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Sunday, August 28 2016 @ 12:06 AM CDT

Episode 612 - Listener Questions

PodcastEpisode 612 is now available for download.

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Questions can be emailed to questions@wdwtoday.com or use this form

Hosts: Matt Hochberg, Len Testa & Fred Hazelton


  • Listener Questions

  • Michael from OK asks whether the park opening hours will be published more in advance.
  • Kevin says that the latest episodes have been depressing.
  • Matt asks about the Hilton Hotel.
  • Ron from TX asks whether crowds are really high, as bookings are down.
  • Rob says that he is finding Car Rentals to be expensive. Please post in the shownotes your Car Rental price, where you have rented it from, the dates of your travel, whether you have used a discount code, and how far in advance you have booked it.
  • Brad from IL asks where the Kim Possible missions should be added into the 2-day Early-Riser Epcot Touring Plan, and how many missions could be done.
  • Brad from IL asks how to do Star Wars Weekends.
  • Len Testa asks Matt about the Star Wars 2.0 film, and then wagers Matt.
  • Kelly from TX asks about the easiest way to get to Universal Studios, when not renting a car.
  • Gabrellia from Canada asks about customising Touring Plans.
  • Mellisa asks for the Panel's top tips for touring at Christmas.
  • Mellisa asks whether she should take advance of EMHs at Christmas.

  • Running Time: 28:22

Episode 612 - Listener Questions | 28 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Rental Information
Authored by: jcodirewolf on Wednesday, September 02 2009 @ 09:03 AM CDT
$52/day 20 Aug National pickup @MCO Return to Dolphin booked it about 2 weeks before
Episode 612 - Listener Questions
Authored by: wizmo2 on Wednesday, September 02 2009 @ 11:35 AM CDT
315.00 for a minivan from Sept17-26.Renting from Payless after joining their e mail club.I have recently priced this through numerous sites and have never gotten closer than 430.00
Episode 612 - Listener Questions
Authored by: GrnMtnMan on Wednesday, September 02 2009 @ 12:57 PM CDT
Prices were way-high for the past 4 months, but came down a good bit in the past few days. Deals are better right now at the airport than at the WDW locations....up until last week deals were much better off-airport.

Anyway, with a Costco 15% off discount code, I'm paying $216 ($156 for 8 days, 9/19-9/27, before taxes and fees) for a full size from Enterprise at MCO, which includes as spouse as an additional driver. Economy cars were just $20 or so cheaper for the whole week, so I splurged.
Episode 612 - Listener Questions
Authored by: msahovey on Wednesday, September 02 2009 @ 01:57 PM CDT
We are visiting Disney from September 26th through October 6th. We are renting from Alamo using the Walmart discount code from mousesavers. We are paying $306.68, with $86.86 in fees so $362.87 total. They are considering it 10 days so we are paying about 36 dollars a day for a midsize. I booked this August 21, 2009.
Authored by: AmyC on Wednesday, September 02 2009 @ 07:39 PM CDT
I don't think the podcast is too negative. There's a difference between negative and truthful. If something is a fact through someone's eyes, it's truth to them, and I think they have the right to express it. I mean...it's your (the fab five) podcast, you have the right to say whatever you want on it. I have a choice to tune in or tune out. I find myself agreeing with most of what you say, good or bad, and if I disagree, I still listen, because I'm still informed and entertained and I still love it. If all you guys talked about was "faith, trust, and pixie dust," and so on and so forth...I don't think I'd still be a listener. I have experienced some bad stuff at WDW. It isn't all good there and I don't want to hear that it is. I want fair, balanced, and true coverage, and I feel like I get that with WDW Today. I want to know what to avoid as much as I want to know what to really pursue. The input you provide has made impressions on my Disney vacations, every time for the better. So thanks for all you do on the show, I don't think it's too negative, and keep going. I appreciate it so much! --Amy from Kentucky
Episode 612 - Listener Questions
Authored by: nahtazu on Wednesday, September 02 2009 @ 07:50 PM CDT
Our travel dates are 9/5 - 9/16/09. Today I booked a compact car through Alamo using a $25 off coupon from their website. The price is $227.35 including all taxes.

