by Brian Bennett
| Traci writes: FYI,
I just returned from Walt Disney World yesterday (the 19th)
and the E-ride nights had been going on for most of the week...
also, crowds were unusually horrendous, they kept us out of
the parks until a few minutes after opening time... yes, I said
after! The lines for security check in were slow and long, not
enough "checkers" for the number of people with bags
|Thanks for the update, Traci. Maybe the powers
that be will eventually back off and bring back Early Entry
for resort guests. :)
| Jim writes: Brian,
Just returned from a 7 day trip to WDW and wanted to let you
know that as several others have reported crowds are picking
up again. People going should also be aware that Disney's worthless
security screening process can take a very long time especially
mid-day when crowds coming into the parks are heaviest. We also
took a three day trip to DL in December, and in all our visits
to the parks over the ten days total we only saw one person
who had his Swiss army knife confiscated from his bag. As they
do not have metal detectors, and do not do body searches, had
he carried the knife in his pocket he would have made it past
Also, In answer to Taunya's question.
The options on a plus pass are encoded on the pass. They do
not come as separate tickets. So, only one person may use
at a time.
Regarding Sandra's question on whether
she should still go to Disneyland, the answer is definitely
"yes". Granted, the park may not be as pristine
as it was back in Walt's day, but neither is anything else
these days. It still is one of the most beautiful, detailed
and well-kept amusement parks in the world. For people who
visit the park on a weekly basis, the flaws might be glaring.
But for the average park goer, they are barely noticeable.
Last but not least, just wanted to
let everyone know we stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge this
trip to WDW. All as I can say is "WOW!" It has got
to be one of the most beautiful and well-themed resorts I've
ever stayed at. As reported by others, the rooms are a tad
bit small for a deluxe resort but the view of the savannah
is incredible, and Boma is the best and most inventive buffet
restaurant I've ever eaten at. The food isn't just filling,
it's worth making a trip to the lodge just to eat there.
Love your website. It's by far the
best source for up-to-date info on WDW and DL.
|Thanks for the note and all the information, Jim!
| Sue writes:
Hi Brian, Nitpicking time :) Someone
asked about a hurricane season in Florida. Hurricane
season runs from June 1 to November 30. September is the
most active month. We usually seem to have one around Labor
Day weekend. You're right, though, that that far inland
people usually have nothing to worry about. It's been a
mighty long time since a hurricane has come through central
and another reader, calling herself
Hi Brian, I along with my sister
and brother in-law will be taking our first trip to WDW.
We are from cool Washington state and was wondering just
how hot does it get? and how wet does it get when it rains?
The cutbacks has conceded us but I don't think it will bother
us too much.
|Thanks, Sue. I'll make sure I clarify that in
an upcoming piece. :)
The weather varies in Central Florida from cool (in the Winter
months) to extremely hot in the Summer. In general, it is
much warmer and more humid than you're used to up in the Northwest.
As far as rain goes, Central Florida has a LOT of rain during
the late Summer and Fall.
I'd suggest you look over this
page and check out the comments for the time of year you're
considering for your trip.
| Frank asks: Hi,
We were recently at Animal Kingdom. I have a fascination with
baobabs and have a number of questions. I hope you can help.
- We saw one live baobab at the Mombassa
Marketplace. Are there other live baobabs at the park, (perhaps
on the savannah which we didn't visit). Did you grow the
one at Mombassa from seed? Nursery grown? Collected? How
- We saw 2 large fake baobabs on the
Pangani Forest Trail. Are there others of these?
- Is the Tree of Life (which was just
great) supposed to be modeled after baobabs? I didn't have
my binoculars but it looked like the tree of life had simple
or pinnately compound leaves instead of palmately compound
leaves? Just artistic license? or based on something other
than a baobab?
You have me at a loss. Prior to your email, I didn't know
what a baobab is. From the context, I now figure it's some
kind of tree. :) Obviously, I'm not going to be much help
to you, but you might want to call the Walt Disney World Gardening
Info Line at (407) 938-3900 and ask your questions directly.
|Jim writes: Here's
a tip for readers wanting to see Epcot's Tapestry of Dreams
parade. There are two parades each late-afternoon and evening,
with each having two identical groups operating simultaneously.
