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Brian Bennett

Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide Reader Feedback

by Brian Bennett



A well-connected MousePlanet reader shared this note with me: Hi Brian, Just heard – and this is official – that Caribbean Beach Resort will begin reopening on December 21… a week ahead of schedule. The opening will be phased so that they don’t have 2000+ check-ins on opening day … that would be bad for the guests as well as the Cast Member’s.

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...

Continuing the emails that have flown around regarding Cinderella's Royal Table, I got these notes...

Lynne writes: Brian, as a follow-up to my question a few weeks ago regarding getting priority seating for Cinderella's Royal Table. I had started dialing the number prior to 7:00 and repeatedly dialing as some suggestions were made to me. I think it just happened to be my luck that week. About a week later, I was able to scoop up a table of four which had been canceled. There are seven us in the party, but at least my three daughters will be able to go. I also had gotten the reservations 120 days early for the Princess Breakfast in Norway, so they should be doubly happy! Thanks to Jen for asking how many agents were answering the phones at 7:00a.m.!

And this one from Lori: Hey Brian – I have one more suggestion for the Royal Table if no one mentioned it. We had trouble getting through on our first day and so we really made plans for the second day of trying. We borrowed two cell phones and had our own cell phone that morning. Therefore, my husband and I each had two phones we were dialing in with. With four phones working for us, we did get through that day but on only one phone. It was also about 2-3 minutes till 7:00a.m. when we got through. Just FYI – Multiple phones help.

Thanks to you both!.

Last time I personally made a serious effort to visit the Once Upon a Time Breakfast, I just kept hitting redial on my one phone (starting at about 6:50a.m.) and had good success.

Michelle commented about a note I'd written to Victoria:

"The way I handle trip report updates is this: First, I get the report (and the summary information -- that sometimes takes an email or two to get things settled). Second, I pre-format the report, doing a general cleanup of the text, spell checks, eliminating (as best I can) obscure acronyms, etc. Third, I take the text over to my HTML editor and format the report for the web. Fourth, I have to create the link on the index page in the archive AND "queue up" the trip report for splashing on the site's main page. Finally, I update the archive."

Hi Brian! It seems you have your hands full with those trip reports! :) Well, let it be said that there are many of us who enjoy them not only on lunch breaks but while planning Walt Disney World trips as well!

Then Michelle went on to write about Innovations: With that said, I had a quick note for Paul, who wrote in about Epcot and Innoventions,

"I was wondering if there is a place where I can find out about the new products and exhibits currently being shown at Innovations at Epcot? None of the websites I've seen have any detailed up-to-date info on exactly what's there now and what's been shown there in the past. It would be interesting to find out about for me."

I really dug Innoventions when my Husband and I were down there in July 02. However, I did happen to notice that the only "updates" for Innoventions were located and listed inside the Innoventions Building itself. I'm sure though that you can call Walt Disney World's general number and they can connect you or give you a number into Epcot to find out more. We did that for Magic Kingdom with no problems here in the State of Washington. They were very nice and extremely helpful! Hope this helps! Thanks again Brian... and Paul, have a great trip!

Thanks Michelle!

Mark provided this update: The Entertainment that is currently set for New Years Eve on Pleasure Island (subject to change):

  • B52's - West End Stage
  • Joan Jett and the Blackhearts - Motion
  • The Devonshires - Hub Stage
  • Chris Botti - Jazz Company

Thanks Mark!

A MousePlanet reader shares: In regards to the name change from "Dixie Landings" to "Riverside", I was told by a friend who works in Guest Relations that the reference to "Dixie" (in conjunction with the southern plantation mansion theme) was offensive to a small percentage of people and therefore was dropped. I don't know how official her information is but it certainly seems plausible to me. With all the controversy over the Rebel Flag lately, it certainly would make sense to try and remove any references to "the cotton-pickin' days of the old south" to soothe anyone who might be sensitive to these themes. I grew up in the South and no matter what the name is, the resort still captures all the beauty, romance and elegance that surrounded me my whole life. It's my favorite place to stay.

PS I forgot to mention that they also changed the name at the food court from the Colonel's Cotton Mill to the Riverside Mill. This seems to reinforce the theory behind the name change.

I wasn't aware of the mill's name change. However, I'm well aware of that theory for the resort's name change. I wouldn't be at all surprised that it's completely true, but no one within the company has either confirmed or denied the reason.

