Tips for conferenced attendees that can't do meal plan or a disney planner

We are going to Disney in September - yay! We are going with a conference so we get a great rate at the GF. However, that means we are not eligible for the free dining plan (or any dining plan) or for the concierge level. We do get access to group discounted park tickets. I think overall it is still a better deal to pay the conference rate than it would be to get the free meal plan. It also means that I no longer have access to the disney planner that I was using before I decided to attend this conference, which worries me! She said she can’t help if I am booked with a group. I feel like I am going to miss out on some great tips! Any tips for those attending a conference that I should know about?

Have you been before or is this your first trip?

We have been twice and I am a little OCD so I have already booked our dining reservations and I know when i have to book our fast passes. I set up daily plans with TouringPlans and use fast passes and rider swap passes (we have one that will be too small for a lot of rides). So I am not a total newbie, just wondering if there are any special tips for those at a conference or anyhting else I might need to watch out for!


A few things FREE is NEVER FREE. I have been there for confrerencs before and unless there is a conference specific event or something - it is basically the same deal as coming on leisure. You may want to check with you conference coordinator to see if they offer anything directly - but other than that - there really isn’t anything else (that I have ever experienced)

Discounted room AND park tickets I’m sure would outweigh the savings from FD anyway.

WE are your Disney planners. How can I help you have a magical day???



Yes, the rate at GF is unbelievable! Plus, you usually have to upgrade your room to be eligible for the free dining so you really aren’t saving much. My 2 and 5 year old hardly eat anything anyway! I was working with a planner before I decided to register for this conference and she told me she can’t book that kind of thing for me so I wouldn’t be able to use her service anymore. So I guess it just makes me nervous that there is no one emailing me constantly reminding me of dates or giving me tips! Will be there September 6 -11. Cant wait!

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I don’t know - you seem to be someone who can stay on top of it!! I personally DON’T use a planner as I am usually more on top of it than they are.

Good point! I was probably driving her crazy anyway! :blush:

I have a good friend that is a travel agent focused on WDW. I didn’t book via her services for two reasons
1 - I was doing it all via my CC and had to book things directly through them to take advantage of the CC perks
2 - I knew it would be very trying as I am super controlling

They don’t want to help because they aren’t getting commission. Some will do those things for a fee. I use one when I get a good exclusive rate through one but just for the room. I still book all of my own ADR’s and FPP’s.

What advice would you need? Post here: your dates, what parks you want to visit, your ADRs…we love to give advice! We do it for the fun of it and it is free!

Sep 6 - 11. We want to visit all parks. Kids are almost 3 and 5. No dining plan so will probably bring breakfast in the room, counter for lunch and dinner, the kids don’t like to sit too long for meals anyway. Will probably do one breakfast reservation before MK opens so we can walk the empty streets, either Crystal Palace or Be Our Guest. I’ll make touring plans so that we can hit a lot of rides but since we have been a couple of times we are not as frantic about seeing it all. It will probably be really hot so we may even do mid-day at a water park and mornings and evenings in the parks, we’ll see how long the kids last! Booked for the hallowed party 9/8, hope it is worth it! We are booked for a first haircut in MK. I was just surprised when they told me we can’t do the dining plan so I was checking to see if there were any other surprises I might encounter! Or if there were any specific tips about that time of year. Looks like TouringPlans says every day will be a 2 crowd level so hoping for a smooth time! (And I just like to talk about my plans and I think my husband is getting a little tired of hearing it over and over!)

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So, if the early entry event continues, you should stay away from a preRD breakfast on a Saturday (if the days stay the same). We love to hear about plans! Does your 3 year old nap?

The primary reason you’re unable to get the dining plan is the big discount on tickets and your room. With convention tickets the other thing to remember is that they can’t be upgraded so you can’t add days or park hopper to them. Other than that your trip should be the same as any.

I’d highly recommend crystal palace over Be Our Guest. It’s literally a couple of dollars more but you get a lot more options, better food, much better value, and characters as well.

You could also put the $631.70 (what would be the tax?) on either a Disney or Visa gift card (the amount the QS plan would be for your family) if it would make you feel better.

Conference rate admission tickets CAN be upgraded (more days, park hopper), but you must do it before check-in to get the conference rate. Otherwise, you will have to pay at the regular price. You can call them from home to do this.

We are going to a conference in July, and have our tickets already. DH’s ticket is a 5-day base, mine is 5-day park hopper. I called WDW just now to clarify the situation.

Thanks for all of the great tips everyone! 3 year old does not nap anymore so this will be the first trip that we don’t have to build in time for naps. Of course, they may be more tired than normal and need some down time but no official naps!

Wife going to a Disney Institute “class” at GF paid by her employer. Taking our 28 yo DD who just went with me in March. 8th trip for family. I will plan for them. ADRs already made, end of August