Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1

    • hogwarts + disneyland = ♥
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    pigfarts
    Posts
    605

    annual pass & resort trip planning questions!

    Hi everyone,

    I am currently planning a WDW vacation for the beginning of June 2012 for my boyfriend and myself. I have general questions, so any help is welcomed!

    For background, we are Premium AP holders for Disneyland. We go almost every week and try to keep up to date on what's going on at both Disneyland and Disney World. I've gone to Disney World twice, my most recent trip being June 2010 with my family; and I don't foresee any other trips in the near future after this summer. I don't consider myself a newbie when it comes to WDW, but I definitely don't know ins/outs or little secrets about WDW the same way I do with Disneyland.

    I am considering upgrading to a Premier pass. Since we will be going to the parks either 6 or 7 days with park hopping, it's about the same price, maybe cheaper, to upgrade to the premier. I know you don't really get the great dining discount you get with the disneyland pass; so any helpful hints about pass benefits that aren't stated online would be great!! (WDW site basically just says you can get some great deals!... ha, thanks for the not so helpful info!) Like are there hotel discounts? or how beneficial really is the table in wonderland dining card?

    Next question is about what resort to stay at?! I've been straight shooting for a moderate resort, specifically port orleans-french quarter. But I've just heard so many great things about staying near the boardwalk area - so either beach or yacht club, or boardwalk inn. Is the upgrade in price worth it? It's about $100 more a night which is steep, I know, but if there's good night life steps from my hotel and walking access to epcot, can it be justified?! In June'10 I stayed at port orleans-riverside and I thought it was a great resort. My family was barely there so we really didn't need a resort full of things to do. This summer I will be going with my boyfriend and we love to relax and explore...

    Lastly, any other awesome tips and hints would be awesome. I'll add if I come up with more questions. But that will come after I've booked these big items and then I can get to nit picky food and ride planning. And yes, I understand the need to make reservations asap at most restaurants, so you can go ahead and throw in your suggestions!

    Whew, that was a lot. Hopefully some of it makes sense. Thanks for your help!
    Last edited by kburford; 12-07-2011 at 01:28 PM. Reason: added dates of vacation

    flower gleam & glow...

  2. #2

    • hogwarts + disneyland = ♥
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    pigfarts
    Posts
    605

    Re: annual pass & resort trip planning questions!

    *BUMP*

    Also, updating since my last post....

    I've come down from the high of wanting to stay at a Deluxe resort because I can save somewhere around $600 by staying at a moderate. I really wanted to stay at the French Quarter, but since the 20% off deal is only for Riverside, looks like I'll be staying there again; that will be about a $300 savings.

    I'm pretty positive I am upgrading to a Premier. My current question is should I get Tables of Wonderland?! We will be dining at four table service restaurants during our trip (as of now.) They will be Victoria & Albert's, California Grill, Le Cellier, & Les Chefs de France. I'm not sure exactly how much V&A's will be (obviously a lot). But my 'guestimate' is that it will end up being around $90 savings for all 4 restaurants combined. So minus the $75 to buy the card, it's only $15 of actual savings. Please let me know if you have a more accurate number on average saving with those 4 restaurants!! It looks like I can get a discount at Beaches & Cream, Flametree BBQ, & the Sassagoula food court (assuming we walk over there from riverside for breakfast most mornings--is this a reasonable walk?) as well, which may bring up my total actual saving to around $45. Am I missing anything?

    Oh, and if anyone cares to throw in their 2 cents about where to dine...go ahead. I've done my research but I love to get as much input as possible!

    I'm also still looking to know if there are any other perks of a having the premium ap.

    THANKS!
    Last edited by kburford; 12-07-2011 at 01:48 PM.

    flower gleam & glow...

  3. #3

    • hogwarts + disneyland = ♥
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    pigfarts
    Posts
    605

    Re: annual pass & resort trip planning questions!

    I guess i'll continue talking to myself hoping someone responds (i should probably try a more wdw focused site)

    anywho, here's update 2.

    Probably won't get a tables in wonderland card bc then i'd spend more time trying to make sure to reach at least the $75 cost of the card in savings. Especially since I've decided to cut Le Cellier from our plans. Even though people keep saying how good it is, I just don't see it. I eat steak all the time, so spending $40 per steak at dinner at a restaurant I'm unsure of isn't worth it for me. Plus I have 2 amazing restaurants (California Grill and V&A's) lined up. My boyfriend and I will also be doing a "drinking around the world" day at the world showcase which will surely rival the cost that le cellier would've been!

