Archives for May 2016

What To Bring To Disney World – The Ultimate Guide

What To Bring To Disney WorldYou have the vacation planned, but now it is time to figure out what to bring to Disney World.  Months of planning for the perfect trip can be ruined in a matter of a few minutes if you have forgotten to bring something to Disney World.  Imagine this, you forget the sunscreen and find yourself getting roasted by that unforgiving Florida sun.  Trust me when I say this can put an end to your magical vacation in a matter of hours.  Whatever the problem that can arise, we are going to help you avoid it with our ultimate Disney World packing guide.



The problem with what to pack for Disney World is that you are limited by the amount of space you have.  If you are flying down to Disney World, you are only going to bring a duffle bags or suitcases to accommodate your needs.  If you are going to drive down, you will be able to pack much more and thus avoid the higher cost of buying the missing items down in Disney.  Keep in mind that bringing something as simple as water with you can save you a ton of cash during your vacation.  With that being said, let’s take a what to bring to Disney World in order to ensure a great vacation.

sunscreen what to bring to Disney WorldSunscreen:  I think that this is almost self explanatory, but let’s go over the reasons why.  It is Florida!  If you have never been in Florida, just know that you will need a boatload of sunscreen.  The sun can be brutal during that midafternoon period of time and you will want to reapply early and often.  I have talked to many people who have had their vacations ruined by a member of their party getting sunburned severely and not being able to go outside again.  Here is a great deal for those looking to buy some for the upcoming trip.




water what to bring to disney worldWater:  I will say it again…water.  If you are looking to save some easy money on your trip, you can stock up on the old agua.  The price of a bottle of water at Disney World is $2.50 a piece.  I know that bottled water at a grocery store will run you about ten cents a piece.  This means you are paying 25 times what you should be paying.  But 3 bottles of water a day for each member of a family of 4 is 84 bottles by the end of the week.  This is $8.40 at a grocery store or $210.00 if you buy it at the parks.  An easy savings of over $200 over the course of a week.  That is enough to get a great steak for 4 at Le Cellier.  If you are looking to have it delivered to your house, order some here for front door delivery.

frogg toggs what to bring to disney worldFrogg Toggs:  This chilly pad towel is a must have on any hot day.  Just put some water on it and sit back and enjoy the coolness.  This thing is crazy good.  I remember my wife telling me that we needed one for each person in our family.  I didn’t like the idea of spending $10 bucks on a towel, until I got down to Disney World and felt first hand what real heat feels like.  That Frogg Togg was a life saver.  I use it anytime I go out and about during super hot days.  If you are on the fence about it, don’t be and get one for yourself…you will not regret it.

ponchos what to bring to disney worldPonchos And Then More Ponchos:  This is no exaggeration, you are going to get rained on in Disney World.  Maybe multiple times every day, especially during the summer months.  You are going to want these ponchos to keep you dry and riding the rides while others are sprinting for the exit.  This is a great opportunity to get on a ton of rides while others are seeking shelter or going home to get out of the rain.  So packing a few ponchos allow you to take advantage of the rain and enjoy Disney World while everyone else is running away.

hand sanitizer what to bring to disney worldHand Sanitizer:  You are going to a place that has people from all over the world visiting.  This means that these same people will be bringing germs and viruses from all over the world as well.  Every time you touch anything at all, there is a good chance 100 other people touched it before you did earlier in the day.  Think…Toy Story Mania or any door handle that you need to grab.  Think those 3D glasses that you put on and then put in the box to be reused by someone else.  Think the seats you sit in on any ride and anything your hand touches during those rides.  Ughhh….so many ways to catch a nasty germ to ruin your trip.  One way to avoid these germs is to use this hand sanitizer to kill them.

body glide what to bring to disney worldBody Glide:  You are going to walking miles everyday you are at the parks.  This means that certain parts of your body may rub together and create some very painful situations.  The best way to avoid this is to use Body Glide to keep the parts free of friction.  When it comes to what to bring to Disney World, this is something that you will want to make sure is on your list.  Nothing can ruin a vacation faster than a nasty chaffing.

disney trading pins what to bring to disney worldDisney Trading Pins:  These are something that are pretty pricey when you pay full retail at Disney World.  I learned the hard way when I took my 3 children down to Disney World for the first time.  They all wanted them and those pins cost $8.00 to $15.00 a piece…ouch!  So I have learned since then and have bought my pins here, to get a ton more pins for a mere fraction of the price.  The kids and I get to trade with the cast members and I go in saving a ton of cash.  If you do not know about Disney’s pin trading, it is something that you will want to do once you get there…a load of great fun for everyone.  Avoid my costly mistake and buy your pins before you go down.

advil and pepcid ac what to bring to disney worldAdvil and Pepcid AC:  You are going to be out in the sun for hours on end and eating tons of great food.  Couple this with a few vacation drinks and you could be looking at quite a nasty headache or some bad heartburn.  I always bring some Advil and Pepcid AC to counteract those ailments.  For me it is when I couple ice cream, pizza, chicken wings…and a Pepcid AC.  :)

Chacos shoes what to bring to disney worldChacos:  These shoes are what you are going to be wearing as you are walking for miles on end.  Disney lovers from the world round rave about how well Chacos hold up during the miles of walking that you will be doing every day.  The goal is to have a lightweight show that can handle the weather and not hurt your feet.  This is where Chacos excels and you paid a few more dollars so you didn’t waste thousands on vacation.  When it comes to knowing what to bring to Disney World, this is one of the most important pieces.

chromecast what to bring to disney worldChromecast Device:  This is one of those things most people don’t consider when they go on vacation.  Even though you are going on vacation, you will still be in the room for quite some time.  Most places down in Disney World have free Wi-Fi, so coupling this a Chromecast device will allow you to enjoy quite a bit of entertainment.  You can also use an Amazon Fire Stick as well.

amazonechoAmazon Echo:  This is one of my favorite things to use on a daily basis.  Since free Wi-Fi is rampant down in Disney World, bringing this awesome piece of technology is a no-brainer. The Amazon Echo, or Alexa as I call her, allows me to get weather updates, music, and news with a simple voice command.  Nothing better then throwing on the old playlist and enjoying some great vacation music to make the trip even better.  If you don’t know what the Amazon Echo is, you will want to see it here in action.

disney dresses What To Bring To Disney World Princess Dresses:  If you have a daughter or a wife who loves to do some Disney Bounding, which you can read about here, then you will want to buy some princess dresses before you go down.  Even though everything Disney is magical, their prices sometimes are not.  What could cost close to $100 down in Disney World, can be found here for a mere $15 to $20.  I am always asked what to bring to Disney World and this one is something that I always respond with.




backpackPatagonia Atom Sling Pack:  This sling pack is a life saver when it comes to hauling all the above mentioned items around for miles on end.  There are quite a few options to what to use, but I find this one to be a Disney World fan favorite for its ease of use and carrying weight.

mio what to bring to disney worldCrystal Light/Mio/Ice Tea:  The water can be a bit different then your home water, so bringing some Mio type flavorings can add a bit of deliciousness to your water.  Keep in mind that waters are not cheap when it comes to Disney World pricing.  They are currently running $2.50 a piece, so consider bringing a few cases of water with you if you are driving down as stated above. (You can see I really hate over paying for water)

collaspable clothes hamper what to bring to disney worldCollapsible Clothes Hamper:  You know it can get bad at home with the kids, but imagine a small room with limited containers for your dirty laundry.  That is why you will need a good collapsible clothes hamper.   I personally have 3 children and that is like having 3 mini tornadoes running rampant at times.  This clothes hamper makes it a little less messing when those tornadoes get going.

hydro flasks what to bring to disney worldHydro Flasks:  You may want to bring some ice cold drinks with you to help deal the Florida heat.  If you have ever been in 80 to 100 degree weather for hours on end, you will know that there is nothing better then having an ice cold beverage to help combat it.  These Hydro Flasks are no joke and will keep your beverages ice cold throughout the day.  They are pricy, but this is one of those “you get what you pay for” moments.

This is not an all inclusive list.  Believe me that every time I go back to the parks, I end up learning about something else that will make the park much more magical for all those involved.  I am currently working on a PDF that will allow you to easily check off all your necessities to ensure a great vacation.  This list will be made to my email list as soon as I have completed it.  Take a moment and ensure delivery of this free list by signing up below.  When it comes to knowing what to bring to Disney World, our complete list will be a must for every Disney fan.




What To Bring To Disney World – The Ultimate Guide

Disney World Scents – Top 10 Of All Time

Disney World ScentsLet’s face it, the Disney World scents are there.  You are not going nuts, it is just like walking into your mom’s kitchen at Christmas time, you are going to smell something fantastic.  For example, you are walking into the lobby of the Beach Club Resort and for some reason, you can smell a slight tinge of gingerbread flowing through the air.  Is this all in your head?  Are you becoming Disney obsessed?  Maybe, but there are some scents that Disney puts in the air to make your vacation even more special and we are going to reveal them to you.




There is a major psychological attachment to smells in a person’s life.  Be it the smell of your childhood home or  your spouses on perfume or cologne.  It is something that triggers a ton of emotions when that scent hits those nostrils.  Springer Science + Business Media report found that scents that trigger found memories makes the current event more likely to be successful.   In other words, when you smell those Disney World scents, they are meant to trigger pleasant memories, thus making you current experience more likely an enjoyable one compared to a scentless one.  With this being known now, what top 10 Disney World Scents are being used and where can you find them?



Disney World Scents Soarin10.  I think that one ride everyone knows about that has a scent related to it is Soarin.  Nothing like feeling above the world as you glide through the air.  But it is when you go over that orange grove that really gets you in the nostrils.  The wave of oranges burst through the air and makes the ride something that hits multiple senses and thus even more memorable.  If you think about the psychology of this Disney World scent, it makes perfect sense. (Sorry…I had to :) )  How many people actually have a negative view of an orange smell?  I am guessing less than 1% of people.  Now when your vacation is over, you will be back home enjoying a fresh orange and that smell will trigger a Disney World memory flashback.  This is the goal of using scents.  It is to make you “miss” it and want to come back to enjoy it once again.  I know every time I smell gingerbread, I think of my Christmas vacation and those unique gingerbread smells.  Great…now I have to look up booking options for next Christmas before I continue on with this article.  By the way, if you are looking for a candle that perfectly reproduces the Soarin smell, take a look at this candle.  It makes the perfect gift to someone who is missing Disney.

UPDATE:  Good news, there are a few openings for December if you want to check out that gingerbread smell first hand. 

Main Street Bakery disney world Disney World Scents9.  Now that we have covered Soarin’s sweet orange smell, what other fantastic Disney World scents are out there waiting for us to discover?  One the biggest legends is that of Main Street in Magic Kingdom.  If you have ever strolled anywhere near the Confectionary or the Main Street Bakery, then you have given your nose a spectacular experience.  It is highly thought in the Disney community that delicious bakery like smells are piped into the area to have people want to stop in and check out the goodies.  I for one have been guilty of seeing and tasting what this Disney World scent was selling.  After a few cookies and pastries, I can tell you that what they were selling was absolutely delicious.  Did the piped-in scent make me go in?  I can say that it most likely made up my subconscious mind to do so.  Hey, I am on vacation after all and a few, who are we kidding, a dozen cookies isn’t going to kill me.

Disney World Scents rome is burning8.  You see the great big ball in the middle Epcot?  Yep, Spaceship Earth has a magical smell that you can’t miss as you enjoy the attraction.  When you go through the section of Rome burning, you get the great big whiff of smoke.  It is unmistakable to those that have experienced it.  If you have ridden that ride, you know exactly what I am talking about.  You can probably “smell” it right now and it is bringing back great memories of when you were last in Epcot.  Once in a while, I will be burning some wood, and that smell transports me back to those good old days at Epcot.




PhilharMagic apple pie disney world scents7.  One of my favorite Disney World scents is found at PhilharMagic.  It is the apple pie smell that is pumped out during the performance.  When that pie scene comes on and the air is filled with that warm apple pie aroma, there is a definite a memory formed for all the future times that you get a hint of that smell.  For me, it is when I smell the Apple Cider Yankee Candle that we light up every once in a while around the house.  You will want to try it out if you want to experience the magic and aroma of PhilharMagic in the comfort of your own home.  Either that or you can buy a few apple pies to bake anytime you are missing Disney.  (I tend to go with the latter do to my love of all things baked)

pirates of the caribbean disney world scents6.  In terms of rides, the Pirates of the Caribbean musty indoor smell is one that most Disney addicts will say stands out.  Is it the water that flows through the entire building?  Is it the stale air in the queue line as you wait for the ride?  I like to think it is a combination of air being pumped in as well as the other factors listed above.  Whatever it is, Disney World has made that smell exclusive to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.  It reminds me of a recent episode of “The Last Man On Earth” when Tandy opens a 30 year old bottled fart and finds a unique reaction to this smell.  We all have a connection to certain smells and Disney helps us create quite a few of these.

Disney World Scents wilderness lodge5.  One that my beautiful wife loves to reminisce about is that of the Wilderness Lodge.  If you are checking in for the newly named Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge or the Copper Creek Villas & Cabins, you will not be able to miss that rustic smell that is flowing through the air.  It gives one the feeling of being in the great outdoors and enjoying all the Wilderness Lodge has to offer.  I still remember the first time I walked into the Wilderness Lodge.  Words can’t explain the awe one feels from the mere size of this resort.  It is very impressive to say the least and those Disney World scents that are pumped in through the ventilation system cannot be beat…ahhhhhh!

Karamell Kuche4.  If you have walked around the World Showcase, you know that certain places have some interesting smells.  One of these places is Karamell Kuche.  It is that delicious caramel popcorn smell that overtakes your nose as you stroll by.  If this isn’t enough, take a look at this article on why you will want to stop in to scratch off another bucket list treat.  If you love caramel, then this place is going to be paradise to you.  But if you are a chocolate covered strawberry with a tad bit of caramel on top kind of person, then you are covered as well.  The smell of all things caramel is something that you will always remember after you leave Karamell Kuche.

toiletries Disney World Scents3.  How many Disney World toiletries have we all taken home after our trips?  I bet if you look around your house, you will  be able to find one of those cute little shampoo containers.  I know we have them stashed in the closet ready for us to get a taste of Disney any time we need it. (As well as some fresh hair after using the shampoo as directed)  If you have used your last bottle from your take home collection, then you can get the larger one here to evoke all those great Disney World scent memories.  It is always fun to randomly wash with one of the Disney shampoos or soaps and go up to your significant other and see their bewilderment of what that scent is, knowing that they know it from some where they have been.  Eventually, they remember that great Disney smell and get to tell you how much they miss it.



Disney World Scents Tomorrowland Speedway2.  Tomorrowland Speedway has that great smell of gasoline that can’t be confused.  It hits you like a ton of bricks every time you smell it.  You instantly are taken back to getting into your little car and roaring around the track and burning up some fossil fuels and creating those Disney World scents that people have grown to know and love.  One thing I get to enjoy when I come home is stopping over at Knobel’s Grove amusement park and getting to ride in the old classic gas powered car ride.  It is like Tomorrowland in that gas smell and fun of letting the kids drive their first automobile.

cinnamon-glazed almonds disney world scents1. If you have walked around Adventure Land, you have had the pleasure of smelling cinnamon-glazed almonds.  You can experience this outside of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.  (You can kill two birds with one stone when going on the ride…see number six above)  Every Christmas time, I walk around the Lycoming Mall in Muncy, PA and someone there is selling roasted almonds and that smell of those little almonds being cooked up takes me back to Disney World instantly.

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Disney World Scents – Top 10 Of All Time

Best Food In Disney World – 10 Disney Foods For Your Bucket List

Best Food In Disney World - 10 Disney Foods For Your Bucket ListWhat is the best food in Disney World?  Let’s be honest here.  If we could, we would eat everything that Disney has to offer.  But there are limitations to what our bodies and more importantly, our wallets can handle.  So if you only have a few days in the land of mouse, what food should make your ultimate Disney bucket list?  In trying to help Disney fans the world round, we have come up with a top 10 of best foods in Disney World for you to consider.

There are literally hundreds of restaurants scattered around Walt Disney World.  I have visited as many as these as humanly possible, but I have yet to hit them all.  My waist line would like to argue that, but the sad truth is that I have a few favorites that I always like to eat at when I am visiting Disney.  But in my adventures of eating, I have found quite a few foods that I just absolutely.  I am sure I am missing quite a few, but that is why I keep going back…ahhhh.




Best Food In Disney World poutine10.  Le Cellier Signature Poutine – This is one of those french fry orders that you don’t get at a local McDonald’s or Burger King.  I still remember the first time I ever had the pleasure of eating them.  It is a surprise that only happens a few times in your eating life and one that is very satisfying.  The best part of this dish is that it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to enjoy.  It comes in at number 10 on this list and only $10 from your pocket.  I know what you are thinking already, a french fry appetizer as a top 1o best food in Disney World?  You seriously have to try it to fully grasp the deliciousness of this potato wonder.  It is made with Canadian cheddar, black truffles and a red wine reduction sauce.  I have had some fantastic versions of a potato, but this is my absolute favorite…next to my mom’s cheesy tators.




Best Food In Disney World 9.  Hot wings from the Boardwalk To Go Kiosk.  Another snack makes the list for me, and this time it is those good old fashion chicken wings from the boardwalk.  It was something else when I had these wings.  Something seriously different from the sauce drenched wings from good old Pennsylvania that I was use to.  These are a dry rub hot wings that really pack the flavor.  If you are wondering where to try these fabulous pieces of bird heaven, all you have to do is head over to the Boardwalk To Go Kiosk and order up a dozen and judge for yourself. They have other treats, but to be honest, the best thing they have are the wings.

Best Food In Disney World micky waffle8.  Mickey Waffles at numerous places that offer this delicious breakfast food of Disney World.  It is such a staple that Disney has made tons of merchandise showing off the waffle that is shaped in Mickey’s image.  I realize that it is just a breakfast food, but they do something that just makes this a must have when you visit the parks.  When it comes to the best food in Disney World, you will never regret having these for your morning nourishment before a day in the park.  You can pick up a Disney waffle magnet for fridge to remember how delicious it was after you get home.




Best Food In Disney World caramel popcorn epcot Karamell Kuche7.  Caramel Popcorn from Karamell-Kuche in Epcot’s World Showcase.  It is amazing how many different times I ate caramel popcorn and thought nothing of it.  That all ended when I had the pleasure of eating Karamell-Kuche’s version of this forbidden delicacy.  There is absolutely no way corn should ever end up tasting this good.  Just beware that when you enter their establishment, that there is a boatload of other great treats on their menu that could easily make this list as well.  But with that being said, this is the one treat that stands out for me and is the reason it made my top ten best food in Disney World list.

Best Food In Disney World ohana's bread pudding6.  Ohana’s Bread Pudding located in the Polynesian resort is an outstanding take on an age old dessert.  I still remember the first time I ever tasted this treat.  To be honest, I was not looking forward to eating it at all.  It just didn’t sound appetizing in the least to me.  I was there for the Hawaiian feast of meats that are served on skewers and seasoned just right!  The pudding was a shocking surprise.  It may be the Bananas Foster Sauce, but what ever it is, this dessert definitely is one of the best foods to eat in Disney World.




Best Food In Disney World liberty tree tavern pilgrim's feast5.  Liberty Tree Tavern Pilgrim’s Feast easily could be the overall best food in Disney World depending on who you ask.  (It is my 2nd favorite restaurant and meal in all of Disney World)  To top it off, the feast comes with a cranberry dessert that makes you find room in your stomach even though it could possibly take your pants up another 6 sizes.  Being that I am a meat and potatoes kind of guy, this place hits all the must haves for me and then found a couple of other areas that I didn’t know of to make perfect as well.  If you are looking for the perfect old school home style thanksgiving feast, then look no further then the Liberty Tree Tavern’s Pilgrim’s Feast.  Maybe you will get lucky and see Frank Goodman there enjoying the cuisine. (I am still trying to meet him as well. :) )

dole whip float magic kingdom best food in disney world4.  Dole Whip Float from Magic Kingdom comes in as number four.  It is beloved by Disney fanatics all around the world.  There are few things better on a hot day then a delicious Dole Whip Float.  The perfect combination of ice cream and pineapple flavoring.  There is just something about this frozen treat that makes you crave it on even a cold day.  You can find this at Aloha Isle in Magic Kingdom.  There are quite a few other pineapple treats there to choose from, but the original Dole Whip Float is easily a best food in Disney World top ten.  I have tried to replicate this one at home with no success.  But if you want to try, check out the main ice cream ingredient here.  (What a Christmas gift this would make!)  If you have a bucket list of best food in Disney World, you will no doubt want this to be on it.

Cheeseburger and french fries from Splitsville in Disney Springs best food in Disney World3.  Cheeseburger and french fries from Splitsville in Disney Springs is a piece of Americana perfection.  I can hear people yelling already, what do you mean a cheeseburger as a best food in Disney World?  I am telling you what, this cheeseburger platter will knock your socks off.  If you like the good old fashion greasy cheeseburger with a TON of flavor, then you need to get over to Splitsville ASAP!.  I still remember when we went there for the first time.  I am a bowler from way back and heard that this place was the number one bowling center that every kegler had to visit at least once.  I went the first time to see the building, but I went the next half of dozen times for the cheeseburger and french fry platter.

kitchen sink dessert Best Food In Disney World2.  The Kitchen sink is a fan favorite from way back and a must eat when you are looking to gain five pounds in a single outing.  Located at Beaches and Cream, this makes for a perfect dessert.  You may ask yourself, why is it called the kitchen sink?  Well, if you look at your kitchen sink and this piece of dessert mastery, they are about the same size!  The real name comes from the fact that this ice cream treat has just about every topping that you can imagine.  It feeds 4 to 6 people without a problem, but I find it makes for the perfect challenge for 1 when I need a major ice cream fix or a few extra pounds of weight put on.

steak1. The steak meal at Narcoossee’s located on the Grand Floridian Resort is every steak lover’s dream come true.  Not only is the steak unbelievable, the view can’t be beat either.  If you are looking to watch the fireworks at Magic Kingdom in complete comfort, then book reservations right before dusk and sit back and enjoy one of the best steak dinners in all of Disney and then top it off with the best view for the always amazing fireworks.   This is one of the more pricey meals, but you will definitely get what you pay for when dining at night with the unbelievable meal and view.  If you are looking for my top five best steaks in Disney, take a look at this review and start making your reservations today.




The above list is always changing and we, over at our Facebook Slick Mouse Disney group, are always debating the next addition to the list.  Please join the group and be a part of the discussion and join the fun.    We are a big family of Disney Addicts who can’t get enough of the land of mouse and all things associated.  Also, sign up below for our newsletter in order to save a ton on your next trip with our money saving insider tips and tricks.  When it comes to finding the best food in Disney World, I am always on the job. :)  Feel free to check out the latest article on how to get to experience the best Disney has to offer for pennies on the dollar.

Best Food In Disney World

How to Rent Disney Vacation Club Points

How to Rent Disney Vacation Club Points Boardwalk How to Rent Disney Vacation Club Points.  Whether you are a seasoned Disney trip planner or a new Disney-goer, renting points from a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) owner is an option that many people do not know about.  There are also those people who do know about this option, but may be lost in how to go about renting Disney Vacation Club points to plan their Walt Disney World vacation.  Let us help you in giving you some step-by-step instructions along with a couple of different options for renting Disney Vacation Club points from an owner.

What is Disney Vacation Club?

Disney Vacation Club is like a time share for Disney vacations.  People buy contracts that contain a certain number of points.  They use those points to plan out their vacations in deluxe Disney accommodations.  Trips can be in varying length, and owners have many different resorts in which to book, subject to certain rules and availability.

What are the Disney Vacation Club resorts?

The DVC resorts that you would be renting would be from one of the following resorts.  Animal Kingdom Villas, Bay Lake Tower (DVC for the Contemporary), Beach Club Villas, Boardwalk Villas, Villas at the Grand Floridian, Polynesian Villas, Old Key West Villas, Saratoga Spring Villas, Villas at Wilderness Lodge.  How do you decide which ones you would like to stay in?  I would ask yourself what parks may be of special interest to you.  For example, Magic Kingdom appeals to all ages, but it does have a lot for young children.  In that case, you might stay at Bay Lake Tower, Polynesian, or Grand Floridian.  You may prefer Epcot or Hollywood Studios.  Then you might want to stay at Boardwalk or Beach Club.  Many adults like this location during the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot since it is easily within walking distance from both resorts.  Perhaps you would like to stay near Disney Springs.  In this case, Old Key West or Saratoga Springs would be the place for you.  Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom are the stand-alone resorts.  By that, I mean that they are not within walking distance of any resort and not on the monorail line.

What does it mean to rent points?

Basically, renting points from a Disney Vacation Club member means that you are making a DVC reservation through the owners of the contract who own the points.  Just as you would rent a house from someone who owns it, renting Disney Vacation Club is renting part of that person’s ownership.  You do not pay Disney for your Disney vacation.  Instead, you pay the owner of the DVC contract who is renting the points or the reservation.

What types of bookings are there?

First, you can rent points from the DVC owner who will then work with you to book your reservation.  The process through which you do that is by choosing where you want to stay, and the Disney Vacation Club owner will check the availability on his DVC member page.  Depending on what time of year you choose to go and what type of room you want to stay in will be the deciding factor on how many points you would need.  You yourself can look at DVC point charts to get an idea of how many points you might need for the vacation you would like.  I will get into a little more detail about this later.

The second way to rent Disney Vacation Club points is to actually rent a confirmed reservation.  This means that the Disney Vacation Club owner has already made a reservation.  For whatever reason, this party cannot use their reservation, so they offer it to rent so as not to waste their points.  There is a time limit on using points, and if the owners are past the point of banking their points (which means they could use them within their next use year), and, if it is not feasible to make another reservation for themselves, they offer their confirmed reservation for rent.  Sometimes owners may purposefully make reservations at their home resorts knowing ahead of time that they will be renting them out.

What are the risks of renting points or a confirmed reservation for a DVC resort vacation?

There are a few things that hold people back from renting DVC points or confirmed reservation.  First, I do believe that people do not know enough about how to rent Disney Vacation Club points.  Therefore, they are a little gun shy.  They don’t quite understand the process, so they just don’t attempt it.  Secondly, I believe that people like booking through Disney because they know their vacation is being made through Disney itself and they trust that.  Also, the option of being able to put a certain amount of money down and continue to pay off the vacation up until close to the time that you leave is very appealing to many people.  Disney does offer the option to set up a Disney Vacation Account.  This helps many people that may not be able to pay for their vacation in a lump sum.  The main risk for many people is that they do not trust giving their money to a stranger.  It is a little nerve-wracking to know that you give your money to someone and have to trust that they put your name on the reservation or that they actually follow through with the sale to make the reservation.  There are certain ways to ensure the safety of the transaction, however, and we will go over that shortly.

What are the benefits of renting Disney Vacation Club Points for your Disney vacation?

The largest benefit of renting Disney Vacation Club is the money that you save for deluxe accommodations.  You would not believe the savings you can get on a vacation that is a DVC rental vs. a vacation booked through Disney at rack rate (and even with their discounts).  For example, I did a search at the time of this article for a standard view studio at the Boardwalk Villas from October 5-12.  Rack rate on this vacation is $3,527.  However, I found the same offer direct from a DVC owner for $1250.  Look at that savings!    In addition, the accommodations in DVC have more to offer, such as full kitchens in the 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, and grand villa options, and a small kitchenette in the studios.

What do the accommodations look like?

There will be slight variations in the accommodations, depending on where you stay, but most have similarities.  Here are examples from the Boardwalk since we mentioned that resort in the previous answer.

How to Rent DVC - Boardwalk Layouts

Photo courtesy of The Best of Walt Disney World

 

How to Rent Disney Vacation Club Points Boardwalk View Across LakeHow do I rent Disney Vacation Club Points or a Confirmed DVC reservation?

Here is the fun part.  I have numerous ways that I have personally either paid another DVC member to rent his points, paid another DVC member to rent his confirmed reservation, or I have rented out my own points or confirmed reservations.  Let’s go through four possible ways that will tell you how to rent Disney Vacation Club Points.

Disney DVC rental service

Use a Disney DVC rental service.  With this type of service, you are using the company as a middle man.  You might pay a couple of dollars more per point to rent than if you try to rent individually, but you can be rest assured that your transaction will go through without any worry.  In addition, if you have any questions about the process, you have support staff that is willing to answer all of your questions.  To use this type of service, you contact the owner and tell them the type of trip that you would like.  He will go over the vacation options with you.  You can basically put in any request for any DVC property, and then the service will find someone who is willing to book the vacation for you.  For instance, if you wish to rent a 1 bedroom villa at the Grand Floridian in April, it would cost 340 points.  The service would contact DVC owners that are registered with their website to ask if anyone would be able to book that specific vacation.  You would pay a certain amount per point…in this case $16 per point if the reservation was made 7-11 months out.  The DVC owner would get paid around $11.75 per point, and the service would keep the difference.  I highly recommend using Paul and his staff at the DVC Rental Store.  We have rented out our points using them, and the transaction was flawless.  Email responses were incredibly quick and thorough.  The expectations as owners were made very clear, and the directions on how to proceed were simple and easy.  We would not hesitate to use Paul and his staff again.  Highly recommended.

Timeshare Website

Rent through a timeshare website that requires a yearly membership fee in order to make contact with a potential owner.  In this case you feel a bit safer because anyone who has listings available on this site or who is interested in renting DVC points would have to pay a yearly fee to the website.  Then you know that both sides are serious.  Who would pay to list their items if they weren’t truly owners?  The service that I recommend for this type of rental is Redweek.com.  We have used this site to rent out from DVC owners.  We found an amazing deal once on a 1 bedroom villa at the Boardwalk for between 8-9 dollars a point!  (going rate at the time was around $11-12 a point)  Even if you are not a member, you can see the listings on their website.  This is nice because when you are actually ready to contact an owner, then you may pay the membership fee to get their contact information.

Disney Forums

The third way that we have both rented points and also rented out confirmed reservations was through a website forum called mouseowners.  You will have to create a log-in to access the forum.  If you are an owner wanting to post your points, you will be required to have a certain number of posts within the forum community before you are allowed to do that.  However, if you are renting from an owner, you will be able to contact that owner by posting to the thread or through private message.  The thing that I love about this website is that there is no middle man and no additional fees associated with the renting process.  The only downfall of using this forum is that you are taking a chance on who you are renting from.  The nice thing about this forum, though, is that the owner keeps up to date records on people who have rented out their points.  Owners are only allowed to list so many times per year.  This way you know that you are working with an independent owner and not a travel agency.  Also, any “sour” transactions can be listed, so there is a place for you to go to in order to ensure that the person you are renting from is legitimate.  I know there are other Disney forums which have rental boards available if you are interested in searching for them.

Ebay

The last place that you may want to consider is eBay.  We had a reservation around Christmas time that we could not use.  We listed it last minute on eBay.  The nice thing about eBay is that you have such a large audience.  Literally there are people from all different countries that are utilizing that website.  As a buyer, it seems as if many people use eBay as an option to make last minute listings.  If you want to snag a vacation for cheap, and you don’t mind only having a couple of weeks to plan things, consider eBay.

We hope that we have helped answer any questions that you may have had in how to rent Disney Vacation Club points.  If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact Slick Mouse Disney.  We would be happy to assist you in your DVC rental.

 

How to Rent Disney Vacation Club Points

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps – A Tutorial and Review


Review of Jamberry Nail Wraps - Sample wrapsDisney Jamberry Nail Wraps (The Disney Collection by Jamberry Nails) are just the cutest things ever!  We all know and love all things Disney.  That is why you are here, isn’t it?  So let us take a look at something sweeter than Minnie herself.  Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps.  You need these to make your Disney vacation a little bit more fun!  And, if you are not planning a Disney vacation…well…then you need these just because!

Before I get started, let me just say that Disney does not make these.  However, they have collaborated with Jamberry Nails to bring you these Disney approved designs.  To make it easier for the sake of the article, though, I am going to call them Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps.  There.  I got those legalities out of the way.  Just remember that Disney is Disney…they have the copyrights to some of the images within the designs, but Jamberry Nails is the creator of the nail wraps.

First and foremost, let me give a shout-out to one of my Disney friends, Debbie.  You all know what I am talking about when I say a Disney friend…. they are the friends who share your Disney love.  They are the ones who love all things Disney just like you.  Therefore, we have our Disney friends and our non-Disney friends.  :)    Debbie is not only a fellow Disney lover, but she is also a Jamberry consultant.  My sweet friend let me sample some of the Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps that she is selling.  I told her that I would love to do a review on them, and I decided to incorporate a tutorial on their use, too!  Please keep reading because I am going to share with you how to order these adorable nail wraps from Debbie.

Before I get into the tutorial and review of these Disney Jamberry nail wraps, I know that there are some of you may have heard of Disney Jamberry nail wraps and some may not.  Therefore, let me explain to you what they are.  Jamberry nail wraps are wonderful applications to apply to nails to give them a freshly manicured look, but with the whimsical twist of a manicure with different colors, styles, and textures!  They are surprisingly easy to apply.  The nice part about them is that they aren’t a wet application.  You can apply them to your nails one minute, and the next minute you can be folding towels. ( <—- did this myself.  haha)  You will have no worries at all of ruining your Disney Jamberry nail wraps application.

Before I start, let me give you a review of these little nail wraps before they are on your nail.  Debbie gave me two styles to try.  Bow-dacious which are glossy wraps in two styles with Minnie Mouse, and she also sent me Once Upon a Dream which are sparkle style wraps which I gave to my daughter to try.  (see photo above left)  When we received Debbie’s package, we weren’t sure which styles we would receive, so it was a surprise.  We squealed in delight when we saw them.  I mean, who doesn’t love Minnie Mouse and Disney Princesses?  The Once Upon a Dream style reminded us of Sleeping Beauty.  The sparkles for near the nail bed look like a gold crown.  The rest of the wrap is pink which definitely keeps with the princess vibe.  The Bow-dacious ones are sassy and fun.  Minnie Mouse adorns these particular wraps in a black, red, and white theme.  They are shiny which I love.  When purchasing these Disney Jamberry nail wraps through Jamberry, you will receive 18 strips in 9 different sizes.  This is so nice because no matter what size your nails are, you will be able to find the wrap that fits each finger!  There are enough wraps on one sheet to give you 2 manicures and 2 pedicures.  Because these nail wraps last so long, you are looking at at least a month’s worth of applications on one sheet!  The cost for the Disney Jamberry nail wraps is $18 per sheet.  That is cheaper than one manicure by itself!  What a great deal!  (the cost of regular wraps is $15 per sheet or buy 3 sheets get 1 free)

 

We will soon be holding a Disney Collection by Jamberry Nail Wrap Giveaway in our Facebook Group!

Join now!
Click here —–> Slick Mouse Disney

 

Next, let me give you a step-by-step tutorial on the application process.  As long as you collect everything you need, and you follow the directions, you will find this process to be quite easy!  My 13 year old daughter even did her own!  It was a lot of fun sitting at the table working on these together.

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps Items1.   Collect everything that you need for your manicure using Disney Jamberry nail wraps.  As you can see in the photo, you will need the following:  Hairdryer, alcohol and cotton balls, Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps style of your choice,  manicure scissors, nail clippers, cuticle tool, wooden sticks, nail file, tweezers, nail brush, and Jamberry application directions.  (which truly you won’t need if you are using this article to guide you).  We will use the nail clippers to clip your nails to the desired length before you start the process, the nail brush for cleaning your nails before application, the hairdryer to heat the wraps to activate them so that they stick to your nail, the alcohol and cotton balls will be for cleaning the natural oils off your nails so that they do not resist the wraps, the wraps themselves for the application, of course, the manicure scissors for cutting the wraps for each finger, the cuticle tool and stick to push back cuticles and press the wrap to your nail after application,and the tweezers to hold onto the wraps without touching them with your bare fingers.  (will explain why this is important later)

2.  I don’t have a photograph of this part, but next I clipped my nails to the desired length, and then I used a nail brush with mild soap to wash my nails…both the tops and underneath the tips.

 

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps Lotion

3.  Next, I applied Jergen’s Original Scent lotion.  Jamberry won’t tell you to do this, but I love the soft feeling it gives my hands.  It also makes the cuticles soft and easier to push down.  The scent of this lotion is heavenly.  Even my husband loves it.  (notice at the top it says perfect for hands, and I have to agree)

 

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps Cuticle Tool

4.  Next, I used both the stick and the cuticle tool which has a soft rubber ending to it to push down my cuticles.  For some reason, I don’t have much cuticle on my nails, so this process did not take me long at all.

 

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps Alcohol Wipe

5.  The last step before starting the application was to wipe all of my nails down with alcohol.  This took off the hand cream as well as the natural oils from my nails that might inhibit the wraps from sticking to my nails.

 

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps Buff

6.  OK, I lied.  This was the last step before application started.  haha.  The directions said to buff your nails a little bit to provide a good base for the wrap to stick.  I did not have a buff tool, so I gently used the nail file to just roughen the tops of my nails ever so slightly.

 

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps LiftDisney Jamberry Nail Wraps Tweezers

7.  Next comes the process of preparing the actual wrap for your nail.  First, decide which wrap will fit your nail shape.  It is best to have the wrap be a little small for your nail rather than too big.  If it is too big, it will stick to the skin around your nail, and you will find that your manicure will not last as long because it wear prematurely and run the risk of separating from your nail.  With this step, you will have to handle the wrap.  This is where you have to be careful.  You do not want to handle the wrap with your bare fingers.  The reason for this is the same reason that we use the alcohol on our nails.   You do not want the oils from your fingers to interfere with any stickiness.  If handled too much, the wrap may not stick to your nail the way that it should.  Therefore, use the stick tool to lift the wrap on one end.  Then I use the manicure scissors to cut the wrap in half.  (scissor process not shown)  I then used the tweezers to handle the 1/2 wrap that will be going onto my finger.

 

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps Hairdryer

8.  Now we have to make the wrap stickier by heating it a bit.  You don’t want to overheat.  I had my settings of my hairdryer on hot, but used a low speed.  I literally counted to 5 (one thousand one, one thousand two, etc….) and then I applied the wrap as quickly as I could to my nail.  You will know the wrap is ready because it will curl ever so slightly.  That tells you it is ready.  You will have to test this with your own hairdryer because every hairdryer’s power is different.

 

Disney Jamberry Nail Wrap Press

9.  Once you have placed the wrap carefully on your nail, you should immediately start the process of pressing it down.  My suggestion is to press using the soft rubbery cuticle tool because you can apply a lot of pressure to help it stick.  You should press down the center first and then work your way around the edges.  Don’t worry about any extra wrap sticking out of the end of your nail.  Just press it completely on your entire nail.  The initial placement is important because if you need to lift up the wrap, you could compromise some of the stickiness.  Remember not to place the wrap to your skin…only your nail.  If it seems too big, feel free to trim a little with your scissors and then try again.

Disney Jamberry Nail WrapsDisney Jamberry Nail Wraps Trim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t mind me as I change to a different nail.  I realized that I had forgotton to take a few of the photos.

 

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps File

Disney Jamberry Nail Wrap Extra

10.  Once you have trimmed, there will still be some wrap left over the edge of your nail.  Use your file in a gentle downward motion (NOT BACK AND FORTH) to file off the extra nail wrap.  See that little bit of extra?  Do not pull on it.  Just continue with the gentle downward motion all over the end of your nail tip and that little extra part will eventually fall off.

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps Thumb

11.  And here you have the finished product on one finger.  Super cute!!!  Look at cute little Minnie peaking out of your nail bed!  Awwww.

 

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps Finished

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps Finished 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps FInished 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So cute!  I want more!

Here were Princess Moe’s nails.  She had a very easy time with application, too, and she is only 13!

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps Princess Moe 2

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps Princess Moe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all, my review of the Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps is extremely positive!  They were surprisingly easy to apply, and they just look absolutely adorable after application!  Now, what are you waiting for?  I know you need to order these for yourself!  Take a look at Debbie’s Jamberry website where you can order Disney Jamberry nail wraps as well as regular ones in all styles, colors, and textures!

 

Click here to order from The Disney Collection by Jamberry Nails

 

Thank you so much for reading!  I hope that you enjoy your Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps as much as my daughter and I do!  Special thanks, again, to Debbie for sharing wraps with us for the tutorial and review.  :)

 

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps – A Tutorial and Review

Free Disney Dining Plans 2016 – Are They A Ripoff?

Free Disney Dining Plans - Are They A Ripoff?Free Disney dining plans are back!  It is that wonderful time of year that you visit your favorite blog or Disney group and all you hear about is the free Disney dining plan. (I highly recommend the above Disney group for all things Disney) But are they are they actually something we should be happy about?  It sounds fantastic doesn’t it?  You book your Disney room and low and behold, Disney is nice enough to give you free dinning for the entire stay.  Does it get any better then that?  Well it just may and you will want to see the numbers behind the marketing in order to fully understand the real magic of free Disney dining plans.

What Are The Free Disney Dining Plans For 2016?

At this point, you have heard of the free Disney dining plans and all of the awesome opportunities that it gives vacationers.  But just in case you have not, here are the details concerning it.  The free Disney dining plans are listed quite a few months ahead of time for people to plan around them.  This years calendar of events has free Disney dining during the following days that we have confirmed for 2016…

  • August 23 through October 1, 2016
  • November 15 through 21, 2016
  • November 26 through 28, 2016
  • December 10 through 21, 2016

When you book a package deal through Disney, which includes non-discounted room, park tickets, and dining, they allow the food to be on the house. There are a few resorts and rooms that are not included in this package deal though.  If you are planning to stay at All-Star Movies, Art of Animation-Little Mermaid Section, Bay Lake Tower, Fort Wilderness campsites, Grand Floridian, Polynesian Village Resort, Port Orleans-French Quarter, Port Orleans Resort Riverside, or a 3-bedroom Villa at any resort, you are out of luck for the free dining.  If it wasn’t listed above, you are in luck.  It means that you can book at that resort and get the free dining.  But is this the cheapest way to book for the same exact benefits?

If you are looking to feed you and your family with the free dining plan, you will need to pony up for at least a 2-day ticket per guest and that these tickets have the Park Hopper and/or Water Park Fun & More option.  In addition to these tickets, you will need to book at least 3 nights with a maximum of 14 nights.  With these conditions in mind, you will not be able to take advantage of some of the discounted ticket prices that I recommend here.  This may lead to some added costs that I will discuss later.   The question ultimately is if the additional prices for these tickets and lodging offset the free dining enough to make it a ripoff, which we will do the math for shortly.  But before that, let’s take a look at a delicious dessert to get you ready for your Disney dining experience.

Free Disney Dining Plans 2016 - Are They A Ripoff?

Continuing on with the free Disney Dining plans for 2016, if you are interested in booking, you need to get to it.  This is a very limited deal from Disney.  Some of the “better” resorts tend to fill up at a very rapid pace.  You can go to the Disney site here and check out the exact locations that are still available.  If you are wondering what resort is the best to take advantage of for this, may I suggest you read this article based on my own personal favorite.  Once you contact one of Disney’s Authorized Vacation Planners, you can get all your unanswered questions taken care of and see what resorts are still available.  I will tell you that based on my own research that this year seems to be very limited compared to prior years.  The deluxe resorts seem to be readily available, but they are bit higher priced then both the moderate and value resorts.  If you are able to be a bit fluid with when you take your Disney vacation, you should be able to take advantage of the free Disney dining plans for 2016.

If you are booking your vacation and taking advantage of the Disney free dining plans for 2016, you will want to make some advance dining reservations in order to ensure you get the most out of your free meals.  Here is a link to see what restaurants are available.  If you are not familiar with Disney’s reservation system, you will want to be.  The odds of walking in to a table service restaurant without reservations are very unlikely.  Keep in mind that many people book during this promotion and thus, some of the fan favorite restaurants will fill up very fast.  Please book your dining reservations as soon as possible to get the most out of your free dining.  If you want to get the most out of your free Disney dining, you will also want to review which places give you the most for your meal credits.  If you are a steak lover, you can check out some of my top 5 favorite steak restaurants here.

Differences Between Meal Plan Options For Free Disney Dining 2016

If you are staying at a moderate resort or above, such as Port Orleans Riverside, Caribbean Beach Resort, or Boardwalk Resort, then you will be able get the standard Disney Dining Plan for the period you are staying at the resort.  If you are going to stay at a value resort, you will get the quick service Disney Dining Plan.  If you are looking to take it to the next level, you are allowed to “upgrade” your free Disney Dining plan to the next option up for a fee.

Another aspect of the free Disney dining plans is that it is only available to guests from the United States.  This is one thing that can change at any time, so make sure you are signed up for the Slick Mouse newsletter here in order to get all the major changes from Disney, including the 2017 Free Disney Dining dates.  With our Slick Mouse connections all through the Disney universe, we often hear rumors and other information well before the rest of the world is told.  The newsletter is our way of getting that information to our readers.  As for this 2016 dining rule, there are loopholes around this, but that is for another article and another day.

There are a few things that we are asked about when it comes to the free Disney dining plan for 2016 that we are going to address…

  1. You have to buy the tickets even if you already have an annual pass.
  2. Disney Vacation Club members cannot use their points towards this deal.
  3. There are no percentage off opportunities out there that will work in tangent with this package.
  4. All dates for this promotion are the check in dates.  In other words, if you get a 14 day package deal and you arrive on the last day of this promotion, you will still have free dining for the entire 14 days.
  5. If you arrive during a period that is before the free dining, do a split stay and have the second part of the vacation “check in” during the first possible day that the promotion is running.  For example, You get to Disney on August 21st and stay for 10 days.  You would not be able to utilize the promotion unless you split the stay like this…1st vacation is August 20th (arrival date) to August 23rd (check out date) and the 2nd vacation is August 23rd (arrival date) to August 30th (check out date).  Doing this gives you seven days with the promotion and three without.  This is much better then missing the entire promotion.
  6. Guests that are utilizing this promotion can upgrade to a higher level meal plan for a fee.  It does not matter what resort you are staying at. (Value, Moderate, or Deluxe)  These fees are as follows: Quick Service Disney Dining Plan to the normal Disney Dining Plan is only $19.57 for each adult guest per day.  Upgrading children is only $3.81 for each child per day. To go to the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan, it cost $70.95 for each adult per day and $16.45 for each child per day.  If you have the standard Disney Dining Plan, you can upgrade that to the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan for 51.38 for each adult per day and only $12.64 for each child per day.  You can see what is all included with the different meal plans here.

Are The Free Disney Dining Plans A Ripoff Though?

While everyone and their brother loves free food, we have to sit back and wonder about the old saying of…if it sounds to good to be true, then it probably isn’t.  Is this dining plan really that awesome that people plan their vacations around it?  Well at least the latter part of that is.  People book their  package deals because of this free dining in troves.  It fills up at a lightening pace, which makes me wonder if I am missing out on something.  The only way to figure that out, is to get to the real numbers behind the free Disney dining plans.

I am going to check the prices between two different options:  Booking a week with the free Disney Dining plan at the Saratoga Springs and one with just doing it by booking and paying individually with other discounts.  This vacation will be for 2 adults and 2 children aged 13 and 15.

The package deal price is very simple to come up with.  This price is for a 1 bedroom villa at Saratoga Springs with the free dining plan.  I used August 23rd to August 30th as the check in and departure dates.  The price is $5477.86 in total.  Here is what you get with the package deal:

  • Park tickets with park hopper for the entire stay plus one day.
  • The maximum amount of park days for the tickets are limited to 10.
  • All the tickets have to be used within a 14 day period of first use.
  • Free Disney Dining Plans for each guest for the length of stay.

The total cost of the above is simply $5477.86.  But now comes the fun part of seeing how we can book the same exact vacation with very little effort at a totally different price.  By buying all the pieces of this Disney vacation package separately, you will have basically three costs…

  1. The one bedroom villa for a week at Saratoga Springs can be quite different depending on how you book it.  The cheapest way through Disney that you could book is $2,491.65 using the “Back to School Savings” option.  There are ways to get it even cheaper through redweek or Ebay, which I have written about here.
  2. The tickets will be for four people for seven days.  These can be had for $1756.00 through Disney.
  3. The dining is $63.70 per person per day.  So this comes to $1783.60 for the week for the entire group.

The above calculations total $2,491.65 + $1756.00 + $1783.60 = $6031.25

So you are going to save $6031.25 – $5477.86 = $553.39 by booking the package deal over using other discounts that Disney offers.  But remember that this is through Disney’s website, so they are going to make sure that they squeeze as much out of vacationers as possible.  Let’s take a look below at booking this same vacation through means outside of Disney.

  1. The one bedroom villa for a week at Saratoga Springs through Ebay or Redweek can be had easily for about $1250.  This is a savings of $1241.65 for taking a few minutes and booking through the secondary market.
  2. The seven day tickets can be purchased through the Undercovertourist website for $449.95 a piece with park hopper option added on.  This gives us a total of $1799.80.   This is going to cost us about $44 more for the tickets.  But, most people would be good to buy the single park per day tickets for $383.20 a piece for a total of $1532.80 and a savings of $223.20.  You always have the opportunity to upgrade these at any given time for a very small fee, which you can read about here.
  3. fastfoodThe dining option is still the hardest way to put a financial number to.  Everyone will eat differently, and thus not using the Disney Dining Plan will end differently for each family of four.  What I have done is basically found the average meal cost at Disney World and multiplied that out to come up with a total of out of pocket costs.  You can see this down below to get an idea of what each meal is worth when you get the Disney Dining Plan.  The question becomes, does it cost more to use the Disney Dining Plan or less?  This all depends on your family will eat.  There are many places that you can order a standard cheeseburger/fries/soda for $8.95 per meal.  You will see that guests are paying much more for the “Plan” then they are actually using.  This is a huge profit maker for Disney.  Most restaurants are priced below what you get in the plan.  There are a few exceptions, but they are quickly being changed to 2 credit meals to keep the profits flowing to Disney.  (For example 2 table service credits to eat at Le Cellier for a plate that cost $45, when you are paying about $70 for the plan)  What you find is that you are able to purchase your meals for about 37% less than what the Disney Dining Plan charges you.  You can save even more with the Table In Wonderland’s card, which gives you an additional 20% off of your dining.  (That is another article for another day)  The actual cost of dining I came up with by paying cash is $1783.60 x .63 =  $1123.67.  This is a savings of $659.93 by just paying cash.  The prices below reflect how much each meal is worth in the Disney Dining Plan:
    1. Each counter service meal is worth $16 to $17.40
    2. Each table service meal is worth $34 to $35.25
    3. Every snack is worth about $4.35
    4. The refillable mug is worth $4 to $8

The total of of the above options allows us the very same vacation at quite a different price.  The total comes to $1250.00 (room) + $1799.80 (7 day park hopper tickets) + $1123.67 (paying cash for meals) = $4173.47.  This gives us a savings of $5477.86$4173.47 = $1304.39 over the “FREE” Disney Dining Plan package deal.  This gets even better when you buy the single park per day tickets.  That takes the overall cost down to the following $5477.86 – $3950.27 = $1527.59. 

So after hours of research and number crunching, we are able to see that the cost benefit of buying the Free Disney Dining Plan package is not a deal at all.  It is only considered a deal when you compare it to Disney rack rates and food purchases that an average family would not buy.  Feel free to let me know what you think of these calculations and with your own personal experiences when it comes to buy food at Disney World.

Free Disney Dining Plans 2016 – Are They A Ripoff?

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Best Rides for Kids at Disney World That Are A Must

Best Rides for Kids at Disney WorldWhat are the best rides for kids at Disney World? This question goes through parents’ heads all the time. Will the rides be too boring for kids? Will the rides be too extreme for kids? Being a kid that has been to Disney World plenty of times, I can tell you the rides that are perfect for kids to enjoy.

The first ride that I think is perfect for kids is Test Track. Test Track, a ride at Epcot, takes you through many tests for your car which you get to design, and will leave you screaming and saying to yourself, “Whew, that was close!” Test Track starts off with you designing your own car. You design your car based on four categories: efficiency, power, responsiveness, and capability. Your children can get Best Rides for Kids at Disney Worldcreative and customize their car however they want. You can shape your car, accessorize your car with stickers, and make your car any color you desire. Test Track is also fun for the whole family. Each person’s car competes in different tests to see which car is the best out  of the four categories. At some parts, the tests are nerve-racking, and at other parts, the tests are breathtaking and electrifying. The ride even reaches 60 miles per hour during the “power” test! It truly feels like you’re in a car! At the end of the ride, you can see who has the best car overall, and win bragging rights for the rest of your trip. From the winner, you’ll probably hear something like, “My car is the best. Bow down, peasants.”  When it comes to the best rides for kids at Disney World, this is one that they will not want to miss.

Best Rides for Kids at Disney WorldThe next ride is a ride I could ride over and over again. It is at Magic Kingdom in the Storybook Circus section and is called the Barnstormer. It is more of a kiddie-coaster, but older kids will definitely love it too. Whether if you’re waiting for your dinner reservation or if you’re bored and just want a quick thrill, Barnstormer is the perfect ride. You won’t be waiting in line for a long time because, with or without a fastpass, the wait is very short. Barnstormer consists of being shoved on quick turns and going all over the place. The ride is rather short, and you’re only in action for a little under a minute. However, since the wait is short, it is a perfect ride to go on over and over again.  This is not to big and not to small, and that is why it makes the list for being one of the best rides for kids at Disney World…bar none!

Best Rides for Kids at Disney WorldThis third ride is a must-ride for any Disney-goer. Toy Story Midway Mania!, located at Hollywood Studios, is an enjoyable, competitive ride where you have to shoot at different things and get points. This is one of the most popular rides in Disney World, so it always has a super long wait time. You should probably get a fast pass for this one, or go right when the doors open. In each of the cars, two people can work together and/or compete to get the best score. You are also competing against the other two people behind you in your car. You are driven around to different stations. The first station is the practice round. In this round, you are just getting used to the controls. I recommend not to waste any energy on this first round because your arm gets pretty tired in future rounds. The next stations are at a barn shooting eggs at animals, at a volcano shooting darts at balloons, at an army base shooting balls at plates, on a different planet throwing rings around aliens, at a saloon shooting darts at targets, in a cave shooting darts at mine carts, and finally at a big target shooting darts to get a ton of points. At the end of the game, it will show you your score, the best score in your car, the best score of the hour, the best score of the day, and the best score of the month. It is fun to try to beat everyone else playing the game. If you want to try to get one of the highest scores, you have to use special tricks in each station. Look on this article to see all of the tricks you need to know. Besides the long wait, this ride is definitely one of the best rides for kids or adults of any age.

Best Rides for Kids at Disney WorldAn additional ride that is one of my favorites is Kali River Rapids at Animal Kingdom. Kali River Rapids is an exhilarating water ride which provides a satisfying experience for the whole family. You ride in a circular-shaped raft through a very bumpy, crazy river. The raft spins around the river, so you never know who is going to get the wettest. It is very funny when you see your family members soaking wet while you are as dry as a stale churro. There are bumps, drops, and parts where water gets squirted right on you. If you are sitting in an unlucky spot, you will get soaking wet, but if your that lucky duck that doesn’t get splashed, you’ll leave the ride mostly dry and with a memorable experience. However, everyone gets a little wet at some points so no one will be leaving as dry as a stale churro. All kids will love getting  jostled around on this incredible ride.

Best Rides for Kids at Disney WorldThe final ride which is perfect for kids is Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom in Frontierland. Telling a story about a fox, a bear, and a rabbit, this ride is inspired by a Disney film, Song of the South. As the bear and the fox try to catch the rabbit, they get caught up along the way. It is such a cute, funny story, and before you get distracted, realize there are drops on this ride. There are two small drops before the final huge drop. The ride will have you laughing and having a great time. Splash Mountain transforms you into an animal neighborhood with music, dancing, and overall happiness. I definitely recommend the front seat for this ride because you get completely soaked and receive a more enjoyable experience. Splash Mountain will give you memories you will never forget.  When it comes to the best rides for kids at Disney World, nothing beats the throwback nature of Splash Mountain and the cool feeling of getting soaked on a hot day.

It is almost impossible to satisfy kids nowadays, but if you take your kids on these rides, they won’t complain for the whole trip. Actually, that’s a lie; your kids will find something  to complain about. I know I always find something. After all, it’s in a kid’s nature. In order to have your kids leave Disney happy, you need to take them on the best possible rides possible.  That is why you will want to check out each and every attraction that was listed above.  These are the best rides for kids at Disney World based on what matters most…a kid’s view.

Best Rides for Kids at Disney World That Are A Must