Disney Vacation Planning

Disney World Ticket Price Changes Coming On October 16

 Disney World tickets will be subject to seasonal pricing as of October 16, 2018.

Disney has announced that they will begin pricing tickets by date starting October 16th in an effort to better distribute attendance throughout the year. In a nutshell, tickets may cost more or less depending on when you decide to visit Disney World. Another big change in that tickets will no longer be good for fourteen (14) days from first use but will now have a valid use window based on ticket length. Since tickets purchased prior to this date will be locked in at current prices and with current expiration policies, we strongly recommend that you book your 2018 or 2019 Walt Disney World Vacation package.

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Daily ticket cost will be determined by your first ticket date. The prices/tiers have not been announced yet but Disney is anticipating a lot of excitement and big crowds due to the opening of Star Wars Land in late Fall 2019 (no exact date has been released at this time) so there is every reason to believe this change will raise prices for peak travel times.

When will date-based tickets expire?

1-Day base tickets are valid for admission on the specific start date selected. Multi-day tickets are valid for admission beginning on the start date selected and must be used within a limited time period.

2-Day Tickets are valid any 2 days within 4 days beginning on the start date

3-Day Tickets are valid any 3 days within 5 days beginning on the start date

4-Day Tickets are valid any 4 days within 7 days beginning on the start date

5-Day Tickets are valid any 5 days within 8 days beginning on the start date

6-Day Tickets are valid any 6 days within 9 days beginning on the start date

7-Day Tickets are valid any 7 days within 10 days beginning on the start date

8-Day Tickets are valid any 8 days within 12 days beginning on the start date

9-Day Tickets are valid any 9 days within 13 days beginning on the start date

10-Day Tickets are valid any 10 days within 14 days beginning on the start date

For example, a 6-day base ticket with a start date of April 1, ticket is valid any 6 days from April 1 to April 9.

Tickets purchased as part of a Disney vacation package will be valid for the length of time indicated above based on ticket length or for the length of stay included in your package, whichever is greater.

Adding the Park Hopper Plus Option to include visits to the Disney Water Parks and other attractions extends the period of time within which you may use your ticket by one day. For example, a 6-day ticket with the Park Hopper Plus Option with a start date of April 1, ticket is valid any 6 days from April 1 – April 10, instead of through April 9 which would be the valid use period for Basic or Park Hopper tickets.

Flexible Date Option: Guests who do not wish to select a specific date may purchase the “Flexible Date Option” for an extra charge. The price for this feature has not yet been announced.

Are tickets able to be modified – what happens if a guest needs to change their date?

Yes, you will be able to modify tickets online or through the Disney Reservation Center prior to the ticket start date. If the ticket is changed to a higher priced date, guest will be responsible for paying the difference in price. There will be no refunds to changes to lower priced dates. If modifications are needed after the ticket start date, guests must visit any Vacation Planning window.

I am planning to visit Disney World in the next year but I won’t be staying on property, should I buy my tickets now?

We’re all wondering if the crystal ball in the Haunted Mansion ride can help us out with this one but, given the way Disney keeps stressing how much money they’ve invested in new rides and attractions as they talk about this, we think that ticket prices are going to go up, at least during the seasons Disney currently ranks as “regular” and “peak” season. It is possible that they might lower value season tickets slightly for public relations purposes; there is no way to know for sure here but that’s what they did when they introduced seasonal pricing for one-day tickets. Currently, value dates are only certain midweek dates in the off-season. If you’re waiting for the opening of Star Wars land to visit, you’ll probably want to purchase tickets now, keeping in mind that tickets purchased separate from a package are not refundable.

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Should I book my vacation package now?

You should probably book your trip before the change if you plan to go during busy times like spring break, summer, fall break, right around Halloween, Christmas break, around any 3-day holiday weekend, or once Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Don’t delay; book today! If you are visiting at during the lowest season, there is small chance that you could benefit by waiting just to see if they lower value season ticket prices. Since you’re not a psychic, the safest approach is to let us put a courtesy hold on a package for you on October 15th so you will be able to wait a couple of days to apply the deposit. If the price drops, we can just cancel the hold and re-book at the lower price. If the price increases, your hold will have you locked in at the lower price and you just need apply the deposit to take advantage of the savings. Just check the courtesy hold box and add a note to the comments section of the form below letting us know that you want to do a courtesy hold on October 15 and we will take care of that for you.

Click here to request a courtesy hold

Confusing technical stuff about future discounts

If you book your trip now and Disney releases a promotion in the future for your travel dates, your tickets in the package may have to be adjusted to the new ticket structure to qualify. A classic example of this is the free dining promotion which always has a ticket requirement that is based on ticket prices at the date of the promotion release. You may be thinking, “if that’s the case, what is the point of even booking now?” The answer is that booking early guarantees you the best available pricing but we don’t know that that best pricing situation will be – during peak times when discounts are as low as 10% at the value resorts (or roughly $12 to $15 per night), families may save more by avoiding future price increases in tickets or other features, or they may save more with a great discount even if it does raise their ticket price. Think of it as insurance – waiting means you might pay more later, booking now means you definitely won’t pay more later and you might even have a chance at lowering your package price.

2019 discounts already available:

Disney World Play, Stay, and Dine discount for January 1 – March 9, 2019

Disney World Room rate discounts available for dates through April 27, 2019. This includes Spring Break!

Disney World Military Discounts for most dates through December 19, 2018 and January 1 – December 19, 2019 (excludes April 14 – 25)

Universal Orlando – Save up to $330 on a 4-night or longer package at an official Universal Orlando hotel that includes 3 park, 2-day Park-to-Park tickets with 2 days free for these dates: November 1 – December 25, 2018 and January 1 – 31, 2019. Must book by November 14, 2018.

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Tips For Riding Slinky Dog Dash Without Spending Hours In Line

 Disney World Tips & Secrets: How to ride Slinky Dog Dash without spending hours in line / Toy Story Land - Disney’s Hollywood Studios - Walt Disney World Resort - Florida.

Slinky Dog Dash is definitely the most popular attraction in the new Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios park; it is currently seeing mid-day waits of 60-80 minutes, even though crowds are moderate now that the kids are back in school. Here’s the good news: we can probably help you get onto both of the new attractions without long lines but it is going to mean waking up early!

Avoiding Long Lines at Slinky Dog Dash With FastPass+

You can book FastPass+ reservation up 60-days prior to arrival when you have a reservation at an official Disney World hotel and at select "Good Neighbor" hotels when you have a vacation package that includes tickets or you purchase your tickets prior to your trip and register them on your MyDisneyExperience account. If you’re not staying at a Disney World resort, you can still book your FastPass+ reservations up to 30-days prior to arrival by purchasing your tickets prior to your trip and registering them on your MyDisneyExperience account. You can make up to three (3) FastPass+ reservations prior to arrival but Disney has a tiered system for FastPass selection that only allows you to select one of the new Toy Story Land attractions. If you plan to ride Slinky Dog Dash, you’ll definitely want to make this your FastPass+ choice because it is the more popular ride and gets the longest lines. The challenge here is that there are a limited number of FastPasses available for this attraction and you might not get one.

Stand-by lines are much, much shorter for the new Alien Swirling Saucers ride though Toy Story Mania! remains popular with the second longest waits in the area by virtue of it being a fun ride and the only ride in Disney’s Hollywood Studios that does not have a height restriction so that it is my second choice for a Toy Story Land FastPass if Slinky Dog is not available.

Avoiding Long Lines at Slinky Dog Dash When You Don’t Have FastPass+

Here’s what we did on our recent visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on a morning that did not have an Extra Magic Hour, the park was opening at 9:00AM and where we did not have a FastPass for Slinky Dog Dash. TouringPlans predicted low to moderate crowds but we would say that Disney’s Hollywood Studios felt much closer to moderate than low. We were able to get 9:45am FastPasses for Toy Story Mania:

8:10AM - We arrived at the park got through security quickly and lined up close fairly the front gates.

Tip for getting through security: Ideally, you should avoid taking any bags with you so that you can just sail through the "no bags" entrance. If that just isn't possible, do a quick scan of the available security lines to see if one appears to be moving faster or have people who don't appear to be bringing all of their earthly belongings into the park. Be sure you have all compartments of your bags open and ready.

8:35AM (25-minutes prior to the posted opening time) – We were allowed through the gates and down Hollywood Boulevard to where it intersects with Sunset Boulevard. If you don’t already have a park map and Times Guide, you can get those on the rack at the Crossroads kiosk that has Mickey Mouse on the top.

This tip will only work if your group is small and able and willing to move quickly: When you get in line, if all of the gates are not open, try to get in the leftmost line unless there is a compelling reason to avoid it because they may open additional lines as crowds are forming. Watch for that to happen and quickly move over when they do if it gets you closer to the gates. Once they let people in, start moving to the right side of the crowd.

Tip: When they let you through, you can usually move farther forward if you are on the edges of the crowd than if you are in the middle of the road. Try to be on the right side of the street, if at all possible but the left side is fine too - just go as far forward as possible.

DHS-Arch.jpg

At 8:45AM (15-minutes prior to posted opening time) – They opened the park and began leading guests at a very brisk walk to Toy Story Land. There were also people headed to the registration for Jedi Training Academy and there were others who were headed to Rock ‘n Roller Coaster. Some people headed to Toy Story Mania! which is close to the front of Toy Story Land and doesn’t have a height restriction but most people were lining up for Slinky Dog Dash.

Tip: We lost time in the bottleneck of the smaller hole through the arch. It may make sense to aim for the larger entrance unless you’re stuck behind a convoy of strollers and scooters.

9:02AM – We rode Slinky Dog Dash after waiting less than 10-minutes. We weren’t at the very front of the line but we were fairly far forward in the crowd.

