Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fantasyland Expansion Updates with Pictures: January 31, 2012

I had the opportunity to spend the day at the Magic Kingdom this past Saturday, and get some new shots of the ongoing construction in Fantasyland. What started as a large mound of dirt is continuing to take shape and I am constantly impressed by the changes taking place before my eyes. It had been about three weeks since I was last in the park and quite a bit has been done since that time. 


Looking out, you can see Dumbo -but those are the new vehicles, not the existing Dumbo (which by the way, has been removed from its current spot in anticipation of its move). Behind Dumbo and to the right, you can see part of the "Great Goofini" roller coaster and where it has been made to look like the track is breaking through the wall. The large rectangular area in front where those workers are I am pretty sure is where the Snow White "Mine Car" attraction will go. That was just a large hole a few weeks ago! 


You get a slightly better view of Dumbo here, and a much closer view of the Great Goofini as well. You can also see where cement has been poured in front of that large crane -the foundation for the Snow White attraction. Behind Dumbo to the left of the Great Goofini is what will be the new Fantasyland train station. I didn't get a good shot of it, unfortunately, but I will say it looks beautiful; the brick work on it is really nice.


I was just impressed by the amount of scaffolding up in this picture. I thought it was part of the track for the roller coaster, but I saw another website report that this is actually one of the Storybook Circus tents. Plus, you have to admit that giant crane in the picture is pretty sweet, too! 


Another one of the big top circus tents in Storybook Circus. Whereas three weeks ago, just the framing was up, it is almost completely enclosed now! I did try to get a better shot of this, but I got chased down off my perch by a cast member, darn! 


Storybook Circus and Dumbo may be getting lots of attention, but that doesn't mean the rest of the expansion isn't! Here, work continues on Ariel's Under the Sea attraction. This section is a portion of Prince Eric's Castle.


A different angle of the Little Mermaid/Ariel attraction taking shape can be seen here. I love how well Disney does rock work, it looks so real! 


Speaking of rock work, workers are still adding rock work and other details to Beast's Castle. You can't really tell from this photo, but some of the rocks had a green tinge to them, perhaps to look like moss or grass? I have no doubt that when this is finished, it's going to look just like it did in the movie. 


Tell me those don't look like real rocks, right? Again, what's amazing to me is how quickly work is getting done. There is obvious progression from week to week. 
Another shot of the castle and the "rock" work. You can see the metal rods sticking out in this photograph. I'm not sure what's going to be put there -maybe by the next update I'll have my answer!  What I also like about this photo is how Disney uses forced perspective. The top of the castle looks huge, but when you see it in person, it's actually pretty small when viewed among the surroundings. Besides, you know Cinderella would never let anyone put a bigger castle than hers in the park. 


Lastly, Belle's village is really taking shape. This is probably the part of the expansion project I was most impressed with only because a few weeks ago, it looked like there were in the early stages of construction; I only noticed framing on one or two houses/shops. And now, it looks like a village. 


A side shot of the work going on in Belle's Village. It can be hard to tell from these photos but the attention to detail and the artistic quality of the work being done not just in this section, but throughout the project is really impressive. I had my doubts about this expansion when it was announced, but seeing all of it coming together and taking shape, I think you're really going to feel like each area or land is distinct and that you're going to be transported there. Oh, and if you're wondering about the workers, crews have been out every Saturday I have been to the park, working all day. 


Last shot for now! I told you lots of work was being done over in Belle's Village. Chris and I are very excited by all these changes, as we know our readers are. We'll continue to update you regularly on the progress of the expansion and of course, when it opens, expect a detailed review.  

Some Common Dining Plan Complaints and Easy Fixes.

If you see this sign, it's on the plan.
But will it work for you?

Let me first say that you don't need the diing plan.  In fact, you can sometimes save money by not getting it.  While most of my clients get the plan and feel that it benefits them to do so, it clearly doesn't work for everyone.  Here are some common concerns and easy fixes to help you determine if the dining plan will work for you.

1.  "It's too much food."

I don't think it's too much food. I think it's sometimes too much the wrong kind of food. None of us eat at buffets and consume countless sugary snacks daily at home, but at Disney it just feels okay to do that. The problem of course is that after a couple of days of eating this way, you start to get bored.  Where's the fun in that?

What I usually suggest when a client has too many buffets scheduled (particularly character meals, where the food tends to be fairly heavy and kid-oriented) is that they try out a signature restaurant.  Yes, you're using two credits, but these meals are an experience meant to be savored and enjoyed.  You're also lot less likely to feel stuffed after eating an elegant meal at Citricos than you would at a buffet. 

Another idea is to save some of your snack credits for the end of  your trip and then buy items for friends back home.  Bags of chocolate coins with Disney characters on them, rice-crispy Mickey ears, and hard candies make great small gifts (or even stocking stuffers at Christmas) for teachers and your kids' friends back home.

Finally, quick-service meals can be a lot of food. Consider asking for a bottle of water or some fruit instead of dessert and then save it for later.  You might also consider splitting a meal and saving your credits for another day.

2.  "You have to stick to a schedule."  It's true that sometimes the dining plan can feel like a forced food march through the parks.

Again, I'm going to suggest going to a restaurant that takes two table-service credits.  By choosing two-credit meals, you get a more upscale dining experience and you've cut out one day of sit-down dining.  You can eat lighter on your "off" day.

On a week-long trip, consider making dining reservations for 4 out of 7 sit-down restaurants only. Try walk-ups with the other three. You can usually get a walk up at most World Showcase restaurants except during the most busy times of year. This gives you the flexibility to eat when the mood strikes you.

3.  "What if I miss a dining reservation?"

Try to make a new reservation right away.  You should be able to find an alternative during all but the busiest weeks (Easter and Christmas), although the time might not be ideal.  Remember that you can also use your table-service credits at quick-service locations. This isn't the most idea use of your credits, obviously. If you makes you feel better, head over to Wolfgang Puck Express where dinner for a family of four can easily set you back $90 out of pocket.
4.  "My ten-year old is a Disney adult; he doesn't eat like one."

This is a tough one and one that I've struggled with as well, but did you know that your adult table-service credits are pooled among your entire group? This means that you can pay out of pocket for your 10-year old to eat some meals (even from the kids' menu) and you can use those table-service credits for the grown ups.  That way, your child is still getting all the value out of the quick-service meals and snacks but you're not wasting the more valuable table-service credits on meals your kid might not eat.

