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Old 05-21-2012, 05:25 PM   #1501
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Originally Posted by Txmomoftwo View Post
Hello, I have spent the last few days reading over all the great information you guys have provided on this thread (thanks!). I finally signed up as a user today to start asking more questions and get all the helpful information I can for our first family vacation!!!

We are planning our trip for Nov 2013 and are very interested in staying at the CR. Our children at the time of travel will be 4 and 3. Here are some question I have from the start:

1-What is the best way to book our trip (we are in the US) should we just go through Disney?



3-Any tips for those who have traveled with young kids, please give me any advice you have.



5-Stroller for the kids or do parents find they just want to walk and end up dragging the stroller around? Where to rent a stroller?

6-Chef Mickey dinner? Are there set times for this? We are a early dinner type of family (example 5pm) how do we book a dinner to meet Mickey?


9-Flight cost, this seems to be so costly. We will be coming from Dallas Texas and all the prices we have checked seem so high (1300 for four RT)

Sorry for all the questions. I am just really excited about planning our first trip and I want it to be really special. I am not sure when we will be able to go again. Thanks so much!
1. I like to book through disney because then I have more control. I have also heard of people who are more knowledgeable than their Travel Agents, due to DISboards, and this can cause some issues.

3. Take Naps! It was the best thing we did when we went with our kids. They were 3 1/2 and bairly 5.

5. We rented a stroller at Epcot. Basicly I'm pretty much anti-stroller as soon as my kids could walk. It drives me NUTS when they are up and down all day and I just get irritated pushing around an empty stroller, but that's just me. I say, if they are too tired to walk, then take a brake.

6. We have never done Chef Mickey's for dinner, we have one planned for our September trip, but we have done this for breakfast. You plan it by making a normal dinner reservation, its not only at specific times. I HIGHLY recomend the character dinners with your kids being as young as they are, that way you don't have to stand in line at the parks and you are meeting them in air conditioning!!

9. I'm sure flight costs will go down the closer you get to your trip, especially flying from DFW. My advice would be to look at flight costs for November of this year. They will probably be similar.

Also don't forget, that by going in November, you may be there for the Christmas celebration, which may be something you want to look into! Hope you have a wonderful time planning, that's half the fun!
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:39 PM   #1502
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Txmomoftwo View Post
Hello, I have spent the last few days reading over all the great information you guys have provided on this thread (thanks!). I finally signed up as a user today to start asking more questions and get all the helpful information I can for our first family vacation!!!

We are planning our trip for Nov 2013 and are very interested in staying at the CR. Our children at the time of travel will be 4 and 3. Here are some question I have from the start:

1-What is the best way to book our trip (we are in the US) should we just go through Disney?

2-How can we save? Discounts? Open a Disney CC? American AA card?

3-Any tips for those who have traveled with young kids, please give me any advice you have.

4-Walk or take the monorail? I have heard walking really is not that bad.

5-Stroller for the kids or do parents find they just want to walk and end up dragging the stroller around? Where to rent a stroller?

6-Chef Mickey dinner? Are there set times for this? We are a early dinner type of family (example 5pm) how do we book a dinner to meet Mickey?

7-MK view room or Bay Lake view? If you have the Bay Lake view do you get to see the sun set? If you have a MK view what time does the firework show start?

8-Splash pads or zero entry pools at CR? Although our kids have been in swimming lessons neither know how to swim.

9-Flight cost, this seems to be so costly. We will be coming from Dallas Texas and all the prices we have checked seem so high (1300 for four RT)

Sorry for all the questions. I am just really excited about planning our first trip and I want it to be really special. I am not sure when we will be able to go again. Thanks so much!
to the DIS AND the CR thread, Txmomoftwo!