 Disney World Tips for Riding Slinky Dog Dash in Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

In this 10-minute video, Steve and Brian of TouringPlans.com checked out Slinky Dog Dash at park opening in Disney's Hollywood Studios and came out with a pretty good plan. So you know, this was filmed Saturday, September 15 with a crowd level of 4.

Ride Something Else if the Park Is already open when you arrive

The thing about this recommendation is that it only works if you arrive BEFORE the park opens and you are in the first wave of riders. The lines and waits for this ride get long quickly so, if you arrive after the park opens and you don’t get that first wave, early arrival advantage, you’re better off taking advantage of shorter lines at other rides early in the day and riding Slinky Dog Dash later.

The Rest of Our Morning

 Alien Swirling Saucers at Toy Story Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios / Walt Disney World Resort - Florida.

9:10AM – We rode Alien Swirling Saucers with no line. This is the farthest ride back in Toy Story Land so it takes a little longer to get busy. We would’ve ridden Toy Story Mania! next if we didn’t have a FastPass for it because it’s position near the front of Toy Story Land which causes the lines to get longer earlier and then ride Alien Swirling Saucers after that.

The lines were posted at over one hour for Slinky Dog Dash by now but we could’ve easily gotten onto Alien Swirling Saucers in a timely fashion for a second ride if we’d gone back into the line. Instead, we decided to get a Raspberry Lunchbox Tart at Woody’s Lunch Box and to visit restrooms before using our 9:45am Toy Story Mania! FastPasses. We also took time to watch the Green Army Men stop and train some young recruits.

 Toy Story Land Tips for avoiding long lines on Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania! / Disney World

By 10:00AM, we had seen and done everything Toy Story Land has to offer. The day was getting hot and the people who don’t know to arrive early were coming in droves. The lines for both Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers are outside, with only some patio style umbrellas along the route to provide shade so we were happy to be done and to head towards some indoor, air conditioned shows and attractions during the heat of the day.

 Tips for avoiding long lines for Slinky Dog Dash in Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios / Disney World.

Tips: Watch the weather; Slinky Dog shuts down for lightning - For research purposes, we went back in the afternoon and got into the line which had a 65-minute posted wait. We had gotten far enough forward to be under the covered area close to the ride when a lightning storm and heavy rain caused them to temporarily shut down the ride. Those waiting in the open were told to leave and take shelter and those of us under the covered area were given the option of leaving or staying. With no estimate of when the ride would reopen, some of the people in the covered area opted to leave but most, like us stayed. we ended up waiting 89-minutes to ride.

 Slinky Dog Dash at Night / Toy Story Land / Disney’s Hollywood Studios park / Walt Disney World Resort

The park was scheduled to close at 8PM so we returned to Toy Story Land at about 7:00PM to see what it was like after dark. It is delightful! We puttered around taking pictures and headed back to Slinky Dog Dash at about 7:40pm to check out the lines at that time. The posted wait was 60-minutes but we got through and rode in about 20-minutes but you should probably keep in mind that the earlier downpour had caused some people to leave early. Slinky Dog Dash usually stays pretty busy all day long.

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Thursday 3: Comparison of Disney & Universal Family Suites - Value Resorts

Reservations are now being accepted at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort - Surfside Inn and Suites for dates beginning August 1, 2019. We recently compared the standard hotel style rooms so, today, I will cover the family suites to two Disney World value resorts that have both standard rooms and family suites: Disney’s All-Star Music and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. We can help you plan a vacation that includes your stay at any of these resorts so request a free, no-obligation quote today.

 Disney’s Art of Animation Resort - Cars Family Suite / Walt Disney World Resort

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort - Cars Family Suite / Walt Disney World Resort

 Disney’s All-Star Music Family Suite / Walt Disney World Resort

Disney’s All-Star Music Family Suite / Walt Disney World Resort

 Universal’s Endless Summer Resort - Surfside Family Suite / Universal Orlando

Universal’s Endless Summer Resort - Surfside Family Suite / Universal Orlando

How do the rooms compare?

Capacity: All of these suites can accommodate up to six (6) adults plus one infant in a Pak ‘n Play crib.

Kitchenettes: All three options include a have a kitchenette with microwave, coffee maker and mini-refrigerator

 Disney’s All-Star Music Family Suite / Walt Disney World Resort

Disney’s All-Star Music Family Suite / Walt Disney World Resort

Size:

  • Universal’s Surfside Inn family suites: The 440-square-feet

  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort family suites: The 520-square-feet

  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort family suites: The 565-square-feet

Beds:

  • Universal’s Surfside Inn family suites: three queen beds with one bed in a separate room and the other two beds in the main area.

  • · Disney’s Art of Animation Resort family suites: one bedroom with one queen-size bed; one double-size convertible TableBed; one double-size sleeper sofa.

  • · Disney’s All-Star Music Resort family suites: bedroom with one queen-size bed; a living area with a double-size sleeper sofa; a sleeper chair; a sleeper ottoman.

 Universal’s Endless Summer Resort - Surfside Family Suite / Universal Orlando

Universal’s Endless Summer Resort - Surfside Family Suite / Universal Orlando

 Disney’s Art of Animation Resort - Cars Family Suite / Walt Disney World Resort

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort - Cars Family Suite / Walt Disney World Resort

Bathrooms:

  • Universal’s Surfside Inn family suites: one bathroom that has two compartments with the toilet and tub/shower in one section and a separate section with two sinks and a vanity

  • · Disney’s Art of Animation Resort family suites: two full bathrooms

  • · Disney’s All-Star Music Resort family suites: two full bathrooms

Seating

  • Universal’s Surfside Inn family suites: Concept art shows an adorable picnic table with a bench on one side and two chairs on the other.

  • · Disney’s Art of Animation Resort family suites: There is the sleeper sofa and the table with seating for four.

  • · Disney’s All-Star Music Resort family suites: Sleeper sofa, chair with ottoman, and a small round table with two chairs. There is also a chair in the bedroom.

Official Disney Hotel Benefits: Staying at an official Disney resort gives you some great benefits like airport transportation at no additional cost, Extra Magic Hours not available to the general public, complimentary bus transportation to the Disney theme parks and the ability to book FastPass+ reservations 30-days ahead of the general public when you have tickets or a vacation package that includes tickets. Disney Magical Express transportation between the Orlando International Airport and these resorts is also available at no extra cost.

Official Universal Orlando Hotel Benefits: Staying at an official Universal Orlando hotel gives you benefits like Early Park Admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and complimentary bus transportation to the Universal Orlando theme parks. A neat perk of the official Universal hotels is that you are allowed to use the pools at any of the other official hotels, where Disney does not allow “pool hopping” in most cases.

2019 Cost comparison: Pool view rooms are available about Universal’s Surfside for an additional $20 per night. Finding Nemo suites at Disney’s Art of Animation typically cost more than the Cars and Lion King suites. Disney’s all-Star Music resort does not offer any upgrades for their family suites. For consistency, the lowest priced, undiscounted suite available was used for the cost comparisons below. Prices do not include tax.

Parking: Universal charges $12 per night and Disney value resorts charge $13 per night for self-parking.

August 15:
Universal’s Surfside - Standard View: $184
Disney’s All-Star Music - $309
Disney’s Art of Animation - $406

September 15:
Universal’s Surfside - Standard View: $184
Disney’s All-Star Music - $310
Disney’s Art of Animation - $405

October 15:
Universal’s Surfside - Standard View: $154
Disney’s All-Star Music - $300
Disney’s Art of Animation - $395

November 15:
Universal’s Surfside - Standard View: $184
Disney’s All-Star Music - $306
Disney’s Art of Animation - $395

December 15
Universal’s Surfside - Standard View: $189
Disney’s All-Star Music - $339
Disney’s Art of Animation - $425

Getting two standard location connecting rooms at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort or any of the value resorts is usually cheaper than getting a family suite and can sleep up to eight adults. On August 15, 2019, the cost of two connecting rooms at Disney’s All-Star Music is $270 which is $39 cheaper than the family suites. You can get guaranteed connecting rooms if you only have two adults in the party and more children age 17 or younger than one room can hold.

I limited the above comparisons to official theme park resort hotels but it is worth mentioning that DoubleTree Suites, one of the Disney Springs Good Neighbor hotels offers a less expensive suite option that runs about $245+ tax per night for the nights listed able and includes some great on-site benefits like Extra Magic Hours, bus transportation to the parks, and the ability to book FastPass+ reservations 60-days prior to arrival when you have a package that includes tickets. This hotel does not participate in Disney’s Magical Express airport transportation so you may need to include transportation costs into your comparison.

 DoubleTree Suites - Disney Springs - An official Disney World Good Neighbor hotel / Walt Disney World Resort - Florida

DoubleTree Suites - Disney Springs - An official Disney World Good Neighbor hotel / Walt Disney World Resort - Florida

In summary, the suites at Universal’s Surfside family suites are significantly cheaper than the Disney value resort family suites and they’ll be shiny and new when they open next August but they’re smaller and only have one bathroom. The Universal resort hotels do not offer complimentary airport transportation so that, if needed, will affect total cost. The Disney family suites are bigger and having two full-bathrooms is definitely a big advantage when you’ve got a lot of people all trying to get ready to get out the door in time for park opening. Families who need separate beds may find the two twin sized pull-out beds helpful at Disney’s All-Star Music resort. I didn’t dive too deeply into style and theme because Surfside only has concept art at this point but it should be noted that, although the most expensive, the suites at Disney’s Art of Animation are delightfully and adorably themed. Disney’s complimentary airport transportation may offset the higher price of the Disney resorts for larger families.