This works particularly well if you're eating a signature restaurant that takes two credits but your child is clearly not ready to eat off the adult menu.  You might even consider using those extra table-service credits at a signature restaurant so that mom and dad can have a nice meal out.

5. "I'm not sure how to make it work."

There's a lot of flexibility with how you use your credits. A lot of clients think they have to use a certain amount of credits per day, but this isn't the case.  Make sure you follow the golden rule of snack credits: Use them for more expensive items, usually $3 and up. Make your dining reservations as far in advance as possible so you can get the restaurants you really want.  And do your homework. Study menus online to get an idea of whether or not the plan will work for you. 

Ultimately, only you can determine if the plan will work for you.  If you're struggling a lot with the decision, there's a good reason for it:  It might just be that it doesn't work with how you travel.  However, if you still want the convenience of the plan, you can always take this suggestion from the folks over at Touring Plans and purchase a pre-paid gift card and put the amount you would spend on the plan on the gift card. Then just use your card in the parks the way you would use the dining plan. 

What about you? Do you use the plan? Or have you tried the Touring Plans option or some variation thereof? If you did, I would love to know how that worked.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Holy Cow, That Was Bad! My Top Five Worst Disney Foods.

Looks good, but how does it taste?

I love Disney food and often find myself defending it to non-fans, but not everything is worthy of praise. Case in point, these five culprits.

1. Sweet Cream Cheese Pretzel at the Lunching Pad in the Magic Kingdom. At $4.29, this pretzel is a good use of your snack credit. Unfortunately, that's where the praise ends. These tasteless, leaden pretzels should be taken out during the Electrical Water Pageant and umceremoniously dumped into the Seven Seas Lagoon.

2. The Caesar Salad with Chicken from Pinocchio Village Haus in the Magic Kingdom. Think you can't mess up a Caesar salad? Think again. While it looks like the safest thing in Pinocchio Village Haus (easily the worst quick-service location on property), the acidic, overly-fishy dressing on this salad makes it a pass.

3. Orange Chicken with Steamed Rice from the Lotus Blossom Cafe in Epcot. Ahh, the World Showcase. Who doesn't love it? You can get a lot of great food there, right. Unfortunately, that's not the case in the China pavilion. The Lotus Blossom Cafe makes your local mall food court's Chinese food look gourmet. Until I tried this entrée, I was under the belief that it was pretty much impossible to mess up the holy trinity of fried, salty, and sweet. I was wrong.

4. Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf at Wolfgang Puck Express in Downtown Disney. I usually sing the praises of Wolfgang Puck Express and for good reason: It's easily the best use of your quick-service credits, with healthy, innovative food in a setting that feels more like a table-service restaurant. Sadly, the bacon wrapped meatloaf is an exception to an otherwise terrific menu. A dried-out hockey puck surrounded by bacon that tastes like,well, nothing really, this dish comes covered in a port wine sauce that's sickeningly sweet. Granted, I was playing with fire by ordering meatloaf in a restaurant (it's rarely good away from home), but this place comes so highly recommended, I took a chance. Lesson learned. I'll stick with the swoon-worthy roast chicken.

5. Oak-fired Filet of Beef at the California Grill. This is my favorite restaurant on property, but the menu has gotten a little tired of late. While other restaurants have kept up with the times, the California Grill continues to rest on its laurels, based in part on its location--at the top of the Contemporary Resort with gorgeous views of the Magic Kingdom and the Seven Seas Lagoon. The Oak fired filet has been on the menu for years, always with a heavy dousing of teriyaki barbecue sauce. I'm of the belief that a good cut of beef doesn't need much than a little bit of seasoning and this sauce is way too much of a good thing. How difficult would it be to add a different accompaniment, maybe even just a compound butter? Fortunately, this restaurant is scheduled to be refurbished later this year, with perhaps a new menu added as well. One can only hope.

Looking for a way to save a little extra on your next trip? Most of my clients travel with with a free Disney gift card or cruise with a substantial onboard credit. Email me at ChrisW@PixieVacations or call 919-889-5281 for more information.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Restaurant Review: 50s Prime Time Cafe.

Stepping in from the hot Florida sun into 50s Prime Time Cafe is like stepping into your grandmother's living room, if your grandmother's house was decorated in a fun, 50s-style kitsch. Black and white televisions playing old favorites, formica, pinks, blues, and 50s futuristic touches, this restaurant is nostalgic fun for anyone, whether you lived through that era or just watched it on Nick at Night.

Fun waiting area/living room with 50s touches.

Your server here will call herself "mom" or perhaps "cousin" or even "uncle," but they'll all have one thing in common: Making sure you mind your manners. Think it's okay to put your elbows on the table?  Mom has something to say about it. Didn't finish your veggies? You better hide them because when your Cousin Sue comes back, she's not going to like it. Some servers have the routine down better than others, especially the "mom" types. On our last visit, our server was friendly but brisk. Fortunately, the server for the table next to us had the entire room in stitches with her routine, as she went from table to table checking up on all of us, so we didn't miss out on the fun.

Carousel of Progress or grandma's kitchen?


As nice as it is to be entertained, you're really here from the food and 50s Prime Time doesn't disappoint. Think comfort food with a Southern touch, with standouts like fried chicken served with to-die-for greens, meatloaf, and chicken pot pie, but you can also try lighter fare like salads and poached salmon. Round that out with flavored sodas, like cherry coke, diner-style desserts, milk shakes, malts and even a few inventive mixed drinks for the grown ups, and you have an enjoyable, and fun, meal.

Black and white televisions are part of the decor.
Take in an old show while you eat.
 
I live in the south and I'm picky about my fried chicken, so I was pleasantly surprised at how good Prime Time's is. Your crust shouldn't shatter and fall to the table when you bite into it, but it shouldn't be a soggy mess either. This chicken falls nicely in between, a lightly spiced, non-greasy piece of chicken with a delicious crust.  And there's a lot of it, by the way, usually three to four pieces.





You'll get it serving of mashed potatoes with gravy that are perfectly fine, but the real star of this dish is the greens that come with it. Spicy and, somewhat shocking to this southern cook, not not at all soggy, these greens are delicious. Of course I know you can make greens so they still have a nice bite to them, but I cook them the way I was taught: Until they're mushy. If you've been turned off by greens before because of the texture, give these a try.
The roast beef is good too.  Tender roast beef braised with tomato juice, it's served in an unnecessarily complicated mound of mashed potatoes and julienned carrots and celery.  I generally don't care for pot roast that's been cooked with tomato juice and I probably wouldn't get this again because of it, but that's more of a personal thing preference rather than a problem with the preparation and overall taste.  Overall, it's a good, solid dish and I liked how the carrots and celery were still slightly crispy.  If you'd debating between this dish and the fried chicken, give the sampler platter a try. It comes with both plus meatloaf for $19.99.



