Continuing the 2014 Tips & Tricks, today we’re going to talk about some more frequently asked questions from potential Disney guests. Disney World can be a confusing place. Talking to my husband who has been to Disney with me about dining reservations was enough to make his head spin.
About a week ago, I started some frequently asked questions with the basics:
- When should I go to Disney?
- Where should I stay?
- Where can I meet characters?
- And general questions regarding the Disney Dining Plan.
Well since that time, I’ve received more questions, so here are some great answers for you!
I’m flying down and am taking Disney’s Magical Express. Do I need to book service ahead of time?
Yes. While this service is free, each member of your party has to be registered to ride the Magical Express. Your MagicBands will have the confirmation attached to them, so put them in your carry-on luggage and it will be the first of many waves of your wrist during your vacation!
Is there a Magical Express bus for each Disney resort?
No. The Orlando airport is about 30 minutes away from Disney World property, so buses fill up as much as possible based on scheduled arrival times. There are several bus lines that service the various areas of Disney World: “Epcot area”, “Magic Kingdom Area” “Wide World of Sports Area” and “Animal Kingdom area”. It wouldn’t be surprising if you are staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge and make a few stops at Coronado Springs and the All Star resorts before your final destination. Same goes for your return to the airport (which is why your departure time is at least 3 hours before your outbound flight).
I’m arriving late at night, how early can I check into my resort?
The reservations roll over at 6 am every morning. If you arrive earlier than that, you will either have to pay for an additional night, or wait it out. If you plan on checking in early, I highly recommend completing online check-in as Disney will make every attempt to have a room ready for your arrival. If not, you can always check your luggage, go exploring, or hop and early bus to one of the parks.
Once I’m at Disney, are there scheduled bus times to the parks?
Nope. Buses run continuously, usually every 15-30 minutes depending on the time of day. At peak times: an hour before park opening through ~11 am they run more frequently as well as closer to park close and after evening shows. During the middle of the day, they will likely run a little less frequently. If you just miss a bus or it fills up, there’s usually one quickly behind it. Disney also has the ability to launch more buses if a driver relays long lines.
When will there be a discount for my travel dates?
Disney typically releases discounts 2-3 months before travel dates (sometimes 4 months if you’re lucky). Historically discounts have gone like this:
January – February: some sort of dining and/or ticket discount or room discount
March – early June: room discount (2014 offered a ticket discount as well) – this typically excludes the weekend of Easter
Mid June – August: room discount
September (after Labor Day) – early December: FREE DINING! (this excludes the week of Thanksgiving and typically the few days following).
No discounts have been given around Christmas and New Years as they are typically highest travel times. Remember, there is no guarantee that Disney will follow their previous pattern. You are always able to book your package and when the discount becomes available apply it. When changing a package, you will be required to pay another deposit. But don’t worry, you don’t lose your initial deposit. Everything gets applied toward your grand total.
I’m ready to book my package, now what?
It depends on what you want. If you are doing a room only reservation (no park tickets), you are required to pay one night’s room charge plus tax. The remaining balance is due upon arrival.
If you are booking a package (including park tickets and any extras including the Dining Plan), you are required to pay $200 at time of booking. The remaining balance is due 45 days prior to arrival. You are welcome to pay more than that $200 as well. Between the time you book and your final payment date, you are able to pay as much or as little as you want (a really nice way to budget for your vacation). Minimum payment through Disney’s system is $20.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask or search around my blog. There’s a wealth of information available!
You have a question that I didn’t cover here? Feel free to contact me any time!
Ready to get started planning your 2015 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free cruise opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!