It's Not Too Late to Put THIS Under the Tree

There's still time to put a Disney Vacation under the tree this holiday!

For only $200 deposit (Disney World or Disneyland) or 20% down (Disney Cruise Line), your family can be on their way to making magical memories with your favorite Disney friends! Payment plans are an option and we'll be with you every step of the way!

As always, our services at Hi Ho Vacations are 100% free and 100% magical.

Who wants to experience the magic in 2016? 

Be one of the first to see the new Frozen attraction in EPCOT opening this Spring. Email for more info: or check one of the links listed to request a FREE quote for Disney Resort Pacakges and/or Disney Cruise Line.

Travel Deals on Disney Cruise Line 2016

Check out these great deals from DCL - and get your OWN FREE quote for a cruise today HERE - and ask me about our on board credit (OBC) offer!

Disney Cruise Line 14-Night Transatlantic Cruise (Port Canaveral, Florida) from $217* per person, per night.
Based on double occupancy Cruise fare for two Guests $6,076*
Taxes, Fees, and Port Expenses of approximately $160 per person not included
For 05/15/2016 sailing aboard Disney Magic
Category 5C Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah

7-Night Western Caribbean Cruise (Miami, Florida) from $169* per person, per night 
Based on double occupancy Cruise fare for two Guests $2,366* 
Taxes, Fees, and Port Expenses of approximately $135 per person not included
For 12/04/2016 sailing aboard Disney Magic 
Category 9C Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom

7-Night Western Caribbean Cruise (Port Canaveral, Florida) from $266* per person, per night 
Based on double occupancy Cruise fare for two Guests $3,724* 
Taxes, Fees, and Port Expenses of approximately $121 per person not included
For 04/30/2016 sailing aboard Disney Fantasy 
Category 5A Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah

5-Night Western Caribbean Cruise (Miami, Florida) from $181* per person, per night 
Based on double occupancy Cruise fare for two Guests $1,810* 
Taxes, Fees, and Port Expenses of approximately $102 per person not included
For 02/21/2016 sailing aboard Disney Wonder 
Category 9C Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom

Fill out my easy form for a quote or send an email today!

 *Rates in U.S. dollars and valid through December 31, 2015. Offer is subject to availability. Other restrictions may apply. All amounts subject to change. Gratuities and excursions are not included. See Disney Cruise Line website for applicable Terms and Conditions.

Star Wars at Disney: No More Weekends

Star Wars "weekends" will no longer be offered this spring...but new daily offerings we will available through the construction of Star Wars Land, starting in December 2015 in Hollywood Studios.

Star Tours – The Adventures Continue (Hollywood Studios) will be home to a brand new adventure inspired by the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. During the opening months, we’ll make sure that everyone who rides Star Tours will experience the new adventure. After that, it will be up to the will of the Force.

Here’s a sneak peek of where the Starspeeder 1000 will be taking us.

Sail Away Deck Party on Disney Cruise Line

Music and dancing is all that matters! This is my son, Jack, with his big sister, Natasha. Jack had to "break it down" right away when he heard one of his favorite songs from the ship's DJ! And FYI: This is a very common appearance on board a Disney Cruise, anywhere, any time. #DCLhappy

River Cruising with Adventures by Disney

If you've ever wanted to experience Europe on a river cruise and have a luxury experience, Adventures by Disney is the way to go. 

You'll experience firsthand the people and culture of the places you visit – and enjoy the ease of travel, service, VIP experiences and unique local opportunities that sets Adventures by Disney apart from the rest. For 2016, the Danube River Cruise is sure to be unforgettable and magical! Contact me today to find out more!

When is the Best Time...

Disney's  Private Island: Castaway Cay
Here are 2 super quick insider tips for you:

When is the BEST time to go to Disney or sail with Disney Cruise Line?

Look at a school holiday calendar. If school is out or if there is a large holiday upcoming, chances are, everyone is scheduling their getaway at the very same time.

When is the best time to book your vacation? 
With anything, the sooner the better. Inventory goes down and prices go up.
Opening day for new bookings are wildly popular to get the best deals and when the inventory is the highest.

If you'd like to be an "insider" and get more out of your vacation without all the planning stresses, get on my "alerts" list by sending me your name and email address to:

Have a magical day!

Free quotes available for any Disney resort packages and DCL with NO obligation.

Transatlantic Crossings on DCL

DCL Disney Cruise Line
Boat Building Contest - with our X-Wing Fighter
This past September, my family and I spent two weeks vacationing. We traveled to Barcelona, Spain and then headed onto the Disney Magic to cross the Atlantic Ocean and head to Miami, Florida -all within 11 glorious nights.

We had a Frozen-themed party "Freezing the Night Away", the traditional DCL pirate night, formal nights, officer pin trading events, tea parties, mixology classes, boat building contests, scavenger hunts, etcetera, etcetera! It was really, really amazing.

I know that some of you might be hesitant to take a look at the longer cruises that spend a long time on a ship -especially those that have so many sea days. I cannot tell you the amount of people who completely LOVED the idea of not seeing any land, no bugs, no birds, NOTHING... for days! It was relaxing. We had terrific weather. Captain John steered us away from a then tropical storm (later turned into Hurricane Joaquin!) - and we had a sun shower for a couple of brief moments. Weather could not have been nicer.
DCL Disney Cruise Line
At the Oceaneer's Club - The Avengers Academy

Many people onboard also talked about the amazing bargain this particular cruise provided - in my professional opinion, if you booked this cruise in May 2014 and happened to book while cruising with "the mouse", then you really got THE Disney Cruise Line deal of 2015.

It was a long cruise and very affordable.

There were not a lot of port stops for the Westbound Transatlantic (WBTA) this year, so that kept the pricing very low.

