Ditching the Lines at Disney

Want to avoid standing in lines on your Disney trip? There IS a way to do it that doesn’t involve getting to the parks hours before the sun rises or following a tedious park-touring plan that leaves no room for spontaneity. It’s as simple as picking the right room and paying for a little extra Pixie Dust! Sometimes spending a little more on the front end can save you tons of time in the parks, where time is precious.

Disney began a pilot program earlier this year that I think is the most cost-effective way to minimize your time spent in line at the parks. This program allows guests who are staying in a Club Level room at a Deluxe Resort the option to add some extra features to their park tickets. These features can make a huge difference in how much you get done in a day.

Here’s how:

  • First, I get to book three extra FastPasses for you per day in any park (with the purchase of a Park Hopper ticket). All park tickets come with three FastPasses, but they can only be used in one park. This benefit allows you to get three more, for a total of six FastPasses per day that can be reserved before you even leave your home! You also still have the ability to book additional FastPasses in the parks once you’ve used your initial allotment.
  • I can book those six FastPasses 90 days prior to your travel date! This is significant because it lets me secure those hard-to-get FastPasses (like Flight of Passage, Slinky Dog Dash or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train) a full 30 days before anyone else traveling the same time as you even has access to them! And 60 days earlier than anyone who is visiting the parks and not staying on Disney property! This is even more beneficial during peak travel seasons.
  • Even better, there are no restrictions on what FastPasses I can book for you*. What does that look like? It means if you want a FastPass for all three of the rides in the new Toy Story Land, no problem! So while the average guest is allowed to choose only one of those three rides, you can ride all three with a FastPass and you still have three more passes to use on other rides or in another park! *The only limitation is the same ride cannot be booked twice for the same day.

If you’re staying in a Club Level room, these extras can be added to your theme park ticket for $50 per person, per day, with a 3-day minimum purchase. It’s a way to guarantee you get to experience the most popular rides with minimal wait.

But let’s not forget the other perks of staying Club Level!

Let’s start with THE FOOD! Each of the Club Level lounges has complimentary food from the restaurants in that resort. At the Club Level lounges you’ll find continental breakfast; beverages and snacks throughout the day; appetizers with wine and beer in the evening; and desserts and cordials to cap off the day. Depending on your resort, the Club Level lounge may offer outstanding views of evening fireworks.

There are other Club Level amenities such as concierge hosts dedicated to making sure your stay is magical; evening turn-down service with a little treat left on your pillow; upgraded toiletries; and complimentary newspapers and business services.

Staying Club Level isn’t necessary to experience a fantastic trip and make magical memories with your family. I make sure you are prepared to navigate the parks in the best way possible for your family. But if you’re looking for convenience and a great way to add some magic to your stay, this is it!

Want to get started? Here’s how to reach me: Email achambers@neverlandadventureguides.com, call/text 501.772.3137, send a FaceBook message or REQUEST A NO-OBLIGATION QUOTE: Request a Quote

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Check out their reviews Here!


Best Way to Budget for Disney

Want to know the easiest way to save money for your dream Disney trip? It’s really easy – plan ahead! It’s like a virtual layaway plan!

Let me explain….You can book Disney World trips more than a year in perfect castleadvance. This means that you can make payments, on your own terms, for over a year! All you need to get started is a $200 deposit, which is fully refundable until 30 days from your travel date. And any payments you make toward that trip are refundable as well (with the exception of travel insurance premiums). So you can pay a little each week or once a month – whatever works best for you.

Right now you can book trips through the end of 2018. Sometime this summer, Disney will release bookings through the end of 2019, in case you really want to plan ahead! (And with the coming Star Wars Land set to open in 2019, you just might want to plan really far ahead!)

Another reason planning ahead saves you money – I watch for discounts that will save you money. If you already have a trip booked, I automatically apply that discount to your trip, assuming there is availability, which means you’re first in line on discount release days. And it costs you nothing to use my services when you stay at a Disney resort. Disney knows that planning a trip can be overwhelming so they pay me to assist you without passing that cost on to you. I help you determine which resort, park ticket, dining plan, etc., will work best for your family’s needs.

