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.

What is the Best Age for Disney World?

What is the Best Age for Disney World?

What is the Best Age for Disney World?

Best Age for Disney World

 

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!

 

 

 

How Much Does a Disney World Vacation Cost?

How Much Does a Disney World Vacation Cost?

How Much Does a Disney World Vacation Cost?

disney world cost

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.

If you have more wiggle room in the budget, there are many perks to the deluxe resorts.  For example, you can see here whether a Deluxe resort is really worth it.

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.

Disney World Dining Plan

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.

Bottom Line

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.

Do We Need a Stroller in Disney World?

Do We Need a Stroller in Disney World?

Do We Need a Stroller in Disney World?

Need stroller in Disney World

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 to my 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.

(P.S. Want someone to take all of the stress out of the planning, far beyond stroller tips? See our Disney vacation planning services!)

 

How to Beat the Heat in Disney World

How to Beat the Heat in Disney World

How to Beat the Heat in Disney World

Disney World Mickey Bar

For most of the year, hot weather and Disney World vacations go hand in hand. If you’re planning to visit during a hot time of year, you’ll want to have a good plan to manage the heat so you can fully enjoy your time in the parks! Even when avoiding the summer months, many of us are visiting from places with much lower humidity. That added humidity can even make temperatures in the 80s seem much higher than back home. A little planning ahead goes a long way.

Pack some cooling help. Taking along special cooling towels in your backpack goes a long way during higher temperatures. Just get the towel wet and place around your neck for an instant cooling effect! Portable misting fans provide a quick dose of cool as well.

 

Start your day early. While we always advise arriving before park opening, the heat is another reason to do so. By starting early in the morning, you’ll accomplish quite a bit before the heat of the day arrives. This allows you to slow down, rest, and cool off for the afternoon, rather than arriving right as the heat is ramping up.

 

Take a break. If you’ve started early, pop on back to your resort for an afternoon break. Getting out of the parks between 1pm – 4pm or so will allow you to avoid the highest temperatures and let you cool off with a nice dip in your resort pool.

 

Start really late. Got teens or no kids in tow? This method takes careful planning to pull off well, but can work well for those who simply refuse to be early risers. Stay onsite and take advantage of the evening Extra Magic Hours. Arrive around 4pm and stay late into the night to avoid the heat and, later, the crowds.

 

Use shows to your advantage. Not staying onsite or simply refuse to take a break? Line up some shows for your afternoons. Several of the parks offer indoor shows that you can plan to do back to back to get a couple of hours off of your feet and in the cool air conditioning.

 

Plan table service meals. Knowing in advance that you have somewhere nice and cool to eat your meals goes a long way to making it through a hot day. While quick service options are always available, there is not always air conditioned seating available. If you don’t like to sweat while dining, book those dining reservations in advance for guaranteed cool down period.

 

As always, having a good plan in place goes miles toward a more enjoyable vacation!

 

 

Don’t Crowdsource your Disney Vacation Planning

Don’t Crowdsource your Disney Vacation Planning

Don’t Crowdsource Your Disney Vacation Planning

I’m sure you’ve seen it.  Someone posts to Facebook asking for advice.  50 people chime in all with different answers.  Sometimes this is useful – say you are asking for a good Italian restaurant in your town.  Generally speaking, it works out fine to take a recommendation that a few people gave you for a Saturday night date.  But asking how to plan your vacation is something else entirely.  It usually goes something like this:

You: “Friends, I’m trying to plan a trip to Disney World.  I need your help!  Where should we stay and what do I need to know?”

Friend 1: “We stayed at All Star Movies, you should stay there!”
Friend 2: “Definitely check out the Marriott, it was nice when we stayed there.”
Friend 3: “You should buy the FastPass thing!”
Friend 4: “Do Harry Potter for sure!
Friend 5: “My kids didn’t like Epcot, so I recommend skipping that park.”
Friend 6: “The Little Mermaid rooms are really cute!!”

And so on.

Everyone is just trying to be helpful!  But here’s the problem.  None of these people asked you anything about your family, your preferences or your interests.  Instead, they just said what they liked.  Without knowing more, how do you know if any of their preferences will be true for you?

Let’s unpack some of the troubles here.

Friend 1: “We stayed at All Star Movies, you should stay there!”

Friend 1 didn’t ask you what kind of hotel you feel comfortable with.  She didn’t mention that All Star resorts have double beds, not queen beds, and maybe you and your husband are tall and double beds just won’t cut it.  Or you have two teens and sharing a double bed is just a big nope for them.  And we haven’t even gotten into differences in amenities yet.  If a friend likes a hotel they stayed in, does that mean everyone would like that hotel?

 

Friend 2: “Definitely check out the Marriot, it was nice when we stayed there.”

This friend hasn’t given any reason why they liked it, but perhaps more importantly, didn’t think to tell you that by staying here you are giving up some important perks.  It’s possible they had no idea they were lost out on some of these perks, or maybe in their case they didn’t care.  However, it’s just as likely that you would care a lot about these perks.  For example, do you want to have to pay for your transportation?  Do you want to miss out on FastPass+ options for the most popular rides?  These would be good things to know before picking this hotel.

 

Friend 3: “You should buy the Fast Pass thing!”

This statement represents the many things I’ve seen as advice that are actually just flat out wrong.  You cannot buy FastPass.  It’s free.  You can get an earlier start on it when staying at a Disney resort, but it’s free for everyone.  This friend is possibly thinking of Disneyland’s MaxPass, or they are thinking of Universal’s Express Pass, or maybe even the old term for Memory Maker which was PhotoPass, but in any case they are supplying you with wrong and confusing information.

 

Friend 4: “Do Harry Potter for sure!”

Harry Potter isn’t part of Disney’s parks.  It’s at Universal Studios, which is not right next door, requires separate tickets and sometimes is best done as an entire additional stay.  As such, this friend is not really helping with the Disney question asked and is assuming the family wants to visit an additional location for a theme that they may or may not know if the family even likes.

 

Friend 5: “My kids don’t like Epcot, so I recommend skipping that park.”

You could replace Epcot with another park and find people saying the same thing.  But again, the problem here is that the friend is not asking what your family likes- they are assuming you have the same tastes as their family.  Do you have kids who like Frozen and really want to meet Anna and Elsa?  They reside in Epcot, along with the only Frozen themed ride in the parks.  If you were to have skipped this park based on this advice, you’d have missed the chance to make that dream come true for your children.

 

Friend 6: “The Little Mermaid rooms are really cute!”

Yes, they are!  But if you are a family of 5, you’re out of luck.  These rooms sleep 4 people.  Friends tossing out advice on Facebook often aren’t thinking at this level of detail.  Wouldn’t it be better to know which rooms do hold your family of 5 before considering them?

 

Instead of weeding through other people’s preferences, why not work with someone whose goal is to match YOUR preferences?  Seeking out a Disney specialized travel agent is a good start.  But you’ll want to make sure the person you are working with is a true Disney expert that specializes in very customized vacations.  Look for a consultant that starts with a phone call rather than asking you to check off boxes for which options you want on a form – it’s so hard to know what to check off if you don’t know enough about the options!  When you work with a Disney expert that has a consultant and concierge style (like those of us here at The Enchanted Traveler), they will ask you detailed questions to help find the best matches for where to stay, how long you need, the right tickets, best parks for each day, dining recommendations, FastPass+ reservations and all of the detail down to customized ride by ride plans to keep you out of the long lines.

 

So when it comes to Facebook, just remember that as well meanings as our friends are, they usually aren’t asking questions to find the right fit.  They’re just recommending what they themselves did.  And chances are, you aren’t identical to your friends.

 

How Many Days Do I Need for Disney World?

How Many Days Do I Need for Disney World?

How Many Days Do I Need for Disney World?

Epcot at night

First trip to Disney World?  You might be feeling unsure about how long your trip should be.  It can be hard to get a good feel for how much is actually there and how long it takes to do it.  Let’s take a look at how much time you’ll ideally have for this vacation.

Disney World is huge!

Let’s just start there.  If you’ve been to Disneyland before and think you have a good sense of Disney World is like, you’re probably wrong.  There are four main theme parks in Walt Disney World, as well as two fully themed water parks, over 25 onsite resort options, well over 100 restaurants, a full transportation system, a giant shopping and entertainment district and more.  It stands to reason that a Disney World trip most often necessitates a longer stay than Disneyland.

Prepare For 4 Park Days

With the four main theme parks, you will want at least four park days.  And the Magic Kingdom, in particular, is difficult to complete in a day because it has more attractions than the other parks.  I love to help my clients plan two days at this park to allow them a comfortable pace and a chance to experience more of what is offered.

Considering Your Preferences

From there, we need to consider your own preferences and favorites.  For example, some families really love to explore more of Epcot and dine in more of the restaurants there, making 2 Epcot days a lot of fun.  Others are very into the many shows offered at Hollywood Studios and find that two days there allows more room for those, plus a chance to see both nighttime shows there that are otherwise very difficult to see on the same night.

If you’re following along, right now we’ve added up to 6 park days assuming you’d like that extra day to repeat one of these other parks.

Do You Want A Relaxation Day?

The next question will be whether you’d like a day or two off for relaxation.  For my west coast clients, the time change can take its toll, especially on children.  Having a day to adjust can make the rest of the trip a lot easier.  Other families really enjoy a day or two off between park days.  These days might just be pool and resort days, or they might be used for the water parks, visiting Disney Springs or any of the other fun activities that can be planned.  Having this slower paced, laid back day here and there allows for a more relaxed vacation feel.

A Week At Walt Disney World

Best bet?  Plan for at least one full week at Walt Disney World!  If you’ve got more time available, adding in a couple more days makes everything feel even better.  There’s never a worry that you’ll get bored!  There is so much offered that you could easily spend two weeks here and not run out of things to do.

When you work with us, this is just the tip of the iceberg in our planning.  Not only will we help you figure out the perfect amount of time for YOUR family, but we’ll make sure you’ve got the perfect match for resort, tickets, and dining, activities, customized plans to keep you out of the long lines, personalized advice, and we’ll take care of every reservation detail so that you don’t have to worry about a thing.

Ready to plan?  Contact us today for your free consultation!

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Outsourcing Your Disney Vacation Planning

Outsourcing Your Disney Vacation Planning

Outsourcing Your Disney Vacation Planning

disney vacation

Outsourcing in business is a smart way to save time and money, and it’s catching on in personal life as well.  Busy people are outsourcing all kinds of tasks:  housecleaning, grocery shopping, picking up take out (UberEats, anyone?)… more and more all the time, it seems.  But vacation planning?  Yes!  Planning a vacation takes up many hours to do well, and Disney vacations in particular have many pieces that have to be planned out in advance.  Busy moms and dads are turning to professionals to make sure everything is done the right way and when it needs to be, so they can have an amazing vacation without stressing out about it beforehand.

So when it’s time to plan your Disney vacation, have you asked yourself:

  • Do I have time to do all the research needed?
  • Do I know what needs to be done in advance in order to have the best experience?
  • Do I have the time to work on all of the reservation pieces and stay on top of deadlines?
  • Is the time I would invest in the planning process better spent elsewhere in my life?
  • Do I get enjoyment from the many details or would I enjoy another activity more?
  • Do I have the information I need to get the most out of my vacation once I’m there?

 

We all have only so much time in our day and many things are vying for our time: work, school, sports, family time, groceries, chores, errands.  The last thing you want your vacation to be is another added stressor in your life; just another to do on an endless to do list.

And when we are trying to decide what tasks are better given to a professional to handle, we are asking ourselves, which things am I very good at and which things are better left to an expert?  Will I get the end result I am hoping for if I DIY this task, or will a professional expert be a better bet?

Professional vacation planners exist to take on this large, overwhelming task for you!  Disney experts can help you put together every detail of your Disney vacation including everything from the initial phase of deciding on where to stay to a final, custom travel guide complete with dining reservations, daily plans to keep you out long lines and much more.  Outsourcing your vacation planning means arriving at your destination stress free, ready to maximize your vacation, all without having to spend hours on end trying to figure out in the beginning.

Ready to have an amazing Disney vacation planned for you, customized for your family and without the stress of trying to figure it out yourself?  Just contact us to get started.

 

 

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?

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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.

 

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Disney’s Long Lines are NOT Something You Must Accept

Disney’s Long Lines are NOT Something You Must Accept

Disney’s Long Lines are NOT Something You Must Accept

Disney long lines

Who waits 90 minutes for Peter Pan? Wayyyy too many people.

“And with the ubiquitous crowds, lines lasting up to two hours for a ride, it is doubtful that they will get to experience one-quarter of the 58 attractions.”

This quote was a portion of an article about Disneyland, published on the LA Times website. It’s not the first quote of its kind that I’ve seen – not by a long shot. I’ve seen it in blogs, in news articles and in comments below these articles. It seems like it’s simple common knowledge: if you go to Disneyland or Walt Disney World, you simply have to accept lines of well over an hour. You’ll be lucky, they say, to get on more than 5 rides in a day. And, many complain, it’s not a good value when you can only ride 5 rides.

All of this is true, but only for some people. Realistically, it’s actually mostly true for most people. But it is not true for me. And it’s not true for my clients.

The Secret Is In The Planning

The difference is entirely in the planning. Showing up to the parks, to decide what to do on a whim, is what a vast majority of travelers do. And why not? They have no reason to think otherwise. If everyone stands in lines, so will they, as far as they figure. A good plan, though, one built out of strategy, completely changes the game. Suddenly, you’re no longer waiting in these huge lines for each ride. You’re riding rides back to back with very little wait most of the time.

What Previous Clients Have Said

As soon as I read this, I wondered what my clients would think. I put a quick Facebook post up to some of my past clients. Here are just a few of the responses I got:

“We went [to Disney World] over Christmas week, which is supposed to be the most crowded time of the year. We followed the touring plan and were shocked to not have to wait in lines longer than about ten minutes at the most. We did everything we wanted to, some rides twice, and had no problems.” – Kara, VA

Kara has been many times to Walt Disney World and is familiar with different crowd levels. She’s right that Christmas is absolutely the most crowded time with the longest lines of the year. But note that she was able to accomplish all that she wanted to do with low lines after using our planning services.

“I went to Disney World over Presidents day weekend last year. The crowds were huge, but by following The Enchanted Traveler plan our longest wait time was 30 minutes, and most were under 15 minutes. We were able to ride every ride that we wanted while still taking a mid-day swimming break. There was a 3 hour wait for the Mine Train ride and we walked right on!” – Mandy, WA

“They obviously need to call you. Our wait times were around the five minute mark.” – Melissa, MI

And to see a lot more commentary on the low waits and ease of park touring, you can read past testimonials here.  If you want to read a really cool third person article about what it’s like to have an expert plan your trip, read this blog post by Queen Bee Coupons.

The point is that these articles about the terribly long waits perpetuate the idea that nothing can be done about these lines. It frames the Disney Parks as places where you simply give up, show up, and suffer 1 or 2 hour waits for anything you want to do. And that’s frustrating for me, because I know you don’t have to simply accept that. I love helping families get the most out of the Disney vacations and that includes creating customized plans that keep them out of those crazy long lines, allow them to accomplish what they want to accomplish in an easier, less stressful way. And in the end, the value get they out of the parks by working with a Disney expert is far more than they get from just showing up and riding only a handful of rides per day.

 

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