Disney World, Planning, Universal Studios

What Can You Do For Spring Break?

Spring Break is just around the corner and brings a lot of planning questions to my friends and clients. Shameless plug… Contact me today to help you plan your trip. Now more than ever, things are constantly changing and it is extremely helpful to have someone staying on top of everything best I can. The vendors I book your trip with (i.e. Disney, Sandals, Universal, etc) pay me a small commission, so there are no additional fees for you for me to plan your trip vs booking directly through them, but you get my personalized service.

The number one question being asked: Where can I go and not have to get a COVID test?

This had a lot more answers 24 hours ago, but with the new CDC order taking effect January 26, 2021 your options are limited to domestic travel unless everyone traveling has had and recovered from COVID less than 3 months prior to your return from international travel. Of course some states are requiring and have been requiring you to get tested if you leave the state, but for states like Georgia, you can currently travel domestically without needing to be tested.

This brings us back to the answer. There are several great options for your Spring Break 2021 travel.

1. Disney World

Disney World has been on top of their COVID-19 safety procedures and protocols. Since their reopening in July 2020, Disney World has required masks for all guests and Cast Members. They have increased their ride cleaning protocols and clean the high touch areas more frequently. While traditional parades and fireworks have not been reintroduced yet, the magic is still there with sporadic character cavalcades and character sightings. Disney World is also promoting an AMAZING ticket deal right now for guests that stay on property. You can get a 5-day ticket for the price of a 3-day ticket with a 4 night stay or longer. This is a wonderful way to see all 4 parks and have even more time to take in the magic.

2. Universal Studios Orlando

Universal Studios Orlando is known most for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If you are a Harry Potter fan in the slightest, this is worth visiting. Universal is also requiring masks of all their guests with increased cleaning procedures as well. Universal guests staying at Premier Resorts will also receive the Unlimited Express Pass as a resort perk. This is a fabulous way to stand in shorter lines and see more attractions. Premier Resort guests also receive priority seating for parties of 5 or less at many of the restaurants including one of my favorites: Cowfish.

3. Club Med — Sandpiper Bay

One of the very few all inclusive options in the United States. Club Med Sandpiper Bay is located on the St. Lucie River between Orlando and Miami and is a great location for an active family. With all-day gourmet dining and open bar, unlimited water and land sports, open bar and snacking and entertainment, this is one of the few all inclusive experiences in the United States.

4. Split Stays — Multiple Destinations

Florida and especially, Orlando have a lot to offer and for most people is a drivable location. If you do not think you want to spend a week at one location, do a split stay. You could stay at a Premier Resort for 2 nights and then move to a Disney resort for 4 nights or longer at one or the other. You could also do a theme park stay for the first 3-4 nights of your trip and then move over to Club Med for the end. There are so many possibilities to create the perfect trip for you and your family.

Best advice I can give — contact me today to start planning your spring break trip. I know we are all itching to go somewhere and do something and I am here to make that happen. I can answer all your questions and find the perfect fit for you and your family and your comfort level. Please feel free to use the contact form below or you can go over here and fill out a vacation questionnaire to get started. I am here and excited to help you.


Disney World, Personal Story

Visiting Disney World During A Pandemic

Who would have thought this would be a blog post, but yet here we are. As a travel agent, the travel industry is my income source and Disney has been a larger portion of that for several years. This year it has unfortunately presented me with the good, the bad and the ugly on a regular (sometimes overwhelming) basis. During these COVID times, I think knowing the ins and outs of a place I love so much can have an adverse effect some days, but I do constantly work to focus on the good. Which leads me to my recent return from Disney World, it was FANTASTIC. There are a million other words I could use, but it was so much better than I even expected it to be and I am so happy we took the plunge and went for it. My emotions were all over the place with this trip and I could not have returned more joyful.

My husband had a conference in Orlando and the chips slowly fell in place for us to take an impromptu weekend trip to meet up with him. I was all over the board with whether to go or not. Was it going to be the right decision? Were we going to feel comfortable? What would people think? Should I post anything on social media? The questions continued on and on leading up to the day we left. Disney has a Book with Confidence policy until April 30, 2021 allowing me to receive a full refund up until check-in, which gave me even more time to think on it and decide. I was very thankful for this and the ability to know I could change my plans last minute.

After all my internal debate (and external thanks so some amazing friends who would listen to me), we were on the road. The excitement in my kids from the beginning was rejuvenating. My youngest came galloping to the car door singing “Disney, Disney, Disney. I can’t believe I’m going to Disney” over and over again as fast as he could say it. We talked in the car for the first hour about what we were excited to see and do…. no video games, no movies, just talking and pure excitement.

Disney during a pandemic is undeniably different. I’m not going to pretend it is not. However, I continue to reiterate to my family and friends that different does not mean bad. While, ‘different’ has a connotation for meaning bad, unenjoyable or any other negative word you find to insert. That is simply not always the case.

