Vacation Planning Specialist – Nicole!

Independent Travel Agent with The Vacation Wizards!

Disney’s Park Pack Subscription May 2016

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Planning your February 2016 Walt Disney World Vacation!

Here is some helpful tips and information for vacationers that are looking into visiting the Walt Disney World Resort during the month of February 2016!

The top three questions that everyone always asks is; how’s the weather, is it crowded and how much will it cost me? Well keep reading because I’m about to tell you!

During the month of February you will experience some very low crowd levels and some pretty inexpensive prices as well as some cool temperatures.

Feb 2016 Crowd Calendar

Disney World hosts the Disney World Princess Half Marathon during the month of February. There are also a two holidays that are celebrated in February, President’s Day and Valentine’s Day. These three events will draw somewhat of a crowd but nothing like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The weather stays mild for most of the month. According to the National Weather Channel temperatures for Central Florida are a low of 52 and a high of 74. That is very comfortable weather for walking around the parks if ya ask me! But, I would still pack a few shorts and maybe one heavy jacket just in case is does stay in the 50’s or around 74 all day. Plus! Don’t forget a rain jacket!

Be aware that some rides and attractions will be closed for refurbishments. Because of the low crowd levels Disney uses this time to update their rides. Some of the rides that will be closed during February are Soarin’ and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.

If you are planing on getting advanced dining reservations you will need to book your reservations by August, which will be your 180 day mark. Also, if you are staying on property you can reserve your FastPass+ 60 days before your arrival date.

So how much would your vacation cost for a visit to Walt Disney World during the month of February?

Let’s Do the Math!

The Darling Family want an inexpensive vacation and are planning on staying at the Walt Disney World Resort for 6 nights and 5 days at Disney’s All-Star Resort. They are taking mom, dad, Wendy-14 and Michael-10 . It is Michael’s first Disney vacation. They have decided to go with a 5-Day base ticket and take on park per day. They are also deciding to pay for their meals out of pocket. Their total vacation cost will be $2,120.62.

The La Bouff Family want to give their two girls Tiana and Charlotte the royal treatment. They have heard about the Royal Rooms at Port Orleans Riverside but they are not sure about the price. They are choosing to stay onsite for 6 nights and 5 days and are playing with the option of a park hopper. They will be purchasing the Dining Plan and will be attending Cinderella’s Royal Table and Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. They are also scheduling an appointment with Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. If they choose to go with the Royal Room and Park Hopper their trip will cost $4,618.64. It they choose the Royal Room and no Park Hopper their trip will cost $4,346.00. If they choose a Standard Room with no Park Hopper their trip will cost $4,394.30.

The Porter Family wants to go all out for their two children Jane and Clayton’s first visit to Walt Disney World. They will be staying at the Polynesian Village Resort for 6 nights and 5 days. They have chosen the Polynesian because they will have direct access to EPCOT and Magic Kingdom Parks. They for sure want to get a Park Hopper Ticket and are still on the fence with choosing a Dining Plan. With a 5-Day Park Hopper and no Dining Plan their vacation will cost $6,709.80. If they choose to add a Dining Plan their vacation will cost $7,703.40.

I hope the information that I have provided will help those out that are looking to visit the Walt Disney World Resort in February 2016. If you have any additional questions that were not answered in this post, please ask away!

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

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Planning Your Early 2016 Disney Vacation!

This post is for all of you travelers out there that are looking to visit the Walt Disney World Resort during the months of January, February and March!

Anytime during these three months is THE best time to visit Walt Disney World! Reason number one being that the crowd levels are very low, because you guessed the kids are back in school. It’s also not as hot in central Florida during this time of year, but I would still pack a couple of pairs of shorts in your suitcase! Another thing to note is that the park hours are not extended into the late hours of the night like they are during the summer and holiday season. Which means that you can usually catch the Magic Kingdom nighttime fireworks at 9:00 pm sometimes even 8:00 am!

January/February/March – Park Events & Holidays!

There are a couple of holidays and events that take place during these months that can bring in a heavier crowd level at times. But, it’s nothing like the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years crowd levels.

  • Marathon Weekends: Disney hosts quite a bit of themed marathons and two of the most popular ones take place during the months of January and February. They are Disney Marathon and the Princess half marathon. This year the Disney Marathon takes place during the weekend of January 8-10 and the Princess half marathon takes place during the weekend of February 19-21.

  • There are three holidays that fall during this time period that will bring in a pretty heavy crowd. They are MLK Jr. weekend which falls on January 15-18, Presidents Day weekend which falls on February 13-15 and Valentines Day February 14. St. Patrick’s Day is also during these months but it does not draw in the crowds to the parks. Usually families take a long weekend in order to visit during these holidays.

How’s the Weather?

