Sheila Gallant-Halloran

Made-to-measure travel; please, go away! :-)

Disney’s Pop Quiz – the Answers (how’d you do?)

Here are the answers to yesterday’s pop quiz on Disney.  How did you do?

POP QUIZ

1.     Disneyland and Disney World are the same place

  1. FALSE – Disneyland (DL) is in Anaheim, California and Walt Disney World (WDW) is in Orlando, Florida 
  2. Walt Disney ran out of real estate in California – he had bigger dreams than he could build in California, so he started buying up swamp land in central Florida (under different names – so folks wouldn’t know what he was doing). 

2.     Theme parks are all that Disney does

  1. FALSE
  2. Sure there is DL, WDW, Hong Kong Disney, Euro Disney – but
  3. there is also Disney Cruise Line – 2 moderate-deluxe cruise ships very full (Disney Wonder and Disney Magic – more coming with Disney Dream)
  4. don’t forget Disney’s tour company Adventures by Disney – offers the Disney brand for quality, no characters, but family touring trips – trips to London and Paris, tours of Italy, ranching in Arizona
  5. there is also Disney Vero Beach and Disney Hilton Head 

3.     You can see all there is to see at Walt Disney World in Orlando in 4 days

  1. FALSE
  2. WDW encompasses 47 square miles – Walt bought up a lot of Florida swamp land/ real estate
  3. 4 major theme parks, 2 water parks, recreation (including golf, horseback riding, Cirque du Soleil)
  4. In a week, if you go from sun up to well past sun down, you will not see everything – you have to hit the highlights – why not plan, scout out the “must sees”, and plan on coming back?

 4.     If your kids are younger than 10, you’re wasting your time going to Disney because they won’t remember a thing

  1. FALSE
  2. The people who say this still celebrate Christmas and birthdays with one-year-olds
  3. There’s a world to explore with wee ones – Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom is designed for the youngest
  4. I’ve visited WDW while pregnant, with a baby in diapers, and a preschooler – and now going again
  5. Wide eyes of kids when see characters – they’re as real as Santa
  6. when kiddies truly believe in the magic, the memories (and photo ops) for mom and dad are priceless
  7. character meals offer special magical times with wee ones – I help in making dining reservations – have breakfast with Cinderella at the castle, lunch with Winnie-the-Pooh and gang, and supper with Mickey and Minnie at Chef Mickey – there’s also Lilo and Stitch
  8. everyone’s a kid when it comes to character meals – and the biggest kids (aged 90 and up) love character meals as much as wee ones
  9. there are other benefits to going with wee ones: Kids under 2 – don’t pay for air; kids under 3 – don’t pay for theme park tickets or dining; kids 3-9 have reduced rates on dining and tickets (once 10 or older, priced as adult)

 5.     If you’re not a ride person, Disney is not for you

  1. FALSE
  2. the rides are fantastic, don’t get me wrong – from easy going “It’s a Small World” to thrill rides like “Everest”
  3. but there is so much else to do at Disney besides rides
  4. Disney is popular with family reunions – grandma and grandpa go with parents and kiddies – everyone can do their own thing in the day or stay together – meet up for meals
  5. Magic Kingdom is for the kiddies – Epcot is designed more for the adults (Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom bring their own pleasures)
  6. Epcot – World Showcase (can wine and dine your way around the world) and future world – top restaurants
  7. Richard Petty driving experience
  8. Cirque du soleil
  9. There are dinner shows (like Hoop Dee Doo, Spirit of Aloha, and Mickey’s backyard BBQ)
  10. there are other Special events : like the Epcot – international food and wine festival September-November, the Epcot – international flower & garden show, the Hollywood Studios – Star Wars Weekends, and the Magic Kingdom – soap stars weekends
  11. Holidays are also done up in fine style with Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Pirate and Princess Party in winter, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, Holidays around the World with Epcot – Candlelight Procession – celebrities narrate Christmas story

 6.     The best time to go to the parks is when the kids are out of school

  1. False
  2. it may just be the worse time for crowds and cost
  3. Easter, Christmas, July 4th – avoid if you can – or plan around crowds, make sure you stay at an onsite hotel to take advantage of extra magic hours, and plan your meals! (there’s never Really a bad time to go to Disney)