1/2. The best way to book your trip is with a discount and most often this will be done through the Walt Disney Travel Company or Disney Destinations. They can be reached at: (407) W DISNEY. The best way to find out about all public discounts is to look at the www.mousesavers.com website and to also look at www.wdwinfo.com in the "discounts" section. There is also a sub-forum at the top of the Resorts forum page here dedicated to discounts and savings. This is also a helpful site: http://yourfirstvisit.net/

3/5. Ease of mobility will make your trip with toddlers so much easier. Being able to easily get to and from the parks and your resort room will be much appreciated by everyone in your party. The CR (and all of the MK area resorts) are a great choice with toddlers who (presumably) love the MK. I think a stroller is a must as kids can quickly get worn out and just getting them back to the room can seem like a struggle if they have to walk or be carried. There are stroller rental companies who deliver to the WDW Resorts, but I've never used one. You could even just bring a couple of very inexpensive umbrella strollers that fold-up. They'll survive one trip just fine.

4. Unless the kids just have to ride the monorail, you'll want to walk to the MK since it's quicker. The monorail makes 3 stops before it gets to the MK from the CR. On the way back it's the first stop, but if you're taking it at or near park closing, the monorail will be crowded and take much longer than walking which is about 10 minutes.

6. Chef Mickeys starts serving dinner at 5:00. Here is a link to more information and the menu:

http://allears.net/menu/menu_cmk.htm

They also serve breakfast. The website I link to above has tons of great information on WDW.

7. I've never stayed at the CR in November so I can't tell you where the sun sets, but we prefer the Bay Lake View because we love looking out at the lake and marina and you can watch the Electric Water Pageant nightly from your room. We also love that there isn't a parking lot on that side and it's very peaceful and serene.

8. Yes, there is a kid's splash area, but the pool is not zero entry.

9. Can't help with flights as we always drive now. But, I know that many other guests fly and could help you with that topic.

Don't ever be sorry for asking questions, that's how you (and those lurkers out there) learn how to make their trip a success. Feel free to ask questions anytime and keep us posted on what you end up doing
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:45 PM   #1503
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Txmomoftwo View Post
Hello, I have spent the last few days reading over all the great information you guys have provided on this thread (thanks!). I finally signed up as a user today to start asking more questions and get all the helpful information I can for our first family vacation!!!

We are planning our trip for Nov 2013 and are very interested in staying at the CR. Our children at the time of travel will be 4 and 3. Here are some question I have from the start:

1-What is the best way to book our trip (we are in the US) should we just go through Disney?

2-How can we save? Discounts? Open a Disney CC? American AA card?

3-Any tips for those who have traveled with young kids, please give me any advice you have.

4-Walk or take the monorail? I have heard walking really is not that bad.

5-Stroller for the kids or do parents find they just want to walk and end up dragging the stroller around? Where to rent a stroller?

6-Chef Mickey dinner? Are there set times for this? We are a early dinner type of family (example 5pm) how do we book a dinner to meet Mickey?

7-MK view room or Bay Lake view? If you have the Bay Lake view do you get to see the sun set? If you have a MK view what time does the firework show start?

8-Splash pads or zero entry pools at CR? Although our kids have been in swimming lessons neither know how to swim.

9-Flight cost, this seems to be so costly. We will be coming from Dallas Texas and all the prices we have checked seem so high (1300 for four RT)

Sorry for all the questions. I am just really excited about planning our first trip and I want it to be really special. I am not sure when we will be able to go again. Thanks so much!
We now book as DVC members. AAA offers deals as well if you are members. We have also booked at advertised price thru Disney. We like the Disney credit card and you get 6 months no interest in Disney vacation and Disney Rewards dollars that can be used for future Disney vacations. We do the regular card without the annual fee.

Tips for traveling with young children. We brought our double stroller as we drive. Strollers are a definite. Bring a backpack with diapers, etc as the smaller bag you can carry the better. Plan to take naps during the heat of the day. Don't drag your kids kicking and crying, WDW will be there for the next 30 years.

You can walk from CR/ BLT without taking the monorail. That is the one of the perks of staying there. We don't like Chef Mickey for dinner, but we like it there for breakfast. You can book It and any other restaurant on the Disney website (Disney reservations), call Disney, or thru a travel agent, whichever you book with.

The fireworks start at different times, depending on the season, but are usually around 9:00. An MK view will pipe the sound into your room so you can listen to the music and see the show. MK views are mired expensive. We usually stay at a cheaper view and watch fireworks outside, but my yngest gets was scared of fireworks at that age.

