New Disney World Summer Offer – Get a FREE Quick-Service Meal with a 5-Night/6-Day Value Resort Hotel Package!

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You can enjoy one free meal per person, per night at select Walt Disney World Resort quick-service dining locations when you buy a non-discounted 5-night/6-day Walt Disney Travel Company room and ticket package at a select Disney Value Resort hotel for arrivals most nights May 30-August 24, 2017 when you book by February 12, 2017.

Booking Dates: December 28, 2016-February 12, 2017
Travel Dates: May 30-August 24, 2017

 

*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Tickets valid for one Theme Park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Offer excludes campsites and is not valid at Disney’s Art of Animation – The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms. Everyone in the room must be on the same package. Excludes alcoholic beverages and gratuities. Children ages 3-9 must order from children’s menu, if available. Advance reservations required.

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Planning a Surprise Trip to Disney? Here’s Help!

WDW Surprise Trip Idea

With the Holidays soon approaching I’ve noticed more and more people planning surprise trips to Disney.  Surprise Trips are some of my favorite to help plan, and I always love hearing the creative ideas that people come up with to surprise their families, and also hear what works – and what doesn’t.

If you are considering surprising your family with a trip to Disney here are a few ideas of ways to execute the big reveal, (also be sure to check out Pinterest as there are tons of super cute ideas there as well!)

  • Create a scavenger hunt with Disney themed clues along the way.
  • Fill a toy box or other container with Disney-themed helium balloons. Have a message for the big reveal attached to one of the balloons
  • Hand each child a package filled with Disney park maps or brochures, or an empty photo album labeled “Disney vacation pictures.”
  • For holiday surprises, visit the Disney Store and create a personalized Disney tree ornament
  • Order personalized ear hats, autograph books, personalized T-shirts, or other vacation essentials and put it together as a gift package.
  • Make a crossword puzzle or word search with all Disney-related clues.
  • For a spring trip, hide clues inside plastic Easter eggs prior to a family egg hunt.
  • Have “Mickey” send an invitation to the trip via USPS.
  • Write a “We’re Going to Disney World” message in soap on their bathroom mirror. They’ll have a fun surprise when they wake up!

 

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  • Order customizable fortune cookies with a surprise message.
  • Serve your child a meal of all Mickey-shaped food. Hide a reveal message under their plate, or finish with a cake decorate with a “We’re going to Disney World” message.
  • Order or bake a pizza that is Mickey shaped or inspired and decorate it with toppings to spell out your message.

 

Reveal on Route

If you’re driving or flying to Disney, you can reveal the trip en route. You may want to do this by:

  • Asking the child to input a WDW address into your GPS.
  • Telling the child that you’re heading to a different destination. See how long it takes for them to realize you’re going in the wrong direction. (You can invent some sort of reason to be traveling – “headed to grandma’s house” etc.)
  • Create a car bingo game featuring only items that can be found on the way to Disney.
  • Decorate the exterior of the car with Disney related magnets/stickers/chalk.
  • Invent a non-Disney reason to be headed to the airport (dropping mom/dad off for a business trip, etc.)
  • Ask child to check the gate number on the ticket. He’ll see the Orlando destination.

 

Remember when planning a Surprise Reveal…

Keep the age(s) of your kids in mind, and don’t get your hopes up too much!  Sometimes a big reveal can turn out to be a little less than exciting for some kids.  Often, I think this boils down to the kids either not knowing how to react in this kind of situation as well as simply not having enough knowledge about what it is they are supposed to be excited about!

My advice is to try and cater your reveal to the age/knowledge level of your kids.  In addition, have lots of education on hand during or after the reveal so everyone can start to better understand what they can expect from this vacation.  I recommend watching Disney ride videos together on YouTube, or having a Disney Planning DVD or park maps and brochures on hand so that you can go through the information together as a family.  This way you can all start to talk about what rides and attractions will do on your must-see and must-do lists! If you would like for me to send you copies of Disney park maps, brochures, or a planning DVD, contact me at Anna@DreamComeTrueVacations.com.

Also, when planning how to do your big reveal and when to do it keep in mind how much advance planning (or not) you’d like to do together as a family.  For many people the anticipation of a vacation is half the fun. Also, some kids may be more excited to go on the trip if they have more time to absorb the idea of it, and are able to make their must-see list in advance. However, if this is your 10th trip to Disney as a family that’s where a big reveal once you are driving down the interstate might work just fine!

 

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2017 Disney World Packages Coming Soon!

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Yay! I love this time of year! It was just announced that 2017 Walt Disney World vacation packages will be available to book beginning June 21, 2016!

Feel free to contact me with any questions, or if you are interested in pricing at Anna@DreamComeTrueVacations.com

Let the Spring Break Planning begin!!