  7.     You’ll have the best time going to Disney if you go by the seat-of-your-pants with no planning at all

  1. False (well, again, you can never have a bad time at Disney)… but remember
  2. WDW is 47 square miles – you can hit highlights in 4 days, but with no planning, and no advance dining reservations, you may also be buying yourself a big headache with queues at rides, and queues at meals
  3. you can have an absolutely FANTASTIC time if you plan – just a little – make reservations
  4. I do excel spreadsheet for my clients – I give them hours of all the parks, parade times, fireworks, and tell them the “extra magic hours” – I don’t plan vacays down to minute, but I help client’s plan what’s important, make dining reservations for sit-down meals so not 2 or 3 hour queue there – character meals
  5. and, of course, I meet with clients – give them maps for kids, dvd, and answer questions

 8.     Magic Kingdom is the happiest place on earth because alcohol is in abundance

  1. false
  2. it is the happiest place on earth, but not because of alcohol 🙂 – MK is dry. Even Liberty Tree Tavern serves only birch beer

 9.     Staying Off-site is cheaper than staying On-site

  • False
    1. Disney has a range of accommodation options – from value, moderate, deluxe hotels, to deluxe villas – there are 22 onsite hotels
    2. there is something for every budget – amenities change, you have to decide what bells and whistles you want, and how important location is (you pay less if you travel more to get to the parks – the closest hotels, on the monorail, then, tend to be the most expensive!)
    3. you can stay at a value hotel for only $100-150 per night (depending on the season)
    4. If you stay offsite, you have to pay to park each day ($14/day) and you have to rent a car – don’t need to do that if onsite
    5.  So many extras you get staying onsite, you can’t get if you stay offsite – it’s so worth it to stay onsite:
  • you can take advantage of Extra magic hours (enter a park 1 hr early, stay up to 3 hrs later at another)
  • you have free transportation to and from the airport with Disney’s Magical Express
  • you have free transportation in and around parks (bus, monorail, boat)
  • if you rent car, you get free parking at parks and resort
  • you can buy a myriad of Disney dining plans
  • you have maximum flexibility buying tickets (and can upgrade onsite if you want to make changes)
  • you can shop at the parks, charge items to your room, and have them delivered back to your hotel, and
  • you are surrounded by magic 24 hours

 10.    Food is the most expensive part of visiting Disney

  1. FALSE
  2. Regular dining plan if stay onsite – ~$42 USD / night/ adult and $12 USD/ night/ child è 42×7=294 for week for adult and $84 for child (one table service, one counter service, one snack per night – this really is plenty of food, my family buys a dining plan every time we go to Disney, and often have food left over so that we are brown bagging a lunch to have on the way to the airport)
  3. Tickets – a 7 day park hopper pass will cost ~$320.57 USD/ adult, and $296.07 for a child aged 3-9 (children under 3 enter the park for free)
  4. Hotel – depending where you stay – value  (say $120/ night ~$30 pp x7 =$ 210)
  5. Air – generally going to be ~$500 per person, you might spend hours trying to save a couple of dollars, but generally air is going to be the most expensive  part of the trip (from Ottawa, anyway – can be some savings if you fly from Montreal or Toronto – or Syracuse, Plattsburgh, or Buffalo – but then you have to contend with driving time, parking costs, and possibly border crossings for my Canadian friends) – know the air costs are going to be big upfront , own it, and deal with it as best you can!  Unless you have frequent flier miles (and then have usually still pay for taxes), the reality of the situation is that air travel is expensive.

 11.       Buy base tickets to see all you can, park hoppers are a waste of time

  1. FALSE
  2. See more for only $50 pp for your entire stay
  3. buy a park hopper ticket over buying a base ticket – a park hopper ticket lets you come and go to multiple parks each day – that way, you’re free to stay in MK, if you feel so inclined; but you aren’t stuck to do so – if MK is busy, you can hit the highlights and move to Epcot; if it’s killer hot and the lack of shade in AK gets to you, you can go elsewhere
  4. you can also maximize the fun of the Extra magic hours with a park hopper ticket – suppose that Magic Kingdom opens early, & Hollywood Studios open late – if you’re onsite, you get to enter MK at 8am  (other guests not staying onsite can’t enter until 9), and you get to stay at HS until midnight (offsite guests have to leave at 9) – the extra magic hours let you go and come from parks
  5. just remember: you can’t use extra day on base count to enter more one park on the same day (e.g., cannot purchase a 10 base base ticket, and try to use one day count to visit MK and one day count to visit Epcot on the same day – Disney’s systems are wise to that ploy. If you try, you’ll be refused entry, and escorted to the ticket window to upgrade your ticket to a park hopper)

