Trip Coach: November 27, 2007
Mary Waring of mousesavers.com answered your questions on Disney vacations in Orlando and Anaheim.
Pleasantville, N.Y.: Hi, Mary. When do they begin to announce the entertainment for the Flower and Garden Festival? We are going April 17 to 26 and love to see the Flower Power Concerts.
Mary Waring: The 2008 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival will be held March 18-June 1. It seems to me that the associated Flower Power concert performers are usually announced in about January. You can sometimes get an jump on the official announcement by visiting Pollstar.com and searching Lake Buena Vista or Disney—as the acts are booked, they are frequently reported to Pollstar.
New York, N.Y.: My boyfriend and I will be visiting Orlando for our anniversary. What do you suggest as a fun, yet romantic activity for an evening on the town?
Mary Waring: I actually have an entire web site devoted to romance, anniversaries, honeymoons and weddings at Disney World. Visit mouseweddings.com/wdwromance.html where you'll find a whole page of romantic ideas you might enjoy.
Baltimore, Md.: What are the least crowded times of year to visit Disney World?
Mary Waring: The least crowded times to go to Walt Disney World are the second week of January through mid-February; the entire month of May; late August and entire month of September (even Labor Day weekend); mid-November; and mid-December.
Basically, times of year when kids are in school tend to offer the lowest crowds.
Kansas City, Kans. : When is the least expensive time to go to WDW? We plan to take our daughter, her husband, and their girls (ages will be 18 months and 4 1/2 years) next fall. We would like to be able to stay for at least a week. What we read lists rooms for 4-6 people... do we have to pay a lot more for the baby, even though she will sleep with one of us? Thanks!
Mary Waring: Disney's room rates are published well in advance—currently you can find all of the rates through 2008 on my site—so it's easy to look up different dates and get a feel for the prices. The highest rates are over holidays (including all holiday weekends, except Labor Day), on weekends and in midsummer. Generally room rates will be lowest during the least crowded times of year. See my answer above for those times.
Babies under 3 years of age who will sleep in a crib are not counted in the room occupancy at the Disney resorts.
Houston, Tex.: We are interested in doing Walt Disney World strictly for adults. Are there any activities, hotels, offers, etc., specifically for adults who want to enjoy WDW?
Mary Waring: While of course Disney World is a family destination, there is a lot for adults to enjoy. My husband and I visit without children and have a wonderful time. The Deluxe resorts, in particular, have a romantic ambiance that will appeal to couples. There are adults-only nightclubs in the BoardWalk area and in Pleasure Island. You can take advantage of lots of fine dining options (though you can expect to see kids there, even late at night). The Chef's Table at Victoria and Albert's is a fantastic experience for foodies and those seeking romance.
You might want to take a look at Birnbaum's Walt Disney World Without Kids guidebook for more ideas.
San Francisco, Calif.: My wife is currently undergoing chemotherapy. We are driving to Anaheim Disneyland in December (12/16 through 12/21/2007) along with a couple of other families—10 of us in all. My wife is strong enough to walk, but may be too weak to keep walking all over the park over a 4-6 hour stretch. I was thinking of renting a wheelchair just in case. What is your suggestion for someone that does not really need a wheelchair all the time, but might need one to keep up with the group over the long stretch? Or should I simply take her back to the room earlier than usual? We are staying in Paradise Pier, so the hotel is relatively close to the 2 parks.
Mary Waring: Walking distance from Paradise Pier to the front gate of Disneyland is almost half a mile. When you add that onto the additional walking in the park, which can be up to 4 miles in the course of a day, I think you'd be very wise to rent a wheelchair. It would be a shame for your wife to miss out on all the fun because she has worn herself out with too much walking.
Disney rents wheelchairs, but they charge a lot, have a limited number and the chair has to be turned in as you leave the park. If you rent from a local company for the length of your stay, you'll save money and be assured of having the chair when you need it. Plus, you'll be able to keep the chair when you leave the park, in case your wife is too tired to walk back to the hotel.