All posts by Barbara Ryan

Travel agent specializing in Disney vacation planning for Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland, Aulani and Adventures by Disney. Also specializing in Universal Studios, Cruises, and Sandals resorts. The benefits of 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 promotions, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part? It’s totally FREE! I’ll take away the stress and confusion (it's a big place!) of planning a Disney vacation!

Minnie Van Service

Disney World has a new service that I recently got to test out and it’s pretty fabulous.

Minnie Vans!

Disney’s version of Lyft or Uber

  • The Minnie Vans will take you everywhere on Disney Property.
  • Minnie Vans can make multiple stops along the way. If you want to go to McDonald’s, Speedway then your resort…you can. If you are leaving a park and need stops at different resorts, this is an option.
  • There is not an extra charge for this feature.
  • Drivers are Cast Members, not employed by Lyft. This means you receive the Disney customer service.
  • Each Chevy Traverse has two versatile car seats with different options based on the childs’ needs.
  • You must be 18 years or older to travel alone in the vehicle. However, an adult can take a child (14+) in the Minnie Van to drop them off at a park and the Minnie Van will return the adult back to where they would like.
  • Hours of operation 6:30 am – 12:30 am

  • They can transport up to 6 guests.
  • They do have accessible vehicles available. You order your Lyft as normal and when they arrive they will call for an accessible vehicle.
  • To book a Minnie Van – go to bell services where they will give you a code for booking. Download the Lyft app, when you enter the code you will see the Minnie Van as an option.
  • The Minnie Vans give you closer proximity to entrances at the parks than Uber or Lyft. At Magic Kingdom, they take you to the bus stop in front of the park, not the TTC as everyone else does.
  • If clients are going to the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue – they will be taken right to the entrance vs having to walk. Also, the Minnie Van driver will take them through the campgrounds to see all the decorations.
  • Resorts are being added as they have enough staff trained.
  • They have a track of Disney music they play during the ride.
  • They have phone chargers available in the vehicle.
  • Cost is $20 flat rate. The cast members are salary but you can tip them through the app or cash.

They are now available at all the Disney Deluxe Resorts. It’s particularly a great option for those early morning breakfasts!

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Perfectly Princess Bibbity Boppity Alternative

A makeover at Bibbity Bobbity Boutique is a popular right of passage for a little princesses Disney World trip. But what happens when that tiny BBB is fully booked months in advance?

Did you know there are alternatives?

Less convenient and not the same experience of the boutique in inside Cinderella Castle, there is a BBB at Disney Springs which is a bit easier to get a reservation at.

An even better alternative though is the Ivy Trellis Salon at the Grand Floridian Resort. Ivy Trellis has Perfectly Princess Packages starting at $50 which are similar to BBB without the clothing options or photo shoot. Don’t forget that a 20% gratuity is added to every service.

M. Mouse Mercantiles is the gift shop located right across from Ivy Trellis Salon inside the Grand Floridian for all your princess attire needs if you didn’t bring them with you.

Ivy Trellis is a great option to schedule right before your 1900 Park Fare dinner with Cinderella and Prince Charming or the Wonderland Afternoon Tea Party!

Package #1 = $50 + tax and gratuity

  • Hairstyle with glitter
  • Tiara

Package #2 = $75 + tax and gratuity

  • Hairstyle with glitter
  • Tiara
  • Makeup

Package #3 = $90 + tax and gratuity

  • Hairstyle with glitter
  • Tiara
  • Makeup
  • Manicure

The same Perfectly Princess Packages are also available at the salons at Disney’s Coronado Springs, and Disney’s Yacht Club Resorts. All resorts have a shop where Princess attire can be purchase if you don’t bring it from home.

For questions and reservations, call 407.WDW.SPAS. You can also call the salon at the Grand Floridian Resort directly: 407.939.7727.

Prices subject to change at any time.

 

 

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What are the Disney Visa Rewards Perks

Make the most of your vacation with Walt Disney World ®

Do you have a Disney Visa Rewards Card? Do you know of all the perks that come with it?

Disney Character Experience at Our Private Cardmember Location

At Walt Disney World® Resort, stop by our private location—reserved just for Cardmembers—to meet and pose with some of your favorite Disney Characters. You’ll receive downloads of your photos, too! Just present your Disney Visa Card to enter this exclusive event, offered daily 1pm to 7pm at the Disney Visa Photo Spot at Epcot®. Our new location is located in Future World next to Journey Into Imagination With Figment.

Star Wars Character Experience at our Private Cardmember Location

Feel the power of the Force at the Star Wars Character Experience, offered daily from 11am to 4pm at the Star Wars Launch Bay in the Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®. You’ll receive downloads of your photos to mark your visit to the dark side! Simply present your Disney Visa Credit Card to enter this exclusive location.

