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  1. #1

    • Be Patient I'm Learning!!
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    Planning my first WDW trip

    Hello all! So it's official, I am now planning for the trip I have been talking about for 4 years. My mom and I are going to WDW for 2 weeks to celebrate the milestone of being cancer free for 5 years. We are going at the end of Sept into early Oct and we are staying for 14 days. Because of the length of the stay we are thinking of getting atleast one annual pass, to be able to get the discounts. However, I just read that you don't always get reduced rates on hotel rooms, that they are only for certain time periods during the year , we have two resorts in mind, we have the Port Orleans; French Quarter or the Animal Kingdom Lodge, depending on the rates and/or discounts is how we were going to decide where to stay. However I just read on mousesavers that they don't release discounted room rates until 2-4 months in advance. Is it really a good idea to wait that long to try to book a hotel? We will be hitting part value season and part regular season, so i understand that it won't be unbelieveably packed, but still. So I guess what I am asking is when do you normally book your rooms and is the annual pass good for anything besides getting into the parks free throughout the year?
    Christina




  2. #2

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    Re: Planning my first WDW trip

    You get free parking with your annual pass and discounts at certain restaurants and shops. Seems to me that most of the places you get discounts on are in Downtown Disney.





    It's kind of fun to do the impossible- Walt Disney

  3. #3

    • Little Miss Sunshine
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    Re: Planning my first WDW trip

    Congratulations on the big milestone!

    If you do decide to try for an AP discount, I would go ahead now and book with a AAA rate. That sometimes is even less expensive than an AP rate, though usually the AP is better. Not always. That time of the year has had free dine as well, but it's not guaranteed. You can book a room-only and see if something else comes out later that is more attractive to you.

    The AP does get you some other benefits. Not as much as it used to, but some shopping and dining discounts, half priced mini-golf and discounts on other recreation. You could buy into the Disney Dining Experience as well.

    Of course, you'd need AAA to get the rate. But at that time of the year, it should be at least 15% off, no more than 20%. And with Disney changing pricing on certain dates, weekends, etc., I'm not sure if that effects discount percentage.

    If it was me, I'd go AAA POF (or another mod) now, and then wait to see if AP rates come out - then see if you can upgrade to the AKL. I would be very surprised if they didn't have AP discounts this September, though about 4 years ago they skipped it - I don't know why! It's a slow time.
    Denise

    www.mousesteps.com




    Favorite TDL Typo:

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN View Post
    I think it will give more pipping pervs the reason needed to go parasailing
    on Bay Lake.

  4. #4

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    Re: Planning my first WDW trip

    [quote=nbodyhome;2479078]That time of the year has had free dine as well, but it's not guaranteed. [quote]

    If I get a room-only reservations and the free dine and/or other discounts come out can I apply them to my current reservations? Or will I have to re-book?
    Christina




  5. #5

    • Little Miss Sunshine
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    Re: Planning my first WDW trip

    [QUOTE=AlwysL8;2479679][quote=nbodyhome;2479078]That time of the year has had free dine as well, but it's not guaranteed.

    If I get a room-only reservations and the free dine and/or other discounts come out can I apply them to my current reservations? Or will I have to re-book?
    You will have to rebook if you want a package. You won't lose anything if you do that. If an AP rate or another room-only rate comes out, you can just ask to have it changed (based on the availability of the discount).
    Denise

    www.mousesteps.com




    Favorite TDL Typo:

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN View Post
    I think it will give more pipping pervs the reason needed to go parasailing
    on Bay Lake.

  6. #6

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    Re: Planning my first WDW trip

    Thanks everyone for responding, that really helps to determine how to go about the first step, booking rooms!

    Another couple of questions;

    1. I read something in Passporters that said that any pins traded in WDW has to have some sort of WDW affiliation, so does that mean that I can't trade DLR pins in WDW?!?!? That doesn't seem right, but I don't make up the rules.

    2. I also read that WDW, I believe at one of the resorts, used to have a hayride during October where they would tell the story of the headless horsemen, does anyone know if they still do this?
    Christina




  7. #7

    • Little Miss Sunshine
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    Re: Planning my first WDW trip

    Quote Originally Posted by AlwysL8 View Post
    Thanks everyone for responding, that really helps to determine how to go about the first step, booking rooms!

    Another couple of questions;

    1. I read something in Passporters that said that any pins traded in WDW has to have some sort of WDW affiliation, so does that mean that I can't trade DLR pins in WDW?!?!? That doesn't seem right, but I don't make up the rules.

