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Everything posted by homeschoolmom

  1. I hope some D.C. gurus are reading this!! I have searched the Wash Post website, Metro website, etc., and found scant info on how traffic moves away from D.C. in the AM as well as toward D.C. in the PM. Is it comparable to the bottlenecks going in the opposite direction? My DH will commute if less than 1 hour each way (otherwise will stay in Leesburg during the week-- not a big deal, already paid for); is this possible? And how much snow is too much to even bother trying to drive this distance? Thanks in advance for your advice! Please tell me everything you can...
  2. I got this on my first bid (after many previous sessions of rejects) on 1/19. Probably a little higher than necessary, but I was getting tired of spending all my time bidding for this trip, plus we don't have much time left before departure. I'm glad we got a different hotel to try out... hope it's comfy since it'll be home for a while! (I think the kids will be happy with the indoor pool, too!) So relieved to be done!!! P.S. Has anyone here used their free shuttle to the Metro? Please tell me they don't leave you waiting for a long time in the cold. (We have thin blood-- our Fla. winters aren't anything like D.C.'s! :) )
  3. It seemed to take forever, but I guess I've only been bidding on this stay for 3 weeks. Many previous rejections for 2.5 and 3 stars here and in Tysons corner area; finally successful last night! Still have 12 more nights to bid for; rejected with same parameters (except specific dates) as winning bid here. This bid started with $56 (I had been rejected 3 days prior at $55), was countered to add $17-- rejected that, used free re-bid and added Springfield and raised $8. I hope we like it here. I am glad the Metro is so close, but it doesn't look like they have a pool. I'll have to use my $200 worth of nightly savings to mop up my tears... I think we'll manage! :) Thanks to all the other posters here, and thanks esp. to thereuare for managing such a friendly, helpful board!
  4. I highly recommend www.mousesavers.com as a starting point for planning a Disney vacation. Very thorough discount info, esp. for WDW hotels.
  5. Hi, Keoni, I was going to bid this area for a 2 1/2 week stay in Feb., but recently decided I needed to be outside the beltway. From my phone calls, I know four 3-stars and two 2.5-stars do charge for parking. Only the Hilton Garden Inn had free parking. The weekday charges ranged from $7 at the Courtyard to $16 at Sheraton Nat'l. They all, I believe, had shuttle service ranging from "on demand" to every half-hour from 7am until 11pm. I originally thought the 2.5 stars would be the best bet because I thought the free breakfast would make up for the only slight difference in price. Little did I know, the Courtyard charges 8.95, and the HGI $7.95 for continental bfast, and cold items at that. Hope this helps a little! Oh, yeah, this regards Arlington area only...
  6. Well, at this point, I'm thinking that the larger, more expensive resorts (Gaylord, etc., avail. on PL/HW) are probably going to have their own dedicated shuttles. From what I understand, a third-party shuttle service is usually shared by the less highly ranked lodgings. The other best option, I think, is for you to look at the Downtown Disney hotels. They do share the shuttles, and as with the resorts mentioned above, they park farther away from the gates of the parks; however, I do recall the shuttles running fairly often. You will find at least a few of these DD hotels also popping up on PL. Ergo, if it were me, AND I were absolutely stuck on going to Disney at this time, I would try to PL it. I also think a cancellable back-up should be made yesterday. ;0) P.S. Since you're on a strict budget, make sure to allow for resort and self-parking fees at the resorts, if you decide to bid for them (you'd have the same expense if you booked these conventionally anyway).
  7. I would not trust Disney to tell me availability for Swan/ Dolphin as they are not owned by Disney and Disney doesn't book them. Call the Swan or Dolphin directly instead; ask specifically if they have the Entertainment Book rate avail. (You will need to plunk down about $20 for this unless you already have it, but I think that the hotel discounts are nationwide, so you can buy a local book to use at home and usu. the restaurant and movie coupons make it a great buy.) Another tip: Last time I checked, the Swan has queen-size beds (also closer to the Boardwalk-- your kids would love it at night- roving jugglers, musicians, etc.) while the Dolphin only has full (or double) size beds. Keep us posted on your progress! Oh, bother! This will not matter for your dates, will it? Save it for another time, unless you luck into a cancellation... Have you found out when the rooms might come open, e.g. , the last date that people can cancel for Jan. 13 without incurring some sort of penalty? This is usu. a great help for trying to get into sold-out princess breakfasts, etc. Sorry about the confusion, my family avoids public school holidays (that was pretty obvious, no?).
  8. Sorry, forgot about Swan/Dolphin on Hotwire. That would definitely be your best bet. I wouldn't chance it on PL, though, since there are so many different resorts you could end up with, and I gather you wouldn't want to risk not having the Disney transportation (I wouldn't either). Yes, it's MLK wkend. Thanks, thereuare; I was going to remain a lurker, but couldn't resist the Disney question.
  9. I have a lot of experience planning Disney trips. I suggest checking out www.mousesavers.com for Walt Disney World hotel discount codes, esp. good for military, annual passholders, Fla. and Canadian residents. I scanned it already, and you have already missed the deadline for the general public discount code. If none of these work, I suggest the Entertainment Book rate at the Swan/Dolphin hotels (imho, the best onsite digs) usu. about $150, plus get points on your Starwood (frequent guest for Westin, Sheraton) card. There, you get the heavenly bed and easy, fast boat transportation to Epcot and MGM, Disney buses everywhere else. If that fails, they have offered discounts for teachers and nurses, if you fit into one of those categories. You CANNOT get a hotel in Disney proper through HW or PL, only in Downtown Disney where the transportation to parks is not nearly as good. Hope this helps, and good luck!!
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