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Brian Bennett

WDW Trip Planning Guide Reader Feedback

by Brian Bennett

4/29/02

Check out MousePlanet's new News Forum in MousePad, with links to Disney-related news articles from news sources around the world!

Q.

A MousePlanet reader writes: Hi Brian, Love your site!!! We are planning trip to WDW early November, how is the attendance then? We've visited in Mid September and Mid October, October being the busiest, we thought we would give November a try.

Also how is the weather then? We will not be attending any water parks, but would love to be able to swim in our hotels pool.

A.

I'd suggest you read through the information on this page as it has exactly the information you're asking about!  Also be aware that all of the WDW resorts have heated pools, so you'll be able to swim even if it's cool outside.

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Q.

Alicia asks:  Dear Brian, My friend and I are going to WDW in the middle of June, and we had heard that the early entry mornings have been cancelled......is this true? the guides that I have read (Birnbaum, and the Unofficial) didn't say anything about it, so I was wondering if it was true or not. Also how busy is WDW in the middle of June?

A.

Alicia,

Yes, unfortunately Early Entry has been cancelled. I'm still optimistic that it will be reinstated during the busier times of the year, but there hasn't been any announcement on that.

In MousePlanet's WDW Trip Planning Guide on this page, you'll find lots of information on the cutbacks that WDW has instituted since last Fall.

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Q.

Tony writes: Brian, This year will be my 4th attendance of Gay Day events at Disneyworld. It takes place the first weekend of June, and has for over 10 years. I still am amazed by the people who never seem to know about the events going on. Most, thankfully, are able to handle it well and seem to enjoy themselves with the many colorful personalities. There are, however, those that are obviously not ready to deal with the Gay and Lesbian community on such a large scale (100,000). So, I am writing you to pass on the word that Orlando becomes quite busy with the Gay and Lesbian community the first bit of June (May 29 - June 4). There are assigned 'days' for us to visit certain theme parks (Thursday/AK, Friday/MGM, Saturday/MK, Sunday/Epcot). Maybe planning opposite those days at certain parks will still let your readers who've spent thousands of dollars to be there have a more 'uninterrupted' vacation. Just a word of advice.

A.

Thanks for the note, Tony. I'll be sure to share it with my readers.

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Q.

Lee asks: I am interested in DVC information such as costs, availability, etc. Please send information you think a potential buyer would be interested in knowing including availability of points at the various Disney resorts.

A.

Lee,

You might want to check out my DVC pages.  You'll probably find more information there than you really want to wade through. :)

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Q.

Bradley writes: In a previous "Notes From the World," Joanne wrote:

"Greetings from Canada! Your site has been so informative in helping me plan our family vacation to WDW at the end of March 2002. I'm feeling down about not knowing to make advance Priority Seating arrangements, especially at Cinderella's Royal Table until after the 60 day advance date. Wondering what your opinion is on other meals at Cinderella's Royal Table? We made a Priority Seating at Cinderella's Royal Table for dinner, hoping to get a nice meal for our last night and maybe catch the fireworks. Wondering if there is any chance of seeing even just Cinderella? OR... if we made an early lunch Priority Seating, would we have any chance of seeing any characters hanging around after breakfast? Many thanks for your suggestions!"

Hello! I would just like to say that my family and I are fans of this restaurant and what you said was not correct. Every time we come for dinner we are warned that no characters will be here, then, when we enter the lobby Cinderella is waiting for us. Due to the new show, however, last time we saw Snow White and her prince. It is a great experience and I would recommend this to anyone.

A.

Bradley,

Thanks for the note. You said that you saw Cinderella and Snow White in the restaurant lobby just before dinner. That's certainly a nice touch, but isn't exactly a "character meal" as I would describe it (where characters roam about the restaurant during the meal). Still, it's nice to know that it's possible to see some characters there all day long. :)

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Q.

Cathy writes: Hi Brian. I am a first time visitor to your site & would like to let you know how much I have enjoyed it. I did notice you mentioned something about refurbishment work at the Swan & Dolphin resort. You say this is due to start in May 2002. This is the time I am staying there. Do you have any more details on this? Will my trip be ruined?! My UK travel agent say they know nothing about this.

A.

Cathy,

You can always call the resort and ask exactly what's going on and whether or not it will affect you personally. For example, if the work to begin in May will be focusing on the convention facilities, then it might not affect you at all. In any case, it never hurts to have a documented phone conversation to cover the bases (make sure to get the name of the Swan or Dolphin employee you talk with for future reference, just in case!)