Kids meals are the usual fare with the addition of a grilled fish option. My daughter really enjoyed the macaroni with marinara sauce. 


I really liked that there was a substantial portion of fresh fruit offered instead of a dessert option. This is when having the dining plan comes in handy and it's why I like it so much. You'll pay $15.02 per child (ages 3 -8) for the plan. This meal costs $8.59.  Add a snack and a quick-service option and it's easy to come out ahead with children.

Most table-service restaurants at Disney have excellent desserts and 50s Prime Time is no exception.  I loved Dad's Brownie Sundae with hot fudge and caramel topping. You could also try the delicious S'mores, with their caramelized outside, warm gooey inside, all covered in chocolate sauce. I'm not a marshmallow fan, but I always say yes to these.  I mean, it's the polite thing to do!


Photo courtesy of Chip and Company.

50s Prime Time Cafe is a new favorite of mine. I love the food and the atmosphere--where else can you watch old TV shows while you eat?  It's going to be a must-do every trip.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Disney's Childrens Activity Centers: The Sandcastle Club at Yacht and Beach Club.

The kids clubs at Walt Disney World are a great way to give yourself a little bit of grown up time during a busy vacation. Maybe you want a quiet dinner at a more upscale restaurant or just want to go on some rides the kids are too young for?  Whatever the reason, Disney's kids' clubs are a great way to carve out a little bit of time for  yourself. 

We've used the Neverland Club before and it was a huge hit, but in December we were staying at Boardwalk and planning on eating at Yacht Club, so we wanted something a little closer, so chose the Sandcastle Club in the Yacht and Beach Club Resort. Beach Club was a quick fifteen minute walk (or you can take one of the Friend Ships) from our resort. To get to the Sandcastle Club, just go into the main lobby of Beach Club and go down the long hallway to your right; it's on your right, just past the shops.


Children ages three to twelve are welcome in the clubs (the sign above is an older sign).  Operating hours are 4:30 to midnight. You'll need to pay for a two-hour minimum stay, but you can pick your child up earlier if you wish. You do not need to be a guest of the resort or even a guest of Disney World property to use the clubs. There is an $11.50 per hour fee per child which includes dinner if the child will be staying during that time period.  Unfortunately, there is no discount for multiple children.

We dropped our children off and they immediately started playing with all the games and toys. There's a big main room with tables, games, and activity centers. There's also a small room off to the side (well within view of the main desk) set up like a small house.  The kids were able to choose their meals from a list containing kid-friendly food: pizza, macaroni and cheese, nuggets. They always enjoy picking items from their own "menu" and always report back that they enjoyed the food. After they ordered their meal, they went off to play and we headed over to Yachtsman Steakhouse.

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Besides games and toys, cast members conduct organized activities such as arts and crafts:  Our daughter presented us with several sparkly drawings when we picked her up.  Cast members are trained to make sure that all children are included in the fun and games and that no one feels left out. If you have a shy child or a child with special needs, make sure you inform the cast members when you drop your son or daughter off. The rooms are clean, the equipment is new, and the staff is friendly. I'm a worrier by nature, but I felt comfortable leaving the kids there.

To me, the only downside  is the cost. With three kids, I paid $34.50 an hour. Times that by 2.5 hours and for that amount, I could have hired a babysitting service like Kids Nite Out for four hours. A sitter service would have come to the resort room and when I got back (if history is any indication) they would have been snug in their beds asleep. But with the kids clubs, I have the satisfaction of knowing that they're being entertained without watching television, that there are multiple adults watching them, and they're being given dinner.  So, it's definitely a trade off between cost and peace of mind. I still like using a sitter service and will continue to do so, but now that my kids are older and can stay out a little later, the kids clubs are a treat. 

Our kids love going to the kids clubs and they always ask if they're going each trip. They get to play with new toys, eat fun food, and meet other kids, but they also get a break from the hubbub of the parks. Yes, we're all there for a family vacation and the parks are our focus, but it's nice for the kids to get a break from the parks one night and enjoy the more quiet atmosphere.   And let's not forget, parents deserve a quiet date night once in a while.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Should You Add Charging Privileges to Your Key to the World Card?

When you check into your Disney resort, you'll be given the option of having your credit or debit card added to your room key (known as your Key to the World card or KTTW), but should you do it?  Here's what adding your card offers:

  • Convenience.  Your tickets,* money, dining plan credits, and room key are all on one card. 
  • When you pay your server at a sit-down restaurant, he can easily add your tip to the card. If you're on the dining plan and you use your debit card (to pay for the tip and extras like appetizers and items not on the plan) and your room key, there's an extra step and figuring out the tip can be a little more complicated.
  • Ease at check-out. When I buy snacks, I often use a snack credit for a more expensive item and pay out of pocket for the drink. If my debit card is attached to my KTTW card, I only have to make one purchase. If I'm using a debit for my drink and a snack credit for my cupcake (excuse me, I mean fresh veggies) I have to do two transactions.
It seems like a no-brainer, but the problem is that adding your debit or credit card to your KTTW card can make it very difficult to track what you've spent, especially given that it's so easy to just whip that card out--it's not like it's real money, after all!  If you're like most people, you probably keep check your bank account even while you're on vacation, but it's not as easy to access the charges that go on your KTTW card; you'll need to go down to the concierge desk.  This gets even more complicated if more than one person on your reservation has charging privileges.  

Finally, and this is probably my biggest complaint, the bill that Disney gives you when you check out is even more difficult to decipher when you've got dozens of charges added to it. What? I don't even remember buying anything at Goofy's Candy Kitchen!  I couldn't have spent $75 in Tattooine Traders!

Last trip we didn't add the card and it got a bit complicated at times, but at the same time, I loved getting the bill at the end of my trip with only one charge--the room. I also felt like it was a lot easier to keep track of what I spent that day. Sure I could have walked down to concierge each night and gotten a printout or I could have kept every single receipt, but it was so much easier to just check my bank account at the end of the day.  Because of this, and despite the advantages, I probably won't be adding charging privileges on my cards anymore. What about you? What do you think is easier?