Most all the pools have life jackets poolside you can put on your children. Have fun planning and congratulations on joining the DISboards. Have a great trip.
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:55 PM   #1504
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Thanks for the encouragement! I'm excited!!
I originally had booked BLV but then switched to concierge level. I then decided it wasn't worth it and decided to go back to a regular tower room. At that point there was only TPV left! I was so disappointed! I called to note a special request of BLV on my reservations and told them to give someone who wanted pixie dust an upgrade to TPV but at the time of my call, they then had BLV available. So it switched to BLV and feel so lucky that I called that day!

You will love BLV. TPV is nice but the BLV is very relaxing and beautiful! I was upgraded from garden wing to tower TPV on our first trip to CR in 2010 and it was wonderful. I decided to do BLV after staying at Wilderness lodge in August 2011 and realizing that Bay Lake view is just so beautiful. We had 11th floor BLV in April 2012 and it was spectacular!
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:41 AM   #1505
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Txmomoftwo View Post
1-What is the best way to book our trip (we are in the US) should we just go through Disney?

2-How can we save? Discounts? Open a Disney CC? American AA card?

9-Flight cost, this seems to be so costly. We will be coming from Dallas Texas and all the prices we have checked seem so high (1300 for four RT)
#1 - I'll be the counter voice to the last few posts. We use a WDW specific travel agency and wouldn't go back to booking any other way! Deb makes our trips flawless! Last time we had a mix up on an extra event at F&W festival. We toured Epcot all day while she fought w/the WDW staff to get it resolved (she did & the dessert party was fantastic ).
As others said - you need a good agent, some folks think they can go to WDW once & hang their name on a shingle & be a TA.
I'm also not a 'control freak' (I don't mean that in a mean way, some folks are just more planners than I am ) So I'm comfortable w/tossing a bunch of things at her & letting her pull it together & e-mail me my confirmation # spreadsheet/trip calendar.
I also have found often she knows about or applies public discounts for us before I even hear about them.

#2 - The Disney Visa is good if you have time to accumulate points between now & your trip. If you can use it & pay it off every month I say go for it. Another way to sometimes get discounts is to sign up for anything you can. Get the WDW planning DVD, sign up for a few of their e-mail letters, join the movie rewards club, etc. The idea is the more places your name is in their computers the more likely you are to get e-mailed a discount offer.
As others mentioned AAA can also get you some discounts, not just on your trip but extras too (we got 15% off our segway tour thanks to AAA ). That said, AAA isn't an exclusive Disney agency & I've often found I know a lot more than the agents at AAA about WDW. Not a ding on them, we use them for other trips, but they cover any travel, not just WDW so aren't going to know it as well.

#9 - Check out Kayak & I think Priceline for your airfare. You can sign up (free) and then get e-mailed price alerts every week. So if the airfare goes down you will get an e-mail.
Airfare Watch Dog lets you sign up for a weekly e-mail & you can put in favorite airports when you do sign up. They send a weekly generic e-mail & then you may get other e-mails about deals at your favorite airports. A lot of the time the flights are very restricted & on short notice, but every once in a while you find out about a good deal that way.
Lastly, once you do book your flight register it w/Yapta (free service). They will monitor your flight & if the price goes up/down they let you know. If it goes much lower than your paid price sometimes it is worth the re-booking fee to call the airline & request the change.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:05 AM   #1506
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Txmomoftwo View Post
1-What is the best way to book our trip (we are in the US) should we just go through Disney?

I booked on my own. I don't trust other people to do it for me & do it right. I'm frugal, so I won't pay someone else to do something I can do on my own! My sister booked through a free service & had no problems.

3-Any tips for those who have traveled with young kids, please give me any advice you have.

We stayed @ CR & came back to the room every afternoon after lunch. We hoped DD would nap, but she laid on the bed & rested while watching tv. We were able to stay in the parks until fireworks at least. Some nights DD fell asleep waiting on our ADR dinner times, so she was good to go after dinner.

4-Walk or take the monorail? I have heard walking really is not that bad.
We walked to MK one morning & back from MK a couple of times. It was no problem.

5-Stroller for the kids or do parents find they just want to walk and end up dragging the stroller around? Where to rent a stroller?

