Family Stay at Disney’s Art of Animation Little Mermaid Room

Is Art of Animation Resort the best choice for your Disney World Resort money?  Here's all the fun details of a stay at in the Little Mermaid Rooms. From the Awesome Cars and Finding Nemo pools, to the drawings and character design you'll find throughout this resort, it's a family Disney Vacation delight. Room Photos, the Food Court, and Disney Transportation... plus how far is it to Magic Kingdom from the Art of Animation Value Resort?  I'm a pretty strong advocate for always staying at a Disney World Resort.  Between that and being a Value Resort fan, I was very excited when the newest addition Art of Animation opened in 2012.   This whimsical, incredibly family-friendly resort has four Disney movie themed areas.  Three of them consist of family suites:  Cars, Finding Nemo, and The Lion King.  Although these rooms look spacious and awesome, alas - for my family of four, a suite is unnecessary.  And with a nightly suite rate that is comparable to staying at a Disney … [Read more...]

7 Magical Reasons to Stay at Wyndham Lake Buena Vista (near Disney World)

Let's talk about the elephant in the room first.  I almost always advocate for staying at a Disney World resort.  However, after two visits now to the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista property, I’ve now decided this is my one exception. They’ve got a  LOT to offer, and have gone to great efforts to make sure that families staying with them for a Disney World vacation still feel surrounded by that special Disney magic. There are even a few hidden Mickeys on site! Take a look at these solid reasons to consider staying at Wyndham Lake Buena Vista during your next vacation to Walt Disney World. #1 On Disney World Property Location The Wyndham Lake Buena Vista is literally ON THE WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT PROPERTY, across the street from Disney Springs!  If you want to save money but still stay as close to Disney World as possible, it’s an absolutely perfect location. Staying at this resort really adds no more travel-to-park time than staying at one of the other periphery … [Read more...]

Easy Disney Resorts Planning 101

My family and I are big fans of taking our vacations at Disney World.  This love extends blatantly into our daily life at home, including my work office bedecked in Mickey Mouse and Cinderella Castle mementos. In other words... it's no secret.   And while not everyone knows about my planning spreadsheets I create for each Disney trip, they do know I love Disney Resorts Planning!  So I'm often asked for Disney planning advice.  I say "Disney Resorts" because it's the #1 tip I always give people:  Stay on the Disney World property.   This brings with it so many benefits, additional pixie dusted ambiance, and even cost savings. But this post is about easy Disney Resorts planning!  It can be intimidating to plan a Disney World vacation, worrying that you'll miss something.  In recent years, exciting changes like FastPass+ and the use of My Disney Experience to make reservations and keep track of your itinerary makes it even more critical to do some planning up front. So here … [Read more...]

Walt Disney World Discount for Early 2015

At last!  Hot off the presses, it's a new Walt Disney World Discount for Early 2015.  This is the one my family has personally been waiting for... as we are headed to Disney World during our absolute favorite time of the year:  January/February 2015! Disney has just released their special offer discount deals for Disney World, for early 2015 dates.   Looks like your choice of two offers - room discount, or Stay and Play package discount.  You can get a free vacation quote here. This combination of deals is perfect for my family, as we will be trying out our first "split stay"!  We'll be using the Stay and Play for a package for the first few nights, then heading to the ocean for two nights, then back to Disney to use the room only discount and stay at a Deluxe Resort.  Exciting! Here are the details: Walt Disney World Discount for Early 2015 For those of you thinking about a January-March Walt Disney World Vacation you won’t need anymore convincing! The popular Stay Play and … [Read more...]

Plan Your Trip With The Unofficial Guide to Disney [Giveaway, Ended 6/5]

A trip to Disney is kind of a big deal.  Planning it with the assistance of a great guide book, a smart idea.   Disney vacations are investments.  To maximize your fun and enjoyment, doing some research up front will more than pay off. Unofficial Guides to Disney can offer extremely valuable advice to help plan your trip.  They feature topics such as: Selecting your trip dates Learning about Disney economics, and Disney trip packages Receiving guidance on where to stay Deciding on character or theme dining you'd like to experience  (this is a big one at Disney World where you definitely need ADRs, "Advance Dining Reservations") Getting a feel for how best to spend your days, so you minimize time spent waiting in line Discovering which attractions appeal to you and your family most, and what you absolutely don't want to miss ... and much, much more.  Plus, how about just plain building anticipation for that trip?   :) The Unofficial Guide to Disney ~ … [Read more...]

