How To Make Money At Disney

Make Money at Disney

How to Make Money at Disney

Make money at Disney? YES, PLEASE!!

We recently returned from a family trip to Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World. At check-in we were given the option of declining daily “mousekeeping” service in exchange for a $40 Disney gift card. For awhile now I’ve heard about these gift card offers, and I was glad that I got the chance to try it out for myself. The $40 Disney gift card was a nice bonus. I was curious to find out if our family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids) could manage 5 nights in a hotel room without having any cleaning services.

Make Money at Disney

How It Worked For Us

In a nutshell, our family had absolutely no issues with skipping mousekeeping. We were able to request fresh towels from guest services as needed, and we also grabbed a pile of the pool towels to use for our boys when they needed a fresh towel. We had groceries delivered to the resort which left us with a big pile of trash from boxes. Our boys took the trash down the hall to one of the outside trash cans, and repeated the process as the trash cans in the room got full. It really worked out just fine for us. I made sure that we cleaned up along the way, and the whole process was definitely painless for our family.

Honestly, our family was neater during our trip to Disney than we are at home. We made sure to make the beds before we left for the parks in the morning, and that made a huge difference. We would straighten up the counters, remove trash and pile up the wet towels if it was time to swap them out. I kept most of our clothes in the suitcases, and would “straighten” them up before we left. It felt more vacation like when we arrived back “home” to a clean room.

Make Money at Disney

Something to Consider

Know your limitations and what you expect during your resort stay. If you look forward to someone else cleaning after you and your family on vacation, or making your beds up every day, this may not be the best choice for your stay.

Tips for Declining Mousekeeping

  1. Tidy up as you go. It made it much easier to come back into the room after a long day in the parks if you know the room isn’t a disaster zone.
  2. Be kind to guest services. They will bring you fresh towels and toiletries whenever you need it. Tipping is always a nice courtesy to them!

Opting out of mousekeeping services isn’t always a option given to every guest. You can request it to see if it is available when you check in. The Disney Gift Card offer worked just fine for our family stay. Would it work for your family? Would you consider giving up mousekeeping for some extra souvenir money? Let’s chat in the comments!

~Amy

Episode 99: Disney’s Going to the Dogs

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Disney’s Going to the Dogs

We’re back and ready to talk about Disney’s newest controversial policy regarding dogs at Walt Disney World. Most unexpectedly, Disney began allowing dogs to stay in several Walt Disney World resorts. So we’re back today to talk about what that means and what all it entails. Ha, see what I did there?! What do you think about this new policy? Furthermore, do you think this is a policy that will be long-standing or short-lived?

As always, please share with us if you’ve got something to add to our discussion! Would you bring your dog to Disney? Please share your story with us! Post to our facebook page or tag us on instagram!


If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please let us know. For more Disney tips, tricks, tutorials, packing lists, dos and don’ts… Okay, you get the picture. We’ve got a blog! www.mouseandmonorail.com You can also find us on the following socials: FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, & YouTube.

Episode 72: Walt Disney World vs Disneyland

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Walt Disney World vs Disneyland

Ever wondered what the differences are between the West coast and East coast theme parks? Today we discuss what it’s like to plan a Walt Disney World trip vs a Disneyland trip. What’s your favorite things about Walt Disney World and Disneyland?


If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please let us know! And as always, for more Disney tips, tricks, tutorials, packing lists, dos and don’ts… Okay, you get the picture. We’ve got a blog! www.mouseandmonorail.com You can also find us on the following socials: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, & YouTube.

Why We Chose Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

After much debate within our family about our plans for our upcoming land and sea Disney vacation, I bit the bullet and made my decision. I booked a savanna view room for 3 nights at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. We will spend 1 day at Magic Kingdom, 1 day enjoying the resort and Disney Springs, and then wake up on our last morning and head to Port Canaveral for our Disney Dream cruise.

Image result for animal kingdom lodge

Why We Chose Animal Kingdom Lodge

After researching Animal Kingdom Lodge, here are a few things that we are so excited to experience:

  • Uzima Springs Pool – this 11,000 square foot zero entry pool is one of the largest pools at WDW, and feature a 67 foot water slide.

