Vacation Planning Specialist – Nicole!

Independent Travel Agent with The Vacation Wizards!

2017 Walt Disney World Trip Announcement!

Its always an exciting time counting down the days until your next Disney vacation! Although this trip will be more work than play, it is still going to be one I will never forget because I am getting to experience a whole lot of firsts!

So when I am going? We leave Tuesday, September 19th to drive down to Orlando! We’ll be staying at Coronado Springs from Wednesday, September 20th through Monday, September 25th! Monday will be our long day of driving back home.

Like I said, this trip is going to be full of firsts! I am also going to be taking part in seminars Friday and Saturday with my Travel Agency! This is a work trip so I will be learning so many new tips and tricks to help out all of you future Disney Vacationers!

I will be attending my first dessert firework party! The agency that I work for has reserved a firework dessert party at EPCOT for all of the agents as well as our family members that will be accompanying us on our trip.

I will be going on the KEYS TO THE KINGDOM TOUR! For those of you that don’t know what that is, it is a VIP/Backstage Tour of the Magic Kingdom! I don’t know how “backstage” we are going to get but I am super excited to do this tour! It’s something that’s been on my Disney bucket list that I am going to get to check off!

I will be attending my first Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party! Ever since I went to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party I made it a goal to attend the Halloween party! And now I get to make that goal! The Christmas party was so much fun, even though it rained towards the end and made some things difficult to experience. So, I am hoping that doesn’t happen for the Halloween party! But wouldn’t ya know, that’s the only day during my trip that its calling for rain! (Crossing my fingers!)

I will be staying at my first Moderate Resort! My family has always decided to stay at a Value resort during our trips because we are not in our room a whole lot, besides to sleep and rest. So the room or resort doesn’t really matter to us besides the fact that it’s on Disney property. Also, since we will be staying at Coronado Springs I’ll be able to see the construction progress on the new tower as well as a good chance at staying in one of the newly renovated rooms!

PANDORA! I’m going to get to see PANDORA for the first time! I’ve seen so many videos on YouTube and blogs about it! I am so excited to see it for myself! I have heard that what you see in the pictures and videos is nothing compared to seeing it with your own eyes! I will also get to ride the Frozen ride and see the new Soarin video for the first time! We will also be at Animal Kingdom late on our last night so I will get to see Animal Kingdom at night as well as the Tree lighting. I don’t think we will have enough time to see Rivers of Light because our time will be focused on Pandora and other attractions.

Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After! I am very excited to see these new shows at Magic Kingdom! Once Upon a Time has some very big shoes to fill because I absolutely loved Celebrate the Magic and it still holds number one for me for nighttime show. So we’ll see if that changes when I see the new shows. I liked wishes but not as much as I like the party night wishes. So I’m glad that the Halloween party fireworks haven’t changed yet so I can see those!

Disney Springs! I will also get to see the newly renovated Disney Springs! We set some time aside to eat at the Boathouse for my dad’s birthday. The last time I was there almost have of the construction was complete but I decided to wait until my next trip to visit and see what all it has become.

So who’s all going with me? Well it was going to be a girls trip for my mom and I, but my dad decided that he wanted to go as well. So while I’m in my conference meetings my parents will be exploring the parks together for the first time since me and my brother came along! Which they are very excited about! This will also be the first vacation that I have taken with just my parents in a very LONG time.

Will I be vlogging? Yes, I am going to do my best! I did the best I could do when we went back in December 2015. I don’t have the top of the line cameras that auto-focus and have a good dark view. I am going to do my best, but I am apologizing in advance for blurry videos because I won’t always know if they are focused! I am most likely going to be using my iPhone for a lot of my in-park vlogging, and that doesn’t always have the best pictures but it’s better than nothing! I will be taking lots of pictures! Not like a photo shoot of me but just stuff around the parks and resorts in general!

