Archive for April, 2009

Changes to the Travel Guard Insurance Sold Through The Watl Disney Travel Company

I’ve just received notification that some new things are now being covered by the Travel Guard insurance that you can purchase with your Walt Disney World Resort packages.  The insurance now covers:

  • Cancellation due to loss of employment, as long as the guest has been employed with their company for 5 years or longer.
  • Active-Duty Military who are re-deployed
  • Flight Delays of 12 hours or longer
  • Dispatching of a phsician for minor illnesses right to the guest’s hotel room.
  • Third-party air (airfare not booked through The Walt Disney Travel Company.

My thoughts on the insurance:

  • You probably do not need the travel insurance if you are driving your own car to Walt Disney World.   There is no cancellation penalty if you cancel more than 45 days prior to scheduled arrival (prior to final payment.  The  cancellation penalty is only $100 if you cancel 45 – 6 days prior to arrival.  The penalty is $200 if you cancel 5 Days to 24 hours prior to scheduled arrival.   Insurance for two adults (children are covered by the parent’s, if staying in the same room) is $133.80.   The guaranteed cost of the insurance outweighes the potential benefit.
  • This insurance has some pre-existing medical exclusions.  You’ll want to ask some questions before purchasing the travel insurance if this could apply to you.
  • Insurance can be a very good idea if you purchased non-refundable, non-transferrable airline tickets.  It is also a good idea if you aging or sickly relatives that might need you to cancel or to cut your vacation short.

Please feel free to contact us with questions about this travel insurance or about anything related to a Walt Disney World Vacation.

Thank you,

Build A Better Mouse Trip
Toll free: 877-815-6515
www.buildabettermousetrip.com

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April 21, 2009 at 2:06 am Leave a comment

Walt Disney World Resort in July – Crowd Warnings, promotions, Ride Refurbishments, and Special Events.

For 2010 information, please see: https://buildabettermousetrip.wordpress.com/2010/06/30/walt-disney-world-resort-in-july-2010-crowd-warnings-ride-closures-and-special-events/ 

Crowd Warnings:

1.    4th of July / Independence Day travel period  (June 27 – July 11th) – Because the 4th of July falls on a weekend, this holiday is going to impact two weeks.  Many people receive a day off for this holiday, which means using one less vacation day.  The final week of June is moderately heavy – July will be more crowded.  This is still a good time to visit – just use a good touring plan, arrive when the parks open, and you’ll be fine. TIP: Avoid Extra Magic Hours!  We recommend that everyone avoid the Extra Magic Hours during the busy summer season.   Disney has 33,000 hotel rooms and no one goes to Disney alone – that means too many people are pointed in the same direction at the same time. You’ll have a much nicer time by going to a less busy park.  This is doubly important if you are not staying at a Disney resort – you don’t want to get to the theme park and find a bunch of Disney guests in line in front of you.  TIP: Make dining reservations right away.

2.  Independence Day – this is one of the busiest days of the year at Walt Disney World.  Parks often close to capacity so you should arrive early and plan to stay all day.   Make your dining reservation immediately.  Warning:  The Magic Kingdom will be crazy crowded on the 4th of July – visit a different park and you’ll have a better day. Best choices?   Go to Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom

3.  Fantasmic! (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) –This great show is no longer presented every night.  It will be offered 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 20, 21, 24, 265, 28, 30.  There will be two performances on July 4th; the second performance will be much less crowded than the first.   This is a very popular show and we highly recommend it – arrive at least 60 minutes early, if you do not have a Fantasmic! Dinner package.   When there are limited performances, you know Disney’s Hollywood Studios is going to be busier on days featuring a Fantasmic! show.  TIP: Any day with an Extra Magic Hour  & Fantasmic! will be especially crowded.   Fantasmic! Dinner Package reservations will be harder to get.   Afternoons will be especially busy as those with Park Hopper tickets come over to see the show.  A good touring plan will help you manage this.   Warning:  This show is excellent but it does feature villains for a good 8-10 minutes.  The scene is fairly intense and can be frightening to small children.

4. SpectroMagic Parade (Magic Kingdom) – When this parade is offered twice in the same evening, the second parade will be much less crowded.   There is no SpectroMagic parade on July 1st.

