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Old 07-19-2014, 02:14 PM   #1
TipsyTraveler
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Thoughts on my friends' first trip?

Hello, DISers, I'm looking for some opinions and suggestions regarding my friends' first trip to Disney. I hope this is the best place to put this thread.

Last night my friend told me she booked her family's trip to Disney. It was a bit surprising to me that she hadn't said anything about it before booking -- My boyfriend and I have been multiple times, we just returned from a trip to the Tokyo resort, blah, blah... My point is, we're the "Disney" people in our group of friends and we've told them in the past that we'd be happy to help them sort it out whenever they were ready to go. (Although, the fact that she didn't come to us first might be my cue that my advice isn't wanted. )

Here are the players:

My friend and her husband, four boys ages 10, 6, 2, and 4 months, and maybe Grandma. Grandma really doesn't have any desire to go, and if she does, she plans on staying at the resort all day with the baby, so no park tickets for her.

Here's what my friend says they've booked:

Oct 26 to Nov 1 in a suite at All-Star Music, 4-day park hopper tickets, tickets to MNSSHP, and free dining (the regular dining plan, not the QS plan). Total cost about $3200, not including any airfare.

She used "some guy DH went to high school with, he's a Disney travel agent" to book this.

I'm concerned about a few things. One, she didn't know the food court at ASMu will be closed while they're there until I told her. I feel any decent travel agent would've mentioned this. Two, she said they're getting a two bedroom suite. Um, as far as I can tell no such accommodations exist at ASMu. Three, she says the dining plan was free, otherwise she wouldn't have gotten it. When I look at the dining offers on the Disney site the only free dining offered for that resort is the QS plan (for dates that don't match hers, nonetheless). She was very clear that they have the plan that includes 1 TS credit, 1 QS credit... I'm thinking she might be under the impression the dining plan is free when in reality she's paying for it.

So I don't know if the confusion is on my end or hers or if this travel agent has seriously misinformed her. Basically, I'm here to ask if anyone has thoughts on this situation, and is she getting a good deal or are there better accommodation options for a family of this size? I'm not all that familiar with the values and mods, the dining plan isn't a good fit for us so we've never used it, and I've definitely never traveled with a family of that size, so I'm kind of out of my comfort zone on this. I don't want to weasel in on her trip plans or make her feel bad about anything they've paid for, but I wouldn't feel right if I saw the red flags in advance and didn't offer some gentle guidance.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.
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Old 07-19-2014, 02:21 PM   #2
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I would want to examine the print out she should have gotten from the travel agent from Disney. That should have all the details listed of what exactly she's getting. But it does seem a little odd for the reasons you stated.
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Old 07-19-2014, 02:25 PM   #3
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I think you can upgrade a free dining plan for a certain amount of money.

I heard of one bedroom suites in ASMu... Never heard of 2 bedrooms there either...
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Old 07-19-2014, 02:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by L&Lfan View Post
I would want to examine the print out she should have gotten from the travel agent from Disney. That should have all the details listed of what exactly she's getting. But it does seem a little odd for the reasons you stated.
I agree. She should be able to get some kind of reservation number in order to check by herself?
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Old 07-19-2014, 03:03 PM   #5
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If Grandma is included on the reservation and they're getting the dining plan, then they're paying for a park ticket for her. Waste of money if she's not going to the parks.
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Old 07-19-2014, 08:15 PM   #6
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it does sound like there might be some issues with her reservation. I don't know anything about suites at asmu. I also don't know about free dining as we don't book it but I do agree that her dates aren't covered. to know for sure you'll need to see her reservation.

I think if she wanted your help she'd of asked most likely. At most I'd let her know I thought something was up and ask if she'd like you to take a look and let her know. if she says no then I'd drop it. she may not have wanted to bother you and if thats the case she'll be happy to have your offer.
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Old 07-19-2014, 08:39 PM   #7
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I agree that you should at least offer to help. Just let her know a couple of things raised some red flags. If she does not want your help, at least you tried....good luck and let us know what happens. Either way, here's hoping she has a great trip!
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:02 PM   #8
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I just booked a "fake" reservation for those dates - came up with AoA suite for the parents and kids with free dining upgraded to ddp for about 3600 - does not include grandma.
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:15 PM   #9
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ASMu suites are 2 room not 2 BR. BR has queen bed, living room has full size sleep sofa, twin size sleep chair & youth size sleep ottoman. There is a good size kitchenette and two full baths.

The suites were made from connecting rooms. There are no connecting suites or any suites that connect to standard rooms.

