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Brian Bennett

WDW Trip Planning Guide Reader Feedback

by Brian Bennett

4/24/01

Q.

Dean Writes:  Hi Brian, Just thought I'd share something from DirectTV's pay-per-view programming that's raised my eyebrows. Makes me wonder about the financial situation at Disney HQ these days.

They currently have: "The Kid", Toy Story 2", "Tarzan" and "Little Mermaid 2" in the ppv lineup. Now "The Kid" is no surprise, and maybe even "Little Mermaid 2". But "Toy Story 2" and "Tarzan"?! It strikes me as though Disney is grubbing for extra cash wherever they can get it.

I don't dispute that Mr. Eisner did in fact save Disney Co. and built it into an entity to be proud of. But his management record of late is downright dismal and makes me glad I don't own any stock. To be charitable, I can't help but wonder if the responsibilities are just beyond his post-cardiac ability.

How far down does Eisner have to bring Disney Co. before the Board wakes up and realizes, for whatever reason, the Golden Boy has turned to brass?

A.

Excellent questions, Dean. Clearly, the company is milking the cash cows (the parks and the film archive) in hopes that somehow they'll muddle along.

I just hope the new films and ABC start picking up... or else the company will be just where it was when Card Walker got through with it.

At least everyone knows that Walt himself isn't needed to keep the company afloat. Some other good, creative type with a flair for knowing what the public likes can eventually be hired to pull things out.

We'll just have to wait and see in the meantime.

-

Q.

Lisa Writes:  I love your website! I have been reading everything for the past two hours! One thing that I think you missed is the Pirate Cruise for kids. Every Tuesday and Thursday at the Grand Floridian dock.

When the kids arrive, they are fitted with a life jacket, and are given a choice of a blue or red bandana to wear and keep. They board a pontoon boat with safety walls, along with a few pirates. They set off to about five locations where they get off of the pontoon boat to look for treasure.

They find the treasure, get to keep it, sing songs, and eat ice cream on a stick. When my daughter went last year, they received a complimentary ticket to River Country. The Treasure consisted of things you might see in a party bag at a pirate themed birthday party (jewelry, sticky things, an eye patch, etc...)

The price was $2.50 a year ago. It's usually the same ages and price as the Wonderland Tea Party, on alternating days. They do not serve lunch. The time was 10:30am - 12pm, I think.

My daughter liked it so much, she wants to go again!

Your website is great! I am looking for tips - any tips for WDW.  I will read more later. Thanks for making such a great website.

A.

Thanks so much for the note!

Thanks for the information, too, on the pirates cruise! We've been struggling with the idea of allowing Allan (4 years old now) to go on the pirates cruise on our next trip later this month. So far, we're thinking we'll wait until our Fall trip when he's just shy of five.

I'll be updating the site to reflect the cruise information! Thanks!

-

Q.

Paula Writes:  I am trying to find the street address of the park and the Coronado Resort so I can get a map online. We are driving and I can't find either address. I'm coming from Katy, TX (west side of Houston), not from Dallas, so your pre-programmed directions won't fill my needs.  We are staying at the Coronado Resort.

A.

Paula,

First off, looking quickly at a road map tells me that you can just take I-10 East from Houston until you run into Lafayette, Louisiana then follow the "Dallas" directions from there.  :)

There is no specific street address for Walt Disney World, because it covers so much space. Within the WDW resort, various places (like the individual resort hotels) do have specific addresses, however.  For example, the address for Coronado Springs Resort can be found on MousePlanet's Coronado Springs "Fast Facts" page. The address is 1000 W. Buena Vista Blvd, Lake Buena Vista, 32830.

You might also want to check MousePlanet's own Park & Resort Maps section!  We don't have every map that folks may want, but we have several that may be valuable... including a WDW area map.

-

Q.

Bill Suggests:  I'd like to see a checklist created for all 300 creatures designed into The Tree of Life. As you're meandering through the Garden, you should be able to check off each creature as you spot it. An appendix might even offer hints for those hard to find creatures. Any thoughts?

A.

Wow, Bill, that's a fantastic idea. I don't know if I ever want to tackle the job myself, though. Do you have your own list started? I'd love to add it to the site, if you do. :)

-

Q.

Paul Writes:  Hi Brian, I've just come across your site and it's great! We're planning a late October trip to Orlando and I'm looking to find reasonable lodging for 6 ( 2 adults, 4 kids).  There's a Best Western Suites on Lake Cecile that I don't see any reviews for. Magicard price is $49/night, plus a full breakfast buffet every day.

Can you tell me if this place is clean, in a decent area, or if it's under renovation, or anything else about it? I appreciate your help.

A.

Paul,

MousePlanet doesn't do official reviews at this time. The only reviews that we provide for offsite resorts are ones that are provided by MousePlanet readers... thus the gap.

Unfortunately, I can't help you on this one. Sorry.

-

Q.

