The Darling Family June Beach Club Trip:Hugging Ewoks and Finding Peter Pan

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by dismagiclover, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

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    You may not things Hob Nobs are all that. DH doesn't see what the big deal is. I think they may be an acquired taste:rolleyes1 I LOVE your new signature! Sure is a great looking group:goodvibes

    I knew you guys would understand about my reaction to the loss of pictures. A little over the top, but what ya gonna do:rolleyes1 I'm sad the report is ending too. I'll talk about future plans in my final thoughts which are coming right up.:)

    I've got to finish up this report because the kids started school this week and real life begins. I love the laziness of summer:cloud9: It allows me to waste so much time on things like the DIS:goodvibes The AK day was a fun one even though Wendy did have her "sickness." We've always asked for the Baby Simba pictures. The photog has never volunteered it so it's not suprising you didn't know about them. And there is a Chick Fil A in the Orlando airport! Oh how I wish we sould have seen it. Maybe next time I'll fly Continental just so we used that terminal;)

    I was freaking out major when I thought the pictures were gone. Luckily it had a happy ending (or else there would have been no trip report:eek:) The TR has also been a blast to write. Thanks so much for reading it:goodvibes

    I've never been to Munster though I've been to Amsterdam and love it! Not for the reasons people usually think of;) I'm a big art fan and Dutch art is my favorite so I love the art there plus the city is so charming with all of the canals and the 17th century townhouses. It just seems so unified because it was all built around the same period. Oh I hope to get back someday:goodvibes
    And now you know you can play in the cars outside of TT. I wouldn't mind if they were display only. My kids want to burn too much time in what is essentially a car showroom. There are things I'd rather do at Disney World:rolleyes1:
     
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  3. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

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    I can't believe the time has actually come for my final thoughts:sad2: It's almost like leaving Disney World again, but all things must come to an end so here goes.

    The Beach Club: If you’ve read this trip report you know exactly what I’m going to say. I loved it!!!! We are a family that likes to walk places and the location here can’t be beat. To be able to walk to two different parks was awesome! Stormalong Bay was amazing and I loved the smell in the lobby.:cloud9: Would we stay here again? In a heartbeat!

    Saratoga Springs: This was a beautiful resort. The landscaping is absolutely beautiful and it has a very relaxing vibe. It’s quite spread out, but our room was in a good location so that didn’t bother us. The walk to Downtown Disney is nice as well, but since only Wendy is a big shopper that wasn’t super important to us. Though I must say that if I stayed at Saratoga for a week I’d think I’d visit Goofy’s Candy Company for Make Your Own Treats seven times.:laughing: The pool area was much smaller than SAB, but it made for more relaxing swim time and John loved the slide. (Remember SAB’s slide was just too much for him.) Of course we loved the space in the 1 bedroom villa after we’d been in a hotel room for a week. Would we stay here again? I wouldn’t be opposed to it, but it didn’t have enough to tempt DH. I might be hard pressed convincing him to stay here.:confused3 He’d rather be where there is a little more action. (Remember this is a man that doesn’t know how to relax and Saratoga Springs is all about relaxing.)

    Our DVC Future: We spent that night at Saratoga to test the waters. Of course we love the idea of DVC, but we don’t love the cost.:rolleyes1 Our biggest concern isn’t the initial buy in cost (resale prices are good right now), but the maintenance costs in the future. You never know what life is going to throw at you and we aren’t sure we want to commit ourselves to those long term costs. I think for now we are going to become serial DVC renters. That was such a successful experience and our “landlord” may have points to rent in the future. It’s a much less expensive way to stay in a 1 or 2 bedroom villa than booking directly through Disney and it will give us the chance to try different DVC resorts. In fact I’ve already booked DVC for January and June of 2010.

