Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – Photo Tour

Disney’s Art of Animation is a whimsical resort that is fun for the whole family! While children adore the Disney movie theme and larger-than-life character displays, parents appreciate the spacious Family Suites and affordable rates.

Disney resorts fall into three categories: Value, Moderate, or Deluxe. As a Value Resort, Art of Animation offers bus transportation to the parks and Disney Springs, themed pools (no water slides), a quick-service dining food court, and the best value for accommodations. 


As you enter the vestibule, you are welcomed by a blank canvas and an opportunity to draw. A perfect way to get into the animation theme as you first step through the door!


The front desk reception area – excitement builds as the vivid colors shine around you!


This dazzling wall in the main lobby portrays scenes from the movies you will see in the themed buildings throughout the resort: Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid. These pictures are replicas of animation cells used while animating the features.


The Ink and Paint Shop has adorable merchandise and sundries for your vacation needs. I especially love the selection of gifts for your pets! There are a limited amount of dog friendly rooms at this resort!


Landscape of Flavors is a fantastic quick service dining location with plenty of options and seating. Various menus are offered for breakfast, lunch and dinner so that every member of the family can find something delicious. The gelato dessert station is particularly memorable, especially with a topping of Mickey Sprinkles!


The arcade is huge, perfect for passing time during a rain storm or cooling off from the Florida sun. I love that the arcade is located so close to the front desk and food court, also not far from the main pool!


Take a close look at the unique chandelier in the main lobby! John Lasseter actually autographed this animation cell from the movie Cars. He inspired other celebrity autographs on the various drawings; a Little Mermaid cell is autographed by the voice of Ariel, Jodi Benson!


The Big Blue Pool is a big hit with families! This large swim and splash area features lovable characters from Finding Nemo. The coolest thing about the Big Blue Pool? Underwater speakers play music while you swim!

(Wondering about the crane in the background? I’ll get to that later!)


No need to worry here, The Drop Off pool bar is scuba diver free!


Mine. Mine. Mine.

The Finding Nemo Family Suites are located closest to the main areas of the resort, such as The Big Blue Pool, food court, front desk, and bus stop.


The adorably themed Cars Family Suites are just a few steps away! Children love getting up close with their favorite hot rods from Radiator Springs!


The padded ground around the Cars characters is soft, so no worries about getting so excited that you trip over your own feet!


Each section of the resort has its own themed pool. I love the cozy cone cabanas!


The Cars Family Suites contain so many cute details! Check out these photos from one of the spacious accommodations, which sleep up to 6 Guests.


Family Suites contain TWO FULL BATHROOMS! This makes a big difference for large families!


All Family Suites also contain a kitchenette with a microwave.


This sofa pulls out into a double size bed to sleep up to 2 guests.


This double size “table bed” easily pushes up to become a dining table during the day.


A separate bedroom contains one queen bed and the second bathroom.


Table bed – folded up




Play areas adjacent to The Big Blue Pool are a hit with the little fishes!

Family Suites are also available in The Lion King building at Art of Animation. The final themed section, The Little Mermaid, only contains Standard Rooms with 2 Double Beds or 1 King Bed.

Art of Animation Map

You can see in the map that the Little Mermaid section is located quite far from the main areas of the resort, so be sure to pack your comfy walking shoes!

Please contact me if you would like more information!

Now, remember that crane we saw working hard behind the resort? Disney recently announced that the Skyliner will be making a stop between Art of Animation and the nearby Pop Century Resort! This efficient gondola system will add transportation options other than just busses to the parks and other resorts. Stay tuned for more information!


Wishing for a Disney trip but overwhelmed by the planning? Contact me for 100% free vacation planning services! How is it free? Disney simply pays me to help you plan the magical vacation of your dreams. As your personal representative, I am available to help make your trip practically perfect in every way. I will be sure to find you the best price and will apply new eligible discounts after you book. Email Colleen@hihovacations.com for a no-obligation vacation quote anytime!