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Vacation planning is always a lot easier when you have one of our travel agents on your side because we specialize in Disney and Universal Orlando vacation destinations and we can help you manage things like crowds, park hours, entertainment schedules, and dining options.  It can be a lot to think through but Imagine how much better your vacation will be when we:

  • Give you a "Best Days" itinerary that puts you in the best theme park for each day of your trip

  • Book dining reservation on your behalf (subject to availability) at times that don't interfere with parades and fireworks

  • Give you excellent theme park touring plans that keep lines to an absolute minimum.  

You get all of this expert service at no extra charge when you book your Disney vacation through Build A Better Mouse TripClick here for more information.

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A Rough Start to A Disney Vacation - We Want Better for You

 Disney Vacation Tips - Thoughts on getting off to a great start of your theme park vacation.

Disney Vacation Tips - Thoughts on getting off to a great start of your theme park vacation.

Steve and I were standing in line outside of For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration at Disney’s Hollywood Studios last week when the lady with three grandchildren asked us, “Do you understand FastPass and is it worth it?”  You know how a sound can cause an avalanche? Well, that is what happened to that dear lady; her simple question loosed an avalanche of too much information on her head:

  • We explained, in too much detail, how FastPass works

  • Told her that there is no extra cost to use FastPass so it is definitely worth it!

  • Even though she didn’t really understand how to get the first three FastPasses, we explained how to add additional ones once those are done

  • We told her that shows are not usually a good use of a FastPass because of their high capacity

  • We told her to arrive well before park opening if FastPass wasn’t available for certain popular attractions like Avatar Flight of Passage or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

  • Noticing the size and age differences of the kids at her side, we thought she needed to know about Rider Switch Passes

  • We asked if she had a park Times Guide and, when she didn’t, we gave her ours.

Poor lady, it was all too much and, if she did not gain a better understanding of FastPass, she at least learned the dangers of talking to enthusiastic strangers!  Steve showed her the spots on the park map where she would find Disney cast members to help her set up some FastPasses so I sincerely hope she went there and that they took care of her.

We gave her the best advice that we could but I was a little sad because, over the course of the conversation, I learned that this was a once in a lifetime trip for her extended family who find it hard to get away from the family farm for very long.  They had stood in line that morning to purchase their park tickets and I just kept thinking, “It would’ve cost a little less to buy your ticket in advance and you could’ve booked your FastPasses 30-days prior to arrival (they were staying off property), making your time in the parks so much easier.”  It is just too hard and stressful to try to figure out tickets, park maps and complex systems on the spot when the kids are clamoring to go do one of the bright and shiny things there in front of them. 

Making sure our clients get to the Disney and Universal theme parks knowing where to go, what to do and how things work is our number one priority and working with us before you arrive means you never have an experience like that classic final exam nightmare where you’ve arrived for the test but failed to study or even attend the necessary classes. If we meet you in the parks, we’ll try to help you even if you aren’t our client but we’d really love the opportunity to make sure you are well prepared and you don’t have to depend on the kindness of strangers.

Let’s start planning a great vacation!

Our “Quote Request” form is the easiest way to start planning your trip. Just fill in as much or as little information as you know at this time and one of our agents will be in touch soon. There’s never any pressure or obligation.

Get A Quote

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Thursday 3: Comparing 3 Value Resorts - Universal and Disney Standard Rooms

Comparison of Disney & Universal Standard Hotel Rooms - Value Resorts

 A comparison of Disney World and Universal Orlando Value Resort Rooms

Reservations are now being accepted at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort - Surfside Inn and Suites for dates beginning August 1, 2019. This Universal Orlando value resort features standard hotel rooms with two queen beds and 2-bedroom suites so I am going to compare them to two Disney World value resorts that have both standard rooms and family suites: Disney’s All-Star Music and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. We’ll cover the standard hotel style rooms this week and the family suites next week. We can help you plan a vacation that includes your stay at any of these resorts so request a free, no-obligation quote today.

How Do the Rooms Compare?

Beds: The standard rooms at Universal’s Surfside Inn and Suites have two queen beds and a full bathroom. Rooms have mini-refrigerators but they do not have microwaves.

 Universal’s Endless Summer Resort - Surfside Inn and Suites Standard room Opening August 2019

Universal’s Endless Summer Resort - Surfside Inn and Suites Standard room Opening August 2019

At this time, the standard rooms at both Disney’s All-Star Music and Disney’s Art of Animation resort have two full-size beds. Couples or 2 guests + one infant can request a room with one king-size bed instead of two double beds; requests are not guaranteed but Disney tries to honor them when possible. Disney’s Pop Century resort, another value hotel, has recently undergone a renovation where it now has one queen bed and one full-size pull down bed; Disney’s All-Star Movie’s resort is currently undergoing the same type of renovation and we suspect that all of Disney value resorts will someday have this type of bed configuration. Rooms have mini-refrigerators but they do not have microwaves.

 Little Mermaid Standard Room at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort / / Walt Disney World

Little Mermaid Standard Room at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort / / Walt Disney World

 Standard Rooms at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort / Walt Disney World

Standard Rooms at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort / Walt Disney World

Official Disney Hotel Benefits: Staying at an official Disney resort gives you some great benefits like airport transportation at no additional cost, Extra Magic Hours not available to the general public, complimentary bus transportation to the Disney theme parks and the ability to book FastPass+ reservations 30-days ahead of the general public when you have tickets or a vacation package that includes tickets.

Official Universal Orlando Hotel Benefits: Staying at an official Universal Orlando hotel gives you benefits like Early Park Admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and complimentary bus transportation to the Universal Orlando theme parks.

2019 Cost comparison: You can upgrade to a preferred location room at Disney’s all-Star Music resort for an additional $30 per night. Pool view rooms are available about Universal’s Surfside for an additional $20 per night. The Little Mermaid standard rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation resort have been excluded from every discount since they opened.

August 15:
Universal’s Surfside - Standard View: $109
Disney’s All-Star Music - Standard Room: $135
Disney’s Art of Animation - $185

September 15:
Universal’s Surfside - Standard View: $99
Disney’s All-Star Music - Standard Room: $136
Disney’s Art of Animation - $184

October 15:
Universal’s Surfside - Standard View: $134
Disney’s All-Star Music - Standard Room: $126
Disney’s Art of Animation - $173

November 15:
Universal’s Surfside - Standard View: $129
Disney’s All-Star Music - Standard Room: $135
Disney’s Art of Animation - $174

December 15
Universal’s Surfside - Standard View: $99
Disney’s All-Star Music - Standard Room: $150
Disney’s Art of Animation - $195

Parking fees for overnight guests:
Universal’s Surfside Inn & Suites: $12 per night + tax
Disney Value Resort: $13 per night + tax.

In a nutshell, Universal’s Surfside Inn and Disney’s All-Star Music resort are pretty comparably priced most of the time though that can vary by date. If Disney continues to offer their Free Dining promotion in September, Disney’s All-Star Music will probably be the better value for most families of up to four people (or five, if the fifth person is an infant) when that promotion is available. The Little Mermaid rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation resort are quite a bit higher and, so far, those rooms have been excluded from all promotions since the resort opened. The queen beds are a plus at Universal’s Surfside Inn. We only have concept art for the Surfside pool yet so it is hard to say which pools will ultimately be the best but, at this time, the three pools at Disney’s Art of Animation resort are absolutely adorable!

Click here to learn more about Disney’s All-Star Music Resort

Click here to learn more about Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

This video tells you a bit about Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. Keep in mind that standard hotel rooms are only available in the Little Mermaid section though guests may use all of the pools and other resort amenities.

This short video gives you a good overview of Disney’s All-Star Music resort though the standard rooms no longer have the colored bedspreads. They’ve switched to the all white

Don't Get Overwhelmed By The Details - Let Us Help!

Vacation planning is always a lot easier when you have one of our travel agents on your side because we specialize in Disney and Universal Orlando vacation destinations and we can help you manage things like crowds, park hours, entertainment schedules, and dining options.  It can be a lot to think through but Imagine how much better your vacation will be when we:

  • Give you a "Best Days" itinerary that puts you in the best theme park for each day of your trip

  • Book dining reservation on your behalf (subject to availability) at times that don't interfere with parades and fireworks

  • Give you excellent theme park touring plans that keep lines to an absolute minimum.  

You get all of this expert service at no extra charge when you book your Disney vacation through Build A Better Mouse TripClick here for more information.

Let’s start planning a great vacation!

Our “Quote Request” form is the easiest way to start planning your trip. Just fill in as much or as little information as you know at this time and one of our agents will be in touch soon. There’s never any pressure or obligation.

Get A Quote

Tips for Keeping Work from Sabotaging Your Family Vacation

 Tips for keeping work from taking over your vacation so that you can focus on the people that matter. 

Tips for keeping work from taking over your vacation so that you can focus on the people that matter. 

Sure, you’re researching hotels and restaurants and what attractions you want to experience on vacation but did you know that a really important part of vacation planning is figuring out how to manage work when you’re away from work? A recent study found that half of all couples argue about how much time one spouse or partner spends attending to work while on vacation and it isn’t just adults that get upset – the kids notice when you’re with them, but not really with them too.  

“How many of us have seen parents standing in an amusement park line reading their email instead of connecting with their kids and spouse? Taking time to make the break from work and enjoy experiences with friends and family makes for professionals who are healthier, happier and more engaged upon their return.”

