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Old 11-01-2012, 04:12 PM   #46
kaoden39
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I think I am partial to the Golden Gate because it is such a big part of our state. I don't know why I miss it so much at the park because I just need to drive 45 miles to see the "real" thing.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:01 PM   #47
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The good news is I finally made some calls about hotels and pricing.

The inconclusive news is that the onsite hotels don't have AAA or AP pricing for March yet. The CM was as helpful as he could be under the circumstances, telling me that most likely AAA and AP would knock about 10 percent off when they are released.

The bad news is that unless the AP discount ends up being a good amount more (unlikely?) than the same 10 percent AAA gets me, I probably won't be able to justify an AP, at least not solely for the discounts on this trip. And the onsite rates are humongous.

DLH didn't have any standard view available for my dates mid-March, so two "deluxe view" rooms, for four nights, with tax, minus the assumed 10 percent, comes out to $3892.

PPH is a little more reasonable, with a two standard view rooms with everything I accounted for above coming to $2654.

To contrast, I looked into HoJo. It's right around $1100 for the two rooms.

I have a weird problem many of you would probably like to have. If I tell DH, he will probably say to spring for onsite, at least the PPH. But now I'm wondering if I feel right about paying more than double. Even if we have the money, that $1500 could be put to a lot of worthy uses.

I don't think I'm going to decide for sure now. I'll probably put down deposits at PPH and HoJo; I have saved enough to do that. It might make a difference what the hours end up being. The early entry (especially for DCA) is a major perk. But if early entry is at 7 a.m., I am not sure how committed we will be to getting up before 6:00 in order to be at the gates between 6:30 and 7. I am on vacation! But hours won't come out until January ...

I think this is one thing that I liked about WDW. Park hours posted six months in advance (would have been out in September in this case). AAA rates plugged into the computer all the time. If Disneyland wants to start attracting people who come from afar and spend more than a day or two, they're going to have to start offering information farther in advance (for example, see the current Candlelight Processional debacle).

Anyone with any wisdom about my hotel dilemma?

PHXscuba
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:54 PM   #48
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Chances are that any AP rates for the hotels in March won't show up on the calendar until after the holidays are over. I'm thinking January.

It used to be that there were the usual, 365-day-a-year 10% discounts that one could get with an AP, and then there would be...the "good rates," or the rates that fell below $200 per night. The good rates would usually come out to being a 30% discount. Every so often there would be an offer that was 35% off rack rate. Gone are the good ol' days of $139 or $159 PPH rooms.

The PPH rate that I have right now for December (the one that is already paid) is $225 per night, and that was the cheapest rate available. I was told it is 10% off. Seeing that last year my PPH room was $99 per night, and in 2010 I had a room that was 35% off (something like $163 or $168 per night - I can't recall), this $225 is not sitting well with me. I love the PPH and I love staying onsite, but I don't feel it is a hotel that is worth $200 per night and above (before taxes). Until this year, I'd never paid $200 before taxes for the PPH...and I may not be paying it again.

Also at this time of year there would normally be some kind of a nifty PIN code or special offer going around, and I would be frantically trying to switch my reservation to a better rate. I don't think a better rate will come along.

I always like having the option of early entry/Magic Mornings with an onsite stay, but I have not always taken advantage of it. When I have taken advantage of it, I loved it! Fantasyland was a wondrous place, with almost no one in it! The great thing is that now we can have early entry into one park or the other every day of our stay, instead of the previous Tues-Thurs-Sat-Sun deal. That makes the early entry even more worthwhile.

But it's a lot of money to pay to stay onsite if you are not 100% sure you are going to use your early entry options.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:03 PM   #49
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I think the optimum experience is staying OP. Like Sherry says if you take advantage of Magic Mornings it is a real plus.

That said, if you don't, $1500 would buy a lot of goodies, APs, etc....

I'm no help am I....
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:25 AM   #50
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To me another big factor on the AP is the discounts in the shops and at the restaurants. Of course for the discounts you can buy just one and have those discounts. I am no help. Sorry.
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:33 PM   #51
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You're right, you all are no help!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
Chances are that any AP rates for the hotels in March won't show up on the calendar until after the holidays are over. I'm thinking January.

It used to be that there were the usual, 365-day-a-year 10% discounts that one could get with an AP, and then there would be...the "good rates," or the rates that fell below $200 per night. The good rates would usually come out to being a 30% discount. Every so often there would be an offer that was 35% off rack rate. Gone are the good ol' days of $139 or $159 PPH rooms.

