Breaking the Myths

/Tag: Breaking the Myths

Breaking the Myths – Visiting During Peak Dates

With the holidays quickly approaching, crowds at the Walt Disney World® and Disneyland® Resort will increase day by day. Today, we continue our “Breaking the Myths” series by focusing on visits during peak travel dates.

  1. Myth: Since I have purchased my ticket in advance, I don’t have to worry about capacity due to crowds during peak times
    During peak travel times, the Walt Disney World® Resort uses a phased closure system to ensure the safety and comfort of their guests and cast members inside the parks. While the specific details of the program remain internal and confidential, the 4-phase program limits the type of guests entering that park for the day. For example, in a Phase 2 closure, guests not staying at a Walt Disney World® Resort Hotel may be denied access to the park at the gates due to capacity. At Phase 4, all guests are denied entry until capacity levels decrease. It is important to note that while guests staying at a Walt Disney World® Resort Hotel are guaranteed entry into a park with valid admission, it may not be the park you had planned for the day – you may have to choose from one of the other theme parks.
  2. Myth: It’s best to not have reservations or plans when traveling during peak times
    While some guests enjoy having the flexibility of “going with the flow” on vacation, peak travel times may not be the time to try it. Table service meals start booking 180 days in advance, so the likelihood of getting a walk up reservation can be slim. If you are set on dining at a specific restaurant or having your child experience things like Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or The Pirates League, then you definitely want to work with your Magic Maker® and see what advanced reservations are available.
  3. Myth: Since New Year’s Eve is such a late night, it is best to get a late start
    On a day that the parks may reach capacity, getting a “late” start can be detrimental to your plans. Our suggestion is to plan on spending the day at one park (don’t hop) and arrive early. Additional entertainment will often be added around the parks during peak times for you to enjoy. Even at a busy park, a solid touring plan can make for a magical day full of memories!

Guests can expect peak travel times at the Walt Disney World® and Disneyland® Resort around the holidays (Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, 4th of July) and during other special events attracting large crowds. By utilizing the tips and services of your Magic Maker®, your upcoming trip will be Magical!

Breaking The Myths – Walt Disney World® Resort Dining Plans

For this week’s “Breaking the Myths” series, we focus our attention on the various dining plans offered to guests staying at the Walt Disney World® Resorts.

Here are the top 3 myths associated with these Dining Plans:

  1. Myth: I have heard that there is a limited selection of restaurants that accept the Disney Dining Plans
    While not all dining locations at the Walt Disney World® Resort accept the dining plans, the majority do. As a matter of fact, over 100 dining locations accepted dining plan credits in 2016! Many table service restaurants were added in 2016 including The BOATHOUSE®, Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming, STK Orlando, and Frontera Cocina in Disney Springs™. The final participant list for 2017 should be released very soon!
  2. Myth: With the Walt Disney World® Resort Dining Plans, I can only eat at the restaurant or food court at my Resort
    Regardless of what Walt Disney World® Resort you are staying at, your dining credits are accepted at any of the participating dining locations throughout property. As many of the resort dining locations serve the “flavor” of their resort’s theme, we encourage clients to try the various dining options outside of the parks. Whether you choose to dine in the island ambiance of the Polynesian-inspired ‘Ohana or the rowdy cowboy dining hall at Whispering Canyon Cafe, the Walt Disney World® Resort Dining Plans ensure that no one leaves hungry!
  3. Myth: Dining credits received are based off of the number of days on my Magic Your Way® Ticket and must be used before I check out
    The amount of dining credits you receive are based solely on the number of nights in your Walt Disney World® Resort Magic Your Way® Vacation – no other factors affect this number. Credits are good until 11:59pm on the day you check out.

With three different Magic Your Way® Packages that include a dining option, finding the perfect one to fit your family’s needs can be confusing! Our Magic Makers® are dedicated to providing you with a vacation that is centered around you, so let us help!

Breaking The Myths – Getting Around The World

When you decide to vacation at a nearly 40-square-mile world-class entertainment and recreation center, one major worry is transportation once you get there. Our clients often wonder with four theme parks, two water parks, 25 resort hotels, and a shopping and nightlife district spread out throughout the property, how do you get from Point A to Point B.

As part of our continuing “Breaking the Myths” series, we turn our focus on the Walt Disney World® Resort’s Transportation System.

  1. Myth: I am going to need a rental car
    Guests flying to the Walt Disney World® Resort via Orlando International Airport (MCO) can vacation without renting a vehicle. By using Disney’s Magical Express® Transportation to and from the airport and Disney’s onsite transportation, you can save by not spending a penny on transportation! These options are only available to guests staying at a Walt Disney World® owned/operated Resort – one of the many benefits of staying on-property.
  2. Myth: If I stay at a monorail resort, I won’t have to use any other form of Transportation
    In use since 1971,  the Walt Disney World® Monorail system runs three lines with six stops along the way. Guests may use the monorail system to access the Magic Kingdom® Park, Disney’s Contemporary Resort (Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort), Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa), Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort (Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows), the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) and Epcot®. Guests wishing to reach destinations other than those listed will need to select another form of Disney Transportation – either bus or boat.
  3. Myth: Traffic and parking must make driving around the Walt Disney World® Resort unbearable
    While the Walt Disney World® Resort has great airport and on-property transportation systems in place for their guests, we understand that driving (either by rental or your own vehicle) may be best for some families. If you happen to be that family, know that navigating the Walt Disney World® Resort area is very easy. All roads are clearly marked and the roadways have been designed to handle even the heaviest of traffic. And once you get to the parks, even though you are parking in some of the largest parking lots in the world, operations are in place to make them extremely efficient.

Even after discussing these three top myths with Walt Disney World® Resort’s transportation, there is still much left unsaid. Your Magic Maker® will be happy to discuss any questions or concerns you have regarding “Getting Around the World” on your next Walt Disney World® Resort vacation.

Breaking The Myths – Age Is Just A Number

Today, we are continuing our “Breaking the Myths” series by covering the topic of “age.” When it comes to a Disney Vacation, there is truth in the adage that “age is just a number.”

  1. Myth: My kids are too young/old
    As parents, you understand how quickly time flies and how precious each and every second is that you are able to spend with your children. How are they graduating Kindergarten when it seems like just yesterday they were born? Disney Destinations have an unexplainable way of making magical memories out of the simplest things. While your 8-month old may not remember the big smile on her face when she met Mickey, you certainly will! As an added bonus, children under age 3 receive free admission inside the parks of Walt Disney World® Resort and Disneyland® Resort, so it is a great time to save on your vacation.  And when you children grow older, they don’t outgrow Disney, their focus just simply shifts towards more fast-pace attractions like Rock ‘n Roller Coaster® Starring Aerosmith and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™.
  2. Myth: Disney Vacations are only for kids
    Walt Disney was quoted as saying “You’re dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.” With that being said, it should be no surprise that Disney Destinations aren’t just for kids. In fact, there are so many things to do that several authors have written a book strictly on things adults can enjoy on their Disney Vacation. So whether it is a romantic dinner at Victoria & Albert’s in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, an adult-exclusive itinerary with Adventures by Disney® or a relaxing day at Serenity Bay on Disney Cruise Line private island, Castaway Cayyou will have a great time!
  3. Myth: Disney Parks have no rides for babies/toddlers 
    Disney Destinations makes traveling with little ones easy. Many of the attractions are family friendly and will accommodate your little travelers. For most of those more intense attractions, a Rider Swap option is available that allows guests to take turns waiting with those too small to ride a certain attraction, then “swap” with another adult from their party to experience the ride without standing in line twice. And when it comes time to take care of the little one, Baby Care Centers are available offering private rooms with rocking chairs for nursing mothers, diaper-changing rooms and rooms with highchairs.

And here is where your Magic Maker® steps in. We’ve not only visited the Disney Parks countless times ourselves, but we have helped take the stress out of planning vacations for families just like yours for over nine years now! Regardless of age, there is something for EVERYONE at any Disney Destination, so just call on your Magic Maker® to help uncover that hidden treasure!

Breaking The Myths – Disney’s FASTPASS® and FastPass+ Services

It is no surprise that as the use of social media increases, the amount of myths or “half truths” also increases. As an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, Off to Neverland Travel® receives questions every day from our clients asking for clarification on a wide range of topics related to their upcoming vacation.

Today we are going to provide some clarification on Disney’s FASTPASS® Service at the Disneyland® Resort and Disney FastPass+ service available exclusively at the Walt Disney World® Resort. Since it’s debut in 1999, Disney’s FASTPASS® Service allows guests to skip the wait of the normal queue at select attractions inside the theme parks. If the guests decide to utilize the FASTPASS® Service, they will be given an hour-long time to return and experience the attraction with little to no wait. In 2013, Walt Disney World® Resort introduced Disney FastPass+ service which allows guests to schedule similar hour-long return windows 30-60 days in advance of their visit.

  1. Myth: You have to pay to use Disney’s FASTPASS® Service
    While other theme parks charge their guests for similar services, both Disney’s FASTPASS® and Disney FastPass+ services are complimentary for all park guests! At the Disneyland® Resort, you’ll just simply use your theme park ticket to retrieve your FASTPASS® from the machine. At the Walt Disney World® Resort, you’ll use My Disney Experience to schedule your FastPass+ in advance and then utilize your MagicBand or park ticket to access the attraction at your selected time.
  2. Myth: At Disneyland® Resort, you can obtain more than one FASTPASS® at a time
    Guests are able to get several FASTPASS® tickets during a single day in Disneyland® Park or Disney California Adventure® Park. However, they cannot immediately obtain multiple FASTPASS® tickets. While you typically have to wait 2 hours, it sometimes varies. Your current FASTPASS® ticket will always list the time you can obtain your next. There are sometimes select attractions that you are able to “double up” on FASTPASS® tickets, so be sure to ask your Magic Maker® about those.
  3. Myth: Don’t worry about the time listed on the FASTPASS® or FastPass+, you can return at any time after what is listed
    While at one point this was true, it is no longer the case. FASTPASS® and FastPass+ return times are now being strictly enforced with little to no exceptions made for being late. Guests a few minutes late will typically be admitted, but we suggest you stick to your scheduled time!
  4. Myth: You are only able to get (3) FastPass+ per day
    When you are making advanced FastPass+ choices for the Walt Disney World® Resort, you will be limited to up to (3) selections in your choice of (1) park per day of your stay. However, each day of your visit after you have used your first (3) selections, you are able to choose a 4th selection based off of what is currently available in the system. Then after using that 4th choice, you may repeat that process and continue to make (1) additional selection as availability exists. So while initially you are limited to only (3) selections, it’s possible to make more during your visit.

This is just the first of a series of “Breaking the Myths” articles. We hope you will follow along with us!

Breaking the Myths – Theme Parks and Magic Your Way Tickets

Epcot Spaceship EarthWhen discussing upcoming vacation plans with guests, our Magic Makers® encounter some common misconceptions on the Theme Parks of the Walt Disney World® Resort and Magic Your Way Tickets. As a continuation of our “Breaking the Myths” series, today we are focusing on these misconceptions!

  1. Myth: Instead of adding the Park Hopper® Option, I can purchase extra days and use them to visit more than one park on one day.
    The Magic Your Way Base Tickets can only be used at one park per day. In order to visit more than one park per day, a guest must upgrade their ticket with the Park Hopper® Option which gives them access to any of the four main Walt Disney World® Resort Theme Parks – Magic Kingdom® Park, Epcot®, Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom® 
    Theme Park. Without the Park Hopper® Option, there is no way to visit more than one park on the same day.
  2. Myth: Upgrading tickets for longer lengths of stay is expensive.
    The Magic Your Way Tickets follow this basic pricing principle – the longer you play, the less you pay per day! So, upgrading from a 3-day Magic Your Way Ticket to a 7-day Magic Your Way Ticket will cut your per day pricing for the ticket almost in half! In some cases, you can add an extra day for as little as $10+tax! Spending an extra day in the Magic may not cost as much as you think.
  3. Myth: Walt Disney World® and Magic Kingdom® Park are the same thing.
    The Walt Disney World® Resort is a 40 sq mile vacation kingdom! The Resort is primarily made up of four main theme parks (Magic Kingdom® Park, Epcot®, Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park) two water parks (Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park), an entertainment and shopping district (Downtown Disney® Area) and 25 Disney owned/operated Resorts. The attractions of the Magic Kingdom® Park is just one small piece of what the Walt Disney World® Resort has to offer!
  4. Myth: My kids won’t have any interest in Epcot®. And since we have a zoo at home, so we are going to skip Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park as well.
    All four of the Walt Disney World® Resort Theme Parks have so much to offer guests of all ages that none of them should be immediately written off! We have discussed before about fun activities awaiting your children at Epcot®. When Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park was first opened, it was marketed as “nahtazu” (not a zoo), and we tend to agree! It offers so much more than the average local zoo. Whether young or old, Disney’s Imagineers have focused on ensuring each park has something for everyone. Depending on your family, interest levels will vary for each park. Working closely with your Magic Maker®, you will be able to determine about how much time you should set aside for each park. But do yourself a favor and explore what each park has to offer. You may be surprised by what you find!

Let’s start planning your next Walt Disney World® Resort Vacation! Contact your Magic Maker® today!
Request a Quote

Miss some of our past “Breaking the Myth” articles? Click here to access them.

Breaking the Myths – Disney Cruise Line®

Funnel Vision and AquaDuckSince Disney Cruise Line® first set sail in 1998, they have pioneered the family market in the cruise industry. Each of their ships have been designed to provide a unique vacation experience for all ages. Onboard, adults can relax and recharge while children experience all the magic Disney has to offer! Over the years, Disney Cruise Line® has received more than 100 awards in the travel industry!

As a continuation of our “Breaking the Myths” series, today we are focusing on our favorite vacation at sea!

  1. Myth: All four of the Disney Cruise Line® ships features the AquaDuck.
    Each of the Disney Cruise Line® ships have something different or exclusive to offer their guests. From varying shows, restaurants and onboard features, no two ships are the same. The AquaDuck, the world’s first-ever shipboard water coaster, is only available on the Disney Dream® and Disney Fantasy™. 
  2. Myth: Disney Cruise Line® sailings have nothing to offer for adults traveling without kids.
    There’s no hiding the fact that Disney Cruise Line® is the perfect vacation for the young, but they also offer a wide variery of events catered specifically for the young at heart! Onboard, adults will find endless ways to relax and enjoy themselves – from elegant dinners to backstage tours to an exclusive beach on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. And that is just the beginning, so ask your Magic Maker® for complete details.
  3. Myth: We are early eaters – the second seating for dinner won’t work for my family.
    Typically the main seating for dinner is the first to become unavailable on Disney Cruise Line®. But, some of our young families are experiencing that the later seating is more convenient while on vacation for many reasons. First, your normal routine will inevitably be put on hold while you are on vacation. You will be staying up later for shows and parties, waking up early for Port Adventures, and maybe even skipping the normal naps to spend some extra time in the pool. When you are spending the day in port, some feel the main seating cuts your day short by having you back on the ship too early to get ready for dinner. Next, there is no shortage of food on Disney Cruise Line®! If your kids (or you) are hungry before dinner, you can make a quick trip to the pool deck and grab a small snack to hold them over until dinner! Lastly, Disney Cruise Line® offers Dine and Play for second seating – a service allowing families to enjoy dinner together then ushers kids to the Kid’s Clubs to give parents time to relax at the end of the meal and spend time in the adult-exclusive areas of the ship.

Disney Cruise Line® has just released itineraries through the end of 2014! Booking early is the best way to save on a Disney Vacation at sea, so contact your Magic Maker® today and start planning!

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Miss some of our past “Breaking the Myth” articles? Click here to access them.


Breaking the Myths – Travel Insurance and Passports

DCL Docs and PassportWhen things don’t go as planned, you have to be flexible! Just this past weekend, Winter Storm Nemo caused havoc to the Northeast corridor and brought transportation in the area to a standstill.  Earlier last week, fog delayed the arrival of the Disney Magic® into Port Galveston which created a strain for its passengers to make their flights home!

For today’s “Breaking the Myths” article, it only seems fitting to discuss being prepared for the unexpected!

  1. Myth: There is no reason for a healthy family to purchase travel protection.
    There is no denying that purchasing a travel protection plan is an added expense to any vacation. But coverage for medical reasons is just one part of many plans. Most plans will cover trip cancellation & interruption, trip delays, baggage & personal effects loss, baggage delay, and medical expenses during your trip. Even if you have medical insurance at home, it may not cover you while you are away on vacation! You want to make sure you read through the insurance information closely and direct any specific questions on coverage to the Insurance Company itself as they will be the ones determining eligibility if needed.
  2. Myth: If my credit card offers travel protection, there is no need to purchase an additional policy.
    Some credit card companies off various forms of travel protection, but they may not protect you in cases of travel delay, trip cancellation, or if you need to seek medical attention overseas. If your card does offer protection, be sure to research their coverage to ensure you’re fully protected.
  3. Myth: Purchasing a passport for a cruise is an unnecessary expense.
    Current U.S. government regulations allow U.S. Citizens to cruise with a raised-seal birth certificate and government issued photo ID as long as the cruise both originates and terminates from the same U.S. port and sails within the Western Hemisphere. If you experience a family emergency during your cruise and need to return home via air, a passport would be required to do so. While a passport may not be necessary for all sailings, Off to Neverland Travel® suggests that every guests travels with a passport.  All current guidelines are subject to change at any time. Guests remain responsible for ensuring they have all the proper documentation to board the ship and enter each of the countries on the ship’s itinerary.

Expect the unexpected! Talk to you Magic Maker® about protecting your travel investment. The nominal fee you pay up front may save you in the long run!

Miss some of our past “Breaking the Myth” articles? Click here to access them.

Breaking the Myths – The Perfect Plan

Disney California Adventure Paradise PierYou’ve probably heard of the “5 P’s of Success” – Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. When it comes to your Disney Destinations vacation, the 5 P’s count as well!

As part of our continuing “Breaking the Myths” series, today we are going to focus on planning!

  1. Myth: You will be able to see/do everything in one trip.
    Covering nearly 40 square miles, the Walt Disney World® Resort is about the same size of San Francisco or two Manhattan islands! When visiting this vacation kingdom, the possibilities are limitless! Working closely with your Magic Maker®, we suggest making a “must do” list. Doing so not only sets reasonable expectations for your vacation, but it helps you keep from getting overwhelmed once you are at the Parks.The same theory applies at Disneyland® Resort and aboard Disney Cruise Line® – there is just so much to do. So, slow down and enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds of your Disney Vacation.
  2. Myth: We’ve already been to “Disney” once – there’s no reason to go back!
    Walt Disney once said “Disneyland® will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” To this day, that is still the case. Whether at the Walt Disney World® Resort, Disneyland® Resort, or on Disney Cruise Line®, Imagineers are always working on creating new experiences for guests to enjoy! In the past couple months, the Walt Disney World® Resort has debuted the New Fantasyland® Area, a reimagined Test Track® Presented by Chevrolet®, and several other experiences throughout property. Disneyland® Resort completed a five-year expansion project last summer and next month will open Fantasy Faire inside Disneyland® Park. Both Disney Cruise Line® and Adventures by Disney® make regular changes to their itineraries to provide guests with the best experiences. And if you’ve only experienced a Disney Destination on one of the coasts, hop to the other side of the States as the Walt Disney World® and Disneyland® Resorts each offer a totally different experience with their own exclusive attractions!
  3. Myth: Because there is so much to do, it is best to go to on a Disney Vacation with no plan.
    A “vacation” is something different to each and every one of us! Some will want to plan each and every minute of the vacation while others will want to go with the flow once they get there. Regardless of how you picture your dream vacation, having a base plan will only benefit you! For example, during peak times finding a walk up opening at a Table Service Restaurant can be difficult! Even doing something as simple as reviewing and familiarizing yourself with the park maps beforehand can save you time in the parks. Discuss your preferences with your Magic Maker® so they can help you make the most of your vacation!

Our Magic Makers® love planning! Allow our expertise to benefit your upcoming vacation. All vacations booked through Off to Neverland Travel® receive planning services free of charge, so you have nothing to lose! Contact us today!

Miss some of our past “Breaking the Myth” articles? Click here to access them.

Breaking the Myths – Traveling with Disabilities

Chet loading onto attractionIn general, traveling can be stressful! With all the booking, planning, and packing involved, you often wonder when the relaxation of vacation comes into play. For guests with disabilities, there is added stress of accommodations and accessibility during your stay.

All Disney Destinations do a great job in ensuring each and every guest has a magical vacation regardless of any special needs they may have.  As part of our continuing “Breaking the Myths” series, today we are going to focus on traveling with disabilities.

  1. Myth: Someone in my traveling party has a food allergy, so eating at Disney is next to impossible.
    Whether you have a food allergy, food intolerance, or even a medically restricted diet, the chefs at most table service and select quick service locations can often accommodate your needs. It is important that you work closely with your Magic Maker® so that your reservations are properly notated and the restaurants and chefs are aware of your needs. Upon entering a restaurant, be sure to tell your waiter/waitress or cashier that you have a dietary restriction and they will get a member of the culinary team for you to discuss your options.
  2. Myth: Because of my family member’s disability, they just wouldn’t enjoy the parks.
    Because each person’s disability is different, Disney Parks has created a Guest Assistance Card (GAC) Program for those in need of extra assistance. The program allows for your family to meet with a Guest Services Cast Member upon entering a Theme Park on your first day. The Cast Member will discuss what needs you will have over your vacation and issue you a GAC which notes specific accommodations. When visiting attractions, you simply show your GAC to the Attractions Host/Hostess and they will guide you from there. However, having a GAC does not give you front of the line access to all attractions like many think. In fact, use of the GAC at some attractions may result in a longer wait then utilizing the standby line. We suggest you discuss with your  Magic Maker® any special needs you may have prior to travel so we can help you make the most of your vacation!
  3. Myth: Special assistance is only available for those with physical limitations.
    Disney Destinations seeks to provide assistance to all guests regardless of their type of disability. Guests with mobility disabilities may choose to utilize a wheelchair or ECV throughout property and will have reserved seating for most shows and parades. Guests with visual disabilities can utilize braille maps and audiotape guides. Assisted Listening and other captioning devices are available for guests with hearing disabilities in addition to interpreters at select shows. Accommodations for guests with developmental disabilities are also provided as necessary via the Guest Assistance Card. Trained service animals on a leash or in a harness are welcome in most locations throughout all of the Disney Destinations, but may not be able to participate in select attractions or experiences. And as mentioned above, chefs at Disney Destinations will accommodate guests with dietary restrictions to the best of their ability.

Don’t allow any disability to stand in the way of a Magical vacation experience for your family. Our Magic Makers® will use their personal experience and expertise to ensure that any special needs that a member of your family may have are met.

Miss some of our past “Breaking the Myth” articles? Click here to access them.