Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Giveaway-Win a Special Disney Prize Pack!

I can't believe it's been just over one year since I became an independent travel agent with Magical Moments Vacations so I could specialize in Disney Destinations!  I love what I do, and to celebrate my one-year business anniversary, I'm sponsoring a special Disney prize pack giveaway to thank everyone for making this possible...and there's some really cool prizes going to the winner:

One set of Disney artwork from the 2012 Passholder calendar (includes some rare and original art from the Disney archives)
One New Fantasyland art print
One Disney Britto vinyl Mickey tote bag
One Vinylmation-D-tour King Mickey, 3"
Here's an out-of-the-box look at King Mickey-the prize though is in a sealed box

A shot of all the prizes including a Disney Parks Growth Chart
Two packs of Disney Bands Rubber-Band Style Bracelets, one Toy Story themed and one of the Fab Five

The extra-special part of the prize pack-a one-day, one-park complimentary Walt Disney World theme park ticket!  Please note, this ticket does expire 5/27/2014 and cannot be upgraded.
Want a chance to win this fantastic prize pack?  You can enter using the Rafflecopter form below (please note, it may not work with mobile devices)...and please, be sure to share this post with friends, family, anyone who loves Disney!  You can use the share buttons after the post to share on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tuesday Tip-Free Activities for Kids (and Adults!) in the Walt Disney World Theme Parks

We all know that a vacation in Walt Disney World can get a bit pricey, so it’s always great to find free things the kids can do while in the parks.  Here’s some for you to try on your next trip:

-Wilderness Explorers-Animal Kingdom-Inspired by the Wilderness Explorers in the Disney/Pixar film “Up”, this experience is included in theme park admission.  Kids can complete up to 30 different challenges to earn badges (stickers) for their “Wilderness Explorer Handbook”.  And shhh...don’t tell the kids, but they’ll get to learn too--about the animals, nature skills, folklore and more.  Kids can pick up their field guide from the “headquarters” (on the bridge between the Oasis and Discovery Island) or the Wilderness Explorer stops to begin the challenges.

-Kidcot Fun Stops-Epcot’s World Showcase-Many guests with small children tend to shy away from the World Showcase in Epcot thinking the kids will be bored.  Enter the Kidcot Fun Stops in each country where your child can get a free cardboard Duffy the Disney Bear that they can decorate with supplies available at each station.  The Cast Members at the stops will also give a stamp of Duffy in each country, as well as tell about their native land (again, shh...don’t tell the kids they’re learning on vacation!).

-Disney Phineas and Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure-Epcot’s World Showcase-This adventure lasts anywhere from 30-45 minutes.  You’ll pick up your interactive handheld device from either the Odyssey Bridge (that connects Future World to the World Showcase), Norway Pavilion, Italy Pavilion or near the International Gateway, then look for clues throughout the World Showcase so you can defeat Dr. Doofenshmirtz from carrying out his dastardly deeds.  This activity is free with your park admission as well.

-Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom-Stop by the Firehouse on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom to become an apprentice sorcerer to help fight the forces of evil. You’ll get a Sorcerer Key card and a package of Spell Cards (you can get one pack of spell cards per day, per admission ticket-for FREE!) to help you unlock Magic Portals and challenge Hades and his henchman as you complete missions in the park to thwart the evil Disney villains.  *Special note-you can sometimes score extra “special edition” spell cards-last year when I went to the Halloween Party, there was a special card given out to partygoers keep an eye out for things like this!

Free pack of spell cards
Special Edition spell card from the 2012 Halloween Party
-Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas-Magic Kingdom-This interactive quest is inspired by the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films and turns you into one of Captain Jack’s pirate recruits. There’s five different pirate treasure raids throughout sure to pick up your magic talisman at The Crow’s Nest in Adventureland so you can read the maps and help Captain Jack complete each mission.  Each of the five missions takes about 20 minutes to complete, and again-this fun adventure is included with your park admission.

Freebies on vacation are always a plus, especially when they can add so much fun to your trip!  And just between us, you don’t necessarily need to be a kid to do all of these... ;-)

Have you or your kids tried any of these free adventures while in the WDW theme parks?  What did you think?  Would you recommend them to others?  If you've done more than one, which is your favorite?