Steve writes: Here is the Extra Magic Hour information I picked up earlier this month. It already seems so long ago.

"Imagine an extra hour in a Walt Disney World Theme park to hit some rides and meet some characters. The Extra Magic Hour benefit is a very special time-and an exclusive benefit just for guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels. Please check the schedule on the reverse side, so you'll know which theme park is having the Extra Magic Hour benefit each day. Valid theme park ticket and resort ID required."


"Magic Kingdom-Sunday, Thursday

  • Astro Orbiter
  • Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
  • Cinderella's Golden Carrousel
  • It's a small world
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Main Street Vehicles
  • Peter Pan's Flight
  • Snow White's Scary Adventures
  • Space Mountain
  • The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Tomorrowland Indy Speedway
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority

"Epcot- Wednesday

  • Spaceship Earth
  • Test Track
  • Universe of Energy

"Disney - MGM Studios- Tuesday, Saturday

  • Jim Henson's Muppet Vision 3-D
  • Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
  • Star Tours
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

"Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park- Monday, Friday

  • Discovery Island Trails
  • It's Tough to be a Bug
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Pangani Forest Exploration Trail
  • Rafiki's Planet Watch
  • The Tree of Life

Thanks for everything you do.

Tremendous! Thanks so much Steve!

Dave shares his experiences with Fort Wilderness Campground transportation: Brian, In response to Susan regarding Fort Wilderness Campground transportation, you wrote:

"I've not heard much about the transportation service at Fort Wilderness of late. I really think, though, that it's not really possible to have a system that gets guests from a campsite to a park in a very short amount of time. Fort Wilderness is just too spread out. Of course, the tradeoff is the solitary, serene sense that guests at Fort Wilderness can enjoy. The bottom line is that Fort Wilderness transportation IS reliable... it's just not as fast as transportation to/from the other resorts. And there's a big difference between quick and reliable. :)"

We stayed at Fort Wilderness Campground for a week last month. The transportation overall was very good. There are some caveats, though. Pay very careful attention to the transportation guide! There are different methods to get to each of the parks and some may be more efficient than others depending on the time of day. For instance, to get to Epcot or Animal Kingdom, you took the Orange, Yellow, or Purple buses (depending on where you were you were staying in the campground) to the Outpost bus stop and caught the appropriate Disney Transportation bus to the park. To get to MGM, however, you needed to catch the bus to the Ticket and Transportation Center at the Settlement depot (we waited 30 minutes at the Outpost before asking the driver of a bus marked Special. He told us we needed to catch the Ticket and Transportation Center bus, but he'd drop us off at MGM on the way to the Magic Kingdom - nice guy!!) The fastest way to get to the Magic Kingdom are the boats (however, if you stay until the park closes, you'll have a bit of a wait to get back - 45 minutes in our case). You can also take a boat to the Contemporary and then hop the resort monorail for a tour around the lagoon. As long as the monorail doesn't break down (like it did for us...), that can be a fun way to get to the Magic Kingdom. It would also be a good alternative for getting home at the end of the evening.

Our wait times for buses were typically less than 10 minutes. We also had the advantage of staying in the 200 loop near the Settlement depot. That way, we could catch any of the three campground buses to the Outpost. The best advice I can give is: when in doubt, ask the drivers for help. They were very helpful and courteous the entire trip and even went out of there way at times to make sure we got where we wanted to go.

Hope this helps!

Tremendous! Thanks for the input, Dave.

After a reader asked about the million point prize for Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Play It, a Walt Disney World cast member sent me this note: Hi Brian. When I inquired as to the grand prize my manager said they are giving the million point winners a three night cruise for four on the Disney Wonder. Also the Regis opening has been dropped and nothing else added, which opens more playing time. As a final note, Meredith Viera will be taping shows during super soap weekend November 8 and 9 for the syndicated show.

By the way, great site, I love reading the notes from the world especially since I have never been to Disneyland but love Disney World. Keep up the great work!

Thanks so much, for the information and the kind note!

April writes: Brian, in your 10/29 column, Diane wrote:

"Brian, Hi, my family, friends, boyfriend etc. just don't quite share my enthusiasm for the mouse (well at least not on the same level) So without the clan, I'd like to take a trip this winter but would prefer not to hang out alone - at least not the whole time. Are there any groups that get together of single travelers at Disney? (shop, see attractions etc.) or Any type of bulletin board where you can chat with like minded souls about setting up group get together(s)? Just a thought..."

