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MousePlanet Mailbag for December 19, 2002

We receive considerable feedback regarding our site. Although we cannot publish all of them, the following may be of interest to other readers.

Feedback for Brian Bennett

Marty R. asks:

I've been able to locate a list of penny press machines in Disneyland on your site but not for Disney World. We just got back with only 18 pennies for each of our children and I'd really like to know how many more there were and should be on our list for our next visit to WDW. These are the most inexpensive souvenirs at the parks.

Marty: I don't maintain a pressed penny list, but I know that there are internet sites out there that do. I'd suggest you perform a search on Google or some other good search engine and I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for.

[Editor's note: One good WDW pressed penny site is at http://www.geocities.com/wdwpennies/.]

Phrank writes:

When I make a reservation at a Disney World Resort I usually request a certain building and floor level, such as Building 6 and a top floor at Port Orleans French Quarter. Of course, my understanding is that the room location request is not guaranteed. I noticed in reading the new Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World that in many of their resort reviews they actually list the room numbers to request if you are interested in the best view, location, etc. I guess my question is, what are the odds in actually getting a specific room request at a resort, or getting a room very close to the requested room? If I ask for, say, room 5301 at Wilderness Lodge are the reservationists just laughing to themselves about my specific request or is it a reasonable request. I understand that I can't request a specific room with a water view if I'm paying for a standard view.

One comment on room requests: several years ago we stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter twice in a year, once in January and once in September. I only requested the room be non-smoking. We wound up in the exact same room both trips. What a surprise to walk into the room the second time, look around and realize it was the same room.

Phrank: I do the same thing that you do: request a specific location and type of room. I'm sure that if there was a good reason why a specific room was requested, "it was the room we stayed in during our honeymoon" or some such thing, the WDW folks would do their best to meet the request. In other words, such a request is not unreasonable.

However, if no good reason was given, my fear is that such a request would be so specific that if it couldn't easily be fulfilled, the folks assigning the rooms would just ignore the actual intention of the request (that is, that the room be in a given general location or have some specific features).

Chris B. writes:

As a frequent traveler to WDW and a business owner that must stay in contact with my staff and clients, I was wondering if the resorts offer any high-speed internet connections?

Chris: Unless the resorts have added such service very recently and thus I'm just unaware of it, no, they do not.

In their defense, the WDW resorts do not, as a rule, cater to the business traveler. Although they do hold conventions and so on, the vast majority of their business is for vacationers.

[Editor's note: The Swan & Dolphin hosts conventions; they may have the network connections you are looking for. In addition, a number of nearby off-property hotels, such as the Gaylord Palms, have state-of-the-art facilities that cater specifically to the corporate conventioneer.]

Pam writes with help for another reader:

In your 11/25/02 Reader Feedback, Jennifer asked about staying in the North Garden Wing at the Contemporary Resort through the Shades of Green. We stayed there through Shades of Green the first week of November 2002. It was wonderful! Our room was quite spacious and looked as though it had been rehabbed in the past couple of years. We had a nice water view from our sliding glass doors and we could watch the fireworks at Magic Kingdom right from our room! The pool area is very nice - great water slide. Chef Mickey's is always a lot of fun, but perhaps just a little too convenient staying so close - ate there three times - gets a little pricey! You can't beat the location - we walked to Magic Kingdom, didn't take more than 10 minutes, even with little feet making the trek. This was one of our favorite Disney vacations (we go every autumn) and staying at The Contemporary was one of best parts! Hopes this helps Jennifer!

Tremendous! Thanks for the feedback, Pam.

A reader asks:

Does WDW sell a miniature collectible of the Old Key West lighthouse?

I'm not certain that they do, but I'm certain that the most likely place to buy such a thing would be the Conch Flats General Store at Old Key West Resort. You can call the resort at (407) 827-7700 and request to be connected to the store and ask them directly. If they have it, I'm sure you can make the necessary arrangements.

Jodi had a question about Disneyland:

I understand Disneyland is busy during spring break (March 22 through 30, 2203), but that it is also busy on all weekends all year long. Will it be busier on Tuesday and Thursday of spring break week, or on a weekend during January, February, or March (not during spring break)? Thank you so much for your help and your great website.

