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Old 06-18-2013, 02:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Missytara View Post
Ditto for me. People cannot believe how much I have learned from my 9 trips to Disney. But I feel like I am an ambassador of Disney. I want everyone to have the great times I always have.
Ambassador of Disney. I like the sound of that. I always say that my dream job is either a WDW travel agent, so I can always be planning a WDW trip, or a ride greeter.

It's funny but when I do start helping people, and they are newbies, they look at me strangely, like some kind of freak, because I'm more excited about their trip than they are! But thank goodness all of those people have us to help them with their Disney trips.
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Old 06-18-2013, 02:37 PM   #17
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LOL. I love this post. I also love the "ambassador". My friends call me a pseudo-disney travel agent because I know quite a bit about taking a WDW vacation.
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Old 06-18-2013, 03:40 PM   #18
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I had the same thing happen to me last week at the gym. Talking to a girl there about going on vacation. She asked where I was going and of ourselves I cheerfully boast Disneyworld! She said we are too! I asked her when and she said in August. Great, where are you staying? I don't know I haven't booked it. What?? that should of been done months ago! Really? She says. Them she says, I really want to have lunch or dinner at CRT. And that new restaurant with Belle for my daughters birthday. Really??? Are you insane???? After I explained to her the ins and outs of planning for months and getting up at the crack of dawn to make dining ressies six months in advance she looked horrified! I felt kind of bad for her. I told her she needed to go home and call Disney right away!
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:15 PM   #19
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I actually feel really bad for people in that boat, and worse for their kids. But at the same time, just having the knowledge sometimes isn't enough either. I have a friend I work with, and for several years she's been listening to me rave about our WDW holidays and how I can't wait for another one. So last spring she says to me that she'd like to take her family there too. I said, Great! We'll help you plan, we'll even make your ressies for you if you like, and if you start saving and watching for discounts now, next winter would be a good time to go. 3 days later she walks in and tells me she booked with a travel agent and got a deal. The "deal" was an offsite condo with a small car included, no tickets even, so she had to buy them when she got there. They ended up there during spring break, and when they came back and I asked her what they did, she said MK really barely had room to walk so they just walked around and looked at things and went on the Winnie the Pooh ride. I could have cried. The sad thing is they didn't seem to know any different and they want to go back next year. This is after me going on and on about the importance of planning ahead. So you can lead a horse to water, but ......
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:05 PM   #20
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It is hard to understand. But then again my son and I listen to podcasts, visit this site and each make excel spreadsheets with EMH, plans, and reservations. I'll even include sunrise/sunset, moon phases, and expected weather highs, lows, and averages.


What? That isn't normal?

In other words: It is hard for me to understand the non-planner.

But, as someone said, as long as they are chill, OK, but if they expect more, it could be painful.
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:27 PM   #21
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I would give him a copy of the Unofficial Guide to WDW, tell him to read it cover to cover AND then call you. Hope it all works out for him - his intentions are good.
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:53 PM   #22
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The first time we went to Disney as a family in 2009, we got the idea about 4 weeks before, and I booked it 3 weeks before. Kids were little - 2 and 4 - so we weren't ruled by school schedules. Now, I know when we're going to do anything like 9 months in advance and I miss the good old days.

So, how was it, you may ask? We had an awesome vacation! We stayed BC, which is still one of our faves. Everything was new to us. I made dinner reservations for every single night, and there were some losers (Crystal Palace comes to mind), but some of the last minute ADRs were pretty good (The Wave).

WDW was a piece of cake to plan for a first-timer compared to planning trips outside the US prior to the internet being so developed (does anyone remember getting the EuroRail timetable booklets?). The only thing is that if they are going to go, they need to make a decision now and start working on it.
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:08 PM   #23
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Now granted, we are not first timers...we are more like 15th timers..lol. But we plan no more than about 3 months in advance. I booked our trip for next week back at the end of march. I actually just changed our resort reservation 3 weeks ago. I did make dinng reservations when I booked but I did change some around including as recent as today. For reservations I got everything I wanted (1900 park fare breakfast and dinner, crystal palace lunch, garden grill dinner, 50s prime time dinner, liberty tree tavern lunch) and all at prime meal times.

I honestly have not checked the park hours schedule yet and I probably will check it the night before.

