10 Ways to Save Money at Disney World

If you are like me and money doesn’t grow on trees, you’re looking to save money while still having a great time in Disney World. You’re probably heard some of these before, but hopefully a few of them are new and can be applied to your upcoming vacation!

10. Plan an off day. If you’re in Disney for 7 days and 6 nights, start with 5 days of theme park tickets. While it only saves you about $42 for a family of 4, that’s the equivalent of a quick service meal. If things are going well and you want another park day, you can stop at any ticket booth and add a day for the same cost as if you booked it with your package.

9. Skip the park hopper. It’s a pretty significant price difference adding the park hopper option. While it’s very convenient to jump from park to park (especially if you end up somewhere crowded), you can easily spend a full day in each of the 4 theme parks.

8.  Share meals. All quick service meals and many table service meals can be shared based on Disney rules. If your table service meals are pre-plated, a dinner show, or buffet they cannot be shared. If you’re unsure if you’ll still go hungry, ask the server about portion sizes.

7.  Skip the sides! For quick service meals – ask to skip the fries or the chips that come on the side. You’ll just pay for your main dish.

6. Grab a drink at Club Cool. Try soft drinks from around the world in Epcot Future World. This is FREE! The cups are small, but feel free to grab a refill. Go earlier in the day to save yourself from sticky shoes later. It’s a great way to both cool off and quench your thirst!

5. Use FastPass+ for character meet & greets. Skip the expensive character dining meals and just FastPass it! The only theme park that does not offer a meet and greet via FastPass+ is Hollywood Studios. Sometimes it’s also worth your time to stand in one of the non-FastPass+ character lines to meet some of your favorite Disney friends!

4. Bring your own snacks. Disney allows food brought into the theme parks. No glass and no alcohol. It can be a life saver when you have impatient kids waiting in line too.

3. Use Magic Your Way Coupons. By purchasing a Disney World package, you’ll receive several coupons with your luggage tags. Free entry to DisneyQuest, Free Mini Golf, a discounted meal at Planet Hollywood.

2. Skip the big souvenirs. Snag a personalized set of mouse ears the first time each member of your family travels and think about a small trinket or souvenir. Skip the other shirts, hats and other costly items! You can also grab some gifts from the dollar store or make yourself some pressed pennies! Buy or bring your little princess her own costume – it will save you a boatload over Disney park prices!

1. Know when to go! The non-discounted difference in staying at Wilderness Lodge in January vs. June is $55 per night. Let’s do the math – Over the course of a 6 night stay, that’s $330 (plus tax) that you’re shelling out. Take your kids out of school and go to Disney World! You’ll enjoy it more because the crowds are lower and the temps are a heck of a lot more comfortable. What can you do with $330?? That could pay for park hoppers or a week’s worth of quick service meals (which by the way, you might get for free or a deeply discounted price if you’re traveling during a slower time).

A free gift for Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

Ready to start planning your  Disney World vacation?  Please contact me at any time for a free quote or use the form below. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. Start all inclusive from the beginning! The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!) If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, please feel free to use the contact form below.

 

Disney World FastPass+ for Character Meet & Greets

FastPass+ again changes the game when it comes to touring Disney’s theme parks. If you’ve got little ones who are character crazy, using one of your 3 daily FastPass+ allotments is a great opportunity to see the magic come to life. You have character meet and greet options in 3 of the 4 theme parks (Hollywood Studios is the only one lacking in this great opportunity – but you don’t be fooled, there are some great character meet options available without FastPass capability. I can make an argument that it’s one of the better places since others are becoming so well known! This also gives you the experience of characters without the added expense of a character meal!

If you’d like to use some of your FastPass+ allotments for character meet & greets, here’s what’s available:

Magic Kingdom

  • Anna & Elsa at Princess Fairy Tale Hall
  • Cinderella & Rapunzel at Princess Fairy Tale HallAnna & Elsa - Frozen
  • Ariel at her Grotto
  • Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater
  • Tinkerbell at Town Square Theater (NEW)
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle (kind of a stretch, but I’ll count it!)

