New military specials for rooms and tickets. Are they right for you?

Disney has just released new Military Discounts for both rooms and tickets. Once again, this is a great opportunity for those of us with a military member in our family to take advantage of this deal and head to Disney. I price these trips day in and day out and I pride myself on giving people the options that will provide them the best possible value. This, of course, is different for each family. A question we get a lot from our clients is “Isn’t it less expensive to stay at the military resort, Shades of Green?” There are a lot of factors that go into answering this question, and because we look at each family individually, we often find a different answer based on their individual needs.

 The Walt Disney World Military resort discount

 Offer Details*
•Deluxe and Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts – 40% resort discount
•Moderate Resorts and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Cabins – 35% resort discount
•Value Resorts – 30% resort discount
Disney’s Fort Wilderness campsites excluded

Eligible Military Branches
•Active Duty and Retired with ID

•Army   •Air Force   •Navy   •Marines   •Coast Guard   •National Guard

*Blackout dates of 11/24-11/26/10, 12/26-12/31/10, 4/17/10-4/20/11 apply. All discounts are subject to availability, certain restrictions apply.

A valid Active Duty / Spouse US Military ID will be required at resort check-in to receive the discount.

The Quick Service Dining Plan, Disney Dining Plan, or Disney Deluxe Dining Plan can also be added to make this a complete package.

 •The great thing about this offer is it can be combined with the dining plan. (This cannot be done if you are staying at Shades of Green.) We have a breakdown of savings for the dining plan below. Bottom line: the dining plan is not a necessity, but if you will be eating on property, it is a great option.

•Another perk with the military discount is transportation is complimentary to and from the airport. This is not the case with Shades of Green. If you are staying there, add another cost (typically $120) for transportation. If you are driving in, Shades also charges for parking, whereas Disney does not.

 Don’t get me wrong, Shades of Green can be a great option and I have stayed there several times. But when Disney is offering a 40% discount on a Deluxe and 35% on a moderate, this is the time to take advantage of these prices. Stay at Shades of Green when discounts like this are not available. *There is one exception to this. If you are an annual pass holder, there are higher discounts than the military rate during some seasons of the year. For example, some deluxe properties are offering discounts of 45% vs. 40%. This is a numbers game where someone who knows Disney inside and out needs to run the numbers to make sure you are looking at all your options accurately. In some cases, the difference may mean a savings of $100’s of dollars.

The Walt Disney World Military Ticket discount

(Disney offers a regular military discount 365 days a year; however, this special discount (‘Salute’ to military members) is even better!)*

 Offer Details*

Disney World

Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper Option for $138 each

Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Water Parks Fun and More Option for $138 each, AND

Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Parks Fun and More Options for $165 each

From October 25, 2010 through Sept. 28, 2011 active and retired U.S. military personnel (including National Guard and Reservists) or their spouses can purchase.


Disney Land in Anaheim California

Offer Dates – 3 October 2010 – 1 October 2011

Resort Discounts – 40% off Deluxe Resorts, 35% off Moderates and Fort Wilderness Cabins, and 30% off Value Resorts

With room Blackout dates of 24-26 November and 26-31 December 2010, as well as 17-30 April 2011


*Call us for offer details or visit our website at 

This new discount is a great deal if you are staying for four days, or even up to five days. For five days, you can use the four day hopper and add a one day base ticket to make the total $223 per adult and $214 per child. However, for longer stays, the regular military discounted ticket is a better deal. A ‘Salute’ ticket at $138 plus a two day base ticket would be $306 total, whereas a six day hopper ticket with the regular military discount is only $291. (A child’s would be $289 vs. $267).

So with anything above five days in tickets, you are better off buying the regular military discounted hopper tickets. And if you buy base tickets instead of hoppers, you will save even more! You can still take advantage of the military discounted rooms plus dining. Confused yet? We help all our clients who book their rooms and dining packages figure out the best tickets to purchase.

Dining Plan

Here is an example of three days on the dining plan and what you would pay out of pocket versus what you would save.

The examples below demonstrate the potential savings for a family of 4 with 2 adults and 2 children ages 9 and under on the standard plan, but it will give you a general idea. Please note that Disney’s restaurant pricing can change at any time and gratuities are not included in the dining plan.

