Monday, November 17, 2014

Disney Dining Plan {What is it?}

One of the most common questions I receive from clients when choosing their Walt Disney World vacation package is "What is the Dining Plan?" There are three dining plans to choose from - Quick Service, Basic Dining and Deluxe - and I will talk a little bit about each one. 

What is a Dining Plan?
Dining plans are a pre-purchased add-on to a Walt Disney World vacation package. That means you must be a Disney resort guest to purchase the dining plan (one of the many benefits of staying at a Disney resort!). For each night of your trip, each guest on your reservation will receive an allotment of credits plus a refillable resort mug. These credits will be divided into three categories: quick-service, table service and snacks. The dining plan you choose determines how many credits in each category you receive. Your Magic Band will hold all of these credits so all you do is scan and go (aren't those things just so handy?). 

Note: Everyone on your reservation must have the same dining plan and you must have it for every night of your trip. Children under 3 years of age can eat off your adult plate or you can purchase from the kids menu for them. You cannot purchase a dining plan for children under 3 years old. Children ages 3 to 9 years old on the dining plan must choose something from the kids menu when one is available.

Disney's Quick-Service Dining Plan
Each person 3 years of age and older gets the following per night on your reservation: 

*Two Quick-Service Meals
*One Snack
*One refillable resort mug

2015 Cost: $41.99 per adult, per night (10 years and older), $16.03 per child, per night (ages 3 to 9)

Disney's Regular Dining Plan
Each person 3 years of age and older gets the following per night on your reservation: 

*One Snack
*One Quick-Service Meal
*One Table-Service Meal
*One refillable resort mug 

2015 Cost: $60.04 per adult, per night (10 years and older), $19.23 per child, per night (ages 3 to 9)

Disney's Deluxe Dining Plan
Each person 3 years of age and older gets the following per night on your reservation: 

*Three Meals (any combination of table-service and quick-service)
*Two Snacks
*One refillable resort mug

2015 Cost: $109.53 per adult, per night (10 years and older), $29.86 per child, per night (ages 3 to 9)

What is included with a Quick-Service and Table-Service meal?
A quick-service meal includes an entree (or combo if available) and non-alcoholic beverage. If you are eating lunch or dinner you also get a dessert. 

A table-service meal includes an entree, dessert and non-alcoholic beverage. On the Deluxe Dining Plan you also get an appetizer. 

Snacks will be indicated on restaurant menus by this symbol:

How does it work?
For all three plans each category of credits will be pooled together at the beginning of your trip and you can use them as you choose. So if you want to use all your snacks on your first day no one will stop you, you just won't have any credits left for the rest of your trip. You can share any of your snack and quick-service credits with each other but you cannot share table-service credits. 

Let's use a family of four as an example. This family will be at Disney World for 5 nights and purchased the Regular Dining Plan. The two kids are ages 5 and 11. The dining plan will cost them for their trip $996.75. They will have a total of 20 snack credits, 20 quick-service credits and 20 table-service credits. 

What is not included with the Dining Plan?
All you will be responsible for is any alcohol or any tips at table-service restaurants. 

Is the Dining Plan worth it?
That is a tricky question. For me and my husband we think of it simply as a way to be able to relax while on vacation and know that our food is paid for. We don't worry about if we are truly saving money as long as we think we aren't spending more to do the dining plan. If you are going to do a lot of character meals or buffets the dining plan will usually save you money. On the other hand if your family doesn't tend to eat a lot or you have small kids that you fear won't be able to sit through a table-service meal every day of your trip you may want to consider the Quick-Service plan.  

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Winter Walt Disney World Discounts

WDW Discounts

Disney released TWO new discounts today!

Play, Stay and Dine

Play, Stay, Dine and Save up to $600* on a 5-night/6-day Walt Disney Travel Company room, ticket and dining plan package for a family of four at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels for stays most nights Dec. 14-20, 2014 and Jan. 5-March 7, 2015. 

Booking Window:
Oct. 9-Dec. 29, 2014
Travel Window:
Dec. 14-20, 2014Jan. 5-March 7, 2015

*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Savings based on non-discounted price of the same package for 2 adults, 1 junior, 1 child in the same room. Tickets valid for one Theme Park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Advance reservations required. Excludes campsites and 3-bedroom villas. Excludes alcoholic beverages and gratuities. Children ages 3-9 must order from children's menu, if available. Some Table-Service restaurants may have limited or no availability at time of package purchase.
Room Discount
Save up to 30%* on rooms at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels for stays most nights Jan. 5-March 28, 2015.

Booking Window:
Oct. 9-Dec. 29, 2014
Travel Window:
Jan. 5-March 28, 2015

Save up to 20% off at a Value Resort
Save up to 25% off at a Moderate Resort
Save up to 30% off at a Deluxe Resort and Deluxe Villa Resort

*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Length-of-stay requirements may apply. Savings based on non-discounted price for the same room. Additional per-adult charges may apply if more than 2 adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Advance reservations required. Offer excludes campsites, 3-bedroom villas and is not valid at Disney's Art of Animation Resort - The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms. 30% savings for select Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts; lower savings may be available for suites and at other select Resorts.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Favorite Disney View {Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop}

Today's Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop theme is Favorite Disney View. I put a lot of thought into this and couldn't pick one. Here are a few of my favorite Disney views. 

Thanks to Deb at Focused on the Magic for hosting Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop! Click the button below to see more Disney bloggers' favorite Disney views.

Focused on the Magic

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Two Weeks with my Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps {Review}

Have you seen photos on pinterest of adorable and perfect Disney manicures? Have you ever tried to recreate those manicures to end up with a black blob on your nail instead of a cute little Mickey head? Or maybe you successfully painted that Mickey head but two days later your nails started chipping. 

A fellow Glass Slipper Concierge was having a Jamberry online party put on by Alyson Sharp and I couldn't resist ordering some adorable Disney wraps for my birthday trip to Disneyland. 

I don't have any photos of me putting them on because I didn't think to write a review until after I put them on. The process is simple though! Here is what you will need: a blow dryer, nail scissors, alcohol, cotton pad, cuticle pusher and your hands! You can find instructions for putting them on here along with a couple great videos. The first time I used Jamberry wraps back in May I had a few nails where the wrap was too big for my nail and touching the skin of my finger. You do not want that to happen. That is what causes peeling. The key is to go smaller than your nail if necessary. Also I like to wipe each nail with alcohol before applying each wrap. If you have any oil from your hands on your nails when you apply the wrap you won't get a good seal. 

Once I got the hang of the process it went very smoothly and pretty fast.  I think it took me 30 minutes to finish and I know I can do it much quicker. I had to trim down some of the wraps to fit my thumb nails and that took a little time. I could already tell this experience was going to be much better than my first! One of the greatest things about Jamberry wraps - I took a shower just 5 minutes after putting on the wraps! 

I did have one nail where the wrap seem to not seal correctly in just one spot. I just got the blow dryer out and put some heat and pressure on it again and didn't have a problem with it again. The next day we left for Disneyland and I had zero problems with my wraps during the trip. Plus I got so many compliments! A lot of cast members commented on them and couldn't believe I did them myself. Here is another photo of my nails one week after putting them on. 
Excuse the lack of walls in my house...we are in the middle of a major kitchen remodel. A week later I think the wraps still look great! I could tell they were wearing down at the tips a little bit but other than that they were still going strong. 

I think around Day 10 I started feeling like my nails had grown so much I wanted to remove the wraps. It wasn't because the wraps were failing but I just don't like my nails very long. I wanted to keep them on for 2 weeks for the review though so I kept them on. You can tell from the next photos that my nails had grown quite a bit. Also you will see in the second photo that one of the wraps did start to peel just a little bit. 
Now I was ready to take them off. You know what? It's so easy! As the removal instructions say I used the gentle removal process because I had them on for longer than 10 days. I simply put some nail polish remover in a bowl and soaked my fingers for about 30 seconds.
When I took my hand out the wraps were obviously coming off very easily. I then dipped a cotton pad in the nail polish remover and wiped off the wraps. It took me maybe 2 minutes to remove all of the wraps! 
Each sheet is more than one manicure. Personally I think I can get two manicures out of a sheet or three pedicures. Here is what my sheet looks like after one use. You can see I had to play around with trimming the bigger one to fit my thumbs but that was only because I wanted that specific design on my thumb but the other size was too small. 
That's it! Simple right? I was worried my nails would feel damaged by the adhesive but they look and feel great. I absolutely recommend Jamberry Nail Wraps! There are so many designs to choose from beyond Disney too. I find myself looking at all the designs and having the hardest time deciding which to buy. If you want to order some wraps head to Alyson's Jamberry website. Her email is at the very top. You will want to email her if you are interested in Disney themed or any custom wraps. Non-custom wraps are $15 per sheet and custom wraps are $18.75 plus a $6 set up fee. If you order multiple sheets of the same custom design maybe with a group of friends you can split the set up fee! 

Have you tried Jamberry Nail Wraps before? What did you think?

Friday, September 5, 2014

My First runDisney Race! {Disneyland 10K}

Last weekend I achieved my goal - I ran and finished the Disneyland 10K! I was slow and feared being swept the entire time but I did it! Nine months ago I decided I needed to be more active and I needed a goal to work toward for motivation. I went to the runDisney website and noticed that in just a few days I could register for the Disneyland 10K and it coincidentally was happening the day after I turn 30. Fate right? If you know anything at all about runDisney events it's that they often sell out the first day registration opens up so I was pretty pumped! I emailed my cousin and we both signed up (and got matching shirts of course!) 

I admit I didn't train as hard as I should have. I was incredibly out of shape. Running has always been something that I hated. Like really, truly hated. Many times over the following eight months I wondered what I was thinking but I pushed myself and it paid off! Once I was running through Sleeping Beauty's castle I was so glad I decided to go against all my natural instincts and become a runner. 

The weekend was awesome! We arrived at Disneyland Wednesday and the race was Saturday. I got to spend my 30th birthday at Disneyland with people I love. You can't ask for much more!
Thursday afternoon I picked up my race bib and it began to feel real!! I was going to do this. After spending 2 1/2 days in the parks I attempted to go to bed early to be up at 4:30 for the big race Saturday. One thing I decided is I think for my next race (oh yes, there is a next race) I won't spend 3 days in the parks before I run. I was pretty exhausted and with only 4 hours of sleep before the race and being very nervous that exhaustion was only exaggerated. Now that I have done a race though I am hoping next time I won't be as nervous!
For some reason I was placed in Corral A while my cousin was in Corral B. Considering I estimated I would have a 13 minute mile I am thinking runDisney was playing a joke on me! When we walked into Corral B (runners can change to later corrals but not earlier ones) someone said "Now, don't be showing off!" Oh boy, if he only knew. As we started I felt completely out of place with all these "runners" but Rebecca was great and stayed at my pace. 
The first 2 miles of the race were not in the parks. We kept wondering when we got to the fun part (ha!). Once we saw the neon lights of Cars Land we were pumped! How can you not be, right? I think aside from running through the castle my favorite part was running on Paradise Pier with the world of color fountains on and lit up. So beautiful! 

As we ran down Main Street toward the castle I started to tear up. It was just so surreal that I was running a race let alone one down Main Street!
We wanted to stop for some character photos but because I am not that fast yet we had to pass and just keep moving. Thankfully aside from Chip and Dale we weren't really tempted by a lot of characters as there weren't that many. We definitely expected more. We did stop at every other mile marker for a quick photo and of course an obligatory castle selfie! 

The last bit of the course was through Downtown Disney. The support from the crowd was unreal. You can't help but be motivated to push through that last bit and get to that finish line!  I wish I had taken photos of some of the signs. Many said things like "I'm proud of you complete stranger!" It was amazing. There were also some hilarious ones like "You're tired? My arms are killing me!" or "Run now poo later!" 

Once we crossed the finish line my husband found us. Though he was taking photos of the wrong girls for a minute (they had on the same shirts we had on) he got some photos of us crossing the finish line. I am so glad he was there to support me for my first race. 

I am proud of myself. I really am. Though I didn't get enough sleep, was dehydrated on the run, ran slower than I wanted to, and had to crash for a couple hours after the race to recover - I did it and that's what matters! 
After the race and my big nap it was time to hit the parks with my brother who arrived the night before! Since he had not spent the past 3 days in the parks he wanted to take advantage of his one day and do as much as possible. That resulted in 13 hours in the park!!
I finally got to photograph Cars Land right as the lights came on which was a perfect way to end a great day!
When I signed up for the 10K I was told runDisney is addicting. I thought for sure I could just run this one race and then feel like I achieved my goal and that's enough. Well you got me runDisney! I am addicted! I want more bling. Yesterday my friend and I signed up for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon (Girls Weekend!!). Yup. 13.1 miles...what was I thinking? Oh, I know - "that medal is so pretty!!" My goal for next year is to complete the Coast to Coast Challenge by running the Tinkerbell Half at Disneyland in May and then the Wine and Dine Half at Walt Disney World in November. (I also discovered that at least at this point my husband is totally supportive of race trips to Disney if it keeps me motivated to be healthy and active! Score!) I have a lot of work to do to be able to run a half marathon but now I know I can do anything I put my mind to! 

Friday, August 1, 2014

{GIVEAWAY} Happy 5th Anniversary Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW!!

I know what you're thinking - another giveaway?? Well it is Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW's 5 year blog anniversary and what better way to celebrate than giving away THREE prizes! It's sort of a Disney blogger giveaway party over here. Sarah wrote a great blog post recapping the last 5 years of her journey and you must go read it. The giveaway runs from August 1 - August 31 so you have plenty of time to enter and have all your friends enter.
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

{NEW DISCOUNT} Save up to 30% this Fall at Walt Disney World Resorts!

Disney released a new room-only discount today! This offer is VERY limited in regards to available dates and rooms so contact me today for a quote! or follow the "Requst a Quote" tab at the top of my blog. 

Travel Dates:  October 4 - November 25 AND November 29 - December 23, 2014

Save up to 30% off on a room only reservation at most Walt Disney World resort hotels. 

Savings Breakdown
October 4-19, November 8-15, November 29 - December 6
  • Save 30% at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Standard/Pool View Rooms, Polynesian Resort.
  • Save 25% at Disney's Beach Club Villas, Beach Club Resort, Boardwalk Villas, Boardwalk Inn, Old Key West Resort, Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, The Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, Wilderness Lodge, Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Yacht Club Resort.
  • Save 15% at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Jambo House, Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village, Animal Kingdom Lodge - Savanna View/Club Level Rooms, Contemporary Resort
October 20- November 6, November 16-25, December 7 - 23
  • Save 30% at Disney's Beach Club Villas, Beach Club Resort, Boardwalk Villas, Boardwalk Resort, Old Key West Resort, Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge - Standard/Pool View Rooms, Polynesian Resort, Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Yacht Club Resort.
  • Save 20% at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Jambo House, Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village, Animal Kingdom Lodge - Savanna View/Club Level Rooms, Contemporary Resort.
October 4 - November 25, November 28 - December 6
  • Save 20% at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, Coronado Springs Resort, The Cabin's at Fort Wilderness Resort, Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter, Port Orleans Resosrt - Riverside.
  • Save 15% at Disney's All-Star Movies Resort, All-Star Music Resort, All-Star Sports Resort, Pop Century Resort, Art of Animation Resort - Family Suites Only.
Fine Print
  • Additional per-adult charges may apply if more than two adults per room.
  • The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. 
  • Length of stay requirements may apply.
  • No group rates or other discounts apply.
  • Advance reservations required.
  • Offer exculdes Disney's Art of Animation Little Mermaid Standard Room, The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort, Campsites and 3-Bedroom Villas.
This offer must be booked by October 3, 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

{GIVEAWAY} $75 Disney Gift Card AND Favorite Prince/Princess Shirt

It's giveaway time! I've partnered up with Disney with Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers and other amazing bloggers and we are giving away a $75 Disney Gift Card AND a Favorite Prince/Princess shirt from Behind the Mouse. You know how this works! Go to the rafflecopter in this blog post and start earning your entries! The winner must be 18+ and a resident of The United States. The contest ends July 30th so be sure to share with all your Disney loving friends before then.
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Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Disney Cruise Line® Difference

Disney Cruise Line has one distinct advantage over other cruise lines - it’s owned by Disney! It’s no secret that Disney thrives when it comes to customer service and it’s no different on a Disney cruise. Customer service is just one of the many reasons you should choose Disney Cruise Line for your next cruise vacation. Let’s talk about some reasons why Disney knows how to cruise.

Disney does have some of the largest staterooms than other cruise lines but I think the major difference is in the layout. All staterooms have a couch and desk that can be separated by a curtain from the main bed. This is great for families as it creates some separation from the kids area and the adult area in the room.
Another great feature is the split baths. All staterooms except the Standard Inside rooms have split baths. There is one bathroom with the toilet and a sink and another bathroom with the shower and a sink. Also note that there are bathtubs in all staterooms though the size of the tub ranges.
The inside staterooms on the Fantasy and Dream have an extra sprinkle of Disney magic - a magical porthole with real-time views of the sea and virtual sightings of animated Disney characters.
If you want another step up in luxury and customer service try a concierge suite! Stay tuned for a separate blog post on the benefits of booking concierge with Disney Cruise Line.

Disney Quality Entertainment
Another thing I think we can all agree on is Disney knows how to entertain. The nightly shows onboard are truly Broadway quality and entertaining for all ages. They are a highlight of every cruise!
In addition to the nightly shows each ship boasts a movie theater showing recently in theater movies (along with some Disney classics mixed in). That’s right - you can go to the movies for no additional cost! Often if a new Disney movie is released while you are cruising they will show that movie in the main theater which can be a lot of fun. They even show movies in 3D!

Rotational Dining
Disney Cruise Line does dining a little bit different. There are three main restaurants on each ship. During your cruise you will rotate between the three and your wait staff will come along with you! Each ship has different restaurants but one on all three is Animator’s Palate where you get dinner and a show.
Enchanted Garden on the Fantasy
Royal Court on the Fantasy
Animator's Palate on the Fantasy
Disney Characters
Every day there will be a number of scheduled character meet and greets. Check your navigator for times and locations. The number of characters you can meet on a Disney cruise is very impressive. One of my favorite things is to watch the interaction between the princesses and the little kids. It’s truly magical to see a little girl hug and chat with her favorite Disney princess.

Amazing Kids Clubs
If your child is 3 years or older they can spend time at one of the spectacular kids’ clubs onboard - for FREE! Kids ages 3 through 12 can go to the Oceaneer Lab or Oceaneer Club. They can play in Andy’s room, perform on stage, participate in crafts and other supervised activities.
Preteens, ages 11 through 14, can head to Edge - a loft style lounge. Daily there are scheduled activities such as improv!
Teens, ages 14 through 17 have Vibe to hang out (with a little supervision to put Mom and Dad at ease). Vibe also has scheduled activities such as karaoke and on the Dream and Fantasy teens even have their own sundeck and “splash” pool!
For the infants through 2 year olds there is the nursery. The cost is $9 per hour for the first child and $8 per hour for the second child in the family. Advanced reservations can be made and you must cancel any reservation at least 4 hours before to avoid a cancellation fee.

Adult Only Areas and Dining
Disney does not forget about the adults! There are many adult only areas onboard including pools, lounges and restaurants. One of my favorite adult only areas onboard the Fantasy is Satellite Falls. I could sit up there all day long!

The two adult-only restaurants, Palo and Remy, are an additional charge but absolutely worth it. You will find some of the best food Disney has to offer at these restaurants. Advanced reservations are recommended, especially for the brunch at Palo, as they do book very quickly. Note that Remy is only onboard the Dream and the Fantasy while Palo is on all four ships.
Remy onboard the Fantasy
Palo onboard the Fantasy

There are many reasons Disney stands out among the cruise line options. You really cannot go wrong when choosing Disney Cruise Line. For 2015 Disney has added some amazing itineraries including Norway, Hawaii and the Mexican Riviera. Add that to the already great destinations like Alaska, Europe, Bahamas and Caribbean and the biggest problem when choosing a Disney Cruise Line vacation is deciding which itinerary!