Groupon – Save Up To 65% Off Great Wolf Lodge (Includes Water Park Passes!)

Groupon is currently offering up to 40% off Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark stays! Plus, use the coupon code SALE3 when you check out to save an additional 10%. This deal is good until 8/30.

  • Book to stay June 25 through August 30
  • Prices vary by day; the price listed is the lowest possible and may not be available all days.
  • Click on a date on the booking calendar to see the individual prices by day.

FYI, your pricing will depend on the park you choose and the dates as well, but pricing seems to start at $89.10 per night.

Thanks Passionate Penny Pincher!

Sleep Away Camp Essentials & Camping Hacks for Boy Scout Camping, Summer Camp, Etc

My son went to Boy Scout camp for the FIRST time a few weeks ago! He has been a Cub Scout since he was just a tiny little Tiger (1st grade), but for the most part, all of our camping has been family camping.

This was his first week long camp without myself or my husband present.

(trying to save up money to send your little one to sleep away camp? Learn how to create some wiggle room in your budget!)

To say I was a bit of a basket case as we drove away from dropping him off would be an understatement. However, he survived (and actually, I would say he THRIVED!) and when he came home we went over what worked well and what didn’t.

I figured these camping tips/camping hacks would be helpful for any parent sending their kid off for camp, so I decided to share it here on my FFF.

What worked:

Pack it all in a trunk

This was a Boy Scout recommendation, but honestly from now on, anytime either of my kids go on any kind of extended stay, we’ll be packing everything in a trunk!

These trunks are super affordable and tough. They also roll! We purchased ours at Academy, but you can also get it shipped right to your door from Amazon.

Write up a packing list

Our Boy Scout troop provided us with a basic packing list. Most likely, whatever camp your kiddo is attending will provide you with a packing list as well. Print out that packing list and use it to pack (of course), but also add to it where necessary.

My son had a few different bags with him. A day pack (his day pack is very similar to this one), a pack to go to the shower, a bag for when he went swimming, etc. We put a detailed list of what was in each bag on the packing list. 

We also gave him a highlighter so he could use the packing list as a reference when it was time to come home. Unfortunately, his tent mate left their tent wide open during a particularly heavy down pour and the packing list was ruined. Thankfully, he returned with all of his property.

He did say the breakdown of what was in each bag was super helpful though when he couldn’t find something he needed.

Send letters/care packages with your kiddo

This was a big one for us! My son LOVED this. Myself, my husband and my daughter all wrote my son letters. We split the care packages into one per day and told him that he had to follow the rule of only opening one per day!

My letters were very “Jesus loves you, so be good!” haha. My husband’s letters were basically a funny story that built on each day (I was dying laughing as I was reading them!). And my daughter basically wrote him video game references that she knew would annoy him.

I snuck in some fun items too:

Day 1 (first full day) – A journal with a few pens/pencils in hopes he would journal his week (he started to do this, and was excited to do this, but the journal was a casualty of the open tent during the rain storm 🙁 )

Day 2 – A few word search/sudoku puzzle books from the dollar store

Day 3 – Some flavor blasted goldfish, his fave! (although he told me next time, don’t pack these…because bears, duh)

Day 4 – Candy (starburst!)

Day 5 – Cash (we sent him with cash for the week, but figured by Friday he probably would be all out, so we thought it would be a fun last day treat)

Day 6 – A promise of something fun at home.

Package outfits in individual ziploc bags

This might not work for older kids, or if you are packing cold weather clothing. My son was going to be wearing t-shirts and shorts all week though, so this made life SO much easier (and was a LIFESAVER when his tent got wet…none of his clean clothes were wet! Because they were in ziploc bags!)

I have used this method of packing on vacations too. It works beautifully!

Send clothespins to hang wet items

Okay, full disclosure…he said he didn’t use these. I can tell by smelling his towel/swimsuit that this is true. Yuck. That was the grossest laundry I have EVER done. Regardless, maybe your kid will use them. I know I’ll bring clothespins camping with us from now on!

Next time, I think I’ll purchase some of these to send with him. I suspect these would get more use!

