A few Disney Questions

EMHDad

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 18, 2010
We have not been to Disney since Jan 2014. We are going in June. We have picked picked 6/21-7/1 for an 8 night/5 park day trip. We might stay onsite, but are likely to stay offsite at bonnet Creek to save money and give the 5 of us(myself, wife, 13yo,10yo,6yo) some space.

1.) I used to be a disney expert, but have not really paid much attention. In 5 years and A LOT has changed. How can I begin studying tips and techniques of the current Disney world reality to best plan a trip for family?

2.) Is touringplans worth a subscription or no?

3.) We are hoping for a BippityBoppityBoutique 8am reservation on the 24th for daughter before park opens (I will call at 180 days out at 7am eat) thoughts on this? If we can't, our backup is disney springs/grand Floridian on nonpark day.

4. We want to rope drop and because we will prob get FPs at 30 days we plan on being at the front of the line each park day to make our first ride a popular attraction (7 dwarves, FoP, Smugglers Run, Soaring. What time should we get to each park?

5. DisneyMovieInsiders - I have A LOT of points. The site has almost no rewards now, but does have $50/$25/$10 off Disney store.com or store. We already used one at the disney store. Does anyone know, can these be used at the disney store at Disney springs? And/ gift shops in the parks?

Thank you for the help
 

Unvoiced_Apollo

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Here's your first positive reality check: Bonnet Creek? The Hilton & Wyndham there now have access to 60-Day Fastpass & EMH.

Caveat: I'm no expert, but here is what I have learned after planning 3 trips

1. Using this site as a resource as well as other sites/forums will help in planning and sites like undercovertourist.com for discounted tickets & hotel reservations will serve you well. Make sure to download the my disney experience (MDE) app and load up your reservations and tickets on there. Make FP reservations in reverse order on the day you're eligible to make them (MDE website will show you the date). If there are rides that are priority, put them on the last day (most people go from earliest to latest so if you work backwards, you can get your must do FP's). If you don't get the FP's you want, always check. I was able to get two top tier FP's in late afternoon for Slinky Dog and Flight of Passage on those respective park days at my earliest dates. But most importantly: Don't stress.

2. Yes. For my upcoming trip, I've been able to mess around with the plans and they've helped me come up with a schedule I might not have thought of or disregarded. Others seem to have had a lot of success with it.

4. Soarin' isn't as popular as it once was and can hold more people than the other Tier 1 rides. You can definitely arrive a little later and not suffer too much. For the others, it's best at arrive at least an hour before park open (especially for RD'ing FoP). SDMT might give you a bit more flexibility as well as to how late to arrive. MFSR is going to be tricky as there's actually been shorter waits in the afternoon but we don't know what effect Rise of the Resistance will have on crowds waiting there.
 

Heather07438

WDW Apprentice
Joined
Oct 20, 2015
4.- Yes, an hour before rope drop is best. At 20 or even 30 minutes prior, there will be a ton of guests ahead of you. 60mins early will give a much more significant cumulative reduction in waits across the first few rides. You could get 5+ things done in 2 hours with early RD, or only 3 with later RD.

WDW now has Bonnet Creek 'good neighbor' hotels that include 60 day FPs and Extra Magic Hours.

It's great you have rest days in between the parks. If you plan to rope drop and catch late fireworks/closings, consider taking an afternoon break too. It can really help your family get more enjoyment from the hours spent in the park. The time of year you're visiting can see 8a-11p hours, sometimes more especially with EMHs. You can get alot done arriving early to noon, then break to rest/nap/pool until returning 4 or 5pm to closing. You'll miss the hottest and most crowded part of the day :D
 
  • Heather07438

    WDW Apprentice
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2015
    2. Yes. For my upcoming trip, I've been able to mess around with the plans and they've helped me come up with a schedule I might not have thought of or disregarded. Others seem to have had a lot of success with it.
    I've been subscribed to TP for about 5 years now but not so much for the crowd calendars. What they do very well is help make plans, find ADRs, figure out which room you like and request it. And I love that all of our trips are logged there with every detail.
     

