Tuesday, August 11, 2009

ADRs to 180 Days

I just read on All Ears (http://www.allearsnet.com/) that the window to book ADRs has been changed from 90 days to 180 days. This becomes effective on October 27th. Our 180 day mark is actually September 1st. I think the Disney Dining phone number and website will be quite busy that morning! I am really looking forward to testing out the new online system. It seems like Disney should have implemented this long ago, though I am certainly no expert in this area.

So I need to get planning those ADRs! October 27th will be here before we know it!

Six Months and Counting

September 1st will be 180 days out for our February 28th departure for Walt Disney World. Normally, I would have already contacted my travel agent, Melissa from Magical Journeys, and made a room only reservation, but I am waiting to see what deals will be coming up.

I always start with a room only reservation, because I have found on many trips that it costs less than booking a package. This year may be a little different with all the Disney offers that seem to be out there. Don't get me wrong, the packages are great, but on our last trip, the only "freebie" we used from the package was the luggage tags. We didn't explore any of the other offerings because we just didn't have the time. So to pay for things we don't need just doesn't make sense to me. So I have already created my Excel spreadsheet with package prices directly from Disney, room only quotes and also ticket prices from various ticket vendors. My favorite ticket vendor, who always seem to have the best prices, is Undercover Tourist. But the key to getting the best price from them is signing up for the Mousesavers newsletter and using their private link to Undercover Tourist. Of course, all this won't matter if Disney offers up some great package rates. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Great News!

We have decided that rather than wait until April for our next trip to Walt Disney World, we are going to go in February/March. The benefits of the time we are going will be escaping the New Hampshire winter, we will actually be there the week the Flower and Garden Festival opens, and the weather will hopefully be warm.

We used to travel to Disney in February until the one year that we flew out the morning after a blizzard. Let's just say, all flights out of Logan had been cancelled the afternoon and night before, so the airport was a nightmare and a sea of people! Never mind the shuttle we hired to pick us up that never showed or travelling on the yet to be plowed 495 and Mass Pike! We arrived as they were making the final call for our flight and the woman checking us in at the desk said, "How did you guys get so lucky to be on the only flight going to Orlando today?" My entire family was already in Disney awaiting our arrival, so to think they would all be there in Disney without Pierre and I was stressful to say the least. My adrenaline was going and I think it took at least three days at Disney to get myself calm! Anyways, because of that, we had vowed we would never go again during the winter. But it has been 9 years since then, and I think I have recovered (though if it happens again, we definitely will avoid all winter months! I don't think I could take that experience a second time!). :-)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Make Your Own Vacation Planning Video

A couple of weeks ago, I received a very exciting e-mail from Disney. Ok, it may not be exciting to everyone, but as a self proclaimed Disney nerd, I was ecstatic. It gave me the option to go to their site and create my own Disney Vacation Planning video. It is called "My Disney Video Planner." I have read rumors that they may no longer be giving away their free videos because of the economy and the cost effectiveness of the videos, so this looks as though it may be a way to supply them in a very personalized and cost effective way.

By answering a few questions, I could select only the video clips that interest me. For example, I could choose to add just the hotels I would be interested in, or in my case, can afford. I could select Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and/or Hollywood Studios overview clips, as well as the water parks, Disney dining, and shopping. I could even select video clips that focus just on kids in the parks, which, as a mom of three is important.