Tag archives for Vacation Planning

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Should I Drive or Fly to the Walt Disney World Resort?

It’s one of those big questions that comes up once in a while on Disney-related forums, and it’s one that has to be answered before every new trip: How are we going to get there? We’ve done both, and I’ll tell you which one I prefer, but first I’ll lay out a list of pros and cons to each. Before we begin, I should let you know that we live in Illinois, about 1200 miles from the Magic Kingdom. If you live closer, or father away, this list might look different for you. Flying to the Walt Disney World Resort – Pros Speed. Flying is definitely faster than driving, but it’s not exactly quick. The flight from Chicago to Orlando only takes about 2 1/2 hours, but once you consider the time to drive to the airport (about 30 minutes, unless there’s traffic), getting through security (1-2 hours), and...
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Changes to FastPass+ System at Walt Disney World

Tom Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, announced the next phase of the MyMagic+ program. Guests staying off-property will soon be able to take advantage of the My Disney Experience app, and all guests will be able to reserve more than three FastPass+ selections. Here’s the important thing about this announcement: it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone. If Disney is known for anything, it’s for listening to its guests and giving them – us! – exactly what we want in a dream vacation. They’re also known for innovation, especially when it comes to family vacation experiences. Before Disney, there was no such thing as a theme park – and at the time, there were quite a few outspoken people who thought the whole thing was a horrible idea that would forever destroy life as they knew it. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty...
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Thinking About Disney Cruise Line for First Time Cruisers

This week is Spring Break – and that’s the view from my back door. Yeah…it snowed again. No, they aren’t going to plow. Maybe it will melt? On this cold Spring morning, Disney Cruise Line released a new video detailing their destinations for Summer 2015. It looks like they’re branching out into Northern Europe – Norway, Finland, Iceland, Russia, and England. They also highlighted their destinations in the Mediterranean, Alaska, and of course, the Bahamas and Caribbean. This winter, we’ve been talking about doing the unthinkable: leaving the kids with the grandparents and taking a short Disney vacation just for us grownups. (I know, but sometimes Mom and Dad have to take care of ourselves too.) First we talked about a long weekend at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, but to be honest, with my food allergies and Celiac disease, it’s a minefield. I couldn’t stand the idea...
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Travel Tip: Disney Gift Card Discount at Target

Today’s Tuesday Travel Tip: Get a 5% Disney Gift Card discount at Target. This could save you a few hundred dollars on your next Disney trip.  Erin Benge first shared this tip in an interview she did with me on Affording Disney: Expert Tips for Disney Savings. I took her advice and saved me almost $300 on our upcoming vacation. I’m sure I’ll come up with something to do with the extra cash! Erin’s expert tip: Buy Disney gift cards using your Target RedCard. You’ll get an instant 5% discount off the face value of the gift cards. That means if you buy $1000 in Disney gift cards, you’ll only pay $950. You’ve instantly saved $50 that you can put toward your travel expenses. I did some research and found a lot of conflicting information about this, so I decided I needed to try it out for myself and...
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Picture Schedules

Disney Countdown Calendar

When I was growing up, I had an Advent Calendar every December. Every night before bedtime, I remember opening another window to see a Christmas scene or a verse of scripture or poetry. It was something that marked this time as different and special. It helped me count down the days until that magical night when we would go out in the middle of the night to the church, to celebrate light in the darkness. When I had kids of my own, I hoped to carry on the tradition, but there isn’t a large Catholic population where we live, and none of the stores carried them. This year, I’ve been thinking a lot about that simple tradition from my own childhood – perhaps because I’m looking forward to Christmas, then a few weeks later I’ll get another dose of magic in Walt Disney World. This week I decided I...
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