Kris’s Tips… and other musings

Why You Should Use a Travel Agent

So yesterday was a crazy day! Be Our Guest is a very popular restaurant at the Magic Kingdom whose reservations at dinner fill up almost immediately. Lunch has been a different story. Lunch at BOG has been a quick service meal as opposed to a table service meal at dinner. Anyone could walk in and eat lunch as long as they were willing to wait in a pretty long line. Some guests were invited to be a part of a special Fast Pass Plus Test that allowed guests who stayed on site to skip the lines. All of that changed yesterday. Disney rolled out a new lunch reservation system for BOG, which is the first time a quick service restaurant has offered reservations.

So yesterday here is what you had: Popular Restaurant + New Reservation System= Chaos. Absolute Chaos. I kid you not the entire reservation system was shut down. Not the Be Our Guest Reservation system, not the dining reservation system. the whole Disney reservation system. There is a special phone number for travel agents to call. It was down. Wouldn’t even ring. I got those annoying dial tones you get when a number is disconnected. How does one restaurant bring down an entire system?!?!?

So why am I telling you all of this? I’ve said from the beginning of this little venture that a travel agent is there to take the stress out of your trip. I’m here to do the hard work so you don’t have to. My day started with looking for reservations for clients EARLY in the morning only to find nothing available, but by the end EVERY ONE of my clients who had given me their log in info had a reservation.

Most people, even Disney experts, don’t have the time to fight through system failures. Most don’t have jobs where they can monitor a developing situation in the parks in order to get that perfect reservation. Using a travel agent like me isn’t just about getting you the best deal, though I certainly will! I’m here to add to the magic, to make sure you have every chance at experiencing everything you want to, and to take the burden of planning off your plate. And I do it all at no cost to you!

So how can I make your Disney dreams come true? How can I take the stress of planning away so you can dream big and enjoy every part of your trip, even the days and months leading up to it! Email me today to started on making your Disney dreams a reality!

Star Wars Day at Sea on Disney Cruise Lines

I think we all knew that Star Wars would become a major part of what Disney did in their parks once the company bought Lucasfilms. I have all ready written in the blog how a major Star Wars Land addition is coming to Hollywood Studios. This week, news broke that it’s not just the parks that are getting in on the Star Wars fun, but Disney Cruise Lines as well. The company has announced that on 8 select sailings on the Disney Fantasy there will be a special Star Wars Day at Sea. The sailings leave on January 9, 23; February 6, 20; March 5, 19; April 2 and 16, 2016. According to the Disney Parks Blog:

Star Wars Day at Sea will transport guests to a galaxy far, far away — in the Western Caribbean. The event features a full day of Star Wars celebrations, including a deck party, meet-and-greets with favorite characters, Star Wars-themed youth activities, unique food and beverage offerings, and special merchandise. Also featured will be exclusive at-sea screenings of the Star Wars films and the new Disney XD animated series, Star Wars Rebels.
The blog also reports that “Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Boba Fett, Stormtroopers and other characters” will be on board to greet guests and that there will special screenings of all 6 films and the Disney XD series Star Wars Rebels. Special guests and celebrities from the Star Wars galaxy will also be on board and the night will end with the Star Wars Deck Party and Fireworks, which according to the Disney Parks Blog includes:

There’s intergalactic fun when the Star Wars deck party blasts off to an exciting evening filled with music, dancing and games.
Star Wars characters converge on the deck stage for a celebration of the Star Wars saga in a show featuring special effects and guest participation.
The deck party culminates in a spectacular display of themed pyrotechnics, lighting, sound effects, lasers and Star Wars music.
Personally I think this sounds amazing for any Star Wars fan. You get some of the best parts of the Star Wars weekends at the Studios in one Day on the beautiful Disney Fantasy. There is no doubt bookings for these sailings will increase quickly, so contact me today for more info!

Spring deals and trips to the beach!

Hello everyone! Hope your new year is off to a great start. I’ve been out of town the past couple of weeks so I thought a quick catch up blog would be nice!

First, don’t  forget there are great discounts to be had for the spring into early June. These discounts will be from 20-30% off of your room rate and can be turned into a package by adding tickets or dining. I’ve seen several clients save with these so why not join in yourself?

Second, we are expanding some of our offerings here at Travel to the Mouse. If you are interested in a trip to the beach, we are expanding our partnerships to meet your needs. Let us know the destination and we will find you a great spot.

Finally, if you are a Star Wars or Harry Potter fan, both Disney and Universal will be having special themed weekends where you can meet some of the stars from these beloved franchises. This would be the ultimate fan experience. Let me know if you are interested and we can make it happen!

Thanks for your business and support. I have been overwhelmed by you all. If I can help in anyway, please email me at kris@traveltothemouse.net

Have a great day!

Disney Flip Side Sweepstakes

Want a chance to win a FREE trip to Disney? Be sure to check out the Disney Flip Side Sweepstakes!!! Enter each day in January for a chance to win. There will be 31 winners who will receive a 5 Day/4 night vacation INCLUDING A NIGHT IN CINDERELLA’S CASTLE!!! Go to http://parks.disney.com/disney-flip-side-sweepstakes each day in January to win! In total winners will receive:

One night in Cinderella’s Castle
Three nights in another Disney hotel
Five Day Magic Your Way Tickets with Park Hopper and Waterpark, Fun & More Options
A $500 Disney gift card
A Personalized “Disney Side’ Welcome Basket
A Glass Slipper gift inspired by the new Cinderella movie
Round-Trip Coach airfare if you live more than 250 miles away
Most “win a trip to Disney contests” are fakes, especially on Facebook. This is 100% legit from Disney. What a great way to start the New Year! Be sure to enter each day and best wishes to all who enter!

Kris

Osborne Holiday Lights

One of our favorite things to do at Disney this time of year is to see the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios. Each year in November, the Streets of America area at the Studios is transformed with millions of lights to celebrate the Christmas season. Each night at about 6:00 pm, the lights are turned on, and it is amazing! The lights are on constantly but about every 20 minutes they go into a synchronized routine with the music. Then to top it all off, it snows!!!It is a truly magical experience, full of holiday cheer!

The lights came to the Studios directly from the Osborne family. Mr. Osborne started the lavish decorations for his daughter by covering there very large house in lights. Over the years the display grew and grew, attracting thousands of people every year. Eventually, the family was sued by their neighbors over all the trouble the event was causing. The lights were boxed up until an agreement was made to bring the lights to the Studios in 2005. They have been there every year since, with the exception of one, when the display was moved from Residential Street to its current location.

Some of my personal favorites are the globe with the phrase “Peace on Earth” over it it, the angels flying overhead, the Christmas tree, and the black cat. The story goes that one piece of Osborne’s halloween display, the black cat, was accidentally packed up with the Christmas decorations. Every year, the designers move the cat to a different hiding place. For those in the know, it has become a bit of scavenger hunt, looking for the cat each year.

If you are at the parks during this time of year, this is a must see. The lights are an amazing display of creativity and engineering. While this is one of the most popular elements of the Studios each year, many are wondering what their future will be. With so much construction coming to the parks, it is possible the lights will have to find a new home away from Streets of America. It is also rumored that in the future, the winner of ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight” might get to design part of the display the following year. No matter what changes come, the lights will continue to delight guests for years to come!

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