Epcot

  • Epcot Character Spot (Usually Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto)

Animal Kingdom

  • Meet Disney Pals (Usually Mickey and Minnie)

Remember, these are just the options available via FastPass! You have PLENTY of other character meet and greet options all over the 4 theme parks (a future blog post with all of those details coming as soon as I can get my head wrapped around all the new updates from spring and summer 2014!)

Make sure you know all of the details of FastPass+ and how to make the most of your time!

A free gift for Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

Ready to start planning your  Disney World vacation?  Please contact me at any time for a free quote or use the form below. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. Start all inclusive from the beginning! The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!) If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, please feel free to use the contact form below.

 

5 steps to planning an all inclusive Disney World vacation

5 Steps to Planning an All Inclusive Disney World Vacation!

So you want an all inclusive vacation, how about Disney World? Most people don’t think about Disney destinations as an all inclusive type trip, but they can be. Have everything paid for up front, reservations made for your favorite restaurants and attractions and even skip a few lines with these 5 easy steps:

1. Make your Disney World package reservation a resort that’s most convenient to your family’s wants and needs. Want to spend more time in Magic Kingdom and less time traveling? Think about Contemporary, Polynesian, Grand Floridian, or even Wilderness Lodge. Love Epcot? Think about Beach or Yacht Club. Parks not so important? How about club level service at any of the deluxe resorts to enjoy some down time in their lounge with a few snacks and drinks? With well over 20 resort options, there’s surely something for everyone!

Enjoy some of the finer resorts on Disney property: Contemporary

Enjoy some of the finer resorts on Disney property: Contemporary

2. Choosing your dining plan. Of course, the most important part of an all inclusive vacation is the FOOD! Disney offers several different dining plan options that fits your needs. Have a toddler who’s on the go? Try the quick service plan which gives you the flexibility and maximizes your park time. Like sitting down for a meal and trying new things but still want an option to grab and go? Disney’s PLUS dining is for you! Love to be adventurous and try new things? Are vacations all about the food? Deluxe dining might be the best choice for you! While it involves a lot of planning, it’s an amazing experience to try some of the finer things Disney has to offer! How about some recreational activities as well as live shows and adventures? Check out the premium dining plan! This has the same entitlements as the deluxe dining plan, but allows you to use your credits differently as well as unlimited recreational sports for the ULTIMATE in all inclusive vacations. Above that is the platinum dining plan which includes everything the premium plan has to offer plus a fireworks cruise and spa treatment. This also includes pre-arriving planning service by a Disney cast member (because you’ll need it to pack everything into your trip!)

3. Make your reservation more than 180 days in advance. This will allow you to get your choice of dining reservations when they become available for your travel dates. Do your research, take a look at menus, talk to friends and family and carefully pick your top choice dining experiences during your stay. This is only for table service restaurants, no need for reservations at any quick service dining locations.

4. Make your FastPass+ reservations. 60 days prior to your arrival, you can book all of your FastPass+ reservations! Check out popular attractions like the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Soarin’, Toy Story Mania, or meet your child’s favorite Disney characters: Anna & Elsa, Cinderella, or even Mickey Mouse himself! Remember, 3 FastPass choices per park day per person and they don’t all have to be the same!

5. Buy a few gift cards. Since Disney does require gratuity on all table service meals, to make it a true all inclusive vacation, you’ll need to stash some cash for that extra cost. Grab some gift cards whether they be the Disney or Visa variety. Either way, you won’t go home spending a dime! Maybe even grab a few more for some sounveirs!

There you have! 5 easy steps to making your Disney World vacation, all inclusive! To save you some work on the process, try out a travel agent that specializes in Disney. It’s free, it’s easy, and you don’t have to do any of the work!

A free gift for Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

Ready to start planning your all inclusive Disney World vacation?  Please contact me at any time for a free quote or use the form below. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. Start all inclusive from the beginning! The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!) If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, please feel free to use the contact form below.