Update:  Reader Kim M. has this great tip: Add cash at concierge and then use your card the way you normally would. At the end of your trip, excess money will be refunded. You can add up to $500 per day. Thanks Kim!

*Some park tickets can't be added to your room key. If you purchase separately, ask if Concierge can help you add them.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Disney's Club Level: What is it and Do I Want it?

The iconic Grand Floridian is just one resort that offers club level service
Spend enough time in the Disney universe (you know, at the parks, on Disney message boards, in chat rooms with other Disney fans, etc.), and you'll hear a lot of chatter about “club level” at Disney resorts. There are lots of questions – What is it? What do I get with it? Is it available at all resorts? Does it cost a lot? And, there are an equal number of comments, on both sides of the fence, so it's hard to wrap your head around all of it.

Club level is Disney's version of concierge. While a number of hotels offer concierge services, especially those that cater to business travelers, the service and offerings themselves often vary. Disney is no different, so while their offerings may not be as extensive as what is offered at other hotels and resorts, it is still a very nice service. Do not confuse club level at Disney with the concierge desk in the lobby at each resort; while the cast member working the concierge desk at these resorts will do their best to assist you in getting tickets for the parks, or attractions and can answer many of your questions, club level services go far beyond that.

At Disney, club level rooms are available at all the deluxe resorts: Contemporary, Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, Yacht Club, Beach Club, Boardwalk and Animal Kingdom Lodge. At the Grand Floridian, guests even have two options for booking a club level room. They can choose to stay in Sugar Loaf, located in one of the outer buildings, or at the Royal Palm Club in the main building. The amenities are exactly the same, though some guests find the benefits of being in the main building of the Grand Floridian, with its shopping, dining and ease of access to transportation, worth the higher cost of the Royal Palm Club club level. The cost for a club level room runs approximately $100-$150 more per night, but that can vary by season. Rarely are these rooms discounted.

Club level rooms are generally located on a separate floor of each resort and have special keycard access. If you've ever stayed at a Walt Disney World resort and gotten into an elevator with a guest who pulled out a gold “Key to the World” card and put that into the elevator keypad, chances are they were a club level guest (it may even have been yours truly). Given their location within the resorts, many of these club level floors offer an additional cool perk -great views. For example, at the King Kamehameha Club at Disney's Polynesian Resort, the club level lounge is two stories with floor to ceiling windows that look out across Bay Lake and towards Cinderella Castle. That means club level guests can sit in the lounge and watch the fireworks every night (the music to “Wishes” is piped in) while enjoying a snack and their favorite beverage.  Similarly, the lounge at the Innkeeper's Club at Disney's Boardwalk Resort allows guests to sit on the balcony and catch a view of Illuminations.

Of course, not every resort can say the same thing. Club level guests at the Beach Club can spend time in the lounge where the view from the windows is of the parking lot. That's okay though, staying here and getting to swim in Stormalong Bay makes it totally worth it.
Part of the club level lounge at Beach Club -love the chairs for the kids!
Of course, staying club level isn't about the view from the lounge (or the lack thereof). When you book a club level stay, several weeks before your arrival, the Itinerary Planning Office, or IPO at the resort should contact you to confirm your stay and to help you arrange things like dining reservations, child care, shows tickets, and other entertainment. If you're celebrating something special, make sure to mention that as well, as the IPO can provide you with helpful suggestions or ideas. My suggestion is not to wait for the IPO to call you – given the amount of guests they handle, it can be easy for them to overlook you; therefore, I'd encourage you to email them with your reservation number and any requests you have.

They of course will do their best to meet any of your needs. On the day of your arrival, club level stay will be aware of when you are coming in. Assuming you arrive between the hours of 7 a.m. - 10 p.m., they will escort you up to the club level floor and handle check-in for you, no need to wait in lines. You'll find your club level room comes with a few other benefits as well, including nightly turn down service, robes to use during your stay, additional toiletries, and a DVD player in your room. The cast members working at the desk outside the club level lounge will also have DVDs available for you to borrow should you not pack any of your own. Another nice perk? Club level guests at every resort have the opportunity to schedule the special Wildlife Discovery Excursion Tour. For $45 per person, guests will take a climate controlled vehicle through the savannah at Disney's Animal Kingdom with a cast member who is an animal expert. The vehicle goes “off road” and doesn't follow the same path as the typical tour, allowing you to get closer to the animals and a chance at some great photos. Additionally, because each vehicle only fits a limited number of people, you have an opportunity to ask a lot of questions, something you don't get to do or the regular attraction.

Perhaps the best part for many club level guests is the food and drink offerings included with your stay. Each club level has a lounge where guests can partake in these offerings while enjoying comfortable seating. You'll also find a couple of televisions in the lounge, one for the adults, and one for the kids, and usually, a newspaper or two to read. While offerings and times can change, the general schedule looks something like this at each club level lounge:
  • 6:30-7:00 a.m. Coffee and juices.
  • 7:00 - 10:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast with juice, coffee, tea, cereals, fruit, breakfast pastries and breads
  • 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Snacks and/or tea with sodas, iced tea, lemonade, coffee, tea, and snack foods like crackers, pretzels, cookies and nuts.
  • 5:00 - 7:00p.m. Appetizers with wine and beer and hot and cold appetizers from the resort's restaurants and offerings like veggies and dip.
  • 8:00 - 10:00 p.m. Desserts and cordials with a selection of cordials and desserts from the resort's restaurants.
Guests at the Grand Floridian's Sugar Loaf and Royal Palm Club can also look forward to having an afternoon tea service with a variety of teas and scones available. Note that the amount of food available is generally NOT enough to make a meal out of (unless you have a very small appetite). The foods available are meant as appetizers, or a tasting, so I don't suggest skipping the dining plan or foregoing ADRs in favor of eating in the lounge. Conversely, I have heard from some guests that eating the evening offerings, and then heading off to dinner was often too much food; this is especially true if they were on the deluxe dining plan or otherwise eating in a lot of “signature” restaurants.

