Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Expert Advice: Learn the Secrets of Disney World

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Expert Advice: Learn the Secrets of Disney World

Article excerpt

Want to plan an amazing, unforgettable trip to Orlando's Walt Disney World for your family? Follow these tips from Kim Wright Wiley and Leigh Wiley Jenkins, coauthors of the travel guidebook "Fodor's Walt Disney World With Kids 2015."

The mother-daughter team have been authoring and publishing inside information on the park for decades, and Leigh was an employee for years at the park. Together they have made more than 100 visits to the park.

TIP 1: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF

OFFSEASON SPECIALS

Going during the offseason means great deals for families planning trips to Walt Disney World.

"One of the most popular deals that people just flip out about -- and they should because it's such a huge perk -- is sometimes you can get the Disney dining plan included with your hotel," Wiley said.

This basically means most of your meals (typically one table- service and one quick-service meal per day, per person) are included, but the caveat is that this package is only available during the slowest seasons and there isn't a schedule of when this package is guaranteed to be included. Slower months at Disney World (it's never not busy at Disney World, just slower) include September, early December, January and February. As a side benefit, Disney-area hotel prices are usually about 30-percent less than in the peak seasons. Midweek visits can also mean more specials than weekends, which seem continually busy.

TIP 2: LINE UP THE CHARACTER

EXPERIENCES

Many Walt Disney World visitors will find it is surprisingly difficult to get access to the character meals or even meet the characters once in the park. But again, the answer is the offseason, when your chances are better for getting into the character meals and events you want -- at the time you want.

TIP 3: THE SCOOP ON

CINDERELLA'S CASTLE

One of the park's best-known attractions is Cinderella's Castle, and Cinderella's Royal Table (the restaurant inside Cinderella's Castle) sells out 180 days in advance, every day of the year. The earliest you can make reservations is 180 days before the preferred date. …

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