Life is Exciting Making New Memories and Having Fun!

September 28, 2016
by Carol Ann

Why to Use a Travel Agent to Book your Walt Disney World® Resort Vacations!

This is a guest post from my friend Amy Hessel~~Owner of Just a Spoonful ofSugar she explains ten reasons in this post why to use her as a travel agent instead of booking your Walt Disney World® Resort vacation yourself:



Why use a travel agent for Disney when I can book it myself?

I get asked pretty frequently why anyone would book their vacation through me, when they can just do it themselves online. The short answer is that when you book with your local travel agent, you are supporting a small business, versus booking directly with Disney. It doesn’t cost anything extra to have me book a vacation than what it does when you go straight to the site, however, you are helping me to grow my business, and support my family when you book through me.

The long answer covers so much more though! Here are 10 reasons why you should book with me!

1. I will help you go through all the resort and dining options to find the best fit for you and your family.

2. I will research the best week for your family to go to Walt Disney World for the time of year you are interested in going.

3. Once you have booked your vacation, I will stay up to date with all discounts and promotions, and if one is released that you qualify for, I will re-book your vacation at the lowest cost possible.

4. I will set up your airport transfers with Magical Express, Disney’s free transportation, that takes you from the airport to your resort.

5. When you book with me, you are dealing with the same person from the beginning of the planning process, all the way through returning home from your trip. No waiting on hold, or dealing with several people to solve a problem!

6. Want to go to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party? No problem, I will order those tickets for you.

7. I will help you navigate the My Disney Experience website to link your tickets and reservations, plus help you customize Magic Bands

8. For those who use the included Basic Planning Package, I will send you reminders for when you need to book your dining reservations, Fastpass+ reservations, and a final payment due reminder. (Our Essentials Package will be discussed in another post!)

9. I will help you decide if the Memory Maker is a good option for you, and if so, add it to your package.

10. I provide you with a guide to help navigate the parks, as well as general recommendations and touring suggestions.

Planning a great vacation to Walt Disney World can take hours of time. If you would rather leave it to the professionals, leave a comment below, and I will be happy to help you create a magical vacation for your family!

Amy Hessel
Travel Agent, Living With The Magic Vacations

Direct Number: 717.836.0513
Fax:  585.351.2413

September 22, 2016
by Carol Ann

Walt Disney World Planning Process

This is a Guest Post written by my friend Amy Hessel~~Owner of Just a Spoonful of Sugar. I am so excited to have a guest writer on the site! Thank you so much Amy! In this post Amy tells us about the Walt Disney World Planning Process!

Walt Disney World Planning Process

As a travel agent that specializes in Disney Destinations, I can attest to just how much planning goes into a Walt Disney World trip! Ideally, booking seven months out is recommended. ADR (Disney speak for Advanced Dining Reservations) windows for booking open at 180 days before your arrival, and you want to have your resort and package picked out by then!

When staying on property, guests can book up to 10 days after their arrival, which gives you a leg up on scoring a reservation at some of the most popular restaurants. Guests staying off property will have to go online or call in for each day of their vacation to book an ADR. Sure, there are some restaurants that you can get a reservation at without any problem, but if you want to dine at Cinderella’s Royal Table, Chef Mickey’s, Le Cellier, or many other very popular restaurants, you typically need to be online the moment your reservation window opens.
Making dining reservations is my absolute favorite part of the planning process. For me, that is when the trip becomes reality! I love going over all of the menus, looking at reviews, and picking both my favorites and new restaurants to try. For my clients, I listen to their needs, learn about their likes and dislikes, and help suggest which restaurants will be the best fit for them. I think for my clients, this is also the moment that their vacation goes from the abstract to concrete. It is certainly exciting when you first book your trip but knowing that your dining plans have been made, and you are only six months away from your vacation is an incredible feeling!
After the mad rush to book dining, there is a break before you will need to start planning your FastPass+ reservations. Again, there is an advantage to staying on property, with booking opening at 60 days before arrival, compared to 30 days out for those staying off property. This means, guests staying on property have a much better chance of getting a FastPass for the newly opened Frozen Ever After in Epcot, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and other popular attractions. At 60 days out, guests can also check in online.
30 days prior to arrival, final payment is due, and Magic Bands will be getting ready to ship! The final countdown is on!
When you are ready to book, contact Living With the Magic Vacations at to start planning a magical vacation.


Amy Hessel
Travel Agent, Living With The Magic Vacations

Direct Number: 717.836.0513
Fax:  585.351.2413

September 18, 2016
by Carol Ann

Visit the famous Broadmoor Hotel in Old City Colorado!



Visit the famous Broadmoor Hotel in Old City Colorado. I love the Broadmoor Hotel and have seen it for many years on the outside. This year I wanted to see some of it on the inside. The Broadmoor Hotel is a Forbes five-star Hotel and an AAA Five-Diamond Hotel.

My family, and I went inside and had lunch at La Taverne in the famous Broadmoor Hotel! This restaurant was just beautiful inside with its 16-foot chandelier. It also brings the outdoors inside with plants, florals and a covered room with sunlights. It is one of the prettiest places I have eaten in. They call it the Le Jarden room and it was astonishing! I did not know that it was famous for it’s for it steaks they are all-natural, and they also have fresh seafood. The Broadmoor’s steakhouse features all natural American raised USDA prime Creekstone Farms 30 day aged Angus Beef. Creekstone Farms USDA prime is served only at the finest steakhouses in the country. There are several more restaurants on the property.

After my family and I had eaten our lunch, we looked around inside the building and in the outside shops. I saw ancient wine in glass cases. I wondered if you could still drink it. We toured several different sights inside the famous Broadmoor Hotel. Some of the rooms went outside and were perfect for some picture taking.


Next, we went and looked at the shops. There were many different ones. I loved the gift shop it had some nice souvenirs. I did not want to leave there was so much more to see. The Broadmoor Hotel is enormous, and we were out of time. I can hardly wait to visit it again and maybe stay a few nights in their magnificent rooms and maybe go horseback riding. There are many different activities at the resort including a Spa! The Broadmoor Hotel is a family place and worth a stop if you are in the area of Colorado Springs, Colorado!













August 14, 2016
by Carol Ann

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is Spooky Fun!





It is very exciting to go to Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party and yes I am going! Many people ask if the extra ticket price is worth it. In my opinion, yes, yes, yes it is! There is so much to do! There are; Special Disney Character Appearances, Villains Mix and Mingle live on Stage, Club Villain, Monstrous Scream-O-Ween Ball, Hallowishes the fireworks extravaganza, Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, and Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade which is one of my favorites and so much more! The decorations on Main Street are always so incredible. Also, I love the mesmerizing effect when the color changes on the buildings with the not-so-scary music in the background. I heard from the “Smiling Ghosts” that Main Street has over 200 different face carved pumpkins for Halloween! The Characters are also in special places dressed in their finest party costumes. There is special party merchandise to buy, and special party treats to eat. The pictures of the goodies look frighteningly good! The Happy Hallowishes Desert Premium Package is a separate ticketed event with special seating for the fireworks included!


To begin with I suggest that you eat first. We ate at the, Liberty Tree Tavern which has excellent food! I had forgotten how good the food was there. It has an all-you-can eat family style meal of; turkey, pork, beef, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, homemade cranberry sauce, and rolls. While we ate we planned our night. It was a wonderful meal! We made prior reservations. This is a must on a party night or you might not be able to just walk up and get in! If you do not want to take so much time on a sit down meal there are many choices of counter service meals also.


The time goes very quickly at the party. It just flies and before you know it midnight strikes and the carriage turns back into a pumpkin. It is a very good idea to have a plan of what you want to do the most before midnight strikes and the party is over. Our number one priority was to see Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Parade. Our group decided to go to the late parade. There are two times for the parade. I also wanted to trick-or-treat, ride several rides, and have our picture made with, The Hitch-Hiking-Ghosts.


We started riding rides and trick-or-treating. So many trick-or-treating locations on the map. A Cast Member reminded me that at the 8:30 parade was a good time to ride the rides with the longer lines. Most noteworthy of the party is the short lines for the rides.

After riding several rides, and trick-or-treating in several places, having a few photo’s made, and watching Hallowishes it was already time to find a place for the parade. The parade was wonderful with, The Headless Horseman first, following with the floats, music, lights and, Characters. Next, on the way out we went to the Fire Station and received our collector card of, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. The night was over already. It was a super fun, happy, and ghostly night! Hurry before all of the parties are full! You will be sure to have a BOO-TO-YOU night!



For more information call: 407-824-4321 or visit


August 9, 2016
by Carol Ann

Mythos Restaurant® at Universal Orlando’s® Islands of Adventure



There is an award winning restaurant for lunch at, Islands of Adventure Theme Park inside Universal Orlando Resort®. It is called Mythos Restaurant® and you might just walk past it. Walk back by the where the rocks, waterfalls and ancient figures are carved into the side of the restaurant. There it is located in the Lost Continent part of the park just past Seuss Landing. Actually inside it looks like a cave underwater and is very mystic themed. It was a winning theme Park Restaurant in 2010 (3rd place), 2003-2009 (1st place). Information provided by, Theme-park insider. The kitchen is open so you can see the chef’s preparing your food! I think it is so fun to see the kitchen.



My son and I have eaten at Mythos Restaurant® several times and have not been disappointed. It is one of our favorite places to eat! This is a full-service restaurant that serves American fare at a reasonable price. The food and service is really incredible! There is also a really nice view of the park in the lower seats which include, The Incredible Hulk Coaster®. I love the view!

The butter for the bread has, Universal Orlando® on it. I think it is a wonderful detail to go with the scrumptious bread. This is a wonderful place to eat and I think you will really like it! Mythos Restaurant® is perfect on a hot day for air-conditioning, a table to rest those weary feet from walking, and fantastic food. Make sure and check it out on your next trip! Do not forget to make reservations since Mythos Restaurant® is only open for lunch and it fills up very quickly.



Mythos Restaurant® hours are 11AM-4PM

Here is a copy of the menu:

For more information or reservations call: 1-407-224-3663 or visit on the web.





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