    2. I also read that WDW, I believe at one of the resorts, used to have a hayride during October where they would tell the story of the headless horsemen, does anyone know if they still do this?
    I haven't heard that, I believe all you need is "Disney" still on the back of the pin. In fact, a lot of pins I've seen are like character only, so that wouldn't have to be WDW affiliated.

    Fort Wilderness does wagon rides all year long, and the Halloween rides in October.
    Denise

    www.mousesteps.com




    Favorite TDL Typo:

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN View Post
    I think it will give more pipping pervs the reason needed to go parasailing
    on Bay Lake.

  8. #8

    • Geoff London
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    Re: Planning my first WDW trip

    GENERAL ANNUAL PASS BENEFITS
    ADMISSION: Benefits

    Discounts on admission to Pleasure Island, Disney Quest, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. $4.00 off for guests ages 10 and up, $3.00 off for guests ages 3-9. Passholders can purchase discounted tickets for up to 3 guests.
    Specialty Ticketed Events:
    This discount is only available on selected nights and is not applicable to Advance Sale purchases. The Passholder can purchase up to four discounted tickets.
    • Disney's Typhoon Lagoon and Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Parks
      Enjoy a $4 discount off regular admission price for Guests ages 10 and older and $3 discount for Guests ages 3-9. Discount available for up to three Guests per visit.
    • DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park
      Receive a $4 discount off regular admission price for Guests ages 10 and older and $3 discount for Guests ages 3-9. Discount available for up to three Guests per visit.
    • Downtown Disney Pleasure Island
      Enjoy a $4 discount off regular admission price for Guests ages 10 and older and $3 discount for Guests ages 3-9. Discount available for up to three Guests per visit.
    CAR RENTAL

    Rent from Alamo Rent A Car and save up to 20%. For reservations, call Alamo at (800) 354-2322 or book online at Alamo.com. (Request ID #860292 and when making your reservation)

    DISNEY ANNUAL PASS DINING DISCOUNTS
    Fulton’s Crab House - 20% off the regular price of food and beverages (excluding tax/gratuity) during lunch (seating prior to 3:30) and 10% off dinner for passholder and up to 3 guests
    Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop - 10% off in retail shop and soda fountain
    House of Blues - 20% off food and non-alcoholic beverages prior to 4:00pm, 10% discount after 4:00pm for passholder and up to 5 guests. (excludes alcohol/tax/gratuity)
    Planet Hollywood - 10% off the regular price of food and beverages (excluding tax/gratuity) during lunch/dinner for passholder and up to 3 guests
    Portobello Yacht Club - 20% off the regular price of food and beverages (excluding tax/gratuity) during lunch and 10% off dinner for passholder and up to 3 guests
    Rainforest Café - Downtown Disney and Animal Kingdom Theme Park locations - 10% off the regular price of food and beverages (excluding tax/gratuity) lduring breakfast/lunch/dinner for passholder and up to 3 guests
    Wofgang Puck Café ( West Side) - 20% off the regular price of food and beverages during lunch and 10% off dinner (excluding alcohol/tax/gratuity) for passholder and up to 3 guests
    Wolfgang Puck Express- Disney Marketplace - 10% off the regular price of food and beverages (excluding alcohol)
    EPCOT - 10% off the regular price of food and beverages (excluding alcohol/tax/gratuity) during lunch from Monday thru Friday at the following:

    Get 10% off of your total lunch bill (alcoholic beverages excluded). Passholders can include up to 3 guests for this savings. This offer is valid Monday through Friday.

    The following Disney Resort restaurants are participating:

    Disney's WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS:
    • Official All Star Café – 10% off all meals. Alcohol is excluded and up to 3 guests can accompany the Annual Passholder. This is not restricted to weekdays.


    DISNEY DINING EXPERIENCE:
    Become a member in the Disney Dining Experience program for $65.00 and add a second membership for your spouse or partner for $25.00.
    The Disney Dining Experience gives you:
    • 20% off of food and beverages at over 70 Disney Resort hotel and Theme Park RESTAURANTS. (Discount is good for up to 10 guests.)
    • Theme Park and Resort parking for dining purposes
    • Member-Only invitations to exclusive events
    • Half Price admission at Pleasure Island for DDE member
    • Free Admission to Boardwalk's Atlantic Dance for DDE member and guest
    Annual Passholders can join up by calling 407-566-5858 (Mon-Fri, 9:00am to 6m EST). The Disney Dining Experience is not accepted during holidays, including New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, Easter, Mother's Day, July 4, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Please allow 2 to 3 weeks for processing. NOTE: If you order your card and it doesn't arrive before you leave for WDW, you can pick up a temporary voucher at Epcot's Guest Relations.