Samawati Springs Pool at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge featuring zero-depth entry and a long slide

  • Participating in bead activities that allow the kids to learn about African culture and animals. After the activity is over, everyone is given a bead to add to their string of memories. The bead serves as a reminder of what they have learned.
    String of Memories
  • Night vision animal viewing from the lobby! My kids are going to flip over this one, and quite honestly, I will too! I’m mildly obsessed with giraffes, and I can’t wait to be able to see them up close and personal!
    Image result for night vision animal kingdom lodge
  • Participating in a culinary tour of Sanaa or Boma. I heard about this one from a friend, and you even get samples of the food. Squee!!! I’ve never been to either of these restaurants, so I can’t wait to see them for myself. We have breakfast reservations at Boma for our down day.

Image result for sanaa or boma

  • This view from our room is going to be incredible! I can’t wait to see the animals while enjoying some peace and quiet on the balcony. I can feel myself relaxing just thinking of it!
    Image result for animal kingdom lodge savannah view worth it

Where Would You Choose?

We are about 5 months away from our trip. The more I learn about the resort the more excited I get. We only have 1 full day to enjoy the resort, and that day is going to be jam packed! My husband would like to be able to sleep in after the 15 hour day I have planned at Magic Kingdom, but there isn’t time for sleeping at Disney World! Have you stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge? Any advice for me? Am I missing anything? I need all the help I can get on this one because after staying at Pop Century on our prior trips, this resort is going to blow my mind! Have a magical day! ~Amy ºoº

Make Your Vote Count

We are roughly 200 days away from our next Disney trip, and I’m coming to you today because I need advice! I can’t make up my mind about what we should do on our next trip. Who else should I turn to but our trusted Mouse & Monorail readers for their input and opinions. So here goes…

We are taking our family on another Disney cruise in late May 2017 for our son Roo’s 6th birthday. It will be my husband, our 2 sons (ages 10 and 6) and myself. I know that there is simply no way I can cruise from Port Canaveral and NOT visit Walt Disney World. The question then turns to, “what do I want out of our next Disney trip?” We are wanting to be there for a couple of nights before our cruise, and we don’t want to break the bank. Here are a few options I’m tossing around:

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Option 1: Stay in a value or moderate resort, perhaps Pop Century or Caribbean Beach. We would purchase a 1 day water parks and more tickets and visit Magic Kingdom and Typhoon Lagoon. We haven’t visited the WDW water parks yet, so this would be fun and new for us. The boys love water parks, and I think with their ages there would be plenty to do to keep us all happy.

typhoon-lagoon-surf-pool-gallery03

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Option 2: Once again stay in a value or moderate resort, and purchase 2 day tickets. We would visit Magic Kingdom and either Epcot or Animal Kingdom. I would like to see the new Animal Kingdom light show when it comes out, but a date hasn’t been set for that. The kids would probably enjoy Animal Kingdom (especially Expedition Everest) more than Epcot, but Jeremy and I fell in love with Epcot on our last trip. I’d love to really explore Epcot more, and allow them to see all the fun things around the World Showcase. And hello, Soarin’ and Test Track!

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Option 3: Skip the parks all together and splurge on a savanna room at Animal Kingdom Lodge. This resort is on my bucket list, and I would absolutely be in heaven waking up and seeing the giraffes outside my room. If we picked this option, we would probably explore the resort, eat at restaurants we’ve never tried, play in the pools and visit Disney Springs. We might even get tickets to La Nouba by Cirque de Soleil. It would truly be 2 days of relaxation enjoying the resort amenities to the fullest. I’d also like to do the starlight safari at Animal Kingdom.