Disney World Dining reservations – what 180 +10 really means

So it’s the first time you’re able to making your dining reservations taking advantage of the 180 + 10. You’ve made a list of all of the dining reservations you’d like. You’re hoping for popular spots like Be Our Guest for dinner, ‘Ohana at that coveted 5 pm opening slot, Chef Mickey’s for a prime time dinner at 6 pm, and California Grill at 8:45 so you can enjoy the 10 pm fireworks. You wake up early, log into your My Disney Experience account and try and select your days, and it doesn’t work! You wait the long, agonizing hour for the phone lines to open up and ask a cast member what the heck is going on and find out that 180 + 10 does not mean 190 days, it really truly means 180 days!

So what the heck? What does that +10 really mean? It means, you can book dining on that 180th day prior to your arrival and the first 10 days of your vacation. If your trip is less than 10 days long, that means your ENTIRE vacation! The concept is confusing, I’ll admit it, but once it’s explained properly, it kind of makes sense.  Why 10 days? I have no idea, but for all the vacation packages I book for guests, 10 days is the max for many (except for some of my international travelers).

**As a refresher, the 180+ 10 applies to guests who have made a Disney World resort or package reservation. Online reservations open up at 6 am EST and via phone at 7 am EST.

Still have questions? I’d love to try and explain a little better, feel free to contact me at any time! Good luck!

Planning a Disney World vacation with Toddlers

It’s a brave adventure for parents, taking a toddler to Disney World. While it makes perfect financial sense due to Disney’s “free until 3 policy”, the change in routine can be nerve wracking! If this is your first Disney World vacation EVER the new experience will be exciting for your entire family. If you’ve been to Disney World without kids, you’ll definitely notice a difference in pace and touring style. Please use this guide to help you master Disney World with a little one!

Choosing AccommodationsArt-Of-Animation2

There are two schools of thought when booking your accommodations: convenience and price. Convenience would be within close proximity to Magic Kingdom. Keeping cost in mind, your best bet is Wilderness Lodge, although I could make an argument to upgrade to one of the resorts along the monorail to just “roll on” to the monorail allowing you to get to both Magic Kingdom and Epcot without worrying about taking your prince or princess out, folding the stroller up and repeating multiple times each day as you would to get on and off the buses. The resorts nearest to Epcot: Beach Club, Yacht Club, and Boardwalk Inn are also 3 great choices as you can walk or take a boat to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. (The walk to Hollywood Studios is long – I suggest the boat unless you literally just missed it).

In between the convenience and price category is Art of Animation. The family suites provide the best character presence in all of Disney World and it’s perfect for kids of all ages! A bonus of the family suites is that adults have a separate bedroom from the living space allowing your little one to get a full night’s sleep without you in sight! It will also avoid “lights out” earlier than you’d like or hiding under the covers watching a movie on the iPad! Another little bonus is that the family suites have a microwave!

Middle of the road money wise in the moderate category, I think Coronado Springs is the best. There are sliding doors between the bathroom area and the sleeping quarters that could block off light and noise while your toddler gets her beauty sleep (assuming a pack and play is still in the cards). Coronado Springs also has the best moderate resort pool experience.

If you’re really looking to save money, your best priced resort as well as winner for best use of characters in Disney resort is All Star Movies. Buyer beware though – you don’t get anything for free. This resort is rather large, so it’s worth upgrading to the preferred location rooms. During off peak travel hours, this resort shares bus service with the other two All Star resorts and Movies is the LAST stop. Not ideal with a toddler in tow.

All Disney World resorts have a mini fridge and you can request a pack n play or crib (based on availability) at no cost. The mini fridge is large enough to fit a half gallon of milk and some other cold snacks. Think the size of a college dorm fridge. For moms like me that are still doing whole milk for their growing babies, each resort has their own “general store” that you can buy milk, juice, and other supplies at Disney inflated prices. It’s better than buying cartons of milk one by one!

How many nights to stay?

This is your decision! If you’re taking a plane ride, I think 5 nights is your minimum. If you’re changing time zones whether flying or driving, you need at least that amount of time as well. An ideal Disney vacation (especially for a first time) is 7 days, 6 nights (or more) with a break every 2-3 nights to enjoy the other things your resort has to offer or to go exploring.

