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Saratoga Springs question

akp

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My daughters and I are thinking of going to Disney for spring break. On past trips to Orlando, we've always stayed off property at The Fountains which is part of my Bluegreen points system.

I currently have on hold a week at Saratoga Springs in a one bedroom which would work great for us. My understanding is that SSR is about the only DVC that I'm likely to get through RCI anymore so I'm inclined to jump on it.

Can anyone confirm that we'd get the MagicBands if we're exchanging into SSR?

Also, I have old park passes from about 10 years ago. Does anyone know if that works with the Magic Bands?

I know other DVC resorts are more convenient as far as getting to the parks, but is SSR a reasonably good choice?

Thanks! Anita
 
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TheHolleys87

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Yes, you'll get Magic Bands if you exchange into SSR. If you don't already have a My Disney Experience account, go to MyDisneyExperience.com and create one. Go to My Reservations to enter your SSR reservation confirmation #. You can also try to enter the code numbers for your tickets, which will link them to MDE & your MBs. If you have problems there's a number you can call.


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bnoble

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There is a good chance you will have to call to add those tickets, especially if they are the old Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus tickets, vs. the Magic Your Way tickets introduced in early '05.
 

akp

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Thanks bnoble and TheHolleys.

I found some flights and have the unit on hold with RCI...just trying to make sure before I pull the trigger.

Anita
 

akp

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Also, I know much has been written about how to negotiate the Disney experience these days. Does anyone have a recommended site about how to best use the MagicBands and how to plan for the trip? Typically we're not big on advance planning and everything I read about disney is from people who plan everything down to the minute. Anything not *quite* so locked in?
 

elaine

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SSR is fine--keep it! The old tickets are good. I have had to call and add mine--took a while, but they got added with no isses. You can set up your dinsey account prior to getting your MB. here is what I just posted to another question.
once you get your tickets loaded onto your disney account, call DVC and get your DVC reseravtion #, which is different than yhour RCI #, link it to your disney acct, then at the 60 day mark, reserve 3 fast passes for each of you. You can always change them later. Once you have used all of those FP, you can get another one in the park for later that same day and keep repeating until FP are gone. Do not wait til you get there to make FP as some prime rides might not have availability.
Our crowd plan, which has worked for 10+ years during peak times: do not go to the park with extra magic hours in the AM (except if MK has EMH all week, then it doesn't matter which day). The park with EMH will be more crowded than the other parks. You can find this on disney.com under park hours. Also, we get our FP for midday, when the park will be very crowded, and go about 9am (or earlier) and just stand in the shorter lines. Rides near the enterance and in Fantasy land will fill up first, if you go straight to the back of tomorrowland or over to adventure-frontier land, lines will be shorter in the AM. Even at peak spring break times, we usually wait less than 10 minutes for jungle cruise and pirates or alladin before 10am. If it's super crowded, we do rides from 9-11am, then use a noon FP, eat lunch, use a 1pm and then 2pm FP and then just leave and enjoy the pools, etc. We get a FP before we leave for later in the night and sometimes we go back in, use that FP and walk around, shop, get a special treat/dessert. It makes WDW much more fun and relaxing.
Also, if you have an Elsa fan and you cannot get a FP spot, go VERY late at night on standby (45 minutes before Elsa closes). Most of the younger kids have gone to bed.
We have enjoyed SSR. It's fun to rent bikes and ride to DTD or OKW.
 

akp

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Elaine, thanks! That sounds great.

This will be the first time I've ever been there for a full week, so the idea of going in early and taking breaks sounds perfect.

Do you typically making dining reservations or just wing it?

Also, I'm fascinated by the EMH thing. So you avoid EMH in the morning, but do you tend to take advantage of them in the evening? I'm assuming a lot of people intend to go early and stay late but they fade or kids crash or whatever so it isn't as packed late as early?

Anita

PS - I took advantage of the new "changes and upgrades" option with RCI and signed up for the highly unlikely upgrade to a few of the more prime resorts and / or a 2 bedroom. Seems like a can't miss opportunity; no charge unless you upgrade, and only $49 if you do? Best thing I've seen out of RCI in forever.
 

elaine

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pretty much zero chance of an upgrade with DVC--never heard of it happening via RCI. But great to know about--I will keep that in mind for my future RCI trades.
EMH AM are great if you can really get to the parks at 8am--I know we can't get our teens moving that early. But, if you are up at 7am, then definitely hit the parks for EMH AM. We LOVE pm EMH, and on those days, we usually sleep late, hang out at resort and go into the parks at 4 with FP at 4,5,6pm, then dinner in the park. EMH pm can last until midnight or later, so you need to pace yourself. Or you can go from 9am-noon and have your FP for after dinner. Come back to resort for lunch/swim and then hit the parks right after dinner for 6 more hours.
If you want a sit down meal @WDW, make reservations in advance. You can cancel 1-2 days out without penalty. We usually do 1 character meal (never breakfast, as that is prime, non-crowded ride time) for lunch or dinner, 1 grown up place (we like Jiko or Boma's at AKV) and and either eat in the unit or wing it for other meals. You can get lots of reviews/advice over on disboards.com. Have a great trip!
 

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My new wife is an early riser / early crasher, so early morning emh worked best for us. But if you are there during heavy usage periods don't plan on getting there at opening - get there at least a half hour before that. WE found you need to get right to the most popular rides - like Seven dwarfs in MK or Midway Mania in HS - to avoid huge lines.