I read on a messageboard that it's good to keep checking rental car prices. So I tried it this trip and it really works! Here's my booking history:
5/24/09, Dollar, $401.92 using KISS code from Mousesavers.
5/25/09, Dollar, $345.79 using OOAG code from Mousesavers.
7/27/09, Dollar, $334.90 using Oi1054 code from Mousesavers.
8/4/09, Alamo, $331.01 using the Alamo.com weekly coupon ($20). I really wanted Alamo for their Kiosk.
8/15/09, Alamo $302.75 using the Alamo.com weekly coupon ($25) plus their 10% off coupon.
8/31/09, Alamo $282.23 using the Alamo.com weekly coupon ($25) plus their 10% off coupon.
9/2/09, Alamo $227.35 using the Alamo.com weekly coupon ($25).
Episode 612 - Listener Questions
Authored by: geoffcl on Wednesday, September 02 2009 @ 10:24 PM CDT
Booked 4/9/09 for a trip 2/4/10->2/19/10

National - 7 Passenger Minivan $199/wk (w taxes, ect is 561.15 for the trip)
Episode 612 - Listener Questions
Authored by: CVRead on Thursday, September 03 2009 @ 09:16 AM CDT
We are flying down to Orlando Oct 14th to 28th 2009 for our first trip to WDW (family of 4, my wife and I and a 11 & 8 yr old). I just book our rental car last week ( Aug 28th). I signed up for Nationals emerald club which is free, I got a Standard SUV for two weeks and the total was 569.69 (usd) unlimited distance. We really looking forward to our trip, 41 days until we arrive!! I am loving all the Tim Hortons mentions on the podcast, their coffee is my life blood!!

Chris Read
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Episode 612 - Listener Questions
Authored by: KenG51 on Thursday, September 03 2009 @ 10:47 AM CDT
We rented a mid-sized SUV from 8/19-8/22, one way from MCO and returned at the Dolphin for $189.44. We used the Entertainment book coupon for Alamo ($25 off min 3 days plus entertainment disc). I had been checking every day to lower my previous rate of $243 and after the one day, it went back up to the $243 rate.
Len's Excsuses
Authored by: Kfischler on Thursday, September 03 2009 @ 10:48 AM CDT
Len, When you started the show with reasons why you have not made recent shows, are you sure you didn't leave out... your suit was at the cleaners, your car broke down, an old friend came in from out of town... you swear it wasn't your fault.
Rental car rate at Thrifty in December
Authored by: hrngffcr on Thursday, September 03 2009 @ 12:57 PM CDT
I wanted to make sure I had everything initially locked in early (I'm an anal retentive planner, what can I say) so I made a reservation online a month ago for December 1-5 with Thrifty. I am picking up and dropping off at Orlando airport. It is for the Dodge Caliber or similar, so not the smallest car available. I used a code from the Orlando card (forgot the official name). The rate is $25 a day for five days (total of $175 for the five days after they add on all of the taxes, etc).
Episode 612 - Listener Questions
Authored by: Not2Goofy on Friday, September 04 2009 @ 04:10 PM CDT
We rented from National an intermediate car at the Orlando airport from Aug 13-20 for $411 including taxes and all the fees. We reserved the car one week in advance and did find a lower price before or after this. We probably could have gotten a little cheaper (about $50) from another company, but being an Emerald Club member, we can bypass the rental car counter and go straight to our car. The only thing more I hate when traveling than going through the check-in and security lines is standing in line for a rental, when more often than not there are too many customers for too few rental car reps at the counter.

Being an Emerald Club member gave us a 15% discount plus we had a found $20 discount from Mousesavers. The other nice thing was that we could choose any car in the intermediate aisle and have the same rate so we picked a convertible Sebring. That would have added $200 to the rental price if had chosen that car when we reserved it.
Episode 612 - Listener Questions
Authored by: Quacktatty on Friday, September 04 2009 @ 06:11 PM CDT
I booked with Dollar on 6/22 - 1 week + 4 days (10/21-10/31) using the KISS2 code.
$255 base rate, $346.59 total with taxes - Economy Car
Episode 612 - Listener Questions
Authored by: bkoehl on Saturday, September 05 2009 @ 05:18 AM CDT
We rented Wed-Sun end of July for $152.64 with Payless. I would NOT recommend them (see my reply to an earlier post) as they are HORRIBLE. But they were cheap.

I just got a great deal for Nov 12-16 at Dollar using the KISS2 code. Mini van was originally $566.14 and with the code it was $286.76!! Almost $300 less. I had looked at compacts and intermediates for that time as well thru Costco (which always seems to be the cheapest) and they were running around $220-250 for the same time.

We are also renting Oct 16-19 and got a fullsize for $139 at Budget (again Costco discount)
Episode 612 - Listener Questions
Authored by: cgs878 on Saturday, September 05 2009 @ 10:02 AM CDT
We are visiting WDW from September 26 - October 2. I made my 7-passenger minivan reservation with Alamo on 04/02/2009 using Contract I.D. 7014664. The rate is $199 for the week, which comes out to $250.52 with the fees and taxes added on. I rented it from the Tampa airport location (since tickets to Tampa from JFK were like $60 less per person and I have 4 people to transport and the drive to Orlando from Tampa isn't bad).

