Characters at Disney’s Two Water Parks

Yes, even the water parks have characters, slip your autograph books in a ziplock bag and meet your favorite characters, decked out in tropical attire. Breakfast at the the Beach Club the day you choose to go to a water park, to fully get in the sun-bathing spirit. At the breakfast, Minnie and friends are dressed in beach attire for breakfast. Another tropical/paradise-esque option is Ohana’s Hawaiian fest, or the Spirit of Aloha luau, also at the Polynesian Resort.

Meet Goofy at the Blizzard Beach Water Park at Sonny’s Sleds by the entrance, which is the primary photo opportunity for this park.

Lilo and Stitch at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park outside High N’ Dry Rentals.

Magic Kingdom Characters

Magic Kingdom is where all the storybook magic unfolds. Due to popularity, most characters exchange in and out specific locations. FastPass+ options as well as Photo Pass opportunities to capture the precious moments.

The princesses usually work 40-45 minutes at a time, then take a 15 minute intermission. If you stay in line, you will not lose your place and you should have decent placing when the princess returns from her beauty nap.

  Try to arrive at least five minutes prior to the beginning of the scheduled meet-and-greet time as the line may close to new guests as they get close to the scheduled ending time.

Even though Magic Kingdom offers some great characters meals like Cinderella’s Royal Table (inside Cinderella’s castle), Be Our Guest (Belle’s Castle) and Crystal Palace (Winnie the Pooh), most of the character meet-n-greets take place at specially-themed booths, such as Ariel’s Grotto or Merida as a Warrior at her booth.

BELOW ARE THE USUAL CHARACTERS FOR SPECIFIC CHARACTERS:

Aladdin and Princess Jasmine

  • 9:30 AM  to 5:10 PM
  • Adventureland (by Magic Carpet ride)
  • Signs autographs

Alice and occasionally the Mad Hatter

  • 9:20 AM  to  11:40 AM
  • Fantasyland (near Mad Tea Party aka teacups)
  • Signs autographs

Anastasia & Drizella (Evil Step Sisters) | Lady Tremaine (Evil Stepmother) | Fairy Godmother

  • Evil Step Sisters and Lady Tremaine alternate with the Fairy Godmother throughout the morning and afternoon.
  • They are currently at the New Fanstyland wall
  • You can also ask a Cast Member when you arrive to call the Character Hotline to inquire if the Cinderalla characters are greeting guests that day
  • Signs autographs

Ariel at Her Grotto 

  • 9:00 AM  to  8:30 PM
  • New Fantasyland (next to Under the Sea- Journey of a Little Mermaid
  • Signs autographs
  • FP+ available

Belle

  • 9:00 AM  to  8:00 PM
  • New Fantasyland, right next door to Be Our Guest restaurant
  • Does not sign autographs- she signed her autograph on the bookmark you receive as well as the PhotoPass card
  • FP+ available

Buzz Light Year

  • 10:00 AM  to 4:45 PM
  • Tomorrowland –Star Command Headquarters ( next to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin)
  • Does not sign autographs, usually gives a stamp

Cinderella and Elena of Avalor

  • 9:00 AM  to  8:30 PM
  • Fantasyland –Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Signs autographs
  • FP+ available – only place you can meet Elena

Daisy Duck

  • 10 AM to 7:30 PM
  • New Fantasyland –Pete’s Silly Side Show in Storybook Circus
  • Signs autographs

Donald Duck

  • 10 AM to 7:30 PM
  • New Fantasyland- Pete’s Silly Side Show in Storybook Circus
  • Signs autographs

Gaston

  • 10:00 AM  to  4:30 PM
  • Fantasyland (outside of Gaston’s Tavern)
  • Signs autographs

Goofy (The Great Goofini)

  • 10:00 AM  to  7:30 PM
  • New Fantastyland– Pete’s Silly Side Show in Storybook Circus
  • Signs autographs

Merida

  • 9:15 AM  to  6:15 PM
  • Fantasyland – Fairytale Gardens, which is in front of Cinderella Castle on the Tomorrowland side
  • Signs autographs

Mickey & Minnie’s Suprise Celebration ( NEW)

  • 9:00 AM  to  8:30 PM 
  • Main Street USA- Town Square Theater
  • Signs autographs and you’ll be able to sign their celebration guestbook
  • FP+ available

Mickey and Minnie’s Surprise Celebration Characters

Surprise characters will greet guests at the flagpole on Main Street USA until September 30th, 2019, from around 11:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

List of possible surprise characters (changes daily):

  • Chicken Little and Abby Mallard
  • Gideon and Foulfellow
  • Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde
  • Phineas and Ferb
  • Prince John and Friar Tuck
  • Robin Hood and Little John
  • Remy and Emile

Peter Pan and Wendy

  • 1:00 PM  to  4:30 PM 
  • Fantasyland (near Peter’s Pan Flight)
  • Signs autographs

Pluto

  • 10 AM to 7:30 PM
  • New Fantasyland – Pete’s Silly Side Show in Storybook Circus
  • Signs autographs

Rapunzel and Tiana

  • 9:00 AM  to  8:30 PM
  • Fantasyland – Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Signs autographs
  • FB+ available, only place you can meet Tiana

Tinkerbell

  • 9:00 AM  to  8:30 PM
  • Main Street USA– Town Square Theater
  • Signs autographs
  • FP+ available

Winnie the Pooh and Tigger

  • 10:45 AM  to  7:00 PM
  • Fantasyland – The Thotful Spot (near the Winnie the Pooh ride)
  • Signs autographs

Hollywood Studio Characters

Hollywood Studios is where movie magic comes to life! Whether you seek rockin’ adventures, playful stage performances, intergalactic fantasy or fascinating film history, you’ll find it all– and more.

Disney does not have a permanent location for meeting Toy Story characters; however, you can catch them around Toy Story Land.

Due to popularity, most mascot characters exchange in and out specific locations. FastPass+ options as well as Photo Pass opportunities to capture the precious moments.

  Try to arrive at least five minutes prior to the beginning of the scheduled meet-and-greet time as the line may close to new guests as they get close to the scheduled ending time.

BELOW ARE THE USUAL CHARACTERS FOR SPECIFIC CHARACTERS:

BB-8

  • 9:00 AM  to  8:00 PM
  • Animation Courtyard– Star Wars Launch Bay
  • No autographs

Buzz Lightyear

  • 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM
  • Toy Story Land (by sign)
  • No autographs


Chewbacca

  • 9:00 AM  to  8:00 PM
  • Animation Courtyard – Star Wars Launch Bay
  • No autographs

Doc McStuffins

  • 9:30 AM  to  6:30 PM
  • Animation Courtyard (next to Disney Jr. Live stage)
  • Signs autographs

Green Army Men

  • Sporadically throughout the day they are found marching around Toy Story Land. If you’re lucky, you can catch them as they play the drums or even get to bounce a ball with them.
  • No autographs, but they might stop for a pic.

Kylo Ren

  • 9:00 AM  to  8:00 PM
  • Animation Courtyard – Star Wars Launch Bay
  • No autographs

Mike & Sully (BRAND NEW) 

  • 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Animation Courtyard– Walt Disney Presents
  • No autographs


Mickey Mouse (Sorcerer)

  • 9:00 AM  to  8:00 PM
  • Commissary Lane- Red Carpet Dreams
  • Signs autographs

Minnie Mouse

  • 9:00 to 8:00 PM
  • Commissary Lane–Red Carpet Dreams
  • Signs autographs


Olaf

  • 9:00 AM  to  8:00 PM
  • Echo Lake– Celebrity Spotlight (next to Frozen Sing-Along Celebration)
  • Draws a snowman as an autograph

Sofia the First

  • 9:30 am to 6:30 pm
  • Animation Courtyard (next to Disney Jr. Live stage)
  • Signs autographs

Vampirina

  • 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM
  • Animation Courtyard (next to the Disney Jr. Live stage)
  • Signs autographs

Woody and Jessie

  • 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM
  • Toy Story Land (by Toy Story Mania)
  • Signs autographs

Epcot Characters

Epcot is twice the size of Magic Kingdom park—and is divided into Future World and World Showcase. Here, creativity is encouraged, imagination is celebrated and countries are united. Be amazed, inspired, and entertained!

Due to popularity, most mascot characters exchange in and out specific locations. FastPass+ options as well as Photo Pass opportunities to capture the precious moments.

  Try to arrive at least five minutes prior to the beginning of the scheduled meet-and-greet time as the line may close to new guests as they get close to the scheduled ending time.