Next year's crossings have a lot of stops, so port fees and taxes are configured into the overall cost of the cruise - but in all honesty, it's the re-positioning cruises (such as the East/West Atlantic crossings, the Panama Canal) that are some of the most enjoyable if not the best bargains out there offered by DCL.

In the next coming days, I'll post more info about our overall experience and lots more pictures.

Wishing you all a magical day and smooth sailing no matter where you might be right now...!

On Board Credit - What You Need to Know Now

A lot of first time, second time and even multiple-time cruisers don't know: an AUTHORIZED
Disney vacation planning service can apply on board credit (OBC) to your reservations with Disney Cruise Line.

If you book direct with Disney for your first cruise, there will not be any OBC available. Going through me at Hi Ho Vacations will get you that added bonus.

Better yet, on ANY on board bookings where you get up to $200 from Disney for being a repeat cruiser, I can also add to that amount if the reservation is transferred to me at our earmarked agency.

As a vacation planner at Hi Ho Vacations, I work for you -and best yet, I work for free on your behalf. Disney pays me a small commission to do all the planning for you, never a fee and we love to add pixie dust to each reservation.

If you booked on board within the last 30 days, or if you're looking to book for the first time,  please contact me ASAP to find out more information.

I specialize in everything Disney - from the parks, resorts to the cruises and Adventures by Disney experiences. Most of all, I love making your travel experiences as magical as possible! Let me know how I can help. Happy to be of service!

Leaving Barcelona: All Aboard

Jack and his sister, Natasha ready to go!
A little funny moment of truth here.

While we meticulously kept pretty much everything about a Disney Cruise vacation from our naturally inquisitive preschooler a huge secret, the big reveal was more of an epic failure.

Honestly, Jack's favorite vacation is a Disney Cruise. He talks about it constantly. While keeping it secret for months, he continued to ask, "Mommy, when are we going on our next Disney Cruise?" with his little blue eyes batting at me with all his hopes and dreams waiting on my positive answer. I had to reply, "I'm not sure, but I'll try to do it soon."

Inside, I was squealing with happy anxiety. I wanted him to know! We're going! We're going! But no. We kept it quiet. And it wasn't easy.

It didn't help that our hotel in Barcelona also had a hospitality desk for DCL that was right there in the lobby! He asked about it, but kind of shrugged it off because he thinks that everything Disney is an everyday occurrence for just about everyone. It really is his normal since I plan Disney vacations for a living now. Jack might think the entire world only goes on a Disney Cruise Line vacation at every possible turn. (We have some work to do as parents, I know!)

Our Mickey Shirts
After spending 3 beautiful days in Spain, phase two of Operation Surprise Jack was in full swing. We decided to wait until the day we departed by taxi to the port in Barcelona to finally fess up and tell the tyke what was really up. It was a lot of excitement!

We all wore a Disney shirt before leaving the hotel. Still, Jack was not even remotely tipped off that something was going on. At the hotel, a huge bus load of cruisers were getting ready to depart for port. He didn't really flinch. We were waiting on our private transfer "to fly back home to New York." Jack was more concerned about the size of the taxi being large enough for us. I'm not kidding. This child has a penchant for these things.

Anyway, before entering the taxi, I explained to the cabbie that our son thinks we are going to the airport but we were surprising him with a cruise. the driver nodded and understood...

After a ten minute ride towards the ship, I pulled out my cell phone. I had pre-recorded Mickey and Goofy messages for him. The character calls were wishing him a magical time on our transatlantic journey! I played them and he just looked completely confused.

He stared out the window and kept talking about going on a Delta plane back to New York. I think our Spanish cab driver thought we were American morons that didn't know how to really surprise a four year old with a vacation.

Once we got closer to port and he saw the Magic sitting there at the dock, that's when it clicked. He jumped out of his seat!

Yay! We were going home the long way and it was MUCH better than sitting in an aircraft for 8 hours.  And the story continues....
Disney Cruise Line App - Fully Counted Down to ALL ABOARD!

Day 3: A Day of Sights & Shopping

We got a late start today, but we managed to do a lot in the hours we had left in Barcelona: Las Ramblas, some Iberico ham shopping at the market "Boqueria" and a fantastic seafood dinner. 
We are looking forward to checking out of our hotel tomorrow morning - and heading to port. Little guy still knows's all been very "impromptu" to him, even so this trip has been planned over 18 months ago. I love surprises, hope he does too!

Day 2: Barcelona is Better Post Jetlag

Arriving from NYC to Barcelona after an almost 7-hour flight is not horrible, but it does require the physiological adjustment! We all had some sleep issues, but tomorrow we're really hoping to not have that mid-day slump.
Today we scoped out a quick breakfast and went for a walk. Out and about on our Day 2 was more interesting, even if it meant that we inadvertently walked towards Las Ramblas. We have that on tomorrow's "to do" list - so we got a quick preview this afternoon.

We took a took a cab to our favorite seafood restaurant, Can Majo. (TRAVEL TIP: You must go to specific areas to hail a taxi in Barcelona - taxi stands are available all over the place, but you cannot just get a cab anywhere - has to be at a designated area or it is considered illegal.)

After lunch, we strolled along the beach and headed towards a gelato/chocolate shop: Vioko. The Catalan flavor was my favorite and we bought some chocolates to enjoy later.
So far, we've had fun... we're still a bit tired, but excited for the weekend.
Just one more day before we board the Disney Magic! More to come tomorrow...

Ice cream at Vioko is a delicious experience

Day 1: Arrival in Barcelona

Bienvenidos a EspaƱa!
We launched part 1 of 2 surprise vacation plans yesterday. To be honest, our 4 year old, Jack, didn't find anything unusual at all about an impromptu international flight. 
I don't know if I should be concerned or flattered?!
We arrived with no issues and are taking day one to muddle through jet lag. Hopefully tomorrow will be much more interesting!
¡Hasta pronto!
(Pictured: Jack with his big sister, Natasha) 

Special Exclusive DISNEY Southern California Backstage Magic

Adventures by Disney Southern California Backstage Magic - Hi Ho Vacations **exclusive** departure July 17-22, 2016!
We are thrilled to announce an Adventures by Disney experience being reserved exclusively to Hi Ho Vacations guests in 2016 - the Southern California Backstage Magic! Walk in Walt’s footsteps and become immersed in a history that has touched so many. Adventure highlights below. Contact ASAP to learn more as availability is limited.

