Disneyworld "Extra Hours" program and DTD Hilton question

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by quantum3, Jun 19, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. quantum3

    quantum3 Member

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    Wanting to go the Orlando in a few months a I have learned the Hilton located in Down Town Disney (DTD) Is the only Hotel outside of Disney resorts to offer extra hours at the theme parks. I know disney can look at the resort keys for dates of travel on their hotels but how do they check the people staying at the hilton when entering the parks please?
    Thanks!
    Q

    Ps... Sorry if this is in the wrong section I wasn't sure where to put it. Please move if needed.
    Thanks again!
     
  2. dgreen12
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    dgreen12 Silver Member

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  3. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Welcome to MP, quantum3!! :)

    Great link, dgreen12! :)
     
  4. IkeEsq

    IkeEsq Gold Member

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    As noted in the link, the Hilton in DTD participates (and also has a character breakfast) but the DoubleTree does not. FWIW, the Disney-fan sites generally suggest avoiding the park with the extra disney hours as they tend to be more crowded. I would suggest allears.net and mousesavers.com as good places to get a lot of info about traveling to Disney and discounts as well.

    Welcome to MP!

    Ike
     
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  5. perryplatypus

    perryplatypus Gold Member

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    If you are planning on spending a lot of time at Epcot or Disney Hollywood studios I would stay at the Swan/Dolphin a SPG property on Disney! You can stay there on points for free. You have Disney extra hours privilege and you can have your purchases from any of the parks sent to the hotel. A great benefit on hot summer days. Also you can enter epcot through the back where the lines are very short when the park opens. The Swan Dolphin also has a character dinning and the food is fantastic. It also has Shula Steakhouse, Il Molino, a Todd English Bluezoo and a 24 hour self serve cafe. You also have access to disney bus and boat shuttles, and the shopping and resturants on the Disney Boardwalk.
     
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  6. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    Hi There Quantum3,

    I stayed at the DTD Hilton in 2011, and yes they definitely have the extra magic hours, and it's the only Downtown Disney property that is allowed to have the Extra Magic Hours.

    In order to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours while staying at the Downtown Disney Hilton,you'll need to have your room key with you and show it to a Disney employee, and yes Disney employees are strict about checking. One employee wasn't sure that we qualified to stay longer, but after she checked with another employee, it was confirmed that we as guests of the Downtown Disney Hilton were allowed access to parks after regular closing hours.

    However, I must warn you, that despite being told by one of the bus drivers en-route to the Magic Kingdom that The Hilton Downtown Disney Hotel would still run bus service to accomodate the Extra Magic Hours, after waiting 30 minutes for a supposed bus pickup, no return bus from the Magic Kingdom ever showed after the Extra Hours.

    If it wasn't for a kind official Disney Bus Driver [Mears Transportation runs the Downtown Disney Hilton buses] that was willing to transport us after he dropped off passengers to Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort to the main Downtown Disney Bus Stop, we would have had to pay for a taxi to get back. Needless to say, I did tip the bus driver that went above and beyond the call of duty $20 for making the special unscheduled trip.

    So be warned.

    However, the night that EPCOT had Extra Magic hours, we had no problem finding to take us up back to The Downtown Disney Hilton.

    Despite my Hilton HHonors Diamond Status, if I were to stay at a fully non-Disney owned hotel in the future, I would stay at the Swan or Dolphin despite the Downtown Disney Hilton being much cheaper than the Downtown Disney Hilton. I've stayed at the Dolphin before and had 0 problems with transportation and the Swan & Dolphin, are in my book nicer properties than the Downtown Disney Hilton, but again pricer than DDH.

    However, if you like to stay at hotels that don't have a lot kids running around, you'll find that at The Downtown Disney Hilton, as it's geared towards business groups and conventions, but dont get me wrong, families stay here, just not as many as at other hotels in WDW.
     
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  7. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    While I realize you can pay for items at the park, and have them transported to your room, but does the Swan/Dolphin allow you to charge your purchases at the Parks [such as meals and other expenses, which you can do with Offiicial Disney Hotels] to your hotel rooms? I ask because in 2011 when talking directly to the Swan and Dolphin I was told that the properties did not allow you to charge purchases such as meals/gifts to your Swan/Dolphin Hotel folio.

