How to Turn Planning Disney Vacations Into a Job

How to Turn Planning Disney Vacations Into a Job

How to Turn Planning Disney Vacations Into a Job

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. The answer is a resounding yes!

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.

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

Five Things that Make Any Disney World Trip Better

Five Things that Make Any Disney World Trip Better

 

Make your Disney World vacation go from good to incredible with these five simple tips!

 

  1. 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.

  1. 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!

  1. Plan breaks.

    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! 

     

  1. 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).

     

  1. 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!

 

Best Breakfasts in Disney World

Best Breakfasts in Disney World

Best Breakfasts in Disney World

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

best breakfast disney world

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


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.

Tusker House

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

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!

Kona Cafe

photo credit via flickr: Jeff Christiansen

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.

Can Disney World be Done in One Day?

Can Disney World be Done in One Day?

Disney World in One Day

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!

Do I Really Need a Plan for Disney World or Disneyland?

Do I Really Need a Plan for Disney World or Disneyland?

Do I Really Need a Plan for Disney World or Disneyland?

Big thunder bright

You’ve probably had friends go to Disney World or Disneyland before, or maybe you went when you were a kid.  And you might be thinking, “Why can’t I just show up and go with the flow?”  You can.  Sure, you can.  But it’s best to know ahead of time what that will mean for you, so you can best decide if “go with the flow” is really what you think it is when it comes to Disney Parks vacations.

Crowds or No Crowds

The first question to ask yourself is if you like crowds.  Because yes, there are always some crowds at the Disney Parks, but they are not all equal.  Different days in different parks, as well as different times of day all, affect the total number of people in the parks.  And that, in turn, causes changes in wait times, but also the very real sense of crowdedness with people all around you.  Thick crowds you have to push through?  Or people easily walking the paths?  There’s a big difference in your experience.

Think About Dining

What about dining?  If you haven’t been to the Disney Parks in a while, you may be surprised to find out that simply walking up with your family to the restaurants at dinner time is likely to lead to some big disappointment.  Popular restaurants book up far in advance.  Want the best dining experiences?  You’ll need to plan for that.  And you’ll want to plan with some consideration – for example, getting the best use of dining credits on the dining plan, timing the meal such that it doesn’t interfere with shows or parades you want to see and so forth.

Time Is Of The Essence

But probably most important for you is the value of your time.  I frequently see people commenting on Facebook or news articles that they can only get through a handful of rides each day because the lines or so long.  Long laments about an hour or more lines fill the internet.  The reality, though, is that these people, for the most part, are showing up with no plan at all.  The assumption that Disney lines are always long is false.  You can absolutely avoid the long lines and get far more done with a good plan.  And for the amount you’ll be spending on your parks experience, isn’t actually getting to the rides and attractions you want to experience important?  Your time is extremely valuable, and the only way to maximize it is to know where to go when.

Speaking of the value of time, get this:  You don’t have to spend the next few months trying to figure out how the heck you are going to plan all of this.  That’s a lot of time and research, I know.  If you enjoy it, that’s great – happy hunting!  If you don’t, there are actually professionals out there that specialize in this kind of planning for a living.  I should know, I’m one of them!  I highly suggest seeking out a Disney expert to help you plan your next Disney vacation.  An expert can listen to all that you hope for, recommend the best options and meticulously put together a plan to keep you in the shortest lines, the easiest days, and the most fun you can have.

What Lack Of Planning Usually Means

So while people often arrive to the Disney Parks with no plan at all, thinking they’ll just go with the flow, what that really means is a lot of aimless wandering, disappointment in the wait times, a lot of standing around waiting for things, and a let down when they run out of time to get to all they had hoped for. Maximize that Disney vacation experience by walking in, plan in hand.  So what if everyone else has no plan and complains about all the waiting around?  You’ll be miles ahead of them.

 

Want to plan a Disney vacation?

Top 10 Reasons to go to Aulani

Top 10 Reasons to go to Aulani

Top 10 Reasons to go to Aulani

by Aspen Tinius, age 10

(This is a guest post by Aspen during Take Your Child To Work Day)

5V9A8071

I went to  Aulani in February 2016, and these are the reasons I think you should go there!

 

1. If you stay in a villa you will get a mini kitchen with a oven, microwave, dishwasher, and your very own fridge.

2.There is a beautiful beach with lots of fun stuff like paddle boarding, canoeing, and boogey boarding.

3.The dining experience is nice like the buffet at Makahiki or the fancy restaurant called Ama Ama. They have characters in the buffet and awesome mini milkshakes in the fancy restaurant.

4.The pool is also amazing with the lazy river and pool and infinity pool.

5.The water slides are awesome. The inner tube slide is for two people and is lots of fun because you can ride with your mom or dad. The speed slide is really dark and fast!

6. The kids club is so cool. There are video games and activities like making space goo with Stitch.

7. There are free activities like the Menehune Hunt. The Menehune are hidden creatures around Aulani and you can get a special tablet to find them and make special things happen around the resort. There are also things like a hula show and learning how to draw Disney characters.

8. You can also go around the resort and find the Hawaiian dressed version of the characters to take pictures with.

9. You can get a rental car and visit Waikiki or the North Shore if you want to!

10. Aulani is very relaxing. You don’t have to follow a schedule and just do whatever you want all day!





 

An Ode to Disney Vacation Planning

An Ode to Disney Vacation Planning

An Ode to Disney Vacation Planning

Disney vacation planning poem

OK, I admit.  A poem might seem a little strange.  But sometimes you get a slighty strange idea after thinking too long about something, and, well, my strange idea came in the form about planning a Disney trips.   And with that, I bring you this little piece of fun:

 

“To Disney!” she declared, it would be so much fun
for her little girl and her dear son.
She sat down at her computer full of glee,
So excited to plan just how her trip would be.
But much to her surprise, what did she find?
So much information she might lose her mind.
Where should she stay and how to decide?
Perhaps my trusty facebook friends can help, she sighed.
So out to facebook, she sent out a plea:
I’m trying to go to Disney, please help me!
What should happen but a hundred answered fast –
But none could agree which resort was first or last.

Enough of this, she thought, I’ll just choose and be done,
How hard can it be to plan a vacation full of fun?
So that was that and she thought she’d call it a night,
But just a few weeks later she caught a great fright.
What is this? She exclaimed, something about dining?
Choose from over 100 so soon? she began whining.
And what is this about crowds, how should I know?
When and to which park I should go?
And what about rides and this new Fast Pass plus.
And how do I get around, what’s all this about a bus?
This was no fun at all, she was starting to stress,
She was starting to worry this would be one big mess.
She picked out some dining and some rides each day, too
And resolved that was it, with that she would make do.

Some months later, the family arrived ready for fun,
And here they go, to the park at 11am on day one!
Where should they start, they pondered…anything should be fine!
But alas they came upon only long line after line.
By that afternoon, they were hot and they were sticky,
This felt less than magical and really more icky.
They pushed on, grumbling at each hot, long wait
But, she supposed, when you go to Disney that’s your fate.
So many questions she hadn’t thought to ask before
But who would she have asked who could know any more?
Soon, it was all over, and the trip was, well….ok.
It wasn’t bad, she just hadn’t imagined it that way.

When she got home, she told the story to her friend
All about the stress and the long days and when she got to the end…
Her friend looked at her in shock and began to moan,
“Oh dear, did you try to plan it all on your own?!
But my dear, I could have referred you to the best,
Someone who takes care of it all and lets you rest!”
The lesson, my friends, is really quite clear,
It’s doesn’t have to be this way – The Enchanted Traveler is here!
DIY can be tons of fun – until it’s not!
But have no fear, we’re here to help you a lot.
From the first moment you decide that you want to go,
To dining, activities, custom itineraries and shows.

So heed this tale of caution and woe –
There’s a better way to plan it, and now you know!

 

See ALL of the services offered!

Information Overload: Why it’s ok to be overwhelmed with planning a Disney vacation

Information Overload: Why it’s ok to be overwhelmed with planning a Disney vacation

Information Overload: Why it’s ok to be overwhelmed with planning a Disney vacation

how to plan a disney world vacation

 

12,600,000.  That’s how many results you get when you search “how to plan a Disney World vacation” on Google.

We live in an age of information at our finger tips.  Our trouble is no longer how to access information on any given topic.  We can, in fact, find information on just about anything in less than 3 seconds.  The trouble now, instead, is how to sift through too much information.  There are thousands of reviews on yelp.  Thousands of blog articles on any given topic.  A million opinions on any topic you’d like to research.

And Disney vacations are no exceptions.  You can search google for how to plan and get those 12,600,000 results – a lot of them may disagree with each other.  You can read thousands of reviews for any given Disney resort, Disney restaurant or Disney activity.  You’ll have to piece together for yourself which reviewers have common sense, which of them are trolls, which of them just had a bad day, and which of them maybe have the same tastes as you.  You can join fan boards and read thousands upon thousands of posts that are broken down into tiniest detailed topics – full of people arguing over who is right or which rumor is definitely true.

The internet is an amazing tool – full of endless information you could read for a lifetime.  But when everything in our lives is so full of information, at some point some if it all starts to feel like noise.  It starts to be a burden to have to start the process of research and sift through such enormous options of sources.

So it’s ok to feel overwhelmed if you decided you want to take a Disney vacation, only to stare blankly at your computer screen when it comes time to figure out how it will all work.  It’s ok to get frustrated at all the different answers you’ll find.  And it’s completely understandable when you think it all should be easier than this.

That’s essentially the entire point of a business like the one I own.  The service provided by an expert on Disney destinations, whose primary job it is to customize a trip to your specific wants and needs by extensively knowing the offerings to choose from and which best suit you, is one that eliminates this information overload.  It simplifies the process.  It erases the noise and brings everything down to one easy level: what the best options are for YOU.

The endless stream of information is in no way unique to planning a Disney vacation – but it’s the one area that I know I can help make sense of for you.  Cut through the noise – have a specialist narrow it all down to what you need to hear, what choices you actually need to make, and what’s most important to you.  THEN planning a vacation can be fun and stress free – unlike the 12,600,000 options you can sift through on your own.

 

Subscribe to our newsletter for more great tips!

5 Things To Consider When Planning a Disneyland Vacation

5 Things To Consider When Planning a Disneyland Vacation

5 Things To Consider When Planning a Disneyland Vacation

planning a Disneyland vacation

If you’re thinking of planning a Disneyland vacation, here are 5 things to consider before you get started:

 1. Whether the goal is to go fast and furious or to relax and slow down.

There are many ways to do Disneyland. Before you book your trip, you want to have a good understanding of what you are trying to accomplish.  Just checking it off your “must visit” list and want to pack it all in to one weekend?  Want to savor the experience, enjoy your resort, and feel less rushed?  Plan for 3 or 4 park days.  Looking for a full vacation experience with theme park time, pool time, dining experiences, shows, and maybe even visiting local beaches and other attractions?  Plan for a full week!

2. The crowd levels


Not all times of year are created equal. If you have no choice but to travel over Christmas or Spring Break, by all means do so, just be fully aware that the parks will be at peak crowds.  The best way to manage this is with very well strategized plans.  Flexible dates?  Avoid school breaks, long weekends, and even weekends in general for lower crowds.

3. The weather

While we can’t control the weather and there’s never a guarantee of perfection, some times of year are clearly better than others. If you hate when it’s really hot, avoid the summer months and most of September.  If it’s not vacation without hot days by the pool, in general, you’ll want to avoid December, January and February which have a lot more cool days.   January and February are also the rainy seasons for the area.  Generally, later March, April and May are very pleasant as are late September through mid-November.

4. The nighttime shows.

While mid-week can be much less crowded than weekends, in less traveled times of the year, these weeknights also don’t usually have Fantasmic! or fireworks running. If these two items are MUST dos for your family, you’ll want to plan for at least one weekend day during your trip.

5. How to get a solid plan in place before arriving.

The difference between long lines, long waits to get a seat at a restaurant (or finding no availability at all), getting to all the shows you want and accomplishing what you hope to accomplish without a lot of stress in the parks, and having a smooth, laid back, low line, easy going experience is to have the details figured out in advance. You’ll want your dining arranged, a good understanding of what the parks have to offer and preferably customized touring strategies to get the most out of your day.  (Want some help with that?  That’s what we do!)

 

Subscribe to our newsletter for more great tips!

Alaska Adventure with the Disney Cruise Line: Day 2

Alaska Adventure with the Disney Cruise Line: Day 2

Alaska Adventure with the Disney Cruise Line: Day 2 – At Sea

IMG_1376

Starting Day Two of our Disney Cruise Line Alaska Journey

We woke up this morning and rather than getting all dressed and ready for our day before heading up to a buffet breakfast, we opted to order room service.  Room service is included in the cruise price, although gratuities for room service are not.  We ordered some cereal and milk, breakfast pastries, a bagel and cream cheese (for me!) hot cocoa and coffee.  It came quickly, which was great!  You can also order your room service in advance to be delivered at a specific time by hanging the room service card on your door the night before.

IMG_1364

After that, we lounged in the room a bit, looking out at the vast sea and getting used to the motion of the open waters.  Soon, though, we decided it was time to do a bit of exploring.  First up, we had to check out the view from Deck 9:

Sunny, but a little cold!

Sunny, but a little cold!

Adult Club Area

Then we headed to the adults only club area, which is open to all ages earlier in the day.  We had fun checking out those spaces, especially the theming of Route 66.

IMG_1392

IMG_1393

IMG_1394

IMG_1395

IMG_1400

IMG_1396

IMG_1402

Inside Wave Bands

IMG_1409

Cadillac Lounge

And, of course, I had to get some pictures of the gorgeous atrium area.

IMG_1378 IMG_1387 IMG_1388

 

Then the kids couldn’t stand to wait any longer, so I checked them into the kids club.  I came back to the room and spent some time enjoying the view and writing for this blog.  When it was time for lunch, I picked the kids up and we headed for the buffet.  It turns out that the lunch buffet doesn’t have much on the menu that my kids can appreciate.  I was slightly surprised to see that they don’t have any real kids offerings, unlike the other restaurants.  So we took a few things and found a spot outside to eat.

Then I sent Aspen off to Pluto’s Dog  House to grab some chicken strips and fries to bring back to our table.  At age 8, the kids can have check in and check out privileges on the ship.  This means, basically, that if you want them to be allowed to do this, they can wander the ship as they please.  While I opted not to allow that at the beginning of  this trip, I did  feel comfortable with allowing him to leave my sight to go fetch something.

Traveling without my husband, I also sometimes left the two kids sitting a table so I could go grab something for myself.  In other places, this would make me pretty nervous, but this cruise made it much easier to do so when I needed to.

Post Lunch

After lunch, the kids were eager to get right back to the kid’s clubs.  I checked them in, then headed back to the room for a nap.  What??  It’s vacation and the boat rocks you to sleep!  Also, I should note, the beds are sooooo comfortable – and I am super picky about beds on vacation!

Waking up refreshed, I knew that there was a Ratatoullie’s Cooking School activity happening in the Oceaneer’s Lab, so I checked in with Aspen to see if he wanted to move to the lab to do that.  Lo and behold, he’d already asked to be transferred there by the child care staff, so there he was, waiting to bake cookies.  Easy!  Sierra, however, was ready to go, and wanted a snack.  So she and I headed up to Pluto’s Dog House and grabbed some chicken strips and a drink and took it back to our room.  We watched Toy Story and snacked and watched the ocean and islands roll by.

IMG_1442

Passing through an inlet

Love the tiny islands!

Love the tiny islands!

The Evening

Around 5pm, I got both kids and got them dolled up for formal night.  We then headed to Deck 4, midship, where I knew formal Mickey and Minnie were doing photos.  We got our photos and by then the Golden Mickey’s had already started, and neither child seemed particularly interested in seeing it, so we skipped the show.  Note to self: Do not skip shows on the next cruise – everyone raved about how great they were!  In any case, there was no shortage of characters out and about!

IMG_1451

IMG_1446

IMG_1474

Red carpet for the Golden Mickey's, leading up to the Walt Disney Theater.

Red carpet for the Golden Mickey’s, leading up to the Walt Disney Theater.

 

The late dining seating proved a little hard for us.  The kids were very very antsy today for dinner to start.  It seemed like forever until it was dinner time!  I’d probably choose the earlier dining time next time.  However, there is a great program that you can sign your kids up for, if you want some couple time:  If you choose late dining, you can sign up to have the Youth Counselors come to get your kids 45 minutes after the meal starts.  This way, they go have fun while you finish your courses in peace!

Dinner Time!

We ate at Triton’s tonight, which had the Golden Mickey’s menu.  I chose the Crispy Ravioli for my appetizer (so good!) and the duck for my main course.  I keep forgetting that I like my duck the way my mom makes it, and not so much in a lot of restaurant ways.  It was, I’m sure, a great dish for most, though.  For dessert I ordered the Crepe Suzette – very tasty.  Both kids, of course, had to have Mickey Bars again for dessert.  I wonder if they’ll ever get tired of them!

Mural in Triton's

Crispy Ravioli

It appears I forgot to take a picture BEFORE I started eating....oops!

It appears I forgot to take a picture BEFORE I started eating….oops!

My dessert. Yum!

My dessert. Yum!

 

Kids fish nuggets

Kids fish nuggets

And, of course, the Mickey Bar

And, of course, the Mickey Bar

 

We rushed through dinner a little because the kids really wanted to go to Pluto’s Pajama Party tonight.  As soon as we finished, I took them back to the room and changed them into pajamas.

Ready for a pajama party with Pluto!

Then I dropped them at the kids club at 9:30pm.  Do you see how light it is?  Yes, this is the light level at 9:15pm.  The further north we went, the longer it was light – to the point that at one time, the sun was up til 11pm and rose at 3:45am!!

I let them stay an hour and then picked them back up.  One cool thing: when you go to get your kids, the staff at the desk tells you exactly where to find them.  “Sierra is on the left side of the play area.  Aspen is in the Captain’s nook.”  I was like…what?…how do you know that?  Turns out that the bracelets each kids wears tells the computer their location at all times.  So clever!  Anyway, the kids were reluctant to leave, and I could tell they had a blast.  Sierra kept excitedly telling me that Pluto had an accident on the floor.  I thought she was making this up, but she INSISTS Pluto pooped pretend poop on the floor because he couldn’t find the potty.  I am sure this was the highlight of many a kid’s night, haha!

All in all, another good day.  Tomorrow we finally arrive in Tracy Arm – can’t wait to see the scenery!

 

 

Subscribe to our newsletter for more great tips!