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[Walt Disney World] Walt Disney World - 2019 Free Dining Promo Released (Valid July 5-September 30)

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  • Jan 16th, 2019 1:28 pm
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mrtvgame wrote:
Jan 10th, 2019 4:12 pm
No not at all. But this is no all inclusive vacation whereby you book it and forget it. Research, patience, planning and not trying to do it all, will serve you well.

It's not what it once was:

Only 1 park.

Then 2.

Then add 1 water park.

Add Downtown Disney.

Add 3rd park, then 4th along with a 2nd water park.

Add in fast pass, and 6 month dining reservation and more and more to do on property.

You now get a fairly prescribed vacation, that may not be for everyone.
Weird coincidence, I started talking with a lovely lady tonight at the bar who said she used to work at Disney World! I went over the 6 month dinner reservations, the 3 month fast pass, etc. etc. and she confirmed everything. Best was she said I must be an experienced Disney fan! lol I just read this thread earlier. She said working there was a blast and you live in little communities where the parties rage all night. She worked there as a "Canadian" which I found hilarious.
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redboy69 wrote:
Jan 10th, 2019 8:09 pm
Another tip regarding the Fastpasses. You are allotted 3 per day so its best to schedule all 3 as earliest as possible because once you have used all 3, then you can start booking Fastpasses again one at a time. Once we have checked into our 3rd Fastpass of the day, I immediately go into the app to schedule the the fourth. That way, we can try to get in as many rides as possible without having to wait in the regular lines.
Also note that the rides are tiered. The more popular ones like Test Track, Frozen, Soarin', Flight of Passage, River Na'vi, Slinky Dog, Alien Saucer, Toy Story Mania are Tier 1 meaning and you can only select one Tier 1 at a time. You will need to decide which Tier 1 ride is most important. Once you've used your 3 Fastpasses for the day, then you can schedule another Tier 1 ride if available.

Also, you can actually scan in exactly 5 min. before the scheduled if you want to get into the ride as soon as possible.
Furthermore, as I suggested early, start moving up the other 2 fast pass slots once you have scanned through your first fast pass of the day. As soon as you scan it is taken off your list, so you can start moving up the next one. Why? Get through 3 within 90 minutes or less and you are onto your 4th etc. Just try and keep them within the same area of the park to avoid running from one end to the other.

Also, look into special event tickets. Yes you will pay some more but the advantages can be justified. These are events like early mornings or late nights whereby only so many people have the ticket and you walk on and off many popular rides many times over. We did it over the holidays at Hollywood Studios for a Toy Story Land early morning. Park opened to regular guests at 9:00 but we had access with breakfast included from 7:00 a.m. As such we went on the 3 Toy Story Land attractions about 4-5 times each. To note, it was really incredible to watch rope drop and hordes of people coming towards us like zombies. lol. Within 10 mins., Slinky Dog line was almost back to the Frozen stage show! clocking in 3.5 hour wait!
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djdestroyer wrote:
Jan 11th, 2019 1:08 am
I wasn't being negative about it... I find it incredibly intriguing.
None taken....just didn't want to put a downer on those who might feel that if they weren't like the Disney vets that somehow their vacation might be a disappointment. A little planning, however, would make it better.
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Going to Disney World is like getting married, it's a pain in the ass to plan and it's god awfully expensive, however on the day of, go with the flow and you'll have a blast with tons of memories.
Tis banana is IRIE :razz:

10% off is cold, 50% off is warm, 75% off is hot, but FREE IS RFD!
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Yeah, as someone who has never gone to Disney World and is booking their first trip, the whole thing sounds very intimidating.

If it wasn't for the Star Wars stuff and having kids, I wouldn't have any inclination to go...
"God's in His heaven. All's right with the world." - Robert Browning (1812-1889)
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Winkle wrote:
Jan 11th, 2019 1:36 pm
Yeah, as someone who has never gone to Disney World and is booking their first trip, the whole thing sounds very intimidating.