Jodi: It would definately be more busy during late March than a weekend January or February. By March, it might be a closer call. If I were planning the trip, I'd shoot for late February or early March as the best overall time to go.

Feedback for Ian Parkinson

Joe from Phoenix writes:

I have enjoyed reading all the information you have provided MousePlanet in regards to Disneyland Paris Resort. I look forward to future articles and reviews. I do have a question or two, if you do not mind answering.

My partner and I am trying to plan a two- or three-night stay at the Disneyland Paris Resort with an additional three or four nights in Paris or London. Unfortunately, our budget will be very tight and we will be looking for the best and cheapest deals we can find. With that said, DLP will be the exception. My partner and I visit Disneyland (California) about every four months and WDW about every two years so we figure the "mouse" will drain our bank account in the Paris park as much as it does in the American parks!

If we do go to the Disneyland Paris Resort, I will stay at the Disneyland Hotel. I do not care if the duration of our trip is spent sleeping on a park bench or in a cardboard box but the Disneyland Hotel is a must.

My questions to you:

1. What season (as far as low, shoulder and high) would June 1 thru 7 be considered?

2. Could you give me a rough estimate of room rates per night in a standard (garden and park views) room and a Kingdom Club room?

3. Do prices include breakfast (in America, they do not) and if so, what does the breakfast consist of?

4. Is it better to purchase a package or book hotel and pay tickets separately?

5. Would it be cheaper to eat at Val de Europe rather than Disney Village, or are they about the same?

Though I have never been to Disneyland Paris, I did work and train two management team members during 1991-1992 when I was a cast member lead at WDW. Unfortunately, after six years with the Walt Disney Co., I departed the company due to a sudden health crisis in which my kidneys failed. I am happy to report that I received a transplant in 1998 and am doing well. Despite the "politics," working at WDW was an everyday joy because of the many wonderful people, from all over the world, that I met and greeted each day.

If you can send me any or additional information, I would appreciate it.

Joe: Thanks for the praise about the Web site, and my stories. I will do my best to help you, but I must also recommend the official Disneyland Paris web site for prices. You will find the official site at www.disneylandparis.com.

The Disneyland Hotel is a great hotel, but in my opinion the extra cost does not really make it much better than the other mid-price hotels. I personally prefer the Sequoia Lodge Hotel, only 5 minutes walk away from the park, but a much better price.

You can still visit the Disneyland Hotel for meals, drinks, shops, etc. The rooms are not much bigger and the facilities are basically the same. It does have the best location, but the other hotels can have a great view of the lake as well.

"What season (as far as low, shoulder and high) would June 1 June 7 be considered?"

There are only two seasons at DLP: Low and High. June is considered High Season.

"Could you give me a rough estimate of room rates per night in a standard (garden and park views) room and a Kingdom Club room?"

The best thing to do is get a quote from the Disneyland Paris, using their Web site. I did a quick quote on the Web site myself for you, the details are below.

"Do prices include breakfast (in America, they do not) and if so, what does the breakfast consist of?"

Prices include breakfast, which usually consists of bread, croissants, meats, cheese, cereals, yogurt, juice, coffee, milk, but nothing cooked.

"Is it better to purchase a package or book hotel and pay tickets separately?"

I think the packages are quite good and make things a little easier for you, here is an example

"CLASSIC" Package: 2 nights / 3 days. This package includes:

  • Accommodation for 2 nights in the Disneyland Hotel
  • Unlimited access to the Disney Theme Parks (Park Hopper ticket) during your entire stay, from day of arrival to day of departure. This would give you three days entry to both parks.
  • Breakfast at your hotel.
  • Arrival date: June 02, 2003
  • Departure date: June 04, 2003
  • Total Price: 534.00 (approx. $800) for 2 people

This is only an example, use the site to get a price for you.

As a comparison the same package at the Sequoia Lodge would be 320 ($480), that's 214 ($320) less!

"Would it be cheaper to eat at Val de Europe rather than Disney Village or are they about the same?"