-Colleen from Hi Ho Vacations, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planning Agency.  ✨



Instagram: @coll_dean




Hi Ho Vacations is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner



Victoria & Albert’s, located at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, was voted the second-best fine dining restaurant in America among TripAdvisor’s 2017 Best Fine Dining Restaurants in their Travelers’ Choice awards – the only Florida restaurant to make this prestigious list.

Nov 3

Under the helm of Executive Chef Scott Hunnel, Chef de Cuisine Aimee Rivera, maître d hotel Israel Perez and Master Pastry Chef Erich Herbitschek, this is the second time Victoria & Albert’s has received high honors from TripAdvisor. The restaurant also is a recipient of AAA’s highest achievement, the Five Diamond Award.
The ultimate in fine dining, Victoria & Albert’s 50-seat main dining room allows your Clients to choose between a 7-course menu and a 10-course Chef’s Tasting Menu with optional wine pairing selected by the sommelier. The intimate Queen Victoria Room offers a 10-course meal with tableside presentation and wine pairings.
The highly sought-after 10-seat Chef’s Table, located in the restaurant’s kitchen, grant diners a behind-the-scenes look at the Victoria & Albert’s team crafting the evening’s dishes. The restaurant’s impressive cellar boasts over 700 wines from over 35 regions.

Travelers’ Choice winners are determined using an algorithm that takes into account the quality and quantity of reviews from TripAdvisor users gathered over a 12-month period.

Victoria & Albert’s is among an illustrious group of restaurants. Here is a full list of the impressive top 10 fine dining restaurants:

Daniel – New York City, New York
Victoria & Albert’s – Orlando, Florida
Charleston Grill – Charleston, South Carolina
Alinea – Chicago, Illinois
Chef and the Farmer – Kinston, North Carolina
Halls Chophouse – Charleston, South Carolina
Geronimo – Santa Fe, New Mexico
Mama’s Fish House – Paia, Hawaii
Restaurant Gary Danko – San Francisco, California
Merriman’s – Kapalua, Hawaii

Congratulations to the entire Victoria & Albert’s team!


For 100% Free, 100% Magical Disney Vacation Planning Services, email Colleen@hihovacations.com to get started!


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5 Reasons to Celebrate a Family Reunion with Disney Cruise Line

Have you been considering getting your whole group together for a magical Disney gathering? If you thought your group was too big for the big blue sea, think again! Disney Cruises are perfect for multi-family getaways, and every member of your party is sure to have a wonderful time.

Here are my top 5 reasons why Disney Cruise Line is the perfect choice for taking a vacation with EVERYONE!


1. Everything is in close proximity!

Disney Cruise Line is so easy and relaxing for groups or multiple families looking to spend quality time together. With so much to do onboard and no adventure too far from the next, it is simple to connect and meet up with other guests in your party sailing in different staterooms! 

I love the simplicity in returning to my stateroom in the evening, and then meeting up with the rest of our group for dinner in just a matter of moments. With all of our cruise reservations linked so our dining rotation matched, our group was able to dine together at one table every night. This removed any confusion over dining reservations and meet up locations! 


Tiana’s Place, Disney Wonder


2. There is something for everyone!

While our family loves spending quality time together, it is no secret that we all enjoy doing different things! Disney Cruise Line offers versatile activities throughout the day so that every member of the family can find fun and relaxation for their own vacation.

It is a challenge for parents to get children ages 3 through 12 to LEAVE the Oceaneer’s Club! This totally awesome place makes me wish I was a kid again! Spiderman himself gave superhero lessons to our younger crew. Other awesome clubs are also available for preteens and older teens. These clubs are all included in the cruise fare, and kids can hang out here while grown-ups enjoy the adult only areas! 

Everything from raucous Disney Jr. character dance parties to quiet, adults-only whisky tasting seminars can be found listed on The Navigator, a schedule of the onboard events delivered daily to your stateroom.


Select cruises include special events such as Pirate Night, Marvel Day at Sea, Star Wars Day at Sea, and more to add extra activities for fans.


Even more activities can be booked before your cruise or while onboard, subject to availability and additional fees. For example, princesses and royal knights ages 3-12 will love Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.



