Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Disney Cruise Line Featured Ports and Itineraries for Summer 2018

Featured Ports and Itineraries for Summer 2018 

 

In summer 2018, Disney Cruise Line will sail on new itineraries and to new ports, including first-time visits to destinations in Italy and Ireland. Disney Cruise Line takes Guests on a grand tour of Europe with visits to the Mediterranean, northern Europe, Norway and Iceland. Plus, adventures continue with sailings to Alaska, the Caribbean and the Bahamas.

New sailings from Rome and Barcelona
 
For the first time, Disney Cruise Line Guests can experience more of the rich culture of Barcelona and inspiring history of Rome in a single cruise. In Rome, Guests can explore the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and the Vatican, and sample authentic local cuisine. Barcelona offers beautiful beaches, the market streets of La Rambla, the artistic architecture of Gaudi and the famed Sagrada Família church.

On June 16, 2018, the Disney Magic will sail a seven-night cruise from Barcelona to Civitavecchia (Rome). Ports of call include Marseilles and Villefranche, France; and Genoa (Milan), Livorno (Florence, Pisa) and Naples, Italy.

On June 23, 2018, the Disney Magic will sail a seven-night itinerary from Civitavecchia (Rome) to Barcelona. Ports visited on this cruise are Naples, Livorno (Florence, Pisa) and Genoa (Milan), Italy; and Cannes and Marseilles, France.

First-time visits to Milan, Italy
 
Disney Cruise Line will call on Genoa, Italy for the first time in 2018, as part of three special sailings from Barcelona and Civitavecchia (Rome). The historic port town of Genoa, located on the Italian Riviera, is a gateway to the beautiful metropolis of Milan and the picturesque locale of Portofino. Milan is a global capital of fashion and design, featuring top-name designer stores, boutiques, open-air markets and art galleries.

A 10-night Mediterranean itinerary sailing from Barcelona on July 7, 2018, calls on Genoa, as well as other popular ports in Italy, France and Spain.

First-time visit to Cork, Ireland and first seven-night British Isles
 
The Disney Magic will call on Cork, Ireland for the first time as part of a first-ever seven-night British Isles cruise, departing on September 2, 2018. Additional ports visited on this sailing include Dublin, Ireland; Greenock, Scotland; and Liverpool, England. Cork is home to a vibrant culinary scene and a plethora of pubs, shops and cafes. It invites visitors to connect with Ireland's ancient past, with historic sites like Blarney Castle, where visitors can kiss the famed Blarney Stone.

Throughout the summer, the Disney Magic will continue to tour Europe with engagements in the Baltic, Norwegian fjords, British Isles and the Mediterranean.

Return to Alaska
 
In 2018, the newly re-imagined Disney Wonder will return to Alaska for the summer season, opening up a world of breathtaking natural vistas, magnificent glaciers and awe-inspiring wildlife. A variety of five-, seven- and nine-night itineraries will depart from Vancouver, Canada, with stops in Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point and Tracy Arm Fjord.

Southern Caribbean Special Sailing
 
In 2018, the Disney Fantasy will embark on a special 11-night southern Caribbean itinerary departing June 30, visiting tropical destinations renowned for beautiful sun-kissed beaches, including Aruba, Barbados, Martinique, St. Kitts, Puerto Rico and the Disney private island, Castaway Cay.

Castaway Cay - More Opportunities to Explore Disney's Exclusive Private Island
 
Castaway Cay, Disney's private island in the Bahamas, is consistently a top-rated destination. In 2018, the Disney Dream will sail a series of cruises that include two stops at Castaway Cay so Guests can have twice the fun in the sun and enjoy even more of the pristine island paradise.

Bookings open for Platinum and Gold Castaway Club Guests on February 22, 2017 and to all Guests on February 23, 2017.

Want a free no obligation quote:  I will like to offer my services as a travel agent to book your magical vacation. I would like to inform you that when you book with RMH Travel it doesn't cost one cent more than booking direct with Disney, in fact your statement will look the same because you are booking with Disney, but you are allowing RMH Travel to book it on your behalf and in return Disney will give me a small commission that goes toward supporting my family. But if you book direct, Disney just pockets that money, so please when you book your vacations, please consider booking it with me.



I promised to make your vacation even more magical and to take your Disney vacation to a whole new level. As your travel planner, I am here to help you every step of the way with as much or as little help as you wish for.  Whether this is your first time going to a Walt Disney Park or your 100th time, I am here to help make your vacation a magical one.
For you free no obligation quote, please click here to be taken to my website. 
 

You can also check out my website: www.RMHTravel.com, 
 
On my web site you will see that I work with many suppliers not just Disney to book magical vacations to many destinations and I try to make each and every vacation I plan and book a magical one, whether its to one of Disney's many parks, or taking a trip to the Bahamas I am here for you. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

RMH Travel Comparing Disneyland to Walt Disney World....Magic Kingdom Attractions reviewed of each and Almost Every Attraction.

Hi Blogging World for those that follow my Facebook or visit my website often know that I am a Disneyland fanatic with a great Disneyland Crowd Calendar on her web site and we go to Disneyland a lot (for over 35 years for me). I have gone to Walt Disney World a few times, but it been a while until just recently. We just got back form 9 day trip to Walt Disney World and can't wait to give a great review of the rides/attractions and shows we did.

Let me start of by saying I hate HATE writing, and I do not think I do it well. But I do love Disney and I love helping families plan magical vacations to Disney, and well also to cruise and All Inclusive. But my first passions the reason I became a travel planner  and learned more about other destinations and experienced them was because of my love for helping others plan their trips to Disney.

This is the third post in this series...not sure how many all together. The first one was all about comparing Disneyland's DAS pass to Walt Disney World's, how they are the same and different. Second one comparing booking at trip to Walt Disney World vs. Disneyland.

For this blog I am going to list the attractions and my, my son's (9 year old thrill seeker who hates big drops only), and my mother who is 59 years old with a medical condition of a bad heart, so was in an electric wheel chair. These are our thoughts, and may be different from yours. A saying I love to say and I hope you get the meaning. "One person yuck is another person's yum so don't yuck their yum." I usually say this in regards to food options, I mean unless the restaurant has all HORRIBLE reviews, I tend to find that not everyone has the same taste, but this can apply to everything in life including rides, attractions and shows. So unless there are a ton of bad reviews, take a review with a grain of salt. Most review sites, those that actually go there and post are doing it because they were motivated to do it, and that motivation usually comes from disappointment and anger, sometimes because you were just WOW and even sometimes because they were paid to make the place looked WOW. Rarely, do people go to review sites to say, it was OK unless they were asked to give an unbiased opinion and at that moment, had a moment to spare and thought OK.

Haha I don't know why I thought to post that about review sites, before I start my own reviews. But I guess it is because that is something I get a lot from clients. I have clients that love to research or are part of Disney groups, and they read where someone who was upset, writes a horrible review about some place that the client was excited to try and now the client is having second thoughts. Or they come back and tell me they were looking at reviews and the place they want to stay or eat at has really mix reviews, what if they are one of those that don't like it. And for all honestly, you could be one of those people, but I try to really get to know my clients and their personalities and help them choose things that will work best for their families. And, I am not saying that Disney is perfect. I had some issues on my vacation that cause me to become angry and I am going to honestly tell you about them, but those issues were with people, not the attraction itself per say or the restaurant or food preparation. OK on to the review...

Main Street, U.S.A.®


Walt Disney World® Railroad- It was closed when we went, and I am honestly disappointed about this one, which may seem odd to some but I love Disneyland Railroad which is also currently close and has been closed for awhile in preparation for Star Wars Land. But its been so long since I have been on Walt Disney World Railroad that I forgot whether it has a secret fun scenery like Disneyland Railroad does between Fantasy land and Tomorrow land stop.


City Hall- Yes, I visited City Hall because that is where you start to get DAS pass. I actually had two issues here. One the Cast Member gave me wrong information about the DAS pass they said anyone of us can with our MagicBands get return times for my son, so he doesn't see the ride get excited and then disappointed. (lucky my son knows the drill) but really hates crowds and it usually is very crowded near the Cast Members you have to talk to to get return times. So, I eventually had his band with me at all times. The other issue was with a customer that ran in front of me and pushed me so that she got inside the building before me...but again that is just rude people not Disney fault.












