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Capturing Your Disney Memories

For years, my wife and I have purchased the rights to our Disney photo pass pictures. Previously known as PhotoPass+, you can now purchase the Memory Maker in advance of your trip for $169 ($30 discount). Click here for more info. If your family is the type who spends a lot of time at Meet and Greets or purchases every photo from thrill rides, it’s probably worth your investment.

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One of my favorite PhotoPass memories

The MouseBoss cherishes his Disney Photos. We have thousands of photos and they’re in all of the place (prints, cd, videos, digital files, thumb drives). Trying to organize them is an undertaking I will NEVER complete. I intend to, but the daunting task is impossible.

Moving forward, I have a solution. MouseBoss.com reader, Tom Ryan, sent me the link to a custom video he created to capture the highlights of his recent trip. I was floored by the quality and storytelling of the short. Not only does Tom create the videos for himself, but he also will produce them for others as well. Check out this amazing clip:

Tom Ryan’s Family Video

For more information on how to turn your disney photos and home videos into a video like this, contact Tom, tom@tomryanmedia.com.

I want to hear from you. What types of memories do you create from your trips. Send me some shots, scrapbook pages, videos or other personal memories.

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For a $5 discount at Baby Wheels Orlando, enter the code MouseBoss14.

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Time Is Running Out!

This week my friend Bethany asked when is the cheapest time to Schedule a trip to Walt Disney World. Unfortunately, there never is really a cheap time to visit. Disney has mastered filling rooms at traditionally slower times by running special discounts. One such program is currently offered, but you must book by March 31st. You can receive up to 30% off your room reservation depending on your choice of resort, room type and availability. Black out periods apply. Check out all of the details here for the current promotion. Upgrade to a package for additional offers!

Disney also offers a wide array of discounts for military, Florida resident, government employees, AAA members and many more. Mousesavers.com has a wonderful list of all available discounts. Take a look at the extensive list here.

One of the most popular programs throughout the years has been the free dining plans. Rumor has it these have been eliminated for 2014 but you never know what will happen.

Another great discount applies to teachers at the Swan and Dolphin Resorts. Although not an official Disney hotel, the Swan and Dolphin are located on Disney property in one of the most desirable areas. You can walk to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

If you are really budget conscious, the cheapest way to travel to Disney is to stay off property. The various hoteliers in the greater Orlando area will compete for your dollars and offer huge discounts. Another option is a condo setup. Check out sites like VRBO.com and HomeAway.com for timeshare rentals. When deciding to stay off property, remember to budget for car rental and parking. At $15 a day, those parking charges can add up.

Finally, one of the best ways to find the best deals is to work with a Travel Agent who specializes in Disney vacations. These professionals do have access to or knowledge of discounts you may have overlooked. If you want a referral to a Disney specialist contact me and I can put you in touch with some of my friends.

Well that is it for now. I hope this advice can help you experience some of that Disney magic without watching all your savings….disappear!

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Put Up Your Dukes

My family is unquestionably a Disney family. When we plan an Orlando visit, the agenda is only filled with the House of Mouse. However, we have many friends who love to visit those other parks. And, it looks like a major fight is brewing!

For years, Universal has happily coexisted and relied on Disney visitors to come visit for one day during a week-long Disney vacation. Seems like Comcast wants to change that. A major expansion of on site hotel rooms and attractions hopes to draw multi-day visitors. Check out this article from Philly.com. 

No doubt, Comcast is playing for keeps. However, with nearly 48MIL annual visitors (source: TEA and AECOM), Disney reigns supreme.

A rising tide lifts all boats, and a healthy competition should keep Disney working harder to keep its parks and property ship-shape. 

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SO, YOU’RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!

For me, nothing is more exciting than planning the next family visit to Walt Disney World.  Where to stay, what to eat, which parks to avoid, and who to buy from all factor in to my plans.  I’ve been told it seems like it’s more trouble than it’s worth. Pfft!

Congratulations! You have decided to go to Disney World. I am thrilled for you! You have evaluated your resources, thought long and hard about the timing. You want to go when no one is there, lines will be non-existent, and the weather will be ideal (this is the number one question family and friends always ask). The only thing I can tell you is this – IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!

Surly, there are times of the year when crowds are smaller and waits are shorter, but by and large, Disney can drive a crowd and you should get ready to become part of the herd.

If you follow Disney (like I do), or you follow the markets (like my more professional friends do), you will know that Disney had a tremendous earnings report this past quarter.  Frozen was a major driver, but attendance and spending per capita at theme parks also helped boost profits.

So, how do they do it?

Disney always looks for ways to fill seats and make turnstiles spin. Run Disney has been a major force in turning those slow periods into cash cows. Look for my future post on Run Disney (coming soon). Who else could take the slowest, coldest times of the year for the organization and turn it into a MADHOUSE?!

In short, when is the best time to go to Disney World? Whenever you can! It will be crowded, but with a little planning and some expectations, it will be a ton of fun!