5.  TIP: Avoid Character Breakfasts during July! – The theme parks will be at their least crowded and coolest when the parks open.  It is far better to book a lunch or dinner reservation that gets you out of the direct sun and out of the crowds a little later in the day.  If you’re really looking forward to a character breakfast, try a resort character breakfast before going to the water parks or on your departure day.  Another option is to book the latest possible reservation and treat it like brunch, rather than breakfast.  For example, Animal Kingdom only has one character meal – Donald’s Breakfast Safari; if this is a priority, try to get a 10:15AM seating, then tour Dinoland USA before breakfast.    

6.  A good touring plan is absolutely essential during this busy travel season.   There will be lines that are well over an hour long but you don’t have to stand in them to see and do all of the things that are important to you.   We provide three choices for custom touring plans – our Custom Touring Plans, the 2009 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World (book), or a subscription to Tour Guide Mike (online service) – at  no charge to you when you book your trip through Build A Better Mouse Trip.  For more information, see: http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/freetouringplans.php

Special Events:

1.   4th of July Fireworks.   Magic Kingdom – 9:00PM Celebrate America fireworks, include a presentation of patriotic music timed to correspond with the pyrotechnic (fireworks) display.  The Magic Kingdom fireworks are offered on both July 3rd & July 4th.  Tip:  July 3rd will be the less crowded day at the Magic Kingdom. Disney’s Hollywood Studios – 10:00PM Holiday Fireworks display.   Epcot – 10:00PM  Illuminations with special Fourth of July finale. 

2.  Epcot’s “Sounds Like Summer” Concert Series ~ June 15 – August 9, 2009.  These fun mini-concerts take place in Epcot’s American Gardens Theatre.   Shows are at 5:15, 6:30 & 7:45PM.    Performances are subject to change but here’s the current schedule:

  • June 15-21: Stayin’ Alive – A Tribute to the Bee Gees
  • June 22-28: Satisfaction: Rolling Stones Tribute Band
  • June 29-July 8: Slippery When Wet – A Tribute to Bon Jovi
  • July 8 – July 17: 52nd Street – A Tribute to Billy Joel
  • July 18 – July 26: The Sounds of the Supremes – A Tribute to the Supremes
  • July 27 – August 8: 2U – The World’s 2nd Best U2 Show
  • August 3-9: Petty Theft – A Tribute to Tom Petty

3.     ESPN RISE Sports Festival weekends at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.  July 18-25,  More than 2,000 young athletes will be competing in softball, baseball, basketball, football, lacrosse, and track & field events at the Wide World of Sports Complex.  The competition will be televised live on ESPNU and other ESPN Web outlets.   Expect to see athletes, teams, and their families in the resorts.  

 Temporary Attraction Closures and refurbishments:

  • Liberty Tree Tavern (Restaurant – Magic Kingdom) the restaurant will be open but – beginning January 5th – Liberty Tree Tavern will no longer offer character dining.
  • SpectroMagic Parade – (Magic Kingdom – parade) not offered on July 1st.
  • The Hall of Presidents (Animatronic Show – Magic Kingdom) will be closed through July 1, 2009.
  • Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom) will close April 19th and is not schedule to reopen until late 2009.
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority (Magic Kingdom) is closed April 19th – August 19th.
  • Block Party Bash Parade – (Disney’s Hollywood Studios – parade) not offered on July 5th.
  • Boatwrights (Restaurant – Port Orleans Riverside) is no longer serving breakfast. Breakfast is still available at the Riverside Mill Foodcourt.
  • Disney’s Magical Express (Airport Shuttle Service) – New luggage procedure for late night arrivals. As of March 30th, luggage service will no longer be available for arrivals to Orlando International Airport after 10:00PM. Collect your luggage at baggage claim and take with you to the Disney’s Magical Express check-in desk.

 Free Custom Touring Plans

If you find this report helpful, please consider using us to book your vacation reservations or for custom theme park touring plans.  We are authorized Walt Disney World Vacation Planners and book directly with Disney so you never pay more than if you booked the reservation yourself.  Then we provide lots of help and advice designed to take the stress out of vacation planning. 

  • Help with building a Best Days Itinerary – a daily schedule that puts you in the best park for each day of your trip
  • Help with dining reservations (subject to availability)
  • Custom touring plans that keep you ahead of the crowds and out of the long lines. Or, if you prefer to do your own plans, we will provide either a subscription to Tour Guide Mike or the newest edition of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World to you instead of our touring plans. The choice is yours.

