Preparing for Spring Break 2020!

Spring Break 2020

Spring Break 2020 Here we come!

We are so excited! As of today, November 11, we are 125 days out from our trip to Walt Disney World for Spring Break! As often as our family has been to Disney, our schedules have never provided the opportunity to visit during this time. Now, I know that a lot of you will be thinking, “Who wants to visit Walt Disney World during Spring Break? That sounds insane to me!”, and you know what, when all is said and done, I might agree with you. I don’t think I will, simply because of the old adage — “A day at Disney is better than a day anywhere else!”

There are several things that excite me about this trip. Here is just a short list of things that we want to celebrate on this trip!

  • My birthday is in February, so this will be a birthday celebration for me!
  • My wife’s birthday is in March, so we will be celebrating her birthday as well!
  • Our daughter will be on Spring Break from college, so we’re going to celebrate that as well!
  • The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival runs from March 4 – June 1, 2020, and we’ve only seen bits of it after it was over, so it will be fun to experience this as well!
  • Star Wars Land will have been open for 7 months or so, and we want to experience that as well.
  • Believe it or not, we’ve not even experienced Toy Story Land, so that’s high on our list also!
  • But most of all, Cindy and I want to visit Disney with our daughter Sophie. She’s 18 now, and will be fast approaching 19 when we are there, so we wonder how many more of these family vacations will we have, just the three of us.

In addition to all of those things that we want to experience, we are also going to try out some old favorite restaurants of ours as well as some new ones that we’ve never tried before! How’s this list of reservations sound to you?

  • We’re having lunch once again at Be Our Guest
  • Tusker House Lunch, tied to the 1st show of Rivers of Light
  • Dinner at the Garden Grill, a family favorite!
  • Lunch at Mama Melrose with 1st show Fantasmic seating! This is a first for us.
  • A first for us, dinner at California Grill! So excited to experience this for ourselves!
  • Lastly, dinner at the Rose & Crown. We’ve never tried this restaurant either, it’s one we’ve had on our list for quite a while!

What do you think of our dining selections? Are they your favorites as well, or would you choose different restaurants? Let me know in the comments, and thanks!

Friends, thanks for stopping by today and reading about our upcoming trip! Tell me, what is your countdown to Disney looking like? Send me a comment with how many days until your next trip, or if you want help planning a trip, read below! Thanks!

Can I help you plan your next Disney trip? If so, send me an email to mike@pixievacations.com, or feel free to request a free, no-obligation quote online today! Thanks for spending time with us today, and please tell me in the comments what your favorite Walt Disney World attraction is! Thanks, and have a great Disney day!

Fall at Walt Disney World

Fall at Walt Disney World

Fall at Walt Disney World
The fall decorations at Walt Disney World are incredibly cool!

Visiting Walt Disney World in the Fall!

The cooler temperatures. The crisp sky. The decorations. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. These are just some of the reasons why visiting Walt Disney World in the fall can be an absolutely incredible experience for you and your family.

This year — shoot, next week, people! — my wife, daughter, and I are going to be doing just that! We will be staying at The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort from Thursday – Sunday, and visiting with our friends from California! Such an exciting time, and full of some experiences that many of them have never encountered before!

How’s this for a list of firsts:

  1. This will be the first time we have stayed in a Wilderness Cabin.
  2. For everyone except me, this will be the first time we will taking in Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!
  3. For everyone except me, this will be the first time they will have been to Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure.
  4. For my family, we are taking this trip also to explore schools in the area, so this will be the first time we have done that.

For all of those firsts, there are a lot of things that we have done before. We have been to Walt Disney World in the fall before, and absolutely love it! This will be another great reunion of our two families, and we are so excited about it. Also, it is a great time to remember what living is all about, and to give thanks for all of our blessings that we have been given.

So, what about you? Do you have any travel plans coming up that you want to talk about? Let us know in the comments, and as always, thanks for stopping by! Last thing — get ready for a contest with a super awesome prize (at least, it is in my mind, hopefully you agree!) in the next couple of days!

