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Dianna

November 2019 FAQs 5 - Group Hotels, Other Accommodations

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Dianna

Hotel Information & Advice

Staying at our group Disney resorts (or another Disney resort)

  • You'll be able to reserve your FastPass times 60 days in advance.
  • Buses (and the new Skyliner - if it's running by then) will transport you around Disney property relatively frequently throughout the day.
  • Both of our group resorts (Pop Century and Caribbean Beach) are Skyliner Resorts.
  • The newly added All-Star Sports is not a Skyliner Resort.
  • No parking fee at the parks (saving you $25 per day).
  • Although Disney is now charging for overnight parking at the resorts ($13 per night at Pop Century, $19 per night at Caribbean Beach), our group is exempt from that fee through 2019. (If you stay outside of the group block, you'll have to pay the fee.)
  • You're right in the middle of the magic, and Disney does "magic" very well.
  • You're able to visit Disney's parks during extra magic hours.
  • You'll have free Magical Express transportation to and from the Orlando airport.
  • You'll get the MagicBands (if that's important to you).
  • Value resorts (Pop Century and All-Star Sports) are louder in noise level and theming than a moderate resort, less spread out, and rooms are smaller (beds are queen size now, one is murphy-style and can be stored during the day).
  • Moderate resorts (Caribbean Beach) are quieter in noise level and theming than a value resort, more spread out, and rooms are a little bigger than the value resorts (two queen beds, some rooms sleep 5 with an additional small murphy bed).

Staying off-property

  • You won't be able to reserve your FastPass times until 30 days in advance.
  • Depending on hotel, an off-property hotel will probably be less expensive for what you get.
  • Depending on hotel, they may have bigger rooms than Disney resorts for the price, and many can accommodate more than four less expensively.
  • Some hotels offer free breakfast (of varying quality).
  • They're not usually themed as well as Disney's resorts, and it may not feel like you're part of the "magic."
  • They may not have the same level of customer service as Disney resorts (Disney is hard to match in that respect).
  • You most likely won't be able to participate in Disney's Extra Magic Hours.
  • You may feel disconnected from the group.
  • If driving to the parks, parking will be an extra $25 per day.
  • If you don't have a car, transportation to the Disney parks won't be as convenient. Even if your hotel offers a shuttle, it may go only to the parks (not to Disney Springs or other Disney areas). And it'll almost certainly be less frequent, with longer wait times than Disney transportation. To make it worse, hotels often share shuttles, making many lengthy stops along the way. Many travelers end up unexpectedly renting a car due to the inconvenience and hassle, so factor the price of a rental car into your budget.

My advice...

  • Choose the accommodations that best fit your needs and budget - a Disney resort, off-site hotel, timeshare, rental, campground, whatever.
  • If you won't have your own car and don't want to rent one, a Disney resort will most likely be your best bet. The extra money you'll spend will be offset by no parking fees (currently $25 per day at the parks), and much better transportation options (more convenient, frequent, and less time-consuming than off-site hotels, regardless of what the off-site hotels advertise - trust me on this).
  • If you'll have a car and want to be in the middle of the magic, choose a Disney resort (Disney does "magic" very well).
  • If you have a camper, consider Disney’s Fort Wilderness campground (but use your own transportation to get to the parks - the Fort Wilderness bus system is slow and cumbersome).
  • If you're on a tight budget, will have a car, and don't mind being more removed from the magic, choose an off-site hotel near Disney property that offers a good free breakfast at the hotel (saves money and time). If you have a camper, consider an off-site campground.
  • Don't buy into the myth that you'll spend all your time traveling to parks if you don't stay at a Disney resort. The Disney parks, resorts, water parks, and Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) are spread out over miles. Even guests who stay at Disney's resorts have to drive to get to the different areas (or use Disney transportation). Many off-site hotels are located near Disney property (or even inside Disney property in the Disney Springs area), so you probably won't have to drive much farther than we will.
  • Choose whatever is best for your family's budget and preferences. You'll have a great time regardless of where you stay.