Send empty plastic grocery sacks for various trash/clothing items that get especially gross

Yes. Yes. Yes. You will have DISGUSTING laundry to do when your kid gets home. There is nothing you can do to change this. It will happen. You will open up their trunk and you will wonder what died in there?

However, the plastic grocery sacks can make things better. He was smart and put his super wet stuff in these bags.

Label EVERYTHING

Get a black sharpie and go to town on everything. EVERYTHING. Chances are, every kid in your kid’s cabin/tent/troop/etc will have similar items. If you want them to come home with what you sent them with, LABEL EVERYTHING. This includes clothing!

His camp chair and his cot (this is the cot he has, it’s great!), his flashlights, his water bottles, everything!

Send water shoes/shower shoes

Foot fungus. Enough said.

A spritz/fan can help a lot!

This was my son’s contribution to this post. I asked him what the MOST important thing was that he packed for his trip. He said a spray bottle with a fan (with extra batteries). This was one of those, eh…whatever I’ll just throw it in the cart purchases, but he said it really made a difference.

Where he camped, they only had 90 minutes of air conditioning a day (I know this because anytime we complain about being hot since he has been home, he likes to remind us about how he went a week with only 90 minutes of air conditioning a day, LOL) . The rest of the time he was out in the hot July Texas sun. He said this made a HUGE difference for his comfort and his experience.

My son had a GREAT time at Boy Scout camp. The memories he made and the experiences he packed into that one week make me feel good about the investment of money, time and how desperately I missed him.

Would I send him again? In a heartbeat!

Are you an old pro at sending your kids off to camp? Any camping essentials tips for me? Comment below! 

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Free Dining and a Resort Room Discount are Back at Walt Disney World

Free Dining, the most popular Disney discount is back!  Guests can now take advantage of this great offer for most travel through December of 2015!

Disney has released their free dining promotion for the fall and winter months. This is a great way to save even more money on your future vacation. Availability and resorts are limited. As always value resorts get free basic Disney Dining Plan (2 quick service meals and 1 snack per person, per day), moderate and deluxe resorts get free Disney Plus Dining (1 quick service, 1 table service and 1 snacker per person, per day). You can upgrade your Free Dining from Basic to Plus or Plus to Deluxe if you would like, by only paying the difference between the two plans. You can book through July 10th, 2015.

Here is the breakdown:

  • August 28th – October 2nd, 2015
  • October 25th – October 31st, 2015
  • November 8th – 19th, 2015
  • December 15th – December 21st, 2015

Excluded Resorts:

  • Disney’s Art of Animation – Little Mermaid Rooms
  • Disney’s All-Star Movies
  • Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campgrounds
  • Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter
  • Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian and Bay Lake Tower
  • Villas and Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian
  • All 3 bedroom Villas
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside After September 27th

Important Details:

  • You must have a Park Hopper or Water Park, Fun and More Option on your ticket
  • Everyone in the room must be on the same plan
  • Advance reservations required
  • The number of rooms allocated for this offer are limited
  • Tickets and Options must be used within in 14 days of first use
  • Exclude alcoholic beverages and gratuities
  • Some table service restaurants may have limited or no availability at time of package purchase

There is a minimum of 3 night length of stay and 2 day My Way Ticket (and maximum 14 night stay)

Disney has also released a room discount this morning. For travel dates between August 15th and October 3rd, 2015 you can save up to 30% on select Walt Disney World Resorts.

Carrie is a vacation specialist with Destinations in Florida, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.  She is ready to help your family make magical vacation memories at Walt Disney World, Disneyland  or Disney Cruise Line at no cost to you!  Contact her at carrie@destinationsinflorida.com or at 937.209.9473 to book your next Disney vacation!  

 

New Disney Summer Room Discount Available

Disney has released a new discount available for summer travel!  Are you ready to enjoy the Frozen Summer of Fun?  Or how about enjoying Star Wars Weekends and the new restaurants and shopping at the Downtown Disney area?

Your family can enjoy up to 30% off of resort rates under this new offer!  Book a 5-Night stay at a Moderate Resort, and it’s like getting the 5th night FREE!

You can save up to 30% on rooms at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels for stays most nights June 16 – Aug. 27, 2015 when you book March 23 – June 12, 2015.