•Private Hollywood Tour
•Exclusive VIP visit to the Jim Henson Company Studios
•Exclusive Access at Walt Disney Imagineering
•Walt Disney’s Disneyland Apartment
•2 day VIP experience at Disneyland Park and California Adventure Park
•First Class accommodations, most meals, and many special extras included in the trip. *Price does not include flights.
•Adults: $2,879 Children ages 4-11: $2,739 price based on double occupancy. Price includes a $150 early booking discount!
•Must book by January 3, 2016!

"Out of This World" Breakfast at Disney's Hollywood Studios

There's so much to love about the Sci Fi Dine in Theater at Disney's Hollywood Studios. It can be tough to get a reservation at this themed restaurant -where you can dine in your car while you view films on the big screen.

Now, Sci Fi is offering "out of this world" breakfast for a limited time beginning November 1. Contact me today to inquire about a reservation!

Top 5 Disney Cruise Line Updates

What's coming to Disney Cruise Line? Here's the top 5 things you need to know now:
1. Disney Dream will have a Star Wars themed area in the Oceaneer's Club put in this fall.
2. Additional Frozen cruises to Norway will be scheduled
3. Star Wars Cruises will continue into the Spring 
4. Wonder does NOT have an official refurb scheduled - this is due to the Panama Canal Construction. Currently, she is the only ship that fits through the locks, but once the construction is complete, it is likely that all ships WILL, and she will go into dry dock for a reimagination like the Magic had a few years ago. Nothing is official, but it is likely that she will have a the ducktail added at this time, like the other ships.
5. Tangled the Musical will be on the Magic later this year.

Top 10 Things to Do at Disney World When You're Not at the Parks

If you've ever wondered what to do on a day at the Happiest Place on Earth without hopping into a park, here are the Top 10 Things to Do on a Non-Park Day! 
10. Swim at Resort pool
9. Downtown Disney - Lots of shopping and dining, no ticket required.
8. Putt Putt - Fantasia Gardens and WinterSummerland are both fun and there are coupons for 2 free games with all Disney packages. In 2016, 4 free games per package will be included.
7. Resort Hop - Resorts have all sorts of events that you don't have to be a guest to enjoy - learn to draw a Character at Art of Animation with an Animator.
6. Play African drums in the lobby of Animal Kingdom Lodge and enjoy the look out areas and animals
5. Take a Carriage Ride or Fish at Port Orleans Riverside
4. Enjoy Sammy Duval's Watersports at the Contemporary Resort, or rent a pontoon or fishing boat at Wilderness Lodge, Contemporary, Grand Floridian, Polynesian.
3. Ride surrey bikes at several resorts (Coronado Springs, Beach Club, etc)
2. Visit the Boardwalk and play the games and see roving entertainers in the evenings
1. Watch the movies on the beach/grounds/pool most nights at 9 pm weather permitting.
Bonus - Attend Chip and Dale's Campfire Singalong at Fort Wilderness Campground. This is a free event, and you can purchase s'mores kits if you wish at the wagon.

This list appeared on Disney Done Right Facebook Group, courtesy of Katie Dixon, Hi Ho Vacations

Top 10 Things to Do at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP)

Headed to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) this year at Disney? 
This event takes place from September 15 - November 1, 2015 on select nights. 

Here's the top ten things you'll what to do:

10. Dress up - you'll be glad you did (Adults, too!)
9. Watch the LATE parade. I like near Country Bear Jamboree.
8. Watch the Halloween Fireworks from a full castle view- Best that Disney does in my opinion
7. Ride Haunted Mansion and enjoy listening to the "ghost" out front talk and carry on. She's hilarious. There is a special picture in this area too. Ask for it.
6. Trick or Treat Trails - Bring a larger bag (zip lock) to dump into and seal. Find your favorite candy, and do that trail again! (adults too!)
5. Characters!! Eeyore is out with Tigger and Pooh, Jack Skellington and Sally are up front *prepare for a LONG wait*, princesses galore! Plus everyone's favorite Dwarfs (no autographs here)
4. Check out special Halloween Party merchandise including a new exclusive pin each night of the party. Don't wait - once these items sell out, they're gone.
3. Ride Buzz Lightyear (or your favorite ride). Now ride it again. Lines are some of the shortest you'll find during parties.
2. Enter the park early with your party ticket - you can enter at 4 pm.
1. Bonus fastpasses from 4pm to 7 pm. Book your first from 3:25 - 4:25 to make this work best. You'll get in at 4 and head to first fastpass. Choose location carefully.
**Bonus I forgot!*** See the stage show with the Villains! This is brand new this year and is always fabulous. They do autographs after some shows but NOT before parades.

This top ten list originally appeared on the closed Facebook group: Disney Done Right, 
courtesy of Hi Ho Vacations Planner, Katie Dixon

Our September Surprise

I am so excited to have a big surprise for my four year old: we are taking a transatlantic Disney Cruise in September from Barcelona to Miami and we have NOT SAID A WORD.

In the past, we have done countdowns. Day by day, our little guy, Jack, counts each day with a level of excitement that cannot be contained. He's just bursting with energy and wants to tell the world when his next Disney cruise is happening.

Until this time.

We're keeping it all under wraps. He knows nothing.

We also had it planned for over a year and a half.

What I plan on doing is telling him the night before we fly to Barcelona that we're going on vacation.

I'm going to use this blog to journal that adventure.

