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Hello Pam!

My family (myself, husband and 9 year old son), will be visiting Disneyworld this October.  It has been 14 years since my husband and I were there and this will be our son's 1st time.  When my husband and I were there last, we stayed at the Dixie Landings, which I understand is called Riverside now.  It was very nice, we had the dining plan which was great.  However, we never hit the pools once, we spent most of our time at the parks.  

We will be arriving on October 7th and leaving on the 14th.  I've been checking Disney's website to catch promotions and of course the free dining plan will not cover my arrival date, just my luck!  Since it's been so long since we've been there, and who knows when we may get there again, I've been leaning toward staying at the Beach Club resort.  Why?  Because it's right in middle.  We can walk to Epcot and the Boardwalk, maybe even Hollywood Studios.  The pool looks good, and my son will definitely want to hit the pool.  The Cape May restaurant has character dining for the morning buffet and I thought that may work nicely with the dining plan.  Plus, I've heard that the deluxe resorts are hands above the moderate resorts.  However, my husband thinks Riverside was fine and you're hardly in the room much anyway, so why pay the extra cost. He also is wondering if the dining plan is worth it for our family, I say yes. My husband likes a big breakfast - eggs, sausage, toast, fruit, pastries, juices, etc.  

Since we will be arriving on the afternoon of the 7th, I don't want park tickets for that day, so a 6 day park ticket with park hopper will be what we get, and we'll just hit the pool and Boardwalk or Downtown Disney that first night.

So, my question to you is, what do you recommend?  Is there another hotel option for us besides these two?  Should we go deluxe or moderate, is it worth the extra cost?  As for the dining plan, do you advise it or should we pay as we go?  Are there better character dining options other than Cape May for breakfast some mornings?  Any tips on getting the most for my dollar?  

Thanks is advance!

Answer
Hi Debra,

I do have to agree with you on the Beach club.  The pool with it's sand bottom is an Eco-friendly pool which is more like a mini water park with it's lazy river and water slide.  This pool is THE most popular pool on property. The Cape May Cafe is a definite for breakfast. They have a wonderful buffet that I have had the pleasure to dine at with my own family numerous times, and at night they offer a New England style clam bake with clams, corn on the cob, mussels and of course they have the land lover side with items like beef tips in gravy and bbq ribs. This is one of the best character breakfasts on property.  I honestly think it rivals Chef Mickeys.  I actually like it better than Chef Mickeys personally.

The deluxe hotels are definitely hands above the moderates.  You have closer proximity to the parks, excellent restaurants and better room amenities.

As far as suggesting another hotel, I could, but this is what your heart wants.  And I agree with you.  The Beach Club is a beautiful hotel and it is in my mind worth every penny.

As far as getting the most for you money, go with the dining plan first of all.  If you were to purchase the same amount of food that you get with the plan (plus dining) you would save yourself 20% by getting the plan.  Most of your meals are prepaid before you get there and you have less out of pocket spending.

You have to book Disney early to take advantage of the best offers.  They actually had free dining out late last year and it covered the majority of the dates for this year right up to the end of the year.  Just because you missed out on free dining, doesn't mean they won't put out another discounted offer.  Disney often puts out room discounts that can be used with your package to save you money.

Good Luck and if you need help please feel free to e-mail me pam@kingdomkonsultant.com  

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Pam VanSyckle

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As the owner and a travel agent for http://www.kingdomkonsultant.com/ which has earned the designation of being and Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I can answer all questions about Walt Disney World and the hotels and restaurants located there, as well as Adventures by Disney, Disneyland and Disney Cruise line. Including finding the best hotel, saving money, itinerary planning which includes making your dining reservations, cruiseline excursions, park tickets, Special event tickets such as Mickey's Very Merry christmas Party and Mickey's not so Scary Halloween Party. I can also answer any questions on Downtown Disney, Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba, behind the scene tours at Walt Disney World such as the Wild Africa Trek, Keys to the Kingdom, etc.

Experience

I am the owner of http://www.kingdomkonsultant.com/ which specializes in all aspects of Disney travel. I am also a travel agent with over 8 years of experience. We are designated by the Walt Disney Travel Company as being authorized Disney Vacation Planners. All of my agents are graduates of the College of Disney Knowledge and have attended many onsite/onboard Agent Educational Programs for training. I have traveled to Walt Disney World 40+ times and have stayed at every resort hotel on property. I have also dined at every restaurant on property. I have also traveled to Disneyland numerous times, staying at their onsite hotels and have been on the Wonder and the Dream numerous times and I will be on the new Fantasy in March with the Disney Cruise line. I have also booked well over 300 large groups of 5-45 families, high schools, dance studios, colleges, Girl scout troups,etc along with their families. I have also booked numerous wedding/honeymoon trips including all attendees and their families along with their dining and spa reservations. My clients span the United States, Canada, Europe, South America, and the Caribbean.

Organizations
IATA

Education/Credentials
I am the owner of http://www.kingdomkonsultant.com/. As a Graduate of the College of Disney Knowledge, I have attended onsite Agent Education Programs in Walt Disney World and Disneyland and on board the Disney Wonder. I have also recently attended an in depth Agent Education program at Walt Disney World. I am also a Universal Studios Specialist, Starwood hotels specialist (Disney World Swan and Dolphin),Nickelodeon hotel specialist, Hawaii Specialist, Mexico Specialist along with numerous cruise lines.

Awards and Honors
We have been designated as Authorized Disney Vacation Planners for the last 5 years in a row. The agency was also rewarded the honor of being a top seller for Disney Destinations.

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