March 2014 Giveaway: from Sew Cute by Cheeky!

Hellooooo everyone, happy Spring!

This month my giveaway is coming a little bit late in the month, but there’s still more than a week of  March left so we’re still good!  I’m really pleased to offer the prize I’ve got this time around, too!  My friend Carrie is a handy crafty sewing type and she has a lot of great ideas, so she has begun a little sewing-type craft shop to earn some extra money to get to Disney. 🙂  (Don’t we all want to do this…)  Carrie’s niche is decorated, Disney-themed towels and other items!  And for this month I have a FREE set of her items to give away: a tea towel and matching potholder, both Star Wars themed! (I have a second set too, and it’s even cooler, but I’m doing this one first!)

Enter the March Giveaway here!

STAR WAAAARS! (guest-starring my kids' arms to show these babies off!)

STAR WAAAARS! (guest-starring my kids’ arms to show these babies off!)

That’s right – because Star Wars Weekends is approaching at Hollywood Studios, because May the 4th is Star Wars Day (yes, I know it’s March, I’m building excitement early), because Episode VII is in development, because… Star Wars is cool!  For all these reasons and MORE, from 12am EST on 3/24 (as in, pretty much now) until 12am EST on 3/31 (ie next Sunday night basically), you can enter to win these items for free courtesy of Carrie and myself!  The cost of the above items together, including shipping, is normally $15 – win them and they are totally free! 😀  Please also check out Carrie’s inventory for sale at her Facebook Group, Sew Cute by Cheeky. This group is closed but you can be added easily.

Here are some samples of Carrie’s other items – with many more on display at her group:

Halloween style!

Halloween style!

More Halloween - Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas! (This is just TOO perfect!)

More Halloween – Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas! (This is just TOO perfect!)

Utterly adorable Lilo & Stitch!

Utterly adorable Lilo & Stitch!

Sorry folks, the Princess & the Frog ones are for ME. ...Oh okay, you can request them too. I won't mind. :)

Sorry folks, the Princess & the Frog ones are for ME. …Oh okay, you can request them too. I won’t mind. 🙂

This is an evil pillowcase! And I want it! :) Pillowcases are $18 including shipping!

This is an evil pillowcase! And I want it! 🙂 Pillowcases are $18 including shipping!

Counteract the evil pillowcase with fairydust. :) $18 including shipping!

Counteract the evil pillowcase with fairydust. 🙂 $18 including shipping!

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Happy New Year Giveaway!

Greetings all!  It’s January 2014, this blog will soon be 1 year old!  This is a bit early to celebrate the anniversary of the blog, but since it is the new year I’m starting a new giveaway!  As with all of my giveaways, this one is tied to my travel business, Fairytale Journeys by Rebecca Kelly; however, you do NOT have to be a client to enter this giveaway!  It’s for blog readers, Disney fans, and friends in general. 🙂 (However, if you want to support my business, that’s very much appreciated!)

So beginning at midnight on January 6, you can enter to win a $25 Disney gift card!  No purchase necessary, just pick one or more of the methods offered in the widget, and go!  You can enter by having liked my Facebook page – either a new like or if you already like it, you can enter either way – or following me on Twitter, or just tweeting about the giveaway, or leaving a comment here on the blog!  You can do any or all of these, and you can tweet about the giveaway daily for an extra entry each day.

Enter the giveaway here!

The giveaway will end at midnight on the 13th; tell your friends, tell your family, tell your mailman! And Good Luck!

If you want to enter via leaving a comment, you can do so right here – tell me when you last had a Disney trip, even if it was just to the Disney Store or similar!  Remember though, if you comment first, you’ll still need to go to the widget and make your entry – it won’t automatically show up. 😀

The card won't necessarily look like this. But it will be cute. :)

The card won’t necessarily look like this. But it will be cute. 🙂

Let’s Get Thankful! aka the November Disney With Me/FTJ by Rebecca giveaway post

Hello!  HAPPY NOVEMBER!!!  If you live in America you are no doubt reminded daily that you’re supposed to be thankful this month; now, for Disney fans, I’m happy to present a little opportunity for anyone world-wide to be thankful. 🙂

For the next week – through November 23, 2013 – this giveaway will be running and you can have a chance to win this cutie-pie pin:

Straight from WDW!

Straight from WDW!