    ANNUAL PASS DISNEY MERCHANDISE


    DOWNTOWN DISNEY:
    • World of Disney: 10% off of merchandise for the passholder only. The following are excluded: gift certificates, Disney Dollars, food items, videos/DVD’s, film developing, Walt Disney Classics Collections and other select merchandise as well as the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
    • Virgin Megastore: 10% off of merchandise for the passholder only. The following are excluded: personal audio/DVD players, interactive software and accessories, game hardware, gift cards, Virgin Mobile Top Up cards. Discount cannot be combined with any other offers.
    • Arribas Brothers: 10% off of merchandise for the passholder only. The following are excluded: Giuseppe Armani Line, Crystal World, Lladro, Nao by Lladro, Swarovski, The Arribas Collection, Waterford and other select merchandise. Quantities may be restricted.
    • Basin: 10% off select regular priced merchandise
    • Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop: 10% off all retail items and soda fountain purchases
    • House of Blues: 10% off regular priced merchandise. (Some restrictions apply.)
    • LEGO Imagination Center: 10% off all items. Cannot be combined with any other coupon or discount
    • Planet Hollywood: 10% off regular priced merchandise.
    • Rainforest Cafe: Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney locations: 15% discount on regular priced merchandise in their retail store
    • Starabilias: 10% off gift and novelty items.

    WALT DISNEY WORLD TOURS
    – 15% OFF OF THE FOLLOWING BACKSTAGE TOURS:
    (**NOTE – DISNEY REQUIRES A PHOTO ID FOR GUESTS 16 AND UP)
    MAGIC KINGDOM:
    • Disney's Family Magic Tour (all ages)
    • Keys to the Kingdom (ages 16 and up)
    • Mickey's Magical Milestones (age 10 and up)
    • The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains (ages 10 and up)
    EPCOT:
    • Backstage Magic (ages 16 and up)
    • Around the World at Epcot Segway Tour (ages 16 and up)
    • Dolphins in Depth (ages 13 and up. Minors must be accompanied by an adult)
    • Epcot Seas Aqua Tour (ages 8 and up. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.)
    • Dive Quest (ages 10 and older, SCUBA certification required. Ages 10-14 must be accompanied by an adult)
    • Gardens of the World (ages 16 and up)
    • Hidden Treasures (ages 16 and up)
    • The UnDISCOVERED Future World (ages 16 and up)
    • Yuletide Fantasy (Seasonal – ages 16 and up)

    ANIMAL KINGDOM:
    • Backstage Safari (ages 16 and up)
    • Wild by Design (ages 14 and up)
    Tours can be booked by calling 407-WDW-TOUR. Offer is for Annual Passholder only.


    SPORTS AND RECREATION
    SPA TREATMENTS:
    10% off of one spa treatment per visit at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa and also at the Saratoga Springs Resort is applicable to the Passholder only and an advance reservation is required. This can be booked by calling 407-824-2332.
    $20.00 discount off of the Ride Along Experience or $35.00 off of any other package. Cannot be combined with any other offers/discounts. Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-BE-PETTY. Passholder only discount.
    10% discount on Para-sailing, Wakeboarding and Water Skiing at the Sammy Duvall Watersports Centre at the Contemporary Resort. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 407-WDW-PLAY.
    MARINA BOAT RENTALS
    Passholder receives a 15% discount off the regular price of boat rentals at any Walt Disney World® Resort Marina. Subject to availability. Certain age restrictions apply (excludes Specialty Cruises).
    GOLF
    30% discount off Day Visitor Rates for the Passholder and up to three guests in the party. Discounts cannot be applied to any other discount or special rate including, but not limited to, Twilight Rates. Tee times at this rate are limited and may be made up to 14 days in advance by calling 407-WDW-GOLF(939-4653). Advance reservations required.
    MINIATURE GOLF
    Disney's Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course and Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course
    Get a 50% discount for the Passholder and up to three guests.

    MISCELLANEOUS:

    AMC Theatres Pleasure Island 24: Get $2.00 off the adult price of admission after 6:00pm. Offer is valid ony for the passholder and cannot be combined with any other offer.
    Annual Passholders are exempt from paying for parking at the theme parks. Passholders receive the Mickey Monitor Newsletter which is published quarterly.
    Now I'll turn that little mouse's dream into a nightmare Fantasmic !



  9. #9

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    Re: Planning my first WDW trip

    What has been posted re: booking rooms is accurate so I second what has been said.