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So those are a few of my ideas. What do you think? Which option would YOU pick if it were your trip? Feel free to throw out other ideas in the comments. I’m truly open to all suggestions, and can’t wait to hear which choice you would pick. Have a magical day! ~Amy ºoº

Episode 8: Our Own Top 5 WDW Bucket Lists

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Today’s podcast is all about our Walt Disney World bucket lists – those things that we haven’t done yet, and dream of one day being able to say, “I’ve done that!” We didn’t share with each other what our Top 5 items were for our lists, and we all came up with some very different and uniquely Disney things. Here are the links to our bucket list items in case you want to find out more information about each one!

Meredith’s Top 5 Walt Disney World Bucket List
5. Eat at The Boathouse restaurant at Disney Springs
4. Complete all the adventure games in the parks: Pirates Adventure in Adventureland, Agent P’s World Showcase Adventures in Epcot, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, Wilderness Explorers in Animal Kingdom.
3. Visit the Senses Spa at the Grand Floridian Resort
2. Stay at Polynesian Villas and Bungalows.
1. Parks marathon and visit all 4 theme parks and 2 water parks in 1 day.

Sarah’s Top 5 Walt Disney World Bucket List
5. RunDisney event


4. Eat at the Chef’s Table at Victoria & Alberts and eat at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
3. The Pirates League, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Jedi Training Academy (Meredith and I have Pirates League and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique experiences from prior trips. You can read about them here, here and here!)
2. Make Rope Drop at Magic Kingdom and be the family of the day.
1. Go to a hard ticket event such as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and take a tour – Behind the Seeds tour at Epcot and Walt Disney: From Marceline to Magic Kingdom

Amy’s Top 5 Walt Disney World Bucket List
5. Visit Downtown Disney
4. Trio of snack items: Churro, Turkey Leg, and Zebra Dome
3. Keys to the Kingdom Tour in Magic Kingdom and Epcot Seas Aqua Tour in the Living Seas aquarium
2. Stay in a savannah room at Animal Kingdom Lodge
1. Stay in Cinderella Castle Suite which is only available if you are uber rich and famous or win a Disney contest!

Now that you’ve heard our lists – and my own personal confession that I’ve never been to Downtown Disney (now called Disney Springs) – what is on your Walt Disney World bucket list? Let’s chat in the comments! ~Amy º0º

Monday News for 8.10.15

Here is your roundup of news around the Disney universe for the week: Minnies-Holdiay-and-Dine-at-Disneys-Hollywood-Studios

  • Reservations may now be booked for a new holiday dining experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine Dinner.  There is no where else you can dine with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy in their Christmas attire! This dinner option is $52.99 per adult and $31.99 per child age 3 to 9 (plus tax and gratuity) and includes VIP seating for Fantasmic! You can make reservations now online or via 407 939-3463.
  • The Flying Fish Cafe at Disney’s BoardWalk resort will be closed February 2016 through November 2016 for a major refurb.
  • New merchandise has debuted at Aulani, and I for one think this necklace is beautiful!
  • The 8th Annual Tour de Turtles took place last weekend at Disney’s Vero Beach resort. Reseachers from Disney’s Animal Programs and the Sea Turtle Conservancy attached satellite transmitters to two loggerhead sea turtles, Tinker Bell and Marina and then sent them on their merry way in the deep blue ocean!
  • Applications are now being accepted for the Disney Dreamers Academy. High school students can apply to be part of this life changing program.
  • Duffy Bear meet and greet will be closing permanently effective October 3rd.
  • Disney to reinvent theme park shopping experience with new app.
  • Toys-R-Us Stores Will Open at Midnight to Debut First ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Toys.

    Join us again tomorrow for some FastPass+ tips! ~Amy ºoº

Which Walt Disney World Resort is Right For Me? – Part 2

You’re planning a Walt Disney World vacation. You are so excited – and overwhelmed – at the prospects of where in the “world” do you stay. Yesterday I gave the scoop on value and moderate resorts types and today I’m covering deluxe resorts and villas. Let’s get started!

