1 Mardi Gras Parade, 2 Theme Parks, 3 Days, 4 Resorts, 10 Restaurants, 16 Miles, 20+ Attractions & 300+ Photos

This past weekend I was with 10 other Travel Agents and one Universal Studio District Sales Manager. Our goal was to learn as much as humanly possible about Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida. Our days started early and ended late. We walked, talked and learned so much more than I ever thought possible about Universal Studios.

We were able to experience most of the top attractions, inspect all 4 resorts, visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, try many different restaurants and even be on a float in the nighttime Universal Studios Mardi Gras Parade! (I even had time for a bit of shopping!)

Why did I do such a huge amount of work in such little time? Well, to be honest, for you.

I pride myself on helping my clients have the best vacation they can. I want to know how to get you the best value for your hard-earned vacation dollars. I want you to be able to get your children to put down their cell phones and make memories with their family. I want parents to have that one last summer vacation before their kids go away to college and everything changes. For grandparents to see the wonder and joy in their grandchildren’s faces as their fantasies become reality. For families to be…a family.

The best way I know how to do that is to educate myself on the destinations that my clients go to. When I do trips like this one, I can find out how to save you money as I talk about in the featured article below. I can tell you about the special room where Grandma can sit down while the younger ones go on the big rides. I can tell the family who has a Gluten Free child what to expect in the parks. I can tell you which rides really cause motion sickness and which rides are not to be missed. I can help a family have a better vacation because I have been there and done that. Keep your eye out for upcoming newsletters including all sorts of good Universal Studios info!

It is a tough job…but someone has to do it! :)

Until next time!


Here I am about to check out Hogwart’s Castle.

My Top 6 Money Saving Tips for Walt Disney World

1. Purchase souvenirs ahead of time.  One of the biggest expenses can be all the souvenirs that your or your children want to get while on vacation. A great tip is to check local stores such as Walmart, Target or any dollar store. You will often find t-shirts and other small items that would make great souvenirs. I also like to sign up for updates at the DisneyStore.com website and keep an eye out for sales. Another great option is UNIGLO at Disney Springs. There are great Disney t-shirts at a fraction of the price.  Bonus: If you purchase your clothing before you travel, you can wash your shirts before wearing them.

2. Buy base tickets, not park hoppers. Especially if you are a first timer. It might seem like a great idea to switch parks, however, there is more to do in each park than you can do in one day. It also takes a big chunk of time to transfer from one park to another. After 20 years going to Walt Disney World, I still have attractions I want to see. Save the money and spend more time in one park doing more of the attractions.

3. Have breakfast in your room. In the morning it usually takes us quite a while to get going. We have to wait for the bathroom and end up just sitting around. If you use GardenGrocer.com (small fee to deliver to the resorts) or Amazon Prime (free delivery to the resorts) to get breakfast foods delivered to your room, you can be eating breakfast while others in your family are getting ready. The onsite Walt Disney Resorts have small fridges in them. Perfect for juice boxes, yogurt or even real cream for your coffee! Once everyone is ready you can avoid the busy restaurants and head right to the parks. Saves money and time!

4. Bring your own snacks, pop or water into the parks. Use Amazon Prime or GardenGrocer.com to deliver your goods to any Walt Disney World resort. Not only can you get breakfast foods delivered to your resort, you can get cases of water, pop and snacks delivered too! Disney is different than many other amusement parks, you can carry a backpack on all rides. It is even easier if you have a stroller, you can just put all the snacks in the bottom and go.

5. Use a Target credit card or debit card to purchase Disney Gift Cards and get an automatic 5% discount. If you know you have a Disney vacation in your future, head to your nearest Target and purchase Disney Gift Cards. You will get a 5% discount if you use the Target credit or debit card. The money saved can really add up. Those Disney Gift Cards can be used for food, shops, resorts…all sorts of things on Disney property.

6. Use Kayak.com to check flight prices. I personally use this ALL the time. I constantly check my flights to see which airline is cheapest. (As of now Kayak.com doesn’t do Southwest which is sometimes a great option.) In the upper left corner, there is a price predictor. Since Kayak.com tracks flights constantly, it can predict if the price is good and you should buy now or wait until the price drops. You can also place an alert to keep track of your flights to get weekly notifications. As a side note, I always purchase directly through the airlines. I have had too many times when a 3rd party website lost my reservation, had hidden fees or confusing confirmation numbers. When you book through 3rd party sites, the airlines (or your travel agent) can’t help you.

Bonus Tip:
Use a travel agent. Most people do not know how travel agents get paid and worry that using a travel agent will cost more. The price you see online already has the travel agent commission built in, and if you don’t use a travel agent, the commission is wasted. If you book directly with the company, the company keeps the commission. When you work with a travel agent you get their wisdom and experience, and the company pays with the built-in commission in most cases. You are then supporting a local small business and their family.

When using a good travel agent, they will keep an eye on Walt Disney World Prices. If there is a special price that comes out they will see if your reservation will qualify and apply it. They can give you suggestions on how to save money, how to tour efficiently, as well as insider tips that will make your vacation magical. If there is a problem with your trip, your travel agent will go to bat for you to help fix the problem. It is a win-win situation. If you think you would like to work with a Travel Agent who is an expert in Disney World, drop me a line at CarolBorn@BornForTravel.com

Do you have some money saving tips? I would love to hear them, go to Born for Travel on Facebook and post your tips!