For late emh the last hour of the day the parks really get empty, if you can last that long.
 

akp

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Thanks to those who gave their advice. My daughters are so excited about going to Disney!
 

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Saratoga Springs

We stayed there a few years ago on an RCI Trade. We had a freat time. A few things I learned from our RCI Trade/stay. Assuming everything has not changed:

1. Disney will send you special luggage tags for checked bags. They will pickup at airport for you and deliver to your room. The bags might not get delivered until late evening. So make sure you have swimsuit and change of clothes in carry on.
2. Disney will provide bus transportation from airport to Resort.
3. Disney provides transportation to all Parks.
4. If they still offer the meal plan it was a good deal. It offered one sit down meal per day (sit at table with wait staff), one stand up (which means you order at the window, get your meal, and find a table), and one or two snacks a deal. You could use two sit down meals for a special dinner such as at Wolfgang Puck. However you had to purchase meal plan before you arrived at Disney.
5. You room key is your charge card for all meals and purchases. Sometimes they will deliver your purchases to your room.
6. At the end of the end of the stay depending on which airline you used you may be able to check your bags at the Resort.
7. Our Disney Bus back to the airport was hours after checkout time. So we wore our swimsuits with a set of clothes in our carry on, checked our bags, and headed to the pool for the day. We showered and changed just in time to catch the Disney Bus to the Airport.
 

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dining plan

to OP and other first timers, if you plan on spending all your time onsite add the Disney Dining Plan. You will save a TON of money. Eating at Disney has gotten quite expensive and you lose a lot of fun time going offsite to eat.

Make your ressies NOW if you plan on going during spring break. Hopefully there are some left. Lots of good places to eat, but very pricey without DDP. you like buffets? Try Crystal Palace at MK, Boma at AKL, or Cape May at Beach Club. Rather have a sitdown meal? California Grill at Contemporary, Flying Fish over by Boardwalk, La Canada at Epcot (good luck getting in though :doh:), Citrico's at GF or Jiko/Sanaa at AKL.
 

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Fyi flying fish is closing end of this month for remodeling. Supposed to take a few months.
 

chalee94

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That really depends on a number of factors. A really good article detailing the various thoughts can be found at: Disney Dining Plan vs. Paying Out of Pocket

yes.

I don't think the DDP has any real value at this point. it's hard to break even and you wind up eating stuff you ordinarily would not in a vain attempt to make the DDP purchase worthwhile...
 

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We had food delivered and ate most meals in the rooms at SSR, which was just fine and family enjoyed. (My teenage girls loved being able to walk over to Disney Springs to be part of the Dance Party action in the evenings.)We paid OOP for a few snacks and QS meals in the parks. We were Cooking for ourselves, but it was MUCH cheaper for us than the Dining Plan. The DP will only save you money if you plan on eating at Table Service EVERY day. We didn't. You will need to know what your plans are for eating to determine if the DP is really going to be cost effective. It most certainly would NOT have been for us this trip.
 

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We have had DDP and not over the span of 10+ trips. IMHO, if you have kids 9 and under, it can be a decent deal, as you get a break on the kids' price and kids can now order adult entrees at quick service (burgers, etc.) restuarants and all character meals are at least $20. The regular dining plan costs about $60/$20 and you have to get it for everyone in the room and for all nights. For adults, the average value of the daily food is:
Quick Service credits =$18
Table Service credits = $37
Snack credits =$5
We usually do not get DDP if we stay a full week. We eat breakfast in the room, lunch at a quick service, bringing a few water bottles, juice boxes, snacks into the parks with us. We either eat in the room or at a quick service for dinner, and eat 3-4 TS dinner during the week, split between 2 character meals and 2 foodie places for Mom and Dad (which all have kids meals). Allears.net has menus with pricing to get an idea of what you might spend.
You have to add DDP at least 2 days prior to arrival.
 
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elaine

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re. old passes. The hotel concierge cannot scan/see the old passes to load them. You need to go to any park or Disney Spring guest services to get them loaded either onto your MB or a new hard ticket not attached to any MB (that anyone can use). I just did this last week for 4 sets of old tickets from 2005. You can also save them for a future use, as it might not be worth it to use those and then also have to buy a 2+ day ticket in addition. I decided to get mine updated to new hard tickets and keep them for future use. If you get them loaded to MB and don't want to use them for this trip, make sure to have guest services put them at the bottom of your priority on the MB. Have fun! Elaine
 

Lborneke

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We have had DDP and not over the span of 10+ trips. IMHO, if you have kids 9 and under, it can be a decent deal, as you get a break on the kids' price and kids can now order adult entrees at quick service (burgers, etc.) restuarants and all character meals are at least $20. The regular dining plan costs about $60/$20 and you have to get it for everyone in the room and for all nights. For adults, the average value of the daily food is:
Quick Service credits =$18
Table Service credits = $37
Snack credits =$5
We usually do not get DDP if we stay a full week. We eat breakfast in the room, lunch at a quick service, bringing a few water bottles, juice boxes, snacks into the parks with us. We either eat in the room or at a quick service for dinner, and eat 3-4 TS dinner during the week, split between 2 character meals and 2 foodie places for Mom and Dad (which all have kids meals). Allears.net has menus with pricing to get an idea of what you might spend.
You have to add DDP at least 2 days prior to arrival.


And don't forget that you have to add the 18% gratuity that is automatically charged for the TS meals! That adds up fast as well.
 
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