During these three months you will most likely be greeted with a VERY chilly morning and evening with a moderate midday. For the most part it is very comfortable weather and you could probably get away with jeans and a t-shirt and maybe a light jacket for the evenings. But sometimes it could get pretty hot and raining. I would just advise to bring both jeans and shorts and short and long sleeve t-shirts. I wouldn’t bring a down jacket unless you check the weather the week before you visit and it says it’s going to be in the 30’s all day.

Ride & Attraction Refurbishments and Closures

The only part that may be a little frustrating during this time is the ride and attractions closures. Disney uses this time of year to close down some of it’s rides and attractions to complete refurbishments on them. You can expect at least one of the main attraction rides and one of the water parks to be down or closed due to general maintenance. Below is a list of all of the rides and attractions that are known to be closed for refurbishment during the months of January, February and March.

  • Soarin’ (January 4 – Summer 2016)

  • Re-Imagination of Maelstrom (October 2014 – April 30, 2016)

  • Splash Mountain (January 10-14)

  • Pizza Planet (January 11-Late 2016)

  • Liberty Bell Riverboat (January 18-22)

  • Mad Tea Party (February 22-26)

  • Magic Carpets of Aladdin (January 25 – February 3)

  • Maharajah Jungle Trek (January 4 – 21)

  • Kali River Rapids (January 4 – February 11)

  • Flights of Wonder (January 25 – March 17)

  • Planet Hollywood (January 6 – Summer 2016)

  • Typhoon Lagoon (January 3 – March 12)

  • Ol’Man Island Pool (Port Orleans Riverside (January 11 – February 29)

  • Wilderness Lodge & Villas (General Refurbishment throughout the resort now through 2017)

  • Polynesian Village Resort (General Refurbishment should be ending soon)

  • Caribbean Beach Resort (General Refurbishment January 3 – February 28)

  • Flying Fish Cafe’ (February 1 – September 30)

All things New and Annual Events!

Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular. This is a limited time fireworks experience at Hollywood Studios that will be presented nightly. It will feature an amazing firework show performed to the music from the Star Wars movies. Starting January 5 you can book a Fireworks Dessert Party.

Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine at Hollywood & Vine: This is a special dinner with Minnie and her friends. join Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy for this perfect Hollywood party filled with dazzling décor and a musical score Jan. 4-March 20, 2016.

EPCOT’s Flower and Garden Festival: This is an annual event that takes place inside EPCOT all around Future World and World Showcase. To find out more information about this event click here. For more information about all of Disney’s Events and Parties click here.

Are you ready to get the Magic Started on your next Disney Vacation? Contact me today!

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SAVE UP TO 25% ON ROOMS AT SELECT WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT HOTELS THIS SPRING!

You and your family can save up to 25% on rooms at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels for stays most nights April 14-June 11, 2016 when they book by March 31, 2016. Ask about other great rates for stays most nights Feb. 22-April 13, 2016.

Plus, you can receive 1 more ticket day FREE when they upgrade to a room and ticket package with a minimum 4-day Magic Your Way Ticket!

It’s a perfect time for you and your family to discover all-new Star Wars™ adventures at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Garden Rocks™ Concert Series at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, the new nighttime experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and so much more.

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Mardi Gras

Very little is done in the parks for Mardi Gras. BUT if you happen to be staying at Disney’s Port Orleans you will get to experience some what of a parade!

Some of the cast members of the resorts build floats out of golf carts. They parade around the resort throwing trinkets (beads, candy and doubloons) to the guests that line up to watch.

If you will be staying at Disney’s Port Orleans on Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), be sure to ask the front desk when and where this event will be taking place!

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EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival

Every year, sometime in March through May,Walt Disney World puts on EPCOT’s International Flower & Garden Festival. EPCOT is always beautifully landscaped but the amazing Disney Magic truly shines during this festival. Exquisite plantings, topiary’s of your favorite Disney characters and specially themed gardens as well as gardening tips and weekend concerts are some of the many amazing things that you can experience while attending the Flower & Garden Festival.

Go on over to the Walt Disney World Website to get the official dates and schedule for the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival.

Besides all of the beautifully designed topiaries that are placed throughout Future World and World Showcase, you can also enjoy the Outdoor Kitchen Booths. Similar to the pop up stands for the Food & Wine Festival, these booths are all around World Showcase and feature small serving plates of goods as well as interesting drinks from all of the different countries. (Hints International Festival). 

Each weekend during the Flower & Garden Festival you can attend “hands-on presentations” and “demonstrations” for select gardening tips. Also, each Friday, Saturday and Sunday night during the Flower & Garden Festival you can catch some amazing singers and bands at the America Gardens Theater. You can find a complete schedule of the Garden Rocks Concert Series on the Walt Disney World Website.

Just like any special event that goes on at Walt Disney World, crowds impact how much you enjoy yourself. The Flower & Garden and Food & Wine Festivals bring in fairly large local crowds to these invents, especially on the weekends. If you are interested in seeing the Garden Rocks Concerts plan to get there early to get your spot and enjoy some of the foods. But if you are just going to see the displays and enjoy some food, go during the week!