Is this, or is this not, an entirely adorable pin? Reminds me of the Polynesian for some reason. :D

Is this, or is this not, an entirely adorable pin? Reminds me of the Polynesian for some reason. 😀

To be honest, I was going to leave this open the rest of the month, but I thought two weeks is an awful long time to wait for just the one pin.  Whenever I have a really nice big exciting prize (or three) to give away I’ll have an extended entry period, but for now, 1 week – Sunday through Saturday!

To enter the giveaway, just click here to be taken to the Giveaway page on Facebook, or else click this one to go straight to the Rafflecopter giveaway page… I think. I’m trying to work this out still so if you’re not able to enter from here please tell me and I’ll fix! There are multiple methods to enter, from following on Facebook, on Twitter, and even leaving a blog post! 😀  Remember, all it takes is ONE entry to be the winner!  But you can tweet about the giveaway daily to get extra entries all week long, so keep checking back!

Last thing: no, you don’t have to be a client with me to win this pin. It’s open to everyone. 🙂  Of course I would love to have the chance to work with you and help you plan the perfect vacation, but either way I hope you’ll stick around and stay friendly!

The “I’m Back From WDW And I Love You Guys And I Love Halloween” Giveaway

Hey good-lookin’s! (I don’t know. I have no idea how to start these things. Forgive the awkwardness.) How is everyone?  I know it’s been silent here for a while, but I’m gradually coming back to life after a VERY hectic September capped by a wonderful whirlwind trip to my favourite place on earth. (hint: it’s not jail.)

Yeah, no secret: I went to Disney World with my sweetheart daughter and had a wonderful time!  But I was thinking of you while I was there – I really was! – and something I could bring back for you to enjoy as well.  That’s why I’m ready to start a new giveaway, hosted here and sponsored by Fairytale Journeys By Rebecca Kelly! (And that’s me!)

This giveaway is simpler and smaller; you will win a pin from WDW. A Halloween pin to be precise.

This pin right here, to be precise.  Oooh you sweet thing.

This pin right here, in fact. Oooh you sweet thing.

This is great if you trade pins, or if you like Halloween, or if you just like Disney.  There’s nothing wrong with getting a free pin!  Unlike my first giveaway, however, in order to enter you MUST like my FTJ By Rebecca Facebook page.  That’s mandatory to enter this giveaway.  As a result, yes I do expect a somewhat smaller group of entrants, but think about it: that gives you GREAT odds to enter if you win! 😀  The giveaway will begin at midnight EST on October 12, and continue for seven days, ending at midnight on October 19.  After that I’ll pick a winner and get in touch for their mailing address!

EDIT: I decided to start it early because I’m just that excited 😀 😀 😀  You can enter now! Click the link below!

I will be doing another giveaway before the end of the year, with a different pin as a prize, and that one will be open to non-Facebook entrants.  So if you are not on Facebook, hold tight and you’ll get a chance.  But if you are on it I hope you will enter! 🙂

Click here to enter the giveaway!

One of these days I’ll upgrade my blog so that I can embed that widget. 😛

And now, a tiny bit of information about FTJ By Rebecca, for anyone coming in late (I love your hair. No, not yours – I mean, not that it’s bad, I just – yeah, you, that’s – that’s cute) or wanting to know more about the page before they sign on to get updates from me.  First of all, I’m an independent travel agent with Fairytale Journeys.  Fairytale Journeys is great because it is an AUTHORIZED Disney travel planner.  Neither I, nor FTJ, is employed at all by Disney but we are authorized to book Disney vacations (meaning we are Disney-approved and we follow their rules and meet their standards).  We also have NO fees for any of our services. Ever.  You’ll never pay a single cent to me if you book with me, nor will you pay more for your trip than if you booked it yourself.  Instead you get personal help with all your details, plus a bit of Disney swag. 🙂

Anyway, the Facebook page is partly my way to communicate with my clients, or people who are interested in possibly taking a Disney trip, as well as to pass along Disney info and news, and finally just to send out some fun!  We sometimes play games, trivia contests and things, and I post photos and other fun stuff when I find it.  I am the only one running it, so it is not a huge amount of updates throughout the day.  I do love the idea of having a community with people commenting and replying to things so don’t be afraid to speak up if you want to.

