Luggage Fees

Since I am currently weighing and measuring my bags, I thought it may be a good time to post a quick refresher on luggage fees for some of the popular domestic airlines.

Southwest: Offers 1 Free carry-on, 1 Free personal bag, as well as two checked bags for Free. (Southwest only charges for a 3rd checked bag). Southwest also allows a free stroller and carseat per child, and now if you have additional baby items to check, you can substitute them for a free bag on a one-for-one basis. This makes Southwest very family friendly!

JetBlue: Offers 1 Free carry-on and 1 Free personal bag, and the first checked bag is Free. Second checked bags are $30.

Frontier: Offers 1 Free carry-on and 1 Free personal bag. First or Second checked bags are $20.

AirTran: Offers 1 Free carry-on and 1 Free personal bag. First checked bag is $20, Second checked bag is $25.

American Airlines, Continental, Delta, United, SunCountry, and U.S. Airways: Offer 1 Free carry-on and 1 Free personal bag. First checked bag is $25, Second checked bag is $35.

Allegiant: Offers 1 Free carry-on and 1 Free personal bag. First or Second checked bags cost anywhere from $15 – $30.

Spirit: Offers 1 Free Personal Item, carry-on fees range from $20 – $45. First checked bag is $18 – $33, Second checked bag is $24 – $40.

Keep in mind that each airline has different size specifications for both carry-on and checked luggage, and it’s always wise to both measure and weigh your luggage before your trip or you might be facing some unpleasant overage fees!

2013 Cruise Updates

This just in for 2013 sailings, Disney Cruise Line will be offering new itineraries that include the destinations of Venice, Italy, and the Greek Isles.

In addition, Disney will new begin to sail from the port of Miami for the first time!  2012 options for this port include holiday sailings as well as 14-night cruises to the Panama Canal.  (One of my bucket list items.)

Additional options and ports of call for cruisers is always a good thing.  2013 may be your year to finally take that long-awaited trip!

Packing it all in

Since I have spent most of the day packing I thought I would share some of my must-pack items for the Disney parks!

Obviously you will need the essentials, clothes, toiletries, etc. And it is always a good idea to pack any important items in your carry-on, just in case something happens to your luggage, or a flight is delayed or re-routed. For me these items usually include an extra pair of contacts, medicine or prescriptions, cell phone and charger, and a light change of clothes. Also don’t forget any legal documents or tickets! I suggest making photocopies of items such as your license and passport; that way if something did happen to them it will make getting an extra copy a lot easier.

As one of the most important pieces for documenting your trip, don’t forget the camera, camcorder, plus extra batteries and memory cards.

Always pack your swimwear, sunglasses and sunscreen, you can buy sunscreen on property, but it will be at an inflated price. Also plastic bags to transport any wet clothes or to help keep other items dry is helpful. A small nightlight can be very handy to plug in your resort room for any little ones that are scared of the dark and for late night bathroom breaks. Also, packing stamps and preprinted address labels can make sending out postcards a snap.

For the parks you’ll want to bring a day-bag, something light and portable that can still hold everything you’ll need such as money, tickets, a small tub of sunscreen, glasses, etc. Ponchos are something that you can pick up ahead of time and is a lifesaver once a rain shower hits. You can also pick up ponchos at the parks for around $8 and although this is a higher price, if your poncho is damaged during your stay Disney will replace it for free. You can use any type of book for the kids to use as an autograph book with the characters, or you can buy one on property. I suggest also picking up some fat pens for the characters to use (the larger ones are easier for them to write with). Another idea is to pick up some neon/glow bracelets or sticks at your dollar store. Disney sells all sorts of different glowing toys and Jewelry during the night parades and shows. If you come prepared with your own you can save a few dollars and a potential kid meltdown!

Disneyland Spring Offer

Disneyland has just released a new room only special offer for Disney VISA cardholders. And although this special offer is for resort rooms only, you can also add on park tickets and a meal plan to make it a complete vacation package.

