Soarin’ over California will close in January at EPCOT*

 

Soarin' over California, Epcot Soarin', Disney's Soarin', Disney's Soaring

Are you looking for reason to go to the Walt Disney World Resort?

Soarin’ over California is arguably one of the most popular attractions at EPCOT. It is not uncommon to have wait times that exceed an hour and a half. Rarely are you able to find last minute fast passes for the attraction. In March of 2015, Disney announced that they would be adding a third theater to help reduce the wait times. It is set to open in summer 2016. So in terms of Disney, that means sometime between June and September 2016. The two current theaters will get a full over haul. A new screen and sound system for each. If you look at google earth, you can see the new theater being built behind the Canadian Pavilion in World Showcase.

The film will also be refreshed to have a more global appeal. No official title has been given but it will include soarin’ over some of the most incredible places all over the world. It was rumored that in January 2014 is when the new Soarin’ scenes were filmed over the Walt Disney World Resort during the Marathon/Dopey Challenge Weekend.

All of these amazing experiences will take time to build and enhance. The back stage rumor mill is churning with dates that are all over the calendar; however, most are saying early January 2016 will be the end of Soarin’ Over California and it will reopen during summer 2016 with fan fare like only Disney can bring.

With the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights going away at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Soarin’ Over California leaving EPCOT, it is time to take that last minute trip to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. You could say good bye in one magical weekend.

If you would like more information please contact our friends at info@magicalvacationsbyme.com

Magical Vacations by Me LogoIf you would like complimentary travel planning services, Magical Vacations by Me offers it for their clients.
http://www.magicalvacationsbyme.com info@magicalvacationsbyme.com 404-414-6198

Expectations for you and your travel agent

In the era of the internet there are a lot of savvy search engines and searchers. Everyone becomes a professional doctor & a professional travel agent because they can google it or book it through Expedia. Just as there is value in going to a doctor for an official diagnosis. There is value in going to a travel agent. Most travel agents become specialized in specific destinations. When they do, they have to spend a lot of time there, research the destination, try different experiences that they normally wouldn’t do all in the effort to be an expert. Most time there services are complimentary. Occasionally there is service fee for planning depending on the destination and the detail. Most Disney experts don’t charge for making dining reservations and setting your itinerary.

Before you contact a travel agent be sure to have a few specific things to give him or her:

1. The destination that you want to travel to. If you know of a resort that a friend stayed at that you would like priced out all the better.

2. Dates that you want to travel. Specific dates or month & # of nights. “Sometime in the fall” isn’t a good response. This could mean anytime September-November depending who you talk to.

3. A budget. Your idea of inexpensive and your agents idea of inexpensive could be off by a $1000. Know what you can afford to spend and adjust your want/need list to fit it.

4. Know who will be traveling with you. Vacation pricing can vary depending on the age of a child or # of adults.

Here are some things that you should expect from your travel agent:

1. To be knowledgeable about the destination.

2. To be professional. Return calls and emails in a timely manner. Within 24 hours unless it’s a holiday or weekend is acceptable.

3.To keep your information confidential. To only give information out that is necessary to third parties. To keep your credit card information in a secure database.

4. To make your vacation special.

Here are some things your travel agent should expect from you:

1. To Honor their time. Most agents are commission based. Don’t make up a dream vacation for them to plan if you don’t have the budget or any intention of taking it. If you would just like an idea of how much something would cost so you can plan for the future. Let them know up front. They will be able to give you a great over view vs. specific information.

2.To know that their magical powers have limits. They may be able to get you a table at Cinderella’s Royal Table at the last minute but if you show up at your resort at 6am because you drove through the night, they probably won’t be able to get house keeping to move any faster to get your room ready.

3. To be able to pay for your trip. They can only push back payments so far  before your vacation is cancelled. They don’t have control over cancellation policy.

If you would like complimentary travel planning services, Magical Vacations by Me offers it for their clients. Contact us to be put in touch with one of our amazing travel agents so they can help you plan your next magical vacation!

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Easy Ways to Save for a Vacation

 

gift cards

By Frances

Being a travel specialist, I have the honor of helping hundreds of clients a year plan their magical vacation whether it be to Disney or Australia or somewhere in between. Budget always comes up during a conversation and sometimes it’s followed up with “I really want to but just can’t afford”. YES YOU CAN! You may not be able to go on your vacation next week, but with some planning you will be able to make your dream vacation come true. Here’s how!

1. Do some research online: Go to some popular vacation destination sites and see how much your dream vacation is. Set a budget but searching your dream high end vacation, your dream realistic vacation and your dream minimal vacation. If you are lost or confused at this point, you can contact a Magical Vacations by Me agent. Be upfront with them that you are just setting a budget and just starting. They will be more than happy to help you. info@magicalvacationsbyme.com

2.Set your goal vacation dates: This date could be in 6 months or 3 years. Make it as realistic as possible.

3 Set your budget: Set your budget between the dream high end vacation and the dream realistic vacation. This will allow for some flexibility if pricing should increase. This also allows for “Life” situations to happen and if needed you can still go on your dream minimal budget.

4. Start Saving: Easier said than done, right? Here are some easy ways that make it easier.

~ Purchase Gift Cards: Sooo many places have gift cards at the check out or at kiosk in the middle of the aisle. Pick up a gift card each week that will help you get to your goal. Think about how you are getting to your dream vacation. How are you going to eat and where are you going. Gas Cards, Airline Cards, Fast food & Restaurant cards, Starbucks, Disney, Universal etc. Throw in a Target or Walmart gift card just in case something should come up that you need while you are on vacation. It is easier to add $25 a week to your budget than you realize. It doesn’t have to be $200 at a time. Also, when you are shopping think about things like “I really want those Oreo’s but that is $3 that I could put towards my vacation.” You will be amazed at what you won’t miss as far as your grocery budget goes. Many stores offer discounted gift cards or special incentives. Check with Costco, BJ’s, Target and your local grocery store.

**Tip: Purchase all gift cards in like amounts. Example: Purchase gift cards in $25 increments. That way you don’t have to remember how much is on which card. OR write on the back in with a sharpie how much is on there before you tuck it away in your dresser.

~ Grandparents, Santa Clause, Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy & Cupid are your best source for extra gift cards: Let all of them know that you have are planning a dream vacation. They can easily pick up a $10 gift card that can be used on the trip and a small toy. On www.Disneygiftcard.com, it’s free to personalize gift cards. there is a huge selection to choose from as well. If your child earns a great report card, you can send them a $10 personalized Disney gift card in the mail.

~ Save your change: Don’t spend the coins! Take all the change that you can get. If something cost $9.34, give the cashier a $10 bill and throw the change in your piggy bank. You will be amazed at how quickly it will add up.

~ Save your cash: If you have more than 5 $1 bills, take them out of your wallet and place in an envelope. Also do this when you just happen to have some extra cash from a friend that paid you back for lunch. This will add up as well.

~ Open a special banking account: A lot of banks are now offering free checking or savings accounts. If you have direct deposit, you can have $10 a week deposited into this special account. Make sure that it is a little harder to get to so you aren’t tempted to use that money for a new pair of shoes 🙂  But it’s accessible if an emergency arises.

 

If you would like more information or discounted tickets to Universal Orlando, please contact our friends at info@magicalvacationsbyme.com

Magical Vacations by Me LogoIf you would like complimentary travel planning services, Magical Vacations by Me offers it for their clients.
http://www.magicalvacationsbyme.com info@magicalvacationsbyme.com404-414-6198

 

 

Biggest Pet Peeves on a Disney Vacation

Magic Kingdom Castle Christmas

Whether you stay on or off Disney property you have spent a lot of money to get there. You have dreams of beautiful Christmas Card quality photos. Dreams of 75 degree weather with beautiful sunshine. Dreams of a perfect view of Wishes at the Magic Kingdom. The truth is that doesn’t always happen. Out of a weeks worth of vacation photos I usually have two that has everyone looking in the same direction and not looking like someone just got run through the ringer. Here are a few of my pet peeves about a Disney Vacation.Mickey parade party

1. Wear Deodorant: There are a handful of people in this world that are allergic to deodorant. This is about the millions of other people that choose not to wear it. When it’s 95 degrees outside and we hit Space Mountain to get out of the sun. I don’t appreciate the fact that you choose not to wear something that helps keep your body odor under control. I’m not talking about  the your deodorant has worn off and you have a faint musky smell. I’m talking about the rank, clear the room and makes you want to lose your lunch musky smell. You spent $100 to get into the park. Spend $1 at the dollar store for something to control your odor.

2. The cutting of of scooters and strollers: You see the scooter coming. The stroller already has a screaming princess in it. Let them pass or speed up. Don’t jump out in front of them and then look at them as if you are shocked when they bump into you. At the same time Scooter drivers and Stroller pushers need to be aware of their surroundings. You can almost begin to sense the teen that is beginning to jump in front of you.

3. Your little prince or princess doesn’t deserve or need his or her own seat on a crowded bus: We are all tired!! All of us are crabby!! Your precious two year old can sit on your lap for twenty minutes to give someone else a chance to sit for awhile and maybe get a few more people to their hotel room sooner. Also, three skinny kids can share two seats and don’t need their own. This is also a great time to teach or reinforce manners to your kids and have them give their seats up to older guests or that pregnant lady that may have over done it.

epcot illuminations fireworks4. Don’t put your child on your shoulders unless you are sure you aren’t blocking someone’s view: It really ticks me off that I have waited for the fireworks and a family stops right in front of me and places their kids on their shoulders so the their kids can see. I appreciate the fact that you want your kids to see but I also want my kids to be able to see so I got here early. Since you, your wife and both of your parents now have 4 kids on your shoulders so they can see… There are about 20 people who waited to see the fireworks (or parade) that are no longer able to have good view. Please be aware of your surroundings.

5. Put your cell phones away: I own my own business and I understand that it is hard to take a break. But make an effort to interact with your kids and family. Make an effort to connect with something other than Facebook and twitter.

5. Part Two: Don’t talk so loud that everyone can hear you. I don’t care to listen to you complain to someone about how upset your stomach has been since you have been on vacation. It’s none of my business how much you drank last night. Keep it down folks.

6. Take your picture and move on: Most people will stop and allow you to take a beautiful family picture without photo bombers. Some will even offer to take the pic so you can be in it. Don’t take 15 photos to get the perfect one and hold everyone else up. Take 2-3 photos and allow everyone to pass. Then try again. We are on vacation too.

7. The reluctant bag opener: Security is going to ask you to open and unzip your bag. Have it already off your shoulders and unzipped/opened for them to look through. It will make the line move much faster.

8. Taking photos on rides: We all notice that big flash on Pirates of the Caribbean. Don’t try to look innocent. But I do laugh when that pictures doesn’t turn out well and you have the nerve to complain about it.

9. Not dressing appropriately: This is a pet peeve on so many levels. Really think through the day. Your princess looks amazing in the Cinderella gown at rope drop. By 12 noon, she is over it. Have a change of clothes. I also don’t need to see cleavage or but cheeks or belly buttons on full grown women. COVER UP!

10. Surprised by Rain: It’s central Florida. Rain will happen and it will happen when you aren’t prepared. Get over it!

If you would like more information or discounted tickets to Universal Orlando, please contact our friends at info@magicalvacationsbyme.com

Magical Vacations by Me LogoIf you would like complimentary travel planning services, Magical Vacations by Me offers it for their clients.
http://www.magicalvacationsbyme.com info@magicalvacationsbyme.com404-414-6198

What could you do with a $250 Disney Gift Card?

DisneyGiftCard1

The final hours are fast approaching! The last chance to enter for your chance to win a $250 Disney Gift Card or other cool prizes.

There are so many things that you could do with the gift card if you won it.

What would you do?

Place a deposit for your next Walt Disney World Vacation?

Go to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party?

Get a spa treatment on the Disney Dream?

Buy the new Vera Bradley Disney Collection Hand Bag?

Splurge on matching T-shirts for the whole family?

You can share the post for an additional 10 entries each day

Enter for a chance to win here!!

If you would like more information or discounted tickets to Universal Orlando, please contact our friends at info@magicalvacationsbyme.com

Magical Vacations by Me LogoIf you would like complimentary travel planning services, Magical Vacations by Me offers it for their clients.
http://www.magicalvacationsbyme.com info@magicalvacationsbyme.com404-414-6198

Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Orlando wait times rival Anna & Elsa

Gringotts wait time

It is no surprise that the new Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando is already a huge hit. Due to the first days of demand, USO execs opened up the park at 5:45am to start allowing guests to line up inside the park vs outside. That helped keep the crowd tame and the line moving. With wait times for Gringotts being an estimated 7.5 hours, USO employees were handing out return passes so guests could enjoy other attractions through out the park.

One great way to get ahead of the crowd is to book a Universal Vacation Package. It allows you to enter the park one hour prior to opening so you are able to get ahead of most of the crowds. If you stay at one of the three Deluxe resorts at Universal Orlando resort (Hard Rock Resort, Lowe’s Royal Pacific or Lowe’s Portofino Bay) you are given an Express Pass which will allow you to skip most of the wait times for attractions one time per day. It is included in your resort stay.

If you aren’t staying at Universal Orlando Resort, you can purchase the Express Pass starting at an additional $39.99 per day per ticket. Pricing is based on the day you visit and the crowd levels expected. The more crowded it is expected… the more expensive the ticket.

Universal Studios Florida®
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit®
Universal Horror Make-Up Show
TERMINATOR 2®: 3-D
Animal Actors on Location!SM
A Day In The Park with Barney™
Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster®
E.T. Adventure®
MEN IN BLACK ™ Alien Attack™
Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue™
TWISTER…Ride It Out®
Revenge of the Mummy®
Shrek 4-D
Fear Factor Live
Disaster!SM A Major Motion Picture Ride…Starring YOU
The Simpsons Ride™
Transformers: The Ride- 3D
Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl
Universal’s Islands of Adventure®

The Cat In The Hat™
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish™
Caro-Seuss-el™
Poseidon’s Fury®
The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad®
Dragon Challenge™
Jurassic Park River Adventure®
Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls®
Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges®
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man®
Doctor Doom’s Fearfall®
Storm Force Accelatron®
The Incredible Hulk Coaster®
Flight of the Hippogriff™
NOT AVAILABLE ON THE FOLLOWING ATTRACTIONS:
Universal Studios Florida
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™
Hogwarts™ Express
Universal’s Islands of Adventure
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™
Hogwarts™ Express
Pteranodon Flyers®
RESTRICTIONS:

Date selection is required before entering ticket quantity
There are only a limited number of passes available for sale for each date.
Not valid for separately ticketed events, such as Halloween Horror Nights or Rock the Universe.
Limit eight (8) tickets per transaction.
Your ticket may not be copied, transferred, or resold.
Tickets are non-refundable.
Parking is not included.
NOTE: Applicable sales tax will be added to all ticket products.

 

If you would like more information or discounted tickets to Universal Orlando, please contact our friends at info@magicalvacationsbyme.com

Magical Vacations by Me LogoIf you would like complimentary travel planning services, Magical Vacations by Me offers it for their clients.
http://www.magicalvacationsbyme.com info@magicalvacationsbyme.com 404-414-6198

$375 in Disney Gift Cards & other cool prizes giveaway

 

Disney Gift card beach

Mouze Kateerz has teamed with an awesome travel agency to bring you a very special giveaway! You could win a $250 Disney Gift Card or a $125 Disney Gift Card or a Sword & the Stone Blu Ray/DVD, or a Cinderella Blu Ray/DVD or a Jungle Book Blu Ray/DVD or a Frozen Blu Ray/DVD or a Minnie Chunkie necklace or a set of Chewie and Yoda Plush (AKA Stitch & Goofy). Entering is easy. Just click on the link below. Make sure you earn an easy 10 points by allowing Magical Vacations by Me to give you a complimentary quote at info@magicalvacationsbyme.com

ENTER FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN HERE

 

Giveaway Details

The Giveaway begins at 12:15AM on Tuesday, July 9, 2014, and continues until 11:59PM on Sunday, July 13, 2014.  The winners will be selected from all the eligible entries on Monday, July 14, 2014, and will be notified via email to the email address specified in their entry information.  The winners will have 24 hours from the time the email is sent to them to claim their prize, and if they fail to do so, another winner will be chosen.  The winners may also be notified via social media avenues, but they must claim their prize via email.

The giveaway is only open to people aged 18 years of age or older living in the United States only.  To enter, complete the entry details you find in the Rafflecopter widget , and good luck everyone!  There are entries for every day of the giveaway, so keep coming back to get your maximum number of entries!

Thank you for following Mouze Kateerz

If you would like complimentary travel planning services, Magical Vacations by Me offers it for their clients.

Magical Vacations by Me Logohttp://www.magicalvacationsbyme.com   info@magicalvacationsbyme.com  404-414-6198

Pictures of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs sign

The long journey for completion of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride for the New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World Resorts Magic Kingdom is just around the corner. Here are some amazing pics of the ride by Mouze Kateerz’s very own Denny Miller. Please enjoy.

Seven Dwarfs Que

This is a picture of part of the que for the new ride. Lines are expected to exceed 4 hours this summer.

Seven Dwarfs que 2

This is part of the que. Disney is great with details.

Seven Dwarfs

This will be one of the iconic photos that will last forever. You are looking over the track. In the middle is the entrance to the new Fantasyland expansion with Cinderella’s Castle beautifully in the background.

Seven Dwarfs 2

Runaway cart?

Seven Dwarfs vultures

A little piece of history. You may remember these guys from the end of the old Snow White ride.

Seven Dwarfs test

Safety first! Cast Members are pushing the cart to make sure that no ones fingers will hit anything before they place guests on the ride.

 

Thank you for choosing Mouze Kateerz.

 

Magical Vacations by Me LogoMagical Vacations by Me is the travel agency we recommend. Please visit them at www.magicalvacationsbyme.com or on Facebook! You can also call them at 404-414-6198. Let them know that Mouze Kateerz sent you.

Things said to a Travel Agent #3

Magic Kingdom tea cups mad

When working with customers, there are times that you just have to laugh at responses and questions. This is the third installment Epcot illuminations balloonof  “Things said to a travel agent”. I hop you enjoy with a great sense of humor.

~ Client: I’ve always wanted to go to Paris to see Big Ben. / Agent: Do you mean the Eiffel Tower or to London? / Client: Does the Eiffel tower have the clock in it?

~ Client: I would like to go to an all inclusive resort for my honeymoon. It needs to be at least a 4 star resort for 7 nights. The price needs to include airfare. My budget is $1,500. /Agent: Is that per person? / Client: No. That’s total for the trip. I decided to spend an extra $5,000 on my dress so I took that money from my honeymoon budget.

~ How bad is customs in Hawaii? {said by a US citizen}

~ Why would Disney build a park that is exclusive to Harry Potter?

~ How much alcohol can you take into the theme parks?

dumbo~ Could you please give me a quote to sleep in one of the little boats that hang on the side of the cruise ship? They seem like they would be cool to stay in.

~ Can you please request that I don’t have a stateroom attendant on the cruise? I don’t want to pay him a gratuity. I also don’t need a time to go to the dining hall. I  don’t want to pay the gratuity to the servers either.

~ {said by a 19 year old college student booking a spring break cruise} I will use my fake ID to get alcohol on the cruise ship? /Agent: They don’t check your ID at the bar. You are issued a room key/charging card that will say you are underage to purchase alcohol./ Client: Bummer

~ My cat has separation anxiety. Do you think the hotel maid will change his kitty pan if I take him with us?

~ {after they returned} Client: I would like you to refund me the cost of my trip. /Agent: Why? / Client: I got caught smoking three times in non authorized areas and I was kicked out of the parks. It was a huge inconvenience.

Thank you for following Mouze Kateerz

If you would like complimentary travel planning services, Magical Vacations by Me offers it for their clients.

Magical Vacations by Me Logo

http://www.magicalvacationsbyme.com   info@magicalvacationsbyme.com  404-414-6198

Enter to win a $100 Disney Gift Card or 1 of 8 other prizes

DisneyGiftCard1

Mouze Kateerz has teamed up with some awesome fan pages and blogs to bring you a chance to win 1 of 9 prizes.

Here is what you have a chance to win when you enter!

1 $100 Disney Gift Card brought to you by Magical Vacations by Me
or
1 $25 Disney Gift Card brought to you by Magical Vacations by Katy
or
1 DVD of Thor: The Dark World brought to you by Magical Vacations by Becky
or
1 Assortment of Disney Trading Pins brought to you by Lisa Petrarca – Disney Travel Specialist
or
24 ” Sorcerer Mickey Plush brought to you by Magical Vacations by Todd
or
1 You choose Mickey or Minnie appliqued t-shirt brought to you by Magical Vacations by Christy

or

1 Mickey Hair Bow brought to you by Magical Vacations by Stephanie

or
1 Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide To Walt Disney World’s Best Kept Secerts by Stephen M. Barrett brought to you by Disney on a Dollar

or
2 Disney Reusable Bags brought to you by Magical Vacations by April

Giveaway Details

The Giveaway begins at 12:15AM on Friday, February 21, 2014, and continues until 11:59PM on Sunday, March 2, 2014.  The winners will be selected from all the eligible entries on Monday, March 3, 2014, and will be notified via email to the email address specified in their entry information.  The winners will have 24 hours from the time the email is sent to them to claim their prize, and if they fail to do so, another winner will be chosen.  The winners may also be notified via social media avenues, but they must claim their prize via email.

The giveaway is only open to people aged 18 years of age or older living in the United States only.  To enter, complete the entry details you find in the Rafflecopter widget , and good luck everyone!  There are entries for every day of the giveaway, so keep coming back to get your maximum number of entries!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

Thank you for following Mouze Kateerz

If you would like complimentary travel planning services, Magical Vacations by Me offers it for their clients.

Magical Vacations by Me Logohttp://www.magicalvacationsbyme.com   info@magicalvacationsbyme.com  404-414-6198