Different is simply that… different.

I found over the course of our trip several different things I thoroughly enjoyed more than the ‘normal’ ones.

Social distancing. Disney has done an amazing job of this and I really enjoyed this different part of Disney. I felt my personal bubble was recognized and I had my personal space in line, on the ferry boat, in the Skyliner, etc. I absolutely LOVED having a Skyliner bucket solely to my family. It was fun to just ride along property in it and talk about what we were seeing. We rode it several times just to ride it and see what we could see.

Mask wearing. Disney is requiring face coverings on property. This does not just mean in the parks, but also at the resorts. While you will always have the people no matter where you go who will disobey the rules, I felt the overall percentage of people wearing masks properly was higher than other places I’ve been like Target, Sams, Kroger, etc. There are Cast Members whose job is to enforce proper face covering use and they were reprimanding anyone disobeying the guidelines. This is something Disney is using very strong language and telling people to wear their face coverings properly or leave.

Hygiene and Sanitation. Over the years, we have traveled to Disney often and I always bring my own hand sanitizer. Kids always touch everything, so it was a nice thing to have on hand for traveling. While it was still nice to have my own, I rarely used it because of the touch-free hand sanitizing stations EVERYWHERE. I have never sanitized my hands so much in a weekend than I did for this trip. It became such a habit to sanitize when getting on a ride, when getting off a ride and when just walking by a sanitizing station. My hands started to feel very dry by the end of the day. I was very thankful for the hand lotion in the room. In addition to the touch-free stations, there were also portable hand washing stations located throughout the park to encourage additional hand washing. Needless to say, I feel like my family was well sanitized every day.

Safety checks. For an additional layer of health guidelines, our temperature was taken multiple times a day. AdvoCare had stations set up at all park entrances where you would get your temperature taken prior to entering the security check area. If your temperature was over 100.4 F, then you and your traveling party could not enter the parks. In addition to this, our temperature was also taken prior to entering any table service restaurant. No exceptions. There are businesses in my local area saying they temperature check too, but it seems to happen more randomly than routinely. At Disney there was never a time entering a restaurant we were not temperature checked. We were even temperature checked prior to playing miniature golf, which is 100% outdoors.

One might think all these measures would damper the trip, but that wasn’t the case at all. They became our new routine and we didn’t mind them or even notice them. In fact, my youngest became interested to see what his temperature was every time and the AdvoCare staff was sweet to always show him (I’m assuming for HIPAA reasons, they can’t say it aloud because they always told him they couldn’t say it, but would show him).

All in all, the kids and us had a fabulous time. Even with so many of our “normal” things missing or changed, it simply didn’t matter. It was different, but wonderful. The joy is still there. The excitement is still there. And of course, the magic is still there.

COVID-19 disclaimer:
Disney has taken enhanced health and safety measures—for their other Guests, and Cast Members. Guests must follow all posted instructions while visiting Walt Disney World Resort.  An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and Guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable. 
By visiting Walt Disney World Resort you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19. 

Beaches/Sandals, Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Line, Disney World, Planning, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Universal Studios

Spring Break 2020 Planning: Part 2

If you follow my blog, then you know I posted earlier about March Spring Break and some great options.  A very popular time is April, so as promised — here is Spring Break planning: Part 2! The goal is simple: give you some great options and go ahead and get Spring Break planned and checked off your list.  You have more options and better pricing, when you plan it early and while it may seem far away right now, once the holidays get closer time begins to fly.

Continue reading “Spring Break 2020 Planning: Part 2”

Beaches/Sandals, Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Line, Disney World, Planning, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Universal Studios

Spring Break 2020 Planning

I know school just started for some and Spring Break seems very far away, but it will be here before you know it.  I know planning Spring Break can seem overwhelming at times and just trying to think of ideas is difficult too.  If you feel this way, then this post is for you. I find September and October are the best months to start planning Spring Break.  You will have more availability for your options, better pricing and also the satisfaction of checking that off your daunting to do list before the holidays are upon us.  The best part is I can help you with all of it and it will cost you the exact same if you did all the hard work yourself.

Continue reading “Spring Break 2020 Planning”

Christmas: WDW, Disney World

Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt

My husband and I were able to explore Disney Springs on Monday and check out a lot of the Christmas decor and the Christmas Tree Trail, which I loved.  We even partook in Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt.  Yes… We are kids at heart and even adults can hunt (without kids).  I recommend doing this while you are in Disney Springs.  First and foremost, it is FREE.  Whether you are doing it for yourself or with a child, you can not beat free.  I do wish some of the hiding spots would have been a little more of a challenge, but overall no complaints.  If it was a crowded night, it would have been much more challenging.  We were there on a Monday morning, so there were not too many other people.

Stitch Holiday Gift Hunt

You can get a booklet at Continue reading “Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt”