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Brian Bennett

WDW Trip Planning Guide Reader Feedback

by Brian Bennett

4/16/01

Q.

Ronald Asks:  Hi, I was trying to find discounts on Disney tickets on the Web and I stumbled on this site.... http://officialticketcenter.com/ Do you know anything about this site?  Is it legit? No strings attached?

A.

Ron,

I'd never heard of this site before, but I looked over it when you sent me the link. Here's some observations:

  • According to the site, "The Official Ticket Center" is located at 3148 Vineland Rd. (S.R. 535). The note under the address says, "Located in the Chevron Station Building."
  • The site also says, "We are similar to a travel agent. We purchase tickets in bulk from theme parks and attractions at a discount rate and pass the savings on to you."
  • A five day adult park hopper pass is listed as $198.00 (regular list price is $203.52, and they accurately give that number) for a savings of $8.02 or about 3.5%... not bad, but not incredible, either. I went to the AAA site, and AAA quotes a price of $198.15. Pretty close.
  • If you go through the order process, the site tells you (about delivery), "You may select to pick up your tickets at our Kissimmee OTC location or we will deliver them to your Orlando area hotel."

My conclusion? The numbers match up. There doesn't seem to be an attempt to sell you discounted tickets but crank up the shipping charges to make the money back. I guess you'll have to determine if a company "Located in the Chevron Station Building" on Vineland Road in Kissimmee is a safe bet. I have no reason to think otherwise, except for an obvious bias against the unknown. For my money, I'd still get my tickets at the Disney Store or resort hotel using my Disney Club or DVC discount... and I'll do slightly better by doing so.

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Q.

Vicki Adds:  Hi Brain, I would like for you to check something out for me. I found this web site called Floridatravelonline.com and would like for you to click onto attractions tickets and please e-mail me back and let me know your honest opinion. They claim that they are not a time shared place and say they buy in bulk. Are you familiar with these folks.

A.

The prices look in line with discounts that travel agents are provided. More than likely, the discounts are legitimate, but I personally would go to a travel agent that I know and trust to purchase them.

There's risk... and I'm not a risk taker when it comes to that much money. :)

-

Q.

Nicole Writes:  My family will be visiting WDW 4/30/-5/5/01 we have booked a room outside of Disney at the Bestwestern Eastgate, I have read that you should see the room before signing the dotted line -- how important is this? I mean, even after you get registered and get to your room if something is wrong (bad smell, dirty) I'm sure the hotel would do something about it.

A.

Nicole,

No reputable hotel or motel would ever fail to fix a major problem. In the very worst case, you could check out and not stay at that establishment... and almost certainly you won't be charged for the stay.

I'd be much more concerned about a "mom & pop" resort than a major national chain. Still, if it's something you're concerned about, you can always request to see the room before checking in.

-

Q.

Marlene Writes:  We are planning a trip from NC to Disney world on May 13, 2001. Our children are 7 and 4. My husband is military, but unfortunately Shades of Green is booked. The military recommended Dixie Landing or the Dolphin Resort. What would you recommend? The children's enjoyment is our main concern. Also, convenience to the Magic Kingdom.  Thanks for your help

A.

Marlene,

First off, be aware that the Walt Disney World Dolphin is NOT a Disney-owned resort. It's a nice hotel, but it's not themed (of course, Shades of Green isn't either). Dixie Landings, now called Port Orleans Resort Riverside (effective March 1st), is one of several moderate resorts that are well-themed and great for families.

I'd suggest you read through MousePlanet's WDW Trip Planning Guide accommodations pages.  There you can read up on each of the various resorts to get details. Since each of the WDW resorts have different themes and advantages, you'll really have to balance your budget versus the other issues.

Personally, I don't think that any of the moderate resorts are much worse (in terms of convenience to the Magic Kingdom) than the premium resorts on the monorail line. It does take a little longer to ride the bus, but the bus stops are not much further from any given room (at the moderate resorts) than the monorail station is from the rooms at the premiums.

