Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Two New Character Meals for Star Wars Weekends




I have often wondered why in the world there wasn't a Star Wars character meal. I get asked all the time about one. That makes this announcement all the sweeter! There's going to be not one but two character meals this spring at Walt Disney World during Star Wars weekends! I predict these get booked within hours of opening up today. For those of you that know me well, you know I don't do Star Wars Weekends personally because I am just not that into Star Wars. My sons and husband are. I love them for my clients and really think that you can't beat them if you are really into it. This is a game changer for me though. YES I want to meet the Star Wars characters at a character meal! And you should too!

Here's the details:

Star Wars Galactic Dine-in Breakfast- 8am until noon, weekends only at you guessed it, the Sci Fi Dine In Theatre! You can expect to meet some or all of the following characters: Boba Fett, Darth Vader, Greedo, Jawa, and Stormtroopers. I can hear some of you passing out from excitement as you read this. Star Wars trailers and movie clips will be shown while you dine. It is $47.99 for adults and $29.99 for children(3-9). 


What better way to start your day at Disney than with this guy??

And my personal must do:




Jedi Mickey's Star Wars Dine Dinner, 4:15 pm until 8-9:30pm(ending time will vary based on park hours) at Hollywood & Vine. You will meet Jedi Mickey, Leia Minnie, Darth Goofy, Stormtrooper Donald, and Ewok Chip & Dale. It is $56.99 for adults and $32.99 for children. If you want to also include Fantasmic! seating in your price it is $59.99 for adults and $36.99 for children.  For that price of course you want to add Fantasmic! to your package.

*as an update to the times. Every single one I was able to get was either 4:30 or 5PM. Nothing later showed up but there was not a clear answer as to if they were just not available or if that was it. Fantasmic packages for sure would have to be that early but I wasn't getting availability for non Fantasmic reservations later.

The Disney Dining plans will be accepted for both meals and they are going to be two table service credits per meal.  

I will be on the phones first thing booking these for our existing clients. I hope to have great news for everyone later today. If you are ready to make your Star Wars dreams come true, contact us today!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Disney Cruise Line Summer 2015 Itineraries Announced!


It is an exciting day around here! The Disney Cruise Line has announced the itineraries for the summer of 2015 and there are some new destinations on the list! Check them out and check out the video too! 

Norwegian Fjords Itineraries
On 7- and 9-night sailings departing from Copenhagen, you will be immersed in both the splendor and charm of Norway with exciting new ports, steeped in Viking history. These will all be on the Disney Magic.

NEW 7-night Norwegian Fjords
Ports: Copenhagen, Denmark; Stavanger, Alesund, Geiranger and Bergen, Norway
Departure Date: June 6

NEW 9-night Norwegian Fjords
Ports: Copenhagen, Denmark; Stavanger, Alesund, Geiranger, Molde, Olden and Bergen, Norway
Departure Date: June 20

NEW 11-night Norwegian Fjords and Iceland
Ports: Copenhagen, Denmark; Oslo, Kristiansand and Stavanger Norway; Akureyri and Reykjavik (overnight), Iceland; Torshavn, Faroe Islands; Dover, England
Departure Date: June 29

Northern Europe Itineraries
These itineraries depart from Copenhagen, Denmark and Dover and are also on the Disney Magic.

NEW 7-night Northern Europe
Ports: Copenhagen, Denmark; Tallinn, Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden
Departure Dates: May 30, June 13
12-night Northern Europe
Ports: Dover, England; Copenhagen, Denmark; Warnemunde, Germany (July 10 cruise only); Stockholm, Sweden; Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia; Tallinn, Estonia
Departure Dates: July 10 and 22

Then in August, The Disney Magic will also return to the Mediterranean to popular European destinations on 5- and 7-night sailings departing from Barcelona, Spain. 

That is the line up for the new destinations. 

The Disney Wonder will return to Alaska for 7- night cruises departing from Vancouver, Canada.

The Disney Fantasy and the Disney Dream will continue to sail to the Bahamas and the Caribean from Port Canaveral, Florida for the summer months. Every itinerary on the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy will include a stop at Disney's own private island- Castaway Cay!

The itineraries are released, now what? If you are a Platinum or Gold level Castaway Club member, I can start your bookings Wednesday March 26th at 7am. As you know the best possible rooms are selected first! All other bookings can start on Thursday March 27th. Email me today to get lined up so we can secure your room on one of these amazing itineraries!  It is never too early to plan your 2015 Summer vacation!  

Monday, March 17, 2014

#DisneySide @Home Celebration Recap

Hi Mamas and Daddies! I am long overdue in sharing a full recap from our #DisneySide @ Home Celebration. It was an incredible event and we feel so honored to have been chosen to participate. I did receive free products in order to host the Disney Side @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own. If you would like information on how to host your own @Home Celebration, check out this great site at Disney Side Celebrations.