This would probably shock most people here but we went over Christmas this past December (25th-31st) and we only planned our trip about 7 weeks in advance. We got the hotel we wanted (POP) and all of the dining reservations we wanted. We had an amazing time! I would have no problem going back during Christmas time.

But we also don't really plan that much. We choose our hotel and make ADRs (so we know tentatively what park on which day) but that's all we do. It probably helps immensely that we have been many times before but I think a first timer can have a great time with a last minute trip as long as they know the basics.

But to each their own of course.
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:01 PM   #24
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Would he have gone for this?

Vacation Offer June 30 – July 6, 2013 | 3 Adults, 2 Children (5, 10)

The Cabins at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort
Wilderness Cabin

6-Day Tickets + Park Hopper Option

$4313.00
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:26 PM   #25
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Now granted, we are not first timers...we are more like 15th timers..lol. But we plan no more than about 3 months in advance. I booked our trip for next week back at the end of march. I actually just changed our resort reservation 3 weeks ago. I did make dinng reservations when I booked but I did change some around including as recent as today. For reservations I got everything I wanted (1900 park fare breakfast and dinner, crystal palace lunch, garden grill dinner, 50s prime time dinner, liberty tree tavern lunch) and all at prime meal times.

I honestly have not checked the park hours schedule yet and I probably will check it the night before.

This would probably shock most people here but we went over Christmas this past December (25th-31st) and we only planned our trip about 7 weeks in advance. We got the hotel we wanted (POP) and all of the dining reservations we wanted. We had an amazing time! I would have no problem going back during Christmas time.

But we also don't really plan that much. We choose our hotel and make ADRs (so we know tentatively what park on which day) but that's all we do. It probably helps immensely that we have been many times before but I think a first timer can have a great time with a last minute trip as long as they know the basics.

But to each their own of course.
I kind of agree with this assessment. In terms of planning the rooms/pre-booked things at WDW, you don't need to do it THAT far in advance. The only thing that you really miss out on by not booking way in advance are a few tough to get ADR's (and even then, with persistence, you can get some of them) and DVC points reservations. I can't think of a time where I saw every Disney resort completely booked at 100% capacity except maybe a few peak times of the year. If you are flexible (which most people travelling to WDW are) you shouldn't have too much trouble getting a resort at any level booking even a month in advance. For example I just checked availability for a stay from 6/28-7/7 this year and every resort had rooms available, even LM rooms were available at AOA.
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:51 PM   #26
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I posted a little about this before, in a different context... my first trip to WDW was around 1985. My son and I flew from MN to FL in our small airplane. Because flyable weather is always a variable, we couldn't really plan ahead. I wouldn't have known what to do anyway, and there was no Internet back then. We rented a car, drove around looking for a "Vacancy" sign. We found a dumpy hotel, although it had a pool which my little boy liked. Kids are not nearly as picky as adults. We had a nice time, although it was hot and crowded.
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:06 PM   #27
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LOL. I love this post. I also love the "ambassador". My friends call me a pseudo-disney travel agent because I know quite a bit about taking a WDW vacation.
That sure sounds a lot better than what my friends/family call me...(and not just in reference to my Disney/USO addiction!).
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:07 AM   #28
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Yea, im known for my disney obsession.. Between our WDW trips, movies, clothes, house decorations and then a yr ago I be some a Disney authorized travel agent unjust labeled crazy with family & friends.. They shake their head and say oh they are going to Disney again..

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Old 06-19-2013, 06:27 AM   #29
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I went to Disney twice back in 94 & 95. No clue what we were doing. Stayed offsite and mostly ate quick service or offsite, as we rented a timeshare. We had an amazing time, but alot has changed since then. Now I believe you have to plan for all these things (which park which day, ADR's) I just went back with my family this past February. I had planned probably six months in advance when free dining came out. We had an amazing time. Saw pretty much everything we wanted to see and then some. My mom came with us and said she never would of done everything we had done if it hadn't been for my late nights on the Dis. We are now planning to go back in 2015. I mean where else can you go where you don't have to drive, cook, clean & also have an amazing time where there is something for everyone!!!
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:36 AM   #30
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Oh boy!

I don't think some people understand that there are travel agents who solely work to book Disney vacations. Granted not everyone needs to go as plan-crazy as we do, but a Disney trip is certainly an undertaking. As PP have said- to have a good time, people need to know what they're getting in to. People wouldn't go to Europe on the drop of a hat without reading a guidebook, would they?
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