    Sadly, it looks as though standard rooms for PORS at the discount rate have all been booked up. I can still get a garden view at a discount for $200 less than a standard view at POFQ. I've read so much up on which resort to choose, I've kinda put myself up against the wall because they both seem so great!

    My main question I have this time around, however, is how do room requests play out? I have never done this but read about the best rooms etc. Is it like dining and I can only request a building at check in? Or can I do this at an earlier time perhaps over the phone with a disney booking agent? I wouldn't be arriving to the hotel until around 4:30/5ish, and that's pretty late to get in a good room request, so I'm hoping you can make a request before check in?! If I were to stay at PORS, I want to be in Oak Manor or Parterre Place. If POFQ, I want Building 4, 5, or 6!

    Okay I rambling...obviously I'm freaking out about something minimal! But I need help! haha

    flower gleam & glow...

  4. #4

    • WDW will always be home.
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    697

    Re: annual pass & resort trip planning questions!

    Hey kburford, just wanted to let you know you're not just talking to yourself... If I have a specialized area of knowledge, it's WDW dining, Tables In Wonderland, and WDW AP benefits, so it's kind of funny that you posted these questions just as I'm coming back from a MiceChat hiatus. I think I can help!

    I'm finishing up some finals at the moment, but once the semester is over, I look forward to responding to all your questions in detail. Sorry you haven't gotten any help yet.
    I knew if this business was ever to get anywhere, if this business was ever to grow, it could never do it by having to answer to someone unsympathetic to its possibilities, by having to answer to someone with only one thought or interest, namely profits. For my idea of how to make profits has differed greatly from those who generally control businesses such as ours. I have blind faith in the policy that quality, tempered with good judgment and showmanship, will win against all odds.
    -Walt Disney



  5. #5

    • hogwarts + disneyland = ♥
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    pigfarts
    Posts
    605

    Re: annual pass & resort trip planning questions!

    thanks for the reassurance of the not talking to myself! hah I've booked my trip. So I'm on the refinement of dining options. I'm about 95% sure I'm getting a premier pass but don't know if you get much with it except access to all parks inc. water parks, and option to buy table sin wonderland. I've made dining reservations for V&A's, California Grill (dinner), Les Chefs de France (lunch), Kona (breakfast), & Via Napoli (dinner) so far. Any insight on if those are good choices &/or what other places I should choose would be awesome.

    flower gleam & glow...

  6. #6

    • WDW will always be home.
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    697

    Re: annual pass & resort trip planning questions!

    I'll try to answer all your questions in order...

    Quote Originally Posted by kburford View Post
    any helpful hints about pass benefits that aren't stated online would be great!! (WDW site basically just says you can get some great deals!... ha, thanks for the not so helpful info!) Like are there hotel discounts? or how beneficial really is the table in wonderland dining card?
    Premier Pass and Tables In Wonderland will both get you 20% off.

    Premier Pass will get you 20% off at some merchandise locations. I know World of Disney at Downtown Disney is one. There are several others. There are also some other non-merchandise discounts you receive from the Premier Pass. The best way to find out all the benefits of a Premier Pass is to ask for a WDW APholder benefits booklet at Guest Services. Obviously, you can't do that until you're on property though. I should be able to refer to mine when I go home in a couple days and then I'll post what I find here.

    There are AP hotel rates at WDW but they're generally very limited and very poorly advertised. In my limited experience, they're generally about 10% off. You have to call WDW Reservations and ask for the AP rates - they're not published anywhere official. MouseSavers.com is pretty good about alerting when AP rates become available, and I'd recommend subscribing to their newsletter if you haven't already.

    Tables In Wonderland gets you 20% of food and beverage (including alcohol) at:
    -ALL Disney-owned table service restaurants (TSRs)
    -ALL Disney-owned quick service restaurants (QSRs) in locations where there are no Disney-owned TSRs - this is pretty much just DAK and the Value Resorts
    -MOST non-Disney owned TSRs on WDW property. Restaurants owned by Landry's (Rainforest Cafe, Yak & Yeti, T-Rex) do not participate.

    Tables In Wonderland also adds an 18% gratuity (or 20% at Victoria & Albert's) automatically. For this reason, I usually don't tell my server I have TIW until it's time to pay. In the past, I have gotten some poor service when I mentioned upfront I was using TIW and maybe I'm just being paranoid, but I think it was maybe because the server knew their tip was guaranteed.

    Tables In Wonderland is $75 for a year membership if you're an APholder, and only one person in your party needs to have it for your entire table to get the benefit (as long as you're not paying with separate checks).