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2016 – The Year of the Caribbean Overwater Bungalow!

splash1For many people, the dream of vacationing in a private overwater bungalow in the tropics of Tahiti or Bora Bora is a dream that often doesn’t become a reality due to things like too few vacation days, or being unable (or unwilling) to take an extended international flight.  This is one of the reasons I am SO excited that two All Inclusive Resorts (Karisma and Sandals) have both announced the addition of overwater bungalows coming to their Caribbean properties!  No… you can never fully re-create the beautiful tropical waters of Tahiti, but when you have limited vacation days to work with, and you can be in your private bungalow after a quick nonstop flight, these options are looking pretty darn enticing!!

Lets look at the facts:

 El Dorado Maroma – Palafitos-Overwater Bungalows – Riviera Maya, Mexico:

Opening September 1, 2016 at the El Dorado Maroma Resort, these bungalows are located on the gorgeous Maroma Beach area of the Riviera Maya (Voted one of Travel Channels Top 10 Beaches in the World) and are the first of their kind in Mexico.

Each Overwater Bungalow Features: img_1A_photo

  • Glass bottom floors
  • Private infinity pool
  • Direct ladder access to the ocean
  • The romantic “Aguas del Amor” outdoor shower
  • Indoor Jacuzzi for two
  • Oversized deck with wooden lounge chairs
  • Personalize Butler Service
  • Access to Overwater Grill & Wine Bar
  • Access to Overwater Naay Spa

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Sandals Royal Caribbean – Over-The-Water Villas – Montego Bay, Jamaica: 

Opening November 15, 2016 at the Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort, these Villas are located away from the main section of the resort (essentially on their own private island), in order to get to/from the main resort it’s a quick private boat ride away (the resort is still visible), however it does add an extra air of privacy and exclusivity.sandals-jamaica-over-water-01

Each Overwater Bungalow Features:

  •  Glass bottom floors
  • Private infinity pool
  • Direct ladder access to the ocean
  • Romantic outdoor shower
  • King Size Bed
  • Tranquility Soaking Tub
  • Over-the-water Hammock with two
  • Oversized deck with lounge chairs
  • Personalize Butler Service

Personally, I’ll be trying to get a tour of one of these properties ASAP – they look amazing!  Contact me at Anna@DreamComeTrueVacations.com if you’d like more info on either of these resorts, or for a vacation quote!

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New Openings Coming to Disney World – Frozen, Star Wars, Safaris, Ohh My!

Walt Disney World has been promoting their Awakening Summer Event and many new opening dates have been announced this morning for anticipated new attractions and shows!

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Firstly, and most highly anticipated, is the announcement of the grand opening of two new “Frozen” attractions in EPCOT!  Starting on June 21st at the Norway pavilion at Epcot – Frozen Ever After and the Royal Sommerhus (Anna & Elsa meet and greet) will officially open!  With the addition of these new attractions, the Norway pavilion will begin opening at 9am with the rest of Future World. FastPass+ reservations for Frozen Ever After open tomorrow on May 21st.   At this time it does not appear that Fastpass+ reservations will be available for the Anna & Elsa Meet & Greet.

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Secondly, for the first time ever, Animal Kingdom will be open late into the evening with new nighttime attractions!  The Tree of Life will have nightly awakenings beginning on May 27th where animal spirits will be brought to life each night by magical fireflies that reveal colorful stories of wonder and enchantment along with other amazing sights at the tree.  In addition, two evening parties will also debut on the 27th – “Wildlife Parti” in Harambe Village and the Discovery Island Carnivale on Discovery Island.  Nightime Safaris will also open on the 27th and will give you a look into the animals nightly activity and environment.  Fastpass+ for the Safari will should open on May 21st.

May 28th will also bring the debut of ‘The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic’ to the Discovery River. This is a limited engagement as the team of Imagineers prepares for the debut of Rivers of Light. FastPass+ and dining packages for these experiences at Animal Kingdom will open on May 21st.

Tiffins Restaurant and Nomad Lounge will open on May 27th at Animal Kingdom. There will be dining packages available here for guests to experience The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic. It will be similar to the Fantasmic! dining packages at Hollywood Studios. The other option for the dining package will be Tusker House Restaurant. Reservations for both Tiffins Restaurant and the dining package open on May 21st!

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Thirdly, ‘Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular’ will make its debut on June 17th at Hollywood Studios and it will be performed nightly. It will be the largest and most elaborate show that Disney’s Hollywood Studios has ever performed!

Also, you can expect for the new Soarin’ Around the World to debut in EPCOT on June 17th. From May 27th – June 16th, you will be able to see the original film one last time.  FastPass+ reservations for the original film showing from May 27th – June 16th will open up on May 21st.

Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire will be making its debut on June 17th. This show will take place on the stage in front of Cinderella Castle and will include your favorite characters such as Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy will but will also feature Princess Tiana, Rapunzel and Anna & Elsa!  (Great way to get your Anna & Elsa fix in!)

