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MousePlanet Mailbag for January 6, 2005
Feedback for Mike Scopa
Penny Rushing writes:
Hi Penny, I always maintain that anyone planning a trip to WDW should always customize the trip to best suit their vacation needs. If you go in January my suggestion would be to go sometime during the second half of the month. Please note that the WDW Marathon is on January 9th and the crowds may be high the week before or week after this event. Keep in mind that going in the off season could mean some attractions and shows may not be running. If you have several targeted attractions to experience you may run the risk of them being down for maintenance. It is so difficult to predict the weather for January. My guess is that most of the time the daytime temperatures will be between 50 and 70 but there's no guarantee. If you are looking for both light crowd periods and lowest prices (and by lowest prices I am talking about on-site resorts) consider the following 2005 time periods:
You will probably get the best prices and lowest crowds for these three periods. You will see the lowest crowds in January but also probably the highest number of down attractions. Second to January is November, although you have the added Christmas celebrations. Late August will give you the best opportunity to have the best of both worlds. And if you can time it right, no school time will be missed. A family of three can nicely enjoy a room at Pop Century. The value is outstanding so keep that resort in mind. Again, do what's best suits your need. And if stuck you know where I read my mail.
Hi Penny. Speaking from experience I can tell you that hurricanes are no fun, especially in Florida. As far as scheduled attraction downtime announcements go, keep tabs with Mark Goldhaber's WDW Updates as Mark keeps a close eye on what's up and running at WDW.
During value season you can get a $49/night Annual Passholder rate at Pop Century. I believe that January is within that value season. Have you thought about purchasing on Annual Pass to get a better rate? Plus you can use your AP to get lunch discounts throughout the resort. Sometimes the AP pays for itself quicker than you would think possible.
Although I have never used the Quick and Casual Vouchers many people swear by them. Check out FloridaOrlandoTickets.net (link) for details on these vouchers. I have heard that www.hotwire.com offers good prices on these vouchers but you have to sign up for a membership. If you bought an Ultimate Hopper Pass you would have your multi-day admission to Disney Quest.
For 2004 advance purchase prices are:
I do believe that the Ultimate Hopper Pass may be your best bet. Hope this helps.
Bridget Donovan writes:
Hi Bridget. This area of room requests has recently started going through a transition period. In the past guests could fax their resort four days prior to their arrival and send a detailed requests. In place was a room assigner who would try and meet these requests. This practice worked well for many guests. I know that every time I Faxed my request it was met.
Late last year resorts like the Wilderness Lodge stopped accepting such Faxes and instead would go with requests which came via the Central Reservation Office or Walt Disney Travel Company. However, I am not certain that all resorts have followed WL in doing so.
My suggestion would be to do the following: If the reservation was made through a travel agent then that agent (official owner of the reservation) must make the request. The agent should know the proper avenue to take to make this request. Contact your agent and hope for the best. If you have made the reservation directly then you could both call the CRO and Fax the Polynesian (407-824-3174) with your request.
Since the reservation starts on the 17th I would send the fax the Wednesday before. If you fax the resort I would start the fax with a complimentary statement on the resort. Then include your name, address, telephone number, reservation number, arrival and departure dates, and your request.
Regarding views of Cinderella Castle from the Polynesian, you are limited to some key longhouses... Tahiti, Hawaii, and possibly Tuvalu. I believe Hawaii is concierge level.
The best site for information on the Polynesian Resort is Tikiman (link). as Steve Seifert has put a lot of love and effort into this outstanding site. I guess if I wanted a view of the castle I would request a Lagoon View at the Tahiti Longhouse. I do feel that it would have been best to have made this request at the time the room was booked.
"Small World" is going through a major rehab and will not reopen until sometime around March or April. Some assumptions are that the entrance and exit will be switched to help accomodate wheelchairs and to also coincide with the construction of a new stroller parking lot area near what used to be the original exit. I hope this helps.
Dawn Osif writes:
Hi Dawn Great idea. Whenever there is an option like a later Fantasmic show or later parade (especially in the Magic Kingdom), it's best to make use of the early performance by visiting your favorite attractions while the show goes on. Most families with young children usually go to the early shows which means less of a crowd later.
Bob Catinazzo writes:
Hi Bob, Thanks for the kind words. I am privileged to not only be a content provider for Mouseplanet but to also be surrounded by some pretty talented people. We do it all for people like you. Mike
Judie Borucki writes:
Hi Judie, I too was impressed with this year's F&W as Epcot's World Showcase was certainly bustling with activity. I believe that from now on the Food & Wine Festival will start around the first of October and run through to almost Thanksgiving. My guess for 2005 is Oct. 3rd thru November 20th... just a guess. It's a safe bet that all of October will see Food & Wine next year.
Martin Meek writes:
Hi Martin, I currently do not have any published books on Walt Disney World but would be interested in your thoughts as to what you would look for in such a book. You never know.
Tate Calvert writes:
Hi Tate, I'm sorry to say that you cannot buy my book because there isn't one, although the thought has crossed my mind. If you are looking for some WDW trivia I would point you to DisneyWorldTrivia.com (link) where you would get a jump start into the world of interesting facts and figures on Walt Disney World. And as far as a book goes... hmm. Thanks for the note.
Jim Barrow writes:
Hi Jim, Presently my "book" is in my head. You are not the first and probably not the last to ask that question. Maybe it's time. What kind of a WDW related book would interest you?
Hi Mashelle You make a good point. It's very hard to imagine what the theme park cast members go through in a normal day. I think this site gives us a good perspective on what it's like to be in their shoes. Thanks for the note.
Hi Tracy Funny how many of us think the same thoughts while in long lines at Walt Disney World. Many of mine were written on the back of my resort parking pass while waiting in a long line of cars at the Epcot Toll Plaza. Thanks for the note.
Hi Jennifer There is no question that the thoughts I rambled about in my article would obviously have to be carefully studied and probably tweaked. Your argument about allowing someone to get to the front of the line and adding even more frustration to your wait time is well taken. That thought crossed my mind. Your argument would certainly be true if there were huge numbers of guests with one day passes who would use this option. My guess is that if that was the case then the WDW powers that be would say, "Nope...bad idea."
If the numbers were relatively small then the impact would certainly be pretty close to the impact the regular Fast Pass operation works now. Your point on cancellation of the online priority seating is a good one. Of course cancellations could be handled with a phone call...at least that would be my guess. Thanks for putting some thought into these suggestions. I was hoping that someone would really dive into these ideas and toss them around with me. Thanks for a great letter Jennifer. Regards, Mike
Bruce Hennigan writes:
Hi Bruce, Your note makes an important point in that it's not necessarily the theme park attractions that are the draw for the holiday season in WDW. I know the attractions are the last thing on my mind when I'm there in December.
Sheri Niklewski writes:
Hi Sheri, Sometimes it's next to impossible to describe something so that the words do it justice. The "Christmas Trestle" as I nicknamed it, is EPCOT's Lights of Winter. Why does it affect us the way you mentioned it affected you? My theory is that the combination of music and lights trigger memories from Christmas past and brings us all back to those magical childhood Christmas years. It is impossible to do it justice in words...but you've got my vote.
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January: 8, 15, 22
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