I'd also suggest, very strongly, that you read through MousePlanet's WDW With Kids pages.  In that section, you'll find all kinds of valuable information that will make the trip, with two kids, much better! (Especially, you should look over the height and age restrictions for attractions and the "fear factors" page!)

-

Q.

Lisa asks:  A friend said she heard you could rent an RV at Disney and stay at a Fort Wilderness campsite. True or false?

A.

That's not exactly true. Actually, you can rent a "Fort Wilderness Cabin" which is more like a small modular home than an RV.

You might want to read through MousePlanet's WDW Trip Planning Guide Fort Wilderness Cabins page for more information.

You can also see MousePlanet's WDW Trip Planning Guide WDW Resorts from A to Z page for pricing and other information that is general to all WDW resorts.

-

Q.

Connie Writes:  I am in the process of planning a trip to Disney in Sept. We are staying for 8 nights. Arriving early and leaving late. 2 adults and 2 kids are going (ages 5 and 10). Every one keeps telling me should at least plan out what parks we will visit on what days. Well my problem is that I don't know how many days I need for each park? What would you suggest since you have been there?

I want to plan one full day for resting, and one day for a water park. Also on the days we arrive and leave, we have basically have all day to fill. We arrive at 9:30am. And depart at 7:30 pm, what is a good thing to do on those days? Other then that, I have a great start to our planning. We are staying at the Caribbean Beach and have the 9 day hopper pass.

A.

Connie,

You might want to read MousePlanet's WDW Trip Planning Guide "How Long to Stay" page for information about how long you need to cover each park and the other things there are to do at WDW.

There is also MousePlanet's WDW Trip Planning Guide "Everything else" page which lists information on the water parks, sports, boating, and so on.

The partial days (arrival and departure) can be used up any way that you'd like. There's nothing special about them, other than the fact that you won't have a room to go back to to rest during mid-day. With a 5-year-old, that might make the day go very, very long.

Also, I assume from your message that the "9 day hopper pass," is actually the Unlimited Magic pass (that covers the both the major parks and the water parks). Frankly, with that kind of pass, you can do just about anything you'd like on property.

That being the case, I'd also suggest you read the MousePlanet's WDW Trip Planning Guide WDW Primer pages.  If you read the pages under the heading, "Planning Your Day," you'll be able to read all of my accumulated "wisdom" (actually, just my own bull-headed opinions) about planning your time at WDW. There's not much else I can share that's not on those pages...

However, one thing I would really like to emphasize is the idea of taking a DAILY break from the parks. Rather than planning a single full break day in the middle of the trip, I think you'll find that a daily break spreads your relaxation throughout the entire vacation, and makes for a much more enjoyable vacation. Read those pages I mentioned above, and you'll find out exactly what I mean.

-

Q.

Sue Writes: Hi Brian, I just wanted to thank you for posting my review. I just looked at it and noticed that you have my review highlighted on your first page under new things - kind of cool!

I discovered it was on your site now because someone already emailed me with a question about the hotel and it made me so happy to be able to help someone else like you helped me with your informative site!

Basically, I just wanted you to know how helpful your information is to everyone and thanks for all the hard work you must have put into it!

A.

Thanks so much for your kind note, Sue!

When I get reviews that are submitted by MousePlanet readers, I collect them until I have several in one category, then I put them up on the site at the same time. I schedule a "splash" for MousePlanet's front page for as soon after then as possible... but often it doesn't happen until several days after the reviews were actually made available in the regular sections of the site.

In any case, I truly appreciate the stuff that people have sent in... not just recently, but over the years. Restaurant reviews, offsite hotel reviews, Disney resort reviews, and trip reports are all valuable for folks as they plan their own trips... and they're fun to read in between trips, too. :)

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Q.

