I’m Done Adulting…I’m Going to Disney

If you were to ask me what my favorite ride in Disney Hollywood Studios is, hands down I would say Tower of Terror.  But…

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The last few months I have felt like I have been living in the Twilight Zone.  My life and emotions have been very similar to that of the Tower of Terror thanks to the constant changes in my job.  Just when it seems to get close to normal, the floor drops out from below me…

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I am DONE ADULTING!  To quote my favorite Disney bear, Koda, I want to “tell everybody” that I am on my way home to the most magical place on Earth for my annual Heigh-Ho trip.  What you don’t speak Disney? (We will have to fix that.)

Translation:  Tonight, as soon as I finish my day job, I will be traveling to Walt Disney World for my annual working vacation as an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.  


I just love telling people that I “HAVE TO GO” to Walt Disney World, it’s a tough job. My working vacation is all about you, my Disney Travel clients. It is during this trip, that I  try to pack in as many NEW EXPERIENCES as I can to make your trip more magical. No matter how many times I go to Walt Disney World, I always seem to have a long list of NEW experiences.  Walt Disney World is constantly changing, growing, expanding, updating, and refurbishing so it is very easy to create a list of things that I have not experienced. In fact, a whole new land opened in June that I have yet to explore .    

I want to invite you to come along on this working vacation through the power of social media.  We will be “whistling while we work” as I am planning a full out social media blitz this week, with different content across all of these 4 sites…  

ta social page

I am also going to be giving everyone* following along and interacting, a chance to win up to a $200 in a Disney Vacation Credit* as well as a few daily giveaways as a thank you for being a part of my “working vacation.”  

For complete rules and details…

Heigh-Ho Contest: Details & Rules

Get ready by following me on each of my social media platforms and then be on the lookout starting about 6 pm CST as we officially punch the time card…

I will C U real soon and remember that life is always better when you are wearing ears!

Friday Fives: 5 Things Disney that I loved in 2017

Yep, this is going to be another one of those ends of the year reflection posts that are so prevalent as we look forward to flipping that calendar to a fresh New Year.

I did not expect 2017 to be a year full of Disney, put some how it just happened that way (not that I am complaining or anything). So, humor me while I look back at 5 Things Disney that I loved in 2017…

1.  Neon Lighting at Carsland

Nothing was more special in 2017 then  then getting to see my boys faces as they explored Carsland, and that includes Mr. Grumpy.  The movie CARS has been a part of our lives for over 10 years when #monsterchild fell in love with Lightning McQueen, after all he is Lightnings #1 Fan still to this day as a near teenager.  Grumpy however, has been a fan of cars all his life and the whole pit crew of CARS has allowed him to really bond with our boys.  Watching the neon light up was amazing for all of us and one of those special moments that will last forever.


2. Going Solo to Walt Disney World


Don’t get me wrong, I do love my family and girl’s trips to Walt Disney World, but there was something totally freeing about going solo. I had so much fun bouncing around and doing whatever caught my attention. For the introvert in me, that time alone was precious, although secretly there was times when I wish I was sharing the magic with someone else.

3. Lunch at Satu’li Canteen

Are you tired of hearing about this place and this meal? Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think my high expectations for this meal adventure would be met let alone be exceeded. I am already dreaming of my next bites, now only if I could be there when they serve that adult oatmeal!

4. Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters


I don’t know what is it is about this attraction, but honestly if there was not a crazy long wait it would become just like the People Mover for me at Walt Disney World, one that I would ride over and over again. The music and the spinning makes me happy, and oh at night under the lights, takes me back in a weird sort of way to the dance scene in Roman Holiday and the time we spent as a family in Italy…yep, in the happiest place on earth when I am dancing with Lugi and his cousins from Carsoli.

5. Sharing the Magic


This same time last year, I was earning my “ears” to become an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner as an affiliate with Academy Travel. Since then I have gone on to share the Disney magic with 10 families in my first year and have many more counting down the magic in 2018.  I have loved every stressful moment trying to make sure they have the most magical vacation ever and enjoyed being a part of their trips. 

It was certainly a great Disney 2017!  Just like 2017, 2018 is starting off with no definite Disney trip plans for myself but you never know where I might end up.  I do know that I will be sharing my love with more families as they go one their own magical trips and with you.  Thanks for following along, and I hope to see in you 2018.

#hakunamatata & #heighho: A Tale of 2 Days at Walt Disney World

Yesterday and today could not be more different in terms of Disney attitude.


Yesterday was my #hakunamatata day.  After 3 very lone days of early morning, lots of walking and late nights, I gave myself a day of no worries, translation no real hard plans.  I made a list of things I might want to do, but did not hold myself to a schedule or park expect for the dining reservation at Be Our Guest with a couple of runDisney friends.  Make sure you follow along when I write my trip report so you scan see that I actually did on my #hakunamatata day…it was fabulous.


Today is starkly different as it is time to #heighho and get down to the real reason for this trip…Academy Travel and mickeyvacations.com Agent Education Program-On Site Training for Walt Disney World  I am so excited to meet up with fellow agents, members of the home office staff and Cast Members from the Disney Travel Agency all with the sole purpose of making your next Disney vacation even more magical.

I do have a couple of fun and new things scheduled both before and after AEP tonight, so it won’t all be formal work.

rules.jpgDon’t forget about my #heighho contest…your chance to win some great prizes and up to $200*  in Disney Vacation credit.  For complete details…

#heighho Conetest Rules & Details


Tammie’s Take Thursday:  When is the Best Time to take a Disney Vacation?

When is the best time to go to Walt Disney World?  ANYTIMEPhoto1077FourBySix

Of course, this is just my opinion because a lot of blogs and websites will direct you to crowd calendars and will tell you that your number one factor should be crowd levels.  For me, I don’t worry so much about crowd levels because I am a firm believer that all crowds at WDW can be tamed by arriving at the parks prior to “rope drop,” going in with a plan of attack and knowing your limits.  Instead, I base my vacations on three factors…my personal schedule, what experiences are available throughout the year at Walt Disney World and what I want to get out of this trip.

I first look at my own personal schedule to see what works for me personally.  Being in education, I am not an advocate of taking children older than 3rd grade out of school for extended periods of time but I also know that every situation is unique and different.  Someday I will tackle the “Should I Take my Child out of School to go to Disney” debate on this blog.

Next, I look at what experiences are available throughout the year and what I want to get from the trip. Let’s look at special events throughout the year that make each trip special and unique…

  • January-New Year’s Celebrations, Christmas decorations still up throughout the first week of January, Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, Epcot International Festival of the Arts
  • February-Princess Half Marathon Weekend
  • March-Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival
  • April- Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival, Easter Celebrations. Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend
  • July-4th of July Celebrations
  • September-Fall Decorations, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival, Night of Joy Concert Series
  • October- Fall Decorations, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival
  • November-Fall & Christmas Decorations, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival, Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend
  • December- Christmas Decorations, Candlelight Processional in Epcot, Christmas Around the World in Epcot and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

2013-10-03 23.46.25 (3)So, when is my favorite time to go to Walt Disney World? I absolutely love traveling the end of October/beginning of November for several reasons. First, the weather is a pleasant mid 80s cool enough to enjoy the parks and the resort pool. It is absolutely beautiful during this time of the year.  You get to experience the best of both the Fall and Christmas Seasons.  If you time it just right you can attend the last of the Mickey’s No So Scary Halloween parties and the Fall decorations, then watch the magical transformation to the Christmas season and see the snow fall on Main Street during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  In addition, that means runDIsney’s Wine & Dine Photo1026FourBySixHalf Marathon Weekend will be taking place along with Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival.  So many fun things to see and do! Also, crowd levels are generally moderate in size this time of the year, which makes dining and FastPass+ reservations easier to make, plus easier to handle during the day in the parks.

In the end, you must decide what works best for you and your travel party, because there is no wrong time to take a trip to the most “Magical Place on Earth.”

What are you waiting for? I can help you pick the perfect time for your travel party and then assist you in your planning needs.

Tammie’s Take Thursday: When Should I Begin Planning My Disney Vacation?

What a crazy couple of weeks it has been since Walt Disney World opened reservations for most of the 2018 calendar year.  It has been a whirlwind of creating inquiry quotes, formal quotes and booking many Disney Vacation reservations for 2018.  I am truly blessed with lots of support into my new venture as an Authorized Disney Vacation planner and Affiliate of Academy Travel and mickyvacations.com.

One question that continuous has been asked over and over the last month is, “When do I start planning a Walt Disney World Vacation?”


