Disney Vacation Planning

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: 

Epcot International Festival of the Arts to Debut in January 2017

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts 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.   Click here for more information.

Tips for January at Disney World: Disney World will remain at peak holiday crowd levels through January 7, 2017 but then crowds drop to low or moderate levels for the rest of the month with a small spike in crowds over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend (January 13 - 16).   Because of the cooler temperatures, Disney typically finds January the best month to attend to pool repairs and refurbishments but open pools are heated to 82 - 86-degrees. Start checking your extended weather forecast about 10 days prior to your trip and plan to layer clothing as temperatures can vary quite a bit throughout the day and chilly evenings are common.  

Disney World Closures & Refurbishments in January

Tips for February at Disney World: February guests enjoy cool temperatures and low to moderate crowds for most of the month but crowd levels do spike to moderate to high levels over Presidents Day Weekend.  

Disney World Closures & Refurbishments in February

Disney has two early 2017 discounts available now - Offers Expire on December 21, 2016:  The Play, Stay and Dine offer is available for January 1 - March 7th arrivals, though availability is limited.  Room rate discounts are available for January 2 - April 6, 2017 arrivals.  Since both offers must be booked by December 21, 2017 to qualify, this is the best time to book your spring break trip to Disney World.  The good news is that the deposit is only $200.00 and you can cancel up to 30 days prior to arrival for a full refund. 

Click here for a no-obligation vacation quote

Another good reason to book your Disney World vacation packages now is that Disney has raised ticket prices in February every year for the last three years so you'll want to lock in current prices now; once your deposit is applied, your price cannot go up. Ticket prices increased on February 23, 2014, on February 22, 2015, and again on February 28, 2016.

New MagicBand Packaging

Disney World has introduced new packaging for MagicBands that is fully recyclable and is printed on recycled paper.  The Walt Disney Travel Company also includes gift luggage tags that come in the sleeve on the left side of the box; the straps for the luggage tags are in the gray MagicBand holder. The new packaging includes printed information for sizing, wearing, and using MagicBands

New, fully-recyclable packaging for  MagicBands  from the  Walt Disney Travel Company .

New, fully-recyclable packaging for MagicBands from the Walt Disney Travel Company.

MagicBands are included as part of Walt Disney World Resort room only reservations and vacation packages and are mailed to guests from the United States. Guests from other countries and guests who book less than a month prior to arrival will receive their MagicBands when they check in at their Disney resort.  You will need to set up a MyDisneyExperience.com to link your resort reservation and tickets (if purchased separately) to your MagicBands.

MagicBands contain a RFID chip that can be used:

  • To check in to your resort

  • To check in to Disney's Magical Express upon arrival. Paper vouchers are still used on departure day.

  • To unlock yourhotel room

  • To enter the theme parks, if admission tickets have been linked to your account.

  • To access your resort feature pool & laundry areas

  • To use Disney Dining Plan credits, if you have purchased a Disney Dining Plan.

  • To charge purchases to your room, if linked to a credit card and a 4-digit PIN has been set up.

Guests not staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel can purchase MagicBands at Disney World or prior to their trip through the Disney Store.   

MagicBands can be reused on future trips and have a life expectancy of about two years before the enclosed battery dies.

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 Transportation Tip - Bus or Taxi?

Disney World Transportation Tip: This week, someone asked me if they should use a taxi or Uber to get to the parks, rather than wait for the buses. We usually just use the buses and do just fine. If you don't have a car, I do like using a taxi or Uber for early morning character meals scheduled before park opening because the timing is more predictable.  Definitely take a taxi or your own vehicle to the Cape May Character breakfast if you're not staying in the Epcot resort area because transportation to Disney's Beach Club Resort from any other resort involves too many transfers.  Buses run pretty regularly at park opening & closing but you might like using a taxi or Uber for your midday break so you don't spend too much time waiting for transportation. It can also be a great option if you're trying to go from one resort to another since the buses typically do not move between the resorts.

Disney World Transportation Tips - Is the free transportation fine or should we taxi or drive to the Disney World theme parks from our Disney World hotel?

Disney World Transportation Tips - Is the free transportation fine or should we taxi or drive to the Disney World theme parks from our Disney World hotel?

Taking a taxi to the Magic Kingdom will not save time in most cases because it will drop you at the Ticket & Transportation Center (TTC) and you will have to take the ferry or monorail to the Magic Kingdom but the resort buses will drop you off by the entrance of Magic Kingdom.  This same principle applies if you have your own vehicle as the Magic Kingdom parking is located in the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC); you'll probably have to wait for a parking lot tram to take you to where you'll wait for the monorail or ferry boat to take you to the Magic Kingdom; or you can take your Disney resort bus and get let off near the entrance to the Magic Kingdom.