When the celebration kit arrived I could hardly contain my excitement! I had already read about others and seen people do a big reveal. Most kits were the same contents so I didn't do a big reveal plus I wanted our party attendees to have some surprises. Inside the kit contained : Games, plates, napkins, cups, Cranraisins, the most adorable posters with Mickey and Minnie, Run Disney! signs, Run Disney Stickers, tattoos, a face painting kit, tons of HP Photo Paper, Muppet calendars, Mickey Head cookie cutters, and instructions and recipes. All of this was in our hostess gift-an American Tourister suitcase! Ours happened to be red and black, yes like Mickey Mouse! It is the perfect carry on bag for our trips to Disney.

The credit for most of today's post photography goes to Teodora Pogonat Studios. I can't say enough good things about working with her. The photos speak for themselves. You are able to view all of the ones she shared with us here.  And she graciously made it where you could download any of the photos you would like of your family complimentary.


We opted for the Love of Disney as our theme and chose February 15th for the party date. We used a picture of the poster for the evite and online posts. Once that was all set I went to work contacting some local people to help me with this adventure. The results were astonishing! Entertaining is something I enjoy greatly and I've been told we put on great parties. I think this one may have topped all others, even the birthday party that Santa made a special appearance! The companies that volunteered were mostly local but I did have a few preferred vendors I use for my Disney clients for gifts and things that also participated from afar. I will have a separate thank you post just for the sponsors in case you missed their shout outs on Facebook and Twitter. It was truly special to see so many local companies participate in our #DisneySide@HomeCelebration!

We had matching Love My Disney Side shirts made for us and the kids wore Trips To The Mouse shirts.



We always wear Disney themed clothing in the parks and wanted to show that Disney Side. You also saw some Run Disney! shoes wandering around our house but us and some guests.










I loved seeing the children who chose to come in costumes and the adults who even went a little Goofy showing their #DisneySide!



We hosted the party at our home. We stopped counting once we hit 100 people but if I had to guess I would say 120-130 people came. I invited my local clients as a thank you to them(we are travel agents that specialize in Disney after all!), my children's classmates, my mom's club, and our other family and friends. It was chaotic but also so much fun! Everyone who came had a blast! We had people upstairs, downstairs, and thank goodness for the gorgeous day because we filled up the backyard too! The party was scheduled to go 4:30-7:30. The last "non-family" guest actually left around 9:30. Our dear friends that are like family stayed and helped clean up the outside. We didn't quite realize how much they had done until the morning but THANK YOU! I always take it as a compliment when a party goes well past the expected end time. It means people were having fun and felt comfortable.


 When you first walked in we had a room dedicated to learning more about Disney and all of their destinations. Most people are familiar with Disneyland and Walt Disney World and even the Disney Cruise Line. We also showcased Aulani, Disney's resort in Hawaii, and Adventures by Disney, Disney's world wide destinations that immerse you in the culture of your destination as well as give you a VIP experience.











Then people were directed to the raffle sign up table and they could check out the prizes! The prizes were a collection of my shopping spree at the Disney Store Outlet(don't look at the receipts honey) and donated prizes and a few things from the hostess kit. We had over 30 prizes to give away! I felt like I was calling a name every few minutes to win a prize. The Grand Prizes were a $25 Disney Gift card that I purchased, a $50 gift certificate for Kimberly's Kakery, a local bakery, and the ultimate grand prize was a Lego birthday party for up to 12 kids provided for by Snapology. We also gave away three prizes in an online rafflecopter giveaway for people who showed some love for our sponsors via our facebook page.









Next up was the food! So so much food! We mostly served the kind of snack food you would find in the parks. I did not replicate exact recipes though. We had Mickey Mouse chicken nuggets that we found at Costco, Grapes, Popcorn, some veggies and pretzels. We also had a huge variety of desserts! There were cupcakes, cookies, and Mickey Mouse rice krispie treats. In looking at the pictures I can't believe I didn't take a picture of the rice krispie treats because they were a labor of love! I made three double batches and used the Mickey Mouse cookie cutters that were in the hostess kit. I am sure if you weren't making so many rice krispie treats your hand would not hurt using these cookie cutters but they hurt me! Several local bakeries contributed their baked goods for this party. And they all tasted divine! We did provide beer and wine along with all the juice boxes and izzies you could drink!









