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Brian Bennett

WDW Trip Planning Guide Reader Feedback

by Brian Bennett

8/20/01

Q.

Arlen Miller writes: Hi Brian, Was wondering if you could post this information about our next World Chapter-NFFC in the appropriate areas on your web site? Thanks

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The next World Chapter meeting for Disney Enthusiasts is Saturday, September 29th at the Vista del Lago Clubhouse, 5 miles west of I-4 on West 192, see guard at the gate.

Doors open at 5 PM, Meeting starts at 7 PM

Guest Speakers, Disney Dealers, Door Prizes, Raffles, Refreshments & Auction and of course PIN TRADING!

Admission: $4 Members, $6 Non-members.

For more information, call our Club Phone Line: 407-ASK ARLO (407-275-2756)

Or Contact us at: worldchapter_nffc@hotmail.com

World Chapter Website

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A.

Thanks for the note, Arlen. Unfortunately for me personally, I'll miss the 29th by a couple of days (I'll be in the Orlando area for almost two weeks, but depart on the 27th). :(

I'll put your notice in an upcoming "Notes From the World" piece on MousePlanet.

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Q.

Joanie asks: I saw on the Internet that Transtar Airport shuttle is less expensive (27.00 round trip adults - 19.00 round trip children) than Meers. Have you heard about this service, what are your thoughts?

A.

Joanie,

There are several shuttle options described on this page of MousePlanet's WDW Trip Planning Guide.

Transtar happens to be the service that WDW contracts with for official business (including most of their in-house travel packages), so they have a pretty strong reputation.

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Q.

Dennis writes: Just wanted to drop a line about the Pleasure Island admission policy. Our two older daughters decided to go to Pleasure Island (one is 23 years of age, the other 17 years of age). After I dropped them off and was just sitting down to relax I received a phone call from them stating my 17 year old couldn't get in without prior parental written approval (notarized) or accompanied by a parent. (Apparently if you latch on to anyone who looks like a parent and they are willing to buy you a ticket you can get in).

We have been coming to WDW for ten years and have never come across this problem. They let in anyone who is 18, even though the drinking age is 21! However, they would not let my 17 year old in even though she was accompanied by her 23 year old sister. It just seems a little over done when you have these 18 year olds entering without any problems.

I met them and spoke with the manager and was informed that this is the policy. It was a little late for me to get a notarized letter it being our last night in Florida. There seems to be some type of verbiage at the bottom of the brochures but it depends on the brochure you are reading. I guess the law has changed, I could have brought a ticket walked in with my daughter and then left! Go figure. If you have young adults and they are not quite 18 read the fine print.

A.

Thanks for the note, Dennis.  I'll share it with everyone in my next Notes From the World piece.

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Q.

Jonathan writes, I thought I'd submit a report for an upcoming trip to WDW. I understand you want to be sure that folks follow up on their planning reports, so I hereby don my mouse ears and affirm I will follow up and send an actual trip report detailing the (mis) adventures experienced while on vacation.

The report is semi-complicated due to the nature of the discounts we received and the people involved. If it rambles too much or is simply not useful, I will not take offense if you choose not to publish it. The only piece of information I think is truly of use to anyone at the moment involves the Fantasmic Dining Experience. I explain this at the end of the plan, in the Other Notes section.

Great work on the website; it's easily the most useful resource I've found in planning my trip (and I've been to WDW 15 times or so, and on the cruise twice already!).

A.

Jonathan,

Thanks so much for your kind note, and for sending me your pre-trip report! You are correct... I only publish pre-trip reports for folks that confirm that they will write a final report after their visit. I appreciate the fact that you've already done that.

I'll get the report up as soon as I can. It may be a couple or three weeks (actually, I have it scheduled to be up on the 29th), because I'm a bit behind on updates right now. Just for the record, I don't recall ever having never refused a report. No sense in starting to do so now. ;)

Last, I did want to thank you for the kind comments about the site. A lot of folks put a lot of time into MousePlanet, and we appreciate the positive reinforcement very much. :)

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Q.

Ken writes: Hey there Brian, Thanks for your great contribution to this site. My wife and I are headed to WDW for our 5th anniversary / belated honeymoon.