So, is it worth it? “Worth” is very subjective, and means different things to different people. But whether staying club level on your next visit is right for you or not depends a lot on how you tour and how many times you've visited. As regular readers to the blog know, I'm local, I visit the parks a lot. I've had three stays as a club level guest and can honestly say I've enjoyed each one immensely. But my wife and I aren't the type to spend all day in the parks anymore. We spend lots of down time at the resort enjoying the amenities, so we have time to partake in the food and beverage offerings. If you are a theme park commando, who only uses the room to sleep and shower, it would be a waste. And you certainly don't want to feel like you HAVE to come back to the resort to eat the appetizers, snacks or desserts to try and get your money's worth. Unless you have a larger group, or are perhaps heavy drinkers who enjoy the beers and cordials available, you're not likely to make up that extra $150 a night in food/drink. Lots of people will just get a bunch of snacks and beverages for their room instead, and make their own “club level lounge.” Similarly, since I spend much of my time making dining and entertainment reservations for other people, I enjoy the perk of having someone from IPO do it for me. But if you're the type who likes to make their own reservations for everything, or you have a travel agent who is going to do that for you (for free), why pay for the privilege that you won't use? 
Your "golden ticket" Key to the World card gives you access to the club level floor
Like some many other things in a Disney vacation, ultimately, you need to decide what will be best for you. If you're taking a trip where you're skipping the parks, or like me, you spend lots of time at the resort, and you have the money to spend, having the added perks of club level may be just your thing. But if you think you'd rather take that extra $150 a night and put it towards something else – a romantic dinner, a fireworks cruise, a private tour, or even another trip, then club level probably isn't right for you, and you'll be happy with a standard, but still very nice, resort room.

Thanks to Disboards for the YC concierge photo. For more pictures and information on Yacht Club/Beach club, check out this thread on the Dis.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Exclusive Discounts for Jersey Week.


If you're not from New Jersey, you may not have heard about Jersey Week, a yearly influx of New Jersey residents to Walt Disney World during the state's annual teacher's conference.  Most often, this week is blacked out for discounts because Disney knows they won't have any trouble filling rooms, but this year, Pixie is proud to announce we've got a nice room discount to offer and you don't have to be from New Jersey to take advantage of it.  Check in at least two nights between November 3 and November 10 and pay these low rates:

  • Disney's Pop Century Resort for $105 per night
  • Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort for $155 per night
  • Disney's Contemporary Resort for $315 per night
  • Disney's Boardwalk Resort for $329 per night
You'll also receive a free water park or DisneyQuest admission with the purchase of a two-day or park park ticket and 10% off park tickets.  Compare our offer to what's currently available:
 
No Discount
 
Boardwalk Inn
Check in November 5, 2012
Check out November 11, 2012
6 nights
6 day park tickets (no hopper)
Base dining plan
2 adults/2 children (ages 7 and 10)
 
Total Cost:  $4771.80
 
Pixie Vacation's Exclusive Offer
 
Boardwalk Inn
Check in November 5, 2012
Check out November 11, 2012
6 nights
6 day park tickets (no hopper)
Base dining plan
2 adults/2 children (ages 7 and 10)
 
Total cost:   $3967.04
 
These rooms are limited, so lock in your discount now and if a better deal comes out, we'll automatically switch you over to that discount. 

To contact us, email Chris at ChrisW@PixieVacations.com or call 919-889-5281 or email Bob and Bob@PixieVacations.com or call 407-810-2528.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Book a Cruise, Get a Huge Onboard Credit.



I've been thinking about the lauch of the new Disney Fantasy that's coming in March and it occured to me that Bob and I should do something to celebrate.  We're currently offering free Disney gift cards for all vacation bookings made this month, but I decided to step it up a bit with the cruises.  Book a Disney cruise between now and March 23, 2012 and you'll receive an onboard credit based on these amounts:

  • A $75 onboard credit for cruises valued at $1900 to $2200.
  • A $100 credit for cruises valued at $2201 to $2800.
  • A $125 credit for cruises valued at $2801 to $3200.
  • A $150 credit for cruises valued at $3201 to $3500.
  • A $175 credit for cruises valued at $3501 to $4000.
  • A $200 credit for cruises valued at $4001 to $4500.
  • Booking a cruise worth more than $4500? Well give you a credit worth 50% of our commission.   
Sounds good? Here's the small print. After all we're both lawyers:

  • Cruises are for any Disney cruise taking place in 2012 and 2013.  Edited to add: Any cruise taking place in 2012 and 2013.
  • Your cruise must be a new Disney cruise, not a takeover.
  • Totals are based on your cruise only (that portion for which we receive a commission), not miscellaneous and taxes. This is because your onboard credit comes out of our commission and we only get a commission on the cruise itself. We'll break down those totals for you.
  • This total price is based on everyone in the cabin, not just the fares of the first two people.
  • This offer is exclusive to me and Bob Angelo and is not a Pixie Vacations offer.
  • Part of your onboard credit includes the $25 bonus paid by Disney for booking online.
We'll probably keep offering large onboard credits, but amounts this high are only for our first offer, so book before March 23, 2012.

If you'd like to learn more, here's our contact information:

To contact Chris, email me at ChrisW@pixievacations.com or call 919-889-5281.

To contact Bob, email him at Bob@PixieVacations.com or call 407-810-2528.

Thanks!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Bare Necessities: How To Get Groceries To Your Disney Resort

You may not be able to pack fresh fruit in your luggage, but a grocery delivery service can get it for you! 

For many travelers heading to Walt Disney World, part of trip planning involves much more than packing a stylish new bathing suit and a comfortable pair of walking shoes, though both of those should be on the top of your list, too. You may also want a case of bottled water (especially if visiting during the summer months, when being outside in Central Florida is like walking on the surface of the sun), breakfast items so you can start off your day of theme park adventuring with a full stomach, or just some snacks to have when you want to unwind in the room by watching the amazing selection of television channels in your Disney resort hotel. And if you have a younger child, you're probably adding things like diapers, pullups, wipes, formula, and/or baby food to the list.

Of course, getting all of that  from your home to your resort is not without its challenges. If you're driving, or renting a car when you get into Orlando, it's easy -you just stop off at a nearby grocery store and load up with everything that you need. But the majority of visitors fly in, get on Magical Express, and are taken directly to their resort, and I don't think the bus driver is going to be too keen on stopping off at Super Target on his way to the Beach Club so you can pick up a few things. No, not even if you ask them nicely., and you can put away that $10 bill you keep waving in front of their face, too. And have you ever tried to pack stuff like yogurt and fresh fruit into a suitcase? Let's just say airlines aren't kidding when they tell you that your bags may shift during the flight. Plus, with most airlines these days charging $25 or more per suitcase (each way!), you may not want to spend that money loading a bag up with items that are just going to get eaten or otherwise used up. Luckily, you have a number of choices to make getting any of these items, and more, delivered right to your resort.

