Please consider reading and helping.

March of Dimes to me was always that organization I knew did great things for immunizations but had no idea how it impacted everyone in so many ways until I was asked to be a part of this year’s March of Dimes Chef’s Auction committee.
My pregnancy with my second child was not easy. She had a choroid plexus cyst on her spine at the base of her brain. They watched it, told me it would resolve itself but it was of course nerve racking as they don’t always. I then had gestational diabetes with her that caused her to be born three weeks early. During her birth, there were complications and they had to take some pretty drastic measures to deliver. After learning about the breadth of Marhc of Dimes impact on mothers, children, and the general population, I looked into it. Everything that occurred during this pregnancy and childbirth was impacted by research from March of Dimes.
We do a lot at Ears for children with special needs and those who are medically fragile from genetic disorders and cancer. All have been impacted by research March of Dimes has done or is currently doing.
This is why Ears of Experience chose to be a part of this year’s Chef’s Auction and sponsor a table.
I don’t ask for much from our clients and supporters but I ask you to consider donating to this incredible cause. If you donate $100 or more to March of Dimes and would like to attend the Chef’s Auction on September 5th, you will be eligible for a spot at our table.
Thank you for considering helping this organization that literally impacts almost everyone in our population. At least 94% of the local proceeds stay here in Charleston due to the research done locally.
Donation questions, please email amy@themouseexperts.com or 843-991-8473. The link to donate is below, just send me confirmation to be eligible for this great evening. http://www.marchofdimes.com/southcarolina/events/events_10728.html. You can also donate to us directly. marin adn I. Marin on dock

Fourth Message from Ears

Marin and Karl

Happy Fourth of July!!!!!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic day with friends and family.  The above picture is my daughter a couple years ago jumping off the dock at my mom’s. She is currently jumping off that dock, having a fabulous Michigan Fourth of July as is tradition in my family.  As you take a bite of that hot dog, sip of that cocktail, watch the kids splash around, and view the fireworks, please take a moment to remember those that made it all all possible for us. We have freedoms so many just dream of.  As a business owner, I have had the independence to travel a great deal the past month, seeing so many I love in my life  because of what I do. I can work from anywhere and be flexible with my hours. I am now able to work longer hours when I have the time. This freedom I do not take lightly and I am so grateful for these opportunities. I so look forward to helping others this year have these opportunities as well.

As I take a break this evening to watch the fireworks, I will raise a glass to those who are not with their friends and family this holiday. My dear friend, Lars, is one of those as he is on tour in Afghanistan. Thinking of you buddy and our other clients deployed.

I wish you all the very best safe and Happy Fourth of July from our Ears Family to yours,

 

Amy Sinclair

Owner

Ears of Experience, LLC

 

 

 

Today I write a check…

Today I write a check to The Victims Fund for Moore Schools Students and Staff. As we all know, at the end of May, Moore, Ok was hit by devastating tornadoes. Moore, OK was the home of my first teaching job at Moore West Jr High as a special Education teacher. They gave me my first shot, taught me so much, and the people of Moore are amazing!  When the tornados hit, I knew I had to do something so I decided we would give a portion of our profit back for three weeks back to this foundation.  I will write that check today. I feel so fortunate to be able to be able to do this, to help those in a community that welcomed me with open arms, a school district that gave me a shot. I am so blessed to have clients that made this possible by entrusting our team with their Disney vacation.

This spring I had to write a rather large check that was one I did not want to write, one brought on by negativity from others. I only tell you this because it could have made me bitter or angry but I chose to look at it as “I will not conduct business like that, I will help even more people”, it was a defining moment in my business. I started to ask myself, “How can I do that? How can we, while doing business on a daily basis, help others and keep the flow of generosity, kindness, hope, and faith moving forward?”  So we choose to help more people, help more clients, help more of those with special needs and those that are medically fragile, and help foundations, organizations, and charities we feel are align with our mission statement.

We currently, are in relationships with two organizations, Kingdom Kids,  and the Charleston March of Dimes

Kingdom Kids is an ongoing relationship we have where we give back to all bookings that mention this organization. They are an amazing company! They give wishes to sick children and are completely non-profit.

We are sponsoring Charleston March of Dimes Signature Chefs Gala and Auction. We have a table where we are asking our clients to donate money to this event for a chance to sit at our table, enjoy the evening with the Ears team, and ask Disney questions if you want, or just enjoy all the wonderful food!

