Monday, January 30, 2012

Adventures by Disney


Are you starting to plan your summer vacation? Have a student graduating school or celebrating a milestone? So, you have been to Southern California and Disneyland on your own. This vacation needs to be a vacation with Adventures by Disney!
Your Adventure begins when you are picked up at the Los Angeles International Airport. You will board a private motor coach to the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel. There you will meet your fellow Adventurers! You will enjoy Hollywood Tour seeing landmarks, restaurants, shopping and entertainment centers you have seen in pictures and movies. After your first amazing day, you go back to the Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood for the Welcome Dinner.
Your second day is filled with several private tours you will remember for a lifetime! You will see The Jim Henson Company Lot Tour, where you will enjoy a privately guided VIP Tour of the historic studio. How about lunch at Tam O' Shanter? One of Walt Disney's favorite "hangouts" and one of Los Angeles' oldest restaurants. You will also tour the Walt Disney Studios. You will do all of your touring of "Old Hollywood" aboard an open-air vehicle.
On your third day, you will arrive at the Disneyland Resort. Where you will be staying at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa.
While you are at the Disneyland Resort, you will experience VIP Custom Tours of Disneyland Park. You will visit areas that are off limits to other park guests, learn the history of Walt Disney, see Walt Disney's personal apartment, reserved seating for the afternoon parade, and special Disney FASTPASS service.
At Disney's California Adventure, you will have a privately guided VIP experince. Your adventure begins before the park opens to regular guests. You will have a behind-the-scenes look at the workings of the park. You will also experience the World of Color at a VIP Viewing Area.
During your Adventure, you will enjoy Character Dining, Breakfast inside Disneyland Park, several lunches, Welcome Dinner and Farewell Dinner. You will have the services of two Adventure Guides, accommodations, luggage service, transportation within your adventure, VIP access, exclusive activities, special fun for the kids, and surprises along the way.
Let me help you plan your next adventure with an Adventures by Disney vacation for your family!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Not Your Parent’s Epcot Anymore!

The first time I went to Epcot, in April of 1989, I was 8 years old. I don’t remember a lot of things from my first trip… But I do remember a few things from Epcot…Such as Kitchen Cabaret, which we called the veggie, veggie, fruit, fruit show; some lady making candy animals in the Japan pavilion; the squirting water outside of Journey into Imagination; and the fuzz ball guy from Captain EO. Other than that, I remember it being a very long day for not only me and my siblings, but also for my parents who had to listen to us beg to go back to the Magic Kingdom. I remember our parents telling us it was there day to enjoy and we needed to be patient. Back in 1989, there wasn’t too much for a kid to do… We then went back, 21 years later, and I wasn’t sure what to expect… Boy have things changed!

I remember seeing Minnie all dressed up in traditional Asian clothing, and how all the kids pushed and parents pulled, to make sure their child got their picture taken with her. Me and my sister were somehow thrown in the mix. Now, there is a designated area to meet and greet your favorite Fab Five characters at Epcot’s Character Spot, near the Innoventions West exhibit in Future World. In this air conditioned building, which is open from 9am-9pm, you get to take your picture and have autographs signed by Mickey and pals with a normally very short wait time. There are larger than life cut outs behind the photo spots, making each picture a bright, fun memory. Be sure to have your photo pass and cameras ready, along with your autograph books!

Caption for Picture (Here we met Mickey at Epcot’s Character Spot. We had him sign a glow in the dark 9” Vinylmation)

As a kid from the 80s, back in Epcot, I remember coloring in menus and park maps when we would take a break or grab a bite to eat. Now there is a whole new experience for your child to enjoy! Kidcot Fun Spots are craft stations for younger kids to enjoy and “travel the world” with. Located “around the world” in the World Showcase, these spots boast activities such as coloring a Duffy on a stick, to decorating masks, to stamping and creating a take home souvenir! These spots do not cost you anything more than maybe helping with some coloring. And your child is kept busy, entertained, and happy with their take home handmade souvenir! Also, this is a great chance for you and your child to meet some amazing Cast Members for all over the world! Be sure to take the time to talk to them, they LOVE questions about their home.

Hurry!!! Kim Possible needs your help! Disney’s Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure is an ultra-interactive quest at Epcot based on the Disney Channel’s, Kim Possible series. Kids and adults of all ages are welcomed to become secret agents and assist Kim, with help from a Kimmunicator, a cell-phone like device that helps you through your mission, to save the world! Missions can last anywhere from 30-45 minutes, and span 7 different World Showcase Pavilions. Each Pavilion holds different missions, so you can go back over and over again. Need some secret mission recharging fuel, AKA, a Mickey ice cream bar? No problem! You can take a break, and your Kimmunicator will pick up right where you left. Recruitment centers are located at Innoventiones: The Road to Tomorrow, on the Odyssey Bridge, and near the International Gateway, as well as locations throughout World Showcase. Be sure to stop by to find out your secret mission, and hurry to help Kim!

There are so many more fun adventures for kids at Epcot, such as meeting Duffy and finding out his story, to many street performers throughout world showcase, to interactive stations at the Innoventions stations. Be sure to take the time to look around every corner, and stop at the interactive stations. Here you can send post cards back home, creating your very own figment of your imagination, at Journey to Imagination, and making a cool video featuring you and your child right inside Spaceship Earth.

Caption for Photo (Here I created Esmerelda, the Figment of my imagination!)

Caption for Photo to left (me, my sister, and fuzz ball,
 all grown up!)

Caption for Photo to right (see, there she is, and there are the candy animals!)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Chef Mickey's

Looking for a great restaurant where you can celebrate your Disney adventure with your family?  Just hop on the monorail and head over to Chef Mickey's at Disney's Contemporary Resort.  Chef Mickey's is one of Walt Disney World's most popular restaurants for many reasons.  First, there's the food.  Chef Mickey's is an all you can eat buffet, with a myriad of food choices including omelettes, pastries, and pancakes for breakfast, as well as  fish, chicken, and pasta dishes for dinner.  Chef Mickey's also offers a a buffet designed especially for smaller diners that includes kid favorites like chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and pizza.  The wide variety of desserts availabe are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.  Breakfast and dinner are both available at Chef Mickey's, making it a great place to either start or finish an amazing day at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Another reason that Chef Mickey's is so popular is that it is a character dining experience.  Is your little one hoping to meet Mickey Mouse?  He will come visit with you right at your table at Chef Mickey's!  Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and friends will also visit with you, sign autographs, and pose for a picture or two during your dinner.  Disney fans both young and old will enjoy the quality time with the characters at Chef Mickey's.

Are you celebrating a birthday or special event?  Chef Mickey's is a great place to dine because every day is a celebration there.  Every half hour, a restaurant-wide celebration is held that includes singing, dancing cast members and characters, and lots of napkin waving.  Your whole family will enjoy the opportunity to cut loose and celebrate with Mickey and friends at Chef Mickey's.  All of these reasons make Chef Mickey's a great place to "celebrate today" at Walt Disney World.  One important tip - Chef Mickey's is VERY popular, so advanced dining reservations are highly recommended.  Call early to secure this exciting and fun-filled dining experience for your family. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dining in Walt Disney World

One of the best parts of any vacation is the food… and I love the food at Disney World! Hundreds of dining locations… thousands of menu items!
Before we get into the details of the Disney Dining Plan, let me give you the basics of food and dining at Disney World.
Types of Dining Options:
Disney offers four different ways to get your food.
Table-Service Restaurants: You go in, are seated, order from a menu and a server brings you your food — well, a few are buffets. This includes all of these restaurant types, as classified by Disney: Casual Dining, Themed Dining, Character Dining, Signature Dining, Special and Unique Dining and Dinner Shows.
Counter-Service Restaurants: You go in, order at a counter, pick up your food and take it to your table to eat it. It’s just your basic fast food restaurant. Disney calls these Counter Service and Quick Service.
Quick Bite: These are walk-up outdoor kiosks with outdoor seating. They serve primarily snacks and beverages.
Resort Shops: Every resort has a gift shop with a grocery section. You can buy soft drinks, chips, packaged pastries, milk, bread and a few other basics. The shops at DVC resorts and Fort Wilderness have many more groceries — cold cuts, canned soups, and much more. The food courts in the Value and Moderate Resorts also have a nice selection of packaged foods and fruit.
Dining Plan Basics:
Disney Dining Plans are available only as an add-on to a Disney World vacation package. Everyone in your party (that is, everyone staying in your room) must have the same ticket options and participate in the meal plan.
Every family has its own preferred way to eat on vacation. Some survive on snack foods and sandwiches. Others like burgers and pizza. Still others love to have breakfast, lunch and dinner at table-service restaurants.
And just about every family wants to dine with the Disney characters during their vacation.
A few years ago, Disney came up with a plan that is kind of a “happy medium.” It’s called the Disney Dining Plan. Some people say that it was a trick to get more people to eat at the table-service restaurants. I say that it doesn’t matter why! All I know is that if you love food, it can be a great deal.
Walt Disney World offers three different dining plans, and two dining and more plans in 2010
The Quick Service Dining Plan entitles each guest to receive 2 Quick Service or Counter Service (CS) credits and 2 Snack credits per night’s stay. EXAMPLE: Sunday to Saturday stay (6 nights) allots 12 CS and 12 Snack credits per guest age 3 and over. This plan also includes one Resort Refillable Mug per person good for unlimited refills of beverages at resorts only for the length of stay. Beverages usually include soft drinks, coffee, tea and hot chocolate.The regular Disney Dining Plan entitles each guest to receive 1 Table Service (TS) credit, 1 Counter Service (CS) credit and 1 Snack credit per night’s stay. EXAMPLE: Sunday to Saturday stay (6 nights) allots 6 TS, 6 CS and 6 Snack credits per guest age 3 and over. NOTE: This plan does not include a Resort Refillable Mug.The Deluxe Disney Dining Plan entitles each guest to receive 3 meal credits and 2 snack credits per night’s stay. Deluxe meal credits can be used for either table service or counter service. EXAMPLE: Sunday to Saturday stay (6 nights) allots 18 meal credits and 12 snack credits per guest age 3 and over. This plan also includes one Resort Refillable Mug per person.
Adult credits are assigned to guests age 10 and older. Child credits are for guests age 3-9. Children age 2 and under do not receive dining credits. Adult and child credits are not interchangeable. Children must order from a child’s menu at restaurants where one is available. However, generally speaking an adult is allowed to use an adult entitlement to order a children's meal from the child's menu.One nice feature about the dining plans is how the credits can be used. Credits are not limited to your daily allotment, and you may use multiple credits per day. (As long as there are enough remaining credits, of course.) Those on the Regular Dining Plan or Deluxe Dining Plan can even choose to exchange two table service credits for a show or signature dining experience if they desire.Signature restaurants requiring 2TS credits per person:• Artist Point (Wilderness Lodge)• California Grill (Contemporary Resort)• Cinderella’s Royal Table character breakfast/lunch/dinner with photo package (Magic Kingdom)• Citricos (Grand Floridian)• Flying Fish CafĂ© (Boardwalk Inn & Villas)• Hollywood Brown Derby (MGM Studios)• Jiko - The Cooking Place (Animal Kingdom Lodge)• Narcoossee's (Grand Floridian)• Yachtsman Steakhouse (Yacht Club)Dinner Shows requiring 2 TS credits per person: • Disney's Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show (Polynesian)• Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue (Fort Wilderness)• Mickey's Backyard Barbecue (Fort Wilderness)
If you want an all-inclusive package that includes more than just dining, Disney also offers the Premium and Platinum package plans.
Premium Dining Plan$164.99 per guest 10 and older$114.99 per child 3-9 years oldPlatinum Dining Plan:$220.99 per guest 10 and older$154.99 per child 3-9 years olds
If you book either the Magic Your Way Plus Dining, Magic Your Way Plus Deluxe Dining, Magic Your Way Premium or Magic Your Way Platinum Package, you can add on the Disney Wine and Dine Plan.
The Wine and Dine Plan includes one bottle of wine per room per night of your stay. For example, if you have a five night package, you will be entitled to 5 bottles of wine.
When dining at a Signature Restaurant or when choosing Private In-Room Dining, two bottles will be redeemed.
You will make your selection from a designated wine list at select locations. This list will offer a variety of choices. The Wine and Dine Plan does not include Gratuity. It must be purchased for the length of your stay. Take the hassle out of planning and let me help you make all your advanced dining reservations for you!
Want to give your family the surprise of a lifetime this Christmas? What better surprise than a Disney vacation? Whether it’s Walt Disney World, Disneyland or a Disney Cruise…we can make it happen!


There are a few different offers right now for Walt Disney World. Whether you are staying for a few days, a week or longer… check out these ways to save on your vacation!

The most popular promotion is usually the FREE DINING OFFER-

When you buy a non-discounted Magic Your Way package for at least 4 nights at select Disney Value Resorts you get a FREE Quick-Service Dining Plan. Select Disney Moderate, Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resorts are offering a FREE Disney Dining Plan.

Valid for arrivals most nights:

• Jan. 8-12, 2012

• Jan. 21 – Feb. 2, 2012

• Feb. 11-16, 2012

• March 3-8, 2012

• March 24-29, 2012

*This offer must be booked by December 17, 2011.

Winter Room Only Offer:

Save up to 35% on rooms at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels, for stays most nights Jan. 2 – Feb. 20, 2012.

For stays most nights Jan. 2 – Feb. 20, 2012, save:

•20% at Disney's All-Star Movies Resort

•25% at Disney Value Resorts (except Disney's All-Star Movies Resort) and Disney's Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter

•30% at Disney Moderate Resorts (except Disney's Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter), Cabins at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge and Disney's Polynesian Resort

•35% at Disney Deluxe Resorts (except Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge and Disney's Polynesian Resort) and Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts

*Offer must be booked by Dec. 21, 2011

Here are some offers for those on the West Coast…or those looking to travel there!
Now you can save $500 on a Disneyland Resort vacation package with a 4-night hotel stay and a 4-Day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper souvenir ticket. This package allows you to take advantage of both amazing Theme Parks!
Travel on this offer is valid most nights Jan 2 – Feb 26, 2012 and must be completed by March 1, 2012. *Offer must be booked by Feb. 26, 2012.
Fall Room Only Offer

You can also save up to 30% on a stay at one of the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort, for arrivals most nights Nov. 1 – Dec. 24, 2011.
Save up to 30% off a room-only reservation at Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel.

Save up to 25% off a room-only reservation at the Disneyland Hotel or Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.
*Must be booked by Dec. 10, 2011. Not available for travel Nov. 23-25, 2011, and travel on this offer must be completed by Dec. 25, 2011.

Be sure to add tickets to your room-only reservation so you can enjoy the Theme Parks and experience popular seasonal events like Holidays at the Disneyland Resort (Nov. 14, 2011 – Jan. 8, 2012).

January/February Room Only Offer

Save up to 35% on a stay at one of the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort, for arrivals most Sunday-Thursday nights, Jan. 2 – Feb. 29, 2012.

At Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel:

•Save 35% on most stays Sunday through Thursday.

•Save 30% on most stays Friday through Saturday.
At the Disneyland Hotel or Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa:

•Save 25% on most stays Sunday through Thursday.

•Save 20% on most stays Friday through Saturday

*Book this offer now through Feb. 29, 2012. Travel on this offer must be completed by March 1, 2012.

Be sure to add tickets or upgrade your Client's room-only reservation to a package so they can enjoy the two Theme Parks of the Disneyland® Resort during their stay.


Now, when you check in at one of the three Hotels of the Disneyland Resort from Jan. 4 to Feb. 29, 2012, each person in your party will receive two Disney's FASTPASS tickets, per stay! Less waiting for those attractions? Yes, please!

Have you ever been on a Disney Cruise? Well then you don’t need me to tell you how amazing it is on board one of these ships!

Mexican Riviera

Kids 17 and under can sail FREE when traveling with two full-fare Guests in the same stateroom in Categories 4A-10C on most Mexican Riviera sailings Jan. 22 – Feb. 5, 2012. Government Taxes and Fees not included.

These cruises depart from Los Angeles and capture all the amazement of Baja California and the Mexican coasts.

Book now and get a $25 on board credit per stateroom… Contact me for more details!

Special Cruise Rates for Canada Residents

Canada residents can save 25% on select Mexican Riviera sailings on the Disney Wonder.

•Sail dates: Jan. 8, Jan. 15, Jan. 22, Jan. 29, Feb. 5, Feb. 12, Feb. 19 and Feb. 26, 2012.

•This offer is only available for Canada residents.

•This offer is valid for stateroom Categories 4A - 11B.

Excludes category with restriction IGT, OGT and VGT.


Special Grand Opening Offer

Now you can experience Aulani—the newest Disney Resort—and enjoy your most magical vacation yet when they stay 4 nights and get your 5th consecutive night free!

For stays most nights from:

•November 27 to December 16, 2011

•January 4 to January 12, 2012

•January 16 to January 25, 2012

*Must be booked before December 16, 2011

Contact me today at erins@wdwtravels or 877-377-0505 for more information on how you can take advantage of one of these great offers! There is something for everyone and it costs nothing to request a quote. I handle all of the reservations and itinerary. This includes all dining reservations…at no extra cost! Ask me how you can book a Disney vacation within your budget without doing any of the work…

You could be on your way to making some magical memories with your family!