Welcome to the Magical Memory Planners Blog

We are so glad you have visited our Magical Memory Planners Blog with lots of information about all the amazing destinations we can help you with. For more information you can also visit our Magical Memory Planners Website.

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Dream Builders Foundation ~ Dreams 4 Dreamers

Dream Builders Foundation

What is Dream Builders Foundation?

“At Dream Builders, we believe that there is nothing more important than making family memories. Our memories are what we lean on in times of struggle. What we relive during moments of contemplation and what we share when talking about the “good ol’ days”.
Families facing terminal illnesses find themselves racing against a clock to build those memories that will carry on.  Parents suffering from a terminal illness find themselves dreaming of ways to give their children as many memories as they can.  That’s where Dream Builders comes in.”

What is Dream Builders Foundation’s Mission?

“To give to families, in which one of the parents are facing terminal illness and has a child (age 0 to 18 years) the gift of a dream building vacation.  A chance to escape life and just BE a family.  Building memories that will carry on within the hearts of the child.  Every family deserves the gift of a family vacation and all the memories that come with it.

We are making magic..and lightening burdens…one dream at a time!”

How can I support Dream Builders Foundation?

There are several ways you can support Dream Builders Foundation.

The first way is a one time donation. You can visit Dream Builders Website and donate directly through the site. You can even contact Dreamers@dreams4dreamers.org about making a contribution by check. You will receive a receipt for your tax deductible charitable donation. You may also want to make a donation in honor of someone.

Another way to support Dream Builders Foundation is through Amazon Smile. It is very easy. Simply go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You may also want to add a bookmark to smile.amazon.com to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile. You will select your charitable organization the first time by searching for Dream Builders Foundation. It is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. From that point on, every time you go to smile.amazon.com you will be supporting Dream Builders Foundation.

Spread the word. Let others know about Dream Builders Foundation and their mission through social media. Follow Dream Builders on Facebook. Share and comment on their posts. That will help them get the word out too!

Lastly, you could do a fundraiser. If you are interested then just contact Dream Builders and they will help you get started.

As the owner of Magical Memory Planners, I support Dream Builders and their mission. We want to spread the word and bring magical memories to families that don’t have time to wait.

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New Disney Cruise Line Itineraries for Summer 2017


So much to see and do on a Disney Cruise. Check out the newest itineraries and port. Most of all, be sure to book early for the best rates and availability!!


Find out more.

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Minnie Mouse Signature iPhone 6 Wallet Case Giveaway

Want to win this fun Minnie Mouse Signature Wallet Case for iPhone 6??? Enter our Rafflecopter Giveaway April 6 – April 13, 2016.a Rafflecopter giveaway
  Minnie Mouse iPhone 6 Case Minnie Phone Case inside Minnie Phone case

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Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend Shirts

Are you training for Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend? They have lots of really cool shirts and gear over at DisneyStore.Com for you but they are only available for a limited time!

Mickey Mouse runDisney Performance Tee for Women by Champion® - Mickey's Holiday 5K 2016
Mickey Mouse runDisney Performance Tee for Women by Champion® - Disney Wine and Dine 10K 2016Mickey Mouse runDisney Performance Tee for Adults by Champion® - Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2016

Which race do you want to do? See you at Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend!

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7 Reasons to Book with a RunDisney Travel Provider

7 Reasons to Book your runDisney Vacation with a runDisney Travel Provider

(Like Magical Memory Planners)


Princess Half Marathon1. As a runDisney travel provider we have guaranteed race registrations available for select races.  You do not have to worry about missing out on the specific race you were trying to get when the race goes on sale. We typically participate in Princess Half Marathon Weekend (February at Walt Disney World) and Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend (November at Walt Disney World). If you are interested it is great to contact us about a week before the race goes on sale at Run@MagicalMemoryPlanners.com

2. We have discounted rooms and tickets included as part of your package. What does this mean for you?  You do not have to worry about a discount for your race weekend, you already have one!


runDisney3. Our MMP agent, Debi, has participated in runDisney races and can answer your questions with her personal experience and knowledge. She handles all our runDisney races.

