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Everything posted by DianeW88

  1. Do not buy tickets from anyone other than Disney or Undercover Tourist. Too many people have been scammed by doing that.
  2. Disney's plan right now is to always charge off-site guests for Magic Bands, and to make the price point for that perk even higher in the future. George Kalgridis, president of Disney Parks has stated that he plans to increase the benefits for guests staying on property, and that when the entire My Disney Experience is rolled out (including Fast Pass + and Magic Bands), it will be much more noticeable. For now, one of the proposals is restricting monorail use during certain times of the day for offsite guests.
  3. ^^^ This. Ebola is not subtle, and you don't just drop dead suddenly with no other symptoms.
  4. You could do it that way, but I wouldn't advise it. You don't have to plan every minute of your vacation, but going to WDW blind is going to be a huge waste of money and time. You will spend more time in line than a planner. You will miss certain attractions and shows. If you are just grabbing whatever food is closest, you will find yourself faced with less than stellar menu choices. You will miss some fun experiences that your family would enjoy because they're less obvious or require a bit of planning to secure. You don't have to commando plan (my days there are unstructured from lunch time on, except for meal reservations or shows), but you need to be at least a little familiar with things. Read at least one guidebook, and stalk a couple of websites for awhile before your trip. Disney is an expensive vacation, you should get your money's worth.
  5. I flew to Europe at 15 with friends for our junior year abroad in high school. No problems whatsoever.
  6. Oh, and you don't have to make reservations for shows. They are part of your ticket price. You just pick a time for one (say Lion King), and stand in line. Cirque de Soliel in Downtown Disney is not part of your admission and does require additional tickets with reservations.
  7. Coral Reef used to be fabulous, now it's just "meh". We skip it. You will be paying out of pocket for each meal if you're staying off-site, so make sure you're aware of the dining prices before you go. You will also have to make reservations for every sit-down meal ASAP, and they go fast. On-site guests can make them 180 days + 10 before their departure date. Off site guests aren't given the +10 option, and you must call or go online each day from your 180 day mark to get your dining ressies. They go VERY fast, especially Be Our Guest, and you probably will not be able to book a dinner there. The lunch is just as good, although you'll have to stand in line. They don't take lunch reservations, as it's a quick service option at lunch time. All dining reservations must be guaranteed with a credit card at the time of booking, and if you plan on cancelling, you must give them 24 hours notice, or they will charge your card a "no show" fee. So, on the morning of your 180 day mark, call (the website can be wonky) WDW dining reservations at 6 AM eastern time for the best possible chance at getting the restaurant you want. You will only be able to reserve for that one day since you're off site. Rinse and repeat the process every day for each day of your vacation that you want to have a sit down meal. Here's a couple of good sites with dining information: http://allears.net/dining/ (they have all the menus and update them regularly) http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/ Good luck!!
  8. Yes, they are bringing the infected Americans here to the U.S. for treatment. They will be taken to Atlanta. I really hope this improves their chances for survival, as right now, I'd say they're somewhere between "slim" and "none". http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/31/first-ebola-case-coming-to-atlanta-for-treatment.html This article is on HuffPost, but the source is Reuters: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/31/ebola-patient-coming-to-u_n_5639847.html
  9. Not much past age 16 or 17. We give them clothing (or cash to buy clothing) as gifts on birthdays and holidays, but my kids both had part time jobs by age 16, and they chose to buy their own clothes. My dd was teaching ballet for $20 and hour and $50 an hour for a private lesson by 16, so she had plenty to spend. She went shopping with her girlfriends, and they bought the expensive, trendy, clothes they all loved. My son started shopping on his own around that time as well. It really wasn't a money issue for us...we can afford to clothe all of our kids with no problem...but rather, just a part of the natural process called "growing up".
  10. Just saw a report tonight on Fox that the two Americans infected with Ebola may be brought back to the U.S. for treatment.
  11. Eat breakfast in your room. We bring Pop Tarts, instant oatmeal, those small cereal boxes (get milk at your resort in the AM), granola bars, etc. Starring Rolls...order one sandwich and a plain croissant. There's plenty of meat on one sandwich to make two. Casey's in MK...Little kids can split one hot dog. Flame Tree in AK...huge portions. Let me think about this some more. "Disney" and "budget" don't ever appear in the same sentence for me. :lol:
  12. Update on the American doctor. His prognosis is grave. So sad. He says he followed the protocol to the letter. Viruses like Ebola don't care about that. His family is at a very low risk for contracting the illness, but his likelihood of survival is small. http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/07/29/336328995/american-doctor-sick-with-ebola-now-fighting-for-his-life
  13. Because viruses always find a way to another host. The workers who were infected were suited up properly and obeyed all rules and took all the necessary precautions. It's the virus itself that isn't playing nice. Edited to say that even if it did arrive in the US, it could be fairly easily contained. There are many viruses in Africa that kill hundreds there, and have come to the US through travelers on several occasions, but have never spread beyond the traveler or a close family member...Lassa Fever being one of them. It's similar to Ebola (in that it's a hemorrhagic illness) and just as nasty, but you aren't seeing the media outcry over it. I really wouldn't worry too much about Ebola here in the States...or any other developed country, for that matter.
  14. I gauge my hunger on a scale from 0 -10. Zero being really hungry, and ten being, lying down on the couch after Thanksgiving dinner and having to unzip your pants, because you're afraid they'll burst open. I try to eat only when I'm in the 1-3 range. That helps me realize I'm eating because I'm truly in need of food for fuel, and not just because I want to "have a party in my mouth" (as Dr. Phil used to say). Not saying I'm always 100% with this, but I aim to eat this way 90% of the time.