There is a board on the D-I-S Boards for Adults and Solo Travelers.

I don't know if they organize get-togethers (I hang out on their DCL cruise board more often), but it's certainly a possibility!

Dennis wrote a similar note: ...She can try to find a thread or post her own at under "Theme Park Attractions and Strategies" or under "Disney for Adults and Solo Travelers." I think she has to register to start her own thread, but can read existing ones without registering.

Thanks April and Dennis. I'm glad that the D-I-S regulars are reading MousePlanet and I hope Diane finds the information she's looking for over there, since I wasn't able to help myself.

Sam writes: Hi Brian, As always, thanks for the great site and amazing job you're doing!

Cheryl asked about the Tapestry of Dreams CD, it's called Illuminations Reflections of Earth Epcot Tapestry of Dreams, I know it's a hideously long title but that's what's on the CD cover! I bought it on my trip this past August, I'm pretty sure that I bought it at one of the vendor carts, perhaps Italy, but I'm not positive. I think I paid $19 for it, worth every penny to see my 3 1/2 year olds face when I start playing his favorite song, hey a, hey a hey a.....

Hope this helps.

Thanks Sam!

Mark writes: Hi Brian, in [your last] column, Scott asked about fireworks on nights when the parks close early this December.

I would suggest that he check out the park hours page at the Walt Disney World web site.

It appears that, while Spectromagic won't run every night, there will be fireworks at the Magic Kingdom every night during my trip Nov. 8-16. When the park closes at 6:00, the fireworks are scheduled for 6:15.

Also, I'd recommend continuing to check the site until departure on the trip, as the hours have already changed once or twice since they were originally posted.

On the same topic, Anne wrote: Brian, I just read your latest "Notes from the World" reader feedback piece. Thanks for all the help you give so many readers!

I just wanted to respond to the message from Scott about his November trip:

"If the Magic Kingdom closes at 6 on a Sunday night, does that mean no fireworks (we were thinking of watching from the beach at the Polynesian)? What about if it closes at 8 on a Saturday? If they are not every night, what nights does the Magic Kingdom have the fireworks?"

You responded that the Magic Kingdom usually doesn't have fireworks when it closes early. This is true most of the time, but for some reason, Disney has changed its schedules for most of this November, and there are fireworks at the Magic Kingdom nearly every night, including when it closes at 6.

Park hours and entertainment schedules for November are available at this URL.

This is great news for most of us who are going in November!

Thanks to you both.

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


Jennifer writes: Hi Brian, I am amazed that you can keep up with so much email. Thanks for your work.

My question is about the pros and cons of being offsite, at the Disney Village (editor's note, now called "Downtown Disney"), or in a Disney resort. We're traveling with my husband and myself and our daughters who are 4 and 1 1/2 in February.

It's important to me to have something with a separate bedroom area so that my kids can take naps and go to bed and my husband and I have somewhere to be (other than hiding in the bathroom). Therefore, we're considering Holiday Inn Family Suites (have heard good things, but they're offsite), Doubletree Guest Suites (I'm still confused about how stuff at Disney Village works, but I assume that means there's better transportation but still not officially a Disney Resort), and a Fort Wilderness Cabin (we'd like to be able to do the stuff offered at the campground and use the transportation, but this seems to be the most expensive option at that time of year with the deals I'm finding). We will probably have a car.

We're going to spend every other day in the parks, so we need to be somewhere we can do things on our "resting days". Also, we didn't know if you were allowed to go and do the campground things (i.e. the movies, petting zoo, etc.) if you weren't staying in a Disney resort. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks so much.



I think you have the analysis pretty much under control. You are allowed to enjoy the Fort Wilderness facilities as a non-Disney resort guest, but that excludes the use of the pools and the campfire program.

You might want to consider Old Key West, the Villas at Wilderness Lodge, the Beach Club Villas, the Boardwalk Villas, and the Villas at the Disney Institute as onsite alternatives. You'll pay more at those resorts than for a comparable room offsite, but you'll have all of the Walt Disney World facilities available to you and the transportation situation will be much improved, too.

There's more information on this page regarding the Downtown Disney resorts.