I've heard that many parents children who are still in diapers will pack an entire suitcase full of nothing but diapers/pullups and wipes, then at the end of the trip, use that now-empty suitcase for bringing home all the souvenirs. Not a bad idea if you're not paying for the bag; if you are though, remember to consider that additional cost in your vacation budget. Depending on how much you buy, you might be able to just fit those items in bags you already have and you can always ship purchases you buy from Disney directly to your house; just ask a cast member for assistance when you check out.

A better option if you just need things like diapers, wipes, and/or bottled water is Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/). You can ship the items directly to your resort in care of your name and (at least if you're staying on Disney property) they will hold it for you when the package arrives. When you check-in, just tell the cast member assisting you that you should have a box in your name waiting for you. Another benefit with Amazon? Besides things like diapers, wipes, formula and baby food, you can also get items like bottled water, and some dry grocery items, like granola bars, pop tarts, and fruit snacks. There's no minimum order requirement and I've always found shipping to be pretty reasonable.

Your other option would be to use one of the two grocery delivery companies that service the Disney/Universal resort area and will do your shopping for you, namely Garden Grocer (http://www.gardengrocer.com/) and WeGo Shop (http://www.wegoshop.com/). This is an especially convenient service for guests who may want more of a selection of items or for vacationers who want to have things like alcohol (which can be limited in selection and very expensive on property) or ice cream. As Garden Grocer and WeGo Shop operate slightly differently and have different pricing structures, it can be a little confusing, so let me shed some light on how each one works. As an aside, I should mention that I have not been compensated by any of these companies and the views and opinions expressed herein are my own.

Both companies, as I mentioned, deliver to the Disney/Universal resort area, and will leave groceries will bell services if you aren't in the room. Both have excellent and easy to use websites that allow a customer to build a personal shopping list. When you pull up the Garden Grocer website, you'll find a list of over 4,800 hundred items from which you can choose in a variety of categories, from baby care to breakfast items to deli to one called “park essentials.” You have to choose from the brands listed in each category (in other words, you can't ask for a specific brand that's not on the list, or ask them to shop at the grocery store/warehouse store of your choice) but with thousands of items, there's a good chance that you'll find the item(s) you need, or one close to the brand you use. You'll also notice that the prices are slightly higher then what you might pay yourself at the grocery store (for example, a 12 pack of Pepsi that I pay $3.99 for was $5.99 on the site), but remember that you're paying for a service, and the luxury of having someone shop for you. Garden Grocer does require a minimum order of $40, and there is a delivery charge to your resort of $12, which is waived for orders of $200 or more. You should also know that until gas prices return to under $3.00 a gallon, they also will charge you a $1.99 surcharge to offset their fuel costs. The latest you may order is 36 hours in advance, and if going during a peak travel time, my suggestion would be to get the order in earlier than later.

Conversely, when you visit the WeGo Shop website, you won't find a list of specific products with pictures from which to choose. Instead, because WeGo shop will do your grocery shopping at the store of your choice, you can enter your exact shopping list. In fact, they tell you to be as specific as possible in your descriptions, including product size and brand, so if you want the store brand versus the national one, or the largest size of something versus the smallest, be sure to tell them that. If you prefer to have it in a shopping list, they have a link on their site to a program that will automatically build your shopping list and then email it to them. Because WeGo Shop is visiting the store(s) of your choice, they do not charge anything additional for groceries -the price they pay for the item is the same one you will pay. They'll also accept coupons you may have, though you only earn 50% credit on them (e.g., if you have a coupon for $1.00, you will save .50 cents, and they get the other .50 cents). There is also no minimum purchase order. However, because like Garden Grocer they are a for profit business, they do charge a service fee, depending on how much you spend. Those fees are:

Grocery total up to $50.00 = $18.00 service fee
Grocery total between $50.00 - $100.00 = $23.00 service fee
Grocery total between $100.00 - $200.00 = $28.00 service fee
Grocery total between $200.00 - $300.00 = $38.00 service fee; and
Grocery total over $300.00 = 13% of grocery total, service fee

Additionally, while they are happy to shop at more than one store for you, they will charge a $5.00 service fee per each store. Should the groceries be left at bell services, a gratuity of 10% of the order will be added to the final bill. You can place an order at WeGo Shop the day before you want delivery, and in some cases, the same day, but like Garden Grocer, deliveries are filled on a first come, first served basis, and peak times like holidays will fill up quickly.

Regardless of how you get your grocery items to your Disney resort, they key is to plan ahead. You definitely don't want to save this to the last minute only to scramble to try and find things to add to your shopping list to meet a minimum purchase order, forget to include something on your list you really need, or find that you waited too long and now your order can be fulfilled. If ordering through a site like Amazon or sending yourself a package to the resort, give yourself enough time for the package to arrive. I've heard too many horror stories of the guests arriving well before the package did, leaving them in a lurch. With a little forethought, the “bare necessities” can all be yours on your trip.

Contact Bob at Bob@PixieVacations.com for a no-obligation quote and free concierge-level help in booking and planning your next vacation.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Ups and Downs of the Disney Dining Plan.

Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and greens at 50s Primetime Cafe.
So good you'll be thinking about it for days.

My latest trip taught me a good lesson, one that I understood in theory but had yet to put into practice: If someone in your party gets sick and you've already pre-paid for food, you're potentially out a nice sum of money.  It took using the dining plan one time to make me a convert. I'll admit to not being sure about it ahead of time, but after getting home and running the numbers, I could see that it worked for us and the way we eat and tour the parks. Sure, it meant we had to stick to a schedule more than we might have otherwise, but the savings and the convenience of using the plan were worth it to me.  Since that trip I've always added the plan and this trip was no exception.  But in the back of my mind, I was worried about making the commitment. What if things didn't go according to plan?

Well, that's exactly what happened last month.  Our oldest child got sick during the last part of our trip, although it took us a while to figure out that it wasn't that he'd eaten too many sweets, but a raging fever that was making him beg to sit in the twins' stroller and complain about a stomach ache.  We got him settled into the room with my husband while I took the twins around the parks for the last two days of our trip.  I felt awful that he was missing out, but I also felt bad that I was losing two days of dining credits, both his and my husband's.  I did what most people do and paid for another guest's meals, but I had this nagging thought in the back of my mind: What if I'd paid out of pocket for our meals? Would I have saved money? Because really, the unexpected happens, even at Disney World.