The PPH rate that I have right now for December (the one that is already paid) is $225 per night, and that was the cheapest rate available. I was told it is 10% off. Seeing that last year my PPH room was $99 per night, and in 2010 I had a room that was 35% off (something like $163 or $168 per night - I can't recall), this $225 is not sitting well with me. I love the PPH and I love staying onsite, but I don't feel it is a hotel that is worth $200 per night and above (before taxes). Until this year, I'd never paid $200 before taxes for the PPH...and I may not be paying it again.

Also at this time of year there would normally be some kind of a nifty PIN code or special offer going around, and I would be frantically trying to switch my reservation to a better rate. I don't think a better rate will come along.

I always like having the option of early entry/Magic Mornings with an onsite stay, but I have not always taken advantage of it. When I have taken advantage of it, I loved it! Fantasyland was a wondrous place, with almost no one in it! The great thing is that now we can have early entry into one park or the other every day of our stay, instead of the previous Tues-Thurs-Sat-Sun deal. That makes the early entry even more worthwhile.

But it's a lot of money to pay to stay onsite if you are not 100% sure you are going to use your early entry options.
The PPH rate is about $284 with the 10 percent off. Hard to believe they want more for March than the first week of December. I guess it's considered spring break/Easter season by then. And I'm certainly not holding out much hope for a PIN code. I think if I booked onsite we would definitely use the early entry, it's more a question of how much cracking the whip to get everyone going I would be doing. I'd really like to have those park hours to help me decide.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tksbaskets View Post
I think the optimum experience is staying OP. Like Sherry says if you take advantage of Magic Mornings it is a real plus.

That said, if you don't, $1500 would buy a lot of goodies, APs, etc....

I'm no help am I....
You're right, it is the optimum way to do it, and we were spoiled by being in the DLH last time. Plus it's probably our last big family trip with all the kids for sure still around. But you're right -- we could upgrade everyone in the family to APs for less than $1500. Hmmm.... never thought of it from that angle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaoden39 View Post
To me another big factor on the AP is the discounts in the shops and at the restaurants. Of course for the discounts you can buy just one and have those discounts. I am no help. Sorry.
Yes, I was thinking of just getting one AP (for me!!) Problem is, I already have AAA (similar hotel discount) and a Disney VISA (some food/souvenir discounts). It's hard to crunch how much more I would save above those discounts.

Now (independent of the onsite/offsite quandry) if I knew for sure for sure that I would come back in the next year, the AP would be a no-brainer. It's just that DH already thinks I'm a little Disney-crazy and I'm almost embarrassed to propose it. I thought maybe if I got it "for the discounts" I could then sneak in more trips as an afterthought (the "evil plot" part of my title).

Thanks for the input,
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:41 PM   #52
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4 months.

120 days.

I LOVE round numbers.


So I checked my handy iPhone countdown app this morning and it claims I have four months and exactly 120 days left until our trip.

My feelings:

I guess it's because the last big family trip I planned was to Disney World. At four months out, I already had plane tickets, dining reservations (that I changed several times), a resort reservation, maybe even the park tickets before prices went up.

Despite all my yakking on here, want to know what I've actually booked for this trip???

NOTHING. Big fat zero.

Part of it is not my fault. They haven't released those AP/AAA rates for the onsite hotels yet. Dining reservations won't be available until January. Neither will park hours. I am still crunching the math on what tickets to buy and if one will become a beautiful AP.

But I think I will break down and book hotels on Tuesday when the kids go back to school. One onsite and one off, to hedge my bets. When I need two rooms, I can't wait too long. And I know soon I will be sucked into Christmas (it's already tugging on me) and I will wake up one morning and be posting about 60 days or two months to go!

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Old 11-11-2012, 08:25 AM   #53
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Nothing booked? I'd be feeling a tad uneasy by this point. When will the discounted prices be released?

What app do you have on your iPhone for counting down to your trip? I'd love to get it.

TK
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:09 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tksbaskets View Post
Nothing booked? I'd be feeling a tad uneasy by this point. When will the discounted prices be released?

What app do you have on your iPhone for counting down to your trip? I'd love to get it.

TK
I have no idea when the discounts will be released. Sherry says the AP ones may not show until January!! I don't know when the AAA ones go in the system. Silly me thought they were just always there.