I tell you all this not to boast about what we are doing at Ears of Experience but to share how even in times when things are not good, it can be turned around to help others. It doesn’t need to be some big  check, maybe volunteering time. I know it changed my attitude and helped me switch my mindset from “me” to helping others. I am honored to have a business where I meet amazing people, help them make incredible memories with the precious little time we have with our loved ones these days, and now helping others who need our time,  our resources, our support. Thank you to our clients who without knowing it, have given me the opportunity to do this.

The New Be Our Guest Counter Service

Be Our Guest Opening at teh New Fantasyland Expansion

Be Our Guest Opening at the New Fantasyland Expansion

Be Our Guest Opening at the New Fantasyland Expansion Be Our Guest Restaurant: Counter Service. The BEST counter service venue in Magic Kingdom, quite possibly in all the “World.”

In the new Fantasyland you will find the newest dining venue that is beyond compare. After crossing the bridge and stepping inside you are actually immersed in Beast’s castle rooms as they appeared in the movie. There are three dining rooms: the ballroom (includes snow falling outside the windows), the west wing (including the magic rose and the Prince’s painting that changes to the Beast as the last rose petal falls) and the rose gallery where Belle and the Beast are dancing atop a music box. During lunch this restaurant offers counter service dining (no reservations required) and at dinner is a table service meal (reservations are required and book up 6 months in advance). There are no characters at either meal.

In the new Fantasyland you will find the newest dining venue that is beyond compare. After crossing the bridge and stepping inside you are actually immersed in Beast’s castle rooms as they appeared in the movie. There are three dining rooms: the ballroom (includes snow falling outside the windows), the west wing (including the magic rose and the Prince’s painting that changes to the Beast as the last rose petal falls) and the rose gallery where Belle and the Beast are dancing atop a music box. During lunch this restaurant offers counter service dining (no reservations required) and at dinner is a table service meal (reservations are required and book up 6 months in advance). There are no characters at either meal.

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/

Why do I hope to visit Disney World in 2012?

Why do I want to visit in 2012?  The new things of course.  The Fantasyland Expansion has lots of new things coming.  ToonTown is gone, but out with the old and in with the new! 

Some of the things opening in February of 2012:

Storybook Circus will have double the Dumbo fun!  There will not be just one flying Dumbo ride, but two!  Do you remember the Goofy Barnstormer roller coaster?  Well, it’s back and it’s called the Great Goofini. A great roller coaster for small kids and it stars Goofy.

Then in the late fall of 2012 there is even more fun coming to Disney.  There will be a new castle for the Beast.  Inside will be the “Be Our Guest” dining room.  Belle will have a village and will be telling stories again.  I hope Ariel’s new ride will be ready in 2012 too.  Last time I was in Walt Disney World®, I could see the stone walls being built where the ride will be. I’m so exited the new things are coming! There is a lot of cool stuff I can’t wait for. I hope you’re as excited as I am about these new attractions. So don’t wait!!! Call and book your trip today with the www.themouseexperts.com.

There is more coming in 2013 but I can’t wait that long to visit when all these exciting new things will be opening!

 Written by Kid Blogger Lydia Schulz

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/

Disney in a Group, Making Memories

There are some things you just cannot put a price tag on. I have just returned from a five day trip to Walt Disney World© with one of my closest and oldest friends. We have been friends since first grade; 33 years. We both have two girls close in age and seeing the four of them interact was priceless. The time spent together was amazing!

We saw friendships grow, hands being held, conversations I overheard that made me laugh, and they even encouraged one another to do things they may not have done if it wasn’t for one another. Very similar to experiences I have had with their mother over the years.

The Girls before dinner at California Grill, on top of the Contemporary

 

I love Disney for some many reasons of course but it is so great for groups like this. They accommodated us even on one of the busiest weeks of the year as best they could even with our multiple dining reservations. The pool at the Beach Club was perfect for our group as it has so many areas for different swimming abilities; sandy beach sections, slides, waterfalls, lazy rivers, etc. All the kids, regardless of swim level had their own favorite places. To then have time to catch up with one of my oldest friends while watching our kids having their time of their lives, was something I could not put a price tag on.