    BTW, Quantum3-- at least in 2011-- The Downtown Disney Hilton didn't allow you to charge purchases in the parks such as meals, gifts, etc. to your hotel folio @ The Downtown Disney Hilton. However, at least in 2011, you could purchase gifts in the park [and pay for them at time of purchase in the parks] and Disney would have them brought back to the hotel, except for purchases on your last night of your hotel stay at The Downtown Disney Hotel.

    However, at least at EPCOT in 2011, Disney was willing to transport packages to the package pickup entrance of EPCOT, even if it was the last night of your stay at The Downtown Disney Hilton [they just wouldn't transport gifts/packages all the way from EPCOT directly to The Downtown Disney Hilton on your last night's stay--- but they would other nights].

    I'm glad Disney had the package pick-up option at EPCOT, since I really didn't want to have to lug around 2 bulky bottles of wine around EPCOT. :)
     
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  8. perryplatypus

    perryplatypus Gold Member

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    No that is the one major difference at staying at the Swan/Dolphin. You cannot charge to your room key. Also you cannot add the Disney Dinning Plan if you stay there but I have there own dinning plan which is a little pricey at $89 a day per person for breakfast and dinner. When we do to Disney we typically stay at a Disney Property and it's a much better deal to get the Disney Dining Plan. It makes very expensive meals and experiences very affordable. We have used the DDP credits for top tier signature dinning, character dinning, lunch with an Imagineer, and candlelight processional.
     
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  9. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    Very good point about the Disney Dining Plan making expensive Disney restaurants more affordable.

    Especially a good deal when Disney occasionally offers Dining Plan promos [sometimes offering free dining from time to time when staying X number of nights at one of their hotels, usually during non-peak travel times].
     
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  10. perryplatypus

    perryplatypus Gold Member

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    Yeah, they just ended the promo last month for stays in Sept-Aug. But Disney always runs these promo. So it will come back again shortly. ;) The best use of the dinning plan I have found is to do the Deluxe during Epcot's food and wine festival. You can use your snack credit at many of the booths and can get great values out of them. I love using my snack credits on $8 lobster rolls :D
     
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  11. mtlfire

    mtlfire Gold Member

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    Have you tried the Hilton Bonnet Creek? Its a great property. I often get it for about $149 a night. There used to be a great promotion code on mouseears.com for that Hilton, although the pulled it over a year ago the link used to still show up with a google search and was accepted by Hilton.com.

    I never thought to write the code down and just kept doing it that way -- unfortunately the physical page doesn't show up anymore though.
     
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  12. Horse
    Original Member

    Horse Gold Member

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    I agree with mtlfire. Look into Hilton Bonnet Creek or Waldorf Astoria Orlando. Both are on the same property and offer free transportation to all four parks and Downtown Disney. I've stayed at both a few times in the past year and love them. My review of Hilton Bonnet Creek and of the Waldorf Astoria Orlando.

    I stayed at the Hilton Downtown Disney in April and hated it. I found it run down and dirty. My review here on milepoint.

    Earlier this year I took a tour of the hotels and a room at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. I was unimpressed. The hallways felt like I was in a college dorm, not a hotel, and the rooms appeared cheap and worn. The bathrooms look like they belong in a motel. I would avoid those two if you are looking for a nice place to stay. However, if you are not staying at either hotel, you can still dine at Todd English's bluezoo, Il Mulino, Shula's Steak House, or Kimonos and earn spg points.
     
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  13. LizzyDragon84
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    LizzyDragon84 Gold Member

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    Ditto what Horse said about the condition of the hotels. Last year I visited a friend who was staying at the Swan. The room was clean, but very worn-looking. The style of the furniture and walls were dated and things like the fabric had clearly faded over time. The lobby and other public spaces looked good, but the rooms are in need of renovation.
     
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  14. mtlfire

    mtlfire Gold Member

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    I didn't mention the WA as price appeared to be an issue. But this spring I did get a cheaper room at the WA (and was upgraded to a 1 bedroom suite) for less per night using the 40% off sale earlier this year than at the Hilton Bonnet Creek in early December.

    WA also adds in valet parket costs, although I imagine you can park at the Hilton and walk over.

    Its worth pointing out that if your have a Visa Infinite (or Signature in the US card) that you can book this hotel for a good rate through visa that will include a few perks including free valet parking.
     
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  15. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    welcome to Milepoint. We've stayed at the Wilderness and the Dolphin and I would highly recommend the Dolphin. The access from there is really easy and the staff were fantastic.
     

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