Adults can savor the fine dining experience at Palo. 


Disney fans of all ages will love the character meet and greets!


3. There are accommodations for everyone!

Disney Cruise Line offers numerous stateroom styles for every guest to find comfort. Families of 5 are able to stay in a Deluxe Family Stateroom with a Verandah, which will give extra square footage and safe outdoor space to enjoy.

“Deluxe” staterooms aboard Disney Cruise Line feature split bathrooms, with a separate door for the shower and extra vanity area. This is a great convenience for family members looking to get ready at the same time! If you are traveling with a baby, your stateroom host can provide a diaper genie. This is an especially great amenity for inside or oceanview staterooms with no breeze! Staterooms that are handicap accessible are also available upon request. 

4. It is easy to connect with other guests!

Looking to get in touch with another guest onboard the ship without using cellular data? The Disney Cruise Line Navigator app makes it so easy to chat and discover what activity to try next! Download the free app onto your smartphone before you depart. Until you embark, you will see a countdown until your adventure begins! Once onboard, open the app and follow the instructions to use the app while your phone is on airplane mode. You will be given a code that you can share with the other members of your party to use the chat feature. The Disney emojis are so fun!! 


5. You will create memories that will last a lifetime!

Disney Cruise Line will transport you away from reality and bring your family together in a special way. Without the interruptions of technology and the outside world, you will bond over pure family fun! Your family will feel closer than ever with all of the new memories to share.

Just a few days of magic can create endless joy!


Interested in a Disney Cruise Line vacation personalized for your family? Just ask your Hi Ho Vacations Planner! Email colleen@hihovacations.com to learn more! 



Hi Ho Vacations is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner

Visiting the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique on the Disney Wonder

Once upon a time, a very happy Godmother took a Disney Cruise Line vacation with her adorable Goddaughter on the newly reimagined Disney Wonder. The ship now includes the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, which grants Fairy Godmother makeovers to children ages 3-12. It was such a joy to share this exciting experience with my 5-year old niece!

IMG_4535We made a reservation for the Crown Package through the online planning center 75 days before our cruise began. Our princess was a first time cruiser, but members of the Castaway Club are able to book reservations sooner depending on your status. At 75 days out, we had plenty of appointment times to choose from. Knowing that we did not plan any port excursions in Nassau and wished to stay aboard the Wonder most of that day, we booked a 3:00 pm appointment for the Crown Package.


“The Before Picture”

The Crown Package includes hairstyling, a face gem, shimmering makeup, nail polish, a princess sash and cinch sack. My niece was able to choose from two different hairstyles upon arrival, and I am so excited she picked the classic bun. It is so timeless and regal!


The price of the Crown Package is $64.95. This package does not include a princess dress, but you are welcome to wear one from home. An unexpected bonus, she was able to keep the remaining make up, sparkly nail polish and extra face gems from her makeover!   

Here is a tip for any adult who books the Crown Package: As soon as you enter the boutique, you will see that the walls are covered with glorious princess dresses from almost every Disney leading lady you can think of. If you would like to stick with the Crown Package, be sure to prepare your little one and make sure she loves the dress she wears! The temptation to pick out a new dress is almost irresistible. You can avoid magical meltdowns or paying to upgrade your package by being aware.

…Which I completely failed at! As soon as my Goddaughter spotted the brand-new, red and gold Elena of Avalor gown, she had to have it. She had been talking about Disney Jr.’s newest princess all morning! Once she picked it out, I upgraded to the Castle Package. My niece lives in Colorado and I am in NJ, so I could not resist! This was a very special occasion.


The Castle Package also includes hairstyling, shimmering makeup, nail polish, a face gem, princess sash and cinch sack. She also received a special necklace (“gift from Cinderella!”), crown, wand, and, of course, the dress! For these additions, the Castle Package is a bit shocking at $199.95… but the wand lights up!

