Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Disney Tip of the Week

Back again!

This one is more Diz related.

For you first timers going (Tracey, this is for you!), I highly recommend you do some research before you even buy your tickets or book your room. Mainly because it can seem overwhelming if you don't know the Disney vernacular or what you want. You might end up paying a lot of money for something you don't need. This is especially important if you're on a budget. Like me and millions of others!

I do all my research on line. There are books out there that you can purchase to help you and assist you with your vacation. I'm sure that these books are fine and handy and can give you all sort of great info.

However, if I'm buying a book, it's not going to be one that I will use for a one time vacation. Most of the books that are out there print out one each year. The information mostly stays the same. The only exceptions are changes to shows, rides and any new info or changes Disney has made.

Anyway, to get back to the point, I do my research on line.

Even though I'm a former CM (cast member) of the House of Mouse, I had not traveled to the World as a tourist since I was 12 and, more importantly, I had not gone with a small child.

I made the decision when light of my life was 3 to take her to Disney when she was 5. If I was gonna spend all that money, I wanted to make sure that she was going to both enjoy it and have memories of it. It turns out, 5 was a GREAT age to take her. She not only had a blast but she remembered a lot of the trip. We went again when she was 7 and she not only had more fun but she regularly brings up memories of the trip.

I started researching during the summer of 2003 and stumbled across a wonderful website that pretty much answered all my questions and had everything I needed to make this is a seamless and painless trip.

The website is http://www.allearsnet.com/. I can't go into words how informative this site is. It's easy to get around, has detailed information, links to other pages, photos, tips and advice. It has a page on how to do the World with small children, disabled members of your party, overweight guests, special diets and special needs guests. There is so much to see and do on this site. Even when I'm not planning a trip to Disney, I visit this site daily. No joke, I go every day. There's almost always something new or different for me to see.

Depending on how you're booking your trip (doing everything by yourself or buying a package), there are other sites out there that can help you as well.

Another site, http://www.mousesavers.com/ is another good resource. If you sign up for their newsletter, you can get hidden links to deals on tickets and rooms. I didn't know if this was for real or not, but just yesterday I received a newsletter from them with a hidden link for discounted tickets. I clicked on the hidden link and sure enough, I did find discounted tickets. Granted, I was only going to save about $40 plus shipping, but believe me, it's next to impossible to get discounted tickets, so saving this much plus shipping is a GREAT deal.

Beyond that, most of the other sites have the same or similar info that these two have. I visit the first site daily in addition to a few other Disney fan sites.

Some of the sites I visit have forums that are chock full of info as well. Most of that info is pretty much up to date as people who have just visited the site add updates and news to the forums. These are always good to read, especially if you are going on your trip pretty soon.

Here are some additional sites to visit for info and planning:

http://www.disneyworldtrivia.com/

http://www.intercot.com/

http://www.wdwmagic.com/

http://www.stitchkingdom.com/refurb/ this one usually has pretty good up to the minute refurbishment details. Refurbishment is when a ride or attraction is going to be closed for a determined amount of time so it can be made over or upgraded or fixed. If you're a big fan of a certain ride and your vacation will be absolutely ruined if you don't get to ride it, you may want to schedule your vacation around it's refurbishment time. Disney is pretty good about getting the info out way ahead of time and they (for the most part) stick to it.

That's all I got folks. Next week, I'll have some info on how to travel with small ones.

Now back to your regularly scheduled posts.

Later,

Mama Dawg

2 really cool people who give a rat's patootie:

Minivan Mom

Hey I'm not a first timer! I've gone 3 times.

This will just be the first time for the kids.

The best resource I have found are the DIS boards. Those people know EVERYTHING. And with my OCD tendencies, I have already been planning for quite some time. :)

Mama Dawg

LOL! Good. I didn't know you had gone before. I knew it was the kids first time, but I didn't know if it was yours or not. The DIS sites are pretty good, too. I just don't frequent those much.

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