    June Weather and Crowd Levels: The weather was definitely hot, hot, hot.:scared: We were expecting that and as long as we stayed out of the sun in the heat of the day we did just fine. Mornings weren’t bad and it cooled off in the evenings as well. I actually prefer summer weather to January weather. If I’m going to Florida I want to be hot. I want to be able to swim, and I loved only having to pack shorts and t-shirts. In January you have to pack for all seasons! The crowds grew bigger each day of our trip. By the end (June 19) they were to the point that it was more difficult to get things done. If we go in June again, it will definitely be as early as the school schedule allows.

    Star Wars Weekends Every little boy’s dream! (And my big boy’s dream too!);) It was so fun to see all the characters and experience it all. Would we do it again? I’m not sure because it was so fabulous for us I don’t think it could possibly be that great again.:rotfl: (I could be wrong though. Disney World gets better every trip!) My boys were the perfect age and it was here that Peter Pan really came out of DH.:love: Those are memories I will always appreciate!

    Photo Pass: I don’t think I need to say anything. My 700 pictures speak for themselves. I wonder if they have a Photopass Annonymous. “I’m Jenny and I’m addicted to Photopass.”:lmao: What do I do with these pictures? Let me show one of my family room walls.
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    Resort Photo Shoot Loved this!:thumbsup2 There are shots from it all over my house. It helps me remember the beautiful Beach Club, but the shots don’t scream Disney (unless you are in the know.) I want to try to one of these each trip. It is a great way to get beautiful pictures.

    Pin Trading: This was a great success.:thumbsup2 The kids all had fun figuring out what they wanted to collect and buying a lot from pincastle.com before we went saved some money. I’m definitely planning on doing this each trip. Here are the final results of the pin trading:
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    Magical Express I thought this was great! I loved the fact that we didn’t have to get our luggage at the airport. It just magically appeared in the room!:wizard: It was nice not to mess with a rental car and we were in Disney World about an hour after our plane landed. Going back would have been equally as fabulous if we could have checked our luggage at the resort. We flew Southwest so that wasn’t an option. They do have you at the airport a bit early, but once again it was very nice not to have to mess with the rental car thing. Would we use it again? In a heartbeat! In fact I’m using it in January.

    Disney Transportation: Our only bad experiences with Disney transportation was when we used it for Downtown Disney. Going back to the Beach Club there were just too many stops (all the DTD stops, the water park, and the resort stops). And our longest wait was for the DTD bus at SSR (we would have walked, but it was raining.) Other than that the buses were fine. However, at the Beach Club we walked to Epcot and walked or took the boat to DHS. The MK buses were always good. In fact, we would have used them even if we had a car to avoid the TTC. With all that, if we’d stayed somewhere like Old Key West or Animal Kingdom Lodge where you had to take the bus to get everywhere, I think the buses may have gotten a little old. However, not old enough for us to shell out the money for a rental car.;)

    Dining Plan I thought this was great. It took some of the pain out of eating all those Table Services because they were already paid for. It was especially nice because we went during a time they had holiday surcharges at the character meals. (Though for 2010 there will be a holiday surcharge for the Dining Plan.) It’s also a great deal for the kids. The table service alone was more expensive than the charge for one day on the plan. Will we do it again? I’d really like to, but that will be something DH and I negotiate.:rolleyes: Next time we’re planning on staying in a villa with a full kitchen and though I don’t plan on cooking full on meals we might end up doing things like frozen pizza or chicken nuggets. Plus we will always eat breakfast in the room. In addition Wendy will be an adult and I’m not sure I want to pay adult prices for her.:eek:

    Dining Review I enjoyed all of the table service meals we went to. There was nowhere I’d say I’m never returning to. There were a few stand outs that we will probably return to. One is definitely Le Cellier. The Plaza is also a must do next trip.:thumbsup2 The kids also loved Chef Mickey’s. Cape May had a great character breakfast, but I’m not sure we’d go there if we weren’t staying at the Beach Club. We also liked Tangeriene Café and Sunshine Seasons. Both these CS had food quality that competed with some of the TS.

