Red 5 Standing By, Star Wars Weekends Are Almost Here!

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Probably the highlight of my time spent at Disney’s MGM Studios as a Cast Member was working Star Wars Weekends, 2001.  Imagine showing up to your work and there is Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Jeremy Bulloch you know just signing autographs as you walk past like it’s the most normal everyday thing in the entire World.  Stormtroopers were everywhere and even we Castmembers thought, “The park has been invaded by the Empire!” It was also the first and only time that Carrie Fisher attended Star Wars Weekends and being able to see the q and a panel with that amount of star power that year made me as a Star Wars Fan for lack of a better term, Geek Out!

We’ve gone to Star Wars Weekends 3 times since then and each time it packs an emotional geek filled resonance for me personally.  I have been fortunate to have taken my kids as well, we even were there on the opening Star Wars Weekends for Star Tours 2.0 back in 2011.  It is safe to say that if you have even a small, minute interest in a galaxy far far away you will love this event!

Here is the run down of events and what to expect for Star Wars Weekends 2014!

Stars and Autograph Sessions!

First there are the celebrities and just like my experience in 2001, you will not be disappointed at all in this years lineup of Star Wars stars and backstage artists who brought the films to life:

May 16-18, 2014

  • Ahmed Best (Jar Jar Binks)
  • Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca)
  • Vanessa Marshall (Hera Syndulla – Star Wars Rebels)

May 23-25, 2014

  • Warwick Davis (Ewok, Wicket W. Warrick)
  • Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett, Capt. Jeremoch Colton)
  • Tiya Sircar (Sabine Wren – Star Wars Rebels)

May 30 – June 1, 2014

  • Ray Park (Darth Maul)
  • John Ratzenberger (Major Bren Derlin)
  • Taylor Gray (Ezra Bridger – Star Wars Rebels)

June 6-8, 2014

  • Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker, Darth Bane – The Clone Wars) (will not be signing autographs)
  • Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian)
  • Ray Park (Darth Maul)
  • Taylor Gray (Ezra Bridger – Star Wars Rebels)

June 13-15, 2014

  • Dee Bradley Baker (Captain Rex/the Clones, Bossk and more – The Clone Wars)
  • Cat Taber (Padme Amidala and more – The Clone Wars)
  • Tom Kane (Yoda  – The Clone Wars and more)
  • Matt Lanter (Anakin Skywalker and more – The Clone Wars)
  • Steve Blum (Zeb Orrelios – Star Wars Rebels)

The great thing about these weekends is that during the autograph sessions there are a number of Fastpasses you can get though limited to help with your wait!

 

Daily Schedule of Events

Each Weekend has a similar rundown of events in order so that no matter which weekend you choose you are sure to experience the fullness offered.  believe me you won’t be able to take it all in in one go!

  • Stormtrooper Welcome – 7:30am on Hollywood Boulevard
  • Autograph Sessions throughout the day (check Times Guide)
  • Legends of the Force Motorcade and Welcome at 11:30am
  • Stars of the Saga Talk Show and Q&A Session (Premier Theater) – 3:15pm
  • Jedi Training Academy – Check Times Guide
  • Behind the Force (Premier Theatre) – 1:45pm
  • Obi-Wan and Beyond (Premier Theater) – 7:00pm
  • Padawan Mind Challenge at 1:00pm, 2:15pm, 4:15pm, 6:30pm
  • Star Wars Character Encounters – 8:00am – 7:30pm (Check Times Guide for locations)
  • DJ Lobot Dance Party – 7:00pm
  • Symphony in the Stars Fireworks – 9:30pm

Character Dining for Star Wars Weekends

New this year are Star Wars Weekends Character Dining Experiences at both Hollywood and Vine and Sci Fi Dine In Theater!

These include your favorite Disney characters dressed as some of your favorite Star Wars Characters like: Jedi Mickey, Leia Minnie, Vader Goofy, Ewok Chip & Dale, and Stormtrooper Donald!

  • Star Wars Dine-In Galactic Breakfast! at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant (8:00am-noon, cost is $47.99 for adults and $29.99 for kids (ages 3-9)
  • Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine at Hollywood and Vine (4:15pm-park closing, cost is $55.99 for adults and $33.99 for kids (ages 3-9)
  • Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine at Hollywood and Vine withFantasmic! Dinner Package (you can add the Fantasmic Dinner Package on for a slight uptick in price which will also guarantee priority seating at Fantasmic! later in the evening)

You will also be able to meet LOADS of characters from every spectrum of the Force throughout the parks throughout your days in addition to your standard Disney characters!

