View Full Version : WDW in 5 days-Help Please!

02-24-2009, 02:36 PM
Hello, new to the board. My husband, myself, and daughter age 2 are leaving for WDW 2/28 to 3/7. We're very excited, but have so many questions.
First, our 2 year old now has a runny nose and may be coming down w/a cold. We're still planning on going, but if for some reason she were to get sicker and we couldn't go, would we be able to change our reservation to a later date or just be out of luck?I know we couldn't get a refund (didn't purchase trip insurance-wish we had).
Also, when we booked the airfare, the only return flight available at the $59 dollar rate through airtran leaves 3/7 at 6:20 in the morning. We went ahead and booked it thinking the prices would just go up. Today, I see that there are several flights available later in the day at $59. We're thinking of either paying the fee to change the airfare to later in the day 3/7 or early evening of 3/6 (I know, defeats the purpose of the cheaper airfare). If we changed it to 3/6, is it too late to make a change to our hotel reservation to shorten the stay by one night? We're thinking we really don't want to wake up at 3 am!
Lastly, if you made it this far, we did not sign up for the dining plan and we're thinking maybe we should. We only have until tomorrow to sign up. If we did the dining plan, it would be the basic plan. We'll probably eat about half our breakfasts in the room, no table service meals (maybe 1), and counter service lunch and dinner. I think we'll pay less out of pocket, my husband thinks the dining plan would be a better deal. Any advice?
Thanks, appreciate all I've learned so far reading these boards. FYI, we're staying in All Star Music.

02-24-2009, 02:56 PM
I would definitely change the air to a later flight. Are you using Magical Express? If so, they pick you up at your resort for your return flight approx.
3 hrs. before your scheduled departure time. It would be well worth the change fee to leave later in the day. Did you use a travel agent? She can check on adding a day to your reservation, otherwise call Disney and see if it is available. I just returned and from 9 days at Disney and did not use the dining plan, but I do think I would have saved money by using it. I haven't checked all my receipts yet, but it adds up quickly. The quick service plan is about $30/nt. per person. It gives you 2 quick service meals, 2 snacks and a resort mug that you can refill at your resort unlimited times during your stay. Good luck and I hope your daughter feels better quickly! I'm sure you will have a wonderful time!!

pepe of ohio
02-24-2009, 03:02 PM
You have alot on your plate right now but I'll see if I can be of service, I wouldn't shorten the trip at all but add to it if I could. Disney World is huge, we feel that the travel cost justifies a longer stay. As for the slight cold, well we come from northeast Ohio and this past January we went to WDW and traveling, we go by train, to Florida the big difference in climate always takes a toll, us it's sinus problems but after a couple of days in Florida temps, all's good.

As for the dining plan, we've logged 42 trips to WDW and never used the dining plan, we feel no savings on how and where we eat. We do pool picnics everyday with groceries picked up in route, snacks and drinks too. We also found the meals to be huge, too much really so we split most meals. There are others that swear by the dining plan but for us it's a waste, we do not like schedules and placing ADR's in advance won't work for us, we eat when we're hungry and haven't had any problem getting last minute reservations. Table Service meals do not interest us, especially at Disney, alot of cash for alittle food, signature restaurants are not worth it to us, plus they eat up alot of time. We have our favorite places where we get what we like to eat and there is always something in that area that we can spend time on, say POFQ, we usually stay at WL but travel over to POFQ for a meatball sandwich, catch the jazz player at the Scat Cat Club then take the boat from there to DTD for an ice cream, stroll and bus back to our resort, maybe a movie too.

We used to do planned trips, but long ago we gave up on all the planning and structure and just let the magic come naturally, even down to just jumping on the first bus to pull in. We have a more relaxed and carefree vacation and that's what a vacation is supposed to be.

02-24-2009, 03:09 PM
Thanks for the info. We booked through the disney website. I think I'm leaning toward paying the 225 to change the airfare (ouch!) to a later time on 3/7 (our check out day). That way, we get one more day at the parks and that day is free anyway w/the 4/3 deal. Still undecided about the dining plan, I think we'll spend less out of pocket, but I guess w/the dining plan we would have less stress than constantly worrying about the cost of food.
I haven't been to WDW since I was a kid, and back then I didn't have to worry about a thing!
Thanks for the advice.

