Questions. So many questions . .


#1

As I approach the all-too critical 240 day mark, I’ve been stacking up questions to ask you all.

  1. I’ve just discovered that ASMo is being refurbished. The rooms seem to be identical to the refurbished rooms at Pop. Since it was the new style rooms that particularly attracted me to Pop, I’m wondering if it might be worth considering ASMo. What are the key differences?

  2. I chose Pool View at Pop, but I’ve got my heart set on getting a lake view. That’s not an official option. Am I more likely to get lake view if I switch to a Preferred room rather than Pool View?

  3. I’ve been questioning the wisdom of being on the (Deluxe) Disney Dining Plan. I like the idea that once you’re there everything’s paid for and there’s no stress about cost any more (apart from those damned tips). But I’m beginning to think I’ll end up overpaying. Or booking meals and choosing options just because I’ve pre-paid and want to get value for money. What’s being on the dining plan like? Are there any practical advantages? Is the process of paying for the meal easier or quicker? And how do you pay those damned tips if you’re on the DDP?

  4. I’ll be arriving at MCO from the UK. Can someone give me a crystal clear, authoritative account of the exact process of using MDE. What I’m really interested in is luggage. I can’t seem to get a definitive picture of how it works. And is it better to just take your luggage yourself to the coach? And, if you do, are you then obliged to take it from the coach to your room, or can you still get it delivered?

On the subject of luggage, during my last two trips my strategy was to have carry-on only so that arrival at MCO was a breeze. For my trip next year I’m thinking of putting my bags in the hold, especially if the system for getting my bags to my room is straightforward. The disadvantage of cabin baggage only is that you have to carry it round the airport at each end. Whereas I’m currently thinking of having just a small bag for the flight next time round, which will be much more convenient.

Regular readers may remember I was mulling over what to do on arrival night. I’d pretty much settled on giving myself three options on the day: explore resort and early to bed, or nice quiet evening in Pandora with FPP for Na’vi and dinner at Satu’li, or explore Disney Springs. Recent unhappy events in the US have somewhat nudged me away from the DS plan. I accept this is ridiculous and irrational. But I wasn’t that excited about DS in the first place. Why take the (infinitesimally small) risk? Plus it’ll be full of spending temptations.


#2
  1. I’m not sure quite how to describe what being on the dining plan is like. We’ve only had the normal one and you know that you can have a main and pudding at each TS which suits me as I’m not a starter person, and I’d never manage 3 courses. Plus your drink which of course now can be alcoholic or speciality. No desserts at QS anymore but you still get the drink. You pay just by tapping your MB like you would in a shop. You can pay the tip any way you like - I prefer cash but you can charge it to your room with another tap of the MB. It’s convenient but I’d never do deluxe, far too much food for us and we’re pretty big eaters. We like having the refillable mug to use at the resort. And you’ve got your snacks too of course.

  2. You go and collect your luggage in the usual way, take it to B1 where ME picks up, and it goes on the bus with you. Yes you then take it to your room yourself. We don’t get the luggage tags to have bags collected for us.

I’m a big fan of exploring the resort and relaxing on arrival night. You don’t want to start off knackered, you’ll never catch up to yourself.


#3

I’ve read you can take it back to the luggage carousel to be picked up and transported to the resort. I’m quite attracted by that option. But is it more trouble than it’s worth?


#4

I’ve never heard of that.

If you fly indirect, you can give your luggage claim sticker things to ME and they will collect your bags because it’s an internal flight but I think you’re direct? We always fly direct. But in that case you don’t take them anywhere, you just don’t collect them.


#5
  1. We’ve stayed at the ASmusic, but will presume it’s similar to movies. During non peak times, AS resorts share a bus, whereas Pop always has a designated bus. You also have the flexibility of using the AoA bus since it’s within walking distance to Pop. The rooms are pretty much the same. The food court at Pop has a better reputation.

