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.

www.themouseexperts.com

A Cool Way to Wait in Line, by Kid Expert, Nattie

Rock 'n Rollercoaster Queue Ticket

Recently, I went to Disney for Spring Break. Of course, the lines were bad. Some of those rides were Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror, and Rockin’ Rollercoaster. When my Aunt Amy and I went to go wait in line for Rockin’ Rollercoaster, something had changed. Nobody was in line, but it looked like there was an entrance to a big lot. At first, I thought the ride had broken down. But no, it was a giant waiting area, because waits were so long! So we went in and they gave us a number. The number had a letter and a number. Our number was C6. They would have this giant screen that named the numbers. When we walked in the number was B9.

'Kid Expert' Nattie at Rock 'n Rollercoaster

The lot was so big. Lots of tents were set up for different activities. They even had vendors in the front. So while you were waiting, you could enjoy a drink or two. After we had a drink we passed a crowded tent. A man was standing on a stage, playing games with waiting people. It was pretty tough to get in, so we skipped that one. The next tent had Beetles ‘Rock Band’! I went over and found the place of lead guitarist (I can’t play a real guitar). I played that with Aunt Amy and some other kids. We jammed out and had a great time. Before we knew it our number was next. We said goodbye to our “band” and headed for the entrance. I thought the whole experience was fantastic. I think that Disney was thinking well towards their guests. I also think that they should do it more often during crowded times. I had an enjoyable time in the waiting area, and some day, they may have it on every ride!

Rock 'n Rollercoaster Queue, Rock Band

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.

www.themouseexperts.com

Disney Mobile Magic Application

A GREAT new application just came out for Verizon subscribers that puts a virtual personal tour guide of the Walt Disney World® and Disneyland® Resorts right in the palm of your hands. It’s the official Disney Parks Mobile Application and the soft launch just became available to download. The application provides valuable information for you such as attraction wait times for the park you are in, Disney’s Fastpass® Service return times and the ability to located your favorite characters using your mobile device. It also has built-in GPS technology that displays park maps that pinpoint your location. By providing location-specific, real-time guides for each of Disney’s parks and resort hotels, you can find what you’re looking for more quickly, navigate the park with confidence, and spend more time enjoying yourself in the park. It also has live competitive trivia games, videos, character stories and other surprises to keep you entertained while waiting in line at the park. This soft launch will provide the opportunity to fine-tune the application to better prepare us for their official launch in January.

Unfortunately, this app is currently only available on select Verizon wireless phones. For those of us with Blackberrys, we’ll have to wait until January to see if they are added in the final version. Here’s the list of phones the app is currently available on and some of the various screen shots you will see with this application:

– LG Glance
– LG VX Chocolate
– LG Chocolate 3
– LG Decoy
– LG VX 8700
– LG Venus
– Moto Adventure
– Nokia 7205
– Samsung Renown
– Moto 325
– Samsung 540
– Samsung 550
– LG 5500
– Nokia 6205
– Moto 755
– UT Starcom 8950
– UT Starcom GC1-c711
– GZ1 – S Boulder
– Moto K1 -M
– Moto – L7c
– LG 8350
– Samsung Trance
– Moto V3m
– Moto Barrage
– Moto VU204

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This app is available for download for $9.99 per 180 days of service. To purchase the application, text the word MAGIC to 2777 from your Verizon phone. I see this as a small price to pay for all of the conveniences this app provides. As far as I know, it’s the only one using real-time data. There are others out there, but they all use statistical analysis. When it comes down to making or missing a pop-up character greeting for your child’s favorite character, there’s no question in my book as to whether or not it’s worth it.

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.

www.themouseexperts.com

Interractive games at Disney’s Soarin’

For those of you who dread waiting in lines at Disney, they have recently made it a little less painful in the queue at Soarin’.  Mid-way through the line, there are now five giant screens using Wii-based technology that allow you to play interractive games as a group. Sensors above the screens sense motion from the crowd in front of each screen. At the beginning of each game, you are given directions on how to move to make the game work. One game has your section leaning left or right, directing a large bird along a course. If you don’t lean the correct way, your bird will hit rocks, trees, etc. All five sections are competing against each other in this one.

We were in line for quite a while, so we got to play three or four different games. One game had us swatting at blobs of paint that were floating around the screen. When you hit one, it exploded and revealed part of a picture. When enough were hit, you could see the whole picture.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRMTFrXSExY]

The game we played against the other sections was a balloon race to recover stolen gems. The balloon was controlled up and down by either waving your arms or holding them still.  It was really fun.