Following-up, Jennifer asks: Thanks for such a prompt response. Just a few follow up questions:
  1. Is the campfire program the movie with the Chip and Dale thing?
  2. Do you know if Doubletree participates in the Extra Magic Hour program?
  3. What's the deal with transportation from Doubletree (I know that some of the non-Disney hotels use Disney transportation)?

Thanks again, and I'll try not to keep bugging you!



Yes, the campfire program is the sing-a-long and movie with Chip and Dale.

The Doubletree Suites Resort at Downtown Disney MAY participate in the Extra Magic Hour. I'd suggest you call the resort and ask, since the various Downtown Disney resorts vary on what "on site privileges" they provide (I suppose the contracts with Disney vary from resort to resort).

The transportation from the Doubletree Suites Resort at Downtown Disney is NOT Walt Disney World Transportation, but is shared (contracted separately) between several of the Downtown Disney resorts. You'll find that the bus stops not just at the Doubletree but at two or three of the other resorts in Downtown Disney as well. In my experience (when I stayed at the Hilton several years ago), that is not a problem at all, it just takes a little extra time.

However, since the buses are not officially operated by Walt Disney World Transportation, you'll find a difference in the drop off and pick up locations at the parks. Instead of being dropped off and picked up at regular stops close the park entrances, you'll be out in the shuttle parking lot area, several hundred yards farther than the Walt Disney World buses. At the Magic Kingdom, things are a bit worse, because the non-Disney shuttle drop off / pick up area is at the Transportation and Ticket Center and not directly adjacent to the park -- so that means a monorail or ferry ride from the Ticket and Transportation Center to the park will add a bit to your transit time.



Allen writes: From what I've seen, you've put a lot of work into this site. GOOD JOB! But one thing that I see that you don't have, or I couldn't find it, is what about the price list for the campgrounds? Did I overlook it or something?

I am in the process of redoing a camper that I bought from a friend and planning on doing Disney for Christmas for my girl friend and her kids. Think that it would really be a different kind of Christmas. Don't you think? But need to find out what campground prices are to start planning.



You'll find the rates on the Walt Disney World Resorts from A to Z page under the "room rates" section.



Sandra also had a question about Fort Wilderness Campground: How can I make reservations in the Fort Wilderness Campground?



I'd suggest you call Walt Disney World's central reservations office at (407) 934-7639.



Scott writes: Brian, I have an unusual but pleasant question to ask you. Several weeks ago I called Disney dining regarding the Cinderella breakfast at the Magic Kingdom. Of course they told me that you had to call before 7:02 a.m. or the breakfast would be booked after that. They told me about the new Storybook Princess Breakfast at the Restaurant Akershus in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot. They had openings for one of the days that we would be in Florida on vacation. I decided to book the reservations and they told me to try and call for the Cinderella breakfast when the reservation window opens. I tried for a few days and on the last day I got through and made our reservations.

Here comes the good part. It seems that the reservations are for the same day. Not wanting to eat breakfast twice, could you please explain some of the differences in the two different character breakfasts and which one do you think our readers prefer?



Congratulations on your coup! :)

The prices of the two breakfasts are the same. The character breakfast at Cinderella's Royal Table is pre-plated and includes Cinderella (of course). The one at Akershus is served "family style" and does NOT include Cinderella (she's exclusive to the castle). The main differences then, are the manner in which the food is served (pre-plated versus "family style), the princess that appear, and the location.



Amie writes: My family of 4 (kids ages 3 & 6) are going on our first Walt Disney World vacation. My husband has never been and he doesn't see what the big deal is about (actually asked why we couldn't just go back to six flags!). The last time I was there was in 1996 (Epcot). After much debate, we are staying onsite at Coronado Springs for 4 nights. We are arriving the Sunday before Thanksgiving & leaving Thanksgiving Day. My question is, have we avoided the "rush" by leaving before the holiday? I really want this to be a good trip so I'm planning a lot!

Thanks for the great site!

PS we're on a budget, so I've only scheduled 2 character things... Donald's Breakfastausaurus& the Ice Cream Social. Any other suggestions?



You'll miss the worst of the crowds since you'll be leaving on Thanksgiving Day, but the whole week is significantly more busy than the weeks immediately before and after that week. If you could go on your trip a couple of weeks earlier or later, you'd do much better.

