January 16, 2017

FREE admission to National Parks, Today, January 16

FREE_National_parks-days

Today only, more than 100 national parks are waiving the entrance fees today in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Go to the National Park Service website for a list of participating parks. The National Park Service also has an easy-to-use directory of parks by name, location, activity and topic.

Entrance fees to National Parks will be waived again on February 20 for Presidents’ Day. Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included.

  • January 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • February 20: Presidents’ Day
  • April 15-16 and 22-23: Weekends of National Park Week
  • August 25: National Park Service Birthday
  • September 30: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11-12: Veterans Day Weekend

If you love the outdoors, check out The Clymb, it’s a great Northwest daily deal site featuring all outdoor equipment, clothing and more at great prices. REI Outlet is also one of my favorites.

January 15, 2017

5 Reasons to Plan Ahead for Disney World

disney-world-plan-ahead-because

5 Reasons to Plan Ahead for Disney World

There’s no rule that you have to plan a Disney World vacation far in advance, but those in the know make sure to plan their Disney World vacation with plenty of notice. Why? The early bird gets the worm is a very accurate statement here. From better dining to better days in the parks, read on to find out why you should plan ahead, too!

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1.) Dining reservations. Ever hear of people dining inside of Cinderella Castle? Or maybe a lovely meal at Be Our Guest, in the Beast’s castle? Famously popular restaurants like these book up very early. How early? Dining reservations open up 180 days in advance at 6 a.m. EST. And the most popular restaurants can book up in the blink of an eye, especially during busy seasons. For the best number of choices, having your trip booked before the 180 mark is smart. Plus, those staying onsite get the perk of being able to make dining reservations on that 180th day for up to 10 days forward…something offsite guests don’t get to do.

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2.) Resort choices. It’s true, Disney has a lot of resorts to choose from. But not all of them will be the right fit for you, and occupancy levels are high at Disney resorts. This means that some resorts can book up as you get closer to the trip dates. And even within a resort you like, specific room categories can sell out.

3.) Discount availability. When a discount is released, it’s for a limited time and limited rooms. If you wait too long, the discount will end and rack rate is all that is left. Worried about booking before a discount comes out? For those booking with a specialist, these discounts can be watched for and applied to existing bookings if the discount is available for the dates and room type.

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4.) Special activities. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique makeovers in the castle, Pirate and Pals Fireworks Cruise, special dessert parties – these special activities require reservations and do book up. Sitting down to look at your days and deciding if and when you’d like to do these (or getting personalized advice from your travel consultant) will allow you to have reservations made early, with the best chance for availability remaining.

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5.) FastPass+. For Disney World, you are given the opportunity to reserve three FastPass+ reservations per park day. These are essentially like ride reservations where you bypass the longer lines and are a very important part of having a strategy for a smoother experience. These open 60 days in advance of your arrival for onsite guests and 30 days in advance for offsite guests. Some of the most popular rides can book up completely at that point in time, especially during the busy season. (Not sure what makes sense to reserve? Have an expert plan your days based on your overall goals to ensure the least waits in line!)

So if you’re thinking summer or fall sounds far away right now, but you know you want to visit Disney World then, it’s not actually far at all! In the world of Disney planning, right now is the best time to get started!

Psssst! Did you just read this and panic a little bit (or a lot) because you were hoping to go this winter or spring? Send me an email – I’m really good at last minute planning when needed!

sabrina-enchanted-travelerThis post was written by Sabrina Tinius, a specialist in planning Disney vacations for families who want less stress and more time making memories that last a lifetime. 

Through her in depth destination knowledge, park touring strategies and incredibly detailed planning, Sabrina is here to help you have a more enjoyable Disney vacation — while saving you tons of time and stress. And when she’s not busy crafting amazing Disney vacations, you can find her hanging out with her two awesome kids, taking family vacations of her own, and occasionally baking up a storm in her Seattle area kitchen. 

