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Brian Bennett

WDW Trip Planning Guide Reader Feedback

by Brian Bennett

7/2/01

Q.

Jason Writes:  I read your column on MousePlanet all the time and I think it's great! I just returned from my vacation in Walt Disney World and wanted to let you know that the Hall of Presidents is indeed open right now. I saw the show the day before I left. A plaque in the lobby of the attraction explains that it will reopen in the fall, and President Bush will have a speaking part. The bust for the AA figure of George W. is on display along with a photo of it being sculpted.

and Josh chimed-in: Hey, just wanted to tell you that you were misinformed... Hall of Presidents is open again with Bill Clinton not speaking and Bush is still not in. The show will close again after Labor Day and reopen again in the fall with Bush speaking.

A.

Thanks for the correction guys.

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Q.

And the build-your-own-waterpark saga continues as Carl writes: Brian, I don't know how serious Lori is, but I think that the division at Disney to contact would be Disney Regional Entertainment. This is the group behind Disney Quest, Club Disney (all locations now closed), and ESPN Zone. They are responsible for developing smaller Disney attractions in various locations around the country.

I live in Phoenix, Arizona and would also love to see a Typhoon or Blizzard built here.

Some information about this division is available at Disney's job board...

It includes the following information...

Disney Regional Entertainment
Staffing
500 S. Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521-8392
Fax: (818) 526-4462

Established in 1997, Disney Regional Entertainment creates innovations in location-based entertainment. Its mission is to take imaginative entertainment experiences to metropolitan and suburban locations, bringing the Disney brand directly into local markets for the benefit of tourists and local economies.

A.

Thanks for the note, Carl. I wouldn't be surprised if Lori was quite serious, but I frankly couldn't keep my smile down... and obviously didn't take her very seriously. Perhaps I should have...

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Q.

Carolina asks: I'm from Venezuela and I'm planning to take my grandson to Walt Disney World in August; his birthday is on the 22nd, and we were told that it was possible to have lunch or breakfast with some of the Disney characters on that special occasion.

What do I have to do or whom do I have to call? I think it is at the Contemporary Hotel, do we have to reserve in advance ?

A.

Carolina,

The restaurant you're thinking of is Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary Resort. There are actually several different restaurants that offer "character meals." Chef Mickey's is just one of them. You will DEFINITELY need reservations, which WDW calls "priority seating."

You'll want to read MousePlanet's WDW Restaurant Review pages on Chef Mickey's and on Character Meals.

-

Q.

Eric writes:  Actually although you claim you've never known anyone to be towed from the Contemporary parking lot, let me correct you a bit.

Usually, you're right, they don't bother. On extremely crowded holidays they absolutely, positively, tow. New Year's Eve there is a tow-truck stationed there full-time. I've seen it haul off cars before.

Having been to about a dozen New Year's Eves at Disney, I'm pretty familiar with that. This is only in the past few years they've become aggressive about it.

A.

Thanks for the info, Eric.

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Q.

Mike writes: I just tried to do the Netgrocer for a Disney Resort. Netgrocer said they would deliver, no problem. While attempting to make arrangements, my hotel, All-Star Movies, said they do not allow grocery Delivery, only to the more expensive hotels. Just thought you might like to know.

A.

Mike,

Thanks for the note. I wasn't aware that the Disney resorts were that parochial. :)

I've heard, too, that the value resorts charge for packages (i.e. diapers, baby food, whatever) that are shipped to a guest.

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Q.

Lisa asks: Hi Brian, First of all -- just have to tell you I love your site! I stumbled upon it months ago when I was needing a WDW fix, and just wasn't getting enough new information from the "official" site. I check in most every day, particularly enjoy the trip reports, and appreciate being able to read thoughts and advice from people who are as much WDW junkies as I am!