With special benefits and legendary service, Disney Resort hotels are filled with wonder and excitement. Plus, you can add Theme Park tickets to make the most of the magic!

From “Frozen” Summer Fun LIVE and Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® to new restaurants and shopping at Downtown Disney® and thrills and chills at four theme parks and two water parks, guests of the Walt Disney World Resort can get their cool on all summer long during “Coolest Summer Ever” at Walt Disney World Resort.

Booking Window: March 23 – June 12, 2015
Travel Window: June 16 – Aug. 27, 2015

*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Length-of-stay requirements may apply. Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room. Additional per-adult charges apply if more than two adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Advance reservations required. Offer excludes campsites, 3-bedroom villas, and is not valid at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort, Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter, The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village and Bungalows, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort—The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms. 30% savings for select Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts; lower savings may be available for other Resort hotels.

Carrie is a vacation specialist with Destinations in Florida, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.  She is ready to help your family make magical vacation memories at Walt Disney World, Disneyland  or Disney Cruise Line at no cost to you!  Contact her at carrie@destinationsinflorida.com or at 937.209.9473 to book your next Disney vacation!  

 

Disney’s Deluxe Resorts~The Benefits to These Extra Magical Resorts

Whether you want to engage on an African safari, or enjoy a week in the south seas, Walt Disney World’s Deluxe Resorts will give you an amazing experience on your next vacation.  Many ears go closed when they hear “deluxe”, because to them, that means “out of my price range”.  One thing to remember about Walt Disney travel, is that your resort is part of your experience.

Disney has Value Resorts, Moderate Resorts, and Deluxe Resorts, all meant to target families of various budgets and vacation experiences.  Take my family for example.  We do not fly to Florida!  No, in fact, we make the 16 hour trip in the car, just so we can save that money on airfare so we can stay in a Deluxe Resort.

Having enjoyed moderate and deluxe tier resorts on our past trips, we continuously are booking at Deluxe resorts for our trips.  But why?  Why do families love these?  Well, today I am going to give you the inside scoop on these fantastically magical resorts at Walt Disney World!

There are fourteen resorts in Disney’s Deluxe and Deluxe Villa categories.  They are Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, located near Animal Kingdom Park.  Then in the Epcot area, you have Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Disney’s Boardwalk Villas, Yacht & Beach Club, and the Beach Club Villas.  In the Bay Lake area, right across from Magic Kingdom, you have Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Bay Lake Tower, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Bungalows, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Villas at Wilderness Lodge, and the Grand Floridian.  Then, in the Downtown Disney area you have Disney’s Old Key West and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resorts.

Disney’s Deluxe Resorts are built with larger families in mind.  Most of these have two queen beds, as well as a day bed or they will bring you a rollaway bed.  All of these can fit 5 guests in a standard rooms the exception of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge.  For larger families, these two properties offer villas that will house more than 4 guests.  The Villas are equipped as studios, one, or two bedrooms.  The one and two bedrooms have a full washer and dryer, as well as a fully equipped kitchen.

Location, location, location is a huge perk of these resorts.  The draw of the Deluxe Resorts is location for many people.  When we were at the Grand Floridian, it was FANTASTIC to board the monorail each day to get to and from the Magic Kingdom.  We spend 3 of our 5 park days usually at Magic Kingdom….so being close to that is important to us.  Also, when you want to return for a break in the afternoon with little ones before heading back to the park in the evening, the less time you spend getting back to the resort the better!  At the Beach & Yacht Club, as well as the Boardwalk Inn, you are walking distance to Epcot AND Hollywood Studios!  Double win!  Another great aspect of the location is you are in prime dining location.  There are so many great restaurants around the Bay Lake and in the Boardwalk area.  When you stay at resorts in these locations, you are in the midst of most of your dining experiences!

The theming of these resorts is calm, with special Disney touches.  For example, the Grand Floridian is Victorian themed.  In your room, you will find soft blues and silhouettes of Alice in Wonderland on your room coasters.  Or at the pool, there is a new Alice and Mary Poppins themed child play area.  At the Wilderness Lodge is a huge totem pole in the lobby, with faces of Disney characters.  The main pool at the Contemporary is a Mickey head.  The theming is there, but it is understated and still very magical!

