Friday Five: Random References & Reflections

Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these. It’s been a sort of “lots going on in the background” kind of time lately here at Disdads.com. Here are some of the highlights:

1. A belated thank you for the review of Podcast Episode 22 Chris Wakefield. I have to agree with your assessment – the episode started off a bit slowly, but improved as we got rolling. And nice job panelists Ryan Treichler, Eric Anderson, and Carl Nixon!

2. We’d also like to welcome our first-ever podcast sponsor, Fairytale Journeys Travel Agency, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Disdads.com has had an “unofficial” relationship with FTJ for quite some time now, as there are several DisDads how work with FTJ as independent travel planners. This sponsorship arrangement is going to allow us to introduce some exciting enhancements to Disdads.com in the near future – watch for an announcement about beta-testing of new features soon.

3. Thank you to participating DisDads Don Staten, Mark Harbeson, Mark Pratt, David Juart, Ryan Treichler, David Nicely, Eric Anderson and Carl Nixon!

4. It’s almost a year away, and details are still to come, but we’re getting really excited about the first-ever DisDads Convention, which will be held January 10-14, 2013 (and yes, that is Marathon Weekend as well). We’re already trying to figure out logistics for a live podcast and other events. We promise not to over-schedule it either – there will be plenty of free time built in. So mark your calendar for a solo escape, or bring the whole family along. Our group room rates and discounted tickets can be extended up to three days on either end of the group booking. Contact a Fairytale Journeys by DisDads agent to lock-in your spot at the top of the list as soon as registration opens for the Convention.

5. As the Dis Dads Podcast approaches its first anniversary, we have over 2,100 unique downloaders; the disdads.com website is averaging about 3000 unique pageviews/month; our Facebook group boasts 152 members and the only thing keeping Dis Dads Club threads on the disboards from closing faster is the disboards’ servers. Thank you all who are listening, reading, writing and participating. I’m constantly amazed by this wonderful community – you validate my decision to launch this site and the podcast over and over again.

Monday Poll: DisDads Convention Activities

Which activities would you be interested in participating in at the DisDads Convention? You can vote for any one or all of the options in this poll, and add your own suggestions in the comments below. Ideas that “win” this poll won’t automatically be put on the schedule, but we’ll certainly take the community’s votes into consideration as we begin to work out the details for this exciting weekend!

Which activities would you be interested in at the DisDads Convention?

  • Group meal (19%, 30 Votes)
  • Group rides on theme park attractions (15%, 24 Votes)
  • Live DisDads Podcast Recording (15%, 23 Votes)
  • Private Illuminations Dessert Party (13%, 20 Votes)
  • Cocktail party meet-up (12%, 19 Votes)
  • Private Fantasmic! Dessert Party (9%, 14 Votes)
  • 9-hole GKTW Charity Golf Tournament (8%, 13 Votes)
  • Yee Haa Bob show at Port Orleans-Riverside (7%, 11 Votes)
  • Other: Please add suggestions in Comments (3%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 38

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Announcing: DisDads Convention – January 10-14, 2013

You asked for it, so we’re putting it together! It’s early in the process, and there are LOTS of details to work out, but here’s an overview.

When: January 10-14, 2013 (Group rate can be extended up to three-nights on either side of that)

Where: Walt Disney World. Our group block includes 10 rooms at Wilderness Lodge, 10 rooms at Port Orleans-Riverside, and 5 rooms at All-Star Music (we wanted to provide an options at a variety of price points). The number of rooms can be adjusted somewhat based on how booking goes, based on availability.

What: This is still to be determined. We’re looking at a variety of possibilities, including a group meal, group rides, Illuminations or Fantasmic! dessert party – even the possibility of a 9-hole charity golf tournament.

Who: Everyone is welcome! Come solo, maybe find another dad to room with to share costs. Or bring the whole family along – either way we’ll have a great time experiencing Walt Disney World together!

Cost: TBD. Here’s the deal on cost – Disney rates for 2013 have not yet been announced. So we have what amount to “placeholder” rates currently. Our contract will be amended sometime between June and August, when final rates are announced. Here is what we can tell you about cost at this point. You can hold a room as a part of our group reservation with a deposit equal to one-night’s room rate at current-year prices (these are expected to go up somewhat for next year, but we are guaranteed an increase no greater than 10%).
Room Rates: Wilderness Lodge – $218/night. Port Orleans-Riverside – $150.00/night. All-Star Music – $81.00/night. There is an additional charge that applies if more than two adults will be staying in the room. (These room rates are not significantly discounted, but the real savings comes in the eligibility to buy group rate tickets if you’re booked in a group rate room).
Tickets: Again, pricing has not yet been released for 2013, and the savings varies depending on the length of ticket that you buy. A review of prices for this year suggest a savings of about 25% over regular ticket prices. Group tickets also include one free admission to a water park, DisneyQuest, or Disney’s Oak Trail 9-hole golf course (hence the golf tournament idea).

How: Email a Fairytale Journeys by DisDads Travel Agent. We’re all working together on this one, so any of us can help get you booked into our group.

Booking will start to become available in about a week (it will take some time to process the contract). Booking requires a deposit as noted above. Under current Walt Disney World Resort rules, room deposits are fully refundable up to five days prior to arrival. The deadline for room reservations within our block of rooms is December 10, 2012. You’ve got plenty of time to make a decision, but the supply of group rooms is limited, and bookings will be first come-first served. We will attempt to add more rooms to the block if the demand is there, but we can’t guarantee that more group space will be available.

That’s all for now – watch this space for updates and planning. I’m sure we’ll be looking for volunteers to help with some of the organization stuff as we move forward.

Monorail Resorts: Podcast Episode 22

Host: Aaron Rittmaster (AJRitz)
Panel: Ryan Treichler (IAmTrike); Eric Anderson (DEA); Carl Nixon (carlnix20)

For the fourth installment of our Walt Disney World resort roundup, the Dis Dads began looking at Deluxe Resorts with the Monorail Resorts – The Polynesian, The Contemporary, and The Grand Floridian. After briefly discussing what sets apart Deluxe resorts in general, the panel discussed each of the monorail resorts in turn, sandwiched around Carl Nixon’s turn on the hotseat for 10 Questions. We wrapped up the podcast by sharing our favorite restaurants that are located in monorail resorts.

Special thanks to our Producer/Engineer Josh Haas, who also created and recorded our intro music. The DIS Dads Podcast is edited and mixed at Pi Productions by A Veil Lifted.

We’d love to hear your comments about the podcast – Email us at podcast@DisDads.com; tweet us at DisDadsPodcast on Twitter or leave us a review on iTunes.