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swildman
09-06-2007, 08:24 PM
I was wondering if anyone has used his itineraries? DH and I are leaving September 28 for WDW and will be taking our DS4 and DS2. We will be staying for 7 days and plan to take things nice and slow - keep the kids happy and well rested. We will be staying at WL and I'm so excited about the trip! I've always wanted to stay at WL. When I originally booked the vacation I thought I was picking a perfect time to go. I thought the weather would be cooler and the crowd level low. However, now I'm getting worried that it will be unbearably hot and also crowded with families visiting during Fall Break. So, with that in mind I'm thinking that maybe I need a plan to help avoid long lines at the parks. But, I need a plan suitable for a family with two small children who are not interested in touring in commando fashion. Is Tour Guide Mike my solution? Does anyone have any other suggestions for me?:confused3
Thanks!

GoinToDisney
09-06-2007, 08:38 PM
YES! You have definitely found your solution!! Tour Guide Mike is about as ANTI-commando as you can get. He is a little too anti-commando for me, and I still LOVE him!!! :love: :love: :love: I think anyone can benefit from a membership to TGM. You will get to do so much more and not be stressed out. Our family has gone with and without him. Without TGM, we were more commando, accomplished less, and argued more because we were exhausted running all over the place trying to make the best use of fastpasses before we passed out. I have already signed up for TGM for our next vacation and we haven't even picked a month for certain yet. He will also give tips on how to beat the heat and anything else int he World you may need.

tanyaandallie
09-06-2007, 08:46 PM
I have used tgm for all 3 our trips. We have had great luck with his plans. He is very much non-commando. The last 2 trips I have had my 2 little ones (3.5 and 20 mos the first trip and almost 4 and 2 the second). I really liked tgm.

My only issue is that I found him to be completely unresponsive. I emailed his site 3 or 4 times asking for my discount code for being a repeat customer. No response at all. So, according their instructions I registered again and asked for a refund of the difference. NEVER came. Also, I think some of his information is outdated. Last time I looked was in May so I can't remember what all was outdated, but there is definitely some info in there that was very old and some newer rides and stuff that was not covered like I thought it shoudl have been.

But, in general, his site is good, good info, the suggestions on what day to go where is very helpful as are the sample tour plans. I'll use him again.

deedeetoo
09-06-2007, 08:51 PM
I have to strongly disagree with the above poster. We use TGM to pick our park days and strongly recommend him for this but do not use his touring plans. I think he is the ultimate park commando. Sending a runner to get fast passes on one attraction while rest of party goes to another? Come on. That is way more stress than I need on a vacation.

As I said we follow his park days and have a general idea what direction we will go in, but we do not follow a specific order. Nor do use hidden entrances and walkways. Its a vacation. There are more important things than hitting every single ride. I like to relax, smile and smell the roses.

Also he believes rides are more important that characters. That doesn't work for my family.

tanyaandallie
09-06-2007, 08:56 PM
OK, maybe you are right about the running for the fast pass thing. The way we used tgm plans they are very non-commando. But, perhaps that is b/c we have small children and we never ran to get a fp for anything b/c we didn't ride any of the rides that required a fp. My kids were too little and dh and I didn't want to ride alone. The only time we split up and ran (ok walked) for a fp was at AK.

I guess the reason I found him to be less commando is b/c he pushes heavily for the mid day break which we really like. He really helps you get as many rides in early on so that you don't have to be there during the most crowded parts of the day.

I think it all depends on what you consider commando. To me, commando is getting to the park and staying all day until you are totally beat.

swildman
09-06-2007, 09:08 PM
Thanks for all the advice so far! Haven't decided yet - still on the fence. We do plan to go to the parks early every morning, take a break and then go back in the evening. We won't do many if any "thrill" rides as my boys are still small - my oldest is not quite 40" yet. We do plan to focus a great deal on the characters as long as they are not afraid of them. (I hope they aren't b/c I've made ADR's for Chef Mickey, Crystal Palace and LTT)
I'm a little bummed that it looks like MGM will not have EMH in the evening while we are there and the parks seem to close very early the entire week. MK is open late but most nights it's open late for MNSSHP - which we didn't get tickets to b/c DH doesn't want to pay for the added expense. (i'm still trying to change his mind).

Kim1964
09-07-2007, 06:34 AM
We used TGM for the first time in August. His advice about which parks to hit on which days worked well for us. I used his touring plans as a starting point, but modified them to fit our family. I do think he needs to update them to include new attractions.

I found the message boards to be helpful, too. I haven't renewed my membership yet because we still aren't sure about going next year. (I started a new ticker just in case I can convince DH to go:)). If we do book a trip, I will renew.

Allison
09-07-2007, 07:34 AM
Make sure your first understand what TGM is and is not.

There are sample tour plans that people should use as a guide but you really need to make plans specific for your family based on the sample plansand the recommended times to see attractions.

Many people think you will receive a customized itinerary for your family. You will not.

rie'smom
09-07-2007, 07:56 AM
I've used Mike's best days for 3 years. He's on target everytime. In our family, I'm the runner because I don't like thrill rides. It works great for us. My husband has said that he will never go to WDW again w/out Mike's advice.

For daily touring, I use RideMax. This is a more tailored touring service. You type in your ADR's and which rides, attractions that you wish to see/ride and the program comes up with a plan suited to you.
Ride Max is 29.95 for a year and 18.95 for 6 mos.
TGM is 21.95.
IMO, it's a small price to pay to maximize our WDW trips.

tanyaandallie
09-07-2007, 08:49 AM
I've never heard of Ride Max. Will have to look into it next time we go!!

Tosie
09-07-2007, 09:04 AM
Love him! His advice has never let us down! We've used him for 3 trips so far and currently planning our next!

GoinToDisney
09-07-2007, 09:45 AM
We didn't need fastpasses very much with TGM because he has a list of what time of day is best to go on each ride. We ended up with extra FP's at first and stopped collecting them eventually. We saw every character we wanted to see, rode every ride, the best ones 2 or 3 times, and still had a relaxing vacation. Sending a fast pass runner is worth it if you do use FP's because it sets you up for a relaxing day. He tells you his preferences, but you have to adjust to fit your family's needs.