Category Archives: Tips &Tricks
It’s a typical “he said, she said.” After their breakup, Demi Lovato told Teen Vogue that Joe Jonas broke up with her. Joe has told sources that the break up was mutual. Now who are you going to believe? Me? I’m going with the girl given that like most women she’s probably analyzed this thing to death. Well, hang in there, honey. I mean, can you imagine being a teenager and having to go through a public breakup with one of the most famous teen stars around? Doesn’t sound like fun but we think she’ll survive and be better for it.
I like Sherri Shepard from The View, but sometimes I think she may have lost her mind. Case in point: You probably know that Disney offers assistance to guests with disabilities and other medical needs by offering Guest Assistance Cards. To get a GAC, all you have to do is go into Guest Services in the front of each park and request it. Disney doesn’t require documentation, just that the individual who needs the pass be present. It’s a great policy that allows guests with different needs to enjoy the parks. Well, you know someone had to throw a wrench in it, and that someone is none other than little Miss Sherri, who announced this gem on the show the other day:
“Kids with special needs get to go to the front of the line at Disney because they don’t have the attention span to wait like other kids”
Um, no, my dear. It’s not a front of the line pass, but a way of assessing people’s needs and getting them into attractions as easily as possible. Sometimes it may look like a front of the line pass but it’s not, so please don’t tell people that! People who really need it shouldn’t have to compete with people who will abuse the system and sadly, they’re out there. This is the last thing anyone wants. If you’d like to read more about Sherri’s comments and how the GAC really works, check out this thread on Disboards.
If you’re signed up with Disney, you should know there’s an email going around to some people that offers you a $25 Disney gift card for calling and listening to a ten-minute Disney Vacation Club spiel, so check your emails this week! That $25 is halfway to buying this ridiculous bear:
That’s going to do it for now, I think.
Disney’s new Hawaii resort, Aulani, will be taking it’s first hotel reservations on August 2, 2010 for travel starting on August 29, 2011.
The 360 hotel room/481 multi-bedroom vacation villa resort, designed for family travel, has been under construction since last summer on 21 acres of beachfront at West Oahu’s Ko Olina Resort & Marina.
Walt Disney Parks & Resorts first announced the Hawaii resort project in October 2007, shortly after purchasing the Ko Olina acreage. Ground was broken on the project—then called Disney Vacation Club Resort Hawaii—in November 2008.
Disney’s design plans for the Aulani Resort & Spa include 48,685-square-feet of outdoor features, including a centerpiece “wonderland of water” featuring snorkeling lagoons, river pools, sunset-facing hot tubs, waterfalls, water slides, fishponds, pathways and tide pools stocked with native sea life. The resort will also include an 18,000-foot family-friendly spa, two restaurants, kids clubs, wedding lawn and a 14,545-square-foot convention and banquet facility. The resort also claims one of the man-made crescent lagoons along the Ko Olina shoreline.
Disney has said that it plans to market the Hawaii resort toward luxury family travel.
Hotel rooms available to book: August 2, 2010
Resort Open for Hotel guest stays: August 29, 2011
Call Pixie Vacations to plan your Disney Aulani Vacation 678-815-1584
Or contact one of the agents at PixieVacations website
Hey Guys and Gals Anonymouse here. I have some juicy gossip that was just passed onto me from a insider source.
It seems that Disney may be extending the dates on the current Free Dining Promotion. Right now the travel dates for free dining are: Aug. 15 – Oct. 2, 2010. The word is they could possibly be extended to the end of the year.
As always nothing is official this is just merely gossip.
If you want to be sure I would call your a Disney Authorized Travel Agent. Personally I like Pixie Vacations, call and ask for Steve or Nancy they will be able to answer all your questions and even call you when the newest promotions is released for general consumption
You see the signs everywhere when you visit Walt Disney World: on busses, in the hotels, even at the parks: “Have you heard about Disney’s best kept secret”? That secret, of course, is the Disney Vacation Club, and as Disney continues their plans to expand their timeshare option with the construction of more DVC properties….well, I don’t know that it is much of a *secret* any more.
But maybe in a way it still is. I think most people are somewhat familiar with Disney Vacation Club, and may even have a pretty good idea of how it works. But the secret, in my opinion, may just be how affordable DVC membership can make your Disney vacations, under the right circumstances. You just have to determine if it makes sense for your situation.
Let me explain how DVC worked out for our family.
We became DVC owners in 2005. We had talked to a number of folks about it before this, both the salespeople at Walt Disney World, as well as various people that we met at the parks, or our resort hotel. Interestingly, it was these families, the DVC members that truly sold us on the idea of buying into Disney Vacation Club. There was one constant refrain shared by every single owner we talked to: “Best thing we ever did, and we so wish we had done it sooner”.