Top 3 rides at Disneyland Paris

Hi, I’m Georgia and Mike has been kind enough to let me write a blog post for his blog! 

Since I have been to Disneyland Paris 3 times now, I have a good idea on what my favourite rides are. My top 3 rides are a combination of rides from both parks at Disneyland Paris. 

Firstly, I’d have to say that my favourite ride is Hyperspace Mountain. This is a Star Wars themed ride which I think actually makes the ride even better. The music really adds a thrilling, exciting effect and gets my adrenaline going even more! I also think the laser lights in this ride are really cool, especially since the ride is in the dark; the lasers are a great element to the ride. I’m someone who loves a fast ride that goes upside down and so this ride ticks all my boxes! I’ve been on it many times that I’m already prepared for the photo opportunity. 

Disneyland Paris

Secondly, for the sake of it being a different ride, I’ll say the Tower of Terror is next. I knew this ride was a drop ride however I didn’t really just how intense the ride was. This was the only ride at DLP where I felt nervous to go on it! As soon as the drop happened I grabbed onto my boyfriends leg and thought to myself ‘okay I didn’t expect that’. But because it isn’t just a rollercoaster and it’s something different, it makes me like it even more! I also think the build up to the ride is really effective. It really creates the hotel effect and builds up the tension of ‘right when is this drop going to happen’; I’m always on edge! It may not be a ride for everyone, but it’s definitely one I’ll always do! 

Disneyland Paris

Lastly, my third favourite ride has to be Rock n Roller. Again, like Hyperspace Mountain, this ride is a thrill ride, which I love! I absolutely love the beginning of this ride how it counts you down and then you speed off, it’s so exciting!!! I also love the music and sound effects that this ride offers; it makes it so much more fun. It’s a very fast ride and I do find that my head gets knocked about quite a lot and normally I leave the ride with a headache but it’s a headache that’s worth it. Because of this, I suggest doing this ride near the end of the day just so if your head does hurt, then you haven’t got loads of other rides to face! 

Disneyland Paris

I find it hard to pick my top 3 rides at DLP because I really do love so many of them and it’s tough to call! I hope that soon I can go back to DLP and experience this rides again. 

Thanks for reading. I have my own blog over at The Disney Way and Instagram account ‘the_disney_way’, check me out! 

Travel Agent

Using a Travel Agent when going to Walt Disney World

Travel Agent

Using a Travel Agent

Recently on Facebook, I created a poll. You can vote on it below. The question was simple, and I was a little bit surprised on why the answers were not more evenly split. Here’s the poll:

As you can see, there is only a day or so left in this poll, and the overwhelming number of answers to the question “When you book your Disney trips, do you a) use a travel agent, or b) book it on your own” is very much in favor of booking it on their own. If you wish to vote, go ahead and do so until the poll closes.

Why you should use a Travel Agent for Disney trips

As many of you know, I am a travel consultant for Pixie Vacations. I’ve been one for over six years now, and obviously, I would be one that would vote that you should use a travel agent when booking your Disney trips — whether that agent is myself, another Pixie travel agent, or someone from a competitor. I have a great many reasons why, which I’ll expand on below, and would love to talk with anyone that does not normally use a travel agent about why you should.