V.I.P. Experience

Disney has released an exclusive V.I.P. experience for those amongst us who might want a full package that has some exclusivity to it.  If you are an uber fan and convention costs aren’t that big of a concern this may be the droid you’re looking for:

  • Premium seating for Star Wars Weekends shows at the Premiere Theater, such as Stars of the Saga—a Star Wars-themed talk show that’s as entertaining as it is surprising
  • Expedited access to attractions like Star Tours – The Adventures ContinueToy Story Midway Mania! and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Private continental breakfast  at The Hollywood Brown Derby
  • Reserved viewing location during the Legends of the Force Motorcade
  • Table-service lunch at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The cost for this package is $499 and does not include park admission.  It is available May 16 to June 15, 2014 and can be reserved by calling: (407) 934-7973.  According to Disney advance reservations are HIGHLY recommended for this experience.

 

Merchandise and Goodies!

Like all things Star Wars (believe me I’m a parent to a Star Wars fan on top of being one myself I can’t see the walls in some rooms because of our lightsaber collections) what would the experience be without the merchandise?  “Merchandising, Merchandising, Merchandising!”

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Yes, that’s Yogurt from Space Balls, but it’s an apt description of the BEVY of buying opportunities you will have throughout the weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Weekend exclusive merchandise, to your own likeness frozen in carbonite ala Han and shipped to you, to Lightsabers, and yes even a Vader Cupcake!

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The possibilities for purchases are endless so be prepared for a steady stream of “I WANT!” and that’s not just the kids!

 

Jedi Training Academy

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The JTA is in full “force” over these weekends and as you would imagine it is CRAZY difficult to score a coveted spot.  I recommend though if you want to give it your best go arrive WAY before rope drop, like more than an hour and be prepared for a line to sign up.  You may have to be flexible in your plans and take the most available spot though if you want your Youngling to train on a Star Wars Weekend.  It takes on a special nature to do JTA on these weekends at Disney so be prepared with cameras!  For our Review Read Here, and For A Video Click Here!

 

As with all special events my advice on this one is no different, be prepared for crowd levels to spike.  The area near Star Tours especially will feel crazy congested throughout the day.  So if Star Wars isn’t your thing I would avoid that area of the park.  Also something to think about is there will be special shows, fireworks, characters mingling so if you have a child who is used to the standard park experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios you had better prepare them for the changes.  We took our youngest aside as we were walking in to let him know Star Wars had invaded the park so it would look a bit different and had to keep re-iterating throughout the day, that all was fine this was okay.

For more details visit the official home of Star Wars Weekends online:
Disney’s Official Page 

Official Facebook Page for SWW

Have you ever been to Star Wars Weekends?  What did you think?

 

New Rope Drop Procedures At Magic Kingdom

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You may have heard the newest hot ticket attraction at the Magic Kingdom isn’t some new ride, or restaurant or even a parade or show.  No the newest most exclusive experience in the Magic Kingdom on both coasts has become the Character Meet and Greet with Queen Elsa and Princess Anna.  I have seen consecutive days now of Guests reporting 300 minute wait times (that equates to 5 hours!) in order for a 5 minute audience with the Royal Pair from Disney’s Frozen.

Disney has instituted a guided process to the Royal Hall at rope drop as there was shall we say, some less than savory behaviors presented as Guests ran, trampled and otherwise RUSHED towards Fantasyland as if it were Black Friday and Fantasyland were stocked with free iPads.  So upon landing on Main Street at rope drop in the morning Cast Members will have a rope that will guide Guests in a CALM and SAFE manner to their destination and minimize disorder.

My thoughts on this meet and greet are simple, I think it’s rather out there to wait 300 minutes for a 5 minute Meet and Greet when you could do so much more with those 5 hours in the park.  If you were to break it down into dollars and cents think about the going rate of a park ticket, then divide that by the number of hours you could spend in the park realistically touring. You get a palpable number that those 300 minutes waiting amount to at that point, then when you weigh it amongst all of the other experiences you could take in it doesn’t make sense.  Not to mention wait times such as these, combined with limited FP availability to start has precluded many Guests with Disabilities the ability to wait.  You can speak with Guest Relations about this need, but be very specific as to why you need the pass.  As well something to consider is that violent crowd like behaviors are simply not tolerated at Disney, and the law doesn’t take a vacation.  Even though you may be in “Disney World” it still remains under the jurisdiction of local authorities.  People have been charged with assault for deeming a line offense worthy of physical retribution in the past.  So proceed with caution.  If you are in this line and someone is exhibiting behaviors that warrant a response GET A CAST MEMBER!