The Crystal Palace, a buffet with Characters - The hostess that check us in was very short and just was like you are check in go away. Though she gave pagers to some and not us, and didn't even tell us there was a nice shaded area to go sit or some water to refresh ourselves while we wait or even an estimated time to return. We were shown to our table, our reservation was for 10:30 am, I missed getting a photo with Piglet cause he came when I was away from the table and my mom is bad about taking photos, my son did see him. The food was OK typical buffet stuff they had nothing spectacular, scramble eggs, bacon, different types of potatoes, omelet bar, waffles (though I wish they would have fruit topping for the waffles). Our waitress was kind and asked us if we saw everyone and I said we had missed Eeyore and forgot to get a photo with Piglet so, she took us to do a private mini shoot with character. She was extreme grateful that I tipped her, and I kind of felt sad about that.













Emporium- We walk thru this store several times but never bought anything or saw anything were we were like we wanted now.

We didn't try anything else on Main Street, but if you want a huge sundae I know the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor looked like it had very yummy creations in Mickey Kitchen Sinks. The Harmony Barber Shop is cute place to visit if you want your child's first hair cut to be done at Disney. Also, at least three or four times, I swear it almost seemed like every time we were walking thru Main Street they wer having a Move It! Sake It! Dance & Play Street Party where you could dance with a bunch of characters. I should have taken a photo of it all it was so much fun but I was in the moment and when I am there I often forget to take photos.

Adventureland®

Swiss Family Treehouse- At Disneyland we had this attraction but changed it to Tarzan's Treehouse. My son thinks Tarzan one is better because there are things you can do as you walk thru the attraction, such as beat on drums and pull on ropes to hear sounds, he said you just walk and look at things at Swiss family Treehouse. My mother and I waited outside of this attraction as the Tarzan Treehouse is one of the few things I let my son do alone. Disneyland for the win

The Magic Carpets of Aladdin- Its Dumbo with people seating behind you and they can be disappointed. We actually didn't go on this one but just looked at it.

Jungle Cruise-Both at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, are the same yet different, Walt Disney World's is much longer with more lame jokes and puns. I would say if you love the silly puns and a ride where you can sit than this ride is for you. close but Walt Disney World is better

Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room-When my son was young he loved this attraction at Disneyland, he loved the drummers and the Tiki polo chanters. The window scenery is much nicer at Walt Disney World but overall I like the set up of Disneyland's. Also, I remember for a while Walt Disney changed the songs, and I saw that show, and didn't care for it as much so when they switched it back I wasn't that unhappy, but they cut the songs shorter. Disneyland had already done it form my childhood, but Walt Disney Enchanted Tiki Room show is even shorter with the same songs. The tiki drummers are harder to see at Walt Disney World. Over all I would say Disneyland for the win

Pirates of the Caribbean-I have to say that Walt Disney World has much better ques that Disneyland, hands down but then they seem to fall short on the attractions. This is one where we found it to be very very true. Disneyland's Pirates is just better. Besides the drops which my son kept going on and on about how lame Walt Disney World drop was, the set up of the scenery is better at Disneyland. Disneyland for the win

Aloha Isle-Disneyland's always has a long long line for our very small Aloha Isle shop. Overall its the same food. Just odd to be able to walk up and quickly order one. tie

The Pirate League- We did not do Walt Disney Worlds, we did Disneyland's when they briefly had it. I wish we did but my son, said he didn't want to. :( I would say do it if you can

We didn't do Pirate's Adventure-Treasure of Seven Seas, we did see a cute Pirate show with Jack in it. In Adventureland it seems the only other things we missed was Jungle Navigate co. Ltd Skipper Canteen. But, there are so many food places we really couldn't hit them all. I haven't really heard much about that place one way or another yet. 

Frontierland

Disneyland Splash
Walt Disney World Splash



















Splash Mountain- Oh this one is so hard to say whose is better. I like being able to see different scenes from the movie. I am probably one of the few people in America that owns the movie this ride was based on and still enjoys watching it. My son loved that Walt Disney World had lap bars (he is very obsessed with safety.) But perhaps I am just very partial to Disneyland, I have to say that Disneyland is better, and my mom agrees, my son honestly doesn't like either. The drop in the dark is better execute at Disneyland's.  Disneyland for the win.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad-This has been one of my son's favorite rides at Disneyland since the day he hit 40 inches at 2 years and 11 months old. (yes we are a tall family). Anyways, he loved the new animals to see at Walt Disney World and said he likes Walt Disney World better. He said Billy brother Buddy wasn't bad. (he names the goats on both rides apparently) Well I named them first one on Disneyland Big Thunder, I said it was Billy's fault for the big drop because at Disneyland there is a Goat holding dynamite as we do the big drop. Anyways, I have to disagree with my son, Walt Disney World seems to purposely make their rides more jerky, when you are going over the water part you can see the track is wibbly wobbly making it jerky.  Disneyland is smooth drop, dips and curves. And for that reason alone I love Disneyland's.  So I guess that makes it a Tie since its 1 to 1. Though my mom hated Walt Disney World more than I did but she really sensitive to jerky rides and since that is why I didn't care for it either I will say final count it's a ...TIE

Tom Sawyer Island-It was closed?


Country Bear Jamboree- My grandfather always was singing these songs, he was such a fun country boy who just happen to love his wife so much that he left his country boy ways to live in the city with his wife. But he never gave up his country roots, and loved to sing the songs sang in this show. Some of my happiest memories as a child at Disneyland was going to this show with him. Anytime the question is posed on any Disneyland Group that I am part of where they asked which attraction you wish they would bring back, I always say this one. I so wish it was still at Disneyland and I hope that Walt Disney World NEVER gets rid of this attraction. Walt Disney World for the win.

Golden Oak Outpost- My son wanted nuggets, we wanted something else. Only thing I can say for a place that basically only services one thing, they were very under prepared, having that big of a back up of people waiting for their orders to be ready and we came at an off time.

Pecos bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe- As a native so cal girl, I have to say the food was just not right. I found it so odd that guacamole was at the salsa bar area and unlimited, though I guess I can see why as it wasn't that good. At least my mom and I both thought that though it was label as Mexican food,  that it in fact was NOT Mexican food. There are two Mexican places at Disneyland Resort. One in Disneyland and one in California Adventure...both of those places are 10 times better than this place. I couldn't even finish my food I was so disappointed. I couldn't say that it was under cooked or what ever and it had LOTS of people there that seemed to enjoy the food, so apparently there are some people that find this food YUMMY but if you have ever had real Mexican food I can't see anyone liking this place and I put this on my YUCK list.

Only two snack places listed on the map that we didn't hit in this land. :D

 Liberty Square 

The Hall of Presidents- was closed and to be honest if it hadn't been I probably would have skipped it.

Haunted Mansion- We tried to get on this ride twice and both times it broke...so since its not a favorite of ours at Disneyland's (though I know we are the minority on that, but its the truth) we didn't try to go on it again at Walt Disney World...and to be honest we only schedule to go on it at Walt Disney World to say we tried to go on every attraction. Though I have heard that Disneyland's is way better. I can't officially comment on that. Rumor has it Disneyland wins

There seems to be a lot of food places here, we didn't eat at any of them, there was also a Christmas shop that we walked thru that isn't listed on the map...at least the one in front of me that I am reading as I write this.  I have heard really good things about Liberty Tree Tavern and wished we had tried this place instead of Pecos Bills.  Sleepy Hollow looked good but the funnel cake with fruit and ice cream wasn't a snack credit but at Hollywood Studios it was...that was something interesting I noticed. There was a cute little muppet show going on in the street. That is something that Disneyland also really lacks. There was so many little shows going on around the park at Walt Disney World, Disneyland used to be like that and I missed it. :(

Fantasyland

Prince Charming Regal Carousel- Its a carousel...sorry can't say much else. Tied

Mickey's PhilharMagic- I remember the first time seeing this and thinking it was really good, of course now that I am older I guess the jokes weren't as funny, but my son laughed so it was worth it. I also love singing Disney songs so I would still like to see this show. I wish they would bring something like this show to Disneyland, maybe at our Tomorrowland 4D theater.