    EMHDad

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 18, 2010
    Here's your first positive reality check: Bonnet Creek? The Hilton & Wyndham there now have access to 60-Day Fastpass & EMH.

    Caveat: I'm no expert, but here is what I have learned after planning 3 trips

    1. Using this site as a resource as well as other sites/forums will help in planning and sites like undercovertourist.com for discounted tickets & hotel reservations will serve you well. Make sure to download the my disney experience (MDE) app and load up your reservations and tickets on there. Make FP reservations in reverse order on the day you're eligible to make them (MDE website will show you the date). If there are rides that are priority, put them on the last day (most people go from earliest to latest so if you work backwards, you can get your must do FP's). If you don't get the FP's you want, always check. I was able to get two top tier FP's in late afternoon for Slinky Dog and Flight of Passage on those respective park days at my earliest dates. But most importantly: Don't stress.

    2. Yes. For my upcoming trip, I've been able to mess around with the plans and they've helped me come up with a schedule I might not have thought of or disregarded. Others seem to have had a lot of success with it.

    4. Soarin' isn't as popular as it once was and can hold more people than the other Tier 1 rides. You can definitely arrive a little later and not suffer too much. For the others, it's best at arrive at least an hour before park open (especially for RD'ing FoP). SDMT might give you a bit more flexibility as well as to how late to arrive. MFSR is going to be tricky as there's actually been shorter waits in the afternoon but we don't know what effect Rise of the Resistance will have on crowds waiting there.
    First,

    Are you saying that if we reserve. 2 bedroom at Bonnet Creek, then we are able to get the 60 day FP window?!? Awesome. Any suggestion on how to do it? We were going to reserve through VRBO but if we need to through another way, we can. How would I connect that reservation to my tickets to be about to acces that window in April?

    It sounds like if w
    4.- Yes, an hour before rope drop is best. At 20 or even 30 minutes prior, there will be a ton of guests ahead of you. 60mins early will give a much more significant cumulative reduction in waits across the first few rides. You could get 5+ things done in 2 hours with early RD, or only 3 with later RD.

    WDW now has Bonnet Creek 'good neighbor' hotels that include 60 day FPs and Extra Magic Hours.

    It's great you have rest days in between the parks. If you plan to rope drop and catch late fireworks/closings, consider taking an afternoon break too. It can really help your family get more enjoyment from the hours spent in the park. The time of year you're visiting can see 8a-11p hours, sometimes more especially with EMHs. You can get alot done arriving early to noon, then break to rest/nap/pool until returning 4 or 5pm to closing. You'll miss the hottest and most crowded part of the day :D
    I think our plan will be to b at the turnstiles at 7:30am-7:45am. Our goal is Get on the MOST sought after ride first, and like you said, have 5-6 rides done at 2 hours. The nonpark days are a new way we are trying to do Disney, with true days of rest. Afternoon breaks are likely as well. I am going to figure out a balance. We are doing Magic Kingdom twice, but every other Paarl only once. No park hoppers.


    I need to clarify on the Bonnet Creek. We are planning on staying, not at the hotel, but in one of the timeshare condos. I priced it, and a studio+ hotel room that can fit 5 people is $100+ a day more then a 2 bedroom at Bonnet creek. However, it sounds like those are not included in the 60 window. Right?
     

    Unvoiced_Apollo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 30, 2018
    First,

    Are you saying that if we reserve. 2 bedroom at Bonnet Creek, then we are able to get the 60 day FP window?!? Awesome. Any suggestion on how to do it? We were going to reserve through VRBO but if we need to through another way, we can. How would I connect that reservation to my tickets to be about to acces that window in April?
    Sorry, we misunderstood. I don't think the timeshares are included. Thought you meant the Bonnet Creek Hotels (Wyndham & Hilton).

    -It might benefit you to check out the good neighbor hotels as many do have those benefits and you might be able to get 2 rooms for a little more than what you're paying depending. They would as I understand it give you a voucher/card to confirm that you are allowed in for EMH. If you go this route, then saving your reservation to a My Disney Experience account will get you the 60 day fastpass.