We know we should take vacations and our family probably even needs a vacation but we find leaving work at work hard to do.  Here are a few vacation statistics from a professional study by Korn Ferry:

  • 88% of study participants have cut short or cancelled vacation due to work pressures.
  • 34% connect with work multiple times a day while on vacation
  • Only 3% did not check in with the office while on vacation
  • 52% did not plan on using all of their vacation time for the year

This is an important thing to think through because daily life is demanding and vacations are important time set aside to strengthen relationships and to build memories through shared experiences. Unfortunately, spending too much time checking on work matters has the potential to really undermine that goal.  HomeAway partnered with researchers at the University of Texas on a study to determine what factors affect the memorability of vacations and they found that spending too much time spent working on vacation affects your ability to remember the trip later:

Working while traveling decreases trip memorability. Those who work while on vacation are less likely to recall all of their memorable events than those not working. This effect increases as vacationers spend more time working. Of those who used devices for work-related activities, just 43% who spent one hour or more working recalled all trip events, while 60% of those who spent less than an hour working recalled all events. Overall, working an hour or more on vacation made participants 43% more likely to have trouble remembering their trips than those who worked one hour or less. Those who used laptops, versus smart phones or tablets, also had significantly more trouble remembering their vacations.”   

Take a minute to let this really sink in because you would probably say that your spouse and children are a major motivation for doing well at your job – you want to provide the things your family needs to thrive, not just survive.  You probably already agree that, when you set aside time to spend with them, you need to be present in that moment to focus on those relationships and experiences. It can be challenging to keep the means of experiencing a good life from becoming something that ultimately detracts from a life lived well but here are a few tips from Sunset magazine to help:

1)  Set some boundaries and rules before heading on vacation that will allow you stay on top of work without neglecting your travel partner.

2) Before heading out on vacation, touch base with coworkers and establish a set time when you will be available for emergencies only. It shouldn’t need to be any more than 15 minutes per day.

3)  If you have circumstances that absolutely cannot wait until you get back to the office, you can use this time to let the kids interact with their screens before coming back to each other. This can help minimize resentment from family members feeling like they’re in a holding pattern while you are attending to those things.  Then make a commitment as a family or a couple to put the outside world aside while you spend some time doing things together.

4)  It becomes much easier to stick to screen limits by turning off push notifications from emails and work apps like Slack or Trello. Hardcore digital detoxers can even put their phone on airplane mode to eliminate temptations.

5)  The final step in cutting down work time is remembering to set an out-of-office message before heading out. This email can simultaneously refer inquiries to someone in the office, warn coworkers that you’re off the grid, and make everybody back home jealous.  Click here for out of office message writing tips.

Don't get overwhelmed by the details - let us help!

Vacation planning is always a lot easier when you have one of our travel agents on your side because we specialize in Disney and Universal Orlando vacation destinations and we can help you manage things like crowds, park hours, entertainment schedules, and dining options.  It can be a lot to think through but Imagine how much better your vacation will be when we:

  • Give you a "Best Days" itinerary that puts you in the best theme park for each day of your trip
  • Book dining reservation on your behalf (subject to availability) at times that don't interfere with parades and fireworks
  • Give you excellent theme park touring plans that keep lines to an absolute minimum.  

You get all of this expert service at no extra charge when you book your Disney vacation through Build A Better Mouse TripClick here for more information.

Let’s start planning a great vacation!

Our “Quote Request” form is the easiest way to start planning your trip. Just fill in as much or as little information as you know at this time and one of our agents will be in touch soon. There’s never any pressure or obligation.

Get A Quote

Disney World Resort Hotels Now Charging for Parking

Disney World Adding New Hotel Parking Fee for all reservations booked on or after March 21, 2018

 Disney World is now charging for parking at their official resort hotels.

Disney World is now charging for parking at their official resort hotels.

Disney is implementing a new parking fee for guests of their official Disney World resort hotels who book their vacation on or after March 21, 2018. Perhaps this change was inevitable, after all, Universal has charged its official hotel guests for parking for as long as I can remember and so have the Swan, Dolphin and Disney Springs hotels, but I am disappointed to see this change.  Free parking was a very nice perk. 

Here is Disney's official announcement:   

 "Effective for reservations made March 21, 2018 and thereafter, standard overnight self-parking is available to registered Guests for a fee that will be applied to their hotel folio upon check-out. All parking fees include applicable tax.

Standard Overnight Parking charges per Resort Category:

Disney Value Resorts: $13 per night
Disney Moderate Resorts: $19 per night
Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts: $24 per night

Complimentary standard parking is available to Guests staying at Campsites at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort. Each campsite provides parking space for one (1) motorized vehicle.

Valet Parking:
Valet Parking is available at select Disney Deluxe Resorts and Disney Deluxe Villas for $33 per night (sales tax included).

Guests with Disabilities
Designated parking areas are available throughout Walt Disney World Resort for Guests with disabilities. A valid disability parking permit is required.

Disney Vacation Club:
Members will not be charged for standard overnight self-parking when staying at a DVC Deluxe Villa, regardless of whether they use vacation points or another form of payment. Members also will not be charged to park when using vacation points to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel.

Day Guests:
Complimentary standard self-parking is available while enjoying select dining, shopping, entertainment, and recreation experiences at Disney Resort hotels."  Source: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/parking/

Planning a Disney vacation? You'll definitely want to subscribe to our free newsletter. You will receive a link to 45 great Disney World Freebies in your welcome note and several helpful “how-to” e-guides over the next week. Unsubscribe at any time.

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See the Manatees at Blue Spring State Park - 1 Hour from Disney World

 Blue Springs State Park in Orange City, Florida is the winter home of hundreds of manatees.  Located a little over an hour away from Disney World. 

Blue Springs State Park in Orange City, Florida is the winter home of hundreds of manatees.  Located a little over an hour away from Disney World. 

Seeing the Manatees at Blue Spring State Park is a neat addition to your Disney winter months vacation (typically mid-November to very early March). The manatees head there when the spring’s 73-degree waters are warmer than the rivers and canals they swim in during the rest of the year.   When it really gets chilly, there will often be hundreds of manatees at the spring.   This is a wonderful way to experience a bit of "real Florida" along side of the manufactured wonders of the Orlando area theme parks. It takes a little over an hour to drive to Blue Spring State Park from Disney World.

The delight of being able to see so many manatees in such a beautiful natural setting has made Blue Spring State Park very popular and the park often reaches capacity so it is a good idea to arrive early.  Blue Spring State Park is open daily from 8:00AM to sundown and admission is $6 per vehicle; limit 8 people per vehicle. 

Blue Spring State Park is located at 2100 W. French Avenue, Orange City, FL 32763.  The park's phone number is 386-775-3663.  Take U.S. 17/93 to Orange City and go west two miles on French avenue to the park entrance.  For more info, see: https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Blue-Spring

Click here to check out the webcam at Blue Spring

Planning a Disney vacation? You'll definitely want to subscribe to our free newsletter. You will receive a link to 45 great Disney World Freebies in your welcome note and several helpful “how-to” e-guides over the next week. Unsubscribe at any time.

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Tips for Riding Avatar - Flight of Passage without Spending Hours in Line

 Disney World Tips & Secrets - How to ride Avatar - Flight of Passage at Disney's Animal Kingdom without spending hours in line, even if you don't have FastPass+

Disney World Tips & Secrets - How to ride Avatar - Flight of Passage at Disney's Animal Kingdom without spending hours in line, even if you don't have FastPass+

Pandora – The World of Avatar has now been open long enough at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park for us to give you some tips for riding Avatar Flight of Passage which is currently seeing mid-day waits of up to 115-minutes, even though crowds are moderate now that the kids are back in school.  Lines are much, much shorter for Na’vi River Journey.  

Avoiding Long Lines with FastPass+

You can book FastPass+ reservation up 60-days prior to arrival when you have a reservation at an official Disney World hotel and at select "Good Neighbor" hotels when you have avacation package that includes tickets or you purchase your tickets prior to your trip and register them on your MyDisneyExperience account.   If you’re not staying at a Disney World resort, you can still book your FastPass+ reservations up to 30-days prior to arrival by purchasing your tickets prior to your trip and registering them on your MyDisneyExperience account.   You can make up to three (3) FastPass+ reservations prior to arrival but Disney has a tiered system for FastPass selection that only allows you to select one of the new Pandora/Avatar attractions.   If you plan to ride Avatar – Flight of Passage, you’ll definitely want to make this your FastPass+ choice because it is the more popular ride and gets the longest lines.   Ride Na’vi River Journey, using the stand-by line as soon as the park opens or come back about an hour prior to park closing.

Avoiding Long Lines When You Don’t Have FastPass+

We can probably help you get onto both attractions in a timely fashion but it is going to mean waking up early!   You need to arrive at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park and get through security at least 45-minutes prior to park opening (60 minutes prior during heavy crowds) and work your way as far forward as possible on the left side (as you face the park) of the entrance.   When crowds are at least moderate or higher, they will let you in and start forming a line for Avatar – Flight of Passage BEFORE the park opens; they may even start letting people ride the attraction before the official opening time.  Arriving early and being closer to the front of that line is key here –arriving 30-minutes, rather than 45-minutes prior to opening, will add an extra half-hour of line time and the line quickly grow to 40-minutes long as soon as the park opens.  If you hate getting up early the way I do, you’re probably thinking, “If have to get up early to arrive 45 minutes before park open and the line will be 40 minutes long at parking opening, why don’t I just sleep later and wait the same 45 minutes?”   That’s a fair question and the answer is that, by arriving early, you will probably get to ride Avatar – Flight of Passage before the park opens and you’ll get to move on to the next attraction.  Every minute you save in the early morning equals at least 10-minutes of cumulative line time as the day goes on.  

If you'd like to hear a first-hand account of how this worked, listen to Radio Harambe, Episode 118.  You can jump ahead to about 57 minutes into the episode. At about the 58-minute point, they go into how this worked for them and the difference between arriving 30 minutes vs. 45 minutes prior to park opening.