 12.      two 5-day-park hopper tickets cost the same as one 10-day park hopper ticket

  1. false
  2. Disney charges the most for one day tickets, then every day you add, the price per day goes down
  3. A 10-day ticket is the longest day count you can purchase (other than an annual pass), and it gives you the most value
  4. A 5 day park hopper ticket costs ~$1239.68 USD for family of 4(2 adults and 2 children over 10)
  5. A 10 day park hopper ticket costs ~$1346.16 USD for the same family of 4 – that’s incredible!  You get to spend 5 extra days at the park (doubling your time) for $106.48 USD.  That’s ~$25 per person, or less than $5 per day for extra time in the parks. 
  6. A 5-day ph ticket will cost each person $309.92 USD, or ~$62/ day – so the savings at buying the longest possible ticket stay is incredible.
  7. Stretch your vacation time at Disney – you’ll see more, and save more!

 13.       with the tough economic times, Disney is really hurting

  1. FALSE (well… not hurting as badly as others…)
  2. There have been oodles of specials in the past year – free dining has been offered several times (and been extended), and there have been gift card promos, free nights on a package, etc. – more specials than even after 9/11 – Disney definitely wants to keep the parks busy… but…
  3. They are also building 2 new ships – announced new cruises to Alaska
  4. They are sailing to Mediterranean
  5. They’ve announced a major expansion of Magic Kingdom
  6. And they’ve raised park ticket prices for first time in a couple of years
  7. Mickey is still doing quite well!
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August 20, 2010 - Posted by | Lush Life Disney, Lush Life Kids, Lush Life Other Items, Lush LIfe Top Posts, Lush Life Travel TIps & Advice

4 Comments »

  1. Disney?s Pop Quiz ? the Answers (how?d you do?)…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

    Trackback by Beat Alcoholism 101 | August 21, 2010 | Reply

  2. Hi Sheila,

    I had not seen your blog before, but I found it interesting. The entire family went to Disney in May 2010. We’re planning on going back again in 3-4 years. We have a meeting in L.A. in 2012, so am planning on stopping at Disneyland with the kids then too. I had not been there since I was very young (Epcot was not opened yet, but being built). It was a great experience and the kids (and my wife) loved it (it was their first time). My parents and sister also tagged along. We stayed at the Caribbean Beach.

    Although I had not seen your suggestion for the Excel sheet, I had done one myself to plan out our days (meal times, Extra Magic Hours, Fireworks, Parades, etc). The only restaurant we missed out on was Le Celier. We booked our ADR’s about 5 months out and that was the only place I could not get into.

    The places we liked the best for meals were: AK-Tusker House (breakfast); AK-Yak and Yeti (lunch); HS-Mama Melrose’s (dinner + fireworks); Epcot-Chefs de France (dinner); MK-Liberty Tree Tavern (lunch). The girls also liked the lunch at Cinderella’s Royal Table after getting dressed up at the Bobidy Boutique.

    In case you’re interested, a sampling (200 out of 1400) photos taken from our trip are on my Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=219757&id=614934523&l=a5034531f9

    Comment by Christian Levac | November 3, 2010 | Reply

    • Hey Christian – just had a look at some of your photos. You have two gorgeous princesses! I have two daughters as well – isn’t it fun to do Disney with them?

      Sounds like you’re applying your analytical skills with the excel spreadsheet 🙂 – it’s something I always did for myself, so started doing it for clients too, and they loved it. You took in some pretty cool restaurants too – next time, you’ll have to try the hair wrap (if you’ve already done Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique – although we’ve done multiple trips there).

      So cool that you loved Disney. DL is very small in comparison to WDW (our last trip, we drove past a MK parking lot that the cast member told us would house the entire DL parks).

      It really is amazing to go, though, isn’t it? If Epcot hadn’t opened (that’s >25 years now), Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom weren’t opened for your first visit either – so you saw a lot of changes. Sure you’ll see more next time you go as well. We’ve been 18 times now (we’re somewhat fanatical :-)…) and each time, we see something new.

      Course, we do somethings over and over – each time we go, we go to Chef Mickey’s and get pictures done. They’re all framed on my office wall, so I can see how the girls have grown over the years.

      Lovely to hear from you, and take a sneak peak at your visit to Disney. Let me know if you want a return trip – be my pleasure to help!

      Take care,
      Sheila

      Comment by Sheila Gallant-Halloran | November 3, 2010 | Reply


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