The boutique was more quiet than I imagined! It was a very intimate setting with only 4 salon chairs. The “Fairy Godmothers” performing the makeovers were lovely and knew just what to say throughout the process. I love that the participant faces away from the mirror during the whole makeover. After a sprinkle of pixie dust, the chair spins around for the big reveal. Have your camera ready, that face is priceless!   

My niece had the sweetest reaction to her new look! After saying thank you and farewell to her stylist, we had a special princess photo shoot around deck 10. I will remember this special day with my Goddaughter always!   

The fun doesn’t end there! Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is NOT JUST FOR GIRLS! Also traveling with us were my two nephews, both age 4. My sister was able to reserve the Royal Knight Package for these two heroic brothers soon after our princess appointment!   

The boys were also able to choose from two hairstyles, a Captain America side-part style or a spiky ‘do, with colorful Mickey confetti sprinkled over. They also received a virtuous shield and sword, which only they were able to pull out! At only $19.99, this fun experience is a great value!  


Crew members could not pull the sword from the shield…


…But this brave knight could!

The Fairy Godmothers worked their magic once more, knowing exactly what to say to engage my nephews in the story! The older brother was feeling a little hesitant to participate at first, but his “Godmother” gave him a brave and gallant heart! He did not regret it for a moment after.   


As we said farewell after this visit, we were urged to slay all of the dragons on the ship. Of course, the dragons were Grandpa and Uncle John.    

During Pirate Night on select cruises, the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique becomes the Pirate’s League! Our little adventurers returned for a yo ho ho style before plundering the Oceaneer’s Club. 


Poor Clifford from the Promenade Lounge was locked in the brig.

Overall, we had a magical experience at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at sea! I am thrilled that this enchanting enhancement is now available on the Disney Wonder and definitely recommend visiting the “Fairy Godmothers” on your cruise!


(Additional package options are available that are not mentioned in this post! Contact your Hi Ho Vacations Planner for more details!)

For 100% free, 100% magical Disney Vacation Planning assistance, contact Colleen from Hi Ho Vacations! colleen@hihovacations.com


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Disney Cruises from NYC- Fall 2017

Disney Cruises embarking from NYC

Fall 2017

Wednesday September 27, 2017 | Disney Magic🎃

5-Night Canadian Coast Cruise from New York

Monday October 2, 2017 | Disney Magic🎃

4-Night Canadian Cruise from New York

Friday October 6, 2017 | Disney Magic🎃

8-Night Bahamian Cruise from New York

Saturday October 14, 2017 | Disney Magic🎃

7-Night Bahamian Cruise from New York

Saturday October 21, 2017 | Disney Magic🎃

7-Night Canadian Cruise from New York

Saturday October 28, 2017 | Disney Magic🎃

7-Night Bahamian Cruise from New York

Saturday November 4, 2017 | Disney Magic

7-Night Bahamian Cruise from New York

Saturday November 11, 2017 | Disney Magic🎄

7-Night Bahamian Cruise from New York

Saturday November 18, 2017 | Disney Magic🎄*

8-Night Bahamian Cruise from New York

For 100% free vacation planning, contact  Colleen at Hi Ho Vacations!



Jack’s Top 10 Secret Spots for Crawlers in Walt Disney World

“You’re taking an 8-month old to Disney?? You are very brave… good luck!”


It doesn’t take bravery… just faith, trust, and pixie dust!

The argument that your baby will not remember the experience may be true, but my husband and I created family memories that will last a lifetime. We cherished every moment we spent on our first family vacation, and we cannot imagine spending this time with our baby anywhere else. Disney World offers an endless amount of excitement for children of all ages. Jack had the opportunity to engage all of his senses in completely new ways, we felt that he grew and learned so much during our visit!

Jack’s first vacation to Walt Disney World was planned before he was born. We simply couldn’t wait to take our bundle of joy to the happiest place on earth.

Leading up to our trip, we paid extra attention to Jack’s current routine and schedule. We agreed that we would keep our plans open and follow our little guy’s cues at every moment. Jack learned to crawl a few weeks before we departed, and we knew he would want opportunities to release his energy. Too much time in the stroller leads to a cranky crawler, so we found some sweet sanctuaries for the whole family to enjoy.