  [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MjvsEUCYeQ]

Waiting in line is still one of my least favorite things to do at Disney, but at least now the’ve done something to pass the time while having fun at the same time. This one might just be worth skipping the Fasspass. Well…..maybe.

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.

www.themouseexperts.com

To Park Hop or not to Park Hop, that is the question…

When traveling to Walt Disney World® Parks, there are several ticket options from which to choose. Two popular choices are the Magic Your Way Base Ticket and the Magic Your Way Base Ticket with Park Hopper® Option.

  •  The Magic Your Way Base Ticket is one in which you can only visit one park per day for the number of days you bought the ticket. For example, if you bought a three day ticket, you could visit one park each day for three days. If you tried to go to more than one park on any given day, you would not be able to enter.
  • The Magic Your Way Base Ticket with Park Hopper® Option allows you to visit multiple parks in one day. As you can imagine, this option costs a little more. However; the good news is the additional cost is a flat fee of $50 per ticket, regardless of the number of days purchased.

 If you were to ask ten people whether you should add the Hopper feature or not, you would likely get ten different answers. Some would say if it is off peak season, no. Others would say if you are traveling with older kids, no. But for flexibility, time management, and building rest into your trip, some would say yes.

With the Magic Your Way Base Ticket, hitting one park at 9 AM and leaving at the close of the day would exhaust you. And then you would have to turn around and do it at a different park the next day. Keep in mind though, with a base ticket, you can leave and return to the same park later in the day, which I would suggest for the big parks. For example, go to Epcot® when it opens and hit the big attractions early, then go back to your hotel and relax by the pool and return for dinner and the World Showcase fireworks at night.

There are many benefits to the Park Hopper feature; with the obvious being you can get more park visits into your vacation. Others include using crowd patterns to cut down on lines, making the trip a bit more leisurely, and returning to see some of your favorites at the end of your trip. By going to the Magic Kingdom® Park when it opens, you can hit the most popular attractions before the lines get too long. Then, you can take a mid-day break and head over to the Epcot® World Showcase for touring of the countries and dinner. The next day you could go to Epcot® in the morning for the popular attractions in Future World and then hit Disney’s Hollywood StudiosTM later in the day. Repeat this for four days and you would get to experience at least eight parks during your four day vacation. 

The key to maximizing the potential of the Hopper feature is crowd patterns and park hours. If you are staying at a Walt Disney World® Property, you have the added bonus of being able to enjoy the Extra Magic Hours Benefit. This is where Disney has added an extra park hour to a selected park either in the morning or at night.  Use these at the park it is being offered to cut down on lines. We have found the extra hours at night tend to draw large crowds, so this is not necessarily a benefit for riding the big attractions.  It can; however, be used for some of the shows and attractions you want to experience that do not draw huge crowds. Then on your last day, build time in to reflect on which park was your favorite or which had the most of your favorite attractions and go back to visit those. This way, you end your magical vacation feeling satisfied, rather than remorseful because you saw your favorites on the first day and did not get to see them again. The other benefit to this is if the crowds are unusually heavy at one park, you can move on to another park. If you have the base ticket, you would typically not know if a park has heavy crowds until you enter, therefore using your only day’s entrance at that park. Now you cannot move to another park. 

On a value side, let’s look at some numbers. A four day Magic Your Way Base Ticket will cost you $233.24 or $58.31 per park visit (4 days/4 parks). A four day Magic Your Way Base Ticket with Park Hopper® Option will cost you $286.49. If you visited eight parks during a four day stay (one in the morning and one later in the day) you would only be paying $35.81 per park visit. 

Whether or not you add the Park Hopper feature is a personal preference. Hopefully, you now you have more information to make a decision you and your traveling companions can feel comfortable with. Good news though, if you choose the Magic Your Way Base Ticket and decide during your trip you want to add the Park Hopper feature, you can!  Guest Relations in any park will be able to help you.

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.

http://www.themouseexperts.com/

Top 5 Tips for Waiting in Line

With all the special offers and summer vacation just around the corner (can you believe it), I thought this would be a good time to discuss tips for waiting in line at Disney parks.  Since the busy season is upon us, you can plan on spending some time waiting in lines at many attractions.  The good news is, Disney knows how to do line queues correctly! You will be entertained with video, audio, and things to read. So, for those who have not been to Disney, rest assured you will not be left staring at a blank wall or the feet of the person in front of you as you meander through a see of mazes.  There are plenty of things to do to pass the time.