As I was driving home last night, I heard about a woman I have never met but is the wife of someone my husband worked with. She died yesterday of cancer at 33 years old. She was a mother, a friend, a wife. That could have been anyone. I feel very lucky and blessed to have had the five days I had with my dear friend and our kids, memories to last a lifetime. Even for me, someone that goes to Disney all the time.

Tips for travelling in a large group:

Disney affords a group the opportunity to both do things together as well as split up. I highly encourage folks to split up if they are in a large group to avoid trying to appease everyone and avoid rising tensions. Rarely does everyone want to do the same things all the time and if they always go with the crowd, regret and bad moods tend to arise. So split up, take a break from one another.  We had 9 in our party and sometimes you all just need a break.

Be flexible. If the kids are having fun swimming, let them swim. Believe me, I am all about a schedule but there is a fine line between Drill Sergeant and organized.

Stop and enjoy the little things. There are so many things at Walt Disney World© that are happening and when travelling in large groups, you are less likely to stop and enjoy these things. Some of these little things are the ones people remember the most.

Meet new people. Just because you are in a large group does not mean you cannot make new friends. This is the greatest place to meet new people. Whether you are standing in line, talking to a cast member, hanging at the pool, there is always a new face to talk to. I have met some of the friendliest, most interesting people from around the world at Disney. Who knows who might be a part of your group by the end of your trip!

Take pictures, videos, and don’t wait too long to do it again. One thing that I was reminded of today, life is too short, enjoy your friends and family.

They love Pooh! No matter what their age!

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

Overlooked Disney, Part II -Carousel of Progress, by Gil Pohl

For those who read my first part of Overlooked Disney you know that I (like many Disney Park fans) have a deep respect for what Walt himself did to make so many people happy.  There is one ride at Walt Disney World® Resort that makes me think about Walt every time I ride it.

The Carousel of Progress can be found in the back corner of Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom.  This ride consists of a moving theater that turns from scene to scene, as an Audio-Animatronic family moves from decade to decade showing the improvements in life that have been caused by the advancements in electrical energy. 

Why is it that so many people love this ride even without any thrills or chills?  It’s because this down-to-earth (and maybe a little corny) ride shows off the technology that Walt wanted to incorporate into his park rides.  The Audio-Animatronic family starring in this ride was way ahead of its time when this ride first appeared at the New York World’s Fair in 1964 – 1965.  During the World’s Fair, over 16 million people where amazed at what Walt Disney was able to create.  

An estimated additional 31 million people saw Carousel of Progress when it moved to Disneyland® in California and opened in 1967 and was there till 1973.  Then, the Carousel of Progress made another trip back across the nation to be reinstalled at Walt Disney World® Resort in 1975.

Many Disney purest were not happy when the Carousel of Progress reopened in Florida.  The biggest complaint was that the theme song was changed to “The Best Time of Your Life.”  After a 1993 rehab, the original theme song, “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow”’ was restored to the show and many feel it better reflected Walt’s vision when the ride was created.

The last time I rode the Carousel of Progress, my only regret was that only a handful of people where enjoying this wonderful artifact of what one man could accomplish in his lifetime.  So when you book your next trip to the Walt Disney World® Resort with Ears of Experience, take time to sit and enjoy this show.

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

Is My Stroller Safe?

For the most part, your stroller is safe when visiting Disney theme parks.  When left in a stroller ‘parking lot’, cast members keep an eye on your stroller while you enjoy the rides or shows.  However, some parking lots have hundreds of strollers, and with people coming and going, it’s impossible to watch every one of them.  Therefore, although it’s rare, some do come up missing at times.

   Many strollers look alike, so it’s possible someone took the wrong one by mistake.  In this case, they usually realize it quickly and return it.  Other times, you’re not so lucky.  Some are ‘borrowed’ for joy rides, only to be abandoned when people are finished using them, while others are gone for good.

Here are a few things you can do to safeguard your property.