 

There are multiple pools at the Deluxe Resorts, as well as quiet pools.  Like the Moderate Resorts, the Deluxe resorts have both a main pool, as well as several quiet pools.  The main pool has a water slide, with the Beach Club Resort’s Stormalong Bay being the best on Disney property in this category.  The quiet pools are meant for families or couples who prefer a quieter atmosphere, with no water slide and often not a lot of children around.  Not only do they offer multiple pools, but at the main pool, the CastMembers will often lead guests in games and fun poolside entertainment.

Dining options are very plentiful at the Deluxe Resorts.  Not only do the resorts themselves have plentiful dining options, but the Deluxe resorts are situated close enough to each other, that you can easily visit a neighboring resort for a great meal.  For example, if you stat at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, you have the Contemporary Resort to enjoy California Grille or Chef Mickey’s and the Grand Floridian for 1900 Park Fare, Narcoosee’s, or Citricos both a monorail ride away.  In that same area, but via boat, you have the Wilderness Lodge with Artist’s Point and Whispering Canyon Cafe to enjoy.  The Deluxe Resorts are also home to Signature Dining, Table Service Dining, Quick Service, and often a bar or lounge as well.

Concierge level rooms are available at the Deluxe Resorts.  If you are looking for a very personalized, family friendly, extra special vacation experience, consider booking a room at the Concierge Level at one of these resorts.  Concierge Level is a separate keyed off area of the resort.  In this area, are guest rooms, as well as a personal concierge desk to meet all your needs.

You will also find a lounge, accessible only to guests on this floor.  They serve a full breakfast in the morning, snacks and appetizers throughout the day, dessert, and cordials in the evening.  You also have access to the lounge all day, to enjoy as much water, soda, and later in the day alcohol as you would like.  They will also make dining reservations for you, etc.

So why choose a Deluxe Resort?  You want more space in the room,  your budget is flexible, you prefer to be closer to the parks, themed pools with great slides and entertainment for your family, and an all around Disney magical experience!

Carrie is a vacation specialist with Destinations in Florida, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.  She is ready to help your family make magical vacation memories at Walt Disney World, Disneyland  or Disney Cruise Line at no cost to you!  Contact her at carrie@destinationsinflorida.com or at 937.209.9473 to book your next Disney vacation!  

 

 

 

 

Disney’s Moderate Resorts-Tips for Enjoying These Popular Disney Resorts

Walt Disney World offers three tiers of resorts.  They range from Value, to Moderate, to Deluxe.  All of these tiers have their up sides and down sides, and choosing which resort is right for your vacation is an important first step!

I’m excited to be here on Family Friendly Frugality today to share some tips with you about Disney’s Moderate Resorts.  Personally, my family has enjoyed two of these moderately priced resorts on our stays.

We’ve enjoyed Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside on two of our 8 stays at the Walt Disney World Resort, and Disney’s Coronado Springs as well.    But, those are not the only moderately priced resorts that Walt Disney World offers.  Nope!  There are 5 Moderate Resorts total.  Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside, Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter, Disney’s Caribbean Beach, Disney’s Coronado Springs, and Disney’s Ft. Wilderness Cabins.

I feel that the moderate resorts are fantastic for families who are on a budget, yet want to experience a resort that is closer to the parks, has more amenities, and queen size beds.  So let’s take a look at the Moderate Resorts at Walt Disney World!

As I mentioned, there are 5 resorts in the Moderate Category.  Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside and Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter are “sister resorts”.  This means you can share the pools between them if you are a guest at one or the other.  Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort has a deluxe feel to it, at a moderate price.

The pool here is fantastic~my children loved it!  Disney’s Caribbean Beach is in the Epcot area of the Walt Disney World Resort, and recently under went a huge renovation.  All the rooms, with the exception of the Pirate Themed Rooms, now have queen beds and some accommodate families of 5.  Finally, the Cabins at Fort Wilderness are cozy, tucked away in the campgrounds.

They offer a full kitchen, a living area, and plenty of space for everyone.  My personal favorite in these is Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside.  I love the quaint beauty of this resort.  I also love that it is small in comparison to many of the other Moderate and Value Resorts.  Finally, the boat to Downtown Disney from the Port Orleans resorts is great!

