Trip Coach: November 27, 2007
Mary Waring of mousesavers.com answered your questions on Disney vacations in Orlando and Anaheim.
An Annual Pass can also save you money on off-season Disney hotel rooms. There is an Annual Passholder rate for January stays. You don't have to have the Annual Pass until you check in, so you can book rooms with the discount now and buy the pass when you arrive.
Birchdale, Minn.: We will have two grandparents and two grandchildren (ages 3 and 6) going to Disney World on Jan. 11 and 12, 2008. Is there any way to get reduced prices to Disney World? The grandparents are 60 and 63 if that makes a difference. It gets to be a very expensive trip. Thanks.
Mary Waring: If you're asking about senior rates, unfortunately Disney doesn't offer any at Walt Disney World (there are some at Disneyland in California). The best ticket discounts for Disney World tickets are usually through a reliable ticket broker. I recommend one on my site.
Shorewood, Ill.: Hi, Mary. We are going to Walt Disney World March 1 through March 6. I've been looking at flights from Chicago every day for the past few months already and they are so high. I see sales, but they are only through January and February. Do you think I should book now (Southwest is the cheapest at $1153,for non-stop) or do you think there will be more deals as March grows nearer? There are 4 of us, 2 adults, one age 6, one age 9. We will leave from Chicago, either Midway or O'Hare. I appreciate your advice. Love your website!!!
Mary Waring: Melissa, playing the "airfare lottery" is one of the toughest parts of planning a vacation. March is a peak-season time to visit Orlando, so I imagine fares will never be super-low. You might want to check out farecast.com—based on a historical database of fares, it tells you whether to buy now or wait for a lower fare.
Ooltewah, Tenn.: If Disney is family oriented, then why does Disney not offer value rooms for families of 5 instead of 4?
Mary Waring: Good question! It's also one of the most frequently asked questions I receive. Disney's failure to provide reasonably-priced accommodations for larger families is indeed puzzling. I recommend several excellent all-suite hotels on my site, some of which are actually located on Disney property but not operated by Disney. They are the best bet for families of 5 or more.
Sheldon, Iowa: Planning a July 2-9 trip to Disney World for a dance competition. Prefer to stay on Disney property in a Moderate range hotel that's closer to the parks. Would like to know which Disney Resort we could stay at with 5 people (2 adults, 3 kids). Which hotels allow 5 in either a regular or suite room?
Mary Waring: Of the four Moderate resorts operated by Disney, only one section of one resort (Alligator Bayou at Port Orleans-Riverside) has standard rooms that will accommodate 5 people. One of the Value resorts has "family suites" that accommodate up to 6, but they are pretty overpriced. The Port Orleans rooms are your best bet.
Pearl City, Hawaii: What's the most cost efficient way of getting transportation (don't want to rent a car) from LAX to the Disneyland area hotels?
Mary Waring: The least expensive option is Disneyland Resort Express, a private bus service that connects LAX to a host of Disneyland-area hotels on a regular schedule. No reservation is required. Walk out of the terminal at LAX, go to the center island and stand under the overhead green sign.
From LAX, Disneyland Resort Express will cost $19 one way/$28 roundtrip for an adult; $16 one way/$20 roundtrip for a child, plus tip. If you check my site, I have a link to a coupon for $3 off each person's round trip.
Denver, Colo.: We will be in the L.A. area from 12/30 to 1/4 and would like to know if Disneyland does anything special for New Year's Eve. Also, any prediction of which day that week might be the least crowded?
Mary Waring: Expect big crowds on the 30th, huge crowds on the 31st, moderate crowds on the 1st and low crowds starting January 2. Disneyland will have extra parades, Fantasmic! performances and fireworks on the 31st and will stay open until 2:00 am.
If you decide to go on the 31st, be sure to arrive early in the morning and bring jackets or anything else you'll need in order not to leave the park until you are ready to go home. The park usually sells out and no new admissions (or readmissions) are permitted once it's full.