We get asked this a lot. “How did you manage to turn planning vacations into a career?!”
Short answer: We became travel agents.
Yes, travel agents are alive and well! And within the specialty of Disney destinations, the need is ever growing.
If you’ve found yourself the go to expert for all things Disney vacation related among your friends, you may have wondered if you can turn your knowledge into profit. Is there a Disney vacation planner type job? The answer is a resounding yes!
How to Work as a Disney Vacation Planner
The first key is to find an agency that specializes in Disney vacations. Each agency has a bit different model, brand, vibe, and way of doing business. It’s important to take a good look at the agency to see if it’s a good fit for you. Consider the way the agency presents itself to the public, and see if it aligns with the way you want to be represented as well.
The next step is to see if the agency is currently seeking new Independent Contractors. Most agencies have an application page like this one. Bonus points if the agency is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner!
The vast majority of Disney specialized travel agencies work on an independent contractor model. This means that you have a ton of flexibility in your work, in terms of when and where you work, who you work with, your marketing, etc. It also means that you need to have a go getter type of personality because it will be up to you to bring in your own clientele.
So what skills do you need in order to succeed in this Disney vacation planning world?
A lot of experience with Disney vacations. You’ll need to know the parks inside and out as well as having a good feel for the resort options
Experience with sales or a high comfort level with the idea of actively selling. (Tip: You are selling both your services AND vacations in this career – that means selling twice!)
Comfort with both phone and email communication
Self-motivation: As an independent contractor, you and only you will be responsible for setting your hours, completing client tasks, and making sales. Your success depends enormously on your level of dedication.
Remote learning skills – most training and education available to you will be virtual.
At the end of the day, a career as a travel agent that specializes in Disney destinations is a combination of sales work and detailed planning work. If you excel in these two areas, this just might be the career for you!
Want to learn more about our agency and see if you’d be a good fit? Visit our information page here!
Five Things that Make Any Disney World Trip Better
Make your Disney World vacation go from good to incredible with these five simple tips!
Have a plan.
Hands down this is a game changer. Disney World is anything but a place you are supposed to just show up to and wing it. When dining can be reserved 180 days in advance and FastPass+ reservations at 60 days in advance, you know that even Disney is telling you to put a plan together. At bare minimum, plan those two pieces in advance.
Better yet, have a plan so great that you’ll avoid the long lines all together. There is real and true strategy to do this – if you don’t have time to or don’t want to learn it, there are experts who do it for you.
Choose a resort you’ll love.
I cannot stress this enough! Choice of resort is often so underrated, but it makes a huge difference in your vacation experience. So often when I first chat with clients, I hear them say, “Oh, we just need somewhere to sleep.”
Yes, you can treat a hotel as just a place to sleep, but it can be SO. MUCH. MORE if you let it. The resort itself can be a place you relax, be entertained, bond with your family, and even a place that affects how easy your park mornings begin if you just put a little thought into your choices. Disney World offers a huge variety of onsite resorts – and you should definitely stay onsite if you want the most advantages in the parks and the easiest experience.
Choose a resort that offers an ambiance that will make you happy and feel like you are completely removed from the real world. Pick one with an awesome pool if your family loves to swim, or one that is right next door to one of the theme parks if you crave convenience. Make it a place you are excited to go back to each day!
Listen, you DO NOT have to feel like a warrior in battle, marching through those parks from open to close. Kids rarely are at their best when walking endlessly for 12 hours or more, and let’s be honest, neither are most adults.
I know that you may feel like you need to be in the park all day to be able to get to all of the attractions that you want or to make it worth the cost. But, going back to item #1 on this list, if you have a good plan, you can easily get to everything you want in the parks while still taking a break each day.
I recommend leaving the parks altogether in the afternoon to enjoy that awesome resort you’ve picked out. Play in the pool, take a nap, chill on the balcony – whatever rejuvenates your family. Then pop back into the park refreshed, happy, and ready to make it til closing time!
Make food part of the experience.
I know that you can find all kinds of articles about how to scrimp on food costs at Disney World. You can pack peanut butter sandwiches and get free ice water in the parks. But if you can swing just a little more in your budget, the dining at Disney World can be one of the best parts of your vacation experience, I promise.