Meet Sabrina and get ready to experience just how amazing a well planned Disney vacation can be at www.theenchantedtraveler.com.

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Want to learn more about Disney Vacation planning? Check out our past posts on the topic :

January 10, 2017

FREE admission to National Parks, January 16

FREE_National_parks-days*Save the date! In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, more than 100 national parks are waiving the entrance fees next Monday, January 16! Go to the National Park Service website for a list of participating parks. The National Park Service also has an easy-to-use directory of parks by name, location, activity and topic.

Entrance fees to National Parks will be waived again on February 20 for Presidents’ Day. Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included.

  • January 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • February 20: Presidents’ Day
  • April 15-16 and 22-23: Weekends of National Park Week
  • August 25: National Park Service Birthday
  • September 30: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11-12: Veterans Day Weekend

If you love the outdoors, check out The Clymb, it’s a great Northwest daily deal site featuring all outdoor equipment, clothing and more at great prices. REI Outlet is also one of my favorites.

December 29, 2016

Great Wolf Lodge Groupon Discount – as low as $119/night

Great-Wolf-Lodge-Discounts-Jan-18

If you’ve been waiting for a discount on the Great Wolf Lodge – it’s back on Groupon!  See all Great Wolf Lodge offers here – discounts available nationwide. Prices vary by location and the type of package that you select. Some locations are as low as $119/night!

For those of you in Washington, here is a discount for the Great Wolf Lodge – Grand Mound location. You can choose from FOUR options for the Grand Mound, Washington – as low as $169/night, with a one-night minimum.  See all Grand Mound options here.

Make sure and read the fine print on the offer to make sure that it works for you!

What You Get

  • Stay for six in a Family Suite, Wolf Den Suite, or KidKamp Suite, seven in a KidCabin Suite, or eight in a Grand Bear Suite
  • Daily water park wristbands for each registered guest up to maximum occupants per room type
  • Select options include $50 dining credit per night, valid at any onsite restaurant (dining credit not included with Family Suite option)
  • May have the maximum number of guests in room option purchased for no additional fee
  • Dates into February 2017

Policies and Fees

  • Reservations: Dates cannot be changed once booked; valid only for night(s) purchased.
  • Cancellation policy: 4-day cancellation notice required prior to check-in or reservation is non-refundable; reservations made within cancellation window are non-refundable.
  • Additional fees: $29.99 daily resort fee plus tax added at purchase.
  • Rates may vary by date and are subject to availability.

No-shows will be charged total Groupon rate; no refunds, rescheduling, or rebooking allowed.

See all Great Wolf Lodge discounts here

December 12, 2016

4 Reasons Why Disney Cruises are GREAT for Extended FAMILY vacations

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4 Reasons Why Disney Cruises are GREAT for Extended FAMILY vacations

I absolutely adore taking extended family on our vacations. I love that it gives my kids a chance to bond in a special way with family members that they don’t see on a daily basis. But planning a vacation with multiple families can feel overwhelming and stressful when considering the variety of interests that surely come into play.

Enter: Disney Cruise Line. Seriously, this is the perfect vacation option when you want an awesome trip that includes the kids’ grandparents, or aunts and uncles, or even multiple sets of family friends!  

Here are just FOUR reasons you should consider a Disney Cruise for extended family (or friend) vacations :

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1.) Dining made incredibly simple. Lots of people trying to decide where to eat can feel like a zoo. On a Disney Cruise, you have a wide range of choices already included in the cruise fare. Dine all together at the themed rotation of restaurants.  Eat at separate times by popping into the buffet. Grab quick bites in smaller groups on deck. Get room service late at night when your teen is suddenly starving. It’s so easy and you don’t have to think about it at all!

[Read more…]

November 13, 2016

5 ways to SURPRISE your kids on Christmas with a Disney vacation

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Surprising your kids with a Disney vacation for Christmas

It’s that time of year again; time to start looking for gifts for the children or grandchildren. What’s that? The kids already have more toys than they know what to do with? I can relate. Maybe this year, instead of more plastic toys that will be forgotten in backs of closets or under the beds, you want to gift something memorable. An experience. A gift of magic they’ll never forget.