    -Also check out DVC rental sites as you can get pretty good discounts (down to a moderate level for deluxe villas). They'll even have discounts on those rates or further discounts for specific days that could match up with yours. Again linking reservation to an MDE account will get you the benefits of EMH, 60 day FP, and complimentary magicbands.

    -Always be on the look out for discounts either from the Disney World Site or sites like the aforementioned undercovertourist.com. People have their own favorite 3rd party wholesaler for these things though. Again, linking your tickets and eligible hotel on MDE will get you the associated benefits.

    -Consider an Annual Pass/Disney Credit Card (0 fee option)/Target Credit Card. Annual Pass can offer discounts on dining, merchandise, and hotel reservations. It also comes with memory maker. You are staying there long enough where this would be worthwhile and you would only need one, though you still need tickets for everyone else. Disney Credit Cardholders can also get discounts on resorts and other rewards. Target Credit Cards will net you the least amount of savings but you can use it to buy Disney gift cards at 5% off and use those cards for almost all of your WDW needs (dining, resorts, and most merchandise). The Target option is good if you decide to keep the Bonnet Creek plan as there's much less investment.
     

    YawningDodo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 16, 2014
    1.) When I stepped back into Disney vacationing after a six year absence in 2015, I swallowed my pride and bought a guidebook. I liked the Unofficial Guide, since it has (sometimes brutally) honest reviews of the dining and did a good job of covering all the complicated logistics that had changed since I'd last been there. I read it nearly cover to cover and scribbled notes in it as I went, highlighted restaurants that sounded good, etc. Nowadays my favorite for reviews and updates is Disney Tourist Blog, but you can get a good overview from the Unofficial Guide. It's made by the Touring Plans people, so it does push Touring Plans pretty hard, which leads into...

    2.) For some yes, for some no. I personally can't stand the thought of building a step-by-step touring plan; I may be an overplanner by non-Disney-people standards, but deciding in advance which rides I'll do in fifteen minute increments is a big step too far for me. However, even if you don't use the touring plans part of Touring Plans, they do offer other services that may be helpful to you--the two I'm aware of (though I haven't personally used them) are that you can set it to alert you if certain dining reservations become available, and you can set it to alert you if park hours during your visit get changed.

    3.) Outside my knowledge area, sorry!

    4.) Currently the consensus seems to be that you need to show up an hour in advance. On one EMH morning I only managed to get to Animal Kingdom half an hour before opening and was able to get on FoP quickly, but I've also read (rare) reports of people on non-EMH mornings having issues even at an hour. Note that Soarin' is (I'm told) no longer such a mad rush in the mornings; the hot ride to hit at Epcot rope drop is now Frozen Ever After.

    5.) No idea, sorry.
     
  • Chief Powhatan

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 13, 2012
    1.) I used to be a disney expert, but have not really paid much attention. In 5 years and A LOT has changed. How can I begin studying tips and techniques of the current Disney world reality to best plan a trip for family?
    I would start by getting an Unofficial Guide to Disney World guidebook. I am a travel agent who goes multiple times a year and daily keeps up with everything via podcast, twitter, youtube, etc., but I still find myself regularly going to this guidebook for information. It is a great resource.

    3.) We are hoping for a BippityBoppityBoutique 8am reservation on the 24th for daughter before park opens (I will call at 180 days out at 7am eat) thoughts on this? If we can't, our backup is disney springs/grand Floridian on nonpark day.
    I am not positive what your question is here, but my daughter loved BBB at the Magic Kingdom and went every year until she aged out of it. She would still go if Disney would let her. When we went, we would typically shoot for around 11 am. That way we would still get the advantage of the morning rope drop.

    It seems like you are proactively on top of things, so I am sure you will have a great trip.
     

    CarolynFH

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2000
    To clarify: the Wyndham Bonnet Creek does NOT get 60-day FP booking or EMH. Only the Waldorf Astoria and the Hilton Bonnet Creek get those perks. Check the Orlando Hotels and Attractions board here on the DIS for more information about that and about staying at the much-loved Wyndham Bonnet Creek as well!
     



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