Monday, December 1, 2014

Old Fashion Fun at Tom Sawyer's Island in MK!

tom sawyer island

Bringing out the kid in us is what Disney vacations do best! Some attractions seem to poke at our inner innocence a little more than others and one of my favorites is Tom Sawyer Island. You could easily dismiss this attraction as you race by on your way to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad or Splash Mountain, but I invite you to slow down and take a closer look. There are no high tech simulations or daring speeds or surprising ghosts to give you a scare. It’s good ol’ all-American fun like we used to have when we were kids and summer meant exploring the woods behind your house with your pack of neighborhood chums.

Your adventure begins with a meandering raft ride across the lazy river where you disembark and set foot in a natural playground full of areas to explore. There is no right or wrong way to go and you will need to forget trying to find a systematic way of approaching this island. Let your imagination transport you back to the days of Mark Twain and you’ll soon find your whole family is feeling like one of Tom and Huck’s co-horts in mischief. As you explore this island, the winding paths will lead you to suspension bridges and grist mills with turning water wheels. You’ll discover Fort Longhorn with click guns, hidden caves and mines, and some neat animatronics tucked away in the barn. For those in need of a rest while the children run around the fort, there are barrels with painted checker boards waiting for someone to play. And there’s air conditioned bathrooms for those needing a pit stop. One of my favorite features is the barrel bridges that are tricky to get across especially when someone is having fun making your crossing even more of a challenge by jumping on a nearby barrel popping yours out of the water!!

So next time you find yourself in the exciting Frontierland of Magic Kingdom, go get wild as you tackle the two mountains but don’t forget to slow it down a few gears and enjoy some simple and wholesome fun. There’s magic around every corner at Disney just waiting to be discovered!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The new Fastpass+ system can cause stress,  BUT, I encourage you to just try and think of it like you are getting three opportunities to bypass waiting in long lines.  Your Fastpass selections does not mean that's all you're going to experience that day.  Every park has so much to see and do beyond the FP attractions that you don’t want to hyper-focus on this.  The beauty of Disney World is the fact that there is always something new and different to do.  It is not meant to be conquered in one visit… or two.   Heck, I’ve been going two to three times a year for the past twenty years and I’m still enjoying something new with each visit!  I know I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, the magic lies in the journey and spending time with the ones you love – not racing from ride to ride.   More rides does not directly translate to more fun! 

And just to make it a little easier, and hopefully, a lot less stressful, I make sure all my families receive my personal guide to setting up your Fastpass selections!  A lot less stress leaves room for a lot more fun!!

Monday, June 30, 2014


Welcome to my website!  I'm glad you've stopped by.  It has been a while since I have updated my site and that is due to the fact that I have been so busy planning magical vacations for lots of people.  So what's a busy mom to do?  Hire her son to do some guest writing for her throughout the summer!  I hope you will enjoy Trevor's perspective on lots of Disney topics.  He is quite the pro as he's been traveling to Disney World once or twice a year since before he was born making his debut trip at the grand old age of 4 months old!!  Now at 15, he definitely offers my site a fresh perspective!  Enjoy!!
Disney after dark. Everything lights up as the sky darkens. It’s truly magical. What’s not magical is how tired children start to become after about an hour or so afterwards. Here are some tips to get the most fun in your night at Disney;

-Don’t stay up too late. Sleep is an important factor of fun.

-If your kids keep yawning and falling behind, consider returning to your hotel.

-Look for the rides with shorter lines. The longer you stand waiting, the more tired your children will get.

-Don’t let them have too much sugar at night. They may get a boost, but the crash that comes after will make returning to your hotel that much harder.

-Listen if your children start asking to go back to the hotel. They know how tired they are better than anyone else. Worst-case scenario, you can always watch the fireworks another night. And kids, don’t bother your parents too much. They are the ones who brought you here.

Monday, April 21, 2014

I Know Disney, So Why Book Through You?

You're a seasoned Disney traveler.   You know the parks as well as I do.  You have your proven strategies to maximize your ride time and your family knows exactly what to book when it comes to making your Fastpass + reservations.  You know which restaurants you like and you know where you want to be and when.  In fact, you’ve probably helped others plan their Disney vacation as well.  So why would you need or want to book through me when you can do it on your own?   The simple answer is time and money and not necessarily in that order.
When you call Disney to book your vacation, you are connecting to The Walt Disney Travel Company which is the services The Walt Disney Company employ to help guests book tickets and reservations.  As a travel agent, I too am booking your vacation through the Walt Disney Travel Company except I’m working through their agency hotlines.  There are absolutely no price differences or benefits to you calling in your own reservation directly versus me booking it for you.  The numbers are exactly the same.  I do however bring one critical advantage to the table. 

I work with Mouseketrips, where we are an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. This means we are recognized by the Walt Disney Company for our experience and expertise in planning Disney vacations.  What this means for you is I am in the loop for knowing about every offer and deal that Disney presents.  When I book your trip, I know exactly which offers you qualify for and will ask for those prices to be applied.  But typically, offers become available after people have already booked.   I keep track of all my families and when new offers come out, I automatically rebook every family’s vacation that qualifies to get them the same package at a better price.  You don’t even have to know the deals came out or ask me about it as you will probably first learn about the Disney offer when you receive an email from me telling you I just saved you money!   And you probably wouldn’t even be aware that I woke up early the day the offers became available and sat on hold for three to four hours to make sure my families got in on that offer.  When you call Disney directly, they will not tell you about the offers available, you have to know and ask.  They will not say to you, “Hey, if you adjust your vacation by one day, you would qualify for this deal that will give you free dining.”  I would.  I act in the same way your realtor or your attorney would.  I work on your behalf, and making sure your family has just the vacation you want, for the least possible price is my number one priority.

I love working with families who are new to “the mouse” but I also love working with seasoned Disney families as well.  I love our enthusiastic conversations that always end in a volley of “oh, have you ever tried…”.  And I always learn something new from your expertise and sometimes I offer something new to you too.  I know that for Disney families, the planning is sometimes a huge part of the joy of a Disney vacation.  I’m here to help you as much or as little as you would like.  My role is not to tell you how you should vacation in Disney -  you’re already an expert in that.  My job is to be your advocate.   I hope the next time you are ready to book another Disney vacation, you will be happy to call me knowing I am here ready to make sure you’ve paid the least amount for the most magic.  And if you need another Disney nut who is always ready to chat about anything from Astro Orbiters to Zazu encounters and anything Disney in between, I’m just a phone call away!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Now you can save up to 30% on rooms at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels for stays most nights February 27 – April 12 and April 20 – June 15, 2014. Upgrade to a room and ticket package and get one more ticket day FREE with a minimum of a four day pass!