If a Disney cruise is what you’re planning for – you can book those even further in advance. And Disney rewards cruisers who plan ahead. Disney cruises are priced similarly to hotel rooms – the more full the sailing becomes, the more expensive it is to get a stateroom.

So, what are you waiting for? Bet you didn’t know it could be this easy! All you have to do is contact me – fill out the no-obligation quote request form, email or call me. Whatever works best for you! I promise to make planning your Disney trip simple – all you have to do is pack a bag!

HOW TO CONTACT ALISON: Email achambers@neverlandadventureguides.com, call/text 501.772.3137 or send a FaceBook message! REQUEST A NO-OBLIGATION QUOTE: Request a Quote


Keep Your Cool at Disney in the Summer

The summer heat is about to arrive but don’t let that stop your Disney trip! Chances are that it will be warm where you live too, so why not spend that time making memories at Disney World? Also, if you plan your trip well, you can alternate between rides that have lines outdoors vs. lines that are indoors (and thus air-conditioned!), making the heat much less of an issue! Here are some tips for managing the heat while touring the parks:

°o° Have you heard of Frogg Toggs Chilly Pads? These special towels are great for cooling you down quickly. frostytowelThe towel is made of a special material that, when wet, gets cold but remains dry. Wrap one around your neck and you’re good for a few hours. When it stops cooling, you just re-wet the towel. Disney has its own version of the Chilly Pad, known as Frosty Towels, available for sale in the parks. If you put the towels in a Ziploc bag when they aren’t in use, ask for some free ice from a Quick-Service vendor to keep them cool while you’re on the go, and you’re set!

°o° The most effective way to manage the heat is to arrive at the parks at least 30 minutes before they open, when it is cooler. You will get a ton of touring done before the crowds start rolling in later in the morning. When it starts to get hot and crowded early in the afternoon, head back to your resort for an afternoon break before going back to a park for dinner and nighttime entertainment. This is where staying at a Deluxe Resort, with easier park access, really pays off. (It’s all about price vs. convenience!)

°o° Speaking of going back to your resort, take advantage of the amazing pools available at Disney’s resorts! Most of 19184_428919663930588_280079340358471515_nthe resort pools have a splash pad area and some even have beaches. It’s the ideal way to spend a warm summer afternoon. An alternative to the pool are Disney’s two water parks – Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.

°o° Disney has lots of areas to cool off built into the parks. Some are subtle, so you might not notice them. For example, the giant Tiki statues near Magic Kingdom’s Jungle Cruise ride is a great place to get a refreshing mist. Other water-play areas exist in the parks, so you might let the kitikigodsds wear swimsuits (as shorts for boys or under a sundress for girls) or throw a change of clothes in your park bag. In the Fantasyland area of Magic Kingdom you will find the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station, which will definitely get the kiddos wet. A great place to splash around at Epcot is the fountains between Future World and the World Showcase. When you need a break, find a bench while the kids enjoy the water. Pack a dry pair of shorts and undies to change into when they are done. If you arrive unprepared to get wet, no worries – there is a small store right next door to the fountains that sells beach towels, sunscreen, swimsuits and water shoes. Your kids will have a ball!

°o° Of course staying hydrated is going to be super important! Be sure to ask for a free glass of ice water at nearby Quick-Service dining locations.

°o° Be strategic with your touring and you can take advantage of air conditioning while walking around the parks. The stores on Main Street in Magic Kingdom and on Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood Studios are connected. You can walk through the stores and cool off at the same time.

dolewhip°o° And my favorite way to cool off? With a Dole Whip, of course! You can’t go wrong with a Mickey Ice Cream Bar, Dole Whip or other frozen treat!

If you’ve tried all of these tricks and someone is still in meltdown mode, then allow yourself to take a break! A little time in the A/C with your feet propped up will go a long way toward restoring everyone’s happiness!