Keep an eye out--a special August giveaway will be posting very soon!  You won't want to miss this one!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Where in Walt Disney World Am I Wednesday

Another one that shouldn't be too hard.  Okay all...where can you find this awesome golf cart at Walt Disney World?

And don't forget to head on over to enter the $100 Disney Gift Card giveaway that I'm co-sponsoring!  Liking my business page, Magical Moments Vacations by Carra Saigh, is worth two entries!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tuesday Tip-Best places to rest your feet in the Walt Disney World Theme Parks

While I know you want to get the most out of your Walt Disney World vacation after all the time and money you've spent, sometimes you just need to crash for a little bit while in the parks-if only to rest your tired little feet for just a few minutes.  So for this week's Tuesday tip, here's my favorite ways to  get off your feet for a bit (and maybe even catch forty winks while you're at it!):

Magic Kingdom
-Want to relax for more than just one trip around Tomorrowland on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority (the Peoplemover)?  If there is not a huge line of guests waiting to board when you get back to the station, ask the cast member at the exit station if you can remain on... but DO NOT get out of the car until you ask. Once you exit the car, you’ll have to exit the attraction and then go thru the entrance again to get back on.  Usually if it’s not too busy, when you ask they’ll shut the door of your car and you can go back around again.
-The Hall of Presidents (Liberty Square)-sit in an air conditioned theater for this approximately 23 minute animatronic show to give yourself a nice, cool break in your day
-Carousel of Progress (Tomorrowland)-another animatronic theater, also air-conditioned with a show just over 20 minutes long
-Walt Disney Railroad (stations on Main Street, USA; Frontierland; New Fantasyland)-take a 20 minute round-trip journey around the entire Magic Kingdom park...also a great way to get from one area of the park to another without a lot of walking.

-Ellen's Energy Adventure (Future World)-hands down the longest attraction at the Walt Disney World theme parks at 45 minutes...and also a great way to escape an afternoon downpour.  Not so good for napping though-the movie portions can get quite loud.
-Circle of Life (Future World, The Land pavilion)-just under 20 minutes long, air-conditioned theater
-Impressions de France (World Showcase, France pavilion)-18 minute movie in a huge air-conditioned theater...DH and I stop here almost every trip-fantastic music as well!
-American Adventure (World Showcase, America pavilion)-just over 28 minutes, animatronic show in yes--another air-conditioned theater

Disney's Hollywood Studios
-Indiana Jones' Epic Stunt Show Spectacular (30 minutes)-outdoor theater, no air-conditioning
-Lights, Motor, Action! Extreme Stunt Show (35 minutes)-outdoor theater, no air-conditioning
-Great Movie Ride (just over 18 minutes)-indoors, air-conditioned with live action and animatronics
-Muppet Vision 3-D (just over 17 minutes)-indoor theater, air-conditioned 3-D short movie (one of my favorites, it's just so cute!)

Animal Kingdom
-Festival of the Lion King (live stage show)-30 minutes-indoor, air-conditioned theater
-Finding Nemo-The Musical (live stage show)-30 minutes-indoor, air-conditioned theater
-Flights of Wonder-outdoor show with live birds, not air-conditioned-25 minutes

Which is your favorite way to take a load off while storming the parks?

Don't forget to head over to enter the $100 Disney Gift Card giveaway I'm co-sponsoring!  If you're a fan of my independent travel agent page Magical Moments Vacations by Carra Saigh, you can get two entries in the giveaway!

Monday, August 12, 2013

$100 Disney Gift Card Giveaway! And another giveaway to come this month!

Yup, you read that title right!  My Facebook business page (Magical Moments Vacations by Carra Saigh) along with several other Disney-themed pages is co-sponsoring a $100 Disney Gift Card giveaway!  There's several entry options available on the Rafflecopter entry form, the more options you complete the better your chances of winning are.  And let's face it-with the cost of a Disney vacation being what it is, who wouldn't want an extra $100 to help out?

In addition to the gift card giveaway, in celebration of my one-year anniversary as an independent travel agent specializing in Disney Destinations I'm going to expand my August Vinylmation giveaway that I'll be posting next week to include extra prizes.  I've got some fun stuff rounded up, so stay tuned for more info next week!