My only other suggestions for character things since you're on a budget is to make an effort to search out the characters in the park if you really want to find them. That way you can spend time with them for free. :)



Lisa inquires: Dear Brian, I love your website! It has been really helpful.

My family and I are planning a trip to Walt Disney World for November 29 - December 6. I think we will skip the parks on Saturday (11/30), but I wondered if you had any advice on how crowded the parks might be on Sunday (12/1)? Which park might be least crowded? We hope maybe a lot of visitors might be heading home that day.

Thanks for your help.



You'll find that the whole weekend, and in fact for a full week or so after Thanksgiving, that crowd levels will be significantly higher than the few weeks before and after that holiday. That will be true for Sunday, too.

Epcot and Animal Kingdom are your best bets for such crowded days, just because both of those parks are so huge that the crowds tend to spread out.



Kelly writes: Hi, could you answer my questions as soon as possible, leaving for a trip soon. Can you pay by check? For tickets, shopping, resorts? Thank you!!!!!!



I don't have any information that definitively says you can pay by personal check. I think you should take along your credit card, or else get traveler's checks as an alternative (I know traveler's checks are accepted).



Stephen writes: Hello! - First time at your site - GREAT SITE!

I am trying to find park hours for the end of April through all of May 2003 (or hours for the same time in 2002 for comparison).

We went last year in October when the parks closed early (didn't see the parks lit up at night) so we are trying to make sure this time around they are open late during that time.

Thank you in advance for your time!



I don't have specific hours for that time. However, if you plan to visit during the two weeks that straddle Easter, you'll have the longest park hours. Of course, the negative that offsets that is that the parks are very busy during that time, too.



Tam writes: Hi, Its our first trip to Disney, we're 40!! with 2 preteens. We have reservations at the Beach Club resort with the Discovery Magic plan.

The question I have for you is this: Would you know of a specific room to ask for if we wanted to be near / overlooking or in some manner to see the main pool area (second floor would be good). I have just torn the cartilage in my knee and we are due to leave in a short time and I'm not sure of the healing time. This way I could watch the girls from the balcony if the knee isn't feeling great and I would like to be able to stay off it! We want a great room with a view and a balcony.

You are great to take your time and help us all with your very informative web site Thank you, as I have already gotten many tips.



No, I don't have a specific room number to recommend. What I would suggest you do, though, is make a call back to Walt Disney World reservations and explain your situation. I'm sure that they'll put a note on your reservation that will make your request clear. In any case, remember that Walt Disney World will not guarantee that such requests are granted, but they'll do their best.



Dianna writes: Dear Brian, I love your site and appreciate everything you do. My friends think I know a lot about Disney and the parks however, I feel like I know nothing compared to your vast knowledge.

Here is my question/problem. I think I renewed my Disney Club membership for no reason. We are going to Walt Disney World in December. We have bought a friends time-share for the week of 12/7/02 to 12/14/02.

I only renewed my Disney Club membership to save on theme park admission tickets. I questioned a not very friendly cast member yesterday at the Disney Store about costs and discounts. She advised that as of October DC no longer offered a discount on theme park tickets purchased at the Disney Store. She advised this became effective in October. I know the tickets are cheaper to buy in advance. However, I was still under the impression that I would get an extra discount with the DC card.

Please fill me in on what you know about this new rule. I am hoping maybe my grumpy cast member just did not want to deal with it. I have not purchased tickets at this time.

Thank you so much.



You CAN still get Disney Club annual passes at the Disney Stores, but you're right that the discounted Disney Club four- and five-day park hopper passes are no longer available there. Instead, you'll have to wait to get your discounted Disney Club passes at Walt Disney World. At least for now, they are still available at the on site ticket sales locations. I'd suggest you call the Disney Club and find out what their prices are (for the park hopper passes that are still sold at Walt Disney World) and compare those prices against the discounted park hoppers that the Disney Stores still do sell. I think you'll find that waiting until you arrive at Walt Disney World and using that Disney Club discount will still result in some savings.



Cathy writes: I'm sure that you get sick and tired of hearing what a wonderful site you have, but just bear with me so I can tell you one more time. It really is very informative and entertaining.

This may sound like a weird question, but I've heard it discussed somewhere before. It is about wearing duct tape on your feet when doing all of the walking at the parks. My feet and lower back are the things that give me the most trouble. Any suggestions would be very helpful.

