Trip Coach: September 20, 2005
"Disney Dweebs" David Koening and Jim Hill answer your Disney questions
David Koening: Greetings, all! This is David Koenig, author of the world's best-selling theme park book: "Mouse Tales: A Behind-the-Ears Look at Disneyland," which has just been released in a fancy new special edition to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Happiest Place on Earth.
I'll be at answering your Disney-related travel questions for the next half-hour and then infamous Disney blogger Jim Hill will take over.
So, fire away!
Chaska Minnesota: I am getting married for the 1st time at age 48 and we are going to Disneyworld for our honeymoon....I love disney but would like a romantic place for dinner at least once during our stay....it can be on disney property or not....I love themes and atmosphere!
David Koening: Congratulations, Linda!
I'd suggest considering the upstairs French restaurant in Epcot. Assuming the menu looks appealing to you, the place can't be beat for mood and as much intimacy as you could hope for in the middle of a bustling theme park.
I'm sure Jim Hill has a suggestion or two as well. Disney World is for us big kids, too!
New Brunswick, NJ: We are taking a family trip (8 adults and 6 kids - 6months- 5 years) in November. 90 days before the trip I tried to get reservations for the Princess breakfast at Cinderella's castle -- it was sold out in an hour. Any hints about getting reservations to the popular character meals?
David Koening : If you stay at a Disney-owned hotel, you can reserve a "Priority Seating" for Cinderella's Royal Table 100 days in advance instead of 90. If that's not an option, call EXACTLY 90 days in advance, as close as possible to when the phone lines open (7 a.m. EST). As you've seen, they do fill up quickly.
Houston, TX: I'm an adult who LOVES Disney World! As I am getting older though, I am finding I want to add a little more "adult" like activities in my Disney World trip (i.e. spa, adult restaurants on DW property, resorts, etc . . .). Is there any activities or places you would recommend for adults who would like to get away from the kiddies for a while and enjoy adult interaction?
David Koening: Yes, hit the spas! The Grand Floridian and Saratoga Springs resorts, in particular, can meet all your spa'ing needs.
And, of course, there's kiddie-free Pleasure Island, with its fun mix of discos, cantinas, a comedy club, and the very unique Adventurers Club -- a very unique, very Disney yet adult-oriented experience.
Dallas, Oregon: I will be in Orlando for business on Oct. 28 and plan to stay an extra day to enjoy epcot. what are the highlights for an adult, and what area should I try to stay in that can get me to epcot quickly (not car) (and doesn't cost more than $100 per night)? Thanks!
David Koening: There are five fabulous Disney resorts alongside Epcot that allow you to reach the park in minutes either by boat or by foot--The Beach Club, Yacht Club, Boardwalk, Swan and Dolphin. The bad news: you'll be hard pressed to get a room at any of them for under $100 a night. (Although, since the Swan and Dolphin are actually owned and operated by another company, they do offer some nice discounts if you look hard enough.)
To avoid using a car, you'll have to rely on Disney's transportation system (buses, boats, monorails), which means you must stay on Disney property. The only Disney-owned resorts that retail for less then $100 a night are the economy h(m)otels--The All Stars and the Pop Century. But there are also a half-dozen Hotel Plaza hotels on the edge of the Disney property that also are served by the Disney buses, and most can be booked in your price range.
Chatsworth, CA: David, any chance that you and Jim will work together in the future? I loved the column about the two of you and feel that your styles compliment each other well.
Jim Hill: Jim Hill here. We're actually waiting on David right now. So I thought that I'd jump in and start answering a few questions 'til Mr. Koenig gets here. Actually, in the past, we have talked about collaborating on a book or two. But I'm awfully busy with running JHM and David's still working on his WDW book ... But who knows? It may happen yet.
Pittsburgh, PA: Just curious about the majority of hotels in Disney World and nearby (3-mi. radius), do most hotels offer shuttle service from the airport and back to customers? We don't want to rent a car if it's not necessary. We're retired and don't need the extra expense nor the extra stress of driving if not necessary.