Apr 202009
 

When you get in trouble and you don’t know right from wrong
Give a little whistle! Give a little whistle! — Jiminy Cricket

Do you have a Disney dilemma? Are you wondering about a certain attraction? Are you curious about a resort or a cruise? Give us a little whistle and we’ll help you sort out how to handle it. Questions should be sent to whistle@magically-speaking.com

Q. At Disney World, everything seems to be based on families of four. Only certain resorts can handle a family of five, it seems. What do you recommend as a good resort for a family of five? (Submitted by Megan J.)

A. This is a complaint that Disney has heard over and over. In fact, they’ve heard it so much that they now have a webpage on their site, specifically for larger groups. That’s one good place to look for information on accommodation options:
Rooms for 5 Guests or More

You can also find room occupancy guidelines up on TheMouseForLess.com:
Walt Disney World Room Occupancy

Know that you always have the option to book two rooms (it’s nice to have two bathrooms when children are older). This isn’t always financially possible for many, however. There is a new-ish option that could provide the extra needed room (and bathroom!) for your family: a Family Suite at the All-Star Music Resort. These sleep up to six guests, have two bathrooms, a small kitchenette, and a living room area as well as a bedroom.

Another option is Port Orleans — Riverside. Within the Alligator Bayou section of the resort are rooms that have a small trundle bed that will provide a bed for a fifth guest, although that guest should be small. An adult would not sleep well in the trundle bed. Also within the moderate category of resorts, the Cabins at Fort Wilderness can accommodate up to six guests. These cabins have a sleeping area, kitchen, dining and living room space, but, alas, only one bathroom.

While one would think that all the deluxe resorts would have rooms that fit groups of five, sadly the Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge do not have standard rooms that sleep five (they do have suites). The Beach/Yacht Club, Boardwalk, Contemporary, Grand Floridian, and Polynesian do all have rooms for families of five.

Finally, all of the Disney Vacation Club villas offer many room types to accommodate parties of many sizes. Guests don’t need to be DVC members to book the rooms. These rooms can be booked for cash through Disney or your travel agent, or many Disney vets opt to rent points from DVC members. That, however, is a whole ‘nother topic. We’ll just say that if you go that route, be sure to rent through a reputable site or from a person you feel you can trust.

Q. I am bringing my family to WDW for two weeks. We haven’t yet bought park passes because it seems to be difficult to get them here in the UK with no expiration date on them. Could you advise me if I can purchase these when we get to Florida, where we might buy them and how much they would cost — two adults and four kids. (Submitted by Stephanie B.)

A. The easiest option for you might be to get your tickets in the U.K., and just have the no-expiration option added once you get to Walt Disney World. That can be done at any guest services location. The cost will depend on the number of park visits you purchased. If you want to buy in Florida from Disney, tickets can be purchased at any Disney resort, at the ticket booths at the parks (including the water parks), at guest relations at Downtown Disney, and even at The Magic of Disney at Orlando International Airport. If you have a car, there are a number of reputable sellers to choose from. Have a look at our Ticket Information page on TheMouseForLess.com; toward the bottom there’s a list of area WalMarts that sell Disney tickets. Other reputable vendors in the area are Undercover Tourist and Ticketmania; check their websites for delivery costs and pick-up options.

Now, the cost of the tickets is a trickier question because of the many options available. But to give you a basic idea, the cost of a ten-day base ticket with no expiration (one theme park per day, no theme park hopping, no pluses) for two adults and two children under the age of 10 will cost $1,787.08. We have a ticket calculator on TheMouseForLess.com, where you can input the number of adults and children, the number of ticket-days, and the options you want, to get the total cost. You can find the ticket calculator here:
MYW Ticket Calculator

We wonder if you need the no-expiration option, though. If you are going to be on vacation for two weeks, your tickets will be good for your entire length of stay, as Disney tickets don’t expire until 14 days from first use. If you are hoping to use them on a future trip, perhaps the next question and answer will be of interest to you.

Q. I’m confused about whether I should add the “no expiration” feature to our park tickets. We’re going to Disney for six days this coming September. If we got ten-day tickets, and added no expiration, would that be a good idea for a trip in 2010? (Submitted by Bonnie S.)

A. Maybe. By purchasing the 10-day ticket with no expiration, you are likely adding about $200 per ticket. This can give you great peace of mind to know that you have already paid for part of your 2010 trip. However, keep in mind that September is traditionally a month when free dining is offered. To be eligible for free dining, you need to purchase a package including tickets. While Disney will let you just add a one-day base ticket for each person in your party, if you already have tickets, double-paying for even that one day will eat into your ticket savings. You may find that the savings from free dining may be more worthwhile.

Another thing to consider before adding the “no expiration” option to a ticket is whether you are sure you’ll have enough ticket-days for your two (or three) trips. If you end up using five park days this September, but decided later to have a longer trip in 2010, you may find that you’re a day or two short, ticket-wise. The cost of single- and two-day tickets is pretty steep, so make sure you plan carefully before counting on using “no expiration” tickets over multiple trips.

Finally, be sure that you have a safe place to keep your tickets throughout the year, a place that you’ll remember (not one of those safe places that you can’t for the life of you recall where it is). For added security, make a photocopy of the back of all your tickets, and keep the copy in a separate place. If you can’t find the actual tickets, Disney’s system knows how many days you have left on your ticket. They’ll reissue the ticket to you, as long as you have the numbers they need to look it up.

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