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Old 12-27-2012, 09:57 PM   #1621
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Thanks, Laura! I am still in "holiday mode"! Had company Christmas Eve and Christmas day. More company tomorrow. Hosting my day's 75th birthday with an open house on New Year's Day. At least 40 people. Lol.

I will start thinking about packing on January 2. LOLOLOL

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Old 12-30-2012, 02:53 AM   #1622
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Hey RachelTori, glad to hear that you had a wonderful trip!

I'm spending New Year's Eve at my brothers this year and I'm sure the topic of where we want to stay for our trip this summer will come up. We were incredibly happy with the executive suite we stayed at last year and the Dolphin is likely at the top of our list this but I want to have a few other options to at least look into. I've looked at some photos of the Art of Animation suites and they look like they could be a possibility. We could also get two rooms, but when we looked into it for our last trip they couldn't guarantee adjoining rooms because of the time of year, so that ruled that option out!

Anyone here have any suggestions? It will be 3 adults and two girls (6 and 3). There is also the small possibility of my patents also going at least part of the time.

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Old 12-30-2012, 07:17 AM   #1623
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Originally Posted by mikegood2 View Post
Hey RachelTori, glad to hear that you had a wonderful trip!

I'm spending New Year's Eve at my brothers this year and I'm sure the topic of where we want to stay for our trip this summer will come up. We were incredibly happy with the executive suite we stayed at last year and the Dolphin is likely at the top of our list this but I want to have a few other options to at least look into. I've looked at some photos of the Art of Animation suites and they look like they could be a possibility. We could also get two rooms, but when we looked into it for our last trip they couldn't guarantee adjoining rooms because of the time of year, so that ruled that option out!

Anyone here have any suggestions? It will be 3 adults and two girls (6 and 3). There is also the small possibility of my patents also going at least part of the time.

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For me, the location of the Epcot resorts is the best on property!

Rather than 2 rooms in a resort, have you considered a DVC Villa? You could either book through WDW or rent from a reputable owner (which would be less expensive ). I don't know if you'd be able to get a 3-br (Grand Villa), but there are lots of 2-bedrooms. AKV-Kidani and OKW have the largest Villas (sq footage). You also get a full kitchen and washer-dryer.

Although it might not be easy to get, the Treehouse Villas at SSR have 3 bedrooms! We spent part of our Christmas vacation in one several years ago and it was perfect!

I'm sure others here will have some great suggestions for you also! Have fun planning and let us know what the final decision is!
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:01 PM   #1624
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Originally Posted by mikegood2 View Post
Hey RachelTori, glad to hear that you had a wonderful trip!

I'm spending New Year's Eve at my brothers this year and I'm sure the topic of where we want to stay for our trip this summer will come up. We were incredibly happy with the executive suite we stayed at last year and the Dolphin is likely at the top of our list this but I want to have a few other options to at least look into. I've looked at some photos of the Art of Animation suites and they look like they could be a possibility. We could also get two rooms, but when we looked into it for our last trip they couldn't guarantee adjoining rooms because of the time of year, so that ruled that option out!

Anyone here have any suggestions? It will be 3 adults and two girls (6 and 3). There is also the small possibility of my patents also going at least part of the time.

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I have to agree with RachelTori. If you enjoyed the Dolphin, but would like to look into other options, I would also recommend a 2- or 3-bedroom DVC villa. After having stayed at the Dolphin with so many great amenities and its proximity to DHS and EP, I think AoA could be a big let down.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:50 PM   #1625
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I just tried to change my 2 room reservation at the Dolphin to the "stay connected" rate for Nov 30 to Dec 7. The very nice phone agent couldn't change it as they are holding rooms for a convention. (couldn't get teacher's rate either) He said this is why the rates are high at this time. I got a very decent rate with AAA when I booked early in Dec that I am happy with, but if I can get the other stay connected rate it would be nice! My question is when do they normally open up the convention rooms that are not taken? Anyone know what convention is there at that time?
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:10 PM   #1626
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I just tried to change my 2 room reservation at the Dolphin to the "stay connected" rate for Nov 30 to Dec 7. The very nice phone agent couldn't change it as they are holding rooms for a convention. (couldn't get teacher's rate either) He said this is why the rates are high at this time. I got a very decent rate with AAA when I booked early in Dec that I am happy with, but if I can get the other stay connected rate it would be nice! My question is when do they normally open up the convention rooms that are not taken? Anyone know what convention is there at that time?
I don't have an exact answer to your question, but I wouldn't give up even when you get close to your travel dates. I had a great AAA rate for our trip a few weeks ago (Dec. 13 - Dec. 16), new better rates kept coming out, including their 12/12/12 offer and then a Starpicks offer two days before we left. I was able to apply both new rates to my reservation (12/12 for my first night and Starpicks to my last two nights). When I added Starpicks, I was actually in the penalty phase for changes/cancellations, but I called the Dolphin directly and the agent applied the new rates without a fee. So keep checking and always call the hotel directly!!
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:38 AM   #1627
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Why does the 6th night free rate online come out so high? Anyone know if it's different when you call?
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:34 PM   #1628
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Why does the 6th night free rate online come out so high? Anyone know if it's different when you call?
I've wondered this too. No, I haven't called.
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:02 PM   #1629
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I've wondered this too. No, I haven't called.
I just did and it's insane!

