How To Convince Someone To Visit Disney

Convincing someone who doesn’t like Disney to go to Walt Disney World or Disneyland is no easy task. Many people have negative preconceptions about Disney, had a bad experience at some point, or have some other reason for disliking Disney. I think any Disney fan will tell you that they receive comments on a regular basis along the lines of, “Why do you like that place so much, it’s so [insert pretty much any negative attribute here].”

These negatives run the gamut from expensive to commercialized to fake and more. In fact, if you run a Google search on “hate Disney,” you’ll come across an incredible number of results presenting laundry lists of reasons why Disney theme parks are awful places. Many of these articles are from journalists and academics (the top professions predisposed to disliking Disney based on our highly unscientific research–lesson for Disney fans: never date a journalist or academic), not just online trolls spewing vitriol.

The good news is that if you search “love Disney,” you’ll come across even more articles extolling the virtues of the Disney theme parks. Moreover, these pieces are written by a range of individuals, from students to moms to world travelers to highly intelligent professionals. Despite what naysayers may have you believe, people from all walks of life do like Disney theme parks. They aren’t just places where parents reluctantly take their children as a rite of passage, or places frequented by unrefined adults who are too dense to comprehend that they’re being “duped.”

Point being, regardless of the background of the person you’re trying to convince, it is possible to convince them to go and (more importantly) for them to have a good time. You have to know how to approach the trip and convince them to go in with an open mind. Although this is (fortunately) not a problem Sarah and I have had since we share a passion for Disney, we have encountered many people with what we call “the problem of the reluctant spouse.”

Here are some of our tips for convincing your spouse, or anyone else, to take a Disney vacation. (more…)

Star Wars Weekends 2014 Tips & Info

Star Wars Weekends 2014 will occur May 16-18, May 23-25, May 30-June 1, June 6-8, and June 13-15, 2014 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World! Star Wars Weekends are geared towards all things Star Wars (including the animated TV show, Star Wars: The Clone Wars). Celebrities are in attendance, there’s a special parade, shows, and every day ends with fireworks! It’s a lot of fun whether you’re a hardcore Star Wars fan or just a fan of fun (we fall into the latter camp).

If you’ve been to Walt Disney World countless times (and it’s probably not a bad assumption that you have if you’re reading this blog), you might be looking for ways to see the place a-new. One way to to find new experiences is to visit during a seasonal festival or weekend event. One such weekend event is Star Wars Weekends, held in May and June at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

This post has been updated for 2014 to reflect changes to Star Wars Weekends, including the ‘retirement’ of Hyperspace Hoopla and the addition of the Symphony in the Stars fireworks, as well as new strategy and tips.


Rock Your Disney Side 24-Hour Party Planning Tips

Dreamy Sunrise Over Cinderella CastleBefore we traveled to Walt Disney World the week between Christmas and New Year's, which is notoriously the busiest week of the year, a lot of people asked us whether we were crazy. Yes, of course we are, but that had nothing to do with our decision to visit during that week. The decision to bear those brutal crowds was made easy for us thanks to the extended operating hours and impressive New Year's Eve fireworks shows. And although we're not fans of large crowds (I'm betting not many of you have

During the Rock Your Disney Side 24-Hour Party, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Disneyland & Disney California Adventure will be open for 24 consecutive hours beginning on May 23, 2014 at 6 am until 6 am on May 24, 2014. This is an extension of the “Disney Side” promotion (it’ll likely be promoting Disney’s Malificent, too) and since the Rock Your Disney Side 24-Hour Party falls on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, it’s the perfect time to take a long weekend trip to Walt Disney World or Disneyland! We participated in the events of “One More Disney Day” (the 24-hour Leap Day event in 2012) and Monstrous Summer (the 24-hour Memorial Day party in 2013) and both were a ton of fun. They were also great, unique opportunities for photography. This is not a hard ticket event, so a normal, single day ticket will entitle you to visit the parks for the full 24-hour party!

Based upon our experiences at the parties, here are some tips for enjoying these special events if you’re going to be Walt Disney World or Disneyland, and also some tips for those of you watching the fun from home! While this planning guide is a great primer, if you want a better idea of what to expect during the 24 hour event, I strongly encourage you to read our trip report from 2012′s “One More Disney Day” 24 hour event. Even if you’re not going, there are some pretty photos from the event! This post was originally written for the first party, and it has been updated for each of the two parties since.

Also, check out our general Disneyland Trip Planning Guide and Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide if you’re not a “regular” at either park for more general planning tips. With that said, here are our Rock Your Disney Side 24-Hour Party tips! (more…)

Tips for Buying Discount Disney World Tickets

Money-saving Tips for Buying Discount Walt Disney World Tickets (from authorized sellers!)

Walt Disney World offers a wide array of tickets. These tickets are expensive, but luckily, if you shop right, you can find good discounts on Disney tickets. When it comes to a Disney vacation, the tickets are likely going to be your second-most expensive expenditure after your hotel room and perhaps airfare. For some people, they might actually be the most costly portion of the trip! Disney raises its ticket prices about once or twice per year with the last increase coming in February 2014, so it’s best to buy your tickets as early as possible, before your trip.

Given their cost, and the myriad of different ticket options, it’s important to know as much as you can about the different types of tickets, and what your family will probably need. The ticket system has its benefits and drawbacks. The biggest drawback is that there are so many options that it can be confusing. Conversely, thanks to all of the options, you can get exactly what you need and not purchase any unnecessary add-ons. Because of this, if you’re willing to do a little homework, all of the confusing options are definitely a good thing. We can help with this, so if you’ve come to figure out how to save money on Walt Disney World tickets, you’ve come to the right place. (If you’ve come looking for info on discount Disneyland tickets, you’ve come to the wrong place–but we do have an article on that, too.)

Of course, buying the right Walt Disney World tickets is just one aspect of planning a trip. To make sure you plan everything perfectly, make sure you read our 10 Step Guide to Planning a Walt Disney World Trip, which covers all of the essentials for planning your Disney trip!

Getting the Cheapest Tickets

To save money on multi-day Walt Disney World tickets, we highly recommend Undercover Tourist, an authorized ticket broker selling CHEAPER tickets than you can buy directly from Disney. Not only are these tickets cheaper, but since Undercover Tourist is authorized, you can make FastPass+ selections with these tickets before you arrive to the park!

Before we got our Annual Passes, we always purchased our tickets from Undercover Tourist. They are a Disney-authorized ticket broker (so no, they’re not the same shady stands you see offering “free Disney tickets!” on your way to Walt Disney World) offering excellent prices and customer service. Their prices are always lower than if you purchased from Disney directly. Disney prices don’t include the Florida 6.5% tax, whereas Undercover Tourist prices do include tax into the final price you pay. Another great benefit about Undercover Tourist is that you can buy your tickets in advance of your trip, and have them shipped to your house for FREE! No hassle with having to wait in line to pick them up at Disney, wasting your valuable vacation time! (more…)

First Time Disney World Visit Tips

First time visitors to Walt Disney World make a lot of mistakes. There are many things that are simply impossible to know until you go, and due to many planning resources being written by seasoned Disney veterans, it can be easy for those sharing tips to completely gloss over something because they are so familiar with the parks and just take certain things for granted.

With that in mind, we’ve written this blog post with some important things that first time visitors ought to know. If you’ve been to Walt Disney World even one time, you will know most or all of this information. In that case, you might ‘pay it forward’ by sharing a basic bit of info about Walt Disney World that you didn’t know before your first trip, but that you consider important.

Okay, let’s dig into our list of some basic things first time Walt Disney World guests should know… (more…)