Sunday, October 1, 2017

Saving on Souvenirs at Disney World

For many of us the trips we plan to Disney are about making memories, family time and good old fashioned fun.  For our kids its about all that...and the souvenirs.  Let's face it Disney is pretty good at tempting us adults too!  They have exclusive "Park Only" merchandise and the cutest little sweatshirts, stuffed toys, trading pins...OH MY!  I could go on and on.  They have not been in business for this long without knowing how to merchandise.  Here are a few tips to keep your wallet happy as well as your kids (and you).

  1.  Buy Before You Go.  Check out the Disney Store or for small gifts you know your kids will enjoy.  The key here is small as you are going to bring them with you on your trip.  Little princess cell phones, McQueen bouncy balls, stuffed Tiggers are all good ideas.  Looking for these items on sale is the objective.  Even other stores like Dollar Store, Five Below, Target, Kohl's or Toys R Us carry Disney items.  Pick up what you can and put it aside.  Tip:  If you are flying and have so much of this stuff that you require an extra piece of luggage, you probably aren't saving money.  If it makes sense you can also mail packages to your resort ahead of time.  Again weigh the cost here of shipping.

  2.  Make the Small Things Special.  This can involve the gifts you brought down or things you purchase at the gift shops in Disney.  A good idea is mystery pins (which are cheaper than trading pins), stickers, sweets, key chains, toy cars.  When you arrive at the park and your child has the "gimmie/get-me's" you can assure them that if they are a good boy/girl during the day;  Mickey might leave them something during the night.  After your children have been as good as gold you leave the little surprise on their nightstand.  Tip:  It never hurts to use your imagination here.  Hide the gifts in funny places.  Maybe even include a note from Mickey!  Have as much fun with this as you want.  I promise you it works! 

3.  The Cheapest Souvenir in the Park.  My favorite souvenirs are pressed penny machines. Make it remarkable by purchasing a Penny Holder Book at the Disney gift shops.  There are numerous penny machines in every park, and each one offers at least 3 options.  Many of them are outside the rides, and are specific to that attraction.  Most of the resorts also have penny machines depicting images from the resort.  To make things easier on yourself, empty out one of the plastic mini M&M containers before you leave on your trip.  What you do with the candy is up to you!  Put two quarters and a shiny new penny inside and repeat until full.   That way your money is at the ready when little ones are looking for something to "buy".  Here is a link to an interactive map to find all those machines!    Tip:  If you make subsequent trips take pictures of your pennies on your cell phone before you go to avoid repeats.   

4.  Free Stuff.  Each park offers buttons at the parks by the entrances.  You can also get them at the resort concierge desk.  They say "First Visit", "Happy Birthday", "I'm Celebrating" and more.  Your child's name is written in and and it's an invitation for cast members to give them Mickey stickers.  Your child will also feel pretty special about being singled out by a cast member.  I always tell my clients to enjoy the "pixie dust" if it comes your way, but don't make your child any promises!  Don't forget about toiletries, napkins,  menu's, maps, etc.  They are super fun to look at when you get home and are away from the Disney magic.  If you are creative you can even craft them into something else.
Tip:  You want Free?  Make your kids pay for their own stuff.  If they get an allowance or "Grandma Money" consider turning some of it into a Disney Gift Card for their use during the trip.  They will definitely be thinking about what they spend their money on more carefully!

5.  Admit Defeat.  You are on vacation at Disney!  Buy a few things for goodness sake!  But set yourself (and each child) a budget and try not to go TOO far over.  Disney Parks Merchandise is one of a kind and will make you and your children happy.   Part of the Disney Magic is in the memories you take home with you.  Even if some of those memories have a price tag.  Tip:  All the parks will deliver your purchases back to your Disney resort baggage area for free.  It takes overnight but beats carrying it around all day.

What are some of your tips for Saving on Souvenirs?

Maria is a Travel Planner for Snapshot Getaways and always tries REALLY hard not to spend too much on souvenirs at Disney.  Loooking to plan your trip?  Email her today or follow her page on Facebook!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Disneyland Refurbishment Schedule-Updated October 2017

Here is a list of projected closings or refurbishments at the Disneyland Resort in California.  Check with your Snapshot Getaways agent for assistance in planning your trip this year!

Subject to change

Disneyland Park 

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad 10/2-10/19/17
It's a Small World 10/23/17-TBD

Disney's California Adventure

Goofy's Sky School 8/21/17-TBD
It's Tough to be a Bug 10/23/17-TBD

Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

General Resort Refurbishments through Fall 2017
Room Refurbishments January Through Fall 2017
Craftsman's Club Concierge Lounge relocated August-October 2017

Disneyland Hotel

E-Ticket Pool 10/1-10/8/17

Walt Disney World Refurbishment Schedule-Updated October 2017

Be sure to check out our schedule before planning your trip to Walt Disney World Resort.  As always, a Snapshot Getaways team member is here to help plan your vacations!  

Magic Kingdom:
Splash Mountain 9/28-11/16/17
Hall of Presidents 1/17-TBD
Cinderella's Royal Table 2/28-3/2/18

Ellen's Energy Adventure closing permanently on 8/13/17

Disney's Hollywood Studios
Great Movie Ride closing permanently on 8/13/17

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Disney's Water Parks
Blizzard Beach Annual Refurbishment 10/29/17-1/7/18
Typhoon Lagoon Annual Refurbishment 1/7/18-TBD

Art of Animation Resort
Disney Skyliner Construction (may cause noise during daylight hours) Ongoing

Boardwalk Inn & Villas
General Refurbishment (may cause noise during daylight hours) Ongoing

Caribbean Beach
Old Port Royale Food Court, Shutters, Cabana Pool Bar and Calypso Trading Post
May 2017 through June 2018
Disney Skyliner Construction Ongoing

Coronado Springs
Room Refurbishment Fall 2016-Fall 2017
New Tower Building Construction Through 2018

Contemporary Resort
Chef Mickey's 11/28-December 2017 will be relocated to Convention Center

Old Key West
Room Refurbishments through June 2018

Port Orleans-French Quarter
Room Refurbishment January-Summer 2018

Pop Century
Room Refurbishments 2/4-5/7/18
Disney Skyliner Construction Ongoing

Yacht Club
Captains Grill through Fall 2017
Expansion of Convention Center through February 2018

Disney Springs
Portobello Country Italian Trattoria throughFall 2017

Friday, May 12, 2017

Happily Ever After Coming to the #DisneyParksLIVE Stream

Everyone has been anxiously awaiting the new Happily Ever After fireworks show premiering on May 12, 2017 at the Magic Kingdom. The good news for those of us unable to make the trip is that we will be able to enjoy the first showing with the next #DisneyParksLIVE stream. 

Happily Ever After is a new spectacular that "will combine the latest in fireworks, pyrotechnics, lasers, hand-drawn animation, original music, a new theme song and much more. All of these elements will work together to tell a heart-tugging story about the importance of chasing your dreams, no matter what, and finding your happily ever after." 

While we count down the minutes to the premiere, check out a video released by Disney to give you a sneak peek at the new show.

The show is scheduled to begin at 8:55 pm ET and if you join the stream early you can get a look at some behind-the-scenes making of Happily Ever After. Just look on the Disney Parks Blog for the link to the live stream on Monday.

Justin is a Travel Planner for Snapshot Getaways, please contact him at to plan your next vacation or with any questions. Don’t forget to also like his Facebook Page for updates!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Holiday Party Tickets On Sale

Who is ready to celebrate Halloween? How about Christmas? Well, Disney World is! Tickets for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party are on sale now!!!

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a special hard ticket event at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom after the park closes. This gives you access to the park with smaller crowds than you would experience during the day and access to special entertainment including the Boo-To-You Parade, Happy HalloWishes Fireworks Show, and so much more! Trick or Treat throughout the park in costumes while enjoying special photo ops that you don't normally see during normal parks hours. You will see more villains out and could even possibly get your picture with Snow White and all Seven Dwarfs.

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party runs select nights from August 25 through November 1, 2017. Prices for tickets start at $74 for adults and $69 for children. As you get closer to Halloween ticket prices increase.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is also a hard ticket event at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom after the park closes. This party also has magical seasonal experiences available to you including the Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration stage show, and A Frozen Holiday Wish that brings some of your favorite new princesses to transform Cinderella's Castle into a glimmering ice palace for the holidays.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is available on select nights from November 9 through December 22, 2017. Tickets start at $84 for children and $89 for adults.

Both parties start at 7 pm and run through midnight traditionally with several performances of each show and parade. You can enter the park as early as 4 pm so this is a great way to finish a day after shopping at Disney Springs or after having enjoyed a morning at one of the water parks.

Justin is a Travel Planner for Snapshot Getaways, please contact him at to plan your next vacation or with any questions. Don’t forget to also like his Facebook Page for updates!

 *Photos from Disney Parks Blog

Thursday, April 6, 2017


Disney released dates for some of its favorite holiday parties. Ticket prices and sale dates have not been announced yet. Keep checking back here at Disney Devoted and we will keep you up to date when that information releases. It is never to early to start planning for these dates and our Snapshot Getaways agents are ready to help make magic.

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

August 25 and 29, 2017

September 1, 7, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26 and 29, 2017

October 1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 29 and 31, 2017

November 1, 2017

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

November 8, 9, 12, 14, 16, 17, 26 and 28

December 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21 and 22

Amanda Hansel is a self proclaimed Disney nerd who has 2 boys. She is also a travel agent with Snapshot Getaways. You can find her on Facebook and on Twitter. She would love to hear from you or chat about Disney with you.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Summer Magic Pricing at Disney World!

Dive into summer magic with a fun-filled family room and ticket package. With this offer, you can enjoy a package that includes a 4-night stay in a standard room at a select Disney's All-Star Resort and 4-day Magic Your Way base tickets for as low as $1,962. Sample package price is valid for a family of 4 for stays most Sunday through Thursday nights from June 11 through August 31, 2017.
It's the perfect time to explore all there is to see and do across all 4 theme parks—and be among the first to visit Pandora – The World of AVATAR, a jaw-dropping new land at Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. 
Book through July 14, 2017.
Travel window: May 28 – August 31, 2017

Availability is limited, but Snapshot Getaways is here to help!  Fill out a quote form today.