My Birthday Gift to You

In honor of my birthday today, I am offering a limited time promotion. If you book a Disney vacation package with room, tickets, and dining for $4,500 or more for travel dates between August 15 – December 31, 2016…you will receive a $100 Disney Gift Card to use on your vacation.

donald duck birthday

You must book by 7/28/16 to get this promotion. Gift Cards will be mailed once your vacation is paid in full. Don’t wait, book now!!!

Contact me at:

https://www.facebook.com/MyMagicalMouseVacationsByJenny/

Get your free quote today!  My services are always free.

 

 

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The Dos and Don’ts for First Time Disney Travel

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If you’re a Disney Addict like me, I know it’s hard to believe, but not everyone has been to Walt Disney World or Disneyland multiple times.  My family and I have been to Disney World so many times, we can tell you where every bathroom is located, shortcuts to avoid traffic jams of people, and the quickest way to get to your next Fastpass ride.  If you have never visited Disney World in Florida or Disneyland in California, or if it’s been a long time since your last visit, there are several mistakes that guests tend to make.  Even well traveled guests may not be aware of some of the most common dos and don’ts.  I’ve put together a few suggestions to make your first trip to the most Magical place on earth (or the Happiest place on earth)  a little more magical.
  • Don’t Sleep in Late. –  I know, it’s your vacation, so you don’t want to get up early.  However, the best time at the parks is first thing in the morning.  It’s generally cooler and less crowded.  Plan to get up and be at the park about 30 minutes before the scheduled opening (this is known as “rope drop”).  Some of the parks have a little opening show, that you will miss if you’re not there early.  You can get through security and ticketing, and be ready to roll when the rope drops.  Then you can get to that big attraction that you usually have to wait 60 minutes for if you go later.  My daughter likes to head to Big Thunder Mountain in Magic Kingdom first, so we can ride it a few times in a row before a long line starts to form.  I also suggest eating breakfast in the park.  My husband prefers a Table Service breakfast buffet, but a quick service breakfast works fine too.  Enjoy the early part of the day, go back to your resort for lunch and a nap, then return in the evening refreshed and ready to enjoy the cooler and less crowded night activities.

 

  • Don’t Leave the Park Early.  –  Just like being there early, it’s generally cooler and less crowded after the sun goes down.  If you took my advice and got to the park early, then went back to your resort for a nap you, should be good to go for the evening.  Book your Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) for 6-7 pm in one of the parks and then enjoy the nighttime parades and fireworks after dinner.  The last few times I was at the Magic Kingdom, I was at the back of the park at closing time.  Sometimes I take my time walking to the front and stop in the shops on Main Street…those stay open about an hour after the park closes.  About an hour after closing time, there is a “kiss goodnight” at the castle.  It’s really short and it’s not publicized, but it happens each night.  You really need to see it at least once.  Plus, the buses, monorails and boats are much less crowded by that time.  Another thing a lot of guests don’t know is that if you’re in a line at closing time, you can remain in that line until you ride the attraction.  It doesn’t matter if you get in line for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train 5 minutes before closing, you’ll still be able to ride the ride before you leave.  It’s a nice way to squeeze in one last ride before you leave the park.

 

  • Don’t Eat at Peak Times –  One of the worst things to do at Disney is trying to eat lunch at 12:00 noon.  Try to avoid eating at a quick service restaurant between 11:30 and 1:00.  The lines will be very long and you won’t find any place to sit.  You’ll get frustrated trying to carry all that food around without bumping into someone.  If you got to the park early, you’ll probably be ready to eat lunch by 10:45 or 11:00.  Or if you ate breakfast in the park early, you can wait until after the lunch crowd.  Bring a snack or get a Mickey shaped pretzel around 11:00 to hold you over until after 1:00. Waiting in line for Starbucks in the morning is a big waste of time, as well.  Grab some coffee at your hotel before you head to the park.