As well I think that Anna and Elsa really need to be spread around a bit more.  Akershus is a PERFECT venue for these two as they can easily fit in with the setting given that Frozen was based in none other than Norway.  They could also have a meet and greet in Disney’s Hollywood Studios considering their film won two Academy Awards.  I think the more opportunities people have to meet these characters the less pandemonium we would see at the Magic Kingdom every morning.

So what are your thoughts readers?  Would you wait 300 minutes to meet characters?

Room Only Discounts for Fall 2014!

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Disney released Free Dining and a Room Only Discount to Disney Visa cardholders earlier today.  Which I am still on hold helping clients make those all important changes (hundreds if not over a thousand dollars in savings)!  But wanted to share the details we are seeing for the Room Only Discount coming later in 2014.  All of the offers being released today must be booked by August 8th, 2014.

Contact us at http://www.upanduptravel.com/new/contact or via phone at 1-877-WDW-WISH (939-9474) to get a no obligation quote as this offer is limited!

Deluxe & Deluxe Villas:

Save 30% on the following:

  • Disney’s Boardwalk Villas
  • Disneys Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (Standard Viewor Pool View Rooms)
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Save 20% on these Deluxe and Deluxe Villas:

  • Disney Beach Club Villas
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House & Kidani Village
  • The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Beach Club
  • Disney’s Contemporary
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (Savanna or Club Level)

It gets a little different when we look at Moderate and Value Resorts:

Save 20% August 16-28th or Save 25% August 29th-Oct 3rd, 2014 on Moderate Resorts

  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach
  • Disney’s Cornado Springs
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
  • Disney’s Fort Wilderness Cabins
  • Save 20% August 29th-Oct 3rd, 2014 on Port Orleans French Quarter

Save 15% August 16-28th or Save 20% August 29th-Oct 3rd, 2014 on Value Resorts

  • Disney’s All Star Sports & Music Resorts
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort
  • Save 10% August 16-28th  or Save 20% August 29th-Oct 3rd, 2014 on Disney Art of Animation (Family Suites Only)
  • Save 15% August 29th-Oct 3rd, 2014 on Disney’s All Star Movies Resort & the Campsites at Ft. Wilderness

Contact us at http://www.upanduptravel.com/new/contact or via phone at 1-877-WDW-WISH (939-9474) to get a no obligation quote as this offer is limited!

 

New Nighttime Show Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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A new nighttime show is coming to Animal Kingdom.  As you may know in the past Disney has stayed away from a lot of nighttime activities at Animal Kingdom in order to give the animals a bit of respite.  I believe some of this change is now due to the impending Avatar land that will be coming soon to this park.  According to Disney’s blog today, the new nighttime show will be called “Rivers of Light” and appears at first blush to follow in a similar show pattern as Fantasmic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios or World of Color in Disney’s California Adventure.  Though I am sure they will put a new twist on the show to not only fit with the park overall but add in new technologies.

Per the Disney site: “Rivers of Light” promises to be an innovative show unlike anything ever seen in Disney Parks, combining live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery. The show will magically come to life on the broad, natural stage of the Discovery River, between Discovery Island and Expedition Everest, delighting our guests and truly capping off a full day of adventures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

We’ll of course follow any news as it develops and be sure to share here anything we hear!

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Disneybility Days at the Disney Parks

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Was having a thought, and I’ve touched on this idea before, but I would love to see a day (or several) dedicated to Disabilities at the Disney Parks in North America. I mean there are groups from every background, interest and passion that plan events at the Disney Parks, but to my knowledge there is not a set event each year for guests with disabilities.

What I would love to see is all of us, young and adult, cognitive and mobility; vision and hearing impaired, families and individuals of every kind vacationing together to celebrate our love of the parks. Families who only know each other online from forums, social media or support groups could tour together and yes, learn from one another.  Further say you have two single parents with children with disabilities who have been unable to go because of the recent changes be able to team up and tour successfully?  Alone, we can only do so much, but together we can really help one another.  As well, if this becomes successful enough, there is the possibility of group rates through Disney to help everyone out.  I know the costs of therapies for our kids, and if your family is like ours, the therapies come before a trip to Disney on the financial side of things.  But with the possibility of working together, I love that idea of people teaming up, maybe sharing rooms to offset costs and yes touring together in order to provide a support for one another.

