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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Adventures by Disney – England and France

Adventures by Disney – England and France

Do you want to take your kids on the trip of a lifetime and make magical memories? Adventures by Disney is the way to go. Nobody does it better than Disney.

Learn more about the England and France itinerary. There is so much to do and your family will love every minute of it.

The Disney Difference:

Ease of Travel – You will have an airport meet and greet, and transfers to/from hotel. Transportation within your trip is all taken care of including luggage service. For your free time you will have a concierge to help you make the most of every minute.

Authentic Experiences and Activities – There are local experts that will give you cultural experiences as well as special fun for Junior Adventurers as well.

Adventure Guides and Local Experts – You will have 2 Disney-trained Adventure Guides that stay with you your entire trip to share their knowledge and insights wherever you go. Along the way you will also have local expert guides join in for additional knowledge and culture.

Spectacular Dining and Exceptional Hotels – Outstanding accommodations are provided throughout your adventure . A majority of the meals are included but you will have opportunities to enjoy local restaurants on your own with the help of the concierge. You will enjoy adult only dining experience while the Junior Adventurers have a dinner or movie night just for them. Travel taxes along with most gratuities are also included.

VIP Treatment and Admissions – You will enjoy private events along with backstage access. Bypass the lines at popular museums and attractions along with fun surprises and gifts throughout your vacation. Your tickets and admission fess to the events and attractions are all included as well.

There are both family itineraries and adult only itineraries available so Lets Adventure Together and contact us today for a free quote.

 

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Norwegian Escape Dining

Norwegian Escape Dining Overview and Review

One of the best parts of vacation, especially cruising, is the food. The Norwegian Escape has a lot of choices when it comes to dining. The is my overview of the Norwegian Escape Dining and then I will give some tips.

Overview

I will break the Norwegian Escape Dining into two types; complimentary and specialty. The complimentary dining is included and the specialty dining has an additional charge. Some specialty dining locations have a flat cover charge and some have an a la carte charge that is based on what you order (like a regular restaurant). If you would like to have dinner at any of the specialty restaurants then you should definitely make a reservation ahead of time. Reservations are not necessary for dinner at the complementary locations unless you have a party of 6 or more. You never need reservations for breakfast or lunch.

Complementary Dining

Complementary Dining includes the Garden Cove Buffet, O’Sheehan’s Bar & Grill, The Manhattan Room, Taste and Savor.

The Garden Cove is the buffet location that has the largest variety of foods and is open for a good part of the day. It is also the most casual location since its next to the pool.

O’Sheehans’s has a more limited menu but includes favorites like burgers, hot dogs, wings, nachos, and salads. They have a nice breakfast too that is a little simpler than Taste and Savor but still offers a served meal. Lastly, O’Sheehan’s has specials each night for dinner such as prime rib or BBQ ribs and they are open 24/7.

Norwegian Escape Dining

Eggs Benedict from Savor

The most formal locations offered in complementary dining are Taste, Savor, and the Manhattan Room. Taste and Savor are separate but equal restaurants. They offer a nicely served meal at breakfast, lunch, or dinner but have specific dining times. The Manhattan Room has a similar menu but is only open for dinner. The do offer live music during dinner so its a nice place to enjoy a meal as well.

Specialty Dining

There are lots of specialty dining options; some are more casual and some are more

Norwegian Escape Dining

Nachos at Margaritaville

formal. Times and cost vary. Here they are:

Margaritaville: This location offers a complimentary breakfast (weather permitting) and a casual lunch. They have an AMAZING nachos plate and burgers among other things. Since its outside just up from the pool its pretty casual and a lot of fun. I have to say the burger and nachos were both REALLY good!  Pricing is a la carte.

Food Republic: They have lunch sometimes (may not have lunch on port days) and dinner as well. This location is so fun because you order from a kiosk at your table. After you swipe your card to pay your order goes to the chef. You can order one thing, wait for it to come and then order more. My husband loved the sushi and I thought the sliders and the shrimp were amazing. The dessert was great too. I loved having control of my ordering. Pricing is a la carte.

Pincho: This is a Tapas Bar and can be open for lunch on sea days and dinner. This is a great place to go with friends because of the small plates that are meant to be shared. They have both indoor and outdoor seating. Pricing is a la carte.

Norwegian Escape Dining

Teppanyaki Chef

Teppanyaki: This is a typical hibachi restaurant and only offers dinner. You can choose your entree but most of the meal is pre-fixe with edamame, soup, salad, fried rice, and vegetables. You are seated with other guests around a cook top where they prepare your meal while they entertain you. The fruit sashimi dessert is a personal favorite too. The meal is $29.95 per person

Moderno: This restaurant is a churrascaria and is only open for dinner.  There is a large salad bar with appetizers and even sushi. The main meal is served on skewers at your table. It is brought around by the wait staff and cut onto your plate. They have a large variety of meats. They will keep bringing you options until you tell them you are finished by putting up your red card. Then dessert is served. The meal is $24.95 per person.

