Brian's Archive - Contents  Click to go back to MousePlanet main page
 Discussion Boards | Reviews | News | Trip Planning | Shop | Travel | Site Map
Brian's Basement
A Treasure Trove of Archived Stories
Google-
Look in: MousePlanet WWW

Brian Bennett

Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide Reader Feedback

by Brian Bennett

10/8/02

My Vacation

I've had a lot of folks asking about my recent vacation, many of them assuming that I went back to Walt Disney World. Actually, my wife had a business conference and I tagged along.

During our trip Barb and I were able to make brief stops on a couple of Polynesian Islands, I saw Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of the Kings (that would be in Egypt), visited a medieval castle, walked through the Arabian desert, saw some of the great works produced by Fabergé including three of the Imperial Russion eggs, and went up to see the International Space Station. Finally I stopped in briefly to see Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Monte Carlo, New York, a small town in Italy, and Paris.

How did I do all of that in nine days? Simple. I visited Las Vegas.

Here's a very brief summary report on our trip to Las Vegas with some random thoughts thrown in just for fun.

Before I go on, I just say that I found a new taste treat sensation that I just love. Does anyone know where I can buy Gelato (the Italian soft ice-cream-like dessert) at Walt Disney World?

-

We'll continue today with a couple of recent guest updates!

Dave writes: Hi Brian, we spent eleven days at Walt Disney World during the last week of August and first week of September.) We split our time between the Polynesian and the Beach Club Villas. We just wanted to give you our impressions on our trip.

We asked at Guest relations in the Magic Kingdom concerning E-Ride nights, and we were told that there would be none until Christmas, maybe Thanksgiving. Bummer.

We went to the new princess breakfast at (Akershus in) Norway. It was super. We can highly recommend it. We talked with the one host there, and said they were just told that is was going to be permanent. (As permanent as things are at Walt Disney World).

Cleanliness was as good as ever. They were painting the Magic Kingdom Castle turrets, using a big crane. It's good to see them keep up with the paint, but it ruined any photo ops of the castle.

Though it wasn't crowded, it seemed pretty busy, our guess due to the shortened hours of operation. 9:00am to 6:00pm.

We had a Character lunch at Tony's Town Square with Pooh and friends. It was great. Our 2 year old loved the characters, and the pre-plated food was excellent.

We got to the Magic Kingdom several times at 8:30am. They did not open the turnstiles until 10 minutes of 9:00am. This was disappointing, because you then have a mad rush to get to Fantasyland by 9:00am for rope drop.

The buses ran great, normally five to seven minutes, Once or twice we waited 12 minutes or so. We were fortunate to snag two reservations to Cinderella's Royal Table character breakfast. We should have stopped at the first one. The first time was absolutely delightful. The second time was a nightmare. We waited downstairs for 30 minutes, then another seven minutes upstairs to be seated, the food the second time was just so-so, and the waitress very slow. Some one else can take our spot next time we are down.

The only real complaint though was the rampant line butting that was going on, especially at the Magic Kingdom. What we saw multiple times was one person in a large group (8 to 15! people) who could run the fastest, would get in line, and then when all the slower people made it to the ride, they would just muscle their way up to the first person. This really was upsetting, and I wish Disney could do something about it.

Despite the minimal problems listed above, (except for the last one) we really did have a super time, and look forward to our trip now planned for next year. If you have an opportunity to stay at the Beach Club Villas, I think you will really like it. Being close to Epcot (our second favorite park) is a real plus.

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Dave!

Heather writes: Hi Brian, just got back from Walt Disney World last night and wanted to thank you. I learned so much from your site in the past year and a half, that everything was perfect! I had been to Walt Disney World before, but I wanted this trip to be amazing since my mom and brother had never been. Boy, did I learn a lot!

From the moment we landed, everything went like clockwork - Tiffany Town Car was great! Although, I might mention, if you have more than four people, you should really request a van. I did not know this was an option and we were really squished on the trip from the airport (we upgraded for the trip back, and it was very comfortable - and only cost $10 more!)

We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge and - WOW! I love this hotel. We requested the Magic Kingdom view rooms, and were very flexible about where (i.e., our rooms didn't have to be together, but on the same floor would be nice, etc.). Well, we had two rooms - 6034/6028 a few doors apart, and they were awesome! We could go out on the balcony each night and watch the fireworks, and even see some of the Bay Lake festivities.

