As I’m preparing for our family’s upcoming road trip, I have come across many awesome, FREE road trip related downloads across the Internet and I thought it would be nice to compile them for you here in one post!
If any of these strike your fancy, make sure to click on the link below the image to be directed to the blog that created it free for your use and download it there.
My friend Mike is what I’d call a true Disney expert! He’s been to the parks many times and as a travel agent, he’s coordinated many family vacations over the years. He’s written many posts on this blog over the past year (see my Disney page for all of them). Today I’m pleased to be sharing a new post from Mike!
If you’re a West Coast reader, you probably consider Disneyland to be, as the kids say, the bee’s knees (I didn’t say which generation of kids said it). And for many, a trip to the other side of the country to see Walt Disney World might seem either daunting, expensive or redundant. Why fix what ain’t broke? But with the newly opened Frozen Ever After ride in EPCOT, Pandora, the World of Avatar now open, Toy Story Land coming after that, it might be time to explore a whole new World of Disney (see what I did there?).
For those not familiar with Walt Disney World, I thought I’d give a bird’s eye view of some the basics to planning your first trip and a few way to save some money.
For many the idea of a flight to Orlando might as well be another country away. But do not fret, a non-stop flight from the Pacific Northwest takes about the same amount of time as a trip to Hawaii. It’s only about 5 to 6 hours, which you know if Disneyland was only a 5 to 6 hour drive, you would be there every other weekend.
Once you land, there is a big money saving opportunity right from the start. Walt Disney World offers free transportation from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to any of their resorts on Walt Disney World property. A nice big comfy touring bus, that even comes with cartoons for everyone to enjoy.
Typically, you won’t even have to grab your luggage as they will deliver it right to your room. Once at your hotel, they have resort wide buses that can take you to the parks and a variety of other locations. If comparing a Disneyland vacation to Walt Disney World in terms of price, remember you won’t need to rent a car, pay a shuttle service or call a cab to get from the airport.
Did you know that Walt Disney World is roughly the size of San Francisco? Well you do now, and nothing on the internet is ever false. EVER! With a resort that big, they have over 25 different hotels you can stay at, with various price points. They break their hotels in a couple different categories: value, moderate, deluxe and then “home away from home” villas. As a reference point, the three Disneyland owned and operated hotels would be most comparable to a Walt Disney World deluxe resort in terms of price range. The “Good Neighbor” hotels near Disneyland would be comparable to the value to moderate price point hotels at Walt Disney World.
Often when people come to Disneyland they want to save the most money possible, but still be steps away from the parks since they anticipate being at the parks from open to close. Walt Disney World offers 5 value resorts (and campgrounds) for those who are attraction-driven, park junkies. And while they won’t be steps away from the Magic Kingdom, you have the bus system so you’re not walking miles at the start or (more importantly) end of your day.
My friend Mike is what I’d call a true Disneyland expert! He’s been there many times and plumbed the park for all kinds of fun experiences. He has written a number of Disney posts for me over the past several months (see this page for all of them!) and today, he’s back at it again!
“How do I get Disneyland tickets cheap?” This is the most common question I get asked. But the second most common is, “Why use a travel agent?”
For most, we have all booked a plane ticket before. The mechanics of figuring out how to travel don’t seem too complicated. Many wonder why they would even need a travel agent. I thought the same thing as well once. Not too many years ago, I was planning my first Disneyland trip with my kids as a single dad. I thought for sure I could do it by myself as a former Southern Californian resident and Disneyland annual pass holder. But though I can sing you all the words to “Grim Grinning Ghosts”, that didn’t help me too much when figuring out which hotels would be right for my me and my kids. Nor did it help translate which Disney info on the internet was current and which was no longer true (or always an urban myth). And it certainly didn’t give me the power to think of the aspects of my vacation I didn’t know that I didn’t know.
So I reached out to a travel agent who specialized in Disney destinations. At first I was a bit afraid I would be wasting my time. Or that they might roll their eyes when they saw my meager budget. But what I found was a delightful experience that made my feel empowered when the vacation finally came.
Years later, after many more vacations to a bunch of different places, I became a travel agent myself. It’s great to help people to travel. Some folks know exactly what they want to do and just let me handle all the details so they don’t have to. Others know a date or a budget but need some help with the rest to figure out what vacation is perfect for them. No matter where you are starting from, here are a few reasons why you should book your next vacation with a travel agent.