Trip Coach: September 20, 2005

"Disney Dweebs" David Koening and Jim Hill answer your Disney questions

Jim Hill: I actually live 'way out in the woods of New Hampshire. In a teeny tiny town called New Boston. As for my favorite Disney place to be, that would have probably be a tie between the original Disneyland and Disney/MGM Studios. Interesting bit of trivia: The Imagineers modeled the front half of the studio theme (I.E. from the size of its buildings to the distance from its entrance to the Chinese Theater) on the front half of Disneyland (I.E. The Main Street U.S.A. area right up to Sleeping Beauty Castle).

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englishtown nj: we have 2 adults ,2 seniors and 2 children between 3 and 6 yrs old. we are going to orland in last week of april 2006 and would like to say inside disney world (fla)we are looking for a place to stay that has a pool.the price we are looking for is mid range

David Koening: All the Disney World resorts have beautiful, well themed pools. The three "middle range" Disney hotels are Caribbean, Coronado and Port Orleans themed.

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David Koening: Thanks so much for having me! I've enjoyed being had. If you have additional questions for me, you can find me at MousePlanet.com. Now, here's....Jim!

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Appleton, WI: When is the best time to take a Disney Cruise and how/when can we get the best prices?

Jim Hill: Actually, for the very best information on the Disney Cruise Line, you really need to pick up a copy of Jennifer & Dave Marx's excellent book, "The Passporter Field Guide to the Disney Cruise Line." Jennifer & Dave do an excellent job of breaking all that info down (I.E. The best time of years to go, the rooms that you want to try & reserve if you really do want to save a few bucks, etc). The third edition of this book was just published back in May of this year. So the info's still really timely. I'd suggest you pick up a copy today to begin the research phase of your next trip.

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St. Louis, MO I would like to know if Disney has any special rates for Disney World for groups of 10-17 people.

Jim Hill: To be honest, I believe that Disney only gives group discounts if the group numbers 25 or more. Soooo ... I don't suppose that you have a few more friends that you could invite on your WDW vacation? Sorry that I couldn't be more helpful, St. Louis.

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Grand Rapids, MI: What's the VERY BEST secrets you have on lowest price airfare, hotels and tickets into Disney WORLD? We're talking mega, mega discounts you know of.

Thanks so much guys!
Ron and Paula VanHofwegen

p.s. My husband Ron lived in Pasadena about 35 plus years ago and has visited Disneyland over 40 times!

Jim Hill: To get the lowest price airfare, it obviously helps to hammer down your travel plans months in advance. So that you can then take advantage of any airfare price wars that happen between now and then. If you want deeply discounted hotel rooms at the resort and/or tickets, find out if any of your friends or family know of anyone who actually works at Disney World. Cast members who work at the parks can often book rooms at the resort at low, low prices. They're also occasionally given free tickets to the park. So try a little networking, Paula, and see what happens.

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Jim Hill:
Just so you, we've just done the hand-off here. This is Jim Hill now. The other author of that "Disney Dweebs" article. I'm the webmaster of the website with the not-terribly-humble sounding name, JimHillMedia.com. JHM updates five days a week and we regularly feature stories about all aspects of the Walt Disney Company. With a particular emphasis on the behind-the-scenes stuff at the Mouse House.

I'm also a Pisces who enjoys long walks on the beach and ... That's probably too much information ...

Anyway ... I'll be answering your questions for the rest of today's live chat.

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Wellsville Kansas: Is there a better time of the year to travel to Disney World for smaller crowds and cheaper prices? Is it better to stay at one of the Disney resorts to cut out parking and to get in the park earlier?

Jim Hill: The fall still tends to be a fairly good time to visit the WDW resort. The parks are a lot less crowded then, and you do often find discounted packages offered at some of the resorts. But the downside is the theme parks tend to have much shorter operating hours from early September to mid December. Then -- when you factor the weather wild card (EX: Just today, we've got another hurricane bearing down on Florida) -- it can be kind of a crapshoot.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

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