Peter Pan's Flight-To be honest I never got the draw of this ride at either park. I didn't notice too much of a difference to comment one way or another. My son said they both are boring but my mom said that she like Disneyland's better. It has more detailed scenery. So I guess Disneyland for the win.

'Its a Small World" Walt Disney World small world has small boats with no leg room and you really have to bend over to sit in small boats. There were gaps where there was no dolls, or anything in this ride. I really really think this ride needs MAJOR re doing at Walt Disney World. My son hates this ride at Disneyland now (when he was a baby he loved it of course) and he said he would ride Disneyland's over and over again if he never had to go on Walt Disney again...Disneyland for the win. 

Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid-Walt Disney World really goes all out on their ques...and I guess if we went when we would have to wait in them, it would make this ride for the win, but other than the que...the rides were exactly the same...except Disneyland's ride has a hidden surprised character in it that I looked for at Walt Disney World and couldn't find. But since I am always team Disneyland...I at first was going to put this down as a tie since the hidden character is missing and other than that the same ride...I will still give it to Walt Disney World only because of the que. Walt Disney World for the win. 

Casey Jr. Splash 'N' Soak Station - Fun place to cool down at, an odd thing to me, at Disneyland there were constantly Cast Members telling us that shoes and shirts were required even while playing in the water play areas, which is why I always tell my clients if its warm, that they should bring a change of clothes and even some sandals/water shoes for their children, because of the policy and I know kids love to play in these splash zones. I know its because of the law that the Cast Members are enforcing...I thought it was a federal law maybe its only state? I should look that up.

The Barstomer- My son's favorite ride, well one of them is Goofy's Sky School at California Adventure and I think he went into this ride thinking at first that it was like Goofy's Sky School and its not, it is more like Disneyland's Gadget's coaster in toontown. Its a fun little coaster for little thrill seekers. But since it doesn't have the same name as Gadget coaster I am not going to grade it, though I would say it is a tied to that one.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant- My son saw the interactive waiting que area for this ride and wanted to go visit it so badly. He has always like the play areas at Disneyland parks both Goofy's play area in toon town and the play area in the Redwood Creek area at California Adventure. So we went  on this ride for that reason only. I think a bit of his youth died. He said I am too big for this place. :( I'd say its good for 2 to 5 year old.  With that said because of the que area only, again Walt Disney for the Win.

 Mad Tea Party- Walt Disney World wins for the cover over theirs. And maybe it was all in my head, but to us Walt Disney World tea cups just felt a bit faster. Walt Disney World for the win. 

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh- This is one time I am going to disagree with my mom who seem to not think any ride that both Walt Disney World and Disneyland had, that Walt Disney World had a better version, some she thought were the same but never better.I think that Walt Disney Worlds followed the story outline better than Disneyland's and of course had a better que. My son comments on baby's rides were they are baby rides though he liked the que of Walt Disney World. Walt Disney World for the win

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train-My mom found it jerky. My son liked it, thought it was a good mini size Big Thunder with the best parts of Snow White on the ride...any parts with the Dwarfs...lol. I liked it and thought it was cute. I can see if you are sensitive to jerky rides like my mom why she wouldn't like it. My knees were a bit squished but...I liked it.
video

Be Our Guest Restaurant-We had lunch here. My mom and I had carved turkey sandwiches and my son had Croque Monsieur (grilled ham and cheese sandwich). We then shared the strawberry cream cheese cupcake, lemon meringue cupcake and the Master's Cupcake with gray stuff on it. The sandwiches were mediocre to say the lease, nothing to rave about. And the cupcakes were small and we had strawberry cream cupcakes at several places and this one was not thrilling at all. The best strawberry desert we had was the strawberry short cake at Illumantion Dessert party. Of the three cupcakes we sampled we only would re-order the Master's cupcake. But to be completely honest, if we were NOT on the dining plan, I wouldn't eat here for lunch again. $70.81 before taxes for small serving sizes, and mediocre food is hard to swallow even at Disney. Disneyland Jolly Holiday has sandwiches and pastries too and let me say their cupcakes cost the same but are way BIGGER and tastier.  Don't know if the photos will do. Be Our Guest Cupcakes on the left and Disneyland Jolly Holiday on the right. Both had strawberry cream filling. Disneyland's won hands down for us. We actually split Disneyland cupcakes, the photo below was for 4 people at Disneyland. At be Our Guest they are more regular serving size. Again, one person yuck is another yum so you may disagree.
Related image
Strawberry Cream Cupcake

Disneyland 60th Anniversary Cupcake












My son wouldn't wait to see Characters so we skipped Enchanted Tales with Belle, Pete's Silly Sideshow, Fairytale garden, Princess Fairytale Hall, and of course because I didn't have a little girl Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. We also didn't eat anywhere else in Fantasyland though I heard good things about Pinocchio Village Haus, though I am not impressed with Disneyland Pinocchio village Haus so I don't know. I read that Gaston's Tavern is a great place to spend your snack credits with large yummy cinnamon rolls, and LeFou's brew.

Tomorrowland 

I have to tell you that Walt Disney World's Tomorrowland reminds me the most of my childhood and how Disneyland Tomorrowland used to be and how I still wish was. Because of this, it was probably my favorite land of all of Magic Kingdom.

Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor-This is a cute show that I can see if you are in the right mood will be super funny or corny. The best thing I could say about this show is, it at least changes every time you see it. But that can also add to whether its a good show or not.

Sititch's Great Escape-It was closed and I was curious about this ride because of such mix reviews I read about it, and I have never tried it.

Tomorrowland Speedway-Disneyland its call autopia, and both parks cars are set for someone who is 48 inches tall to drive...being 6'2 and all legs, makes driving these vehicles hard, but I see the excitement from a child's point of view. My son loved this ride when he first was tall enough to "drive" but the novelty has worn off now.  I feel like Walt Disney Worlds was longer so I give the win to Walt Disney World.

Space Mountain Disneyland
Space Mountain-I think this ride is so different in Disneyland from Walt Disney World's, I wouldn't even call them apple to apple. For those that have gone to Disneyland, I would say that Walt Disney Worlds Space Mountain is the Matterhorn track inside Space Mountain, with even the same seat set up as Matterhorn. Whereas Disneyland's is faster, funner and smoother...lol. I don't know what I can say to a person that has only gone to Walt Disney World what our space mountain is like....its smooth. Disneyland also has three overlays of stories that go with theirs, the original, Ghost Galaxy and now Hyper Space. Hands down I really really do have to give the reward to Disneyland for which is better.

 
Astro Orbiter-Disneyland's used to be in the same place and I would say tied but since they took Disneyland's off the elevator and put them on the ground, it makes our Astro Orbiters not much more exciting than Dumbo. So Walt Disney World wins. My son even loved them on the roof and rode Walt Disney World's 6 times! Walt Disney World for Win. 

Walt Disney World Astro Orbiter

Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover- I don't know if its just because it reminds me so much of my youth and what I miss about Disneyland, but I really liked this ride, and the memories it brought back. Its really just a slow moving, rest your feet type of ride but for me its childhood memories lost.

Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress-They updated Walt's vision of what 2000 would be like and part of me wishes they would have left it as it was, with what he thought it would be. That is one of the fun things about watching Back to the Future 2, you can see what people thought their future would be like. Instead they changed to to reflect what 2000 really was,  which made me a bit sad. But, still the first parts reminded me of my child hood and seeing it at Disneyland.



Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin- Firing laser at Zurg, though Walt Disney World's you seem to go thru more rooms, the targets don't seem to be as interactive, and you can't move the gun around. This one I have to give to Disneyland as you can pick the gun up and really fire. Disneyland win

My son's first time on Buzz Disneyland










Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe-Burger and fries joint with a funny animatronic space guy that entertains you while you eat. I liked that they give you a variety of toppings to put on your burger and you you get to choose what goes on there.