Park tickets

Theme park tickets, the most expensive part of any Disney vacation. First timers will definitely have some sticker shock at the overall cost of their vacation package when park tickets get added to the mix. Starting with “how many days”. My preference with or without kids is at least 5. There’s a big price break at 4, so the upgrade to that 5th day is really minimal. This gives you 2 Magic Kingdom days, 1 Epcot Day, 1 Hollywood Studios day, and 1 Animal Kingdom day.

If you’re on a shorter trip or a tight budget, use this guide to choose your parks. I understand you want to see it all but for the age of your little ones, Magic Kingdom just makes the most sense. There are well over 30 attractions plus live shows to enjoy. While some of them are for “big kids”, it’s important to know what each park has to offer.disneykids

3 Days: 2 Magic Kingdom, 1 park of your choice

4 Days: 2 Magic Kingdom, 2 parks of your choice (or 1 in each park, but you may feel like you’re missing out on Magic Kingdom!)

Choosing your “other” park, is based on what you and your child/children like. Hollywood Studios has a heavy Disney Junior presence, Epcot has lots of princesses, and Animal Kingdom has some great dining, a few lesser seen Disney characters and it’s great for little ones who enjoy the zoo back home!

Don’t be afraid to skip a park. You can always return to Disney another time to enjoy more when the kids get bigger!

What about park hoppers? Is that too much for young kids? My argument for park hoppers is that you’re little one is taking it all the sights and sounds of Disney. They won’t notice a difference of going to Magic Kingdom in the morning and heading to Epcot after nap time. Lights and noise are lights and noise!

Big Kids Can Have Fun Too!

For many of the attractions that have height requirements, the rider switch option is available. Alert a cast member that you’d like to take advantage of this service and they will walk you through the process. This allows one guest to ride while the other one waits with your too small or too scared rider and the “switch” with the other adult. If you have an older child who can ride, he or she can ride twice (once with each adult).

Characters

I’m sure traveling with little ones bring the thought of character meets to mind. If your kids do recognize some Disney characters (which I think happens around age 2), you can one or more of your FastPass+ allotments to meet their favorite characters or use the standby lines to do so.

Taking a break

Whether you choose base tickets or park hoppers, you can leave a park and return later in the day. Try and keep nap time consistent each day. If your little one is a good stroller napper, feel free to roll around the parks while she takes a snooze. If you need a quiet space, head back to your hotel BEFORE nap time to get some time to wind down and to prevent a complete meltdown.

Each of Disney’s 4 theme parks have a baby center. It’s an air conditioned area with rocking chairs, changing tables, bottle warmers, high chairs, and more. It’s also a great escape from the noise of Disney parks. Check the park maps for locations!

FastPass+

The addition of FastPass+ is the biggest asset to parents of young children. This allows you to schedule those top 3 choice attractions prior to your arrival. Avoiding being in line during nap time/when you’d like to leave the park for the morning.

Best FastPass+ attractions for each theme park for the toddler population:

Magic Kingdom

  • Jungle CruiseDisney-World-First-Visit-Button
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • Dumbo
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Haunted Mansion (+/- on the “scare” factor)
  • Meet Anna & Elsa
  • Meet Mickey at Town Square
  • Meet Tinkerbell at Town Square
  • Meet Ariel in her Grotto
  • Meet Cinderella & Rapunzel

There are many more attractions and live shows available in Magic Kingdom to bring enjoyment to your toddler!

Epcot

  • Seas with Nemo and Friends
  • Turtle Talk with Crush
  • Journey Into Imagination with Figment
  • Epcot Character Spot
  • Maelstrom
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Living with the Land

The two headlining attractions in Epcot: Test Track and Soarin’ both have 40” height minimums. Adults will have fun with these. Check out details of Rider Switch.

Hollywood Studios

  • Toy Story Mania
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid (live show)
  • Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage (live show)

    Toy Story Mania "training" before you start to rack up your points!

    Toy Story Mania “training” before you start to rack up your points!

  • Disney Junior – Live on Stage (live show)
  • Studio Backlot Tour
  • Great Movie Ride (+/- for a few small scare factors)
  • Muppet Vision 3D
  • Lights, Motors, Action (live show)
  • Indiana Jones Stunt Show (live show)

Enjoy some adventure time at Honey I Shrunk the Audience play area!

Animal Kingdom

  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Festival of the Lion King (live show)
  • Finding Nemo the Musical (live show)
  • Triceratops Spin
  • DINOSAUR (height requirement and decent scare factor involved – beware before you choose this option)
  • Meet Disney Pals

Play in the Boneyard! If you have time, enjoy some of the trails and treks – Flights of Wonder, Wild Africa Trek, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, etc. They’re worth the time exploring if you have a full day to dedicate to Animal Kingdom.

Dining

If you’re planning a character meal, book it later in your trip to see how your little one reacts to characters earlier in the trip. Stop by one of the character meet and greets and try face characters (those that can speak) vs. non-face characters like Mickey and friends who don’t speak. They may be a bit scarier at first. If you do make your reservation earlier in your trip, you can always wave characters past your table if the scare factor is too high! Remember, Disney allows cancellation at no cost 24+ hours from time of reservation so you can always do something else.

Don’t worry about a few tears or whiny moments, kids are everywhere in Disney and most parents feel your pain and are hoping their kid doesn’t do the same thing until AFTER they leave!

Non-character dining options that have great ambiance for kids and good food for adults:

  • Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater (Hollywood Studios)
  • 50s Prime Time Café (Hollywood Studios)disney dining
  • Beaches & Cream (Beach Club)
  • Whispering Canyon Café (Wilderness Lodge)
  • ‘Ohana Dinner (Polynesian)
  • T-REX (Downtown Disney)
  • Coral Reef (Epcot)
  • San Angel Inn (Epcot
  • Rainforest Café (Downtown Disney or Animal Kingdom)
  • Live theater shows are sometimes a good option depending on your child’s attention span – Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ are my top choices.

Dining Plan or No Dining Plan?

Can you get your little one to sit down each night for a meal? Is he a wiggle worm and makes everyone’s dinner more difficult when he’s “all done”? Perhaps plus dining is not for you! If he wants food on the table NOW and you do want dining, select mostly buffet locations. The added benefit being that he can have his own plate of food at each buffet location without any additional cost. At other sit down restaurants, he can share with mom, dad, or big sister at no additional cost.

If you’re beyond meltdowns or have a toddler who will patiently sit and eat (I’m jealous), enjoy and explore all of your options. You still may want to stay away from signature dining as that can be a long meal!

Adults only time

Looking for some time away from your little one for a romantic dinner or outing? Disney has thought of EVERYTHING! Kids nite out offers 1:1 babysitting services in your hotel room. This must be set up in advance, but it’s a great way for adults to escape for a little bit. If you’re little ones are over age 3, you have the opportunity to enjoy some of the kids activity centers around Disney World deluxe resorts while you enjoy a meal as well!

A free gift for Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

Ready to get started planning your toddler’s Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote or use the form below. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. Enjoy the time with your little ones! The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!) If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, please feel free to use the contact form below.

Disney World for boys!

The-Pirates-League

A lot of what you’ll find about Disney World vacations is geared toward princess. Anna & Elsa, Ariel, Cinderella, princess meals, princess rooms, so what about the boys?! What do they get? Same with those tomboys. Heck, I was one of them – playing in the mud, playing sports instead of painting nails).

There’s lots of options available in terms of rooms and events.

Thinking about available resorts, the first room that comes to mind are the Pirate themed rooms at Caribbean Beach. Beds are shaped like pirate ships. Downside: double beds! Sorry tall folks and bed sharers, this room is not made for you!

Next up, BUNK BEDS! A few of the resorts (Animal Kingdom Lodge, Wilderness Lodge, and Cabins at Ft. Wilderness) all have bunk bed rooms. Not just for boys, but pretty cool nonetheless!

Have an animal lover? Animal Kingdom Lodge is the place for you! A Savannah view room gives you the opportunity to watch animals at any time of day. Too much for your budget? Then enjoy sitting and watching from one of the many viewing areas at this resort.