Speaking of giveaways, congratulations to Nicole M on winning my July Vinylmation giveaway of the Toy Story Buzz and Woody pair!  I've confirmed with her and Buzz and Woody are taking flight on their way to her :-)

So, stop on by to enter the $100 Disney Gift Card giveaway (be sure to show some love for all of the sponsoring pages!) and keep an eye out here for my August giveaway coming next week.

What would you do with the $100 Disney Gift Card if you are the winner?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

An Alternative Activity Idea for Your Walt Disney World Vacation

When you think of a Walt Disney World vacation, what comes to mind?  Theme parks?  Of course!  Water parks, character dining, Downtown Disney?  Sure thing!  Drinking or Desserts Around the World?  Most definitely!  Volunteering at a sports event?  That's right!  Wait, what?

What do I mean,'re on vacation to relax and have fun, right?  What's this volunteering thing have to do with that?

The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World plays hosts to lots of sporting events, from the hugely popular runDisney endurance races like the Disney Marathon to track & field, soccer, Special Olympics and even field hockey events.  And the one thing all these events have in common is the need for hundreds of volunteers to help out so all the games, races and other activities can occur without a hitch.  Sure, there's lots of locals that like to volunteer for these events, but there's always plenty of room for visitors as well.
My sister-in-law and I volunteering at the bag check station for last January's 5K
My personal experience volunteering while at WDW is during the various runDisney race events.  There's lots of positions available, like packet pickup (where runners pick up their race number, shirt and goody bag), water stops along the race course, bag check and the finish line (make a runner's day by draping a finisher's medal around their neck!).  They even have spots available for those that are certified/licensed in different medical areas for the medical tents.  I've tried a little of everything and I'll tell you, it's not hard and doesn't even need to take a lot of your time.  For the races, shifts are usually anywhere from 5-7 hours depending on the type of event and what you'll be doing.
Here I am volunteering at the Expedition Everest Challenge Family Edition event-I helped set up the medal racks, then worked the food table handing out snacks for participants once they finished the race
Think this sounds interesting but don't want to spend your time without getting something in return?  Depending on the event, you'll normally receive a shirt or jacket that you get to keep, a snack box for your shift (usually a sandwich, chips or fruit-sometimes both, maybe a bag of nuts or trail mix plus bottled water), plus as you work, the hours you put in accumulate and once you hit 16 hours, Disney Sports will mail you a one-day, one-park ticket good at any of the four WDW theme parks.  The ticket usually expires a year from it's issue date.  If you are volunteering at one of the longer endurance races like a half marathon or the marathon and work a shift on race day, you'll actually get a free one-day one-park ticket just for working that shift!
Wouldn't you love to get a free park ticket just for volunteering your time?
But more importantly, you'll have a feeling of accomplishment, and of giving back to the community by helping others.  Plus, you're going to have fun.  You can cheer on participants, help encourage them while they compete, and be there to witness their emotional and physical triumphs on the course or field.

My friends on the Running of the Ears website/forum (a group of really fun people who like to run Disney races and support each other while doing so) know I love to head to WDW for their races, but you know--I'm actually getting more addicted to volunteering while I'm there!  Want to check out the volunteer opportunities?  Click here to see the Disney Sports Volunteer page for a listing of events and to register.  But be sure to keep checking back on their page-many events will fill up fast, some even on the day they open for registration!  It is possible to get put on a wait list if you don't get in, and quite often those on the wait list are needed to fill in last minute spots, call-outs and no-shows.  Be aware though, there is a minimum age to volunteer...and you can't bring younger children along with you.  The youngest age I've seen is 12 to be able to volunteer.

So if you're looking for a different kind of experience while at Walt Disney World, be sure to check out the volunteer opportunities with Disney Sports to see if there are any events going on while you're'll be glad you did!

Have you ever volunteered at an event while at WDW?  How was your experience?

**Feedback requested-I'm an Annual Passholder, so since I don't need the park ticket for myself, I'm thinking of making part of the August giveaway.  So what do you think, would you want to win a one-day, one-park ticket?  It is not upgradable since it is a comp ticket.  I'll be announcing the August giveaway within the next week, so any feedback would be appreciated!**

Where in Walt Disney World Am I Wednesday-Flying Balloons

Okay, since the last couple seemed to be a bit tough, here's an easy one...where in Walt Disney World am I?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tuesday Tip-Saving Money at Places Off Walt Disney World Property

Many of you either drive your own car or fly in and get a rental car while staying at Walt Disney World.  This puts you in the position of being able to head off property to check out the surrounding areas.  Want to add some fun extras to your trip?  There are plenty of attractions and restaurants off Disney property that are really great and certainly worth a visit (though I certainly understand staying in that Disney "bubble" to keep the magic going).