Disney World Free Dining Offer ~ 2014 Dates & Tips

Arguably the best deal Disney World runs is back, for special offer pricing on their vacation packages ~ free dining!  This is a fantastic deal, and one that my family has been able to take advantage of in the past, at times saving us over $1000. Now for the second year in a row, the Disney World Free Dining Offer has been extended for a nice range of dates starting in late summer 2014 on through even December. Disney World Free Dining Offer ~ Tips Some quick tips: The price of your trip will vary (even within these promotion dates) based on the dates of your stay.  I like to check HERE for a chart of Disney Resort rack room rates, which gives me an idea of how the prices fluctuate. Crowds will also vary significantly.  Touring Plans Crowd Calendar is my favorite site to check out the estimated crowd levels before I select my Disney vacation dates. When looking at the Disney World Free Dining Offer 2014 dates below, keep in mind that the offer has to be valid on your … [Read more...]

Disney Pressed Penny Money Holders

Sprinkled throughout the Disney Parks are pressed penny machines, adored by children of all ages.  Each typically features 3 designs to choose from, often themed to the attraction or land they are near. And kids are drawn to them like moths to a flame. Disney Pressed Penny Machines ~ The 51 Cent Souvenir At first, we resisted.  There’s so much to see, and do, (and spend money on) at Disney… surely this tiny thing can’t be that big of deal?  After awhile it occurred to me, that the resulting pressed penny is actually a pretty neat souvenir. They’re also cheap.  And small.  Both good things on vacation. Most machines currently take 51 cents:  2 quarters and 1 *shiny!* penny.  (There are a few pressed quarter machines, which cost a little more, but they are more rare.) But let's face it, having your child pester you for change every time they spot a Disney pressed penny machine can be annoying... even on a vacation when anything goes!  So when I heard about this … [Read more...]

New Spring 2014 Disney World Special Offers

In the mood to plan a Disney trip?  Disney World has just released some sweet special offers for Spring of 2014!   Because my family just returned from a Fall trip, we won't be taking advantage of this great deal. But we've now stayed at most of the Value Resorts, and a few of the Moderates - so please feel free to ask me any questions, if you are debating between those options for your family. Pssst!  I'll let you in on a little secret... my family has never booked a Disney trip without taking advantage of one of these Special Offers - they really do make your vacation more affordable.   So please check this deal out, if you're thinking of a trip in these upcoming Spring months.  Did you know that January is the busiest month for booking Disney travel...? ;) This post includes affiliate links, meaning if you got a free quote from the Disney Travel Planning specialists at Destinations in Florida, or booked your vacation with them via the links found here, I would receive a small … [Read more...]

Disney Trip Surprise Bags for Kids

Mom is on the final, exciting stretches of Disney World vacation planning!  It's finally time to wrap up those last few details, and execute the ideas I've been dreaming up for months. For the first time, this trip is a SURPRISE to my kids! Another first:  I'm putting together some Disney Trip surprise bags for my kids. Here is what I've put together thus far, and I'd love to hear from you on any other tips to add or consider.  Have you done something similar? Disney Trip Surprise Bags On our last trip, I had a fun Mickey themed tote bag full of Disney World snacks and goodies delivered to our room by Disney Floral and Gifts.  My family loved having this magical surprise waiting for us in our Disney resort room. They do an amazing job, and the tote bag turned into a useful and fun souvenir to bring back home.  But I thought I'd save some money this go-round, and do something a little different. So I've put together two Disney Trip surprise bags for my kids!  (Ok, so I … [Read more...]

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Back Trail Adventure [+$25 Disney Gift Card Giveaway, Ended 11/1]

My Disney friend James, from MousePlanning.com, tried out Disney's Fort Wilderness Back Trail Adventure and offered to give us a full report.  Let's see what he has to say about this Disney experience! Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is not your standard Disney Resort. Located on over 750 acres of land, the site has almost 800 campsites and over 400 cabins available for rent. While it has all the amenities that you’d expect at a Disney Resort -- such as great pools and restaurants -- there are a lot of things that you might not expect to find. In addition to activities like horseback riding, canoeing, and archery, you’ll find miles of woodland trails winding through the pine and cypress forest. The most unique way to explore those trails is riding on a Segway personal transporter, on the Wilderness Back Trail Adventure. Disney’s Fort Wilderness Back Trail Adventure Disney's Wilderness Back Trail Adventure is a 2½-hour guided tour on a Segway X2.  No prior … [Read more...]