Thursday, August 26, 2010

What is the right age for Disney?

What is the right age to take your child to Disney?  This is definitely one of the questions I hear most from moms considering a trip to WDW or DLR.  So, what IS the answer? 

From my experience, there is almost no wrong age for a child to be at Disney!  Now, I wouldn't take a newborn, and I wouldn't take a really young one in the peak of the summer, but I've definitely seen my share of young babies in the park.  As a mom, though, I couldn't imagine dragging such a young child through the park, especially in the very hot and humid summer months.  It's not fun for the child, and it's definitely not fun for the parent.  But I swore up and down I'd never take a baby to WDW, and there I was in 2008 with a 10 month old, and it was really amazing to see her experience WDW.  We've also found that our favorite age to take a child has been when they are three, since the experience constantly changes.

A lot of making this determination depends on the child, of course, especially if there are any special considerations necessary.  However, for most children, I think most parents are just hesitant to take their child for a myriad of reasons, including that they are too young to remember the trip, that they will have to go back to the room to take a nap, etc.  And from my experience, a lot of these concerns come from a parent's fear of the unknown.  

One of the most important considerations is just be willing to rest during the day.  Have lunch, go back to the room, chill, sleep, swim, whatever; then head back to the park around dinner time.  You will feel better, your child will feel better, and you'll be in a better mood.   This is, hands down, one of the biggest reasons we stay on property.  We don't have to worry about travel time sucking away our precious time.  In fact, this has led us to stay at a monorail resort our last two times at WDW, and one of the deciding factors in staying at GCH on our recent Disneyland trip.  Rest is so important.  You don't want to be That Family - kids are screaming and whining, parents are rolling their eyes and yelling at the kids and everyone is hot and miserable.

If you're thinking about taking a baby, you should know about the Baby Care Centers, especially in WDW.  Each park has its own Baby Care Center, which is a nice, quiet, air conditioned little slice of heaven.  There's a private area for nursing, a waiting area for dad and the other kiddos with a TV, clean changing areas, things for feeding - mircowave, high chair, etc.  If baby has a blow out or you are out of supplies, they have some available for a nominal fee.  

Don't be afraid!  Make sure you know what Disney offers.  Consider staying onsite.  Know your family's limits.  But have fun!

Any questions you want to see answered about little ones at Disney?

New Suites Coming to Disneyland Hotel

Even if you've never been to Disneyland, chances are very good that you've heard of the Disneyland Hotel.  It's iconic.  It's the original Disney hotel.  And right now, it's receiving a serious TLC renovation on all three of its buildings.  Part of this renovation includes the addition of some absolutely amazingly themed suites.  

According to the Disney Parks Blog, the 11th floor of the Dreams Tower of the Disneyland Hotel will be the new home to what Disney is calling 'signature suites' - over the top theming, attention to detail, sound effects, etc.  You know, the typical Disney treatment!  These uber-themed suites will include the following themes: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Fair Tales, Mickey Mouse and Pirates of the Caribbean.  The DP blog recently provided the following pictures of the new Big Thunder Suite:

Prices aren't being publicized yet, but if you are interested, just give Disney a call at (714) 956-6425.

Monday, August 16, 2010

2011 Free Dining Announced!!

WDW is doing it again!  The wildly popular free dining is BACK for 2011.  The program has been expanded, too!  Those staying at mods, deluxes, and deluxe villas will get the standard dining plan, and those staying in the value resorts will get the quick service dining plan.  Please note that

Here are the dates:

Jan 1 – 5
Jan 9 – 13
Jan 21 – Feb 3 
Feb 11 – 17 
Feb 25 – Mar 3 
May 27 – Jun 2 
Aug 19 – Sept 29

The booking window for these promotions is through December 20, 2010, so act now!! Book online or call (407) 939-7926 and ask for booking code NL7 to book your room reservations. 

The fine print: No group rates or other discounts apply. Advance reservations required. With the Disney Dining Plan, children ages 3-9 must choose from children's menu if available. Excludes gratuities and alcoholic beverages. Some table service restaurants may have limited or no availability at time of package purchase.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Price Increase Coming on Park Tickets!

It's that time of the year again.  Time for football to start, kids to start thinking about school again and time for Disney to raise ticket prices!  You will see the regular ticket prices below, but also know that annual passes, Florida resident passes, etc., will also be going up as well.

Please note that these prices are effective as of Thursday, August 5!

New Prices at WDW:
Days On Ticket Base Ticket: Ages 10-up Base Ticket: Ages 3-9 Optional Add-On: Park Hopper Optional Add-On: Water Park Fun & More Optional Add-On: No Expiration
10 Days $262 ($26.20/day) $239 ($23.90/day) $54 $54 (10 visits) $213
9 Days $257 ($28.56/day) $234 ($26.00/day) $54 $54 (9 visits) $208
8 Days $252 ($31.50/day) $229 ($28.63/day) $54 $54 (8 visits) $182
7 Days $247 ($35.29/day) $224 ($32.00/day) $54 $54 (7 visits) $142
6 Days $242 ($40.33/day) $219 ($36.50/day) $54 $54 (6 visits) $106
5 Days $237 ($47.40/day) $214 ($42.80/day) $54 $54 (5 visits) $95
4 Days $232 ($58.00/day) $209 ($52.25/day) $54 $54 (4 visits) $67
3 Days $224 ($74.67/day) $202 ($67.33/day) $54 $54 (3 visits) $28
2 Days $162 ($81.00/day) $146 ($73.00/day) $54 $54 (2 visits) $22
1 Day $82 $74 $54 $54 (2 visits) n/a

New Prices at DLR:

Ticket Ages 10+ Ages 3-9
6-Day Park Hopper $256 $230
5-Day Park Hopper $251 $226
4-Day Park Hopper $231 $208
3-Day Park Hopper $206 $185
2-Day Park Hopper $161 $146
2-Day $151 $136
1-Day Park Hopper $101 $91
1-Day $76 $68