The week was perfect. It truly was the "down" week - lines no longer than 5 minutes (until yesterday, that is!).

I only found a few instances of poor service - one was a cast member with a really poor, nasty attitude. Other than that, people were more than helpful and overly pleasant.

The character breakfast at Tony's was wonderful. We all really enjoyed it - funny, because we didn't intend to go there, but were hungry for eggs and bacon!

I will send a trip report shortly - and my mom is planning on sending you one, too.

Just wanted to thank you for all the tips and suggestions - it truly made the difference in our trip. We took your information and researched what was right for us, and the trip was magical. Thank you!

Thanks for the note Heather... and I'll be looking forward to those trip reports. :)

Mark shared this note: Hi Brian, Here's another little rehab tidbit:

"Little Mermaid attraction will resurface" (quoted from the Orlando Sentinel)

By Robert Johnson and Todd Pack

The Voyage of the Little Mermaid attraction at Disney MGM Studios will undergo its second temporary closing and rehab in a year starting next January.

But fans of Ariel needn't worry when the multimedia show featuring animations, live performers, puppetry, lasers and special effects closes again. She'll be back and the popular show, which opened in 1992, won't change.

"This is basically the second phase of a routine refurbishment that started last year," said Rena Callahan, a Disney spokeswoman. The show is based on the 1989 hit animated feature The Little Mermaid

Mark also shared: The Polynesian Luau at Disney's Polynesian Resort is going down for refurbishment from January 7, 2003 until February 28, 2003.

Now, as has become our custom, we'll review some reader responses to recent Notes From the World material before we move on to cover some new letters...

Todd writes: Brian, I want to respond to Kevin's blunt remarks about Disney magic. We love Mouseplanet.com and look forward to constructive advice and sharing a comradeship with others who love all things Disney. Maybe Kevin can explain, if he is so disgruntled, why does he feel it necessary to frequent a Disney web site and spend time sharing his negative feelings on a site where people are looking for constructive advice that will help in planning their Disney vacation. My advise to Kevin would be to share his negative Disney feelings on a "Islands" web site where it will be more likely to be accepted.

Kevin please spare us your disturbing comments which contain less than family value language.

Todd,

I gladly include such comments as Kevin's, because the perspective is important!

One thing that I've learned in this year of self-hiatus from the Disney parks is that Disney really does do some things very well. However, they really don't do as well as they could (or used to do themselves) in some areas. (I'll share some specifics both ways in an upcoming piece.)

I don't think it's ever a mistake to make comparisons and consider how best to spend our vacation budgets. Some folks really might enjoy driving up to Universal for a day or two (or more) and enjoying a somewhat different park experience.

Some of us (myself included) have done so in the past and enjoy the time at other venues, but then return to WDW time after time. That's OK too, because it can even help us enjoy the Disney parks much more if we personally think that they are the better executed ones.

Todd responded back: Brian, I too feel it is important to share views from all angles... and I too visit offsite venues. I even look to the information on your site that provides the good information along with the bad, which will really help me with planning and dreaming of my next trip. But I don't look to your site to hear different ones chiming "Disney sucks".

Criticism is fine and necessary for any business to know where it needs to improve. My only beef is with over-the-top, extreme spectrum "Disney doesn't do anything right". That is NOT constructive and was the point I was trying to make.

Moving along to the topic of being pregnant while on vacation at WDW.

Ashley writes: Dear Brian, I'm writing in response to the lady (from a couple or three weeks ago) who wrote asking about being 16 weeks pregnant in Disney World.

I did the same thing she did back in '97. I had been planning the trip with my husband and daughter and my sister and her family for months when I found out that I was expecting. And to top it off, my trip was in June!! But I went ahead and we had a great time anyway. The weather was not too hot and although I didn't get to ride everything (and I really missed the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror the most) they have so much more to do, that you can still have a great time.

The main problem was needing so many potty breaks. But the rest rooms are always so clean that even that wasn't too bad.

I would encourage her to go and have a great time. She can always catch the rides that she misses another time. I've since been back (this past June) and got to ride the Tower of Terror two times back to back. And you never know about the weather, because this time it rained every single day. We still had a great time and plan to go back in a few years, even though it is an 8 hour drive from South Carolina.

Sorry this is so long. I read your Notes From the World everyday while I was planning this trip and was very informed when we got there thanks to you!!!