DD was 5 & we didn't take a stroller. It would have been something else to keep up with & we knew we were taking afternoon breaks. She only got tired on afternoon at EPCOT when we walked to American Pavillion to eat lunch & it was hot.

6-Chef Mickey dinner? Are there set times for this? We are a early dinner type of family (example 5pm) how do we book a dinner to meet Mickey? We had a 5:45 p.m. ADR. We got there @ 5 & just had to wait for those in front of us to get in before we did. Check the online ADR system for times. We got everything we wanted within 15 minutes of our desired times.

7-MK view room or Bay Lake view? If you have the Bay Lake view do you get to see the sun set? If you have a MK view what time does the firework show start? We had MK view & it was great. I could lie in bed & see Cindy's castle changing colors all night. Ask for an odd numbered room to get the bed with this view.
Have a great trip!
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:54 PM   #1507
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Originally Posted by WDWKOOK View Post
You can definitely see the EWP from any Bay Lake View Tower room and from the Garden Wing rooms that front Bay Lake and from the beach. You can also watch from the 4th floor windows that look out onto Bay Lake.


I think I would amend that to say MOST lake views at BLT. We were on the south side of the inside ring (facing North), and we couldn't see the EWP, but we could hear it.

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Old 05-22-2012, 08:24 PM   #1508
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Deluxe Rooms

Do all of the deluxe rooms at the Contemporary only have a king bed in them? We need 2 queen beds, but I was hoping to get the extra living space that a deluxe room provides rather than just a standard room with 2 queens.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:38 PM   #1509
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I think I would amend that to say MOST lake views at BLT. We were on the south side of the inside ring (facing North), and we couldn't see the EWP, but we could hear it.

Everybody do the dinosaur!
JavArmy was asking about the CR and not BLT, but it's true that from some BLT LV rooms, you can't see the EWP...

Under the sea!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Princess Me View Post
Do all of the deluxe rooms at the Contemporary only have a king bed in them? We need 2 queen beds, but I was hoping to get the extra living space that a deluxe room provides rather than just a standard room with 2 queens.
Yes, all four Deluxe rooms have a king and a queen sleeper. The WL Deluxe rooms have two queens and a queen sleeper in a separate sitting room with an extra TV and balcony.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:39 PM   #1510
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Originally Posted by JavArmy View Post
1. I like to book through disney because then I have more control. I have also heard of people who are more knowledgeable than their Travel Agents, due to DISboards, and this can cause some issues.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WDWKOOK View Post
to the DIS AND the CR thread, Txmomoftwo!

1/2. The best way to book your trip is with a discount and most often this will be done through the Walt Disney Travel Company or Disney Destinations. They can be reached at: (407) W DISNEY. The best way to find out about all public discounts is to look at the www.mousesavers.com website and to also look at www.wdwinfo.com in the "discounts" section. There is also a sub-forum at the top of the Resorts forum page here dedicated to discounts and savings. This is also a helpful site: http://yourfirstvisit.net/
Just want to clear a few things up and not flaming anyone....

But, I am a Disney Travel Planner who works directly through Disney, we are earmarked which means we know what we are doing. Not to mention our services are free to the clients and we go above and beyond to help. We put together personalized itineraries, make dining reservations and arrange travel. Of course that is if they want us to. We also work to get the best rate and apply discounts when available.
But... I have to tell you, I know more than most of the CM's do and I can't tell you how many times I have called DRC and those people were lost. I am quite the Disney pro and LOVE to help people. So... I think if this is your first trip or you are a newbie you should go with an agent, but with someone who knows what they are doing. There are ALOT of us out there who love to help overwhelmed first-timers. But find a Disney specialist... not just a basic travel agent.