 

  • Do use Fastpass and Fastpass+ –  Disneyland still has regular Fastpasses that you go to each attraction, insert your park ticket, and it gives you a paper Fastpass.  Disney World now uses Fastpass+ which allows you select your Fastpasses up to 60 days before your trip if you’re staying on Disney property (30 days if staying off-property), and you choose 3 each day.  There is absolutely no reason for you not to take advantage of them.  It’s free for every park guest.  You don’t have to pay extra for this like you do at some other theme parks.  At Disneyland, you get your paper Fastpass 1 at a time.  When you use one, you can then go get another one, and so on… all day long until they run out.  The more popular attractions tend to run out mid to late afternoon. The Fastpass gives you a time frame for you to return to ride the ride with little or no waiting.  It’s usually a 1 hour window and you need to return during that time.  When you book your Disney vacation with me as your Disney travel planner, I will help you understand and take full advantage of the Fastpass system.

 

  • Do make Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR)  This is one of the things that I can help you with as your Disney Travel planner.  Disney World and Disneyland have some wonderful restaurants, but if you don’t make ADRs you more than likely will end up eating chicken fingers and hamburgers every meal.  The Table Service restaurants are extremely popular and are generally booked well in advance.  We can schedule your ADRs 180 days before your trip for Disney World, and 60 days before your trip to Disneyland.  Some of the most popular locations like Cinderella’s Royal Table and Be Our Guest fill up within minutes of hitting the 180 day mark.  I will get up early to make sure you get the reservations you want.

 

  • Do use the My Disney Experience App –  Disney World has free Wi-Fi in the parks which is great when using the Disney apps.  Be sure to download the My Disney Experience app on your phone to keep track of your Fastpassses and ADRs.  You can also check-in to your hotel with the app.

 

  • Don’t Park Hop Several Times in a Day –  It’s okay to park hop once, but any more than that, you’ll be wasting time in transportation.  My suggestion is to go to the park early, head back to your resort for an afternoon nap, then head out to a different park in the evening.  Pick a park that stays open later that night.  We love to go to Magic Kingdom on evenings it’s open late.  The rides tend to not be as crowded, and it feels like a different park at night compared to during the day.  It’s my husband’s favorite time to be there.

 

  • Don’t Watch the First Parade –  If there are 2 different times scheduled for a parade, always go to the second one.  The lines for rides will be much shorter during the parade, and many people leave after the first night time parade.  That means you get to ride more rides during the first parade, and then watch the second parade with less crowds.  Hit one or two last rides after the second parade while most people exit the parks.  By the time you leave, the transportation lines back to the resorts will be less crowded.

 

  • Do use a Disney Travel Planning Expert –  A Disney Travel Planner like myself, has graduated from the Disney College of Knowledge and knows many secrets and tricks to make your vacation less stressful and more magical than doing it yourself.  My service is free to you.  I’ll find you the best deals for your family.  I’ll keep checking for new discounts even after you’ve booked.  Then if something better comes along, I will adjust your reservation.  I’ll stay up late and get up early to make those ADRs you really want, so you don’t have to.  You will never pay a penny extra for a Disney Travel Planner to book your trip.  If you have a problem during your vacation, you can text me, email me, or give me a call, and I’ll take care of it for you.  There are a lot more secrets that I will share with you when you book your Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line,  Adventures by Disney, or Aulani vacation with me.

Summer Discounts are Here!

Awaken Summer MagicBand

Summer Discounts were released on 3/14/16, with a new Star Wars themed discount.

With the new Awaken Summer Discount, you can save up to 30% on rooms at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels this summer!  Plus, get an exclusive MagicBand when you upgrade to a room and Theme Park ticket package! For stays most nights 6/12-8/25/16.

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Contact me for a free quote today!

Other Services Available (Non-Disney Destinations)

I get this question a lot.  Do you book other vacations besides Disney?  The answer is yes.