There was a Dance Party with the incredible in the evening with a live DJ and you can request songs and dance with Incredible. I really wish Disneyland would have something like this. It was fun and even when we weren't at the Dance party itself, hearing the music and entertainment thru out tomorrow land was super fun. 

Well that is the end of the park map and the list of rides and attractions listed on the Magic Kingdom Map. Here is the map I was looking at as I was writing.

Image result for Magic Kingdom Map

And just for the fun of it...here is Disneyland's current map. I am really surprised that Walt Disney World doesn't have an Alice in Wonderland ride, I think that is a ride they should add to their park. But knowing me, I'd like Disneyland's better and think they didn't do a good job of it. Don't get me wrong I really really love Walt Disney World, and my mom and son are already bugging me, asking if I think I will get enough clients this year to make Walt Disney World an annual trip for our family. Considering the last time I went my son doesn't even remember, I am hoping I can. What rides do you think Disneyland should have that Magic Kingdom has? Or what ride do you wish Magic Kingdom has that Disneyland has? Comment below!!!
Image result for Disneyland map

 At this time, I will like to offer my services as a travel agent to book your magical vacation. I would like to inform you that when you book with RMH Travel it doesn't cost one cent more than booking direct with Disney, in fact your statement will look the same because you are booking with Disney, but you are allowing RMH Travel to book it on your behalf and in return Disney will give me a small commission that goes toward supporting my family. But if you book direct, Disney just pockets that money, so please when you book your vacations, please consider booking it with me.


I promised to make your vacation even more magical and to take your Disney vacation to a whole new level. As your travel planner, I am here to help you every step of the way with as much or as little help as you wish for.  Whether this is your first time going to a Walt Disney Park or your 100th time, I am here to help make your vacation a magical one.
For you free no obligation quote, please click here to be taken to my website. 
If you would like to join a FACEBOOK planning discussion group, I invite you to join one of the groups I run: 
 
You can also check out my website: www.RMHTravel.com, 
On my web site you will see that I work with many suppliers not just Disney to book magical vacations to many destinations and I try to make each and every vacation I plan and book a magical one, whether its to one of Disney's many parks, or taking a trip to the Bahamas I am here for you. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Rivers of Light will make its official debut at Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

This show should have started almost a year ago, but early December they had some privates showings of this amazing show...so my hopes were high that the show would be released soon...so I could see it on my vacation (Jan. 26-Feb 3, 2017) but when they announced The World of Avatar will open at Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort on May 27, 2017, I thought they were holding off to open them both at the same time, so I wasn't so sad about it.

But Alas...Disney has announced today the start date for Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and dining package information for the show.


Rivers of Light will begin performances on February 17th, 2017 with just one show per night (that one in particular being at 7:15PM). The show will be presented once nightly (according to the DisneyWorld.com calendar) only on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays until April 8th, when it then becomes a nightly offering. The February 17th show is the only Friday it is offered until April for some reason. April 9th was the first night on the schedule that I could find offering two shows. You can check for showtimes on the official page here (subject to change until any official announcement is made later today).
FastPass+ booking for the show is now open as well.


Rivers of Light Dining Packages are available at two participating restaurants, and their reservered spot is different from FastPass+ location.

Included in Each Rivers of Light Dining Package:
  • A meal from one of 2 participating restaurants, plus a non-alcoholic beverage
  • Premium seating for Rivers of Light show
Tusker House Restaurant
  • Graze on a bountiful buffet brimming with African flavors at Tusker House Restaurant in Harambe. Please note: While this dining package is available for all meal periods, Guests must arrive to dine no later than 2 hours and thirty minutes prior to showtime.
  • Rivers of Light Dining Package Prices (Dining Plan Eligible)
    Breakfast, starting at: (love their Breakfast)
    $39.00 adults
    $24.00 children ages 3 to 9
    Lunch/Dinner, starting at:
    $52.00 adults
    $32.00 children ages 3 to 9

Tiffins
  • Trek to Tiffins where you’ll savor your choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert from a menu featuring mouthwatering delights from around the globe. Please note: While this dining package is available for both lunch and dinner periods, Guests must arrive to dine no later than 3 hours prior to showtime.
  • Rivers of Light Dining Package Prices (Dining Plan Eligible)
    Lunch/Dinner starting at:
    $67.00 adults
    $26.00 children ages 3 to 9


Please Note: Listed dining package excludes tax, park admission, gratuity and alcohol. The preferred Rivers of Light seating area is separate from the dining location.

Advance reservations for the Rivers of Light Dining Package are highly recommended and can be made up to 180 days prior to your visit.

Now I'd love to offer my services...

If you are looking for a great Disney travel planner, I would like to offer my services as a Disney Vacation Planner/Travel Agent. I would like to inform you that when you book with RMH Travel it doesn't cost one cent more than booking direct with Disney, in fact your statement will look the same because you are booking with Disney, but you are allowing RMH Travel to book it on your behalf and in return Disney will give me a small commission that goes toward supporting my family. But if you book direct, Disney just pockets that money, so please when you book your vacations, please consider booking it with me.


I promised to make your vacation even more magical and to take your Disney vacation to a whole new level. As your travel planner, I am here to help you every step of the way with as much or as little help as you wish for.  Whether this is your first time going to a Walt Disney Park or your 100th time, I am here to help make your vacation a magical one.
For you free no obligation quote, please click here to be taken to my website.  
If you would like to join a FACEBOOK planning discussion, I invite you to join the one I run.
 
You can also check out my website: www.RMHTravel.com



Wednesday, February 8, 2017

RMH Travel Comparing Disneyland to Walt Disney World....Planning a trip.

Hi Blogging World for those that follow my Facebook or visit my website often know that I am a Disneyland fanatic with a great Disneyland Crowd Calendar on her web site and we go to Disneyland a lot (for over 35 years for me). I have gone to Walt Disney World a few times, but it been a while until just recently. We just got back form 9 day trip to Walt Disney World and can't wait to give a great review of the rides/attractions and shows we did.

Let me start of by saying I hate HATE writing, and I do not think I do it well. But I do love Disney and I love helping families plan magical vacations to Disney, and well also to cruise and All Inclusive. But my first passions the reason I became a travel planner  and learned more about other destinations and experienced them was because of my love for helping others plan their trips to Disney.

This is the second post in this series...not sure how many all together. The first one was all about comparing Disneyland's DAS pass to Walt Disney World's, how they are the same and different.

In this blog, I am going to talk about how very different it is to plan a trip to Walt Disney World compared to Disneyland. The biggest difference is the effort and timing most people put into a Walt Disney World Vacation compared to Disneyland. I have booked and planned MANY MANY last minute Disneyland vacations with little to no stress....planning a last minute Walt Disney World Vacation....a little more stressful but still do able. Most people plan their Disneyland vacations at around 60 days out, and have no problem getting what they want...some even 30 days out isn't uncommon, and there is still no stress, but a Walt Disney World Vacation to have the least amount of stress when booking your vacations, I would say you need to plan to book  at least 7 months in advance if not longer, especially if you have never been to Walt Disney World. For those that have never planned or been to Walt Disney World or Disneyland, I will briefly explain to you the process that most people take for planning and booking these two vacation destinations.

Walt Disney World~The Race begins 180 days out

Walt Disney World has over 116 restaurants the require advance dining reservations to eat there, often referred to as ADR.  And if you want to eat at one of these establishments you will need a reservation, and reservations open up at 180 days in advance (or about 6 months), for those staying on site once they reach the 180 days for their check in date, they may make reservations for their whole trip (up to 10 days out), and it can be cut throat for getting dining reservations at the most popular spots for for the most sought after time slots. People set alarms to be awake 30 minutes before 6 am EST so they can get on their computers, ipads, etc and have several tabs open, all in the opens to score their perfect dining plans. (even if that means they are up at 3 am  in California to do it, which is me.)