 At Build A Better Mouse Trip, we are convinced that everyone can benefit with good touring plans.   During busy times, a good plan will absolutely keep you ahead of the crowds and out of the lines – our clients typically wait less than 20 minutes for rides, even thrill rides and headliners.   During less crowded times, a good plan factors in shorter park hours and fewer performance times.    But the most important benefit of a good plan is that everyone gets to ride and see the things that they are looking forward to because everyone’s priorities are included in a plan that tours the parks efficiently and effectively.  For more information see: http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/freetouringplans.php

You can purchase custom planning service from us but most of our clients get them for free.  We accept Disney and other hotel commissions as payment for our planning services. If you’ve already booked your own reservation, it may be possible to have our name added as the agent of record.  Your rate, confirmation, and benefits all stay exactly the same.  In this situation, Disney just pays us the commission they would’ve kept for themselves.  Then – free to you – we provide you with custom touring plans that let you enjoy more attractions with less lines.

If you have questions or are interested in our services:

                * just call us toll free at 877-815-6515

                * or send an email message to info@babmt.com

                * or use the online form  

Thank you,

Stephen

 Build A Better Mouse Trip
www.buildabettermousetrip.com 
Toll Free Phone: 877-815-6515
International callers: 719-495-5698

Build A Better Mouse Trip is a full service travel agency specializing in Florida vacations & Cruises. Build A Better Mouse Trip is not affiliated with or in any way officially connected with, The Walt Disney Company, Disney Enterprises, Inc., or any of their affiliates.

April 12, 2009 at 1:05 am 1 comment

Is It Time to Start Making Your July Walt Disney World Dining Reservations?

You can now make dining reservations for your July trip to Walt Disney World Resort, if you’ll be arriving on or before July 9th (as of today – April 10th).  Reservations can be booked 90 days prior to arrival.  

July is the peak summer travel time so some reservations will be snatched up as soon as the reservation window opens.   For example, yesterday I booked a dinner reservation at Chef Mickey’s for July 8th – there was only one table available for the whole evening for my party size.  Other reservations that will go very, very quickly are the Fantasmic Dinner Packages, Cinderella’s Royal Table, LeCellier, Donald’s Breakfast Safari, and Ohana.

I strongly recommend a good touring plan to help you manage the summertime lines.  You’ll see lots of hour long lines and you don’t want to be in them.   We offer three different options for touring plans at no cost to you, when you book your trip through Build A Better Mouse Trip.  See: http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/freetouringplans.php

April 10, 2009 at 5:35 pm Leave a comment

2009 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

Disney has released the 2009 dates for the very popular Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party which takes place on select nights every year in the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Party dates:   November 10, 12, 13, 17, 19, 20, 29 / December 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10,  11, 13, 15, 17, 18  2009.

Tickets Prices:  Tickets go on sale May 1st, 2009. 

  • Advance Ticket Prices:  $52 USD + tax (Ages 10+) / $46 USD + tax (ages 3-9).  Discounted rates available:  Nov. 10, 12, 13, 17, 19, 20, & December 1, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15.
  • Premium Event Prices:  $59 USD + tax (Ages 10+) / $53 USD + tax (ages 3-9).  Discounted rates available:  Nov. 29, & December 4, 11, 17, 18
  • Day of Event Prices:  $59 USD + tax (Ages 10+) / $53 USD + tax (ages 3-9).

These parties tade place in the Magic Kingdom from 7:00PM to midnight.  A separate ticket is required to attend the party – your Magic Your Way ticket will not provide entry to this event. 

There are a limited number of tickets available for each party night.

April 6, 2009 at 2:53 pm 1 comment

2009 Dates for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World

Disney has released dates for the very popular Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party which takes place on select nights every year in the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Party dates:   September 4, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29 / October 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31 / November 1. 2009.

Tickets Prices:  Tickets go on sale May 1st, 2009. 

  • Discounted Advance Ticket Prices:  $52 USD + tax (Ages 10+) / $46 USD + tax (ages 3-9).  available:  Sept. 4, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29, & October 1, 2, 6, 12, 13, 18, 20, 22, 25 27.
  • Halloween Night Prices:  $64 USD + tax (Ages 10+) / $58 USD + tax (ages 3-9). 
  • Day of Event Prices:  $59 USD + tax (Ages 10+) / $53 USD + tax (ages 3-9).  This is also the cost for Oct. 9, 15, 23 parties.

In years past, these parties took place in the Magic Kingdom from 7:00PM to midnight.  A separate ticket is required to attend the party – your Magic Your Way ticket will not provide entry to this event. 

There are a limited number of tickets available for each party night and Halloween night generally sells out first.

April 6, 2009 at 2:47 pm Leave a comment

Easter Sunday Religious Services at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida

Will you be at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida over Easter Sunday and wonder where you can find a church service?

