brandygrands

5 Big Reasons to Bring Grandparents on Your Disney Vacation

We are only half joking when we say we will never vacation when the children outnumber the adults. When it comes to evening the odds, having our parents with us on our vacation brings an extra layer of magic. Nothing compares to the experience of 3 generations all together on vacation. It’s even better when we go to one of our favorite places, Walt Disney World in Florida.

Here are 5 big reasons why you should take the grandparents with you on your next Walt Disney World Vacation.

  1. It takes a village.

I heard this phrase growing up but it never really rang true for me until I had my own children. There are times that my husband and I both have responsibilities we can’t reschedule and our children need to be at an event or practice.  It’s great that one of our parents is always there to help out and make sure our daughter, Olivia, makes it to singing lessons or to robotics practice.

Our parents are an integral part of our lives and our children’s development.  So why wouldn’t we want them to be there to enjoy family vacation time too?

Grandparents experience Walt Disney World with their grandchildren differently than we do as parents.  I remember when my mom saw Olivia run into Belle’s arms for the first time. My mom recalled the stories of me playing with my dolls as a child and shared them with my daughter.  Connections and new bonds are formed as stories and experiences are shared.

  1. Family Pictures

My dad has always been the one in the background reminding us to take pictures when we are all together.  I never realized that I was the one always taking the pictures but never in any of them until I saw that there were no pictures of me and my daughter together on my first Mother’s Day.

Enter Disney’s Memory Maker.  We make sure to purchase this service for every Disney vacation. Disney’s Memory Maker allows you unlimited digital downloads of all of your Disney PhotoPass family photos and videos.

Grandma wants a picture of everyone in front of Cinderella’s Castle?  A Disney’s Photopass Photographer will capture that.

Grandma wants a picture with all of her granddaughters and Ariel?  They will capture that too.

Grandma wants a picture of her alone with Gaston?  We’ll have to ask Grandpa first (but they’ll capture it too).

  1. Space to Spread Out

At this point you are reading this, you may be realizing that you are going to be on vacation with your children and their grandparents for a week.  That is a lot of time together.  You know you love them, but do you really want to be together all day every day for a week?

This is yet another reason why Walt Disney World makes a perfect multigenerational vacation.  There is so much to do and you don’t have to do it all together.  When you stay at a Walt Disney World Resort, the transportation to and from the parks is free and convenient.

When our son, Avery, is ready for a nap, my husband, Chris, and he hop on the monorail to go back to our room.  Olivia and I head over to Fantasyland to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and do a little shopping.  Grandma and Grandpa take the monorail over to EPCOT to take a Flower and Garden Tour.  Later, everyone meets back up at Chef Mickey’s for dinner with the main mouse and share stories about their afternoon adventures before heading over to watch the fireworks together.

  1. Unconnected Time

Families today are very scheduled and very connected.  We have an online calendar where we enter events and appointments for the children so we can keep track of everyone’s busy schedule.  Even though we have a family dinner night every week with my husband’s parents and family, even that is still cluttered with homework, work issues and upcoming events.

Our Disney Vacation together gives everyone a chance to disconnect so they can reconnect without all of the distractions.  While standing in line for Soaring, Grandpa can tell stories of how he lived all over the US with his dad because they were a military family.  When we’re exploring Animal Kingdom, Olivia can tell Grandma about what she learned about gorillas from her school project.  And most importantly, everyone can just be together and enjoy our time as a family without worries about what is due the next day or the next meeting we need to attend.

  1. Magical Memories

When I was pregnant with my daughter, everyone told me that time was going to fly by.  It’s true. I blinked and Olivia is 11.   There is so much we have shared, but there is a lot more I want to experience with her and teach her.

Life gets busy. We all get stressed. Some days, extra stress is added when a phone call turns into bad news. Thankfully our family has something that helps gets us through.  We rely on our Disney vacation memories to brighten those days that seem a little too difficult.  My 4-year-old son, Avery, will tell us all about Dumbo and how he flew it all by himself.  My daughter will tell the story of how the chef in Cinderella’s Castle came to our table and asked her if she “could have anything to eat, what would it be?”  (Since she had a peanut allergy, he made her favorite grilled cheese sandwich even though it wasn’t on the menu.)  My mom will tell the story of Olivia, her and me all having afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian.  These are the magical memories that help bring us together and keep us together.

brandygrand2

Chris and Brandy Incorvia with Ears of Experience

Chris and Brandy Incorvia have been helping families plan Disney Vacations for over 6 years. They reside in Myrtle Beach, SC with their two kids.

