Saturday, April 22, 2017

Pre-Register NOW for the 2018 RunDisney Half Marathon – The Dark Side

Pre-Register NOW for the 2018 RunDisney Half Marathon – The Dark Side

Darth Vader and Travel Time with Jenny wants YOU to Join the Dark Side for a weekend of Galactic Fun and out of this world running at the Walt Disney World Resort during the 2018 RunDisney Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side!   Now, for a very limited time, you can guarantee and secure your 2018 RunDisney Star Wars Dark Side Race Registrations before general registration is open to the public! 

There are NO TICKET REQUIREMENTS for this special offer, and all that is required is a minimum one night room stay in an on-property Walt Disney World owned Resort. 

The race weekend fun begins on April 19, 2018 and you do not want to miss out!  From the time you arrive at the Expo, to the time you line up in your corral, the force will be with you as you have an out of this world experience. 

The courses will take you through the parks and past some of your favorite attractions.  There will be on course race support with water and sports drinks (depending on distance), and of course, there will also be GREAT support with all the friends, family, and fans that cheer you on with homemade signs.  The race maps in this post are from the 2017 Run Disney Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side weekend events to give you an example of the course you could be running. 

The quote you will be given now is a standard rate for the room.  However, once Disney begins releasing specials for the time of your stay, Jenny, or your favorite Travel Time agent will work to get that applied to your vacation to save you some money for your RunCation! Speaking of saving money – you’re already off to a great start since you will have NO Active Fees for your race.  Your Travel Agent will also help you with any dining reservations, FastPass+ Reservations, along with all the other details that are involved with planning a Disney Parks vacation.  If you are an Annual Passholder, please let us know as well, as we can work to get those discounts applied once they are released.

When booking the package, a $200 deposit will be required at the time of booking, along with the applicable race fees.  You will also need to provide the e-mail for each participant to receive your registration link from Active near the time that General Registration opens.  At that time, you’ll be able to enter your proof of time, shirt size, etc. and purchase any commemorative merchandise that is available for the event.  Please see below for race fees:

Race & Date
Dark Side Challenge (Half Marathon and 10k)
Star Wars Half Marathon April 22, 2018
Star Wars 10K – April 21, 2018
Star Wars 5K – April 20, 2018
Kids Mile – April 21, 2018
Kids Dashes – April 21, 2018
Travel Insurance (Optional, but will cover race bib)
$77.50 per adult

As if you aren’t already excited for this special offer, take comfort in knowing that you can purchase optional Travel Insurance that would cover the Race Bib along with the vacation if you have to cancel or are delayed for one of the insured reasons.  This is a great thing to consider since RunDisney does not offer deferrals or refunds on Race Registrations (except through this special offer). 

 So, save yourself the worry and stress that comes with registration day, and allow an Authorized Disney Travel Agent from Travel Time give you the magical RunCation of your dreams!  All vacations booked for this special promotion will receive a FREE special gift before travel.

Photo credits: Keshia B

by: Jenny Hickey – Jenny@TravelTimeTravel.Com

Let us make your vacation even easier!  We'll help you plan from the start and can advise you and handle your arrangements, including dining, fast passes, room requests, discount application, and celebrations.  We are the same price or less than if you book on your own, and you get us for FREE!  Have an expert on your side at zero cost to you and contact one of our agents today!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wilderness Lodge Resort at Walt Disney World

Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort

Are you thinking about staying in Walt Disney World Wilderness Lodge Resort Hotel? If you are looking for a luxury hotel with a wonderful location then you need to consider Disney World Wilderness Lodge Resort .
This deluxe Walt Disney World hotel takes it’s inspiration from the Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone National Park. It is one of the most beautiful and relaxing of all of the Disney World resort hotel. Even though you are so close to Magic Kingdom you feel as though you are in a quiet oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the Disney theme parks. You truly do seem to step into a different age as soon as you enter the Wilderness Lodge resort. Guests have a choice between the traditional hotel rooms of the Lodge and the Disney Wilderness Resort Villas. These studio, one and two bedroom villas are part of the Disney Vacation Club but can be booked by non DVC members. The Wilderness Lodge has 728 rooms which are 340 square feet in size. The Lodge has the smallest sized deluxe rooms of all the Disney resorts. Expect a wonderfully themed room which will make you think that you are in a luxury log cabin. The rooms have very detailed Native American themed bedspreads and carved animals on the furniture.