All the suites are in the 4 buildings closest to front desk & transportation. There will be some sort of set up for refillable mugs & grab & go good while food court is refurbed and getting to food courts at sports & movies is easy.
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by txnana View Post
I just booked a "fake" reservation for those dates - came up with AoA suite for the parents and kids with free dining upgraded to ddp for about 3600 - does not include grandma.
To me based on your "fake" reservation, it sounds like they got the free dining and upgraded to ddp. Grandma's ticket would be around $400, and they can save that ticket for their next visit.
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:42 PM   #11
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Thanks, everybody. I cut to the chase and asked her to email me a copy of her reservation info so I can see exactly what's going on. She's supposed to get that to me at some point tonight. She's under the impression that they're getting a two bedroom suite at ASMu and I know for a fact that's incorrect. I imagine putting 6 (possibly 7) people in a one bedroom is going to be a tight squeeze so I might see if she's open to getting two rooms or otherwise upgrading to something a little more spacious. I also get the impression that she thinks Grandma can tag along as a free babysitter at the last minute and doesn't realize Grandma will have to be included on the reservation, dining plan, and park tickets. So yeah, there are some things that need to be cleared up.

Will there be an upcharge on the room price if Grandma comes along, or is the suite price set regardless of how many people are in it? (Up to the maximum limit, of course.)

Any recommendations for places that might accommodate a family of that size more comfortably?
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:47 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by lovesdumbo View Post
ASMu suites are 2 room not 2 BR. BR has queen bed, living room has full size sleep sofa, twin size sleep chair & youth size sleep ottoman. There is a good size kitchenette and two full baths.

The suites were made from connecting rooms. There are no connecting suites or any suites that connect to standard rooms.

All the suites are in the 4 buildings closest to front desk & transportation. There will be some sort of set up for refillable mugs & grab & go good while food court is refurbed and getting to food courts at sports & movies is easy.
Yes. I was thinking that the travel agent probably told these guys that the suite is two (bed) rooms.

We hated All Star Sports this past August 2014 during their food court/arcade refurbishment so much that we changed resorts (to CBR) in less than 12 hours there. But I have read that many people that stayed during this time didn't mind it and very much enjoyed the resort.

I think your friends (op) will have a great time. WDW is decorated so nicely for Halloween/Fall, and the parks are at low attendance.
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Old 07-19-2014, 10:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by TipsyTraveler View Post
Thanks, everybody. I cut to the chase and asked her to email me a copy of her reservation info so I can see exactly what's going on. She's supposed to get that to me at some point tonight. She's under the impression that they're getting a two bedroom suite at ASMu and I know for a fact that's incorrect. I imagine putting 6 (possibly 7) people in a one bedroom is going to be a tight squeeze so I might see if she's open to getting two rooms or otherwise upgrading to something a little more spacious. I also get the impression that she thinks Grandma can tag along as a free babysitter at the last minute and doesn't realize Grandma will have to be included on the reservation, dining plan, and park tickets. So yeah, there are some things that need to be cleared up.

Will there be an upcharge on the room price if Grandma comes along, or is the suite price set regardless of how many people are in it? (Up to the maximum limit, of course.)

Any recommendations for places that might accommodate a family of that size more comfortably?
Yes. I think it's ten dollars per night extra for the room. Plus, the upcharge to ddp from quick dining (around $70 more per night). The $400ish park ticket could be saved for their next visit.
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:19 PM   #14
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Hey guys, just wanted to give a quick update. My friend sent me her confirmation email and gave me her MDE info so I can log into her account. Her travel agent had her booked for 6 nights in a Family Suite at ASMu, upgraded to the DDP, and 3-day park tickets. He told my friend her mother could join them without having to pay anything other than a $10 per night room charge. She was not happy one bit to hear that Mom will have to pay for dining and tickets she doesn't plan to use, but it's better to get this straightened out before they get down there. She said she'll happily take any help I'm willing to give, so we're in the process of getting everything sorted out. I've put together a touring plan for them, they're purchasing 6-day tickets, and I've made a few dining suggestions and my friend is in the process of snagging reservations. On to Fastpasses next. I think my friends are going to end up with a much more enjoyable trip than what they started out with.

Thanks for all your helpful advice, everyone!
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:33 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by TipsyTraveler View Post
Hey guys, just wanted to give a quick update. My friend sent me her confirmation email and gave me her MDE info so I can log into her account. Her travel agent had her booked for 6 nights in a Family Suite at ASMu, upgraded to the DDP, and 3-day park tickets. He told my friend her mother could join them without having to pay anything other than a $10 per night room charge. She was not happy one bit to hear that Mom will have to pay for dining and tickets she doesn't plan to use, but it's better to get this straightened out before they get down there. She said she'll happily take any help I'm willing to give, so we're in the process of getting everything sorted out. I've put together a touring plan for them, they're purchasing 6-day tickets, and I've made a few dining suggestions and my friend is in the process of snagging reservations. On to Fastpasses next. I think my friends are going to end up with a much more enjoyable trip than what they started out with.

Thanks for all your helpful advice, everyone!
She can wait and add her mother when they get there but that could be a problem if they are flying in and using ME. Not sure how that would work out. Perhaps she could add Mom like 24 hours ahead-too late for DDP but still add to ME.
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