Walt Disney World also offers 3 different dining plans for those staying at their resorts and have booked park tickets with it. They have a quick service dining plan which allows you to pay in advance for 2 quick service meals, and 2 snacks per NIGHT, per person plus each person gets a refillable mug that can only be refilled at quick service resorts (not in the park). the most popular option of regular dining which is 1 quick service meal, 1 table service meal, and 2 snacks per NIGHT, per person plus the refillable mug, and finally Deluxe Dining 3 meals and 2 snacks per NIGHT, per person plus the refillable mug.  Disneyland only offers you to be able to pre-purchase one character meal for everyone and/or one deluxe character meal when you book a package deal. Each dining plan cost a different amount and the price increases every year, though during certain times of the year, Disney offers discounts on dining or even free dining. (Quick service dining is usually offered free to value guest and regular dining is offered to those staying at Moderate or Deluxe Resorts, though Disney does allow you to upgrade to any of the dining plans, and pay the difference) Depending on which dining spots you choose to eat at, the dynamic of your family and eating habits, the dining plan may or may not be a good options and is something you should weight after you have made your dining plans. You may add or remove the dining plan from your package, up until final payment date.

Actually for most, the race to plan begins before 180 days out

But, of course before you can be on the computer at 6 am fighting for that perfect dining spot, you first need to know what to type in. This means getting some information about the restaurant, where is it located, at a park or a resort, do they have food my family may like, do they have characters, if they are at a resort that I am not staying at, am I willing to travel to that resort to try the food, knowing that unless I use uber it could take me up to an hour just to get to that destination. But even before worrying about all that, the very very first thing you have to establish is dates! When are you going, and how for long? Are you going to stay at one of the 31 resorts that Disney offers for you to book at? Unlike Disneyland, where I often offer to look at booking a good neighbor hotel or non Disney hotel, I usually encourage people to book on property when visiting Walt Disney World, as I said they have 31 different resorts (these resorts feature a wide arrange of options from camp grounds, value, moderate, deluxe, deluxe villas, and non Disney deluxe resorts) and they try to accommodate every budget, and with the perks they offer by staying on site, it is often the cheaper and wiser choice. Determining how long you should stay can be a hard choice, you have to consider how long you can get off work and afford, but when considering how long to stay remember there is a lot to do. Walt Disney World consist of  4 theme parks, 2 water parks, a huge Disney Springs with many actives you can do there (formally Downtown Disney), golf course (both regular even PGA and mini) plus lots of actives at different resorts, too many to list on this blog, perhaps another blog down the line I will tackle that topic. I am sure you couldn't possible accomplish all the actives in one trip, but its good to look over all the options and see what you really want to do, would like to do, and maybe wish to do, and then try to set up a reasonable plan of action. 

Overwhelmed yet? Feel like you couldn't possible prioritize or even know if its worth doing?  I usually wait until the end of my blogs to offer my services, but before I completely overwhelmed someone who is new to planning a trip. I would like to offer my services as a vacation planner/travel agent, certified graduate of Disney College of Knowledge that loves planning trips on all sorts of budgets. I would like to inform you that when you book with RMH Travel it doesn't cost one cent more than booking direct with Disney, in fact your statement will look the same because you are booking with Disney, but you are allowing RMH Travel to book it on your behalf and in return Disney will give me a small commission that goes toward supporting my family. But if you book direct, Disney just pockets that money, so please when you book your vacations, please consider booking it with me. I promised to make your vacation even more magical and to take your Disney vacation to a whole new level. As your travel planner, I am here to help you every step of the way with as much or as little help as you wish for.  Whether this is your first time going to a Walt Disney Park or your 100th time, I am here to help make your vacation a magical one. If you would like a free no obligation quote, you can try to fill out our basic quote form, or if that is even overwhelming feel free to e-mail me.

EMH (Extra Magical Hours)

Let's recap, about 7 months in advance it is recommended that you select and book where you are staying, how long you are staying for, if you are getting a park ticket for every day you are there, will you park hop, visit their water parks, other resorts, or Disney Springs. Then you need to look at a calendar that thankfully Disney usually posts about 6 and 1/2 months in advance, though Disney likes to change things to suite their needs, which has often made those traveling to Walt Disney World angry. What they mostly change up is usually when they offer EMH. (Extra Magical Hours) If you have gone to Disneyland parks often and stayed at their hotel or gotten a 3 day or more ticket,  you know that every morning one of their parks opens to hotel guest (and Disneyland will open to guest with 3 day or more ticket), these parks usually switch off and for the most part stays the same; Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday Disney California Adventure Park is open to hotel guest early and Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday Disneyland is open early to hotel guest and those with 3 day ticket or more.  Walt Disney World has 4 parks and on each day one or more of the parks will have either early morning magical hours, or late evening magical hours. The early morning magical hours are just like at Disneyland parks, which ever theme park that day say it has early magical hours, it will be open 1 hour early to only those guest staying at Walt Disney World Hotel. (if you have not been to Walt Disney World or Disneyland, I would like to tell you now that not all attractions/food spots are open during these times, but usually the most popular ones are)  The late evening magical hours listed at Walt Disney World means that hotel guest can stay 3 hours after the park closes to the public to enjoy the parks. (to see example park hours, you can click here). 

FastPass+ and MagicBands

 Hopefully now you understand the park hours, and that if you want to have Breakfast inside Cinderella's Castle with Cinderella herself you need to be up at 6 am EST exactly 180 days before you plan to go. Now we come to 60 days out from check in you may book your FastPass+ options  (or 30 days out for non Walt Disney World Hotel Guest). What are FastPass+, FastPass+ allows a certain number of people to enter into a shorter que line for main attractions, at Disneyland they are called FastPass and you have to get a paper pass while you are at the park that day, and may only hold one at a time. At Walt Disney World, their FastPass+ system is done electronically thru their website or app, you may at first select 3 FastPass for the day (some rides are limited click here to learn more), a cool thing is after you have used your 3rd pass for the day, you may log into your app and if there are any other FastPass still available you may selected another one from ANY park (as long as you also have a park hopper ticket), and continue to selected them until the day is done. Don't worry if you don't have a phone with the app, each park has a FastPass kiosk where you may go and select more FastPass or your first FastPass if you hadn't selected any at all.

To use your FastPass you will walk up to the que lines of the attraction you have a FastPass for and unlike at Disneyland where you hand a Cast Member (Disney Employee) a paper FastPass to go into the shorter que, at Walt Disney World you touch either your ticket or if you are a hotel guest you touch your MagicBand. What is a MagicBand it is a band the size of a watch that you wear on your wrist and this band will open your hotel room, hold your tickets to the park, your FastPass selections, your dining selections, your dining plan if you have one, and allow you to make charges back to your room if you wish. It is basically your all access pass, and it is customization, it comes in 8 different colors and you can put your name or nicknames on them (up to 8 characters, certain unDisney words will not be printed) If you are not staying at a hotel, or you want a even cooler customized Magicband, they sell a variety of options both online and in the parks. (those not staying on property may link their FastPass, tickets, and dining reservations to their band) The MagicBands are supposed to last 2 years and can be used for more than one trip if you like, the bands are actually connected to your My Disney Experience account, so you must make sure your tickets, Dining reservations and FastPass are in there.

Finally, after final payment is made your MagicBands are shipped and you just wait for your magical vacation. A plus that Walt Disney World has over Disneyland is if you are flying to Walt Disney World they offer free transportation to and from the airport, whereas Disneyland does not.

Disneyland Planning 60 days or less

Except for holiday times, this includes now the whole month of October to include other states that have fall breaks, three day weekends, and of course thanksgiving, Christmas and spring break, you can, and most people seem to book their Disneyland Vacations within 60 day period. There are some exceptions to the rule, and occasionally the sales Disney offers for their rooms will cause the resort to fill up (which is the point of the sales), and you may walk away disappointed booking so late and finding the resort you want is booked, so if you really really want the perfect vacation, I would still suggest booking early, but the stress of booking Disneyland over all is just less.