It was $2100 and $1500 for AAA.
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:02 PM   #1630
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Many times a company will make a sale price, making it sound enticing, such as 6th day free. But the first five days may be at rack rate. So waht is better, pay for 6 days, but maybe at a 30% or similar discount, or pay rack for 5 and get the 6th free?
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:04 AM   #1631
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Thanks for the advice Rachel Tori and Marthasor agree about SD having the best location and we did really enjoy our stay!

We talked over our options and it looks like an SD again , but still want to do a little more looking. Need to make a decision in the next week + before dates start filling up. The one thing holding us back for our mid June trip is were not overly happy with the quoted rate of $399 (teachers discount) for an executive suite. We're not sure if that rate is high or if we were spoiled on our June 2011 rate of $309? Still cheaper than two moderate resort rooms, just not as much as we were hoping.

Any suggestions on ways to try to get the price down a little more? We will definitely call every day and see if we can get a better offer. Is there a better time to call? Or should we just reserve a suite, and check back often for better rate? Is that even OK to do?

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Old 01-02-2013, 06:50 AM   #1632
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Thanks for the advice Rachel Tori and Marthasor agree about SD having the best location and we did really enjoy our stay!

We talked over our options and it looks like an SD again , but still want to do a little more looking. Need to make a decision in the next week + before dates start filling up. The one thing holding us back for our mid June trip is were not overly happy with the quoted rate of $399 (teachers discount) for an executive suite. We're not sure if that rate is high or if we were spoiled on our June 2011 rate of $309? Still cheaper than two moderate resort rooms, just not as much as we were hoping.

Any suggestions on ways to try to get the price down a little more? We will definitely call every day and see if we can get a better offer. Is there a better time to call? Or should we just reserve a suite, and check back often for better rate? Is that even OK to do?

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I would reserve the Executive Suite now at the $399 rate so that you know you have it!

Then I would continue to keep searching for a discounted rate. Even when I book a really great rate on a room at Swan or Dolphin, I continue looking! If you find a lower rate (whether it's something Swan/Dolphin is offering, or a rate through another source), call the 888 # and a CM will first confirm the rate via the web, then will honor that lower rate!

Lately I have found the AAA rate on a regular room to be better (by several dollars!) than the Teacher discount.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:47 PM   #1633
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Originally Posted by RachelTori

I would reserve the Executive Suite now at the $399 rate so that you know you have it!

Then I would continue to keep searching for a discounted rate. Even when I book a really great rate on a room at Swan or Dolphin, I continue looking! If you find a lower rate (whether it's something Swan/Dolphin is offering, or a rate through another source), call the 888 # and a CM will first confirm the rate via the web, then will honor that lower rate!

Lately I have found the AAA rate on a regular room to be better (by several dollars!) than the Teacher discount.
I think that is the advice I will give my brother and SIL. I'm giving them all the advice I can but ultimately it's their decision.

When we booked last time it did seem like the prices varied slightly every time we called, but the $309 was $40 cheaper than any of the others. One of the issues with the executive suite is that rates for them do not show up online so you need to call. Would you continue calling, even after booking, looking for a better rate and if their is one book the new one and cancel the other, or have the CM make the change?

Last time the teacher rate was considerably better, but I will have them check both options before booking.

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Old 01-02-2013, 06:50 PM   #1634
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I think that is the advice I will give my brother and SIL. I'm giving them all the advice I can but ultimately it's their decision.

When we booked last time it did seem like the prices varied slightly every time we called, but the $309 was $40 cheaper than any of the others. One of the issues with the executive suite is that rates for them do not show up online so you need to call. Would you continue calling, even after booking, looking for a better rate and if their is one book the new one and cancel the other, or have the CM make the change?

Last time the teacher rate was considerably better, but I will have them check both options before booking.

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Absolutely, I would keep calling - especially if you see a new discount released for the regular rooms! That could be an indicator that the suites may be discounted too!

The rate can be adjusted without canceling and rebooking. I have called the Swan/Dolphin reservation numerous times and have always found the CMs to be very helpful.


We got used to Teacher/Nurse/Government rates being significant. That appears to have changed the last 6 months or so.

I always research all my possible options though - no harm in inquiring!
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:01 PM   #1635
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We've booked the Swan for 5/27-6/5 and I was wondering a couple of things...

Is it the same bus that picks up from BC that drops Swan guests to DTD? Also, are all the bus routes the same as the ones from BC to the parks?
I seem to remember every bus we took from BS last summer went to Swan/Dolphin as well....but I could be wrong.

Do the tickets to the parks go one room keys like at the WDW resorts?

I know Swan recs Mears, but has anyone used Tiffany town car service or any other one from the airport and found them adequate?
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