All the Moderate Resorts rely on the Disney motor coach system to transport you to the parks.  You cannot walk to any of the parks from these resorts.  Disney’s Caribbean Beach is very close to Epcot Park.  The Port Orleans are in the Downtown Disney area.  The Fort Wilderness Cabins are actually in the Magic Kingdom area.  They are also serviced by a boat to the Magic Kingdom.  This is a GREAT moderate resort if you’d like to be close to the Magic Kingdom.

Theming at the Moderate Resorts is calm and relaxing.  With the Value Resorts being very cartoon themed and bright colors, the moderate resorts are not.  They each have their own unique theme, however.  The Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter are themed after the Louisiana bayou and Mardi Gras atmosphere.

Caribbean Beach is reminiscent of the Caribbean, with bright colors, white sand beaches, and hammocks galore.  Coronado Springs has a Southwest, almost Mayan feel to it.  And the Cabins are cabins :).

They all have entrances from the outside, and no guest rooms are in the main building.  Also, the guest rooms may be a long walk from the main building.  This is especially true at Caribbean Beach and Coronado Springs.  If at all possible, try to book a preferred room at these resorts.  You’ll be glad you did.

The Moderate Resorts offer both themed pools and quiet pools.  I feel this is one  main amenity that sets them apart from the Values.  The main theme pool is awesome at all of these.  It has a water slide, some have a small water play are for younger children, and they are well themed.  Then, in other areas of the resort, you will find quiet pools.  These only have a pool, no slide or anything.  These are great for adults, or if you have younger children who want a fun experience without all the stimulation from the main pool.

 

The Moderate Resorts offer a table service dining option.  Along with the extra pools, the Moderate Resorts have a table service dining, quick service dining, and in some cases a lounge to enjoy some drinks.  This is a great way to use some of your Disney Dining credits.  With the table service option available at those resorts, you can schedule a meal for your arrival night or departure morning.  They do NOT have character dining experiences, however.

I absolutely love the moderate resort category at Walt Disney World.  It’s wonderful for families who are budget conscious, yet want to enjoy a nicer resort atmosphere than the Value Resorts may offer.  They are often included in special offers from Disney, as well.  Will your family be staying at a Moderate Resort on your upcoming trip?

Carrie is a vacation specialist with Destinations in Florida, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.  She is ready to help your family make magical vacation memories at Walt Disney World, Disneyland  or Disney Cruise Line at no cost to you!  Contact her at carrie@destinationsinflorida.com or at 937.209.9473 to book your next Disney vacation!  

 

 

Disney’s Value Resorts~Facts and Tips for Your Stay

When you are traveling to Walt Disney World, it’s important to know what type of accommodations you are going to be making as your home during your stay.  Any seasoned Disney traveler will tell you that the Disney resort is more than a place to sleep~it’s part of the whole vacation experience.  Disney wouldn’t offer over 20 resorts to choose from on their property if they didn’t agree!  For some families, the value resort category is their option for their stay.  While it is an affordable and often fun way to do a Disney vacation, there are some pros and cons to this category and the resorts themselves.  Today, I am going to share some facts and tips to make your stay at Disney’s Value Resorts more magical!

Disney’s Value Resorts consist of Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s All Star Music Resort, Disney’s All Star Sports Resort, Disney’s All Star Movies Resort, and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.  If you have a hard time choosing, I highly recommend either Pop Century or Art of Animation.  There is one main benefit to these.  They run their own buses to the parks.  The All Stars share amongst the three of them.  This makes for longer wait times when you want to get to the parks.  And, getting home at night can take longer as well.

Two of Disney’s Value Resorts will accommodate more than 4 guests.  Disney’s All Star Music and Disney’s Art of Animation have Family Suites that accommodate up to 6 and have a small kitchenette and two bathrooms in them.  If you want to stay at a Value with a family of 5, your other option would be to get two rooms.

Disney’s Value Resorts have small rooms.  The standard rooms for 4 guests have two double beds, or one king size bed in them.  The rooms measure about 260 square feet.  They will accommodate a family of 5, if one child is under the age of 3. However, it will be a tight fit with a pack and play set up, as well as a stroller and other necessities you need for a young child.

