All you need to know about Castaway Cay

All you need to know about Castaway Cay

Written by Kimberly McClintock Evans – Magical Tripcations Travel Planner Did you know Disney has a private Island for guests aboard Disney Cruise Line on certain sailings?  If your itinerary has a day at Castaway Cay, (pronounced “key”) here is everything you need to know for a great day off the ship and a few suggestions and surprises you may not know about.  Isn’t she a beauty? Make sure to snap a photo of your Disney Cruise Line ship as your disembark on Castaway Cay First a few facts: The island is only for Disney Cruise Line guests.  No other ships or cruise lines will dock here.  Only those from your cruise will be docking on that day. Some cruise itineraries include a “double dip” Castaway Cay Stop.  Contact one of our amazing Disney Travel Planners for more information on different itineraries.  Although Disney Cast Members won’t often tell you, there is a sordid history of the island.  Disney has a 99-year lease on the Bahamian Island.  Castaway Cay was actually named Gorda Cay, had no beaches, and was a drug smuggler stop in the 70s.  While you don’t hear much about it, the landing strip is part of a clue.  In my head however, I like to believe it was really a Jack Sparrow stop and if I dig long enough and hard enough I will find some treasure or rum smuggled onto the island.  A much better story, I think!Sometimes it’s fun to find the approximately 50 – 60 staff members that actually live on the island and ask them a little about Island life. Top things...
#PrincessGoals

#PrincessGoals

Written by Maritza Navarro – Magical Tripcations Travel Planner If you have a princess-obsessed little one and want to meet them at Walt Disney World, here are some tips and tricks that have been learned over several Walt Disney World vacations: Tip 1 – Character Meals The easiest way to meet princesses quickly is to book a princess themed character meal.  The most coveted of these is Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom which is based on availability for either breakfast, lunch or dinner.  There you will meet and take a formal photo with Cinderella and meet four other princesses at your meal.  Another option is at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, located in the Norway Pavilion inside the World Showcase at EPCOT.  This is based on availability for either breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  You will take a formal photograph with Belle in her yellow gown and then meet four other princesses at your meal.  Another option to consider for a princess meal, on a smaller scale, is at Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. There you will meet Rapunzel and Princess Ariel, along with Flynn Rider, and Prince Eric.   This is only available for breakfast and it’s a delicious meal.  The final option is at 1900 Park Fare (dinner only) inside the Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, where you will meet Cinderella, Prince Charming, Cinderella’s step-sisters, Anastasia and Druzella, and Lady Tremaine, Cinderella’s step-mother.  This is such a fun dinner with amazing character interactions. If you are on either the Disney Dining Plan or the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan, all of these options would be...
Top 10 things to do at Pixar Pier

Top 10 things to do at Pixar Pier

Written by Erica V. Ellis – Magical Tripcations Travel Planner   Our Magical Tripcations Team was hard at work during the opening week of Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure!  Here’s our Top 10 “Must Do” list while visiting! Visit during Pixar Fest! – This is a limited time festival that ends on September 3, 2018, but there’s definitely still time to book your Disneyland Vacation for Summer 2018.  Pixar Fest offers guests a variety of special foods, parades, and memorabilia.  While Pixar Pier is here to stay, Pixar Fest is for a limited time! Have lunch or dinner at Lamplight Lounge – This newly renovated restaurant is located at the entrance of the pier.  The menu is creative and fun!  Delicious food and cocktails are available for the whole family.  For a full menu, we highly recommend talking to your Magical Tripcations Travel Planner about making a reservation in their dining room.  The top level of the restaurant & patio is available for walk up guests, but still requires you to check-in and leave your name with the hostess.  Our group did a walk-up seating and waited about 50 minutes. Shop around Knick Knacks Souvenir Shop – This gift shop is right across from Lamplight Lounge and has the most adorable items featuring everyone’s favorite Pixar characters. Eat ALL THE FOOD! – While some food offerings are for a limited time, others are here to stay! Our team did the hard work & sampled some for you!  Some of our favorites include:  Chocolate Chip Cookie from Jack Jack Cookie Num Nums outside of the Incredicoaster; Soft Serve Lemon ice cream at the...
Celebrating your birthday at Walt Disney World

