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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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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Universal’s Volcano Bay Opens May 25

Universal’s Volcano Bay

Universal’s Volcano Bay is opening May 25, 2017 and will become Universal Orlando Resort’s third theme park and first water park. Volcano Bay will feature incredibly immersive environments, exhilarating rides, relaxing escapes and amazing technology such as the TapuTapu Wearable that will eliminate the fuss and maximize the fun.

Universal’s Volcano Bay will introduce the amazing waterproof TapuTapu wearable for guests to use during their day. The TapuTapu is designed specifically and exclusively for use in Universal’s water theme park, it will transform the way you experience water theme park entertainment at Volcano Bay.

According to Universal, “The TapuTapu wearable gives you the ability to enjoy the new Virtual Line. You’ll walk up to the totem in front of an attraction entrance and with just a simple tap, receive a return time for that attraction. The TapuTapu then allows you to virtually wait in line so you can enjoy other areas of Volcano Bay while you wait. Each one of Volcano Bay’s four imaginatively-themed areas is filled with incredible experiences for all ages – so you don’t have to go far to have fun while you wait.”

The Taputapu will make this amazing park even better making attractions come to life and letting you know what attractions are ready for you. You won’t even have to carry tubes to your rides.

We can help you book your next Universal Vacation and include all 3 parks for the ultimate vacation!

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Sandals Vacation Tips

There is nothing more romantic than some time away with the one you love in the Caribbean. Sandals resorts are designed for couples in love. We have some Sandals vacation tips to help you plan that romantic getaway.

Sandals vacation tips

Dinner at Sunset at Sandals Royal Caribbean

The first and most important of our Sandals vacation tips is to book with a travel agency that is a Certified Sandals Specialist, such as Magical Memory Planners. We will look out for you and help you plan something magical and romantic.

Sandals Vacation Tips Before You Go

The next set of Sandals vacation tips are things to pre-plan. Once you have booked with us there are only a few things to pre-plan. The first is a romantic candlelight dinner. This can be a very special way to start or end a trip.

You can also schedule a couples massage or another treatment at the spa. Some resorts such as Sandals Royal Bahamian and Sandal Royal Caribbean have therapy rooms outside right on the ocean. Book these treatments in advance so you can get the perfect spot for your massage.

You can also pre-book a free photo session. Think about the time and what you want to wear so it doesn’t interrupt your day. We like to do our photo session in our evening clothes at 4:30pm so we can go to dinner after and don’t have to get changed again. If you have a butler, and you really should, be sure to fill out your butler preferences before you go.

Sandals Vacation Tips For Packing

What should you pack? Besides the obvious bathing suits, sunscreen, and resort casual clothing you may want to pack a few things to make the trip more romantic like battery operated candles, some fragrance beads, or bubble bath.

This set of a dozen candles flicker like real candles and are just enough to put around your room and bathroom. They have on/off switches so they should last your whole stay.

Since you will be flying internationally you may want to get a nice passport wallet to hold all your travel documents too.

Be ready for adventure when you arrive with a waterproof case for your phone and a dry bag if you are doing excursions where you could get wet. Beach towel clips are great so that your towel doesn’t blow away. You can find all our recommendations for products in our store on Amazon.  You won’t need much cash but be sure you have enough. There are always vendors selling local products and you may want to get some souvenirs from them. There are porters at the airport as well as your transfer driver that you may want to tip. You may also want to tip your guides if you take an excursion.

Sandals Vacation Tips With A Butler

Sandals vacation tipsDo you have a room with a butler? I hope so because you will LOVE it! In order to make the experience even more amazing we have some Sandals vacation tips for our butler clients. As I mentioned before you will want to fill out your butler preference sheet before arrival. That will help you butler know your likes/dislikes and how they can help you.

Upon arrival at the resort your butlers will give you a phone so you can be in contact with your butler as needed. When you talk to you butler on the way to dinner they may ask you, “What are your plans for tomorrow?” Be prepared to let them know where you want to be such as the pool or beach, shade or sun, party area or quiet area. This will help the butler pick the perfect spot for you. Let them know what you like to drink so they can fill your cooler with the right things such as beer, juice, or bottled water.

Let your butler know where you would like to go for dinner and what time, even if it’s not a Sandals Vacation Tipslocation that requires a reservation. They will meet you there and be sure you have a great spot waiting for you. We prefer to eat outside at 6pm so that we eat dinner through sunset. Let you butler know if he should pick you up at your room, just meet you at the restaurant, or if you are stopping someplace for a pre-dinner drink. Of course you can just do what you like and the butler will work around your schedule so you can be spontaneous if you want. Lastly, since you can/should tip your butler be sure to pack enough cash to do so. You can charge your butler gratuity to your room account if you prefer.

We hope these Sandals vacation tips will help you get the most of your romantic getaway. We would love to help you plan something truly memorable for you and your loved one. You can fill out our free vacation quote form and we will be in touch.

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