And that’s all for now!  You can like the page when you enter or you can already be liking the page, either one works, you just can’t NOT like the page if you want to enter this one. 🙂  Hope to see you there!

Travel Tip Tuesday: What is a VGT Room Rate?

This is the first in what might be a sort-of series, which I call “Know before you go”!  It might be a series and it might just be this one post, we never know with me and that’s the fun. 😉  Anyway, here I aim to give some extra details on things that might be unclear when you travel or are planning a trip.

For this post, I’m going to start out with a particular kind of cruise rate on the Disney Cruise Line called a “GTY” or “*GT”.  This can be in the form of IGT, OGT or VGT and they all mean the same thing: GuaranTeed stateroom. IGT is for Inside Staterooms, OGT is for Oceanview Staterooms, and VGT is for Verandah Staterooms.

I am onboard with this offer. (Get it? Onboard? GET IT?)

I am onboard with this offer. (Get it? Onboard? GET IT?)

Now that it’s explained what it stands for, what does it mean?  Why would you need to know this?

In answer to the first question, these acronyms are used for room rates that are a significant discount off of the full rate for those stateroom types.  They are usually released just a short while before the cruise sets sail, in order to sell off rooms. (It is TOTALLY legit; this is not a “stay away from this offer it’s a scam” or anything. It’s a great deal so long as it fits your requirements!)  To answer the second question: you need to know this because sometimes you will run into this amazing great deal and you’ll see “OGT” or whatever, and you won’t know what it means, and you won’t bother to find out, and you’ll just book the amazing rate.  And the reason it’s important to know this is because the GT rates come with restrictions.

There are numerous ones, but the most important ones to know in advance are this:

– They must be paid in full at the time of booking
– The booking must be completely new
– The rates are non-refundable
– The rates are non-transferable
– You do not get to pick your stateroom or even where on the ship it is
– Your stateroom is assigned to you when you check in so no info is available in advance except that it’s guaranteed and it will be an Inside, Oceanview, or Verandah (depending on what GT you booked)

It’s kind of like Priceline, you have to be in a state where you can say “Okay, I am DEFINITELY ABSOLUTELY taking this trip and I don’t really care what I get as long as it’s on the boat”, and then you get what you get.  Having said that I haven’t seen many people say “I got a VGT stateroom and it was awful!” – it’s been the reverse, in fact – so, although it’s a gamble, it appears to be one worth taking.  But you do need to know what you are getting beforehand.  Hence the purpose of this blog post. 🙂

Last thing to note: there are not always GT rates available on a particular cruise, so it’s not a great idea to bank on them opening up if you have already picked out the cruise dates you want and don’t have any flexibility.

Dancing on the beach is optional with this rate.

Dancing on the beach is optional with this rate.

Contact Fairytale Journeys by Rebecca Kelly for free travel advice, booking assistance, research and more!  I can help you find the best rate, find out things to do, and be sure to explain any restrictions up front.  No cost to you!  Follow on Facebook or Twitter, or email me!

The Very First Disney With Me Giveaway Par-tay, sponsored by FTJ by Rebecca!

Please ignore the “Par-tay”, I got carried away. I hope you won’t think too poorly of me. 😛

Anyway yes, I’m FINALLY doing the giveaway I said I’d do back in APRIL once I hit 100 “likes” on my FB page.  I wanted to wait until I had some stuff worth giving away.  Yes, it took me this long to feel like I was giving away things worth getting.  WELL!  I’m going to stock up on some really great Disney World specific merch when I get there next month (I totally just wrote “when I get home”, Freudian slip?) but for now, here’s a pile of little but fun Disney things. 🙂  So there will be another giveaway coming soon but FOR NOW…

*ahem* I’m partnering with Fairytale Journeys By Rebecca Kelly (don’t laugh, she’s awesome) to do this very first giveaway!  There are multiple ways to enter and you don’t HAVE to like my FB page but you know.  If you have Facebook that would be nice.  I’M nice!  That’s why I’m making it possible for people to enter WITHOUT liking my page!  Because I care about YOU, the reader! ❤

Anyway, this totally awesome tiny little giveaway will run for the next week and end very soon, so enter now while you can!  Tweet, comment, and… follow on Twitter, I think that was the last one… if you’re already following me on Twitter or FB all you have to do is click those buttons! 😀  Have fun, Internet! I love you!  Ahhh, I’m feeling magnanimous today, and also smug that I got to say “magnanimous”. [/linguistics nerd]

I’m going to forget to actually post the giveaway at this rate. Here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Since I’m on a free WordPress blog I can’t embed JavaScript which means you’ll have to take the link to the giveaway.  Please take the link and enter anyway! 🙂

Edit: I promised I’d put up pictures of the prizes so here we go:

 

Disneyland Fun Book - inside it's a colouring/activity book. Great for kids or for really hardcore colouring fans.

Disneyland Fun Book – inside it’s a colouring/activity book. Great for kids or for really hardcore colouring fans.

 

Choice of one of these two notebooks... they are smaller than they look in this pic btw. Not standard size.

Choice of one of these two notebooks… they are smaller than they look in this pic btw. Not standard size.

 

Choice of one of these two New Fantasyland Lithographs; either Ariel or Belle.

Choice of one of these two New Fantasyland Lithographs; either Ariel or Belle.

 

The light didn't like me on this but it's a "7-piece sketchbook set" with a Monsters U theme. :D

The light didn’t like me on this but it’s a “7-piece sketchbook set” with a Monsters U theme. 😀

 

The bottles are soft plastic, BPA free; your choice of Minnie, Avengers, or Cars.

The bottles are soft plastic, BPA free; your choice of Minnie, Avengers, or Cars.

 

TAKE A PICTURE OF ALL THE THINGS!

TAKE A PICTURE OF ALL THE THINGS!

 

(…In case it’s not been made clear, I run FTJ by RK.  You don’t HAVE to be a client or follow that page to enter the giveaway! Just saying… I would appreciate it. ^_~)

Which WDW Offer is Better? Free Dining, or Room Discounts?

With the two competing promotions at Walt Disney World this Fall/early Winter, it’s worth comparing them to see which is the better deal.  It’s easy to automatically think “Well, free dining. Right?”  After all, you get your food taken care of, you’re good to go!  Right?

Well, there is more to consider than just cost; there’s also timing, and resort choice, and it’s worth at least briefly considering whether or not you want to spend the time needed to invest in the Disney Dining Plan.  Even if it’s free, there is a time deficit involved in having a table service meal each and every day.  Don’t get me wrong, if the dining is a big part of the experience for you, it’s a no-brainer!  But if it’s not…

So let’s cover that first.  Let’s say that you really want to have one character dining experience in the course of your meal.  Let’s say you want to eat at Cinderella Castle.  (Aim high! Dream big!  Get your ADRs early! LOL!)  You’re going to be staying for four nights, and other than that one meal, you don’t really care where you eat and you want to see as much of the parks as possible.  In that case, what do you do?  Do you get the full Dining Plan for free, or do you go for a room discount and pay out of pocket on the Cinderella meal (which, btw, takes 2 table service credits so that is your TS for two nights, not just one; for a meal with two adults the out-of-pocket cost would be approximately $120).

In this case, a free DDP would actually make sense in most cases. If you’re not interested in where else you go, using up two table service credits on Cinderella makes sense. That leaves you with two other table service restaurants to pick out, and still with four quick service credits.  However, if your tastes are a bit lower – let’s say you love Sci-Fi Dine-In and eat there every year, but that’s the only place you feel like sitting down and being waited on… well if you’re staying at a moderate or a deluxe, skip the DDP, pay out of pocket on meals, and get a discounted room.  If you’re staying at a Value, getting the Quick Service DP for free is probably a good idea.

The other biggest consideration is your resort choice.  Determining whether or not the DDP is the best value for you has a lot to do with what resort you are choosing to stay at, vs. what your savings are for meals.  Looking SPECIFICALLY at cost-savings for two adults, it goes like this:

For Value resorts the free Quick Service dining is better than you’d get on room-only.  Period, hands-down.  A 4-night, 4-day package with park-hopper tickets at Pop Century on the free dining promo might cost you $1232; the same dates with the 15% room discount and 4-day park-hoppers would cost $1155, and if you add Quick Service dining, it’s $1491.  It’s clear that the Free Dining is the winning promo here, unless you absolutely don’t intend to eat inside the parks at all (good luck with that).

