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Brian Bennett

WDW Trip Planning Guide Reader Feedback

by Brian Bennett

7/16/01

Q.

Chris Writes: Brian, I'm new to Mouse Planet, and I think it's great.  I've been visiting WDW since it opened. I've been there at least 20-25 times.  Not bad for someone from New England!

Now that I have kids I can bring along, my wife doesn't think I'm as much of a weirdo for wanting to go back every year!

Anyway, here's my suggestion:

Have you thought about using a rating system for your restaurant ratings?  That way, you could get more consistent ratings across groups of people who have rated specific restaurants. You could use a 5-star system, and average the ratings for a particular restaurant in each of your categories (food, atmosphere, service, etc.) to give people a general idea of the overall opinions of your readers.

Additionally, I'd be happy to help you with research, or write articles about the parks, hotels, restaurants, etc. at WDW. If you're interested, let me know. I've posted several restaurant ratings today. I hope they're helpful.

A.

Chris,

Thanks for the suggestion. The reason why I designed the review form to be "free form," though, is to encourage written descriptions of what was good or bad. I didn't really want to have reviews in which star ratings were given without some explanation to back it up.

Any time you'd like to submit reviews, trip reports, or anything else, feel free! If you'd really like to do more, let me know and we can talk about that too. MP is always looking for new columnists -- especially to cover WDW.

(Note, this is from MousePlanet's About Page: Want to write for MousePlanet? If you want to write magazine-style articles about the Disney parks and other family vacation destinations, MousePlanet is interested in hearing from you. Send email to writer-inquiries@mouseplanet.com for more information.)

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Q.

Braddoc Writes: I absolutely love the WDW planning Guide. I love surfing the pictures and descriptions. It makes us poor people who can't go there feel like we've been there. The last time I visited WDW was two years ago in August. It was too hot to enjoy a lot of it. Next time I'll go in October instead. Good job. 

A.

Braddoc,

Thanks so much for the kind comments! It really helps to know that folks are enjoying the site and finding our information helpful!

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Q.

Jon Asks: I found your website to be a great wealth of info, especially about the vacation club. I would like to know if the "other options" section could be updated. Disney's site has "World Passport" instead of your Interval International. Are these the same or did Disney change it since you started the website?

A.

Jon,

Thanks for the note.

"World Passport" is simply Disney's name for using Intervals International for trading outside of the DVC. Disney actually controls the trade very carefully, and only allows a sub-set of all of Intervals International's properties to be traded into. (The DVC claims that this maintains their high level of quality...in other words, DVC members CAN'T trade into a poor resort because the DVC won't let us). The actual trade is handled through the Intervals International network, though.

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Q.

Diane Asks: Did you find out any more about online grocery experience (discussed on a previous Notes from the World) to the All Stars?

I'm taking a 3yr and twin 2yr olds and am looking for inexpensive ways to feed them breakfasts and snacks. They'll never eat enough to warrant the price of meals inside the parks. 

A.

Diane,

No one has responded about online grocery services.

If there's any way you can get to a Publix or Goodings supermarket (with a rental car, or via an airport shuttle service that will make a stop for you along the way), you can simply buy what you need that way.

If you won't have a rental car and are being shuttled via a service that will not make a stop for you, then the only options are: 1. buy what you need at the resort which will be expensive and limited in options or, 2. pack what you want (pop tarts or other such health food) and take it with you.

You may find that splitting a meal from the food courts at the resorts works well for the kids, too.

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Q.

Lori Asks: Hi Brian, I have a question about tickets. We are planning to go next June (2002), and I want to know this: If I buy our park hopper plus tickets now, will we be able to use them next June without having to pay extra when we get there to cover the increase in the prices of tickets? I am thinking that I may be able to save a little bit of money by doing this, but if I am going to have to pay the difference in the cost of the tickets now and what they cost next year, I will defeat my own planning strategy. I hope this makes sense to you.

A.

Lori,

The only WDW admission media that currently has an expiration is "2-day, 2-park" and "unlimited magic" length-of-stay passes (for which you buy a set number of days of admission). Bottom line, your strategy will work just fine. The one thing to consider, though... do you really want Disney to have your money in their pocket all of that time versus you having that money in your own bank account?