I’d LOVE to help you plan the perfect trip! HOW TO CONTACT ME: Email me at achambers@neverlandadventureguides.com, call/text me at 501.772.3137or send me a FaceBook message! REQUEST NO-OBLIGATION PRICING: Start Here!


Yes! My Services Really are FREE to you! Here’s How (and what I can do for you!)

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas PartySo you see that my services are free to you and you think, “This sounds too good to be true.” But it is true! Using me to book your trip will cost you the exact same price as booking directly through Disney yourself!

See, Disney knows that planning a trip can be overwhelming and researching it can be time-consuming. After all, it’s the size of San Francisco, has about 26 resorts, and if you Google it you’ll find about 182 million entries! Obviously, saving you all this time and effort is in Disney’s best interest, so they pay my commission without increasing the cost to you.

So, what can you expect from me for free? A lot! For starters, I specialize in Disney vacations, which means I go through the College of Disney Knowledge program annually, have yearly training events and on-site visits and have first-hand experience to guide you through the process. Sure, you can ask your friends for advice and get opinions of works best for their family. But I can offer insight specific to your needs and I have planned more than 1,000 trips so I have the knowledge to help you, no matter your situation! Want proof of my value to clients? You can check out what they have to say HERE and HERE!

Additionally, once you book your trip, I watch for any discounts that might reduce the cost of your trip. Should one become available, I am up at the crack of dawn working to get that discount applied to your trip.

Speaking of getting up early, I also am booking your dining reservations the minute your reservation window opens 180 days from your trip. And I help you book your FastPasses (sort of like ride reservations) as soon as possible, 60 days before your travel date.

I also offer advice on the best time to travel; help you select the resort that will best meet your needs; whittle down the list of dining options; navigate the technology that will make your trip planning seamless; answer your questions so you don’t have to do any research; and assist with any last-minute needs. Pretty much all you have to do is pack!

Already booked your Disney trip and wishing you had my help? If you booked with Disney directly within the last 30 days, I can “takeover” that reservation and work with you to create a magical experience at Disney’s expense. If it’s been longer than 30 days since you booked but you still need some guidance, give me a call – I can do itinerary-only planning for a fee.

Ready to start exploring your options? Get started planning by answering a few questions on this form:Start Here or email me at achambers@neverlandadventureguides.com, or give me a call me at 501.772.3137.


Save Time – Order Online!

At Disney, time is precious, so I hate wasting it standing in line. Disney’s latest enhancement to the My Disney Experience app is going to save you a ton of time!

Last spring, Disney began offering a Mobile Order option at 23 Quick-Service locations, but today they finally made that option available to people who are using the Disney Dining Plan.

I tested the service last fall and it was a HUGE time-saver! It allows you to order meals and snacks on demand, pay in advance using the dining plan or a credit card and skip the line at select quick-service food and beverage locations.

Here’s how it works:

Step 1

STEP 1: Choose “Order Food” under the “My Plans” page in the app and choose your restaurant from the available selections.

 

Step 2

STEP 2: Select your menu options.

 

Step 3

STEP 3: When you arrive at the restaurant, click the “I’m Here, Prepare My Order Button,” and track the status of your order on the screen.

 

Step 5

STEP 4: When the screen says your food is ready, you collect your food at the designated Mobile Order Pickup location.

And that’s all there is to it! It’s really that simple!

Want more information? Click Here and I’ll send you a no-obligation quote!


What’s So Special About 180 Days?

It’s hard to believe, but it’s 180 days from the summer travel season! That may not seem significant to you, but when planning a Disney trip, it is the BEST time to begin making important plans! That means book now so we can get a jump on JUNE planning!

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Ballroom at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Want your princess to eat with the princesses at Cinderella’s Royal Table? Dream of eating in the Beast’s Castle at Be Our Guest? Want to hang at Chef Mickey’s with the “Fab Five” (that’s Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto – for those of you who aren’t Disney fanatics)? These are some of the most-coveted dining reservations and 180 days before your trip to Disney is the earliest date you can make Advanced Dining Reservations.

For my clients, I’m online bright and early at 4:45 in the morning, waiting for that Advanced Dining Reservation window to open at 5 a.m., so I can get the best dining reservations at the most convenient times for my clients. (Or, if you’re a glutton for punishment, you can do this yourself!) One client described the night before her 180-day window opened as being “like Christmas Eve! I can’t wait to wake up in the morning and see all the great reservations Alison got us!”

Can we plan a Disney trip with less than 6 months’ lead time? Absolutely! Can I get you dining reservations at great restaurants? Absolutely! It just might take us a little longer to get your plans exactly the way we want them as we wait for cancellations to open up at the restaurants you want.

The moral of the story is this: If you are thinking this summer is the perfect time to go to Disney World (as if there’s not a perfect time) then let’s start planning now so we are able to create your ideal trip to The Happiest Place On Earth! What are you waiting for? There’s great food to be had!

HOW TO CONTACT ALISON: Email me at achambers@neverlandadventureguides.com, call/text me at 501.772.3137or send me a FaceBook message! REQUEST A NO-OBLIGATION QUOTE: Request a Quote


How May I Help You?

I’m frequently asked by prospective clients to explain exactly what I can do for them, so I thought I would break it down for all of you who might be wondering the same thing.

• I am the beginning of your planning process. We start off with either a phone conversation or with information provided to me via email or text (really, whatever means works best for you) so that I can make recommendations specific to your family’s needs. I email you options at each of Disney’s price points so that you have a starting point and then we tweak those options until we find the perfect combination of dates, resorts, tickets and meal plans for your dream vacation.

• I book your trip for you and monitor for any discounts that might save you money. You don’t have to ask me to see if discounts are available, I work tirelessly to get them applied to your reservation when they are released, subject to availability, as part of my complimentary services to you.

• I book your dining reservations for you. I send you a list of restaurant recommendations to help narrow your choices down so that you don’t have to do any research. Some clients prefer to discuss their dining options, so we make time for a call, while some clients find that it is easiest for me to make their dining selections for them using what I know about their likes and dislikes. And if you book your trip well in advance, it means I am up at 5 a.m. making dining reservations 180 days in advance, the minute the booking window opens, to get the best options available.

• I book your FastPasses for you. And I explain what FastPasses are and the best ways to use them!

• I use all the information I have available to me to keep you from waiting in lines and structure your days so you don’t have to worry about where to go next.

• I create the online account that is the hub for your trip planning. This is where I make all your reservations and eventually where you will be able to see all of the details of your trip.

• I customize your MagicBands for you. And I explain what MagicBands are and how to use them!

• I explain the meal plans available and make sure you maximize its benefits.

• I make your transportation arrangements to and from the airport and make sure you know how to get around Disney World.

• I complete your online check-in, send you printed copies of your itinerary with park-touring tips, a packing list and all the information you need for a perfect vacation. You just pack and go!

• I take care of any extra things you might need. Things such as stroller rental, purchasing party tickets, helping you find a doctor while on your trip, suggesting ways to surprise your kids and more. I’m your advocate if anything goes wrong and you need assistance.

• I’m your single source for information. Have a question? Don’t Google and sort through millions of answers. Just call, text or email me and I’ll answer it for you!

• And sometimes, I save you from yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in everyone’s opinions and what “they” say you must do. And then you start doubting the plans that you have made and question everything, because everyone you ask will have a different opinion! And if you start to look for opinions online, you could be reading all night, creating unnecessary stress for yourself. I help you plan a vacation that is perfect for your family based on your needs. I’ve planned hundreds of trips. I specialize in Disney destinations and Universal Resorts because they are massive entities that are constantly changing and I dedicate my time to staying up-to-date on the latest offerings so that you don’t have to worry with that. This is my full-time job, and I love it!

This list is an overview – it’s definitely not all encompassing. Let me get started customizing your Disney trip! My services really are complimentary when you book your stay at a Disney resort with me. Request a quote by clicking on “Start Here” on this blog page. Or contact me at achambers@neverlandadventureguides.com or 501.772.3137.


End the “I Want it Now” Battle!

When I tell people that I’m going to Disney World or Universal Studios or some other fantastic destination for a work trip, they assume that I’m going to be playing in the parks all day. But really, I’m like a super-secret ninja spy scoping out the parks to make sure you have the best possible travel experience.

Seriously, the reality is that I make a point of going to the parks regularly so that I can stay on top of new things happening that might affect the way you tour the parks. You wouldn’t want to use a travel agent who uses Google to answer all of your questions, would you? You want boots-on-the-ground perspective and I aim to give it to you! In addition to staying current on changes, I like to troubleshoot issues I see people having and finding ways to spare my clients the same mishaps.

I like to look for what I call the “breaking points” for people – the areas where families find themselves at the end of their rope, frustrated and ready to call it a day before they’ve really gotten going. One of the biggest breaking points I have found is at the exit of a ride. Theme park designers are marketing geniuses, spilling you off of a ride into a store with merchandise related to the fantastic ride you just enjoyed. Parents and children are arguing over yet another toy their child just has to have. Inevitably, I see parents telling their kids no, leaving the store with a child in tears, questioning why they decided to take a vacation if all their child is going to do is cry over a silly toy.

This is where my “ninja” skills come in. I have a solution for you! Kids like to feel they have control, and they are inundated with things they “must” have. Rather than dread the battle, try giving some freedom to your child, while still calling the shots.

Before you leave home, give your child his own wallet, with his own money in it. The plushdisplayterms are that you will let him spend this money on whatever he wants. You won’t argue over his choice, even though you know he doesn’t need another stuffed animal. But when that money is gone, it’s gone. There will be no more. The key here is that you have to stick to those terms. If you waiver at all, or enter into negotiations at any time, then this system will not work.

Whatever amount of money you decide to give your child, put it in their wallet in small bills. Children don’t grasp the concept of money well, but they do understand when they have a lot of something and when that starts to dwindle. You can hold on to their wallet for them so that it doesn’t get lost or you can let them have that responsibility.

I have tested this method on my three children, now ages 14, 10 and 9, since each of them was 3 years old and it has never failed me. I have been shocked at how it ended the “can I buy it now” battle and how much money it saved me! It also teaches the life skill of money management. So now your vacation is a valuable learning opportunity as well!

Do you have a question about touring the parks that you’d like to ask me? Let me know! I love to share the love of Disney magic!

Want to benefit from more of my expertise? Let me plan your trip!

HOW TO CONTACT ME: Email achambers@neverlandadventureguides.com, call/text 501.772.3137 or send a FaceBook message!
Or GET STARTED HERE: Request a Quote


Why You Need a Travel Agent to Book Disney

With the ease of the Internet, you might be wondering why you need to use a travel agent to book a Disney trip. I specialize in all things Disney, so I could give you tons of reasons, but here’s my Top 5:

1. It’s FREE! It would cost you exactly the same to book your trip on your own directly with Disney as it costs to book through me. Disney realizes it can be overwhelming to plan a trip, so they compensate me without passing that charge on to you (so there’s no need to price shop!)

2. I watch for special discounts and work my hardest to get those discounts applied to your vacation, even after you’ve already booked your trip! So using me actually can SAVE you money!

3. I guide you through all of the planning process – I help you figure out which of the 27 resort properties is best for your family and which time of year works best for your needs; I get up at 5 a.m. 180 days before your trip to get you the best dining reservations; I help you plan your park itinerary and FastPasses (Disney’s “ride reservation” system); I make sure you know how to navigate the parks and the technology Disney employs to make your trip as seamless as possible. In a nutshell – I handle it ALL! You just pack and go, and I even give you a packing list!

4. Think of me as your personal “Google” when you have questions! Did you know that if you search “Disney World,” there are 181,000,000 entries? Do you really want to sort through all of that to figure out what information is still relevant when you could just send me an email, text or Facebook message and get a quick, accurate answer?

5. I work for an EarMarked Travel Agency, a designation given by Disney to recognize our extensive knowledge of all things Disney. We are experts in the Disney resorts, restaurants, rides, and more; Disney Cruise Line; Adventures by Disney (guided tours to destinations all over the world); and A’ulani, a Disney resort and spa in Hawaii.

