Small Business Saturday – Why to choose an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner

small business saturday

Happy Small Business Saturday! I first want to say thank you to every single one of my guests who has supported me whether it’s allowing me to help plan your Disney World, Disneyland, or Disney Cruise adventure or referred a friend or family member to me. It has truly been a blessing to work with each of every one of my hundreds of guests whether you found me through a blog or friend, truly, THANK YOU! You have allowed me the opportunity to make magic, enjoy what I do for my job, and allow me to stay home with my amazing and beautiful daughter as well as let me “work” in Disneyland for 8 beautiful nights last week!

I’d also like to make a quick thank you to all of you small business owners. I know very well how difficult things can be and why shopping local is so important! I try to do so whenever possible to pay it forward! Keep on keeping on! If it’s a rough time or a slow time during the holidays, it will bounce back. Keep the faith and stay positive! (this is typically my slowest time of year, so I get it).

Now the big question…why choose an authorized Disney vacation planner to help with your Disney World vacation? There are SO many reasons. I’ve touched on many of them before, but after returning from my planner conference last week, I have a few more additions that make Dawn and me (since we are a part of Magical Vacations LLC) unique and a cut above the rest.

Magical Vacations Logo - Landscape

  1. It’s FREE! Yes. F-R-E-E, no strings attached FREE! The price you can find on Disney’s web site is the same that I can pull up for you through Disney’s Travel Agent portal. All travel agents have the exact same cost available to them – we are not allowed to discount or offer “signing” bonuses to you, so it’s all about what your agent can do for you! Yes, we still get paid but it’s after you return home from your trip, so it’s in my best interest as a small business owner to work my butt off to make sure I exceed your expectations in hopes that you’ll recommend me to family and friends.
  2. It’s a time saver. Do you want to wake up at 6 am eastern time to make dining reservations (or even search through the 80+ menus of the table service restaurants available to you?)? Do you want to research FastPass strategy and get an idea of all of the available attractions to make the best choice and then think about how to organize them in a way to go around the parks and then stay up until midnight to book them all? AND Do you want to constantly monitor Disney’s web site for promotional offers, AK_EVRST3_7261858207changes in park hours, or attraction refurbishments leading up to your trip? I’d make a wild guess that most of you will say no to all of these things. THIS is where Magical Vacations makes such a big difference. We are a full service DISNEY ONLY* agency which means we know our stuff and know how to make our guests stays a better overall experience. Did you know that many agencies don’t require their agents to book FastPasses for their guests? At my conference, our group was the only one I found that truly booked everything. Yes, it’s a heck of a lot more time consuming, but it’s a heck of a lot more successful as well! It gives you as the guest an opportunity to follow our daily itineraries to help save you time inside the parks!
  3. It’s less stressful. Going back to all of the points in #2, you have someone here to take away the stress and anxiety of planning a Disney trip. Most guests spend several thousand dollars on your trip. Unless you have someone “in the business”, you wouldn’t spend several thousand dollars on your house to make renovations without talking to someone, would you? So allow me the opportunity to help answer your questions, calm your fears, and allow the true magic of Disney come out!
  4. Knowledge. I consider myself a Disney expert, especially Disney World! I’m rarely stumped by a question related to Disney World and if I am (kudos) and I’ll find you the answer! Did you know that you need to get your flight info to Magical Express before your departure? Did you know that getting a FastPass for Anna & Elsa is usually only available at the 60 day mark prior to your arrival (sometimes gone within a few minutes of that important midnight time frame?) Do you know of special events going on during your stay? I’m here to help with all of this knowledge and imparting it in a way that is not overwhelming in little bits and bites culminating in a gift for your family shortly before your departure.
  5. The Minnie Box. This is our unique gift to you and is unique to our agency! It was created and trademarked by our Magical Vacations owner and gives you the excitement of opening your big yellow bow like a present right before you arrive for your vacation! As Disney went “paperless” with the introduction of MyMagic+, there’s nothing much you receive directly from Disney to get you excited. While every Disney vacation is exciting, the Minnie Box just adds a little something extra!!
  6. Being in the middle of the magic! Will you remember the work that Ellie minniewent into planning your vacation and things that went wrong if you spend hours upon hours pouring over blogs, online information, and doing independent research? Probably! What Disney is truly about is the MAGIC! Remembering your child’s first meeting with a character – beeping Minnie Mouse’s nose, giving a big hug to goofy! Having the best meal of your life in one of Disney’s signature dining locations, or seeing the tears in your mother’s eyes as she watches Wishes fireworks with you. It’s those magical moments that I do what I do and not for the money! I’ve gotten asked to return to my office job more than once and I won’t do it because I love the magic making!

*Little asterisk to Disney only – We are also authorized to book Universal Orlando as it is becoming a big player in the area market so we also have training and authorization to help with a little bit beyond Disney!