10% Off Select Merchandise

Receive 10% off select merchandise purchases of $50 or more at select locations at Walt Disney World® Resort.

You can enjoy this discount any time during normal Theme Park hours. Just use your valid Disney Visa Card or Disney Rewards® Redemption Card and mention this offer.

10% Off Select Dining Locations

Receive 10% off select dining locations most days at Walt Disney World® Resort (restrictions may apply). Just use your Disney Visa Card or Disney Rewards Redemption Card at the locations below and mention this offer to receive the discount.

Save at Select Walt Disney World® Resort Operating Participant Coffee/Tea and Merchandise Locations

Receive 20% off entire purchase at Joffrey’s coffee/tea kiosks throughout Walt Disney World® Resort, at Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s, and online at Joffreys.com with code: VISABEANS. Plus, receive 10% off select merchandise purchases of $50 or more at the following Walt Disney World® Resort Operating Participant merchandise locations including Basin®, Basin White®, Chapel Hats, Good Fortune Gifts and House of Good Fortune, kidsHeritage and Marrakesh Emporium Arts & Crafts.

15% Off Select Guided Tours

Receive 15% off the non-discounted price of select guided tours at Walt Disney World® Resort. Just use your valid Disney Visa Card or Disney Rewards Redemption Card and mention this offer.

10% Off Select Recreation Experiences

Receive 10% off the non-discounted price of select recreation experiences at Walt Disney World® Resort. Just use your valid Disney Visa Card or Disney Rewards Redemption Card and mention this offer.

15% Off at Select Spa and Salon Locations

15% off the non-discounted price of any salon treatment valued at $45 or greater or any 50-minute or longer spa service most days at the spas and salons at Walt Disney World® Resort.

Create more magic and memories on your next vacation. Use your Disney Visa® Card to treat your family to amazing perks while you relax, dine and play throughout Walt Disney World® Resort!

Remember, even though you might have your Disney Visa Card linked to a MagicBand or RF-enabled card, you will still need to present your Disney Visa Card at the Cardmember Character Experience locations and use it for purchases to receive your Cardmember perks throughout your stay.

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Staying Cool at Disney World

I often have people asking me how we survive traveling to Disney World in August, which is when we always go. For various reasons, school, work…it really is the only option we have. Yes, it’s HOTTER than the surface of the sun most of the time!

Channel your inner Olaf!

But, with some strategic planning and accessories it can still be a very enjoyable vacation.

Beat the summer heat at Disney World with these tips!
  1. Rope Drop – I hear you, you want to sleep in on your vacation, but getting to the parks early at opening, or even Extra Magic Hour opening even better is really one of the best ways of beating the heat. The coolest part of the day, relative to the heat of Florida in the summer of course, is before noon. Which leads right to the next tip.
  2. Schedule a midday break – If it’s a short trip it might be difficult to schedule downtime, but a midday pool break will save your sanity and hopefully prevent those kid meltdowns when they’ve just been pushed too far. Doesn’t matter how hot it is, being in the water or under an umbrella with an icy drink will keep you cool.
  3. Stategic FP and Queue Planning – Choose the longest queues that are outdoor for your Fastpasses in the afternoons. Become familiar with the queues as many are inside and have a/c or even outdoor ones have fans and are shaded. It helps…a lot. Outdoor ones that are kept fairly cool are Rock n Rollercoaster, Tower of Terror, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Expedition Everest. Inside queues where you might enjoy a slight wait to cool off include Test Track, Soarin, Space Mountain, Toy Story Mania and Dinosaur.
  4. Plan those WET attractions – There are rides that you WILL GET WET on in most of the parks. Plan those for afternoon, noon – 4pm. It’s amazing how even a little bit of water can make a difference, and you’ll dry quickly. These include Kali River Rapids which will get you soaked. Splash Mountain and even a little splash on Pirates of the Caribbean is possible.
  5. Water Parks – If you have any interest in the water parks, summer is the time to explore those. If you have a long enough trip 1-2 afternoons at the water parks is a great way to stay cool.
  6. Accessories – Cooling towels like Frog Toggs or iCool Towel will keep you cool and misting fans can be bought in advance from Walmart for less than the ones they sell in the parks.
  7. Showtime – Shows such as Mickey’s Philharmagic, Turtle Talk with Crush, Finding Nemo the Musical, It’s Tough to be a Bug, Indiana Jones (although outdoor it’s covered and there are fans) are another great way to cool down and rest, mingle them into your schedule.
  8. Use Disney transportation – Nothing is worse than getting into a hot car that has been baking in the Florida sun for hours. Use the air conditioned monorails, buses, boats to get from A to B.

Disney actually did a very good job of creating waiting areas and queues to ensure the least amount of time out in the heat and sun.