Click Here for the Radio Harambe Podcast

Tip for getting through security: Ideally, you should avoid taking any bags with you so that you can just sail through the "no bags" entrance.   If that just isn't possible, do a quick scan of the available security lines to see if one appears to be moving faster or have people who don't appear to be bringing all of their earthly belongings into the park.  Be sure you have all compartments of your bags open and ready.   

Transportation:  If you have your own vehicle, this is an excellent time to drive to the park.  The Disney buses will start running one hour before the park opens.   If it works with your budget and you don’t have a vehicle available, I strongly recommend that you take a taxi or Uber to Disney’s Animal Kingdom so that you don’t have to worry about transportation delays.

Click here to learn about line minimizing theme park touring plans

Breakfast – Satu’li Canteen, in Pandora – World of Avatar, serves a nice selection of breakfast choices, does not require (or even allow) advance reservations, and even offers mobile ordering through the MyDisneyExperience app to help you avoid lines at the restaurant.   This option only works if you’re paying with a credit card, debit card or Disney Dining Plan but cannot be used with the cash.  You just order and pay using the app prior to riding the attractions and then, when you get to the restaurant, go back into the app and press the “I’m Here, Prepare My Order” button.  You’ll receive a notification through the map that tells you when you can pick up your food at area with the “Mobile Order Pick-Up” sign.

Click here for Satu’li Canteen Menu & Pricing

Click Here for more Mobile Ordering information.

Don't Miss Out On Great Experiences At Disney World!

We want to help you have the most wonderful, most memorable Disney vacation possible. We know that giving you good, up-to-date information and a few simple tools will make a huge difference in your Disney vacation. Long lines become short lines and you will have great memories of shared experiences instead of missed opportunities.  That's why we're called Build A Better Mouse Trip.

Here’s how we help you have a great vacation:

  1. Your travel agent – You have one agent from start-to-finish who knows your name and your priorities and who wants to do everything possible to help you have a wonderful experience.

  2. “Best Days” Itinerary – We’ll help you build an itinerary that includes your priorities for fireworks, parades, crowds and shows. Then we help with dining & Fastpass+ reservations.

  3. Saving Money – Of course we watch for discounts and promotion and automatically apply the best available offer to your reservation but we also help you avoid up-sells and options you won’t use.

  4. We Are Fee-Free - We book directly through Disney and we never charge a service fee so you never pay any extra to use our services when you book your trip through us. You can have all the benefits Disney offers PLUS all the services we offer. You can also purchase planning services through us if you've booked on your own or through another travel agency.

Let’s start planning a great vacation!

Our “Quote Request” form is the easiest way to start planning your trip. Just fill in as much or as little information as you know at this time and one of our agents will be in touch soon. There’s never any pressure or obligation.

Get A Quote

2018 Disney World Packages will be available beginning June 20, 2017

Disney has announced that 2018 packages will be available to book beginning Tuesday, January 20, 2017 for up to 499 days into the future.  This means that November and December dates will not be available for another couple of months. 

Disney has not yet announced any discounts or promotions for 2018 but you can book your trip now and a qualifying discount can be applied to your reservation (subject to availability) once one is released.   We do this automatically for all of our clients. 

Don't Miss Out On Great Experiences At Disney World!

We want to help you have the most wonderful, most memorable Disney vacation possible. We know that giving you good, up-to-date information and a few simple tools will make a huge difference in your Disney vacation. Long lines become short lines and you will have great memories of shared experiences instead of missed opportunities.  That's why we're called Build A Better Mouse Trip.

Here’s how we help you have a great vacation:

  1. Your travel agent – You have one agent from start-to-finish who knows your name and your priorities and who wants to do everything possible to help you have a wonderful experience.
  2. “Best Days” Itinerary – We’ll help you build an itinerary that includes your priorities for fireworks, parades, crowds and shows. Then we help with dining & Fastpass+ reservations.
  3. Saving Money – Of course we watch for discounts and promotion and automatically apply the best available offer to your reservation but we also help you avoid up-sells and options you won’t use.
  4. We Are Fee-Free - We book directly through Disney and we never charge a service fee so you never pay any extra to use our services when you book your trip through us.  You can have all the benefits Disney offers PLUS all the services we offer.  You can also purchase planning services through us if you've booked on your own or through another travel agency. 

Let’s start planning a great vacation!

Our “Quote Request” form is the easiest way to start planning your trip. Just fill in as much or as little information as you know at this time and one of our agents will be in touch soon. There’s never any pressure or obligation.

Get A Quote

Pandora - World of Avatar Review / Disney's Animal Kingdom

 Review of Pandora - The World of Avatar / Walt Disney World Resort - Florida. 

Review of Pandora - The World of Avatar / Walt Disney World Resort - Florida. 

I’m back from the Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom and want to pass along a few observations.  I went to Pandora having only seen Avatar once, years ago, and only vaguely remembering that it had blue people in it so I was pleased to find that the land was visually beautiful whether one is a fan of the movie or not.   The "floating mountains" and landscaping are impressive and I loved all of the water falls.  The whole area have a very tropical look and they've created Pandoran plants that are pretty by day and glow by night.  I was one of those curmudgeons who wasn't excited about them adding an artificial world to a park (my second favorite park) that celebrates the cultures and wonders of my real world but I'll admit that I was impressed.   In a way, it reminded me to be amazed by my own world - maybe we don't have flying dragons (bummer!) but you and I live on a planet with incredible mountains and waterfalls and even have bioluminescent animals (check out this Ted talk to learn more)

Pandora has two rides and I was amazed by Avatar Flight of Passage Most  of Universal’s recent new attractions have been 3-D, screen based – some, like the Harry Potter rides, are very well done but others feel like they simply re-purposed previous rides with this formula: 1) hand guests a pair of 3-D glasses and set them in front of a screen, 2) shake the ride vehicle while surrounding them with loud noises and random scenes.   While each of the rides may be fun on their own, it can feel repetitive so I was a little worried when I heard the Flight of Passage was going to be a 3-D screen ride but Disney really brought something new and exciting to the table.   It was visually stunning and technically impressive.   The ride vehicle (photo below) is unique in that you straddle it like a motorcycle and gentle restraints then come up against the back of your calves and the small of your back.  I wear glasses and I found that I had to adjust my 3D glasses during the ride as they would slip down on my nose; I am also hearing that children are having to adjust their 3D glasses during the ride.   The ride is exhilarating and exciting but not scary. If you've ridden Soarin' at Epcot, you'll find that the ride is similar as you soar and whoosh over incredible landscapes and scenes.

Na’vi River Journey is a sweet little ride and the movement of the singing shaman animatronic is so fluid that it is amazing.  I love Disney’s commitment to producing experiences that can be enjoyed by guests of all ages.   There are no drops or rapids so it is fine for toddlers, pregnant ladies and most anyone else.   Though it is a “nighttime” scene, it isn’t ever completely dark.  The boats have 2 rows that seat up to three (3) people per row, or possible four (4) if one is a baby on an adult's lap.   Honestly, it is a little too short a ride for the long lines that opening brings but worthwhile if you have a FastPass+ reservation or lines are moderate.

I had apprehensions about the Wilderness Explorer stops in the area; thinking that it might be confusing to kids if they were learning real earth science facts in other areas along with Pandoran “facts” but they actually did a great job of handling that…”we’re learning about Pandora by making comparisons to what we know about Earth” and then they gave little lessons about earth’s ecology.   The Wilderness Explorer uniforms seem a bit out of place in the setting but it is consistent with the park on the whole and with long lines at the headlining attractions, I’m glad there are other experiences for guests.

 Wilderness Explorers Station at Pandora - The World of Avatar in Disney's Animal Kingdom park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. 

Wilderness Explorers Station at Pandora - The World of Avatar in Disney's Animal Kingdom park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. 

Satu’li Canteen is delicious!  They do bowls where you pick your base (pilaf, sweet potato, salad mix, etc) and then you pick your protein (salmon, chicken, beef, or tofu) and you pick your sauce.  I ate at 1AM and the food was still fresh and tasty. They also do a vegetable curry pod and a cheeseburger pod (photo attached)  that have an other-worldly look.  I liked the taste of the vegetable curry pod but wasn’t crazy about the cheeseburger pod just because it had a fairly strong mustard flavor.  I only tried the chocolate dessert which was tasty; the blueberry cheesecake dessert is getting all of the rave reviews but I didn’t get a chance to sampleYou can pre-order your meal using the MyDisneyExperience app(not yet available with Disney Dining plan) - click here to learn more.    Indoor and outdoor seating; they also serve breakfast. 

Click here or on the photo below to find out about special hours at Disney's Animal Kingdom because of the opening of Pandora - World of Avatar.   You'll find information about hours for the general public and Extra Magic Hours for Disney World hotels guests. 

Don't Miss Out On Great Experiences At Disney World!

We want to help you have the most wonderful, most memorable Disney vacation possible. We know that giving you good, up-to-date information and a few simple tools will make a huge difference in your Disney vacation. Long lines become short lines and you will have great memories of shared experiences instead of missed opportunities.  That's why we're called Build A Better Mouse Trip.

Here’s how we help you have a great vacation:

  1. Your travel agent – You have one agent from start-to-finish who knows your name and your priorities and who wants to do everything possible to help you have a wonderful experience.
  2. “Best Days” Itinerary – We’ll help you build an itinerary that includes your priorities for fireworks, parades, crowds and shows. Then we help with dining & Fastpass+ reservations.
  3. Saving Money – Of course we watch for discounts and promotion and automatically apply the best available offer to your reservation but we also help you avoid up-sells and options you won’t use.
  4. We Are Fee-Free - We book directly through Disney and we never charge a service fee so you never pay any extra to use our services when you book your trip through us.  You can have all the benefits Disney offers PLUS all the services we offer.  You can also purchase planning services through us if you've booked on your own or through another travel agency. 