Celebrating your birthday at Walt Disney World

Written by Erica V. Ellis – Magical Tripcations Travel Planner Disney vacations are special and magical, no matter when you take them.  Add a birthday to the mix and it becomes even more magical!  Here are our Top 5 ways to celebrate your birthday while at Walt Disney World! Let your Magical Tripcations Travel Planner know that you’ll be celebrating a birthday while on vacation! Your planner will add that tidbit of information on to your reservation.  When you scan your Magic Bands at park entrances, for fast passes, etc., the cast members will be alerted to this.  You’ll probably get lots of extra “happy birthdays” during your stay. If you aren’t given a birthday button at check-in, make sure you ask for one at your Disney Resort’s front desk or at any of the guest service locations at the parks. Once you have it, wear it proudly!  It’s always fun to hear “happy birthday” from cast members and park goers.  Who knows, maybe you’ll get some extra pixie dust because of it! Talk to your Magical Tripcations Travel Planner about a special gift package or room celebration through Disney Floral & Gifts. It can be as simple as a small cake in your room, or a full-on room makeover to help you celebrate the special day.  Prices vary and can satisfy pretty much any budget.  For my daughter’s third birthday we ordered her a special Princess Gift Basket and a small chocolate cake that was delivered to our room the evening of her birthday.  When we arrived back to our room, the surprise was waiting for her and...
Disney World Monorail Crawl

Disney World Monorail Crawl

Written by Erica V. Ellis – Magical Tripcations Travel Planner Have you heard that Walt Disney World has started the “Highway In The Sky Dine-Around” which, according to the Walt Disney World website, allows you to climb “aboard the Walt Disney World Resort Monorail for a culinary journey where each destination offers a distinctively delicious experience.”   We at Magical Tripcations are excited to see this new Disney Dining experience being offered to guests!  For now, it is only being offered a few nights a week, so what if you can’t make your itinerary work for one of those nights but you still want to eat and drink your way around the “Monorail Loop”?  Well, don’t you worry, we have your back!   In September, during a “research” trip to Walt Disney World during the first weekend of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival four travel planners from the Magical Tripcations team took a spin on the Monorail and here we offer our findings from the evening filled with delectable foods, yummy drinks, plenty of laughs and fireworks to cap off the evening!  This journey is also sometimes referred to as the “Monorail Crawl.”  **Disclaimer, we recommend this be done with a 21 & over crowd.**   We were coming from Epcot so we disembarked the Epcot Monorail and loaded onto the Resort Monorail at the Ticket and Transportation Center.  From there we hit up our first stop, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.  We arrived at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto around 4:45pm on a Thursday afternoon and found there to be available space.  We hopped up on some bar...
5 Tips for Using Disney Gift Cards to Save on Your Next Disney Vacation!

5 Tips for Using Disney Gift Cards to Save on Your Next Disney Vacation!

When it comes to saving for your Disney dream vacation, every penny counts!  When we’re working with our Magical Tripcations clients, we provide as many tips and tricks for saving time AND money as we can.  Of course we are dedicated discount hunters and we work hard to find the perfect Disney deal for our clients; however, once we land on the perfect package, we don’t stop there.  Did you know that you can use Disney gift cards to pay for your Disney Destination vacation?  Did you know that you can purchase Disney gift cards at a DISCOUNT? No??  Well, there’s magical savings to be found for savvy shoppers so, read on!  Here are our 5 tips for using Disney gift cards to save on your next Disney vacation! #1 Purchase Disney Gift Cards Using your Target REDcard   If you are a regular Target customer, then you are probably familiar with the Target REDcard (debit or credit) that saves you 5% on your purchases when you use it.  This 5% savings is applicable for Disney gift card purchases because Target considers these gift cards as “entertainment” gift cards so the discount is applicable.  You can purchase gift cards in the store and online (as a REDcard holder, you also get free shipping). $50 Disney Gift Card – $47.50 $100 Disney Gift Card – $95.00 Tips for Purchasing Disney gift cards with your REDcard: If you are planning to make a large gift card purchase ($800 or more), you might check with your bank if using the Target debit REDcard as banks cap daily debit purchase amounts. Since this is...