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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What Are Your Walt Disney World Do's and Don'ts?


As I was surfing the msnbc.com site earlier today I found an interesting article. It's called Disney World dos and don'ts and you can find it here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29761000/ and you can find the slide show here: http://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/strategies-orlando-dos-and-donts.

I'm going to give you a quick run down of the twelve things in the slide show and my opinion of the ideas given.

1. Do: Splurge on a guide. Reasoning - no one skips lines at Disney, but a guide can get you through things faster for $175 per hour with a six hour minimum.

***Are you kidding me? Isn't a WDW vacation expensive enough without adding that expense. Imagine doing that one day for each park - no, don't you may pass out from the shock!

2. Do: Get a game plan. Reasoning - age five is the right age for the first mega-park experience, but you need a plan of attack.

***Hey, I'm a planner so I'm all about getting a plan. No offense to Tour Guide Mike or his customers, but there is a lot of free information available to anyone if you take the time to look for it. I'm surprised that was the only advice they gave is to check Tour Guide Mike's $21.95 plans.

3. Do: Get a Fastpass. Reasoning - it's a free reservation option to get on the rides.

***I've never thought of a Fastpass as a reservation, but I suppose you could liken it to one. I'm all for Fastpasses if you don't want to wait in lines, but sometimes taking the regular queue is so much more enjoyable. Take Expedition Everest for example - there is so much to see and do in the queue line. If you're not there for the whole experience, by all means use those Fastpasses!

4. Do: Go easy on the extras. Reasoning - tickets are expensive, there are four parks, many people have enough after a long weekend and reservations agents shouldn't be allowed to talk you in to adding things on to your package.

***I wonder if the author thinks that park hopping is an extra you don't need...what other extras are being referred to? Dining?

5. Don't: Chase after discounted tickets. Reasoning - you'll only save a few bucks.

***I would probably agree with this only because I would end up getting discounted tickets that would be rejected at the park gates, but hey, that's just my luck!

6. Do: Spring for a "deluxe" resort. Reasoning - Convenience and comfort, theming, early park entry each day, free parking and sometimes free airport shuttles.

***Wow! Now, I agree with the deluxe resort option, but that's because I'm a sucker for location and amenities. Let's address the problems with their reasons - free parking is available to all WDW resort guests, and Magical Express is too. Let's also think about the reader's budget. Like I said, I love the deluxe resorts, but if I'm on a tight budget I'll gladly stay at a value if means I get to go to WDW!

7. Don't: Pay more for a view. Reasoning - view at deluxe resorts will cost more and you won't be there enough to enjoy it.

***Funny, I wonder if the author realizes that there are preferred rooms at resorts other than the deluxes. This is another personal choice. In the previous they say do a deluxe, but in this one, don't do a view. This depends on your touring style. I like a view if I can swing it. It's great to wake up to and it's great if you take a break during the day.

8. Do: Consider renting. Reasoning - curb lodging costs, just miles from WDW, low nightly/weekly rates.

***I've never done this, but that's because I'm now a solo traveler. If I had a large group I might consider it. I also don't think I'd recommend this for first timers. You have to have a plan, know what you're missing (Extra Magic Hours, free parking, etc...).

9. Don't: Opt for Disney's budget digs. Reasoning - they are crowded and far from the action, try US 192 and I Drive locations instead.

***I totally disagree with this one. There is nothing wrong with the budget resorts. Pop Century is one of my absolute favorites. These resorts are still themed for Disney and you get all the Disney perks - why wouldn't you try them? Yes, they are busier, but I haven't found that to be too much of a problem.

10. Do: Book a character breakfast. Reasoning - good value, all you can eat, character interactions, so full you won't need food until late afternoon.

***Character breakfasts are great if you want character interactions. No doubt about it.

11. Don't: Eat during peak lunch hours. Reasoning - 12-2pm is peak time, waits for food up to 30 minutes, snack as you go instead.

***Instead of telling people to snack which could be a bit expensive, how about suggesting that people eat at non-peak times. Yes, even WDW has non-peak eating times :)!

12. Do: Rent a car. Reasoning - it's cheap enough, cheaper than a taxi, easy access to other attractions which are just as good as Disney.

***Wow. While I do like having a car, it can be expensive and a hassle. If you're not going off site, I wouldn't recommend it. For the few times you may need to use something other than WDW transportation a cab isn't that expensive.

The article is listed as being updated today. I kind of doubt it. The information seemed very out of date and a little contradicting. I wonder if this is why there are first time visitors that won't go back because they follow this type of advice and then don't have a good time because they don't know so many things.

It makes me sad to read these types of articles. I hope that those of you that are Disney fans are out there spreading the knowledge and helping other people with their trip plans. I try whenever possible. I have a co-worker in the UK that emails me every time he gets ready to plan another trip so I can answer questions for him. I love that! I always tell people to just ask - the answers are out there!

4 comments:

Chris said...

I like your comments on these. There is obviously a disconnect between those in the know and those in the media. LOL

They could add another one like "Check out a podcast for good touring tips and advice" WDW Today would be a great tool for a newbie and it's typically only 20 min long.

Amanda said...

Chris -

You are so right - there are a lot of quality podcasts out there that provide a wealth of information. Not to mention all the fabulous websites and forums!

Rae! said...

I agree with you. They are the ones who do not get it.

Steph said...

It bothers me when journalists write pieces like this because many, like this person, really have no idea what they are talking about. The most upsetting part about it is that someone will read it and think they are planning and be smart about it, but they'll end up regretting it later.

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