With that in mind, here are my Top Five ways to shorten your wait times and make it more enjoyable for yourself and those around you:

    1. This is Disney; make some new friends! Take the time to interract with those people in front of you, behind you, and next to you. People are generally in a good mood since they are on vacation at Disney. I have found this is one of the best ways to make the time go by faster and have even made some new friends. If you’re not the type who opens up to strangers, here are a few icebreakers to get you started. How about commenting on someone’s T-shirt, glasses, or shoes?  Ask them where they are from or start talking to their children. Once you try it, you will be amazed at how open people are to talking. Before you know it, you will be at the front of the line!

    2. You’re already ten minutes ahead!  How does Disney know how long the wait time will be for each attraction?  As you enter, a cast member will pass out a carded lanyard to guests at different intervals.  When those guests get to the front of the line, another cast member will take the card and scan it into a computer.  The computer notes the time difference from start to finish and posts the wait time outside the attraction. Our experience has shown us that wait times are typically listed about 10 minutes longer than the actual wait time. We have no data to prove this, but have just made the observation.  Regardless, you’re closer to the front of the line from the minute you enter the attraction!

    3. Have a snack. Waiting in line is a great time to grab a snack out of your backpack or purse. Make these snacks something everyone can eat while standing up (granola bars, rice krispie treats, goldfish, etc.). Also, don’t forget a drink to wash it down. Drinks with caps on them are the best, so you don’t have to worry about finishing the whole drink before the ride or show. Not only is it a great way to pass the time while in line, but it is also a good use of your time. Once you are off the ride, you will not have to stop because someone is hungry.  As for your trash, there are trashcans placed along all queues.
   
    4. Play a game. Playing games while in line will also help pass the time quickly.  Try I-Spy or a memory game. Have your kids look at something around you and tell them to remember as much as they can about it.  Have them turn around and then ask them questions about it.  The one who remembers the most, wins. Make up stories about the people around you, like why they came to Disney, what their names are, where they are from, etc). An i-Pod, or Nintendo DS are also good for speeding up time.

    5. Patience and gratitude. Having a little patience and gratitude can go a long way! Regardless of how long the line is or how hot is is outside, everyone in line is in the same boat as you.  No one likes to wait, so make the best of it. Be grateful you are at this amazing place! So many people would LOVE to be at Disney Land® Resort or Walt Disney World®. You are one of the lucky ones.

Disney has done a great job of entertaining you while you wait in line, especially on the newer attractions. Between that and these tips, you should be able to cruise through the line much faster, or…..at least feel like you are!  Do you have any other tips we could share?

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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.

http://www.themouseexperts.com/Home_Page.html

Do Not Follow The Crowd

As you walk through the Disney parks and resorts, you will notice most people follow the person in front of them. You are busy socializing, carrying a child, whatever, and just follow the person in front of you knowing you will get where you want to go if you do. One small problem; the person in front of you is following the person in front of him and so on. Be alert when arriving at a park as to where the majority of the crowd is going. Many say the left lines at Disney are faster.

I find this works about 65% of the time which is better than the 35% around me going to the right, but it is truly an observation game. If everyone is heading left, go right. Watch in front of you and see which security guard checking bags is super thorough, DO NOT go to this line. Go to the one seeming to be the quickest at inspections. When you get to the turnstiles, always look around you, it seems there is typically a cast member opening a new lane and that is where you want to go. All lanes can accept strollers so please don’t do what I see so many doing; following other families with strollers, because they assume that is the only line they can get a stroller through. In my experience, the gates at any turnstile have the ability to swing open and let a stroller through..

 This rule goes for Early Extra Magic Hours as well. If you are going to take advantage of the Early Extra Magic Hours (when guests staying on Walt Disney World® Resorts properties are allowed admittance to specified parks an hour earlier that day), get in and out.  Now keep in mind, the average Disney vacationer does not arrive to the parks until 10 or 11AM so you will be ahead of the game, but chances are most guests will go to the park that had the Early hours. If one is being offered that morning, that park is typically the busiest on that day. So, go ahead and take advantage of the extra hour, hit those favorites and get out by 10 if possible and no later than noon! If you don’t have a hopper ticket, go back to the pool, have some lunch, and head back to that park late afternoon as everyone is heading out.  If you have a hopper, hit another park! Have fun!

As for the monorails, the same thing goes. Everyone seems to congregate in one area or all to one side. Look around you and go to a spot that is less crowded. The train is going to the same place and arriving at the same time no matter which car you are in. Find some breathing room. Don’t forget, if you have an extra ten minutes, ask to sit up front. You may have to wait for the next train, but one will be along very soon. The best front seat ride on the monorail in my opinion is from the Ticket and Transportation Center to Epcot® or vice versa. It is the longest trip, and once you get to Epcot®, you do a loop through Future World before stopping.

So go have fun and be yourself, step outside of the crowd when you can.

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