April 15, 2012

Disney World Travel Planning


Disney World Travel

As much as I love Disney, many are surprised to find that I did not visit Walt Disney World until I was nearly 40. I know! Why would I have wait so long? Was there something about it that made it a non-priority?

Having been to Disneyland well over 500 times, I have a special affection for ‘the land’. I can close my eyes and envision the entire park. Getting there has always been pretty easy since I’ve spent most of my life within driving distance to the land. For me, Disneyland was less of a vacation spot than it was just a place to go. It never screamed ‘big vacation’. That was what Disney World was for.

When I got married in 1994, I wanted a Disney wedding. Unfortunately, with my mom gone, my uncle dying and my grandfather becoming more and more frail, my dream wedding was in need of re-imagineering. No coach, no castle. And because I had my eye on the Grand Floridian, and only the Grand Floridian, my dream wedding took on another vision.

After I got married, work, life, school, mortgage, and retirement all started to take priority over my Disney World vacation (which was going to happen “someday”!). See, I wasn’t going to go to Disney World unless I could stay at the Grand Floridian. Pretty high goals. And during the 90s, a pretty hefty price tag too. The economy was good and prices were, for the time, definitely very premium.

Then something happened and CycleGuy and I decided that our Disney World trip was no longer a want but more of a need. Since I had been researching a Disney vacation for pretty much all my adult life you’d think it would be easy to plan a week-long trip to Disney World at the drop of a hat.

Uh, no! While I was intent on the Grand Floridian, it was not available for our dates. Dejection! What to do? I outsourced my stress! I’ve only once before used a travel agent and that was for our honeymoon. Other than that, I’ve always been one to plan and organize. But when it comes to Disney World, an authorized Disney travel planner was my savior. Disney has three tiers of resorts, various dining plans, ticket options for every family and a variety of extras if you stay on property. I just wanted to go Disney World. I didn’t want to think about how many permutations and combinations were possible. I was already dealing with a stressful situation, planning a vacation had to be easy.

When it comes to a Disney World trip, many people save for a long time and want to make sure they do everything right. Other times, they’re crazy and plan the trip in just a few weeks. Either way, a perfect Disney vacation is simply a phone call or email away. Seriously!

Since that first trip in 2007, we’ve gone back each year and have spent 10 days at Disney World, and I’ve planned a girl’s trip for a long weekend. I’ve tried the DIY planning, the travel agent, online with the Disney World travel website, and combinations of these. For the money (FREE!), a Disney World travel agent is the best way to go. So when Nancy at The Affordable Mouse approached me to explore a relationship to help my readers with their Disney travel planning it was easy to say YES!

No matter the size of your family, if there is a special occasion (Disney loves to celebrate your birthday and anniversary with you), short trips or long, using a travel agent can make for affordable Disney vacations. When I first went I had no idea there was “free dining”, but my travel planner did! Saved me big bucks right there and sold me on the value of having a Disney travel planning partner.

We’re a very DIY society when it comes to travel planning. But sometimes, using a travel agent who is in the know about the destination can be a big benefit. Now, with a short email to Nancy you can count on her and her staff to plan your ultimate Disney vacation! Whether you’re a (self-admitted) Disney snob like me and must stay at a deluxe resort or you love the music and movies themes at the value resorts, if you’re considering a Disney World vacation talk to Nancy first!

Since I’ve fully admitted to my love of Disney I’ll be writing more about my trips and travel planning. And I have put up a little button on the right side with a direct link to The Affordable Mouse so you won’t need to hunt down this post. Anytime you’re here you’ll see that little button to remind you that free Disney travel planning is just a click away.

When you fill out your trip details, if you could tell Nancy that you found out about her from me that would be terrific. The Affordable Mouse can help you all your Disney travel needs – even big groups (like family reunions). I look forward to hearing about your Disney trip!

So, when are you going to Disney World?

Disclosure: Using The Affordable Mouse will NOT increase the price of your trip. If anything, it may save you money. Please let them know I sent you!



Kate @ Songs Kate Sang April 15, 2012 at 8:44 pm

I love the picture of baby girl jumping in the middle. Great height!

Sara April 24, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Thanks Kate! I’ve been working on those shots and BabyGirl is a willing participant with these photos.

shifra April 16, 2012 at 3:43 am

So glad that first trip was so memorable for so many reasons…… We will always remember visiting with you and your family on that trip.

Sara April 24, 2012 at 6:32 pm

I’m so glad we had that opportunity to meet up. Even though it was a short time, I will always remember it.

cmichaelsny April 16, 2012 at 11:44 am

It arrives on the 15th of each month, and is packed full of information and tips on saving money. It also includes a link for subscribers only to a discount ticket broker.

Danijela April 16, 2012 at 8:56 pm

thanks for sharing this story. Now going to Disney World seems much less complicated. Great article.

Sara April 24, 2012 at 6:34 pm

I’m so glad this was helpful. Disney World planning is so much fun for me and I’m happy to share all my tips!

tinafreysd April 17, 2012 at 6:52 am

Plan as far in advance as you can, especially when it involves air fares. Most air fares require at least a week or two in advance. You might even need to make reservations more in advance than that due to availability depending upon the time of year that you plan to fly.

Sara April 24, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Great reminder to plan far in advance as possible. And it gives the opportunity to try and get reservations at your top choices.

rose April 23, 2012 at 8:41 pm

I needed a reliable agent and glad you have already tried Affordable mouse.

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Sara April 24, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Rose, a reliable agent is a worth all the pixie dust in the world!

Houston Siding July 25, 2012 at 6:25 am

I am really envious. I really want to go to Disney. May be in the near future. I’m happy for you though.

riocarlo August 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm

I want to go to Disney. Maybe someday, time will permit it. Thank you for this post.!!

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