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I specialize in Disney Destination vacations.  That is my true passion.  It’s the destinations that I continue to be trained on to stay up to date, and it’s my family’s vacation of choice. But…I can book a variety of other vacations besides Disney vacations.

Here is a list of just some of the vacations I can book for you:

Universal Studios Orlando
SeaWorld
Cruises – Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian
Beaches Resorts
Sandals Resorts
Delta Vacations
United Vacations
Apple Vacations
Travel Impressions

If you have a destination in mind, but aren’t sure if I can book it for you, please feel free to send me a message to ask. In most cases, I will be able to assist you.

 

As a travel agent, my job is to try to make your vacation planning experience as hassle-free as possible.

How to use your Disney Gift Cards

Disney Gift Cards can be used in many ways when planning your next Disney Destination vacation.  This method of payment is growing in popularity in recent years.

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Here is my list of ways to use a Disney Gift Card:

1.  Disney World – Use toward vacation packages, theme park tickets, water park tickets, annual passes, hotel rooms, spa experiences, merchandise, dining, and recreation…and more.

2.  Disneyland – Use toward vacation packages, theme park tickets, annual passes, tours, stroller and wheelchair rentals, merchandise, and dining…and more.

3.  Disney Cruise Line – Used to apply payment toward your shipboard account during your cruise, so you can use it to purchase Spa Treatments, Shore Excursions, Photographs at Shutters, and onboard Merchandise.  You can also use your Disney Gift Card toward your Disney Cruise Line reservation.

4.  Aulani Resort and Spa – Use toward your Resort reservation.  Can be used for payment toward room nights or accumulated purchases on your Resort charge during your stay.  The Disney Gift Card can also be used at participating merchandise and restaurant locations.

5.  Adventures by Disney – Use to reserve your next adventure.

6.  Disney Store – Used to buy Disney merchandise at your local Disney Store.

7.  DisneyStore.com – Used to buy Disney merchandise from the online store.

8.  Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort – Use toward reservations.  Use for accumulated purchases on your Resort charge.  The Disney Gift Card can also be used at participating merchandise and restaurant locations.

9.  Disney’s Vero Beach Resort – Use toward reservations.  Use for accumulated purchases on your Resort charge.  The Disney Gift Card can also be used at participating merchandise and restaurant locations.

10. Disney’s PhotoPass – Use as a form of payment for your photo orders.

11. DisneyMusicStore.com – Use toward purchase of Disney music.

12. Disney’s Club Penguin – Become a member and have full access to all the exclusive games, parties, items, and events that make Club Penguin so much fun to explore.

How do you like to use your Disney Gift Cards?  Is there anything I forgot on my list that you would add?

My daughter and I use them for buying souvenirs while on vacation.  My daughter always gets a couple for her birthday, and she loves having her own “money” to shop with on our trips.  I’m also a fan of using them for shopping for Christmas gifts on DisneyStore.com or at my local Disney Store.

If you are a budget shopper, there are ways to get discounted gift cards from Target, Sam’s Club, and a few other places.  The savings can make using gift cards well worth it.  Where do you get your discounted Disney Gift Cards?

Giveaway – Free $75 Disney Gift Cards to First 5 Customers – Book Now!

$75 Disney Gift Card Giveaway to the first 5 people to book their Disney vacations with me. Contact me for a free vacation quote, and book your vacation within 24 hours of receiving your quote to be eligible for this giveaway.
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Disney Gift Cards are great to use for dining (in the parks, at resorts, and at Downtown Disney), buying souvenirs, and paying for recreational activities at Disney Destinations.

To redeem this offer, go to www.mickeyvacations.com/jennyw to request a free quote.

You can also fill out the following form and email it to me at:  jenny.westbrook@mickeyvacations.com

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*** My services are always free to my customers. There are no hidden charges. Giveaway is good for vacations booked for Disney World in Florida, Disneyland in California, Disney Cruise Line, and Aulani Resort and Spa in Hawaii. Gift Cards will be sent once vacation package is paid in full. Offer is running on Facebook.  This Giveaway is not a Disney or Mickey Vacations offer.  This Giveaway is being offered directly by me, to show my appreciation to my customers.

