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To navigate this blog, simply use the search engine below, or click on one of the categories listed on the far right. To view the basic guides, CLICK HERE. Enjoy!
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Friday, February 29, 2008

Disney Hotel Savings - Get the Best Deal on Disney Lodging

(Thanks to the Unofficial Guide and Mousesavers.com for a lot of this info)

When trying to save on Disney lodging (in one of the Disney resorts), the best way to save is to book room-only reservations on your own and not use the package deals Disney sells you. As has been mentioned before, the Disney packages are intended to be convenient, not cheap.

These room-only reservations are much more flexible, give you the option of canceling up until five-days before (unlike the Disney packages), and do not require the $200 deposit that the Disney packages require.

So, here are some tips on getting the most savings out of your room-only reservations:

  • Discount codes: these are fabulous, and can be found at Mousesavers.com (CLICK HERE). Whenever a discount promotion is being run on room-only reservations you will find the discount codes there. So keep on eye on that link. Also, be flexible with these as you may have to go at a specific time or you may have to compromise on the room. It may be worth it!
  • Keep checking: keep checking the discount code link above until codes are available. Once the alloted discounted room have been used up, keep checking for cancellations. They do happen. If you are persistent you will be rewarded.
There you have it! Good luck, and enjoy beating the system.

Disney Hotel Savings - Get the Best Deal on Disney Lodging

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Disney World Tickets - How to Choose Which Tickets to Buy

Due to the ridiculous amount of ticket options it can be very hard to sort through them and choose which option is best for you. However, knowing which ticket package does is what ultimately saves you the most money. So what do you do?

The "Unofficial Guide" people have put together a great and simple to use calculator that will help you decide which is the best option for you.

to try it out (scroll down the page to find the calculator)!

After you enter in your information it searches over 200 different ticket options to get you the best one. This is a wonderful tool to save money. Give it a try!

Disney World Tickets - How to Choose Which Tickets to Buy

Monday, February 25, 2008

Disney Movie Club - Great New Offer

The Disney Movie Club just announced a great new offer - 4 Disney movies for $1.99 when you sign up, and free shipping! This is one of the best deals I've seen for a long time. Click the link below for more info.

Get 4 Disney Movies for $1.99 Each, Free Shipping!

Disney Movie Club - Great New Offer

General Disney Calendar

For those planning trips to the Disney Resorts, this is a general idea of when events are planned.

For specific calendars, click on the following links:

Wald Disney World

Now, for our general overview. Most event titles are links to information on the event:

If you have anything else to add please let me know. Check the Disney calendars for specific dates and for other event information.

General Disney Calendar

Friday, February 22, 2008

When to Go to Walt Disney World

Now seems to be a popular time to plan this year's Disney World or Disneyland trip, but when should you go? You can start with my Walt Disney World basics guide (CLICK HERE), or just look below for a few tips as to when the best time is to go:

In a previous blog I mentioned the off peak times (CLICK HERE, point #2), but to give you further information, here they are ranked in order of least crowded to most crowded:

  1. Week after Thanksgiving up until a week before Christmas
  2. November up until Thanksgiving (the weekend before)
  3. September (after labor day), October
  4. Second week of January until the second week of February (except MLK day)
  5. Week after Easter until early June
Don't want to take the kids out of school? Then the best time to go is the week after they finish or the week before they go in. Due to late finishers and early starters these times are always less crowded than other peak times.

The downside is on off-peak days the parks often close early (no parades and later shows) and sometimes a few of the rides are closed. That being said, I still think it is definitely worth it to go then, even if it is a little colder, as you will have a wonderful experience with the park mostly to yourself. Okay, so it may not be mostly to yourself, but if you've ever been during peak season, you will greatly appreciate the difference.

Happy planning!

When to Go to Walt Disney World

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Walt Disney World Unofficial Guide 2008

I was just thumbing through my copy of the The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2008 (Unofficial Guides), and I must say I love this book more and more every year. If you have any desire to go to Disney World and want to have the best trip possible, you must get this book. Let me just give you a few ideas of the highlights in the table of contents:

  • Introduction -general yet great overview of the history and attractions at Walt Disney World
  • "Planning before you Leave Home" - tips on where to gather information, what information to gather, and how best to plan
  • "Making the Most of Your Time and Money" - when to go, where to go, and MUCH more
  • Accommodations
  • Disney area spas
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • "Walt Disney World with Kids" - I LOVE this section. Here you will find tons of great tips on how to make a plan that will make the trip enjoyable for you and your children. I would get this book just for this section
  • "Special Tips for Special People" - another fabulous section with tips for singles, couples, expectant mothers, seniors, and more
  • "Arriving and Getting Around"
  • "Bare Necessities" - tips about safety, and unexpected problems
  • "Dining in and around Walt Disney World"
  • Sections about each of the kingdoms
  • "Behind the Scenes at Walt Disney World"
  • "The Water Parks"
  • "Beyond the Parks"
  • Shopping
  • Nightlife
  • and more!
When I pulled the book out of the Amazon box my wife just about fell over when she saw how thick it was.

