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Welcome to WDW Today
Saturday, September 20 2014 @ 09:00 PM CDT

Episode 20 Now Available

PodcastEpisode 20 is now available for download.

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Show Notes

Hosts: Matt Hochberg, Mike Scopa, Len Testa, Sue Pisaturo & Mary Waring

Topics:
  • Picking a Magic Your Way Package
  • Mary recommends looking into if you really need a package
  • Disney has vastly improved the benefits of booking a package, you can still sometimes save more money buy booking seperately
  • Since 2003, the packages offered by Disney have gotten much better and Disney has been offering more package discounts than on seperate entities (room only or ticket discounts)
  • The basic vacation package includes room and tickets to the park(s)
  • Mary says that with the new Magic Your Way packages, you're no longer required to buy the amount of tickets to coincide with the amount of time you're staying on property. For example, you could stay a week at Walt Disney World and only buy tickets for one day ticket or go the other way and buy a 10 day ticket if you wish
  • Sue mentions that the advantage of buying a package through a travel agent is that travel agents can actively seek out new discount codes whereas Disney will not do that unless you ask about a specific discount
  • Mike asks if as an Annual Pass holder if it will save him money by booking a Magic Your Way package and only buying a one day ticket
  • Mary says in some circumstances the answer is yes and Mary recommends saving the one day ticket and use it to upgrade towards an annual pass later on
  • There are different cancellation policies between packages and room-only reservations. If you get a room-only reservation, you pay a one night fee as a deposit and pay remaining balance upon check-in and can cancel up to 5 days prior and get a refund of that deposit. If you get a package, you have to pay in full 45 days prior to arrival and as you get closer to your date if you cancel, you can lose $200.
  • Sue points out that if you had a room-only reservation within 5 days of arrival and you're staying at a resort where the cost is at least $200 per night you can lose more money than if you booked through the package (since the maximum cancellation on the package is $200).
  • Sue mentions that if you have a package and need to cancel and give a reason before your arrival date (meaning you don't simply not show up) and are willing to rebook, Disney will simply charge you a $50 change fee as opposed to the $200 cancellation fee
  • Both Magic Your Way Packages and room-only reservations include Magical Express (complimentry bus transportation to and from Orlando International Airpot)
  • Mary points out you can save as much a 45% with a discount code
  • AAA offers a 10% discount for it's members
  • Sue says there are now new discounts available for those booking travel between January 1 and March 8, 2006 however you must purchase a package that includes a ticket. The ticket will include a Park Hopping feature and the "Water Parks and more fun" feature which includes admission to the Water parks, Pleasure Island, Disney Quest and Disney's Wide World of Sports.
  • Mary gives an example assuming you were to stay at Pop Century for 7 nights on a Magic Your Way package for 2 adults with 10 day premium, no expiration option, the normal price is $1430 but with the discount, it comes out to $1170 (saving $250)
  • Mary explains the Disney Dining Plan and says that if you dine only at the counter service or fast-food restaurants then the dining plan might not be for you. If you eat at least 1 full service meal a day then in most cases you can't go wrong with the dining plan.
  • The dining plan costs $35 per day for an adult and that includes one full service meal, one counter service meal and one snack (a popcorn or water) and it's $10 per day for kids
  • Sue says in many cases you're saving money at meals and even if you break even, you allready have your meals paid for and can more easily budget yourself and know how much you're spending in advance
  • Mike warns first time visitors against the Dining Plan because first timers have a tough learning curve with the dining plan and can end up being very frustrated.
  • Mike recommends first time visitors skip the dining plan for the first trip and consider the dining plan for their second or third trips
  • Sue recommends using a travel agent for first timers to help with planning their dining at Disney World


Running Time: 18:54

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