  1. A travel agent that specializes in Disney travel is an expert in the field, and knows Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and other Disney destinations like the back of their hand.
  2. When I price out vacations for clients, I see the same pricing that you see when you price it out for yourself.
  3. Although the price is the same as what you would pay yourself, I offer concierge level service that you will not get if you book directly with Disney. Here is a list of some of the things you receive if you book with me:
    • Depending on the amount of your vacation package, you will receive a $25, $50, or $75 Disney Gift Card as a thank you gift from me to you. For more information on that program, look at my link at Disney’s Cheapskate Princess.
    • In addition, every new booking of $2,000 or more will receive a special Scentsy Bundle from me!
    • As your travel agent, I will monitor the Disney promotions, and if a promotion is released that will save you some money, I’ll apply it for you automatically. If you book your own Disney trip, you would need to take care of that yourself, which might result in hours spent on the phone calling Disney.
    • I will take care of working with you on selecting any dining reservations you wish to make, and unless you direct me otherwise, I will take care of making those reservations for you at 6:00AM on the day you are eligible to make dining reservations for your trip.
    • Same thing for FastPass selections; I will work with you on which FastPass selections you want to make, and I’ll take care of them for you at 7:00AM on the day you are eligible to book those.
    • If you need help figuring out your payment process, I can assist you with that. I’ve had several clients that I’ve created a payment plan with them that helps them pay off their Disney trip in a way that they can afford.
    • Lastly, all of my expertise is free of charge to you. Do you have questions about how to get from All Star Movies to the Caribbean Beach Resort for a dining reservation? I can assist with that. Are you not sure how much time you should plan on for getting from Disney’s Art of Animation Resort to your table service reservation at Be Our Guest? I can help with that as well. Do you have a special celebration you want to remember at Disney? Perhaps a 25th Wedding Anniversary dinner at Victoria & Alberts? I can book that for you.

Perhaps the best advantage of working with a travel agent in booking your trip is just knowing that you have an expert to bounce ideas off with and to take away any stress that comes from planning a Disney trip. Also, if you love planning Disney vacations for your family, well, so do I! That’s why I decided to investigate being a travel agent all those years ago. If you prefer to make your own reservations, that’s okay too. I’m here to assist you as much or as little as you prefer — and regardless of how much you have me take care of, the other extras are still yours to enjoy when you book with me.

Can I help you plan your next Disney trip? If so, send me an email to mike@pixievacations.com, or feel free to request a free, no-obligation quote online today! Thanks for spending time with us today, and please tell me in the comments what your favorite Walt Disney World attraction is! Thanks, and have a great Disney day!

DoubleTree

Hotel Review: DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando

DoubleTree

The entrance to the DoubleTree Suites at Disney Springs

Over Thanksgiving, my family was invited to stay with our friends Sheila, Randy, and Jagan at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando — Disney Springs Area hotel.  We had an incredible time, and I wanted to let you all know about the hotel and what my thoughts were for staying there.

From a location standpoint, the DoubleTree is considered “off-property” — but it appears that some on-property perks will be extended to off-property hotels, such as allowing FastPass+ selections at 60 days instead of 30 days. However, despite it’s off-property location, it is literally minutes from Disney Springs — and on a good day when I wasn’t dealing with a pinched nerve in my leg, we would have walked there for our dinner reservation.

Our room was on the 7th floor, room number 703, and featured two queen beds, a queen bed pullout sofabed, a kitchenette, and a single bathroom off of the main bedroom.  For the six of us, we had plenty of space, although I think having a split bathroom would be a better way to herd the six of us through the process of getting ready for the parks each day. Here’s a few pictures of the room.

DoubleTree

The sofabed opened up for the kids to sleep in.

DoubleTree

This picture is of the sink in the bathroom.

DoubleTree

The kitchenette features a sink, microwave, and mini-refrigerator.

DoubleTree

Two queen beds occupy the bedroom.

Not pictured is a space with a table for applying makeup or working on your computer. The beds were incredibly comfortable, and we all slept very well each night.  I’ve been told that this room actually could accommodate up to eight people and that two rollaway beds would be used in a case like that. Personally, I think eight in the room would be a bit much, but that’s just me.

For amenities, Hilton Honors customers can connect to the wireless for free, and for those visiting the parks, they have shuttles that run every 30 minutes to the different parks. We drove to the parks each day because our friends had parking privileges with their annual passes, but keep that in mind if you wish to drive to the parks because it will cost you $20 a day to park otherwise.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton, and will not be averse to staying there again in the future. My first preference is to stay on property, but if something prevents you from doing so, give this hotel a try. You will not be disappointed!