Thanks so much for your help, Ashley.

Sam writes: Hi Brian, I traveled to WDW when I was 5 months pregnant, if Amanda would like to e-mail me (Nickybear3665@cs.com) I'd be more than willing to answer her questions.

Yes, it's harder to be in WDW pregnant than not, but there are ways to still have a fabulous time.

We found that regular breaks helped, as I got tired much more easily. The Steam train and the monorail, the Ticket and Transportation Center, boats etc., are nice relaxing ways to get off your feet. And find a nice place to sit while the rest of the party rides the off limits rides.

Remember to hydrate more than usual.

In my case, while I was in Ellen's energy adventure, the sound effects were so loud that it made the baby jump, so you might want to avoid that.

We also scheduled down time in our room in the afternoons, just an hour or two to regroup which we normally don't do, it made a world of difference. Just remember going Disney commando will not be pleasant, take it slow and enjoy a different Disney.

Thanks Sam!

Scott follows-up from an exchange of email I shared in the last Notes From the World: Oh, I agree.... the flurry of recent good news certainly outweighs the bad in this most unusual week. And as one who had lobbied hard for return of Early Entry, I'm definitely psyched. But I'm a big picture guy. I see almost all the positives as being more of a return of stuff cut, rather than a real enhancement, whereas the discontinuation of the complaint forms is a true step backwards, and one that seems to be part of a longer-term, concerted effort to minimize, bury or otherwise make invisible negative guest feedback.

Does the return of Early Entry mean they listen to guests? Hard for me to agree with that... as recently as a few weeks ago, the Disney rep who called me with my "personal response from the executive offices" assured me that, unfortunately "the executives" had NO plans to bring back an early entry program in the future, and specifically told me that they had received "very few" complaints about it being discontinued, and further that the Character Caravan was "extremely popular." All of which seems to be in contradiction to the recent news release (at best), or a lie (at worst). Of course, I can't document that she actually told me these things, as it was a phone call... But my point is, it left me with a feeling that:

  1. Disney wants to make it harder to lodge a complaint at the moment of it's happening (thus avoiding a need to make it right on the spot).
  2. Disney want to make it harder overall to make a documented negative comment by limiting the way in which it can be made to a medium that's pretty impractical within the park, which is a major step backward in customer service.
  3. Disney continues to find ways to ensure it's guest feedback interactions overall leave no records. And it also left me a mistrust of anything they might tell me in a phone call.

And yes, I think they DID get the message anyway. I just think that the wall keeps getting taller, though, which is going to make us all have to yell louder each time we really want them to hear us. Like a clerk at the store who gets deafer as she gets older, until we have to yell so loud at her for something that we have to really, really want it, or we just say it's not worth the bother and stop trying.

You know, Scott, if one was to question Disney on the issue, I'm sure he'd be told that Early Entry wasn't brought back and that "Extra Magic Hour is a totally new program designed to be even better and provide an improved guest experience." Somehow, I just figure that would be the line. The scheduled days of Extra Magic Hour did, indeed, get changed from Early Entry's old schedule. Animal Kingdom is now included (it wasn't before), but certainly the concept is the same.

In any case, I'm glad that Extra Magic Hour was either created or brought back. However, I agree that WDW hasn't even returned to the former services levels, much less improved.

Moving to a completely egotistical topic... In an editor's note, also in the last Notes From the World, I wrote:

"Yep, Deb (Wills of the WDWIG) beats me all the time. The only thing I can say is that I got all of my pages reworked to provide the information throughout the Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide... right down to the information on Extra Magic Hour as quickly as I could... plus, I have the entire text of the internal memo on the changes. I didn't see that on the WDWIG yet. Hey, what can I say? Deb does an awesome job, and I'm -- at best -- the #2 Walt Disney World information source. Anyway, it's obvious that there's room for both us us, since our site's both get a good number of hits each week."

Commenting on that note, Sam wrote: Hey Brian, Yeah, I subscribe to the WDWIG newsletter, and I check into Deb's site regularly, but pound for pound, I'd say you give better service, are more involved with your readers and more devoted to making people feel welcome.

So, # 2 in hits maybe, #1 in customer service.

Thanks again for the great site.

Thanks so much for the kind note, Sam. You made my day! :)

Sarah shares this tidbit: The Fantasmic Dinner package is now a prepaid dinner package.