    Future Trips: I’m definitely going down for 2 nights in January to”run” the half marathon.:woohoo: I’ve rented points at Bay Lake Tower and I’m excited to stay a hop, skip and a jump away from the MK. I’m leaving the family at home and meeting BDF. We’re running the race together and will have so much fun! After that the next trip is next summer. My parents are taking Wendy on a Disney Cruise (and I’m not invited!) Can you believe that? I’m one jealous mama!:rolleyes1 Anyway, I will drive down with all the kids and drop Wendy off for the Disney Cruise. Then while she is doing that the boys and I will do a “Boys trip” to Disney World. I’m renting points at OKW and doing boy stuff (like maybe the Pirate Cruise or new Pirate Makeover). Then DH is talking about flying down to join all of us and we’ll spend a couple of days at Universal. Our next big family trip will hopefully be January 2011 when I will “run” the whole marathon!:scared1: It will be Wendy’s last year in Elementary School and probably our last chance to take them during the school year. We will probably do a split stay and rent points for the Boardwalk Villas and Animal Kingdom Villas. These are our tentative plans, and like everything are subject to change.

    Finally, a big thank you to all of my loyal readers and especially my loyal posters.:love: It’s been so fun to read your comments and share my vacation with you! You helped to make the memories even better. I hope to see all of you around the boards!

    Jenny (Mrs. Darling to some)
     
  4. letstalkboutdisney

    letstalkboutdisney Mouseketeer

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    I really loved your trip report! Thank you for sharing your vaction with all of us. So sad that it's over:sad1: On the bright side sounds like you have plenty more trips planned to Disney which means plenty more trip reports :yay:
    Enjoy the rest of your summer and hope to hear from you soon!
     
  5. hhockman

    hhockman DIS Veteran

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    Jenny your trip report has been awesome and I've loved reading it! I am also thinking of renting DVC points starting with our trip in June. I'd like to do AKL, but I'd also like to do BCV if it's not too expensive (though I have a feeling it will be). I'm hoping we'll be staying in the Nick Hotel for part of the time, so we won't be on a package and renting points seems like the best idea. Ooh. :idea: Maybe I could do BCV when I do the Donald in 2011. Since we'll only be there a couple of nights. Hmmm.

    I hadn't heard about a "holiday surcharge" on meals. Guess I need to look into that more since we'll be there in June next year.

    Most of all I'm :cool1: about the possibility of getting to meet you and your boys since we are going in early June next year too. Wouldn't our kids have fun together? If the shy ones can get over their shyness. But even if not, I'd still like to at least meet you. We are also doing both Universal and Sea World when we go in June and I was thinking of doing the pirate cruise since we're celebrating birthdays. You'll definitely have to start a PTR when you're ready. ;)

    REALLY looking forward to hearing about the Donald! :rolleyes1

    Oh, one more thing, where did you get those frames? They are really cool!

    I'm sure I'll see ya around. :goodvibes
     
  6. liznboys

    liznboys <font color="red">I wish upon stars!<br><font colo

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    :goodvibes Great wrap up Jenny. And your TR was very well done, I loved it! (And not just because I was IN it either!! lol) Well done, my friend!!! :thumbsup2:thumbsup2 :hug:
     
  7. cjackearl

    cjackearl DIS Veteran

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    I'm so sad to see your report come to an end. I enjoyed traveling along with the Darling family on all of their adventures, some of which were remarkably similar to our family adventures in the World. Thanks for the recap. You know I'm right there with you on the Beach Club love. Heaven!:cloud9: The dining plan worked out well for us as well, but our Disney "adult" is an adventurous eater with a bigger appetite so I didn't mind paying adult prices for her. My 10 year old though?:scared1: I'm so impressed that you're doing the marathons. Running through Disney sounds as appealing as running can sound.:laughing: Staying at BLT should be fab, and then a boys only (plus mom) trip will be so amazing and special for your guys. I love your photo frames! Did you find those in the World? Thanks again for a fun, fun read. You did an awesome job, Jenny!:goodvibes
     
  8. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

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    Thank you! I'm sad it's over to, but it does help that I see Disney World so soon in my future:goodvibes

    There shouldn't be much difference in price renting points between the BC and AK. You usually pay around $10 a point and the point values are about the same for both resorts.
    It would be tons of fun to meet up in the World next June:goodvibes Our trip is later in June though. Wendy's cruise starts on the 18th so that's when we'd arrive and then leave about a week later. If the dates work out we definitely need to plan it! But I'm pretty sure you'll be there earlier:confused3 I don't know if I'll do a PTR, but I'll probably do a TR for both the January and June trips so you can hear all about the Donald!
    Those frames are for sale all over Disney World. I bought one there, but then decided I needed more:rolleyes1 Luckily they sell them on the photopass website so I bought some more from there. I even had a discount linked to one of my photopass cards so that made it a bit easier. I'll see you over on your PTR:goodvibes

    You got to admit it helped a little that you were in my TR;) Everytime I see your siggie I smile:goodvibes

    Thanks for the compliments! Your TR is pretty great too! Wendy is definitely not a big enough eater to get her money's worth on the adult plan. Maybe in a few years:confused3 Michael on the other hand probably could get his money's worth now:laughing: Don't be too impressed with the marathons. I really am not very fast and much walking is usually involoved. Training is a great excuse to get out of the house and get some alone time. That is the real reason I like running so much;) I answered the question about the photo frames just above here. See you on your TR:goodvibes
     
  9. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    Girl, I know how you felt when you thought you had lost all of your pictures. It's a huge punch in the stomach. I lost ALL of my 2008 trip pictures. I cried for two solid days. I finally took my camera to the camera shop and they were able to recover the majority of my pictures. This trip, my camera went kerplunk halfway through the trip. I know I lost at least 176 pictures but I am hoping that the camera shop can recover them like they did last year. My husband and I went looking for a WalMart at 1:30 a.m., yes, I said 1:30 a.m. We bought a new camera and were back at our resort in the wee hours of the morning.


    I hate to see your report end so soon. I often say that trip reports and pictures are what keep me sane until our next Disney trip.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading all about your Disney adventures.
     
  10. bballbabe

    bballbabe Me and my sister 1973 - the flowers are fake!

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    I am so sad to see your trip report end. I had a really good time reading about your adventures. My Dad started to read it also and is thinking about going down for a Star Wars weekend. He is a HUGE Darth Vader fan.

    Good Luck in running your race in January and I am looking forward to reading about your future trips.
     
  11. MagicShell

    MagicShell DIS Veteran

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    Thanks so much for sharing your trip, I really enjoyed reading about it. I am glad you have several future trips planned that you can look forward to. How lucky is Wendy? I hope she enjoys her cruise. I will look forward to reading about your future trips.
     
  12. Happy Elf

    Happy Elf DIS Veteran

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    I so enjoyed reading your TR! So much fun! I'm sad it's over! I was a loyal reader even though I didn't always post.

    I hope you stick around, I may get back to my TR soon, but real-life got in the way for awhile!
     
  13. 2Tiggers

    2Tiggers DIS Veteran

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    Jenny,
    I feel a little silly, because I am sitting here feeling sad because it's over. I have enjoyed getting online and wondering if you posted anything new for that day. Thanks for sharing your family memories. You did a great job and kept my interest the whole time. And I will say it again...I love how you put the pages so I just have to click and read. :thumbsup2

    Good luck running in Jan. You go girl! I run only if someone is chasing me :rotfl2:
     
  14. ellajeansmom

    ellajeansmom Mouseketeer

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    A wonderful report, well done :thumbsup2

    That must have been a scary moment when you thought you had lost all the pictures :scared1: I was so paranoid about that on our trip that each night I downloaded them to the laptop and then also saved them on a memory stick!

    I hear you about having Wendy be an adult on the meal plan, I keep telling DH that we need to either go back before Ella turns 10 (ie. before Nov. 2011) or we'll have to go when there is free dining.

    I'm glad that the renting DVC points worked well for you and I'll be interested to know how it goes in Jan. and June. That is definitely something I've started to look into but the leap of faith is a little scary!

    Best of luck in the marathon and thanks for sharing your families excellent adventures :goodvibes
     
  15. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

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    It took me a little while to think of taking the camera to the camera shop as well. It was my neighbor in fact who suggested it and the minute she suggested it I was in the car rushing to the camera shop:laughing: I hope you get most of your pictures back from this year as well. The things we do for photos:rolleyes: I'll see you over on your report:goodvibes

    I'm sad to see my TR end too:sad2: I hope your dad makes it to Star Wars Weekend. It is so much fun! I'll see you over on your trippie:goodvibes

    I can't believe how luck Wendy is either! My parents always take their grandkids on a 10 year old trip, but this is the first time they have done a cruise. My niece (who is 2 weeks younger than Wendy) suggested it and my parents thought it was a great idea. I am so jealous! However, I have to get her down to Florida for the cruise so it gives me an excuse to go to Disney so I'm not complaining too loud:rolleyes1

    I was looking at my subscriptions the other day and wondered where you'd gone. I understand life can get in the way (especially with 2 kids under 5!) I'll be there when you get back to it:goodvibes

    Don't feel silly. I'm sad because it's over too:sad2: Oh, and if I waited for someone to chase me to run it wouldn't happen. No one has chased me in a very long time:lmao:

    We didn't take the laptop down because we weren't really comfortable about leaving it on arrival and departure day while we went to the parks. It probably would have been OK, but we would have had to pay for internet access anyway and it wasn't worth it. However it would have been nice to save my pictures everynight. Alls well that ends well though:goodvibes Yea the adult 10 year old on the dining plan is really hard for me to swallow. I'll probably get the dining plan in June, but I'll only have the boys. It's too bad they don't give you an option for a few years between the kid and the adult plan because I realize there are some 10 year olds that actually eat something besides pizza and chicken nuggets. I don't think that will be my 10 year old.:rolleyes: The renting points thing does take a leap of faith. That is why we only did it for 1 night. I could handle getting burned over $200 a lot easier than getting burned over $2000. When we do the larger reservations I'm going to stick with renting from individuals I've rented from before.
     
  16. PracPerfPatricia

    PracPerfPatricia DIS Veteran

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    Well done Jenny! Thanks for writing such a fun, detailed, thoughtful TR for all of us to share. You're family is lovely and you obviously all had a fabulous time.

    I'm seriously itching to stay at the Beach Club Next (2010) Autumn for Emily's 16th B-Day thanks in part to your great coverage of it...:goodvibes

    Lucky Wendy going on a cruise...:cool1:

    I'm hoping that you think about writing a TR about your run in January...I'm inspired and am hoping to run a 1/2 marathon someday myself...better start thinking about doing a 5K first though...:lmao:

    Btw-you are a Disney enabler-due to your photo shoot at the Beach Club-we did one at AKL...:lmao:
     
  17. Lynn5700

    Lynn5700 <font color=darkorchid>WOO HOO I will be there<br>

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    Thank you for sharing your trip!! I loved it! I hope I get to see you at the Half :)
     
  18. Stefy

    Stefy Fantasising of our next DCL & WDW Trip

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    From your pics and other pics I have seen Beach Club does look gorgeous. SAB sounds really cool and I love the idea of being able to walk to Epcot (my second fav park)

    Saratoga also looks awesome and your pics of the THV were amazing, it looks v woodsy

    I hear what you are saying about DVC, it is alot to invest in, but it is worth it. We really want to do this, as DF has a 1yr old niece who we are dying to take to WDW and having DVC would make it alot easier to bring her over with her mum and dad.

    I am still kinda confused on the rental side of things with points, I tried to look it up and it looked really expensive for 10pts, but then maybe thats because I was converting into £'s from $'s


    How does June compare to September weather wise? Our first WDW trip was in Sept and the weather was gorgeously hot, although the lovebugs were such a nuisance (hate bugs!)

    SWW looks so awesome and your pics are so cute. Was it really really busy when you went? I heard that it gets an insane amount of crowds there

    All you photopass pics were awesome and I loved the shot of your and the disney family, made one great pic :) I love all the special effect pics. Well worth the money.

    I think the DDP is the one thing you have to get when going to WDW you save quite alot of money and it is one less hassle to worry about Re: paying. Only downside is not being able to get Appetisers anymore and also that gratuity is not included either.

    Good luck with the Half Marathon :) You must post pics of BLT, it looks so awesome and I love the idea that you need your KTTW card to get into everything :)

    Thanx again for sharing, has been a blast reading :hug:
     
  19. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

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    Definitely consider the Beach Club for 2010. It's just such a fabulous location and that pool is so much fun! I'll probably do a short TR for the January trip. I've found it helps quite a bit with the Post Disney Depression;) And definitely look into a 5K. I'm sure there are tons in your local area (though you may have to wait until Springtime. They don't do many outside of Florida in the winter.) I can't wait to see your shots from the AKL photo shoot. I'm thinking about doing that one when we hopefully stay there in Jan. 2011. Sorry about the enabling thing. I know how that goes;)

    I'll be somewhere amid the thousands behind you at the half.:laughing: I'll definitely keep my eyes open for you, but I'm sure it won't be anywhere on the course. I'll be way back in your dust;)

    The way points rental work: First determine how many points your stay will take. There are point charts showing what each night costs in points that you can find here: http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-vacation-club/DVCpoints.shtml
    Then you find someone on the DVC rental board and work out the deal with them. For instance I'm going in January for 2 nights at BLT and the cost is 23 points per night. So that is 46 points total. The member made the reservation in my name and then I paid the member directly the $460 for the room. Weekends are almost double the cost of weekdays so the best deal is on weekdays. That's how it works. The only downside is it takes trust. I can't compare June to September weather wise because we've never been in September. My guess is they are both super hot, but September is hurricane season so you're more likely to get serious storms. In June the storms just generally blow in for an hour or two and then are gone. In September if it's a hurricane it could literally rain for days without stopping.
    The SWW crowds were pretty bad. We had a plan though and weren't trying to do anything except the Star Wars stuff while we were there that day so it was so worth it! Definitely one of the highlights of the trip!
    Keep your eye out for a January TR. I'll probably do one and if I do it will include lots of BLT pictures because I won't have pictures of the kids to show. It may even include a few food pictures as well because we're planning on doing the Deluxe Dining Plan:woohoo:
     
  20. letstalkboutdisney

    letstalkboutdisney Mouseketeer

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    I have a question about renting points. So after you find someone to rent from and they book it for you do you then call disney and buy your tickets and dining plan? How does that work?
    How were you able to find someone you felt you could trust?
    Thanks
     
  21. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

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    The member you rent from has to add the dining plan to your reservation and then you pay for it at check in. You can never actually speak to anyone at Disney about your reservation. They will only speak to the member. Though most people that rent will gladly set up a 3 way call so you can confirm your reservation that way. As far as tickets you just buy them on your own. I know on mousesavers.com they have some places where you can get discount tickets or you can just get them when you arrive at Disney. As far as the trust issue there is no perfect answer there. That is one of the reasons we only rented one night the first time we rented. I figured I could handle it if I was out $200. (Trust me I've wasted $200 more than once in my lifetime;)) However, being out $2000 would have been tough to swallow. Now that I've rented I feel much more comfortable with how it all goes. Plus if I do large rentals I'm going to try to rent from those I've previously rented from. (I've now rented from 2 individuals. My June rental and this coming January rental.) If you are using the point rental board here on the DIS I would try to find someone with a large number of posts. Anyone renting will also give you their phone number and you can call and talk to them to make you feel more comfortable. There is no way around the fact that it is a trust issue no matter how you slice it though. Also many of the DVC resorts fill up quick so it's good to book well in advance (like 7 months.) If you're willing to do all of that I think renting is a real great deal (especially on weekdays when the points required are way less.) Anyway, this is probably way more info than you were looking for, but good luck! I'm jealous that you'll be at the Beach Club next summer!
     

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