Why use a travel agent for Disney when I can book it myself?

I get asked pretty frequently why anyone would book their vacation through me, when they can just do it themselves online. The short answer is that when you book with your local travel agent, you are supporting a small business, versus booking directly with Disney. It doesn't cost anything extra to have me book a vacation than what it does when you go straight to the site, however, you are helping me to grow my business, and support my family when you book through me. 

The long answer covers so much more though! Here are 10 reasons why you should book with me!

My Old Fashioned Life

Things around here are so crazy with back to school and Fall looming right around the corner. I thought, with everything I have on my mind, it would be great to share a little more about my life and home. 
Our home when we first moved in

My Favorite Disney Park

Asking me to pick my favorite Disney Park is like asking me to pick my favorite child. I love each of them for their uniqueness. Depending on my mood, one park may edge out another slightly (okay, maybe with one exception...I'm looking at you Hollywood Studios). EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, and Animal Kingdom though...they all hold a very special place in my heart. When pressed for a favorite, Animal Kingdom will be my answer, almost every time.

Back to School Breakfast Burritos


It's that time of year again! School started back this week for Carolyn and Evan, and for kids all across the country. Gone are the lazy summer mornings, replaced by a feeling of rushing around, making sure everyone gets out the door in time with everything they need for the day. It takes some planning to make it look like I actually have my stuff together first thing in the morning. Breakfast prep is a huge step in the right direction. 

Golf Getaway Weekend

Remember last week when I plugged Girls Getaway Weekend, hosted by Living With the Magic Vacations? Well, this week, I have another amazing event to share, and this one is for the guys!


Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

This morning, while I was walking Hank, I noticed that unmistakable feeling of back to school and Fall in the air. We had a cool front come in overnight, and it is making me crave boots, leggings, and sitting by the fire pit. It also got me thinking about my favorite time of the year at Walt Disney World, and my absolute favorite event, Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party! 



Double 'Ohana, Double The Fun, Part 1

Wow, where did this week go? I swear it grew wings and flew! Today for Foodie Friday, I am sharing my review of 'Ohana, one of my absolute favorite restaurants at Disney World. We were able to get reservations for both dinner AND breakfast when we went to the World in April. Today, we take a look at dinner!


This is the sign of good things to come!

Balance

Today, I want to talk about how to balance this crazy life. But first, a plug for the perfect way to help find yourself and that balance! Living With the Magic Vacations is hosting our 2nd Annual Girls' Getaway Weekend in 2017. It is a perfect chance for the girls to say goodbye to all their worries for a few days! 
I'm going...and you should too!

Disney World With a Teenager

On our last trip to Disney World, I was a little worried about the age differences of our kids and finding the right balance on our trip for everyone to have fun. We have a 15, 10, and 4 year old...quite the age span, and trying to make sure everyone is included in the fun is sometimes a challenge. One of the great things about staying at a Walt Disney World Resort is that once you are on property, you can get anywhere with their transportation.

Souvenirs

   
 One of the big questions that comes up in planning a trip is, “How much money should I bring for souvenirs for my kids?” The answer really comes down to, “As much as you are comfortable spending”, but, that isn’t a very concrete answer that helps in budgeting! There are a few ways that parents can go about souvenirs for their kids….and you will definitely want a plan in place, because, when in Disney, everywhere you turn, you are confronted with awesome things to buy.
    I have heard of a lot of people going to the Disney Store Outlet, or other stores to buy souvenirs ahead of time, and then each morning before going out to the parks, the kids wake up to a “Tinkerbell Gift”. This can be something that fits the theme of the park for the day, or stuffed animals, stickers, Disney themed t-shirts, Mickey ears, etc. Parents report that this is a great way to get the kids moving in the morning, and it helps keep the “I want/need this” at bay when they are in the parks.
    We have found what works best for us is to ask family for Disney Gift Cards for our kids for birthdays and holidays as soon as we start planning a trip. Then, when we surprise them with telling them they are going to Disney, we present them with any gift cards, and tell them who they are from, so they can call and thank everyone who contributed cards. Our kids also earn an allowance, and we encourage them to bring their money that they have saved up to spend on souvenirs. We make it clear before we leave that we will buy one thing for each of them while we are in Disney World, but anything else they want, they have their own money to spend. We also remind the kids that we have X amount of days, and if they spend all their money the first day, they are out for the rest of the trip. This helps them to remember to divide up their money at the beginning of the trip to help spread it out. I personally love this way to buy souvenirs. It helps to teach the kids money management, and I have found that the things they pick out and use their own money on are the things they care about the most when we come home from a vacation. Plus, it is a big help for us, as parents, to not worry about where to fit souvenirs into the budget!       
Three years later, and Stitch is still a very well loved souvenir!

When you travel to a Disney destination, there will be so many buying opportunities, and it is best to go in with a plan, otherwise, you will go way over your budget before you know it. Think ahead of time how you want to plan your spending. Whether it is a certain allotment per day, bringing in your own souvenirs for the kids, or having your kids bring their own money with them, make sure that the plan is in place, and let your kids know the expectations ahead of time. Doing so will save your sanity, and your wallet.




Downtime


           
One of the biggest perks of staying on property at Walt Disney World, aside from the magic of being immersed in Disney magic 24/7, is the ability to easily return to your resort for a midday break. When you are travelling, especially with children, I cannot stress enough how important it is to take a few hours in the middle of the day to break and recharge for the evening.

Be Our Guest French Onion Soup....almost

Happy Friday, Happy birthday to me, and Happy Foodie Recipe Day!

Fridays around here will be delicious! I will post Disney inspired recipes, restaurant reviews, and maybe some just for fun recipes that I think you need to know!

So, for our first recipe, last night I made French Onion Soup! It has been on my mind for awhile. You know that feeling...when you get a craving for something, and eventually you have to cave? It was one of those things! So, even though we were under a heat advisory, and it was hot and sticky as all get out, and anything but soup weather, soup I made.

Heaven!

Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After

Once upon a time, a family went to Walt Disney World.
We had had a particularly long day at EPCOT the day before. One of those days where you become “THAT” family…you know the one. The one who starts fighting for no good reason, other than because everyone is so darn tired.

Welcome!


   Hi, and welcome to Just a Spoonful of Sugar! My name is Amy, and I am a work at home mom of 3, plus 2 fur babies. I am a Travel Agent for Living With the Magic Vacations, and I get to spend my days doing one of the things I love most...planning Disney vacations.