The New dinner package consists of 3 dining options with set prices:

  • Tier 1: The Hollywood Brown Derby: $39.99
  • Tier 2: Mamma Melrose's: $32.99
  • Tier 3: Hollywood and Vine buffet: $22.99
  • The Children's price for all 3 tiers is 10.95

Guests can book the package up to 60 days in advance by calling 407-WDW-DINE or by stopping at any Guest Relations. Guests may pick up their dining coupons the the Disney/MGM Studios Guest Relations or at Hollywood Junction.

The Dining times are still the early bird dining.

Hope this helps.

Thanks Sarah!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled email...

   

Q.

Gina writes: Hi Brian, I read your site daily, even though we only travel to Disney World once a year. How sick is that? From the looks of it however, there are plenty of other people who suffer from this same obsession with Disney World! Anyway, I just wanted to update you on something that was news to me, and isn't even available on the Disney's Web site yet.

We usually book a Resort Magic Package and use the "flex feature" for a character breakfast for our family of 5. I recently called Central Reservations to book a package for August of 2003, and they have done away with both the Resort Magic and Deluxe Resort Magic packages. They have been replaced with the Dream Maker Package and the Dream Maker Silver Package. In the basic Dream Maker (alias Resort Magic) package, they have eliminated the long list of flex feature choices, (including our favorite character breakfast option) and pared it down to simply a choice of mini golf, or a story telling event. It still includes the room, ultimate park hopper passes and 2 pin lanyards with 2 trading pins.

I am not quite sure what the Silver version of the package offers (since we were not booking that package), but I think she said it included "magical wishes" whatever they are, and tickets to Cirque du Soleil. I would be interested to read anything in your column that you or your readers might know about these changes.

Love the site!!!

But before I was able to provide any useful information, Gina wrote back: As a follow-up to my earlier e-mail, I found a web site that lists all the 2003 Disney packages, the price for each, and what is included.

A.

Thanks Gina!

-

Q.

Brian,

It appears that the "Extra Magic Hour includes the whole park as contrasted to the past "Early Entry" which covered only Fantasyland and TomorrowLand. Do you know the scoop on this?

Thanks.

A.

Wade, I've not heard that... but if so, it's great news!

(Editor's Note: I was able to find out, unfortunately, that Extra Magic Hour doesn't cover the whole park. In any case, it's tremendous that WDW is adding the extra park time... whether or not you think of it as a reinstatement of a cutback or not, it's great news!)

-

Q.

Sabrina writes: I recently stumbled on to your site. I have enjoyed what I have read so far.I just got done reading your Disney boycott statement. As a Christian, I very much agree with what you said.

I felt a little guilty when they first called the boycott. I thought I was letting them down because I didn't agree with it. I have always liked Disney. It's still a good place to get away from it all and have fun. I also wish that they would go back to the family values they once had but a boycott isn't going to do that.

The Bible teaches us to hate the sin but love the sinner. This boycott comdemns both. I always wondered why Disney has been the only real target. There are several major cities that have gay parades. They aren't boycotting those cities. There are many corporations that have benefits for gay partners. According to them, we should be boycotting them too.

Prayer is really the only thing that is going to change situations and people. How are people's lives going to be changed if we turn our back to them? We are supposed to be an example to non Christians. I don't agree with homosexuality but I don't comdemn people because of it. They need Jesus in their lives just like alcoholics and drug addicts do. As you said, people have to do what they think is right for them. I'm praying for people on both sides of the issue. They all need it. Keep up the good work.

A.

I couldn't agree more, Sabrina.

-

Q.

Joann writes: Brian, I am one of many who has found your advice invaluable on so many topics. Your archive of trip reports is especially helpful. I promise to file one after our November trip with stays at both the Villas at Wilderness Lodge and the Beach Club Villas.

I also enjoyed reading about your family. Because I am of a different religion, I could not really fully relate to your story about Michael's adoption from a personal persective, but I still found it very moving. It also helped me remember that just because you do not have something in common with someone on one issue (religion) you can still find common interests (Love of Walt Disney World). Keep up the good work!

A.

Thanks for the kind note, Joanne. :)

-

Q.

Chip writes: Hey Brian great site. I was just wondering if you have ever done a photo tour of the Polynesian? If you have I can't seem to find it.

