Free gift with your Disney Vacation booking!

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Gift with Purchase!

I love a good gift with purchase! While supplies last (and I have a good amount) you will receive this Mickey Bottle Opener Key Chain with your purchase of a Disney vacation. This includes: Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani, Adventures by Disney and Disney Cruise Line.

I am a fee free travel agent meaning the companies pay me to book your trip. It’s the same price to book with me as booking on your own. You can still ‘control’ the booking, I just make the payments. I have extensive knowledge with Disney vacations; I travel there often and I am a “College of Disney Knowledge graduate,” (Disney’s training program.)

You can book with a travel agent and still use your Disney rewards or Disney Visa to receive benefits offered by each of those programs.

I am a full service travel agent/planner. Which means I can (and do) book any type of vacation. This promotion is solely for Disney vacations at this time. Get your free gift while supplies last. Your item would be ‘earmarked’ for you and would be sent with your vacation documents.

ps- I have other gifts that are a surprise for more substantial bookings that you would receive in addition to the key chain. (While supplies last.) Contact me for your quote!

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Disney Pre-Trip Report – A Last Minute Trip

 

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The Happiest Place on Earth!!

On a cold cold miserable day in Michigan in mid-December I decided that I needed to get out of town. (And prior to my next family vacation at the end of January.) It so happened that my husband had to travel out of the country for work in early January. That’s when the idea was formed to escape to Disney World for a few nights. I decided that if I had to solo parent what better place to do it than the happiest place on earth! I am cheating a little on ‘solo parenting’ though because my mom decided to join me.

Disney was so kind as to help me with my plan by having a 13 months for the price of 12 months annual pass offer for all passes purchased through January 3rd, 2017. This really helps because my family has a plan to travel to the World for short trips around cruises in May & June, plus a week long trip in November. The plan is to then return at the end of January 2018 to get another week of use out of our AP. Since I could get 13 months for the price of 12, all of these trips, including my late January/early February 2018 trip, would be covered under the same pass. Disney math makes things feel like a deal!

Since we were planning to purchase AP’s we then searched for Annual Pass Room discounts offered in January 2017. Fortunately there were plenty of options to choose from.

Money saving tip: Do some math to see if it makes sense for at least one person in your party to be a Disney Annual Pass Holder before a trip. We were able to save $100 on the price of the hotel for the 3 nights we have planned to be at Disney World. We also will save 10% on several dining locations where we plan to dine during our trip, and finally they are currently offering 20% off merchandise purchased at Disney World with your annual pass. Those savings can really add up, especially over a course of a week and with a larger family.

So we had the park ticket secured, I had purchased plane tickets, and now it was on to planning the rest of the trip. I needed to decide where to stay, followed by which parks to visit on which days, followed by where to eat, and what fast passes to select.

Deciding where to stay. I was looking to do this trip a little more affordable, and I also wanted to check out the Cars section of the Art of Animation Resort. My son is truly addicted to the movie Cars right now. I also liked that it had a dedicated bus for the property, a coffee maker, and kitchenette in room, plus 2 separate sleeping areas. I’m curious to see our thoughts.

Our plan. The next step in our planning is to decide what to do each day and where to eat. We figured we’d go to 2 parks during our stay. All 3 of us love the Festival of the Lion King at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I also love the safari. So we decided we’d do the Animal Kingdom one day and Magic Kingdom the other. I used the Touring Plans crowd calendar to decide which park to go to on which of our available days. The calendar advised us to hit the Magic Kingdom first and then Animal Kingdom.

After deciding which park to spend what day, it was time to pick our dining and fast pass + selections. Fast Pass + would be selected within 60 days of your trip, and since mine was in 3 weeks- it was time to select. Fortunately the only option that we weren’t able to choose is Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at the MK, but my son wouldn’t ride that right now anyway. (He was a little scared on Barnstormers on our last trip.)

For dining we went with our favorites. Since I’m celiac (medically need to eat gluten free) there are certain places that I love and that aren’t my favorite. I’m really into anything with gluten free gravy at the moment. So I have a reservation at Liberty Tree Tavern for our Magic Kingdom day. Their gravy is amazing!  We have also reserved lunch at Tusker House on our Animal Kingdom day. I made a late breakfast reservation here with the plan that we will start with breakfast, and then if someone wants lunch, that will be out eventually too! Plus it is a little less expensive to dine here for breakfast. We are usually back at our hotel at dinner time so we will likely eat a couple of meals at Landscape of Flavors at the Art of Animation. We will also probably head over to Disney Springs for dinner one night as well.

Overall I’m pretty happy and excited about the trip that I threw together in late December over the course of 2 hours on an, “I’m cold,” whim.

How much to tip on vacation

Have you wondered who you are supposed to tip while traveling? Then once you have figured that out, how much are you supposed to tip.  If you are traveling within the United States, follow these guidelines:

• Housekeeping: $2-5 per day depending on the room (more for suites or rooms with a kitchen/ettes) left each day of the stay (in case different employees are working). Leave an envelope or note to make it clear the cash is in fact a tip. $1-2 for evening turndown service, left on the edge of the bed, preferably with a note. For you Disney fans, there is a whole subculture of people that decorate envelopes for “mousekeeping,“this is not required, but might be something that interests you.

• Bell staff, or airport porter: $2 for the first bag, $1 for each additional bag, $1 more if the bags are being delivered from storage. For the airport porter, we personally usually do a $5 minimum. (We really want those bags to get where they are intended!)

• Concierge: Are generally not tipped unless they have provided exemplary service (you wouldn’t tip for giving directions, suggestions, or basic hotel reservations; you would tip for reservations at difficult-to-book restaurants, theatres, events, or other extraordinary requests.) For more information about tipping the concierge, check out this article.

• Front Desk Clerks: Are generally not tipped in the tradition of not tipping proprietors or management; also because of their role as cashiers. However, they’ll be able to route tips meant for other employees you’ve missed (such as housekeeping or bell services when you’re not there to offer a tip in person), but always put these tips in an envelope with the intended recipient on the front for clarity.

• Door Staff: $1-2 for assistance with a lot of luggage or going to particular lengths to hail a cab (i.e. not using an electronic cab call.)

• Valet Staff: $1-2 for retrieving a vehicle, more if you are in a large city and they are leaving the vehicle up front for you.

I hope this helps clarify the tipping situation for you.

Happy travels!