Archive for December, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all of our friends, clients and fans (many of you fall into multiple categories)!  We have enjoyed helping you plan your vacations in 2012 and look forward to planning many more trips with you in 2013 and beyond.  We wish you and yours a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2013.

We have a lot to look forward to in 2013.  We will have a couple group sailings – on Oasis of the Seas in April and the Disney Magic in October.  There is still room for you to join us!  We also are looking to begin offering more to you in 2013.  From new promotions to new travel vendors, we plan to be able to offer an even more complete package for your travel needs.

We always encourage travel insurance, especially when traveling out of the country.  In the past we have offered insurance through the travel vendor or recommended checking online for alternative options, but in 2013 Travel On A Dream will start offering independent travel insurance for you as well.  We are excited to be able to offer this to you.

Happy New Year!

Juneau, Alaska

New Disney Discounts

Today, Disney World started a new promotion for Disney Visa cardholders.  This promotion is somewhat of a combined room only/package offer with room discounts of up to 30% and discounted tickets with a purchase of at least a 4 day ticket.  There is no minimum number of nights that you must stay to get the room discount and one of the dining plans can be added to a package as well.

This promotion is available for stays from February 18, 2013 to March 23, 2013 and again from April 2, 2013 to June 14, 2013.  The offer will be available to the general public on January 3, 2013.  It must be booked by March 7, 2013 for stays in February and March and by Marcy 31, 2013 for stays in April, May and June.

We have seen lower prices with this promotion off of non-discounted packages and better rates than AAA discounts on room only reservations.  The Play, Stay & Dine offer has been coming back as a better promotion and PIN offers have also been better.  The offer is subject to availability.  If you book with the Disney Visa promotion, a deposit will need to be applied at the time of booking.  Excluded from the promotion are Fort Wilderness campsites, Art of Animation standard rooms (Little Mermaid) and 3 bedroom villas.

Additionally, we are hearing that Disney Cruise Line will release more dates for the Kids Sail Free promotion on January 2, 2013.  With two full-fare guests in the same stateroom for categories 4A to 11B, kids will only pay taxes (approximately $40 – $84 based on cruise length).  Most sailings departing from Galveston, Texas between January 12 and April 26, 2013 will be included in this offer, subject to availability.  The offer excludes suites, category 11C and xGT (guarantee categories with restrictions).

Contact us today for your Disney World or Disney Cruise Line vacation!

A New Year, A New Destination

For some, vacation means going to the same places all the time.  But for others, they want some new adventure in their lives.  One of our agents, Debbie Higgins, is starting a new column in our newsletter called “A New Year, A New Destination”.  This month she is talking about Costa Rica as a new destination for you to visit.  There are so many other possibilities so we wanted to ask you, which new destinations do you want us to write about in 2013?  Please answer our poll her or on Facebook and let us know where you would like to go.  And to all of our readers, if you want to contribute by writing an article about your favorite destination, we’d love to hear from you!  Just email us at info@TravelOnADream.com.

Give Kids the World Village Auction

When you want to take your family to Disney World or Universal Studios, most will either contact their travel agent or get online and start researching.  There is a lot that goes into planning your family vacation.  But for some, there are more things to consider.  For families of children with life-threatening illnesses, there are other considerations.  Many of them have medical and financial issues which can restrict their travel.

Give Kids the World Village is a 70-acre, nonprofit “storybook” resort which treats these children and their families to a one week vacation including accommodations, transportation, tickets, meals and much more.  Since 1986, Give Kids the World (GKTW) has hosted more than 110,000 families.  The story behind GKTW is inspiring.  Read more about GKTW at www.givekidstheworld.org.

When I attended the grand opening events at New Fantasyland, I was asked to help with an auction for GKTW.  This auction, started by Adventures by Daddy will give 100% of the proceeds to GKTW, allowing them to continue to provide week-long, cost free trips to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.  Up for auction is this print of Eric’s castle with Ariel, signed by Jodi Benson.

Please check out Adventure by Daddy‘s blog and follow this link to bid on the auction.  Auction ends December 28, 2012. Thank you for your support of this wonderful organization!

Expedition Everest Challenge? What’s Happening to Me?

I admit it.  I am not what you would call active.  I don’t know that I would go as far as saying couch potato, but I do have an aversion to exercise.  It’s boring, it makes me sweat, it’s all things I don’t like.  My idea of exercise is doing yard work, shoveling snow, going for a walk, cleaning the house.  There is a purpose in each of those activities.

