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Old 02-19-2005, 10:49 AM   #1
DisneyMomx7
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Question on rates during Marathon

DH is signed up for 2006 marathon. He got an email last night about a special number to call for resort packages. Does anyone know if the rooms are discounted for marathon participants? We're trying to decide to renew our APs after they expire in July or wait until next July to get new ones. If the rates are discounted for the marathon we would wait so we could get two long July trips out of the AP. If not I guess we would renew and use the new one for the January trip (shorter) and make an early July trip in 2006. Thanks.
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Old 02-19-2005, 06:37 PM   #2
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Bump. I'd like to know, too.
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Old 02-19-2005, 06:59 PM   #3
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I never checked into the "resort packages" that the marathon info suggests are available for participants. I do recall reading posts on the WISH board about this topic. If I recall correctly, they were not giving much of a discount with the Marathon packages.

I booked a rack rate thankfully, when the AP rates came out in October I was able to get the exact room we wanted for the AP rate.

I did get some park hoppers using the "convention" rate which is avaiable to marathon particpants. These hoppers have rules -- have to use it w/in a certain number of days of the "event" and also expire. There are several options when buying park tickets with the convention rate-- single park-after 2pm tickets (1 or 2 day), and also hoppers. I don't recall how much I saved using these tickets.

I imagine the "packages" will have the room w/hopper option. Some of our party had APs and some didn't so I went w/ resort only package.

Check out the WISH board & search old threads--you will find lots more info but you might have to muddle thru some posts.
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Old 02-19-2005, 07:59 PM   #4
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well...

I have never gone then, but a friend of mine has. He booked the marathon pkg, staying at the GF, and his total for 2 ad/1ch for 5 nites was astronomical!!!! Something in the neighborhood of $5000.00!!!! I found a code for him, told him about a deal going on parkhoppers at the time, and shaved off $2500.00!!!! I cut his bill in half. The only thing he did not get was the pasta dinner the nite before the race. So, be sure to check all your options. I don;t think packages are usally a good deal with Disney!
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Old 02-19-2005, 09:42 PM   #5
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I will post about our marathon experiences.
DH has been in the last 5 WDW marathons.
Only in the last two have we been FL residents.
Our first real WDW trip was due to the marathon.
The Dis started and guided me in a LOT of planning.

This has been five years ago, so chances are things have changed some --
With our first trip, I checked out the marathon package, vs booking a package on my own with a AAA discount. (I did end up using my Disney card for my package discount. But the DC card has been defunct now for a few years.)

I booked a water view at CSR for 7 nights with UMP park passes. I saved $400 from what the marathon package would have cost. And the only difference was we could not attend the official Disney pre pasta dinner. I didn't think the dinner would be worth $400 to us.

At that time I was told the marathon package offered no discounts. As far as I know this is still the case.

The following years we became AP holders. We were always able to get a $55 a night rate at the All Stars. ($55 with tax)
We are park people, barely using our room. And we rather have a longer WDW stay than a more expensive resort for less nights.

(P.S. -- DH is a member of a internet group of runners, named the Dead Runner's Society. It is tradtional that many meet at POR food court the FRiday before the marathon, and Saturday evening at Macaroni Grill for the pre pasta dinner.)

Last edited by Luv2Roam; 02-19-2005 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 02-20-2005, 06:23 AM   #6
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Thanks - I think we'll just renew our APs and hope for a decent AP rate. I will book with a AAA rate just to have a back up. BTW how soon do you usually book your room for the marathon, and are there any resorts that are more convenient? We were thinking of trying WL for two reasons. One, it looks great for a winter vacation (fireplace and atmosphere) and 2) we're a family of five - we always stay at GF. This trip in-laws are coming so we can get two room and put one of the kids in with them, kids would love the bunk beds.

Thanks to everyone who responded.
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Old 02-20-2005, 09:18 AM   #7
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You can get some really great ticket prices through Disney's Sports Division or through Anthony Travel if you are a participant. Last year we ordered a 4 day hopper with 1 plus for $147.
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Old 02-20-2005, 10:39 AM   #8
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We stayed at BWI for the marathon. It was good, able to walk back to the resort after the race (thru epcot!) The weather was unusally warm this year, close to 80 everyday we were there (no need for fireplace!). That is heat wave--in 2004 it was in the 30s at the start. Personally, I did not enjoy WL when we stayed there. We had 3 adults and one small 12 yo--the room was just too small. I also did not like the transportation options. I did not enjoy waiting for the boat to MK--seemed like we must have always just missed it?? We ended up getting the boat to Cont and walking from there a few times. The theming of WL was great and we stayed at Christmas.

If I ever participate in the marathon/half again, I will stay at a monorail resort. I am a diehard fan of the EPCOT resorts, but....for the marathon, the transportation issues for runners and the spectators is bad enough to warrant a stay on the monorail. They have put the half on Saturday and the full on Sunday, maybe that will help with the traffic/congestion problems? My family got stuck trying to get to MK to cheer that morning--they ended up not making it to any of our designated viewing spots which was so very disappointing. (they were in our car--traffic/bus issues) If you do stay at WL & plan on cheering on your spouse I will be happy to give you some of my hints, depending upon how many times you want to see him, etc. I definitely advise not going to the start (EARLY, dark, too many people bunched up) or the finish (sit in bleachers to wait??). There are some great areas at the end in EPCOT to wait and cheer for him, then walk out of EPCOT around the tents and meet up with him there after he finishes. (you do have to have your park tickets to get in to EPCOT, MGM, AK that morning if you go to any of those parks to cheer)

sorry to go on and on! I had planned alot for that morning and since my family didn't make it to our spots I have thought alot about what we should have done differently. One thing is for certain, this is a good run for the participants but not fan friendly--at all.
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Old 02-20-2005, 11:02 AM   #9
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Agree it is difficult for fans. You almost have to know where the runner will be at an approx time and allow lots of time to get around.
Better to just go somewhere and stay put. The car traffic coming and going into the marathon is bad. Taking a bus works well. Or at least has for us.
This year I purely lucked out going in. Otherwise it was quite a traffic clog around Epcot and MK.
I think fans have to have a well thought plan, be lucky and/or persistent.

