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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sofia the First- Coming to a Disney Theme Park near you?

First off, my daughter is in love with the Sofia the First series. She loves to dance around and sign the "I'm not ready to be a Princess" song. It's such a cute show!

Princess Sofia is hot, hot, hot right now. Move over Kate Middleton!

 My husband sent me an email with a link to some gifts for our children for Valentine's Day- one was Sofia the First's amulet necklace on the Disney store website. They had a tiara, and Sofia the First dress. Notice the word had. We went back the next day to buy it, and it was SOLD OUT! A $9.99 necklace is now being sold for $30 on Ebay and $40 on Amazon! Um no... I'll think I'll just pick up a similar one from Etsy for half the price!

Everyone wants to know- when will Sofia appear in Disneyland or Walt Disney World? Well, I don't think you'll have to wait too much longer!



As I have mentioned before, Princess Sofia and Doc McStuffins (my daughter's two favorites... I can't wait to go!) will be appearing in the Disney Junior- Live on Stage! show in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, starting February 15. Sorry if your kids were a Little Einsteins or Handy Manny fan, because they are the shows getting the boot!

But what people really want is a chance to MEET Princess Sofia in the flesh!

And for that.. all I can say is soon! They already have the character made- she first appeared at the Christmas parade in Walt Disney World. They also have Disney Junior characters at the Hollywood & Vine meal in Hollywood Studios-but no Sofia the First yet.

I can also see her being placed in Fantasyland at Walt Disney World.... but all I can say right now to those Sofia fans-hold on! It's obvious she's quite the popular character- example A is her merchandise selling out- and Disney will want to expand her brand. It's just a matter of when. My hunch is she'll be out in full force before the summer busy season hits.

As always, I'll let you know when Princess Sofia hits the Disney theme parks, and you can meet her in person. Part of my Disney trip planning is making sure you see your favorite characters with the least amount of time waiting, and Sofia will be no different.


For a sneak peak at what Princess Sofia will look like, check out the video below!


Monday, January 28, 2013

A little Disney love just in time for Valentine's Day-Disney Mickey Mouse Valentine's Day Box

Love is in the air- Valentine's Day is right around the corner- and yes, if you still have your Christmas decorations up, it's time to move on, and take them down!

Fortunately for me, there's no guessing for me who my Valentine will be-that would my husband!

However, in honor of the time honored tradition of popping those tiny little candy hearts, chugging a cup of Pepsi or two, munching on a heart shaped little debbie snack cake (note- we need to make another holiday, and call it fruit and veggies day. Why do all of these holidays have sweets out the wazoo?), and walking awkwardly around a classroom with a handful of cartoon Valentines (that you hope your crush will notice your "You are the BOMB" card-so romantic- and fall in love with you too), I have decided to create a Mickey Mouse Valentine's Day box! 

Let me tell you- I am NOT Martha Stewart, nor will I ever host a show on HGTV or DIY. You don't have to be either. This is a very easy project.

Also, this box is just fun to have around- maybe you use it to save up for Disney, put Disney memories and photos in- you can use it for whatever you'd like.

Below, you can see my supplies. Some red, white, and black paint. Some paint brushes. And 3 boxes- 1 large, and 2 smaller.


Here's the size and price of my smaller box. In all, this cost me just under $20. You can find any of these supplies at your local craft store.

Of course, any craft we do, my daughter is right behind to help. You can see her little leg here- don't be shy, get your kids involved too!


Just slap some black paint all over the boxes. You can see Mickey coming together!


Once the paint has dried, use a pencil to outline Mickey's face. I use looked at a picture of Mickey, and went from there. I don't think I'll be applying to be a Disney animator any time soon....




Use the black paint to go over Mickey's facial features.  You'll then want to paint the rest of the space in his face white!

Now, here is one tip I have- make sure you have a small paint brush end. I ended up with only large ones, and it made my lines a little larger than I'd like.



Not sure if I love the red tongue or not yet. This could be where you cut the hole for everyone else to drop their Valentines in- right in Mickey's mouth!




I also think my Mickey Mouse Valentine Box turned out to something the Joker would do... at least it looks like we have similar make up jobs. But hey, you get the idea!





And then, we just used a hot glue gun to attach the ears. Just be sure they are far enough apart when you glue them!






And there it is! I'd love to see if you make a Mickey Mouse Valentines Day box.
Email me a picture or post it on my Facebook page- where I'm giving away Disney gift cards for free ALL of February!

Thinking about a Disney trip? Let me give you a free quote and plan a magical trip for you-you won't have to lift a finger! Disneytripexpert@gmail.com!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How to get your kids ready for Disney?

I get asked often how I prepare my kids for Disney. Well, living in a Disney-everything household, that makes my job a little easy. Everyone might not have a spouse who is willing to put up with their Disney obsession!