  15. Sounds like how I've always eaten, if I'm interpreting it correctly. Eat only when you're hungry, stop before you're stuffed, take your time so that your body knows when it's full, and only eat what you want. It's always worked well. So, for example, I made brownies the other day. I really wanted one yesterday, but I wasn't hungry. I waited until I was, and ate a brownie. For lunch. Because it was what I truly wanted. I could have eaten a whole bunch of other "regular" lunch foods, but I still would have added that brownie. Later that afternoon, before I headed out to work, I was hungry for salad, and had one. And I was no longer craving a brownie that I'd been denying myself in order to stick to some sort of convoluted "diet".
  16. Not unless I want to be shredded to a bloody pulp while trying to apply them. :lol: I can't even imagine. Oh, and kiss your furniture good-bye. You can try the double sided tape stuff that they sell in Petsmart or Petco...but really...cats scratch, and they love to scratch furniture. If you scold them, they'll just do it when you're not looking. Ask me how I know. :glare:
  17. If your kids have special dietary requirements, Disney is the best place to vacation. You can make a note of it when you make your reservations (180 days out if you're staying on site), and a chef will personally come out and speak with you when you arrive for your meal. If it's a buffet, the chef will walk you through it, and point out the foods your child can eat. He can also make something special that isn't on the menu. Disney goes above and beyond for this sort of thing.
  18. Now, OP, can we help you with dining? :D :D :D
  19. ^^^ I totally agree, as I stated in the above post. My personal preference is for staying on site, and my bias stems from not very good experiences from staying off site, which I acknowledged were many years ago, when Wyndom and Bonnet Creek were not even an option for guests. My commuting experience to the parks was horrendous, but that was just my personal experience, and obviously not the same for others. Especially not now, when better accommodations are available. I think staying off site works great for a lot of people, especially if money is a concern. Disney is expensive, and saving money is not something to be taken lightly. If off site works best for your family, then that's fabulous. And if it's the best option for the OP, then that's what she should do as well. No judgement here at all.
  20. And my off-site experience was a bit farther away than these ladies, so I really can't comment as to the nearby accommodations. I've heard really good things about some of them, and I'm sure they'd be wonderful, and more than meet your needs. I love staying in "the Disney bubble" the entire time I'm there, and leaving the property kind of deflates it. But that's my own personal (somewhat warped :D) bias. And LOL that a previous poster mentioned the "Days Inn". That is indeed where we stayed on my high school senior trip, so obviously my experience has been colored by that...um...less than satisfactory experience. :lol: DVC rental is a great way to "try it before you buy it", and a big help to those wanting to stay on property, but have more room and a full kitchen. If you go through a well-established rental service with a good reputation (like Dave's), there's no risk. If you pursue it on your own, with a DVC owner you don't know, there's some risk that you'll get scammed. The cabins at Ft. Wilderness are a great middle ground. They're considered a moderate (so the pricing is fairly reasonable), and Ft. Wilderness is very peaceful and relaxing (you mentioned your kids need some quiet time). It's a resort where you don't feel like a giant theme park is right across the bay. I absolutely love it there (especially in the colder months), and I wouldn't hesitate to stay again.
  21. If you want two separate bedrooms, your best bet would be to rent DVC. And no, four nights in Disney isn't really enough. I also admit that I'm completely biased, and will not stay off-site. I've done it twice (in my youth when I had no choice), and I will never repeat it. And the end of a long day in the parks (and it will be long, because you won't be able to go back to your hotel for a nap or a pool break), the LAST thing I want to do is pile in a hot car and try to navigate the going home traffic. Disney World is HUGE...it's not a "drive through the gate and you're in the parking lot" type of deal AT ALL. I also like to be there early (rope drop) to do the headliner attractions without a line. Because waiting in line sucks. I also like the extra magic hours, and all the other perks that come from staying on property. For DVC rentals, Dave's vacation rentals is a good one. www.dvcrequest.com They're very reliable, and I've never had a problem using them. They're recommended by many disney sites.
  22. Bay Lake Tower. Love that place. Costs an arm and a leg, but I loved it. If you rent DVC points in a less crowded time of year, it's not as bad as it could be. Old Key West has GIANT rooms. It's out of the way (near Downtown Disney...it was the first DVC resort), but if you're looking for space, and peace and quiet, it's a good one. Plus, I like their pools.
  23. All Star suites, Art of Animation suites, Fort Wildnerness cabins. If you can swing A of A, that's the best for transportation...the buses are excellent. The cabins at Fort Wilderness are awesome as well, but transportation from Ft. Wildnerness can require a bit of patience at times. The cabins have a full size kitchen, and Mousekeeping will do your dishes every day. There is a bedroom with a double bed and a bunk bed, a Murphy bed in the living room, and a sofa. There is only one bathroom in the cabins. The A of A suites have two bathrooms, but only a small kitchenette. All Star suites are not anywhere near as nice as A of A, and the resorts can be noisy, with tour groups full of teens. Especially in February. So you just have to decide what's more important to you...a second bathroom, or a full-sized kitchen. If you have any other questions, I'm happy to help. I've stayed at all the resorts. :D
  24. Tube tops don't look good on anyone....no matter what your age. Just say no.
  25. I don't know. Mine's been the same number from second grade through my adult life. Of course, that's just anecdotal, but I've always found it interesting.
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