The early parade begins with one group starting in Morocco and
proceeding to Germany, while the second starts in Germany and
travels to Mexico. The evening parade retraces their path back
to their respective starting points.
Many parade watchers don't realize
there is both a starting and ending performance by the three
main Dreamcatchers, Leonardo Columbus, Elfin, and Cosmo (call
them by name after their performance and they may come over
to say hi!). Each parade begins and ends with the trio.
So here is the tip. Position yourself
at the snack booths across from the gate just south of Germany
(the Mexico side). At parade start, the Dreamcatcher float
appears and you witness the intro performance. The whole parade
turns in front of you to proceed down the parade route. The
puppet performers and drummers who come out from backstage
are energetic and excited to see and greet you! After a time
you notice that from the other direction the Dreamcatcher
float has returned (did it go around the lagoon? No, this
is the second trio of Dreamcatcher's and the beginning of
the other parade.) The timing is perfect as Leonardo, Elfin
and Cosmo link up to the rear of the parade you've been watching
and continue on as its final float. The puppets and drums
following turn in front of you to disappear through the gate
to backstage. These performers, knowing they are nearly finished,
always like to end in a flourish and you see some spectacular
displays! And finally, having seen both parades, the Dreamcatchers
(the third set) bring up the rear, and present the closing
performance. It's a long time to sit, but thoroughly enjoyable!
|Thanks, Jim! I'll certainly make a note of your
suggestion in an upcoming Notes piece.
Hi Brian, Just been reading some
of your info on Disney, very informative it was too.
I'm from Northern Ireland and we
were thinking of visiting Disneyland next Easter 2003 for
two weeks. As Easter Sunday is on the 20th do you estimate
that the crowds will moderate or high during our stay.
and Lori asks:
Brian - We will be going to WDW on
memorial day and the week after. We were able to get a really
good deal at the All Star Movie resort and have talked to
people about this week and they said it was better than
June. My fear is Memorial Day. We want to go to a park that
day but realize it will be crowded. Which park would you
suggest?? Which one will be least crowded on a holiday??
I have also heard that the parks
open earlier than their stated opening times. Is it true
that we can arrive thirty minutes early and get in??? I
realize the early entry days are not active right now but
I read that even on non early entry days the parks really
Thanks for the kind words about MousePlanet! :)
During the two weeks that straddle Easter (the week before
and the week after) crowd levels are very much higher than
they are during the weeks immediately prior to and following
that particular fortnight.
Memorial Day is usually a very busy day at the parks. Not
only is it a long weekend for travelers, but as a holiday
you'll see a big boost in local visitors, too. I would suggest
that Animal Kingdom and Epcot would be your best bets for
that day. As a Monday and a holiday, the Magic Kingdom is
likely to be very busy and the Studios, being a smaller park,
will likewise be crowded. Animal Kingdom and Epcot are both
very large, so they can absorb large crowds with relative
All of the parks have a habit (especially when larger crowds
are expected) of opening earlier than their stated times.
Sometimes this means that you can get into just the first
part of the park (Main Street and Hollywood Boulevard, for
example) to do some shopping and get snacks or breakfast.
Depending on the expected crowds, though, the park attractions
may actually open earlier than stated hours. It really depends
on how many people are expected on any given day.
|Kevin asks: Hi,
Just wondering if you have any insight into the best rooms at
Boardwalk Inn. We have a water view, but we'd like to be right
on the corner above Flying Fish if possible. Any idea where
we can find room numbers? Or is there a better room? or is there
Boardwalk Inn expert you might suggest we contact?
I don't know the actual room numbers, but when I stayed at
the Boardwalk a while back, I actually asked for "a room
near the elevators and with a nice view." I didn't know
exactly what room to ask for, but instead gave the Disney
folks a list of what I wanted.
You may want to go to this
page and click on the link for "Room Controller."
There's a hint there that you may find helpful.
By the way, I got exactly what I asked for.
|And now, some readers comment on the the Disney
Vacation Club (DVC). (Note that the articles and pages referred
to here can be found in the Disney
Vacation Club section of MousePlanet.)
Dear Brian, Great article regarding
the financial analysis of purchasing DVC points. My wife
and I have been DVC members since 1996, so we're somewhat
biased towards the program and how it works. I've had the
"financial" discussion regarding the DVC with
many of my friends and with others on-line. The thing that
you always have to keep in mind is that the numbers never
really tell the whole story. Much of the allure to the DVC
is the fact that it is centered around WDW and selling the
Disney Magic. I've seen financial analysis that show a break-even
period after 7 years, some after 13 years and some that
show your investment barely breaks even over the course
of the next 40 years (DVC points expire in 2042). The bottom
line is that if your not sold on Disney, then the DVC is
probably not for you. It's hard to put a price-tag on the
happiness your family feels when vacationing at WDW. For
some, that may also extend to knowing that you're always
guaranteed some form of Disney vacation when you own DVC
points. It's just different for different individuals and
I've found that most people that get really wrapped in making
the right financial decision, all too often just can't justify
the decision to purchase for some reason or another.
To take a different path and look
more at the numbers, some analysis also needs to include
the fact that certain portions of your dues also count as
property taxes thus providing income tax relief. What about
the person that finances their points and gets a tax break
from the mortgage interest? Those are all individual factors
that affect the financial decision-making process.
Again, I'm somewhat biased towards
the program and in the short time that my wife and I have
been members, we've secured enough fond memories and confidence
in the program to feel we've made the right decision. We
also try and make that point abundantly clear to people
that ask us about the DVC.
Dear Brian, I read the great debate
and financial analysis of DVC ownership with much interest
because I have always wondered whether or not it really
made fiscal sense to have purchased by 150 point ownership
two years ago. Although I am a very technical / numbers
type of guy, every once in awhile you have to step back
and look at the forest with a simpler argument. The answer
to the great debate is... it depends on how you plan to
use your points in real life - and then the scenario plays
itself out to an easy answer.
My individual case in point: Two
years ago we took a long vacation with 105 of my initial
150 points spending 4 nights at a Vero Beach studio and
3 nights at a Boardwalk Villa Studio. At that time, the
total room cost in dollars (without tax!) was almost dead
equal to my down payment with upfront costs included.
Each year for the next 10 years
I will spend roughly $1900 a year in loan payments and maintenance
fees. Last year we spent 130 points for 5 nights in a two-bedroom
vacation home (the kids are bigger and the in-laws came
along) at Vero Beach which would have cost $2050 (without
This year we will be banking most
of our points because next year we will spending 5 nights
during Spring Break in a two-bedroom vacation home and a
studio (taking another family with us) with a preferred
view at the Boardwalk Villas which will cost us 270 points,
but which would have cost us $4730 (without tax!).
The way I see it, if I continue
this pattern of averaging $1900 a year in loan payments
and maintenance instead of paying an average of $2440 per
year in hotel costs (with tax) AND in seven more years I
will only have to pay maintenance fees AND the bonus that
my interest and property taxes are deductible at my marginal
rate AND banking an average of 24 points a year extra, I
come out way ahead no matter how the stock market does (down
30% since my down payment) and investment / inflation rates
So in conclusion, the answer to
the great debate is it depends on how you use your points
pertaining to your real life situation. On the other hand,
would I really stay at the Boardwalk Villas in a two-bedroom
at $652 a night if I was paying a lump sum versus two rooms
at the All-Stars for $190? Now that is the great personal
debate. In the meantime, I will enjoy the luxury of DVC
which I may have fooled myself into believing that I could
And Mark writes:
Brian, I am considering buying into
DVC and I have taken the tour on property. Prior to taking
the tour, I read your information on MousePlanet, and it
Right now, I am leaning towards
not buying because of the point cost of other Disney hotels.
I live close to WDW, and for an occasional weekend, I will
book a room at one of the many hotels on property. I have
stayed at the Grand, the All-stars, and everything in between.
The fun for me is in the variety. I rely on annual Passholder
deals to reduce the cost where possible, and have always
enjoyed my time. I thought that if I could pre-pay these
weekends via DVC and save money, it would make sense.
After reviewing the literature
I received on the tour, I paid close attention to the point
costs for Disney-owned hotels that are outside DVC. If I
were to buy now, my "home resort" would be located
at the new Beach Club Villas. I would consider that an upper
end hotel, as the Beach & Yacht Clubs are very nice
hotels. So my assumption was that I could trade my points
for a comparable amount of time at the Yacht and Beach Clubs,
or the Grand, Poly, WL or Contemporary. Not So! For the
number of points that I could stay for a week at DVC during
the cheapest season of the year, that would buy 2-3 nights
at the Grand. As I looked closer, all of the hotels were
that way. In fact, it would cost
more points to stay at Port Orleans, Caribbean Beach or
Coronado Springs than at the Beach Club Villas.
Then another thing hit me. This
point difference will only get worse! For property that
is owned by DVC, the total number of points for any year
can not increase over the life of your lease. That really
shuts down the inflation issue. But I don't think that the
point totals will have to be locked in like that for the
non-DVC Disney hotels. The point cost of the non-DVC Disney
hotels will increase with inflation. In essence, now and
even more in the future, I would have a lot of incentive
to stay at the DVC properties to get the most for my points.
For me, that's a bad thing, since I really like the variety.
I want the opportunity to stay at a monorail resort, and
not feel like I'm blowing my points for the year!
For these reasons, I think I'll
pass on DVC. I'd like to get your reaction to this line
of thought. Please let me know if I am missing something.
finally, another MousePlanet reader
Brian, I have been a DVC member since
1993. I found the financial analysis in MousePlanet's DVC
section interesting but flawed. When I purchased my membership
originally of 230 points, I was also given, as a bonus,
free admission to the theme parks until the year 2000. With
that original membership, I averaged 20 days a year. This
clearly skews the value in the calculations. Since that
time I have purchased an additional 70 pts. at OKWR and
150 pts. at the Boardwalk. Admittedly, my use very frequently
does not include weekends as I usually visit family in state
every other trip. This of course maximizes my point usage.
Additionally, with the decline of the stock market, many
people are receiving no interest on investments and many
have losses that they will not recoup for decades. If you
add in these facts to the calculations, I feel many people
are doing very well with their DVC memberships.
|Matthew and Terry, I completely agree with your
Mark, For your purposes, you're thinking is right on target,
too. If I you, I wouldn't buy into the DVC either.
and finally, to the unnamed reader:
Thanks for your note! Fortunately, the stock market is generally
not in decline, so folks really shouldn't use that temporary
situation as a bellwether for deciding whether or not to buy
into the DVC.
I still think that everyone should consider their own likelihood
of visiting their home resort on a regular basis and crunch
the numbers for themselves.
|A MousePlanet reader
writes: I was visiting your site for the 1st time and have
a question. After the year 2042 when the (Disney Vacation Club)
timeshare disappears, what does Disney intend to offer?
|The purchase that DVC owners make is use of points
through 2042. After that year, Disney owns the resorts outright.
If the DVC has been successful, and I suspect it will be,
I think Disney will reissue the points, adjust point chart
values, and do it all again.
We'll just have to wait and see.
Hi Brian, We are a family from Wales
(UK) and have recently been looking at buying a time share
at Vistana Village, and were really interested in reading
a debate you apparently had on site which a person (Christopher
02/04/02 notes from the world) referred to as 'DVC v Vistana'
but I couldn't find it on your site, could you point me
in the right direction as to where I could read this article
and Larry writes:
Brian, Just read your recent reader
notes and wanted to comment on the reader who said Vistana
was a run by a “fly by night” small company that will not
be around. Actually, Vistana Resort is owned and operated
by Sheraton and is a well run facility. It has numerous
I have a couple of weeks a year timeshare
with a company in Georgia, but, am also a member of RCI
and can use numerous Timeshares all over the world. We have
used Vistana as well as the Hilton Grand Vacation Club Villas
at Sea World. Both of these properties were well run and
very convenient to not only WDW, but to Sea World, Universal,
and BG Tampa.
I love staying on property at WDW,
but with the elimination of Early Entry, I will use my Timeshare
and our APs to go on extended trips. I will definitely stay
on property for a short trip, just so my 3 year old can
get a feel for it, but, for an extended stay we will be
off-property. Just wanted to clear up the misconception
that all timeshares in Orlando not on WDW property are tiny
wanna-bes. Most are, in fact, owned by large companies and
well run. Thanks.
There is a section on MousePlanet at that covers the Disney
Vacation Club in detail. I think the section you're looking
for is under the heading, "The Great Debate."
Although there is no specific page that discusses the Vistana
versus the DVC specifically, but there are some pages that
discuss timeshares (including Vistana) and compares them as
a block against the DVC program.
Thanks for the note. I hope you noted that I defended Vistana.
There are many excellent time share alternatives in Central
Florida. Vistana, Westgate, Orange Lake and others are just
some that come immediately to mind.
|David writes: If
everyone reads the small print in the Disney Vacation Club guide,
Disneyland Paris (DLP) includes length of stay passes for all
the members of the group. These are hopper passes for both parks
when the Walt Disney Studios (at DLP) opens. This is why it
is more expensive to stay at DLP than Disneyland or Walt Disney
World. Also, DLP is owned by Eurodisney SCA, a separate company.
A little bird tells me, there may be some new deals with Tokyo
Thanks for your note. Of course, the admission at the DLP
parks for DVC members is a key part of the point value. Thanks
for the reminder!
|Suzanne asks: Hi Brian, I had a question regarding
whether or not a fee was required to upgrade my daughters multi-day
park hopper pass, purchased when she was 8 and now she's 11
- no longer a child, You e-mailed back right away THANKS and
suggested I look at Admission Media A-Z which I have read through
twice now but still can't find the answer to this very specific
question. Can you just give me the answer via e-mail? Much appreciated!
Sorry I didn't catch your question on the site. :(
Anyway... No fee is required for such an "upgrade."
All of the residual value on your daughter's older pass will
be applied to the new one.
|Debbie writes: I
visited WDW, staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort in mid- February.
I read your website religiously every day from the time I booked
my trip in September until I left for my trip, and frankly,
you had scared me to death. I have to tell you that it was one
of the BEST trips to WDW I ever had!!! I read all of the negative
comments and was really worried that the place I have loved
for so many years was not going to be the same.
Well, imagine my surprise when it was
wonderful!!!! It was still the same magical place I remembered.
All of the cast members I came into contact with were pleasant
and helpful. The hotel was wonderful!! The parks looked absolutely
beautiful. They were crowded (but not annoyingly so) and it
was hard to tell that any cutbacks had been made.
The only negative I can think of was
having to stop at a security checkpoint upon entry into the
parks to have my backpack checked. You (and others running
similar websites) really need to lighten up a bit, stop overanalyzing
every little thing and enjoy the place. Every company experiences
ups and downs. If you and your readers are so disappointed
with the current state of things at WDW, the solution is simple...
DON'T GO!!!!! and don't ruin it for everyone else!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
First off, I'm very glad that you had a great trip! I don't
report on the cutbacks to "scare" anyone off...
just to let everyone know what they're going to get for their
money. If they choose to go on their trip anyway, then I hope
they have a great vacation as you did.
Second, I have, personally, decided to not visit WDW for
awhile. I usually visit two times a year... but this year
I will be taking a full fifteen months off. When I go back,
at Christmas time, I'll reevaluate the situation as it applies
to me and my family.
|and in a follow-up note,
Debbie wrote: Thanks for your prompt response. After re-reading
my e-mail it seemed like I was a little harsh. Sorry. I really
enjoy your website and will continue visiting it daily. I understand
your point about letting people know what they'll be getting
for their money, etc., but I think for someone who has NEVER
been to WDW, some of the comments could discourage some from
going and I, personally, feel that everyone should go at least
once in their life.
Thanks again and I hope to correspond
with you again in the future. (I am going back from December
4-9, 2002 with my husband who has NEVER been !!!!!!! I have
never seen the parks decorated for Christmas so I am greatly
looking forward to it!)