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

Disney World Tip from Ian: Seize the Opportunity

Disney World Tips for making the most of unique opportunities before they are gone

Disney World Tips for making the most of unique opportunities before they are gone

In light of the closing of the Shark Reef at Typhoon Lagoon and the Main Street Electrical Parade in the Magic Kingdom, I offer this simple notion: Don't let the things you want to do at Disney pass you by - they might not be there forever.

We got the chance to put on air packs and experience this swimming-with-the-sharks attraction a few tears ago - while we're saddened to hear of it's closing, the sheer joy of the experience trumps it every time. I can't imagine how bad I'd feel knowing I could have tried it, and didn't, and now I can't because it's gone. Man - don't let that happen to you.

Do you want to know the best way to make sure you see and do all of the things important to you?  It's easy; work with a travel agent who specializes in Disney World.  We limit our focus to the Disney destinations so that we can help with questions you might not even know to ask - questions like, "What attractions are closing soon?", "Will this be fun or age appropriate for my children?", "Which FastPass+ options will save me the most time?" and "when show I book my dining so that I can enjoy a relaxed meal without worrying about missing something great?"

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. 

About the Author:  Ian and his wife Toni work together to help their clients have wonderful Disney World, SeaWorld, and Universal Orlando vacations.  There is no extra charge to get their expert help for your trip when you book your vacation through them.

Click Here to Get Ian's Help On Your Next Disney Trip

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: 

Ian's Tuesday Tip: Do not Feed the Birds at Disney World

The birds at Disney are marauding thieves capable of no small measure of larceny. They will implore you that they will surely starve without your immediate aid, but it is a falsehood.

The seagulls are particularly merciless, and will gleefully steal food they are incapable of actually consuming just to prevent you from having it. I have seen this with my own terrified eyes.

No measure of individual resistance has proven effective, therefore we must all band together to rid ourselves of the scourge of avian thievery. It will take time. It will take money. It will take commitment, but we are Americans, and Americans prevail.

Seriously - don't feed 'em. They don't need it, people food isn't good for them, and it teaches them that it's OK to steal.

Ian's Tuesday Tip: Do not Feed the Birds at Disney World

Ian's Tuesday Tip: Do not Feed the Birds at Disney World

About the Author:  Ian and his wife Toni work together to help their clients have wonderful Disney World, SeaWorld, and Universal Orlando vacations.  There is no extra charge to get their expert help for your trip when you book your vacation through them.

Click Here to Get Ian's Help On Your Next Disney Trip

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: 

2017 Military Salute Prices Now Available for Disney World & Disneyland

Disney's Armed Forces Salute 2017

2017 Disney's Armed Forces Salute Military Discounts have been released and are ready to book today.

2017 Disney's Armed Forces Salute Military Discounts have been released and are ready to book today.

U.S. Military discounts are now available on rooms and tickets at Disney World and Disneyland for January 1 - December 19, 2017 (Block Out Dates: April 9-23, 2017). 

  • Discounted Theme Park Admission Tickets should be purchased through your local military base or at Shades of Green.

  • We can book discounted military "room only" reservations or room + dining packages on your behalf.

  • You can typically reserve up to 3-roomswith one military ID and you will need to present a current, unexpired U.S. Military ID at check-in or your room will revert to rack rate.

  • Please check the "Retired or Active Duty U.S. Military" box in the "Special Categories" section of our quote request form. We can put a room on a 3-day courtesy hold for you; beyond that, a deposit (refundable up to 30 days prior to arrival) will be required to hold the reservation.

Don't Miss Out on Great Disney Experiences!

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

 

2 New Disney Visa Cardholder Offers for Late 2016 & Early 2017

Are you a Disney Visa Cardholder?!?! Well, Disney just released a promotion for those that book their January 1st - March 8th Disney vacation with their Disney Visa card. It is the Stay Play Dine promotion which includes a discount for eligible packages that include resort, tickets and dining plan. In order to receive the discount, you MUST have a Disney Visa card and you must have made a $200 payment with the card (usually the deposit).

If you have a Disney Visa and haven't booked your winter 2017 Disney vacation, contact us today! If you have already booked your Disney vacation using a Disney Visa, we have already been on the phones, checking for availability!

There was also a room only discount released for those packages that didn't include the dining plan. (Disney Visa card as well)

I've been told the promotion will be released to the general public on Monday, so you know where your friendly Build A Better Mouse Trip travel agents will be at 4am on Monday!! Getting discounts for YOU, our clients!!

