Tips to Eat Healthy in Disneyland

Tips to Eat Healthy in Disneyland

Tips to Eat Healthy in Disneyland

Pacific Wharf Cafe

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.

For more information on Disney dining protocol for special diets and allergens, visit https://disneyland.disney.go.com/guest-services/special-dietary-requests/

 

Healthy Dining for Adults

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.

 

Quick Picks, Counter Service:

  • Bengal Barbecue: Chieftain Chicken Skewer, Outback Vegetable Skewer
  • French Market Restaurant: Royal Street Chicken Caesar Salad
  • Rancho Del Zocalo: Tostada Salad with Chicken

 

Quick Picks, Table Service:

  • Cafe Orleans: Nicoise Salad
  • Carnation Cafe: Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken
  • River Belle Terrace: Half BBQ Chicken

 

To browse menus ahead of time, visit https://disneyland.disney.go.com/dining/

 

Healthy Dining for Kids

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.

For more on Mickey Check Meals, visit https://disneyland.disney.go.com/faq/dining/disney-check/

 

Healthy Snacking

Looking for a snack that’s a little healthier than popcorn or a Mickey soft pretzel?

In addition to standard park-themed snacks, you can find fresh Fruit Carts throughout Disneyland, offering beverages, whole fruit, giant pickles, and other fresh snacking options.

You will find a Fruit Cart in each of Disney’s “lands”, each with an appropriate theme. Try Tropical Imports in Adventureland or the Ship to Shore Marketplace in Frontierland!

To locate Disneyland’s various Fruit Carts, visit https://disneyland.disney.go.com/dining/fruit/

 

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About the Author:

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

Is Your Preschooler too Young for Disneyand?

Is Your Preschooler too Young for Disneyand?

Is Your Preschooler too Young for Disneyland?

preschooler too young Disneyland

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!

 

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.

 

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?

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.

 

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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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Giving a Disney Vacation for Christmas: The how and why to the best gift ever!

Giving a Disney Vacation for Christmas: The how and why to the best gift ever!

Giving a Disney Vacation for Christmas: The how and why to the best gift ever!

Disney Christmas present

Christmas shopping season is upon us.  Are the toy store ads beckoning you to buy THE hottest toys for your kids this year?  If you’re like many parents, you start to wonder how many toys your child really needs.  Toys are a lot of fun, but have you ever bought toys for your kids only to find them unplayed with after the first week of use?  I know I have.  What if you could give something more exciting than toys, with more meaning, with a far longer lasting impression on your children?  The gift of a Disney vacation is special for the entire family.

 

Why gift a Disney vacation for Christmas?

Vacations are special for many families.  The memories built through the experience last a lifetime.  Some of the strongest memories that many of us have of our childhood are from family vacations.  But vacations can be expensive!  One way to offset that in the budget for the year is to use the Christmas shopping budget toward a vacation.

How do I gift a Disney vacation for Christmas?

First, I recommend contacting a Disney vacation planning specialist to make sure you are getting the best Disney experience possible.  Your Disney expert can help you arrange all of the details so that all you have to think about is how to present this awesome gift.

Then, you can get creative with the presentation!  Here are just a few ideas:

1. Floating Surprise

Get some helium-filled Disney balloons.  Print out a certificate that says it’s for a trip to Disney World/Disneyland/Disney Cruise, etc.  If you want to get creative, you can even make this look like a ticket!  Attach the certificate to the strings of the balloons.  Put the balloons in a large cardboard box, and wrap the box.  When your kids open it, the balloons will float out of the box with the gift message attached!

2. Solve the Word Puzzle 

For each person in the family, write one word on the inside of the lid of a gift box.  The words when put together will spell out something like, “We’re Going To Disney World.”  As each person opens their gift, they will see their word.  The family will have to put them in order to see the message!

3. Christmas Scavenger Hunt  

First, create your clue cards.  Each card will have a word on it that will spell out your final message.  This could be something like, “This spring, we’re going on a Disney Cruise!”  It can be as long or as short as you want the scavenger hunt to be.  Now you will hide each word card, and devise a list of clues that tells your children where to find them.  Place the first clue in a box and wrap it.   This clue will tell them where to look for the first word card.  Hide the next clue with that word card, and so on.  When they have found all of the word cards, they will solve the puzzle and learn the surprise!

 

Ready to plan this amazing surprise Disney vacation for your family for Christmas?   Let’s get started!

 

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Should You Use a Disney Travel Agent?

Should You Use a Disney Travel Agent?

Should You Use a Disney Travel Agent?

use a Disney travel agent

Plan a Disney vacation all on your own? Or get specialized help?

So, you’re scrolling through Google, looking up stuff about booking a Disney vacation when you come across the idea of using a Disney travel agent.  Should you?  Let’s find out.

First, let’s clear the air on one thing:  The title of “Disney Travel Agent” is one that Disney itself frowns on.  That’s not really an official title.  What you are actually looking for a is a travel agent that specializes in Disney vacations.  What you are not looking for is a general travel agent that just books everything.  Typically, they won’t have the detailed, in the moment knowledge to give you the benefit you’ll get from working with a Disney specialist.

So now that we’ve got that covered, let’s look at how the difference between booking your Disney vacation yourself and using an expert in Disney vacations.

Booking on your own means either booking directly via Disney or via an online booking engine like Expedia, Orbitz, etc.  In order to do this, you will want to spend time researching your options to figure out where you should actually stay, what kind of tickets will be the best value for you, which dining plan, if any, makes the most sense for you, how long you should stay to reasonably accomplish all that you want to do.  Once you know these things, you can go online and book your choices.  You will from that point complete the vacation planning yourself.  In no way is your vacation planning done when you click “book.”  That’s just a small part of a good Disney vacation.  You see, if you just click “book” and then show up at the parks hoping for a great time, you may be sorely disappointed in what you find.  So please, please, please dedicate time to researching all the aspects you need to plan in advance and then devote some time to it!

Booking with a Disney travel agent means that you will contact your specialist for a consultation.  Your Disney specialist will ask you questions and listen to your interests, preference, etc and guide you toward the best options for your package, based on your unique interests.  They’ll take care of arranging the booking for you and THEN the real work starts of putting together your entire itinerary.  A good agent will take care of recommending dining options and arranging all of them for you, will discuss and pre-reserve activities that need reservations, will listen to your preferences and take into account children’s heights and adventure levels and then create custom daily touring plans (including arranging Fast Pass+ reservations for you) to keep you out of the long lines.  They’ll answer your questions along the way, and be your resource even while you are traveling.  They get to know you in a way that a website you book a trip on never will.

So.  Should YOU use a Disney travel agent?  IF you enjoy analyzing, researching and planning every detail of your trip and have the time to do so (and I know this is some of you reading this right now), by all means, you can book on your own and enjoy that you have done every piece on your own.  I absolutely know people who thoroughly enjoy the time spent on such an endeavor (clearly I am one, myself)!  BUT if trying to plot out all the many details of a trip you just don’t know enough about right now, and don’t have the time for or find joy in hours of research, and you love the idea of feeling like you have a personal travel concierge at your side, then working with a specialist in planning Disney vacations is definitely right for you.

 

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When Should I Book My Disney Vacation?

When Should I Book My Disney Vacation?

When Should I Book My Disney Vacation?

 

Photo credit: Christian Lambert via Flickr

Many times, people talk about planning a vacation for “next year” like it’s something so far away they don’t need to think about it right now. But the reality is that your best Disney vacation is going to come from some earlier planning.

 

In the last few months in particular, I’ve had the experience of clients coming to me looking to book just 2 months or less before their trips. And in many cases, we’ve had very very few options to choose from for resorts. And really, most families would love to have the best match in terms of a place to stay, but the easiest way to get that is to be thinking ahead.  When I have clients come to me with more time before their preferred travel dates, I’m able to get to know them and their needs and recommend the best matches over all.  But the longer time goes by, the more likely those options are already booked…meaning we’re looking at second or third or even fourth best.

 

For Walt Disney World, it’s always best if you can be booked at least 7 months in advance. Planning, such as dining reservations, starts a full 180 days in advance for the best options.  When we have the ability to start planning about a month before that, it gives us time to set out the best strategy, before embarking on booking all of the time sensitive pieces at their due dates.

 

At Disneyland, a lot of people in past years were finding that they could book a month or two in advance with no problem. But the as the economy has improved, it seems more people are traveling again, and the best hotels (whether that means convenience or style to you) are booking up a lot earlier.  I’ve had it happen such that a month and a half before the desired travel dates, only two or three nearby options still had availability.  And none of those were options I’d normally recommend!

 

The great thing about planning a trip for either Disneyland or Disney World is we can book far in advance and Disney only asks us for a $200 deposit. So this makes it easy for us to make payments as you go, if you want to, and have plenty of time to get all of the details lined up, without requiring a large payment up front.  You can lock in the best choices easily, without having to lay out the full trip cost up front!

 

And Disney Cruise Line is always better booked further in advance. By it’s nature, the best priced staterooms tend to go quickest. A year in advance is easy to do and we can often book even farther out than that!

 

So if you’ve been saying “Next year is when we’ll go to Walt Disney World (or Disneyland or any other Disney vacation),” don’t put off planning. Get in touch with me as soon as you know you want to do it so we can get the best option for you all set before it’s all gone.

 

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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!

 

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