Disney’s Value Resorts only offer Quick Service Dining locations.  There are no table service meals at the Value Resorts.  So, if you are on the Disney Dining Plan, you will need to travel to another resort, Downtown Disney, or the parks for your table service meals.

Disney’s Value Resorts are farther from the parks than the Deluxe or Moderate.  This is NOT a bad thing by any means.  Many guests will pay the extra room rate to be closer to the parks or Downtown Disney.  To be honest, my family is one of them.  I share this with you because the Value resorts only offer views of a pool, the parking lot, or woods.  No theme park views at the values.

The Value Resorts are heavily themed.  If you want to feel like you are at Disney, or smack in a Disney movie, then a Value Resort is for you.  All Star Movies has a Toy Story, Fantasia, 101 Dalmatians, The Mighty Ducks, and Herbie the Love Bug.  Art of Animation is themed after Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, Cars, and The Lion King.  Sports and Music have huge replicas of sports gear, musical intstruments, etc.  And Pop Century ranges from the 1950s-1980s in its theming.  The Values are brightly colored and really give you a great themed experience.  The rooms are cartoony, as is the rest of the resort decor.

The Value Resorts offer themed pools, no quiet pools.  They each have several large themed pools.  For some guests with small children, the quiet pools at the moderate and deluxe are nice.

All Value Resorts participate in some great amenities and activities.  You can enjoy movies under the stars, poolside games and entertainment, and playgrounds.  You can also enjoy Disney’s Magical Express free when staying at a Value Resort, as well as Extra Magic Hours and package delivery.

Overall, Disney’s Value Resorts have great options for families or couples who want to enjoy all the perks of staying on Disney property without breaking the bank.  Have you enjoyed a value resort?  Which is your favorite?

Carrie is a vacation specialist with Destinations in Florida, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.  She is ready to help your family make magical vacation memories at Walt Disney World, Disneyland  or Disney Cruise Line at no cost to you!  Contact her at carrie@destinationsinflorida.com or at 937.209.9473 to book your next Disney vacation!  

 

 

Ten Tips for Enjoying Walt Disney World Over Spring Break

Are you looking forward to Spring Break?  Have you decided to visit Walt Disney World, or maybe enjoy Disney Cruise for some family time?  If not, it’s not too late to plan a trip to Walt Disney World over Spring Break….but it may take a bit of planning.  Aside from Christmas and Easter, Spring Break is one of the busiest times at Walt Disney World.  Besides the obvious that schools are out for a week, many people from the Midwest and Northern parts of the United States are tired of being cold, under snow, and ready for some sun! I’m excited to share with you Ten Tips for Visiting Walt Disney World over Spring Break.

1.  Arrive at the parks before they open.  This in “Disney” language is known as Rope Drop.  Arriving at the parks about 45 minutes before they open is key.  In the first hour you are in the parks, you can enjoy a lot of great attractions!  Concentrate on one area of the park at a time as well.  This will save you a lot of time running from one attraction at one end of the park to another!

2. Schedule your FastPass Plus times for later in the afternoon or evening.  If you can follow the first step, and arrive at Rope Drop, your day will be off to a great start!  And you can relax, knowing you have some FastPass Plus return times to look forward to while others are waiting in lines in the afternoon!

3.  Make your ADRs for “off” meal times.  Plan on enjoying many attractions during the prime dinner and lunch times.  Then, you can take a break from the heat of the day while you enjoy a nice meal and character interaction after getting in several attractions in the morning and while everyone else is eating!

4.  Plan on taking a break from the parks.  If you made it to park opening in the morning, chances are shortly after lunch, you and your kids will be ready for a rest.  This is the perfect time to return to your resort and recharge during the afternoon.  Then, you can return to the park in the evening for some more fun.

5.  Visit the popular attractions during parades and fireworks shows.  I’m not saying to miss out on the parades.  But, I can also tell you from experience, that being in Fantasyland or Tomorrowland during the 3PM parade is fabulous!  The wait times are low since the majority of the crowds are hanging out along the parade route!

6.  Watch Wishes from outside the Magic Kingdom.  Everyone knows the little known secrets of watching Wishes from the beach at the Polynesian or the boat dock at the Grand Floridian.  Perfect!  Why?  Well, they pipe the soundtrack to these areas, so you aren’t missing out on the magic of the narration and the crowds are low.

