View Full Version : Can't decide, DU or do it myself?

09-25-2003, 01:41 PM
We are going 10/2004. A total of 11 people. Just one (me) that is totally excited and ready to plan it all. Would it just be easier to have Dreams Unlimited do it for me? I'm tired of asking my dear relatives for opinions, what they want to do and see and getting little or no response. Will DU get us the best room rates available, get us in to CRT when we want, etc? What is your experience?

09-25-2003, 02:20 PM
I think it depends on you...I personally enjoy the planning stages and keeping up on discounts, rooms, making PSs etc. Now for 11 people?? I don't know. That would be a bit much even for me. If you enjoy doing the planning I'd say do it yourself...if you think you need help have DU do it. I used them once and they worked fine, but I found I did most of the work...but only because I enjoy doing it & chose to, ..it was nice to have them working with me to get the hard PSs like Cindy's which they did! And I will say they did everything I asked..I just didn't ask for much...I don't think they save you money...except for the toll-calls to FLA. Of course having DU also gives you an out if anyone in the group complains about anything!! As I said I only used them once because planning the vacation is almost as fun as taking it for me AND I'm very impatient ( I get an idea for a PS and call right away as opposed to emailing them and waiting for a response). I don't know if I helped or confused you even more...good luck!

09-25-2003, 02:27 PM
I would agree with mep319... planning is half the fun! We have a trip planned for 8/04 and I've already booked the Dolphin, but am keeping my options open. I read these boards every day and enjoy them thoroughly! So, I guess if you don't mind planning for 11 people, I'd say do it yourself. Like mep319 I get impatient and want to take control of matters myself, I wouldn't want to depend on someone else getting me a discount, etc.

princess lovers mom
09-25-2003, 02:44 PM
I love to plan and I love DU!

I have enjoyed very much our recent and first experience with DU. I still thought out what days we wanted to be where and where and when we would like to eat and then emailed our agent (Cathy Miller) and she would do the phone calls. I found this the best help. And now at the end there is a printout, very detailed, with park hours, shows etc as a bonus.

I do think that they will save you money also...we made ressies at POR initially then Cathy kept us up to date as soon as she had info about discounts and was able to get us into the BC for less than POR with the FTP. She is always letting us know when other discounts are available and would apply them if we needed.

I say do it, it costs nothing, you can still plan, but with the assistance of an expert!


09-25-2003, 03:35 PM
Yep, I said a trip for 20! :eek: We're all staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge in December (82 days and counting!). I've been to Disney lots (former FL resident) but for many of our group, it's their first time, or first time in 15 years! Since so many haven't been or been recently, they have no idea the scope of things there are to do and the number of restaurants to choose from, so asking for much help from them was really unreasonable.

For our trip, we picked a few "must do" things that our large group will do together....a welcome dinner the first night, the Candlelight Processional and dinner in the middle of the week, and a farewell dinner our last night.

We'll also have some "small group" activities...all the girls, mothers,and grandmothers will do breakfast with Cinderella, the guys have a golf date, some of us are doing a backstage tour, and a date night for the parents (grandparents will babysit) and a date night for the grandparents (parents will refuse to let them have the grandkids).

For dinners, I picked a few restaruants to narrow the choices, and emailed the menus to everyone. If anyone had a favorite they were welcome to let me know, and if anyone just didn't want to do any of the restaurants, they were also to let me know (like my mom doesn't really like Mexican, so that was low on her list, but she could find something if everyone else wanted to go there). For as opinionated as our families are, everyone said they would be happy to try anything and would trust my judgement on good places to eat. On the one hand, that's a little unnerving because now I feel a little responsible for making sure everyone has a great time. But on the other hand, it's given me a little freedom to plan and I'm branching out to try lots of different restaurants, even some I've not eaten at in my more than 50 trips there! I made all our PS this past week and have only 1 PS meal per day.....the rest will be walk up, at the hotel, or last minute PS as we decide how to spend the day.

For planning...we thought it would be a good idea to do one thing together at the most each day. That way, we get the togetherness we were after, but each small family still has time to spend together without always being part of the mob. The limited number of togetherness activities also lets folks like me and my DH do what we want (parks open to close every day) while the other not-so-Disney-freaks in the family can spend time at the pool, shopping, golfing, etc. without feeling like they're skipping out on family events.

Like a few others have said above, I really enjoy the planning phase and am somewhat of a control freak, so I don't think I'd enjoy having someone else do it for me. But if it's stressing you out, then maybe turning it over to DU would be good. Just make sure you're able to enjoy the planning and the trip and aren't a total stressball when it finally arrives!!

Enjoy! And don't forget to check out the special services Disney will start offering in October for large groups travelling together. Called Magical Gatherings, the services and special events will be exclusively for groups of 8 or more. They'll have special helps with room booking, special semi-private meal events, and other services for groups. They'll be announcing all of this sometime in October....my money is on the big press event weekend October 8-10. Check with them after that to see what special things they can do for your family!

Good luck!

09-25-2003, 03:55 PM
For me, it's fun planning and having the DU Travel Agents help out too. Having to make long distance phone calls for ressies and PS(s) is just too much for me. I don't have long distance, only a calling card, and I'm sure it wouldn't be long til I used it up. I'm constantly chaning my mind about where I want to eat, so having a Dreams Agent there to do it for me is a blessing! :) As far as codes go, they have a better eye for it than I do and it would be just my luck if I left it up to me, I would wait to late and miss out altogether.

So I say let Dreams help, but be involved also. Your agent will do the trip just as you want, you only have to let him or her know what you need.

Take care,


09-25-2003, 05:39 PM
Susan at DU rules! This is my first time using DU and it has been a huge help. I still get to do plenty of planning, but she makes the PS arrangements and booked our Keys to the Kingdom Tour. She has given me so many useful tips and ideas--even some I have not seen on the DIS yet!

09-26-2003, 12:52 PM
Thank you all! I am going to get my plans and wants together this weekend and e-mail DU Monday. It is a relief to have just made that decision. On with the fun!!!!!!!!!

09-26-2003, 12:55 PM

09-26-2003, 04:02 PM
We enthusastically recommend DU for getting the best room rates and for making PS arrangements. We've never availed ourselves of their other services, because we prefer to plan each day as it comes along.
One feature we like very much is being able to request a particular DU representative when we make our room ressies. Tammy Cermak has worked with us for several trips and knows how we like to do things. It's like having a long-distance friend in who happens to know all the best rates.
Anyway, I encourage you to let DU do all the calling while you do all the fun stuff.

09-26-2003, 05:14 PM
I have used DU on many trips, and I have been very pleased every single time. I love having someone to do all the legwork for me even though I love to plan. I choose all the restaurants and times for my priority seatings, then DU makes the calls for me. It's the best of both worlds! My agent, Liz, is TERRIFIC! She has helped me with more than one trip, and she is a jewel. Two thumbs way up for Dreams! :)