Q.

And in a Follow-up, Cathy wrote: Hi again Brian, just thought I'd let you know that I've had a reply from The WDW Dolphin Hotel & from Disney themselves confirming that there are is no refurbishment taking place at this hotel in May or any other time this year.

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Q.

Steven writes: Hi Brian, Just to let you know, I just called the WDW main number and the Disney Club number and both stated that there are no "E" ride nights scheduled for the month of April. They both said that the next one will be held on May 6th.

Just thought you might like to know.

Thank you for the information you gave me before, keep up the great work.

A.

Thanks, Steven. I'm a bit surprised that no April dates were made available, but I was glad to see them coming back in May and June.

Unfortunately, though, all of the May dates were cancelled as well, as reported here on MousePlanet on this page.

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Q.

Janet asks:  Ok, well first of all, you had me going w/ your April Fool's update!!! I was shocked and excited to see the return to Early Entry but as I read on, I realized you were being tongue-in-cheek. Boo hoo!!!!! Bet you'll get a lot of mail on THAT one!  (Editor's Note: I haven't had so much email ever in the history of my site except for the weeks immediately following the service cutbacks announcement last Fall.)

Our Disney trip is almost here! Thanks to your site it has been very fun and easy to plan for this trip. Couple last minute questions:

  1. We will be bringing our stroller from home. I know you mention tying something on the handles so it is easily identifiable. My question, do you have to completely empty it when you leave it at a ride? Of course we'd take the small bag that has our valuables (cameras, etc.) with us on the rides, but what about leaving a diaper bag/backpack that contains nothing but diapers, wipes, maybe some juice and a few snacks?
  2. I recall hearing about a walkway from the Dolphin to MGM and Epcot. I know at Epcot you enter thru the International Gateway. How long does it take to walk from the hotel to each park? Is the route to MGM well marked? I'm just wondering if we might be better off doing that instead of waiting for the boat if we missed a launch.
  3. Seven Seas Lagoon show. Is it still going on? Do you recommend it? Where best to view?
  4. Fantasmic -- Sounds like you need to get here VERY early to secure seating....are all seats good?
  5. We will be staying at 2 different Disney properties during our stay as my husband has a conference to attend. Do you know anything about switching hotels? Will Disney transfer our luggage for us? We aren't planning on renting a car.

As always, thank you very much!

A.

Janet,

Sorry that I didn't get your message before today, but I was out of town for the past week or so.  Hopefully, you'll get this response before you leave tomorrow!

I think your strategy for dealing with the stroller is sound. You're proposing to do just about what we do. We take our cameras, but leave the diaper bag behind. You do NOT have to empty your stroller, but just beware that whatever you leave behind (including the stroller itself) is at risk if some one decides to be less than ethical. :(

The walk from the Dolphin to the Studios is via the Boardwalk. The walk from the Dolphin to the Boardwalk is, maybe, three or four minutes. The walk from there to the Studios would be more like fifteen or twenty. It's a decent hike. You may want to do it early in the trip, but after a few days of pounding the pavement in the parks, I'm sure you'll want to wait for that next boat instead. :)

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by a "Seven Seas Lagoon Show," unless it's the Electrical Water Pageant that you're talking about. This page, in MousePlanet's WDW Trip Planning Guide, tells all about it. It's a decent show, but nothing like Fantasmic! or Reflections of Earth. If you're in the neighborhood when it's coming around the lagoon, by all means enjoy it... but personally, I wouldn't make special plans to see it.

Fantasmic! is shown in a huge amphitheater with lots of good seats. The best seats are front and center, of course, but none of the seats are poor. At this time of the year, crowd levels will be moderate, so I don't think you'll have too much problem getting to the show in plenty of time.

Finally, about moving from one resort to another... Disney will, indeed, move you from one DISNEY resort to another. However, you mentioned the Dolphin earlier in your note. If you're staying there you may be out of luck as the Dolphin is not operated by Disney. You can always ask, and since the Dolphin is a premium property you just may be accommodated, but don't be surprised if no mechanism exists for transferring your belongings for you. If it was me, though, I just use the rental car and not worry about it. If you use bell services at each end of the transfer, it can still be very easy to deal with (although with lots of kids stuff, I can understand the wish to just have the resorts handle the transfer if possible).

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Q.