La Cucina: This Italian restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating and offers dinner. They have a variety of Italian

Norwegian Escape Dining

Scallops at Le Bistro

foods including pasta, seafood, and steaks. They have a la carte pricing.

Le Bistro: Modeled after a French cafe this restaurant offers French food and is only open for dinner. There are lots of seafood options on the menu and the desserts are to die for. They have a la carte pricing.

Cagney’s: Cagney’s is a steakhouse that has all your steakhouse favorites and is open for dinner. Bring your appetite because the food here is great! I think this is also the hardest reservation to get. They have a la carte pricing.

Bayamo: Bayamo is a Latin restaurant that offers dinner. Bayamo and Pancho are created by Chef Jose Garces. You may know him as an iron chef on The Food Network. Try some of his delicious Latin food created for the Norwegian Escape. This location has a la carte pricing and if you are on the specialty dining package there is a $15 surcharge as well.

Tips

When boarding the ship you will have options to eat at the complementary locations Garden Cafe, O’Sheehan’s, Taste and Savor. My personal favorite is O’Sheehan’s. I find the buffet area chaotic the first day and Taste and Savor are good but would take too long for my kids that are itching to get to the action. O’Sheehan’s is a good compromise for us.

For breakfast, if we don’t have a morning excursion, we prefer Taste or Savor for a nice breakfast. O’Sheehan’s is good too but has a smaller menu. I like to enjoy my breakfast with a pot of coffee (my husband gets a pot of tea) and have some fruit, bakery items, and then our main breakfast instead of running around the buffet. Just personal preference though.

Room service is offered 24/7 but there is a $7.95 surcharge. If you have an early excursion it could be worth it to just have it delivered but its not something we do often.

Norwegian Kids Menu

Norwegian Escape Kids Menu

Kids can order off the children’s menu or adult’s menu at the complementary locations. At the specialty restaurants they can order off the children’s menu for free if they are 12 and under or pay the a la carte pricing. The children’s menu is the same at every location though.

If you have a reservation they will hold it for 15 minutes but if you don’t show up you will be charged the cover charge or a fee so be sure to keep your reservations or change them.

Thinking about a Norwegian Cruise. Fill out a quote request or contact your MMP and we can help you plan a magical vacation for your family aboard one of the Norwegian ships.

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Free Dining at Disney is back for 2017

Disney Free DiningContact us today to get your free quote. Availability is limited for free dining so don’t wait.

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Meet Magical Memory Planner Heather Harper

Heather Harper

I joined Magical Memory Planners in 2017. I live in Northern Kentucky, just south of Cincinnati, OH, where I home school my three children.

I am a graduate of the College of Disney Knowledge. I have a contagious excitement for vacation planning which overflows in each conversation, and a love of helping families make lifelong memories. I’m really looking forward to helping you with yours!

Heather HarperI’m experienced in adult-only trips, and trips including the whole family. Planning for, and taking trips with my family of five, which includes a food sensitivity, has provided experience with the abundant food allergy and sensitivity accommodations offered by Disney.

Even before joining Magical Memory Planners, I often helped friends and loved ones plan their trips to both Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando, making sure they feel secure in a basic understanding of the parks, services, and options they have available for their trip.

As someone who became a Disney World lover a little later, I can remember what it’s like for that first-time visit as an adult, and can help even the newest of guests utilize all that Disney World and Universal Studios offer to make their trip the best it can be.

Experiencing Universal Studios Orlando, and Universal Islands of Adventure was exciting! The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a must-do for any Harry Potter fan, whether they are a lifetime fan, or just beginning their wizarding adventure. City Walk is bustling with restaurants of all kinds, including Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, where you can get the craziest shakes! Multiple trips to Universal Studios have given me the experience to help new guests utilize their park admission best.

My personal travel experience includes Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Florida.

I am looking forward to getting to know you and helping you to create those family firsts and memories!

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Meet New Magical Memory Planner Amanda Howard

Amanda Howard

Amanda Howard

Amanda Howard joined Magical Memory Planners in 2017. Her passion for Disney, overall travel, and exuberance for new experiences make her an asset to our team.  Amanda lives in Southwest Michigan with her husband and daughter.

Besides planning trips for her friends and family, Amanda has also planned events and travel for corporations and conferences.  Amanda is a graduate of the College of Disney Knowledge and the Universal Parks & Resorts Specialist Program and is striving to learn more every day!

Besides her love of Disney, Amanda is an avid hiker and camper. Her desire is to experience all the wonders and different magical places that the world has to offer.