But, one good way is books. We have lots and lots of Disney books. I'll share some of my favorite with you. Today is a gem I found on Amazon- it's a Disney pop up book. It's a great way to show your children the parks and... READ! I was always fascinated with pop up books as a child and my children are no different. I love this Walt Disney World book.

This book also gives you all kinds of random facts about Disney World. It's a great conversation starter between you and your kids, and what goes on at the theme parks and what to expect. It's a great way to just get them excited.

It's called "Popping up around Walt Disney World." I love it!

Take a look-of course my children had to be models for the photo shoot!

 Kind of hard to see with the glare- but there are facts all over the page about Walt Disney World!



Spaceship Earth at Epcot in Walt Disney World... aka the "Big Ball!"


One thing to point out- it's not Hollywood Studios in this book, it's MGM. The name changed of the park after the book was printed.


Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom



And here's a closer look at some of the facts- you'll be amazed at what you learn (and your kids!)






This is a great book for your kids- but when I opened it, I realized, what a great collectible! And right now, you can buy it as cheap as 50 cents on Amazon! If you want to purchase it for your own home, just click here!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Dates released!

Disney has released the dates for the 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival for 2013-
September 27, 2013- November 10, 2013!

This allows me to share one of my favorite Disney commercials-




 This is truly a food and wine paradise. I'm not a wine drinker, but it's so much fun to sample wine from all over the world. The food....words can't describe how wonderful this event is!

There are different food carts, aka "Marketplaces," set up around Epcot, and you simply walk right up, view the menu, and try whatever dish you'd like. Portions aren't tiny, but they aren't large- this way, the prices are inexpensive and you are able to try many of items. You could certainly replace a meal.

That's one added perk of this time- you are able to use snacks from the Disney Dining Plan for the food. If you plan on going during this time, you have to get the dining plan, it's a very economical way to try food from all over the world, that you would otherwise  maybe never experience.


I also added this piece from the Disney website-


Festival Highlights
Throughout the festival, delight in outstanding food, fun and entertainment. Festival highlights include:

Nearly 30 international food and beverage Marketplaces
Signature dining experiences with celebrated chefs
Culinary demonstrations and wine seminars
The Eat to the Beat concert series, with nightly performances from popular hit-makers.

The Eat to the Beat concert series has featured some well known acts- last year they had Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray, Boyz II Men, Hanson, Air Supply, Sister Hazel, and Blues Traveler, just to name a few. You're in Disney, get a concert for free with park admission, great food...

It's also a perfect time of the year to go. Crowds are so much smaller- you'll find the wait times for rides are a fraction compared to the busy season.

If you are interested in going, send me an email at disneytripexpert@gmail.com- you can at least find out the price, and I am giving anyone who books with me in January a free Disney gift card...maybe you could use it on a trip to Disney World!

Here's a video you can watch to check it out- the music is a tad annoying, but you can see the festival in action. Fast forward and skip through the video to see some of the different parts. A great event!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Disney vacation advice of the day: Don't wait for Free Dining!

As you know, Disney comes out with specific promotions throughout the year- save 30% on resorts, free dining, etc.


I always post them when they come out (like I did here recently) so that you know as well.

If you have already booked a trip, I then figure out if it applies to you, and if it does, I apply it to your account- so either you pay less or will have money refunded to you. And you don't have to move an inch!


Here's one piece of advice when it comes to planning your trip- don't wait for the official statement from Disney when they are releasing free Dining in the parks.



Why? Because if you wait until then, you're hopping in line with thousands of other people. There's no way you will be able to eat at all the restaurants that you want, at the time that you want. You will be on the dining plan (for free!) but you won't be able to take full advantage of it. As soon as that promotion comes out, you should try and call Disney- you'll be on hold for hours, because everyone else has the same exact idea as you.

But what if you already had your  trip booked, and dining reservations made? Well, then your reservations hold- at the restaurants you wanted, and at  time you liked-and I just make the phone call, still wait on hold, but you still end up with the free dining plan! (Of course, I have to state- there is a charge if you want a better dining plan than the free one they offer. But it's absolutely a steal at that price)

How can this happen? Well, being a Disney Dork, the Disney Trip Expert, and all of these other self appointed names I have given myself- I know what time of the year that Disney typically releases these discounts. That's part of my trip advice. So if you are able to go to Disney during these times, then there's a good chance you'll be able to take advantage of certain promotions.

That being said- this is also a risk, because there's no guarantee. I know historically what Disney has done, and that's how I can give advice. I'm not able to sit in board meetings and intercept emails to see if they have changed their minds on the dates, however unlikely, it can always happen. Should this happen, and you really can't afford the dining plan- then we could always remove it from your package, or downgrade to a cheaper dining. It's certainly a risk, but a small one... and the payoff would be worth it!

If you want to book a trip- and see if you can get free dining!-send me an email at disneytripexpert@gmail.com... quotes are always free, and if you book with me this month, you get a free Disney gift card!