No harm done. :)
I'm going back in late December for a family reunion. After
not being there for a full 15 months, I'm looking forward
to a great trip too. Like I said, I'll judge again at that
point about what frequency my family and I will revisit...
after WDW has another chance to redeem itself to me. ;)
During my last trip, there were several unbelievable situations
that my family and I had to deal with. WDW just wasn't the
same, and I ended up shipping off a rather harsh letter and
getting only a minimal response. I was quite disappointed,
to be honest. I've not made a big deal about my personal dissatisfaction
on MousePlanet -- instead, I concentrate on just giving the
facts and allowing MousePlanet readers to discuss the pros
and cons of visiting during the cutbacks.
|Ray asks: My family
is going to WDW in late August. I note that the "value
season" starts on the 25th this year. What kind of crowds
can we expect? Would you recommend a particular order in seeing
the parks? Thank you.
The very last week of August will be pretty good as far as
crowds go. For the last several years, crowds have really
dropped off by mid-month, and I don't know any reason why
that wouldn't be true this year also as many schools start
a week before September nowadays.
I'd suggest you look over the "Planning Your Day"
pages that are listed
here. You'll find a lot of suggestions on daily planning
that will be helpful.
I would also suggest that you look over this
page, and note the pages on "Tour the ...."
various parks. There are suggestions there for each of the
|Andrew asks: Dear
Brian, I'm planning my first trip to WDW and my tentative time
is late April 2003. (I realize this is WAY in advance, but the
abundance of planning info leads me to think that it's not too
early to think about details).
I have some questions:
- am I correct in presuming that crowds
are less in late April, after Easter and spring break?
- for a family of 4 with parents who
want to steal some private time, it seems like a suite is
the way to go. The price for suites at a place like Doubletree
seems to be MUCH less than those suites at the Disney-owned
resorts. Am I missing something here? The Disneyphiles seem
VERY partial to the resorts despite complaints here and
there about crowds and aging rooms. Are the resorts truly
that much more desirable when one is spending most the time
at the parks?
- the packages are overpriced and
I'd be better off booking my room, airfare and passes separately
Thank you for the benefit of your wisdom
First off, I think you're very wise to start planning now.
Crowds in late April will, indeed, be less than the times
around Easter and earlier during Spring break time.
I'd suggest you look over the "Planning Your Day"
pages that are listed
here. You'll find a lot of suggestions on daily planning
that will be helpful. The main thing that I suggest on those
pages is to take a daily afternoon break. That's especially
true for families with younger children, but I would really
recommend that strategy even for an all-adult group. If you
choose to follow my advice, you'll note that staying at a
Disney resort makes it much easier to leave the park and return.
I just don't see any advantages in doing the "Disney
Commando" thing and spending all day in the park. You'll
end up going home from your vacation even more tired than
you arrived! Not a good idea! :) There's more information
on that issue on this
I agree on your thoughts on package deals, too. This
page lists several ideas about pre-trip planning that
you may want to consider including issues on package deals,
|Regarding a recent question
here in Notes From the World, Steve suggests:
Brian, You offered the following
advice to Rafael asking about transportation from the All
Star Movies resort area to the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue:
"You can take
a cab from the All Star Movies to the entrance to Fort
Wilderness, but you'll need to take an internal Disney
bus from there to Pioneer Hall. You really should allow
an extra thirty to forty-five minutes or so for just that
last part of the trek.
"If you arrive
early enough, the best route to take from All Star Movies
to Pioneer hall will consist of a bus ride from All Star
Movies to Downtown Disney, then a bus (from Downtown Disney)
to the Ticket and Transportation Center, and finally a
"Crockett" or Boone" bus (from the Ticket
and Transportation Center) to Pioneer Hall.
other routes, but that would be the one recommended by
the Disney folks."
Please be advised that the easiest
travel is catch a bus to Magic Kingdom and then a boat to
Fort Wilderness. We've done this twice (2001 and 2002).
Our most recent trip, the boat stopped briefly at Wilderness
Lodge and then to FW. It's a 2 minute walk from the boat
dock to Pioneer Hall. The same boat will take you back after
Hi Brian, I just saw Rafael's question
about how to get from the All-Star Resorts to Wilderness
Hall. On my last trip in January, I saw the Hoop Dee Doo
Revue the first time. We also stayed at the All-Star Movies
and had show reservations for the first night.