Angela Writes: Brian- My boyfriend and I are going to WDW May 26-29, 2001 and staying at the Grand Floridian, Lodge Building, Lagoon View. We are/I am dying for a castle view (aren't we all). Any tips?

Also, I am overwhelmed! I love your site-very helpful!  We have the Resort Magic package. Any suggestions on a character breakfast?  Is the Crystal Palace good? I made a PS there.

What I really need to know, and didn't see it yet on your site, is the times for fireworks, electric parade and the pageant. If you have this info that would be great! Also, any tidbits would be nice! Until then, I will keep browsing your awesome site! Man, I would love to work you for guys! When I get back I will be sure to post reviews!

A.

Thanks so much for your kind note, Angela.

There really isn't any magic to getting a castle view room at the Grand Floridian (or the Polynesian or Contemporary, for that matter). You can, as you know, pay for the upgrade of a lagoon view, but you're never guaranteed of a view of the park -- much less the castle.

My best suggestion would be to arrive at the resort as early as you possibly can on the day you check in, ask for a room with a view of the castle, and make it clear that you're willing to wait as long as necessary (perhaps as late as 4pm) to get the room. Even then, though, there are no guarantees.

On the character breakfast question... The Crystal Palace is, indeed, very good. If you like Winnie and his friends, you'll enjoy yourself very much. Cinderella's Royal Table, inside the castle, is the hottest priority seating breakfast on the property, but the food isn't the draw... it's the atmosphere.

You might want to check out MousePlanet's Walt Disney World Restaurant Resource, and look over the pages on those restaurants and the character meal page.

Also, MousePlanet's schedule for the parks, parades, and shows is available on MousePlanet's WDW Schedule page!

-

Q.

Wendy Writes:  With regards to "Fred's" question on making dining reservations/priority seating all you have to do from the UK is dial 001 888 939 3463 (i.e. the same number the you would dial but with 00 in front of it.)

I use this number all the time to make our reservations- however my only problem is that the reservationists are so friendly and chatty that I don't want to hang up and international phone calls soon add up!!!

A.

Thanks for the information, Wendy! I'll add your comment to a future "Notes From the World" so other folks can get it, too!

-

Q.

Annie Asks:  I just want to know the top 10 reasons on why to go to Disney World?  I'm doing a slide show presentation for a computer class of mine on Walt Disney World. I would really like it if you would e-mail me back with this information.

A.

Annie,

I'm sure that everyone would have their own "top 10." I have my own list of My Favorite Things at WDW, and you can read it if you'd like... but you'll see that there's much more than ten things listed there. :)

So, here's a composite (and rather antiseptic) compiled list:

  1. Theming
  2. Customer Service
  3. Family (being able to really BE with them)
  4. Vacation (escape from work, etc.)
  5. Weather
  6. Newness (new stuff almost every trip)
  7. Gardens
  8. Attractions
  9. Shows
  10. Entertainment

I don't know what order they should go in...

In any case, perhaps you can generate your own list and share it back, too?

-

Q.

Jeremy Writes:  I went to MGM last Tuesday to try Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Let me just say it was the best thing I did at the park. The cool thing was I got in the hot seat. My tip is hor those who want to get in the hot seat, start pressing the button for the right answer as soon as it comes up on the screen. Then if you make it in the hot seat, you must know your disney. The first 5 questions our about Disney, could be anything. My last tip is, while in the hot seat listen for the button pushing, it is hard but you can hear. Finally, being in the hot seat was the best thing, even though I was done by my 5th question.

A.

Jeremy,

Thanks so much for your note! I'll make sure to add your comments next time I update the WDW Trip Planning Guide.

-

Q.

Kathryn Asks:  

I got your email address off of MousePlanet... I need help with a Disneyworld trip. I have a 2 bedroom villa held (no payment made) at the Wilderness villas. Ideally, My husband and I would like a 3 bedroom home or villa on Disney property. I was thinking of the Boardwalk Villas, Old Key West, or a Grand Vista home at the Disney Institute (not a 3 bedroom villa) or any other place I am leaving out.

It would just be 2 adults and 2 children ages 3 and 4. we want each child to have his own room and not a pullout sofa. We want to arrive on November 4, 2001 and depart on November 9,2001. We will be coming in from Chicago and if you can help with flights that would great too (American or United).

A.

Thanks for writing, Kathryn!

MousePlanet is really oriented toward the do-it-yourselfer. We have a lot of information to wade through, though, so for folks that don't have the inclination to do so -- or are just overwhelmed by all the details of planning a trip to Walt Disney World, I highly recommend calling MousePlanet's partner company, Discovery Hills Travel, at (800) 750-5975. Discovery Hills can help you sort through all the options and plan the perfect vacation.

If you'd like to make your own reservations online, through TravelNow, MousePlanet's reservations partner, you can go to MousePlanet's travel pages and follow the links to the WDW properties and check the availability yourself.

Either way, I'm sure our partners can help you out!!

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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