For decorations we used the hanging directions provided in our hostess kit and then also bought some more. We had decorations hanging from the ceiling all over the entire house and outside on the patio. If you haven't used these before, go buy them now! The kids loved them! I made flower arrangements using pinks, yellows, whites, and reds for the flowers. We had pink and red table cloths. We did have to rent tables and chairs to accommodate everyone. We had a custom Show Your Disney Side banner that was donated by 3 Monkeys Designs! You will see that picture in just a bit. And we of course had a giant Mickey Mouse balloon and other balloons as well. We used red picture frames with some of our favorite Disney photos in them too.







You can't host a party with over 100 people and not have plenty of entertainment. Upstairs we had a lego party happening courtesy of Snapology! I am not sure who had more fun-the kids or the parents. It was a huge hit with everyone. Snapology was a dream to work with and I can't wait to hire them for a birthday party! I know some guests from the party already have one scheduled and several are signed up for the camps offered too! Win win for everyone!




You can also see the cool banner here!

Downstairs the next big hit of the evening was the Photo Booth provided by Say Cheese! They came highly recommended by a neighbor and they did not disappoint. I learned that a photo booth is loads of fun for children, even the littlest of guests. I originally had requested this for the adults and older kids coming. When I looked at the photos, I was shocked how many of the preschoolers were in there with their silly costumes and making faces. It was hysterical! Say Cheese is another company I will be using in the future. Professional, courteous, and so easy to work with. They did everything from set up to clean up their area. I posted the entire set of photobooth photos on my facebook page here. Check them out!





Downstairs we also had a Disney craft table set up that included tiaras, coloring sheets, make your own valentine and stickers and more stickers. Outside we had a face painter. The kids went crazy for them! They were both talented and the kids really tested them! And we had just good ole run around on the playscape fun too.  We also had a decorate your own Mickey Mouse cookie outside too with Mickey Head cookies and buttercream frosting and sprinkles galore. The kids adored their edible creations.
















As people left the party there was a party favor table set up. The children received a Disney play pack that had colors, stickers, and a mini coloring book in it. The children also got to choose a hair clip, courtesy of OMG Adorable or some of the other goodies from the hostess kit like the blue rubber bracelets. The adults received a goodie bag that had a koozie and Disney toiletries from the parks along with their own thank you card that listed all of the sponsors of the evening so they could connect with them at home on social media. While making the goodie bags I might have realized I have a Disney toiletry obsession given every gift bag had multiple ones and I made 75 gift bags!  I used the HP Photo Paper provided in our hostess kit to print the thank you notes on. HP Photo Paper is the easiest template printing paper I have ever used. I am printer challenged to say the least. There was also a place for the sponsors' business cards to go as well so that people could take the ones they connected with.





















I know we did not have to go this big for our #DisneySide @ Home Celebration. We were only asked to invite ten people. There would have been no way we could have chosen just ten people to share our Disney love with.  I consider this to have been a once in a lifetime opportunity to get to participate in a nationally coordinated event and we did go all out for it. It was worth it! We are still getting compliments on the incredible party and I am still getting asked for different sponsors' contact info which I also love! We helped get them some great local exposure and they helped make the night truly incredible. Thank you to the people who coordinated the #DisneySide @ Home Celebrations! You know who you are and I hope you enjoyed our recap! Once again, I was given some free products in order to host the Disney Side @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own.

How do you show your #DisneySide? Check out Disney Side for some great ideas!






Thursday, February 27, 2014

Daddy Thursday : Magic Bands




Hello Mammas and Daddies! Welcome to this week’s edition of Daddy Thursday! One of the most asked question we get as Disney travel planners is “Will we get those bands and what do they do?” This week I will answer that question. MagicBands are the key to Walt Disney World that makes your experience seamless. They do this by functioning as your room key, park ticket, fastpass ticket, photo pass card and payment card. MagicBands are available only for guests staying at Disney resorts.



 The first time saving convenience your MagicBand will perform is at the check-in with Magical Express at the Orlando Airport on arrival. This will save time so you can get to Disney World and start the magic. For those Disney veterans you are familiar with your room key also operating as your park ticket and payment card. The MagicBand will also perform those functions. MagicBands will also redeem your fastpass plus reservations. The time taken to locate a room key or park ticket is saved. There are no longer paper fast passes at Walt Disney World. They are all electronically stored on your Magic Band.



MagicBands will also serve as your photopass card. When your family stops for a picture in front of Cinderella’s Castle the photopass photographer will simply scan your MagicBand to load that photo to your account. You will be amazed at the time saved by simply having the key to your vacation on your wrist.


 So now you know what a MagicBand does. How do I get one? After you’ve contacted Trips to the Mouse and booked your Disney World vacation you will log into www.startyourdisneyexperience.com. This is where your will create your My Disney Experience account. Link your Disney reservation to your My Disney Experience account then you will be able to chose colors and add names to your family’s MagicBands!  Look at the fun colors!