Deluxe resorts are just that – deluxe. These resorts are top of the line hotel properties, and you will get nothing but the best when staying at them. Deluxe resorts start at $284 a night, and would be the equivalent of a Four Seasons type hotel. Transportation to the parks from deluxe resorts varies from bus, monorail or boat, depending on which resort you pick. These resorts are located very close the parks, are larger than the value and moderate rooms, have very ornate decorations and theming, high end restaurants, spa and fitness centers, park views, children’s activity centers, cruises and other activities, and great pools with water slides. Because of the high class of the hotel, I wouldn’t expect these to be over-run with large groups of children, although they are still kid friendly. This is after all, Disney. Deluxe resorts even offer club level and concierge services.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney’s Beach Club Resort

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Now, let’s move on to Villas. The Villa rooms at Walt Disney World Resorts are found at the either the deluxe resorts, or as a stand alone resort, and include studios, one and two-bedroom villas. Each two-bedroom villa sleeps up to 8 Guests—and up to 9 at select locations—and includes amenities such as a full kitchen, a whirlpool tub, DVD player, washer and dryer. These rooms are great if you are traveling with a large group, and don’t want to have more than one hotel room. You can have all the perks and amenities of the deluxe resorts, with extra room. It’s a win/win, especially if you are splitting the cost of the room, because they don’t come cheap. Deluxe Villas start between $318 and $1265 per night, and go up from there.

Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village

Disney’s Beach Club Villas

Disney’s BoardWalk Villas

Disney’s Old Key West Resort

Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

So that’s the breakdown of the deluxe resorts and the villas available at Walt Disney World. It is my dream to one day stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Grand Floridian. Which deluxe resort is on your bucket list? Have you stayed at a deluxe resort or villa? Let’s chat in the comments! I’ll be back with more Disney fun tomorrow. Have a tiggerific day! ~A ºoº

Which Walt Disney World Resort is Right For Me? – Part 1

You’ve decided that you are going to Walt Disney World (WDW). That was the easy part! Now comes the tough decision on deciding where to stay. I’ve got some tips today and tomorrow on breaking down the resorts types to help you make up your mind.

There are four levels of WDW resorts: Value, Moderate, Deluxe and Deluxe Villas. Each resort is designed with a theme in mind, and all WDW properties have amenities such as pools, park transportation and access to extra magic hours, in addition to the perks of being able to book dining reservations and FastPass+ reservations before the general public.

Today I’m going to break down value and moderate resorts types, and tomorrow I’ll cover the deluxe and deluxe villas.

Let’s start with the Value resorts. Value resorts are perfect for the budget conscious traveler, and they start at $85 per night. We personally stay at Pop Century Resort, and have had nothing but good experiences there. I’m at Disney World for the parks, not the hotel, so this has been an easy choice for us. I would rather spend my money in the parks than on my hotel room. I would equate the value resorts to a La Quinta type hotel. You have a small, but clean room, bathroom area, and a few amenities. Not many perks, but it gets the job done. The value resorts have food courts instead of restaurants, amazing kid-friendly theming, including gigantic models of characters and huge swimming pools. Park transportation from value resorts is by bus.

Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort

Disney’s All-Star Music Resort

Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Disney’s Pop Century Resort

The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort – tent and camper sites available

The downside to staying at a value resort is that there are a lot of children there (hence the kid-friendly decor), and schools/teams often utilize the value resorts for different events and competitions around WDW. This means that you could have lots of loud cheerleaders staying right down the hall from you practicing their cheers before national competitions the next day. So if you are looking for a quiet, adult friendly getaway, this might not be the right choice for you. We have found that our stays at Pop Century have been lots of fun for our kids, and we personally have had no issues. We will even be staying at Pop Century for our anniversary trip because we both want to maximize our park time, and don’t plan on hanging out at the resort much.

Now let’s move on to the moderate resorts. Disney has 5 moderate resorts that you can chose from, and these are all one step up from the value resorts. The moderate resorts start at $162 per night. The theme is more adult in nature, however kids still have plenty of fun staying at these resorts. Moderate resort rooms are a bit larger than value resort rooms, have themed pools with water slides, offer bars/lounges, food courts, and have various other forms of activities like boat rentals or carriage rides, that aren’t available at the value resorts.

