Here’s a different type of travel post for you… Instead of sharing a vacation recap, I’m going to share our process of planning a trip right from the very start. And this is a fun trip, because…

 

We’re going to DISNEY WORLD!

 

 

I have to be honest though, going to Disney is something we partly have been dreading, only because the planning part of it is super overwhelming to me. Like, where do you even start? How do you know which parks are good? Are there special deals or do you just go to the website and buy tickets directly? How many days should you go? What time of year? Where do you stay? I mean, can you tell how lost I am??

 

Here’s my solution.

I happened to be connected to Ears of Experience through a friend. Ears of Experience is a Disney vacation planning company that was started by Amy Westerman, a mom local to the Charleston area! With over 30 years of experience in planning Disney trips, the “Ears” team now has hundreds of agents all over the country and they have also earned tons of top accolades. In fact, Disney has recognized them as one of the top planning companies in the industry.

Something I thought was so cool about Ears of Experience is that they have someone in the parks every day, so they are always at the cusp of the latest and greatest information. Their agents actually take the trips they plan for other families, so I feel confident in trusting their recommendations. With everything I’ve learned about their team, it seems like they are totally committed to creating a magical and stress-free Disney vacation for every client.

 

 

As we are getting started in the planning of our trip, I thought it would be a cool thing to share the process with you guys. I know so many of you also have small children, so a trip to Disney is probably in a big number of your futures as well! I also know that so many of you have been to Disney countless times and could fill my brain with all of your favorite parks, places to stay, etc. Even though we are planning this through Ears of Experience, I would still love to know all of your tips/tricks and favorites! Please tell me in the comments!

But for those of you who are lost like me, then this post should be especially helpful. Or maybe you’ve already been to Disney, but the trip was hectic and you’d like some help for next time. Whatever the case may be, I’ve heard AMAZING things about Ears of Experience, so I’m really excited to hand it over to them to create a magical trip for the kids… and us, too. 🙂 Also, they have a special deal going on right now that will give you free water park tickets for your family! Read on for details.

 

 

Do you have to pay for this service?

No! I didn’t realize this prior to getting started, but all planning services provided by Ears of Experience are totally free to clients who book a trip with them that are at least three days long with tickets!

 

8 Cool Things Ears of Experience Does

Here are some reasons we’ve decided to book through Ears of Experience. Just a few things they do that makes them extra special.

  1. They supply park maps before you go!
  2. Special insider tips and tricks to navigate the parks.
  3. They have a concierge service to help your planning be seamless. 
  4. Text Help feature when you are in the parks for deluxe clients.
  5. They have lots of experience planning for families with special needs. 
  6. Custom Itinerary that is catered to your families needs and wants for the trip.
  7. They will book your dining for you 180 days before travel.
  8. They provide special tips on how to stand in less lines and be on more attractions.

 

The Process

I then asked Heather, one of the in-house planners, what the process of planning a trip with Ears of Experience, looks like from start to finish so that I could share it all with you guys. Here’s what she said!

“First, we help you find the ideal accommodations for your family! We will look at crowd calendars to help you select the best dates for your trip, and we will provide advice on which type of ticket is right for you. We will even help you analyze if one of the Disney Dining plans would be beneficial for your family!

Once your trip is booked, we automatically watch for promotions that may be released and applicable for your trip. If a promotion comes out, we are on it! We will be up early getting those prices adjusted whenever possible. So many of our clients have woken up to an email from their agent letting know that they saved money on their trip – often hundreds or even thousands of dollars!

After booking we will work on creating a customized park and dining plan for you. We will send you popular dining options to choose from and will book dining reservations (making sure to note any allergies or special dietary needs on the reservation). We can even help arrange birthday cakes to be delivered during a meal!

If you book before your dining window opens (180 days before check-in), your Ears agent will be up bright and early booking your dining the morning your window opens – so hit that snooze button and relax, because it is taken care of!

We will also be happy to help you select and customize your MagicBands (included with your Walt Disney World reservation) and to arrange complimentary shuttle transportation to and from the Orlando International Airport. Just send us your flight details and we will take care of it!

The next step in planning your trip is to make FastPass+ selections 60 days before you check-in. Your agent will send you suggestions for which attractions to select, broken down into categories: Thrill seekers, Princess Lovers, etc. While we encourage you to make those selections on your own (so that you are familiar with the system, which you will need to use while in the parks), we are always on hand to assist if you need us!

Shortly before you travel you will receive a packet containing our Ears Team suggestions for maneuvering the different Disney® Theme Parks, including our famous “Tips and Tricks”. You’ll also receive a personalized itinerary plan for each day you are in the parks, including park hours, resort activities, dining reservation information, directions you might need, and your FastPass+ selections. You’ll even receive theme park maps to help you get the lay of the land before you arrive! 