This offers a savings of anywhere from 20% – 25% off on rooms at the Disneyland Hotel, the Grand Californian, and the Paradise Pier Hotel.  This offer is applicable for stays most nights March 1st  – April 14th, and must be booked by March 11, 2012.

This could really help you save some cash on that Spring Break trip!  Contact me for additional details on this offer.

Segway into Epcot

Inside the Innoventions West Plaza you can experience “Segway Central”.  This exhibit allows guests (ages 16 and older and less than 250 lbs) to learn about, and test-drive a Segway!

This experience is included with your park admission; however there are several extended Segway Tours you can decide to take for an addition charge as well.  Segway Central contains a roped-off area with 2-3 different Segway “test lanes”.  Before we could get in line we did need to sign a safety-waiver, I was surprised at this as most people on the Segways were going a maximum speed of 1 mile per hour. After we signed our safety waivers we got in line and while in line I thought to myself “why are all these people having such a hard time with this, it’s JUST a Segway.”  Easy-Peasy.  Man, was I about to learn.  To start off each person has their own instructor; the instructor first explains to you how the Segway works and shows how changes in movement are what controls the speed and direction of the Segway.  Before you can start going on your own my instructor first taught me how to stay in a still, standing position on the Segway (This is harder than it appears).  Once you have that mastered the instructor walks with you and teaches you how to go forward (without crashing into something), and how to stop.

I was extremely surprised at how hard all of this was! Now, I’m under no misconception that I have a lot of skill when it comes to having physical balance, or using any kind of machinery, but these Segways are very perceptive to any movements you make.  I know I have read articles in the past about people getting into crashes or getting injured on their Segways… I get it now!  Once I got the basic feel of how to go forward, and most importantly stop, I was able to take it on a little spin.  It was fun riding around in my little test-area, and trying to do doughnuts was a fun challenge.  After a few minutes of fun time it was time for me to go and let someone else have a turn.

In the end I was really glad we took the time to do Segway Central.  The line did take a bit of time to go through as it is such an immersive experience; however it was an experience that I’ll never forget.  I would probably have never had the chance to test drive a Segway at any other time in my life, and I now have an increased level of empathy for those who have crashed one.  Plus, spending time in either of the Innoventions Plazas is a great way to escape a rainy day at Epcot.

My Attraction Rating: 9/10 Stars

Hello World!

Welcome to my blog!  Sounds weird to say it… I read a lot of blogs, and now I have my own, oh boy!  I’ve been excited to start this up for quite a while, I love helping people figure out ways to maximize their vacation time and dollar and I look forward to finally having an area where I can share all my tips and knowledge.

I plan to use this blog to discuss all things Disney, all things travel, and also throw in a little bit of my life.  Currently many of the pages are a work in progress, so I ask for your patience as I work on the finishing touches.

In less than a month I’ll be returning from both Disney World and setting foot off the Disney Dream, I’ll be sure to post all my news, photos, and embarrassing stories here.  In the meantime I thank you for stopping by and be sure to check back often for new content!

One More Day!

In case you didn’t see the announcement on New Years, for the first time ever both Disneyland and Disney World are going to be open for 24 hours straight to celebrate the leap year!(Beginning at 6am on February 29th)

And don’t worry, if you want to take advantage of those 24 hours you can with this special offer – Get the 4th day and night of Disney magic FREE when you buy a 3-night, 3-day room and ticket package at either Walt Disney World or Disneyland!  This offer is valid for travel dates of February 26th – March 10, 2012, and must be booked by January 31st.

In addition, Disney is going to be giving away a total of 60 vacation packages from now until February 29th! A winner will be selected for each day and you can enter the sweepstakes here.

I personally would love to be in the parks on the 29th and see who could all make it the full 24 hours.  I’m pretty sure I would either collapse from exhaustion or have a mental breakdown by hour 11.  Of course you could leave the parks at any time, but where’s the fun in that? ;)