    Quote Originally Posted by kburford View Post
    Next question is about what resort to stay at?! I've been straight shooting for a moderate resort, specifically port orleans-french quarter. But I've just heard so many great things about staying near the boardwalk area - so either beach or yacht club, or boardwalk inn. Is the upgrade in price worth it? It's about $100 more a night which is steep, I know, but if there's good night life steps from my hotel and walking access to epcot, can it be justified?! In June'10 I stayed at port orleans-riverside and I thought it was a great resort. My family was barely there so we really didn't need a resort full of things to do. This summer I will be going with my boyfriend and we love to relax and explore...
    Well... It depends. Now that Pleasure Island is gone, most people think that Boardwalk has the only nightlife left on property. That's kind of true. It has Jellyroll's which is a fun piano bar, but it has a $10 cover and I'm pretty sure Budweiser is literally the one beer on tap (they do have a pretty wide bottle selection). The Atlantic Dance Hall next door is another option - no cover, and a slightly better tap selection, but the few times I've been in there it's been pitifully deserted, so not the liveliest atmosphere. That's of course anecdotal, so take it for what it's worth.

    Lesser known is the fact that Port Orleans has its own nightlife of sorts. Port Orleans in fact has a piano bar with "Yee Ha" Bob Jackson that does not have a cover and is (I've heard) a really fun time - I've not been there myself. The downside is that it's only open til midnight. So if you like to enjoy the nightlife later than that, it's either get over to Boardwalk somehow, or get off property.

    Quote Originally Posted by kburford View Post
    Lastly, any other awesome tips and hints would be awesome.
    Hmm... That's pretty broad. I think you already saw my post in the DLR regulars planning... thread. I'd start there. And pay particular attention to Transportation/Crowd Advice. That's really important at WDW, particularly if you'll be there in June.

    When it comes to summer, a lot of people recommend hitting the parks early (or sleeping in if that's more your speed), coming back to the pool at your resort or a water park during the heat of the afternoon, and then going into the parks in the evening and taking advantage of the late summer hours. I'm generally a fan of that method. WDW in the summer is brutally hot and humid. Sadly, SoCal it is not. For your own health/enjoyment/sanity, be sure to pace yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by kburford View Post
    I'm pretty positive I am upgrading to a Premier. My current question is should I get Tables of Wonderland?! We will be dining at four table service restaurants during our trip (as of now.) They will be Victoria & Albert's, California Grill, Le Cellier, & Les Chefs de France. I'm not sure exactly how much V&A's will be (obviously a lot). But my 'guestimate' is that it will end up being around $90 savings for all 4 restaurants combined. So minus the $75 to buy the card, it's only $15 of actual savings. Please let me know if you have a more accurate number on average saving with those 4 restaurants!! It looks like I can get a discount at Beaches & Cream, Flametree BBQ, & the Sassagoula food court (assuming we walk over there from riverside for breakfast most mornings--is this a reasonable walk?) as well, which may bring up my total actual saving to around $45. Am I missing anything?
    Well, how much TIW will save you depends on how much you'll be spending. Even if it's only $15 - it's still $15, and if it happens to save you more, so much the better. Ask yourself this, if $15 is the least it will save you, why wouldn't you get TIW? All the restaurants you list above will get you the 20% TIW discount with the exception of the Sassagoula Food Court.

    Quote Originally Posted by kburford View Post
    Probably won't get a tables in wonderland card bc then i'd spend more time trying to make sure to reach at least the $75 cost of the card in savings. Especially since I've decided to cut Le Cellier from our plans. Even though people keep saying how good it is, I just don't see it. I eat steak all the time, so spending $40 per steak at dinner at a restaurant I'm unsure of isn't worth it for me. Plus I have 2 amazing restaurants (California Grill and V&A's) lined up. My boyfriend and I will also be doing a "drinking around the world" day at the world showcase which will surely rival the cost that le cellier would've been!
    Le Cellier has cult status, but that's mainly from what it used to be. Sadly it's gone downhill somewhat. If you want the best steak on property, most WDW dining connoisseurs will tell you it's the Yachtsman Steakhouse at the Yacht Club Resort. But if you're cool with skipping the steak altogether, V&A's and California Grill are certainly two excellent choices (and they both have pretty great steaks as well).

    Quote Originally Posted by kburford View Post
    Sadly, it looks as though standard rooms for PORS at the discount rate have all been booked up. I can still get a garden view at a discount for $200 less than a standard view at POFQ. I've read so much up on which resort to choose, I've kinda put myself up against the wall because they both seem so great!