If it wasn't for the Star Wars stuff and having kids, I wouldn't have any inclination to go...
It's intimidating but it will be well worth it. The reason why it sounds stressful is because we want you to do all the research ahead of time to save you the potential frustration while you are there. Can you go without all this planning? Sure you can, but wouldn't the vacation run smoother if you could have things planned out ahead of time?

We've all done it and trust us when we say, the research and preparation ahead of time will allow you to have a good time.
Tis banana is IRIE :razz:

10% off is cold, 50% off is warm, 75% off is hot, but FREE IS RFD!
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Winkle wrote:
Jan 11th, 2019 1:36 pm
Yeah, as someone who has never gone to Disney World and is booking their first trip, the whole thing sounds very intimidating.

If it wasn't for the Star Wars stuff and having kids, I wouldn't have any inclination to go...
Remember, everything comes in waves. First you book your stay. Then 180 days out, you book dining. Then 60 days out you book FastPasses.

Just tackle one issue at a time. Seems ludicrous, I know, but you'll be an expert in no time.
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chimaican wrote:
Jan 11th, 2019 1:58 pm
It's intimidating but it will be well worth it. The reason why it sounds stressful is because we want you to do all the research ahead of time to save you the potential frustration while you are there. Can you go without all this planning? Sure you can, but wouldn't the vacation run smoother if you could have things planned out ahead of time?

We've all done it and trust us when we say, the research and preparation ahead of time will allow you to have a good time.
jcon wrote:
Jan 11th, 2019 2:30 pm
Remember, everything comes in waves. First you book your stay. Then 180 days out, you book dining. Then 60 days out you book FastPasses.

Just tackle one issue at a time. Seems ludicrous, I know, but you'll be an expert in no time.
Yep, thanks. I booked through an agent and they'll be sending us various information packages at staggered times along with reminders for the dining reservations prior to the 180 days and the Fastpasses prior to the 60 days. They said they'll walk me through the whole process and answer any questions I have and help me plan the whole shebang so that helps quite a bit.
"God's in His heaven. All's right with the world." - Robert Browning (1812-1889)
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Winkle wrote:
Jan 11th, 2019 2:48 pm
Yep, thanks. I booked through an agent and they'll be sending us various information packages at staggered times along with reminders for the dining reservations prior to the 180 days and the Fastpasses prior to the 60 days. They said they'll walk me through the whole process and answer any questions I have and help me plan the whole shebang so that helps quite a bit.
Congrats! I know it is expensive but all things considered, what isn't these days? Great Wolf Lodge, Ontario Science Center, Metro Toronto Zoo, CN Tower, Broadway show, Theatre, Symphony. I look at some of those and think Disney is not that bad. And if you ever have the opportunity to take one of the behind the scenes tour, like Keys to the Kingdom, you will clearly see how well oiled this operation is. Example, we got to see their nursery and they essentially have a replacement tree ready for every large tree location in the parks. They showed us an example of a tree that got hit by lightning at Magic Kingdom on July night. They were able to replace it with the same species and size overnight before the first guest came through the doors the next morning. The laundry facilities and procedures are insane. Even going through the service department is interesting as many work on refurbishments and upcoming attractions. Wardrobe and concept planning areas are intriguing as they prepare for seasonal events. Animal Kingdom operations are very impressive. The animals are trained to come in every night for food, meds and medical checks. Thousands of people run behind the scenes 24-7. When you walk the parks and/or the property in general, rarely will you see any garbage laying about, or will you really see them change bins.

And if you have a genuine issue, speak to a cast member and/or manager and they will do their best to fix the situation. Example, we had breakfast early one morning at Crystal Palace at MK and my 5 year old son dripped orange juice all over himself. Of course the server helped with cloths and encouragement but then she said let me see what I can do. We did not know what that meant until 5 minutes later when a manager arrived at the table and gave us a merchandise voucher to buy a pair of replacement pants at any of the MK stores. She said we can't have you all wet starting your magical day, can we?