Offer ends on June 14, 2015.

Offer can be seen at:  https://www.facebook.com/MyMagicalMouseVacationsByJenny

Good luck to everyone, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a magical day!

Jenny

Disney Coupons

Are you looking for Disney Coupons?  Here are the coupons listed on my Local Saver Page.

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$50 Disney Gift Card for New Clients

New Clients will receive a free $50 Disney Gift Card with their first vacation package booking.

Expires July 2, 2015


$75 Disney Gift Card with Vacations over $5,000

If you book a vacation package for $5,000 or more, you’ll receive a $75 Disney Gift Card.

Expires July 2, 2015


$25 Disney Gift Card with Room Only Bookings

Mention this coupon and receive a $25 gift card with any Room-Only booking!

Expires July 2, 2015


Free $75 Disney Gift Card with Holiday Vacation Packages

When you book a Disney World vacation with tickets to a special holiday event, receive a free $75 Disney Gift Card. Holiday events are Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Expires July 2, 2015


$50 Disney Gift Card

Mention this coupon and receive a $50 gift card with your first vacation package booked with us.

Expires July 2, 2015


Free Disney Gift Bag with Booking

Receive a Free Disney Gift Bag with first vacation booking. You’ll get a reusable Disney Gift Bag along with some Disney goodies.

Expires July 2, 2015


In order to show my appreciation to my customers for booking their magical vacations with me, I offer free gift cards and other goodies.  It is an honor to be able to help others plan their vacations.  I am a true lover of all things Disney, and being able to work as a Disney Travel Agent is a blessing.  I love my job, and I am truly grateful.

If you want to keep up to date with all of my current coupons, go to my Local Saver page at:

http://www.localsaver.com/richton-park-il/my-magical-mouse-vacations-disney-destinations-coupon?dsc=MYDS&bizid=52033616&cpnid=4308734#lscoupons

* Please note that coupons cannot be combined with other coupons.  However, all of my coupons CAN be combined with Disney vacation offers.  For instance, you an use a coupon when you book a vacation package that includes the Summer Resort Special (30% off Disney Resorts).  So not only are you getting 30% off of your room rate, but you can also use a coupon to receive a free Disney Gift Card too.  Sweet deal!

Disney World’s Magical Express

Magical Express is a free bus service.  When you’re staying at an on-site Disney World resort, it includes ground transportation from the Orlando International Airport to Disney resorts (excluding Swan and Dolphin).  Magical Express will also transport your luggage from your departure airport to your Disney World resort.  Once you check your luggage in at your departure airport, you won’t see it again until a few hours after you arrive at your resort.  (Remember to pack a carry-on bag with any essentials you may need the first few hours after your arrival.)  Of course, you don’t have to have your luggage transported for you.  You have the option to bring your luggage with you on the Magical Express, but it is so convenient to not have to worry about big luggage and have it magically delivered right to your room.  It’s a service that my husband and I both love.

Waiting for our bus to leave the airport in 2014.

Waiting for our bus to leave the airport in 2014.

She's such a trooper when we're traveling.

She’s such a trooper when we’re traveling.

You may be wondering how this all works.  It’s very simple.  When you book your trip, sign up for Magical Express Service.  You will need to provide your flight information no later than 10 days prior to your trip.  I always inform them of my flight information the moment I know which flights I will be traveling on.  I personally prefer to have all my ducks in a row as far in advance as possible.

A few weeks before your trip, you will receive Magical Express vouchers and luggage tags in the mail.  You will need to put luggage tags on all the luggage you will be checking in at the airport that you wish to have transported by Magical Expess.  You will receive one tag per person in your traveling party.  If you need additional tags, they can easily be requested.  If you plan to transport your own bags, they will not need luggage tags.  Anyone arriving at the airport past 10:00 p.m. Eastern time will need to pick up their own luggage and transport it themselves.  Magical Express does not offer luggage delivery after 10 p.m.

When traveling, make sure you carry your Magical Express vouchers with you on the plane in a carry-on bag or in your purse.  The vouchers act as your tickets when checking in with Magical Express.  Although, the past two times I’ve traveled to Disney World, we’ve been able to use our Magic Bands to check in for Magical Express Service.  However, I still carry the vouchers with us just in case they need to see them.  It’s better to be safe than sorry.  If by chance you do forget your vouchers at home or pack them in a checked bag, just go up to the Magical Express desk at the Orlando International Airport and they will be able to assist you.

My daughter waiting in the Magical Express line in 2013.

My daughter waiting in the Magical Express line in 2013.

Once you arrive at the Orlando International Airport, head to the Magical Express check-in desk.  They will scan your vouchers or Magic Bands, then you will enter into the Magical Express line for your resort.  You may wait 20-30 minutes before your bus arrives to pick you up.  We have never waited more than 30 minutes.  When the bus arrives, you will be directed to your bus.  Each bus stops at several resorts.  Expect that the trip to your resort may take up to an hour, but don’t worry, the buses play little videos to help get everyone excited about their Disney World vacation.

Talking to daddy in the seat behind her in 2013.

Talking to daddy in the seat behind her in 2013.

Magical Express pulling up to our resort in 2013.

Magical Express pulling up to our resort in 2013.

When you arrive at your resort, you can pick up any luggage you transported with you.  At this time, you should tip the bus driver if he helped you with any luggage.  The typical tip is $1 per bag, per traveler.  If you had Magical Express transport your luggage for you, then you do not need to tip the driver.  Even though we use Magical Express to deliver our luggage to our room, we still usually give the driver a dollar for our family of three.  It just seems like the polite thing to do, but it’s not expected.  The drivers we’ve had are always really nice to our daughter, so we feel they’ve earned a small tip.

If you used Magical Express luggage tags to have your luggage transported for you, then you will need to wait for your luggage to arrive to your room.  Magical Express will pick your luggage up from the airport and deliver it to your resort.  It typically takes 3-4 hours for your luggage to be delivered to your resort room.  You don’t need to be present in your room when the luggage is delivered, and you don’t need to tip the delivery person.  If you aren’t in your room, the delivery person will leave your luggage inside your room.  We like to head out to dinner or to a park shortly after arrival, so we’re never in the room when our luggage is delivered.  At the end of the day, it’s nice to come back to our room and find our luggage waiting for us.

The day before you depart, a note will be delivered to your room with a Magical Express pick-up time.  This pick-up time tells you what time you will need to board your bus to head back to the airport.  Pick-up times are 3 hours before your flight, and you can’t change the time.  Please do not miss your Magical Express bus because you may not be able to ride on another one.

Another nice feature is most airlines participate in resort airline check-in.  With resort airline check-in, your boarding passes will be delivered to your room.  You can also check-in your luggage at your resort and they will transport it to the airport for you.  This is a wonderful service, but make sure you check-in your luggage at least 30 minutes or more prior to your bus pick-up time.  The line may be long to check-in your luggage, and if you can’t get them checked-in by the time you’re supposed to be on the bus, you will need to take your luggage on the bus with you.  One year, my husband and daughter were super slow about leaving our room on check-out day, and by the time we got to the resort airline check-in desk, we didn’t have enough time to wait in the long line.  We ended up having to bring all of our luggage with us, and one of the bags was 48 lbs.  It was not fun having to deal with that bag.  The next year, my husband dropped off our bags a couple hours before our bus pick-up time.  Live and learn.

You don’t need to be using Magical Express Service to use the resort airline check-in.  It is available to all Disney resort guests.  The resort airline desks are usually located in the lobby or entrance area of the resorts.