    My main question I have this time around, however, is how do room requests play out? I have never done this but read about the best rooms etc. Is it like dining and I can only request a building at check in? Or can I do this at an earlier time perhaps over the phone with a disney booking agent? I wouldn't be arriving to the hotel until around 4:30/5ish, and that's pretty late to get in a good room request, so I'm hoping you can make a request before check in?! If I were to stay at PORS, I want to be in Oak Manor or Parterre Place. If POFQ, I want Building 4, 5, or 6!
    My personal choice is POFQ, and I think most WDW fans would say the same, but you can't go wrong with either resort. Personally, my room isn't something I tend to agonize over as I know the amount of time I'll spend there is limited. But you can do room requests in advance. You can tell the agent when you book your room and they'll make a note of it. I don't think they're ever guaranteed, but it doesn't hurt to get your request in sooner rather than later.

    Quote Originally Posted by kburford View Post
    thanks for the reassurance of the not talking to myself! hah I've booked my trip. So I'm on the refinement of dining options. I'm about 95% sure I'm getting a premier pass but don't know if you get much with it except access to all parks inc. water parks, and option to buy table sin wonderland. I've made dining reservations for V&A's, California Grill (dinner), Les Chefs de France (lunch), Kona (breakfast), & Via Napoli (dinner) so far. Any insight on if those are good choices &/or what other places I should choose would be awesome.
    Those are all excellent choices. Seriously - not a single bad choice in there. I say that both objectively in terms of what tend to be the most popular restaurants and personally in terms of some of my favorites. With that many TSRs, I would definitely get TIW (if you'll have the Premier Pass). Again, for restaurant choices, I would still recommend my earlier post in the DLR Regulars... thread, as well as my more recent addendum in the Dining at WDW thread. If you have something specific you're looking for dining-wise, I can make some more specific suggestions, but otherwise I don't really have anything to add beyond what's already in those threads.

    Let me know if you have any other questions I can help you with!
    I knew if this business was ever to get anywhere, if this business was ever to grow, it could never do it by having to answer to someone unsympathetic to its possibilities, by having to answer to someone with only one thought or interest, namely profits. For my idea of how to make profits has differed greatly from those who generally control businesses such as ours. I have blind faith in the policy that quality, tempered with good judgment and showmanship, will win against all odds.
    -Walt Disney



  7. #7

    • hogwarts + disneyland = ♥
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    pigfarts
    Posts
    605

    Re: annual pass & resort trip planning questions!

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

    You've been really helpful. I had read some of your other posts from previous threads that were definitely helpful. I'm pretty positive I've made all my final decisions. As much as I'd love to eat TSR all the time, when I total that amount up it's a bit difficult for me to justify spending any more money on food. So thanks for giving me the thumbs up on my choices!

    At this point it's definitive that we will get premier passes and tables in wonderland. I wasn't sure about TIW because I wasn't so sure I'd actually be going to all the restaurants I'd listed. But now it's all finalized and it just makes sense to have it.

    I've also book port orleans-french quarter. even though riverside was cheaper, i've stayed tere already and french quarter looks fun. I requested one of the building closer to riverside because we will probably want to walk over there. Otherwise, I agree with you in that I don't really care about where my room is as long as it's clean and hopefully not the furthest building from transportation. I have mousesavers up and ready to tell me if there's a discount as we get closer to my vacation but it doesn't look promising (esp. since it's "summer season").

    Thanks for the heat advice. I went in late June with temps at 90-100 the whole time. It was brutal, but I liked it. I love hot weather! My boyfriend, not so much.

    For now, you have answered all my questions. I'm sure I'll have more later though

    flower gleam & glow...

  8. #8

    • WDW will always be home.
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    697

    Re: annual pass & resort trip planning questions!

    Cool.

    In thinking more about it, I'd just add a caution regarding V&A's - it's objectively the best restaurant at WDW, hands down, no question. But a lot of people go there and find that the food is a little too fancy for their tastes; even self-described foodies. I'm not sure how fancy your and your boyfriend's tastes are, but just something to be aware of - that's a lot of money if you don't like the food.

    If you post anything else on here, please send me a PM so I def don't miss it. I try to keep an eye on "Orlando Travel Planning," but unfortunately as you've noticed, things tend to be pretty dead around here. If you'd like to get a wider range of opinions, I'd recommend posting in the general WDW forum. That's kind of become the de facto place for general WDW discussion as well as trip planning.
    I knew if this business was ever to get anywhere, if this business was ever to grow, it could never do it by having to answer to someone unsympathetic to its possibilities, by having to answer to someone with only one thought or interest, namely profits. For my idea of how to make profits has differed greatly from those who generally control businesses such as ours. I have blind faith in the policy that quality, tempered with good judgment and showmanship, will win against all odds.
    -Walt Disney



  9. #9

    • WDW will always be home.
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    697

    Re: annual pass & resort trip planning questions!