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

The moderate resorts generally run $70-$150 more per night than value resorts, depending on the time of year, and are much quieter than value resorts. These resorts would equate to a Hampton Inn or equivalent hotel. Nice, roomy enough for a family of 4 or 5, depending on which resort you are in, and a few more perks than a value resort. Transportation to the parks from moderate resorts is by bus or boat, depending on the resort. If you are staying for more than a few days, and plan on spending time exploring your resort, this might be a good choice for your family, especially if your kids love the pool or beach.

So that’s the breakdown of value and moderate resorts at Walt Disney World. Come back tomorrow as I talk about the deluxe resorts and deluxe villas. Let’s chat in the comments with your thoughts on Disney’s value and moderate resorts! ~A ºoº

Rockin’ 4th of July Celebrations at Walt Disney World

If you are lucky enough to be visiting Walt Disney World Resort during the 4th of July, you will have lots of fun things to look forward to! Let’s face it…no one does fireworks celebrations like Disney!

Here’s the lineup for the celebrations:

  • Magic Kingdom will be featuring “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky.” Park visitors will be able to enjoy this fireworks show in the sky over Cinderella Castle on July 3rd and July 4th at 9 p.m.
  • On July 4th, Epcot guests can enjoy a concert of favorite American songs by Voices of Liberty at America Gardens Theater at 12:30 p.m., 1:45 p.m., and 3 p.m., and at 10:00, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth will be featuring American favorites in the finale.
  • Hollywood Studios is having a “Rockin’ 4th of July Celebration,” with a DJ starting off rock and roll fun at 5:45 p.m., and fireworks will begin at 10:15 p.m.

Which of these parks would you like to visit for the 4th of July? Let’s chat in the comments! ~A ºoº

 

Disney Resort Trivia Answers

It’s time for today’s trivia answers about Disney resorts. How did you do?

Question 1: The video for the Beach Boys hit song “Kokomo” had scenes filmed at which Walt Disney World resort?

Answer 1: Scenes were filmed at The Grand Floridian before the resort opened.

Question 2: The lobby of Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to this 16 foot Ijele mask from what African country?

Question 2: This impressive mask comes from Nigeria.

Question 3: The miniature carousel replica in the lobby of Disney’s Boardwalk Inn was hand-crafted in the 1920s at which popular New York coast attraction?

Answer 3: The carousel replica was hand-crafted in Coney Island. Beautiful, huh?

Thanks for playing along today! ~A ºoº

Disney Resort Trivia

Today’s trivia is all about Disney resorts. See how well you do!

Question 1: The video for the Beach Boys hit song “Kokomo” had scenes filmed at which Walt Disney World resort?

Question 2: The lobby of Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to this 16 foot Ijele mask from what African country?

Question 3: The miniature carousel replica in the lobby of Disney’s Boardwalk Inn was hand-crafted in the 1920s at which popular New York coast attraction?

Answer in the comments below, or on our FB page. Good luck, and thanks for playing along! ~A ºoº

5.18.15 Trivia Answers

Here are the answers for today’s trivia questions. How did you do?

Question 1: Which Disney restaurant features the dessert below, filled with scoops of Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Coffee, and Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream smothered in every topping they have, and what is the name of the dessert?

Answer 1: Beaches & Cream Soda Shop at Disney’s Beach Club resort is where you can find the Kitchen Sink. This mammoth dessert serves 4 people (at least!) and is $28.99.

Question 2: Which Epcot restaurant features three ovens named for Italy’s famous volcanoes: Etna, Stromboli, and Vesuvio?

Answer 2: Via Napoli in the Mexican showcase at Epcot features 3 wood burning ovens: Etna, Stromboli and Vesuvio, which are used to cook their wood-fired pizzas.

Question 3: Which Walt Disney World restaurant can boast not only about their amazing view of Magic Kingdom, but also has some of the best sushi you can find around WDW?

Answer 3: California Grill, located on the 15th floor of the Contemporary Resort offers both amazing food and incredible views!

Thanks for playing along today! ~A ºoº