  2. No. The preferred rooms at pop are on the Classic Hall side of the hotel block, which is no where near the lake.

  3. The deluxe dining plan is a lot of food. A lot a lot. It’s ideal if eating at signature restaurants is important to you, or if you plan on TS for all 3 meals. Keep in mind how much time you’ll be spending at meals. While sitting down and relaxing once a day is glorious, doing so for three meals pretty much means eating practically all day. When we went in June, we did signatures for a few meals and paid out of pocket because we don’t see the value of the cost vs what we actually order. Going forward we’ll probably do the standard dining plan because of the convenience and skip the signature restaurants. We weren’t terribly impressed and don’t feel like they’re worth 2 credits. The standard dining plan with one QS, one TS and 2 snacks is more than enough for us. We usually pay out of pocket for a QS breakfast because it’s the least expensive meal, but you could easily use a snack for a pastry. Paying is a breeze — just tap your magic band. Tips and other charges (like appetizers) can be paid with cash, Disney gift card or credit card. If you choose credit card, tap your magic band.

  4. I’m going to defer to @missoverexcited in that you don’t get a luggage sticker as an international traveler, so you’ll have to grab your luggage from the belt and bring it on the coach with you. It gets stored underneath (tip the bus driver a couple of dollars). When you arrive at your hotel if your room isn’t ready you can leave your luggage with bell services and they will deliver it to your room while you’re in the parks.

ETA: before we leave home, we put bright yellow tags on our luggage provided by Disney. Upon arrival, Disney grabs the bags and delivers them direct to our room. We simply get on the coach to the hotel, say hello to the front desk because we like to, then go to the parks. We leave our carry on bags with the bell services inside by the front desk.


#6

PS. You need your magic band to get on MDE, so be sure to pack it in your carry on


#7

DS is worth seeing at least once in your life Matt, so I would recommend going there upon arrival. It gets better in the evening so I would suggest staying a bit after sunset. You are the most disciplined person I have seen so I know you’ll not be buying more Cobbs there ( by the way is he still abandoned up on the board?). It is safer than you home town probably so don’t worry about that. Remember, that exactly what these people want… to create terror. Please don’t let them win!

ASMov is a wonderfully “smaller” resort so nothing feels far away from your room. At least that’s the impression I always get. And personally I’d much rather see a giant dalmation or a giant Woody than a giant rubik’s cube. That’s just me I think. As previously mentioned they sometimes share buses, but that can be a plus because you can always check on DME if the bus you need is coming sooner at ASSports for example and walk over there.

Food is modest at ASMo, I have heard it is far better at Pop and AoA but if you’re looking at DP, maybe you won’t even be eating there much.

Glad to hear you’re going back amigo. I thought you’d sworn off WDW forever!!


#8

Try to get into the mindset that you only ‘need’ to spend the upgrade cost between the ‘free’ dining and the deluxe plan. It will be easy to satisfy that.


#9

C[quote=“profmatt, post:1, topic:52022”]
I’ll be arriving at MCO from the UK . Can someone give me a crystal clear, authoritative account of the exact process of using MDE . What I’m really interested in is luggage . I can’t seem to get a definitive picture of how it works. And is it better to just take your luggage yourself to the coach? And, if you do, are you then obliged to take it from the coach to your room, or can you still get it delivered?
[/quote]

If you’re flying direct, you have to collect your luggage to go through customs and immigration.

At that point you have a choice:

  • you can take the bags with you on the light train across to the main terminal and to DME yourself.

-or you can put them back on the carousel that’s in front of you as you finish with the customs formalities. The exit to the train is to the right, the carousel is to the left of it.

  • then when you get to DME you check in and then go to the desk. You give them the sticky luggage receipts and they will collect them for you. The receipts are the bits that peel off when the departure airport attach the destination label to your cases. We usually stick them onto the back of one of the passports.

If you’re flying via a hub airport, you’ll have done the formalities at the Hub, so when you arrive in Orlando, you go straight to DME and give them the receipts so they can collect your bags. Or you can go to the arrival carousel and collect them yourself.

Some people don’t like the idea of the bags on the carousel until the end, so prefer to collect them.

Last time we flew direct and did the whole “bring them yourself” thing, mainly because the arrivals procedure had changed and we just kinda went with the flow to the train. Never again! It was a nightmare with all the bags and no trolleys through the airport.

Previously we have always put them back on the carousel when flying direct. It is so much easier than navigating the airport with luggage IMO.

/


#10

We always do! I’m sure you do too, it’s how they trace bags if they go missing…

When they attach the sticky tag to your bag as you check in, giving the destination airport etc. A small sticky bit they usually fix to one of the boarding passes or a passport. It has the same bar code as the big one they put on the case.


#11

No you don’t. International guests don’t get sent magic bands. All you need is a reservation number, or the email from DME when you booked. In fact, all you need is your name and where you’re staying and they will look you up.

