A bunch of us travel agents from Mickey’s Dream Vacations headed to Walt Disney World for some training and fun a couple of weeks ago.
My hubby was able to tag along with me and we decided to stay at Disney's Contemporary Resort. What’s not to love about being on the monorail and a 5 min walk to Magic Kingdom? But we didn’t just stay at The Contemporary…we stayed Concierge Atrium Level. Upon checking in we were escorted to the elevator by the cast member who showed us how to use our magic bands to access level 12. We arrived at about 1:00 in the morning but there was water/soda/juice available and fresh fruit for the taking. This was a welcome sight after a long flight.
Our room was stunning and had some truffles along with a personalized note welcoming us. Each day we were presented with a new itinerary and suggestions for our stay. We had high quality H2O toiletries including shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion. They also offered mouth wash and a nice sized container of sun screen and soothing burn gel. And there were robes and slippers in the closet for our use. I’ve never loved a resort robe as much as I loved this one.
We spent quite a bit of time at the the Atrium lounge. It was roomy with a full patio overlooking Magic Kingdom. Movies or cartoons played frequently on the TV, a smaller table & TV in the corner for littles. The coffee started at 6:30 and at 7am there were breakfast items. Oatmeal, cereal, makings for bagels & lox, sliced meats & cheeses, hard boiled eggs, fruit, danishes & pastries. Coffee & tea along with a great Nespresso machine and the refrigerator was stocked with drinks that you could grab and carry with you to the parks.
At 11:30 they offered mid-day snacks including veggies, chips, goldfish crackers, candies. From 5-7 there was a wonderful sampling of bite sized entrees. The chef came out and interacted with the guests, explaining her offerings. Her dishes were beautiful and tasty and it was fun to talk to her...what pride she had in her work! We enjoyed a deconstructed beet salad with goat cheese, a salmon & caramelized brussel sprouts dish, braised short ribs, etc along with kid friendly items like chicken nuggets and PB&J. Red and white wines, beer, & cider were offered during the dinner hour. And to top it all off from 8-10 there were a selection of decadent desserts. Macaroons, mousses, cookies, cakes and cordials were offered. All that and you could watch the fireworks (along with music) from the comfort of the lounge. Why fight crowds when you can enjoy a dessert and a drink while watching them and then head directly to your room?!
The concierge cast members were always friendly and there to offer a kind greeting or offer of help. They were able to quickly fix a magic band issue I had. Whether you’re enjoying the parks all day or hanging out at the resorts much of the time, noting beats the service and quality of staying Concierge.
If you have questions or would like to get your trip booked, let me know how I can help! ~firstname.lastname@example.org
Our agency recently went to Orlando to explore and learn more about the theme parks and attractions in the area. Part of our trip had us staying at the Universal Orlando Resort. I chose to stay at the Hard Rock Hotel.
The Hard Rock Hotel has always been my favorite one to stay at in Universal, but it had been a while since I stayed there. (I had to check out the other properties!) From the moment you walk in the door you are treated like Rock Royalty!
Upon check-in, I had to hurry and go because we had some meetings to get to. It wasn’t until later in the day that I was able to get to my room. I had a pool view, standard room. The room was spacious, with 2 queen beds, a bathroom and a mini-fridge. There was a nice large desk area – which was nice because I had to do some work during this trip. I could look out the window and see the pool.
As far as dining options, you can always be a true Rockstar and order room service! The room service menu had a lot to offer all day long. The Kitchen is at the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando. They have a great buffet breakfast! (Lunch and dinner are wonderful, too!) I did head over to the Velvet Bar one night for a good adult beverage. This bar is located right off the lobby and has a patio area where you can sit outside. You can also head downstairs to Emack & Bolio's Marketplace. This is a quick service restaurant where you can grab a quick bite to eat. They offer pre-made sandwiches to warm meals prepared while you wait. There are a few other restaurants located at the Hard Rock Hotel that I will have to try next time!
If you are musically inclined or just want to pretend to be a rock star, you can “check out” a guitar! The Hard Rock Hotel has a guitar menu with 20 different Fender guitars to choose from. There is even a tv station that offers guitar lessons 24/7.
I personally had fun wandering the hotel looking at all the rock memorabilia. From the picture of John Lennon at the front desk, to Paul McCartney’s guitar and Lady Gaga’s outfit – there is so much to see. The Hard Rock Café is also right there if you want to see more (and grab a bite to eat!)
The pool here is great! There are plenty of beach chairs so you can sit in the sun and work on your tan! There was live music for a little while on the stage at the pool. Also, when you go under water you can hear the music playing through the pool speakers. The service is impeccable! From the moment I walked into the pool area until the moment I left there was someone to make sure I was okay. There is food and drink service at the pool.
I was sad to leave as I did not get to spend as much time as I would have like to at the Hard Rock Hotel. On my way out, I did, however stop at the front desk to get my room key cut into guitar picks. This is a neat souvenir you can bring back with you to remember your stay at the coolest hotel at the Universal Orlando Resort!
Let me know if I can help you plan your next visit to the Hard Rock Hotel (or any of the other hotels on Universal Orlando property)! Until then… Rock on!
Mickey’s Dream Vacations
Every time I go to Disney I try to stay somewhere new, eat somewhere I haven’t eaten before, and try new things I haven’t done previously. Usually I travel with my youngest daughter so of course anything new comes after scheduling all the favorites!
I recently had the opportunity to travel down to Disney for an agency meeting, sans family, which meant lots of opportunity for trying new things. One of the best choices I made was to head off for a bite to eat with a few of the girls from our agency to Raglan Road at Disney Springs.
Raglan Road is an authentic Irish Pub featuring live, Irish bands and a true Irish menu with an updated take.
We arrived late in the evening and walked right in, normally reservations here are strongly recommended (and sometimes hard to obtain) but I suspect as it was about 10:00 on a weeknight that was the reason for us getting in and seated so quickly. There was a decent crowd both inside and out but we were greeted warmly and enthusiastically by both the hostess and our waitress.
The inside of this place is awesome. You truly feel as though you are in a real Irish Pub over in Dublin. The decor is rich and warm and there is one band inside and another outside.
They bring Irish soda bread to the table to start along with a beer and oil dip. We ordered drinks while we perused the menu. My companions opted for a true classic, Shepard’s Pie, which definitely did not look like the Shepard’s Pie I grew up with but they gave “two thumbs up” to and did not leave anything for taking home.
I chose the Guinness basted ribs with a side of onion rings. The food was simply fantastic! The flavor of the ribs was amazing and they were so tender, falling off the bone as I cut into them. The onion rings were the size of coasters and had a crisp, yet light, batter.
The prices are slightly on the higher side, but the portions are huge, and I felt like I definitely got my money’s worth. If you're on the Disney Dining Plan, you can eat here for one table service credit each.
As we left the restaurant we stopped to enjoy the band that was playing outside and were drawn in not only by the lively music but the response from the crowd who were clearly savoring every moment.
Overall this has definitely made it onto my “favorites” list and calls for a repeat visit very soon.
Want to give Raglan Road a try on your next Disney vacation? I would love to help you plan a special trip to Disney for your family and I can help you reserve this or any restaurant of your choosing!
My services are FREE and I can customize a trip to meet your needs!
Please email me at email@example.com for more info!
We do all travel, not just Disney.
Sabrina Kalechman - Travel Agent
An Authorized Disney Vacation Planner
Funjet 500 Club Agency
860-214-8693 - Direct
Epcot has the best festivals!
Throughout the year, it draws in guests from all over the world to see and enjoy the current festival being offered. I have been so lucky as to see all of them at different parts of the year.
On my most recent trip this January, I came during Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts.
The décor and floral arrangements were amazing and there were many creative and fun displays to see. There multiple shops selling beautiful Disney art, shops you can create your own art, expression stations, and entertaining shows! This festival has performing arts, visual arts, culinary arts, and seminars/workshops offered.
If you are like me, another thing that always draws me in is the FOOD!
There were many different little outdoor kitchens with a wide variety of different food options! The best part, is many of them are on the dining plan as snack credits! My favorite little plate that I tried was from the Deconstructed Dish booth.
I tried the deconstructed strawberry cheesecake! It was so delicious! If you want to try several different booths, I recommend that you get the booklet of all of the outdoor kitchens with their offerings.
Though Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts has ended for this year, there are more amazing festivals to attend. The next festival starting is: Epcot’s International Flower and Garden show February 28- May 28, 2018. Here you can see beautiful topiaries, sample delicious food, and there is even a live butterfly garden area. Last year we watched a butterfly come out of its chrysalis right before our eyes!
Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival is usually in the fall (starting in Sept-Nov)! This is a high favorite among many that visit Walt Disney World! Food and alcohol parings draw many in from all over the world! Here you can taste delicious foods and refreshing beverages. Eat and drink your way around the World Showcase!
No matter what time of year you come to visit, there is always something to see and do at Epcot! I would love to help you plan your next vacation!
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
My new favorite place to eat is Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming in Disney Springs.
Chef Smith only uses produce and meats by farmers within a 200 mile radius of his restaurant. He also visits once or twice a week.
This restaurant has been voted the best place to eat in Disney Springs. They are famous for their fried chicken, trust me it was AMAZING! They brine their chicken in buttermilk 24 hours before they prepare it. I love macaroni and cheese, it’s on of my favorite side dishes, and theirs didn’t disappoint!!
Make sure you leave room for dessert! We had the hummingbird cake, another one of their specialties. They have several to choose from, but this one sounded amazing and it was!!
Reservations are highly recommended for Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming.
Contact your agent today if you would like to dine here.
Our agency had the privilege of boarding the Grand 1 Yacht from Disney's Grand Floridian Resort to view the fireworks at Magic Kingdom. It was magnificent and a totally different fireworks viewing experience than you get in the park! The captains were very nice and pleasant. They were very informative with any questions we had for them. There was also a welcome basket with snacks waiting onboard for us. You can bring your own beverages onboard with you if you choose so you can have your favorite drink while viewing the beautiful firework show. This would be the perfect add on option to your vacation if you are traveling with a large family or multiple friends. I can add this to any Disney package and assure you that you will not be disappointed!
Drift away on a deliciously decadent excursion around Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon aboard the Grand 1, a fabulous 52-foot Sea Ray Sedan Bridge Yacht that defines impeccable taste. With an experienced captain and deckhand at the helm, lavish Guests with private dining and butler amenities amidst a celebratory ambiance that’s nothing short of sensational. This spacious watercraft accommodates a total of 18 people—or 17 if traveling with a butler.
Choose an evening cruise for breathtaking views of the Magic Kingdom fireworks spectacular, with synchronized audio from onboard speakers so you don’t miss a single sound. Relax under illuminated skies while watching the show in a whole new way!
Rental prices for the Grand 1 start at $399 per hour, plus tax—pricing may vary based on time of day and is subject to change. Assorted snacks and soft drinks are included. Private dining, butler service and other enhancements are available for an additional charge.
If you are interested in reserving an evening onboard the Grand 1 Yacht please let me know and I will be happy to help you.
Please feel free to call or email me anytime for quotes, questions, or special adds for your package.
We do all travel, not just Disney.
Kristy Lobell - Travel Agent
An Authorized Disney Vacation Planner
Funjet 500 Club Agency
225-505-0452 - Direct
MY MOST AMAZING DISNEY EXPERIENCE YET ~ VIP BABY!!!
This January I traveled to Disney World for an agency training trip and was able to take a special private VIP tour. Although, I have been to Disney more times than I can count and plan Disney trips for a living this was a first for me. After taking the VIP tour, I am absolutely spoiled and will never see Disney quite the same again! I can’t wait to tell you about some of the amazing experiences I had on the VIP tour as well as talk about the benefits and cost of the tours currently available.
Prior to the trip we conversed with the Disney VIP guides about the attractions, parks, dining options and more that we wanted to visit on the tour. On the day of our trip two AMAZING Disney VIP guides showed up at our resort, confirmed our itinerary, and checked if there were any changes to our plans. Then it was time to load the vans and hit the parks for some fun. Our tour guides were also our valet drivers and took us into each park via private back entrance. At each park we did a quick magic band scan and bag check without waiting in any lines and off we went to our first ride. This alone saved so much wasted time! We also had a friend on a scooter with disability issues on the tour and they were great about accommodating him in the vans, at park entrances, on rides, and more!
Once in Animal Kingdom they took us to the New Avatar Flights of Passage Ride in Pandora. Without having a fast pass we followed our VIP guide to the front of the fast pass line and right on the ride. The normal standby line at this point was over 3 hours long! We rode a few other popular rides in Animal Kingdom and then off to our next park. We arrived at Epcot via private entrance, and walked right onto test track, Soarin’, and Frozen without having a single fast pass. We also took back entrances rarely seen by guest inside the park to avoid crowds. While at lunch our VIP guide realized that it was one of our friends’ birthday and surprised him with a large group of cast members in the dining area who came over to sing him happy birthday. Through the day special little touches like this were frequent.
Our final stop was the Magic Kingdom, where we spent the majority of the day. When we arrived we were greeted with a complimentary snack and cold drink. After our snack we experienced the most popular rides and attractions with longest lines and skipped to the front of each line. Our VIP guide told us where the cameras were in Space Mountain and did a cute pose with us for the in ride picture. Mid tour if we wanted to add a ride that was not on the original itinerary, we did with no problem. Toward the end of the night our VIP tour guide led us to a reserved seating area right in front of Cinderella’s castle with great seats for the Once Upon a Time laser show and Happily Ever After fireworks show. Usually without a VIP guide you have to get there early to get a good seat to watch the fireworks and many times even then people will stand up in front of you or block your view after you have waited forever for good seats. Not this time! We had a bench to our selves in a roped off area with a perfect view of the castle and we could come and go as we pleased without the risk of others taking our seats. The guides also took great group pictures of us all day as requested.
This VIP experience was by far the most relaxed, enjoyable, educational, and memorable Disney experience I have ever had! One thing that I can promise you, is that you will not regret hiring a Disney VIP guide, as it is WORTH EVERY PENNY!!!
VIP Tour Benefits:
VIP Tour Info:
I would love to help you plan a special trip to Disney for your family and I can help you book one of these amazing VIP tours for your group. If you would like me to price a Disney Vacation with VIP tour for your family please let me know! My services are FREE and I can customize a trip to meet your needs! Please email me at Emily@gomdv.com for more info!
Mickey’s Dream Vacations