While traveling, many agents provide a direct texting number which allows you to ask questions while in the parks. If you have any issues at all (which is rare), we are there to troubleshoot! 

Some examples of times that a client has reached out while traveling: needed help activating Memory Maker, had a question about where to purchase something they forgot (like formula, Tylenol, etc), wanted advice on changing dining reservations. Most clients are so well-prepared for their trip that we don’t hear from them while they are traveling, but we are always there to help!

After the trip we will follow up to make sure you are completely happy with the service you received!

Just a reminder – all of these services are completely free to clients who book their trip through us!”

 

 

My question for YOU…

Ok ladies, tell me everything you love about Disney. I definitely trust Ears of Experience to put together a really well thought out, fun, and stress-free trip for us, but I want to know what your favorite parts of the parks are! Anything we shouldn’t miss with a 3 year old and a 1.5 year old? Anything to avoid?

 

FREE Disney Water Park tickets!

Here’s a deal that was offered just for you guys— FREE water park tickets to families who travel to Walt Disney World between July 1st and October 31, 2019. To qualify, guests must stay on Disney property at least four night stays at a moderate, deluxe, or villa resort, and purchase 3-day base ticket or higher through Ears of Experience,. Each guest over the age of 3 will receive a one-day water park tickets to use on their trip!  Make sure to mention “Holy City Chic” to take advantage of this deal.

 

 

I’ll keep you guys updated on our trip plans and of course will share the whole vacation when we go. I haven’t been to Disney World in years—maybe since I was 5! So this is super exciting for me!

 

Thank you to Ears of Experience for your partnership.

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5 Comments

  1. Lauren
    July 17, 2019 / 2:42 pm

    Oh I could go on and on about Disney and how much we love it!! We just got back in May and it was unbelievable! This was our second trip with 3 year old and 6 year old. We also used a travel agent and it was so stress free! Highly recommend doing the Minnie van instead of the magical express when you arrive at airport, so magical and you don’t have to be on the bus for two hours!
    Our favorite things at Disney:
    1. T Rex restaurant at Disney springs (like rainforest cafe but dinosaurs) also the Edison is really good food at Disney springs!
    2. We did many character meals but garden grill at Epcot was the best in my opinion. Food was family style and the cinnamon rolls are amazing! Characters stayed at table longer then most places I thought.
    3. Breakfast in belles castle (this is a quick service credit but need reservations)
    4. Festival of lion king show at animal kingdom (get a fast pass for this) so amazing!
    5. Safari ride at animal kingdom (also need fast pass)
    6. Coral reef restaurant at Epcot (entire wall is an aquarium)
    7. Magic kingdom fireworks/castle show (Get there early)
    8. River of lights show at animal kingdom
    9. Take advantage of rider swap. If your daughter can’t go on rides your son can go on. One of You can go with your son and then the other one can go again with him and get in the fast pass line. You just have to tell the person by fast pass line that you wanna do a rider swap.
    10. Pool days! You’ll be thankful for breaks away from the parks! We did one in between each park and it was such a nice break!
    11. There is a show in front of castle at Magic kingdom at different times of day that is really good!

    Hope this helps! I’m already itching to go back again! Such a magical place!

  2. Lauren
    July 17, 2019 / 2:58 pm

    Hi! I love Disney and have been many times! We are going again in early November. The Christmas decorations and atmosphere during this time are awesome! We will also catch the end of Food and Wine in Epcot. I recommend checking that out if you’re going while that’s running. No kids, so I don’t have the best tips in that area. I like to read https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/ and watch the YouTube channel for their recommendations.

    Ohana is my favorite sit down place to eat. They have the best bread pudding dessert!

  3. Connie
    July 18, 2019 / 5:41 pm

    We have been every year (sometimes 2-3 times) since my daughter was a year old she is now 24. We still love it! Grand Floridian is my favorite hotel. Halloween is a great time to go. U have food and wine festival plus all Halloween activities. December would be second best. Plan rest breaks for your little ones. Character breakfasts are fun. September and October might have higher than normal rods cause Star Wars attraction is opening.

  4. Liz
    July 22, 2019 / 3:22 pm

    The baby centers in the parks are great if you need any supplies or just a quiet and cool place to take a break with little ones – was so helpful when we had our then 8 month old there while my husband was running a race. The parks can be totally overstimulating for adults let along little ones, so i say get up early, take advantage of magic hours and take breaks out of the parks so everyone can relax and recharge. Also the Disney resort hotels have an in room babysitting service which we used to have an adult night out and it was fabulous. The babysitter was wonderful. I’m usually a little nervous about any babysitting service that I don’t know well but we highly recommend this one and of course if Disney approves it you know its been really fully vetted.

  5. Marilyn
    July 28, 2019 / 1:19 pm

    Where are the kids ears from?

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