Noticing the recent question on a particular church denomination in the vicinity of WDW, I'm curious to know if you or MP readers have experienced the on-site church services (given at the Polynesian, if I'm not mistaken).

If you're the church-going type, is it worth staying on-site for these services or are they lame? With so many denominations falling under "Protestant," I imagine the service is pretty generic. I have a feeling we'd get more excited about worship at the HOB Gospel Brunch, but I'm curious to hear someone else's opinion.

A.

Ken,

I've never had any personal experience at the services that are held at the Polynesian.

I'll put up your question in an upcoming Notes From the World piece and see if anyone can shed any light on that for us though.

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Q.

Larry writes: I just wanted to write you a letter and commend you and all those who take the time to willingly contribute to your site. What people do not seem to understand about WDW, is that going there is not just a trip for fun. It takes planning and thought to ensure an enjoyable vacation at WDW. I have read all the books. I have Birnbaum's and the Unofficial Guide, which I get every year to see any new changes. What I have discovered is a lack of knowledge from a normal or family traveling situations. Their restaurant reviews are stuffy and their ride critiques expect a four star carpet ride at every attraction.

I have been to WDW in excess of 20 times and in almost any scenario you could encounter. I have been as a elementary aged child, teen with parents and with school groups that even participated in the parade as a marching band, a young adult with friends, a newlywed, a parent with relatives and without, and a parent of two. I have always done my homework and have never been disappointed. I make plans that play to the strengths of the people I am going with.

I was going to write you a trip report based on our trip in May (though we rarely go at that time) but figured I would wait. We take a few trips each year as we really enjoy amusement parks. We have been to Cedar Point, Busch Gardens VA, Sea World and Universal Orlando, this year in addition to a side trip to WDW.  Though we enjoy other parks, WDW is the only one we make special plans to have at least 10 full days on property. Our favorite time to go is the week leading into and during Thanksgiving. That way we catch the end of the Food & Wine festival at Epcot and the beginning of the Christmas season. It is never too crowded, which I do not get, since hours are extended and the weather is usually wonderful. The length of the trip also allows us to have plenty of time and next year we will need it with a 3 and 9 year old along. We are taking a fall break this year so I expect next fall to bring some new adventures for us.

I have read with interest several trip reports, restaurant reviews and resort reviews. I like the fact that they are written by real people and not test subjects who have preconceived notions. We sometimes agree with the reviews and sometimes do not, but I enjoy seeing others opinions, which enables me to plan for things we may have missed.

We have always been big on autographs and hidden Mickeys, but had not gotten into the penny press till we read about it here. Great idea and pretty fun. Something that even experienced WDW travelers can learn.

Keep up the good work and I will get you a pre-trip report when I begin planning in late November. This next trip may test me immensely, since there is a chance I will be planning for 4-5 different families of Relatives... Ugh... along with ours. I will have to do different itineraries to play to everyone's strengths and make everyone happy. But, I will be sure to keep you up to date. Be sure to let us know how your trip goes and have all these experienced people keep sending in their info.

If you ever have any questions that I may be able to answer or give an opinion on feel free to write and ask.

A.

Larry,

Thanks so much for your kind note! I'd love to get reviews and/or trip reports from you to add to the site.  (By the way, I'd love to start up a section of trip reports to non-Disney locations, too, if you want to write about Cedarpoint or any other places you've visited!)

I completely agree with your comments. The contributors that have sent in trip reports, hotel reviews, restaurant reviews, and just comments and suggestions really add to the depth of the information we have here.

MousePlanet, I believe, already provides a great resource for trip planners. I know I personally owe a great deal of gratitude to those folks that have helped out over the years!

-

Q.

Bill asks: Here's a tricky one for you. We plan on buying one annual pass so that we may take advantage of the lucrative WDW hotel discounts for our seven day stay next September (2002). We'll only be buying one though, as alas, that will be our only WDW trip for the 365 day period.

With that in mind, my question is this: since the annual pass for a child is much cheaper, could I buy the one annual pass for one of the kids and use it to make the hotel reservations or does it have to be an adult's to do so?

Look forward to your response on this as I know you'll know the answer... thanks much.

A.

Bill,

I'm going to copy Sue Holland and Mike Scopa on this one. If I'm way off base here, I trust that they'll correct me.