    So one more thing I thought of that might fall under the category of "awesome tips and hints"

    I take it from your mention of "drinking around the world" that you and your boyfriend may have an interest in adult beverages. I'm personally not really that into wine or mixed drinks, so if that's your thing, I won't be much help. If you and/or your boyfriend are interested in beer at WDW, I can give you some useful information.

    A little known fact/"best kept secret" about WDW is that they actually have their own exclusive beer. It's called Safari Amber - it's brewed by Anheuser Busch exclusively for WDW - and it's only available on tap at DAK, Animal Kingdom Lodge, and the Safari Outpost in World Showcase in Epcot. AFAIK it's never bottled. I've heard rumors of its availability elsewhere on property, but every time I've checked, I haven't been able to find it - those are the only places I know for sure it's available. If you get it at DAK or Animal Kingdom Lodge, you'll be able to use Tables In Wonderland. It's not an absolutely amazing, spectacular beer, but it's not bad either - and it's pretty cool to know you're drinking a beer that can only be found at WDW.

    As far as places to drink, World Showcase is obvious (highlights are Rose & Crown in UK and La Cava del Tequila in Mexico). Most WDW beer enthusiasts will tell you the best resort lounges - both in terms of atmosphere and tap selection - are the Crew's Cup at the Yacht Club (walkable from Epcot) and the Territory Lounge at Wilderness Lodge (bus from any park or boat from MK). The lounges at the monorail resorts aren't bad either, and in addition to "drinking around the world," some people like to do the "monorail crawl" where you go to the lounges at each of the monorail resorts in order (via monorail of course). AFAIK, all WDW resort lounges take Tables In Wonderland. Unfortunately, I believe most if not all of the WDW resort lounges close at midnight.

    Hopefully some of that is useful/helpful. Let me know if you have any other questions!
    Last edited by PSUMark; 12-19-2011 at 09:43 PM.
    I knew if this business was ever to get anywhere, if this business was ever to grow, it could never do it by having to answer to someone unsympathetic to its possibilities, by having to answer to someone with only one thought or interest, namely profits. For my idea of how to make profits has differed greatly from those who generally control businesses such as ours. I have blind faith in the policy that quality, tempered with good judgment and showmanship, will win against all odds.
    -Walt Disney



  10. #10

    • WDW will always be home.
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    697

    Re: annual pass & resort trip planning questions!

    So I was down in WDW this weekend and made a point of picking up a 2012 APholder benefits book, and then discovered that, apparently, Disney maintains up-to-date WDW APholder info on their web site (who'd have thought, right?). You can find it here:

    Passholder Program | Walt Disney World Resort

    Summary of the relevant benefits:
    -Lots of dining discounts, but they're less extensive than the TIW benefits. Usually 10% as opposed to 20% and usually doesn't apply to total cost of meal (may only apply to entrees). However, it's worth noting that APholders get limited discounts at many non-Disney owned locations that don't support TIW.
    -20% discount on Alamo car rentals
    -10%-15% discounts on several non-Disney owned merchandise locations
    -Premium APholders get a 20% discount on most merchandise at Disney owned and operated merchandise locations (non-premium APs get 10%)
    -15% discount on most Disney operated tours
    -Lots of other miscellaneous discounts on recreation, tickets, and experiences

    Let me know if you have any other questions!
    I knew if this business was ever to get anywhere, if this business was ever to grow, it could never do it by having to answer to someone unsympathetic to its possibilities, by having to answer to someone with only one thought or interest, namely profits. For my idea of how to make profits has differed greatly from those who generally control businesses such as ours. I have blind faith in the policy that quality, tempered with good judgment and showmanship, will win against all odds.
    -Walt Disney



Similar Threads

  1. [Question] Three WDW trip planning questions
    By Slimshady in forum Walt Disney World Resort
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 05-08-2010, 06:42 PM
  2. [Question] Disney Resort Annual Pass & Birthday Fun Card?
    By MickeyMousePal in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-21-2010, 03:25 PM
  3. Replies: 79
    Last Post: 03-17-2010, 11:08 AM
  4. [Other] Disney Resort Annual Pass & Birthday Card
    By harscat in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 06-10-2009, 06:45 PM
  5. Annual Pass Questions
    By dragnman777 in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 03-19-2007, 10:20 AM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •