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Brian Bennett

WDW Trip Planning Guide Reader Feedback

by Brian Bennett

4/15/02

Q.

Stella writes: Hi Brian - I was wondering if you could help me. About a month ago I found a site where they helped you get a PS for Cinderella's Breakfast. I can't seem to find that site now!! Do you have any idea what that address is??? Thanks you!!!

A.

 

Stella,

There is a site out there that has a "black market" regarding Cinderella's Royal Table priority seatings.  The way it works is that a group of folks, that don't really need priority seatings, make as many of those priority seatings as possible.  Then, the priority seating numbers are pooled and they are dolled out to people that come to the site and ask.

In my opinion, the practice is despicable. I hope Disney steps up to the idea of asking for photo ID to prove that the name on the reservation and the name of the person there (at the restaurant) match up.  That would put the black marketers out of business.

In any case, I've made it my policy to not share the URL of that site regarding this matter.  Furthermore, if anyone from Disney contacts me, I'll happily provide more details on the site that is doing this.

Q.

Carolyn writes: Brian, I had written you earlier this year with a query about when to expect Spring Break crowds at WDW. Just wanted to let you know that my husband and I were there from March 5 until the 12th and didn't notice any increase in the crowds until Monday, March 11. It was still manageable at MGM, but we were glad we already had MK under our belt, because I'm sure the crowds were worse there.

On another note, we had a wonderful trip. Stayed at AKL, which is a beautiful, one-of-a-kind place. Definitely would stay there again. Except for the skimpy park hours (AK closed at 5:00, for example), we didn't really notice any issues with cutbacks. The bus service was excellent throughout the trip -- I could see that as being one area that is vulnerable to cutbacks but it doesn't appear to have suffered.

I'll keep reading MousePlanet, though it only makes me want to get back to WDW sooner!

A.

Carolyn,

I'm so glad that the cutbacks didn't negatively impact on your trip! Although services have been cut back, I've had nothing but good reports about how CMs are treating guests right now. That's definitely a turn for the better after last Fall.

On to your final point... I'm sorry that MousePlanet makes you feel so bad. ;(

-

Q.

Jeanne writes: Brian, You don't know me, but I believe you know my husband, since he suggested I talk to you.  (Editor's Note: As it turns out, I know Jeanne's husband from my "real" job.)

We are going to Disney World (you like the highly technical work related question I have for you!) in April. We will get to Orlando early afternoon on a Wednesday and leave on Sunday, so we have about 3.5 days in Orlando. My initial thought was we (Don, myself and our 4 year old daughter) would go to Magic Kingdom on Thursday, take a break on Friday and go to Universal on Saturday. My second thought would be a Disney park hopper pass, but they only have four day ones and I'm thinking it would be too much for a 4 year old.

Don tells me you go to Disney quite often & I was wondering if you had any suggestions or opinions, or anything else we could check out in the area.

A.

Jeanne,

I've got a couple of comments for you... First, In MousePlanet's WDW Trip Planning Guide you'll find all kinds of information on planning a trip to Walt Disney World. There's information there on the resort hotels (including room rates), parks (including admission media), and all other aspects of planning a trip down to see the Mouse.

Also, in MousePlanet's WDW Trip Planning Guide, in the WDW With Kids section, you'll find information on all of the issues around taking kids on a trip to Walt Disney World. There's information there on how kids react to the various attractions, what the age and height restrictions are, and lots of helpful information on how to adjust your daily plans to accommodate the younger ones.

You're right on target about the park pass issue. You'll have to decide if you willing to spend the higher price (per day) for one-day, one-park passes versus the lower per diem price if you buy the multi-day passes. One thing to consider is that those days on the multi-park passes never expire, so you'd at least be able to use them up on some future trip. Here's a page that you may find helpful as you sort through the various options of admission media.

Finally, I'd suggest that you go to this page and look over the section that is headed, "Planning Your Day." The ideas there apply to everyone, but they're especially helpful for families -- like yours -- with young children. The basic premise is to take your days in the parks in chunks of time. Don't go into the parks like "Disney commandos" from morning to night!!!! I'll let you read those pages for the details. It really does make sense. :)

Hope all that helps. If you have other questions, feel free to write back and ask.

-

Q.

Dave writes: Brian, We have decided to buy in to the Beach Club Villas. We also have had some problems. We were frequent visitors (2 to 4 times a year) and some trips were absolutely spectacular, but other times not so good. We came to realize that our expectations were getting too high, and after we readjusted our expectations, things have gone better.

Of course, we only go once a year now. Thanks again for the information. You are the best columnist on MousePlanet. Keep up the good work.

A.

Dave,

Thanks for the kind words. I don't agree with you, personally (I'm a big fan of all of the MousePlanet writers and consider my own email column to be a very simple one compared to what most of the other folks put together).

I'm sure you'll enjoy the Villas. We might just end up staying there in December if OKWR is booked up.

-

Q.

Jeannie (a different one than before) asks: I visited your site and saw mention of a Fastpass. However, it did not tell me how to obtain this pass. Also, I saw no mention of the water parks.

A.

Jeannie,

Here's a link to a page in MousePlanet's WDW Trip Planning Guide that tells all about Fastpass. I think you'll find your answers there. 

On this MousePlanet WDW Trip Planning Guide index page, at the very bottom of the list, you'll find links to pages on all of WDW's water parks.

If, after reading through those pages you still have questions, feel free to write back!

Q.

and in a follow-up, Jeannie writes: Thanks. Initially when I went to your site I took 3 pages of notes. I'm sure it will help our trip be that much more fun and efficient.

A.

:)

I'm glad you're finding MousePlanet helpful.

-

Q.

Augustine writes: Are there are maps of the parks that I can print out to go over with our families before we leave for our trip next week?

A.

Unfortunately, the guidemaps that Disney publishes are copyrighted so we can't scan and put them on the site.

As soon as you arrive at WDW, though, you can get those guidemaps at your resort (assuming you're staying onsite) so you can at least look over them before heading out to the parks.

However, I've finally broken down... If you go to MousePlanet's Disney Maps section, I've added a link to Disney's own maps on Disney.com.

-

Q.

Lance asks: Hello! My parents and I are going to be staying at the Coronado Springs resort in May. We've Stayed at WDW in Port Orleans (1998) and Caribbean Beach (2001).  We really like both, but the CBR was so spread out. My parents are seniors and don't like to do a lot of extra walking. We were stuck at the far end of the resort, 25 minute walk to the pool or food court. I realize that Coronado Springs is large too, but I was wondering if you knew where the best room location was in relation to the main pool, bus stop & food court. I've seen maps of the resort, aerial photos and resort images, but its hard to tell how far things actually are in distance.

I'd appreciate any answers you could give me.

A.

Lance,

First off, I would suggest that you look at this page as there is a section on that page titled, "Preferred Room Locations" that may help you with your question. There's also a thumbnail link to MousePlanet's map of Coronado Springs Resort.

Be aware that CSR is HUGE. If anything, I think it's even bigger and more spread out that Caribbean Beach Resort.

All things being considered, I would suggest that you consider buildings 1 and 3 (casitas) and 9B (cabanas) as they're closest to the main resort buildings where the convention center, restaurants, front desk, sundries shop, and main bus stop are located. Those buildings would be similar in location to Martinique versus Old Port Royale at Caribbean Beach (except that the Dig Site, in the analogy, would be located at the North end of Martinique with Old Port Royale at the South.)

-

Q.

Geri writes: Hi Brian, We are having great difficulty trying to decide which hotel to stay at. Are choices are:
  • The Wyndam - not a Disney Hotel
  • The Wilderness - a Disney Hotel
  • The Swan - not a Disney Hotel
  • Port Orleans Riverside - A Disney Hotel

I know there is a price difference between them but we will be there with 2 families and we will be staying 5-7 nights. What are the pros and cons of each and which would you recommend???

Thanks so much for your help. We are going the 2nd week of May to celebrate my 40th!!!!

A.

Geri,

The Wyndam and the Swan are not themed resorts. Wilderness Lodge and Port Orleans Resort both are very nicely themed.

That's the main difference.

Of course, you'll find that the prices will vary, too... but frankly, the prices for the Wyndam and Swan will be similar to the prices for Port Orleans and the Lodge respectively.

Personally, I'm sold on themed resorts, so given that list I'd be staying at Wilderness Lodge hands down... but that's just my own personal opinion. YOU have to weight the cost versus the themes to decide your best option.

-

Q.

Clarivette asks: Hi! Your site is really interesting and full of information. I am going for the first time with my kids to WDW and since we are five we were advised to stay at Port Orleans in the rooms with the trundle bed. However I was kind of disappointed when we heard that half of this resort is currently closed. Our reservations were done after this closing, so I know we will stay there but how has been the experiences of guests there so far? Please let us know, thanks.

A.

Clarivette,

I don't think you have anything to be concerned about. Port Orleans Resort Riverside is, indeed, partially shut down (that is, some of the guest buildings are not currently being used), but all of the central guest facilities are operational.

I wouldn't hesitate to stay there if I was in your shoes.

-

Q.

Lori asks: Hey Brian - We are going to Disney World the last week in May and I have been curious about the park hours for quite some time now. The Disney site posted the hours for April a long time ago and here I am just two months away and have no idea about May. What are the general hours for May?? And do you think they will be the same for this year?? When will they be out?? I am tired of checking their site with no results.

A.

Lori,

There's no way to tell for sure what the park hours will be in May because Disney adjusts things from week to week. However, this page, has the general hours for the WDW parks and it's a pretty good bet that these general hours will be close.

-

Q.

Debbie asks: My family is going to WDW from April 12th to April 16th. I noticed that your park hours are different than the ones posted by the official WDW site. Which is right?

A.

Debbie,

The hours posted on this page, are the general hours for the WDW parks. Disney changes them from week to week as crowd levels warrant.

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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