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Brian Bennett

WDW Trip Planning Guide Reader Feedback

by Brian Bennett

11/19/01

Q.

Jennifer Writes: My husband and I will be in Disney 12/9-15.  I have decided to stay OFF site for a couple of reasons one being if we stay ON Disney (All Star Resort is the most affordable @$59/night) we have to EAT on Disney and I know this will add up $$$$.

I have the Ramada Plaza booked which is giving us a free buffet breakfast every a.m. for $59/night. I read the review from Brian who said the hotel wasn't great. - no balcony, no hot tub...

Do you know any OTHER hotels - in this price range that will include a breakfast buffet like this??

A.

Jennifer,

The best suggestion I can make is to go back to MousePlanet and do a search for "free breakfast buffet." You'll find that several reader reviews mention that perk. Of course, I'd follow up with the hotel to confirm.

Also there are many hotel/motels in the area that have inexpensive (less than $6.00/person) breakfast buffets.

-

Q.

Jan asks: Dear Brian, I sure enjoy your trip reports. I was gone from October 20 through the 25th and I would like a list of the trip reports published those days so I could print them out to read. The only thing I could find was the whole archive and it was quite lengthy. If you could give me the way to do this with these dates I would really appreciate it.  Thank you very much for all of your help.  Keep up the good work. I have the articles you have printed for those days, I downloaded them, but not the ones written by other travelers.

A.

Jan,

Go to http://www.mouseplanet.com/wdwupdate/ there, you'll find a day by day list of all updates on MousePlanet's WDW information.

-

Q.

Bill writes: Brian, My family is going to WDW on November 4. Do you think the current hours of operation for the parks will be the same when we are there ? I've e-mailed the WDW website, but they haven't responded. Also, do you know the hours for Downtown Disney/Disney Marketplace stores ? Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

P.S. My Latin is a bit rusty. What is the meaning of "Caveat Emptor" ?

A.

Bill,

I'll cover the easiest thing first. "Caveat Emptor" is Latin for, "let the buyer beware." By using that term, I'm simply reminding folks that are going forward with their trip plans to WDW to be aware of the lower quality and services that they'll receive. As long as they are aware, it's up to them to decide if the value they'll receive is sufficient.

I think it's almost a certainty that the park hours will remain very short until the holiday season brings in higher crowd levels.

The hours for Downtown Disney is typically 9:30am to 11:00pm (11:30pm on Friday and Saturday) in the Marketplace and 10:30am to 11:00pm (11:30pm on Friday and Saturday) in the West Side. Pleasure Island has shopping hours from 10:30am to 2:00am with dinner and entertainment hours starting at 7:00pm (when the separate admission is required).

-

Q.

Doug writes: Hi, Brian! First of all, thanks so much for all the work you put into this column. MousePlanet is one of the few web sites I visit every day.

I do have a questions for you about Disney World around Christmas.  Normally, I would never consider visiting between Christmas and New Year's, but my wife and I just started new jobs and we both have that week off. So (1) do you think the crowds will be more manageable this year, due to the generally lower attendance, and (2) are you aware of any good deals during this week? Many of the great resort rates (e.g. $50 at the All-Stars) seem to expire on 12/25.

A.

Doug,

I think the crowds will be less busy than they are traditionally at Christmas time due to some folks that just will cancel their plans even if they really don't have to. However, I don't think that the crowd levels will be reduced (from normal Christmas levels) so much so that Disney offers great discounts.

We'll know more after Thanksgiving and how things go over that weekend.

-

Q.

Curtis shares this information: Brian: I came across the question from Rick regarding DisneyQuest and felt like I wanted to voice a few things. Your answer was pretty much right on, but there are/were other factors involved. I do not know if you knew that the Chicago DisneyQuest has now closed. Lack of attendance did it in... Could it have done better? Probably so, but I believe that management issues at Disney Regional Entertainment (D.R.E.) and a lack of having a champion to really push hard for continued investment/advertisement and business strategy adjustment played a major factor in its demise. It is no coincidence that as D.R.E. pulled out of DisneyQuest-Orlando and had W.D.W. Attractions take over, that attendance (read that revenue) picked up substantially.

Anyway, I just wanted to chime in on the subject. Oh, by the way, I worked on the DisneyQuest project for 4 years, and was involved in the installation of both sites, and would have been involved in Philly, had the general contractor not gotten into financial problems. There are/were a number of us on the technical/engineering team that really put in the "blood, sweat and tears" on the DQ project and have been sorely disappointed by the lack of leadership shown both here in California and in Chicago.

Lastly, the GM that Rick refers to in his question is a great person. I know her personally and truly felt that she was hamstrung by D.R.E.

Take care!

A.

Thanks so much for your note, Curtis. I'll include it in a future "Notes" feature.

-

Q.

Kelly asks: I was wondering if there was a place to find the unofficial directions from WDW resorts to the 4 main parks. I know guest services will give them to you but I have heard there are easier ways then the way guest services tells you. I am specifically looking for directions from Fort Wilderness.

A.

Let's see what I can come up with... and maybe, after I post your note on the site, we'll get some other ideas.

From Fort Wilderness to Magic Kingdom:

  1. Drive a personal or rental vehicle to the Transportation and Ticket Center parking lot, then take the monorail or ferry to the park.
  2. Take the boat from the marina to the park.
  3. Take the bus to the Transportation and Ticket Center, then take the monorail or ferry to the park.

From Fort Wilderness to Epcot:

  1. Drive a personal or rental vehicle to the park.
  2. Take the bus to the Transportation and Ticket Center, then take the monorail to the park.

From Fort Wilderness to the Studios:

  1. Drive a personal or rental vehicle to the park.
  2. Take the bus to the park.

From Fort Wilderness to Animal Kingdom:

  1. Drive a personal or rental vehicle to the park.
  2. Take the bus to the park.

Those are the most obvious answers.

-

Q.

Jim asks: Hi Brian, Do you think in light of the slump in filling the rooms at the resorts that Disney will ever offer rooms where you can have you pet with you? I know Fort Wilderness offers campsites I have used these many times. Seems like they are missing the market with the resort rooms.

A.

Jim,

I seriously doubt that Disney will change their no pets policy in the resorts. The case for no pets is a strong one (hygiene, appearance, etc.) and I don't think there's a big advantage to WDW to change that. Of course, I may be barking up the wrong tree here. ;)

-

Q.

Alan writes: You can book the Fantasmic! dinner package as soon as you arrive on site. At dinner, you will given a coupon for a special seating area at Fantasmic! (the two sections on the right) and will be told to arrive no later than 7:00 PM (1/2 hour before the show) to get your seats.

We arrived at 6:30 and were able to sit in the section closest the center (one from the end). The seats were fine, even if they were not dead center. 

We went on 10/18 so rules are probably the same.

A.

Thanks Alan. Your experience and mine (in late September) match up exactly.

-

Q.

Charlotte asks: Hi, I'm doing the research for a family trip in July of 2002 and have a few more questions.
  1. What is the current ticket price for Pleasure Island?
  2. How is the wheelchair access at the Magic Kingdom?
  3. Does the Rose and Crown take reservations?
  4. Does Citywalk\Universal still have the Party Pass?

Thanks!

A.

Charlotte,

See this page for prices for tickets. There are several different types of admission media available for Pleasure Island, so I'll let you look over the options directly.

Wheelchair access at the park is pretty good. You may want to read this page  for more information on accessibility.

The Rose & Crown does, indeed take priority seating (not true reservations). Look over this page for more details:

I'm pretty ignorant on Universal admission media, so I'm afraid I can't help you much there.

-

Q.

Chuck asks: My wife has a custom mixed perfume that we got from 'Walt Disney World Perfumery'. I haven't been able to find an address or phone number for this shop on any Disney web site. Do you know what has happened to the store?

A.

Chuck,

The Perfumery used to be located in the shop adjacent to "Johnny Tremain's Silver Shoppe" in Liberty Square. The section of the shop, where various perfume oils could be mixed by guests to create their own personal fragrance was eliminated several years ago.

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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