Don’t forget your sunscreen and sunglasses!

With a little bit of strategic planning which I am happy to help you with if you book your trip with me, you can prevent melting in the hot Florida summer sun.

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Top 5 Shopping at Disney World

Shopping at Disney World is fun! So many interesting things, not just gifts but for the home as well.

Here are my favorites:

5. The Lego Store at Disney Springs. My boys really enjoy this store and so do I. Lego is fun. They have things you’ll never find anywhere else and the Lego creations are incredible.

4. 365 Days of Christmas at Disney Springs. Do I even have to say why? Because it’s Christmas… always. Christmas is the best.

3. World of Disney at Disney Springs has everything which is fitting as it is the largest Disney Store in the world. Even the decor is amazing to see.

2. MouseGear at Epcot smack dab in the middle of Future World. I particularly love the selection of t-shirts and hats here. I could spend hours in this place!

1.The Emporium on Main Street. This store runs almost the entire length of Main Street and it’s a great way to beat the crowds and heat by walking through it instead of the street! You can find anything and everything here and if you don’t want to carry your purchases, have them sent to Guest Services to be picked up on your way out or if you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort, have it shipped there. And let’s face it, there is just something special about shopping right inside the Magic Kingdom on Main Street USA.

Be sure to take some time to check out these fabulous shops on your next visit to the House of Mouse!

Top 5 Digital Kits for Disney Scrapbooking

You made the plans, took the trip and made treasured family memories. Now what? You’ll want to preserve those memories somehow and one of my favorite days is by making a photo book of the trip.

Shutterfly does have a Disney themed photo book option which is great, but if you are a little more hands on then perhaps these digital scrapbooking kits are more your speed. Easy to download and then use in Photoshop Elements.

5. A Frozen Heart by Studio Flergs

A digital scrapbooking kit by Studio Flergs. A frozen heart was inspired by a Norwegian Princess named Anna. Striking bold colours, rosemaling patterns, and filled with beautiful elements. A Frozen Heart is perfect for fans of the other sister! But also great for winter pages, sisters or more. **Coming soon is the sister kit to match**

4. Animal Kingdom by Digital Scrapbook Ingredients

Whether you are going on safari, spending a day at the zoo or just like wild animals, this beautiful kit Animal Kingdom by Digital Scrapbook Ingredients will help you capture your adventurous memories!

3. Pieces of Eight by Studio Flergs

Avast ye scallywags. Look no further! As I have the perfect kit fer scrappin’ those pirates of yers. Grab yer dubloons & pieces of eight or be sure to walk the plank into Davy Jones’ locker.

2. In My Imagination by Studio Flergs

“Something very magical can happen when you read a good book” -J. K. Rowling.

Calling all book lovers! Celebrate your love of books with this magical kit. Fairytales, fiction, whatever your favourite genre or book is, In My Imagination is perfect to help you scrap about your love of books.

1. Believe in Magic  Collection (multiple themed kits)

Believe In Magic consists of many kits themed for different princesses, stories, etc… all created by Amber Shaw and Studio Flergs.

Mouse Tales by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

Sundown Spectacular by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

Tomorrow World by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

Tangled Up by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

Wonderland Adventures by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

First Kiss by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

Bayou Belle by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

Inner Beauty by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

Twisted Love by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

Fish Friends by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

Galaxy Wars by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

Glass Slipper by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

Mermaid Dreams by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

There are many more, visit Sweet Shoppe to see them all.

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Golfers Paradise

Do you have other couples that you and your significant other enjoy hanging out with and say, “We really should travel together!”…??? Well, here’s your chance! Travel to any Sandals all-inclusive resort between September 1 -December 25 2017 or September 1 – December 25, 2018, and with 5 paid rooms, the 6th room is FREE! 🙂 Yes, a free vacation for the “hub” person who organizes the adult getaway! *You can also share/split the free room value between the 6 couples.

Visit my Golfers Paradise page for more information.

 

 

Volcano Bay Rises

Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort is set to open May 25, that’s just a month away!

And as details emerge I am more and more excited to visit! Here are my top 5 things I am looking forward to at Volcano Bay. In no particular order.

1. Kopiko Wai Winding River™

Yes, that’s right. I LOVE me a lazy river. It’s my favorite thing to do, just lounge and float along.

2. Premium Seating

For a very reasonable price, just $29.99 + tax you can have 2 padded loungers with an umbrella and a lockbox in an area with food and drink service. Umm, yes please. Sign me up.

3. Tapu Tapu

This is Universal’s new virtual line system, so no waiting in long lines for  rides. You tap the totem pole by the ride entrance with your wearable Tapu Tapu bracelet ( similar to Disney’s Magic Bands), and get a return time. Then come back at that time and tap and enter.