I don't ever recall reading about any restrictions about how old an AP holder must be to be eligible for accommodations discounts. Your plan, on the surface, sounds completely reasonable.

However, the fine print may get ya. When you reserve a room, you must do so in the name of an adult (in general, hotels will not rent a room to a minor). I would suspect that Disney will expect the name on the reservation and the name on the AP to match up.

You might just get away with it, as Disney Cast Members don't always check the AP carefully (just flashing it from a wallet is usually sufficient), but if you get a CM that is particularly diligent, you may run into problems.

Let's see what Sue and Mike have to add...

Sue Holland adds:

Hi!

It's been debated on the internet boards & newsgroups that an adult AP would be necessary (an AP in the name of the person who is paying for the room, generally), but I don't recall any confirmation of that *assumption*. I have heard of several people doing exactly as Bill plans, and to my knowledge none have come back to report it did not work.

My advice would be to go ahead & try it. IF you get any flack (which is highly unlikely), you could always say you just haven't gone to get *your* AP yet....which would technically be true.

Most of the time the cm doesn't even ask to see it though, and there are so many discounts out there for so many different reasons, that I doubt the cm checking you in will really care.

Enjoy your trip :-)

And Mike Scopa responded:

Bill,

If you go this route remember that as Brian indicated the person who owns the Annual Pass must be the same person whose name is on the reservation, and I believe you have to be an adult to make a WDW or DL reservation. I guess that sort of answers your question.

The savings realized via the AP special more than make up for the price of the AP.

-

Q.

Note:  This question is specifically about a Disneyland trip, but the issue crosses over to WDW, too, so I'm including it here.  Hopefully, more folks will just send me resports

Celeste asks: We stayed at the Paradise Pier for three days but I didn't see a place to review the Disney hotels. Would anyone there at MousePlanet be interested in a review of our trip? If so, where do I send it? Thanks! I enjoy reading the website everyday.

A.

Celeste,

You can submit a review of any Disneyland Resort hotel online by clicking here.  (And for the record, reviews of WDW resorts can be submitted by clicking here.)

If you'd like to send me a full trip report, I'd love to add that to MousePlanet too!

If you send me a report (you can attach a word processor file to email or just write it within the body of the email), I'll need you to provide me with several pieces of information:

  • Your Full Name
  • Email address
  • Dates of Trip
  • Travel Method: (i.e. Personal Car, Plane, Autotrain, Rental Car, Shuttle Service)
  • Resort
  • Accommodations: (i.e. Standard Room, 1 Bedroom Vacation Home, 2 Bedroom Vacation Home, Villa Vacation Home, Suite)
  • The Ages Represented in Group: (i.e. Infant/Toddler, Elementary, Teen, Adult, Senior)
  • Park/Resort Experience Represented in Group: (i.e. Veteran, Frequent, Infrequent, Rookie, DVC Member)

Although I realize that this information is usually contained within the text of the trip report (or at least most of it), it helps me tremendously to have you share it with me directly. With the number of reports I deal with each month, having you supply that information saves me ALOT of time...and ensures that your report, if permission is granted, will be up on the site as fast as possible.

There's more information on posting a report on this page.

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Q.

Mike asks: Dear Brian, Do you get asked a lot of really stupid questions? It seems every other question you post is something like, "Is Disney World open on Saturdays?" or "Can you plan my entire trip for me, and get back to me as soon as possible?" Anyway, I love Mouse Planet, and all of you do a fantastic job. Thanks!

A.

Mike,

I wouldn't call those questions "stupid." They're just ignorant ones. In fact, if you think about it, all questions show our ignorance... until we know the answer. :)

For some of us, such questions are tedious, because we already know the answers... and have answered them (or seen them answered) numerous times. For a person that is relatively new to visiting WDW, though... well, that's another story.

I'll try to post fewer of those types of questions, but sometimes they are helpful to other folks.

In any case, thanks so much for the kind words. I'm glad you've enjoyed the site!

-

Q.

Amy asks: Hi Brian -- My daughter said your trip report was great and had pictures. Why couldn't I find it ?? Could you help me find it? Thanks!

A.

Amy,

The only time I did a "live" report with pictures was my October 2000 report.  The pictures don't actually show up until the second page, as the page above was the pre-trip portion of the report. Just scroll down and follow the links to the succeeding pages. :)

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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