That’s some pretty powerful words there. So we began to do some research, and on our New Year’s trip that year, we decided to start the New Year off right with a tour of the (then) new DVC resort, Saratoga Springs.
I have to say that we thoroughly enjoyed the tour, and if you ever decide to take the DVC tour, know that Disney, being Disney, does this very well indeed. Tugging at heartstrings, bringing a tear to your eye, the whole nine yards….they are very persuasive, let me tell ya.
We were pretty much sold on DVC at that point, but I am not one to commit large sums of money to something just because I picture taking my grandchildren on It’s a Small World someday. I’m a practical sort, so after talking it over, my husband and I decided to take a few days to think it over.
(Know that DVC is in the business of selling timeshares, and they *will* do whatever it takes to make it worth your while to buy right then and there…including some attractive discounts that expire in a week or so. So be prepared for that. However, I will say that they did not pressure us in any way, and completely honored our request to think it over, which I personally appreciated.)
The thing that was truly holding us back from buying at that moment was that we weren’t really in love with Saratoga Springs. We were in love with the idea of DVC however….and fortunately I always do my research, so I knew that it was possible to become a Disney Vacation Club owner at other, previously “sold out” resorts, by purchasing them on the resale market.
In other words, buying from a private individual, rather than directly from Disney.
When you do this, there are some pretty decent benefits, which can often make this a more affordable way to buy DVC than directly through Disney:
- You have your choice of buying any of the DVC resort properties
- You will pay less per point than buying the current DVC offering
- (And this may be the biggest one of all): There is no minimum amount of points you have to buy. Fewer points means fewer dollars to spend upfront.
Now there are some things to consider if you are interested in buying DVC this way. It’s a bit too involved for this article, but just know that there is a process that needs to be followed, and Disney must approve the sale. And yes, in some instances they do refuse to approve the sale. So probably the best piece of advice I can give you is to go through a timeshare resale company, as they will make sure all goes well. The one we used was The Timeshare Store, but there are other very good ones as well.
So when is it worth your while…and wallet…to buy into DVC?
While there are a number of things to consider, I think the main issues driving whether this would be beneficial to you are these:
- How often do you currently visit Disney World….or do you plan to visit Disney World in the future? A visit once every couple of years may not make it worth it, but a visit at least once per year just might…
- Would the cost of the yearly DVC maintenance fee be less than you would typically pay for your accommodations for your Disney trips each year? Many people forget about this part: every DVC resort has a yearly maintenance fee that must be paid….basically homeowner’s association dues. Depending on the resort and number of points you have, it can get pricey, so you should figure out what you would pay for accommodations each year if you didn’t have DVC membership, and see which is cheaper.
- Do you have the ability to plan your Disney vacations far in advance? DVC is best utilized by those who can plan a vacation 6 months to a year in advance. While there is short-term availability, the best selection will be well before your trip…so if you typically plan your vacations a month or so before you leave, Disney Vacation Club may not work out as well for you as it would if you could book farther in advance.
Considering all of these things, and looking into the options available on the resale market, I will say that if you have the funds initially, DVC can be a great way to vacation at Disney World affordably for many years to come.
For those of you who are DVC owners, what are your thoughts about membership? And for those of you who are not, have you considered it? Why or why not? Please let me know your thoughts or questions in the comments below, or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will try to address your questions in a future article!
Nancy, her husband and college-age daughter live in the Baltimore MD area, but consider Walt Disney World their second “home”. She started her site, The Affordable Mouse, as a way to share ideas about how to plan affordable Disney vacations. Her favorite things at Disney World (in no particular order) are Soarin’, most of the food in World Showcase, Illuminations…and watching children’s faces light up when they see their favorite characters in person.
Chickens from Goofy’s Barnstormer in the Magic Kingdom.
This question comes from Ryley, who asks: “Is there a Chick fil A anywhere at wdw?”
Ryley, I have bad news: Sadly, you won’t find a Chick-Fil-A on Disney property, although there are a number of other non-Disney restaurants on site. The good news is that there are several located nearby, the closest being at 7891 W Irlo Bronson (407-787-4001). There’s a Super Target just a little farther down the road, so if you’re out running errands, it’s very convenient.
I did find one site, Food Delivery Orlando, that will pick up your order from any restaurant and bring it to your resort. I’m not sure how good of a deal that works out to be or how fresh your food would be when you get it, but it’s a thought. If you’re flying out of Orlando (MCO), there’s a Chick-fil-A in the main terminal.
Thanks for your question and for reading the site. Hope this helps.
Have a Disney question? We have answers. Write us at Chip and Co. We answer every question.