November 16-November 23 Room Rates

  • Pop Century Standard – $109.35 (most room nights full, can't get more)
  • Pop Century Preferred – $139.75 (most rooms nights full, can't get more)
  • All-Star Sports Standard -- @ $110.32 
  • Caribbean Beach Standard -- $184.28 (most rooms nights full, can't get more)
  • Caribbean Beach Standard (5-person rooms) – $216.00 (most room nights full, can't get more)

NOTE: If most nights are full at our group discount, you can still get some nights at the group discounted rate, and other nights at the regular rate.

NOTE: In 5-person rooms, there's a small murphy bed (approximately 5 feet x 3 feet) that accommodates the 5th person (under the age of 9). If you need a room for 5, reserve as soon as possible. They tend to go fast.

Disney Resort Parking Fee & Parks Parking Fee

Disney recently started charging for parking at their resorts. If you're staying with our group in one of our group resorts you won't have to pay this fee in November. Beginning in 2020, they won't be able to waive this fee for us.

Disney increased their parking fee at the parks to $25 per day. If you hop parks, this fee covers all the parks you visit that day. If you stay at a Disney Resort, this fee is waived.

Disney Springs Area Resorts

The seven Disney Springs Area Resorts will have the 60-day advance FastPass reservation benefit, and the Extra Magic Hours benefit through December 31, 2019.

How do I reserve our room at one of the group resorts?

I'll send you the information you need to reserve rooms at either of our group resorts after I receive your payment. You won't be able to reserve your room until after I receive your payment. (I expect to run out of rooms this year and we won't be able to get more, so rooms are first-paid, first-served. Any reservations made before you pay for your tickets will be cancelled.)

Am I required to reserve a room at one of the group resorts or stay on Disney property to get your tickets?

No, you can stay wherever you want.

Can my family of 6 stay in one room at one of the group resorts instead of getting two rooms?

Sometimes they'll let larger families stay in one room at moderate resorts, depending on the ages of the children. You'll need to talk to them when you call to reserve.

Can we stay extra nights?

Our group stay is November 16-23, so our group block is during that time. We don't have any extra nights available prior to November 16, but you can book one extra night at the end of the trip at Caribbean Beach, and two extra nights at Pop Century.

Disney hotels have sold out the past couple of years (due to construction and refurbishment), so we haven't had as much luck getting more rooms on either side of our dates (other than the extra nights already blocked). We've also had more problems adding rooms to our block once we've sold out. So if you want a group room, register early and hopefully you'll be able to get what you want.

Disney Trip Description & Registration link: 

http://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/disney-world/

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Dianna

UPDATE 4/17/19:

I can't accept Disney gift cards for tickets or special events, but Disney accepts them (and reward points) for group rooms. They said that you have to reserve your room with a credit card, and it will be charged one night's deposit. However, when you arrive, you can apply your rewards points/gift cards to pay for the stay and get a refund on your original credit card for the first night.

  • Thanks 1

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Dianna

UPDATE 5/22/19

We're out of standard Pop Century and Caribbean Beach rooms for most room nights, but still have Pop Preferred and Caribbean 5-person (you're not required to have 5 people).

I can't get more rooms at Pop, but was able to add more standard rooms at a different value resort - All-Star Sports.

I'm trying to get more standard rooms at a moderate resort for us. I'll update when I know more.

Warmly,

Dianna

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Dianna

Updated room availability:

  • Pop Century Standard – $109.35 (most room nights full, can't get more)
  • Pop Century Preferred – $139.75 (most rooms nights full, can't get more)
  • All-Star Sports Standard -- @ $110.32 
  • Caribbean Beach Standard -- $184.28 (most rooms nights full, can't get more)
  • Caribbean Beach Standard (5-person rooms) – $216.00 (most room nights full, can't get more)

NOTE: If most nights are full at our group discount, you can still get some nights at the group discounted rate, and other nights at the regular rate.

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Dianna

It looks like someone cancelled their Pop Century reservation for preferred rooms. We have more nights available now (all but Sunday and Monday - you'd have to pay regular rate for those), so if you've already registered and paid - call to see if you can snap up those rooms!

Warmly,
Dianna

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