A MousePlanet reader writes: Boy do I need your help.  I haven't been to WDW since 1992. I planned a 6 night stay at the Contemporary "standard view" this coming November. Can you tell me what exactly is Standard View. Also can you give me any hints as to how to upgrade our room (with a better view). Also, can you tell me if the Contemporary offers lactose-free milk. One more thing, can you tell me if they canceled the "E" rides nights.

A.

"Standard View" at the Contemporary means you'll be staying in one of the garden wings stretching from the main tower building (the big A-frame) toward Bay Lake. The only sure-fire way to upgrade your view is to call and change your reservations. You can always request an upgrade at check-in, and you may get one if it's available, but there's never a guarantee unless you reserve the upgrade (and are prepared to pay for it).

I'm not certain that the resort offers lactose-free milk. I do know that WDW restaurants tend to be flexible on special dietary needs, but you may want to call ahead to make sure that your needs can be met (and that applies to all WDW restaurants at which you plan to dine).

E-Ride nights are alive and well. I understand that the next one won't be happening until May, but they have been offered several times this year already.

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Q.

Deanna asks: Brian, I am a WDW annual passholder and I noticed in some of the hotel reviews that hotels are available at WDW annual passholder rates... can you please tall me how I can make such reservations with the discounted room rates...? Is there a phone number or web site that you can inform me of? Thank you for your time.

A.

Deanna,

When you call Disney's central reservations office to make your reservations, just ask for the AP rate. You will need to show your AP at check-in time, but the rates -- depending on the time of year -- can be very good ones!

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Q.

Another MousePlanet readers writes: We are going to Disneyland tomorrow and have been to Disneyworld many times. we will go to California Adventure, but would also like to the original part of Disney. we were wondering which of the rides are only at Disneyland and not at Disneyworld. do you know?

A.

Sorry I missed you note as I was out of town. Obviously, you've already left for your visit. For future reference, though, here's the page you're looking for.

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Q.

Fran asks: What is up with River Country, Will it be closed permanently, used for something else?

Was your whole 4/1/02 news release all a April Fools Joke or just the part about the Russian Resort? I hope the Early Entry was not a joke.

Thanks for a super web site. I love it.

A.

Fran,

River Country always closes for the first couple of months of the year for refurbishment and due to weather conditions.  However, this year's closure might be more long term (see the next letter for more on this). 

Yes, the entire "update" was an April Fool's joke. Sorry. :)

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Q.

Mary-Ellen writes: At least part of your April Fool's joke appears to be true! On another web site, a number of folks are reporting that PORFQ will be open again May 31st and that they have switched their reservations from the All Stars to PORFQ.

A.

Mary-Ellen,

You and a few other folks caught me on that one. I put the April Fools "update" together a few weeks ago in preparation for my own personal vacation (not to WDW this time) and the re-opening (which isn't really a surprise now that the Summer season is almost upon us) was announced while I was out of town.

In any case, I'm glad because Port Orleans, in my opinion, is one of the most well-executed themes of all of the WDW resorts.

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Q.

Tim writes: Brian, I recently saw an article on the Orlando Sentinel's web site that says that River Country is closed for good. I had not seen any other reports of this. Is it true? If so I am really disappointed. I normally go to Disney in November and River Country is closed for the season. I changed my vacation to May this year because I had never been to River Country. If it is closed is there any chance of reopening in the future?

A.

I've not seen any other reports on this, either. I don't know what the reason is for the closure, but if it's "for good," as the paper says, I don't think it would be reopening.

However, there has been rumors of a third water park being in the works for a long, long time. Perhaps those plans are being moved forward and the smaller, River Country, just isn't worth keeping open any more. I guess I'm just looking for a silver lining. :)

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Q.

Jay writes:  Did you happen to see this article in the Orlando Sentinel? Quoting from the piece:

"The new attraction, Primeval Whirl, is a coaster all right, but it reaches a top speed of only about 25 miles mph. Primeval Whirl has 13 cars on two tracks that navigate through flying asteroids and -- in the words of Disney's press release -- "corny depictions of dinosaurs that spin and pop up along the track."

Kind of sad isn't it? In Disney's own words "corny."

A.

Yes, Jay, it is sad. :(

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Q.

Matt writes: Hey, Brian, just thought I'd chime in on something I saw in your last update.

As far as discounts go, we just got back from a WDW vacation, and if you use your American Express card and are staying onsite, you get discounts on merchandise from Downtown Disney. I'm not sure about food, because we used a different card so we wouldn't overspend on the AmEx one. The discount we got was between 10-15% each time.

A.

Thanks, Matt! I'll share your note on the site ASAP.

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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