A bit over a year ago, I committed to completing a 5k as a fundraiser for Running for Rescues.  There was more of a purpose to exercising here.  It was helping rescue animals.  I thought I could do this.  After all, a 5k isn’t that long, I have certainly walked that much at Disney World.

My training started as the weather got better in the spring.  I bought a good pair of walking shoes and my husband and I started walking.  Within a couple weeks, we were able to complete a 5k in just over an hour.  We continued training, walking at least a mile a day.  Then in July, we completed an unofficial 5k while on a cruise in Cozumel.  Our time was under an hour!

In September, our village had a 5k that we decided we could try.  This would be our first official race.  We did good, completing the race in 56:15.  Not bad, it was a start!  In October, despite Hurricane Sandy, we managed to get in our 5k on our ToaD Fantasy sailing.  Our time was definitely better, but it wasn’t official so I can’t say exactly how long it took us.

As we were discussing the next ToaD sailing, we realized that the Expedition Everest Challenge would take place the day that we get off the ship.  It starts at 10:00 pm at Animal Kingdom and we would be off the Oasis of the Seas in Fort Lauderdale by mid-morning at the latest.  This was doable!  Many of our cruisers decided they would be signing up.  It came down to my husband and I.  Would we fly home right after the cruise?  Would we go to Disney World and see everyone compete?  Or would we participate ourselves?  We discussed it and decided why not participate!

This would not be just a regular 5k though.  The race, as I said before, starts at 10:00 pm.  It is listed as a 5k trek with obstacles.  Oh no!  What did we get ourselves into?  The runDisney site describes the event:

Take a run on the wild side and uncover the mystery of the clues!

Take a run on the wild side during the Expedition Everest Challenge, a thrill-packed, timed endurance event that combines a 5K adventure run through Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park with the challenge of a scavenger hunt. Your nighttime adventure starts in base camp where you’ll begin a journey along an obstacle strewn course. Then get set for all the excitement of a scavenger hunt in the spectacular setting of Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. Complete the challenge and escape with a special edition Compass finisher medal.

I asked some friends how involved this would be and they all said we can handle it so we signed up!  The only glitch when I signed up was the Pacing Requirement.  We must be able to keep up a 16 minute mile pace or we will be picked up and transported to the finish line.  Our first official time was an 18 minute mile so we have a little work to do!  Time to get training.

Maybe with our new interest in racing events we should think about a ToaD running team.  What do you think?  Will you join us at the Expedition Everest Challenge?

New Fantasyland Grand Opening

I was lucky enough to be invited to the media event for New Fantasyland at the Walt Disney World resort last week.  The excitement began with the official announcement.  I received a book, reminiscent of the Golden Books, which told a story of New Fantasyland.

Storybook

Continue reading

2014 Disney Cruise Line Itineraries

Three times the Disney magic from Port Canaveral in 2014!

As we predicted, the Disney Cruise Line itineraries for 2014 will be opening soon.  Soon as in tomorrow for some guests!  Yes, tomorrow Gold and Platinum Castaway Club members will be able to book their 2014 sailings on Disney Cruise Line by phone starting at 8:00 am EST, with bookings open to all guests at 8:00 am EST on Thursday.

Sailing from Port Canaveral
3- and 4-night Bahamas
• Ports: Port Canaveral, Nassau, Castaway Cay
• Dates: Disney Dream departures Jan. 2 – Aug. 31, 2014; Disney Magic departures  Jan. 6 – May 16, 2014

The Disney Dream will be sailing on Thursdays and Sundays while the Disney Magic will be sailing on Fridays and Mondays.

7-night Eastern Caribbean
• Ports: Port Canaveral, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Castaway Cay
• Dates: Disney Fantasy departures Jan. 11 – Aug. 23, 2014

7-night Western Caribbean 
• Ports: Port Canaveral, Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Castaway Cay
• Dates: Disney Fantasy departures Jan. 4 – April 26, 2014

7-night Western Caribbean, including Jamaica
• Ports: Port Canaveral, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Falmouth, Castaway Cay
• Dates: Disney Fantasy departures May 10 – Aug. 30, 2014

Sailing from Miami
4-night Bahamas
• Ports: Miami, Castaway Cay , Nassau, Key West
• Dates: Disney Wonder departures Jan. 15 – April 23, 2014

5-night Caribbean
• Ports: Miami, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
• Dates: Disney Wonder departures Jan. 10 – April 18, 2014

5-night Caribbean, including Castaway Cay
• Ports: Miami, Cozumel, Castaway Cay
• Dates: Disney Wonder departures Jan. 19 – April 27, 2014

Contact your Travel On A Dream agent today so we can secure your reservation this week!

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