15 things to do non a non-park day at Disney World!


Disney World can be an exhausting and expensive experience. If you have a longer vacation or have young kids, you may want to take a day off from parks. But can you fill a whole day without parks? Definitely! Even better, a lot of these suggestions are inexpensive or even FREE!  Here are 15 great things to do that are not in parks:

1. Enjoy your resort hotel’s pool

2. Explore other nearby resorts. Just because you aren’t going to the parks, doesn’t mean you can’t use Disney transportation to visit other resorts. My favorites are the deluxe resorts on the monorail line and the Epcot area resorts.

3. Try some different restaurants. My favorites: Boma in Animal Kingdom Lodge, Sanaa in Animal Kingdom Lodge, Kona Cafe in Polynesian, and anything in the Boardwalk Area.

4. Shop in Downtown Disney. Tons of different shops and something for everyone in your family without tiring out your feet.

5. Look around at all the amazing Lego designs in Downtown Disney. Then play in their 3,000 square foot outdoor play area.

6. Go to a movie (theater located in Downtown Disney)

7. Go bowling (Splitsville in Downtown Disney)

8. Check out some of the awesome restaurants (and food trucks) in Downtown Disney

9. Enjoy the animals at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Viewing around property is free and there are a TONS of different animals roaming free around the property.

10. Play a round of miniature golf. You should receive a coupon for one free game at one of Disney’s 2 courses in your Mickey Mail before your departure.

11. Find a resort that does marshmallow roasts  by the fire (you can buy the graham crackers and chocolate to go with it)

12. Watch a movie at your resort (or head over to one of the many that offer movies on the beach)

13. Watch the Electric Water Pageant around the monrail Resorts. Check the daily schedule for more details.

14. Enjoy the street performers at Disney’s Boardwalk

15. Watch Magic Kingdom fireworks from the beach at Polynesian or from the monorail platform


Ready to get started planning your 2015 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!) 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!

Disney World Tips and tricks: More time savers

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So you want to take a Disney World vacation in 2014. Now where to stay?

With 29 on property resorts to choose from, how do you decide? It’s the age old discussion of time vs. money. Typically resorts with multiple modes of transportation or those that are very close to the theme parks are more costly. It’s no surprise that the Deluxe resorts are located in close proximity to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. One of the major questions I ask my clients outside of budget constraints is what’s more important: time or money.

In Disney, you can save time and spend a little more money on your “home” location or you can save a little more money and spend a bit more time in transit. Depending on your resort and location of that resort, you can spend an additional 15-30 minutes either waiting for or riding the buses. Taking your own vehicle could knock off some of the waiting time), however you will still have to walk or wait for parking lot trams to take you to the front entrance of the park.

Melissa’s insider tip: If you have the funds and are willing to spend a little extra money, especially on a first trip or a trip with little ones, I would suggest staying at a resort close to Magic Kingdom or Epcot. This will help save you from additional lines and any travel confusion using your own vehicle.

New Discounts available to general public on Monday

That’s right, a new discount is available to the general public as of Monday, January 6th. A sneak preview was given to all Disney Visa card holders. For the details, check yesterday’s blog post. For those value hunters, a 5-night Disney World vacation for 2 adults and 2 children can be less than $500 per person. This includes 5 full days of park tickets (one free thanks to Disney!) While booking is available via the web, sometimes the system is difficult to navigate and can be confusing. It is sometimes difficult to tell whether you have a discount (or the best discount) applied for your vacation package. Your other options: call Disney or contact a travel agent to do all of your heavy lifting. Obviously I’m a little bias towards option #2!

Disney sent a reminder e-mail to all travel agents reminding them that January and February are the busiest times of year on their phone systems, especially with a new special offer. Those who already have their vacation packages booked must now call and have the offer applied to their account which leads to long wait times and bogged down web servers. It’s not uncommon for Disney’s servers to have intermittent outages which can be extremely frustrating to new and seasoned users alike.

Melissa’s insider tip: Let a travel agent (especially one who works specifically with Disney) help you book your dream vacation. We can often provide insider information and ensure that you are not only getting a discount, but the best discount that Disney has to offer. If additional discounts become available, we will continue to save you money.

When NOT to travel to Disney World

It’s common knowledge that the time between Christmas through New Year’s is a busy time at Disney World. For my knowledge, I commonly review my Disney apps which show current wait times in the Disney parks. On New Year’s Eve it was common to see wait times in both Magic Kingdom and Epcot in the 2-4 hour range. Yes, FOUR hours for Test Track! To me, that doesn’t sound much of a vacation or a fun experience.

Melissa’s insider tip: Be aware of peak travel windows. For the best times to travel, check an earlier blog post. If you have the ability to stay away from peak travel times such as Christmas, New Year’s, Thanksgiving (and the week leading into Thanksgiving), and the majority of the summer months, you will save time AND money! And we all know time is money.


Ready to get started planning your 2015 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!) 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!

Top Reasons to use an authorized Disney vacation planner

I get it, using a travel professional takes away the control in vacation planning. If you are anything like me, you like to know exactly what’s going on in your vacation plans. In my last Walt Disney World Vacation I considered booking with a travel professional but was scared to let go. After several weeks of research on my own, I reached out to a nationally known authorized Disney vacation planner. It was suggested to me to slightly alter my travel dates for both cost effectiveness and volume of travelers. What an AMAZING suggestion and decision! We we able to extend our vacation an extra day and got through almost every single attraction at Magic Kingdom on the first half day we arrived!

Reason #1 to use a  Travel Professional: KNOWLEDGE!

Did you know that some of the most popular Disney Restaurants can be completely booked 180 days in advance? Your best bet is to wake up at 6 am EST and get advanced dining reservations online. For you west coasters, that means 3 AM! Unless you have a newborn that’s already awake, that’s no fun for anyone. As part of my Disney Travel Experience, I take care of all of your planning needs, not only resort and ticket reservations, but also Dining and Fast Pass + reservations (full roll out scheduled in 2014).

Reason #2 to use a Travel Professional: CONVENIENCE!

Your ideal resort or room sold out on Disney’s web site for the promotion you were hoping to get? Well never fear, check with a Disney Travel Specialist to see if their access allows you to book your dream vacation. Also, Magical Vacations is the Home of the Minnie Box, a special gift that arrives on top of all the other goodies that Disney offers when you book a vacation package! Also, I am offering limited time promotions for bookings before the end of the year on top of these already great benefits!

Reason #3 to use a  Travel Professional: SPECIAL BENEFITS!

Did you know that using a travel professional is absolutely 100% FREE? You read that right! Having someone else do all the heavy lifting, waking up early, and being available for questions costs nothing! PLUS, you have the peace of mind that everything is taken care of before your departure.

Reason #4 to use a  Travel Professional: FREE!

Ready to get started planning your 2015 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 cruise 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!