Disneyland doesn't offer their park hours to public until about the 15 of the month before they will release the next month...ie June 15 they release their full July Calendar, July 15 full August, etc. But, even before that if you wish to make sure you get that best dining time, you don't have to be up 180 days in advance at 6 am PST, 180 days in advance, but I guess if you really want that perfect reservation you should be up at 7 am PST 60 days out, because that is when they release their dining reservations (and not always on time) and there is no plus dates for hotel guest. Its 60 days period, and this is IF they feel like it, but more often than not, there is no super rush fight for dining reservations at Disneyland, with only 33 restaurants to choose from. And, honestly usually only 3 to 5 are ever completely book unless you are planning to go to the park during a peek holiday, and even then you may still get a reservation somewhere (maybe never tried). As for the 3 to 5 that are usually booked every day, of those you usually only have to book them a few days before, again unless going during peek season, than its only top peek days where you need to book those 60 days out, but you don't have to be up refreshing like you do for Walt Disney World even on not peek times to score a dining reservation.

Most people stay 3 or 4 days at Disneyland Parks and if you are staying more than 2, YES the park hopper is worth it as the parks are 75 feet away from each other. (roughly...we counted with our feet.)  It isn't completely necessary to book on property and if you do, your options are limited to 3 hotels, all deluxe. That is why they made a deal with some local good neighbor hotels and offer almost the same perks to you, if you choose one of currently 40 good neighbor hotels. (only perks staying on property besides amazing accommodations, is every hotel guest every day may take advantage of Extra Magic Hour [Again listing the hours California Adventures on Sun., Mon. Wed., and Fri, Disneyland Tue., Thr., and Sat. and is always for 1 hour before the park opens to the public, of course note dates are subject to change as needed, Disneyland will provide you with a calendar when you check in and in their lobby they inform you which park has Extra Magic Hour every day]), and for those staying at a good neighbor hotel you have to have a 3 day ticket or more to enjoy Early Magical Mornings, which is the same of Extra Magic Hour but you are limited to just Disneyland park and just for 1 day of your tickets.  

 You have to get your FastPass the day you go at the rides you want to go on. (though Disneyland has just announce a system coming soon called Maxpass where you can book your FastPass online for $10 a day, but it will still be same day reservations, just online, release date and information on how exactly this will work has not been released yet.)  So, no extra planning there.


Last Minute Booking

 Do you really have to book a Walt Disney World Vacation at least 7 months in advance to enjoy your trip? No, you can book last minute and still have a magical time, depending on what time of year it is.  I have even helped clients score that amazing dining spot they really wanted on short notices. Its a matter of choice. I just want to say, that booking last minute Disneyland vacations where you want the most popular eating place, the best hotel room, and be able to score FastPass to your favorite ride, the success rate will be higher than if you were to try the exact same last minute booking to Walt Disney World. The reason for this blog is because I just came back from Walt Disney World and my trip was during one of their low crowd days, and I booked my personal reservations 180 days out...but I was NOT up at 3 am (PST) to book them, and though I was staying 8 days, all dining reservations for Be Our Guest Dinner were gone, if I was inclined to eat at the Castle I would have had to settle for usually times, or search really hard. (I would like to say at this moment those are the two most popular spots right now but I personally didn't want to eat at either). I also couldn't score a dining reservation for any spot before the parks open. That is another thing lots of people like to do, almost all of the dining establishments start serving an hour before the park opens. Lots of people love these reservations because as they are walking to their dining spot they can take pictures in the park with no one in the back ground. Disneyland also offers the service of 1 hour before the park opens and those reservations are often the ones taken at the 60 day mark.

Also, for my trip to Walt Disney World, FastPass+ options for several of their rides were completely booked at 30 day mark and even at my 60th day out, I had to settle for some later times than I wished for 2 most popular attractions, but again that is because I didn't get up at 4 am (FastPass+ booking options open at 7 am EST) to book them but waited until I woke naturally got my son off to school and then booked them. But think about it, I was traveling when Disney estimated that their parks would only be about 1/3 full. And looked at the options I was met with when trying to book at the times Disney suggested...all in all I hope you better understand the booking processes for both parks. I am very long winded and when I start typing and thinking fast I often leave out things. So I will try and proof read this and fix the mistakes but I ask that if you find any or need clarification on anything, please kindly bring it to my attention and I will be happy to fix the mistake or clarify what I mean.

Again, I will like to offer my services as a travel agent to book your magical vacation. I would like to inform you that when you book with RMH Travel it doesn't cost one cent more than booking direct with Disney, in fact your statement will look the same because you are booking with Disney, but you are allowing RMH Travel to book it on your behalf and in return Disney will give me a small commission that goes toward supporting my family. But if you book direct, Disney just pockets that money, so please when you book your vacations, please consider booking it with me.


I promised to make your vacation even more magical and to take your Disney vacation to a whole new level. As your travel planner, I am here to help you every step of the way with as much or as little help as you wish for.  Whether this is your first time going to a Walt Disney Park or your 100th time, I am here to help make your vacation a magical one. 
For you free no obligation quote, please click here to be taken to my website. 
If you would like to join a FACEBOOK planning discussion group, I invite you to join one of the groups I run: 
 
You can also check out my website: www.RMHTravel.com

Monday, February 6, 2017

RMH Travel Comparing Disneyland to Walt Disney World...Disable Access Service Pass and wheel chair access

Hi Blogging World for those that follow my Facebook or visit my website often know that I am a Disneyland fanatic with a great Disneyland Crowd Calendar on her web site and we go to Disneyland a lot. I have gone to Walt Disney World a few times, but it been a while until just recently. We just got back form 9 day trip to Walt Disney World and can't wait to give a great review of the rides/attractions and shows we did.

We did 8 days at the parks and we also did Pirate and Pal Cruise, the Illumination Dessert Party, and the Hollywood Studio's Star Wars Firework Desert Party.  We had the dining plan which I am going to discuss in this blog series.

But this first post is going to address going to both parks with an autistic child (my son) and using the Disability Access Service Pass at both parks and also going to the park with someone who needs to use a wheel chair, as my mother accompanied us on this trip and unfortunately for her health of lately she can no longer walk a great distances so we had to rent a EVC (motorize scooter). So I will be talking about the differences and the similarities in using those services at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

Disability Access Pass (DAS)
 
What is Disability Access Service Pass?  This is a service Disney provides for people with a disability that makes it difficult for them to wait in a crowded line. (Autism is one disability)This system isn’t intended for guests who want to avoid waiting in lines, but to assist those who truly need extra assistance.  This system may also be used in conjunction with the current Fastpass system

At both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, it starts out the same to get this service. You must go to Guest Relations and sign up for the Disability Access Service Pass (it is most commonly known by its acronym DAS pass, and it is how I will refer to it from here on out). They take a photo of the person that will be using the DAS pass and at Disneyland they tie it to your ticket/annual pass and at Walt Disney World they tie it to the person's Magic Band/ticket. They also ask how many people in your party, and note that when you sign up with the pass. At Disneyland they need everyone's ticket when you make a ride choice, whereas when you are making a ride selection at Walt Disney World you just need the MagicBand/ticket that has the DAS on it, but it MUST be that MagicBand/ticket, and the rest of the party ticket/MagicBand is automatically added to the pass.

Disneyland's DAS Pass 

The plus of Disneyland, at that moment they ask what RIDE would you like to ride next. You may choose ANY ride ANY where in ANY park, they look up the wait time of the ride, subtract 10 minutes off the wait time and put you in the que right then. They scan all the cards and tell you the return time. Then comes the plus or minus of the DAS pass, after you enjoyed the ride, to get another return time you must go to a DAS Disneyland Kiosk which sometimes is difficult based on their location or lack there of. Here is the list of the Guest Relations locations:

Again, though once you get to any one of those Kiosk you can choose ANY ride again in either park, so you can walk to Main Street and choose Radiator Racers because you are about to leave Disneyland and go to Disney California Adventures. The request must be made at the kiosk and remember everyone's ticket must be presented at each Kiosk that wishes to ride, and make sure that the person with the DAS pass when you enter the rides is at the top (I usually just carry everyone's pass, always having my son's on top and get the FASTPASS and DAS pass for everyone in the party and present them to the Cast Members (Cast Member is what Disney calls their employees) when needed..  Another draw back is that they just tell you the return time, and you either have to write it down of REMEMBER it. Which brings me to an embarrassing story of me forgetting when my son's return time was and telling him it was time, then the Cast Member saying it was not time (by 10 minutes!) and of course my son having a full melt down and then the Cast Member giving me dirty looks when I just commented that I really thought it was for this time and he rudely said well it isn't get your child out of the way. Any person who has an autistic child that they love tries to avoid this situation....yet that Cast Member made me feel like purposely did this. So, as a warning to any parent, please write down the return time.