Most rooms at the Wilderness Lodge have 2 Queen sized beds, but some of the rooms have 1 Queen and 1 bunk bed. These bunk bed rooms are great for families with small children. Unfortunately you cannot request a bunk bed room. There are also a small number of rooms with a King bed. Many of the rooms do have balconies but unfortunately not all – so be sure to request a room with a balcony. As with all requests this of course cannot be guaranteed but it doesn’t hurt to ask!

The bathrooms in the Wilderness Lodge have the popular configuration of the double sink vanity being outside from the bathroom with the toilet, bath and shower.

There are also some Junior Suites available. This is a great option for families and is a good alternative to the Wilderness Lodge Villas. The Junior Suites have 2 rooms with approximately 500 square feet of space. The bedroom has 2 Queen beds. The living/kitchen are has a pull out sleeper sofa. Junior Suite guests also have access to the concierge lounge Old Faithful. The Villas at Wilderness Lodge offer larger accommodation which can be a great idea for families. Studios, one and two bedroom villas are available. The studios have kitchenettes and the villas have full kitchens. Staying at a concierge level in a Disney World deluxe hotel can be a great option. As well as the services of the concierge to assist you with anything you need during your stay, the concierge level offers a separate lounge serving drinks and snacks throughout the day.

The Old Faithful lounge is on the 7th floor. It is actually pretty small but most guests report that it doesn’t seem to get too crowded. Food is served throughout the day. If you want you can use the concierge food to save on meals at the parks – some guests certainly do this. For breakfast there is a selection of cereal,pastries, yogurt and fruit. The daytime snacks are cookies and small snacks like goldfish. In the evening there are 2 hot items, dips, crudites,bread, crackers and cheese. Soft drinks, beer and wine are also available.

By Vikki with Travel Time Travel

Let us make your vacation even easier!  We'll help you plan from the start and can advise you and handle your arrangements, including dining, fast passes, room requests, discount application, and celebrations.  We are the same price or less than if you book on your own, and you get us for FREE!  Have an expert on your side at zero cost to you and contact one of our agents today!

Walt Disney World Memory Maker: Tips for a Picture Perfect Vacation

Walt Disney World Memory Maker: Tips for a Picture Perfect Vacation

Are you the family photographer and find NO evidence you were ever on a vacation once you start going through trip photos?  Do you hate lugging a heavy, expensive camera on rides and around the park, but don’t want to waste the entire battery on your phone taking pictures and video?  Have you considered hiring a friend to follow you around on vacation and take photos of your family so you can actually sit back and ENJOY the moment?

If you said “YES!” to any of the above questions, then Disney’s Memory Maker is for you! 

What does it cost?:  Memory Maker can be purchased at any time for $169.  However, there is a $20 discount available if you purchase at least 3 days prior to travel.  There is also a one-day option available for purchase via the app, for $59.  Note that this option can only be purchased AFTER a photograph has been taken, and covers a 24 hour span of photographs that runs from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. EST.  In recent years, a $39 “party” option has also been offered during the hard-tickets events, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

What’s the difference between Memory Maker and PhotoPass?:  Memory Maker is a product, while PhotoPass is a service.  You can have photos taken by any of the PhotoPass photographers located on property without having purchased Memory Maker.  And you can also choose to purchase any of the photographs taken individually though the My Disney Experience app or the PhotoPass section of the My Disney Experience website (at a price of $14.95 per download).  The purchase of Memory Maker, however, gives you unlimited access to every photograph taken over a 30 day period (or 1 year for select annual passholders), which you can then view or download as many times as you’d like prior to expiration.

Disney has PhotoPass photographers stationed around every park to capture every magical moment for you.  Look for them by park icons (Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom, the Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom, Spaceship Earth in Epcot and the Chinese Theater in Hollywood Studios), as well as in less-traveled areas of the park (at the exit of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Magic Kingdom or the bridge outside France in Epcot).  

They are also on hand at all scheduled character meet and greet locations as well as at the entrance / exit to several character meals - Chef Mickey, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Akershus, Tusker House, Hollywood & Vine, 1900 Park Fare, ‘Ohana breakfast and Be Our Guest dinner (note, however, that photographers are not located inside the restaurant for character greetings that take place at your table).  You can also find them in several resort lobbies around the holidays to capture the splendor of the season (Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Grand Floridian), as well as in Downtown Disney and at the water parks.  

They are also on hand during makeovers at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and following transformations at the Pirate’s League. 