Let’s start planning a great vacation!

Our “Quote Request” form is the easiest way to start planning your trip. Just fill in as much or as little information as you know at this time and one of our agents will be in touch soon. There’s never any pressure or obligation.

Get A Quote

Disney's Festival of Fantasy Afternoon Parade Returns to 3PM on January 1, 2018

 The Festival of Fantasy parade schedule changes from 2:00PM to 3:00PM daily on January 1, 2018 / Magic Kingdom - Walt Disney World Resort, Florida. 

The Festival of Fantasy parade schedule changes from 2:00PM to 3:00PM daily on January 1, 2018 / Magic Kingdom - Walt Disney World Resort, Florida. 

Festival of Fantasy, the Magic Kingdom's afternoon parade will change from 2:00PM to 3:00PM daily on January 1, 2018.  

This change does not appear to affect seating times for Disney's Festival of Fantasy Parade Dining Package at Tony's Town Square (extra cost). Click here for more information.

Tiana's Riverboat Party - Ice Cream Social and Viewing Party will change accordingly.  There is an extra charge for this experience which is offered on select days during the week.  Advance reservations required.  Click here for more information. 

Disney Trivia - What time is the 3 o'clock parade? 

Did you know that "What time is the 3 o'clock parade?" is actually an important training question for Disney Cast Members?  It turns out that you're not supposed to just stare incredulously at the guest for a moment before responding "3 o'clock...duh."  Cast Members are taught to ask additional questions to find out what information the guest is really seeking with such an obvious question.  For example, they may be wondering when it actually passes through a particular section of the Magic Kingdom.   Cast members are taught that they can either give a blunt answer that will end a conversation in a way that embarrasses or disappoints the guest or they can use it as an opportunity to exceed the guest's expectation and begin a quest for richer discovery. 

Click here to read more about this in the Disney Institute blog

Don't Miss Out on Great Experiences at Disney World!

We want to help you have the most wonderful, most memorable Disney vacation possible. We know that giving you good, up-to-date information and a few simple tools will make a huge difference in your Disney vacation. Long lines become short lines and you will have great memories of shared experiences instead of missed opportunities.  That's why we're called Build A Better Mouse Trip.

Here’s how we help you have a great vacation:

  1. Your travel agent – You have one agent from start-to-finish who knows your name and your priorities and who wants to do everything possible to help you have a wonderful experience.
  2. “Best Days” Itinerary – We’ll help you build an itinerary that includes your priorities for fireworks, parades, crowds and shows. Then we help with dining & Fastpass+ reservations.
  3. Saving Money – Of course we watch for discounts and promotion and automatically apply the best available offer to your reservation but we also help you avoid up-sells and options you won’t use.
  4. We Are Fee-Free - We book directly through Disney and we never charge a service fee so you never pay any extra to use our services when you book your trip through us.  You can have all the benefits Disney offers PLUS all the services we offer.  You can also purchase planning services through us if you've booked on your own or through another travel agency. 

Let’s start planning a great vacation!

Our “Quote Request” form is the easiest way to start planning your trip. Just fill in as much or as little information as you know at this time and one of our agents will be in touch soon. There’s never any pressure or obligation.

Get A Quote

Planning A Disney Vacation - The Devil is in the Details

Do you need a travel agent specializing in Disney destinations?

 The types of people who benefit most from having the help of a travel agent that specializes in Disney destinations like Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise line and Adventures by Disney. 

The types of people who benefit most from having the help of a travel agent that specializes in Disney destinations like Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise line and Adventures by Disney. 

For every person who loves researching and planning trips, there is at least one busy person who just doesn't have time to wade through mountains of information and appreciates a disney-focused agent who eats, sleeps & breathes this stuff. For one thing, you don't know what you don't know and first time or infrequent visitors to Disney World find it helpful to have an agent that walks them through the vacation planning process.  Not only that, but there is a lot of old and just plain wrong information out there - we focus on the Disney destinations so that you get accurate, up-to-date information.

Here’s how we help you have a great vacation

Hotels and building location requests -  Picking a hotel that is a good fit for your needs is just the beginning of what your travel agent can do for youMost people don't add building location requests to their reservations and we do it for every client. (not guaranteed, though Disney does try).   Guests don't always realize that a few Disney hotels don't have elevators which is fine for a lot of people but becomes very difficult if someone in your party has mobility issues or if your drying to carry a sleeping child or stroller up the stairs. We also watch for discounts and promotions and automatically apply the best available offer to your qualifying reservation.

Dining Reservations - people sometimes don't realize the sheer size of Disney World and they'll book dining that has them wasting a lot of travel time or scheduled at times that cause them to miss parades or other priorities - we watch for red flags like that.   Not everyone plans a trip six months or more in advance, which is when you can start booking Disney Dining reservations, and they have trouble getting good reservations for their trip.  We can help with offering good alternatives and watching for cancellations.

All FastPass+ options are not created equal - for example, not everyone realizes that having a Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or Toy Story Midway Mania FastPass+ reservation is more helpful than any others in those parks and that certain FastPass+  options don't really bring any benefit to the table.  We can help guide you through these challenges.

We want to help you have the most wonderful, most memorable Disney vacation possible. We know that giving you good, up-to-date information and a few simple tools will make a huge difference in your Disney vacation. Long lines become short lines and you will have great memories of shared experiences instead of missed opportunities.  That's why we're called Build A Better Mouse Trip.

Your travel agent – You have one agent from start-to-finish who knows your name and your priorities and who wants to do everything possible to help you have a wonderful experience.

“Best Days” Itinerary – We’ll help you build an itinerary that includes your priorities for fireworks, parades, crowds and shows. Then we help with dining & Fastpass+ reservations.

We Are Fee-Free - We book directly through Disney and we never charge a service fee so you never pay any extra to use our services when you book your trip through us.  You can have all the benefits Disney offers PLUS all the services we offer.  You can also purchase planning services through us if you've booked on your own or through another travel agency.

Let’s start planning a great vacation!

Our “Quote Request” form is the easiest way to start planning your trip. Just fill in as much or as little information as you know at this time and one of our agents will be in touch soon. There’s never any pressure or obligation.

Get A Quote

Animal Kingdom Early Park Opening for Everyone - May 27 - July 4th

 Early openings at Disney's Animal Kingdom park for the general public from May 27 - July 4, 2017 in celebration of the opening of Pandora - The World of Avatar.   

Early openings at Disney's Animal Kingdom park for the general public from May 27 - July 4, 2017 in celebration of the opening of Pandora - The World of Avatar.

 

Pandora - The World of Avatar is a new land opening on May 27, 2017 in Disney's Animal Kingdom and it, along with new nighttime experiences, will really affect the crowds in this park.  There are two rides but you can only choose one for your advance FastPass+ selections. 

Animal Kingdom opens early 8AM for everyone on May 27 - July 4th.   Be there before 7:15AM and be ready to walk right to your first Pandora ride to enjoy the lowest crowds of the day but avoid Mondays & Saturdays when the park opens at 7AM for guests of the official Disney hotels.

Special Extra Magic Hours at 11PM to 1AM from May 27 - July 4: Disney is offering special Extra Magic Hours every night from May 27 - July 4 for guests of the official Disney World resorts.  This may help draw some of the crowds to the later part of the day and may make it easier to ride one of the Pandora attractions first thing in the morning, as soon as the park opens.  In addition to the Pandora area, these experiences will also be available:

  • Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
  • Primeval Whirl / TriceraTop Spin
  • Fossil Fun Games
  • Tree of Life awakenings
  • Rivers of Light
  • Discovery Island Carnivale

Regular Extra Magic Hour -  Monday & Saturday Mornings: Disney's Animal Kingdom will open an hour early to guests of the official Disney World resorts on select mornings.   If you're not staying at a Disney hotel or you are staying at a Disney World hotel but don't want to get up that early, avoid the Animal Kingdom on these dates so that you don't arrive and get in line behind people who have already been there for an hour or more.  

  • Opens at 7AM to Disney World hotel guests on May 27, 29, June 3, 5, 10, 12, 17, 19, 24, 26, July 1, 2017(Mondays & Saturdays)
  • Opens at 8AM to Disney World hotel guests on July 5, 8, 10, 9, 15, 17, 22, 24, 29, 31, August 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28, September 2, 4, 2017.  (Mondays & Saturdays)

Click here for more Pandora Tips & Information.

Don't Miss Out on Great Experiences at Disney World!

We want to help you have the most wonderful, most memorable Disney vacation possible. We know that giving you good, up-to-date information and a few simple tools will make a huge difference in your Disney vacation. Long lines become short lines and you will have great memories of shared experiences instead of missed opportunities.  That's why we're called Build A Better Mouse Trip.

Here’s how we help you have a great vacation:

  1. Your travel agent – You have one agent from start-to-finish who knows your name and your priorities and who wants to do everything possible to help you have a wonderful experience.
  2. “Best Days” Itinerary – We’ll help you build an itinerary that includes your priorities for fireworks, parades, crowds and shows. Then we help with dining & Fastpass+ reservations.
  3. Saving Money – Of course we watch for discounts and promotion and automatically apply the best available offer to your reservation but we also help you avoid up-sells and options you won’t use.
  4. We Are Fee-Free - We book directly through Disney and we never charge a service fee so you never pay any extra to use our services when you book your trip through us.  You can have all the benefits Disney offers PLUS all the services we offer.  You can also purchase planning services through us if you've booked on your own or through another travel agency. 

Let’s start planning a great vacation!

Our “Quote Request” form is the easiest way to start planning your trip. Just fill in as much or as little information as you know at this time and one of our agents will be in touch soon. There’s never any pressure or obligation.