The princesses usually work 40-45 minutes at a time, then take a 15 minute intermission. If you stay in line, you will not lose your place and you should have decent placing when the princess returns from her beauty nap.

BELOW ARE THE USUAL CHARACTERS FOR SPECIFIC CHARACTERS:

Disney Visa Character Experience

Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, or Goofy, in traditional attire. Complimentary downloads of photos- guests must present a valid Disney Visa credit card at entry.

  • 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
  • Future World- Journey Into Imagination with Figment (left side of Disney & Pixar’s Short Film Festival
  • Signs autographs

Alice

  • 11:30 AM to 5:30 PM
  • World Showcase – United Kingdom Pavillion (near The Tea Caddy)
  • Signs autographs

Anna & Elsa

  • 9:00 AM to 9 PM
  • World Showcase –Norway Pavillion–Royal Sommerhus (near Frozen Ever After ride)
  • Signs autographs

Norway Vikings

  • 12:05 PM 
  • 12:55 PM 
  • 1:45 PM 
  • 3:15 PM 
  • 4:05 PM 
  • 4:55 PM
  • World Showcase– Norway Pavillion–God’s of Vikings exhibit
  • Signs autographs

Baymax

  • 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Future World- Innovation West – Hiro’s Workshop (across from Epcot’s character spot)
  • Does not sign autographs

Belle

  • 11:00 AM to 4:50 PM
  • World Showcase- France Pavillion–lagoon side
  • Signs autographs

Daisy Duck

  • 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM
  • 3:10 PM to 6:30 PM
  • Gateway to World Showcase- take a left towards Mexico Pavilion and she has her own gazebo. 
  • Signs autographs

Donald Duck

  • 12: 00 PM to 3:00 PM
  • 4:10 PM to 7:00 PM
  • World Showcase- Mexico Pavillion (side of the Aztec phyrmaid )

Jasmine

  • 11:45 AM to 5:35 PM
  • World Showcase- Morocco Pavillion (near Restuarent Marrakesh)
  • Signs autographs

Joy and Saddness

  • 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Future World– Innovations West (across from Epcot’s Character Spot, on the same side of Baymax, but separate queue line
  • Signs autographs

Mickey & Minnie Mouse – and Goofy

  • 9:00 AM  to  9:00 PM
  • Future World- Innovention West
  • Signs autographs
  • FP+ available

Mulan

  • 11:00 AM to 5:30 PM
  • World Showcase-–China Pavilion (near Temple)
  • Signs autographs

Pluto

  • 1:35 PM to 3:55 PM
  • World Showcase– Legacy Plaza West– Friendship Ambassador Gazebo
  • Signs autographs

Ralph and Vanellope

  • 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM (Ralph intermittently appears)
  • Future World– Innovations West (across from Land Pavilion)
  • Vanellope signs autographs. Ralph can’t because he will wreck the pen.

Snow White

  • 3:00 PM to 6:20 PM
  • World Showcase– Germany Pavilion
  • Signs autographs

The Two of You: A Single Parent’s Perspective

As a single parent, you can sometimes feel like certain things are out of your reach, such as affording that extravagant present for your child at Christmastime or planning a Disney vacation. 

I am here to tell you that a Disney vacation is possible, even if you are a single parent. Having never been to Disney World myself, I assumed I could not afford a vacation for me and my five-year-old daughter. Luckily, I had a good friend who was a Disney travel agent who gave me a quote. I was pleasantly surprised at the cost. We decided to book our trip to Florida and see one park per day for three days right before she entered kindergarten.

After I got over the imagined cost hurdle, I then began to worry about our safety. I had family members tell me that it wasn’t a good idea to travel by ourselves. (We had traveled by ourselves before, but not out of our home state.) I had good friends who are Disney regulars tell me that I would probably lose my daughter at some point in the parks. Say what?! I went into full panic mode. They advised me to make identification cards with my name and cell phone number on them in case my daughter got lost so she would have something to give to a Disney employee. With trepidation, I made the cards and explained to my daughter how to use them if she got lost.

Luckily for us, we did not have to use the identification cards. Even though I get motion sickness easily, I made sure to go onevery ride with my daughter so we would always be together, which I believe reduced the risk of her getting lost.

The highlight of our trip was Toy Story World at Hollywood Studios. It had just opened, so we were very excited to see Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and the gang. It did not disappoint! We had Fast Passes for the Slinky Dog ride and got seated at his tail. It was a bit thrilling for a kid’s roller coaster.

We also had a great experience with our hotel, The All-Star Movies Resort. The shuttle service was timely, consistent, and convenient. The food was better than expected. And there were fun activities to do when we weren’t visiting the parks. We spent a lot of time at the swimming pools and watched movies outside.My daughter was even content watching Vampirina on repeat in our hotel room. I ordered room service one night and was very pleased with the quality and value of the food.

I don’t ever want my daughter to feel like she is missing out on anything because of her single parent status. I want her to have an even better childhood than I did. Going to Disney World by ourselves has given me the confidence to plan future vacations and has silenced the inner voice that used to tell me: “Am I doing enough? Can I handle this?” I am enough, and I can handle this. And you can, too.

Article submitted by Lisa Campos

Frozen Ever After Dessert Party

On July 14th 2017, Disney opened the doors to its new fireworks watching party at Epcot. Frozen Ever After, Disney’s new spin on one of its more popular attractions, gives attendants an up-close space to watch Epcot’s nightly fireworks show, and treats attendants to unlimited desserts and speciality cocktails. 

On our most recent trip to Disney World, our family attended the party during its opening week.  After eating dinner at the Germany pavilion, we headed to the World Showcase Plaza.

At the party, Disney chefs deliver countless pastries and desserts. Parents can also order a cocktail to enjoy during the show.  

Avoid the crowds and watch the fireworks from the party’s own exclusive viewing area, separate from the park’s general admissions crowds.  Partygoers are given 3D glasses, which add snowflakes to the fireworks show. 

After the show, partygoers enjoy a private ride on Epcot’s Frozen Ever After ride.  Save your family’s FastPasses for the other  Tier 1 Epcot rides.  

The party is offered on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Admission is $79 per adult (ages 10 and up) and $47 per child (ages 3 to 9).  Admission to Epcot is required. 

Book What You Can Afford

Many people book vacations that exceed their budgets, or hope that a promotion will come out between the time of booking and the vacation that makes the vacation fit within their budget.

You need to also consider whether your budget includes transportation, hotel, park tickets, and food. This ultimately will determine what resort level you should be looking at.

Of course, promotions are not guaranteed, so it’s better to know you can afford the vacation without the promotion first. In addition to the popular vacation times, Disney is opening new attractions constantly, and often has special events like the Disney marathon. In other words, it’s hard to tell when a promotion will be applicable, other than when Disney looks to be slower/have a lower demand.

The best way to budget your vacation is by seeing the grand total and dividing up to how many months you have to pay off your vacation. Disney releases their availability in June to book for the following year, allowing you to have 499 days to pay off your vacation.

If you have a $4,000 (most common) budget and you book in June for the following November, you have more time to pay off your vacation. If you book your vacation 13 (most common) months out, you will have around $333 to pay each month. This is the best way to keep up with payments so it is not an overwhelming big lump sum 30 days before.

The following are examples are for families of 4 – the average 6 night stay (rack room rate) which includes: resort, park tickets, & food expenses/ dining plans for Disney resort guests and are only general guidelines.

If your budget is less than $3,000, look at off-site like Holiday Inn Express & Embassy Suites (free breakfast!) in Kissimmee area, or notable condominiums in the area like the Grove. Or by staying on-site renting a tent at the campsites at Fort Wilderness.

If your budget is $4,000 or less look at the value resorts: Disney’s All Star Sports, Movies & Music, Little Mermaid rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation, or Disney’s Pop Century. You may also consider an upgrade from a standard room to a preferred room, and be closer to the food court and bus line. This usually runs about $150/night more.

If your budget is $5,000 or less budget than you can start looking into moderate resorts: Disney’s Caribbean Beach, Disney’s Coronado Springs, Disney’s Port Orleans sister resorts French Quarter and Riverside or Fort Wilderness cabins.

If your budget is $6,000 or more than you can start looking into the deluxe resorts with bus and/or boat transportation: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney’s Beach Club or sister resort Yacht Club, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Disney’s (DVC) Old Key West and/or Saratoga Springs, or Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

If your budget is $7,000 or more than you can start looking into the deluxe resorts, on the monorail line: Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian, or Disney’s Polynesian resort.

If your budget is 10,000 or more you can start looking into the deluxe villas: 2 or more bedroom villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian, Disney’s Cooper Creek cabins, or Polynesian’s bungalows.

If you have a big family you will need to figure it’s basically an additional $1,000 per person. The All- Star Music or Art of Animation family suites can accommodate large families nicely.

The average DisneyWorld stay is 6 nights, 7 days, 5 days of Disney base tickets, and dining. The nice thing about the dining plans is that you don’t need to consider food.

If you do not stay on-site, you need to budget $20-40 a day to park at the parks or if you are driving to the resorts, you need to add the following resort parking fees.

Values: $13/day

Moderates: $19/day

Deluxe: $24/day

If you have the money upfront, without needing a payment plan, than renting points from Disney Vacation Club owners can get your family in a Deluxe Resort for the price of a Moderate, and you can add dining and ticket Plans. This usually must be done 11 months before the vacation because the resorts/rooms fill up quickly.

Kissimmee has a lot of budget hotels, some at which you can stay for less than $50 a night but splurging on the hotel can really enhance your experience, particularly given the amount or percentage for which it constitutes in the overall budget.

If you do get a budget resort make sure it’s a name brand hotel and check Google/Yelp/Travel Advisor reviews. Generally speaking, the best option, if you are looking for the same benefits as an on property Disney guest, is the Disney Good Neighbor hotels–e.g., Holiday Inn, Double Tree, etc. and it usually is the price point between a value and a moderate. Generally, they also offer more updated rooms than Values and are located next to Disney Springs,

If you’d like to stay at a Deluxe Resort level [with a more moderate price ] the Dolphin and Swan are close by, and on the Disney bus routes, as well.

Book what you can afford by the rack room rate, not by future promotions, or, at the least, wait to book after a promotion comes out to see if you can in fact afford. The last thing you want is to be stuck where you did not qualify for a promotion and there is no option to downgrade.

Should You Become a Disney Travel Agent?

Although I have worked for a travel agency, I am no longer affiliated with one, so I’m not here to recruit you; I’m just here to give you insight on what it’s like to become a travel agent/vacation planner.

As a Disney Travel Agent, you are not employed by Disney nor can you call yourself that. You are employed by a host agency that is an authorized Disney vacation planner/agency [ you are only a travel agent that specializes in Disney]. With most agencies, you are an independent contractor. This means an agent’s source of income is commission from their client’s travel. The agent will not be paid until the client’s travel vacation has been completed.

The split between agency and agent varies by company. Further, some companies charge yearly and/or monthly dues that include your errors and omission insurance, branding and administrative fees. Some agencies will
require you to pay for their training programs and for their resources/selling methods.

Most agencies further require you to bring in quarterly quotas to remain employed. Some agents make enough to cover a basic Disney Trip, while others make hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Truly think about the people you know that go to Disney, the type of Disney vacations they take (resort, 3+ days, dining plan, etc.), and whether it is worth it for you. Anywhere you are exposed to people that spend a significant amount of money on Disney or other vacations, this is an opportunity to make a substantial amount of side money if your market is not already oversaturated with agents/planners.

I would not advise people to quit their day job to pursue this career full time until they have seen 2-3 years of stable clients and income. Most agencies start agents with a 60/40 cut of the commission (which is 10% of the total trip). This means the agency gets 40% or 4% of the trip total and the agent get 60% or 6% of the trip total. For example if you book a $4,000 trip, your initial cut will be $240, while the agency will take $160.

Other out-of-pocket expenses to consider: most travel agents send thank you gifts ranging from autograph books to gift baskets to onboard credits at your discretion.

Most agencies require you to sell $50,000 (varies) before you can qualify for any travel agent discounts, and the inventory for discounts is limited. In most cases, you are better booking the trip through your agency and collecting your cut of the commission– and your trip goes towards your sales.

While most agencies will provide with training, and give you the use of their logo and certain resources, most do not provide leads; therefore, be prepared for cold-calling type self promotions.

Certain times of year have more bookings than others, especially the months from January until March is known as “Wave Season”. For example, Release Day and Promotional releases give agents a great boost, while other times an agent may go an entire month without booking a trip.

An agent must be prepared to always be on call for their clients, especially when they are traveling. If something goes wrong, the agent needs to fix it. It does not matter what is happening otherwise, the client must come first at that moment. And you really are on call for your clients, especially when they are traveling.

I loved being a travel agent specializing in Disney, but it did take several months before I even had my first booking. This is to be expected, and the later months provided much more income. However, by then it had become a full time job for only several clients; only you will know if you can book the type of trips that will make it worth it.

Should I Use a Disney Travel Agent?

Because I am no longer booking Disney vacations, I am can offer more real insight than many others blogs.

Booking any vacation, but particularly a Disney vacation, is often overwhelming, for both the first-timers and the seasoned-professionals.

To really stay on top on the new attractions, upgrades, etc, you would need to star your favorite blogger page, preferably mine, Or you can book your vacation with a travel agent, who specializes in Disney, and they will keep you in the loop. Getting Disney tips is easy–with blogs such as this, and several others–in addition to the many veterans.

Booking either directly online or through an app, or through a travel agent are all easy enough. However, by booking through a travel agent you are not charged a dollar more but receive the benefit of having them do much of the legwork for you. If you don’t have the time, it is certainly worth it. They should take care of your Fast Passes+, restaurant/character dining reservations, and more, in addition to what should already be their Disney-planning knowledge.

The two larger benefits in using a Disney agent are the dining and Fast Pass+ reservations, because at 180 days out they should be up at 6 am to secure your dining, and and again at 7 to get your top priority attractions. For many people, this alone makes it worth it.

Some people enjoy planning, and you can certainly request that your agent does not make your reservations.

There is one downfall to using an agent, which is when a big, rare promotion is released. If you are just as on top of the promotions/releases as an agent can be, it is ultimately quicker for you to modify the promotion yourself. While the travel agents have their own phone line, the agents (because they are some of the first to know about the promotions) are often immediately trying to book and/ or modify the promotions for their clients, but because there are so many agents calling at once, there are longer phone line holds. While an agent may spend hours on the phone, a direct call to Disney may only take a few minutes. They Disney Travel Agent phone line is different than the standard consumer/retail line, and surprisingly the travel agents will crash the system during a big promotion, meaning very long hold times and slow-moving Disney agent computer services.

Your travel agent is working effortlessly to save you money even if it means reducing their commission. This applies only to Walt Disney World, as DisneyLand, Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney have different promotional structures.

You can not modify your reservation, only your agent can. You can rebook on your own, if you are able to snag a better deal, cancel your existing reservation/itinerary, but know it can take up to 10 days to see a refund. You can then transfer your reservation over to an agent that previously helped you.

I strongly encourage that you ultimately transfer your reservation to an agent, because you pay $0 dollars more for their services, and this is the only way that they are paid. Vacations can be transferred up to 30 days of booking.

Also most agents, as a thanks for booking with them, will give you goodies as such as gift baskets at check-in, or on-board credits for the Cruise Line, so there is a perk for going with a small business instead of booking directly. You not only get their time and direct number instead of a 1-800 line but you are genuinely appreciated and get more than just the standard welcome button.

Most agents will help you with every component of your trip (tickets, resort and dining) you bought through them, because that’s what they are getting paid for. You can turn to our blog to learn how to handle the “unhandled” areas.

Travel agents really do a lot to make your vacation magical. I just wanted to point out the benefits and disadvantages that can and do arise when booking with an agency. Also check to see what level of earmarker the travel agency is, as you want a gold or platinum level producer that has planned hundreds of vacations to give you more expertise.

When you book with a travel agent their commission is already built into the overall price, even if you opt out of their planning services, so why not give a small business a try?

A View Points on the Resorts

Currently, Animal Kingdom is being pushed heavily–which is nice with the opening of Pandora. It is really the only Deluxe resort being heavily pushed/promoted by Disney currently.

The Art of Animation and Pop Century resorts are right next door to each other and close by ESPN Wide World of Sports and have just been updated, so those, as Values, are likely to be pushed (especially for the cheerleading competition in February).

From the 3 Boardwalk hotels (Beach Club, Yacht Club and Boardwalk) are all convenient to walk to Epcot or short boat ride away to Hollywood Studios. Beach and Yacht Club share a beach area and a sand-bottomed pool that appeal to all ages.

The Magic Kingdom resorts (Contemporary, Grand Floridian and Polynesian) are generally full, due to the convenience of the monorail. Copper Creek Villas/Wilderness Lodge/ Fort Wilderness is also considered in the Magic Kingdom area, and they are short boat ride away. Rv spots fill up fast.