Tag archives for Vacation Planning - Page 9

News

It’s Party Time!

Welcome back to Return to Disney! It’s been a long weekend, but the new site design is definitely worth it. To celebrate, I’m hosting a blog giveaway for the month of May, and I’m blown away by the businesses that have agreed to sponsor it: Magical Mouse Plans – Travel agents specializing in Disney and Universal vacation planning. I’ve spoken with Christine several times about my own vacation plans, and she has been incredibly helpful! I can happily recommend her service, and when I asked her if she would be willing to sponsor Return To Disney’s coming out party, she donated not one but TWO great prizes: a $25 Disney gift card and an 18″ stuffed Eeyore! (photos to come) UPDATE: Congratulations to Beth Green, winner of the Castle Reflections print! Keith Burrows of Disney WOW Photos – Keith takes photography over the top! His images are incredible, and...
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Budgeting

Disney Vacation Club – worth it or timeshare scam?

We saw the marketing push for the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) on our first trip, and basically ignored it. Well, except for the cool stickers people kept giving the kids: We’d seen timeshares before. Heck, we even bought into a campground membership in our earlier days. Yeah, that didn’t go well. I think we used it exactly once. And ended up with a legal battle when we cancelled it. So when we glanced over the brochure for the DVC, admittedly we patted ourselves on the back and said “no, we’re too smart to fall for that….” Ok, so there’s a fair supply of arrogance around here! Then I started getting into the Disney blogosphere. And started seeing bloggers that I respect raving about the DVC. (Who WAS that??? I read too many blogs. If that was you, speak up!) With our family size, we either have to stay in...
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Budgeting

Drive or Fly?

For our family, simply getting to Orlando (or Anaheim for that matter) is an undertaking. We live in the middle of Illinois—936 miles from Orlando. With 6 people, we generally assume it’s less expensive to drive when we travel, an assumption that was probably formed in childhood back when gas cost less than $1/gallon! I’ve done the math and it actually cost the same amount to fly to Orlando as it would to drive, without even considering the time and stress factors: According to Google Maps, it’s a 19 hour drive. Our kids have a hard limit of 3 hours in the car before one of them starts getting car sick and the rest try to kill each other. Assuming we left before dawn to maximize the time the kids are asleep or at least drowsy, we could do it in two days: Day 1: Leave at 4am, drive...
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Autism and ADHD

Least Crowded Time at Disney World

Nothing kills the magic for an autistic child faster than a crowd. The noise, visual stimulation, and being bumped can all lead to instant sensory overload. Add to that the fact that cast members are likely to be more rushed and less relaxed, and the entire experience can be overwhelming. If your child is a wanderer, like mine, you know how quickly they can disappear in a crowded park. I recently exchanged emails with Christine Hardenberger of Magical Mouse Plans while planning our next trip to Disney World. After explaining that avoiding the crowds was one of our biggest priorities, she offered so much great advice that I asked if she would write a guest post here at Return to Disney. Thanks Christine! Here is what Christine had to say: Every day, I am asked this question.  Everyone wants to get the most out of their time at Disney...
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Budgeting

What Makes the Magic Happen?

Disney magic is different for everyone. As I’m planning our return to Disney World, I’ve seen a lot of information on visiting Disney on a budget, cutting costs, and so on. Some of it makes sense, but I’m staring at a hard decision: What’s essential, and what’s not? I knew when I started this journey that earning enough money above and beyond what I need to contribute to our family budget wasn’t going to be easy. I still don’t know for certain that I’ll be able to pull it off. Freelancing is a high-risk career – I may be drowning in work one week and have nothing to do (except blog!) the next. I won’t know for sure that I can pull off this trip until every last dime is actually in the bank. I priced out different options recently, and it really hit me – staying at a...
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