Walt Disney World DAS Pass

For Walt Disney World to use the pass you must present the MagicBand/ticket at the ride you wish to go on, again make sure it is the person with the passes MagicBand/ticket, when I signed up they said anyone may get the pass but the DAS member must be the first to go thru the FASTPASS line. But, that is not the case, yes they have to be the first thru the FASTPASS line but you also NEED their band to get the reservations. Because of this I ended up having two bands on my wrist the whole trip, but I had already made my son's child size so I had to come up with a unique way to wear the band. And only once did a Cast Member get snippy about my son not wearing his band.
 
They again do the 10 minutes off the wait time and ask that you return when your time is ready. You must always go to the ride to get a return time. The plus that I wish Disneyland would adopt and you can guess why...if you go to their app, which list all your FASTPASS in that section is also your DAS selection with the RETURN time!!! Perhaps when the MAXPASS comes to Disneyland, this will be adopted this method and we will be able to see our return times electronically. 

Some of the ques at Walt Disney World do need changes for those with autism though. There are many ride ques where they stuff people into a room, saying move closer and closer, also then once they stuff you in this small space they then expect you to all que up again, and for those that know the rides que push themselves to basically cut to be the first thru the doors. (and this situation causes my son MAJOR MELT DOWNS) Again, when seeking help from the cast members they were not helpful. My son really loved Test Track, his favorite part creating the car....his melt down point after that point because of the pushy people that rush out of the car making room to the que line, also at Animal Kingdom Lion King Show they constantly made announcement that we needed to be packed in as tight as possible, making no consideration for those that NEED personal space. 

Disneyland with wheel chair

Disneyland park itself being so old, the que lines are very small, too small for wheel chair. For those rides, they treat them like DAS return, except instead of going to a kiosk you will go to the ride, and find a Cast Member that will scan the person who is confine to the wheel chair and everyone else in their party ticket and give them a return time, though some times they will just direct you into a que. At Disney California Adventures, the que lines are big enough and you just get in the lines and the cast members will direct you when it gets time to for the help with transfer on to the ride. There are a few rides at Disneyland where this is possible too, Buzz Light Year is one that comes to mind. 

Walt Disney World with wheel chair

Walt Disney World lines seem more adapted to using a wheel chair, there were very few that required a return time, and we usually had a Fastpass for that ride anyways. Their Big Thunder Mountain ride is one that comes to mind. The biggest issue we had here was actually getting the wheel chairs on the bus and monorails, most of the Cast Member were really great about this but a few where not so nice. We also had a problem when we did the Star Wars Desert Party, they had tables assigned for those with wheel chairs but not enough so they shoved us into a corner and left us there, promising to have someone come and help but they NEVER did. See I am not here to sugar coat things, 90% of the time Disney is on the ball but as you see from my post I am honest about even where they fall short. And even though they fell short at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World with my family, I still love Disney and their parks. My son and mother are both asking when I can manage to plan our next Walt Disney World Vacation...and with your help I just might be able to make that happen. Remember I am always honest with my clients and readers.
Next in the blog series: RMH Travel Comparing Disneyland to Walt Disney World....the planning (I will be talking about booking a trip to Disneyland compared to Walt Disney World and how the planning is so different)

If you are looking for a great Disney travel planner, I would like to offer my services as a Disney Vacation Planner/Travel Agent. I would like to inform you that when you book with RMH Travel it doesn't cost one cent more than booking direct with Disney, in fact your statement will look the same because you are booking with Disney, but you are allowing RMH Travel to book it on your behalf and in return Disney will give me a small commission that goes toward supporting my family. But if you book direct, Disney just pockets that money, so please when you book your vacations, please consider booking it with me.


I promised to make your vacation even more magical and to take your Disney vacation to a whole new level. As your travel planner, I am here to help you every step of the way with as much or as little help as you wish for.  Whether this is your first time going to a Walt Disney Park or your 100th time, I am here to help make your vacation a magical one. 
For you free no obligation quote, please click here to be taken to my website.  
If you would like to join a FACEBOOK planning discussion group, I invite you to join one of the groups I run: 
 
You can also check out my website: www.RMHTravel.com

Sunday, January 22, 2017

How to Save Money for your Disney Vacation using Disney Vacation Account

How to Save Money for your Disney Vacation using Disney Vacation Account




Have you ever heard of the Disney Vacation Account? If you haven’t you are not alone. But maybe you have heard about it but have no idea how it works, or if it is even right for your family. In any case, after you finish reading this article, I hope I have given you enough information to make the right decision for your family.

What is a Disney Vacation Account?

A Disney vacation account is a simple way to save money for a Disney vacation. The Disney vacation can be to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida; Disneyland in Anaheim, California; Aulani in Hawaii; on a Disney Cruise or taking an Adventure by Disney trip.
What are the benefits of a Disney Vacation Account?

There are several benefits of a Disney Vacation Account. I will give you the top 3.

Goal Setting
When you first set up your Disney Vacation Account it requires you to set a goal and will suggest a plan to get you there. Many people dream of a Disney vacation but never reach out to take hold of the dream. It is a proven fact that setting a goal with a deadline and having a plan makes success much more likely.
The plan will ask you which destination you are saving up for, and how much you will need to save (I will discuss this more in a moment.) And from this information it will come up with a plan, but this plan is also flexible. Disney knows that in life sometimes a curve ball is thrown and you may have to change your dates, budget and even your destination at any time. In fact, you can even cancel the whole thing. 
Dedicated Money 

Do you have a draw full of those $5 bills you have decide you are going to use for your Disney vacation? Or perhaps a piggy bank or water bottle jug filled with your daily change. Those are some great ideas for saving money, because it’s easy to drop your money into them, but…it also means it’s easy to take it out too. 

A Disney Vacation Account is money dedicated to a Disney Vacation. All the money you put into it is yours and you can get it back at any time. But, not necessarily instantly, it takes effort to get it back. 

Disney does not charge to hold onto your money. It is a free service even if you get a refund at some point instead of taking a vacation. Disney also gives you suggestion on how much you need to put into your account on a regular basis to make it to your set goal.  You may say, but I can get a savings account with my bank and do the same thing… 

Bonus Money 

Yes, you can do the same thing with a bank savings account, but your bank will not give you as much FREE money as Disney will by using their savings account. For every $1,000 you spend (not save but SPEND) out of your account on a Disney vacation you will earn $20. There is a maximum of $500 you can earn.  Your account also must be open a minimum of 120 days. You also must remember to request your cards 4-6 weeks before your trip.


Step by Step Instructions to Set up an Account

Step 1
Goal Setting

The first thing you need to do is have a goal.
First questions asked is which Disney vacation would you like to save for? Then it asks you to name your Disney Vacation Account. I find most people will say “Last Name Destination Year” (RMH Travel Disneyland 2020)

Calculate your saving Plan
 
When you would like to take your Disney Vacation? 

When do you want to reach your savings goal? This question lets you know that you can have a Disney Saving Account for 5 years, and reminds you that part of your budget needs to calculate having final payments ready to be paid before the trip starts and they would automatically fill in the month and year you would need to have final payment amount. (this doesn’t mean that you necessary need everything by this time, as you should also calculate tips, souvenirs and food budget, and these can be saved for up until departure.

How much do you want to save? is the next question, with a blank amount. They have a vacation estimator on there that may help but it is still very over whelming for some, especially if you are unfamiliar with the Disney destination you are interested in saving for. If you want to use a Disney Vacation planner who has been there, I offer my services for free. Click here to get a quote.

The final question on this page is how often do you want to contribute? You have the option of weekly, every 2 weeks, monthly or one time. And the date you want to start contributing. I have filled in a mock quote for you to see.
 