For Moderate resorts it’s a bit trickier, but still tips in the Free Dining’s favour.  The same package as above, with free base dining instead of quick-service dining, might cost $1532 at Caribbean Beach, and the same dates with the 20% room discount and park-hoppers is $1369.  Add the base Dining Plan to this and it’s $1749; add the Quick Service Dining Plan instead, and it’s $1687.  So obviously this leans towards the Free Dining plan again, since you’d save over $200 vs adding on the DDP to the room discount and ticket combo.  BUT… buying just the room-and-ticket combo with the discounted room saves you over $150, and if you’re looking for the best price and willing to budget on your food, you want to really consider the room discount.  Keep in mind that even with the dining plans, if you want to eat 3 meals a day you will still pay out of pocket on one of them.  But be prepared, bring some extra food, and you can keep your dining costs down.  On the other hand, if you want to put it all on red and have a table service dinner each night, well, you know what to do. 😉

Last, let’s look at Deluxe resorts. This is where the lines blur.  The 4-night/4-day package with free dining could cost $2187 at Animal Kingdom Lodge.  Not bad.  Take the same length of stay and tickets, with the 30% discount on the room, and you pay $1748.  Add the base Dining Plan to that and your cost is $2217… only $30 more than the free DDP offer.  Change the base Dining Plan into a Quick Service Dining Plan and your total drops to $2065, $120 *less* than the free DDP.  That means you can get the quick service dining plan and lunch at Cinderella Castle for the same price as the free base DDP offer. Or you can drop the Cinderella lunch and just save money!

Of course, dates and availabilities and resorts are going to vary.  The point is that you want to know what your options are, and what your needs are, before you say “Oooh, a Deluxe Resort AND Free Dining? How can I lose!?” or the like.  Consider all your options to know what’s going to meet your requirements and desires the best, because one vacation doesn’t fit all!

Contact Fairytale Journeys By Rebecca Kelly for lots of help and advice planning your Disney World vacation this fall… or next winter, spring, summer, etc!  Also specializing in Disneyland, Disney Cruises, and more. 🙂  Also on Facebook!

Will Free Disney Dining be extended to Fall? –Yeppers.

A month or so ago I posted about whether or not the Free Dining at Disney World offer would be extended past September.  As of yesterday we know the answer is yes!

And there was much rejoicing. 😀

'Raaaaay!

‘Raaaaay!

However, it’s not that straightforward. The offer is not just “Come in the Fall and get Free Dining!” as it often is.  Some resorts are excluded, many dates are excluded… And with ticket price and package increases, in some cases, you will save more money by keep the reservation you have.  Plus, availability is limited.  All in all, it’s a bit of a headache!

Are you not sure how this is going to work out for your trip?  Is it a little overwhelming?  You are NOT alone. 😀

So let me try to break it down for you!

"I am the Wondrous Wizard of the Disney Dining Plan!"

“I am the Wondrous Wizard of the Disney Dining Plan!”

The basics are thus: book a trip at a Walt Disney World resort during the valid dates, and your package will include a free dining plan.  If you book at a participating Value resort, you get a free Quick Service plan (entitles each person on the reservation to 2 counter-service meals and one snack per night of the stay, plus a refillable mug); if you book at a Moderate, Deluxe, or Deluxe Villa you get a base Dining Plan (entitles each person to 1 counter service meal, 1 table service meal, and one snack per night, plus a refillable mug).

But you gotta know your details.

Everything tastes better when it's shaped like Mickey.

Everything tastes better when it’s shaped like Mickey.

First of all, there are blackout dates.  And there are a lot of them.  The offer is valid “for arrivals most nights Sep. 29 – Oct. 2, Oct. 18 – Nov. 2, Nov. 11-23 and Dec. 12-22, 2013.”  But wait!  What does “for arrivals” mean??  It means that if you arrived on October 2 and you spend a week there, you get the free dining because you arrived on a night included in the plan.  But if you arrive October 3 and stay two weeks, you are outta luck!  (Don’t worry, though. There is a room-only promo that covers a lot of the blackout dates!  You can buy your own dining plan with the money you save!)

That is a lot of holes, though.  That is a swiss-cheesy schedule.  But as long as you’re arriving on one of those nights, you get the free dining plan, right?

Well.

If you want to stay here you pay for your OWN food!

If you want to stay here you pay for your OWN food!

Point two: there are some resorts that aren’t included in the offer. From the fine print: “Excludes Disney’s All Star Movies Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter, The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, 3-Bedroom Villas and campsites.”  If you are travelling with a family of 5, for instance, you’ll have to stay either at All Star Music’s Family Suites or Port Orleans Riverside (they have trundlebeds in certain rooms), or stay at Art of Animation without a free dining plan. (Again, there is a room-only discount available for certain dates at AoA!  Not all, but some!  So you can still save 15% on the suites depending on when you go, and put the savings towards your meals.)  You could also get two adjoining rooms – and in my experience, there are times when this is a cheaper option than getting a family suite.

“Okay,” you say, “this is all fine.  I am already booked to arrive on October 19, I’m staying in the Caribbean Beach Resort, bring on my dining plan!”  Unfortunately, even this is not that simple.  See, here’s the thing: Disney is not just opening every room that is not yet booked to this plan.  They have allocated a specific number of available rooms for the free dining offer, and various resorts are already booked through their promo availability.  Yes, full, 36 hours after the promo dropped. (Actually, 12, if what I was hearing yesterday was right.  There were numerous places with no availability yesterday afternoon.)  You may need to switch resorts to get the dining plan.  You may need to go to a higher, or a lower, resort category.  And you may just plain not save any money by making the switch.

I’ve said before that the free dining plan offer is always the best offer you can get – and now I’m taking that back.  Sometimes, it’s not.  Sometimes, under certain circumstances, you will get a better value if you book under a promotion and pay for the DP, or even if you just stick with the rate you got.  Remember, the room/ticket package is non-discounted; you’re just not paying extra for the DP.  So if you booked months ago, before the ticket prices went up, rebooking now with the free DP will actually drive your total up – and depending on your length of stay, it could be close to the price you would pay if you paid for the DP.  It’s a matter of context.

Having said all that, do you still want to get free dining?  I’m sure you probably do!  Because even if it’s not saving you hundreds of dollars, that dining plan is convenient and it’s FREE.  Can you get it?  Well, try!  I hope the above clarified things for you as to what to expect!  Oh, and the last question: is there a minimum length of stay to get the dining plan?  Well, most of the marketing says you must book a non-discounted 6-night/7-day stay, and “ask about shorter stay lengths”.  I have heard that you can get the free DP offer for stays of 3 nights or more, with a minimum of 2-day tickets.

Seriously. Mickey-shaped = delicious.

Seriously. Mickey-shaped = delicious.

 

If all of this is still confusing and overwhelming, and that’s before you get on the phone and try to book this stuff, guess what?  You can get someone to do it for you!  Me! 😀  If you’ve already booked a WDW vacation within the last 30 days and you want to add this promo – not to mention get your dining reservations in while you still can – you can transfer your reservation to me and get a free gift card as thanks! Once that’s done, I can get on the phone for you and sit there on hold for hours (I’m not exaggerating) and take care of any changes you need to make.  If you want to book a new trip and get the free dining, I am beyond ready to help you with that.  We’ll get you set up and ready to go this weekend, or sooner!

Leave me a comment here, or email me at rebeccak@fairytalejourneys.com, or visit me at http://www.facebook.com/fairytalejourneysbyrebeccakelly/, OR *deep breath* get a quote from my website at http://fairytalejourneysbyrebecca.weebly.com.  Or there’s also Twitter, which you can get to from the module lower on my main page. 🙂  Anything!

WDW-FY14-Q1-Free-Dine-Web-Banner-728x90

I created a monster…

Best monster ever, though. 😀

2 1/2 and modeling the ears I brought her when I DIDN'T TAKE HER TO WDW (evil Mommy!)

2 1/2 and modeling the ears I brought her when I DIDN’T TAKE HER TO WDW (evil Mommy!)

When my daughter was born, I decided we’d go to Disney World for her fifth birthday. This gave me plenty of time to save up, and I’d be sure she would remember it and have a great time, and life is great, lalala. 😉 The side effect, though, was that for the next five years I told her about Disney World constantly. When she was very little we’d hide Mickeys and find them together; a bit older and we’d watch travel videos and YouTube clips. As she grew and I got more and more excited by our upcoming trip and all the attractions, meals, and everything elses I had planned, we’d take walks and I’d tell her all about restaurants and character spots. We developed games, like The Alphabet Game where we each take turns naming Disney characters whose names start with each letter of the alphabet, or Name That Tune where we’d hum part of a Disney song and the other person would have to sing the lyrics.At an early age she learned the Mickey Mouse Club March, “Part Of Your World”, and “Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow”; when we finally, finally went it was amazing.

It was so amazing that I knew we had to get back, just the two of us, because more than anyone else in the family this was OUR place. Since I had taken a camping trip solo a few years back I decided that she and I would be camping buddies. I planned a quick trip for Autumn 2012 and hoped to toss in Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party as a bonus.

Unfortunately, our funds slowly but steadily began to dry up, as they have for many people;

Recreating her original mouse ears pic at age 4 1/2

Recreating her original mouse ears pic at age 4 1/2

priorities are priorities, and the money I saved up had to go towards, you know, important real life things. Being a grownup sucks sometimes. 😉 Deep down, I know I’ve been blessed to get to take both my children as well as take MYSELF to Disney World; I know even more that just having everything I have is blessing enough.

But I want to take my daughter camping at Disney, darn it! *footstamp* 😉

Until things even out in terms of regular income (which they will; I sometimes have problems remembering that things won’t always be exactly as they are RIGHT NOW, but that’s a fact of life), I don’t have a lot of resources to get my daughter there. Unfortunately now since our walks tend to be “Which Park Is This At?” games, and we both make lists of the attractions we want to see in our spare time, we’re sort of feeding each other’s enthusiasm for getting back to WDW as soon as possible.

Dory, Marlin, and some glamourous model

Dory, Marlin, and some glamourous model. And an older girl I don’t know.

So this is the personal side of Why I Became A Disney Travel Agent. The business side – and it’s legit – is that I am never happier than when I am sitting there pricing out options and looking into the tiny details of a trip, no matter whose it is. Since I started this job I’ve done several quotes, some for real potential trips and some just for fun (because yes, I have a weird sense of “fun” and I’ve asked people to give me trip scenarios so I can tell them the costs), and I’ve honest-to-goodness enjoyed the heck out of it all the way through. But the personal reason is because I want to get my Mommy-Daughter camping trip in Disney World, where it’s just the two of us sharing our Happy Place. I want to get there before she stops wanting to go with me. I want to do it while she’s still young enough to tell me that she thinks that maybe some of the dinosaurs in “Dinosaur!” are not animatronics but real, and young enough to hug the characters with all her enthusiasm and love. I want this SO MUCH.

PRINCESS POWER!

PRINCESS POWER!

Now’s where I turn this into an ad. I will never, ever ask for financial donations to get me to Disney. You’ve got things you need to do with your own money and that’s cool.  But I will say, if you’re looking to plan a trip anyway, if you don’t already have a travel agent you love, if you aren’t a travel agent yourself (it happens!)… you can help me get my daughter there too and it’s at no extra cost to you. In fact if you book in March you’ll get money back, so to speak, because of my Start-Up Promo. But all you have to do is contact me to help with your trip. I don’t HAVE to do the price quotes (if you like them as much as I do, haha), or the ADRs, or the hands-on research to get the itinerary together. If you WANT me to, I’d love to do that, but it’s not a prerequisite. Instead I can be there to squeal over Disney stuff with, remind you that your trip is in X number of days, send you and your kids Disney freebies (honest, I have a stack I’m waiting to send to clients), and book you that trip at no cost to you. I also have info on the windows for all the promotions going on, the events, and whatever else.

One thing you can count on: I will get you the best trip for the best price; I don’t push for expensive stuff just to bump up my commission.  I’d rather you have a great trip and come back and tell your friends about me.  I look for discounts, I compare the best prices and the amenities, and if nothing else I can be enthusiastic about what you want to do (and believe me, I will! I live vicariously through other people’s trips, LOL!).

If you’d like to book with me please send me an email at rebeccak@fairytalejourneys.com, visit my website at Fairytale Journeys by Rebecca Kelly, or connect with me on Facebook or Twitter. All these are new but I would love, love, LOVE to have a community of friends, not just clients, to talk Disney about as much as we can.

Whatever happens, I know I’m going to take my daughter camping at Fort Wilderness, and I know we’re going to have an amazing time. And when we go I’ll post pictures and a trip report here. I just wish I knew when it would be so that I could count down!

Miss Adorable waits for the ferry from Magic Kingdom

Miss Adorable waits for the ferry from Magic Kingdom

Fairytale Journeys by Rebecca Kelly – March 2013 Special Offer

This is an Advertisement.

But really, it's my ad, not yours.

But really, it’s my ad, not yours.

As I’ve mentioned occasionally here, I’ve recently become a Disney Travel Agent with Fairytale Journeys.  This service is free and encompasses pretty much whatever you want – the only thing I absolutely NEED to do is put your booking in for you.  Otherwise, you can plan out as much as you want, and whatever you don’t want, I’ll pick up the slack.  Want to do everything?  Okay!  I’ll still be here for advice and quick question answers.  Want to do nothing?  No problem!  I can book hotels, flights, rental cars, ADRs, tickets, the works.

Well, I know what you’re thinking – “If I do everything, why should I use a travel agent and let them get paid for doing nothing?”  Two reasons: one, I get travel updates directly from Disney, so I get the latest news as it comes out; and two, this month, I’m running a special offer where, if you book with me – meaning you don’t have to pay in full this month, but we do need to do the preliminary booking – you get a free gift.  In other words, if you book with me, YOU get something for nothing… Plus, of course, your Disney vacation!

The options vary depending on the cost of the vacation you book, but they break down in price ranges: $500-$1749 gets a gift worth up to $25, $1750-$3499 gets a gift worth up to $50, and $3500 or more is worth up to $75!

What, I now hear you thinking, are these gifts you’re promising?  Is this a timeshare?

No.  It is not a timeshare.  You can leave this presentation at any time, I won’t even notice.  And I certainly won’t get hostile and rude and blame you for wasting the past three hours or something that you never actually ASKED me to spend trying to sell this timeshare to you.  …Not that this has ever happened to me, ahem.

But yes – the gifts.  You have the option of either selecting a gift card (Disney or Visa) in the exact amounts above – no “up to”, just $25, $50, or $75 – or picking out some Disney merchandise which I will buy for you and have shipped to you. (that’s where the “up to” comes into it.)  I can’t list everything you can choose from here, but a few samples:

Gourmet Mickey Mouse tea kettle – $40

I have to say, that's a nice kettle. Well, then again, I picked this image out so I guess it's not a surprise I like it. Pic is (c) Disney Store.

I have to say, that’s a nice kettle. Well, then again, I picked this image out so I guess it’s not a surprise I like it. Pic is (c) Disney Store.

Vinylmation Figures – $10 ea.

So darn CUTE.  Image (c) The Disney Store.

So darn CUTE. Image (c) The Disney Store.

Dooney & Burke Wristlet Bag – $60

Other varieties available. Image (c) The Disney Store.

Other varieties available. Image (c) The Disney Store.

Mickey Mouse Messenger Tote – $30

I love messenger bags!  Though I don't know what you're a messenger of. Image is (C) The Disney Store.

I love messenger bags! Though I don’t know what you’re a messenger of. Image is (C) The Disney Store.

Donald Duck: The Original Angry Bird t-shirt – $33

Oh, Donald, I love you. :) Image is (c) The Disney Store.

Oh, Donald, I love you. 🙂 Image is (c) The Disney Store.

(Just to avoid ANY confusion: I am not selling these, I don’t currently have them in my possession, I picked a few nice-looking things from the website.  What’ll happen is you’ll decide what you want and I’ll order it at full price and have it shipped to you as a gift.  I am NOT selling Disney merchandise, on this site or any other!)

There are a few caveats: these come FROM ME and are not provided by Disney or by Fairytale Journeys.  In order to be eligible for the gift you have to book with me in March, but the gift will be delivered after travel occurs to avoid any problems such as unforeseen cancellations, etc.  Also, as much as possible, the price of any merchandise selected should include shipping costs (ie the Dooney & Burke back – $60 plus $10 for shipping, total cost = $70).   Unless for something small, such as Vinylmation, please don’t request multiple items to try to make an exact price.

So there’s your opportunities!  This offer expires after March 31, 2013, possibly never to return… so call me, maybe? (I kind of hate myself for writing that.)  How about: so get in touch please and let’s talk Disney!  I can help smooth out your details, or I can just gab with you about what a great trip you’re going to have!  I love all of it, so I hope to work with you!
Email: rebeccak@fairytalejourneys.com
Website: http://fairytalejourneysbyrebecca.weebly.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FairytaleJourneysByRebeccaKelly