  1. Never leave anything in your stroller that you value, such as cameras, purses, baby bottles, or even souvenirs.  It’s too easy for someone to walk by and take whatever is left out in the open.  Only leave things that would not ruin your vacation if they came up missing. 
  2. Tie a large ribbon, piece of fabric, or other identifier onto your stroller so it’s easier for you to pick it out of a crowd and less likely to be mistaken for someone else’s.  Tying a balloon to the handle works well too.  As an alternative to an expensive Disney balloon, consider buying a balloon the day before at a local party or grocery store. We give our clients a special stroller identifier to make is easy to find and less likely to be taken by someone else.
  3. Put return address labels in several places on your stroller, both hidden and in plain sight. This will make it easier for you to identify it, as well as Lost and Found if it should come up missing.  Plus, a thief is less likely to steal a stroller that has your name on it in clear sight.
  4. Chaining your stroller up to something might sound like a good idea at first, but it may turn out to be a problem instead.  If a cast member needs to move your stroller for any reason and it is locked to something, they will bring out the bolt cutters to remove the lock.  A better idea would be to lock up the back wheels with a bike lock.  This way, if a cast member needs to move it, the stroller can be tilted forward and rolled on the front wheels.  Also, a thief won’t want to draw attention by rolling it away like that.
  5. If you rent a Disney stroller, remember there will be hundreds exactly like yours in the park.  There’s a clear packet on the back for your name, but other than that, they all look the same.  If someone wanted to, it would be easy for them to take yours and simply switch the name.  Be sure to make your stroller stand out from the others by using some of the ideas above.  Thieves won’t waste time untying your ribbon/streamers if there is another stroller next to yours that looks exactly the same.

The bottom line is stroller thefts at Disney are rare, but they do happen.  You are more likely to have a cast member move your stroller to another spot in the stroller lot than to have it stolen.   With that said, be smart about your property and don’t make it easy for criminals to take your stuff.  A few simple steps will help keep your Disney vacation full of happy memories.

Let us know about your stroller tips.

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 Should You Utilize Your Celebrations?

How should you utilize your Celebrations?

Disney is offering you a gift on your birthday. You can take one of three options:

  1. A free one day, one park ticket
  2. A Fun Card (gift card) valued at the cost of a one day, one park ticket or
  3. A Fast Pass Badge.

I have run the numbers and done some research on these options. The Fun Card is for select merchandise, recreation, and fun activities at select participating locations at WDW or DL. The Free one day, one park ticket must be acquired on your birthday, but can be used anytime until the client’s next birthday. The Fast Pass badge is for select Fast Pass venues and it is not like past Dreams Fast Passes. The way it is running now is a little confusing, but basically it’s a card they give you that allows you to pick 4 rides from two categories to use the Fast Pass badge. You go to the venues and it will spit out a Fast Pass for that time frame you are in. Even if the ride is out of Fast Passes for the day, you can still get one at a designated Birthday Fast Pass kiosk left open even if the others are closed. However, Disney clearly states these badges may not be available after 11 AM. 

Here is my train of thought: if you go to the park early (at opening), you should be able to ride those rides you would Fast Pass in a relatively short period of time. The free ticket is not even an economical option for anyone who is on vacation at either resort for more than two days. The price difference between a 3 and a 4 day ticket is only $7 more, the difference between 4 and 5 is $3. So to shave off a day of your package to take advantage of the free park ticket simply doesn’t make sense. Of course, if you live within driving distance of either resort, it may benefit you! The Fun Card is the value of a one day ticket, so for adults it’s $75 and for kids 3-9, it’s $63! For those souvenirs you are bringing home, this is perfect and definitely the most economical way to go! Just my two cents though. If you are going on the 4th of July, the Fast Pass badge may be a better option.

We are your Personal Disney Vacation Planners. Visit us at http://www.themouseexperts.com. All the service. NO EXTRA COST!

Pools: Are They Deep? By Kid Expert Nattie, Age 10

Pools, Are They Deep?

I was walking around to different pools and noticing, where are the diving boards and guests yelling at kids”Stop making such a big splash?” Is something missing or was it just me? I looked around noticing that pools were mostly 5 feet and shallower. Well, that’s because there are so many little kids. Yeah, I know how you feel you divers and cannonball people, that’s me too. The life guards then just have to scold people running around and wrestling over the pools (mostly dads).

Pools can be fun too! The Beach Club Resort has a volleyball net, the Polynesian has a volcano water slide and Port Orleans has a dragon that’s half in the water and it goes all the way across the pool until there is water slide! It’s awesome!

Yacht and Beach Club Pool

Yacht and Beach Club Pool

Written by Nattie, our Kid Expert. Check out more of what she has to say and more tips and tricks at her By Kids/4 Kids Site.

www.themouseexperts.com