The following airlines participate in resort airline check-in:

  • AirTran Airways
  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Continental Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Northwest Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Air Lines
  • US Airways

Please note that specific airline bag check fees may apply.  You will need to call Baggage Airline Guest Services to find out more information on luggage fees.  The phone number is 407-284-1231.  Luggage fees need to be paid in advance.  If your airline doesn’t have bag check fees, don’t worry about calling.

Once your luggage is checked-in, you won’t see it again until you arrive at your home airport.  You will pick it up at baggage claim.

Magical Express is just one of the many reasons why staying at a Disney resort can be worth the extra money.  This free service is a gem.  It makes traveling so much easier.  My husband is all about hassle-free traveling, and if it’s free, it’s even better.

Additional information about Magical Express:

  • The resort airline check-in desks are open from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m  If your flight is before 8:00 am, you will not be able to check-in your luggage.  You will need to transport your luggage with you on the Magical Express bus.  Unfortunately, you are not able to check-in your luggage the day before.
  • Since the check-in desks are similar to airport curb-side service, it is appropriate to tip the person handling your luggage.
  • If your airline is not listed above, you may not check-in for your flight or check-in your luggage at your resort.  You can still use Magical Express Service, but you will need to transport your luggage with you on the bus.
  • Using Magical Express one way instead of round trip is an option.
  • Magical Express only operates from the Orlando International Airport.  You can not use this service if you are flying into a different airport.
  • Car seats are not needed on Magical Express buses.  If you are traveling with a car seat for your child, it will need to be stored under the bus with the luggage.
  • There is a bathroom on the bus.
  • Big luggage will need to be stored under the bus, but smaller bags can usually be taken on the bus.
  • If you are transporting your own luggage to the airport via the bus and you have a late pick-up time, you can store your luggage with Bell Services until you are ready to head to your bus.  This is convenient if you plan to hit the parks on the morning of your departure, or you want to participate in other activities before leaving.  Just make sure you leave yourself enough time to pick up your luggage and head over to the bus pick-up location.
  • If booking your trip through a Disney Travel Agent, like me, we will take care of adding Magical Express Service to your vacation package for you.

I really do love using Magical Express on our trips.  It is convenient and easy to use, and it’s one less thing I have to worry about.  I highly recommend this service to anyone staying at an on-site resort.

Current Disney Vacation Offers

Walt Disney World Resort Vacation Packages
Click on any available links below to view current Walt Disney World® Resort Featured Offers.

Click here for the latest Walt Disney World Information including Special Offers!


Disneyland Resort Vacation Packages
Enjoy Disney magic with Seasonal Packages and Special Offers to the Disneyland® Resort. Click on any available links below to view current Featured Offers

Click here for the latest Disneyland Resort Information including Special Offers!

To learn more about Disney vacations, go to my website at:

http://www.mickeyvacations.com/jennyw

Contact me today for your free vacation quote.  My services are always FREE to you, the customer.  I am here to help you plan your magical Disney vacation.

Jenny.Westbrook@mickeyvacations.com

Some of these vacation offers are ending soon!  If you want to lock in one of these current offers before they’re gone, book now.

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Be Dazzled!

Get ready to be Dazzled!  Plan a 2-Night/3-Day Disneyland Resort vacation at a Good Neighbor Hotel starting at $99 per person, per day for a family of 4.  Includes 3-Day, 1 Park per Day Disneyland Resort tickets.  For arrivals most nights 8/30 – 10/1/15 and 11/1 – 11/23/15. Contact me for a FREE vacation quote.

Book now and receive some EXTRAS.  I’ll be giving away Disney gift cards.

Be dazzled

If you want a detailed vacation quote, please fill out the following form and email it to me at: jenny.westbrook@mickeyvacations.com

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I will get back to you within 24 hours with your FREE quote.  You may also go to my website to fill out a form at: www.mickeyvacations.com/jennyw

*Please note that the free Disney gift cards will not be mailed out until final payment is received for your Disney vacation.  Final payment is not due until 45 days prior to your trip.