 

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EPCOT INTERNATIONAL FLOWER & GARDEN FESTIVAL EXPANDS TO 90 DAYS IN 2016

Celebrating its 23rd year, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival returns to Walt Disney World Resort March 2-May 30, 2016, expanding from 75 days to 90 days.

From fresh farm market flavors at the festival’s Outdoor Kitchens and new Disney character topiaries to interactive play gardens and live rockin’ music, this annual event will shower your family with spring surprises.

Donald Duck’s mischievous nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, will make their topiary debut with Donald and Daisy at the park’s front entrance garden. Plus, in celebration of the National Parks Service Centennial, Ranger Mickey Mouse, in topiary form, will make his first appearance.

Savory bites and sweet treats will be abundant at the festival’s Outdoor Kitchens, returning for a fourth year with Guest favorites and new food and beverage offerings. And, when they’re not noshing along the World Showcase promenade, you can dig in for a hands-on experience during Disney-led gardening seminars or grab a seat for pop musical performances during the Garden Rocks concert series at the outdoor America Gardens Theatre.

Stay tuned to Disney Travel News for more details about this exciting event!

 

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GET A SPLASH OF COLOR AT THE NEW COLORTOPIA EXHIBIT AT INNOVENTIONS AT EPCOT

Now at Walt Disney World Resort, you and your family can experience the wonderful world of color at Colortopia, Presented by Glidden – a brand new exhibit in Innoventions at Epcot.

At Colortopia, you can explore 3 interactive zones – the Color Lab, color Our World Studio and Power of Color Theater – for a fun, informative take on the numerous ways color affects our lives. From creating custom hues and digital painting to understanding how different shades can impact moods, Guests will learn how every color tells a story.

Plus, the Colortopia mobile app allows you and your family to take their masterpiece home, colorize photos and play with a range of vivid palettes.

 

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A Disney Christmas: They’re Here! Our MagicBands are Here!

I got our MagicBands in the mail yesterday!!! I am beyond excited! This will be our first trip since Disney introduced the MagicBands! In case you don’t know what they are, the MagicBands have replaced your hard tickets! Meaning, that you no longer have to have a hard plastic ticket to get into your hotel room or inside the parks. You just put the Mickey head up to the device reader and wait until it turns green and you’re good to go! I will be posting videos on how all of this works once I get back from our trip! In case you were wondering my MagicBand is the pink one! I wanted to get a red one but I didn’t want my mom and I to get ours mixed up, even though they do have our names on the inside! Ha!

Also, I am going to be adding some fun vinyl images to our MagicBands! I haven’t decided what exactly I’m going to put on them but maybe our names and I know I want to do something with Minnie or Christmas but I haven’t decided yet! There are just so many options! But I will post my designs when I do decide what to put on my MagicBand! I may even put some Alabama stuff on there, Roll Tide!

I wish I would have known how to get one of these MagicBands! They also have a store inside the Magic Kingdom in Tomorrowland or at Disney Springs where you can customized your MagicBand. I just might be stopping inside one of those stores!

There are so many Christmas items that I have been looking at online at the Disney Store that I would LOVE to get while I’m down there! I wish we still had our Disney Store in the mall here in Mobile. The closest store that I can go to is in Gulfport, Mississippi and that is an hour away! But Black Friday is coming up and I think that my mom and I are planing to do some clothes shopping for our trip over at the Gulfport Outlets so we’ll just have to see if we can make a quick stop inside the Disney Store! (We ALWAYS do when we go over there!) If we do go to the Gulfport Outlets I will post a Disney Store HAUL post to show you what all we picked up!

24 Days to go!

 

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Walt Disney World Marathon and Half Marathon

Anytime that there is a race weekend at Disney World, be advised that weekend will be very busy and crowded. The most popular races is the Annual Disney World Marathon Weekend. It is typically held the first full weekend after the New Year. Disney’s Annual Marathon Weekend has become the largest combined running event in the country. So if you are a Disney Fanatic and love to run you might want to check into this event one year!

The even starts with a Family 5k Fun Run on Friday, the Half Marathon (13.1 miles) on Saturday and the Full Marathon (26.2 miles) on Sunday. Be advised you do not have to be a World Class runner to compete in these races. Disney has set a 16:00 min/mile pace time to compete in the race. So run, walk, speed-walk whatever it is that you do and come and compete! Each participant receives a medal for completing the run.

While you are running your marathons you will be running through the theme parks themselves! You will be able to stop and take a quick photo with your favorite character or a rare character or two. There will also be bands, high school cheering squads, DJs, dancers and lots of entertainment along the course of the race.

Be advised that registration spots for the races fill up quickly! Register as soon as possible!

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