It's not that different as far as prices go, and you would need to travel to Val d'Europe, which would be a pain on a regular basis, using the train both ways, or a bus/taxi. Food is not really expensive at the Disneyland Resort, but full service food is much better quality than fast food. My favorites are the Buffet at the Disneyland Hotel, Hunter's Lodge at Sequoia Lodge, and Annette's Diner at Disney Village.

I'm sure you will have a great time. Keep reading MousePlanet. Have you seen all the old stories? If not, have a look at www.mouseplanet.com/paris.

I hope that helps, and have a great trip.

In the last mailbag, I asked if anyone had photographs of the wonderfully detailed trees that support the roof inside the Disneyland Paris Castle.

Michael Sandstrom has very kindly sent two photos to MousePlanet to share with our readers.

Michael says:

Hello. Since I love Disneyland, and I also enjoy your site and stories. I'm glad to send along these photos from the opening days detailing the tree forms inside the Castle.

A photo of the tree forms in the Castle at Disneyland Paris

Another photo of the tree forms in the Castle at Disneyland Paris

Happy Holidays!

Feedback for Alex Stroup

Dan R. writes:

As a Mouseplanet reader since day one, I just want say how much I enjoyed today's edition. I especially enjoyed the new DL/DCA column ( I live in So. Calif.), as I feel there hasn't been enough coverage of these parks lately in Mouseplanet. The Disney World column is great too, as its fun to see what's going on at the Orlando parks. Now if you could convince the great David Koenig to write his column a little more often, it would be a perfect world!

Dan: Thank you for the kind words. We have been very gratified by the initial response to our new Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World park update columns. Just so you and the rest of our readers know, it is our intention to keep the schedules in those columns through the week, should anything change, and to come out with a completely updated version every week. If you have any tips, rumors, or general information that you want to see covered, be sure to drop us a line! We're still fleshing things out and are open to suggestions.

Richard A. writes:

In case you're taking a survey ... your site was medicore, redundant, yet fun to read ONLY when Al wrote a column. Now, with AL gone, yuour site is lifeless, dull and I will not return. Take care.

Richard: First of all, Richard, I would like to thank you for waiting two entire days before passing judgment on MousePlanet now that Al Lutz has moved on. Your patience is appreciated.

But the reason I'm sharing your letter with our readers is that you raise a very important issue. "In case you're taking a survey," you said. As a matter of fact, we are taking a survey. MousePlanet is in a constant state of survey taking. What we want of our readers, more than anything, is feedback, for you to let us know how we're doing. What you like, what you don't like. Anything is fair game, and everything is read. So everybody, write to our writers or me and let us know what's on your mind.

P.S.: I lied a little bit there. What we really want most from our readers is for you to click on every banner ad you see and then buy two of whatever you find yourself looking at (except those miniature cameras, those are kind of creepy). But feedback is a very close second.

Danielle asks:

Are you guys taking Christmas off again this year?

Yes we are, Danielle. Though we hope to leave everybody with enough new stuff to bridge the gaps, we've decided to release the entire staff from their chains for the holidays. MousePlanet will not be pubilshing anything new (unless something major breaks) on the following days: December 24, 25, 26, 30, 31, and January 1. We will return to our normal schedule on January 2. Please do note, that Friday, December 27 will be a normal day for MousePlanet.

Thank you everybody for your questions, and please keep writing.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Do you have specific questions about an upcoming trip to Disneyland, Walt Disney World or another park, or do you need help with your trip planning? While you can contact one of the columnists, we encourage you to join our special MousePlanet community on our MousePad discussion board. There, you will find like-minded Disney park fans who can try to help answer your questions.

VOICE YOUR OPINION

Did you read something interesting (good or bad) on MousePlanet, or here in the Mailbag? We'd love to hear from you! Send your comments to the Mailbag here.

We welcome your questions and comments, but keep in mind that all questions submitted to MousePlanet become property of this Web site. Letters of interest to the readership may be published, and may include your full name unless you specifically request that your last name not be published. They may be edited for length or style and in consideration of a family readership. Questions may also be quoted on other parts of the site as well.

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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.