Here is how we kept it magical!

1. Polynesian Village Resort

After a long morning of excitement at the Magic Kingdom, I always enjoy exploring nearby resorts by taking a ride on the monorail. I find the Polynesian Village Resort to be the most relaxing stop.

Polynesian Village offers a section of turf grass between the lobby and pool area. Jack loved his chance to stretch out and play with some new toys while us grown-ups sipped on a Mai Tai!

2. The Seas with Nemo and Friends

The Seas with Nemo and Friends in Epcot is home to a 5.7 million gallon coral reef aquarium with an adorable baby-friendly ride featuring Nemo and friends! Vibrant colors and changing scenes help keep baby’s attention. The attraction’s song, “Big Blue World” (also the opening number for Finding Nemo: The Musical in Animal Kingdom), is one of Jack’s favorite melodies. The fun has only begun once you exit the ride, directly on the main floor of the two-story aquarium!


Jack could watch the fishes swim around all day, and Mommy and Daddy can rest their weary feet. Little ones can lean up against the glass of the tanks, giving the cruiser-crowd a perfect place to stretch their legs. Be sure to stay close, foot traffic can be heavy.

3. Caribbean Beach Resort

Caribbean Beach Resort features Pirate Rooms, swashbuckling storyrooms for buccaneers and their crew! Captain Jack was captivated by the pirate ship beds!

The large pool is very fun with a baby. He enjoyed splashing in the zero-entry area and reaching for the water falls spewing from canons. The splash pad has a fun shipwreck theme, although it will be more enjoyable for toddlers.


At the center of Caribbean Beach Resort’s lake is Caribbean Cay, an island dedicated to a large playground and serene “hideaways” for relaxing moments to watch the water. Jack was able to stretch his legs on the soft ground in the playground area, but most of the playground features are more suited for toddlers.

Jack loved exploring the soft, sandy beach! Just make sure your crawler is over the “eating everything and anything” phase… or you will be rinsing out a mouthful of sand!


4. World Showcase

Any parent that wishes to enjoy Epcot’s amazing festivals should be familiar with some of the “secret spots” to enjoy that delicious plate of food you just purchased on your MagicBand! One of my favorites is in the back of the United Kingdom Pavilion, where a beautiful garden is home to a stage for an occasional British Invasion cover band. Between showtimes, this area can be relatively crowd-free! The pictures below were taken on a Saturday during the Food and Wine Festival, which draws some of the heaviest crowds of the year.

It is also the perfect location for one grown-up to make runs to the Rose and Crown for a couple of pints!

If you veer off the main path, you will come across other spots like this throughout World Showcase. The Italy Pavilion has a beautiful patio on the water, and you must watch the toy train make its rounds in the Germany Pavilion!

Entertainment is abundant throughout the World Showcase. Jack loved this Oom Pah band playing outside of the Germany Pavilion.


We are big fans of Biergarten Restaurant in Germany! A teething Jack loved munching on the soft pretzels. The music and ambiance are perfect for keeping your little one entertained!


Norway offers the new Frozen attraction, but the line can get impossibly long. You absolutely must try the Mexico ride with little ones, which loads quickly making for a short wait! Every youngster I have travelled around World Showcase with has been obsessed with the Gran Fiesta Tour, or “The Donald Duck Ride” as my nephew calls it. This adorable, slow-moving boat tour follows the Three Caballeros through Mexico as they search for Donald. Muy divertido!


5. The Boardwalk

It is vital to take a break in the middle of every Disney day when little guests are involved! Epcot offers so much to discover, and a lot of walking is involved to see it all. Once you have explored Future World, begin your journey around the World Showcase by making a right turn towards Canada. Between the United Kingdom and France Pavilions, there is a park entrance/exit called the International Gateway that leads to Disney’s Boardwalk! Here you will find a break from the crowds with plenty of great restaurants, shops, and entertainment. Our haven is the grassy area adjacent to The Boardwalk Inn’s lobby!