I sat down a couple of days after we got home and figured out that we broke even using the plan. This is mainly because of the more expensive character buffets we did in the beginning of the trip, but also because we ended up using all of the quick-service and the snack credits, which together accounted for approximately 50% of the total $895 we paid for the dining plan (7 days, 2 adults, 3 kids).  Incidentally, that quick-service total doesn't include desserts, because we didn't eat them.  In fact, I think the cost of Disney's quick-service meals is one reason I love the base dining plan.  Let me explain.

Quick-service, in particular, will put a serious hole in your budget.  If you really want to save money on a Disney vacation, don't eat at the table-service locations. Done. You've saved about $30 per person per meal, often more than that. But how can you avoid quick-service meals? If you're spending more than a few hours in the parks, you have to eat, right? And yes, you can bring in your own food, but how fun is that?  You can also buy the least expensive item on the quick-service menus, but most often that will be a burger and fries, which gets really old fast.  Having the dining plan allows you to have the variety you want without the worry. 

That's not to say the plan is perfect or foolproof.  Like most things at Disney World, you'll need to put some planning into it.  You'll also need to stick to a schedule. Finally, if you're not doing some of the more expensive table-service locations, you may be paying too much. Some table-service locations, like 50s Primetime Cafe in Hollywood Studios, cost only slightly more than a more expensive quick-service meal.  So make sure you check out menus before you commit to the plan.

I would estimate about 90% of my clients get the dining plan, many of them under free dining promotions. The one thing more experienced guests tell me is that they care more about convenience than anything. Yes, we all want to save money, but what I'm also seeing is people wanting to make their trip as all-inclusive as possible. Taking the worry out of paying for your meals is one way to do that.

 As much as I like the dining plan, it's not for everyone.  Don't like to plan meals out in advance or take time off from touring the parks? It's probably not for you.  And if you don't plan on eating at least four table-service meals per week long trip, it might not be the best use of your money.  As I noted above, our quick-service meals and snacks came to around 50% of our total dining plan cost.  Add to that for our family of five, one breakfast at  Tusker House, and dinners at Ohana, Via Napoli, and Crystal Palace and we broke even. The other three meals were essentially "freebies" although in fairness we did lose several table-service credits due to illness.

And that's really the problem: You have to gamble that everything will go according to plan, or at least close to what you planned. Ultimately, we came out ahead even with some bumps. But if we'd had major issues, we wouldn't have had any recourse: We had already paid.  I think you have to be okay with that gamble.  

If you have unused credits at the end of your trip, you can try the following:

  • For snacks, buy items you can bring home. I had a few snack credits left at the end of this trip, so I went to Goofy's Candy Kitchen and bought stocking stuffers like candy coins with characters on them and Rice Krispy Mickey Ears. 
  • Offer to pay for a stranger's meals. It's Disney and it just feels easier to talk to a stranger here than in the outside world, but if that makes you uncomfortable, I've noticed that Lines subscribers sometimes post chat messages to fellow users if they have unused credits.  It's a nice way to meet fellow Disney fans.
  • You can freely use table-service credits for quick-service meals. At some locations, you can use your quick-service credits to buy snack items; this is a little trickier than the table service exchange for quick-service meals.

I'll admit that my faith in the plan was a little shaken at first by losing some of our dining credits, but after going through my receipts, I feel confident that I'll choose it again.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Force Is Strong With You: Star Wars Weekends at Hollywood Studios

See what they're making cast members wear to work these days?
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...So begins each part of the classic Star Wars Saga. A lot closer to home, however, ever summer Disney Hollywood Studios celebrates “Star Wars Weekends” where fans from across the universe (well, at least from across the country) can gather and celebrate the Star Wars movies as well as the highly acclaimed animated television series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. If you are a Star Wars fan or have one in your family, this is one event you don't want to miss!

Held for four consecutive weekends (Friday-Sunday) in late May/early June, the event and its festivities are included with park admission. Introduced in 1997, it continued to grow in popularity until Disney decided to make it into an annual event in 2003. This year, Hollywood Studios will proudly present Star Wars Weekends on the following dates: May 18-20, May 25-27, June 1-3, June 8-10.

So, what exactly can you expect if you go? I thought you'd never ask. Of course, there's Star Tours 2: The Adventure Continues. The classic, and very popular, Star Wars ride re-opened last year with a face-lift, and wow, is it ever more exciting! While the existing ride system of the original Star Tours, it features an updated queue, new in-cabin effects,more than 50 different ride scenarios, and brand-new 3D imagery. In fact, you'd have to ride for six straight hours just to experience all the different ride combinations! I personally love the new Hoth battle and the 3D effects used in the Naboo scene are top-notch. Right next door, kids ages 4-12 can sign up to participate in the Jedi Training Academy. Run several times a day year round, it's even more popular during Star Wars Weekends. Several times each day, Jedi Masters will train each group of young Padawans in the ways of the force and the proper use of a lightsaber, after which each young Jedi gets to try out their new skills on Storm Troopers and Darth Vader himself. Note that if your child wants to participate, you will want to be at the park at rope drop and head over to sign up right away. As of this writing, sign ups have been taking place right past the American Idol Experience, in the building next door to Sounds Dangerous, but as Disney is known to change things around from time to time, you'll want to check the exact location with a cast member or on your park map when you arrive at the park.
One of the new robots inside the revamped Star Tours attraction

A new group of Padawans listen attentively to their Jedi Master

But of course, Star Wars Weekends is far more than just a newer attraction and some performance, after all, you can get that all year round. For many, one of the highlights is the attendance of celebrities from the movies and animated television series. Some of these celebrities will do autograph signings at various points during the day, which is very popular. To keep things orderly, guests must have a Fast Pass for the celebrity whose autograph they wish to get, and there are a limited number of Fast Passes available each day. Note too that each weekend, celebrities will vary. While Disney has not yet announced who the celebrity guests will be this year, in years past, guests have included Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett), and Ray Park (Darth Maul) among many others. 
Ray Park (Darth Maul) was on hand last year to sign autographs for fans
If you're not up to standing around for possibly a very long time for a Fast Pass to get an autograph, no need to worry. You'll get to see these same celebrities during the “Stars and Motor Cars” Parade during the day. There will also be an opportunity to attend several special Star Wars related events with some of these celebrities. Last year, for example, Ashley Eckstein (voice of Ashoka Tano in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series) hosted a talk entitled Clone Wars: Behind the Force, offering a closer look at the show. These events are also often a great opportunity to ask questions, such as “If Star Wars took place a long lime time ago, why does it look like it took place in the future?” And “Isn't a parsec a unit of distance, not time? So exactly how did Han Solo make the Kessel run in 12 parsecs?” These are the questions that keep me up at night writing blog articles, folks.