Day 1 

   Breakfast – Crystal Palace

  Uses 1 Table service credit per person

  Adult #1 – Buffet 18.99

  Adult #2 – Buffet 18.99

  Child #1 – Child’s Buffet 10.99

  Child #2 – Child’s Buffet 10.99

  Meal Total with tax: $63.86


  Snack – Aloha Isle

  Uses 1 Snack credit per person

  Adult #1 – Pineapple Float (3.99)

  Child #1 – Pineapple Float (3.99)


  Snack – Ice Cream Cart

  Adult #2 – Mickey Bar (2.75)

  Child #2 – Mickey Bar (2.75)

  Snack Total with tax: $14.36


  Dinner – Sunshine Seasons

  Uses 1 Counter Service credit per person

  Adult #1 – Seared Tuna on Mixed Greens (9.29) Choc. Mousse Cake (3.99) iced tea (1.99)

  Adult #2 – Turkey and Monterey on focaccia (8.59) Key Lime Pie ($3.79) drink (2.19)

  Child #1 – Kid’s Sweet and Sour Chicken meal (6.49)

  Child #2 – Kid’s Make your own mini sub meal (6.49)

  Meal Total with tax: $45.60


  Day 1 Totals

  Total meal cost if paid out of pocket: $123.82

  Total paid if using Disney’s Dining Plan: $101.96

  Total saved by using Disney’s Dining Plan: $21.86


Day 2 

  Breakfast – Contempo Café

  Uses 1 Snack credit per person

  Adult Guest #1- Chocolate croissant (2.79)

  Adult Guest #2- Muffin (2.59)

  Child Guest #3- Bagel w/ cream cheese (2.29)

  Child Guest #4- Chocolate Croissant (2.79)

  Meal Total with tax: $11.14


  Lunch – ABC Commissary

  Uses 1 Quick Service credit per person

  Adult Guest #1- Asian salad (6.69) Strawberry Parfait dessert (3.59) drink (2.19)

  Adult Guest #2- Chicken Bleu (8.89) Choc mousse (3.59) iced tea (1.89)

  Child Guest #3- Kid’s Ham and Cheese wrap meal (4.99)

  Child Guest #4- Kid’s Chicken nugget meal (4.99)

  Meal Total with tax: $39.21


  Dinner – Boma

  Uses 1 Table Service credit per person

  Adult #1 –Adult Buffet (28.99)

  Adult #2 –Adult Buffet (28.99)

  Child #1-Child’s Buffet (13.99)

  Child #2 –Child’s Buffet (13.99)

  Meal Total with tax: $91.55


  Day 2 Totals

  Total meals cost if paid out of pocket: $141.90

  Total paid for using Disney’s Dining Plan: $101.96

  Total saved by using Disney’s Dining Plan: $39.94


 Day 3

 Breakfast – in room or quick bite at the resort or Theme Park paid for out of pocket

 Lunch – Flametree Barbecue

Adult #1 – Pork Sandwich (8.49) Key Lime Pie (3.59) Iced Tea (1.89)

Adult #2 – Smoke half chicken (9.49) Key Lime Pie (3.59) Coke(2.19)

Child #1 – Hot dog meal (4.99)

Child #2 – Baked chicken drumstick meal (4.99)

Meal Total with tax: $41.77



Adult#1 – Choc milkshake (3.99)

Child #1 – Choc milkshake (3.99)

Adult #2 – Yogurt parfait (3.79)

Child #2 – 2 breadsticks with marinara (2.39)

Snack Total with tax: 14.16


Dinner – Teppan Edo

Adult #1 – Filet mignon (29.95) chocolate ginger cake (5.50)

Adult #2 – Steak and Shrimp (29.95) chocolate cake (5.50)

Child #1 – Kids Chicken meal (12) soft serve ice cream (4.50)

Child#2 – Kids Shrimp meal (12.50) soft serve ice cream (4.50)

Meals Total with tax: $111.19


Day 3 Totals

Total meals cost if paid out of pocket: $167.12

Total paid for using Disney’s Dining Plan: $101.96

Total saved by using Disney’s Dining Plan: $65.16

For three days, the overall savings if using the dining plan would be $126.28

If you did none of the desserts in the meals, you would still save $82.09


As you can see, there is a benefit to using the Disney Dining Plan; however, since every family is different, let us help you decide if it is best for your family. Call us and let us wade through all of the details and find the best option for rooms and park tickets your family.

