Need booking advice....

Avatar for lulucluster
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Need booking advice....
6
Sat, 04-24-2010 - 11:11pm

Hi Ladies,

I visit this board often to live vicariously through others headed to Disney. But I rarely post as I have not planned a trip in awhile. Anyway, it is time again. I am so excited. And I need some of your wisdom.

I am planning a trip to Disney in early November (5-10). I called our travel agent at AAA. She checked out some pricing for us. It seems to me that she doesn't get any better deals then I could get, but it isn't any worse either. I am excited to book the trip, but I don't want to book too early if there might be a chance we can get free dining.

My question is do you think that my travel agent could rebook our trip if free dining became a deal? The last time we went to Disney we booked through our travel agent and she called me back a few months later and said, Disney came out with a new deal and so your trip was a couple hundred dollars cheaper and you will get a $250.00 gift card when you get there. This leads me to believe that they can.

So, here are my questions:
Does anyone know if a AAA agent can rebook a Disney package to get a new travel deal?
Do you think we need to book now or wait a few more weeks/month for new deals for fall trips?
What are your thoughts on Free Dining for November? Anyone think it will happen?

Now I also need some trip advice.
Here are the details. We will be traveling with my family (me, hubby, Noah 8 and Kayden 4), my inlaws and my 14 year old niece. We are going to fly this time and use the free transportation. We plan to stay at one of the Value resorts. We will request adjoining rooms. My 14 year old niece is not related to the inlaws so she will likely sleep with us, but we will try to get the little kids to sleep with grandma and grandpa. Not too worried about working out the sleeping arrangements. So, we were hoping to fly in on Friday afternoon and get to our rooms around 3 or 4. I hope we can go to Epcot on Friday night. Anyone know how late Epcot stays open in early November?

I also need advice on park hours for early November. Of course I want to maximize our time at the parks. We will have all day Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday to spend at the parks. I know we will spend two full days at Magic Kingdom. I am thinking half day the first night at Epcot. It is our tradition and full day at Epcot. I also want to go to Animal Kingdom one day. So, I would like to hear your thoughts on which days at which park. Things I am considering are: Hours the parks are open and lines. I am probably over thinking the lines thing since the time we are going is supposed to be low attendance. And finally I would like to hear your thoughts on our final day. We are going to fly out around 6:30PM. So, I am thinking we have to be at the airport around 5PM. So, we would like to visit a park in the morning/early afternoon. I think we could go to a park from 10-3 and then catch transport to hotel to collect bags and head to airport. Does that sound do able and do you have any advice on which park to do as our last stop?

Sorry about the unorganized post full of questions but I would appreciate any advice as I am an obsessive planner.

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Avatar for shelb31
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-12-2006
Sun, 04-25-2010 - 9:25am

I can't comment on AAA because I've never used them.

Disney 2010
Avatar for laurieh88
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 04-25-2010 - 12:05pm

Hi there!

I have not used AAA travel either, so I'll let someone else comment....but in general, I think YOU will be the one looking for the deals in the first place, unless the agent is a Disney specialist. I've read both good and bad AAA experiences here through the years. But if you keep on top of things (and it sounds like you did in the past), I'm sure it'll be fine.

We've been in late October/early November for a WDW in the past, an I love that time of year! I am not positive how late Epcot is open in November, but I'm thinking the show is at 9 pm, and the park closes after. ???

Is it connecting rooms you want or adjoining? Connecting is what we request, so we can go between the rooms without going outside. The only way that arrangement will be guaranteed is if you have minors in the 2nd room. You have an awful lot of adults in your party, so I'm not sure. But I know the resort will do what they can to accommodate you if you make the request.

Don't worry about lines too much, but wait for the calendar and plan your days around what is happening. Shows or parades you want to see, extra hours, etc. As for the last day....we usually take some time in a park if we can, or we visit Downtown Disney if we have just a few hours. We've been miniature golfing, and that is awfully fun. Like the previous poster said, I'd plan on being at the ME pick-up 3 to 4 hours before your flight time.

I love your first name, by the way. :) Is your middle name Ann?

LAURIE IN OH, Mom to:


Alex, 15 years old


Julianne and Leah,

LAURIE IN OH, Mom to:


Alex, 1

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2006
Sun, 04-25-2010 - 8:22pm

I usually book through Disney but in 2008 we went with a few other families and found booking through AAA easier.

 Melissap.jpg

Avatar for lulucluster
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 04-27-2010 - 12:07am

Thanks so much for all the great information. I am really glad you told me about the ME probably telling us we had to leave shortly after lunch. I figured it would be around 4:00 so we could get to airport early enough for a 6:30 flight. This information makes a big difference in which flight we decide to take back. I am leaning towards not doing a park on the last day, but rather just going DTD and taking the earlier flight home.

Bummer about the free dining, but good to know, because I am excited to book so that I can make our dining reservations. I know we need them from our last experience of trying to wing it. We are definitely doing the Royal Table and Chef Mickey.

Oh and it turns out that my FIL decided he isn't going so I am exploring other options, but we will likely just stick with 2 value rooms. Thanks for the info about adjoining rooms. I was told that last time and we were able to get it so I am hoping the same will happen this time as well.

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Avatar for lulucluster
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 04-27-2010 - 12:15am

Ha ha Laurie,

No my middle name is not Anne. My given name is Laurie is yours also or is yours Laura. People are often shocked to hear it is my given name. My middle name is actually Kay, which is why we came up with Kayden. OK that is a whole lot of info you didn't ask for :o)

Anyway, our AAA agent actually did all the work for us last time so I think we got lucky and she is a good one. She called me to tell me about the new deal she got us.

I think I might have my terms wrong on the rooms, but we would prefer a rooms that connects on the inside. I know they don't guarantee them for people who have adults in each room. It worked out last time so I hope it will this time too. I will book them as our family in one and then as it turns out my MIL and niece in the other, because FIL decided not to go. Not 100% about niece either since it is close to exam time for her and she will be a Freshmen in HS. Either way it won't ruin our trip not to have connected rooms, but we are surely hoping for it.

I am now leaning towards taking an earlier flight home and just doing DTD on our final day. DH wants to try to do a park, but I know we will be out so late each night that getting up early to pack and get on the road will be stressful. He doesn't remember but we had the option last time and opted out of it.

So, excited for the actually planning to begin. Just spend an hour looking at T-shirts and Hoddies to order for the family.

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Avatar for lulucluster
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 04-27-2010 - 12:19am

Thanks Melissa. I didn't realize that the room rates were different. That's good to know. We booked our last two trips with this travel agent and they both turned out great so I am sure it will this time too. I am so excited.

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