Also, I was wondering at a time when the Theme Park business especially at Walt Disney World isn't doing so well that it's a good idea to be raising their prices on their ticket media? I may be wrong but it seems Disney wants your money quicker now because if you order your tickets ahead of time it looks as though you would be paying the old price before their increase on September 8th. Am I right or wrong about this?

A.

Chip,

If you go to the main menu of MousePlanet's Walt Disney World Trip Planning guide, you'll find (as you scroll down) a list of all of the resort photo tours.

I do, indeed, have a photo tour of the Polynesian Resort.

On the ticket increase issue, I have three thoughts. First, you're right... several folks that were going to buy tickets soon were able to buy at the lower price if they moved fast enough. Second, I don't think the move was planned so that Disney would get a sudden, abeit unsteady, burst of cash flow. The reason I say that is that the price increase was done rather suddenly, without allowing a period of time to buy at the lower price. If Disney's goal had been to bring in a bunch of cash, they would have carefully announced the increases, then permitted a period of time when folks could buy at the older prices before the increase went into effect.

My third point, though, is that although price increases are never welcome, Walt Disney World had not increased prices at all in 2002 before September, so I can't begrudge them their increase. I'm just glad that some, if not all, of the cutbacks from the Fall of 2001 are being restored. That makes the price hike a bit more palatable.

-

Q.

Don asks: I made reservations at Dixie Landings [ Editor's Note: now Port Orleans Resort Riverside ] for two adults and three children under 11 with Travelscape and when I called the hotel three days later I was told it had been cancelled for having too many people. I then tried the same reservation at Riverside and called and the hotel confirmed, same rate, do you think they will try to charge an extra $15 per night on arrival?

A.

Don,

Most likely, yes, they will.

-

Q.

My Mom wrote and said: Brian, you're the most wonderful son in the whole wide world. I love you so much and your web site is the most incredible piece of textual craftsmanship I've ever read on planning a trip to Walt Disney World. You're brilliant and your intelligence, wit, and wisdom show through on ever page of MousePlanet's Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide! Those guys really should pay you handsomely for your work. :)

Can you do me a favor for our upcoming family reunion trip in December? Can you find out where we might have a group photo taken while everyone is together, without spending an arm and a leg (or going offsite to some photo studio?)

[ Editor's Note: OK, I admit it, my mom didn't write the first paragraph, but I'm sure she'd agree. ]

A.

Mom,

I've done some checking. Image Works, at the Imagination Pavilion at Epcot, can handle a group photo.

You may want to call them up at (407) 560-4111 to get more information, but as a start I found out the following prices:

5" x 7" print - $12.95
8" x 10" print - $16.95
Poster Size print - $24.95
Package including one (1) 5" x 7" and four (4) wallet size prints - $21.95

-

Q.

Ken asks: Hi Brian, my fiance' and I are getting married a day prior to entering Disneyworld, and are staying in the All Stars Movie Resort.

I called them to tell them that we are celebrating our honeymoon and they stated that they don't have anything special for honeymooners.

Any suggestions about getting a room upgrade or anything else? They did say that they do things for guests who have birthdays and couples celebrating anniversaries.

Suggestions?

A.

Ken,

You can hope for, but really shouldn't expect, upgrades because of your special occasion. What I would suggest you do, though, is call back and just ask that a note be added to your reservation about the honeymoon. Then, whenever you make priority seating arrangements or other arrangements, let those folks know that you're on your honeymoon! You and your bride might want to consider buying the special wedding Mickey ears so everyone at Walt Disney World will know you're celebrating.

Any special upgrades or anything you get can just be a pleasant surprise... rather than something you expect (because if you expect it, you just might be terribly disappointed).

Although not all of the suggestions will be useful to you, the page I recently added to the Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide on Military Honeymoons might be of help to you as you plan. Also, the page on planning a romantic at Walt Disney World has some helpful ideas.

-

Q.

Rick asked much the same question: Hi Brian, First off, terrific site!!!

I have a question, I am going down to Disney and am staying at the Polynesian Resort in a garden view room. I am going to propose to my girlfriend on that day, and was wondering if I contact the resort in advance, if they might upgrade me to a lagoon view (hopefully Cinderella castle) view. What is the best way to approach asking for this upgrade, faxing, calling them, anything special I should say?

A.