Now on to my question... I am a WDW vet, and have taken many, many trips over the years. My family and I are going the last week of June, and for the first time are staying at one of the "home away from home" resorts, Old Key West Resort -- we are not DVC members. We will be flying in, not renting a car, and taking Tiffany Town Car from the airport to OKWR, making a stop for groceries along the way. My problem lies in the fact that we will arrive at OKWR hours before check in time, and will have perishable groceries in tow. Do you know if OKWR bell services offers any sort of refrigerated storage to accommodate our perishable groceries until we are able to get into our room?

A.

Yes, Bell services does have refrigerated storage at OKWR. They will happily (and without charge) store whatever you purchase until your room is ready.

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Q.

Jason writes: Could you please tell me, what evening entertainment there is at the Wilderness Lodge Resort. Do we have to travel far for entertainment or is it at the resort.

A.

Jason,

Wilderness Lodge is not really well-known for entertainment. Animal trainers bring small animals into the lobby in the evenings with small woodland creatures, the Cub's Den is a children's club that -- for a price -- can keep kids happy, there is a small arcade and fitness center, and Whispering Canyon Cafe is a pretty wild place in the evening for dinner.

For more traditional entertainment, though, you'll have to go to Downtown Disney, one of the parks, or to one of WDW's dinner shows.

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Q.

Kim asks:  Are there certain days that are better to be in a certain park than another? For example, should you avoid Magic Kingdom on Mondays at all costs? Or you should never visit Animal Kingdom on Wednesday? See what I mean? Thanks. BTW, we're leaving this Friday for Orlando.

A.

Kim,

The early entry days are always busier at those specific parks. Otherwise, Mondays do tend to be busier at the Magic Kingdom and less so mid-week. There really isn't any reason to ever avoid a park "at all costs," but you will want to consider the early entry issue -- and decide if the extra time in the park way early is worth much bigger crowds by mid-morning.

I'd suggest you go to our WDW Trip Planning Guide, WDW Primer page, and read the pages under the "Planning Your Day" section for more information on that topic.

-

Q.

Rodolfo asks: Brian, after going to Disneyland five times (from May-1997 to August-2000) with my wife and two children (6-year old daughter and 4-year old son), we are now planning a trip to WDW, on November, and since you are an expert, I was wondering if you could help us out.

First of all, when would it be less crowded, from the 10th to the 17th, or from the 17th to the 24th? Second: I read on the WDW web site, that they have a list comparing the different resorts, and it includes the Pop Century Resort, will it be open in November? Third: if the Pop Century Resort is not open in November, which of the All Star Resorts would you recommend? Keep up the good work, and thanks for the information.

A.

Rodolfo,

Thanks for your note!

The week of the 11th would definitely be less crowded as the following week gets into Thanksgiving week! That's a no brainer! If you could delay your trip another couple of weeks, though, into early December, you'd have even fewer crowds to worry about.

The opening of the Pop Century Resort has been delayed until the Spring of 2002.

The All-Star resorts are all very similar. In fact, except for the theming, they're identical (the buildings are the same, just dressed up). If I was booking the All-Stars, I would pick the theme that my family seems to most enjoy and just go with it. There just isn't a lot that differentiates one from another.

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Q.

Lori writes: Hi Brian, I am also one of the many who have high regards for the work you do on your website. I don't have a question, just a comment about a comment that you made to a reader on May 16, 2001 about the Caribbean Beach Resort. My family and I stayed at this resort in June 2000. It was a GREAT stay!

We stayed in the Martinique Buildings, I think building 21. The room was very clean, the service was great, we were just a few feet from the parking lot, which is a valuable thing to us because we drive down to WDW, and our check-in time was minimal. We have stayed at All-Star Music (will not stay there again) and we have stayed at what used to be Dixie Landings (loved it). We would most definitely stay at CB again.

I think it really helps to specify your likes, requests, etc., when you make reservations. I make a list of what I want for my room when I make my reservations. For example, I like to be close to bus stops, have a first floor room and non-smoking, close to parking (as already mentioned). In my experience, Disney really does try to accommodate every request, though nothing is guaranteed. I hope this helps anyone who is doubtful about staying at Caribbean Beach

A.

