May 182011

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? Give us a little whistle and we’ll help you sort it out. Questions should be sent to If your dilemma is trip-related, make sure to include when you will be traveling.

Q. My family and I have booked a 3 day Disney cruise for October 25, 2012 on the Disney Dream and after the cruise we will be spending 4 days at Disney.

Our question is we want to have almost everything paid for in advance and wanted to know if we could purchase hopper passes this year for next year, as well as purchasing our on property hotel stay in advance. (Submitted by Aritha P.)

A. Hi Aritha!

It sounds like you have a great trip planned!

There are a few parts to your question, and while I normally wouldn’t answer a question with a question, there are a few questions that you need to ask yourself in order to answer this one.  The first question is whether or not you think that you will want to include one of Disney’s Dining Plans for your land stay next year.  In order to have a Dining Plan you would need to have a package that includes both the hotel stay and the park tickets, so purchasing the tickets ahead of time wouldn’t be an option.

While park tickets to sometimes go up in August, it usually is a fairly small amount.  Purchasing the park tickets ahead of time would also limit your ability to take advantage of any package discount that might come out, as they often have minimum ticket purchase requirements, so that is another factor to consider.

You can reserve a room up to 500 days in advance, but you have to keep in mind that it would be at an estimated room only rate.  These rates can be booked with the understanding that the pricing will be adjusted when the official 2012 rates are released.  The challenge here is that if you ultimately want a package, because of Disney’s system constraints, you will need to cancel the room only reservation and rebook the reservation as a package when the official rates are out.  So, all of the money that was pre-paid would be refunded.

Now, the good news is that Disney tends to release their rates for the following year somewhere in the late summer to early fall.  So, you would still have quite a while to get things planned and paid for in advance even if you waited for the official pricing.  Many of the agents with The Magic For Less Travel even have a waitlist for guests who are looking for 2012 rates, so if you contact them for a quote, they can hold onto your information and will get back to you with the pricing as soon as it is available!

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