Time to go back! So, what's changed in the past 6 years?


#1

Howdy folks! We’re talking about a vacation at WDW next year, maybe as soon as January. Haven’t been since May of 2004, when we stayed at the Poly and had a great trip (pictures here: MY WDW PIX)

Things have changed with us - my youngest, who wasn’t yet born then, is now as old as my oldest was at the time (make sense? :huh:) So we think it’s a great time to take them. And when isn’t? :laugh:

But, what has changed at WDW and the planning process? Best advice I got (from this site!) was: Plan, plan, plan! So, in addition to general comments, here are some specific things I’m wondering about:

Polynesian - I think at the time it was recommended we go for the Tahiti room with lagoon view; that was the most recent renovation. Still the case? Something better/newer now?

What guide book do you recommend? I just ordered the vacation planning DVD, but recall that we had a very helpful book with pockets and such. Can’t remember the name.

Princess meals? Still have to call in at 6:59 a.m.? Do they have a good character meal for little (5 y.o.) boys?

Priority seating arrangements for other meals - still necessary?

I seem to recall we had early park admission on at least one day, maybe because we were staying at a resort. Does that sound right?

They still have the monorail between the Magic Kingdom and the three main resorts, right?

Parkhoppers - do they still do these?

Fast Passes - same question? I remember these were a great time-saver.

What’s this about a Dining Plan? I sure don’t remember that.

Mousketrips still good for tickets? And what was the car company recommended for transport from the airport to the resort?

Hmmm … what else should I be thinking about?


#2

The Contemporary has been fully remodeled as of 2006 if you’re going deluxe.
Parkhoppers, yes, but the whole structure has changed to Magic Your Way with options (non expire, park hopper, waterparks and Disney Quest), Pleasure Island is dead.
Monorails are still the same, although there are now only 11 of them since last July 4th and guest are no longer allowed to ride up front.
There is a full schedule of early and late extra magic hours (1 hour in the morning, 3 hours after official park close at night, parks and schedules vary).
Fast passes yes, but the most popular go early.
There are several character breakfasts, but if you want the Castle, you do need to call early. Nothing for boys though. I always make reservations for every meal, just to be sure.
Disney MGM Studios is now Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
New rides and shows: Expedition Everest (AK), Toy Story Midway Mania (DHS must get fast pass when park opens!), Soarin’ (Epcot), Captain Eo has returned (Epcot), Alien Encounter is now Stitch themed (MK), Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor (MK), The Seas has been transformed and rethemed to Finding Nemo (Epcot), Space Mountain has been refurbished and has new effects (MK).
I think that’s what’s new.
The dining plans were added as part of the Magic Your Way ala carte vacation plans. Check out stickied threads in the Restaurant forum, and if needed, post a new thread there.


#3

What hasn’t? You are in for LOADS of new fun!!

This is my favorite book:
The Complete Walt Disney World 2010
Julie Neal (Author)


#4

[QUOTE=MitchInVA;1039274]
Polynesian - I think at the time it was recommended we go for the Tahiti room with lagoon view; that was the most recent renovation. Still the case? Something better/newer now?

I don’t know much about this resort as I have never been but I am staying in Sept. The web site: www.tikimanpages.com can help you with any questions.
What guide book do you recommend? I just ordered the vacation planning DVD, but recall that we had a very helpful book with pockets and such. Can’t remember the name.

I LOVE the Unofficial Guide books but I think you are talking about the Passporter books

PassPorter.com - Walt Disney World, Cruise, Disneyland travel guidebooks, tips, planning, articles, photos, and information
Princess meals? Still have to call in at 6:59 a.m.? Do they have a good character meal for little (5 y.o.) boys?

Yes you still have to wake at the crack of dawn to make the reservation in the castle BUT another option is the Princess Meal in Norway. I have never done it before but I have heard great things and have it booked in September. My DS is 5 and he just loves Chef Mickey’s and we are also trying the Garden Grill in EPCOT for the first time with Chip n Dale.

Priority seating arrangements for other meals - still necessary?

In January ADRs (No such thing as Priority Seating, they are Advance Dining Reservations now) are not as required as in the summer or holidays but if you know your schedule I say make 'em anyway!

I seem to recall we had early park admission on at least one day, maybe because we were staying at a resort. Does that sound right?

Yes WDW offers Extra Magic Hours everyday. Some parks open early and some parks stay open late for WDW resort guests. You can find the schedule here: Calendar | Magic Kingdom Theme Park | Walt Disney World Resort

They still have the monorail between the Magic Kingdom and the three main resorts, right?
Yes

Parkhoppers - do they still do these?

Yes and are important if you want to go to more than one park in a day.

Fast Passes - same question? I remember these were a great time-saver.

Yep…They are awesome. Get Sorin’ and Toy Story Midway Mania as soon as you enter the parks.

What’s this about a Dining Plan? I sure don’t remember that.

Ahhh the Dining Plan. They have a couple options.

Quick Service Dining = 2 Counter Service Meals, 2 Snacks and a Refillable Mug
Plus Dining Plan = 1 Counter Service, 1 Table Service meal and 1 Snack
Plus Deluxe Dining = 3 Meals (I think your choice of Table Servie and Counter Service…Double check that) 2 Snacks and a Refillable Mug
Per Person, Per day

Mousketrips still good for tickets? And what was the car company recommended for transport from the airport to the resort?

I’ve never used Mouseketrips. You don’t need a car from the airport to the resort and vice versa. WDW now offers “Magical Express” for FREE! You get off the plane and go directly to the Magical Express terminal. WDW gets your luggage for you and it meets you in your resort room. Sign up for this when you book your trip and you will receive special luggage tags.
Hmmm … what else should I be thinking about?
New Stuff: Expedition Everest, Toy Story Mania, Soarin’ and Finding Nemo are AWESOME!

Have fun Planning![/QUOTE]

My answers are in blue!


#5

Be sure to ride toy story mania… and get there first thing in the morning, or you may not be able to get fastpasses. He might want to ride this more than once.


#6

When are you planning to go? Maybe you could get in on the free dining promo!


#7

Ooh, thanks so much! That’s all very helpful. Seems there has been more change than I expected!

Looks like I’ll have to do some more research on the Magic Your Way and Dining Plan options.

Oh yeah, Chef Mickey’s rocked! We winged it on that one, but I remember the girls had a great time. I’m sure my son will love it too.

Yes, it was the Passporter that I was trying to think of, but I’ll check out the Neal book as well.

Free dining? Free dining? We’re a bit flexible on the dates, so I guess I gotta look into that too! :slight_smile:


#8

[QUOTE=MitchInVA;1039404]
Free dining? Free dining? We’re a bit flexible on the dates, so I guess I gotta look into that too! :)[/QUOTE]

Yes, that would be great! Mickeysgirlz just posted a thread about the promo being extended thru 12/21 (with some blackout dates): http://www.mousebuzz.com/forum/wdw-resorts/55264-free-dining-has-been-extended-thru-12-21-a.html

There is also info directly on the Disney World website. Happy planning!