Thoughts on my friends' first trip?

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by TipsyTraveler, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. TipsyTraveler

    TipsyTraveler DIS Veteran

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    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. :laughing:)

    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. :goodvibes
     
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  3. L&Lfan

    L&Lfan DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  4. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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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...
     
  5. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    I agree. She should be able to get some kind of reservation number in order to check by herself?
     
  6. Tay N Evie's Mom

    Tay N Evie's Mom I'm SHERlocked!

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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.
     
  7. jcjen519

    jcjen519 DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  8. vtownpatty

    vtownpatty Mouseketeer

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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!
     
  9. txnana

    txnana Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  10. lovesdumbo

    lovesdumbo DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  11. jperrot1

    jperrot1 Fantasmic

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    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.
     
  12. TipsyTraveler

    TipsyTraveler DIS Veteran

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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?
     
  13. jperrot1

    jperrot1 Fantasmic

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    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.
     
  14. jperrot1

    jperrot1 Fantasmic

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    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.
     
  15. TipsyTraveler

    TipsyTraveler DIS Veteran

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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!
     
  16. lovesdumbo

    lovesdumbo DIS Veteran

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    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.:confused3
     
  17. Anne5555

    Anne5555 Mouseketeer

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    We considered bringing along a grandparent, too. They said our two options at the GF (which sleeps 5) were (1) she buys the same package we have (about $475 if I remember correctly) and she gets a 4 night stay in our room and 4 days of park tickets and 2 free meals a day or (2) we pay the resort add on fee ($20-30 per person per night) and she is not covered by the meal plan. With the first option the tickets would not expire if she does not use them, but I am afraid they would be nontransferrable, and she does not want to go to the parks or the pool. I'm afraid we'll leave our babysitter at home, because we don't want her to sit around bored all day and have to pay for expensive meals out of pocket.
     
  18. Sue M

    Sue M DIS Veteran

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    Why on earth would the TA book only 3 days of park tickets:confused3. Glad your friend is willing to accept your help!

    Her mom (although I don't know why she wants to go just to stay in a hotel room and babysit with nothing to do all day) doesn't have to be on same package with tickets and DDP if she just checks in on arrival. The only fly in the ointment would be DME. Not sure how they'd handle that, if they ordered enough luggage tags for her, so her luggage would be handled would they let her board without a reservation.

    Sadly a friend of mine didn't tell me they were going to wdw. Only found out when I ran into her after they returned. She said she left the planning to her husband & adult daughter. They stayed off site in a house, because it was her, husband, and 2 adult daughters with their families so I could see that.
    But they didn't get to parks till late morning, had no touring plans, and didnt research dining in advance
    They didn't have a great trip, complained about long lines, and said there was no food except burgers & fries :eek:
     
  19. TipsyTraveler

    TipsyTraveler DIS Veteran

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    Well, now I'm getting confused. They have a package booked under the Free Dining promotion. I spoke with Disney and they said if Grandma stays in that room on their reservation she will have to purchase the same package everyone else in that room has -- dining plan upgrade and the same number of park days regardless if she uses them. They didn't say anything about a second option to pay a room up-charge only.

    Personally, I don't think they should take Grandma at all. She doesn't want to go and having her along is just costing more money and further crowding an already crowded suite. I can't imagine Grandma's going to be thrilled sleeping on pull out furniture in the living room surrounded by her four grandsons for a week. I know I'd want a real bed and a little more privacy. Add to that, she's just going to sit by herself alone in the room the whole time with the baby. If I were my friend I'd spend so much time worrying about how miserable Grandma might be that I wouldn't be able to enjoy the trip myself. They're going to spend more money on airfare, food, and tickets (which will go unused) to drag along an unwilling participant than they would if they left her at home and just hired Kids Nite Out for their date night. But, for some reason, my friend does not want to bring the baby to the parks no matter how much I try to assure her it's not that big of a deal. Catering to children of all ages is kind of what Disney does best, ya know?
     
  20. TipsyTraveler

    TipsyTraveler DIS Veteran

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    I don't know if that's what my friend requested or if that was at the TA's suggestion. Either way, she started out with 3-day tix with a Park Hopper. I'm having her drop the Park Hopper and get 6-day tix (possibly 7 depending on what flight times they end up with and if they decide they want to hit the ground running). It saves them money to do it this way and they get twice as much time in the parks.
     
  21. Manders77

    Manders77 Mouseketeer

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    I am usually against this but maybe your friend should leave baby at home with family if she refuses to take him to parks. Normally I wouldn't suggest it but it seems a waste to me if you are that against going to parks with baby
     

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