Thanks for your note, Lori.

When I responded to the question in that May 16th piece, I had just finished formatting three separate reviews -- all of which were quite negative. Frankly, I think -- in general -- that all of the Disney resorts are better than any non-Disney one. We all tend to get a bit spoiled, and expect a lot, when we stay there.

In any case, I'm certainly glad that you enjoyed your stay.

-

Q.

Kimberly writes: HI! I just wanted to say WOW! I am a travel agent in the Chicago area and sell A LOT of Disney. I am aware that your site is geared toward the Do-It-Yourselfer, which is GREAT! I get tons of the same questions I read on your site daily! And you and your readers get me through my day sometimes! It is amazing! I myself have visited Disney World 5 times in the last 6 years (last time in 1997!!!! But I am headed there next week June 23rd for a week. Although, I am not staying "on site" (because I am bringing 5 teenagers with me as a graduation gift) I chose to stay at Sheratons Vistana Resort (2 bedroom condo) I ALWAYS recommend it and think it is THE BEST way to see DISNEYWORLD. I have actually had to take a 3 week course and am a CERTIFIED DISNEY SPECIALIST - though you seem to know 5x more!

This time (since I am taking 5 new "visitors" with me) we went with a 4 day hopper (along with a 2 day Universal pass) I will be visiting all 4 parks and Animal kingdom for the first time - and the 1 and only other time I was in Epcot I was there for about 3 hours and did not get to experience much.

My question (finally) is any suggestions on what the better things to see in Animal Kingdom and my specific inquiry is What are some actual RIDES in Epcot that you would suggest? I know there is a Gondola Rides etc. But I would LOVE some specifics. And finally, which park in AeroSmith's Rockin' Roller Coaster? I am thinking MGM - Am I correct? Any suggestions for adult-type rides for MGM. I was always under the impression that MGM is geared more towards the younger age group?

Thank You again! And believe me I send my clients to your web site daily!  Thank you and keep it up!!!!

A.

Kimberly,

Thanks so much for your kind note! Maybe you can figure out a way to pass on your travel agent discounts to lowly little me. ;)

I have to disagree about Vistana. I know it's a very nice resort, but staying onsite is such a much better experience. I've done WDW both on and offsite (even during the same trip, switching at some point)... and onsite IS the way to go.

With regards to rides and attractions, if you go to the WDW Trip Planning Guide's page on the parks, you'll find pages that describe each and every one of the attractions at each of the major theme parks.

Animal Kingdom is a very unusual park. There are some rides (the teens will like Dinosaur and Kali River Rapids, although neither is earth-shattering), but a lot of the park is just geared towards nature. Read through the "Touring Disney's Animal Kingdom" page, also listed on the above index to see what I mean.

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster is, indeed, at the studios. Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, the Great Movie Ride, and Star Tours are all great rides. You'll enjoy them no matter what age.

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Q.

Lisa asks: We are staying in WDW at the Caribbean Beach and would like to go to Universal Studios one day. What is the best way to get there? We will not be renting a car. What company is available for transportation? About how much does it cost? Also, what do you do for breakfast at the Caribbean Beach? Do you have to wait in a long line at the restaurant there or are there other options in the food court for breakfast? What is the cost? Thanks!!

A.

Lisa,

There are really only two options if you don't have a rental car. First, call a taxi. Second, use a shuttle service.

You can find contact information on the shuttle service companies on the WDW Trip Planning Guide page on airport transportation.  Those same companies provide area shuttle service as well as airport transportation.  I don't know exactly what they'll charge, but you can always call them to ask.

The food court does have some breakfast options. The Captain's Tavern isn't open for breakfast at all.

You may want to check out MousePlanet's WDW Restaurant Resource page on CBR restaurants for more information on the food options at CBR.

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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