7.  Choose a counter service location with ample seating.  This will cut down on your waits, and you’ll easily find a place to sit.  Also, if possible, have one adult get the meals while the other sits with the kids.  Perfect!  Cosmic Ray’s at Magic Kingdom, Sunshine Seasons at EPCOT, and ABC Commissary at Disney’s Hollywood Studios come to mind as great examples.

8.  Consider buying park hoppers instead of base tickets.  There are some wonderful benefits to Park Hopper tickets, and during peak travel times park hoppers will be worth it.  With it being a more crowded time in general, it’s a good idea to have the flexibility to go from park to park.

9.  Be patient with your family and with others.  If there is one crucial thing to pack for a Spring Break trip to Disney, it is your patience.    Be patient and be prepared for others to “be in your way”.  Also, your children will need a little extra patience from you.  Waiting in line is difficult.  Be sure to have bubbles, gum, snacks, and maybe even some portable gaming systems.

10.  Visit the park that does NOT have Extra Magic Hours.  Why?  Because EMH are a privilege that come with staying in a Disney resort.  That means that the majority of on site guests will be at THAT park on that day.  So head to a different one, at least in the morning.  Evening EMH are a bit different of a story. Our family has found, personally, the crowds are fairly manageable in the late evening.  This is of course after our family has returned to our resort for a mid day break and relaxed.

Are you ready to plan your spring break trip to Walt Disney World?  There is currently a new special offer on rooms, and enjoy an extra FREE day in the parks!  Contact Carrie at carrie@destinationsinflorida.com for more information!  When you book your trip with Carrie, you receive free itinerary planning, helpful hints, and more~all for FREE!  Request your quote today, and get your family memories underway!

New Spring and Summer Discount Available for Walt Disney World Travel

Disney Travel has two great discounts for Spring and Summer!  Our family always travels to Disney in early June, and often at a great price!  I’m ready to help you book and plan your spring or summer Disney vacation!

Families of 3 can enjoy 3 nights at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort with 2-day theme park tickets for just $889 most Sunday through Thursday nights April 12-May 21, 2015 and May 25-28, 2015 when they book Dec. 29, 2014-Feb. 16, 2015.

Or, families of 3 can enjoy 3 nights at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort with 2-day theme park tickets for just $909 when they book for travel Feb. 17-March 28, 2015.

Great rates are also available for stays most nights Feb. 22-June 15, 2015.

Booking Window:
Dec. 29-Feb. 16, 2015
Feb. 17-March 28, 2015

Travel Window:
April 12-May 21, 2015
May 25-28, 2015

Sample package price is based on a family of 3; 2 adults and 1 child (ages 3-9). The number of packages available at these rates is limited. Tickets are valid for 1 theme park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Advance reservations required. Offer excludes 3-bedroom villas and campsites.

OR

You can save up to 30%* on rooms at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels when you book between Dec. 29, 2014 and Feb. 16, 2015 for stays most nights March 2-June 15, 2015.

Or, you can save up to 25%* on rooms at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels when you book between Feb. 17-March 28, 2015 for stays most nights March 2-June 15, 2015.

Great rates are also available for stays most nights Feb. 22-March 1, 2015.

Guests can receive also 1 more ticket day FREE when they upgrade to a room and ticket package with a minimum 4-day Magic Your Way Ticket.

Booking Window:
Dec. 29, 2014 – Feb. 16, 2015
Feb. 17-March 28, 2015

Travel Window:
Feb. 22-June 15, 2015

The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Length-of-stay requirements may apply. Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room. Everyone in the same room must be on the same package. Additional per-adult charges may apply if more than two adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Advance reservations required. Offer excludes campsites, 3-bedroom villas and is not valid at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort-The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms. 30% savings for select Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts; lower savings may be available for other Resorts.

Are you ready to book your Disney vacation?  If so, contact Carrie Hurst at carrie@destinationsinflorida.com or at 937.209.9473 for a FREE, no obligation quote and to get your vacation planning started.  All her planning services are FREE, and every reader of Family Friendly Frugality who books with Carrie receives a FREE gift!