Easter Services are offered in the Fantasia Ballroom at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. The Contemporary Resort is near the Magic Kingdom. These religious services are not offered every week but are available for Easter.

Catholic Mass is offered at 8:00 AM & 10:15 AM. 

 Protestant Service will be held at 9:00 AM.

Please avoid Epcot & the Magic Kingdom on Easter Sunday – both of those theme parks will be very crowded.

April 6, 2009 at 2:16 pm 1 comment

~ Magic Your Way Package FREE Dining Promotion 2009 ~

~ Magic Your Way Package FREE Dining Promotion 2009 ~

August 16th – October 3rd, 2009

Finally! The wait is over and we have some official word on free dining.  Yea! Hooray!!!

Please contact us as soon as possible using our online form: http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/quoterequest.php .  We would like to have all of your reservation information complete so that we can move on your behalf immediately now that the offer is available to the general public. Please include the names of everyone in your party, the ages of the kids, and your travel dates.

Booking Dates: 3/30/09 – 6/21/09

Travel Dates:  8/16/09 – 10/03/09

A deposit ($200)  will be due within 7 days of reserving a package.

Your package much include at least 3 nights consecutive stay at a Walt Disney World Resort + at least 1 day Magic Your Way Basic Ticket.

The Free Dining Benefits will extend past October 2nd, if you check in prior to October 2nd.

The free dining plan provided is the Disney standard Plus dining plan which includes one table-service meal credit, one counter-service meal credit, and one snack (up to $4 value) per person over age 3 per night of stay.   This has a value of $39.99 per person over age 9 and $10.99 per child age 3 – 9 per night.   The average family of 2 adults and 2 children will receive benefits worth over $100 per night of stay.

Children from birth to age 3 do not participate in the dining plan.  They can, however, share your meals.  Consider booking reservations at buffets and meals serviced family style if you’re traveling with a little one who is old enough to eat solid foods.

Offer good at Walt Disney World Resorts, subject to availability – not every resort will necessarily be available every night of the promotion.

*Offer available for stays most nights 8/16/09 -10/03/09. Availability is limited and certain restrictions apply. Tickets must be used within 14 days of first use.  No group rates or other discounts apply.

Important:  Dining can now only be booked 90 days prior to arrival.   There will be a lot of people taking advantage of the free dining promotion who will be ready to book their dining as soon as they are eligible.  Now that Fantasmic! is not offered every night, the Fantasmic Dinner Packages that only require one dining credit (Hollywood & Vine and Mama Melrose) are now the first to fill.   Cinderella’s Royal Table remains popular, as does LeCellier in the Canada pavilion at Epcot.   Do your research now so you know what you want as soon as you’re allowed to make reservations.   August 16th arrivals can book their reservations on May 18th,  Sept 1st arrivals can book on June 3rd , etc.

Don’t forget that you’ll get some great vacation planning help at no additional cost when you book your trip through Build A Better Mouse Trip. 

  • Help with building a Best Days Itinerary – a daily schedule that puts you in the best park for each day of your trip
  • Help with dining reservations (subject to availability)
  • Custom touring plans that keep you ahead of the crowds and out of the long lines. Or, if you prefer to do your own plans, we will provide either a subscription to Tour Guide Mike or the newest edition of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World to you instead of our touring plans. The choice is yours.

 I’m here and happy to help with your reservation.

  -or –  by phone:  877-815-6515 (toll free)

– or – you can use this online form: http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/Ordering.php

 Thank you,

Build A Better Mouse Trip
www.buildabettermousetrip.com
Toll Free Phone: 877-815-6515
International callers: 719-495-5698

 Some Disney Free Dining Promotional Codes:

  • Magic Your Way with Regular Dining Plan: RYH
  • Magic Your Way with Deluxe Dining Plan (extra cost): UGR
  • Magic Your Way with Regular Dining and Wine & Dine Package Plan (extra cost): KEU
  • Magic Your Way with Deluxe Dining and Wine & Dine Package Plan (extra cost): NZZ
  • Note – these are just some of the Free Dining Promotion discount codes. The Disney reservation agent I spoke to today said that there are over 36 different codes associated with just this promotion alone.

 Build A Better Mouse Trip is a full service travel agency specializing in Florida vacations & Cruises. Build A Better Mouse Trip is not affiliated with or in any way officially connected with, The Walt Disney Company, Disney Enterprises, Inc., or any of their affiliates.

April 2, 2009 at 6:10 am Leave a comment


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