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TheMouseForLess Blog

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 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.

What to Do?! What to Do?!

I have reached that point in my vacation planning that I just want to scream and pull my hair out! Let’s see. I originally booked this trip a year ago with my The Magic for Less travel agent. I rebooked it during my vacation last year as a bounce back and had my travel agent cancel my first booked trip. I made the customary resort changes and then some…right Tina?

Plane tickets reserved? Check! Oh, yes! I have now paid off the trip in full and got the forwarded “PIF” confirmation. What a wonderful sight! What did my wonderful and amazing travel agent say to do? She said, “Just sit back, relax, and count those days until it is time for you to leave.”

Sit back and relax??? Doesn’t she know that I am a Type A+++++ personality? I know that she does. So now, the real check list begins!

To see the real check list, click here.

A Senior Trip to Walt Disney World

To begin, I must give a little background information for this blog. We are a homeschooling family of five. This is our last year with our daughter. She’s made it! We’ve made it! The end of our home school journey that began in 1998 is fast approaching. We knew we wanted to celebrate big with a Senior Trip.

A vacation was in order to celebrate the accomplishment of my daughter’s senior year. Where else would we go but Disney? The question was when we would go. The answer came with the announcement of free dining. Being on a budget and being a family of five narrowed our accommodation choice to Port Orleans Riverside. We decided on a date and the wheels started turning on celebration ideas.

And where did those wheels turn up? Click here to find out.

We Are Here to Change the World: The Return of Captain EO

As I was planning our most recent trip to Walt Disney World, I read about a surprise that only a true Michael Jackson lover could get so excited about. We were going to be there when Captain EO returned to Epcot after a sixteen year absence. Having last seen it in the late 80’s, I was curious as to what I would think of it now. Would Michael Jackson’s passing change how I felt as well? Maybe it was best left a fond memory of childhood.

Obviously, curiosity got the better of me and soon I was planning our days so that we could be at Epcot on July 1st. I was excited and driving Jim, my husband crazy. But as we approached Journey Into Imagination, I came crashing back to Earth. Nothing I had read online had warned me that July 1st was an advance screening for Annual Passholders and D23 members. It wasn’t that I couldn’t come back. I actually was going to be at Epcot the next day. BUT I WANTED TO GO THE FIRST DAY!

Did this blogger make it the first day? Find out here.

2010 and Planning a New LOWD Trip.

Our annual Ladies Only Weekend Disney (LOWD) trip is in November. We like to be able to attend the Food and Wine Festival in Epcot. After our 2009 trip was over the Ladies and I stayed in touch via email and Facebook. We shared our trip photos with each other and reminisced. The winter holidays fell quickly upon us and soon and the Walt Disney World trip is put on the back burner. We are busy with family, gift buying, traveling and celebrating but as soon as the holiday festivities die down LOWD business comes back to life!

Late in January 2010 I began asking the members when in April everyone will be able to gather again. Making sure to check the calendar and seeing when the Spring holidays are and anyones birthdays. I try and make our meeting date for early enough in the month so everyone can make the proper arrangements. There are as little as five or as many as ten members of LOWD at a time. I ask to see who will be available for the November trip and remind them that April and August are our over-night meetings, aka slumber parties!

Once I hear from all members, get all of the information tallied and a date is set for the all important April Planning Meeting. Fast forward three months …

What happened then? Click here to find out! has more blogs, beyond the MFL Guest Blog. There’s MFL News and Deals, for, well, news and deals! And there’s the Photo Blog. I’m going to let you guess what that’s all about. Check ’em all out!

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