting, Kent. I'm hardly an expert in zoology, so I'd never recognize the strip thing...but I didn't realize that a tiger wasn't a pure-bred tiger by definition.

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Q.

Steve WroteIt was very nice to read your review of the 'Remember the Magic' Parade which I guess is now Magical Moments. That parade holds special memories for me as being one of the best summers of my life.

I live in Newport Beach California, right by good ol' Disneyland and I decided to take advantage of one of my summers and fly to Florida to work at Walt Disney World.

Well...much to my surprise I ended up becoming an attraction host at Space Mountain at the MK! In addition I found out that the first two weeks of your employment..before they get you into attraction training...are worked doing PAC! Parade Audience (area?) Control!!! We ended up working both the RTM Parade AND Spectro!

It was sooooo much fun. To watch those parades over and over, with the best view ever, and get paid!!! :O) Awesome.

I still have some of the stickers that we handed out to the kids in selecting them for the parade. We handled up the Be our guest float and the grand finale float.

Anyway, I went on to work Space Mountain and...as any good cast member would, explored as much of WDW as I could. It's amazing how much freedom you have if you are a cast member. We went behind the scenes in so many attractions it would make your head spin. And the pictures we got...best of all...memories (and secrets) to last a lifetime!

Thanks again for your review.

A.

Wow, Steve, that was a fun note to read! Sounds like you had a great summer. Working for the Mouse really would provide special memories. I often wonder what would have happened had WDW hired me back when I was sending them my resume' every year.

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Q.

Debbie Wrote:  [Background, Debbie had serious trouble contacting In-Touch Communications, a company that is supposed to provide two-way radio rentals.  Here is Debbie's follow-up email, the note I got back from In-Touch Communications will be in the answer box below.]

I really appreciate you trying to help me. If I were you I might think about removing the link to this company from your website -- unless other people have had good luck with them lately, and my problems were just a fluke. It really concerned me that I gave them my Visa card number through their website, and then didn't hear back. It also concerned me that they didn't return any of my calls.

Since my husband is attending a convention at Coronado Springs, I was able to call the Business Convention Support Center and get radios through them. I am not sure of the prices, or if they are available to all Walt Disney World guests, but I will let you know when we get back from our trip.

By the way -- your Mouseplanet website is GREAT. My kids and I have enjoyed it so much in planning our trip. We will come back with a report on Coronado Springs for you. Thank you for all of your hard work.

A.

Allen from In Touch Communications:  Hi Brian, My name is Allen from In Touch. I have spent the last 2 weeks in Orlando. I sat in meeting after meeting. As you know we had a problem. We have temporarily shut down the operation till the first week of March. We are now training a complete new staff. Our phone lines are being relocated to assure prompt returned calls. We have also been working on an email system so that there will be 4 agents that can access the mail. Like any new business there are kinks to get out. We have been working with Nextel and finally have been assigned an account manager. This alone is a giant step forward. I can assure you, going forth you will here only good about us. At this time I would like to thank you for at least keeping us up on your site.

And my answer to Allen:  I'm glad you're addressing your issues. I hope, as you state, that there will be no further problems with In Touch in the future.


In any case, if you need two-way radio service while you're in the Orlando area, consider In Touch Communications...but be aware of potential pratfalls.

Also, if anyone has experience with any other suppliers of rental radios, please let me know!

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Q.

Theresa Writes:  One subject that I have not found much information on in anyone's site is the issue of whether or not you can bring some food into the parks with you. I've heard several different responses, but was wondering if there is an official response. We are trying to do Disney on a budget and hoped we could pack some sandwiches, water, etc. to save some money.  Any ideas on this would be appreciated. Thanks so much.

A.

Theresa, the official answer is no, you may not bring in food to the parks.  I must admit that I've never seen the Disney folks search people's bags and so on, and I have seen people eating bagged lunches in the parks, but it's officially forbidden.

Seeing folks bring in beverages (juices, water, etc.) and small snacks are much more frequent and, obviously, that is not enforced any more strongly than the food ban.

My own personal opinion is...snacks and beverages (for the kids, especially) are ok. But if I'm going to eat a meal (even a simple sandwich one), I think it best to return to my resort room or eat at a Disney restaurant.

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Q.

Fellow MousePlaneteer Andrew Rich writes: I thought you might like an advance bit of news, in a sort of press-release format:

[begin]

The Hall of Presidents at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom closed, possibly for good, last weekend. Its last day of operation was Saturday, January 20th.

Cast Members working the attraction on Saturday said it would remain closed until October and be substantially retooled. On Sunday, January 21, the Rotunda (featuring the Presidential Portrait Gallery) was open to Guests, but the theatre entrance was roped off. Cast Members at the entrance had to explain to each Guest entering the Rotunda that there would be no presentation of the "We The People" Audio-Animatronic show.

One Cast Member I spoke to said that the official word was that the attraction would re-open in October, but that most Cast Members believed it would be closed for good and the area used for a new attraction.

I visited the Magic Kingdom's City Hall and inquired about the future for the Hall of Presidents. I was told that the current plans were to have the attraction open again in time for the upcoming "100 years of Disney" celebration slated to begin October 1st. The City Hall Cast Member acknowledged the rumors but said that the current plan was to add a new Audio-Animatronic figure (for the new President), and redo the audio and film presentation. She thought it would mean a return to the older version, where all of the Presidents were introduced and then Lincoln speaks. Permanently closing the attraction, she said, was not being considered.

[end]

A.

I hope it's just temporary.

On the other hand, if they'd just replace closed things with new, good attractions I wouldn't mind. It's when they sit idle for eons (like 20,000 Leagues) that it bugs me.

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Q.

Chris AsksWe wanted to be able to get maps of the 4 theme parks and water parks so we can plan where to go and how much time is needed. How many days do you need to cover the park?

A.

Chris,

I can't help you with the maps. The only suggestion I would have is that you call your resort (assuming you're staying onsite) and ask them to send you one of each park. They might do so, or they might tell you to wait until you arrive. Generally, folks haven't had good luck with that request, because the park maps also include entertainment schedules that are good only for that week. WDW tries to avoid sending out materials that would so quickly become dated.

As far as you question about how much time you need in the parks, I'd recommend you read my page on the timing issue.  It covers that question in detail.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the reader feedback for the WDW Trip Planning Guide!  Feed free to send more questions or comments to brian@mouseplanet.com!

Brian Bennett's Disney Trip Planner


Click here to see some awesome WDW pieces that have run on MousePlanet recently!

Click here to check out the rest of Brian's Archive, including all of the previously published "Notes From the World" pieces!

Brian's Archive - Contents

I've always gotten email about the WDW Trip Planning Guide, but since we added the feedback form to the site several months ago, the number of questions has increased dramatically!  I do my best to answer each and every question personally, but I've noticed that a lot of the questions are asked again and again.  The question that one person asks might very well be the question that someone else is wondering about.  Thus this page!

So...I'll post reader email and feedback every once in a while, because the question someone else asks might be the same one you're thinking about yourself!

 

 

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