So as you can see I am very excited for this trip! This is going to be the most firsts that I am going to experience as a guest in a long time! My dad will be experiencing more firsts that I am during this trip so it will be even more exciting to see his reactions and get to experience all of these firsts with my parents! It’s gonna feel like I’m a little kid again!

So be on the look out for future blog posts about my upcoming trip. Which at the time I am posting this I have a 1 day and a half until I leave!! Please feel free to follow me on my social media accounts as I post things while I’m on my vacation!

Instagram: @dizney_wizard

Twitter: @dizneywizard

Snapchat: nicknack

Facebook: Disney Vacation Wizard – Nicole

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EPCOT Food & Wine Festival Returns August 31st!

The 22nd Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival is expanding for a longer-than-ever 75-day run (Aug. 31-Nov. 13, 2017). This year’s festival will feature (35) amazing food and wine Marketplaces to celebrate 35 years of Epcot. The event will be part of the park’s 35th anniversary day on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017 and feature several new experiences. Here are a few favorites:

New Acts for 2017 “Eat to the Beat” Concert Series will amp things up this year. Eleven new-to-the-festival bands, including Kenny G., Squeeze and 10,000 Maniacs, join 21 fan-favorite musical acts for a diverse lineup of pop hit makers to rock America Gardens Theatre stage throughout the festival’s 75-day run.  Other new acts to appear are: The Hooters, Baha Men, Lauren Alaina, Mark Wills, American Authors, Devon Allman, Postmodern Jukebox and Blue October. Concerts take place at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. daily and are included in Epcot admission .  The lineup is subject to change and included in Epcot admission.

Festival-goers can also enjoy Eat to the Beat Dining Packages at 15 popular Epcot restaurants, guaranteeing a breakfast, lunch or dinner reservation and confirmed seating at a same-day Eat to the Beat concert.

New Marketplaces are coming to the Festival – and India and Spain marketplaces will return for an encore. Our global marketplaces will extend into Future World to offer brand-new taste sensations.  

ABC’s “The Chew” is returning to tape five festival shows that will air Oct. 9-13. With Spaceship Earth as the backdrop, the Emmy Award-winning show hosts will again delight a live audience with on-stage cooking and stories of their Disney adventures plus segments from across Walt Disney World® Resort.   

Popular TV chefs and culinary icons will entertain at Festival Center demonstrations. Those same stars of the kitchen will create new dishes for premium events such as Party for the Senses grand tastings with new concepts and themes.

“Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It!” hands-on workshops are also returning with fresh opportunities for you to interact with visiting chefs, bakers, mixologists and other pros.

Stay Tuned for details! Also, if you are interested in booking any of these amazing experiences contact me today!

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COOL Summertime Surprises at Disney Springs!

With Florida temperatures heating up, there are lots of great ways to stay cool at Disney Springs® at Walt Disney World® Resort. Check out what your Clients can enjoy this summer at Disney Springs!

  • The “Beat the Heat DJ Dance Party” is a summer-inspired dance party at Disney Springs Marketplace featuring family-friendly music and the iconic Marketplace Fun Fountains. The party takes place daily 1-5 p.m. in between Earl of Sandwich and Once Upon a Toy. And then, once the sun begins to set, the fountains are turned off for the ultimate nighttime dance party – 6-10 p.m.
  • Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic “Summer of Love” in San Francisco, California and offering the Haight Ash’berry’ sundae (hot fudge sundae with seasonal berries, topped with whipped cream and a dark chocolate blueberry square) for a limited time only. If your Clients purchase this sundae, they’ll receive a flower crown and heart shaped sunglasses.
  • Amorette’s Patisserie is now offering Sparkling Hibiscus Lemonade for summertime guests. This refreshing drink can also receive a splash of liquor for those looking to enjoy a spirited beverage.
  • More shade, big umbrellas and new frozen margaritas at Dockside Margaritas , a favorite waterfront respite for cold drinks and live music. And while classic margaritas and other cocktails are on the menu, seasonal frozen margaritas (watermelon, apple, agave nectar and tangerine mix-ins are among rotating flavors) are fun for summertime. Live music usually starts around noon and goes until 10:15 p.m. Plus, every Thursday through Sept. 28, 2017, four drinks will be featured, all at a special “throwback” price. You can look for your favorite blast from the past cocktail, such as the Kungaloosh from Adventurer’s Club and the Bell Bottom from 8Trax. The non-alcoholic Emil’s Strawberry Colada from Adventurer’s Club will also be offered every Thursday for kids (of all ages) to enjoy.
  • Coca-Cola Store Rooftop Beverage Bar is offering a wide variety of Coca-Cola flavors this summer, in addition to an array of cocktails, mocktails, smoothies and ice cream floats. Here, you can sip on the ‘Coca-Cola Tastes of the World’ and enjoy a selection of Coca-Cola beverages from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America.
  • Paddlefish, located on the iconic Lake Buena Vista paddleboat, is open and has a rooftop bar and lounge that allows you to unwind and enjoy the spectacular views of the summertime sunset and evening activities at Disney Springs. They can also enjoy live entertainment on the rooftop deck every Friday and Saturday night, 9 p.m. to midnight.
  • Splitsville Luxury Lanes on the West Side added more air-conditioned space on the second floor with an enclosed balcony that expands the dining room. Tables and high tops are along the windows, with fabulous views of Disney Springs through floor-to-ceiling windows. A new bar anchors the space.
  • The BOATHOUSE at The Landing has three new summer dishes: herb-marinated grilled shrimp with smoked jalapeño grits, cornbread and housemade jalapeño jelly; house-smoked beef brisket au jus sandwich with spicy giardineria; and coconut bread pudding souffle with roasted pineapple and rum caramel sauce.
  • B.B. Wolf’s Sausage Co. kiosk in Marketplace has a new Latin Dog, topped with chipotle mayo, corn salsa and queso fundido, one of five delectable choices – vegetarians can try the meatless Italian-style with peppers, onion and marinara.
  • The popular “Jasper Board” starter gets bigger at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ with smoked fish dip, pimento cheese, shaved country and tasso hams and buttermilk crackers. With a cocktail, it’s a meal. There is also the new “Ham, Ham & Jam” with three Cheddar drop biscuits with ham, blackberry fig jam and pimento cheese. A new hangar steak with good ol’ Southern succotash (made with grilled corn, tomato and lima beans) and a new Chef Art Burger with Art’s special secret sauce round out the savories. As a lighter option, there’s a new watermelon salad with heirloom tomatoes, crispy ham, feta cheese and candied pecans.

There are also some great shopping opportunities throughtout Disney Springs:

  • Now through July 31, 2017 shoppers can enjoy 50% off select styles at Unode50.
  • British label Superdry is also offering up to 50% off select styles, including their men’s denim and women’s summer dresses now through July 31, 2017.
  • And if you are looking to bring some items back home to help cool-down this summer, they can check out D-Living located in Town Center. This seasonally themed boutique features all the Disney merchandise necessary to enjoy the summer.

Some of these offerings are for a limited time, so be sure to head to Disney Springs to enjoy this cool celebration of summer.

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Cruz Ramirez Meet and Greet coming to Disney Parks this Summer!

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This summer, when you and your family head on down the highway to Disney California Adventure® Park at Disneyland® Resort, you’ll be able to meet one of the newest stars from Disney·Pixar’s “Cars 3,” Cruz Ramirez. Cruz is joining Lightning McQueen and Mater in Cars Land, starting today. She’ll also be taking a summer road trip down to the Sunshine State, stopping in on Pixar Place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® at Walt Disney World® Resort.

In Disney·Pixar’s “Cars 3,” Cruz Ramirez is a top-notch technician at the Rusteze Racing Center where she’s assigned to train the team’s talented rookies. Cruz always had racing dreams of her own, but it isn’t until she meets Lightning McQueen that she realizes her passion to compete is still there. Now she’ll finally get the chance to see if she’s got what it takes to win. You can race out to catch “Cars 3” in theaters in 3D today, and look for Cruz Ramirez this summer as she pays a visit toDisney California Adventure Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

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A NEW On-Ride Photo for Pirates of the Caribbean!

Beginning June 19, 2017 at Pirates of the Caribbean in Magic Kingdom® Park, Disney PhotoPass Service will be at the helm ready to capture whether a pirate’s life is for you, or if you’re more likely to strike their colors and run up a white flag.

As you and your family prepare to exit a haunted grotto and dive into the Golden Age of Piracy, a Disney PhotoPass camera will capture the perfect treasure of their swashbuckling voyage. 

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To preview, purchase and download this attraction photo, you must be wearing an active MagicBand linked to your My Disney Experience account. Your photo will be automatically associated to your account, where it can be viewed at MyDisneyPhotoPass.com and in the My Disney Experience mobile app alongside all of their vacation memories from Disney PhotoPass Service.

You can receive all of your Disney PhotoPass vacation photos from Walt Disney World Resort, including attraction photos, with Memory Maker.* 

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Frozen Summer Games return to Disney’s Blizzard Beach!

“Frozen” Summer Games has returned to Disney’s Blizzard Beach® Water Park at Walt Disney World® Resort.

In addition to the return of the games, you can now meet the team captains, Kristoff or Olaf, near the Beach Haus merchandise shop! In fact, Disney’s Blizzard Beach is the only location at Walt Disney World Resort where you can meet Kristoff, so be sure they take the opportunity to say hello to the “Frozen” star. 

Meeting a few “Frozen” friends is the perfect way to kick off the “Frozen” Summer Games, where once again Guests visiting Blizzard Beach can join Team Kristoff or Team Olaf to participate in a variety of friendly competitions, including Ice Pail Relays, Ski Pole Limbo and Slide Races. Plus, they can also enjoy family activities, crafts and a DJ playing the “coolest” hits.

It’s a really fun way for you and your family to “chill” out as the weather heats up! 

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Disney Night of Joy 2017 Tickets Now on Sale!

Tickets are now on sale for Disney Night of Joy 2017. As a reminder, a new ticket structure is being introduced as this popular event returns to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World® Resort Sept. 8-9, 2017.

You and your family will be able to buy both concert-only OR theme-park-and-concert-combination tickets for either evening – or also a two-night ticket.

Ticket options include:

  • Single night concert only tickets will be $45 plus tax in advance
  • Two-night concert only tickets will be $69 plus tax in advance
  • Single night concert tickets plus a (1) day at a Walt Disney World theme park add on will be $107 plus tax *
  • Two-night concert tickets with a (1) day at a Walt Disney World theme park add on will be $131 plus tax **

There also will be premium seating packages available for an extra charge; and groups of 10 or more will be able to get discounted tickets, as with past events.

A little reminder about this year’s talent: (Entertainment subject to change.)

  • Friday, Sept. 8 – MercyMe, TobyMac, Zach Williams, Natalie Grant, Danny Gokey, Matt Maher, Colton Dixon, Rend Collective.
  • Saturday, Sept. 9 – Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, Kirk Franklin, Jordan Feliz, Crowder, Jeremy Camp, Tye Tribbett.

* Add-on Theme Park Ticket Option is good for use any one day Sept. 8-30, 2017 at any one of the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks

**2-day Concert plus 1-day Theme Park Advanced ticket will also include (1) admission to your choice of Disney’s Blizzard Beach or Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park for one use Sept.8-30, 2017. Individuals must purchase by Aug. 8, 2017 to receive water park ticket. Groups must purchase by Aug. 25, 2017 to receive water park ticket. 

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7 Things to Experience in PANDORA – The World of Avatar!

Pandora – The World of Avatar is now open to Guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park.

The land itself serves as an amazing attraction for you and your family to explore and interact with, and the area’s two experiences – the thrilling Avatar Flight of Passage and the family friendly Na’vi River Journey – are already wowing Guests. But did you know there are actually many other ways your Clients can have fun throughout Pandora – The World of Avatar

1. Match With A Banshee Already a Guest-favorite experience, the land’s Windtraders Merchandise shop is home to the Rookery, a nook where banshees reside, waiting to be “matched” with Guests.

2. Visit at Swotu Wayä (“Sacred Place of Song”) Located in the heart of Mo’ara Valley, you can interact with a collection of instruments fashioned by the Na’vi. They are connected into the moon’s root system and as Guests play the instruments, the area just may respond with music and light.

3. Test Out A Na’vi Translator Also found in Windtraders, this fun device helps you learn Na’vi words.

4. Dine at Satu’li Canteen Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Satu’li Canteen offers one of the most interesting menus at the Walt Disney World® Resort. Featuring international-inspired cuisine, vegetarian options and specialty libations, it’s the ideal place to refuel on an expedition through the Valley of Mo’ara.

5. Help Regrow the Flaska Reclinata One of the largest and most fascinating plants on Pandora, you and your family can help this rare plant “re-seed” itself on Pandora simply through touch. 

6. Channel Your Inner Na’vi Windtraders offers a selection of Na’vi inspired merchandise. Here, you can buy their own set of Na’vi ears or a Na’vi tail. They can also get a Na’vi inspired look over at Colors of Mo’ara.

7. Get Camera Ready – Pandora – The World of Avatar is chock-full of unbelievable photo opportunities – from towering floating mountains, to surprising water falls and much more. And if you and your family want professional pics, Disney PhotoPass guides are on-hand at multiple locations throughout the land.

If you are ready to explore Pandora yourself, feel free to send me an email so we can get the magic started for your next Disney vacation! nicole@thevacationwizards.com

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February 2017 Walt Disney World Vacation!

Here’s a little tip out there for the ones that live in the following three states; Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama! If you live in one of these three states chances are you have some off days for Mardi Gras! Some of you may use these days to in fact celebrate Mardi Gras but some of you may just use them as a day off. If you have kids chances are they have those days off from school if not that whole week! Has the thought of taking a vacation during these holidays ever crossed your mind? Well let me let you in on a little secret!

THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY HAS SOME OF THE LOWEST CROWD LEVELS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD!

AND to make things even better, during the month of February you’ll find some of the lowest room rates and ticket prices as well!

The dates for Mardi Gras 2017 are Monday February 27th and Tuesday February 28th!

Why is February one of the best times to visit Walt Disney World? Well, for one all of the schools in the States are back in session so not that many families are going on vacation during this time of the year. They will have either gone during Thanksgiving or Christmas or are planning to go during Spring Break or the Summer. The second thing that makes February a great time to visit Disney World is the ticket prices and room rates. February is considered Value season, meaning because there are less families visiting the parks the ticket prices and room rates go down!

The only con for visiting Disney during February is that Disney uses this down time to update their more popular rides and water parks. Which means you may not be able to ride some of the rides that you had wanted to. For the most up to date information on attraction refurbishments, click here!

If you think that you might be interested in planning a trip during the Mardi Gras holidays or the month of February then NOW is the TIME! August is the 180th day mark! Meaning that during the month of August advanced dining reservations opens up to those that have vacations booked during the month of February! If you would like to receive a FREE quote please feel free to contact me! My email is nicole@thevacationwizards.com! 

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Walt Disney World Park Hopper!

Hey There! Check out my latest Disney Planning Video! The Walt Disney World Park Hopper!

If you liked this video and would like to see more like it, please subscribe to my YouTube Channel Dizney Wizard

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