Jack loved crawling all over the shady grass! We were able to sit and relax while enjoying a refreshing Margarita from Joe’s Margarita Stand. All three of us were rested and ready to take on the rest of the “World” after a little down time!

Older children were running races and practicing cartwheels nearby. This spot is a gem for releasing energy and preventing Epcot meltdowns!

img_2778   img_2789

6. Disney Jr. Live on Stage

This is the must-do attraction for younglings in Hollywood Studios! Jack has always been drawn to the vibrant colors and catchy songs in Disney Jr. shows, especially Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Both of these shows are currently featured, along with Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins, in Disney Jr. Live on Stage!


The excitement on every child’s face while screaming “Meeska, Mooska, Mickey Mouse” to make the Clubhouse ACTUALLY appear is absolutely joyous. Jack was completely entranced. When Captain Hook popped up he sang out like never before!


The best part about this show? Seating is only available on the floor, and kids are not prevented from dancing it out! It was so fun to let Jack get his wiggle on.

When you visit Hollywood Studios, matching Star Wars tees with Dad are a must!


7. Cape May Cafe

Mickey Mouse may not be in attendance, but this is my favorite place for baby’s first character breakfast! The tables are spread out and the vibe is much more relaxed than other character breakfast choices like Chef Mickeys. The food selection is excellent for kids and adults alike. Jack got to try his first Mickey Waffles while I enjoyed a made-to-order omelet!



The character interactions are outstanding. Donald Duck is the first character Jack met. Donald allowed Jack to adjust to his presence gently, without intimidation.

Jack started to doze towards the end of our meal, but mommy and daddy were still enjoying pastries! I assumed we wouldn’t be allowed to bring his stroller into the restaurant, but our server offered to bring it to our table. What a nice surprise, and a break for us! The characters continued their hilarity, “dimming the lights” and shushing nearby guests to make it peaceful for the sleeping baby!

8. Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar

As a lifelong lover of Dr. Jones, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar in Disney Springs is my dream location to spend a relaxing afternoon! I can’t get enough of the details in the decor and the references in the menu. The outdoor seating on the water across from The Boathouse is lovely on a sunny day! While we enjoyed food and beverage, Jack loved bouncing on the bench seating and watching the Amphicars “drive” on the water!

Since Jack is not a big fan of shopping, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar is our choice for a perfect afternoon at Disney Springs!

9. Port Orleans- Riverside

To check-in for our stay at Port Orleans Resort- Riverside, we hopped on the ferry boat from Disney Springs and took a beautiful and relaxing journey down the river. Jack was enchanted by the ride, and the scenery is beautiful.


There is so much to enjoy at this gorgeous resort. Jack loved hanging out in the iconic gazebo in Magnolia Bend (even once at 3 am when we were both having some trouble falling back to sleep!)


Jack loves music and live entertainment, and Yehaa Bob Jackson’s show at the River Roost Lounge provides the best old-fashioned fun! Bob Jackson’s show is a must-see experience only available at Port Orleans- Riverside.

Other evening activities include a bonfire with complimentary marshmallows to roast and carriage rides. Spending an evening enjoying this elegant resort’s offerings is the perfect way to take a break from the chaos at the parks!


10. Morning Extra Magic Hours at the Magic Kingdom

This is more of a tip than a place… At 8-months, Jack had us up and at ‘em at 5:00 am each morning. We elect to follow the “sleep when the baby sleeps” rule, so early bedtimes and afternoon naps make an early start manageable, and even exciting! We hopped on the 6:30 am bus for the Magic Kingdom for the 7:00 Extra Magic Hours opening, a special hour dedicated to Disney resort guests only.



We were able to enjoy the daily opening ceremony and get our favorite Starbucks beverage on Main Street, then walked on every ride in Fantasyland.



Seeing the pure joy on our son’s face as our pirate ship took off for Neverland, as we bounced with Tigger in a Pooh-sized honey pot, as we danced with Ariel and her fishy friends under the sea, and as we sailed on It’s A Small World… these are the magical moments that make Disney World so special.