Rick,

My suggestion would be to call the resort and share what you're trying to do. Remember that there is never any guarantee of upgrades unless you're willing to pay for it... but you might luck out. Late September is a particularly quiet time at Walt Disney World, so it's more likely to be possible then than during Christmas week or mid-Summer. :)

Congratulations! and good luck!

-

Q.

Doug writes: Brian, I'm sure you hear it everyday, but Thank You for all your efforts! But, of course, there is an ulterior motive (aka, "Question") behind this email. My wife and I are planning a trip to Disney World for the Spring. Normally, we visit in November, before Thanksgiving, when the crowds are pretty low. Now that I'm looking into a Spring trip, here's what I seem to find concerning crowd levels: - Mid February: Crowds start picking up for Spring Break (How can "spring" break be in February? Has the world gone MAD? Mad, I tell you!) - Easter: Bad. Very bad. - Time between Easter and school ending: Not too shabby. A good time to visit. - Once school's out (beginning in early May): Yipe! Yipe! Yipe!

Historically speaking, the best option seems to be between Easter and the end of school. However, these estimates assume that Easter falls in March or early April; however, in 2003, Easter falls at the end of April, thus giving us a 13-second opening for low crowds before schools start letting out.

I guess you can see where I'm going here. Any idea when the least busy Spring Break times might be? We don't have to worry about taking kids out of school or anything like that, since the trip would just be my wife and I, and maybe a couple other (adult in age, if not disposition)family members. Will we be okay any time in March or April, as long as we give Easter a wide berth?

A.

Doug,

First of all, thanks for the kind words.

Before I give "my final answer," I do want to point out that in April and May, Epcot has it's International Flower & Garden Festival. The whole park is resplendent with topiary, lotus walls, hanging baskets, floating gardens, and bedding plants. It's definately a notch above the normal horticulture show at the park. If that's something that floats your, or your wives, boat, I'd highly recommend that you plan on a early May trip.

If that's not an issue, February through mid-April will be a bit lower in crowds (the earlier the better... getting worse as you approach Easter week.)

-

Q.

Mike writes: Can you tell me more about Walt Disney World's Transportation system?

A.

Mike, I would suggest that you go to the page in the Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide that lists my pages on Walt Disney World transportation and look over the sections at the very bottom that are headed, "General On-Site Transportation Issues," and "Walt Disney World Transportation Guide Charts." You'll get a good idea of what's involved in moving between the widely-spaced-out Walt Disney World facilities from those pages.

The one page on How to Use the Walt Disney World Transportation System is a particularly good overview complete with photos of the monorails, boats, and buses that make up the system.

-

Q.

Following up on some previous email, Scott wrote: Brian, Wow. You really do work fast. Thank you so much. However, I wonder if I can annoy you for just a little longer by asking just one more question (I don't know who's more excited about this trip - me or my six-year old daughter... OK, it's me).

We are attending using Florida Resident Four Season Passes (an excellent deal, I must say). Are we entitled to the same benefits as regular Annual Passholders (specifically the Annual Passholder lounges and free parking)?

Thank you again!

A.

Scott,

The Florida residents passes are not considered Annual Passes. Only Annual Passes and Premium Annual Passes officially qualify for those perks.

-

Q.

Mike asks: I didn't see it on the site in my searching but I was wondering, do the shops at Downtown Disney Marketplace accept Disney Dollars?

A.

Mike,

Yes, they do.

-

Q.

Bob shares this note: Brian, I was making the final payment on the resort reservation for my trip in January when I found out a few things about Character meals and Priority Seatings for some of them. I just thought I'd share them in case there was something you didn't already know.

First of all, I was very surprised to hear the Cast Member in reservations offer to make some priority seating arrangements for me. The first thing I learned was when the Crystal Palace re-opens they can take priority seating 60 days out (I thought Cinderella was the only 60 day one).

Second, I asked if it was easier getting priority seating for Cinderella's breakfast with the new policy in effect. She said it was at first but now it's back to being sold out within five minutes.

She offered me an alternative to Cinderella which was the third thing I learned. Apparently the Princess breakfast at the Akershus in EPCOT has been extended indefinitely. I was able to make priority seating for that breakfast while I was on the phone with her.

Just thought I'd share. Thanks again for your site, it's really helped me plan.

A.

Thanks Bob.

Actually, the reservations functions have gotten much more blurry in recent years. It used to be pretty clear that you called Central Reservations for hotel rooms and Walt Disney World-DINE for meals, but the two were merged awhile back. I don't think that's either good or bad, just Walt Disney World's attempt to streamline things internally.