Also, do you know anything about the Boma restaurant at the Animal Kingdom Lodge? Sounds like an interesting dining experience. Keep up the good work!!!



Sorry, but the duct tape thing is a new one for me. What I do is this... first, I make sure that I have a good pair of walking shoes. For me that usually means a good pair of cross-trainers or running shoes. Second, I get replacement insoles for those shoes if the existing insoles are more than a few months old (in fact, the replacement insoles are often significantly better than even the original, new soles that come with those shoes!). Another idea is to use multiple pairs of socks. Personally, I prefer the replacement insoles, as I think that provides better support and cushioning, but some folks like the two pairs of socks thing. To each, his own.

Just for free, a couple of other suggestions that I've used is the two-pairs of shoes idea -- so you can switch off your shoes a time or two during the day (that's especially nice during hurricane season if you get deluged... the ability to have dry feet is a blessing!)

If you have chronic problems, you might want to talk to your doctor and visit a podiatrist before your trip. Painful feet can be a terrible drag when you're on a Walt Disney World vacation, so I'd recommend that you take all possible precautions.

Boma is a much happier topic. It truly is a tremendous restaurant. The dishes are many, the selection is varied, and the food is wonderfully flavored. The dessert bar alone is worth the price of admission! If you make plans to go over to Animal Kingdom Lodge, I can't recommend Boma enough.

How's that for an endorsement? :)



Elizabeth writes: Hi Brian, I was hoping you could help me out with something. I thought I had read that Disney cast members would trade you one of their Disney pins for a non-Disney pin brought from home. Is this true? I'm getting ready to leave for Disney and am not sure if I should hunt around for some pins before I leave.



Disney cast members are obligated to trade with guests, but I don't know what the rules are for that "obligation." It wouldn't surprise me if only Disney pins are included in that rule. However, if you have a pin that a cast member (or anyone else) would really want, Disney or not, I'm sure you'll find someone that would be willing to trade.



Susan writes: Brian, we are a family of two adults and three kids (ages 11, 11, and 9). We are planning on visiting Disneyworld and are very confused as to how we figure out how we should organize this.

Should we stay in a Disney Resort which normally includes entry into parks, etc. or stay outside of Disneyworld (which is cheaper) and purchase all entries, food etc. separately?

If we stay outside, how do we easily get to the parks?

I thank you for your help.



In MousePlanet's Walt Disney World 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.

On the Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide's accommodations index page you'll see several pages listed that deal with accommodations issues. Specifically, the one on the "Onsite, Offsite Debate" is the one that you might want to read to decide what kind of accommodations are best for you.

Be aware that merely staying at a Disney resort does NOT include admission to the parks unless you specifically pay for "Unlimited Magic" passes, which provides that length-of-stay access to the parks.

Regarding the issue of transportation from an offsite resort to Walt Disney World, the best two options would be to stay at a resort that offers a free shuttle or get a rental car and drive.

Anyway, if, after you'd surfed through those pages, there are questions you don't have answers to, let me know and I'll be happy to help as best I can.



Ron asks: I'm looking for a place to stay for three to four weeks such as an extend-a-stay. Any help? Thanks.



MousePlanet now maintains a bulletin-board-based review system for resort and restaurant reviews. Be aware, though, that the review system has only been up for a few weeks, so I don't know how many reviews are now in the system. Hopefully you'll find some help there.

Other than that, you might want to try a Google search for an extended stay resort in the Orlando area.



Craig writes: Dear Brian, been reading your work for some time now and have found it very useful. I'm taking my family to Walt Disney World in December (me, my wife, and our two kids ages 2 1/2 and 4) and have 4 day hopper passes.

Our arrival day will get us to the world at around 6:00p.m. I don't want to use day one of our passes for 2 hours on that day, but I've heard that the turnstiles at Epcot are opened up for free admission immediately prior to Illuminations. Is this true? If so, it would be a nice way to start our mini-vacation.

Thank you for your help.



I've heard that the International Gateway gates sometimes open before the park actually closes, but I've not been able to confirm that.

Personally, I'd suggest you plan to just visit some of the other resorts that evening as a warm up. It would be quite a disappointment to go all the way to the International Gateway only to find it closed.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the reader feedback for WDW Trip Planning Guide!  Feed free to send more questions or comments to!

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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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