(As always, Disney promotions are limited on availability)

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

Ian's Tip for A Better Orlando Trip: Know Your Sunscreen

Your Disney World or Universal Orlando vacation is not the time to experiment with a new sunscreen. Know what works for you and your family BEFORE you go. Don't get badly burned at Blizzard Beach or Volcano Bay, baby!

Tip for A Better Disney World or Universal Orlando Trip: Know Your Sunscreen!

Tip for A Better Disney World or Universal Orlando Trip: Know Your Sunscreen!

Take a few minutes and educate yourself about SPF (higher isn't always better), UVA and UVB protection AND the LIE of "waterproof" SUNSCREEN. It's hot, humid, and sweaty - especially at the water parks.

Oh, and repeat after me: "Re-apply, re-apply, re-apply."

About the Author:  Ian and his wife Toni work together to help their clients have wonderful Disney World, SeaWorld, and Universal Orlando vacations.  There is no extra charge to get their expert help for your trip when you book your vacation through them.   

Click Here To Get Ian's Help On Your Next Vacation

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: 

Free Up Vacation Money by Using What You Have

Vacation Money Tip: We cut grocery shopping to just fresh items & essentials twice a year - the months before vacation and Christmas -to free up some cash and force us to use or dispose of those odds and ends that hide in the corners of the pantry and freezer. Partial bags of pasta and frozen veggies work well in stews and casseroles. My kids think I am being a fun mom when Friday night dinner consists of a buffet of random portions of pizza rolls, tater-tots, fries, and taquitos. That giant canister of oatmeal can be used for breakfast, in cookies, and as a topping for a fruit crumble. You'll also use up, rather than throw out, perishables before your trip. If you find yourself passing over the variety of soup or box of Quinoa that you bought on an impulse, this is a great time to decide to pass it on to your local food bank before it expires and goes to waste.


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.

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

Toni's Tip for a Better Trip - Enjoy some down-time at the pool!

Yes, the theme parks are awesome but please be sure to set aside some time to hang out at the pool.  The Disney and Universal Orlando Resorts have themed pools that range from cute and simple to very elaborate. Got to have that big water slide? Disney's Moderate and Deluxe Resorts have them!  Want to hear music underwater?  You can do that at Universal's Hard Rock Hotel or Disney's Art of Animation resort.  Traveling in the winter and still want to take a short dip? You are in luck; the pools are heated to a comfortable 82 degrees year round. 

Did you know that surveys find that 85% of kids want to go swimming and have pool time as part of their vacation? 

Many resorts also have poolside games to entertain the kiddos.  Of course, if you're hoping to enjoy a mid-day nap, these activities are something to keep in mind when you're booking a pool view room.  You might prefer a room at a quieter part of the resort.

About the author:  Toni is a travel agent specializing in Orlando theme park vacations.  She is an expert at helping her clients find a wonderful balance of theme park fun and relaxation.  

Click here to talk to Toni about your next trip. 

Recommended article:  Disney World hotels with the best splash zones for kids. 

On Pinterest?  We have a board dedicated to Disney World pool pictures and another board dedicated to Disney World Kiddie Pool pictures

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: 

Disney World Tip - Good Communication is Key!

Ian's Tip for A Better Disney Trip: Communicate!

Disney Advice from Ian - Let people know what you want to do. 

Disney Advice from Ian - Let people know what you want to do. 

Everybody has their own idea of what a Disney vacation looks like, but nobody else knows what's in your head unless you tell them!

You don't have to micro-manage every second of your trip or squeeze in every single attraction (newsflash- you can't get 'em all), but if you have something you want to see, do, or eat - you have to actually TELL somebody!

Before (and during!) your excursion, communicate with each other so that everybody knows what's in everybody else's head that day. Even if you can't get to all of it, the really important things can take precedent and help eliminate bruised feelings, sulking, pouting, and those oh-so-awkward public arguments!

About the Author:  Ian and his wife Toni work together to help their clients have wonderful Disney World, SeaWorld, and Universal Orlando vacations.  There is no extra charge to get their expert help for your trip when you book your vacation through them.   

Click here to read more about Ian

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: 

Ian's Good Guest Tip: Don't Spoil it for Others

There's sometimes somebody that just has to be the wittiest person at the park - the ones who talk along with the River Boat spiels, or heckle the Great Movie Ride Tour Guide.

Everybody else on the ride is being polite, so I'll say it - please stop. Don't spoil their experience or ruin somebody else's adventure.

The jokes are bad - that's the point. There's probably somebody on the ride with you that hasn't heard it, or somebody that absolutely LOVES the humor.

Be cool and respectful so that you're not the worst joke on the ride.

About the author:  Ian and his wife, Toni, work together to help their clients have wonderful Disney World, SeaWorld and Universal Orlando vacations.   There is no extra charge to get their expert help for your trip when you book your trip through them.  

Click here to read more about Ian

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: 

Disney Vacation Planning Tip - When to Book Your Trip

Disney World Vacation Planning Tips & Information - How far in advance should you plan your trip?

I get a lot of clients that ask me when is a good time to book their Disney vacation. If possible, I would book my Disney vacation at least 7 months out. Why 7 months?

First of all, and most importantly, you can start making dining reservations at 180 days (6 months) from your date of arrival. If you want to eat at some of those more popular restaurants (Be Our Guest, Cinderella's Royal Table, etc...)you will NEED to book your dining 180 days out. If you book your vacation 7 months out, this gives you about a month to go through the planning guide that you receive from your Build a Better Mouse Trip travel agent, and decide which dates and restaurants you want to eat at.

Secondly, if you book at least 7 months out, you will have plenty of time to pay for your vacation! Disney doesn't require final payment on your trip until 30 days prior to date of arrival. At 7 months or more, you will have a good amount of time to pay off your trip!

Thirdly, there is a lot that goes into planning a Disney vacation! You want to give yourself plenty of time to make decisions such as dining, which days you'll go to which parks, which rides you want to ride, and what FastPasses you want to set up. I think 7 months gives you plenty of time to do all of this!

And lastly, you want to book far enough out to make dining reservations, but not too far out that it seems like your vacation will never come!!! Don't get me wrong...I've booked vacations for many guests that book a year or so from date of arrival. There is nothing wrong with that...plus it gives you more time to pay for your trip!

So, my answer to most people that ask me when is the best time to book a Disney vacation would be at least 7 months from the date you want to be there! Of course, in my opinion, it's ALWAYS a good time to book a Disney vacation!! So...when can I book your vacation?!!? :)

Have a magical day!

Monica

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 Monica's full bio.

Let Monica help you plan 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 Monica will be in touch soon. There’s never any pressure or obligation.

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Vacation Tip: Test Your Clothes Before Your Trip

Orlando Theme Park Tip:  Take a brisk walk in the clothes you plan to wear to Disney World, Universal Orlando, or SeaWorld to see if they remain comfortable.  

Orlando Theme Park Tip:  Take a brisk walk in the clothes you plan to wear to Disney World, Universal Orlando, or SeaWorld to see if they remain comfortable.  

Once you've planned your clothes for your trip to the Florida theme parks, test your outfits by walking briskly around the block because you'll probably walk 6-10 miles over the course of a day in the Orlando theme parks. Dealing with shorts that scrunch up all day or that shirt button that keeps unbuttoning when you walk is not how you want to spend the precious vacation time you've worked so hard for. Have your kids test their clothes too. Although you can find apparel at the theme park gift shops, it is easier and less expensive to make adjustments to your vacation wardrobe before you go.  

Orlando Theme Park Vacation Tip - Test your shoes and socks before your trip to Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld.  You'll do a lot of walking and you want your feet to be comfortable. 

Orlando Theme Park Vacation Tip - Test your shoes and socks before your trip to Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld.  You'll do a lot of walking and you want your feet to be comfortable. 

Think too about how quickly or slowly your clothes dry because you might get soaked to the skin on Splash Mountain (Magic Kingdom) or Kali River Rapids (Animal Kingdom) at Disney World, Dudley Do-Right's Rip-Saw Falls or Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges (Islands of Adventure) at Universal Orlando, and Journey to Atlantis or the Shamu show at SeaWorld.    Click here for Monica's rain poncho tips. 

Don't forget to take your socks for a test drive (test walk?) in the shoes you plan to wear to the park.  I once had to hunt for a gift shop at Disney California Adventure that sells socks because the pair I was wearing kept sliding down and bunching up in the middle of my shoe.   

Here are a couple of additional apparel tips from our friends

Jeni says, "I remember having all new clothes / undergarments / socks.  Bra + see through shirts...definitely not cute!"

Kathy added this great suggestion:  "And definitely DO NOT BUY NEW SHOES. Learned that the hard way on my trip there in 2000.  Had to use my mother's wheelchair in EPCOT because my feet hurt so bad."  