Get A Quote

Disney World Hotel Rooms For Six People

We recently got a question about rooms at the Disney World hotels for six people and there are several options:

 Walt Disney World Resort Hotels that can accommodate six guests in one room or unit.

The least expensive option is two standard rooms at any Disney World value resort  You would have a total of 4 double beds and 2 bathrooms.   You can also get connecting rooms at several of the Disney World moderate or deluxe resorts but some of the other options we've listed below may be cheaper.  In the case of a family with 2 adults and 4 children age 17 or under,  you can get  guaranteed connecting rooms with an interior door between them.  A party with three or more adults can request connecting rooms but they won't be guaranteed connecting rooms though it is worth noting that Disney does have a fair number of connecting rooms and will try to accommodate the request when possible.   If you only need three beds, it may be possible to get a room with a king bed that connects two a room with two double beds at the value resorts or two queen-size beds at the moderate and deluxe resorts. 

 A standard room with two double beds at one of the Walt Disney World Resort value hotels. Rooms with one king bed and connecting rooms may also be available.

A standard room with two double beds at one of the Walt Disney World Resort value hotels. Rooms with one king bed and connecting rooms may also be available.

The Family Suites at Disney’s All-Star Music (ASMu) or Disney’s Art of Animation (AoA) can accommodate six.  Disney's All-Star Music Resort is generally less expensive than Disney's Art of Animation resort and has 1 queen bed, 1 double sleeper sofa and 2 twin sized pull-outs, along with a kitchenette and 2 full bathrooms.   Disney's Art of Animation costs a bit more but is newer and has 1 queen bed, one double sleeper sofa, and 1 murphey-type table bed, as well as a kitchenette and 2 full bathroom.

 The family suites at Disney's Art of Animation resort can sleep up to six adults plus one baby in a crib.

The family suites at Disney's Art of Animation resort can sleep up to six adults plus one baby in a crib.

The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground sleep six.  They have a bedroom with a queen bed and a twin size bunk bed, there is also a murphy bed in the living area.   This option only have 1 bathroom but it does have a kitchen with a refrigerator, dishwasher, convection/microwave oven, and two counter top burners.  People either love or hate the cabins – I love them!   The challenge with the campground is that it is so large and there is an internal bus system so you have to catch a bus that takes you to either the boat to Magic Kingdom or the buses to the other parks, adding additional transportation time.

 The bedroom in the cabins at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground can sleep up to four guests; two more can sleep on the Murphy bed in the main living area for a total of six adults + up to one baby in a crib.

The bedroom in the cabins at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground can sleep up to four guests; two more can sleep on the Murphy bed in the main living area for a total of six adults + up to one baby in a crib.

The two- and three-bedroom villas at the Deluxe resorts are very nice, have full bathrooms, full kitchens, free laundry, in a wonderful resort setting with lots of great amenities.  The exact bed configuration may vary by unit size and resort.   Keep in mind that 3-bedroom units are excluded from almost every Disney sales promotion and some of the other villas are also often excluded from discounts. 

Some of the Disney World deluxe resorts have a limited number of specialty rooms or suites that can accommodate six adults (+ one baby in a crib) but these can be very expensive and have very limited availability.   Suites and deluxe rooms are also often excluded from discounts and promotions.

Going to Universal?

How Universal’s Endless Summer Resort - Surfside Inn Family Suites compare to the family suites at the Disney World value resorts.

Don't Miss Out on Great Experiences at Disney World!

We want to help you have the most wonderful, most memorable Disney vacation possible. We know that giving you good, up-to-date information and a few simple tools will make a huge difference in your Disney vacation. Long lines become short lines and you will have great memories of shared experiences instead of missed opportunities.  That's why we're called Build A Better Mouse Trip.

Here’s how we help you have a great vacation:

  1. Your travel agent – You have one agent from start-to-finish who knows your name and your priorities and who wants to do everything possible to help you have a wonderful experience.

  2. “Best Days” Itinerary – We’ll help you build an itinerary that includes your priorities for fireworks, parades, crowds and shows. Then we help with dining & Fastpass+ reservations.

  3. Saving Money – Of course we watch for discounts and promotion and automatically apply the best available offer to your reservation but we also help you avoid up-sells and options you won’t use.

  4. We Are Fee-Free - We book directly through Disney and we never charge a service fee so you never pay any extra to use our services when you book your trip through us. You can have all the benefits Disney offers PLUS all the services we offer. You can also purchase planning services through us if you've booked on your own or through another travel agency.

Let’s start planning a great vacation!

Our “Quote Request” form is the easiest way to start planning your trip. Just fill in as much or as little information as you know at this time and one of our agents will be in touch soon. There’s never any pressure or obligation.

Get A Quote

Rivers of Light (Animal Kingdom) to Debut Feb. 17

“Rivers of Light,” the newest nighttime experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, will officially debut on Feb 17, 2017.  According to Disney, "This new show has live performers, a soaring musical score, grand theatrical imagery and innovative water special effects that celebrate the relationship between animals and nature. "Rivers of Light" comes to life on select nights after dark on the Discovery River between Discovery Island and Expedition Everest."

 Rivers of Light, a nighttime spectacular at Disney's Animal Kingdom park / Walt Disney World Resort - Florida. 

Disney also announced that, "starting immediately, you can book "Rivers of Light" Dining Packages at Tiffins and Tusker House Restaurants. Similar to the popular “Fantasmic!” Dining Packages at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, the “Rivers of Light” Dining Package includes reserved seating at the new show. At all-you-care-to-eat Tusker House, you can choose the breakfast, lunch or dinner buffet on the day of the show (but you will have to dine at least 2 ½ hours before the show). Breakfast is $37, $23 ages 3 to 9, plus tax and gratuity; lunch and dinner, $49, $30 ages 3 to 9, plus tax and gratuity. Tusker House Restaurant is on the Disney Dining Plan and counts as one table-service meal.

At Tiffins, “Rivers of Light” Dining Packages are available at both lunch and dinner. You can choose an appetizer, entrée, dessert plus a non-alcoholic beverage. Dining must take place at least two and a half hours prior to showtime. Cost is $67, $32 ages 3 to 9 plus tax and gratuity. Tiffins accepts the Disney Dining Plan, and counts as two table-service meal entitlements."

As of this morning, dining packages were available for dates through June 30, 2017.  Book through your  MyDisneyExperience account or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.  Glitches and technical issues are common whenever Disney introduces anything new so try again or call Disney if you're having trouble.

 Elephants and tiger floats from the Rivers of Light nighttime spectacular at Disney's Animal Kingdom park. 

Elephants and tiger floats from the Rivers of Light nighttime spectacular at Disney's Animal Kingdom park. 

Don't Miss Out on Great Experiences at Disney World!

We want to help you have the most wonderful, most memorable Disney vacation possible. We know that giving you good, up-to-date information and a few simple tools will make a huge difference in your Disney vacation. Long lines become short lines and you will have great memories of shared experiences instead of missed opportunities.  That's why we're called Build A Better Mouse Trip.

Here’s how we help you have a great vacation:

  1. Your travel agent – You have one agent from start-to-finish who knows your name and your priorities and who wants to do everything possible to help you have a wonderful experience.
  2. “Best Days” Itinerary – We’ll help you build an itinerary that includes your priorities for fireworks, parades, crowds and shows. Then we help with dining & Fastpass+ reservations.
  3. Saving Money – Of course we watch for discounts and promotion and automatically apply the best available offer to your reservation but we also help you avoid up-sells and options you won’t use.
  4. We Are Fee-Free - We book directly through Disney and we never charge a service fee so you never pay any extra to use our services when you book your trip through us.  You can have all the benefits Disney offers PLUS all the services we offer.  You can also purchase planning services through us if you've booked on your own or through another travel agency. 

Let’s start planning a great vacation!

Our “Quote Request” form is the easiest way to start planning your trip. Just fill in as much or as little information as you know at this time and one of our agents will be in touch soon. There’s never any pressure or obligation.

Get A Quote

Important Information for Your February Trip to Disney World

Here is some information that will help you have the most wonderful, most memorable Disney vacation possible.  

 Weather:  Bring a jacket and plan on layering your clothes because February can go from shorts weather to jacket weather within the same day, especially when the sun goes down. You can rent lockers near the front of the parks if you don’t want to carry jackets or extra clothes.  The Disney World resort hotel pools are outdoors and are heated to about 82-86 degrees.  The Disney World moderate and deluxe resorts have towels available near the pools; the value resorts and campground do not provide pool towels so be sure to request extra towels from housekeeping. 

  • Average high temperature: 74°
  • Average low temperature: 52°
  • Average humidity: 71%
  • Average Rain: 7 days in January / 2.4 inches of total precipitation.  

