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First Visit - Some Questions

kbradford

New Member
We are planning my families very first visit to WDW this spring and I have some probably pretty basic questions I'd love some help with! Thanks!

1. Is it normal for it to be a 1-2 hour wait on the phone to talk with someone about reservations/questions? If so what's the best time of day to call?

2. It appears you can only book character experiences 60 days out. We're still about 100 days out from our visit, but I'm searching for all the current dates within 60 days (Oct/Nov) and every single experience I see says No Times Available. Do they book up instantly? Or does the system know the days I'm there and won't let me book?

3. How early can you book cabanas/patios for the pool (specifically at the Polynesian)? I tried to call the number and they said the wait was over 2 hours!

4. Is a Minnie Van the best bet to get 6 of us from/to the airport?
 

CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
1. Sometimes. I feel like I'm either on hold for hours, or I get right through. Stick to the forums for questions and only call if you really have to.

2. What do you mean by "character experiences"? Character dining?

3. You don't need to book that way in advance. Just book it the day before, or even the morning of.

4. Minnie Van no longer exists.
 
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kbradford

New Member
Original Poster
1. Sometimes. I feel like I'm either on hold for hours, or I get right through. Stick to the forums for questions and only call if you really have to.

2. What do you mean by "character experiences"? Character dining?

3. You don't need to book that way in advance. Just book it the day before, or even the morning of.

4. Minnie Van no longer exists.

Thanks so much for the quick response!

1. Awesome, thanks! Their website is even terrible slow lately, not sure what's going on.

2. Both the character dining, and also things like Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Also meeting princesses like Elsa/Anna. I see them under Character Experiences

3. Thanks!

4. Oh no! What is the best way to get to/from the airport then?
 
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CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
Thanks so much for the quick response!

1. Awesome, thanks! Their website is even terrible slow lately, not sure what's going on.

2. Both the character dining, and also things like Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Also meeting princesses like Elsa/Anna. I see them under Character Experiences

3. Thanks!

4. Oh no! What is the best way to get to/from the airport then?
Character dining you'll want to book right at 60 days from check-in. Capacity is limited due to continued staffing problems coming out of COVID, so not all tables are available and that's contributing to the difficulty booking things.

You don't have to book normal character meet-and-greets, but those are limited as well to maintain social distancing.

I personally rent a car pretty much every time, so I'll defer to someone else to advise on airport transportation.
 
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nickys

Premium Member
Only the contemporary, grand Floridian and yacht and beach club resorts have cabanas
And these can be booked 60 days from check.in. I would suggest booking as soon as you can, they have been selling out.

Also other than Stormaong Bay, where you must be a guest at Beach or Yacht Club resort, you can book at the Poly, GF and Contemporary as long as you are staying at a Disney resort.

Currently they are only booking whole days. That may change - you used to be able to book half days.
 
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kbradford

New Member
Original Poster
Only the contemporary, grand Floridian and yacht and beach club resorts have cabanas

Polynesian has an "Oasis Patio" to rent that sounds similar.

And these can be booked 60 days from check.in. I would suggest booking as soon as you can, they have been selling out.

Thanks for the tip on 60 days, so I don't waste my time now. I'd assume same applies to the Polynesian Oasis Patio.
 
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Communicora

Premium Member
We are planning my families very first visit to WDW this spring and I have some probably pretty basic questions I'd love some help with! Thanks!

1. Is it normal for it to be a 1-2 hour wait on the phone to talk with someone about reservations/questions? If so what's the best time of day to call?

2. It appears you can only book character experiences 60 days out. We're still about 100 days out from our visit, but I'm searching for all the current dates within 60 days (Oct/Nov) and every single experience I see says No Times Available. Do they book up instantly? Or does the system know the days I'm there and won't let me book?

3. How early can you book cabanas/patios for the pool (specifically at the Polynesian)? I tried to call the number and they said the wait was over 2 hours!

4. Is a Minnie Van the best bet to get 6 of us from/to the airport?
I hope you have a great trip!

Have you considered working with a travel agent? They'd be able to deal with questions and changes for you. I know some good ones also update if discounts come out. I haven't used an agent in the past but in these covid-y times I think I will going forward.
 
