The Low-Down on Disney Resorts

If you haven’t figured it out yet, every mother, father, sister, uncle, aunt, neighbor or mailman will offer you an opinion on where you should stay for your Disney trip. And while they mean well, here’s the deal: They’re telling you what worked for their family, which may not be what works for your family. And that’s where I come in!

Deciding where to start and choosing a place to stay is where most people begin to feel overwhelmed. So I’m going to give you the nuts and bolts of the key differences between Disney’s resort categories so you can decide what priorities matter most for your family. Once you decide where to stay, I help make sure the rest of the planning comes together seamlessly!

While there are lots of differences between each of the Disney resort categories, I’m going to focus on the ones that are most likely to have an effect on your overall experience. But first, I’m going to give you my opinion, for what it’s worth: I hear a lot, “The room doesn’t matter because we won’t be spending much time there anyway.” While this may be true, the ONE thing that is completely about the adults on this trip is your comfort and the resort you choose will definitely affect your comfort level.

In my opinion: The single most important thing differentiating the price categories is that you are trading price for convenience. I’ll elaborate below.

Value Resorts: Value Resorts are a great fit if your primary concern is budget. The location of the Value Resorts puts them the furthest from the parks. Most of the rooms have double beds (instead of Queen-size beds, although Disney is in the midst of upgrading some resorts to have Queen beds) and they are quite small, averaging about 260 square feet. To put that in perspective, the industry average of the typical hotel room in the U.S. is 300-350 square feet. Don’t let the heavy theming at the Value Resorts suck you in to choosing a room that is too small for your family or one with a bed type that might not be the most comfortable for you. All of Disney’s resorts are kid-friendly and your kids (if you have them traveling with you!) are going to love the resort, no matter which one you choose. Pop_Century_RogerRabbit

Other items to consider: The Value Resorts are large and spread out, with between 2,000-3,000 rooms at each resort, meaning you may have quite a hike to/from your room (1/4 to ½ half a mile); the rooms can only accommodate four people, unless you plan to stay in a Family Suite, which is pricier; the pools don’t have extra water features such as slides; the rooms open to the exterior (important during hurricane season); the only transportation option is via bus; and there are no sit-down restaurant options.

Moderate Resorts: Moderate Resort rooms average about 314 square feet, so that’s more in line with the typical hotel you stay in and some rooms can accommodate families of five in a standard room. The beds are Queen size and the bedding is upgraded (so that mattress and those sheets might feel just a bit better after a day of fun at Disney!). Similar to the Value Resorts, the Moderate Resorts are expansive and have about 2,000 rooms with exterior facing doors. The Moderate Resorts are a little more centrally located, so it takes a little less time to get around, with your mode of transportation being the bus system. PO_Riverside_marina

Other items to consider: There will be a table-service restaurant onsite as well as a lounge bar; the pools have water features like slides; and there are often other entertainment options such as recreational boating.

Deluxe Resorts: Here is where the price vs. convenience factor I mentioned earlier comes into play. The average number of rooms at a Deluxe Resort is about 900, with some as small as 700 rooms. That means a LOT fewer people competing for resources! Additionally, at most of the Deluxe Resorts, you will have multiple modes of transportation options. That could mean the monorail and a boat and a bus. Or it could mean you can walk to Magic Kingdom or Epcot. (Animal Kingdom Lodge, Old Key West and Saratoga Springs are the exceptions to having multiple modes of transportation options.)

So, if you loathe waiting in lines; you have young children you’d like to take back to the room for a break some days; or you want to maximize your time in the parks, then the convenience of a Deluxe Resort is for you. The rooms at Deluxe Resorts are going to be larger, between 370-400+ square feet. You can also find some Deluxe Resorts that have Villas with accommodations for up to 12 people with full kitchens.

Other items to consider: These are the resorts that are going to have the more-popular table-service restaurants; the pools are elaborately themed; Club-Level amenities are a room option, allowing you access to the Club Lounge for continental breakfast and snacks and beverages throughout the day, among other benefits. You can now also add “extras” when staying Club-Level as most resorts, which include the ability to add 3 extra FastPasses each day in any category, along with the ability to book those passes 90 days in advance instead of the traditional 60 days and you get VIP seating at one nighttime show for each day you make use of this benefit. It does cost an extra $50 per person per day with a 3-day minimum, but it’s definitely worth it, especially during peak season!

Finding the perfect combination of what I call the “Three Cs” – comfort, cost and convenience – is where I come in!

Think you might be ready to start planning? I’d love to help you and my services are complimentary when you book your Disney stay with me.

Here’s how it works:

  • Some people like to schedule a time for a call so that we can talk about your family and what your vision is for your vacation. I’m available during traditional work hours but I realize that it’s not always easy for my clients to plan a vacation while they are working, so I do make myself available for after-hours calls by appointment.
  • Maybe you prefer to start the process via email? I can do that too! You can shoot me a message here: Email Me!
  • Or, you can click the Start Planning link, give me a few details and I will get the ball rolling by sending you some options that I think might be a good fit for you. From there, we can tweak the plans until we get it just right.