Here's a money-saving tip to help you enjoy the rest of the Orlando area: check out all those "coupon" type sites. will often have area restaurants and/or attractions listed where you can snag attraction tickets or meals for up to half off or even more.  Recently the Pirates Dinner Adventure and Old Town have both posted deals on Groupon.  Living Social is another great site to look for local Orlando area deals-this year they've had deals on tickets for Medieval Times (who doesn't like to watch a good joust with their meal?) and even for Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba at Downtown Disney.  One cool thing about Living Social is that you can usually share the deal you buy with others, and if at least three others purchase the deal from your link, your deal is free.

Another favorite is where you can purchase restaurant gift certificates for a fraction of their dollar value, like a $10 certificate for $4 or a $25 one for $10...and even if you don't want to go off property, you'll sometimes see certificates for Crossroads at House of Blues in Downtown Disney (usually a $50 certificate for around $20) or the restaurants in the hotels on Hotel Plaza Blvd near Downtown Disney.  And almost always has a discount code out-anywhere from about 30 all the way up to 90% off-to sweeten the deal even more (yes, you read that right-up to 90% off!).

Be sure to check the fine print to see if there are any date restrictions or spending requirements--for example, the House of Blues $50 restaurant certificate usually says you need to spend at least $100, not including alcoholic beverages or tax/tip...but still, if that $50 certificate only costs you $20, you're still saving $30 on that meal (and a great meal at that).  Want to save even more?  If you're a My Coke Rewards member, you can redeem your points for certificates.  Right now, a $50 certificate costs 600 My Coke Rewards points...and that just saved you another $20.

So if you have the ability to head off property, be sure to check out the major deal sites for specials like these to add a little extra fun to your trip.  Even if you're not able to head off property, you may be able to score a great deal on La Nouba or a meal at the House of Blues for an amazing price.

Have you ever used a deal site for specials for your vacation at WDW?  What did you think?  I personally have done many certificates (including House of Blues) and it's always worked out great!
Staying within the "Disney bubble" is always fantastic-but don't overlook the fun deals available off property!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Walt Disney World-Fall Free Dining and Fall Room-Only Discounts Now Available!

You heard that right, the Fall promotions have now been released!  Here's the sure to contact me if you'd like a free quote or to book your trip.  You can fill out the quote form on my website, contact me on Facebook (be sure to "like" my page while you're there!) or use the contact me tab at the top of the page here.

Fall Free Dining has been released at Walt Disney World:

Get a free dining plan when you purchase a non-discounted 6-night/7-day Magic Your Way package (includes room and theme park tickets) at select Disney Resort hotels. This offer can be booked through September 15, 2013 and is valid for arrivals most nights:

September 29 to October 2, 2013
October 18 to November 2, 2013
November 11 to November 23, 2013
December 12 to December 22, 2013

The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Tickets are valid for one theme park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use.

Offer excludes:

3-Bedroom Villas
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Don't need a dining plan while at WDW? Fall room-only discounts have been released too!

Save up to 30% on stays at select Disney Resort hotels, valid for stays most nights:
Sept 29 thru Nov 9, 2013—book by Sept 15, 2013
Nov 10 thru Nov 22, 2013* and Nov 30 through Dec 23, 2013—book by Nov 3, 2013
* In addition to the dates above, this offer is also valid for stays Nov 23 to Nov 25, 2013 at Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts.
** Offer valid at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – Family Suites for stays the following nights: Sept 29 to Oct 5, 2013, Oct 20 to Nov 2, 2013, Nov 10 to Nov 22, 2013 and Dec 15 to Dec 23, 2013.

Value Resorts-save 15%
Moderate Resorts-save 20%
Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts-save 30%

Note: Additional per adult charges may apply if more than 2 adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. No group rates or other discounts apply. Advance reservations required. Moderate and Deluxe Resort suites may be available at a lower discount; please call for information. Offer excludes campsites, 3-bedroom villas and The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

Will you be taking advantage of free dining this Fall?