May 31, 2011

Tip of the day—Helpful Websites for Disney

As I told you in yesterday’s post, we loved our recent trip to Disney.  Luckily we had some close friends who had recently been there, and they shared some tips and resources with us that made our visit even more magical.  Some of my favorite websites are listed below with a short description of what you’ll find there.

Disney.comthe website for everything Disney.  This is probably your best first stop.  Look under the Parks and Travel tab to start your search.  Go here to get an idea about what the resorts look like, what parts of the park you want to visit, what Disney location you want to visit, and what price you’ll be looking at for your visit.  Even though we ordered our package through AAA, becoming familiar with the options saved us a lot of time when talking to the travel agent.  We also knew what the rate was through Disney and could price compare.  You can also request a free Disney DVD to watch that gives more information about how to plan your trip.  Daughter and I watched it before we went on the trip, and this helped her to know what to expect from some of the rides.  She decided that some looked to scary, and others that I thought might be too much for her, she said looked like fun.

AAA.comIf you are a AAA member, you can attend free workshops to help you plan your Disney vacation and have free access to travel agents through your local office.  What we saved on our trip more than paid for our yearly membership!

Couponing to DisneyNot only does she have a great couponing blog, her tips on Disney were some of the best we found.  Since Disney resorts do not offer free internet service, we printed her tips to a pdf and viewed them on the laptop the night before we visited each park.  It helped us plan out our days.  Probably the best tip she offers is to not follow the crowd.  She said that if you see a bunch of lines, always look to the left. People naturally gravitate to where others are and Americans naturally gravitate right.  Often we would bi-pass huge swells of people and walk right to the front just because of paying attention to this tip! 

AllEars.netThis is a great resource for reading reviews of different aspects of the parks and resorts.  One friend said that this helped her pick a resort because of the many complaints that she read about long waits for buses.  During our stay, we went from Animal Kingdom to the Beach Club Villas to eat at a fantastic restaurant called Cape May (I’ll tell you much more about it soon!)  Even though it was a fancy, smancy resort, we waited significantly longer for a bus to and from there than we had ever waited at the Coronado Springs resort at which we stayed.  Those extra waits matter when you are tired and hot and have tired and hot children with you!  Read through all or most of the reviews and decide what works best for your family.  One of the complaints that some people made about the Coronado Springs resort was that there were many business people staying there because it was also a conference/convention hall.  This didn’t bother us in the least because it meant that it had a quieter atmosphere.  What is a complaint for one person might not matter to you—reading the reviews helps you to make an informed decision for your family.

Apps—(scroll to the bottom of her tip list)  If you have a phone to which you can download apps, I highly recommend that you check out some of the Disney apps that are available.  We talked to many people who had apps on their phones and they went on and on about how helpful they were.  They could see what the wait for rides were without having to walk across the park.  They could see when parades and other small act shows were going to start.  I heard nothing but good things from people who had the Disney apps, and when we upgrade to new phones and make the trip again, we will definitely use this service!

What about you?  Do you have a favorite Disney resource website to share?  Be sure to include it in the comments section of this post.  Stay tuned for more Disney resources throughout the week, or look at the Disney label to view other posts.

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