Disney DieHard
02-24-2009, 05:36 PM
Hey there DisneyFeb09 ... I hope you get to read this this prior to your leaving.

Well, I personally wouldn't cancel the trip unless you think that the cold is going to get SIGNIFICANTLY worse. You know your little girl better than anyone here ... but I'd ride it out! I think it would be more work to try and re-arrange everything than to just go there with her feeling a little under the whether.

As far as the D.D.P. goes ... while I cannot boast as many trips as Pepe can I absolutely agree that it is not worth it ... however, I'll say that with a "But"!

I'm not sure of your details and situation but my family and I try to go down every year and do everything ... from the Disney Parks to Universal to the Florida Mall and flea markets to Old Town so we obviously rent a car. Also, since we go every year we are Annual Pass Holders which means we can come and go in and out of the parks as we please. So if you do NOT have your own car or don't have the option to enter and re-enter parks as you please then that could gum up what I'm about to say.

Save for character meals and certain restaurants like O'hana my family and I agree that dining in Disney is a rip. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Disney but $$$ is a factor for almost everyone who goes.

You can go to breakfast, lunch, or dinner off property to a Perkins or Red Lobster ... have a better more satisfying meal at a cheaper price. I mean let's face it pay $6 for a Disney burger is a rip when you can go to a Perkins and get a burger, fries, & shake for $7 or $8.

BUT ... there's that BUT ... but, if you don't have a car, or the ability to come and go in and out of the parks, or plan to stay at the parks all day to get everything in then it may be a good idea simply because there is no other alternative.

I hope this helps ... if I can help in any other way PLEASE do not hesitate to ask!!! Hope you have a FANTASTIC vacation!!!

Have A Magical Day!

Disney DieHard

02-24-2009, 06:08 PM
Unless you already have reservations made, it might not be worth it to add the dinning plan. For most TS meals, you need an ADR - which you may not be able to get this close to your trip. But you might save money on the Quick dinning plan - I know allears.net has menus for counter service restaurants - you could do a quick check on what most items cost. You could probably share with your two year old and for $60 per day(for you and dh), it might be worth it for 2 meals, two snacks and the refillable mug for your resort.

And I would make a later flight home and add a day. Have fun and enjoy your trip! Hope your little one is feeling better!!!

02-24-2009, 06:37 PM
I may be misunderstanding, but instead of changing your return flight and paying $225 in change fees, can you just book the $59 Airtran for later in the day 3/7 for ONE WAY tickets (and you'd just not get on the earlier flight)? I am not sure if that $59.00 fare is available one-way or if that fare is available at this late date, but if so, you would come out cheaper paying for three one way tickets back home at $59.00 a piece than paying $225 in change fees on what you already have booked. I have booked a one way fare in the past on Airtran, but it has been awhile. I would highly recommend getting a later flight out--PP is correct that if you are relying on Disney transportation to get to the airport, you will be getting on Magical Express at about 3 hours before your flight---ugggghhh. Seems that you would be paying for a night that your really did not use much.

As for the DDP question, we (DD 7 and me, sometimes her dad comes too) alternate staying on site and off site because we have a time share. Every time we go we have done at least a few table service meals at Disney. On our last visit (we stayed at ASMu too!), it was our first time to do the basic DDP (and first time to not have a car and rely only on Disney transportation). I actually loved it. There is no way we would eaten so many table service and quick service meals if not on the Dining plan, but it was really fun to try a lot of new Disney restaurants we had never been to before. I did find that it saved us money--IF we had eaten at all of those places and paid out of pocket. Now, a few downsides are that it took a lot of planning/calling to get ADRs, doing sit down table service meals takes a lot of time away from the time in the parks to ride and see shows, it takes away from the spontaneity of being able to do what ever you want and eat whenever you are hungry when you are watching the clock for your ADR time, and you have to be careful with your credits to make sure you get the value out of the plan.

