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Thread: Planning Newbie Needs Help Please

  1. #1
    First off, I ramble, so very sorry for my book!!!

    Ok, I have a couple questions hopefully you all can help me with. Since you all seem to be a wealth of information!!! And thanks for being so nice to share what you have learned.

    We are flying Allegiant to Samford, and trying to get the flights to work with our schedule means we are actually in Orlando on Friday when our WDW Va-cay starts officially on Monday. We have a Monday check-in and a Monday check-out at WDW. (8/17 to 8/24)

    On Friday/Saturday we are planning on visiting other parks and going out with family that lives in town.

    My first question is about Sunday, 8/16... We have to leave for the airport prior to the parks opening on Monday 8/24 to catch our flight home. Are we able to come into the park and use our tickets on Sunday, 8/16 since we will not be using them on 8/24? Or are they not valid until "Check in" at the resort? We are on a tight budget, and I hate to waste the day of tickets.

    Ok next question, we are on the "free" dinign plan which offers 1 snack, 1 counter service, and 1 table service.

    We are thinking of upgrading which will cost around another $500.00. Has anyone done this and think it is worth it? My DS is 5, so I expect him (and us) to get exhused in the August heat and was thinking an additional TS might be worth it to cool off and relax a bit and not be in a rush. I have also planned *I think* 3 two-table service meals, which means we will have extra money out of pocket there.

    Ok, here is what I have planned/reservations for so far... Please let me know if we have made any bad choices...

    Monday <TABLE summary=""><TBODY><TR class=oddTableRow><TD class=timeColumn>8:50 pm

    </TD><TD class=activityColumn>Teppan Edo </TD><TD class=locationColumn>@ Epcot®


    <TABLE summary=""><TBODY><TR class=oddTableRow><TD class=timeColumn>7:35 pm

    </TD><TD class=activityColumn>Cinderella's Royal Table </TD><TD class=locationColumn>@ Magic Kingdom® Park


    <TABLE summary=""><TBODY><TR class=oddTableRow><TD class=timeColumn>8:10 pm

    </TD><TD class=activityColumn>Jiko - The Cooking Place </TD><TD class=locationColumn>@ Resorts


    <TABLE summary=""><TBODY><TR class=oddTableRow><TD class=timeColumn>7:40 pm

    </TD><TD class=activityColumn>California Grill </TD><TD class=locationColumn>@ Resorts


    <TABLE summary=""><TBODY><TR class=oddTableRow><TD class=timeColumn>11:05 am

    </TD><TD class=activityColumn>Hollywood & Vine </TD><TD class=locationColumn>@Disney's Hollywood Studios™

    <TABLE summary=""><TBODY><TR class=oddTableRow><TD class=timeColumn>9:00 pm

    </TD><TD class=activityColumn>Yachtsman Steakhouse </TD><TD class=locationColumn>@Resorts


    <TABLE summary=""><TBODY><TR class=oddTableRow><TD class=timeColumn>2:15 pm

    </TD><TD class=activityColumn>The Crystal Palace </TD><TD class=locationColumn>@ Magic Kingdom® Park


    <TABLE summary=""><TBODY><TR class=oddTableRow><TD class=timeColumn>8:30 am

    </TD><TD class=activityColumn>'Ohana </TD><TD class=locationColumn>@ Resorts

    <TABLE summary=""><TBODY><TR class=oddTableRow><TD class=timeColumn>8:50 pm

    </TD><TD class=activityColumn>Coral Reef Restaurant </TD><TD class=locationColumn>Epcot®


    Ok, I have been taking myself into paying for the extra TS option, because I thought with just 3 of us total, we might be able to try some TS places we would normally not try and be able to get in without pre-planning or reservations.

    I have 4 Character Meals planned, thinking of dropping Cindy's table. Do boys enjoy that? I just had a hard time getting it so I figured it was worth it.

    Thanks again for any help or advice anyone can offer.

    This is our first time to ever stay in the park and just want a really nice trip.



    PS... I love these smiley guys!!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    United States
    I believe tickets are not valid till check in day.

    I'd like to help on the dining plan, but I've never used it before. I usually just grab one counter service meal a day.

    With that August heat, remember to drink plenty of water, for everyone in the family. The heat and humidity will drain you completely. My advice would be to do some indoor activities during the hottest part of the day.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Arizona, USA
    Tickets are not valid until you check in. However, you could use the extra time to tour the resorts and at DTD.

    Personally, I think the upgrade to three TS meals per day will mean you schedule everything around your meals. It can work, if you're able to schedule your ADRs in or near the park you'll be visiting. And if you've visited WDW many times and are less concerned about visiting as many attractions as possible and dining is an important part of your life, it could be worthwhile. It's really a matter of personal preferences.

    CRT and YS (Yachtsmans Steakhouse) are two TS dining credits each. California Grill might be, also. I can't remember at the moment. You can elect to pay OOP for the least expensive venues and save your TS credits for the more expensive options. You may need to look at the menus/pricing to determine which is a better value for you and your family.

  4. #4
    I think we are just going to add Sunday to our stay. ($200.00)

    This will leave about $300.00 (of the $500.00 I had saved to pay for the upgrade to the dining plan) to use for paying out of pocket for meals.

    Thanks for the help!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    A stone's throw from Plymouth Rock
    Less than two weeks till your trip--you must be so excited! My son (who was 10 at the time) enjoyed Cinderella's table well enough. He wasn't as over-the-moon as my daughter, understandably, but he liked having pictures taken with Cindy (who was quite lovely and chatted with him), and the wow factor at being inside the castle seemed to balance out any "sheesh this is for girls" vibe. That, and the food was plentiful, which made him happy. Hope you have a fantastic trip!
    Love isn't about finding someone you can live with.
    It's about finding someone you can share a lifetime with.


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