Mike Writes:  I am planning a trip to WDW for my 50th birthday next year and I'm getting a lot of great information off the site. I can't believe the amount of detail and time you all put into it. Keep up the great work.

I have one question. What are E-ride nights? I have seen them referenced in several reports but could find nothing on the disneyworld site.

Thanks for your great work.

A.

Ok, Mike, you caught me on this one. The information is, indeed, there, but it's buried on MousePlanet's WDW Trip Planning Guide Admission Media from A to Z page.

Here's what I have there...

"A couple of years ago, WDW started a popular limited-ticket Special Event that is offered to any guest that is staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel - IF- they have also purchased a multi-day pass. If you purchase an E-Ride Night ticket, you will be permitted to enter the Magic Kingdom park after park hours for an additional three hours or so. Most of the headliner "E-Ticket" attractions are kept operating during E-Ride events, so you can enjoy the attractions with a minimum of waits.

"The actual list of E-Ride attractions may vary.

"The charge for an E-Ride ticket is $10.60 (including 6% tax) for adults and $8.48 (including 6% tax) for children 3-9. You can contact Guest Services at your resort for more information or to buy tickets for E-Ride nights.

"On the E-Ride night itself, you need to trade in your E-Ride ticket for a wrist band. After the normal park closing time, only those guests with wrist bands are allowed to enter the ride queue. Check with guest services at your resort, or at City Hall in the Magic Kingdom, about locations for trading in your ticket for a wrist band as the actual location(s) may vary. Typically there will be two or three locations where you can get your wrist bands.

"Note that you will still need to get into the park on the E-Ride night using your normal admission media, the E-Ride ticket does get you into the park, it just allows you to "stay late." If you have an "Unlimited Magic" or Annual Pass, you're all set. Otherwise, be aware that you'll use up one "day" of a multi-park pass or you'll need to buy a ticket for that day."

Obviously, I need to have a separate page on E-Ride Nights... and not just bury it on the Admission Media page. :)

-

Q.

Stephen Asks:  I am going to Orlando at the end of the month and would like to play Disney World golf courses. Do you have a number I could call for reservations?

A.

Stephen,

It just so happens that yes, I do. (407) WDW-GOLF. :)

You might also want to check out MousePlanet's WDW Trip Planning Guide "Everything else" page, and scroll down to the middle... You'll find some general information about the courses (setting up tee times, prices, etc.) and some specifics on each of the resort's courses.

-

Q.

Lori Writes regarding WDW's water parks:  I would love to start something like this here in Maine.  We have water parks, but you have to travel so far to them and I was wondering how and if it would be possible to get a deal with Disney to maybe put one up here? We don't really have a lot of places to swim and it would bring in lots of jobs and money to the state... Please let me know if it would maybe be possible to go into business with Blizzard Beach and to maybe get one setup here in Maine, or maybe a smaller replica. I have the perfect spot... summer's coming and boy would people here in Maine go crazy over a safe place to take their kids.

A.

Lori,

I've never tried to get a deal with Disney to build a water park, so I wouldn't have the slightest idea about how to go about it. Perhaps you could contact the Walt Disney Company and ask?

I'm sure, in any case, that funding would be a major issue. You'd probably have to have a large amount of capital lined up to finance the new park. Also, I'm not sure how long the payback would be, since a park in Maine would not be able to run throughout the entire year.

A better idea might be to take the Pontiac Silverdome, here in Michigan, and convert it to a water park after the Detroit Lions move out. "Waterdome" could, indeed, run around the whole calendar. Financing wouldn't be a problem, since the State of Michigan has been financing the Silverdome for years. Besides, the State of Michigan has a great track record of fine investment strategy. I'm sure "Waterdome" would be a natural for the Great Lake State!

If you find out who, in the Walt Disney Company, to contact about your park idea for Maine, please let me know who it is so I can contact her/him about my "Waterdome" project.

Let the best state win! ;)

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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