If you think you want to do the basic dining plan, call to see what table service ADRs are available during your stay that will be convenient to what you had planned for those days, and then decide.

I hope that helps and you have a fantastic time!

02-24-2009, 07:49 PM
I just hope that you DD is doing better, may you have a great time, have fun and enjoy in your upcoming trip. Looking forward in hearing more from you after you came back.

Have a nice day everyone. :)

Metro West
02-24-2009, 08:08 PM

02-25-2009, 09:45 AM
I hope you see this before you change your airline tix! Look at your original AirTran reservation and the current schedule. If AirTran has made ANY changes in the times of your flight (which they often do) then you can call them and tell them the times don't work for you anymore and switch your flights to any other flight that day (regardless of price).

02-25-2009, 11:47 AM
Thanks for the great advice! I'll definitely check airtran and see if the times changed. I never knew that. We've decided on the dining plan. Not sure if it will save money but it will save stress. We won't have a rental car or refrigerator so it may save some money since we're eating on site for all the meals.

02-25-2009, 11:58 AM
I hope your daughter gets well! I'd go anyway, unless she becomes seriously ill: high fever, etc.
We really like the DDP. We have gone both ways and are happier and more relaxed about $ when we're using it. The trip feels "all-inclusive" and we can eat what we like.
Good luck!

02-25-2009, 11:59 AM
We always get the dining plan when we stay onsite. We love to try the different restaurants. We don't always do character dining bc our 5 year old has only in the past year warmed up to meeting the characters. When she was 2 or 3, we had to be a "buffer" and tell the characters that she was nervous. Then she would love how they would play shy too.

We use the dining plan, even when we eat breakfast in our room. The only way you don't save money is if you don't use all your vouchers.

We don't mind having set times for our sit down meals bc we would go back to the hotel for our daughter to nap anyway. If we have dinner reservations for 5:00, we head to the hotel at 2:00 and she and my husband nap for an hour or so and then we give her a bath then, so we don't have worry about it in the morning or at night. Then we go to dinner. Works out great.

I hope she's feeling better. Pack some cold meds and have a great time!

02-25-2009, 12:15 PM
I think the DDP is great when traveling with little ones. We usually eat breakfast in the room and a counter service lunch shortly after arriving at a park. A sit down dinner is nice to wind down the day since our days r shorter with little ones. DH and I didn't do the DDP when it was the two of us, but it really is much easier with the kids and the need for a schedule and downtime. Keeping them going to much only leads to a bad next day when they have not fully recouperated.

I'd leave the flight the same, our DD5 siad the only thing bad about going to disney was waking up in the middle of the night - HA HA HA- we woke them at aroung 5 for a 7ish flight - but u know better on that end - I took the kids myself and hubby flew down after work - when we arrived they had a room already (noonish) and we stared our day, this is not guaranteed - but happened for us - either way I had brought bathing suits and we were gunna hang at the pool -

don't second guess yourself - go with it and have fun - hope your duaghter is feeling her best - and the big kids too!

02-25-2009, 12:31 PM
If I read your post correctly, you are getting the Quick Counter Service. I would think it would add more stress in that you have to know what is included, you will be getting desserts that you probably wouldn't get otherwise, and you will stress about "getting your money's worth."

IMHO, the basic dining plan (quick counter service) IS more stress - not less.

Disney DieHard
02-26-2009, 03:13 PM
Thanks for the great advice! I'll definitely check airtran and see if the times changed. I never knew that. We've decided on the dining plan. Not sure if it will save money but it will save stress. We won't have a rental car or refrigerator so it may save some money since we're eating on site for all the meals.

Well DisneyFeb09 ... Glad to see you decided on a course of action! I think I speak for all of us here when I say that I hope you have a truly magical vacation!!!:grouphug:

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that your little girl feels better! Make sure once you come back you stop back here and let us know how everything went!!! ;)

Have A Magical Day!

Disney DieHard