With over 100 dining options to choose from, from incredibly themed locations like Be Our Guest to character dining to fine dining like Tiffins, your family can enjoy all types of cuisine with a lot of fun to go with it. Dining out brings more relaxation and more separation from the “real world” from the family that brings extra magic to a Disney vacation.
One great way to budget for this is to include a Disney Dining Plan in your package. Doing this means you’ll be able to fully pay off your dining experiences before you ever arrive, making your dining experiences as easy as tapping your Magic Band to redeem credits (rather than paying for each meal as you arrive and ending up with a large surprise dining bill at the end of your stay).
Don’t ask for advice on Facebook.
I know that this is our normal mode of operation for most things. “Who is the best pediatrician in our area?” “Looking for recommendations for a plumber.” But when it comes to your Disney vacation, it’s not the same.
When you post asking for where you should stay or what you should do, you’re going to get about 100 different answers. Most will contradict. The problem with this is that your friends and acquaintances are not you and don’t know your family’s preferences. What you’ll get is a long confusing list, often filled with well-meaning but sometimes false information that becomes overwhelming to sift through.
Instead, you’ll want to focus on what your family enjoys and match it to what Disney World offers. Not sure how to do this? There are services (yup, like ours) that will do this for you – a specialist will learn all about your family’s wants and needs and walk you through your choices so that what you end up with is a plan perfectly tailored just for you.
But expert or not, save your sanity and avoid asking social media for their opinions on this one!
Follow these five tips and you are miles ahead of most Disney World visitors!
Need to know the best breakfasts in Disney World? We’ve got you covered. We rounded up all of our favorite Disney World breakfast options to help you choose where to dine.
Bon Voyage Breakfast at Trattoria Al Forno
This brand-new character breakfast is located on Disney’s Boardwalk. Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from Tangled, and Ariel and Price Eric from The Little Mermaid will welcome you into this rustic designed restaurant where the Exhibition Kitchen is the focal point and scores from each of the movies play in the background.
As you are seated, you will notice the Bon Voyage Adventure Journal propped in the center of the table and guests are encouraged to write about the Disney World adventures they’re anticipating for the rest of their trip. This is a keepsake item to take with you when you leave. You will also get an autograph card, but don’t worry, that doesn’t mean the characters won’t sign your autograph books personally – they will be happy to!
Once all guests have checked in, the characters are introduced one at a time. During the breakfast, each character will visit their guests at each table. This being a table served breakfast, there is no worry of missing a character visit while you are away from the table at the buffet. And as far as food options, there are seven spectacular courses for adults to choose from and three for kids, one being the famous mickey waffle, of course! This character breakfast is one that will create long lasting memories for years to come for your little ones!
Cinderella’s Royal Table
This is considered a once in a lifetime experience for any Disney/Princess lover. You access Cinderella’s Royal Table via the passage that leads straight through Cinderella’s Castle. Check in is at the Fantasyland end of the passage, and you’ll enter the castle via Cinderella’s foyer.
Immediately, you’ll feel the grandeur of the castle, notice the ornate fireplace and royal shields, impressive chandeliers and flags hang high in the vaulted ceiling. The dining room is on the second floor via a winding staircase or elevator ride. The massive stained-glass windows provide early morning views of the carousel and Fantasy Land.
As you are seated you will find a plate of pastries, including a mickey shaped blue berry muffin and juice. There are about six entrees to choose from for the main course and will be served at your table. Your visiting princesses and princes will receive a wand or sword and a wishing star. These are souvenirs that little royals can take with them.
Throughout the meal, lights will flicker and an announcement will be made to allow everyone to make a wish. About mid-way through the meal you’ll hear a fanfare and the princesses will arrive one by one. Princesses visit each table and interact with their guests; they may even twirl and dance, pulling some of their royal visitors along.
Due to the popularity of this restaurant, reserving at least 180 days prior to your visit to Disney World is suggested.
Akershus is located in Epcot’s Norway Pavilion and is modeled after the medieval Akershus Castle and Fortress in Oslo, Norway. It has many royal castle touches, tapestries and thrones line the stone walls, giant fireplaces, and archways that lead to several dining rooms. Banners fly near the chandeliers on the high beamed ceilings.
