Archive for September, 2009

BoardWalk Inn Room Photos Needed

by on September 21, 2009

We’re looking for a couple of recent photos of the interior of a room at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. Anything of the dressing area, bath and shower, and room itself would be useful. Email to LenTesta@Gmail.com please. Thanks!

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WDW Today Episode 620 – Season 5

by on September 21, 2009

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Episode 620 of WDW Today is now available for download here.

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Henry On “Travel With Rick” Video Podcast Talking D23

by on September 18, 2009

Hey folks, while I was at the D23 Expo I had good luck to meet and sit down with @Rick_Howard and talk about the D23 Expo for the Travel with Rick podcast. This was taken outside the Grand Californian on the second evening of the expo. Rick was also nice enough to let me shamelessly plug TouringPlans.com as well as our Twitter and Facebook accounts (which I’m sure you all follow, right?!).

Go see how people are answering the “question for the audience” over on Rick’s blog (and leave one yourself!).

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WDW Today Episode 619 – Discounts That Aren’t Really Discounts

by on September 18, 2009

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Episode 619 of WDW Today is now available for download here.

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Free Disney Dining, Does It Always Save You Money?

by on September 16, 2009

Disney has extended Free Dining once again. What does this mean for you? Is Free Dining always the best option? To find out I compared: Room and Ticket rates (Magic Your Way) with Room, Ticket and Free Dining (Magic Your Way Plus Free Dining) and Room rates, Tickets plus Dining Plan (Magic Your Way Plus Dining)

Important things to know to keep the comparisons apples to apples:
1. Magic Your Way is the name Disney gives to packages. Magic Your Way includes: Room and Tickets.
2. When Disney offers Free Dining in Value Resort packages – it is Quick Service Dining.
3. Free Dining in Moderate and Deluxe Resort Packages — is the Basic Disney Dining Plan.

All prices are based on a trip November 2 – 6, 2009. 2 Adults, 2 children. Standard View. 4 Day Base Tickets. Tax is not included.

If you notice in the Deluxe category, it is actually $91.60 cheaper to purchase the Magic Your Way Plus Dining than the Free Dining offer. Just because FREE is in the offer, it’s not always saving you money.

Here are the numbers for the deluxe resorts:

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WDW Today Episode 618 – Listener Questions

by on September 16, 2009

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Episode 618 of WDW Today is now available for download here.

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90 Days Out: Making ADRs for my December Trip

by on September 14, 2009

Today marks 90 days until my friends and I arrive for another fun filled trip to Walt Disney World.  Any Disney geek knows what that means; time to make advanced dining reservations (ADRs)!  This job usually falls to me in our group, but since my friends are currently gallivanting around WDW without me, it was definitely up to me.   I thought about trying out the new online reservation system, but decided against it.  I’ve heard mixed reviews about the process and call me old school, but I like talking to someone at central reservations.  Maybe if we decide to add any restaurants to our current plans I’ll give it a whirl.

Before I discuss where we’ll be dining in on our holiday trip, here are some some basic guidelines to making your ADRs.  With the exception of Victoria and Albert’s, reservations at WDW eateries may be made up to 90 days from the date of check in.  However, the reservation policy will be going back to 180 days in advance as of October 27, 2009.  Guests can make ADRs for up to ten days from their date of arrival so have your resort resservation numbers handy.  Like I mentioned, there is an online option available at disneyworld.com or guests can call to make their arrangements.  A great tip for annual pass holders is to use the annual passholder line for this process.  The time spent on hold is almost always shorter with this special phone number.  If you are after seats at some of the more popular restaurants I highly advise calling first thing in the morning around 7 A.M.

I was not looking to dine anywhere particularly poplar so I didn’t call right at 7 this morning.  I was going wait to do it at lunch time this afternoon, but had a few extra minutes (by some small miracle) this morning so I dialed the pass holder hotline.  I’m happy to report I got everything I wanted at reasonable times!  I was surpised to hear there was less availablilty than I thought there would be.  We will be in WDW from December 13-20 which is generally a pretty quiet time.  I can only guess that the extension of the free dining promotion is the cause.  I’m not complaining about the times I got, but I’m just warning others who may be making their ADRs soon.

So where are we going to eat?  We are staying at the Boardwalk for most of the trip, so many of our bookings are at the resort or in Epcot.  Its also important to know that World Showcase is our favorite place to eat, so we often dine there in the evenings before taking in our favorite fireworks Illuminations: Reflections of Earth.  With that said we’ll be trying Disney’s newest culinary offering, Kouzzina, on our first night.  I’ve seen good reviews of celebrity chef Kat Kora’s Mediterranean fare, so I’m excited for this one.  The next day’s dinner will be in Magic Kingdom since there are evening extra magic hours that night.  The only MK restaurant I’ve tried was Liberty Tree Tavern back when there were characters.  So this time we’re giving it a shot and the honor went to Tony’s Town Square.  I have my doubts because I’m from Jersey so subpar Italian doesn’t sit well with me.  But, I’m willing to try anything once.   The next night we’ll take in the Christmas show and swing our steins of beer at Biergarten.  The following morning we may snag an ADR at Kona Cafe for breakfast or just hit Captain Cooke’s for the Tonga Toast and real coffee we must have on every trip.  I inquired about making a reservation at the Big River Grille at the Boardwalk, but the cast member who helped me said no reservations were necessary here.  And our last ADR is for a lunch at the Whispering Canyon Cafe.  I’m sure I’ll blog about all of the experiences after the trip!

The three month mark is always exciting and making the ADRs has gotten me very excited for our annual holiday trip to Disney World!  If you have any tips or tricks for making ADRs I’d love to hear them!

Next time I’ll discuss the Back Stage Magic tour I took around this time last year…

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Ticket Calculator Now Includes Shipping Charges When Finding Best WDW Admission Deals

by on September 14, 2009

Our Least-Expensive Ticket Calculator now includes shipping charges when searching for the best Disney World ticket discounts. Answer “yes” when asked whether you’ll be buying the tickets in advance to have shipping included. This new option is useful because some third-party vendors have slightly lower ticket prices than other vendors, but higher shipping costs. The new change to our Ticket Calculator takes all of this into account, so you get the best overall deal.

The next version of the ticket calculator will feature daily price updates from all major ticket vendors.

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WDW Today Episode 617 – Disney’s Marvelous Announcements

by on September 14, 2009

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Episode 617 of WDW Today is now available for download here.

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Website’s Disney Restaurant Reviews And Ratings Updated To 2010 Edition

by on September 11, 2009

We’ve updated all of the website’s sit-down and counter-service restaurant reviews and ratings to match the 2010 edition’s content. Attraction reviews and ratings should be done this weekend.

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