Theme Parks

Magic Kingdom has the Pirates League in which boys (and girls) can get a pirate makeover. This is based on how expensive and detailed you’d like to get. Enjoy the opportunity to skip all those princess attractions and get to all 4 mountains: Space, Splash, Big Thunder, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train! Check out Pirates of the Caribbean and have lunch at Cosmic Rays Starlight Café!

Epcot has all sorts of activities for kids of all ages. Check out Innoventions East and West for interactive games, learn while going through each country in Epcot. Battle the troll on Maelstrom in Norway.

Hollywood Studios - learn the way of Star Wars during Jedi Training, check out all of your favorite Disney Junior Friends (Jake and Handy Manny), meet Buzz, Woody, and the green army men, and run around in Honey I Blew Up the Audience.

Animal Kingdom allows you to release your inner animal! Brave the T-Rex in DINOSAUR, get a wet and wild ride on Kali River Rapids, and enjoy a safari ride. If you’re brave enough, find the Yeti on Expedition Everest.

Dining

We all know princess dining is plentiful, but what if you’re not traveling with a princess crazy group? You can still enjoy character meals:

  • Chef Mickey
  • Tusker House
  • Garden Grill
  • Hollywood & Vine
  • ‘Ohana (breakfast only)
  • Cape May café (breakfast only)

Some more fun dining experiences are:

  • T-REX (Downtown Disney)
  • Rainforest Café (Downtown Disney & Animal Kingdom)
  • ‘Ohana (Polynesian)
  • 50s Prime Time Café (Hollywood Studios)
  • Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater (Hollywood Studios)
A free gift for Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

Ready to get started planning your 2015 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote or use the form below. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!) If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, please feel free to use the contact form below.

Adding a day at Universal to your Disney World vacation

Your family makes it all the way to Orlando for a Disney World vacation. A quick ride away is Universal Studios and the awesome and updated Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Is it possible to fit that in a Disney World trip? OF COURSE it is! Whether it’s shortening your park time at Disney World or adding one extra night to your stay, it’s feasible to enjoy even more of what the Orlando area has to offer.

How do I get there?

If you’re flying to Orlando and don’t have a vehicle, it’s no problem! Universal has a special travel agent ticket offer which allows us to book Disney World resort guests a one or two day park-to-park ticket (similar to the Disney World Park Hopper option) with round trip transfers. It sounds good on paper, but it’s $10 each way for the one day park to park ticket. Depending on the size of your family, it may be less expensive to charter a car or take a taxi for the 25-30 minute trip up to Orlando.

Check your budget

Many guests who think about adding Universal tickets end up not going. Why? Sticker shock! A one day park to park ticket for an adult is nearly $150 and children 3-9 is not much of a deal. Now that Harry Potter has expanded to both theme parks, it’s pretty hard to choose a single park ticket.

There are not as many attractions for younger kids. Gone are the attractions that I really enjoyed as a child – replaced by big coasters and thrill rides! Check the attraction list before you make your final decision to purchase tickets!

Staying at a Universal Hotel

Just like Disney World, there are advantages to staying at Universal hotel. Most importantly entry into Wizarding World of Harry Potter an hour earlier than the general public. Some other hotels allow access to bypass the main line for many attractions (which can be a paid service for non hotel guests).

Check the fine print of what’s included before you decide on your package – not all hotels are created equal.

For those looking to extend their trip to the Orlando area – no free ground transport to and from the Orlando airport from these hotels although it’s a closer trip than Disney resorts.

Think about a travel agent!

Magical Vacations, LLC does have the ability to book Universal Vacations as well as Disney World packages. This can be neatly packaged with ground transportation into one simple reservation. No fuss, less confusion, and an exciting and fun trip!

Interested in a Disney and Universal vacation package? I’m happy to help find your perfect balance between all the best the Orlando has to offer. Work with a travel agent is free for both amazing destinations, so remove the stress and frustration of searching on your own and take advantage of the exclusive ticket offer with transportation for Universal. I can’t wait to hear from you!