This option for a princess character breakfast is a good alternative to Cinderella’s Royal Table for both ease of reservations and food options, not to mention less cost or use of points. The hot food is served family style at the table, scrambled eggs, delicious cheesy potatoes, sausage and bacon. These are unlimited as well as the buffet that has cold items that includes pastries, fruit, yogurt, smoked fish and cheeses. If you have a picky eater, selections are more mainstream and everyone will find something to their liking.
Princesses appear on a rotating schedule. On your visit, you may encounter Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Snow White, Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Mulan, Cinderella, and/or Mary Poppins.
This African influenced restaurant is located through the village of Harambe in Animal Kingdom’s Africa. The décor is over the top and has incredible attention to detail and fun touches. The windows are open and have ornate carvings around them, the rustic tables and chairs look hand carved. The authentic looking signs will keep you entertained and make it seem more realistic. It’s done so well; you could almost pass your photos as the real thing!
There is a wide selection of food served at the buffet here, which is themed to look like an African marketplace. More adventurous eaters will appreciate the African specialties, while less adventurous eaters will be happy to find typical American fare as well.
This is Donald’s Safari Breakfast, so Donald and other classic Disney characters, visit each table for pictures and autographs, dressed in safari attire. Don’t miss the parade, lead by Donald and his friends and be sure to thank him for this adventure on an African Safari.
Ohana is located on the second floor of the Great Ceremonial House in the Polynesian Village Resort. This Polynesian inspired restaurant features lush green plants, colorful floor tiles, round warm beams, and tiki gods throughout. Outside you can see the palm trees in the garden and the pool, some window views you can see the castle in the distance. The fish and dolphins look as though they are jumping above you as you enjoy an “all you care to eat” menu of Hawaii inspired breakfast dishes. Don’t worry, they also serve the famous Mickey shaped waffles, a tradition you will find throughout the park.
When you get to your table the smell of freshly made Pineapple-Coconut breakfast bread will entice you to sample a taste of the islands. This experience is not a buffet; instead, your server will present family style dishes including scrambled eggs, Island-style fried potatoes, Hawaiian pork sausages, Hawaiian-style ham topped with pineapple compote and a variety of fresh fruits and assorted breads to your table, and will bring as much as you can eat.
Lilo and Stich are the main attraction but may also be joined by other Disney characters. Adorned in flower lei’s, they will greet you at your table to allow for pictures and autographs. The real fun begins when they encourage your keiki (children) to participate in coconut racing, hula hooping and dancing to island music, to name a few! Don’t miss the fun of experiencing the islands while on your stay at Walt Disney World!
This restaurant is also located on the second floor of the lobby in the Polynesian Village Resort. This relaxed café combines an Asian flair with traditional American to make this a must stop on your trip through the Polynesian Village!
The rattan fans swirl above you in the high vaulted ceilings, the leaf lights give a modern flair to the tropical garden décor with potted palms. Be sure to look down at the brightly colored tropical-inspired carpet, you just might find a hidden Mickey. Shields and bamboo beams line the walls.
The breakfast delights and one not to be missed is the Tonga Toast! This item starts with a giant piece of bread stuffed with bananas, battered and fried then dusted with lots of cinnamon sugar and served with a strawberry compote. This is an amazing treat! Another specialty is the macadamia-pineapple pancakes, and to drink, Lilikoi Juice. A refreshing combination of passionfruit, orange, and guava juices, this is sweet with just the right amount of tart kick. Of course, you can order real Kona coffee at the Kona café and even take a bag home with you if you’d like.
Even though this restaurant may not look like much from the outside, and can get a bit noisy since it opens up to an atrium, you can’t bear to miss this menu of delights!
Need a little help planning all of the Disney World details? Our Disney experts are standing by, ready to help make the experience stress free? Click here to learn more.
If you’re coming to Orlando for a conference or for other attractions, you might be wondering if Disney world can be done in a day. Can you add on just one day to see Disney World?
The reality is that it’s not possible to complete Disney World in one day. There are four separate theme parks with many attractions in each one. In order to best experience Disney World, it’s best to have at least 5 park days to work with.
That said, if you need a much shorter visit, it’s simply about picking and choosing what’s most important to you.
Here are several ways to do at least part of Disney World in just one day:
Hire a VIP Guide. Private VIP guides are pricey, but to get the most out of your time in multiple parks, there’s nothing quite like the special access they can provide. With a private guide, it’s up to you how many of the parks you attempt to visit in your one day. At each park, the guide can get you to the front of the line quickly, allowing you to get in a handful of attractions before moving on with a private ride to the next park
Book the Ultimate Thrills tour. While not quite the same as a VIP since it has a built in schedule, this tour will still get you to the biggest thrill rides in each park in just one day.
Choose just one park to experience this time. Focus your limited time on the park you think you’d most like to experience. Have a good plan going in to know how you will accomplish all the attractions that you want to accomplish.
Of course, if you find enough flexibility that you can find at least one more day in your schedule, you’ll find your Disney World experience to me much more enjoyable. Consider adding Disney World onto your schedule as a mini vacation, with at least 3 park days, to get a real taste of what this magical place offers. With three park days, you’ll still want an excellent plan to save you time in the parks.
So whether or not you can do Disney World in one day is less about whether it’s possible and more about whether that’s really the experience you want to have!
You know that you want to take your kids to Disney World, you just don’t know when. Now? In 2 years? 5 years? Is there an ideal age for a first Disney World vacation?
There’s no one right answer for families. But we can take a look at what each age and stage brings to find your best fit!
Taking Preschoolers to Disney World
There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, like the way a little one’s eyes light up at the sites of Disney World. This is the age and stage in which they fully believe in the magic. In their mind, that is absolutely the real Mickey Mouse they are hugging and Cinderella has in fact joined them for dinner. It’s magic at it’s finest! Yes, kids this age may be too short for a handful of rides, but most of my clients are surprised at just how few those are. The vast majority of Disney rides are for all ages. With this age, staying at conveniently located resorts, such as on the monorail, is especially valuable for easy access to naps and breaks. Worried that a break means getting less done? A great plan lets you get far more done that you would otherwise AND let’s everyone rest during the heat of the day and peak crowds! Refreshed little ones usually can then make it to the fireworks and night time shows without being overtired.
Taking Elementary Kids to Disney World
This age is primed for Disney World fun. Typically, they’re tall enough for all the rides (though not all kids are up for thrills regardless of height) and usually they still have an affinity for meeting the characters. Sure, they may have caught on that it’s just actors playing them, but they’ll play along and enjoy the meets just the same. They usually have strong favorites that can be incorporated into the plans. Kids this age get a kick out of the themed meals and can really appreciate them. When traveling with kids in this age range, consider a resort with a truly fantastic pool area – many love to play in the water almost as much as being in the parks! Giving some time to cool off in the pools keeps everyone happy.
Taking Tweens to Disney World
Tweens are in an interesting space – not quite little kids, not quite teens. One excellent perk about traveling with kids this age is that they tend to be more open to trying a wide variety of attractions, and generally tire out less easily. This means longer days are possible, if you prefer that. The two Disney water parks are often a huge hit for tweens, so be sure to build in a couple days for those, if you can. Tweens can also fall into the category of needing to feel “cool” and may say they don’t want to meet characters or do character meals. But that simply opens up the door to some other really cool themed dining experiences.
Taking Teens to Disney World
Are you wondering if your teens are too old to enjoy Disney World? That’s a definite no! There’s a ton of rides for your teens to enjoy and their age means they’re allowed to ride without adults. It’s up to you if you feel ok with allowing them to venture off, but if you have more than one teen, this might mean you can take some time to enjoy adult time seeing the sites, riding other rides, taking in a show, or even having a couple’s dining experience. Teens love having some independence in the park and can even get around between resort and parks on the free Disney transportation. Teens are also at an excellent age to really appreciate some of the fantastic behind the scenes type of tours offered in the parks. Or, take an Ultimate Thrills tour that’s sure to impress them! If you think your family would benefit from separate sleeping areas once your kids are teenagers, there’s a variety of resort options that allow for separate bedrooms.
Bottom line? There’s no one best age for Disney World. Each age has its own magic and it’s own advantages. We’ve planned trips for clients with babies to trips for teen graduations and even adult kids – they’re all magical in their own way! The key is to put together a trip that matches the preferences of each family member, right at the stage they’re at.
The Enchanted Traveler specializes in planning customized, stress free Disney vacations. For a free consultation, contact us today!
LOCAL TRAVEL EXPERT SABRINA TINIUS CHOSEN TO ATTEND ELITE TRAVEL EVENT
Travel Weekly and TravelAge West choose top travel professionals to participate in 2019 Global Travel Marketplace events
Puyallup, WA – Travel Weekly and TravelAge West are proud to announce that professional travel advisor Sabrina Tinius, owner of The Enchanted Traveler, was selected to attend a Global Travel Marketplace (GTM) event. More than 800 applications are received for the approximate 200 spots available across the two exclusive events.
Over the course of two-and-a-half days, GTM connects top-producing travel advisors in North America with leading cruise, hotel, tour and destination suppliers through one-on-one appointments, Boardroom presentations and numerous networking events.
GTM West will take place at The Westin Lake Las Vegas in Henderson/Las Vegas, Nevada, May 9-11, 2019. Its sister event, GTM, will be held at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale, Florida, July 26-28, 2019.
Only the top-performing advisors in the industry are selected to attend the award-winning event. Applicants undergo a rigorous screening process, which evaluates their business model, confirms annual sales and requires industry references.
“The opportunity to meet representatives from so many wonderful travel suppliers and destinations is going to be a wonderful way to strengthen our vacation planning services for our clients,” Sabrina explained. “With our focus on incredibly well-planned vacations to Disney destinations and tropical locations, I know this event will provide additional important relationships for our agency.”
At GTM, advisors are uniquely connected to new and existing products, destinations and services, providing them unparalleled support in the marketplace and distinct pricing advantages—both of which help them to best serve their valuable clients.
“Advisors selected to attend GTM are truly the best in the business. The majority of attendees have more than 20 years of experience selling travel, a diverse and growing portfolio of discerning travel customers and are truly experts at what they do,” said Alicia Evanko-Lewis, Senior Vice President of Events, Travel Group, Northstar Travel Group. “As true pros, however, these advisors also understand the ever-changing nature of the travel industry. They recognize the value in furthering their product knowledge and creating valuable relationships in established and emerging destinations and with leaders at cruise, tour and hospitality companies. GTM creates a platform for just that, ensuring they’re fully equipped to meet clients’ needs.”
ABOUT TRAVEL WEEKLY:
Travel Weekly, the national newspaper of the travel industry, is the most influential provider of news, research, opinion and analysis to the North American travel trade marketplace. In addition to a weekly print publication, TravelWeekly.com, updated several times daily, is the most-visited industry website. Travel Weekly is a division of Secaucus, New Jersey-based Northstar Travel Group, the largest travel business-to-business travel publisher in the world.
ABOUT TRAVELAGE WEST:
For more than 46 years, TravelAge West has been the trusted voice of the travel industry in the Western U.S. With award-winning writing and design, the publication brings the best of travel to life for readers. The magazine’s first-hand, on-site reports and fresh destination coverage is a valued resource for travel advisors. TravelAge West is a division of Secaucus, New Jersey-based Northstar Travel Group, the largest travel business-to-business travel publisher in the world.
While Disneyland is best known for its Dole Whips, Churros, and Mickey-shaped treats, Disney’s family friendly parks offer a surprising number of options for guests with special dietary needs.
Whether your family member is gluten free, dairy free, or you’re just trying to eat a little healthier yourself, we’ve got some quick tips to help make your stay both healthy and magical.
Special Diets and Allergies
Although allergens are not labeled on park menus, Disneyland chefs can often accommodate guests by modifying dishes to meet their dietary needs.
Guests in need of gluten free, soy free, dairy free, nut free, egg free, shellfish free, or fish free meals are able to speak with a restaurant cast member or a chef trained in special dietary needs upon arriving at the restaurant.
Luckily, most Disneyland restaurants offer balanced menus.
While you will find a fair share of heavier dishes on park menus, most restaurants do a great job of having healthy options available.
However, if healthy dining is a priority for your family, it’s important to keep in mind that certain restaurants offer more options than others.
Luckily, the Disneyland website provides current menus for each venue so that you can plan ahead, favoring restaurants that provide guests with a larger number of healthy options. You can also book reservations ahead of time to avoid a lengthy wait for a table.
Remember also that- in many cases- table service restaurants offer a greater number of healthy options than walk up stands and quick service restaurants.
However, there are a number of quick service restaurants (such as the Bengal Barbecue and Rancho Del Zocalo) that offer healthy options without the need for a prior reservation or a long wait for a table.
Parents and children alike are able to access healthy, balanced meals at Disneyland Resort.
While standard kids menu fare is available at most restaurants, many also offer Mickey Check meals. Mickey Check Meals are subject to a more rigorous set of nutrition standards, and contain less sugar, fat, Calories, and sodium than the standard kids menu options.
At the popular Cafe Orleans, for example, the standard kids menu offers Shrimp and Grits or Macaroni and Cheese. Mickey Check Meal options, on the other hand, offer Sustainable Fresh Fish or a Chicken or Beef Special, all of which are served with rice, vegetables, and fruit.
Morgan Medeiros is a Master’s Credentialed Clinical Nutritionist and Obesity Specialist practicing in Puyallup, WA. She is an avid Disneyland fan and enjoys classic rides like Indiana Jones and Big Thunder Railroad, as well as new additions like the Incredicoaster and Radiator Springs Racers. Her favorite character sightings are Chip and Dale, and her favorite Disney treat is an ice cream cone from the Gibson Girl ice cream parlor after the fireworks spectacular. Connect with Morgan here: https://www.facebook.com/mmnutr
Worried that your little one is too little to get enough out of Disneyland? A lot of parents are concerned about height requirements and what their child might miss out on. In reality, there is far more that your child can do than can’t do! Plus, there are a bunch of great reasons to take that first Disneyland trip now:
1. Mickey is real! You don’t get many years in which children truly believe in the magic. Right now, to your child that really is Mickey Mouse! And yes, Cinderella just hugged her, and that castle is absolutely where the princesses really live. Watching their eyes light up at this magic is a precious, fleeting time.
2. Simple joys. Rides are fabulous, but so are the many other sights and sounds of the parks when it comes to your tots. The spray of the fountain, the characters dancing on stage, fireworks in the sky, a Mickey shaped waffle for breakfast – don’t underestimate the joy this brings to little ones.
3. They can ride a majority of the rides. Sometimes people worry that there is almost nothing that their child would be tall enough for. The opposite is true! There are only a small percentage of rides that they may not be able to ride. If your child is over 38”, he or she can even ride some of the roller coasters and bigger rides! If not, there are so many of the rides that have no height restrictions at all that I promise your days will still be full!
4. They help you slow down and enjoy yourself. If your imagining crazy, frenetic days of running yourself ragged in the theme parks from early morning to late at night, and it makes you feel anxious already, know that bringing the pace down and leaving time for breaks for a preschooler just makes good sense. And as a byproduct, YOU get to slow down and have some breaks! Worried that breaks mean you’ll miss out? When you have a Disney expert to plan your itinerary, you’ll avoid the long lines and get everything done while still having plenty of down time!
5. You will never forget it! So many parents worry that their child may not remember this trip, but if you ask me, the bigger factor is just how much YOU will remember it! The wonder and joy in their eyes as they take in that magic that they still fully believe is a joy that will never leave you. That sight of your adorable little boy or girl, eyes glowing and face lit up as they see Mickey or Minnie for the first time is a memory that you will never, ever forget. And that is something that is truly priceless!
Ready to plan your Disneyland adventure? Click here to contact us!
Listen, I’ll be honest here. If you came to this page hoping to get a flat out number on how much a Disney World vacation costs, you might be a little disappointed. Because the answer is that it’s simply not possible to list one price and call it a day.
What I can do is help you understand the different pieces that work together to create the final cost. And I can help you understand how different decisions will affect your cost.
How long will you stay in Disney World?
Let’s start here. One of the biggest factors in price will be the length of your stay. Obviously a quick 2 night stay costs a lot less than a 10 night stay. But I often get asked how much a Disney World vacation costs without the person asking knowing how long they’d like to stay.
You can read more here about how many days you need for Disney World. One of the first things I do with a new client is go over how much time they will need for their vacation. Generally speaking, when possible, at least 4 park days are needed, so that is a great place to start from.
How many people are in your traveling party?
Six people costs a lot more than two people. If you have more than four people traveling, your resort room options begin to get a little more narrow. For example, value resorts only sleep parties of four. Larger families will need to look at moderate and deluxe resorts, family suites or villas.
What kind of Disney World resort will you choose?
This is a huge question, really. There are a LOT of Disney World resorts, and each one has it’s own personality, pros and cons. If you are sure you need the lowest cost possible and are aware of any possible drawbacks, then a value resort is going to help keep your costs low as long as your party fits.
How many ticket days and do you need a park hopper for Disney World?
Here’s the good news: each additional day of Disney World tickets costs less than the day before. If you’re planning on going to the park more than 3 days, then it’s very cost efficient to visit the parks each day of your stay. When adding extra days only costs around $20 per person per day, it’s a great deal.
And what about the Park Hopper? It’s not an absolute must as long as you have enough days to see each park at least once. That said, there are several scenarios where this add on makes sense. For example, if you have only have 3 days and feel you simply must see all four parks, a Park Hopper ticket makes sense. Or, if you have a longer trip, and want to be able to revisit a particular park several evenings, you may find a Park Hopper to be valuable as well.
Do you want a Disney World dining plan?
There are several versions of the dining plan, but all of the help to make your vacation feel a bit more inclusive of costs. One of the more popular plans includes 1 table service meal, 1 quick service meal, and 2 snacks per person, per night of your stay, plus a refillable resort mug per person. While often saving money over paying over pocket, an additional benefit of the dining plan is knowing your dining costs up front so that there are no budgeting surprises once on your vacation.
Deciding which dining plan to get, if any, makes a difference in your total cost.
What time of year will you visit Disney World?
A lot of clients ask when to go to Disney World for the lowest crowds. But when you go can also have a big effect on pricing.
Christmas week, for example, has absolute peak pricing. You will pay the very highest prices to stay here then!
Certain other times of year tend to be quite a bit lower. September, right after most kids have just gone back to school, historically has lower pricing.
When we speak with clients who have flexible dates, we often talk about the differences between each time of year, in relation to crowds, prices, weather, and activities.
All of these factors come together to create the answer to how much a Disney World vacation costs. And because of this, the cost of a Disney World vacation can vary by large amounts from one family to the next.
If you are confused or overwhelmed by all of the decisions that go into planning a Disney World vacation, we’d love to help you make it easy. Our Disney vacation planning services start with a free phone consultation where we can help you find the perfect match for your stay, from how long to go to where to stay and what to include. From there we assist with every detail from dining to FastPass+ reservations to creating custom ride by ride plans to keep you out of the long lines.
Wondering if you need a stroller in Disney World is a common question, especially if your children are not babies anymore. Most people assume they need a stroller for children 2 and under. But what about preschoolers?
Are my kids too big for a stroller?
Even though your kids may not use a stroller anymore for your everyday activities at home, you may find Disney World is a whole lot more manageable for them with a stroller to cruise in. Most guests end up walking well over 10,000 steps per day, and as you can imagine, that’s a lot for tiny legs to handle.
Having a stroller for kids up to age 6 can help reduce over-tiredness, tantrums and melt downs and allow everyone to have more fun.
Plus, when crowds get a bit tight, it can be a lot less stressful to have your kids contained in one spot as you navigate through.
And, while I often recommend a mid-day break at the resort tomy clients, for a variety of reasons, for those families who won’t take a break, a stroller makes a convenient place for an afternoon nap.
Should I bring a stroller or rent a stroller?
Ok, so let’s say you’ve decided a stroller is the way to go. Should you bring one or rent one?
Certainly, if you have a stroller at home that suits your park needs, you can bring it along. It’s free to gate check at the airport, so if you don’t mind hauling it with you, it’s free to do.
However, many of my clients have two kids who could benefit from a stroller, and yet they don’t own a double stroller. Or perhaps they have just one child that they want a stroller for, but they already sold or gave away their stroller since it wasn’t getting used at home. In this case a stroller rental is the way to go. But Disney’s strollers aren’t usually the best option.
Why? Well, if you rent Disney’s strollers, you are limited to using them inside the park. If your child falls asleep, and you need to leave the park, you have to wake them up as you return the stroller. Plus, each day you’ll have to get in line to rent the stroller again.
Where to rent a Disney World stroller
An easier option is a third party stroller rental. Disney has a selection of preferred stroller rental companies, and the one I use most often for my clients is Orlando Stroller Rental. We can choose from a variety of sizes to make sure you have the right stroller for your needs, and then it gets delivered right to your resort. You return it at the resort as well. Super easy! And you can take it in and out of the parks and around the resorts as much as you’d like.
Generally speaking, when you can keep your little ones less tired, you’ll all have more fun! So when in doubt over whether you need a stroller in Disney World, I’d always err on the side of YES.