Speaking of parades though, you don't want to miss the afternoon Star Wars Parade, which
features members of the 501st Legion, a worldwide volunteer Star Wars costuming group parading in costumes of all different characters from the movies. The costumes are AMAZING -most folks look like they have just stepped off a George Lucas set. It's a high point with a lot of fans, so make sure to grab a good spot along the parade route early. The best viewing spots are along Hollywood Boulevard, and will start to fill in one hour before the parade begins. In years past, Disney has run the parade just up Hollywood Boulevard, though last year I caught the parade going by Star Tours as well. Since that can change, check your map for the parade route.
The sand people were great, but boy do they look hot!

Amazing detail on some of these costumes
Maybe you're all about Disney characters instead of parades. Maybe you're all about Star Wars characters. Star Wars Weekends provides the best of both worlds. Hang around the Star Tours area as well as the “backlot” area of the park and you'll encounter many characters walking around interacting with guests as well as opportunities to line up and pose for pictures and autographs. Walking around, I saw Darth Vader, Clone Troopers, Darth Maul, Bobba Fett, Jango Fett, Ewoks, Chewbacca, Gamorrean Guards, Jawas, and the Cantina Band, to name a few. There are also long lines for meet and greets with Jedi Mickey, Leia Minnie, Darth Goofy, and Storm Trooper Donald. 
Jedi Mickey and his buddy, R2-MK

Mickey and R2 head off to Dagobah for more training

Aurra Sing, from the Clone Wars -she seriously creeped me out

Darth Maul always looks imposing

Famed bounty hunter Bobba Fett

You'll also notice plenty of die-hard Star Wars fans who have dressed up to come to the parks, many in detailed costumes of their own. While Disney doesn't encourage nor discourage this, it's a rare opportunity for guests to dress up in costume at a Disney park (outside of Halloween, of course) without anything being said. I've found that many of these guests are absolutely thrilled to take their picture with you too, if you ask. If you do decide to dress up in costume, just remember that it's still a family park. Dressing like Princess Leia is okay. Dressing like “slave” Princess Leia? Not okay.
I think these two were fans of Princess Leia?

If you're a collector of Star Wars/Disney Star Wars merchandise, Disney hasn't forgotten you, either. There will be plenty of merchandise available to purchase, including limited edition merchandise. From t-shirts, to posters, to lithographs, to pins, you're sure to find something for everyone. Last year, to house the most merchandise and accommodate the most people, Disney had a separate trailer set up in a backstage area near Rock N Roller Coaster. While I heard that it did fill up at times and people were forced to wait outside in the heat to get in, I can't say I experienced that, though business was steady inside. If there's something specific you're looking for, you'll want to find out where event merchandise is being sold and head there early in the day. 
Loved this Donald figurine for sale

Cool lithograph that was for sale in 2011
Of course, no fun-filled day of Star Wars Weekend is complete without Hyperspace Hoopla. This event takes place at the close of the day's events on the stage in front of the giant Sorcerer's Hat on Hollywood Boulevard. A fan favorite, Hyperspace Hoopla is a dance competition featuring classic Star Wars characters. Last year, the theme was Rock and Roll, and featured the good guys versus the bad guys. Trust me when I say you haven't lived until you watch Chewbacca , Jawas, and Ewoks get down to “Welcome to the Jungle” or see Bobba Fett Bust a move to “Back in Black”. It's about a 30 minute show filled with a lot of laughs and is another must do. I honestly think even a non Star Wars fan can appreciate the humor. 

Why yes, that Wookie IS wearing a bandana and sunglasses

Hmmm...I sense a disturbance in the force. I know, you're thinking with all going on, the parks must just be jammed with people, and who wants to deal with all that in 95 degree heat, right? The honest answer, however, is that while the park does get  more crowded around the area(s) where Star Wars festivities, character/celebrity greetings are being held, the rest of the park is relatively unaffected! Yes, you'll find it hard to get a spot for the parades -it's not one you can show up to 5 minutes beforehand and expect to get a good viewing spot – and Fast Passes for autograph signings can be hard to come by or feature long waits to get. But get away from the Star Wars happenings, and crowds aren't nearly as bad in the rest of the park. Another bright spot -crowds only seem heavier at Disney Hollywood Studios; the people who come for Star Wars Weekends do not have a noticeable effect on crowds at the other parks.

Okay, I've convinced you to go, but now you're worried that you won't find a good deal. Chris and I have you covered there though too, with a Star Wars Weekend exclusive offer you can only get through our travel agency, Pixie Vacations. And this is no Jedi mind trick, it's the real deal. Here are the details on the offer:

Booking Window: Through 4/25/12
Travel Window: 5/25 – 5/30/12

Available Disney Resorts for this Special Vacation Package are:

DISNEY’S ALL STAR MUSIC RESORT (Value Resort)
DISNEY’S CORONADO SPRINGS RESORT (Moderate Resort)
DISNEY’S CONTEMPORARY RESORT (Deluxe Resort)
DISNEY’S BEACH CLUB RESORT (Deluxe Resort)
DISNEY’S SARATOGA SPRINGS RESORT (Deluxe Villas)
DISNEY’S BAY LAKE TOWER (Deluxe Villas)

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SAMPLE PRICE

Disney’s Contemporary Resort – THEME PARK VIEW

Room: 5 Nights / 6 Days
Sample Party: 2 adults, 2 children (age 8 & 12)
Park Tickets: 6 Day Base Tickets
Disney Dining Plan: Plus Dining
EXTRA: FREE 1-Day Ticket into Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, or DisneyQuest for each person in the party.

Standard Price if booked through Disney: $5,091.52

Vacation Package Price: $4,212.52 (Save $879.00)!!

This is a limited offer, and rooms are going quickly. A deposit equal to one night's stay must be paid at the time of booking. To book this Star Wars Weekend vacation package, or any other Disney vacation, email us at  Bob@PixieVacations.com or Christina@Pixievacations.com.  Don't forget to ask about our free gift cards for new vacation bookings.

And may the force be with you.