You may want to read MousePlanet's page on Admission Media from A to Z.

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Q.

Paula Writes: Brian, I really appreciate your quick reply to all of my emails. This trip is very important to me to make perfect for my family and I'm just trying to become completely informed and to find the best deals I possibly can so we can afford anything we want to do.

I'd really appreciate any other money-saving tips you could offer to me on ANY subject...lodging, food, etc. Thank you for your helpfulness. You have really been great!

A.

Paula,

The biggest single piece of advice I can give you on saving money is to set a budget and stick to it! It's very easy to go spend money (on meals, souveniers, etc.) when you're at WDW. If you have a set amount of money that you're willing to spend -- and track it through the trip -- you'll be able to hit your target. On the other hand, if you just use your credit card every time you see something you want, or for every meal, you'll have a rude awakening at the end of the trip.

Other than that, check out these pages on saving money on admission media, using a travel agent to try to get the best deal you can, and don't forget to check and recheck your airfares! There are some great price wars going on right now, so if you're flying down you may be able to cut some cost there.

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Q.

Lillian Writes: Couldn't find directions from Orlando airport to Disney's Yacht Club Resort.

A.

Lillian,

There are two basic ways to get from the Orlando International Airport (MCO) to Walt Disney World. First, you can take the exit North out of the airport to the Bee Line Expressway. Take the Bee Line, Route 528, to I-4, the interstate which actually runs Northeast to Southwest at this point of it's route. Take I-4 West to one of the three WDW exits. I'd recommend you take exit 26B off of I-4, then follow Epcot Center Drive to Buena Vista Drive to Epcot Resorts Boulevard to the Resort.

The alternative route is to take the exit South out of the airport to the Central Florida Greeneway, which is Route 417. Take the Greeneway South out of the airport toward WDW until it merges with Highway 536. Stay on 536 all the way to WDW. You'll end up at the same place (Epcot Center Drive) where you would exit from I-4 if you take the alternate route. So from there, you would also take Epcot Center Drive to Buena Vista Drive to Epcot Resorts Boulevard to the Resort.

In either case, you'll have some tolls to pay. Both the Bee Line and the Greeneway are toll roads.

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Q.

Stacy Asks: Could you possibly send me some maps of Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort? And Tell me some of the things that there are to do there. Thanks for your time.

A.

Stacy,

A map of the campground is online at MousePlanet.  Also, the Fort Wilderness Campground Fast Facts Page has all kinds of information on the campground including information on the campground and activities.

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Q.

Barry Writes: I LOVE your website. Just reading it puts me in the "mouse-mode". Our next trip is an abbreviated one - - only four days in December to see the Christmas decorations. I liked your segment on what to do if you arrive mid-day and don't have an all-inclusive ticket. When we visit for a week we usually arrive late afternoon/early evening and do the same thing every trip - - check in and head directly to the Boardwalk. We grab a sandwich and drink at ESPN Club and go over our vacation itinerary. After dinner we stroll the boardwalk and reminisce about previous trips. It only costs us the price of dinner and we feel totally emerged in the "Disney Experience."

A.

Thanks so much for the kind note... and your suggestion, too. :)

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Q.

Janet Writes: I enjoyed your column today. I don't know what Lori's problem was with All-Star Music but I have stayed there three times and I really liked it, everybody marches to a different drummer I guess.

I stayed at the Caribbean Beach Hotel and the hotel itself was nice but it was quite a distance to get to the food court and it seemed like I was riding the bus, I didn't have a car, forever to get out of the complex.

I am sure sorry to hear about all the bad things that are going on at the parks, lack of repairs etc. I bet Walt is rolling over in his grave. I remember hearing that he walked through the park and if he found gum on the sidewalks etc. he saw it was removed immediately.

I still am strongly thinking about coming down for the Epcot Flower Show next year. Keep up the good work. I wish the "big shots" would listen to the peoples opinions.

A.

Jan,

I completely agree. :)

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!

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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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