Just sayin....
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:50 AM   #1511
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Hi, I am thinking about changing my boardwalk ressie to a contemporary ressie. I was originally planning on doing a garden wing room, but now after reading some of this thread, I am really thinking of doing a main tower room. I am somewhat thinking about mk view (we are going for our 10th anniversary so that might be something special to do). Are any of the mk view rooms on some of the lower views? I am kinda adverse to staying in a room relatively high up...I would prefer to be under the 10th floor. Lower preferably...like 6 or below Is it going to be insanely loud? I like the idea of staying in the main building for the closeness to the monorail, shops, and food. On our first trip to disney, dh and i get upgraded from a garden view room to the main building concierge - it was absolutely amazing! We had an insanely short walk to everything, esp the monorail. So, that would be a great thing to experience again (well we can't afford the concierge level...but being in the main building! hehe).
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:55 AM   #1512
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princssdisnygina View Post
Just want to clear a few things up and not flaming anyone....

But, I am a Disney Travel Planner who works directly through Disney, we are earmarked which means we know what we are doing. Not to mention our services are free to the clients and we go above and beyond to help. We put together personalized itineraries, make dining reservations and arrange travel. Of course that is if they want us to. We also work to get the best rate and apply discounts when available.
But... I have to tell you, I know more than most of the CM's do and I can't tell you how many times I have called DRC and those people were lost. I am quite the Disney pro and LOVE to help people. So... I think if this is your first trip or you are a newbie you should go with an agent, but with someone who knows what they are doing. There are ALOT of us out there who love to help overwhelmed first-timers. But find a Disney specialist... not just a basic travel agent.

Just sayin....
It's nice to know there are those TA's out there that do know what they are doing I agree with you that I have called and the CM didn't really know what was going on. I think its awesome that you get to help people (especially first timers) plan their special trip (maybe secretly I want to do this, haha!!) Sorry if I offended, it was not my intent
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:42 AM   #1513
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Hi, I am thinking about changing my boardwalk ressie to a contemporary ressie. I was originally planning on doing a garden wing room, but now after reading some of this thread, I am really thinking of doing a main tower room. I am somewhat thinking about mk view (we are going for our 10th anniversary so that might be something special to do). Are any of the mk view rooms on some of the lower views? I am kinda adverse to staying in a room relatively high up...I would prefer to be under the 10th floor. Lower preferably...like 6 or below Is it going to be insanely loud? I like the idea of staying in the main building for the closeness to the monorail, shops, and food. On our first trip to disney, dh and i get upgraded from a garden view room to the main building concierge - it was absolutely amazing! We had an insanely short walk to everything, esp the monorail. So, that would be a great thing to experience again (well we can't afford the concierge level...but being in the main building! hehe).
All rooms on that side of the building are considered Theme Park View. I believe rooms start on the 6th floor due to the monorail, whereas on the lake view side they start on the 5th floor. The lowest floor I stayed on was the 9th floor. The only noise we heard was the Chef Mickeys music. On the next trip, we requested to say on the gift shop side and noise was not an issue

If that is still too high up, would you consider staying at Bay Lake Tower? The MK view rooms there start on the 3rd floor. I did just get a letter from them saying they reduced the number of rooms, so not sure if they start higher up now. They even have rooms on the 1st and 2nd floor that are considered standard view but face the magic kingdom. There would be no garentee you could get one of those though even if you request it.
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:55 PM   #1514
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Originally Posted by skifast22 View Post
All rooms on that side of the building are considered Theme Park View. I believe rooms start on the 6th floor due to the monorail, whereas on the lake view side they start on the 5th floor. The lowest floor I stayed on was the 9th floor. The only noise we heard was the Chef Mickeys music. On the next trip, we requested to say on the gift shop side and noise was not an issue

If that is still too high up, would you consider staying at Bay Lake Tower? The MK view rooms there start on the 3rd floor. I did just get a letter from them saying they reduced the number of rooms, so not sure if they start higher up now. They even have rooms on the 1st and 2nd floor that are considered standard view but face the magic kingdom. There would be no garentee you could get one of those though even if you request it.
Thank you so much for the info. That is very helpful!
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:51 PM   #1515
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I just booked CR for our last night for our October trip! So excited! It's our first deluxe! My DH can't understand my fascination with staying there (plus the whole "one night is more than our mortgage" thing. LOL!), but one of my first WDW memories is riding the monorail through the resort and thinking it was the coolest thing ever!
We have a theme park view and will get to watch the Halloween fireworks from our balcony! I'm so excited!
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