Disney Boardwalk Inn Room Tour

The 2014 #TypeAWDW Bootcamp event allowed me my first opportunity to actually spend the night at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort, so I thought it only fitting that I shared my Disney Boardwalk Inn Room Tour with you.

Keep in mind, I stayed in room 1346 which is on the 1st floor overlooking the quiet pool in the back corner of Disney’s Boardwalk Resort. While it was certainly one of the furthest rooms away from the lobby, because it was on a corner, the room itself was actually larger.

This video room tour took place during the weekend of March 28-30, 2014:

Disney Boardwalk Resort Lobby Fireplace:

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Disney’s BoardWalk check in:

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Disney’s Boardwalk Inn rotunda horse chandelier:

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The second floor patio overlooking Disney’s BoardWalk:

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Child size rockers on the patio looking back towards the rotunda:

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Guest bed inside Disney Boardwalk Inn Room 1346:

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Minnie Lamp on the work desk:

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Blogging on our ‘porch’ overlooking the Boardwalk Inn quiet pool:

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What is your favorite part of  Disney’s BoardWalk Inn?

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Disney Cruise Line Deals and Tips

A culmination of our family’s best advice for Disney Cruise Line Deals and Tips!
disney cruise line deals and tips Disney Cruise Line Deals and Tips

It was brought to my attention that all of our Disney Cruise Line deals and tips were not easily accessible all in one place. So if you want to know about everything from how we announced our Disney Cruise Line vacation to our kids to the secret tips we’ve learned while on our Disney Cruise family vacation, this is the place to find it!

I’ll continue to update these as I uncover more tips and continue to process more from our trip. Click on the hyperlinks below to read specific articles outlining each of my Disney Cruise tips below.

[Read more...]

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Making Disney World Dreams Come True Podcast

Thrilled to let you know that on Tuesday, November 26 at 11:11am EST, I’ll be part of the “Making Disney World Dreams Come True Podcast” hosted by my friend, Jen Reyneri.

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Follow this link and at the bottom of the page you’ll find a box where you can submit specific questions for our podcast together.

I’m here to answer all things Disney related, but especially as it pertains to making your Disney World Dreams become a reality.

You can read my blog to find more great Disney World Deals & tips

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Free Disney Movie Rewards Points Code

disney movie rewards december Free Disney Movie Rewards Points Code

Looking for some FREE Disney Movie Rewards Points Code? You have 5 chances to earn 5 points each, for a total of 25 Disney Movie Reward points!

Enter the following to earn your 5 free Disney Movie Rewards points codes:

  • APPLE
  • MUFASA
  • JAFAR
  • GHOST
  • URSULA

Use the codes to ‘earn’ unique Disney merchandise from your favorite Disney films. We’ve gotten everything from free movies to fun Toy Story memorabilia to decorate my son’s room! Just look for the codes inside every Disney movie you buy and in their monthly newsletter.

Thanks to my friend Kelly at Kansas City Mamas for letting me know!

 

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Disney Cruise Departure: What to Do Beforehand

I’m still trying to process all the memories from our Disney Cruise Line family trip, but while they were fresh in my mind, I wanted to share some practical tips for what to do before your Disney Cruise departure.

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Being that you’re on a cruise ship, there aren’t as many “We’ll just take care of that once we’re there” moments (not to mention you’re also traveling out of the country!), so there are a lot of details to attend to before you even think of leaving on your fabulous Disney Cruise vacation.

I’ve tried to divide my Pre-Disney Cruise Departure Duties into practical segments for you:

Home related Pre-Disney Cruise To-Do List:
Call your cell phone company and ask them to put restrictions on your phone so you are not charged for international calling, data, or roaming
You will also want to place your phone on airplane mode if you plan on keeping it on to use the camera.

Make sure to make all your phone calls before you get on board because of the restrictions you’re going to put on your phone

Place your mail on hold with the post office

Credit Cards: Call and let them know you’ll be traveling outside of the country. However beware: most charge a transaction fee ranging from 2-5% for any purchases made on foreign soil.

***There is a phone number so that you can be reached on board the ship in case of emergency. Make sure to leave that with a friend or family member.

Personal Items for your Pre-Disney Cruise To-Do List:
Charge your cell phone and electronic devices before leaving for the airport

Keep vitamins, medications, sunscreen, gum, and motion sickness remedies close by.

Pack your most important items in a back to keep with you because it may be hours before you are reunited with your luggage

Trip related Pre-Disney Cruise To-Do List:
Contact Disney cruise in advance to let them know about anything you may be celebrating. You can have your room decorated by them for a small fee or even have cake, water, or alcohol delivered to your room throughout your cruise.

Order personalized items, like autographed pillowcases, door magnets, fish extenders, bags, water bottles, and T-shirts

Call ahead and see if you can find out your dinner rotation. It’s helpful to know so you can make alternative plans around your lesser favorite restaurants.

Have you gone on a Disney Cruise before? What Disney Cruise departure to-do suggestions do you have?

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Backyard Camping Checklist

After camping for the first time as an adult this past weekend, I learned a lot of things. Luckily, our family camped with a group, so we were all able to share with and help each other. But if I had relied on my original checklist, I would have been in trouble! That’s why I wanted to create this backyard camping checklist for you based on my experience…complete with some camping myths exposed.

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But personally, I wished I had taken on simple step before jumping into the weekend camping trip away: Camped out in my own backyard.

For someone like me who has never camped out before (besides with my Girl Scout troupe as a child!), there were a lot of things I wasn’t aware of and didn’t realized I needed. Here are a few tips you can learn from my experience so hopefully you won’t make the same mistakes I made. Let me first debunk some “Camping Myths”:

Myth #1: Camping is cheap
Truth: If you’re not well-prepared, camping can be just as expensive as a traditional vacation.
You still need to make reservations and pay for many campsites. You also have to bring EVERYTHING with you, including personal goods like soap and toilet paper, not to mention your camping gear, food and activities.

Solution: Camping in your backyard will save you the fee associated with a campground

Myth #2: You don’t need much food
Truth: When you’re camping with kids, they’re ALWAYS hungry!
So not only do you need to bring everything you need for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but you have to take into account a TON of drinks/water, as well as snacks and of course, S’mores! The real kicker was all the food ‘accessories’ I didn’t think about. In addition to cups, plates, napkins, utensils, and the like, you also have to remember all your condiments, seasonings, cookware (pots, fire pit forks, cooking utensils) and then storage goods like baggies, trash bags, plastic containers, etc. And of course, don’t forget the ice to keep everything cold all weekend.

Solution: When camping in your backyard you can either bring everything out with you and just run inside if you forget something or you can have your meals prepped and ready to go in your fridge and just bring them out when the time is ready to cook them outside (like marinating meat or my frozen pancake batter cones)

Myth #3: You don’t need much gear
Truth: My 7 year old commented after we got our mini-van packed for our 2 night camping trip, “This is more stuff than we take for a week at Disney World!!!”.
It’s true, and I’ve heard it repeated over and over again: Whether you’re going camping for 1 night or 5, you still take the same amount of stuff.

Solution: Not only will you save big on gas money by camping in your backyard, you simply don’t need to pack, haul and unpack everything the way you would when going away. Obviously you’ll need a tent (which you can always borrow), but I wouldn’t even bother with sleeping bags. We lined our tent with carpet remnants that were free and then layered sheets and blankets on top of them.

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Backyard Camping Checklist

-Since you won’t be going out into the deep dark woods, friends might be more inclined to let you borrow their camping gear to test out before you invest in purchasing your own.

-Decide on some activities before you go, like bug scavenger hunts, lightning bug tag, or even board games you can play in your tent before bed. When all else fails, give your boys a pile of rocks and leave them alone for an hour icon wink Backyard Camping Checklist

-Start gathering your food a month before your trip if possible: When camping, this is often the time kids want convenience food like chips, hot dogs and of course, S’mores. If you can catch these when they are BOGO Free and stock up your freezer and pantry, you’ll save big over going shopping the week of and being at the mercy of the store. Also, pre-make as much of your food as you can: sandwich roll ups, frozen pancake batter cones, marinated/BBQ chicken. That way all you have to do is worry about how to start your fire when you’re ready to eat!

After you spend a night in your own backyard, you’ll be better able to determine whether or not this is something you want to do for a longer period of time and what you’ll actually need if you do decide to take a camping trip away from home!

Watch my segment from “Talk of the Town” on Backyard Camping:

If you decide you want to grab your own gear, consider checking out the Camping Kitchen and more we found and loved from Rakuten.com

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Disney Military Discount Tickets

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Photo from Disney (http://ow.ly/lqT1b)

The Disney Military Discount Tickets are probably the most honorable of all the discount Disney World tickets Walt Disney World offers.

One thing few people know is that Disney Military discount tickets apply not only to active military, but also to veterans and their families!

To find the best Disney Military Discount Tickets, check these out:

Disney Military discount ticket deals:

$156 4-Day Military Promotional Ticket with Park Hopper Option for Members of the U.S. Military

Walt Disney World Resort is saluting U.S. military personnel by offering 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets for just $156 each plus tax. Tickets may be used October 1, 2012 through September 28, 2013. For just $28, plus tax, more, the Water Park Fun & More option may be added. Block out dates apply.

This Disney military discount is for active or retired members of the U.S. military, including the National Guard, Reservists and the U.S. Coast Guard. See Important Details.

For more information regarding Military Promotional Tickets, military personnel may contact their participating U.S. military base ticket office.

Walt Disney World Discount Hotels for Members of the U.S. Military

Active and retired U.S. military personnel can take advantage of specially priced Disney Resort rooms.

To check hotel offer availability and make room reservations, military personnel may call (407) 939-7830. Guests under age 18 must have parent or guardian permission to call.

As a reminder, these Disney military discounts are exclusively for active or retired members of the U.S. military, including the National Guard, Reservists and the U.S. Coast Guard. Advance reservations required.

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Free Disney Dining Plan Dates

Looking for the Free Disney Dining Plan Dates? The Free Disney Dining Plan Dates have been extended for 2013.

disney dining Free Disney Dining Plan Dates

The Free Disney Dining Plan dates have been announced for 2013, but if you want to take advantage of the free Disney Dining deal I wouldn’t wait too long, because the availability goes quickly!

FREE DISNEY DINING PLAN DATES DETAILS

When: Arrive between September 29 – December 22, 2013
Book by: September 15, 2013
What: Free Disney Dining Plan OR Free Disney Quick Service Dining Plan (if you stay in a Value Resort)
Where: Get full Free Disney Dining Plan dates & details


 Free Disney Dining Plan Dates

You can save almost $1,000 for a family of 4 on a six day vacation package with this deal (not to mention, not feel guilty about eating at some of the best Disney restaurants every day!).

Contact me if you need guidance in your Disney vacation planning. I offer group seminars as well as one-on-one consultations that will have your entire vacation booked and ready to go in under 2 hours!

Make sure to check out ALL my Disney tips before you go…

Search for the best Walt Disney World discounts on Expedia right now!

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What is the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration (& What it isn’t!)

20120529 233438 224x300 What is the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration (& What it isnt!)Today kicks off the 2013 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. And while I’ve attended the #DisneySSMoms Celebration (not conference!) the past two years, I will not be there for the 2013 event.

(Pause for a moment of silence).

Yes, I know – I too am (naturally) disappointed…but more than that, I’m grateful to have been chosen to participate in the Disney extravaganza in 2011 and 2012.

That’s right, chosen. I think there are a lot of misnomers out there about what exactly the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration is, so as a token of gratitude and in a spirit of education, I thought I’d both clarify what DSSM is…and what it isn’t:

(I think this is also a good time to mention that I am not a Disney spokesperson, am not and never have been employed by Disney, nor was I asked to write this post. This is purely my opinion and insight for the help of clarifying  based on my personal experiences for all who ever have been or hope to be a part of this spectacular event).

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration: What it isn’t

1. Disney Social Media Moms is not a conference

Just look at the name: “Disney Social Media Moms Celebration”. Started under the radar in 2010, the Disney Social Media team invited a selected group of bloggers to experience Walt Disney World in a unique way for a 4 day event. The 2011 DSSM Celebration accepted applications, but fell under a huge backlash after applicants didn’t understand that ‘application acceptance’ didn’t equate with ‘conference attendance’. 2012 went back to a pure invitation format. As mentioned above, I was fortunate to have been invited to both the 2011 and 2012 events, both of which were a brilliant combination of speakers and events to not only take my blogging and social media to the next level, but to share what’s up and coming with the Disney Organization, which leads me to my next point…

2. Disney Social Media Moms is not a giant Disney commercial 

Not to give too much credit to the nay-sayers, but criticism has come up that the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration is nothing more that a giant, glorified Walt Disney World commercial. It isn’t…and I have one simple way to explain it. I think it’s safe to say that anyone attending is a HUGE Disney fan (I know I am!). So what Disney fan wouldn’t want a sneak peak at what’s up and coming in the land of the mouse? Not only do celebration attendants get to experience the parks and hotels in some pretty unique ways, but we are privy to finding out about what’s up and coming in their future plans (for instance, last year we got a preview of the New Fantasyland, as well of the Art of Animation Resort – both of which opened after the event).

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3. Disney Social Media Moms is not free

While the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration is presented to its participants at a GREATLY reduced cost over regular Disney Parks & Resorts standard pricing, there is still a fee to participate and participants must pay their own travel to and from the event. However, I think anyone who has attended the event would unanimously agree with me in saying that the experience FAR outweighs any cost associated with getting there icon smile What is the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration (& What it isnt!)

So in case you couldn’t glean from my points above what exactly the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration IS, let me help you out

The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration is…

    • an event bringing bloggers and their families together to experience Walt Disney World and the Disney family of brands in a truly unique ( & magical) way!
    • an invitation only, four day event comprised of both well-known and new bloggers, all for the purpose of helping them expand their blogging know-how & social media reach while fueling their passion for Disney with sneak peaks into what’s ahead for the company
    • a chance to hear amazing, intelligent and encouraging speakers from the media, business, PR, travel & blogging worlds
    • a way to meet some incredible bloggers in real life
    • an opportunity to interview some of the brains behind the Disney shows we love

  • and of course, an opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime at one of our family’s favorite places on earth: Walt Disney World.

I wanted to send a sparkle of Pixie Dust to ALL the celebrants attending this year’s Social Media Moms event. I would be lying if I didn’t admit I wanted to be there with you all, but of course am proud of the organizers for wanting to introduce a new crop of Social Media Moms (& dads!) into the mix.

Here’s hoping I get to “See You Real Soon” again in 2014!

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See you real soon!

For more Disney Social Media Moms goodness, check out:

or feel free to check out all my Disney Deals, Discounts & Insights before your next trip to Walt Disney World!

What is your take on the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration?

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Top 3 Ways to Save on Spring Break Travel

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For many of us Spring Break is really upon us, so whether you’re looking to save on Spring Break trips you’ve already booked, or you simply need some tips to make a last minute getaway possible, I’ve got the details on my top ways to save on spring break travel that I shared recently on Fox 17 TN Mornings!

top ways to save spring break travel Top 3 Ways to Save on Spring Break Travel

1. Book a Spring Break Staycation in your Hometown

With the economy being what it is, every town is looking to take care of their locals. Contact your local Convention & Visitors Bureau to find the most up-to-date tips on what fun & free activities are being offered this spring break. Here in Nashville, metro students can visit the Country Music Hall of Fame for free, plus get discounts for the adults accompanying them…and that’s just one example!

2. Spring Break Day Trip

We’re lucky living in Nashville: within just a couple hours we can drive to great destinations like Chattanooga, Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis… I could go on! We even love heading up to Chicago in our car (don’t forget, there’s a Legoland Discovery Center & American Girl Store there!). Look at where you could get to within a day and then call your intended tourist destination to see if they partner with any local hotels to offer discounted packages.

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We’re planning a 2 day trip to Chattanooga because we found out about the Tennessee Aquarium’s package with The Chattanoogan; not only will we get to stay at Chattanooga’s only AAA Four Diamond-rated full-service hotel, but we’ll also be able to take advantage of all the great things the TN Aquarium is offering for spring break (we’re especially excited about the Keeper Kids program that’s free with admission!).

In fact, several hotels in the area are offering special Spring Break packages with discounts up to 30% off, so just when you thought you couldn’t afford to travel at the last minute, here you go!

3. Pick Famous Spring Break Travel Destinations

Normally I tell people to avoid traveling when everyone else is, but if you want to travel to some of the top Spring Break destinations, play different hotels against each other and use the competition to your advantage to get a good price! Sometimes an old-fashioned telephone call to the manager on duty can do wonders to drop your hotel rate!

If you have a great relationship with a hotel chain, of course check with them first, otherwise be willing to stay somewhere new. A few Orlando properties offering special spring break rates:
*The Castle Hotel (1.877.317.5753)
*Hard Rock Hotel Orlando (stay more, save more – up to 30% off!)
*Orlando World Center Marriott“More is Less” Sale -15% off three-night stays or 20% off four-night getaways - starting at $155/night, bookable now for stays May 1- May 15, 2013.
*staySky Hotel (with the fabulous “Pirate Plunge” pool & 17% savings through 3/31)

These are just a few ideas to help you this Spring Break and for future Spring travel.

Watch the video from today’s Spring Break savings show on Fox 17 TN Mornings:

How do you save money when you travel with your family?

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