Are WaltDisneyWorld extra ticket Holiday events worth the extra price?

IMG_1163Two of the best events at WaltDisneyWorld each year are the Mickey’s Not So Scarey Halloween Party and the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Problem is admission to these events are not included in regular park ticket admission and you must buy tickets to these events.

The prices of these events are pretty high, and they seem to go up in price each year. Depending on the date the prices are higher than others, so prices are lower on days where they expect not as large of a crowd, so that is one way to keep the cost down. Also, Undercovertourist.com has discounted Party tickets for these events so you can save some that way too, and if you need other discounted park tickets this site is my go to place if I need a ticket. But, is the price of $70, $80 and income cases $90 worth it? Absolutely!

The price is admittedly high for these events, but the atmosphere at both parties is amazing. Crowds are lower so lines on attractions aren’t long, they have special character meet and greets that are not normally offered. At the Halloween party come dressed in your Halloween costume and there are appointed locations where people young and old can go trick or treating and get candy. For Christmas there are select locations that give out cookies and hot chocolate free of charge.

The 2 big showcases for each party are the holiday parades. These are a big hit and I suggest for either one to get a spot early because it definitely does get crowded for these fantastic parades. Usually there will be 2 parades each party night, and the early one is always more crowded than the late. Also, each have their own holiday Wishes fireworks spectacular. These are holiday themed fireworks and they are amazing, truly a can’t miss at these events.

At the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party there is something extra special that happens, walk down Main Street USA while it is….. snowing! That is right snowing! Get into the holiday spirit with the weather forecast of Main Street calling for Snow. This little added touch makes the night perfect and even though it may be warm, that won’t stop from the Magic of Disney doing its thing and providing snow flurries in the Magic Kingdom.

Finally the decorations throughout the Magic Kingdom are done perfectly for each season. No one does Holiday’s like Disney, and things real light up at the holiday events. WaltDisneyWorld is a great place to visit during the Holiday’s, They really make the atmosphere festive during both Halloween and Christmas. Even with the high price tag both events are 100% worth it, especially if you haven’t done the party before or you are with small children. It is worth the price, you will not be disappointed.

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The biggest scam in travel… Resort fees

Nothing gets me more upset, gets me so animated while talking about travel than Resort fees. Resort fees are a hotel’s way of adding charges to a room to up the price per night. Plain and simple you get no added benefit from a resort fee or added “free perk” that is associated with the resort fee. It is a scam and just a way for them to issue a cheaper per night advertised rate to suck you in.

It seems most hotels are adding in a scam resort fee to their rates, problem is they don’t charge you when you book the room, they wait till you get there to tell you about the fine print of a $25 per night resort fee.

You are probably asking yourself, ” what exactly is included in the extra fee, what am I paying for?” Well taking a look at a popular Las Vegas casino on the strip, which is where Resort fees are out of control, the added cost gets you, ” fitness center access for 2 each day, free local phone calls, and daily wired internet access for one device.” Ok if you are in Vegas and you are using their fitness center each day, you aren’t doing Vegas right. Who uses the phones at the hotel anymore? I don’t think I’ve met a person in the last few years who does not carry a cell phone. As for that wifi, that’s why I have a data plan. You get all that for things you will never use for a paltry $32 a day extra fee. If you are there 7 days that is an extra $224 added on to your room price. In a lot of cases in a place like Vegas, that’s more or almost as much as a week stay. A lot of times I get comp rooms, which is a lie because I would still have to pay the $30 or whatever the price is for their resort fee. You want to stay at a casino with no resort fee? Well it’s pretty tough since only 5 don’t have one and they are no where near the strip.

Resort fees are not just in Vegas too, most hotel chains, most upscale hotels are implementing this scam. They try to keep it from at booking,  but rest assured you will be charged extra for the phones or the gym or the wifi all which you probably will never use.

I am waiting for the day where Walt Disney World starts adding a resort fee, or a cruise line will start adding a cabin fee of some sort. I do not think that is in the near future, but if you look at how much these resorts make on added resort fees you just never know.

Now what you can do while on your stay is ask to see a manager at the desk. Complain about these fees and the fact you never use the phone or never use the wifi or gym.  I know some don’t like doing this but in a lot of cases it may save you some extra money. I have had the resort fee taken off a lot of times, it’s a scam and just an addition to the room rate, nothing more. There is legislation across the country to regulate how hotels advertise their room rates and added fees, so hopefully these resort fees will be gone and more rights for the traveler will be brought up.

Is a Disney Cruise worth the cost?

Disney Cruise Line is one of in not THE highest rated cruise lines out there. People seem to rave about any one of the Disney Cruise Line ships that they have been on. I hear great things about their own island, Castaway Cay. I hear great things about the food, hear great things about the entertainment, and I hear how great they are for families. But is a Disney Cruise worth the price tag? My answer is 100% no!

Now I realize people will disagree with me. Disney lovers are a very loyal bunch, and vociferous about their loyalty. But I am talking all about value and you do not get that with a Disney Cruise. Actually the per person rates on a Disney Cruise is astronomical.

I am a huge Disney fan, have been to Disney World more times than I can count. But, I’ve also have been a Disney Vacation Planner and I have searched for Quotes for Disney cruises and the prices are insane. I actually felt bad booking them for clients.

Let’s look at it like this, I searched a Disney cruise out of New York City. Now I will tell you this, cruises out of NYC are just more expensive then those out of Florida, just the way it is. But the price per person  was $1900, and that was with a discount. Putting in for a inside cabin for a family of 4 and I am paying $5000+ for a 7 day cruise. In contrast I have myself booked on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas in October, have a balcony room and I paid $1900 for my family of 4! You see the slight discrepancy there in price? I do not care how much you love Disney or their cruises, but the Disney Wonder nor the Fantasy, or any other ship they come out with will be over $3000 better than a RCL ship, or any other top cruise line for that matter.