I keep checking the Alamo site for better deals, but I haven't found any. The lowest that I've been able to find using their codes & deals is $420.80 ($345.30 base + $75.50 fees & taxes) using Contract I.D. 7014615. I don't bother checking the other car rental agencies because I like Alamo the best - I've never had a problem with them, and I've rented in Florida from them at least 10 times.
Episode 612 - Listener Questions
Authored by: Julia S on Tuesday, September 08 2009 @ 11:06 AM CDT
Hello WDW gang! I'm a little behind on my podcast listening and just caught the Sep 2nd one while walking to get in shape for my visit the WDW the second week in October. I just started to listen to your show a few weeks ago and am SO enjoying you guys (term used to include both girls and guys) and the talk about one of my favorite places on earth!

So you asked...car rentals...Time frame, 6 weeks b4 WDW visit I found the best price by using a code from Mousesavers for Dollar and got a premium car for $227( b4 taxes) for 6 days ( though it gave this price for a week). I cross checked their regular price, which was well over $400.

With some spare time at 4 weeks B4 I did some more looking and found a code on Mousesavers for Thrifty and got the same size ( premium) for $211 for the same amount of time. As my husband is 6'6" I was looking for a midsize to full size, so his knees wouldn't be pressed against the dashboard, and found that the offers for double upgrades were the best way to go, however the Orlando Magic card code forThrifty beat even the double upgrade deals for the same car. I compared all in airport rental agenceis.

WHICH BY THE WAY brings up a VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION-I think I read in two different places, Mousesavers and touringplans.com that THRIFTY is in the airport, but it does not say that in the print version of the 2009 Unofficial Guide. Can you confirm this? If I am mistaken, I would prefer to go with Dollar for the slightly higher price for the speed of using the in airport service. WOuld you agree?

Keep up the great work!
Car Rental
Authored by: MayorWeaver on Tuesday, September 08 2009 @ 11:37 AM CDT
We were in Orlando 8/22 the night before a cruise and rented a car for the day for $28 from National including taxes, fees, etc. Midsize. As a side note I'm a big Emerald Club fan and when I returned the car I was shocked at what was going on in the garage. There was no one to receive the car from me when I returned it, so I walked down to the service hut in the garage. It was bedlam. After about 15 minutes I got someone to come down and accept the car from me. He said that with the car manufacturers declaring bankruptcy earlier this year the rental companies lost a lot of vehicles and that they didn't have enough cars to satisfy their reservations. I don't know about the logic of his explanation, but I had never seen anything like it. There were plenty of cars around 3:30 when we took the car, but at 9:30 the only thing in that garage was angry people.
Episode 612 - Listener Questions
Authored by: Bambi on Tuesday, September 08 2009 @ 02:20 PM CDT
I rented 2 fullsize cars from Alamo at the Car Care Center on Aug 2 for pick up Sat Sept 26. I used a VISA coupon (AF3475JDG) for 1 free day. Our party of 8 is staying at the Wilderness Lodge Sept 22 to Oct 3. We have many ADRs and wanted a car for added flexibility. I found it less expensive to rent for 1 week vs the entire stay. The weekly rate is MUCH better than the per day rate. My quote includes an additional driver and the total was $240 for each car with taxes, surcharges and fees (about 35/day). We planned our resort and DownTown Disney reservations during the week we have the car.
Episode 612 - Listener Questions
Authored by: rlank on Monday, September 14 2009 @ 01:19 PM CDT
So now that Matt lost the Star Tours bet, when does he get to ride Dinosaur again?
Episode 612 - Listener Questions
Authored by: dkcarter on Saturday, September 19 2009 @ 12:46 PM CDT
dec 11-15th picking up at regal sun from dollar [ cheeper fees and taxes than mco] midsize 4 Days at $27.00 per day. Unlimited mileage. Total Estimated Charges: $127.47,Rate Code: KISS
Episode 612 - Listener Questions
Authored by: rich_in_ct on Monday, September 21 2009 @ 10:27 PM CDT
Best price with National, $458.55. This was including a free day from frequent rental program. This was their best rate. The rental period was 8-16-2009 to 8-25-2009. The vehicle was a full size. This rental was booked 6 months in advance and rates checked weekly, daily the last three weeks. By comparison, in 2008, the same period of time, we were able to rent a midsize SUV for $356.51, in 2007 midsize SUV, same period was $332.92. If we wanted to rent the midsize SUV for 2009 it would have cost us $662.01 as their best rate with all coupon combinations available.
To summarize that from 2007 to 2009, $332.92, $356.51, $662.01. That's an 85% increase where 2008 was only 7%.

We ended up going with Dollar who's rate was $371.51 for a fullsize car. While we really enjoy the benefits of using the Emerald Club and picking our car, the $80 savings pushed us over to Dollar. The person at the counter of Dollar said that they would be setting up their express in a similar fashion as National does.

I will return to National when they get their rates back down to earth. I would never go without a rental, especially after this trip. The crowds were at their worst and the bus service was mediocre at best.