Jan 112012

By: Dena Burkett

Today I am going to give you a glimpse inside my tactics for planning a Disney trip. I know that everyone plans for their Disney vacation differently, whether it is your first time or tenth time. I am hoping that some of the things I do can help make your future trip easier and more magical.

The first thing I do when I find out when I am taking my trip and where I am staying is to start making up my itinerary. It may seem like a lot of work or a waste of time (I get grief about it from family) but I love having it! It keeps everything in order and in one place. I put the park hours on it along with reservation confirmations, flight information, any other information I would like readily available, and of course, what we plan to do each day. Now, I will tell you that we sometimes stray from it, but for the most part, we follow it to a T. I also print out the hotel information, Magical Express information as well as any other documents I think I might need. I put everything in a red, Disney-decorated  folder that I use every time we go. That way everything is in one place and I can easily find it during the trip.  Doing something like this, whether it’s in an actual folder or perhaps saved on your phone in an app like Tripit, can really be a life-saver! Continue reading »

Nov 022011

By: Lindsey Tullier

My family and I have always enjoyed dining at both the Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney Rainforest Café locations when we visit Walt Disney World. What’s not to love? There are animatronics, thunderstorms, enthusiastic servers and a large gift shop. However, I only recently discovered that the Animal Kingdom location serves breakfast. I have no idea how I managed to miss this, but I was determined to include a brunch at Rainforest Café on our next visit.

Our first morning was an extra magic hour for Animal Kingdom so we made plans to be in that park for 8 a.m. I normally don’t do morning Extra Magic Hours but since it was Labor Day and hot (an understatement), I figured the earlier we could get through Animal Kingdom the better. I made reservations for 9:30 a.m., which gave us plenty of time to ride Kilimanjaro Safari and explore some of the animal habitats before venturing back to the front of the park for our reservation. Continue reading »

Jul 272011

The living area of a Bay Lake Tower villa.

By:  Rhonna Costabile

Did you ever find yourself wondering whether or not you should join the Disney Vacation Club? You see the kiosks all over the place or you see the billboards – taunting you with “the best kept secret”. As a member myself, I will gladly point out some of the more significant advantages and disadvantages to help you make a decision one way or the other.

The Disney Vacation Club program is point based, and you have the freedom and flexibility to use your points however and whenever you want. Each year, you will receive a new allotment of points and you also have the option to bank (putting the points aside for the following year) or borrow points (taking points from the next year’s coffers) if you are wanting to do a Disney vacation but don’t have enough points for the room type you are looking at or you want to vacation longer than your year’s points will allow. I will spare you the grueling details of all of that. Continue reading »

Jan 262011

By Lisa McClure

Recently, my husband and I were able to take a short cruise on the Disney Dream. He is a Disney Cast Member and because of that, we were invited to have the opportunity to go on a short cruise to put the ship “through the ropes” before guests arrived, making sure everything ran smoothly. While there is much that can be said about the new ship, it’s probably best to actually show you some of the highlights.

Let me start by saying the Dream is HUGE! I was just on the Wonder over Thanksgiving and the difference between the size of the two ships is immediately recognizable.

When guests first step into the atrium, they see the enormous atrium and beautiful chandelier three floors up. It is a completely different type of centerpiece from those on the Wonder and Magic. The Dream has amazing chandeliers all over it, the attention to detail was incredible!

The sail away party is different than the one on the other Disney ships.

Continue reading »

Oct 062010

By Erica Colmenares

Blogging is where it’s at these days. Even my son has a blog (topic: video games; surprised?). My preference runs more towards Disney blogs (again, surprised?). I especially enjoy the guest blogs from members at TheMouseForLess.com. These blog entries are not the direct scoop from the Mouse himself. Rather, they are what I enjoy most about Disney. They are the stories of true Disney fans and their magical experiences and memories with families and friends.

A quick look at the MFL Guest Blog can quickly turn into hours of reading. Here are some of the blog posts I enjoyed during a recent leisurely read:

Dinner for 12, please…

When you hear “Grand Gathering” what comes to mind? I know that Disney wants you to have a fairy tale image of happiness and laughing and everyone getting along. Young and old and in between, everyone is thrilled to be together, sharing in the magic of the “happiest place on Earth!” (Right. Have you ever seen my family?) I have those thoughts, all the time as a matter of fact. That is why I continue to plan grand gathering types of trips, because we do have those moments where it seems that everything is right with the world and I never, ever want to go home again.

Leading up to those wonderful days takes a lot of planning, mostly on my part, but every now and then I venture out and ask the opinions of my family members. It is their vacation too and since they are pumping thousands of dollars into the trip, I feel obligated to seek their thoughts for some things. Mostly this happens when I am trying to choose our evening meals. We have been fans of the basic Dining Plan since it’s early days when it included tips and appetizers. Through all the changes we have remained supporters of the plan, the number one reason being that it makes the trip have that all-inclusive feel and I don’t have to feel like I am constantly plucking out the charge card. So how do I go about choosing those table service locations?

To find out how, click here.
Continue reading »

Jun 162010

By Kristi Letsinger


We just returned from a very busy two week trip to Walt Disney World. Originally, the plan was for a short trip, but with the announcement that the Main Street Electrical Parade and the new Summer Nightastic! Fireworks Spectacular would begin on June 6, we decided to extend our trip. We are big Spectromagic! fans and wanted to see the difference between the two.

We arrived at the Magic Kingdom midmorning on June 6. The crowds were a little heavier than they had been the previous week, but we expected that with the returning classic parade and new fireworks show.

Around 7:30 p.m., we decided to find a place in the Castle hub where we could watch both the parade and the fireworks. We were surprised to see that the sidewalks were already crowded with other families trying to get a good view. Though we did have someone in our party who was in an electric scooter, we found the handicap section already full.

Continue reading »