Quite simply, helping plan your dream Disney vacation isn’t a job to me – it’s my passion! Let’s get started! Request a quote here: Request a Quote
Or you can call me at 501.772.3137 or email me at achambers@neverlandadventureguides.com. You can also get the latest updates by “liking” my FaceBook page at Alison Chambers – Neverland Adventure Guides


“I Survived a Tropical Storm!”

For those who have had the misfortune of traveling with me, they will tell you that where Alison goes, there will be rain. Our most recent trip to Disney World was no exception. BOY! Did it rain!

As my son says, “We survived a Tropical Storm!” And technically, he’s right. Tropical Storm Hermine made landfall to the north of Orlando and we were left to make the best of our vacation in the deluge that preceded and followed the storm.

Here is what Hermine was gracious enough to teach me:

  • Sing and dance with your kids in the rain. Whether the rain ruins your trip depends less on how wet you get and more on how you react to it. Your kids will look to you to decide if the rain is going to ruin their dream trip, so my advice to you? If it’s going to rain, dance your way through and make the best of it. Keep your sense of humor.
  • Scotchgard works! It is common to have an afternoon shower in Florida but when I realized we were looking at more than the typical rain, I started looking for some additional ways to keep dry. We put Scotchgard on our shoes, backpacks, hats, pretty much anything you can put it on. And I was shocked by how well it worked. Think like a Boy Scout and be prepared!
  • Outerwear is your friend! I always recommend taking a poncho and keeping it in a Ziploc bag so you can put it back in your bag after you are finished wearing it without getting everything else wet. But if you know you are likely to have tropical storm-type rain, invest in some high-quality rain gear. It’s worth the investment (and because I know it’s always going to rain since I have to travel with myself, I’m sure to use it again! Chances are you will, too.)
  • Protect your feet. I pack two pairs of shoes for everyone so that if it rains a lot on one day, you’ll have dry shoes the next day. If you have comfortable shoes that can get wet (like Chacos, because you need support), then wear those if you can. Wet feet are more likely to get blisters in tennis shoes. But flip-flops won’t give you enough support. You can also get creative with how you dry your shoes. I stick a hairdryer in each shoe and let that do the work for me. You can also take out the insoles and stuff your shoes with newspaper, which should help them dry overnight.
  • Don’t forget your stroller needs shelter, too! If you don’t have a rain cover for your stroller, consider buying one. If you don’t have one made for your stroller, you can use heavyweight shower curtains and clips to attach it. They are sturdy enough to keep everything dry and can be tied to the stroller if wind becomes an issue. Most of the stroller parking areas are not covered, so you will want something to kimg_7378eep them dry while you are staying dry.
  • Get creative! You know those hand dryers in the bathrooms? You can flip those upside down and you have a great way to dry your hair or clothes!
  • Be flexible. I don’t mean it’s time to start stretching to show off your athletic prowess, I mean be willing to toss the plans you originally had for the day according to the forecast. If you know it’s likely to be raining when you had planned to be taking a break in the room, you should modify that plan so you can take advantage of the driest part of the day. Get to be best friends with your My Disney Experience app and change those FastPasses around. It’ll be OK!
  • GO – into the parks! I know the temptation is to stay in the room and wait it out, but that is exactly what eimg_4043veryone else is doing! Seize the (wet) day! Almost all of the rides and attractions will still be running and you’ll be able to get on and off of them with no wait! A Disney dream come true!
  • Ask Alison. This one may be the most important – be sure to find out when I will be visiting Disney. It might be in your best interest to avoid being there when I am! Seriously, if you book your trip with me and it looks like you might experience a lot of rain, have no fear! I will be sure to send you my extra-special, super-secret list of rain tips not mentioned here.

Have tips of your own? Please share!

HOW TO CONTACT ALISON: Email achambers@neverlandadventureguides.com, call/text 501.772.3137 or send a FaceBook message!
GET STARTED HERE:Request a Quote