Discover the magic of Walt Disney World® Resorts and parks on a Walt Disney World® Family vacation, and share the joy of Mickey Mouse and company with your kids. Let Ears of Experience plan the perfect Disney trip for you and your loved ones. Contact us today at 1-877-80MOUSE. We look forward to sending you on the magical vacation of a lifetime.


 Theme Park Ticket Discounts – Up to six three-Day Park Hopper Tickets for $99.00. 

Top 10 reasons to visit Disney this summer!

Summertime at Walt Disney World

Yes it is hot in the summer. Yes it may rain briefly in the afternoon but there are many reasons to go to Disney this summer. Last June we went and we found it less crowded than our trip in October. We believe it is because so many people have been told to go in October that this has become a peak time. October is actually one of our busier months for clients now. So yes it will be hot and there will be crowds but we can help you manage those things and with all the promos Disney has come out with, there are fewer off season times than in previous years.

1. Everything is open! Attractions are not closed for refurbishments.

2. Extended hours. You can actually budget better than during other times of the year; ask us how. No matter when you decide to visit Walt Disney World in Orlando, the fact is there are always going to be crowds, especially for the rides and shows. During off-peak times, Disney cuts back hours at the parks and may not have as many ride vehicles going. This allows them to reduce manning; however, wait times end up being nearly as long as they may be during the summer time. So by going when there are extended hours when all of the attractions are open and having a plan for when you travel, you will be able to enjoy more and have a more flexible vacation.

3. Break up the summer. We all start the summer refreshed, loving the pool, and spending time with friends, but soon it all comes to feel like another schedule. Break it up with a trip to Disney, either short or long. We can help you experience a little magic either way. You don’t HAVE to set an entire week aside for Mickey.

4. If you do have some extra time, Wizarding World of Harry Potter is now open at Universal Studios and Sea World is offering $5.00 tickets this summer for kids! Take a day-trip to one of these fun places.

5. New things to see this summer include a new parade and new fireworks. Not to mention a dance party at Hollywood Studios and Tower of Terror has mixed it up.

6. Major airlines pricing roundtrip air in June/July from:

Huntsville, $148          Boston, $192

JFK, $238                      St Louis, $174

Detroit, $169                Chicago, $193

Charlotte, $158           Houston, $276

Atlanta, $138               Washington DC, $155

*Low-cost carrier rates may be lower. Subject to availability. Pricing at time this was published.

7. Time to get together with family and friends. We find this time of year is the easiest time friends and family can all get time off to get together. Turn it into a family reunion. There are so many things for folks to do at Disney. If you have members in your party who say they don’t like the parks, there is always golf and fishing, or even the Richard Petty race car driving experience. There is something for everyone and the summer affords the time for most to gather together and enjoy one another. Not everyone has to sit around the house all day and do the same thing together. They can all go off and do their own thing at Disney and meet up at the end of the day.

8. Throw some fun and entertainment into your summer. When I was young, my parents use to drag me to boring museums in the summer with no thrill to them. Then we would head to Cedar Point for one day of fun each summer. Why not do it all in one trip? There is so much to do at Disney; it is 47 square miles, and it is both fun and educational. You can learn about recycling while playing a game (in the AC), build a rollercoaster while doing math (in the AC), see how they are growing the next generation of plants on a boat ride (in the AC), or fly over California in a hang glider on Soarin’ (in the AC). See a theme here?

9. Savings this summer. Prices as low as $860.88 for a family of four, two adults, two kids (between the ages of 3 and 9) for four nights and five day tickets. Kids stay and Play Free, Free dining, up to 40% off resort rooms, so many ways to save money!

10. There’s no time like the present! Don’t wait any longer to head to Disney for some summer fun and excitement and to build memories you and your family will never forget. Call us today to help you plan the trip of a lifetime.

Discover the magic of Walt Disney World® Resorts and parks on a Walt Disney World® family vacation, and share the joy of Mickey Mouse and company with your kids. Let Ears of Experience plan the perfect Disney trip for you and your loved ones. Contact us today at 1-877-80MOUSE. We look forward to sending you on the magical vacation of a lifetime.

How to Be a Mouse Ambassador

Do you love Disney and find yourself talking to people about it?