Sunday, January 6, 2013

52 Week Money Challenge-Saving for a Disney Vacation!



I'd go to Disney every day if I had the money. Ok, I'm sure I'd mix in a few visits to Paris, Hawaii, and a few other tropical places. Who wouldn't? 

See, the only problem is- we don't always have the money. The money tree has yet to sprout, I don't drive Fred Flintstone's car, and I'm not much of a gardner-so to make up all of these deficiencies, I have to spend a little bit of my paycheck.

I also give lots of free quotes to Disneyland, Disney World, or a Disney Cruise to people. Some people get it so they can see how much money they need to save so they can go to Disney.

Well-it's a New Year, and why wait any longer? You CAN go to Disney this year, and you CAN save the money. Here's a way you can make it happen.

I saw this posted all over Facebook- and hey, what an easy, simple idea it is. The 52 Week Money Saving Challenge- maybe the 52 Week Disney Saving Challenge, if you will!


The concept is simple- it breaks down saving into easy, manageable steps, and provides a path for you to reach a goal. In this case, you would end up with $1,378 dollars. 

You can start the easy way- with just a dollar the first week (and the first week has passed, so if you haven't started yet, it would just start with you putting $3 away, to take care of the first two weeks) OR you could chip away at the larger amount, and start by putting the $52 away.

Why not have something to show for yourself at the end of the year? It's up to you to hold yourself accountable. This will provide a tangible goal that anyone can do. 

The next thing I thought of- let's make this fun... it has to be Disney something! This way, each time you put your money away, you know it's going towards Disney.

I came up with the Disney Savings Box. It puts a fun spin on something that is not as much fun-putting away money-but the end result will be!

I went to my local craft store- you can go to yours, whether it be Michaels, Hobby Lobby, or wherever- and picked up these supplies. 

I actually lucked out and found this Mickey Head paper cutter- I'm going to have fun with it!



Below, you can see all of my supplies.

I started with just a small box-really, you can just a box around your house, but I liked this small one (and it was only $3 anyway).





I also picked up some Disney paper in the stationery section. All of these styles came in one packet.






You'll see my original cut above (and how it turned out below)- I just a little hole in the box to put the cash in.... Kind of like an adult's Valentine's Day box-except I don't have random people walking around a room stuffing money in it. Wouldn't that be something!





I also couldn't resist the sticker section. They really helped make this a Disney vacation box. Plus, my 3 year old daughter loved helping out with this part-stickers are so fun at that age!





And after applying a little bit of tape to the paper, some stickers, and a little cutting- there it is! A Disney Vacation Money Box for the 52 Week Money Challenge. In all, it took about 10 minutes, and it was a lot of fun.





So, who wants to go to Disney? Imagine if you did two of these boxes-it really would pay for all of your vacation!

Remember, all it takes is $200 deposit to reserve your room, make dining reservations, and get you officially "in." And you want to cheat a little? I have all kinds of promotions where I give you Disney gift cards. You could slip that in for one of your weeks!

Anyone can do this- all you have to do is make the first step and try. You'll be rewarded with a lifetime of memories.

For your own free Disney quote, email me at disneytripexpert@gmail.com-anyone who books in January will get a free Disney gift card!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Disney Gift Card Giveaway

I am having a Disney gift card giveaway on my facebook page for reaching 1,600 likes!

Head on over to facebook.com/disneytripexpert to enter!


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Walt Disney World Discounts!!!


Offer Details:
Disney Value and Moderate Resorts
For stays most nights Feb. 18 – March 23 and April 2 – June 14, 2013:
  • Save up to 25% at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney's Port Orleans Resort – Riverside and Disney's Fort Wilderness Cabins
  • Save up to 20% at Disney's All-Star Sports Resort, Disney's All-Star Music Resort and Disney's Pop Century Resort
  • Save up to 15% at Disney's Art of Animation Resort – Family Suites
Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts
For stays most nights Feb. 18 – March 23 and April 2 – June 14, 2013:
  • Save up to 30% at Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, Disney's Beach Club Resort Villas, Disney's BoardWalk Inn & Villas, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge (standard view rooms), Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and Disney's Old Key West Resort
  • Save up to 20% at Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort (including Villas), Disney's Polynesian Resort (excluding Club Level rooms), Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (excluding Club Level rooms) and Disney's Contemporary Resort (excluding Club Level rooms)
Add minimum 4-Day Magic Your Way Tickets to make it a package and get a discount on the tickets too!**
Sample Pricing: 
For example, book a 5-night, 6-day Magic Your Way Package, including Theme Park tickets, at Disney's All-Star Sports Resort and save $250, with a total package price of $1,593 for a family of four (for stays most nights Feb. 24 – March 7, 2013 and April 7 – May 23, 2013). That's like paying $67 per person, per day!***
Booking Window:
  • Book Jan. 3 – March 7, 2013 for travel Feb. 18 – March 23, 2013
  • Book Jan. 3 – March 31, 2013 for travel April 2 – June 14, 2013