“Whether it’s camping in the woods or spending time with my favorite mouse, I truly believe that you can never replace those experiences. Things can be replaced but magical memories cannot.” ~Amanda

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Walt Disney World Fun Facts

Walt Disney World Fun Facts

 

Walt Disney World Facts If you are a DisNerd, like me, I thought you would like some of these fun facts about Food and Beverage for Walt Disney World for 2016.

In 2016, Walt Disney World Resort guests consumed the following:

1.2 Million Whole Apples

660,000 pounds Apples Slices

1 Million Churros

1.9 Million Dole Whip cups

4.85 Million EggsWalt Disney World Fun Facts

2 Million Flatbreads

10.3 Million Pounds Friend Fries

51,000 Pounds of Lobster Tails

2.7 Million Mickey Shaped Soft Pretzels

860,000 Turkey Legs

660,000 pieces of Sushi Rolled at California Grill

Walt Disney World has an amazing award winning beverage program as well. In fact, Walt Disney World Resort has over 500 wines in its core wine list from 17 different countries.  Not only do they have lots of great wines, they also have over 1,000 cast members that have received accreditation from the Court of Master Sommeliers and two of those have received Master Sommelier Diplomas (level 4). They also have 233 cast members that have received accreditation from the Cicerone Certification Programs.

There are over 500 food and beverage locations throughout the Walt Disney World Resort. 126 of those are full service restaurants, 306 are quick service, and 89 are nightclubs, lounges or outdoor bars. With so many locations it takes a lot of cast members to make it all happen, 13, 714 according to Disney. There are 337 chefs in management and 700 restaurant/ catering managers making sure everything is perfect.

Here are some fun facts for you…With the amount of Mickey-shaped pretzels sold at Walt Disney World Resort, you could give one to every person in the state of Oregon. Yumm

Soooo how many dole whips have you contributed to the annual total? Turkey Legs?

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Circle With Disney

My Review of Circle With Disney

As a mom of 3 children (ages 7-11) I have been concerned about their internet usage; how long, what website they go to, etc. We have a wide variety of devices in our family. My son has an ipad, my other son has a kindle fire, my daughter has an android tablet and we also have some laptops. I tried a few different options that I installed on their devices but they never worked well for everyone. After doing some research I purchased Circle With Disney and I’m very happy with it.

Installation of Circle with Disney

I purchased Circle With Disney just over a month ago from Amazon.com. After opening the box it took just a few minutes to set up. You have to plug the unit into the wall (anywhere is fine). Then you follow the directions to download the app and link it to your wifi. It was simple and pretty quick.

The next step was to set up a profile for each person in our family. The app showed me all the devices that were using our internet. I just had to attach that device to my child’s profile. Some devices such as my laptop, our blue ray player, etc I didn’t link to any account so that there were no limitations at all.

For each child I set up a profile with their picture that had their personal settings. I can choose time limits as well as a bedtime and filter levels. Their limits are flexible so you can choose a different bedtime on school nights or set up a specific schedule. You do this for every child so each child can have unique settings.

How it Works

Circle with Disney is easy to use. Once its set up you don’t really have to do anything. If you want to make a change its easy. When I go into their setting I can easily pause it (if I want to turn off their internet) or reward then with extra time. I can also view that child’s insights to see how much time they have spent on the internet and what sites they have gone to. I can even pause the internet for the entire house if I want to just turn the tech off for a bit.

When someone comes over and logs into our internet I get an alert that a new device has logged on. If I don’t do anything with this new device it will work like normal. This makes it super easy for family when they come over. They don’t need to do anything different now that I have Circle with Disney. In fact, they may not even realize it.

On the other hand if my child has a friend over I can quickly create a “friend” profile, put my child’s friends device into it and put strict limits so that there is no getting into trouble at my house and even monitor what they do.  Since the limits are on devices using my internet it doesn’t cause a problem for the child and will have no effect on their device when they leave.

You also get free Disney content to view such as shows and activities. Lots of fun things for kids to do, especially younger ones.

Away From Home

Circle by Disney only works for my family when my children are on the internet in our house. With your account, which has no annual fee, you can add a program with an annual fee to protect your family when you are out of the house and away from your internet. We have not tried that service yet.

Pros of Circle with Disney

  • It is fast and easy to set up
  • No annual fee
  • Can add others to your account quickly
  • No issue for visitors
  • Monitors your children’s activity
  • Fast and easy to add/take away internet privileges

Cons of Circle With Disney

  • Only works in your home/internet
  • Can shut down internet but doesn’t turn device off

Overall I think its a great product and I’m glad we have it. I recommend Circle with Disney for your family to help keep them safe on the internet and be in control of screen time. It can be purchased on Amazon.com.

 

 

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Meet Magical Memory Planner Rachel Grigsby

Rachel Grigsby

Rachel Grigsby

I live in Church Hill, Tennessee  with my husband and 2 kids’ ages 5 and 3.

My husband took my son and I to Disney for the first time in 2013 and I completely fell in love with everything about it. Since then I have been 5 times and currently planning my 6th trip. I am a recent graduate of College of Disney Knowledge. I love planning trips for friends and family and could literally talk about Disney for hours! I love reading and learning new things about Walt Disney World.  I recently sailed on my first cruise on the Disney Dream and it was wonderful. I can’t wait to take my family on this trip.

My favorite vacation is Walt Disney World, everything about it is so magical. All the cast members are so great and we have never had a problem. Every time my family and I go we discover something new. I’ve also traveled to the Atlantis Resort  in the Bahamas and Sea World in Orlando, Florida. I enjoy planning beach trips and weekend getaways as well.

I would love to help you plan a magical vacation with your family. Contact me to request your free quote or email me at Rachel@MagicalMemoryPlanners.com

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Multi Generational Travel

Multi Generational Travel

Multi Generational Travel

What is Multi Generational Travel?

Multi Generational Travel is when a group is traveling together that includes people from multiple generations. This is most often when families are traveling together with the grandparents, children, and grand children. This can be a smaller group or even an extended family group. Some families do this every year and others do it to mark a special milestone like an anniversary.

What Type of Trips Do You Recommend For Multi Generational Travel?

This sort of depends on the interest and abilities of the group. My favorite type of travel for multi generational travel is a cruise. Cruises offer lots of activities for guests of all ages. Its easy for people to break off and do their own thing as well as to come together as a family again. You can also accommodate a variety of budgets.  Let me explain.

You can either choose to have staterooms all together in the same category or you can have each family choose the cabin that fits their family or budget. A bigger family can do two inside cabins while a couple without children can get a balcony cabin or concierge level cabin, etc. Separate choices but still all on the same ship.

During the day you may all do your own thing for breakfast but meet up at the pool mid day. You can do an excursion together or spread out around the ship on a sea day doing spa, sports, pool, games, etc. The teenagers may run off to play basketball while the ladies all go to the spa or go shopping. The men may go to a sports bar to have a beer and watch a game while some younger ones are napping in the cabin while mom reads a book. Lots of different things but never all that far apart. Everyday you can come all together for dinner and everyone can catch up about their day and all the fun they had. Cruises also have great opportunities to get some great family photos too.

My Multi Generational Travel Story

The photo above is my family celebrating my parents 50th wedding anniversary. We sailed together on the Explorer of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) to Bermuda from Bayonne, New Jersey. Since we all live the the north east (Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and  New York) it made it easy for us all to drive to the port and saved the added expense of flights. My children were 2, 4, and 6 years old; my nieces and nephews were between 13 and 19; and one of my brothers didn’t even have kids yet. We were able to have different staterooms, different activities, mix with different family members at different times and yet ALL be together for dinner every night. It was a blast!!! No one was slowed down by my 2 year old and we weren’t dragged around either. The teenage cousins had a blast doing things together and made lots of memories too. A cruise was the perfect fit for us.

What is the Best Way to Coordinate Multi Generational Travel?

The best way to coordinate it all is with a travel agent, like Magical Memory Planners. We have worked with lots of multi generational travel. Whether its just the grandparents joining your family on a Disney vacation or the whole extended family taking a cruise together, we can help it all run smoothly. We can coordinate your transportation to/from the cruise ports, arrange special events for your family on board, make dining reservations and more. Planning multi generational travel can be stressful and we can help take the pressure off so you can enjoy the memories with your loved ones.

Request a free quote and lets get started planning something magical for your family.

 

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Welcome Heidi Brackett to Magical Memory Planners

Heidi Brackett

Heidi Brackett ~ Since 2017

Heidi Brackett ~ Since 2017

Heidi Brackett joined Magical Memory Planners in 2017 and brings lots of excitement to our team. She lives outside Chicago, Illinois. She has been to Disney World four times and has also been on a Disney Cruise for her honeymoon.

Starting from a  young age my love for Disney has grown more and more every time we go. My first trip was with my parents and my sister many years ago. That’s where the magic began. Since that trip I have been back three times with my husband and son. I love finding the best deals and getting the most bang for the buck.

My favorite Disney vacation is going to the Disney World Parks. The memories that you create will last a lifetime. Taking our son was one of the best moments, just to see his face light up and know that he would have that memory for a lifetime. Still to this day, he talks about our first trip. My favorite time to go is during the Food and Wine Festival. The food is amazing and the atmosphere is wonderful.

“I can help you plan the trip of your dreams, magical memories to last a lifetime at Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruises, and Adventures by Disney, and all my services are FREE” ~ Heidi

Request a free quote and select Heidi as your Magical Memory Planner.

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