4. Express Pass

Even better, most rides will also offer Express Pass options to bypass even the virtual line system.

5. Dining

The dining at Volcano Bay looks incredible. Imaginative options in-keeping with the South Pacific Island theme.

Volcano Bay is going to be a fantastic addition to an already exciting vacation experience at Universal Orlando Resort. Read more about a Universal vacation here and here.

To start planning your EPIC Universal Vacation, contact me at Barbara@ATimetoTreasureTravel.com

Disney Cruise Line Itineraries summer 2018

Open for booking today!

In summer 2018, Disney Cruise Line will sail on new itineraries and to new ports, including first-time visits to destinations in Italy and Ireland. Disney Cruise Line takes Guests on a grand tour of Europe with visits to the Mediterranean, northern Europe, Norway and Iceland. Plus, adventures continue with sailings to Alaska, the Caribbean and the Bahamas.

New sailings from Rome and Barcelona
For the first time, Disney Cruise Line Guests can experience more of the rich culture of Barcelona and inspiring history of Rome in a single cruise. In Rome, Guests can explore the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and the Vatican, and sample authentic local cuisine. Barcelona offers beautiful beaches, the market streets of La Rambla, the artistic architecture of Gaudi and the famed Sagrada Família church.

On June 16, 2018, the Disney Magic will sail a seven-night cruise from Barcelona to Civitavecchia (Rome). Ports of call include Marseilles and Villefranche, France; and Genoa (Milan), Livorno (Florence, Pisa) and Naples, Italy.

On June 23, 2018, the Disney Magic will sail a seven-night itinerary from Civitavecchia (Rome) to Barcelona. Ports visited on this cruise are Naples, Livorno (Florence, Pisa) and Genoa (Milan), Italy; and Cannes and Marseilles, France.

First-time visits to Milan, Italy
Disney Cruise Line will call on Genoa, Italy for the first time in 2018, as part of three special sailings from Barcelona and Civitavecchia (Rome). The historic port town of Genoa, located on the Italian Riviera, is a gateway to the beautiful metropolis of Milan and the picturesque locale of Portofino. Milan is a global capital of fashion and design, featuring top-name designer stores, boutiques, open-air markets and art galleries.

A 10-night Mediterranean itinerary sailing from Barcelona on July 7, 2018, calls on Genoa, as well as other popular ports in Italy, France and Spain.

First-time visit to Cork, Ireland and first seven-night British Isles
The Disney Magic will call on Cork, Ireland for the first time as part of a first-ever seven-night British Isles cruise, departing on September 2, 2018. Additional ports visited on this sailing include Dublin, Ireland; Greenock, Scotland; and Liverpool, England. Cork is home to a vibrant culinary scene and a plethora of pubs, shops and cafes. It invites visitors to connect with Ireland’s ancient past, with historic sites like Blarney Castle, where visitors can kiss the famed Blarney Stone.

Throughout the summer, the Disney Magic will continue to tour Europe with engagements in the Baltic, Norwegian fjords, British Isles and the Mediterranean.

Return to Alaska
In 2018, the newly re-imagined Disney Wonder will return to Alaska for the summer season, opening up a world of breathtaking natural vistas, magnificent glaciers and awe-inspiring wildlife. A variety of five-, seven- and nine-night itineraries will depart from Vancouver, Canada, with stops in Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point and Tracy Arm Fjord.

Southern Caribbean Special Sailing
In 2018, the Disney Fantasy will embark on a special 11-night southern Caribbean itinerary departing June 30, visiting tropical destinations renowned for beautiful sun-kissed beaches, including Aruba, Barbados, Martinique, St. Kitts, Puerto Rico and the Disney private island, Castaway Cay.

Castaway Cay – More Opportunities to Explore Disney’s Exclusive Private Island
Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, is consistently a top-rated destination. In 2018, the Disney Dream will sail a series of cruises that include two stops at Castaway Cay so Guests can have twice the fun in the sun and enjoy even more of the pristine island paradise.

 

A Beauty of an Offer

You can Play, Stay, Dine and save up to $500* on a 5-night 6-day Walt Disney Travel Company room, ticket and dining plan package for a family of four at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels for stays most nights Jan. 1-March 7, 2017 when booked Oct. 3-Dec. 21, 2016.unnamed

*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same package for 2 adults, 1 junior, 1 child in the same room. Tickets valid for one 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 campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort—The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms.

Excludes alcoholic beverages and gratuities, Children ages 3-9 must order from children’s menu, if available. Some Table-Service restaurants may have limited or no availability at time of package purchase.

Full List of Disney Resort Hotel Exclusions:
Campsites, 3-bedroom villas, The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms, Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter.

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