Here is the transportation, which
worked very well for us: We took a bus to the Magic Kingdom
from our hotel. There we switched to the Fort Wilderness
boat. It was a nice and relaxing trip and we were at Wilderness
Hall with plenty of time to spare. From the boat dock at
Fort Wilderness it is just a short stroll to the show building.
Hope this helps!
as did Kim:
Brian, In regards to a suggestion
you gave Rafael on 2/18/02 for getting to Fort Wilderness.
Since they're going to the 5pm Hoop Dee Doo, I suggest taking
the Bus to Magic Kingdom, then getting on the boat to Fort
Wilderness. This way there are less bus transfers and the
boat dock is right there by Pioneer Hall. It's not the "official"
route, but probably quicker - and the boat ride is nice.
but another reader, who didn't identify
I read your response to Rafael and,
with the revised bus route, I thought I'd share a quicker
Instead of taking a taxi to Fort
Wilderness, take a taxi to the Wilderness Lodge and trek
out back to the boats. The boats run every 20 minutes and
are much more expedient than the buses, even the internal
one in Fort Wilderness. As I write this, the internal bus
route has changed so there is no longer a "straight
shot" to Pioneer Hall, whereas the boat will empty
you out at Pioneer Hall.
Also, if check-in is harried, have
that guest service person contact the ticket booth at Pioneer
Hall. They can alert them that you might be a few minutes
late and not considered a no-show. The two nightly shows
have been fairly busy lately, so you want to make sure they
know you're coming.
|Thanks for the alternative routings, everyone.
As I pointed out in my original answer, there are several ways
to get from the All Stars to Pioneer Hall. You just made
my point for me. :)
Hi Brian, Great stuff as usual.
I was reading your Q&A's where someone was asking about
making Birthdays at WDW special. I seem to remember something
at either Disneyland or WDW where a guest with a birthday
can pick up a pin or button at City Hall proclaiming the
B-day. Cast members would see the button and wish the child
a happy B-day. I remember this from a few years ago. Hopefully
they still have this.
and I responded...
Greg, Thanks for the note. Maybe someone else can confirm
that the birthday pin are available when I post your note
on the site.
But before I started work on the next Notes From the World
Brian, If a WDW guest goes into Magic
Kingdom Guest Relations and tells them it's their child's
birthday they'll give her a "It's My Birthday"
button and have a character call her. I've done it
myself on my birthday and it's really cute - and a 4 year
old would go nuts! Plus, the Cast Members and characters
are extra nice when they see the button. It makes for a
special day! Also, when she makes reservations are 1900
Park fare, be sure they know it's for a birthday.
Deb has a list of Birthday ideas
in her Unofficial
and another Kim (not the one with
the original question nor the one that just answered) wrote:
Hi Brian, Kim wrote in and asked
about how to make her 4 year old daughter's birthday more
special, I have a suggestion. When they arrive at the Magic
Kingdom, go to customer service (to the left of the train
station) and ask for a birthday button, my son received
one on his 8th birthday and everywhere we went in the Magic
Kingdom he was acknowledged for having a birthday. Made
a special day for all of us.
Thanks to you Brian for the wonderful
|So, there you have it.
Thanks to everyone for their notes! It's great to always
have the suggestions, ideas, comments, and input from the
By the way, if you enjoy reading about Walt Disney World
(and the other Disney resorts), and would like to get more
interactive, don't forget that MousePlanet's MousePad
message boards have a large number of Disney fans ready to
discuss anything from trip planning to the latest Disney film
release to the history of the Walt Disney Company. Get
involved! I'd love to see the WDW boards of MousePad
grow to rival the activity on the Disneyland boards!
Well, I hope you enjoyed the reader feedback
for the WDW Trip Planning Guide! Feed free to send more questions
or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Brian Bennett's Disney Trip Planner
Click here to see
some awesome WDW pieces that have run on MousePlanet recently!
here to check out the rest of Brian's Archive, including all of the previously
published "Notes From the World" pieces!
always gotten email about the WDW Trip Planning Guide, but since we added
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!
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!