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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tip Tuesday: Boulangerie Patisserie

Boulangerie Patisserie 

Welcome back to another Tip Tuesday!

We'll, I'm back from another week at Walt Disney World and I've got a slew of new things to share -- so let's get started!

As my friend Lou Mongello would do, let's start with food.

I finally had the opportunity to visit the new Boulangerie Patisserie located in the back of the France pavilion at Epcot.  What makes this counter service location different is that it also offers some of the same menu items you can find at Les Chefs De France, particularly the scrumptious lobster bisque and the croque monsieur (ham sandwich to you and me). 

And the Boulangerie Patisserie also brings something completely new to World Showcase counter service dining -- breakfast!  This is the first counter service restaurant to offer breakfast items in World Showcase.  Sure there's a kiosk located between the Canada and UK pavilions that offers a few items, but nothing that matches the quality found at the Boulangerie Patisserie.  From pastries to hot quiches, breakfast at Epcot just got a lot better.

But wait, there's more -- it's air conditioned!  Even summer mornings in Florida are warm and humid, so it's nice to be able to enjoy good French cuisine without having to face the summer heat.

This is still somewhat of an unknown location, being tucked all the way in the back, so there aren't many crowds just yet -- so be sure to check it out on your next trip!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tip Tuesday: Travel agents and why you need one

Welcome back to another Tip Tuesday!

Well, as you may have noticed, the DisneyDaddy blog has become a Mouse Fan Travel affiliated web site.  For me, this was a simple partnership.  I've personally used Mouse Fan Travel for several years in booking my own trips to Walt Disney World (and now Disneyland -- yay!).  Through this partnership, I'll be able to bring you some additional advice from some of the most respected Disney travel experts in the business.

Little did I know that I would end up needing that expertise for my own pending trip to WDW in just a few days.  You see, I like to generally pay for my trips in advance -- that way most of the hassles of check in are already taken care of.  It's just one less thing to deal with so I can get straight on to having fun and enjoying being in the World.

Well, it turns out Disney, like so many other companies and organizations around the world, occasionally experiences technical glitches.  Shocking, I know, but true.  When my Mouse Fan Travel agent (the wonderful Vicki Damanti) tried to apply the final payment to the trip a few days ago, there was some technical trouble in making the final payment.  Disney asked Vicki to check back in a few days to try again.

If I were handling this on my own (which I would have to do if I had booked directly through Disney), I would have to be the one calling back again and going through the whole process to finalize the trip.  But no.  I have a travel agent and that's what they're there for.  I don't have to worry about those follow up phone calls and double checking to make sure everything's taken care of.  I have a travel agent and that's what they're there for.

Now picking a good travel agent takes some homework and some checking.  Of course, as you can guess, I recommend Mouse Fan Travel, but there are many other good, reputable travel agents out there... but there are just as many (maybe more) agent and agencies that aren't so hot.  In a future post, I'll help you understand what to look for in a good travel agent/agency and how to avoid being taken in by some less-than-reputable agents/agencies.

Have a great week!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Disney increases ticket prices... again

Once again Disney has increased the price of tickets to Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

A one-day, one park ticket for the Magic Kingdom now is $95 per person ($90 each for the other three parks).

Standard annual passes are now $609 and the premium annual pass is $729.  The Premier pass is up to $979.

WDW ticket price chart

Here is a quick chart I created plotting the price of a Magic Kingdom one-day, one-park pass since 1982, when Disney fully implemented a single day full-access ticket (no more ride ticket books).  As you can see, the price of a one-day, one park ticket has steadily risen over the years.  In 1982, a ticket cost $13.25.  Five years later, the cost had doubled to $26 per ticket.  The next doubling in price occurred 16 years later in 2003 when a ticket ran $53 a person.

In looking at the overall percentage increase per year, ticket prices are increasing at an average rate of about 5-6% a year, especially over the last five years.  If this rate remains constant, by 2020, a one-day, one-park ticket will cost about $141 each.  That in just seven years from now.

So if you're thinking about a Disney trip in the coming years, you may want to think about purchasing with a no-expiration option.  However, as of this writing, Disney no longer offers no expiration as an option when purchasing tickets online.  You can get the option if you purchase on property and I suspect you can request the no expiration option if you order tickets by phone.

I should note that Disney isn't the only Orlando-area theme park hiking up ticket prices.  SeaWorld and Universal routinely increase ticket prices every year.

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