4. We can help you make dining reservations or plans for other activities you may want to do while you are at the Walt Disney World Resort for your race.

5. We have become a travel partner with runDisney so you can believe that we will look out for your best interests.

6. If you are planning on doing any race with runDisney, make it a mini-vacation and leave the planning to us!

7. We take care of all the details.  All you have to do is train and get excited for the race!


runDisney travel providerMagical Memory Planners is a runDisney travel provider. Debi is our runDisney Specialist. She has participate in several runDisney races and has several more she is preparing for.

You can email questions or request more information from Debi at Run@MagicalMemoryPlanners.com

You can also visit our website to see what runDisney races we are currently selling.


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Awaken Summer Walt Disney World Offer

Amazing new offer from Walt Disney World to Awaken Summer

Awaken Summer

So many exciting things are coming to Walt Disney World to awaken summer and you won’t want to miss it!

Travel from May 30 through August 25th to get special promotional rates AND special magic bands!!! Check out all the details and resort exclusions.

Request your FREE Quote today!!

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Disney Bargains

disney bargains

Let’s be honest, “Disney” and “bargain” don’t usually go together in the same sentence. But working with a good travel planner will help you get the best value for your vacation money. And great value and added magic make for a Disney bargain! Here are some of my favorite Disney bargains.


Harmony Barber Shop
Did you know there is a barber shop in Magic Kingdom? They offer haircuts for both children and adults and $19 for a haircut anywhere is a great value these days.

The best value here is the First Haircut package, which is only $19! It includes commemorative Mickey Ears and a certificate.

Be Our Guest Breakfast and Lunch
A meal at one of the hottest spots at Disney World is hard to come by. Reservations for Be Our Guest often fill up the day they are released! And for good reason. You can’t beat a wonderful meal with enchanting atmosphere. Eating in the Ballroom or West Wing of the Beast’s castle is truly magical!

Dinner here is pretty pricey and sure, you can find a cheaper breakfast or lunch elsewhere, but we are talking value for your money, not rock bottom lowest price here. Breakfast and lunch are both quick service dining experiences (which makes them excellent uses for your dining plan credits!). Even when you are paying out of pocket, these are a great value! The food is of exceptional quality and your meal is delivered to your table after you order on real plates with real silverware. It feels kind of like cheating and getting a table service meal for quick service prices!

Pirate’s League
When most people think of makeovers at Disney World, they immediately think of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique where little girls are transformed into Princesses. But there is another great makeover option at Magic Kingdom with great options for both boys and girls (of all ages!) with much lower prices than Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Prices for Pirates and Mermaids start at just $34.95 and $39.95, which is a great bargain when you compare it to the $59.95 starting price for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

If you are looking for a bargain makeover at Disneyland, then Anna and Elsa’s Boutique in Downtown Disney is perfect! It is only $34.95 for a beautiful makeover that includes hair, makeup, nail polish, and a crown for kids ages 3-15. They also have a really cute Olaf makeover!

Pirate Adventure Cruises
Since we’re talking about pirate bargains already… here’s another! The Pirate Adventure Cruises are fantastic bargains. These are kids only adventures for kids ages 4 through 12. The Disney Cast Members do a great job leading these adventures and for only $37 your child gets a fun pirate adventure and a snack and you get two hours of kid-free time to shop, relax by the pool, or sneak off to ride some rides on your own! Bargain.

Cape May Cafe
Character meals tend to be some of the most expensive at Disney World. But one of my favorite character meals is actually a Disney bargain as well! If you will be paying out of pocket, then breakfast at Cape May Cafe is a bargain for a character breakfast. The prices generally run about $28 for adults and $17 for children. The breakfast buffet here is incredible (and includes Mickey waffles!) and you will get to meet Minnie, Donald, and Goofy in their beachwear.

Children’s Activity Centers
Want to go on a date night while you are at Disney World? There are many wonderful dining experiences that would make for a fabulous date night. And you can leave the kids (ages 3-12) to enjoy their own fun night at one of the Children’s Activity Centers. These cost $15 per hour with a 2 hour minimum and include dinner and snacks for your child. Considering the going rate for a baby sitter, knowing your child is having a blast at Disney World while you have some kid-free fun of your own, this is a bargain. There is a special program at the Sandcastle Club (Beach Club) and Lilo’s Clubhouse (Polynesian) that includes special programs, dinner, and snacks from 4:30pm-12am for a flat rate of $55 per child.

Memory Maker
Okay, I know most people wouldn’t consider something that costs $149 to be a bargain, but when you consider value, it truly is!

Memory Maker includes every photo that a Disney Photopass Photographer takes of you at Disney World. This means that all the ride photos and videos, character meet and greet photos, meal photos, and any photo you stop and have taken is included. Even when I go for only a few days, I always leave with 300-500 photos from our vacation there. And the best part is everyone is in the pictures! It’s like having personal photographers for your family vacation. Considering one 4×6 print is $14.95, $149 for hundreds of photos is definitely a bargain! Be sure to pre-purchase Memory Maker or you will pay $50 more if you decide to buy it after your trip.

PhotoPass+ at Disneyland wins the photo package bargain award, though at only $69 for the pre-purchase! Granted, there aren’t quite as many photo ops since it is a smaller resort, but we still left with 300+ photos from our vacation there in June. Bargain!

Chip n Dale’s Campfire Sing-Along
Now this truly is a bargain as it if free! Fort Wilderness hosts a campfire sing-along where you can play and dance with Chip and Dale (who are always so silly!), make s’mores, and sing songs. You can bring your own s’mores fixin’s or buy them there for around $10.

Lego Store at Disney Springs
One last freebie for you! The Lego Store at Disney Springs has bins full of Legos to play with for free! You’ll find a nice shaded play area right outside the store where your kids can play and you can sit and rest (there’s a Starbucks nearby where you can grab a drink).

Disney Resorts
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention what I consider to be one of the best Disney bargains! Most people assume that staying off-site will always save them money, but that if often not the case. Once you factor in other expenses such as a car rental or airport transfers, resort fees, parking fees, and paying for all your meals out of pocket, off-site resorts often end up the same price or even more expensive than Disney resorts. Here are some of the things that make a Disney resort stay a bargain:

  • Free airport transfers via Disney’s Magical Express (and the magic starts before you even get to Disney World!)
  • Free parking at the resort and parks for the duration of your stay
  • Free MagicBands! That is such a fun package to receive in the mail!
  • Free transportation to the parks/your resort that comes about every 10 minutes (most off-site hotels are every 3-4 hours)
  • First pick of fastpasses, as you can select those 60 days out instead of 30 days out
  • The ability to reserve up to 10 days of dining reservations at 180 days instead of one day at a time
  • Savings on your dining experiences by being able to take advantage of one of the Disney Dining Plans
  • Free package delivery to your room (great for shopping in the parks)
  • The attention to detail and customer service you expect from Disney
  • The ability to book your vacation package with just a $200 deposit so you can make payments instead of spending a large amount all at once

Magical Memory Planners
And, finally, the BEST Disney bargain of them all. You just can’t beat FREE concierge travel planning services for your Disney vacation! We will help put together the perfect vacation for your family, remind you of key dates, make dining reservations for you, and more. Contact us for a free quote and let’s start planning your magical vacation!


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DisneyStore.com Deals

The DisneyStore.Com has some great back to school deals and free shipping deals.

Enjoy Free Shipping with any Disney Parks Item at Disney Store! CODE: PARKFREE.Disney MagicBands are available at Disney Store! The All-In-One Vacation Essential. Wear and Unlock the Fun. Shop Now!

They are also have a back to school sale this weekend with 50% off backpacks, lunch boxes, some clothing items and water bottles. They have some really great prices with items all less than $20. 2 Days Only – 50% off Back to School!

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How to Plan a Disney World Vacation (The Hard Way and The Easy Way)

planOption One – Do It Yourself (AKA the Hard Way)

  1. Choose your vacation dates
  2. Research all 31 resorts on Disney property to figure out which one will be the best fit for your family and your budget.
  3. Research ticket options to figure out which ones will be the best fit for your vacation.
  4. Research the dining plans to find the best fit for your family and vacation.
  5. Research the 113+ table service restaurants to find the ones that your family will love.
  6. Research the 165+ quick service dining options.
  7. Make sure you know about all the special events and recreational options that will also be available during your vacation!
  8. Book your vacation. (If you don’t know what you’re booking, you are likely to pay more.)
  9. Get everything and everyone linked up in your My Disney Experience account.
  10. Check park hours and take those and your family’s preferences into account to come up with a basic touring plan for each day of your vacation.
  11. If you are flying, be sure that Disney’s Magical Express has your flight information!
  12. 180 days before your arrival, get up at 6:00am to make your dining reservations and other reservations (like Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique). Maybe sure they match up well with your touring plan.
  13. If/when a new promotion comes out, spend three or more hours on hold with Disney to see if you can apply it to your vacation.
  14. Research which attractions tend to have long waits and would be a good use for your three fastpasses each day.
  15. 60 days before your arrival, get up at midnight to select your fastpasses.
  16. Make sure you have customized your MagicBands!
  17. Reserve stroller or scooter rentals, if needed, and arrange for them to be dropped off and picked up from your resort.
  18. Research how to get from place to place at Disney World (it is about the size of San Francisco).
  19. Put together an itinerary with the park hours, your fastpass times, your dining reservation information, and parade/fireworks times and print for your travel folder.
  20. Buy a cute autograph photo mat for the characters to sign.
  21. Pack, travel, arrive, and HAVE FUN!

Option 2 – Use a Magical Memory Planner to Plan Your Vacation (AKA the Easy Way)

  1. Choose your vacation dates.
  2. Allow us to use our knowledge of all the resorts, ticket options, dining plans, restaurants, special events, and recreational options to help you put together the perfect vacation for your family.
  3. Book your vacation through us for the exact same price as if you booked it yourself (or maybe less since we are familiar with all the promotions and the best ways to get the most value for your vacation money).
  4. Take advantage of our free vacation planning services as we handle all the rest of the details, including making your reservations for you and putting together a customized touring plan for your family.
  5. Relax knowing that we are always on the lookout the the best deal for you. If a promotion comes out, we will call to see if we can have it applied to your vacation!
  6. Contact us anytime with questions or advice about your vacation.
  7. Receive a packet of goodies from us with your final documents, including an autograph photo mat for the characters to sign.
  8. Pack, travel, arrive, and HAVE FUN!
  9. Be thrilled that our services are always 100% free and wonder why anyone would ever plan a vacation without Magical Memory Planners!
  10. Refer us to your friends and get Disney Gift Cards as a thank you!

Ready to try the Easy Way? Contact us for a free quote today!

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A Disney World Fan’s Visit to Disneyland

WDW vs DLI LOVE Walt Disney World in Florida! It feels like home to me and brings me such joy that I visit as often as I can. But when the announcements for the 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration at Disneyland in California started rolling out, I knew it was time for me to make a trip out west to visit Mickey’s original home.

I had visited Disneyland before, but way back when there was only Disneyland park and California Adventure was not even in the works. I had vague recollections of it being much smaller than Magic Kingdom at Disney World and fondly remembered some of its unique rides like the Matterhorn, Submarine Voyage, and Indiana Jones Adventure. What I experienced when I arrived was even better than I remembered and far exceeded my expectations!

Here are some of the things I actually liked better about Disneyland versus Disney World:

Everything is within walking distance
The Disney resorts are all right next to the parks and Downtown Disney, which makes it very easy to simply walk to the parks each day (it also makes taking a mid-afternoon break easy!). In fact, everything is so close that there is no bus system to transport guests around from place to place. You will never be farther than a 10-minute walk from any place you want to go at Disneyland.

Park Hopping is very convenient
Because everything is so close, it makes it easy to hop from one park to another. In fact, the entrances for the parks are right across from each other!



Characters are everywhere and easy to meet
Meeting characters at Walt Disney World can be time consuming and require a lot of planning. At Disneyland, they truly just wander the parks and stop to visit with people. Sure, there are spots you can find certain characters, but we never waited longer than 10 minutes to meet anyone (even for Anna, Elsa, and Olaf!). The only exception to this rule is the Princesses, which meet at Royal Hall. The wait here can be up to an hour to meet three different princesses (unlike Disney World, where you only get to meet two at a time).

The unique attractions are some of my favorites
You have never truly experienced Pirates of the Caribbean or It’s a Small World until you ride the originals at Disneyland. They are so much better! (Sorry, Magic Kingdom). And the Finding Nemo Submarines and Indiana Jones Adventure will always be some of my favorite Disney attractions. But let’s talk about California Adventure for a minute here – it is AMAZING! The theming is fantastic and really covers the spectrum of California, from the streets of Hollywood Land where you will meet most of the characters to rugged Grizzly Peak, coastal Paradise Pier, and Cars Land, this park is Disney at its finest. This park is what Hollywood Studios at Disney World should be (and what I hope they are working on with all the “reimagining” that is taking place there). Cars Land truly transports you into Radiator Springs. The Cars characters actually drive around town and stop to greet guests (yes, they talk!) and Radiator Springs Racers is officially my very favorite Disney attraction (sorry, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train). If you get a chance, you HAVE to check this park out!

There is a laid back, easy vibe to the parks
I love to plan Disney vacations! But sometimes you find a lot of guests stressed out at Disney World trying to stick with their plan or get it all in (it’s impossible to do it all at Disney World). Because Disneyland is smaller, easier to navigate, and located in California, it has a more relaxed, easy-going vibe to it. You can do it all there, actually. If you have 4 days and a good game plan, you can enjoy every single thing there is to do at both parks and not be stressed in the process. I kind of love that.

Before you think I am about to change my mind about my very favorite Disney destination, there are a few things that I really prefer about Walt Disney World.

There are a lot more options
I love how diverse Disney World is! With four parks, two water parks, a HUGE Downtown Disney district (Disney Springs), 29 resorts, and more than 100 table service restaurants (not including all the quick service spots), your choices are nearly limitless. And being a planner, I love sorting through all of these options to help my clients find just the right vacation for them.

These fastpsses are great, but Disney World's new fastpass system is so much better!

These fastpasses are great, but Disney World’s new fastpass system is so much better!

The new fastpass system is so much better!
SO much better! I love being able to pre-select three fastpasses each day and know that they are all set before I even arrive. I felt like I wasted a good bit of time at Disneyland going to get fastpasses (and sometimes going back again if the current fastpass time didn’t work well for us) and then returning later to the ride. It creates a lot more walking around and last minute planning. It works for Disneyland, but I am so thankful they introduced the new fastpass system at Walt Disney World. I love MyMagic+!

Dining is easier for special diets
Because Disney World has so many more options, there is more information out there about good dining options for those with special diets. Don’t get me wrong, I found plenty to eat at Disneyland that worked well with my special diet, but it was more challenging. I especially found it difficult at quick service restaurants. Table service restaurants often had special allergy friendly menus and buffet items were clearly labeled with allergen containing ingredients (which I wish Disney World would do). So, if you have special dietary needs, I would highly recommend focusing on table service spots at Disneyland.

As much as I loved Disneyland (and will definitely visit again as soon as I can!), Walt Disney World will always hold a special place in my heart. But if you are able to get out to Disneyland, especially during the Diamond Celebration, DO! It is amazing! The new fireworks show, Disneyland Forever, is hands down the most amazing fireworks show I have ever seen! I don’t want to ruin any surprises, but you simply MUST experience this if you can.

Want to check out one or both of these Disney destinations for yourself? We’d love to help you plan your vacation! Contact us through the quote form here. As always, our help is always FREE to our clients.

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