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MousePlanet Mailbag for Thursday, October 21, 2004
Kimberly A. writes:
Hi Kimberly The location that sells the refillable mug is White Water Snacks, located in the Grand Californian Hotel. While you can refill it all you want, you cannot take it into the parks to refill. Since you are staying at the Grand Californian, though, it might be worth purchasing so you can enjoy the soft drinks at your hotel, and your swimming pool area.
My understanding is that the mini-fridge is not standard in your room, but that you can request one with your reservation.
If your room comes with a stocked fridge, yes indeedy, you will be charged for anything you eat out of them. Stocked fridges are notorious for being very expensive. A can of soda pop might cost $4 a can! We were recently at a Grand Hyatt in Seattle, where I believe soda cost $5 a can. Hard to believe.
Since stock fridge items are so expensive we've never used them ourselves, so I don't know exactly how charging them works. I believe housekeeping checks when they clean the room, so that they can make sure items are restocked, and they will add that charge to your bill that day. Sometimes I wonder if those fridges have sensors and charge you automatically when you remove an item, kind of like a vending machine. I'm not sure. I just know to stay away from those expensive things.
If your room comes with a stocked fridge or you get no fridge, consider picking up a cheap styrofoam cooler, or bring a collapsible cooler with you (you can use it as one of your carry-ons). Stuff it with hotel ice, and keep drinks and snacks in them. That will help you keep some of your snack costs down. Keep in mind you won't be able to take the cooler into the parks, although you can take small packages of snacks such as fruit roll-ups for your kids to help tide them over in between meals.
As for the Fantasmic Dessert Buffet, it is definitely something I would recommend everyone try at least once, especially for a special occasion. The last time I went was the night my husband proposed to me, so of course that was very special!
Keep in mind they don't have a child's price for the buffet. The food is nice, and you definitely want to make sure to only have a light supper so you can eat as many pieces as you can manage, but the big experience is to sit at the balcony for the great view. It sure beats having to wade through the crowds and sit on the ground for a few hours.
I believe Disneyland will now take reservations a month in advance, so it won't be too late for you to phone in your reservation for your trip should you decide to do it. You will definitely feel very pampered and decadent. Make sure to bring a camera with you, and have the cast members take photos of you and your family at the balcony as well! Such memories are to be treasured, and photos are the best way to remember.
I hope these help you answer your questions. Feel free to ask me if you have anymore.
Sometimes it seems like the only time we hear from a lot of readers is when we publish something they don't like or agree with. So we were very pleasantly surprised when we got such great feedback about Lani's Souvenirs on a Shoestring article on how to stretch your souvenir budget. The following are just some samples of the positive feedback that came in.
Simone M. writes:
Becky Barker writes:
Faye Gurrola writes:
Kevin O'Neal writes:
I'm glad you found the article useful!
If you stay at any of the Disneyland Resort hotels, make sure to go to the hotel concierge desks; you can get free Happy Birthday buttons with a person's name. You can pick up one for a friends with an upcoming birthday.
I don't know if it they still do this, but the bank on Main Street used to give out free pressed pennies. I couldn't verify at the time of publication whether they were still doing this.
Always check the Disney Gallery and the Disneyana Store. If there is an upcoming promotion or a special event, they sometimes have free promotional posters, postcards, or flyers they are giving away. We got Pirates of the Caribbean posters before the movie was released this way.
Many of the restaurants in Disneyland have various promotions -- spend at least X dollars (usually around $20) and get a free pin or patch.
Hmmm... I guess I just forgot about these when I wrote the article!
Kelly Dixon writes:
Hi Kelly You are probably thinking of Shades of Green. It's not run by the military, but by MWR (Morale, Welfare, & Recreation), for the benefit of those in the military as well as the U.S. Department of Defense. Shades of Green is located on-property at the Walt Disney World Resort, and rates will vary depending on your rankE1 through E5s (enlisted personnel) only pay $72 for a standard room (whereas an O4 [in the Army, that would be a major] might pay $104 for that same room), so it encourages those of all ranks to stay there.
Shades of Green had an extremely extensive rehab that lasted over a year, and they have just reopened recently.
You can get all the infomration you need from their Web site, at http://www.shadesofgreen.org.
Hope that helps!
Hi Sherry We recently had a reader, named Christal, who was concerned about the same thing (link). A number of folks offered tips (link), but the general consensus was that the Orange Stinger and Maliboomer were just about the only rides at the Disneyland Resort (and those two are in Disney's California Adventure) that were tough to fit into.
Sherry, I don't know if your husband requires the use of an ECV (electric convenience vehicle), but he might wish to do rent one at the parks so he can get around more easily.
You will be happy to know that if he has difficult getting in and out of rides, that the cast members will be very accommodating. Many ride units have wide bench-type seating (such as the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean) so he can take up as much space as he needs.
Have a wonderful vacation. Your first trip to Disneylandhow exciting! :)
Hi Susan Yes, it sure is! However with the opening of Disney's California Adventure park in 2001, Disney remodeled the old Pan-Pacific Hotel, and reopened it as the Paradise Pier Hotel.
The monorail can be ridden by anyone who has admission media into Disneyland, but the monorail does not stop in Disney's California Adventure. It does go through it, though, as it drives over the model of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge near the entrance to DCA.
If it's been seven years since your last visit, you will be pleased to know that the entire area around the Disneyland Resort has been updated to look pretty spiffy. The stretch between Disneyland and the hotels is now part of Downtown Disney, a thriving and very popular shopping district. While the monorail ride is always fun, the walk to Disneyland from the Disney hotels is more pleasant because of Downtown Disney.
Shannon Nakatsu wrote:
For the most part, they're pretty good. I think they make a real effort to meet their publically posted deadlines. That said, they are known to revise their schedules... so instead of just letting a deadline lapse, they might continue to revise their rehab dates and tweak them as they go along.
In general, it's best to keep your fingers crossed.
Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact us at the Lani here.
Hi Blaine I do know that wages vary depending on position, seniority and timing (third-shift custodial makes the most money of anyone). Everyone makes at least minimum wage... go to their hourly jobs page (link) and you can see what the hourly rates are for a variety of roles. Many of the roles are unionized. From what I understand, you get yearly reviews with your lead/manager and at that time you would be considered for a raise (that might have changed however).
Hi Laura Thank you for the heads up. I know some guests who hoped to have that experience when they went to the park. I'm sorry it hasn't worked out to continue to do that.
William Shandling writes:
Hi William Thanks! I'm so glad you enjoyed them. It is sometimes hard to put it together and not get teary-eyed, as I've heard happens to others.
Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact us at the Shoshana here.
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.
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