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The Disney Scoop, Issue #006-- Free Dining, Strollers, CMO, and Snacks...
May 01, 2008


Hello Everyone!

It’s been a very busy month in my household, but unfortunately not so busy for the website! With three of our boys playing baseball and the littlest guy wanting to be outside for every waking moment – I am simply out of free time! Add in a weekend trip to Boston for the marathon and the month just flew by! (My husband Mike ran the marathon and I am just so proud of him! Keep an eye on his blog for a full marathon review and trip report.)

So anyway, back to Disney…..

First of all, here’s a reminder to all of you traveling to Disney World in November. Your 180 day window will open soon! Get ready to make all of your dining reservations and set your alarm for 7 am eastern time on your reservation day! If you need help figuring out your 180 day point, check out the countdown calculator.

And for those going before then, hopefully you have already made all of your desired reservations, especially if you are taking advantage of the Free Dining offer this year.

Just a quick update on the planning spreadsheet files. Last month I posted the files in a new location on an external web host. They have since been downloaded over 750 times! Hopefully they will help everyone organize all of their Disney trip information.

As always, if you have any feedback or questions, please send me a note.



Okay, on with the news!





Disney World News


2008 Holiday Party Tickets on sale May 1

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party:
October 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 13, 16, 19, 21, 23, 24, 26, 28, 30, and 31.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party:
November 10, 11, 14, 16, 20, 21, 30
December 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, and 19


No More Toll-Free Phone Number

Well, I guess it was just a matter of time. Disney has deactivated the 1-877-939-3732 toll-free phone number. They have done this before with other toll-free numbers, so I guess I’m not that surprised – just a little disappointed. Hopefully, you have an inexpensive, if not free, long distance phone service plan. I’ll keep my eyes and ears open for a replacement number, but in the meantime you can still use 1-407-WDISNEY or 1-407-WDW-DINE for dining reservations.




Stroller Rental Price Increase

After not increasing the stroller rental cost for the past three years, Disney has decided to make up for lost time! The cost of renting a stroller has increased by an outrageous amount. The new rental costs are listed below:

SINGLE: $15.00 per day$13.00 per day for length of stay
DOUBLE:$31.00 per day$27.00 per day for length of stay

I guess you do save a couple bucks by purchasing the length of stay rental, but the cost is just so astronomical now, I suggest that you bring your own stroller if at all possible. If you are driving to Orlando, strap it to the roof or buy an inexpensive stroller at a local store. If you are flying, check with your airline for the restrictions on the weight and amount of luggage you are allowed to bring.

The best part about having your own stroller is the fact that you can use it outside of the parks – you don’t have to wake you child up to return the stroller and then carry him or her all the way to your car or Disney transportation, not to mention around the resort itself or at Downtown Disney.

The downside to everyone bringing their own stroller is the overcrowding of the Disney buses and monorails. Some of those strollers nowadays are absolutely huge!

If you cannot bring your own stroller, please budget for the rental cost. Be prepared – it would be a shame to cut your souvenir allowance just to rent a stroller!



Ollie Johnston passes away

Ollie Johnston, the last remaining member of Walt's Nine Old Men, passed away on April 14th, 2008. Not only was he a great friend of Walt Disney, but he was a directing animator at the Disney Studios from 1935 to 1978. His contributions to such classic films as Snow White, Fantasia, Bambi and Pinocchio will ensure his legacy.

This came as sad news to me this month because I was reading a book entitled Remembering Walt. In it, there are many quotes and anecdotes from many of Walt's friends, family members, and co-workers. Ollie was included quite a bit. The book was really well done with loads of photos from the early days of Walt's career. The book, available on Amazon.com is worth a look - even if just for the photos.



CMO Update

Justin – Disney CMO

The position of Chief Magic Official has been filled! Justin Muchoney won the “dream job” after a series of fun events held during a two-day competition at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.

If you haven’t already seen the events, you can still watch the videos online. The events were very funny and tested such important skills as “Towel Buddy” construction, face painting, and a frantic stroller derby, all accompanied by a very serious commentary. (I don’t know how those two guys kept straight faces!)

Congratulations Justin! Be sure to check the CMO website in May to see some of Justin's CMO activities and duties.

Go to the official CMO website to view the competition videos.




Disney World Specials


Check the Discounts page for up-to-date Disney specials and discount codes.

Huge savings at Disneyshopping.com

Save 20% sitewide at Disneyshopping.com. Use code SITE20.

Free Dining Now Available

The greatly anticipated Free Dining package is now available for booking. The package is available for most dates 8/24/2008-9/20/2008. To take advantage of this offer, you need to purchase a full price non-discounted Disney World Vacation Package, and check in between 8/24 and 9/20. You will get the Basic Disney Dining Plan for FREE for the entire length of your stay. You can also upgrade to the Deluxe Dining Plan by simply paying the difference, which is $32 per adult and $10 per child per night.

This is a great deal and I hope many of you are able to take advantage of this wonderful offer! Hurry, you must book by 6/22/2008 and the number of available rooms at each resort is limited. Also, make all of your dining reservations NOW!

To book, call 1-407-WDISNEY and use one of the following codes:

Magic Your Way Package plus Dining – AYG
MYW Package plus Deluxe Dining - AYI
MYW Package plus Dine with Wine - AYH
MYW Package plus Deluxe Dining with Wine - AYJ




Tip of the Month

Make the Most of your Snacks!

Snacking at Disney World can get expensive! There are lots of yummy and delectable things to choose, like Dole Whips, beignets, and Kaki Gori. Many of these yummy snacks can be purchased using the snack credits on one of the Dining Plans (either basic or deluxe), even though the official dining plan rules severely limit the snack options. You may be surprised at the variety of snacks awaiting you….

Read more about Disney World Snacks.






What’s New

I hope you enjoy the most recent additions at the Plan a Magical Vacation website:


To stay up-to-date with the recent additions, please visit our What’s New page. If you have a Disney or vacation-related idea that you wish to share with all of us, or if there is some topic you would like more info about, please contact me!




Until Next Time…
Well, that’s all for this month. Be sure to bookmark or add us to your favorites so you can stay informed of all of the changes at www.plan-a-magical-vacation.com.
Enjoy planning your magical Disney World Vacation!
Best regards,


If you like this newsletter, please feel free to forward it to a friend. Also, please share your thoughts or suggestions with me. I always appreciate feedback and I am very interested in making each and every newsletter edition as helpful and meaningful for you as possible. If a friend did forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting The Disney Scoop.Be sure to visit us again to Plan a Magical Vacation!
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