Overall the emphasis I feel should be positive.  It’s not a sit-in, not a protest, it’s to celebrate the diversity in our community, to help one another and yes to be in the Happiest Place on Earth in a healthy constructive way.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this idea and if you are interested in making it more than an idea feel free to Like and participate in our planning page https://www.facebook.com/DisneybilityDays

Also a HUGE Mega Thank you to Rob Stevens a/k/a @SuperRob for tying our Event Name together today!

Share your thoughts on this idea in the comments below!

Quiet Places and Spaces at Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL pt. 1

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As we discussed in our Disneyland list (see here), there are places innately built into the various parks that allow you to relax, breathe and help your child deflate and decompress should you spot the warning signs of a meltdown.  As well with all of the colors, smells, noises, and sights that abound in the Disney Park experience not to mention the amount of PEOPLE around all the time, some of us need it just to have that break instead of hauling everyone out of the park en masse.  So here by Theme Park and by Themed Land are our top quiet places and spaces at Walt Disney World!

Let’s Start with my personal favorite: The Magic Kingdom

Quite like it’s counterpart, Disneyland, this spoke and wheel formatted park has a bevy of places to sit and relax out of the way.  Each of the themed lands comes complete with shade, benches, and in some cases water ways to add a sense of serenity.  I always encourage families I work with to stop and smell the roses, or at least take a load off while touring.  When you tour with a child or family member with special needs, it’s quite necessary to take portions of your day slower and only pick up the pace occasionally.  All of the surrounding environs are included in the price of admission, just like the attractions.  And you would be surprised at the hidden details within all of these parks you get to see when you slow up and pay attention.  You might have a feeling you got more out of the experience than if you had run from ride to ride.

Main Street U.S.A.  

Near Guest Relations: There is a large brick lined walkway off to the side of Guest Relations, also near the restrooms at the front of the park.  This is a very nice area to wait if someone is refreshing themselves or in Guest Relations getting the DAS.  We’ve used it to do our bouncing, (flexing our knees); or simple compressions, water replenishment or just get out of the sun.

City Hall: This as well is an out of the way area and SO MANY people just pass on by on their way to the themed lands.  It’s got air conditioning, shops, and is one of the more quiet spots on the map.  Of course it fills up somewhat due to this also being a character meet and greet spot.  But in the wings of this building you can find some quiet and cool areas.

By the Plaza Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor: If you were to hang a right as you go towards the castle you would find yourself staring at the ice cream parlor and Plaza Restaurant.  If you were to keep walking down this path you will find it gets quieter and quieter and less populated.  We use this area often to let our sons (both of them) decompress while one of us gets ice cream.  The sounds and sights of Main Street U.S.A. are far enough away to be seen and heard at a more comfortable distance if they get truly overwhelming.  As well we have watched plenty of parades from this back portion of Main Street in order for them to be more tolerable to our youngest.

Adventureland

Near the Dole Whip Stand, Turquoise Alcove:  While many folks line up to purchase a Dole Whip and sit on the rock outcroppings by the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, there is a small seating area, lit during the evenings just to the left as you face the Dole Whip sign.  It’s painted turquoise and white and has small round tables and chairs.  If you find this empty (which believe it or not we have many times) it is a perfect little respite area.  It’s out of the way has only one entrance and exit if there is a meltdown and your child is a bit of a runner and also closes off the amount of sensory pouring in.  We use this to wait for Dad to get DoleWhips and bring out the earbuds and iPhone for our son to decompress while we tour.

Citrus Stand, near Tiki Room: I know it seems all of the locations I choose are near ice cream, but that’s by force of habit.  I usually pick places for our son where he can cool off figuratively and literally.  As well there is a walk through between Adventureland and Frontierland here that not many use with great regularity as many use the larger pass through with the restrooms instead.  So a bit of shade in there, cool breezes and not too crowded.

Backside of Pirates by the Restrooms: True story we’ve practically run for this area in a “potty emergency”, which brings about this tip always insist on a bathroom break and don’t take your kids’ word for it.  It’s easy to be distracted by all of the sensorial data flying around to shove that impulse down repetitively until it is an actual run for the nearest restroom emergency.  But I digress.  This area behind Pirates is a narrow shot to the restrooms and also a nice little out of the way area where you can do some slight compression therapy, breathing exercises and also have a quick access to the restrooms or while you’re waiting on everyone in your party to go.

Captain Jack Stage: Obviously consult the times guide to be sure you’re stop over doesn’t coincide with a show, but the stage area is up out of the way and a nice area to sit and calm.  We have let the boys get out some energy on the wooden planked stage during the late afternoon as it is out of the way of many a passerby and gives them that feeling of being above the noise.