Crowds were just starting to build at 10:00 am in the Magic Kingdom when we had already seen enough. Perfect timing to have Jack’s ears personalized on Main Street, USA and hop on the monorail for a break at Polynesian Village Resort!


Please get in touch with me for more tips on creating magical memories for your family!



Hi Ho Vacations:Authorized Disney Travel Planner

How to Give the Gift of a Disney Vacation

Christmas is only 10 days away… how did that happen?

Still thinking about the perfect gift to give your family this year? The gift of magical memories is sure to delight everyone in your family on Christmas morning. Imagine the look on your children’s face when you reveal that they have been so good this year, Santa is sending them to Disney World! Or on a Disney Cruise! Anything you can imagine can be done with Disney Destinations!

So, Santa decides to book a trip and nobody else knows… How do you actually reveal a surprise this epic on Christmas morning? How does a vacation fit under the Christmas tree?

Here are a few of my favorite ideas to make the moment magical:


-Scavenger Hunt – Create your own Scavenger Hunt by creating clues that lead the kids all through out the house. They’ll have to figure out each clue until the end that reveals the big vacation.

This letter was at the end of a long scavenger hunt one Christmas morning many years ago. My family will always remember this special Christmas!



-Give a Disney-themed calendar as a gift with a countdown to your departure written on each day until you leave. You can write “We’re Going to Disney World!” or something similar on the month of travel!


We have this beautiful calendar featuring the artwork of Thomas Kinkade. You can find it here: Calendars.com


-Gifting your adult children with a family reunion vacation? Give each of the adults a Disney wine glass for a Christmas toast and cheers to the ears!


Disney Wine Glasses on Etsy


Disney Christmas Ornaments are available on the Disney Store website. They make great gifts to connect a Christmas surprise to your spring or summer vacation.


-Add helium balloons to a large box and tie a message on the end letting your kids know you are going to Disney. The balloons will go flying up adding the perfect element of surprise!



-Many photo websites such as Shutterfly.com will allow you to create a personalized puzzle. You can give each of the kids a few puzzle pieces in a gift box and have them complete it together.

Check out this sample I created:



Remember that most Disney vacations only take a small, fully refundable deposit to book. Payments made in installments are welcome, and the full balance is due 30 days before check in. The vacation of your dreams may be more attainable than you think!

Current discounts, such as the “Play, Stay, Dine” offer which can save up to $500, are only available until December 21st. I am happy to provide a free quote with no obligation! Planning your magical experience with Hi Ho Vacations is always 100% free, saving you time, money, and stress. Hakuna Matata!

Giving the gift of a Disney experience is something your whole family will never forget. Contact me to learn how to make this holiday EXTRA magical. Just send an email to colleen@hihovacations.com with your wishes!

Hi Ho ho ho!


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Hi Ho Vacations is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planning Agency

Sail Away on Inauguration Day!

Embark on a Disney Cruise Line voyage this January to leave the “real world” behind! Imagine basking in the sun while gazing out on international waters as you port grows further and further away. No stress, no media, no Facebook… just magical moments for your family to share!


Sample Cruise Fares

Other dates, itineraries, and options are available.

2 Adults, 2 Children (ages 3-9)

Includes taxes, fees, and port expenses.

Includes shipboard accommodations, dining, entertainment, character experiences, and select onboard activities.

Disney Dream

3-Night Bahamian Cruise from Port Canaveral, Florida

January 20th to 23rd, 2017

Ports of Call: Port Canaveral, Nassau, Castaway Cay, Port Canaveral

Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah- $2,546.96


Disney Magic

5-Night Western Caribbean Cruise from Miami, Florida

January 20th to 25th, 2017

Ports of Call: Miami, AT SEA, Cozumel, AT SEA, Castaway Cay, Miami

Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with One Large Porthole- $3,288.12


Want to “forget about your worries and your strife?” Plan your vacation with Hi Ho Vacations for unparalleled service, experience, and money saving techniques that will give you the most magical vacation imaginable!

Contact Colleen from Hi Ho Vacations for 100% free Disney Vacation planning assistance, the Hakuna Matata way! 