    Are you going to book through a travel agency? I recommend you do so and it costs you nothing. I went to WDW in the fall of 2006. I booked a room-only reservation with AAA discount through Wendy at Magical Journeys. I kept the annual pass and other discount options open. When Disney announced the free dining plan offer (as I'd hoped they would) Wendy contacted me and we changed the booking. Much easier than continually searching for discounts on your own.

  10. #10

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    Re: Planning my first WDW trip

    Quote Originally Posted by BC_DisneyGeek View Post
    What has been posted re: booking rooms is accurate so I second what has been said.

    Are you going to book through a travel agency? I recommend you do so and it costs you nothing. I went to WDW in the fall of 2006. I booked a room-only reservation with AAA discount through Wendy at Magical Journeys. I kept the annual pass and other discount options open. When Disney announced the free dining plan offer (as I'd hoped they would) Wendy contacted me and we changed the booking. Much easier than continually searching for discounts on your own.
    I looked into that, but at this time we are not getting a package, so no dining plan (and we don't plan on getting it unless it's free during our stay), we have definately decided to go with annual passes because we plan on doing Dive Quest, and it's worth the money for that discount alone, we aren't AAA members, and I did what what the unofficial guide says to do to get discount alerts directly from Disney. Will the travel agent make all the dining/show reservations that we want or do they strictly do packages/dining/rooms? Because I don't mind calling once a month about discounts or checking mousesavers.com to see what they have listed.
    Last edited by AlwysL8; 01-17-2008 at 02:51 PM. Reason: clarification
    Christina




  11. #11

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    Re: Planning my first WDW trip

    Thank you Geoffa for posting the Annual Pass Benefits that helped alot!
    Christina




  12. #12

    • Little Miss Sunshine
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    Re: Planning my first WDW trip

    [QUOTE=AlwysL8;2487862]I looked into that, but at this time we are not getting a package, so no dining plan (and we don't plan on getting it unless it's free during our stay), we have definately decided to go with annual passes because we plan on doing Dive Quest, and it's worth the money for that discount alone, we aren't AAA members, and I did what what the unofficial guide says to do to get discount alerts directly from Disney. Will the travel agent make all the dining/show reservations that we want or do they strictly do packages/dining/rooms? Because I don't mind calling once a month about discounts or checking mousesavers.com to see what they have listed.[/QUOTE

    I would go to Mousesavers and sign up for their newsletter. I wouldn't call Disney about discounts per se'. Disney may send you info, but the Mousesavers newsletter is as good or better (IMHO).

    Some travel agents will handle dining arrangements and look for discounts for you. Generally, a Disney specialist (and there are many agencies) will check for discounts the morning they come out. But if you choose to use an agent, then I'd go and ask them directly what they do offer.
    Denise

    www.mousesteps.com




    Favorite TDL Typo:

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN View Post
    I think it will give more pipping pervs the reason needed to go parasailing
    on Bay Lake.

  13. #13

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    Re: Planning my first WDW trip

    Quote Originally Posted by AlwysL8 View Post
    I looked into that, but at this time we are not getting a package, so no dining plan (and we don't plan on getting it unless it's free during our stay), we have definately decided to go with annual passes because we plan on doing Dive Quest, and it's worth the money for that discount alone, we aren't AAA members, and I did what what the unofficial guide says to do to get discount alerts directly from Disney. Will the travel agent make all the dining/show reservations that we want or do they strictly do packages/dining/rooms? Because I don't mind calling once a month about discounts or checking mousesavers.com to see what they have listed.
    Yes, I forgot to mention that. My agent did handle the dining bookings and the one backstage tour we took. Very convenient.

  14. #14

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    Re: Planning my first WDW trip

    Quote Originally Posted by nbodyhome View Post

    I would go to Mousesavers and sign up for their newsletter. I wouldn't call Disney about discounts per se'. Disney may send you info, but the Mousesavers newsletter is as good or better (IMHO).

    Some travel agents will handle dining arrangements and look for discounts for you. Generally, a Disney specialist (and there are many agencies) will check for discounts the morning they come out. But if you choose to use an agent, then I'd go and ask them directly what they do offer.

    THANKS! I just did that!
    Christina




  15. #15

    • Little Miss Sunshine
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    Re: Planning my first WDW trip

    Quote Originally Posted by AlwysL8 View Post
    THANKS! I just did that!
    Cool! Better to know exactly when the discounts come out, then a few weeks later. (better chance of snagging something!)

    Also, I'm a passholder but have also done free dine. I just have used my 1 day base ticket towards the price of my pass renewal.
    Denise

    www.mousesteps.com




    Favorite TDL Typo:

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN View Post
    I think it will give more pipping pervs the reason needed to go parasailing
    on Bay Lake.

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