Frontierland

The walkthrough from Adventureland to Frontierland: In the VERY back of both lands is a pass through walk way. It’s past Pirates on the Adventureland side and basically if you were to keep walking this path you would end up in Frontierland.  There is Pecos Bills on the right hand side and some tables there if you need to sit in a quieter space.  Obviously this fluctuates throughout the day as meal times come and go.  But I have found earlier in the day and in the mid-afternoon this area is a good stopover for us to sit and relax a bit.

Liberty Square

Top Floor of Columbia Harbor House: On the bottom floor is an echoing cacophony that drives me batty, but upstairs is a quiet calm area that overlooks the other Guests walking by on the paths below.  You can get a window seat that faces the Haunted Mansion or Liberty Belle and since the room is more closed off than it’s counterpart downstairs it is especially good for those who have noise and sound aversion and is considerably overlooked.  If your family member has trouble with stairs it could be a challenge to get to this level, but on the whole not too many draw backs and we have used it each time as a nice respite area for our entire family to take a break from the crowds.

Walkway by the Water: There is a smaller walkway off the main path, this one goes right by the water.  Now, be advised this is also part of a designated smoking area at one point, but it is out of the way and the cool breezes coming off the water are very refreshing.

Fantasyland

This area is pretty tight knit and there aren’t a lot of spaces, plus a great many of the areas I would suggest are near stroller parking.  This is one of the most congested areas mainly due to it’s popularity and construction.  I would recommend if you tour here its early in the day or in the evening:

Near the Castle, Walkway:  Believe it or not up near Cinderella Castle is quieter than Fantasyland proper.  Now please note there are shows that take place out front of the Castle periodically so consult your times guide.  These pathways are also not accessible the hour near the fireworks in the evening for security and safety reasons.

By Mad Tea Party, backside: Near the Mad Tea Party, and just before you blend into Tomorrowland there are several small areas you can find that are tucked out of the way.  There is even one near the restrooms that has shade during the day, we have used this one several times.

Dumbo PlayTent (for little ones): This area, while I have not used it myself, is a great area that allows kiddos to play in cool comfort while waiting for their turn on Dumbo the Flying Elephant.  In true Disney playground fashion this area is wonderfully appointed for smaller children, I state that it’s more attributable to younger children mainly due the nature of it’s construction.  The sizes allowed (while I know some of our children, mine included love things that are more suited for younger children) kind of prohibit older kids from accessing the actual play equipment.  However there is seating inside while you wait for the attraction, it’s out of the sun and heat and darkly lit in some areas.

Tomorrowland

By the restrooms, By Mickey’s Star Traders: We sit on these benches all the time in the quieter section of Tomorrowland, again with my access to restrooms but in these areas there is usually built in seating for families waiting for other members to go to the restrooms and freshen up.  They are also usually in the shade with a food cart or water cart nearby.

People Mover, a/k/a Tomorrowland Transit Authority: There is usually NO WAIT for this attraction as it is constantly moving.  But it is above the noise and crowds, there are breezes coming in, it’s shaded for the most part and you go through several attractions and stores as you ride so your family gets an idea of the layout of Tomorrowland without having the be down in the crowds.  We ride this several times during our visits as a respite attraction or while waiting for our Fast Pass times to come to fruition.

So that’s our list for The Magic Kindom at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.  On our next entry in this series we’ll be discussing Epcot  and some out of the way spots in that park to relax and replenish!

Do you have some favorite spots to stop over while you tour the parks?  Let us know in the comments!

Why Would You Use A Disney Travel Agent?

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We live in an age of instant information.  Some of the people I follow on Twitter, blogs I read or Groups I am a part of on Facebook in fact give me real time information from Disney so that I know basically at any moment what is happening hours and time zones away from my office.  If I want to know something, anything really, I can click on a search engine type my question and see dozens of pages of answers.  So in this age of constant data, why would you use a Disney Travel Agent to plan your family’s vacation?

1.) Time.  Just because you CAN plan your vacation doesn’t mean you HAVE the time to do so.  I know because I have been there.  The kids, your husband, your wife, the house, the job, Church, school activities, LAUNDRY, family, the car, the pets, trying to fit in a workout, or time for friends the list goes on and on; planning vacations is fun, believe me I love lists and spreadsheets, and that thrill of lining out a to-do, and looking at all of the sites and yes, I even love the hold music at Disney.  But, do you have the time to wade through the mountains of information and line out a thought out travel plan?  What is your time worth in this process?

2.) Experience. I count myself very lucky that my Grandparents saw fit to take me many times to Walt Disney World, and that I have had the privilege in my life of being a Cast Member and taking my own children several times.  And while I have traveled to a Disney Park many a time, I also have made knowing Disney more than just a hobby, it’s a livelihood.  We’ve been called “That Disney family” in most any circle of friends, and chances are if there is a movie on in our house, it’s Disney related.  If I’m reading a book for pleasure, it’s about the Disney Company.  Most of the social media groups and connections I have are to the Disney based Travel industry so that I stay constantly in the loop.  My 30 years of constant involvement in Disney I feel is an asset, and my purpose when I help families is not to sell them on something they don’t want.  I want to help families experience the Disney I know and love.  I want them to not need a vacation from their vacation and to also come up with solutions from contacts, so they don’t need to worry about breaking the bank to afford Disney.  We are going on our 4th Generation of Disney Traveling in our family, and I constantly draw from that storied history in order to craft the most desirable vacation for our Clients so they truly enjoy Disney and want to go back as soon as they board their return flight home.

3.) Cost. You ever look at what you need to get accomplished in a given day and wonder if you can clone yourself just to get it all accomplished?  I have.  I’ve looked at the ceiling and thought, “How on EARTH am I going to get through my list today?” And after pouring copious amount of coffee down my gullet I may get 75-80% accomplished if I am lucky.  Well imagine having for your Disney Vacation a personal assistant that you don’t have to pay?  It’s true.  My services come at NO COST to my clients.  I am paid a commission based on just the amount you book.  This doesn’t give me broad range to up-sell you on things you don’t want.  I truly want you to have the best Disney vacation possible for the most cost effective dollar amount.  But, no, my services are at no charge to you.  Seriously. On the flip side of this I am constantly on the look out for new promotions that effect your travel date and will AUTOMATICALLY REBOOK your vacation for the lesser amount so that you get the most Disney for the vacation dollar.  If you book on your own you have to keep aware of the promotions and hope to get them before they are fully booked up.  I am usually up by 5 a.m. on these mornings and on the phone rebooking Clients so that before the sun even rises they’ve saved hundreds if not thousands by my efforts.

4.) It’s Still Your Vacation.  While I help you plan, by making your reservations, dining plans, changes to your tickets, and can answer any number of questions about the various parks and resorts, it’s still your vacation.  We consider our planning a partnership.  I want you to be as educated as possible so that you are able to navigate the parks once you arrive.  So I will send to you travel packets based entirely on your travel dates that showcases your resort, special events, what new changes have happened to the parks, your dining plans, nighttime fireworks and shows, Smart Phone apps, what parks to visit on which days and so on.  In addition I will constantly point out any information I find that will help you become a Disney veteran Guest so you know how to work through your vacation and don’t feel lost upon arrival.  I make it so that Clients also have any number of means for communicating with me.  I have answered my Clients questions via text while they are at the parks in order to fully assist them with Dining reservations, rebook events, or help point in them in the direction of the nearest Walgreens.  I’m here to support your vacation in any way I can.

5.) Agency Specific Offers.  Chances are if you book directly with Disney you can get the exact same amounts I offer.  It’s true.  But, in addition to all of the other services I provide I also offer Agency specific upgrades for our Clients.  From referral percentages to gifts for my clients to Disney Gift Cards to use for your vacation I am constantly taking feedback so that the offers we provide are consistent with what our Clients want.  Will Disney give you a gift card or referral amount for booking with them directly or alert you to new promotions?  Probably not.  But, we do because we want to earn your business with every service we offer and make you an invaluable member of our company.  So it’s a part of our make-up it’s a perk that we offer.

So, you can book on your own, you can.  I did for many years.  But, when I think back on the amounts I could have saved, time spent, and advice I didn’t heed eh, I wish I had.  I’m fiercely independent at heart, but sometimes it pays to shelve that DIY-ness and rely on someone with experience to step in and guide so that you get the most use out of your time and expenses.  I welcome your questions, your input, and yes if you are planning on a  Disney vacation I would be honored to provide you a quote so that I have the opportunity to show you what I can provide your family.  If you would like to contact me please feel free!  My email is amy@upanduptravel.net.  Or if you would like a quote you can click here to fill out our handy dandy quote request form.  I look forward to earning your business and your trust.  And work for you so that I can help your dream vacation reach it’s full potential.