Additionally, several attractions offer ride photos (Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Magic Kingdom; Expedition Everest and DINOSAUR in Animal Kingdom; Frozen Ever After and Test Track in Epcot; and Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster in Hollywood Studios) and there are also PhotoPass photographers as the conclusion of Enchanted Tales with Belle in Magic Kingdom and during Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple in Hollywood Studios.  Some photo options change seasonally, and there are several that are even exclusive to special events like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

How does Memory Maker work?:  Simply seek out a PhotoPass cast member and request a photo!  It’s that easy!  Look for cast members dressed (primarily) in khaki vests, white shirts and navy shorts/pants, with a camera around their neck or in front of them.  You can also locate photographers on the My Disney Experience app via the “PhotoPass” link on the top scroll bar or tapping “PhotoPass on the left navigation bar and then selecting “Find Photographers” (this is also where you can view or link photos you have taken).  Most photographers will take several shots and suggest different poses or configurations of your family members.  You’ll usually get both a portrait and a landscape version of each pose (very important for my fellow scrapbookers out there!) as well as distance and close up shots.  

Additionally, most photographers without a tripod can offer “magic shots.”  If the photographer asks you to arrange your hands a certain way, or make a certain expression, go with it!  This is Disney magic at its finest!  And don’t hesitate to ask if they have any magic shots available – they will always do them if they can. 

Once you are finished taking photos, simply have the cast member scan your Magic Band and you are on your way!  Photographs will show up in your account over the next 24 hours to view and share.  If you do not have a Magic Band, simply ask the photographer for a PhotoPass card, which you can continue to use at subsequent locations.  And if you end up with more than one card at the end of your trip, they can all be linked to one account in My Disney Experience (tip: take a photo of the bar code on the back of card as soon as you receive it in case you lose it, you won’t lose your photos!).  Participants in Enchanted Tales with Belle and Jedi Training will receive PhotoPass cards with all of the photographs taken during their individual sessions, which will need to be linked separately.  PhotoPass cards can also be scanned at the conclusion of all rides that contain photo opportunities; however ride videos (currently available on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Tower of Terror) will only be linked to accounts with Magic Band technology.  And if you are wearing your Magic Band while on a ride that offers a photo opportunity, no need to scan at the end – the photo (and video, where available) will link to your account automatically!

Photos linked to your Memory Maker currently have an expiration date that is 45 days from the date they were taken (365 days for passholders).  Memory Maker becomes “activated” once you download your first photo.  Once activated, the watermark will be removed from the photographs for printing or downloading.  It is always recommended to wait until the conclusion of your vacation to activate Memory Maker, in case you are not satisfied with the quality or quantity of photographs received.  While there are no refunds on the purchase of Memory Maker, it can be saved for use on a future trip if it is not activated. 

You can also edit your photos (via the website or the app) by adding stickers or boarders to commemorate a date or particular celebration.  To retain both the original and edited version, simply “save a copy” after competing your modifications.  Or you can always “revert to original” to eliminate any modifications made.  Once all of your edits have been made, photos can be downloaded individually or all at once (using the “download all” button, which is located on the website ONLY).  You can also use the photos in your account to make photo gifts or albums (at an additional charge).

Additional Tips:  Make sure anyone in your traveling party that may have a separate My Disney Experience account is linked as Family & Friends in order to have access to photos scanned on their band.  This is also how you would share a Memory Maker with another traveling party (and can share the cost!).  While only the “owner” of Memory Maker (the individual who purchased it) will be able to edit and download the photos, anyone linked to the account can view them.

Make sure you take advantage of every photographer you pass!  While there will be at least 5 stationed at different locations down Main Street, each will offer a unique view and perspective of the castle. If used effectively, you can end up with hundreds (or thousands) of photographs during your trip!  And while just 10 “good” photos would be the breakeven point from a cost perspective, once you see that candid photo of your little one meeting his favorite character for the very first time, you realize how truly priceless this service can be.

By Alyssa with Travel Time,

Let us make your vacation even easier!  We'll help you plan from the start and can advise you and handle your arrangements, including dining, fast passes, room requests, discount application, and celebrations.  We are the same price or less than if you book on your own, and you get us for FREE!  Have an expert on your side at zero cost to you and contact one of our agents today!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Review of the Disney Wonder Cruise Ship Re Imagined!

Review of the Disney Wonder Reimagined

I was lucky enough to get to book a Disney very Merrytime Christmas cruise out of my home state, Texas, last fall. When I learned the Wonder’s major makeover was in the works, I promptly booked my new family of three for their first Christmas cruise on the inaugural sailing following the Wonder’s return to the states. It was a quick four-night outing to Cozumel from Galveston.

Meeting Captain Mickey while waiting to board the Disney Wonder

Upon boarding the Disney Wonder, The Atrium Lobby is the first thing you see. It has received the same modifications that were made to the Disney Magic several years ago. The additional staircase was replaced and decor was refreshed to highlight the ship’s Little Mermaid theme. 

