Best Surprise Reaction to a Disney Trip!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

This Mom's List of Great Disney World Planning WEBSITES!!

When planning a trip to Disney World, the internet is going to be your BEST FRIEND!! But if Websites about Disney were friends, then you would have about a million!  So here is a list to start with!!

Great GENERAL Disney World planning sites:

Good Q&A Sites:

Good Money Saving Sites:

Good Site to See What Disney Attractions are Really like: (type in the name of the Disney Attraction in the search box)

Have a great site you don't see here?  Let me know!!!

Friday, August 2, 2013

This Mom's List of What NOT to do in Disney World!

There are so many To-Do lists out there for Disney World... But here is a list of what NOT to do... That is, assuming you want to make the most of your long awaited trip to the most magical place on earth!

 The early bird gets the worm, and that could not be more true when speaking about Disney World!  This is not the vacation to just kick back, relax and sleep in each morning. Set your alarm and ready to jump on the day when you are planning on going to any Disney Park!


It's not going to happen. Unless you are planning a 12 -15 day trip, you are just not going to get to see and do everything in Disney.  So before you go, look at a list of all the shows and rides and have a PLAN! This way ou can make sure that you do see and experience everything that is most important to your family.


Even the most enthusiastic and energy-filled family will be completely exhausted and flat out if you just go, go, go from morning til night, day after day! This has the potential to suck all magic from your trip, so please, plan for some down time!!


Do your research and pack a small book bag to carry with you each day in the parks. There are lots of key items that can be extremely helpful to you to have on hand while touring around. A bottle of water, band aids, sunscreen, small umbrella, hand sanitizer, and maybe most importantly will be a camera and a smart phone with an app to check accurate live wait times for rides all over the park! What a time saver!!!


I cannot say this enough! Have a plan! You can go to and create a touring plan perfectly suited for your family's needs! If you do this, the amount of time it will save from standing in line is tremendous! And who wants to go down to Disney and wait in lines for longer???

Hope this list of DO NOTS will help you have a more magical trip!!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

This Mom's Steps to Planning Your Disney Vacation!!!

Ok - So you have made the happy decision to plan a Disney World vacation!  Well, who doesn't want to have the most magical time at Disney as possible??  Here are the first 4 steps to planning your dream vacation!

With each step - please DO YOUR RESEARCH!! 


First look at a predicted crowd calendar for the year you are going and choose your week wisely.  For example, HERE is the 2014 Crowd calender from 

If you have school age children you will have to decide whether to pull them out of school only look at weeks when they are out of school already.  Obviously the most crowded times of the year are also peek season in prices so you are spending more money to wait in lines longer (and I am talking about hours of waiting) than the low season times. 


In Choosing a Disney resort, there is much to consider - Price, location, accommodations...  This will be a large chunk of your budget, and granted you will spend most of your time at Disney World away from your resort, but you should make your resort selection with much research.  First you will need to narrow down your search by deciding if you are headed for a Value, Moderate, or Deluxe resort based on their prices and level of accommodations for the number of people in your traveling party.  

To get a good idea of what you will be paying, run some different scenarios on Disney's website, (This is why it is good to have your date already decided because you will need to enter that in to get accurate pricing for the resort during your vacation time).

Once you have your eye on 2 or 3 resort options that fit your needs, go out there to the WWW and start looking them up.  It's not enough to just read what Disney says about their own resorts, read what others have said too. 

OK - Once the dates and resort finalized - this is when the real fun begins! Choosing tickets!! WOO HOO! 
-You can choose to have a base ticket (which gets you into one park, one day)
-or add the Park Hopper option (which allows you to go from park to park on the same day, as many times as you wish)
-or add the Water Park Fun & More option (which allows you the same number of visits to Disney Water parks and Disney putt-putts as the number of days you are staying...  for example - 5 Day tickets with the Water park Fun & more option allows your 5 visits to water parks and putt putts)
-or you can go for the whole sha-bang and get the Park Hopper and Water Park Fun and More All together.
Obviously, each time you add an "option" to your base ticket, the price per day increases.  But, it is good to know that the more days you buy tickets for, the less they are per day. 
-One more option to throw in there is the Non-expiring option.  This is attractive to those who are paying for tickets that may not all get used this trip, in which case, you can always use them your next trip. 

***PLEASE NOTE****  In my opinion, you should plan for your number of days conservatively, because you can always just pay the difference to add on another day or two to your tickets ONCE YOU GET TO DISNEY!  So why not save on the front end and if you get down there and decide you'd like another day in the parks, just pay the extra $$ per person.  In the same way, you can always ADD THE NON-EXPIRING option once you get down there.  If someone from your party is sick or for whatever reason, all your paid for tickets are not used, simply take them to the resort front desk and they can add on the non-expiration option for any of the days not used.


First things first, you will need to decide if the Disney Dining Plan is for you and which one to get! (I go into more detail about my opinion of why the Disney dining plan is awesome HERE if you are interested in reading)

Here are the different levels of Disney Dining Plan

Quick Service Dining plan includes:
Two Quick Service Meals, per night of your resort stay
One Snack, per night of your resort stay
One refillable mug
Plus Dining Plan includes:
1 table service entitlement, per night of your resort stay. The table service meal will include an entrée, dessert and non-alcoholic beverage per guest.
1 counter service entitlement, per night of your resort stay. The counter service meal includes the same things outlined for the  quick service dining plan.
1 snack, per night of your resort stay
1 refillable mug, per guest

Deluxe Dining Plan includes:
3 meals, per night of your resort stay
2 snacks, per night of your resort stay
1 refillable mug

Once you have decided about your dining options,  you will need to be prepared to make any reservations up to 180 days before your trip!  Definitely consider Character Dining if you have young kids with you!  (Read more about my opinion of the different character dining options HERE)

You can look through all the dining options here:

Hope this has been helpful!  Let the magic begin!!

Predicted 2014 crowd Calendar for Disney World!!!

Planning a trip to Disney World in 2014 already?!!  GREAT!  Here is the first step in your planning process!! Look at the crowd calendar for 2014 broken up week by week!!  This is from the site which is SO full of great info and ideas that it should not be overlooked in your planning research!!  Go there now and hit your BOOKMARK button!!