Trip Coach: September 20, 2005

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

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Lakewood, Washington: We are planning a trip to Disneyworld in
April 2006. Where is the best site to look
for a Condo and most direct flight to Orlando
from Seattle. There will be 14 family members ages 17, 20's 40's 50's 77 & 79. Are
there group airfaires?

Jim Hill: Actually, if you're looking to stay on property with a group that size, it might be worth giving the Disney Vacation Club a call to see if one of their larger units was available to rent during that period. Also -- given the airfare wars that are going on now -- there's really no better time to buy your tickets. So my advice is to start shopping NOW.

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Nashua N.H.: My wife and I(2 seniors) are heading for Orlando the last week in November.We would like to stop and see Epcot only.I heard there was a parking lot closer than having to walk thru the park to get there.Any info would be greatly appreciated

Jim Hill: I think what you're talking about here is either the parking lots at the Boardwalk and/or the Yacht & Beach resorts. Which are that much closer to Epcot's backdoor (I.E. That theme park's International Gateway. Which is located between the France and U.K. pavilions in World Showcase). Please understand, though, that this entrance is only a shortcut to the World Showcase lagoon area. If you plan on visiting any of the attractions in Epcot's Future World section, you're still in for quite a hike.

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Boston, Ma: jim, when are you gonna finish all those wonderful historical series on your site? I love them!

Thanks
Sonny Wireman Esq.

Jim Hill: Lord knows, I'm trying. But -- what with the day-to-day hassles of keeping JHM updated, sometimes those history series fall by the wayside for a while. But not to worry. I will eventually complete them. Otherwise Cory Mitchell (I.E. JHM's managing editor) will send me to sleep with the fishes.

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Auxvasse, Missouri: What is the most practical place to stay on Disney World in Florida? The cheap places sound too cheap all round. Would
be interested in a few more services but don't want to pay a
fortune for them. Have always stayed off Disney in the past
because of this.

Jim Hill: Look, I think the key thing here is to be honest with yourself. Are you going to Disney World to spend 90% of your time in the theme parks? If so, then it doesn't really matter if your on-property room is somewhat small and kind of on the cheap side. A bed's a bed. If -- on the other hand -- you're looking to spend some time by the pool and want a little atmosphere during your on-property vacation, then you should admit that. Then give some semi-serious thought to staying at either the Caribbean Beach and/or Port Orleans. Both of which are mid-range WDW resorts that are long on great theming & design.

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San Jose, California: My husband loves D'land at the holidays, and I want to take him this year.
When does the park put up its Christmas decorations?

Jim Hill: Actually, though you'll see some seasonal decorations sneaking up in mid-to-late November, Disneyland doesn't officially begin its "Merriest Place on Earth" celebration 'til Thanksgiving weekend. So if you want to wait to see all the lights & tinsel, I'd wait 'til late November / early December.

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Pensacola, FL: Which is the best day of the week to visit the Magic Kingdom? We are traveling to Orlando the week of 01-08 Oct 05. We typically go to the Magic Kingdom on the first day after arrival (Sunday) and have large crowds, but hear people say it wasn't crowded at all yesterday. It seems like whichever park we choose on any given weekday we are in synch with the crowds. Is there a strategy that will expose us to shorter crowds? We are very familiar with Fastpass and rarely wait in lines, but it would be nice to visit on a less crowded day. Thanks.

Jim Hill: Historically, Monday is the most crowded day of the week for the Magic Kingdom. The weekends tend to be the days when Central Florida locals tend to take their family out to that theme park. So -- when you add them in along with all the guests on property -- that's why Saturday & Sunday seem to feel so crowded. So -- to be honest -- if you want to beat the crowds at the Magic Kingdom, I'd make a point of starting my visit to that theme park early on a Tuesday morning. You should virtually have that place to yourself.

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