Little Mermaid murals throughout the lobby

Ariel’s statue was always in the lobby but additional decorations no encompass the ship.

Ariel statue in lobby

When you look up in the lobby to take in the beautiful ship you are greeted by a magnificent new chandelier, it’s made of Ariel’s hair colored, translucent elements which are very reminiscent of poinsettias.  This also seemed very perfect during a Mickey’s Very Merrytime Christmas Cruise.

The new Wonder chandelier

Our first afternoon aboard the newly reimagined Wonder was filled with well, Wonder. We traveled here and there and everywhere finding out what was new and revamped abroad the ship, we took advantage of the open house at the kids clubs to see the new play areas and character experiences in the Oceaneer’s Club and Lab featuring, friends from Toy Story , Marvel Superheroes, and for the first time on the cruise line, Club Disney Junior and Frozen. Also the new hands-on activity zones in Oceaneer Lab are dedicated to animation, navigation, and crafts.

Toy Story play area

Marvel Superhero Academy

Frozen play area

It's a Small World Nursery

Dory's Reef Toddler water area

Continuing on with the Finding Nemo/Finding Dory theme, the biggest noticeable dining enhancements are on deck 9.


Daisy’s De Lites and Pete’s Boiler Bites

We also saw that once he is out of diapers, kids through age 12 can frolic in AquaLab, a dynamic splash play zone that replaced the Mickey Pool. Also family-friendly is the new Twist ‘n’ Spout water slide on deck 9, which replaces the less elaborate (and kids-only) Mickey Slide. However, the Wonder did not get a second, more extreme water slide, so she remains the only ship with a single slide.

Aqualab and Twist and Spout Waterslide

Upon exploring the pool areas we found Edge, the club for tweens ages 11-14. It has moved up from deck 2 to the former arcade on the pool deck. Also in the vicinity, kids 12 and under can now get dressed-up (for an extra fee) in Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, as a Knight or Princess on most nights and special for Pirate’s Night your little one can be transformed in a Pirate. Chill Spa, the teens-only area in the senses spa has also been added to the Disney Wonder making it finally available on all four Disney vessels.

Our entire family was blown away by the brand new Frozen, A Musical Spectacular, which replaced Toy Story-The Musical in the entertainment. Which was truly breathe taking and better than some plays I have seen on Broadway in my opinion. There’s also a revamped and renamed family club, D Lounge, which replaced Studio Sea, making yet another area universal to the Disney fleet. Shopping areas have also been renamed and remodeled to unite the Cruise line.

Shop Renaming

The adult areas have also been substantially redecorated adult entertainment district and rejuvenated spa. The retro-themed Route 66 district gave way to suave and sleek After Hours.

Adult Lounges

The main nightclub is now Azure, a name that alludes to the deep, blue sea. Diversions sports pub has taken a more British bent, emerging as Crown & Fin Pub. Only Cadillac Lounge retains its identity and decor, though the piano has been moved to a platform at the far end of the room.

The adults-only Vista Spa is now Senses Spa; bringing that brand name to all four Disney ships as well as the land-based spas at other Disney Parks and Resorts. The exception to adults-only status is the teens’ Chill Spa area for the teens as mentioned above.

One of the areas I was most excited to see was the new 
Tiana’s Place which replaced Parrot Cay. Its theming is amazing! They even have lightning bugs on the stage

New Tiana’s Place Complete with Lightning bugs!

The atmosphere was very electric with Tiana’s jazz band playing Disney tunes, even the cast members participate in the dinner show. The food was great and the dessert menu lights up!

The New Tiana’s Place- Live Jazz and great food!

  Animator’s Palate has also been updated visually with new additions to the mural like Elsa and Moana as well as technology to support the same multimedia dinner shows seen on the Wonder’s sister ships.

Animator's Palate

As you can see there are several “WONDER”ful upgrades that have been made to the Disney Wonder, I really recommend checking her out. Also a great thing to remember is the Disney cruise line also sails out of Texas in the fall which is a great option to explore. Adventure is out there, contact your Travel Time planner today to start planning your Disney Cruise today!

Disney Wonder Docked in Cozumel

By Agent Kris

Let us make your vacation even easier!  We'll help you plan from the start and can advise you and handle your arrangements, including dining, fast passes, room requests, discount application, and celebrations.  We are the same price or less than if you book on your own, and you get us for FREE!  Have an expert on your side at zero cost to you and contact one of our agents today!