 

Yacht and Beach Club Pool

Yacht and Beach Club Pool

People may steer away from traveling to Disney World in the summer. There are many good reasons to go in the summer though.

1. Longer hours. You can utilize early hours and evening later hours when it is cooler

2. PLAN. You can pre-select fast passes ahead of time (60 days for those staying on property and 30 days for anyone else). Use these to stand in less lines and on more attractions. I don’t usually suggest holding off using fast passes for later in the day because then you cannot add any at the parks but in the summer months, it makes sense. If you can get to the parks when they open, you can easily ride five to seven attractions that are high crowd attractors, before the bulk of the crowds get in. Most guests do not arrive before 10:30AM. Don’t do the ones you have pre-selected fast passes for unless you have time or want to ride it multiple times. Pre-select three rides later in the day (evening) for ones that are high attractors. You can then do some shows late morning before it really heats up, have lunch at the park or head back then and enjoy the pool and the other offerings at the resorts.

3. Having a sit down meal for lunch during hot days is a nice break. Eat at a grab n go (quick service) for dinner to spend more time at the pool and get in the park when it cools down.

4. There are less ride refurbishments. Most things tend to be open.

5. If you can travel the second week in August and beyond, the crowds will be even less. The kids are either back to school or back in their towns for fall sports practices.

6. It is great time to visit the water parks as part of your vacation and we are giving free water park tickets with most packages for the summer months.

7. Up to 30% off resort stays this summer and we can package it with tickets and dining plans.

8. There are still plenty of character dining options available. I did a quick search in mid-July and there are character breakfast reservations for Be Our guest, Princess meals, breakfast with Mickey and friends, etc.!

9. Kids will not miss school and the pools at the resorts are a kid’s dream!

10. Most of all, have a plan. Work with someone who does this as their specialty or do it on your own if that is the type of thing you like to do. Have a plan regardless; meal reservations, fast passes, park flow. This will make a trip in the summer, fall, winter, or spring so much more relaxing.

Discover the magic of Walt Disney World® Resorts and parks on a Walt Disney World® Family vacation, and share the joy of Mickey Mouse and company with your kids. Let Ears of Experience plan the perfect Disney trip for you and your loved ones. Contact us today at 1-877-80MOUSE. We look forward to sending you on the magical vacation of a lifetime.

http://www.themouseexperts.com/

Live Your Life By Design

I sit here in front of the tree the second to the last night of 2014, reflecting on the last year and what I had mapped out last year in front of the tree, what I had planned personally and professionally for 2014. No, this is post is not about Disney, it is about life, our goals, our dreams, and how will we get there. I look back and think how I let outside factors get in the way of what I planned, I let those things affect me growing in a forward movement in some areas of my life. In others areas, I had NO IDEA how much I would challenge myself, grow, and the people I would meet along the way. But the one phrase I heard recently from a friend was “Live Life by design, not by default”. In so many areas I allowed life to get in the way and I ran on auto pilot, saying “tomorrow I will deal with that” or “tomorrow I will start that project”. I truly believe keeping that phrase in the forefront of your mind can change the outcome of any goal and dream you have. In everything you do, being present, living with design and not just going through the motions needs to be a constant in your life. Plan to grow your business with a design, a plan mapped out instead of the numbers you have as goals. How will you get there every day? Write it out the night before. It truly helps to have a list as your brain processes how to accomplish your plan for the next day while you sleep. What about fitness? Joining a gym will not get you there. Map out what you will do for that week ahead of time. You will find you will make those workouts like appointments in your daily life instead of just trying to squeeze it in somewhere. Remember, wearing the clothes with the intention of working out is not the same thing (we all have done that). What about personal relationships? If you do not have a plan on how to nurture them, you will never grow them stronger. A relationship is like your body, neglect it and one day, it may be like staring in the mirror and saying, how did I get to this weight? You will ask yourself, how did we get here and how do we get back or even how do we get better. It’s always harder once you let something slip away to get it back. Have a plan to grow your relationships with your kids, your significant other, the friends in your life that are constants, that don’t come along often. These are the people in your life you can’t afford to lose, they are the people that help you be who you are. They are more important than the laundry, than a clean house. You HAVE to make time by design to grow and nurture these relationships. In what areas will you live your life more by design and less by default? I have three, how about you?

What did you learn about yourself from 2014? We can all do better but what did you learn about who you are, good and bad? If you ask yourself these honest questions and write them down, making honest goals that will be meaningful will be easier and you are more likely to reach them. Don’t sit reflecting 365 days from now and think, “damn, how did I not get that done?”

Give the gift of travel this holiday season. Buy a cruise, Disney World® or Disneyland® package from Ears of Experience and receive these extra perks!

giving a gift

  •  At least a $50 onboard credit and up to $600 on every Disney Cruise
  • A $50 Disney Gift card on January, February, or March packages of at least four nights at a moderate, deluxe, villa, or suite. These CAN be combined with all promotions that are out right now! Save up to $600 on a package or up to 30% off on room discounts we can package together. Our team will decide what is the least expensive option for you. Contact us for more details at Ears of Experience, amy@themouseexperts.com, 877-806-6873

Let’s unwrap memories and time with our families this holiday.

*restrictions may apply

In addition, we have a special on our training to become a Specialist in all Disney Destinations. We know how stressful the holidays are and the impact it can have on your wallet. If you want to start off 2015 with the dream of doing what we do as a reality, the training can be split in equal payments of $298.50 now and the other half later in January. Ask for it as a gift or give it to someone you know wants to do this. www.yourdisbiz.com for more information, info@themouseexperts.com, 877-806-6873

main street empty

Five reasons to go to Disney World in January and February

1. Less Crowds, more Attractions
There are days in January where you could throw a ball down Main Street and never run into anyone. It is truly the least crowded time of the year. February is not much more crowded. You do have to be mindful of a few exceptions. Marathon weekend Jan 7th-11th. Martin Luther King Weekend Jan. 16th-19th, Presidents’ weekend Feb. 13th-16th, and the princess half marathon Feb 19th-22nd.

This is the time some refurbishments are done but we are only seeing a few, two being water rides. The others being the Liberty Boat and Under the Sea with the Little mermaid. Cinderella’s Royal Table restaurant is also under an extensive refurbishment.

2. Lower temperatures, less rain

Many fear the heat and those summer afternoon rain showers at Disney. This is their time of year then. The highs are around 70 on many days and the lows dip to the low 50s. Yes the pools are heated to 78 degrees.

3. Lower prices
The first two months of the year are typically some of the lowest pricing of the year. There are current promotions out to drop the rates even more but just looking at it no promotion to no promotion, Feb 2nd for four nights vs the first week in May (another favorite time of year for me to travel to the happiest place in earth), prices are lower in February.

Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter trends $174 per night for the February dates and $198 a night in May. The promotion drops this to at least $147 a night on the February dates.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge trends $331 a night for a pool view and the first week in May, $401. The promotion in February drops the price to $231.

4. We all can Get the Winter Blues after the holidays
The cold creeps in and is more noticeable after the excitement of the holidays. Why not sneak away for a bit just to get out of the monotony of the everyday blahs in the winter.

5. Experience a new Character Dining Experience
While Cinderella’s Royal Table is under refurbishment, Citrico’s at Grand Floridian will host a Princess Brunch.
Citrico’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will begin hosting the Disney princesses Jan. 8, 2015, for breakfast and lunch. Reservations open to all guests on Dec. 4 by BY PHONE ONLY at 407-WDW-DINE (starting at 7 a.m. Eastern). Online reservations will be available at a later date. Or work with someone like Ears of Experience and they will do the dining reservations for you.

During this character dining experience, Cinderella and a rotating cast of princesses will visit each table for photos and autographs. The hours are 8 a.m.-2:20 p.m., and the cost is $49.99 for adults and $31.99 for children ages 3-9.

1-877-806-6873

info@themouseexperts.com
http://www.themouseexperts.com
We Are the Plan Behind the Magic

castle holiday

If you’ve ever been to Walt Disney World ® between mid-November and early-January you know the Orlando theme park doesn’t spare a single garland, ribbon or twinkling light for its annual holiday decorations. But do you actually know to what extend Disney ® goes to create this gorgeous winter wonderland? It is truly my favorite time of the year! It is simply beautiful. But with that beauty, comes a lot of preparation and materials! Here are some fun surprising Disney ® Christmas facts you won’t believe:

• There are an astonishing 1,300 decorated trees throughout property.

• The Cirque du Soleil building (La Nouba) at Downtown Disney West Side spreads the holiday cheer with a wreath 25 feet in diameter

• 10 miles of twinkling rope lights go into the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios ®.

• It takes 150 semi-trailer truckloads full of decorations to decorate 24 resorts, 4 theme parks, Downtown Disney and other Disney ® locations.

• 15 miles of garland strung and 1,314 wreaths hung throughout the World Disney World ®.

• There are 300,000 yards of ribbon and bows hung on Christmas trees throughout the property.