Actually, there are several park restaurants (mostly in the Magic Kingdom, the Plaza Restaurant is one for example) that have 60 day limits.

Good new on the Ankershus breakfast, huh? :)

-

Q.

Lynnette writes: Hi, Brian, thanks for the wonderful site. I was so excited to read the special trip scenario responses. Well, enough about your terrific work, let’s talk about my questions. ;)

I am in a quandary and I hope you can help. We have just cancelled our planned February 2003 anniversary trip and scheduled a November 2002 family trip. When it was just me and my husband, I wasn’t worried at all about just using Disney transportation now I’m not so sure. We are staying at Wilderness Lodge and our son is 2 ¾ and almost 35 lbs. What would you suggest? We can rent a car or take a towncar service to WL and then use Walt Disney World transportation. Can/must you use car seats on the buses? We are planning to do Boma for an early breakfast. I had planned to take a taxi to Animal Kingdom Lodge, but I don’t know what to do with the car seat while we tour Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

A.

Lynnette,

I don't know what to say about needing a car seat for a taxi. You do not need them on the buses. We've taken both of our boys on the Walt Disney World transportation without any problems... and there are ways to get from resort to resort without using a taxi (but early in the morning would be a problem and a hassle in any case).

If breakfast at Boma is really on your critical list, you might want to consider a rental vehicle. You can check your car seat on the plane or use a rental one. My suggestion, though, would be to skip the rental and skip Boma this time around.

Q.

Following up, Lynnette wrote: Hi Brian, thanks for the suggestions. Another option that I hadn’t thought of which seems pretty obvious is to have a later breakfast. A later breakfast means we could hop a bus to Animal Kingdom and then grab a bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge or take a boat or bus to the Magic Kingdom and then a bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge. A Cast Member at Disney Dining made the suggestion when I was making the rest of our priority seatings last night. My little sister-in-law, another Disney fanatic, thinks the Boma breakfast is the best in the World.

I know you get a lot of fan mail, but you deserve another one. Your site has been immensely helpful to me in planning and stress-relief. I visit the site daily for at least a few minutes. I enjoy your columns and the trip reports. Your suggestions of downtime and non-commando attitude have struck a cord with me. While it seems like I have planned the trip to death, I have only picked restaurants and park days and not really worried about getting to every attraction. I am going to revisit the schedule now that early entry (now called Extra Magic Hour) is back.

By the way, you had a comment from a Disney specialist travel agent (a week or two ago) who stated that the questions posed to you are similar to what the travel agents get in training. I bet that the trainers visit your site and pull their questions from your columns. It makes sense for them since the questions are real and your answers provide the answer key. Maybe you are working for Disney and didn’t know it.

I will do a trip report for you when we get back.

A.

Thanks again, Lynnette. I needed some "fan mail" today. Thanks. :)

-

Q.

Tim posed a question: I have a quick question concerning the riverboat during a parade. When we saw the Main Street Electrical Parade last, the riverboat in frontierland moved out to the bend and stayed there for most of the parade, for a great view for the people on board. my question is, is this a usual happening, and who is allowed on? How do you get on? Or is this for special groups? I also noted that it backed up to its dock instead of its normal route around Tom Sawyer island. Thanks!

A.

Wow, Tim. You have me completely stumped! I have no idea... but I'll post your question in an upcoming Notes. Maybe someone out there does know. :)

Well, I hope you enjoyed the reader feedback for the Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide!  Feed free to send more questions or comments to brian@mouseplanet.com!

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More

Brian Bennett's Disney Trip Planner


Click here to see some awesome WDW pieces that have run on MousePlanet recently!

Click here to check out the rest of Brian's Archive, including all of the previously published "Notes From the World" pieces!

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!

 

Go to: Top | Section Contents | MousePlanet Main Page

Copyright MousePlanet® Inc. | Legal Information & Privacy Policy | About/Contact MousePlanet | Link to us

MousePlanet® is not associated in any official way with the Walt Disney Company, its subsidiaries, or its affiliates. The official Disney site is available at www.disney.com. This MousePlanet Web site provides independent news articles, commentary, editorials, reviews, and guides primarily about the theme park resorts of the Walt Disney Co. All information on this site is subject to change. Please call destinations in advance to confirm the most up-to-date information.