What happens next? Once you’ve chosen the right package for you, there is a refundable $200 deposit to secure your room pricing with Disney, and then I help you with the entire planning process from start to finish at no cost to you! Disney realizes this process is overwhelming, so they compensate me without passing that cost on to you. You don’t have to research a single thing! I’ll help you choose restaurants and make those reservations for you and I’ll do the same when it comes time to select FastPasses (Disney’s “advance ride reservation system;”) I will watch for discounts and get those applied to your reservation as long as there is availability; I’ll help you figure out the best days to go to each park to minimize your time spent in line; I’ll make sure you see of all the “must-do” attractions and rides; I’ll send you a printed itinerary; and I’ll even send you a packing list! I do it ALL! You can relax and focus on making memories with your family!

Want to see what my clients have to say about my services? Check out their reviews Here!

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


Let’s Start Planning Your 2019 Disney Trip!

Ready to start planning your trip to Disney in 2019?  I will be able to book 2019 travel packages to Walt Disney World on June 19! It’s never too early to start planning! You can get ahead of the masses by joining my 2019 Disney Travel List.

Getting on the list is super easy and has advantages (keep reading!) Just fill out the Request a Quote form here: Get Started  If you give me all the necessary information, when the packages are released I will send you some options and we can get started with the planning! This will include travel dates through December 31, 2019.

Booking early is the best way to make your trip affordable! Book as soon as the packages become available with a $200 refundable deposit, then make payments however you like. All payments are refundable until 30 days before your travel date. And if a discount is released for your travel dates, I work tirelessly to get those discounts applied to your reservation, depending on availability.

Once we get your trip booked – then the fun begins! Planning a Disney vacation can be overwhelming – so that’s where I come in. Resort choices, park passes, dining reservations and more, I will help you navigate the maze of options available and take care of even the smallest of details, at no cost to you. That’s right – my services are complimentary when you stay at a Disney resort! And before you leave home, I will send you an itinerary designed especially for your family, with everything you need to make the most of your family’s time together. So what are you waiting for? Get on my 2019 waiting list today!

Just to sweeten the deal a little – if you book your trip with me within 1 week of the packages being released (meaning you have paid your deposit) I’ll enter you into a drawing for a $50 Disney gift card delivered with your travel documents! Can’t get much easier than that!

There’s a lot to see in 2019 – Toy Story Land is opening in a few weeks; Star Wars Land is opening in the late fall of 2019; and if you still haven’t seen Pandora at Animal Kingdom, you’re missing out!

HOW TO CONTACT ME: Email Me; call/text 501.772.3137 or send a FaceBook message!
GET STARTED HERE: Request a Quote


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!


Dreaming about a trip to Disney this fall? Hoping for a great discount?

Free Dining is a super popular discount that Disney has historically offered for travel to the Walt Disney World Resort between late August and mid-December. Because of its popularity, inventory for this discount sells out VERY quickly. While no discount is ever guaranteed, there are ways to get a jump start if a one is released.memories

If you would like to receive pricing if a Free Dining or other discount is announced, click the link below to answer a few quick questions and then I will send you some options if/when a discount is released. In the notes section, please ask for Free Dining notice so I can get you on the right list! Start Here!

If you’ve been thinking about visiting Disney World this fall, now is a great time to start planning, especially if you are interested in dining at some of the more popular Disney restaurants like Be Our Guest or Cinderella’s Royal Table.

Or, if you would like to get ahead of the crowd and book a reservation now (which I really recommend!), give me a shout. I will book a reservation and if your vacation dates qualify, and rooms at your choice of resort are available, I will automatically work to apply any discount that is released. All you need to get your trip booked is a $200 refundable deposit.

* The number of rooms allocated is limited. Length-of-stay and ticket type requirements may apply. Not all resorts or travel dates are included in discount releases.

HOW TO CONTACT ALISON:  Email, call/text at 501.772.3137 or
send a FaceBook message!


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.


Sign Up for the 2019 Waiting List

About this time each year, I have people start asking about when they can book a Disney trip for the following year. I LOVE those early planners! It’s the best way to make your trip affordable because it gives you extra time to make payments. Typically Disney releases packages for the following year at the end of June/early July. Want to get a jump start to your planning? Simply fill out this Form or you can shoot me an email and get ahead of the masses by joining my 2019 Disney Waiting List.

Getting on the list is super easy and has advantages (keep reading!)  If you give me all the necessary information, when the packages are released I will automatically send you some options and we can get started with the planning!

Book as soon as the packages become available with a $200 refundable deposit, then make payments however you like. All payments are refundable until 30 days before your travel date. And if a discount is released for your travel dates, I work tirelessly to get those discounts applied to your reservation, depending on availability.

Once we get your trip booked – then the fun begins! Planning a Disney vacation can be overwhelming – so that’s where I come in. Resort choices, park passes, dining reservations and more, I will help you navigate the maze of options available and take care of even the smallest of details, at no cost to you. That’s right – my services are complimentary when you stay at a Disney resort. And before you leave home, I will send you an itinerary designed especially for your family, with everything you need to make the most of your family’s time together. So what are you waiting for? Get on my 2019 waiting list today!

Just to sweeten the deal a little – if you book your trip with me within 1 week of the packages being released (meaning you have paid your deposit) I’ll enter you into a drawing for a $50 Disney gift card delivered with your travel documents! Can’t get much easier than that!

Call me today at 501.772.3137, email me Here, check out my Facebook page Here


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.