I know I have to book something. Our last trip I was booking for 15 people in 5 rooms so I did it early and used a travel agent. They are going to take away my OCD planner badge if I wait much longer.

The countdown app is called "WDW Countdown" and it's in the iTunes store for 99 cents. You can use their stock images or a photo of your own (I have a picture of my kids from last year's WDW trip). You can set it to give you a little "bing" once each day with a message about how many days left. I don't have mine set to go off yet because my kids don't know. I know last year when it was counting down to WDW, hearing that bing at 9 a.m. every day brought an instant smile to my face.

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Old 11-11-2012, 06:56 PM   #55
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I am one of those people that always books really early, and then I know I can go back and cancel. I wonder if you can book and then go back and take advantage of the AP rates. It might be worth calling and asking.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:35 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHXscuba View Post
I have no idea when the discounts will be released. Sherry says the AP ones may not show until January!! I don't know when the AAA ones go in the system. Silly me thought they were just always there.

I know I have to book something. Our last trip I was booking for 15 people in 5 rooms so I did it early and used a travel agent. They are going to take away my OCD planner badge if I wait much longer.

The countdown app is called "WDW Countdown" and it's in the iTunes store for 99 cents. You can use their stock images or a photo of your own (I have a picture of my kids from last year's WDW trip). You can set it to give you a little "bing" once each day with a message about how many days left. I don't have mine set to go off yet because my kids don't know. I know last year when it was counting down to WDW, hearing that bing at 9 a.m. every day brought an instant smile to my face.

PHXscuba
Thanks!

I'm with kaoden39 at this point I'd probably book and cancel if better rates come along and there is room availability.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:15 PM   #57
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Yes, I'm going to be booking tomorrow. If I try to do it today I have curious kids around.

I think I'm going to book HoJo as a backup in case the onsite thing doesn't work out -- price, early hours, etc. I think I'm reserving PPH because as much as I love the DLH, I do not love it $1200 more than PPH!! I am however wavering on whether I want to spring for a theme-park for PPH. It would totally wow my family if I pulled off that surprise, especially since our last onsite view from DLH was the parking lot south of the Frontier tower!

I just can't believe it's gotten this close already, especially since I'm usually the one booking far in advance. True story: the week before our fall break trip to DLR in 2009, I was on the phone booking a cruise for fall break 2010 because the cruise line was running a good sale. No, I'm not compulsive or anything ....

AND ... I should have pictures of DS7's newly renovated Phineas and Ferb room to share soon!

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Old 11-12-2012, 02:15 PM   #58
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I can hardly wait to see the pictures of his room!
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:56 PM   #59
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OK, assignment complete! I now have two rooms at the PPH reserved for our dates. I wimped out on booking the theme-park view rooms -- almost $100 more per night (equals $800 more total). I will just have to wish for a pixie-dust room upgrade.

I also have a backup reservation at Hojos for the same nights with a credit card hold. I figure since it's no money I will wait and see how things go around here the next few months and what discounts come out.

But right now I am committed to doing this trip full-out, including spending the money on the luxury of an onsite hotel. A dear friend (the second in eight weeks) passed away from cancer over the weekend. I know both of my friends would have paid any amount of money to have one last vacation with their kids and grandkids. We also lost my 22-year-old nephew in a car crash last spring and I know my brother is so, so glad he spent so much time with him, not knowing how little he had left. With my son off to college etc. in less than two years I want to be sure we make as many memories with the time we do get.

******
Switching gears to something lighter ... we played a fun game of Disney Charades last night. It was totally freeform, but highlights included:

... DH holding DS7 up and out in front of him, Rafiki-style, which caused both DDs to immediately break into "The Circle of Life."

... DS16 trying to act out Rapunzel's hair I told him he got points for doing it with so little hair of his own.

... DD10 biting an imaginary apple and collapsing (Snow White)

... DD13 doing her best Nemo impression -- flapping around with one little fin

... me trying to act out one-eyed Mike from Monster's Inc. Trying to scare people, opening doors, showing one eye, etc. They got it ... eventually.

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Old 11-13-2012, 02:17 PM   #60
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That's how I felt about the trip we had planned for this week. Sigh, I am trying to plan a trip for next year now but with DHs health in question who knows?


Last night sounds like it was fun!


For your reservations!!
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