Ummmm, RIGHT NOW!!!! (Okay, probably not the best person to ask, since I love to plan…but you asked). With Disney, just as soon as you have made the decision to go there for vacation is when you should begin planning. Who cares if it is a year away or 2 months away…there are things that need to be done and planned.

My personal opinion is to begin planning somewhere between the 12 to 7 month mark prior to your vacation, with booking around 7 months out for Walt Disney World.  (As far as a Disney Cruise, just as soon as itineraries are announced for the cheapest prices and for Disneyland 3 months is enough time, although resort/hotel reservations can sometimes be hard to get the closer to travel date you are).  As much I as I love planning things, there are reasons why I begin planning so early, the most important being that I want to ensure that we experience all the magic possible during our trip…

  1. I can secure my reservation with a simple $200 deposit which locks in prices for my travel dates at that time.  If Disney decides to raise the price on tickets or rooms prior to my stay, I still get to take advantage of the prices at the time of booking. And if a discount offer/promotion becomes available I am still able to apply that offer to my vacation to save money.  I am also able to put my vacation on “lay away,” meaning I can make as many little payments on my trip up until when my balance is due in full 30 days prior to travel.  This allows me to work my vacation into my monthly household budget seamlessly.
  2. Most activities, tours, and dining reservations begin being made 180-60 days in advance of your preferred travel date.  By planning my vacation early, I can do all the research needed to be prepared when the booking windows open for Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) and FastPass+ (FP+) reservations.  Being able to book on booking day helps me to insure we get to eat where we want and ride the attractions we want to.  I have personally witnessed park guests get very upset and not act very kind & friendly when they are not able to so simply walk up to a dining location and be seated (most cases turned away).  Popular dining locations like eating in Cinderella’s Castle or Be Our Guest (aka Beast’s Castle) reservations at 180 days are an ABSOLUTE MUST and even then, there are no guarantees then that you will secure a reservation.  With the opening of Pandora, the World of Avatar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom this summer wait times have soared into the 3+ hours for some attractions, being able to book ride reservations or FastPasses at 60 days helps to ensure that we are able to ride without waiting in line for hours as well as get the times that we want to visit the attraction.
  3. Walt Disney World is a huge place (46 square miles) and being able to know what there is to see, do and experience takes time to research, sort through and work into a doable plan.  Every trip I plan I find a new magical experience and has me wanting more.  By beginning my planning early, I have the time needed to find the magic, sometimes more than is possible to fit into the time I have (but that is what another trip is for).

You want to go sooner than 7 months?  No problem, I have helped clients put together a truly magical experience at 70 days.  It will be a fast learning curve and quick decisions, but totally doable and just as magical in the end.  The key with planning under 3 months is to be flexible.

But what if you are the more of the spontaneous type…can’t you just wing it? You’re not a bird, so don’t wing it! I wouldn’t suggest going into any sort of Disney vacation without some sort of plan of time.  It does not have to be


detailed down to the last second of every day of your vacation, but to truly have a magical experience without the frustration of crowds, lines and not knowing what to expect you must go in with a plan.

I understand, not everyone has the need to be as obsessive, I mean thorough, about planning their Disney vacation as I do. The great thing is that you don’t have to be either, let me walk you through the planning experience.  I have already done the time consuming hard work of researching for you. I will provide you with the information based on what you tell me that you want to get out of your vacation, you make the decisions and I work to make the magic happen (thank goodness for my Fairy Godmother Wand) as much as I can. Best of all my services come free when you book any Disney or Universal Vacation with me.  Here are just a few of the things I can/will do for you…




  • Welcome Packet full of information to get you started down the planning road
  • Set Up of My Disney Experience (MDE) Account
  • Suggest Flight Schedules & booking option through Disney
  • Arrange Airport Transportation with Disney Magical Express
  • Customized Resort & “On Property” Transportation Information
  • Information to help you decide “What Park, What Day”
  • Information to help you decide on Advanced Dining Reservations as well as advice & suggestions on including a Disney Dining Plan to your reservation
  • Option for booking of Dining Reservations at 180 days for you
  • Monitoring of Requested Dining Reservations not available at time of booking (Wish list)
  • Periodically emails on fun things to try/do and special events to keep you excited about your trip
  • Information to help you decide on FastPass+ Reservations as well as advice & suggestions
  • Option for booking of FastPass+ Reservations for your travel party at 60 days prior to travel
  • Option for custom itinerary and touring plans, or just generic touring plans for each park
  • Tips, Tricks & Suggestions to make the most of your vacation
  • Answers to all your questions, honest opinions and advice
  • Final Packet with Trip Documents
  • During trip support via email, phone or text as needed

What are you waiting for, let’s get planning.  I promise to give your Disney vacation the same attention to care and detail as I would my own no matter how soon (or late) we begin planning the magic!

Friday Fives: 5 Reasons Why You Should Use an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner for Your Trip


People ask me, “Why should I use a travel agent to help me with my Disney vacation?  I am only going to an amusement park, what needs to be planned about that?”  There is so much more to a Disney vacation then simply riding rides.  There is planning that needs to be done to insure that your trip is filled with magical memories and make it worth all the money you are spending.  Here are my top 5 reasons why you should you use me, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner for your next Disney vacation…

1.  My Services are FREE!

Disney has very standard pricing and they offer the same rates to all travel agents that they have on their website.  There are no blind fees or hidden mark ups.  The difference is what comes after you book your vacation.  When you book your vacation through me, you work with a real person who wants to make your trip better. If you were to book through Disney, it would be up to you to navigate the planning waters and put in all the research. Disney pays me a commission to make sure that your trip is the best that it can be and you will want to come back time after time.

2. I KNOW Disney!

Not only do I love Disney, but I KNOW Disney and have earned my “ears”.  I am a graduate of the Disney College of Knowledge.  I work hard to keep my knowledge of all Disney vacation experiences current by attending on-site location trainings, reading and researching.  I actually have traveled many times to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and sailed on the Disney Cruise Line.  For each of these trips I have spent countless hours researching and planning making sure my vacation was the best possible for my family and friends. I can answer pretty much any question you might have, or I know where I can find the answer.  I also speak Disney fluently, don’t know what “Staying at POR and riding the monorail to MK to dine at BOG and then riding the BTMRR before MNSSHP begins” is, I do and I will help you decipher Disney language.

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3. I help you SAVE MONEY!

Disney vacations are expensive, so I will work to save you money by providing tips and searching out the best vacation package discounts for your trip.  Even if you have booked your trip, I will still continue to watch for discounts that can be applied for your trip. I try to spend your money like I would my own.  Sometimes spending a little extra will give you a lot, and vice versa.  I will be honest with you and let you know where it is appropriate to splurge and where to cut corners, and work within the budget you set to make the best vacation possible.

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4. I WALK YOU THROUGH the planning process and am your personal SOUNDING BOARD.

A Disney vacation is far more than showing up to the park gate with your ticket.  There are a lot lots of things to consider from transportation, choosing a hotel, sorting out all ticket options, finding places to eat, deciding which park is best which day and what do you do when you get into the park.  I help take away some the stress and confusion planning a Disney vacation, by walking you through the planning process and providing insider tips along the way. I do the research for you, you make the choices, and then I put it all together for you so that when you are finished planning you don’t feel like you need another vacation from planning. If you are trying to make a decision between two choices, just ask more than likely I have personal experience or an opinion on what you are trying to decide between. I will give you an honest answer each and every time, plus do my best to fulfill all of your wishes for your trip.

5. I SAVE YOU TIME before and during your vacation!

I have already spent the hours researching what is needed to make a Disney vacation magical and I will pass that knowledge on to you, so that you won’t have to invest that time.  Depending on which time zone you are in Disney advanced reservations for dining and FASTPASS+ open extremely early in the morning, I will wake up and make those reservations for you while you sleep.  I will also continuously watch discount offers that become available, and apply them to your reservation package, saving you both time and money!  While on your vacation, I will have prepared for you daily itinerary suggestions to save you time in the parks by avoiding large crowds, long wait times and crisscrossing the park.

I am proud to that Disney has awarded me with the title of Authorized Disney Vacation planner by completing the Disney College of Knowledge and honored to be an affiliate of Academy Travel and mickeyvacations.com.  Academy Travel and mickeyvacations.com is a Platinum Earmarked Agency awarded by Disney, the highest rating possible and 1 of only 5 in the world to reach this status for its excellent client services.

I hope that you will consider me for your Disney vacation planning needs and allow me the satisfaction of making magic happen for you and your family.  I promise that I will give your vacation the same care and attention to detail as I would my own trip.