They will make your experience the best it can be!
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Nov 22, 2018
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Make sure you get a fastpass+ for Avatar Flight of Passage (Animal Kingdom). By far and away one of the most enjoyable "rides" I've been on. People were clapping after the ride. Without the fastpass, you'll have to wait 3.5 Hours. The other thing to note about getting on this ride is that the lineup is shortest within an hour of closing. Anyone in the line will still get to go on even though the park may officially be closed. Still probably a 1.5 hour wait though. Mind you, we went over Christmas and New Years which is probably the busiest time to go.
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Dec 3, 2013
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feminazi wrote:
Jan 9th, 2019 9:37 pm
Thanks to all of the posters on this thread! We are planning on going to DW for the first time in August (our kids will be aged 7 and 9 at the time).

We know people that have booked with a travel agent but I don't see the benefit of doing so. They can't get a better deal on a stay at DW with the free dining plan, on the tickets or on the flights can they?

...

So TLDR:

1) Is there any monetary benefit to be had by booking through a travel agent?
2) Do character meals cost extra on top of the table dinners and if so how much?
3) Is Pop Century significantly better than the All Star resorts?

Thanks again, this thread has been very helpful and we really want the girls' first trip to DW to be special! Neither of us have been to DW either as neither of our families had the money to go when we were young so we are very happy that we can take our daughters when they are young.

Edit: I was also wondering, do you pay sales tax on a Disney vacation when you book it online through Disney's website?

I was just thinking that buying gift cards here to avoid currency exchange markups wouldn't work out if you pay 13% sales tax on the gift cards here but not when you buy the vacation online . . .13% is lot higher than 2.5% . . .
There can be a benefit to using an agent if the agent is offering an agency exclusive deal. There are Disney authorized travel agents that buy blocks of rooms thru the Disney wholesale department and then sell them at a discount.
Few agents do this.
Try getting a quote from Magical Vacations Travel.

Other option is lately a lot of Disney resorts have been showing up on Priceline and Hotwire. I booked Animal Kingdom Lodge in August for $150 a night that way.
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feminazi wrote:
Jan 9th, 2019 9:37 pm
Thanks to all of the posters on this thread! We are planning on going to DW for the first time in August (our kids will be aged 7 and 9 at the time).

We know people that have booked with a travel agent but I don't see the benefit of doing so. They can't get a better deal on a stay at DW with the free dining plan, on the tickets or on the flights can they?

From what I have read here it is hotter than a snake's ass in a wagon rut in Orlando in August but we would prefer to go when DW is less crowded so August sounds like the best time to go for us . . .

I briefly looked into renting Disney points with DVC and it looks like you save a lot of money but we would have to pay for our dining and we want to do character meals (are they an extra cost and how much extra are they on top of the table dinner?). We are leaning towards a value resort with an upgraded dinner plan to the second tier. It would cost about 5400 bucks US with the memory maker flights from Toronto and upgraded tickets . . .we don't plan on spending much time at our hotel but it sounds like Pop Century (value) and Art of Animation (moderate?) are a cut above and a big cut above the other value resorts. Pop Century isn't much more but AoA is quite a bit more money . . .for a couple of hundred bucks is Pop Century that much better than the All Star hotels?

So TLDR:

1) Is there any monetary benefit to be had by booking through a travel agent?
2) Do character meals cost extra on top of the table dinners and if so how much?
3) Is Pop Century significantly better than the All Star resorts?

Thanks again, this thread has been very helpful and we really want the girls' first trip to DW to be special! Neither of us have been to DW either as neither of our families had the money to go when we were young so we are very happy that we can take our daughters when they are young.

Edit: I was also wondering, do you pay sales tax on a Disney vacation when you book it online through Disney's website?

I was just thinking that buying gift cards here to avoid currency exchange markups wouldn't work out if you pay 13% sales tax on the gift cards here but not when you buy the vacation online . . .13% is lot higher than 2.5% . . .
I'll try to answer for you.