The best thing I can say for this guide is that if you use it, you will have an amazing time on your Disney Vacation. You will enjoy things that you never even knew existed there.

Click below for details, and have a happy vacation!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Disney Recipes

Looking for Disney themed or Disney restaurant recipes? Here are some free links (thanks to MouseSavers.com for some of these):

DisneyRecipes.com - TONS of recipes here, best place! (CLICK HERE)

Intercot.com - recipes from all over Walt Disney World Resort (CLICK HERE)

Allearsnet.com - another recipe collection from Walt Disney World (CLICK HERE)

FamilyFun.com - Disney themed and Theme Park recipes (CLICK HERE)


Disney Recipes

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Planning Your Disney Vacation

First of all, I have to give credit to MouseSavers.com for many of the ideas in this article as they put out a great list of things to do as you are planning your vacation. For their full article CLICK HERE.

When planning a vacation, TIME IS MONEY! And as mentioned before, the farther in advance you plan, the more success you will have.

So, here is what you have to do, in roughly the order you must decide (again, thanks to MouseSavers.com for the order)

1. When are you going?

If you can, it is best to go during the VALUE times, when the park is least crowded and when the prices are the cheapest. CLICK HERE and check out point #2 for those specific times.

2. What will you do there?

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to go without a plan. There are many things to take in to consideration, like the ages of your kids, how long you will stay, etc. For example, my family is planning a trip this spring but we have three pre-school age children and will only be staying for two days. The Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom have the most attractions for preschool age kids. Epcot and Hollywood Magic have five or less attractions a piece for preschool age kids--probably a waste of a day to go to either of those.

Here is where I HIGHLY recommend you get one of the Unofficial guides, depending on which park you attend to go to. Look at the Disney Vacation Links to the right and you will see lists of each of the guides. Use these guides to help you plan your trip.

Look at Disney's websites and find out what's going on during or around the time you will go. This may effect how long you intend to stay or when you wish to go. Here are the links:

Walt Disney World


3. How will you travel there? If you are flying, look at airfare NOW! You'll save, trust me. If you have little time left the best place to go seems to be Expedia.com for air travel. (See a previous post HERE).

Also, check out MouseSavers.com transportation link (CLICK HERE).

4. Get tickets as early as possible. Click above for discounted Disney tickets, or CLICK HERE.

5. Get hotel reservations ASAP. Again, you will save money. I love MouseSavers.com hotels page, at least for Walt Disney World. They went out and did a lot of research to find which hotels offer the most bang for your buck. CLICK HERE to find out more.

If you plan on staying at one of the Disney resorts, use a travel agent. CLICK HERE for a good one.

6. Details:

Food: How will you eat? Much of this depends on your budget. With my small children, we eat breakfast before we go, give them fanny packs with snacks in them, have them nap in the car at lunch time where we have lunch waiting in sacks, and then eat dinner at the park.

Transportation to and around: How will you get from the airport to the park? Will you rent a car? Will you use the airport shuttle? CLICK HERE for the MouseSavers.com transportation page.

And that's about it. As a further recommendation, pay for as much of it as you can before you go. I hate to hear how much people still have to pay for their vacation when they come back with credit card bills, etc.

Just have fun, and the rest is easy!

Planning Your Disney Vacation

Monday, February 4, 2008

FREE tickets to live Disney shows (American Express Rewards Program)

American Express Rewards Program:

American Express

As a member of the American Express Rewards Program you can redeem your points for tickets to Live Disney Shows (Disney On Ice, Disney Broadway Shows, and more). The service is run by cooperation with American Express and Ticketmaster. So, as long as your account is in good standing, you can redeem about 200 points per $1 towards tickets. Just by using your American Express card for regular purchases you can be building you credit, and putting away points for all of your favorite Disney shows.

Other rewards include frequent flyer miles, free hotel rooms, and much more that can all be applied to your Disney experience.

Your first year is fee-free. Apply for the American Express® Preferred Rewards Gold Card. A world of service.

FREE tickets to live Disney shows (American Express Rewards Program)