Disney World Ride Closures and Refurbishments:

  •  Magic Kingdom - Hall of Presidents will be closed from January 17 to June 29, 2017.
  • Magic Kingdom – Walt Disney World Railroad will be closed from January 9 to March 2, 2017.
  • Animal Kingdom – Kali River Rapids will be closed from January 3 to February 13, 2017.
  • Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park will be closed from December 25, 2016 to March 11, 2017.  Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park will be open, weather permitting.
  • Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort Fantasia pool is closed February 6-10, 2017 but the Mighty Ducks pool is open.
  • Disney’s All-Star Music Resort Piano pool is closed December 12, 2016 – February 2, 2017 but the Calypso feature pool is open.
  • Disney's Beach Club Resort Tidal pool is closed February 20 - 22, 2017.
  • Disney's Boardwalk Resort Garden pool is closed February 13 - 15, 2017. The Community Hall pool is closed February 27 - March 1, 2017
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort – Sandcastle pool (main pool) is closed January 3– February 24, 2017 but the resort’s two smaller leisure pools will be open.
  • Disney's Yacht Club Resort Admiral pool is closed February 22-24, 2017.
  • There may be more pool refurbishments - you can check for updates at http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/wdw-february-crowds-closures-special-events/

Disney World Ride Special Events in February:

Epcot International Festival of the Arts (January 13 – February 20, 2017) will debut on January 13, 2017 and will run for six weekends (Fridays through Mondays).  Guests will get to enjoy the works of past Disney artists like Mary Blair as well as works by current artists like Joe Kaminski and Costa Alavezos, including live demonstrations. Disney Theatrical will bring an exciting new showcase of favorite music and Broadway talent to the America Gardens Theatre stage, including songs from Disney on Broadway's award-winning shows The Lion King, Newsies and Aladdin.  The culinary arts will also be celebrated in the Food Studios area of the festival.   Most of the festival experiences will be included in the cost of Epcot admission; some dining and other events will have a separate cost associated with them.

Atlanta Braves Spring Training begins on February 25th – Tickets on sale beginning Dec. 12th.   The Atlanta Braves do spring training in the Champion Stadium at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Disney World. Click here for additional information.

Have you booked your accommodations? Discounts must be booked by December 21, 2017 - Disney World has released two promotions – a room rate discount and the popular “Play, Stay & Dine” offer - for February and availability is limited. It’s okay if you don’t know where you want to stay, I can help you select a hotel that is a good fit for both your family and your budget.   I can also help with Universal Orlando resorts and other area hotels.

Now is the perfect time to start planning your itinerary -  Disney has released their February 2017 calendar and park hours and it is a good idea to map out which theme park(s) you want to visit on a given day during your trip so that you can book dining and FastPass+ reservations that don't have you running all over Disney moderate from most of the month but spike to high levels for February 17 – 20 (Presidents Day Weekend).  Did you know that the parks are not equally crowded on any given day?  For example, on February 25, the projected crowds for Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ expected crowds will be about a "9" on a scale of 1-to-10 but Epcot has projected crowds of “4” that same day.  Disney’s Animal Kingdom crowds will be around “8” and the Magic Kingdom are an expected "7"  that day.  I can help you map out an itinerary that lets you take advantage of the best relative crowd and show conditions during your trip. When you book your trip through us, you’ll receive either a copy of the Unofficial Guide to Disney World (printed guidebook) or a subscription to TouringPlans.com because we really know for a fact that their touring plans will save you a lot of time otherwise wasted in line and help you make the most of shorter hours when crowds are low.  

  • Clip-out theme park touring plans (itineraries) are available beginning on page 814 of the 2017 Unofficial Guide to Disney World.
  • Printable theme park touring plans (itineraries)  are available in the Touring Plans tab of our TouringPlans.com account or you can access their itineraries through their smartphone app.
  • We also include printed, standardized plans in the packet of documents and information mailed to you shortly before your trip, when you book through us.

We’re Here To Answer Your Touring Plan Questions - Do you know which plan you want to use? Do you have questions about how to use the plans or how to include your FastPass+ & dining reservations into the plans? We don't expect you to figure it all out on your own; Steve, our theme park guy, is available most evenings and on the weekends to talk with you about your touring plan questions.   With a little advance planning, you can have a great time regardless of the crowds.   

 Have you booked your Disney Dining Reservations?  There are still some great options available and you may even be able to snag a reservation at popular locations if your schedule is flexible. I can help you narrow down the restaurant choices to options that you will really enjoy so we can lock in some great options before they’re gone.

In a nutshell, here’s how we will help you have a great vacation:

1.   Your travel agent – You will have one travel agent from start-to-finish who will know your name and your priorities and will do everything possible to help you have a wonderful experience.

2.   “Best Days” Itinerary – We’ll help you build an itinerary that includes your priorities for fireworks, parades, and shows and help with dining and Fastpass+ reservations.  The theme park touring plans we provide will help you stay ahead of the crowds and out of the long lines. 

3.   Saving Money – Of course we will watch for discounts and promotions and automatically apply the best available offer to your reservation but I also help you avoid up-sells and costly options you won’t use.

4.   We Are Fee-Free - We book directly through Disney and we never charge a service fee so you never pay any extra to use our services when you book your trip through us.  This way, you can have all the benefits Disney offers PLUS all the services we offer.  If you booked directly through Disney within the last 30-days, you can also sometimes have us listed as the "agent of record" on your existing reservation and still receive our services for free or you can purchase vacation planning consulting services from us if you booked more than 30-days ago or through another travel agency.

Does that sound like a good plan? 

Let’s start planning a great vacation!

Our “Quote Request” form is the easiest way to start planning your trip. Just fill in as much or as little information as you know at this time and one of our agents will be in touch soon. There’s never any pressure or obligation.

Get A Quote

Free Disney Planning Videos Now Available

2018 Free Disney Vacation Planning Video  - Every year Disney creates a vacation planning video that you can view online.  Just click the image below to request your free copy.

It is a fun way to tell the kids about your Disney vacation plans. This free video provides some great basic information about the Disney World and Disneyland theme parks and resorts but won't help you plan an itinerary that puts you in the best theme park for each day of the trip but don't worry - we'll help you with that when you book your Disney vacation through Build A Better Mouse Trip.

The online version is available in both English and Spanish.  If the banner above doesn't work, you can click here to view.

Don't Miss Out on Great Experiences at Disney World!

We want to help you have the most wonderful, most memorable Disney vacation possible. We know that giving you good, up-to-date information and a few simple tools will make a huge difference in your Disney vacation. Long lines become short lines and you will have great memories of shared experiences instead of missed opportunities.  That's why we're called Build A Better Mouse Trip.

Here’s how we help you have a great vacation:

  • Your travel agent – You have one agent from start-to-finish who knows your name and your priorities and who wants to do everything possible to help you have a wonderful experience.

  • “Best Days” Itinerary – We’ll help you build an itinerary that includes your priorities for fireworks, parades, crowds and shows. Then we help with dining & Fastpass+ reservations.

  • Saving Money – Of course we watch for discounts and promotion and automatically apply the best available offer to your reservation but we also help you avoid up-sells and options you won’t use.

  • We Are Fee-Free - We book directly through Disney and we never charge a service fee so you never pay any extra to use our services when you book your trip through us. You can have all the benefits Disney offers PLUS all the services we offer. You can also purchase planning services through us if you've booked on your own or through another travel agency.

Let’s start planning a great vacation!

Our “Quote Request” form is the easiest way to start planning your trip. Just fill in as much or as little information as you know at this time and one of our agents will be in touch soon. There’s never any pressure or obligation.

Get A Quote

This is a sponsored post. Build A Better Mouse Trip receives a commission on each person who views the free video available through the ad in this article.

New PhotoPass Studio in Disney Springs - Disney World

 Choose from several great backgrounds at the PhotoPass Studio in Disney Springs / Walt Disney World Resort - Florida.

Choose from several great backgrounds at the PhotoPass Studio in Disney Springs / Walt Disney World Resort - Florida.

Here are a couple of the images taken at the new PhotoPass Studio in Disney Springs. You get to choose your own backdrop. My daughter wouldn't get in the picture with me so it's a little awkward with just 1 person in the picture! (Plus I wasn't a fan of the posing....)

 There are view stations available so you can preview your photos and you can purchase prints of the photos right there, if desired.   Your photos taken at the PhotoPass Studio are included in the Memory Maker and are linked to your MyDisneyExperience account. 

To have photos taken, you go to the PhotoPass Studio in Disney Springs, and tell them you have the Memory Maker and you want the studio pictures taken that go with it. You then get to choose your background (I'm not sure if you just get to choose 1 or several....I told him I am a Travel Agent and was interested in seeing how it worked and showing clients so he let me choose a couple of them). They take the pictures and they show up in your Memory Maker!

 PhotoPass Studio in Disney Springs - images are included in the Memory Maker package / Walt Disney World

PhotoPass Studio in Disney Springs - images are included in the Memory Maker package / Walt Disney World

The PhotoPass Studio is located between The World of Disney Store and Ghirardelli's Chocolate in Disney Springs.   Click here for additional information.

 Map courtesy of Google

Map courtesy of Google

About the Author: Monica is the most experienced agent at Build A Better Mouse Trip, a travel agency specializing in Disney World and Orlando theme park vacations.  Click here to read more about Monica.

Planning a Disney vacation? You'll definitely want to subscribe to our free newsletter. You will receive a link to 45 great Disney World Freebies in your welcome note and several helpful “how-to” e-guides over the next week. Unsubscribe at any time.

Email: 

Magic Kingdom Parade Information for December:

The Magic Kingdom parade schedule changes a bit in December:

 Information about changes to the December parade schedule in the Magic Kingdom at Disney World - includes information about Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade and Festival of Fantasy Parade as well as Fantasy in the Sky fireworks on New Year's Eve.
  • Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade will be presented daily at 3:00PM through December 22nd. It is not offered from Dec. 23 – 31 but returns on January 1, 2017
  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime parade will be presented daily at 12:00PM and 3:30PM on December 23 – 31, 2016. This parade is also presented during the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties offered on select evenings in December (special ticket required).
  • Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade is no longer presented at Disney World.

Magic Kingdom Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks – In addition to the regular Wishes Fireworks, a New Years Fireworks display will be presented at 11:48PM on December 30 & 31, 2016.

Click Here for more Disney World holiday information

Click Here for a Full List of December Closures & Refurbishments

Planning a Disney vacation? You'll definitely want to subscribe to our free newsletter. You will receive a link to 45 great Disney World Freebies in your welcome note and several helpful “how-to” e-guides over the next week. Unsubscribe at any time.

Email: