Disney Visa Promo has been released + $500 Disney Gift Card entry

Disney's All-Star Movies Resort

Disney Visa customers can get in on a special promo before a new promo is released to the general public. If you book with Magical Vacations by Me you will also be entered into a special $500 Disney Gift Card giveaway that is special for their clients.

Here are the details:

Stay/Play/Dine – Discounted rate when you purchase room, tickets and dining plan in your package.

Adult tickets and dining prices are the same as kids 3-9.

Travel dates January 5, 2014 – March 5, 2014Snow white parade evil queen villian

Excludes: ALL of Art of Animation Resort, Campsites, Villas at Grand Floridian and 3-bedroom Villas

MUST BOOK: Minimum 3 night stay, Minimum 2 Day ticket.

Room Only Discount –

Travel dates January 5, 2014 -April 12, 2014

The week of March 6 – March 13 (discount is 5% less than what is listed below)

All Star Sports, All Star Music, Pop Century – 20%

Art of Animation Family Suites – 15% (Little Mermaid Rooms excluded)

All Star Movies – 5%

Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach Resort, Port Orleans Riverside, Cabins – 25%

Port Orleans French Quarter, Junior Suites at Coronado Springs – 5%

Bay Lake Tower PoolWilderness Lodge (Standard and Woods View), Animal Kingdom Lodge (Standard and Pool View), Beach/Yacht Club, Boardwalk Inn, Polynesian, Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Contemporary – 35%

Wilderness Lodge (Club Level and Courtyard View), Animal Kingdom Lodge (Club and Savanna View) – 25%

Saratoga Springs, Old Key West, Boardwalk Villas, Beach/Yacht Club Villas – 35%

Bay Lake Tower – 5%

Deluxe Suites – 5%

Excludes – Campsites and Villas at Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

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Magical Vacations by Me LogoIf you are looking to book a magical vacation, please contact Magical Vacations by Me at 404-414-6198 or info@magicalvacationsbyme.com

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Winning the Lottery?

drive to Mgic Kingdom, road to Magic Kingdom, Magic Kingdom entrance sign, Magic Kingdom toll, Magic Kingdom parking cost

By Amanda

With the largest lottery jack pot for Powerball in the books a few short weeks ago, it got my family to day dreaming about what we would do if we won. Of course, my fiance and I (being practical) said we would set up college funds for each of the kids (There’s 5), a new house with bedrooms for everyone so they wouldn’t have to share anymore and of course two new vehicles. But beyond that what would we do?be our guest bridge_332098596_n

This is when one of the twins said “We want to go to Disney!” Leave it to one of the kids to put it in the simplest what would you dos. So we began asking them specifics. It seems they had all put their heads together and came up with a game plan. Surprisingly all 5 agreed to it with little tweaks of course. We’d rent a private plane to gather up specific friends and family to meet us down there. Rent a large church bus to get everyone from the airport to the Resort. Here is where the little tweak happens.  Three of them wanted to stay at Bay Lake Tower while the other two liked The Tree Houses at Saratoga Springs. At this point I had to laugh, at least they were thinking large enough for the 7 of us and the 30 other people they were inviting.DVC Bay Lake, Bay Lake Tower, Disney resort, save money,

I agreed that either one would be a good choice as there are seven of us and both of those resorts can accommodate large families. The next topic up was food. With three teenage boys, food was a priority. Having been to Disney my son knows Disney goes above and beyond with the food. He had them convinced to go with Premium Dining because we you get 3 meals a day and 2 snacks, the kicker on this one was the inclusion of La Nouba tickets. Yes I have Cirque Du Soliel children. It wasn’t the golf or free recreation stuff, but La Nouba. Of course we’d have to have the water parks and more option as they had stated we’d be staying 2 weeks in order to stay at both resorts!

Disney, Disney Wedding Pavillion, Disney Wedding

Disney’s Wedding Pavillion

The girls also stated that there would be a wedding at Cinderella’s Castle and that it would be the best ever since it would be mine and my fiance. They both stated they would plan everything. Twelve year old twins and the fantasy of getting married at Disney is in their minds. I pray their Prince’s have the pockets for it.

So with all their talking this begs the question.. What would you have done if you’d won the Big Power Ball Lotto?

Thank you for stopping by Mouze Kateerz. We value feedback from our readers and welcome your comments.
Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys is ready to help you plan your next magical vacation. Please visit them at Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys on facebook, on the web at Distinctive Journeys or 404-414-6198 or mickeyinfo@distinctive-journeys.com

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5 Reasons You Will Love Disney’s Bay Lake Tower Resort

By Amanda, Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

Bay Lake Tower is a Disney Deluxe Resort parked right next to the Contemporary Resort. It’s one of the most expensive places to stay on Disney property, but there are definite advantages to booking a vacation here if you have the cash.

5 Reasons You’ll Love Bay Lake Tower

1. Location, location, location!

You can ride on a monorail practically to the gates of the Magic Kingdom, or you can walk there in under 15 minutes, just 10 minutes if you walk a pretty good pace. What other resort are you close enough to walk to the House of Mouse? None, just Bay Lake Tower.

2. Take a boat over to the Wilderness Lodge

While Bay Lake Tower has clean lines, soft colors, and subtle landscaping, it’s not exactly what I would call the best themed resort in the Disney line up. The theming award goes to Wilderness Lodge, which is a short boat ride away. The ride is relaxing at night, and you can’t beat spending free time at the Lodge. Make sure you try their chocolate brownie! At just $4 and large enough to share, it’s a sure Cheapskate Princess favorite.

Can a Cheapskate Princess Afford a Dooney & Bourke Disney Handbag?

3. Kids Activities

Step over to the Contemporary Resort, and the kids can window shop in three gift shops. On the bottom floor of BLT is the Community Hall,where kids can do crafts and play video games. Be sure to take your room key with you. There are videos you can borrow from the community hall, and at night, there is a bug screen Disney movie out on the grassy lawn. Boats to rent, tennis courts, two incredible pools, game room, and roasting marshmallows on a fire pit before dusk…the kids will have a blast.

4. A Simply Amazing Bathroom

The master bathroom in the 1,2 and 3 bedrooms accommodations is fantastic. Whirlpool tub, rain head shower, and beautiful tile with deep colored woodwork all add up to vacation relaxation. That whirlpool tub is especially wonderful for tired legs muscles and sore feet.

Love Disney Jewelry? Check Out Over $20,000 in Platinum and Diamond Jewelry

5. The Top of the World Lounge

At the very top of Bay Lake Tower is a beautifully fashioned “lounge” that serves drinks and food, with an amazing view of Bay Lake on one side and the Magic Kingdom/Seven Seas Lagoon on the other side. During the 10 p.m. “Wishes” fireworks show, the music is piped in, so you have a top floor unobstructed theme park view.

How much does it cost  to stay at Bay Lake? You have to see it to believe it!

Can You Afford a Vacation at WDW’s Bay Lake Tower Resort?

 

So if you have the cash, you’ll love being so close to the Magic Kingdom with so many fantastic amenities.

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you on the walk to the front gate…

Amanda

Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

Come see us at Disney’s Cheapskate Princess on Facebook and Cheapskate Princess on Pinterest.

Thank you for stopping by Mouze Kateerz. We value feedback from our readers and welcome your comments.
Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys is ready to help you plan your next magical vacation. Please visit them at Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys on facebook, on the web at Distinctive Journeys or 404-414-6198 or frances@distinctive-journeys.com

The Disney Vacation Club? How It Has Wrecked My Home Life

What is the absolute worst part about a Disney vacation, assuming your car doesn’t break down, you don’t catch the flu, and you do not lose your wallet? The worst part is definitely coming home. After-Disney Depression goes by many unofficial clinical names.

  • IMDS – I miss Disney Syndrome
  • DDS – Disney Depression Syndrome.
  • DVES – Disney Vacation Ending Syndrome
  • PDS – Post Disney Depression

Different names – same outcome. You simply miss Disney, and it’s depressing to ponder when you’ll have enough money and time off from work to make it back to the Mouse House.

My family has been Disney Vacation Club (DVC) members since 2009, and our home base is at Bay Lake Tower in Orlando. Coming home from Bay Lake Tower is rough. I’m going to show and tell you why the DVC has wrecked my home life. [Read more…]

Hop on a Monorail for FREE Walt Disney World Resort Activities

Disney Monorail, Disney vacation, monorail Yellow

You hear us say over and over- A Disney vacation is fantastic and memorable, but it’s going to cost you an arm and a leg. Next to your room and food costs, theme park tickets are one one of the next largest purchases for any Disney trip.  We always seem to be searching for inexpensive ways to get the most from our Disney Dollars. Sometimes it’s nice to do other activities that don’t involve purchasing tickets or expensive character meals. Window shopping at Downtown Disney is good for half a day’s free, or almost free, entertainment and riding the WDW monorail to the resorts is another. [Read more…]

Walt Disney World: How to Pool Hop and Not Get Arrested

Contemporary Resort pool, DVC pool hopping, DVC pool
     Now that the word arrested has your attention, let’s talk about a topic that can make a lot of people get irritated quickly, Disney Pool Hopping. Pool hopping is simply staying at one resort and swimming at another. So how can you pool hop at Disney World and not get arrested for trespassing?
     There’s only one simple, legal, answer to that question, and that’s to join the DVC, the Disney Vacation Club. I have heard tales of people swimming in Disney Resort pools without staying on property, but you are of course taking the huge gamble of being thrown out when discovered, or worse, arrested for trespassing. That was not a risk I was ever willing to take, my mug shot winding up in the newspapers, my children crying as they stuff mommy in the squad car. I think people who do take this risk are clearly not thinking about the possible outcome.
     I am a Vacation Club Member. When we took the DVC tour, several things stood out in my mind. 1) The DVC building where they have tours was just fabulous. I’ve been in Country Clubs that weren’t as fashionable. It’s understated in a truly elegant way, but you feel important just standing in the lobby.  2) The cookies they give you in the waiting room are yummy, and the ice cream they give you when you leave is even better. 3) Pool Hopping is allowed for DVC members, with some stipulations. I heard this, and rational financial thought flew out the elegant-curtained windows.  Pool hopping, pool hopping, Disney Pool Hopping!!
Coronado Springs Resort pool, Disney's Coronado Springs Resort pool
     I love Disney pools, and while I have not stayed in all the Disney resorts, I have swam in a fair amount of their pools, the pools on the “Pool Hopping is O.K.” list. Truth be told, I’ve swam in more Disney pools than I have stayed in their numerous resorts. Why again was this possible? How do you pool hop without risking possible arrest and public humiliation when you’re caught swimming illegally?  Join the Disney Vacation Club.
     Once you’re in the DVC, or The Club as I lovingly call it, when you use your membership to stay at a WDW DVC  or Disnsy’s Vero Beach Resort, you and any guests staying with you are allowed to pool hop to certain Disney resort pools when they are not at full capacity.
Wilderness Lodge pool,
Because of expected high occupancy, you cannot pool hop during the following dates this year:
  • February 19 to 25
  • March 31 to April 14
  • May 26 to 28
  • June 29 to July 7
  • August 31 to September 3
  • November 19 to 25
  • December 16 to Jan 5 of 2013
  • Disney has the option to add more blackout dates, if they choose, should the resorts fill to capacity.
Animal Kingdom pool, Animal Kingdon Resort Kadani pool

Animal Kingdom Resort has a fabulous pool, but even a DVC membership won’t help you pool hop here.

Membership has its privileges, but there are certain pools even DVC members cannot ever swim in if they are staying at another resort.

  • Bay Cove Pool at Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • any pools at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
  • the pool at Disney’s Beach Club Villas
  • the pool at the Disneyland Resort in California

Vacationers pay a ton of money to go to Disney World. The nicer resort you stay in, the more money you will pay. It’s morally unethical to swim in a resort pool you did not pay to swim in. It’s also embarrassing if you get caught there illegally, so don’t take the risk.  Let the people who paid for those pool privileges enjoy them.

For the people who paid for DVC privileges, you will really enjoy the pool hopping option. The summer after we joined the DVC, we used our new points to stay at Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. I’ll be honest; I was so broke, we decided not to put park tickets on our Disney Visa. We used a set of one day tickets from a prior trip, and we spent the next five days pool hopping.  I called it the GREAT DISNEY POOL TOUR. It was absolutely, positively fabulous. It was so great, it took the sting out of my DVC bill each month.

Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Grand Floridian pool, DVC

I know, I know, you don’t need to sleep in a fancy resort when you stay at the parks all day anyway. I realize it’s expensive. I said the exact things before we joined, and we still stay at inexpensive hotels on Disney trips when the points have run out, because they go fast. But when I hear people say that the DVC isn’t worth the money, I am the first one to pull up photos of my kids swimming in multiple Disney Deluxe Resorts and say…join The Club.

Would you like more information about the Disney Vacation Club pool hopping option? Call one of my favorite people in the (Disney)World, our personal DVC representative. His name is Aldemar Ramirez, he has the most amazing accent, and his number is 800-501-8669. Be sure to tell him Amanda Major referred you, because they frequently have DVC incentives if you know a member.

Thanks for stopping by for a photographical ride, and we’ll see you in the red van on the way to the DVC headquarters at Saratoga Springs to take a tour.  Save me a cookie.

Love Disney World photography? For a virtual Disney vacation in pictures, join Mouze Kateerz on Facebook and Mouze Kateerz on Pinterest. 

Disney’s Bay Lake Tower Resort: Is It Really Worth the Big Buck$?