• 8.5 million lights light up Walt Disney World Resort ®.

• 100 percent of the lighting used for holiday décor is LED.

• 11 countries decorate for Holidays Around the World at Epcot ®.

• Candlelight Processional at Epcot ® welcomes more than 800 performers each night

• There are also more than 200 guest choirs that sing during the entire run of Candlelight Processional

• Magic Kingdom ® proudly displays a Christmas tree with a base 26 feet wide.

• The 70-foot-tall tree in Disney’s Contemporary Resort entrance lobby features nearly 35,800 white LED lights

•6 life-sized creations cooked up by Walt Disney World pastry chefs, including:

•One 16-foot-tall gingerbread house at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa baked with 1,050 pounds of honey and involving more than 160 hours of decorating

•One life-size gingerbread carousel at Disney’s Beach Club Resort featuring ponies made of chocolate and fondant, giant candy cane poles, handcrafted poinsettias and hand-painted portraits of famous Disney characters

•100 percent chance of snow flurries during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, taking place on select holiday evenings in Magic Kingdom

•365 days of the year that guests can shop for holiday merchandise at the Disney’s Days of Christmas shop in Downtown Disney Marketplace
And if you’re taking a Disney ® cruise this season get ready for a festive trip out to sea as Disney’s ® ship, the Fantasy is adorned with 931 feet of garland, 66 sprays, 27 wreaths, 38 trees ranging from 2 feet to 20 feet and more than 17,000 individual LED lights – 11,000 of which are on the 20 foot tree in the lobby.

There is still time to plan a trip down to enjoy the sites. info@themouseexperts.com 877-806-6873
http://www.themouseexperts.com
We Are the Plan Behind the Magic

santa and castle

mickeyminniecruise

 

 

Disney Cruise Line has announced new itineraries and dates including early 2016. Most are the same but they do have a couple surprises for 2016. Please read below, I am super excited about Tortola and Martinique!!! These sailings are open to book to the General Public Thursday and to Platinum and Gold Castaway Cay members tomorrow. Contact us for pricing and availability. We are the cruise experts! From what night is the best to do an adult only dinner, where to stand for fireworks, even what line to stand in when disembarking, we will tell you AND an onboard credit on every sailing up to $800. www.themouseexperts.com

From Disney Travel Company
Disney Cruise Line introduces two popular Caribbean destinations — Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Martinique — into the lineup of favorite tropical itineraries for early 2016. The return to the homeport of San Juan, Puerto Rico brings a new itinerary that includes Martinique.

From the warm Caribbean culture of Tortola, capital of the British Virgin Islands, to the exquisite French island of Martinique, these destinations provide Disney Cruise Line guests the chance to relax on pristine beaches, discover natural wonders and indulge in local shopping and cuisine.

Port Canaveral to Eastern Caribbean, including Tortola
In 2016, Disney Cruise Line will sail from Port Canaveral, FL on a seven-night itinerary to the Eastern Caribbean, including a call at Tortola and Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay.

Tortola is an idyllic escape for Guests of all ages, from tranquil beaches and stunning scenery to exhilarating activities and authentic Caribbean fare. With a variety of experiences for the family to share together, Disney Cruise Line Guests will create memories in Tortola while swimming with dolphins, exploring centuries-old ruins, sampling local spices on Main Street and reveling in the natural beauty of Sage Mountain National Park.

Ports: Port Canaveral; Tortola; St. Thomas; Disney Castaway Cay
Departure dates: Disney Fantasy: Jan. 2, 16, 30; Feb. 13, 27; March 12, 26; April 9, 23; Disney Magic: April 3, 17

San Juan to Southern Caribbean, including Martinique
Disney Cruise Line returns to San Juan, Puerto Rico in early 2016 as the Disney Wonder sails four cruises to the Southern Caribbean, including a stop in Martinique — a new port of call for Disney.

Known as the “Flower of the Caribbean,” Martinique offers a unique island experience complete with breathtaking natural beauty and cosmopolitan culture of French and Creole influence. Nature-lovers will delight in lush rainforests, rushing waterfalls and volcanic landmarks, while Guests looking for a more upscale experience will savor superb French cuisine and superlative shopping.

Ports: San Juan; Barbados; Grenada; Martinique; Antigua; St. Kitts
Departure dates: Jan. 10, 17, 24, 31

Port Canaveral and Miami to the Bahamas and Caribbean
In 2016, Disney Cruise Line will sail from Port Canaveral and Miami to the Bahamas and Caribbean on a variety of itineraries. All of these cruises include a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.