Saturday, January 31, 2009

It's Decided - April 2010

We have made a final decision on our next Disney trip. We will be going in April 2010. After weighing all the pros and cons, we couldn't resist the weather of April. It will cost us a little more than going in December because it will be "regular" season versus "value" season, but the price difference is minimal and the added benefits of going during that time outweigh the extra cost. Though we haven't chosen specific dates yet, we will make sure we avoid the high crowds and cost of going during Easter week. Next year, Easter falls on April 3rd, which means the week leading up to it and the week following will be quite busy. In addition, not only will the hotel have holiday rates, so will some of the restaurants in the parks and resorts. Because our children are not in school and we are flexible with our travel dates, we will keep an eye out for the crowd calendar on the Touring Plans website to see which week in April is best for us.

Now that it is official that we are going, I need to get my hands on the latest of my two favorite guidebooks. Both books are released each year with updates and usually I purchase them whether I am traveling to Disney or not. The first book is by Steven Birnbaum called The Official Guide to Walt Disney World. This book is a nice overview of everything at Walt Disney World. There aren't any negative reviews and when you finish reading it, you will think that Walt Disney World is actually perfect! This book is a favorite of my little ones because of the numerous pictures of rides, characters and hotels. There are also maps of the parks and one of all of the Walt Disney World Resort. The other guidebook I love is by Bob Sehlinger and Len Testa called The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. This book is 100% honest and includes reader reviews. I love this book because it includes details I never would think to investigate myself - time driving by car versus Disney transportation to and from parks, pillow quality at each hotel, etc. The amount of info I gained from this book helped us really maximize our time in the parks too, which is key with the ages of the children we brought with us. Of course, there are plenty of guidebooks out there and I would definitely suggest checking them out of your local library before making a decision on which is right for you.

I am always looking for new Disney info and after doing plenty of searches on the Internet I have found a couple of favorites. I visit the All Ears site almost daily. I love that they have photos of everything, yes, everything! Plus, my favorite part of the site is the dining section. They have menus, reviews, and even recipes from each of the restaurants on property. I also love that I can see photos of every hotel - interior and exterior. It is nice to look at hotels we have already stayed at to reminisce about previous trips, but it is even better to use the photos to explore our options when trying to decide what hotel to stay at on our next trip.

I am so excited to get planning our trip! I know it is very early to start planning, but I can't wait!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What Time of Year is Best to Visit Walt Disney World?

The big debate is on for our next trip to Walt Disney World. Should we go during our favorite month, which is April, or take advantage of Disney's latest promotion "What Will You Celebrate?" and go during December to celebrate our son's fifth birthday?

It would be very exciting to go to Walt Disney World in December. The holiday decorations will be all around the parks and resorts, and there are special events that happen at only that time of year, something we have never seen before. It would be a great chance for our kids to see Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, but we think they may be too young to stay up late enough to actually enjoy it (our son is a good sleeper and asks to go to bed when it is past his bedtime, which is 7:30!). For the additional money it would cost to go to the party, I am not sure it would be worth it if all three of them are sleeping! Plus, the weather in December can be very iffy. If I am going to be escaping the winter weather of NH, I want to go somewhere that I know I can wear t-shirts and shorts! Besides, I hate to say this, but I think the pool was my kids' most favorite thing on our last trip to Disney, so if I have to be in the pool with them, I prefer the warmer weather of April over December (though the pools are heated during the cooler months).

Getting Ready for Another Trip to WDW

In 1986, there were just four of us
for our first trip to Walt Disney World.
In 2008, our family had grown to 10.
Planning trips to Disney is one of my most favorite pastimes. I am a mom of three little ones who has a love of all things Disney. Even when we are not planning a trip to Disney, I still read about it online, purchase guidebooks, and watch for Disney specials on the Travel Channel or Food Network. I just can't get enough!

I have had a love of Disney since I was very small. I was enrolled in the Disney Book of the Month club at the age of 4 and read every book cover to cover. I still have all of them and now enjoy reading them to my children. In 1986, at the age of 13, my parents took my brother and me to Walt Disney World. None of us had ever been before. I remember my parents telling us prior to the trip that we would never be able to afford to go again, so we would be very busy while in Disney to make sure we could see everything. Let's just say, we had such a great family trip that my parents ended up bringing us there every other year from then until my brother and I were in college!

Deciding whether or not to return to Walt Disney World is never a question for us. The question has always been when to return. Normally, we have barely stepped foot back into New Hampshire from a trip to Orlando when we are already starting talks about returning. That's why I decided to start this blog. I just love planning trips and thought I could share that excitement (and knowledge) with anyone else who may be thinking of taking a trip or already planning a trip to Disney.

My next post will be coming soon with our big decision of exactly when our next trip will be and why we chose that particular month. If you are planning a trip to Disney, let me know - I can talk Disney all day and love to hear people's plans. If you are thinking of visiting but aren't sure, I say start planning! :-)