So that does it for some of the openings and announcements for today.  Let’s recap what is opening for Fastpass+ Reservations and Advance Dining Reservations for tomorrow morning:

 Fastpass+ Reservations Opening May 21st:

-Frozen Ever After (EPCOT)

-Soarin’ (original film showing May 27th-June 16th) (EPCOT)

-Soarin’ Around the World (new film debuting June 17th) (EPCOT)

-Nighttime Safaris (Animal Kingdom)

-The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic Show (Animal Kingdom)

 

Advance Dining Reservations Opening May 21st

-Tiffins Restaurant (opening May 27th) (Animal Kingdom)

-Jungle Book Dining Packages (available at both Tiffins & Tusker House)

 

Keep in mind this information is to the best of my knowledge and is an educated guess, actual availability for these options and information will be best verified on May 21st.

Contact me at Anna@DreamComeTrueVacations.com if you’d like more info on any of these attractions, or if you need assistance in making any of your Fastpass+ or Advance Dining Reservations!

 

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Top 5 Restaurant Spots to View Illuminations!

EPCOT-Disney-Illuminations-Fireworks-Restaurants

Illuminations is one of my favorite evening fireworks shows to catch while in Disney World.  The time is consistent, it shows almost every night, and unlike Wishes, I do think you have a decent chance of securing a pretty good view even if showing up at the last minute!

However, if you are doing some pre-planning one of the most relaxing ways that you can enjoy Illuminations is from the comfort of your dining room table.  Nothing like a nice glass of Vino to go with those pyrotechnics am I right?

Here are a few quick choices of restaurants that offer views of Illuminations:

Rose and Crown Pub & Dining Room

rose and corwn

Located in the U.K. Pavilion this dining location serves U.K. favorites including steak, shepherds pie, & corned beef along with lagers, stouts & pub food.  You can enjoy a prime view of Illuminations from the waterfront, however be sure to arrive early: A table on the patio cannot be guaranteed, and outdoor dining cannot be requested in advance.

My advice? Plan your advanced dining reservation  1 – 1.5 hours prior to Illuminations, and when you arrive at the podium, let the staff know that you’re willing to wait for a patio seat. They will normally allow you to wait for an hour. Once that time has passed, you will likely be required to take the table that you’re offered. Making your plans during a less busy time of the year may also improve your chances for snagging a patio view.

La Hacienda/La Cantina de San Angel

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Located near the Mexico Pavilion is the relatively new La Hacienda de San Angel, along with La Cantina de San Angel.  Located right on the water, this spot offers regional Mexican fare along with Margaritas that are surprisingly similar to those found in my favorite haunt, La Cava Del Tequila.

On our last visit we made an advance dining reservation for the table-service section of La Hacienda.  This restaurant does have panoramic views around the world showcase lagoon; however some spots do have better view than others.  Our particular spot was more undesirable than others; however you could request to wait for a table with better view.  If you are in the mood for a gamble, I suggest heading to La Cantina de San Angel which is the quick-service dining location adjacent to the restaurant.  No reservations are needed here, and the patio provides a spectacular (in my opinion, the best), view of the fireworks.  However since no reservations are required, I would recommend arriving to this spot early and planning to have a few cocktails , or if crowds are light, checking in and seeing if a spot frees up!

Monsieur Paul

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Located in the France Pavilion, Monsieur Paul can offer you an intimate special occasion dinner to go along with your fireworks.

This signature restaurant is located on top of Chefs De France and offers haute French cuisine.  Be sure to request a window seat in order to have a view of Illuminations.  This restaurant may not win the award for best views; however it may win the award for poshest atmosphere!

Tokyo Dining

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Located in the Japan Pavilion is Tokyo Dining, this restaurant shares the second floor of Mitsukoshi Department. The restaurant offers huge picture windows from its second story vantage point.  The balcony area outside of the windows is open to the public, and is becoming an increasingly popular area for fireworks watchers in the know to gather.  The balcony however still sits lower than the windows, still affording you a pretty nice view along with your sushi and sake!

Spice Road Table

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Located on the waterfront in front of the Morocco Pavilion is Spice Road Table.  This eatery offers Mediterranean small plates and tapas along with the picture windows of panoramic views of the world showcase lagoon.  This dining location seems made to house fireworks viewers, however as with all these options, some tables have a much better view than others, so arrive early or see if you can wait on a table with a nicer view.

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Fall 2015 WDW Room Discount Offer Released!

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My favorite way to start the week? When Disney releases a new special offer discount!  This morning Disney World announced a Room Discount offer of up to 25% off rooms for stays most nights October 4 – November 24 and November 28 – December 23, 2015.

This offer is valid for booking until September 18th, and does exclude the following locations:  3-bedroom villas, campsites, the Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – The Little Mermaid Standard View Room.

This offer is PERFECT for those who were not able to take advantage of free dining or anyone who is looking to celebrate Halloween, Christmas, or the Food & Wine Festival at the parks!

Contact me at Anna@DreamComeTrueVacations.com for more details!

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