Would you like to make some extra income simply by referring people to an agency that will help your friends, family, and acquaintances book, plan, and enjoy their next vacation to a Disney destination–and do so with less stress?

We all know people who love Disney, travel to Disney, or are even planning a Disney vacation as you read this. Now you can help these people by pointing them to an agency that will truly take care of them.

At Ears of Experience, we will listen to your travel party’s preferences, find them the best prices available, and save them time and money as well. After the sale, we will include itinerary guideline planning, make dining reservations, add tips and tricks to manipulating crowds or the ships, and so much more. We will send them a customized packet of information with tips and tricks that only our clients receive.  If the party has kids, our Kid Expert, Nattie, will write them a letter, which will include her own tips and tricks. This is their vacation, for some a once in a lifetime opportunity; so we want to make sure everyone has fun. We get the kids pumped up by helping plan through our kid’s site. The clients will learn ways to save time and money while on vacation, even before they go. We know the specials and fare codes to reduce costs and we offer our own specials and perks as well to our clients.

We will not charge any more than booking directly with Disney, nor will we charge any service fees. Your referrals will have trust in knowing they are dealing with a reputable company. Their credit cards will even be charged directly to Disney or the hotel vendor we are booking, as there is no third party charging.
For more information, visit our website.

I Want, I want

If you are a parent or grandparent, you have heard “I want this, I want that”. It is simply part of being a parent. Teaching your child self-control and that sometimes we get what we want and sometimes we don’t, is also part of parenting.

We are now in the midst of summer where these “I wants” get more frequent. Throw in a summer family vacation and we are looking at maximum “I wants”. The tips in the next few paragraphs are ones pertaining to a trip to Disney but will work on any trip.

We learned from one of our Research families years ago that if you give your child a set amount at the beginning of the trip and let them know this is all they get for the length of the stay, they tend to not ask so much. They are in control of what they spend.  We of course had to address the wanting to spend all of it the first day but once we reminded them a couple times that if they spent it all that day on a stuffed Mickey Mouse or a Cinderella dress, they would have nothing, they seemed to get it. We suggest they keep looking to make sure they don’t find something they want more and if they end up truly wanting what they saw on the first day, we will come back and get it. We always build time in on our last day to Disney to go back to our favorite rides and attractions and grab any extra little gifts and items we need to pick up. Once we taught this spending plan, they realized what they saw at first is usually not what they want and move on. However, they have the assurance they can go back if it is what they want. Many stores in Disney carry the same items so this is also easier on a Disney trip to find wanted items later on. We have found $20 to $25 is a good number per child for spending money.

In our last few trips we have tried a different route. As our kids are now older (10 and 5), they do work around the house for money. We do not give allowance, they have their household chores they do as part of our family and then there are jobs they can do to earn money. If they do not do any of these jobs, they do not get money. This is teaching them that in life people will not just give you money, you have to earn it and we are trying to instill that now. So what we have done is set up a list of things they can do to earn money. The older one has everything from taking recycling out to cleaning the toilets (she loves this one as it makes her the most money). The little one can vacuum the wood floors (we have a small battery powered stick vacuum) , put the dog’s toys away, and even shred papers if I am in the office to supervise. It is amazing what kids can do if you walk them through it a couple times to show them how to do it properly. Not only does it instill in them work habits, it takes a load off of my To Do list. When we are getting closer to a Disney vacation, the work goes into full speed. They know whatever they do now is spending money for down there. They tend to take more money on our trip  then when I was giving them only $20 a child for spending money. I typically surprise them when we get down there and throw in an extra $10 as well.

We literally do not have the “I wants” anymore. They know the guidelines and we do not have the battles in the parks we used to have. Our family vacations are less argumentative thanks to a little planning and hard work ahead of time. Not to mention it is one more way to plan your Disney vacation budget. Either way, you are less likely to have those unexpected high ticketed purchases bought for kids while down there. You have parameters before going.

Discover the magic of Walt Disney World® Resorts and parks on a Walt Disney World® family vacation, and share the joy of Mickey Mouse and company with your kids. Let Ears of Experience plan the perfect Disney trip for you and your loved ones. Contact us today at 1-877-80MOUSE. We look forward to sending you on the magical vacation of a lifetime.