Right now, we just have this:

I'm hoping this will be a way to score some "Awesome Mom" points that I can use later -when he's a teenager and thinks I'm lame! ;)

Have you ever surprised anyone with a vacation? This is my very first time, so I am very open to hearing and sharing ideas of what to do to make this extra special!

Sample Disney Cruise Line Offers

If you've ever wondered what a Disney Cruise Line vacation might cost, well, here you go! I've put together samples for you to take a look.*

If you'd like a personalized, no-obligation quote, please send me a request HERE.

3-Night Bahamian Cruise (Port Canaveral, Florida) from $169* per person, per night Based on Disney Magic Category 9C Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom
double occupancy Cruise fare for two Guests $1,014* Taxes, Fees, and Port Expenses of approximately $68 per person not included For 03/03/2016 sailing aboard

4-Night Bahamian Cruise (Port Canaveral, Florida) from $234* per person, per night Based on double occupancy Cruise fare for two Guests $1,872* Taxes, Fees, and Port Expenses of approximately $70 per person not included For 11/14/2016 sailing aboard Disney Dream Category 5A Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah

4-Night Bahamian Cruise (Miami, Florida) from $169* per person, per night Based on double occupancy Cruise fare for two Guests $1,352* Taxes, Fees, and Port Expenses of approximately $104 per person not included For 01/20/2016 sailing aboard Disney Magic Category 9C Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom

**5-Night Western Caribbean Cruise (Miami, Florida) from $163* per person, per night Based on double occupancy Cruise fare for two Guests $1,630* Taxes, Fees, and Port Expenses of approximately $102 per person not included For 11/29/2015 sailing aboard Disney Magic Category 9C Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom

**7-Night Western Caribbean Cruise (Port Canaveral, Florida) from $243* per person, per night Based on double occupancy Cruise fare for two Guests $3,402* Taxes, Fees, and Port Expenses of approximately $102 per person not included For 12/12/2015 sailing aboard Disney Fantasy Category 5A Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah 

7-Night Norwegian Fjords Cruise (Copenhagen, Denmark) from $251* per person, per night Based on double occupancy Cruise fare for two Guests $3,514* Taxes, Fees, and Port Expenses of approximately $95 per person not included For 06/29/2016 sailing aboard Disney Magic Category 11B Standard Inside Stateroom

7-Night Western Caribbean Cruise (Port Canaveral, Florida) from $266* per person, per night Based on double occupancy Cruise fare for two Guests $3,724* Taxes, Fees, and Port Expenses of approximately $121 per person not included For 04/30/2016 sailing aboard Disney Fantasy Category 5A Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah

If you'd like a personalized, no-obligation quote, please send me a request HERE.

*Rates in U.S. dollars and valid through July 31, 2015. Offer is subject to availability. Other restrictions may apply. All amounts subject to change. Gratuities and excursions are not included. See Disney Cruise Line website for applicable Terms and Conditions.

Magical Family Savings

You can save up to 25% on rooms at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels this fall! 
For stays most nights October 4 – December 23, 2015

With seasonal events – Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival to Holidays at Walt Disney World Resort – it’s a great time of year to visit! And, when you stay at a Disney Resort hotel, you’ll be right in the middle of the magic.

The number of rooms available for this offer is limited. Book today for the best availability!

Contact me today for more info:
Office: (212) 684-6566
Online Booking Form

Surprise Selfies!

Just to be silly, I thought I would share one of my favorite selfie moments while on board the Disney Magic last year.

For fun, I took my phone and ran up to Pirate Stitch and asked, "How about a surprise selfie?"!

It was always fun and I think the characters liked it, too.
On our next trip, I fully plan on doing the"Surprise Selfies" again.

This time, I will do so from the day of embarkation and get as many as possible!

Have you ever done an interesting photo with a character? Who's your favorite?

5 Things I Learned While Traveling to Disney with a Little One

As a mom, there are things that you know -other things, you learn along the way. A little bit of knowledge meets experience type of thing.

Then, there are the things that you WISHED someone would have shared with you long before you had that, "Oh geez! Why didn't I think of that?!" moment.

When I first took our son, Jack, to Disney World, he was barely two years old. I wasn't really prepared for anything other than making sure we had the stroller, plenty of snacks and his regular gear in his diaper bag. I remembered a change of clothes, the sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bottled water, sippy cup and all the basics were covered.

What I wished I knew ahead of time:

1.  The sea of strollers outside the rides make it a bit of an enigma to find your own when you emerge from the ride or attraction. Searching for your specific stroller can be a big undertaking at times - so have SOMETHING on yours to differentiate it from all the others! Now, since we were already IN the park when we made this discovery, we bought a miniature Goofy plush keychain with his bright green hat to hang off the side. It's now 2 years later and it still hangs on our son's stroller and helps us identify our property so much easier. Save yourself a little money and get something like this before leaving for vacation. It's such a simple thing to do, yet makes a world of difference.

2.  Avoid the "not enough storage" message you'll get when there is no longer any room for pictures on your phone. Don't forget to clean out your smartphone before leaving on vacation, so you will have more room to save those precious memories! This could also mean deleting any unnecessary apps and downloading/saving all of your photos and videos to your computer or other storage device prior to leaving on your trip.

3.  Have everyone in your party wear BRIGHT COLORS! I made the mistake of not telling my husband to wear his orange or green shirt one day at the parks and I was frustrated by noon! When there are large crowds, having something that is easily recognizable is just smart. With my husband wearing grey, he blended into everything. Talk about raging mad! I could NOT find my husband and he had his phone on mute...! It was not a fun time until I found him! You're on holiday so brighten up that wardrobe! Save the drab for home!

4.  Buy souvenirs ahead of time -and by all means, do NOT over-pack. If you're traveling with a young child, you're already packing for every scenario. It's way too easy to get overwhelmed. Don't. At Hi Ho Vacations, we provide clients with a quick packing list. It's a bit of a "Disney Hack" list -but it's terrific!