Speaking of shoes, Toni wrote a great article on picking shoes that will keep your feet happy in the Disney World and Universal Orlando theme parks.   Click here to read it. 

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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Ian's Theme Park Tip: Don't Skip Meals!

Disney World & Universal Orlando Tip: You've gotta eat to stay on your feet; don't sabotage your vacation by skipping meals. 

Disney World & Universal Orlando Tip: You've gotta eat to stay on your feet; don't sabotage your vacation by skipping meals. 

While at the parks, you may be tempted to "push through" and sacrifice eating to experience more attractions - don't. 

Listen to the advice of our friend Stacey:  "My husband witnessed our eldest son in a hangry* moment several years ago.  Two bites of a Subway sandwich and he was a different child.  Now my hubby is more willing to get snacks and take short breaks.   It makes all the difference!  We make sure to always have granola bars and water bottles in our backpacks!"

Walking around the parks for an entire day can burn up to 1,000 calories, so take the time you need to replenish the fuel your body is definitely burning off. Don't sacrifice your health or your sanity - your family & friends will thank you!  

In addition to decades of experience feeling rumbly in his tumbly, Ian Scott is an expert at helping people plan Disney vacations.  Read more about Ian and ask him for a no-obligation vacation quote at http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/ian-scott-bio/ 

 * Hangry (han-gree), adjective: an amalgum of hungry + angry.  Click here to read about the science of "hangry". 

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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Rain Poncho Tips for Disney World & Universal Orlando

One of my biggest tips for Disney World and Universal Orlando guests (or any other Orlando theme park) is to be prepared for rain! Florida is notorious for rain showers, so be prepared!  You can purchase them for about $10 each in the theme parks but I save money by buying a whole bunch of rain ponchos from Amazon and carry them with me. Most rain showers are over pretty quickly, so when rain comes, we put on our ponchos, grab a little snack (Dole Whip!!) and wait it out!  A lot of people flee the parks when the rain starts so coming prepared is a great way to take advantage of the shorter lines during rain showers.  No need to let a little rain ruin your day!!!   

You can also find inexpensive, disposable rain ponchos at most Dollar stores and in the camping section at Walmart.  My local Dollar Tree had them in the section where hair accessories are sold.   The fashion maven in your family may declare that they would NEVER wear a poncho but will probably change their mind when they see lots of people putting them on when the rain starts. 

Inexpensive disposable rain ponchos for your Orlando vacation are available on Amazon and at Walmart and Dollar Tree. 

Inexpensive disposable rain ponchos for your Orlando vacation are available on Amazon and at Walmart and Dollar Tree. 

Even if it isn't raining, you may want ponchos to help keep you dry on attractions that can soak you to the skin like Splash Mountain in the Magic Kingdom, Kali River Rapids at Disney's Animal Kingdom or Dudley Do-Rights Ripsaw Falls and Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges in Universal's Islands of Adventure

Have a magical day!

Monica,

Travel Agent specializing in Orlando theme park vacations

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: 

Disney World Free Dining 2016 - Computer Glitch Provides Possible Dates

A weird thing happened on the Disney Travel Agent Website recently....some dates were posted for this year's Disney World Free Dining Promotion and then were quickly taken down again.  Nothing is certain until it is officially announced but the qualifying arrival dates that were briefly posted for this year's Disney World Free Dining promotion were:

  • August 23 - October 1, 2016

  • November 15 - 21, 2016

  • November 26 - 28, 2016

  • December 10 - 21, 2016

Remember that your arrival date is the thing that determines promotion eligibility - if the dates above are correct, the person who arrives on December 21st will have free dining for the full duration of their trip, even though most of their vacation is outside of the promotion dates but the person who arrives on August 22nd will not qualify for free dining, even though most of their vacation would be within the qualifying dates.   In a case like that, we will often book a "room only" reservation for the arrival date and then have the package start the next day.  Other restrictions may apply - for example, certain resorts or room categories are sometimes excluded.

Again,  I need to stress that none of this is official yet but think a Disney World the promotion will be released very soon - probably on or near April 25th.  Once officially announced, competition will become fierce for reservations at popular restaurants as soon as it is released.  We'd love to help you avoid all that stress and disappointment by getting your reservations in place now.  We can book your Disney World vacation package now and book dining reservations for all arrivals through mid-October 2016.  Lots of other people are already doing the same thing and we're already having trouble getting reservations at certain restaurants.  Once the Free Dining Promotion is released, we'll immediately apply it to all of our clients' qualifying reservations; saving you the hassle and worry of watching for you.  You can cancel later so there's no good reason to wait! 

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.

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