Last time I left all the paper work with our reservations at home. And being DVC we booked DME through them and so don’t get an email either. By the time I’d brought up our reservation email from DVC, the CM had found us on her ipad.

Even if you’re a US guest, you don’t actually need your magic band. They will scan it if you have it, but if you’ve packed it or forgotten it, it’s all good!


#12

I’m amazed that at least two posters here haven’t heard of this!

Oh well, you know now, if you read my post above. I find it so much easier getting through MCO without luggage in tow.


#13

I think she means we don’t get the yellow MDE luggage tags, that’s certainly what I meant.


#14

I’m amazed. I’ve used that carousel when DH was in a wheelchair but we were told we’d have to pick it up again, and that’s what all my Liner friends told me too. It would have been easier that trip, but I prefer to have my bags with me anyway - and there’s no time saving if you’ve got to collect them in the first place.


#15

Ah OK. But you can just hand the little bar codes to the DME desk and they’ll pull your bags off for you.

You both seemed to be implying DME couldn’t get your bags. They can and do, although the bags will go round the carousel for a while first.


#16

If you put a wheel chair back on the carousel, presumably you’d need to collect it yourself - unless the wheelchair user can manage without it for several hours.

But the airport staff at the international arrivals hall probably wouldn’t even know about the yellow DME tags, let alone that DME will collect bags for you.

I have no idea how I found out about it, it was way before I found the TP site, like years before! As far back as 2012 which would have been when we did that with a direct flight from London to MCO.

It’s not a time saving as such, except when boarding DME and at the other end. It’s definitely easier getting through the airport, especially if you want to stop and get a coffee or something to eat. And saves time at the resort not having to wait for the driver to unload the bags etc.


#17

Well I was implying that because I thought it was true!

No he was in the wheelchair, so we had to take the lift and you’re not allowed to take luggage in the lift so we had to use the carousel and collect it. So I guess we didn’t need to collect it, which would have been so much easier! Oh well!


#18

There is no lake at ASMo. You are not close to AoA at ASMo. The outside theming is awesome at ASMo, a bit cooler than Pop. At ASMo, you sometimes share buses with the other AS resorts, and that can be quite, well, awful.

Preferred at value resorts usually means you are close to the buses and main building.

I, personally, like the options for Deluxe. Yes, it is a lot of food, but the food is already paid for, which is very nice. We prefer to have TS meals. Our last trip we made the mistake of having three meals a day, and that was too much. However, choosing a signature a day and a TS a day would alleviate that. Use snacks for most breakfasts. Or a QS here and there. To me, it’s worth having the deluxe, but YMMV.

You pay the tips by cash, credit card, gift card, or charge to your room. It’s quite painless.

No help here. I have never flown to MCO, much less from an international location.

I like the idea of exploring the resort and early to bed, especially if you are staying at Pop. That lake is beautiful, and the walk over to AoA would be cool. And plus, Dole Whip!

Disney Springs is a shopping mall, outside. It is cool, and there are some awesome eateries there, plus the Void, which I’ve heard is quite fun. Raglan Road is always a must do for us, and I highly recommend it. The LEGO store is worth the price of admission (I know, there is no admission). I think everyone should go at least once. However, I understand ridiculous and irrational anxiety issues, so you do you, and don’t feel bad if that keeps you from going. Even though people don’t go through security to get into DS, you can bet that Disney’s excellent security teams are all over the place there as well as in the parks.


#19

True, you won’t be denied access to DME without the bands, but presuming Matt already has bands from his previous trips, and that he may not collect his luggage, he wouldn’t have his band to get in the parks upon arrival if they’re packed. Yes, getting one from the front desk is easy enough, but I always recommend traveling with them in carry on. It’s just easier.


#20

See I wouldn’t bother. Not only would I almost certainly not be able to find one for everybody, I’d probably forget them anyway! And they’re the old style ones anyway, can’t remember when they changed, Matt’s may be too.

Also, assuming I arrived early enough and was awake enough to head to the parks that first day p, I would always go to the front desk and find out our room number before heading off to the parks. Being international, we don’t get room texts even with online check-in,. That only works for US mobile numbers. So I’d want to have checked in before heading to the parks, not be waiting until afterwards when all you want to do is collapse in bed!

So we’d then have our new magic bands anyway.