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kbradford

New Member
Original Poster
Have you considered working with a travel agent? They'd be able to deal with questions and changes for you. I know some good ones also update if discounts come out. I haven't used an agent in the past but in these covid-y times I think I will going forward.

In hindsight we definitely should have! I had no idea how overwhelming everything would be. But at this point we have a resort booked, airfare booked, and park reservations already made. So not sure if it'd be worth it now. What are some good Disney specific agents for future reference?
 
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nickys

Premium Member
In hindsight we definitely should have! I had no idea how overwhelming everything would be. But at this point we have a resort booked, airfare booked, and park reservations already made. So not sure if it'd be worth it now. What are some good Disney specific agents for future reference?
Board Sponsor - Kingdom Konsultants. Several of the agents are members here.

You can send a PM to @Kingdom Konsultant.

I think you can transfer a reservation within 30 days of booking it.
 
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aliceismad

Well-Known Member
Uber XL, I believe would fit your party and would be the easiest way to get from/to the airport.

There is also a Mears bus service. https://www.mearsconnect.com/?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

For character dining and bippity bobbity boutique, I would book at 60 days out if you can. Reservations do book up quickly. Also if you want to do any of the Star Wars things - drink at Oga's, build a lightsaber at Savi's, build a droid at droid dept.

When in the spring will you be going? Spring break time (March through Easter) is generally quite busy.
 
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carriebeth

Well-Known Member
I have tried to Uber xl from several different airports around the country for 4-6 people each time. Be aware that if you have luggage you may have a really rough time. Repeatedly each time and place ubers will arrive at the airport only to say they don’t have room for people and luggage and we would have to cancel and trying booking again. Each time after doing this process up to 5 times would just get frustrated and split into two groups taking two separate ubers. Our luggage was one average size suitcase per person nothing crazy. Ubers trying to pick at airports not expecting luggage is baffling to me
 
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Gaston's gal

Well-Known Member
I agree with CaptainAmerica on reading on WDWMagic for answers to your questions about your visit.
The wait time to call Disney directly has been extremely long so don't call unless you have to.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique still isn't open yet. I hope that it is for your vacation. It is so much fun for little girls to go there to be pampered.
You can use Uber/Lyft to get to & from the airport and resort in 2022.
I am sure you will have a very magical vacation. Enjoy every minute of it!
 
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Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
4. Is a Minnie Van the best bet to get 6 of us from/to the airport?

4 - If you'd prefer private transportation, a comparable alternative to the Minnie Vans (and less expensive!), would be hiring a private ground transportation service. Most have a fleet of towncars, SUVs, vans, limos, etc. from which to choose. Happy Limo is a sponsor of this forum and well-regarded, and there are many others that are reputable and reasonably-priced (three I've personally used were Orlando Airport Towncar, Orlando Luxury Transportation, and Orlando Chaufferred Services). Typically, your driver will meet you at Baggage Claim to assist you with your luggage and escort you to the vehicle. Some companies will provide infant car seats, and/or a brief grocery stop, on request.
 
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Cowboy Steve

Well-Known Member
We are planning my families very first visit to WDW this spring and I have some probably pretty basic questions I'd love some help with! Thanks!

1. Is it normal for it to be a 1-2 hour wait on the phone to talk with someone about reservations/questions? If so what's the best time of day to call?

2. It appears you can only book character experiences 60 days out. We're still about 100 days out from our visit, but I'm searching for all the current dates within 60 days (Oct/Nov) and every single experience I see says No Times Available. Do they book up instantly? Or does the system know the days I'm there and won't let me book?

3. How early can you book cabanas/patios for the pool (specifically at the Polynesian)? I tried to call the number and they said the wait was over 2 hours!

4. Is a Minnie Van the best bet to get 6 of us from/to the airport?
1. Agree with Capt America... check the forums if time permits. Whole lotta experience to tap into on these boards! I have the best luck first thing in the morning when the phone lines first open up. Also remember they are experiencing just a crazy number of calls right now because the 50th Anniversary kicked off on October 1st.

4. This is where losing the Magical Express really sucks. It was sooo convenient. I would go with a dedicated airport service vs Uber/Lyft, only because of the volume of luggage you will probably have with that many people traveling.

I envy you making your first trip! About 8 years ago we took my wife (then fiancé') for her first visit since she was a very young child in the late 70's... and it was so fun seeing the parks and experiences through her eyes!
 
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