We stayed at WL and really enjoyed it. (2 adults) But it was not marathon time. (August)

Even at the AS and CSR we never experienced a traffic problem. DH took the special marathon busses. I took the resort busses. MUCH less probem than trying to get in and out by car during the marathon time.

I asked DH his opinion on the Ideal WDW resort during marathon time. He said WL is a No.
The monorail resorts, guests may gain some. He added he has spoken to runners who have stayed on the monorail resorts thinking they may have an advantage.
What ended up was the monorails were packed, with long lines. And guests have to switch monorails to get to Epcot, which was just another long line ending with another crowded ride.
At least with busses, Disney will have them lined and ready to go, one right after another. Anyone riding a monorail knows they stop just to leave a set amount of space in between. They will have more monorails in service. But only so many, no matter what. And it will not be one after another, like the busses.
His thought on the AS, Pop, CSR, is that MANY runners stay at these resorts. Especially at CSR, the Leukemia Society puts up their runners there. Due to this he thinks their marathon bus service is better prepared and more effective.

Even at cheap-o ASMu, the ONLY issue we ran across was that around 1:00 a.m. marathon morning Bus Loads of Cheerleaders were leaving. And they were all over the parking lot and resort doing what they do best. Nuff said.
Luckily we both always had a hard time sleeping the pre marathon night anyway. He was always on marathon andreline. Me Disney andreline.
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Old 02-20-2005, 11:06 AM   #10
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10nis -- You were able to easily walk FROM the race, but not TO. Of course I am sure the bus service to the race was fine.

And with the monorail resorts, you haven't tried that yet. It will be interesting if you do to read your comparison.
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Old 02-20-2005, 11:18 AM   #11
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Okay now I'm totally confused. Wouldn't WL have bus service to the marathon also? DH will never stay in a value resort. If not WL, are Epcot resorts better, monorail resorts or a mod like CBR or POR. I really would like to try something new. I love GF but we go for a long vacation there in July and for a short one (we'll only be there Thursday-Monday) I thought this would be a great time to try something else. Should we go with the Poly, YC, or a mod. HELP!
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Old 02-20-2005, 12:11 PM   #12
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Yes, WL should have bus service to the marathon. I can't imagine any Disney resort NOT having it.
WL is a great location. We really enjpyed our stay there. We experienced very good boat transportation service.
The bus service was as expected, or maybe slightly sluggish. Not bad. Not exceptional. We usually waited when we went by bus. We waited not at all, or very little when we went by boat. And it is a great view of you happen to be on a boat during MK fireworks.

I would just go with what theming and anemities suit your needs best.
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Old 02-20-2005, 12:45 PM   #13
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hum. Didn't mean to start anything. Yes, we took the bus to the start--left BWI about 345a. **All of the Disney resorts have the bus service to the start, except the monorail resorts. They use the monorail to TTC, change to the EPCOT monorail and get there that way. **Even if you stay at a monorail resort the runners have to get there early, they start at 3am and want you on a monorail by 4am. I had not heard about the congestion issues w/ the monorail on marathon morning. My husband ran the half and used the monorail to get back to EPCOT with no problems.

I do agree, even with excellent planning my family did not get to our spots--so, I think it would be best to have just a couple (1-2) spots picked out to cheer. Driving around the property that morning was crazy. I did read about people taking a taxi from spot to spot which sounds great to me, of course hindsight is 20-20.

IMHO, EPCOT resorts are great. If your kids are a bit older, it is delightful being close to EPCOT and MGM. Love being able to walk over to EPCOT for dinner in the evening and having the boardwalk action. WL was okay, I personally would not choose to stay there again but I am glad we tried it out. Lots of people absolutely love it. That is the great thing about Disney--has something for everyone!!!

What I think is that no matter where you stay--your husband has to get up at 3am to get to the start. If the spectators are just going to catch a glimpse or two, stay at a resort you want to try and chat with some veterans to figure out the best viewing areas and the best way to get there!
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Old 02-20-2005, 01:18 PM   #14
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10nis, I hope you did not read what I posted in a derogatory tone. It was not meant to sound that way.
I just think this is an interesting topic since I have been there, done that.
And I am wondering how the situation will change next year with the half being on Saturday, and the marathon being on Sunday.
Every year we have been it seems Disney allows more and more entrants. Which does start creating gridlock.
I just wanted anyone to be a little more prepared or consider different options. As an marathon observer of many years I know how frustrating and tense getting to any marathon on time can be. (Not to mention how EARLY they have to be there.)
I think 2006 will be very interesting.
We live just a short drive away, and getting there is more of an issue now for DH. The Disney transportation service is very good.
I mentioned to DH that we should treat ourselves to a WDW resort weekend during marathon time just for ease for him.
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