Step2
Your Information

The next screen will ask you to log in to your Disney account. If you have ever signed up on ANY Disney site than you already have a log in.  (if you have NEVER signed up for any Disney Account, then you can create an account.)
 
When you log in, it will populate your name and mailing address if you had entered this information in any of your Disney accounts, if not you will be asked to fill it out. You are also asked to read the contract over carefully, as it tells you about terms and conditions. Most important is that they can hold on to your money for up to seven days before refunding it. Also, if you request a refund it will be put back on the cards you used to pay. i.e.: Disney Gift Cards, your Debit Card or Credit Card.



Step3
Your Contribution
They ask that you please enter your debit or credit card information, the card that you wish to fund your account with. If you are going to be using a gift card, you will still need to fill out this information with a debit/credit card information. You still haven't opened a Disney Saving Account yet. And will not be charged but once you open the account, what you selected on the first page will be active. So, for me, on Jan 23, 2017 they will take my first payment of $53.20 and every 2 weeks after that on Monday they will take $53.20 more, unless I cancel it, or adjust it. (more about that later)

 

Step4
Review Your Account

Before opening the account, they ask you to review all the information.



Then you get your confirmation screen.

  
 

Now your Account is Set up! Now what?

So now that your account is set up.  They take you to this screen.

 
But, if you are logging in, on another day, you will go to the log in button in the top of the home screen, and you will be taken to this page.
 
Click on view your account and you will be brought back to this page:



Now that your vacation is set up. Let us review how we can manage our Disney Vacation Account. 

Manage Your Account
Make a One-Time Contribution

When you make a one-time contribution, which is the only way you can pay using gift cards, (also the gift card amount may only be between $5-$1,000 for each transaction) or by using your credit/debit card. It still does not affect your re-accruing payment unless you select Edit Saving Plan after your payments have gone thru. 

 
 

Manage your Account
Edit Savings Plan

Notices it still says current account balance is the same, but if the amount had been different, I could click every two weeks and it would give me a new amount that will be taken out of my account and I can click up-date. Or if I would like to switch my payments to monthly or weekly, or let’s say I got more money than I excepted I can increase my savings goal, or something has come up and I want to change my dates, etc. You can adjust any of these options, and Disney will update your savings plan. 
  

 Once you make a change they give you a confirmed page. At this point because this vacation is a mock up and the re-concurring date was too close, I switched it to monthly payments, and to start on Feb. 10, 2017 instead. So, now every month on the 10th they will pull $116.28. They asked me to confirmed and then I got the screen above.


Manage Your Account
Edit Contribution Method
  
 So, this is the edit contribution method page, they assumed first that maybe you got a new card and the expiration date needs to be updated, or you can choose to give them new credit card/debit card information.  

  

Manage Your Account
Stop Automatic Contribution
  
Notice they offer to take you to update your savings plan instead of stopping automatic contributions.
 

 
  

When you confirm, they inform you that your Disney Vacation Account will remain active, your savings will be available and you can start making automatic contributions again at any time. You of course will also get an email.
 


Of course, the last thing on Managing your account is a FAQ link that you can read over if you have any questions.

~Next Steps~
You have saved up all your money, You’re ready to book your Vacation!

Next Step
View Account Number

When you hit view account number it will ask you for your password again as a percussion, it will then take you to this screen:
  

You will also get an email for Disney with the first twelve digits of your account number. The last four are displayed on the page above. 

Now you should be able to make a payment online or over the phone. If you booked through a travel agent, you should call the number from the list below. 

  • Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida: 407-939-7626
  • Disneyland® Resort in California: 714-520-7032
  • Disney Cruise Line: 800-511-9333
  • Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina Hawai’i: 714-520-7032
  • Adventures By Disney®: 855-223-2231
Please note: this is the only time and way YOU can make a payment for your Disney Vacation when working with a travel agent. Usually only travel agents can make the payments for you, but with this program YOU must and they cannot. But, it is still great to work with a travel agent because they can give you lots of great advice. Click here to get a quote. 
 
Next Step
Request a Disney Gift Card

After paying off your vacation, you may still have money left over, especially if you calculated for food, souvenirs, shows, excursion, etc. With the remaining balance, you can request it, in the form of gift cards.  
You may ask, why would I want gift cards, instead of asking for a refund? Well, if you paid with your Disney Visa, you only get the 0% interest for 6 months on the amounts you paid towards your vacation, and right now all money in this account is considered "Vacation" money, but if you request a refund and use that money to buy food, you won't have the 0% interest on that amount.  Plus some find it more secure. 

When you click on the request a Disney Gift Card, you will be told to call (407) 939-7734 to make your request. You must have your full Disney vacation Account number.  You will also be told you can only purchase $1,000 in Disney gift cards using your Vacation Account every 90 days. 

Next Step
Open Another Account

Let say you are ambitious enough to want to plan two Disney Vacations. Click on open another account and you will be taken to the set-up page and asked to answer ALL the questions on the 4 pages to set up the account. And then it will take you to that pages, account information. Of course, when you log in on another day, under the opening page you will find two vacations listed instead of just one. And will need to click on the one you want to edit, or get account information, etc. 

Next Step
Request a Refund

Let say you paid off your Disney Vacation and there is money left over and you don't want to have to worry about Gift cards, you can request your money back after you paid your vacation off. Or, for what ever reason things have come up and you need the money. Please remember to cancel any re-occurring payments, if you are cancelling your trip. Also remember it may take up to seven days for you to get the money. The money will go BACK onto the cards you used to pay the vacation. So, Disney Gift Card back to Disney Gift Card. 

 Using your Savings Account

Use the funds in your Disney Vacation Account to purchase your Disney vacation. With your Disney Vacation Account, you can buy park tickets, pay for hotel rooms and cruises, purchase a package that includes flights or even a dining plan, and more.

Please note, a temporary hold of up to 7 business days may be placed on any new funds that you contribute to your Disney Vacation Account.

You'll be eligible for a $20 Disney Gift Card for every $1000 you spend on qualified vacation purchases with your Disney Vacation Account prior to December 31, 2017 (date subject to extension), up to a total $500 in Disney Gift Card(s) per household. Your Disney Vacation Account must be active for a minimum of 120 days at the time of spending in order to receive this bonus. Request your Disney Gift Card(s) 4-6 weeks in advance of your vacation date to allow time for delivery to your mailing address. See FAQs for complete details.

 Requesting your Disney Vacation Account Bonus Cards
 As we discussed earlier one of the benefits of using a Disney Van Account is free money. For every $1,000 you spend (not save) on your vacation account you are eligible for a $20 gift card. The maximum you can earn is $500. Your account must be open a minimum of 120 days, and you must request your cards 4-6 weeks before travel (so right after final payment, or just before). 

Since I have yet to use this service all the way thru I can only relate what I have read. Once you start putting money into the account, and making purchases an account details page will appear. Once you made enough purchases that make you eligible for the bonus a "Request my Bonus” button will appear. (or maybe it’s there the whole time, but remember you can only request 4-6 weeks before you travel) . Here is a snipped from their FAQ section in regards to this matter.


Well, I hope I explained how to use a Disney Vacation Savings Account well enough to you, that you feel like you can do this. I tried not to be too long winded but to be thorough in my explanations. Again, I would like to offer my services as a Disney Vacation Planner/Travel Agent. I would like to inform you that when you book with RMH Travel it doesn't cost one cent more than booking direct with Disney, in fact your statement will look the same because you are booking with Disney, but you are allowing RMH Travel to book it on your behalf and in return Disney will give me a small commission that goes toward supporting my family. But if you book direct, Disney just pockets that money, so please when you book your vacations, please consider booking it with me.
I promised to make your vacation even more magical and to take your Disney vacation to a whole new level. As your travel planner, I am here to help you every step of the way with as much or as little help as you wish for.  Whether this is your first time going to a Walt Disney Park or your 100th time, I am here to help make your vacation a magical one.
For you free no obligation quote, please click here to be taken to my website.  
If you would like to join a FACEBOOK planning discussion group, I invite you to join one of the groups I run:
 

You can also check out my website: www.RMHTravel.com