And even the youngest of guests receive one.




A few weeks before your vacation they will be mailed to you unless you don’t have a few weeks then they will be waiting at check-in. Thank you Mommas and Daddies I hope this answered some questions. I look forward to next time! Always remember to show your Disney Side!


Monday, February 24, 2014

Mama Monday : Giveaway!

Happy Monday Mamas! This week we have teamed up with some amazing bloggers from all over the blogosphere to bring you this amazing giveaway.



This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 and older.
Giveaway will run from February 24 - March 3, 2014.
One winner will be chosen to receive their choice between a Canon Rebel t3 or a $400 Amazon Gift Card. Winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to claim their prize or a new winner may be chosen.

You can enter using the rafflecopter box below. Be sure to get your daily entries for tweeting about the giveaway.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 6, 2014

FREE Disney Memory Maker Photo Package



 Today Walt Disney World released a special offer that includes the Memory Maker for free! The Memory Maker replaced the former Photopass +. It is normally priced at $149 when you purchase it in advance and $199 when you purchase it at the parks.


What exactly is the Memory Maker? It's a great way to keep the whole family in the picture! The Photopass photographers are professional photographers and their pictures always look amazing. I also find it saves time to just let them take the picture instead of handing off of cameras, etc. They are all through out the parks and at most character meet and greets as well. 


With the Memory Maker you receive all of your photos digitally and you have the rights to them to reprint. You also get to include select attractions and dining locations as well. All of this is linked right to your Magic Band! And if you are traveling with other families, they can see and view your photos too and order them as well.

Attractions
  • Space Mountain ® attraction
  • Splash Mountain ® attraction
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin ®+ attraction
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™++
  • Rock ‘n Roller Coaster ® attraction
  • Expedition Everest ® attraction
  • Dinosaur
  • Test Track ® attraction
Dining Locations
  • 1900 Park Fare
  • ‘Ohana
  • Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show
  • Chef Mickey’s
  • Tusker House Restaurant
  • Hoop De Doo Musical Revue
 Now that you know what's so great about the Memory Maker, let's get on with the offer details.

The offer is for dates April 27-June 15th, 2014 and for August 15-September 30, 2014. There are two parts to this offer. One is the Free Memory Maker and the other is a room/ticket discount offer. For people who were already previously booked for the Spring Discount, it will not save you any additional money for the most part. For some of you that were booked in rooms that didn't have availability under the spring discount, you've been in luck as it appears most have availability for the Memory Maker part of the discount! And for August-September dates-there has been a great deal of availability for the combo discount.  

As always if you are already booked, you have been rebooked if your room was eligible and if it was a better discount for you. If you haven't booked your vacation for these dates, what are you waiting for? Use the contact button or request a quote option and let's get to planning your Walt Disney World vacation!


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Daddy Thursday

Hello Daddies and Mammas!  It's Trips to the Mouse Daddy here and I am excited to have the opportunity to share my Disney knowledge and experiences with all of the Mammas and Daddies that follow us.  Each Thursday I will provide Daddy’s take on our theme of the week.  Here is a little more about me and how I discovered Disney.



When I was eight years old my best friend went on his first trip to Disneyland.  The descriptions and stories he told about a roller coaster inside a mountain and a haunted house with real looking ghosts that float around was hard to imagine. I knew then I had to see this place.  






















The following spring break my grandmother surprised me with a trip to Walt Disney World. When I walked onto Main Street USA I knew this was a special place like no other. My grandmother and I visited Disney World annually for many years. These trips hold memories I will always cherish and I love sharing them with my kids now.



Disney has always been my favorite vacation destination.  From the eyes of a child, a teenager, college student, young adult and dad, I have experienced every type of Disney Vacation. A Disney vacation is something everyone should get to experience, hopefully more than once. I love helping create that magical trip for others because I know how it feels.


Disney's Beach Club Villas and Disney's Polynesian are my favorite Walt Disney World resorts. The Grand Californian Resort & Spa is my favorite Disneyland resort.  Magic Kingdom is my favorite park but I love the dining options and enjoying an adult beverage while strolling through the World Showcase at Epcot.  Soarin is my must do ride.  I make my family go to the Biergarten just about every trip. I must have a churro and a Mickey bar or the trip isn't complete. I have trouble going a slow pace in the parks but having kids has helped me slow down a bit. I get as excited as I did on my first trip with each visit. Donald Duck will always be number one on my list of Disney friends. My wife and children make me wear the Daddy shirts but I secretly like it. Now you know all about my #DisneySide.



Next week we will return with more Disney topics: Magic Bands and Fast Pass +! If you have any questions about these you want to see us answer just send an email and we will be sure to include them in the posts next week. 





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