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

Interested in experiencing a Disney World (Disneyland or Disney Cruise) vacation in 2016?  Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free vacation opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how! Thank you so much for supporting my small business!!

Disney World planning for families of 5

 

For any one looking into planning a Disney World vacation, it’s no big secret that families of 5 are a bit left out in the cold in terms of choices for resorts. While all Disney world resorts have rooms that sleep up to 4, not every location sleep up to 5 guests. As a family of 5, you’re automatically excluded from the standard rooms at all value resorts and 2 of the moderate resorts as well!

What if one of my kids is willing to sleep on the floor or a cot? 

Sorry! Disney’s room maximums are based on legal precedents and fire codes, so the only way you can have more than 4 guests in a room in a value resort is if one of the children are under age 3 (as they do not count toward the room max).

Where can we stay as a family of 5?

You have some really great options! In the value category, Art of Animation family suites sleep up to 6 guests. Be aware that these rooms are spacious, so cost wise they are at times similar to the cost of a deluxe resort. You do have the bonus of 2 full bathrooms as well as a suite style room with a separate bedroom from the living area.

In the moderate resort category, you have the option of Caribbean Beach (new as of 2014) and Port Orleans Riverside. Many (but not all) of these rooms sleep up to 5 guests with 2 queen beds and a small fold down bunk style bed. This bed is not a full size bed or a full size mattress so its best suited for one of your tiny travelers (ideally someone age 9 or younger or a short 10 or 11 year old). The bed itself is only 60 inches in length and not as wide as a twin mattress.

In the deluxe resort category, your options are more wide open. Contemporary, Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Boardwalk Inn, Beach Club, and Yacht Club all have rooms that sleep up to 5 guests in their standard rooms. Room set up is 2 queen beds plus a day bed. Unlike its moderate resort counterparts, the day bed in this resort is large enough to sleep an adult comfortably! Standard rooms at Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge only sleep up to 4 guests. There are club level rooms that sleep more guests but again, you go up in cost.

In the deluxe villa category, many of the studios sleep up to 5 guests now including Villas at Wilderness Lodge, Polynesian Villas, Bay Lake Tower, Villas at Grand Floridian, and Boardwalk Villas. Some of these resorts were built originally to sleep 5 guests and others added the option more recently. Either way, you can have a comfortable stay with 1 queen bed, a sleeper sofa, and fold down bed. This fold down bunk style bed could definitely sleep an adult based on overall size! (at least as a tall adult, I could say I would be comfortable sleeping on the bunk bed if necessary).

Park touring…who sits alone?

It’s a big question for families of 5 – on rides that seat up to 2 guests per row, who sits alone? It’s a tough question. For many families the oldest child is the one that often goes alone. It’s an important conversation to have with your oldest to see if he or she is comfortable with the experience. With teens and tweens this typically isn’t an issue but if your oldest is under 10, it may be a concern for them. You can talk to Disney cast members and discuss the option of rider switch so everyone can comfortably ride together (and one of the lucky adults will get to ride twice!) A bit more about rider switch can be found in a previous post (Mom’s guide to rider switch). It’s a bit unconventional way to use the service, but Disney will likely allow it given the circumstances.

Rides that would require an older child to sit alone…

  • Splash Mountain (you may be able to fit 2 smaller children + 1 adult in a row here but not always)
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Rock n Roller Coaster
  • Expedition Everest
  • Toy Story Midway Mania (if everyone wants to “play” – if one of the adults is willing to sit on the sidelines, then 3 can fit in a car)
  • Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin (similar experience to Toy Story Mania above)
  • Tomorrowland Speedway (this also has height requirements to reach the pedals so it may be a tough one to do as a family of 5)
  • Barnstormer
  • Dumbo

All things considered for the volume of Disney’s available attractions, it’s not many that you’d have to split up. The other attractions not listed are either open seating or have wide benches that can seat 3 or more guests in a row which would allow mom to be in one row and dad to be in another (splitting kids to and 1).

Dining as a family of 5.

Is it more difficult to find a table for 5 than it is to find a table for 4 when making dining reservations? With Disney, the answer is the same for almost all questions…sometimes/it depends. If you’re booking at the 180 day mark, you may not have any issues getting into even the big ticket locations. As time comes a bit closer to your arrival, those larger tables tend to be in higher demand (or there are just less of them overall) so it may be more difficult to find a table of 5 vs a table of 4.

What would you do if you had a family of 5?

Well, I’m a deluxe resort type of person and I don’t like waiting – yes, as an impatient person, I still love all things Disney! I would stay at one of the deluxe resorts near Magic Kingdom – likely Polynesian because it just has a little bit of magic! If that doesn’t fit your budget, either of the moderate resorts would do you just fine as long as you don’t have 3 older children (as that bed would be uncomfortable for them)!

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

Ready to get started planning your 2016 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free vacation opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!