Now if you look at prices for Disney Cruises for 3,4,5,7 day cruises you will be shocked. A 3 day cruise is just as expensive as a 7 day cruise on another cruise line, and in some cases more. A 7 day cruise on a DCL ship will be more than twice as expensive than a 7 day cruise on RCL, Princess and Celebrity. So you can go on 1 Disney cruise vacation, or for the same price go on the Celebrity Equinox twice, or the Princess Regal Princess, or the RCL Oasis of the seas 2 times. Cost wise and value wise it is a no brainer, the cost of a Disney Cruise just is not worth it.

One thing no one can touch Disney on is how they cater to families and children. They have it down to an art form and they are the best in the business. But, more and more all the cruise lines are gearing things more and more to families and children. They want to make you more comfortable as a family on board. So, the disparity is not as great as it once was, but no one will match Disney in this area, but this disparity still doesn’t come close to making a Disney Cruise worth the added money.

I always say in regards to cruises, you get what you pay for. If you book a cheap cruise odds are the experience will not be what you are expecting. But with Disney Cruises there is no way you get what you pay for. The cruising experience, the ships and amenities are no better than a RCL, Celebrity or Princess cruise, add in double the price and you really shouldn’t even have to think twice about whether the price tag of a Disney cruise is worth it all.

 

Are WaltDisneyWorld extra ticket Holiday events worth the extra price?

IMG_1163Two of the best events at WaltDisneyWorld each year are the Mickey’s Not So Scarey Halloween Party and the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Problem is admission to these events are not included in regular park ticket admission and you must buy tickets to these events.

The prices of these events are pretty high, and they seem to go up in price each year. Depending on the date the prices are higher than others, so prices are lower on days where they expect not as large of a crowd, so that is one way to keep the cost down. Also, Undercovertourist.com has discounted Party tickets for these events so you can save some that way too, and if you need other discounted park tickets this site is my go to place if I need a ticket. But, is the price of $70, $80 and income cases $90 worth it? Absolutely!

The price is admittedly high for these events, but the atmosphere at both parties is amazing. Crowds are lower so lines on attractions aren’t long, they have special character meet and greets that are not normally offered. At the Halloween party come dressed in your Halloween costume and there are appointed locations where people young and old can go trick or treating and get candy. For Christmas there are select locations that give out cookies and hot chocolate free of charge.

The 2 big showcases for each party are the holiday parades. These are a big hit and I suggest for either one to get a spot early because it definitely does get crowded for these fantastic parades. Usually there will be 2 parades each party night, and the early one is always more crowded than the late. Also, each have their own holiday Wishes fireworks spectacular. These are holiday themed fireworks and they are amazing, truly a can’t miss at these events.

At the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party there is something extra special that happens, walk down Main Street USA while it is….. snowing! That is right snowing! Get into the holiday spirit with the weather forecast of Main Street calling for Snow. This little added touch makes the night perfect and even though it may be warm, that won’t stop from the Magic of Disney doing its thing and providing snow flurries in the Magic Kingdom.

Finally the decorations throughout the Magic Kingdom are done perfectly for each season. No one does Holiday’s like Disney, and things real light up at the holiday events. WaltDisneyWorld is a great place to visit during the Holiday’s, They really make the atmosphere festive during both Halloween and Christmas. Even with the high price tag both events are 100% worth it, especially if you haven’t done the party before or you are with small children. It is worth the price, you will not be disappointed.

Is there really a best time to get cheapest Airfare?

Since my post yesterday about my hardship in finding cheap airfare, I was thinking about what really is the best times to find the cheapest airfare. The long standing theory is the best time to get that is 2 months out from your departure date. Well without getting too scientific and just going off my observations I’ll dig in further.

Now usually it does seem 2 months out or so is a good time…. usually. Other factors have to be taken into consideration. These can be the time of year, if it’s a holiday season, busy season for the location you are flying to, or if the airport is a popular business destination, such as New York or Chicago. If you are traveling to a large convention town, such as Orlando or Las Vegas, that will play into this also if there is a large convention in town. This will also effect Hotel prices.

But for 2 specific Airlines, Southwest and Jet Blue, I like to check air prices right when the dates come out for booking as long as I know when exactly we are going to be traveling. A lot of times the fares will start out low and work their way up. I am going away to Florida in August, checked Southwest and Jet Blue for fares when they became available. Jet Blue was a little high, but I was able to get Southwest for $180 pp rt, which is a great rate. United usually doesn’t start off cheap, but I’ll check. I’m in NJ so American and Delta don’t have direct flights out and the flights are normally high so inusually don’t even bother to check their rates. Spirit air is usually real cheap, but there are so many issues with them it’s just not worth it.

I realize I’m trying to predict what the airlines do, I’m trying to get a feel of past results and tendencies with them. It isn’t 100% perfect, but I have a pretty good track record trying to feel things out this way.

With the landscape now, rising price of oil may change things, but I personally think the price will stabilize and start coming down more. Some fares may be a little high now because of that, but I don’t think it will be a trend in the future.

Your best bet is to do what I said earlier, check Airlines right when they put the dates available for your date, if nothing just keep an eye on things, check every now and then for rates, check more frequently as you get closer. Keep an eye on the seat map, check to see what amount of seats are available. Granted that is 100% but a decently ok indicator. If there are a lot available, odds are there are still a lot of seats available. If there aren’t well prices will still be high… it’s supply and demand. If there aren’t a lot of seats, if you find an acceptable airfare jump on it. If it seems like there is a decent amount left, wait up. Prices will go down, be patient until you feel you get the right price. Be patient, don’t get nervous and panic. If you miss out, there is always Spirit Air!