I have opened the easyWDW.com Member Forums over at http://www.easywdw.com/forums. I have enlisted the help of a lot of incredibly knowledgeable people to overlook the various categories and hope that it will be a friendly, reliable place to share experiences and receive help. You’ll probably recognize many of the names if you frequent other boards. Planning a Disney World vacation can be complicated and may at times feel overwhelming, but there is plenty of help available. We would be happy to look over your itinerary, help you modify a touring plan, answer questions about particular resorts or restaurants, or just say hello and wish you a happy trip. Since the forum is just one day old, things are a little slow, but they should pick up as more people register and join the discussion. It is very important to me that this remain a friendly, family oriented forum where people feel safe expressing their opinions and experiences. If that sounds like something you might be interested in joining, please check it out over at http://www.easywdw.com/forums. The banner image at the top of any page will also take you directly to the forums. Hope to see you over there and please take a minute to say hello, even if forums “aren’t really your thing.” I think you’ll be happy with what you find.
I have to make a few calls tomorrow to make sure there aren’t any more recent developments, but Easter and the last two weeks in April are looking to be significantly less crowded than predicted. We’re talking “4’s and 5’s” for the Crowd Level, at most, from April 11th through the 30th. Far from the “9’s and 10’s” that were originally predicted. The problem is that Disney resort costs are sky high from April 17th to the 30th and Spring Breaks around the United States aren’t matching up because Easter is so late this year. Almost all public school Spring Breaks are scheduled throughout March and the first week in April, with very few schools getting days off around the Easter Holiday. Normally, Disney enjoys a double whammy of March Spring Breaks and Easter Spring Breaks. This allows them to charge premium prices during what it calls “Peak” and “Easter” Seasons. What we have this year is an abysmal occupancy rate in the second half of April at the Disney owned resorts, to the point where Disney may be releasing targeted pin code emails over the next several days to help fill those rooms. The fact is that Disney can get away with increasing resort rates to exorbitant prices when millions of kids are out of school because the demand is there. They can’t fetch those prices when kids are in school and demand is severely limited. People that are flexible with their vacation dates aren’t going to book over Easter when a Magic Kingdom View room at the Contemporary costs $625 per night and Moderate resort rooms are 50% more expensive than Value season. With no major discounts and kids in school, there is simply no reason for anyone to visit over Easter.
As Drudge Report would say, this story is “developing…” and I have been putting it off this post for about a week while I made sure that all of the information I’ve been receiving is factual. At this point, the latter half of April is not looking to be anywhere near as crowded as first predicted.
I have updated the March 2011 Crowd Calendar with the changes that were announced this past Friday. The update took a little longer than usual because I wanted to make sure the crowd estimations and best Parks were in line with the most current data. I have also been working to get the easyWDW Member Forums operational. While the analysis has been updated with further tips to help you maximize your Park time, the recommended and not recommended Parks have not changed much at all. This is due to the fact that many of the changes actually work in our favor because they will make the “not recommended” Parks that much more attractive to the bulk of Disney vacationers and provide us a better opportunity to visit the Magic Kingdom during less crowded times of day. I have also added a PDF file of the March daily analysis for easier printing and transport. Here, you’ll find the 50 pages or so of information that is listed on the site.
I have purchased us the newest version of the vBulletin forum. It is located at http://www.easywdw.com/forums. I am still working “behind the scenes” to set it up properly and the “real forum” will not be ready for about a week or so. Please go ahead and register now if you would like to join the chat. The “Joined February 2011” designation will be coveted and you will be among the most respected members in 2025. Plus, you can choose whatever username you want. Come 2025, you’ll be lucky if “M1CkeYMOUSE390812LUVR21” isn’t taken. There’s also an “introduce yourself” thread where you can mention the fact that you’re coming from “a different forum” as well as say hello to some of the people you recognize. I am going to keep the forum friendly, civil, and helpful and hope that it will be useful even for those who rarely participate in forums. Just please don’t post about whether or not reusing resort mugs is allowed.
I’m about to start trying to install vBulletin ($195 worth of forum software), which I really have no idea how to do. It will likely delete the entire site or something worse. Not really sure. Hopefully it will work. If it doesn’t then it’s been nice knowing you.
Edit: All of that buildup and apparently it takes them up to an hour to process the payment. Better get reading just in case.
Edit 2: Uploading installation package……
Edit 3: I think we’re in business. easyWDW will have a shiny new $195 vBulletin Forum sooner or later.