Giving the gift of a Disney vacation is a wonderful surprise. The gift of time spent with family, fully focused time outside of the daily demands of life, is hard to beat. And what an awesome gift to open on Christmas morning! Imagine their eyes lighting up as they learn they’ll be visiting Walt Disney World, Disneyland or even sailing on a Disney Cruise!

disney-surprise-gift

Here are FIVE ideas for how to surprise the kids with a Disney vacation :: 

1.) Box o’ Balloons. Get a big box for this one! The kids will be super curious about what such a big gift could be. Head to your nearest party store (or Dollar Store) and get several Mickey and Minnie mylar balloons and an assortment of matching regular balloons.  Next, create a little flyer on cardstock that announces the trip you’ve picked out.  Thread some of the balloon strands through a hole you punch in the card. Now carefully shove all the balloons into the box, tape it shut and wrap it. When they open it, the balloons will come flying out with the announcement!

2.) Scavenger hunt. Buy an assortment of vacation related items and hide them around the house. Examples include sunglasses, travel bag, sunscreen, themed shirts, etc.  Make sure your last item is the one that will tell them where they are going.  For example, this might be a stuffed Mickey plus with a card attached that says, “You’re going to Disney World this spring!”  Next, write up clues for each location. Wrap each clue in a small box. Put the first clue under the tree and each of the next clues get placed next to the hidden items.  =Your kids will open the first clue, find the first item which will have a small box that contains the clue for the next item and so on!  What great fun on Christmas morning!

[Read more…]

November 11, 2016

FREE admission to National Parks TODAY – November 11

FREE_National_parks-days

Today, more than 100 national parks will waive the entrance fees for Veterans Day! Go to the National Park Service website for a list of participating parks. The National Park Service also has an easy-to-use directory of parks by name, location, activity and topic. Be sure to check out this list of participating National Parks that commemorate and honor the service of American veterans.

This is the last fee-free day in 2016. Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included.

If you love the outdoors, check out The Clymb, it’s a great Northwest daily deal site featuring all outdoor equipment, clothing and more at great prices. REI Outlet is also one of my favorites.

October 10, 2016

Great Wolf Lodge – Up to 50% off your stay, as low as $99 (TODAY only!)

Living Social - Great Wolf Lodge

Living Social – Great Wolf Lodge Discounts

Right now over on Living Social you can find Great Wolf Lodge discounts up to 50% off – as low as $119, depending on your location.  And TODAY only you can use code DISCOVER20 at checkout to save 20% off up to $20 per deal, making locations as low as $99.

If you’re in the Pacific Northwest, the Grand Mound Great Wolf Lodge location in Washington has a ton of choices, starting at $159, as low as $139 after coupon code.

  • A One-Night Stay for Up to Six People in a Family Suite, Sundays to Thursdays ($159)
  • Or, a Two-Night Stay for Up to Six People in a Family Suite, Sundays to Wednesdays ($299)
  • Or, a One-Night Stay for Up to Six People in a Wolf Den or Kid Kamp with a $50 Gift shop Credit, Sundays to Thursdays ($229)
  • Or, a One-Night Stay for Up to Six People in a Wolf Den or Kid Kamp with a $50 Gift Shop Credit, Fridays ($329)
  • Or, a One-Night Stay for Up to Eight People in a Grand Bear Suite with a $50 Gift Shop Credit, Sundays to Thursdays ($299)
  • Or, a One-Night Stay for Up to Eight People in a Grand Bear Suite with a $50 Gift Shop Credit, Fridays ($449)

Whatever location you select, make sure and read the fine print to make sure the deal works for you!  Prices vary by location and the type of package that you select.

See all Great Wolf Lodge Discounts here

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