Bay lake tower photo, bay lake tower rates, bay lake tower reservations, disney bay lake tower DVC

Bay Lake Tower is a resort complex connected to Disney’s Contemporary Resort by a covered Sky Way Bridge. Just opened in 2009, it one of the newest DVC and Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts on the Walt Disney World property. From a studio to a three-bedroom unit spanning two floors, Bay Lake Tower is the newest in the line of upper-end Disney accommodations. But wow, it’s pricey! Is this the right resort for your next vacation?

Here’s three reasons you would love to stay at Bay Lake Tower. [Read more…]

Photographing Disney: Picasa, or, How to Rescue a Rotten Picture

Disney Wishes, Disney fireworks, Disney vacation, Disney photography, fireworks

Every Photo has a story.

A good picture can capture your memories for generations to come, and a bad photo- well, it can crush your vacation-loving spirit. Last month for The Disney Moms, I talked about how my number one suggestion for good photography would be to check your camera batteries.  I know, I know, this seemed like such a simple idea. Two weeks after I wrote that article, while on vacation at Walt Disney World, I walked from Bay Lake Tower over to the Magic Kingdom early one morning while my family was still asleep. I thought I could pop over, take some shots, and monorail-myself back before anyone realized they had been left out.  It’s a 15 minute walk at a brisk pace, and I didn’t carry my backpack (containing, duh, extra batteries) so I wouldn’t have to stand in the lengthy holiday bag-check line.  I took exactly six pictures before my camera went completely dead.  And with a grimace of pain on my hypocritical face, I walked right back out of the MK entrance.  The monorail ride of photographic shame was humbling.  Imagine if my child had waited in a 30 minute line to see Pooh and Tigger before my batteries went kaput?  Let me re-state from personal experience…make certain you have batteries.

Picasa, Picnik, Disney photography, Disney carousel, Disney vacation, wishesI’d like to focus on an idea that hit me after I started using photo editing software with my photos; don’t delete your questionable pictures directly from your camera.  When I was bored in line at Disney, I would frequently clean off my memory cards with pictures that appeared lousy. But now, I’m suggesting you get yourself to some editing software and try to save your wayward photos.

I currently use Picasa photo editing software, which was free and easy to download. Click here for picasa.google.com to try it out for yourself.  With Picasa, you can organize, edit, and share your photos.  The Picasa 3.9 upgrade now works with Google+ for photo sharing and tagging.  Picasa is not Photoshop, and it’s probably beneath the professional level photographers, but how many of us are photo pros? Some days I’m just praying for the majority of my photos to be in focus. Again, Picasa is free, and it gets the job done. My 13-year-old-daughter really liked Picnik photo editing. Much to her dismay, and a lot of other people too, Google recently decided to discontinue Picnik, although rumor has it that Picnik may be moving to Google +. Unlike Picnik, where you could edit photos from any computer with internet access, Picasa software is installed on your computer, so it’s not as portable unless you install it on your lap top. But with Picnik’s future questionable, Picasa may be a good alternative, and way less expensive than Photoshop.

What did editing with Picasa teach me? It taught me not to be so quick to hit the delete button on my camera. I love going anywhere on the Walt Disney World property after the sun goes down.  The crowds are less dense, and the temps. are definitely lower in the summer, like in the 70’s at 2 a.m. in June. The colors are soft; neon lights are on in Tomorrowland. Yet on my iPhone, small camera, or my Nikon, despite heroic attempts, almost all of my night-time pictures appear dark and shadowy.  Some of them look downright awful when I glance through them on the camera standing on the spot. It’s discouraging and depressing.  Picasa taught me not to hit delete right away, unless the photo is just outrageously blurry, but to save it until I get home.

Here’s an original shot of the Contemporary Resort about 2 a.m.

Now here’s the photo edited version, compliments of Picasa.

There’s a marked difference. No photo awards are forthcoming, but I’m no longer standing in the dark of night either. Would this be fit for publication or a photo you would run out and frame?  Probably not, but you’re mainly taking family photos anyway.  Most of your shots are usually for your scrapbook and not necessarily destined for an 11x 14 frame in the family room.  There are some images worth rescuing with editing software, even if you are the only one to ever see them.

So resist the urge to delete your photos until you can get to some editing software and see what you can salvage. I look back at years of deleting dark photos on the spot and wish I had waited until technology caught up with my sub-par night-time photography skills. I have more photos to sift through when I get home, but I force myself to wait now, and I’m glad that I do. Picasa can work some magic with your daytime shots as well.

Thanks for coming along for a photographical ride!

Amanda

Love Disney World photography? Join Mouze Kateerz on Facebook for a virtual Disney vacation each day in photographs.  You can see even more great pictures by visiting Mouze Kateerz on Pinterest.  If you have some fabulous Disney photographs you’d like to share, send an email of your favorite Disney location to mouzekateerz@chipandco.com.

See ya soon!