5.  And honestly, I wish I knew what a travel agent was, how he/she could monitor my reservation FOR me and give me all these tips and so much more. It's a big part of why I wanted to become a Disney vacation planner: I REALLY UNDERSTAND it. I've been to Disney without the help and it's a heck of a lot harder! I want you and your family to have FUN. Enjoy everything that Disney has to offer.

We have the inside scoop, we work with vendors who give us deals on rentals and other lesser-known items on the cruises and at the parks. Plus, our services at Hi Ho Vacations are 100% free. If you're interested in knowing more, contact me or fill out a free, no-obligation quote form for the resorts or Disney Cruise Line.

If you have any other "Disney Hacks" to add to the list, please let me know!

Saving Money on Disney Cruise Line

Quick list about how to SAVE on Disney Cruise Line (DCL):

  • Book early - Do NOT wait!
  • Book your next cruise while on board and get 10% off prevailing rates (on most sailings, there are exceptions, so check to see that your cruise has the discount)
  • Reduced deposit when on board PLUS DCL OBC and if you use a travel agent (like me!) then you also get additional OBCs
  • If you don't know which cruise you want, use the $200 placeholder option.
  • Always use an Authorized Disney Vacation Planning Service - if you're cruising the first time or if you're on board, be sure to list Victoria Prather at Hi Ho Vacations as your agent and agency!
  • You can also transfer a booking to me if you've booked in 30 days or less -and I'll help you with your reservation.

Most people don't know that the EARLIER you book a vacation -especially a Disney vacation - the MORE you could save.

It's also a good guide to use a school calendar for knowing when the "high" and "low" seasons are going to take place at the parks or on the cruises. This information can also help guide you in knowing when the more affordable rates might be occurring.

For example, my upcoming transatlantic crossing with Disney Cruise Line is this September. My son is only 4 years old, so we kind of have the luxury of not worrying about school obligations and attendance mandates, (Yes, I know! That is a big plus!) We also booked this cruise while on board in May of 2014; we booked for September 2015 - when the rates were JUST released.

Plus, we are taking a longer, 11-night cruise for 4 people with a category 4B stateroom - that's a Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom with Private Verandah (on Deck 8, FWD) - and it is costing under $4,000 for ALL four of us!

That's ELEVEN nights!! Plus, I have $250 of ON BOARD CREDIT.

How did I do it?
I booked ON BOARD, I booked early while also on a cruise AND I used a travel agent. That simple. Yes, I used a travel agent before I became a travel agent with Hi Ho Vacations!

If you want to know how I can save you money NOW and get you on board credit for your first or next Disney Cruise, click HERE. Fill out the form and I'll get back to you with FREE, no-obligation quotes. You can also call (212) 684-6566 or email me.

The best deal is to book NOW for 2016. Remember: Don't wait. Prices of cruises can change from day-to-day.

And, I love helping families enjoy vacations with Disney as much as I do AND save you money along the way. It's why I do what I do!

For more information direct from DCL, see FAQs about reservations.

Planning and Paying for the Disney Dream

In a recent chat with a client, she asked me the following questions about financing a Disney

vacation. As my client said, "Wow! This is GREAT information! I had no need to get this out there!" So, here it is - frequently asked questions about how to afford a Disney Vacation:

"I want to do a Disney vacation, but I just don't have a lot of money upfront [now] to put towards a future trip."
You don't have to pay for your vacation all at one time if you're booking in advance. There is a deposit to put down, but then you can make payments on your own schedule until the payment in full is due - that depends on the type of package you've arranged and if it's a resort or with Disney Cruise Line.

"If I don't pay for my vacation all at once, will there be finance or interest charges?"
No, not through Disney. Obviously, if you put a payment on your own personal credit card, you're bound by the agreements with your card; it all depends on your method of payment.  Disney allows Guests to pay just a deposit for trips that are booked in advance and you can pay over time on your own schedule. If you request a free, no-obligation quote, I can send you the details at that time. It all depends on when you book and for what resort or if it is for Disney Cruise Line.

"I've heard of ways to save up for a Disney Vacation - what do you know about that?"
There is a no-fee Disney Vacation Savings Plan that a lot of people have signed up to do. I recommend clients to take a look for themselves to see if it fits their family's needs:
What's most appealing to that plan is how you'll be eligible for a $20 Disney Gift Card for every $1000 you spend on qualified vacation purchases with your Disney Vacation Account prior to December 31, 2017 (date subject to extension), up to a total $500 in Disney Gift Card(s) per household. Check their link for the specifics.

"Do you know anywhere else can I save?"
There is a Disney Visa card that also has special perks available - zero percent financing (terms and conditions apply) and other members only advantages that would be worth looking into
And while I have not done it myself, there are Disney Gift Cards that vacationers like to purchase  discounted gift cards on websites such as and/or eBay. Some grocery stores sell Disney gift cards as well. These gift cards offer savings from 5% - 10% on average. I'd recommend a Google search for the latest deals on them -as you can also use these to pay for your Disney vacation.

"Great tips for saving, but don't you charge a fee?"
Absolutely NOT! My services as a travel agent for an authorized Disney Vacation Planning Service are completely, 100% free. I give you personalized service and know how and where to look for the best deals, apply promotions and make your dreams come true! Each Disney Vacation is different; there are thousands of ways to experience Disney. I take the time to listen to your hopes and Disney dreams and then customize a plan with premium tips and tricks tailored to your family! 

I can be reached via email or phone (212) 684-6566. Live chat is also available on this page; if I am in the office, you'll see the contact me button on the lower left corner of this webpage. I also have the online quote requests - resorts or cruises.  

Have a magical day!


Candlelight Processional: The Holidays at Epcot

Epcot during the holidays is a sight not to be missed - especially the Candlelight Processional.

Guests experience holiday magic at this seasonal showcase for all ages at America Gardens Theatre.

Each year, the Candlelight Processional makes its way to Epcot, where the rich sounds of the full orchestra and choir fill the theatre, and a special guest narrator takes the stage.

In the wintertime, Holidays Around The World transforms Epcot into an international celebration of Yuletide traditions filled with festive decorations and live entertainment. A special event that’s part of the festivities, the processional is a wonderful way to share the magic of the season with your family and friends! For many Guests, the processional has become an essential family tradition.
This spectacle is held on select nights and, due to its popularity, often fills up quickly. Unless you have purchased a Candlelight Dinner Package*, attendance is on a first-come, first-served basis. All entertainment and celebrity narrators are subject to change. Here is a list of restaurants that participate:

*Please note that Candlelight Processional Dining Packages do not include park admission.

Disney Summer Vacation Planning

People seem to think that a travel agent is a luxury! How nice it must be to have someone else do all the detailed planning work and get everything organized for them, right?!

However, I look at it differently... How can you afford NOT to have the luxury of a specialized Disney travel agent?

I provide insider tips, personalized service and work fully for YOU and your benefit.

Plus, I allow you to enjoy your summer and take the stress out of your Disney vacation planning for you with NO FEES, and absolutely NO CHARGE TO YOU.

All new clients can also take full advantage of not only my limited time gift card offer with resort packages, and with Disney Cruise Line, receive up to $800 on board credits (OBC) for new bookings.*

If you want to know about the best deals or learn insider Disney tips, I'm a luxury you should not be without!  And you're not going to pay for my services! Not at all!

Click HERE to contact me and start living the life of luxury...!

*Right now, through the month of August 2015, Victoria is offering a $25 DISNEY Gift Card to all new clients who book Disney Cruise Line, Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort stays (3 nights or longer + park tickets), Aulani Resort and Spa, or any Adventures by Disney and travel on or before December 31, 2015! This is a limited time offer!

When Should I Plan a Vacation?

When is the best time to book?

When it is best for you, of course!

I'm ready to help you plan your next Disney adventure, but I want to tell you something you probably already know: If you book when the rates are just released, you're more likely to save. If you also book when most kids are in school (in the USA), you'll also find better pricing.

One BIG advantage to using a travel agent that is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planning service provider: We will CONTINUOUSLY MONITOR YOUR RESERVATION for any available discounts that could be applied after you've booked your holiday! That means you don't have to think about when new rates will be released or how that would affect your travel plans. I'll do that for you! No additional cost, no additional worry.

I'm also able to offer ALL NEW clients a $25 Disney Gift Card with their resort package bookings made prior to August 31st, 2015 with travel dates on or before December 31st, 2015. That deal applies to ALL Disney Cruise Line bookings and guests can also receive up to $850 On Board Credit (OBC), too!

So Hi Ho! Here you go! Let's get on our mouse ears and plan some magic!

To request a free, no-obligation Disney Resort Package quote, click HERE

To request a free, no-obligation Disney Cruise Line quote, click HERE

What Exactly Do "I Do"?

I've had the question come up a lot: "What 'exactly' do you DO?"

To answer simply, I take the worry and the stress out of your travel plans because I'm a mom and I completely empathize! As a professional, I bring to the table a lot of experience with the parks and cruises that some can only talk about, whereas I've lived it and continue to LIVE it!

I help you select resorts and packages that will work best for your family, based on what you've told me you're looking for in a Disney vacation. If you're undecided, I provide you options to explore and review -so that you can compare and get a better idea of what kind of Disney experience you want for YOU.

 I'm a mom of three children and we HUGE Disney fans. (FYI: that's my little boy, Jack, in that photo with Pooh during a trip in 2013!) We've been to numerous Disney resort properties so many times we can't count! We're also avid Disney Cruise Line addicts -with trips booked at least twice a year! We've also sailed on all four ships and really, really love days at sea with Mickey and the gang!

Basically, I have that insider-mom-been-there-and-know-some-really-cool-tips track. I know where you can do a great character meet and greet while in the Magic Kingdom and love to talk to my clients about their vacation wish lists! I might even have more tips to share that you didn't even consider or know about! I've done the high-end luxury trip, sparing no expense to the "just the basics" trip to Disney, too --as well as about everything in between!

I'm able to help you figure out the dining reservations that you'd like, where you can get your Fast Passes set up or if you have questions about guests with special needs or services. Hi Ho Vacations also partners with some agencies to help you get some additional discounts on strollers, electric scooters and wheelchair rentals. Honestly, any questions you have - I'm ready to help find you the answers you need.

All this is NO cost to any of my clients. What I provide to you is 100% no obligation, FREE. Why? Because Disney pays me to work for you.

My son on board a Disney cruise - his happy place!
On top of the wealth of information that only a travel agent can provide, when you book with me at Hi Ho Vacations, you also get the peace of mind that your reservation will be continuously monitored for any applicable discounts. When you book with Disney direct, you would have to know about upcoming promotions or sales. You would also have to contact them directly to make changes in your reservation. However, you don't need to do any of that when you're booked through me. It is my job to work for YOUR benefit. Disney will work to their benefit.

We are also known for "Pixie Dusting" our clients...! So if you want to know more about how I can help make your next Disney vacation something truly magical, just click HERE to email me or call (212) 684-6566. I'll be happy "to do" what "I do" best -and love!

2016 Walt Disney World Vacation Packages

They are here! 2016 Walt Disney World vacation packages are available for booking right NOW!

Here are some quotes I put together this morning:

The Johnson family wants a fun, inexpensive vacation. Family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children ages 10 and 8). They plan 7 days/6 nights at a value resort in February 2016.  Pop Century is centrally located among the value resorts and this family has a good idea how they want to get around the parks, as it's not their first time visiting.  They booked 5 days of base tickets (one park per day) and no dining plan for $2,759.54

The Mancuso family (another family of 4) want a moderately priced vacation in May 2016 and are also planning 7 days/6 nights with 2 children about the same age as the Johnsons.  They like the Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter and have specifically requested the river view. They would like to check out more than one park per day and requested 5-day park hopper tickets. They have a hold on their reservation (no dining plan): $2,903.82 .

Last night, I received an email from the Steinbach family. They are planning their very first Disney vacation next May (2016) and want to make this trip extra special. Since both of their school-age children (12 and 7) are crazy about animals, they want to check out the Animal Kingdom Lodge with a savannah view. They also requested the 5-day park hopper tickets because they don't want to miss anything: $4,581.22 - They also don't want to think too much about meal planning, so they are considering adding the quick service dining plan; this would bring their vacation cost to $5311.17.

I also quoted a family of 8 (4 adults, 4 children) for a long weekend getaway/reunion over the Fourth of July holiday weekend in 2016. They want club-level access so they could take advantage of the great extras that come with staying not only at their preferred Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, but because it proved to be more valuable for their large party. Since they will spend more time just being together, they went for 2-day base tickets to visit the parks and will figure out their own dining arrangements. They are all driving in from different places and opted for the 2 Bedroom Suite-Club Level Access at the Grand Floridian. Remember, they will be splitting the cost among them and it's a real special event: $12,250.28

Some changes with 2016 packages:
Tiny increase in dining price (approx. $1 per Person/per night), and "kids can order an adult meal at a quick service location" tip is now official.

Final payments are now due 30 days prior vs. 45 days.

• Miniature Golf
Receive 4 vouchers, each valid for one (1) round of miniature golf prior to 4:00 PM on one (1) day for ONE (1) Guest at either Disney's Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course or Disney's Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course.

• ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Receive 4 vouchers per package, each valid for one (1) general admission to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on one (1) day for ONE (1) Guest. Valid only on event days. Some events require an additional admission charge. There are no events on certain days. Days and hours of operation of concessions, venues and attractions vary. Visit for more information.

And an important note:
Should Disney release a discount at any time after you've paid your deposit, you may absolutely take advantage of it. This is one of the big advantages to using a Travel Agent over booking with Disney direct: If you book direct, you will need to constantly check to see if your reservation is eligible for any discounts. You will need to personally watch for the discounts and call to apply them on your own. Book with a travel agent and that reservation is continuously monitored for discounts just for you! In many ways, you book with Disney your reservation is for their benefit, book with Hi Ho Vacations and we work on behalf of you, for your benefit. Get personalized, no-cost service from someone who KNOWS and LOVES Disney and regularly practices "pixie dusting" just for you!

Cruising with the Mouse

Before I became an avid Disney Cruiser, I didn't know much at all. I wish someone had shared some simple tips with me!

Now, as a travel agent for Disney, I thought I'd put together some of those lessons I learned the hard way! Here's some things to consider as a new cruiser:

Use the Disney Cruise Line (DCL) website to check out itineraries -but don't be afraid of the longer, 7-day cruises.

Like many first timers, you'll probably want to stick with a shorter cruise. Some people worry that there's not going to be a lot to do. They might think that there won't be enough adult activities or that the ship will be too full of kids to really enjoy and relax. Maybe they are worried about the potential of getting sea sickness. All of these are valid points!

I, too, dipped my toe in the DCL waters very cautiously, for all the reasons listed above. Then I regretted being so scared after my first 24 hours on the ship. I wanted MORE! There wasn't enough time! There was so much to do -as a family, as a couple and even on my own time! Why was our vacation ending so quickly when we JUST got on board?!

Don't get me wrong, if you're happier with just trying out DCL on a short-term trial, great. But don't be surprised when you're on board and start dreaming of your next cruise before the first one is over!
There are kids clubs and activities abounds on a Disney Cruise! There is a spa and adults only areas on board as well. Having a date night with your significant other is completely acceptable and easily accomplished, too. There are family activities like trivia, karaoke, dance parties and more -every single day and night.

The funniest part about our first DCL experience? We booked our second cruise on the second day of our trip. However, I missed out on something even better - booking with a travel agent. I had NO IDEA that there was such a thing as on board credit (OBC)! Seriously, no clue!! OBCs can be used for shopping, shore excursions, spa treatments and more.

Plus, booking on board gets you other perks as well.
  • Save 10% on prevailing rates on non-blocked out cruises
  • Receive an onboard credit of up to US$200
  • Reduced deposit on 7-night sailings or longer
Another nice feature that DCL has just offered is a $200 placeholder cruise. Maybe you're not sure where or when you want to go on your next cruise, but you plan on sailing again in the next 24 months.

So when you book your cruise direct with Disney, not only are you eligible for Disney OBCs, but if you use a travel agent who also offers an incentive to book through their agency and name the agent at the time of booking or within 30 days, you can have those OBC's added too, on top of what DCL is offering. (I actually took 2 family cruises before I knew that little tidbit!)

Want to know more? Here's an e-brochure from Disney Cruise Line that might be helpful: 

In summary, you'll find that when you're on a Disney Cruise, it is really a floating magical island that you'll want to visit again and again! Oh -and another HUGE tip: DO NOT OVER-PACK!

Of course, if you have any other questions or would like a free quote, let me know! I'd be happy to help you. I even have a sample packing list if you're interested!  or call (212) 684-6566

And P.S. -Ask me about Fish Extenders (aka an FE)!

Chat LIVE with a Disney Vacation Planner

A new LIVE CHAT feature has been added to my site -check the lower right corner for
availability. If I'm unavailable, you can leave a message and that will route to me via email.

I'm here to help you with any Disney questions you may have -from Disney Cruise Line, to Disney's Hawaiian Resort and Spa, Aulani. I have the tools available to help you with Walt Disney World Orlando Resorts and tickets, as well as Disneyland and the all amazing Adventures by Disney vacation. Pretty much anything Disney related, I'm able to get you the answers you seek.

So go ahead! Ask! Free quotes and information, right here!

Wishing you all a magical day!

NYC Disney Cruise Line Bookings and OBC

I know that availability will go up and down, depending on the time of year, but the NYC departures for Disney Cruise Line has been incredibly popular. There is still availability now, but you may want to consider getting your booking now!

Did you already book? If you booked less than 30 days with DCL direct or while on board another Disney ship, you can STILL add a travel agent to your booking AND RECEIVE ON BOARD CREDIT on top of what you may be receiving from Disney Cruise Line.
Contact me today to find out how! or call (212) 684-6566.

Book Your Disney Dream Vacation Today

To have the very best Disney vacation experience and to uncover the special fares and/or on-going special offers, contact Victoria, a Hi Ho Vacations travel agent who specializes ONLY in Disney vacations.  

Victoria is a mom of three with multiple visits to the Disney parks worldwide, to include cruising with Disney Cruise Line on a regular, annual basis. She has insider knowledge and special tips to share with her clients that help YOU and your family make the most of your time and hard earned dollars.

Your vacation is monitored continuously when you book with Hi Ho Vacations. Should an applicable deal become available for your booked travel dates, Victoria will review your reservation to apply any discounts* that you may not have discovered on your own or without a specialized authorized Disney Vacation Planning Service

You'll even have an opportunity to save even more money by using special vendor discounts that work exclusively with Hi Ho Vacations at the resorts. For resort bookings and FREE no obligation quotes, use this LINK.

In fact, if you book any Disney Cruise Line (DCL) booking of over $1000 total fare, you could be eligible for on board credit (OBC)! Get a FREE, no obligation quote HERE.

If you booked directly via Disney in 30 days or less, you can still transfer your booking(s) to Victoria at Hi Ho Vacations and be eligible for an additional on board credit -plus keep the on board credit offered from DCL - that's a HUGE bonus!

Right now, through the month of August 2015, Victoria is offering a $25 DISNEY Gift Card to all new clients who book Disney Cruise Line, Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort stays (3 nights or longer + park tickets), Aulani Resort and Spa, or any Adventures by Disney and travel on or before December 31, 2015! This is a limited time offer!

Best of all, travel planning services from Hi Ho Vacations are 100% free and of course, 100% magical! You'll get excellent service with a personal touch. Remember: when you book your Disney vacation with us, we work on your behalf and in your best interest.                                                                  

Questions? Contact Victoria at (212) 684-6566 or email today!

*Deals and discounts vary and are based on availability and inventory.

New York City and Disney Cruise Line

It's just amazing: as a resident of New York City, I cannot tell you how often I've wished for Disney please come to our ports! (More often!)
And now, here it is!
DCL announced select sailings out of New York for fall 2016.
If you want information from a NYC local and book the best deal, contact me today:
(212) 684-6566
I can help with all your questions and as an avid Disney cruiser myself, I can offer some great insider tips.
Spots have already filled up, so don't delay!

Why You Should Use a Disney Travel Planner - by Krista Weaver

This post is originally authored by Krista Weaver, a Hi Ho Vacations Planner. (Thanks, Krista!)

How do you pick the right Disney Travel Planner for you? Well, you might find someone by word of mouth, Facebook, or a Google search. You should look for a person or an agency that has Earmarked status and is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. This means they have established themselves as a reputable and trusted agency with Disney Destinations. Only the very best agencies are awarded this coveted designation. To earn this, an agency must demonstrate professionalism, have a high sales performance, and they are held to the strictest standards. Earmarked Agencies are also given specialized training opportunities and benefits that other agencies do not have access to.

Once you have found someone you want to work with, the next thing to understand is their service should cost you nothing. Yes, that’s right, it’s free. 100% Free, or at least it should be so if someone is trying to charge you, you should look elsewhere. Also, be conscious of how payments are made. Payments should be made by your Planner to Disney rather than to an agency. Be very wary of any charges on your credit card that designate anything other than “Disney.”

So, how do Disney Travel Planners make a living, you ask, because they must get paid somehow, right? For each vacation (land, cruise, adventure) a Disney Travel Planner books, Disney pays them a small commission based on the price of the package. Wait,so now I know you must be thinking that the price of your trip just went up to pay the planner, right? Wrong. The cost of your trip is exactly the same whether you spend hours doing it yourself, OR you let an experienced planner do all the leg work for you.  Who wants to have to spend hours pouring over the internet to find just the right resort, get up at the crack of dawn to secure those coveted restaurant reservations, figure outwhat the heck that My Disney Experience thing and Magic Bands are, understand the ins and outs of the Fastpass+ system, keep up to date on all the new promotions, and make sure you don’t miss an important date like “Pay in Full” or “Book your FP+ rides today.” Ok, maybe some people thoroughly enjoy all of that but for the rest of us, why not leave it to an expert? And again, the best part, like we already established, is that it is FREE! There should be no agency fees to book, no agency fees to cancel.

After it’s all planned and you are ready to go, what’s left for the skilled Disney Travel Planner to do for you? Well, making sure you are reminded of all of your important dates is one thing. Continuing to monitor your reservation for any new promotional offers that could come out at any time is another. Making sure you understand how to stretch your dollar and maximize your time in each park is still another. If you arrive at your resort and have a problem, a good Disney Travel Planner will guide you though and make sure issues are resolved to your satisfaction. When it’s time to leave and that freak snow storm has grounded all the flights, your Disney Planner can help get you back into a resort in no time so you aren’t sleeping on the floor of an airport terminal.There are so many ways that a Disney Travel Planner can assist, you would be surprised at all they can do to make your trip planning easier.

Now that you understand how a planner can help you, perhaps you will consider giving it a try on a future trip! Contact to find out more!