First off they do not charge 13% tax on gift cards anywhere! It is essentially cash like any other gift card you would buy, let's say from Shopper's Drug Mart.

Character Dining can be more expensive than table dining because they are mostly buffet breakfast/lunch/dinner. Around $50 - $60 per adult and $30 - $40 per child in US dollars. If you get the upgraded meal plan, you should be able to use some of the dining on those kind of meals. I recall a princess dining experience at Epcot that was not buffet, Akershus Banquet Hall at Norway does ordering from menu for lunch and dinner. Pricing varies for what you eat and drink. We did a couple of buffet character meals over the holidays there and they ran us with tip $180 - $220 US. IMO, one of them was definitely not worth it and we would not do it again. Our kids are getting older and probably will not be interested in these kind of dining experiences much longer. Smiling Face With Open Mouth And to give you an idea on quick service meals, aka burgers, chicken, tacos, salads etc. 2 adults, and 8 year old and a 5 year old, we were averaging $44-$55 per quick service encounter. Ice Cream runs about $5-$7 per piece. Beer I think was about $8-$10 at the stands. You get the idea.

Yes Pop Century is better than the All Stars.

Renting DVC points is not a bad way to go depending on what you are looking for. Are you a family of 4 or less? When are you planning on going?

A travel agent might be able to price out a couple of options for you. They could go and show you a meal plan package with either quick meal or the upgraded one. And then create a package with room and tickets only. Then you can figure if the price difference is what you will spend on food etc. I think with these meal plan packages they are forcing you to take hopper tickets. If you are a first timer, I think most on here will agree, you will not be going to more than one park per day. As such, you are paying for something you do not need. Check the CDN pricing on 4 day or more, 1 park per day pricing to see what I mean.
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I can only say from my very limited experience so far that I think going with an agent has been a good call for us, the one I have was referred to by a family member and having spoken to her I've been very impressed with her in terms of her attitude (very cheery) and she seems very knowledgeable and has been super helpful with answering all my questions very promptly even over email. And she's basically holding our hand and guiding us step by step through the entire trip planning process. So I think for a first-timer like me, I think booking through an agent is a good idea. Also, the price she quoted me for our package, was only ~$100 USD cheaper then the quote I got doing it myself on Disney's website, so it's not like it's costing us anything extra.

I think if you're an experienced vet who knows what you're doing, probably not worth it or won't make much of a difference but for a noob like myself, I think going through an agent has been a good idea so far. I'm using Small World Vacations if anyone's interested, they're Disney-authorized agents.
"God's in His heaven. All's right with the world." - Robert Browning (1812-1889)
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Winkle wrote:
Jan 11th, 2019 4:47 pm
I can only say from my very limited experience so far that I think going with an agent has been a good call for us, the one I have was referred to by a family member and having spoken to her I've been very impressed with her in terms of her attitude (very cheery) and she seems very knowledgeable and has been super helpful with answering all my questions very promptly even over email. And she's basically holding our hand and guiding us step by step through the entire trip planning process. So I think for a first-timer like me, I think booking through an agent is a good idea. Also, the price she quoted me for our package, was only ~$100 USD cheaper then the quote I got doing it myself on Disney's website, so it's not like it's costing us anything extra.

I think if you're an experienced vet who knows what you're doing, probably not worth it or won't make much of a difference but for a noob like myself, I think going through an agent has been a good idea so far. I'm using Small World Vacations if anyone's interested, they're Disney-authorized agents.
And I think some of them will also book all of your dining and fast pass selections as well.
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Dec 11, 2017
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Folks, this discussion has been very helpful for a first timer like me ..... thanks for all the tips ....

Wanted to gather inputs on which rides should we book first on Fastpass (30 day window) ... have a 4 yr and 8 yr old with us .... and we will have a 5 day pass in DW...

Gathering notes to ensure i am all prepared D day - 30 :)

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