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Authorized Disney Travel Planner

Favorite Finds from the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!


I love eating and drinking “around the world” in Epcot, especially during the fall! The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival kicks off annually from mid-September to mid-November in the World Showcase. During the festival, you will encounter booths that serve small portions of both savory and sweet dishes that represent the country or theme of each venue. Wine, beer, and cocktail selections pair perfectly with the dishes offered at each booth. An enormous variety of delicious delicacies from around the globe are offered so that adventurous foodies can try new flavors, and even the pickiest of eaters can discover something to enjoy!

Here is just a “taste” of some of the treats you may try! (Menu items are subject to change in 2017.)


-Mezcal Pineapple Margarita on the Rocks

Sweet but not too sweet, this refreshing margarita is the perfect treat to beat the heat!



-Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale

-Seafood Fisherman’s Pie

-Irish Cheese Selection Plate: Irish Cheddar, Dubliner and Irish Porter



-Spicy Sushi Roll: Tuna and Salmon with Kazan Volcano Sauce

-Pineapple Breeze Sake Cocktail



-Fresh Potato Pancake with Scottish Smoked Salmon and Herbed Sour Cream


Festival Tips 

Try to visit early in the day during the week. If weekends are your only option, be prepared to encounter large and boisterous crowds. There is a lively party vibe among festival goers, and it helps to embrace the spirit! If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em… and “Eat to the Beat!” Check the daily Epcot times guide to see which awesome band is playing while you are visiting. We saw Toad the Wet Sprocket in October 2016, and they played all of the hits we love!

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Looking to take a break from the festivities? The International Gateway is an Epcot park entrance between the France and United Kingdom pavilions. This gateway leads directly to Disney’s Boardwalk, where you may walk to the shops and restaurants around the Boardwalk Inn, Yacht Club, and Beach Club Resorts. You can also take a Friendship boat to these locations and give your feet a break!

In addition, Epcot Restaurants typically have tables available during the festival since most guests head directly for the unique booths. You can check your My Disney Experience app for available reservations at popular Epcot dining locations! Biergarten Restaurant in the Germany Pavilion offers a wide selection at the Bavarian buffet and steins of German beer (including the popular Schofferhofer Grapefruit) for when the small portions at the booths are just not quite enough! The lively oompah band is sure to raise your spirits and your glass… Prost!

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Special ticketed events such as wine pairings and celebrity chef demonstrations are also available. Simply let your vacation planner know about your interests for recommendations!

Now that your stomach is growling, contact your Hi Ho Vacations agent for free vacation planning assistance! Book your visit to the 2017 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival now for great rates and availability. Remember, calories don’t count in Disney!

-Colleen Dean, Disney and Universal Vacation Planner with Hi Ho Vacations


singnature lineAuthorized Disney Travel Planner

Can You Feel The Love Tonight?

Cinderella and Prince Charming

Lady and the Tramp

Simba and Nala

Ariel and Eric

Aladdin and Jasmine

Belle and her Beast

The list goes on and on! Disney and romance go hand in hand, and a fairy-tale getaway may be exactly what you and your significant other are dreaming of. Why not treat your dearest to a “Valentine’s Vacation” in the happiest place on earth?


“Life is brief, but when it’s gone,

Love goes on and on.”

-Maid Marian, Disney’s Robin Hood

Disney just released a discount for 2017 winter vacation packages that are so beautiful, they are using Belle to promote them!


Play Stay Dine package offer select dates 1/1/17 – 3/7/17, must stay 3 nights, include a meal plan along with 2 day park ticket minimum

Room-only discount offer select dates 12/15/16 – 4/13/17

Contact me for more details or to book! Below are sample rates based on 2 Adults only. Other options and dates are available.

Sample Packages from February 13-17, 2017

Packages include 4-days of theme park tickets with admission to one park per day, and the Disney Dining Plan. Guests on the Disney Dining Plan receive: One quick service meal credit, one table service meal credit, and two snack credits per person, per night of your package. Additionally, each member of the party will receive one refillable resort mug good for use during the length of the package.

Animal Kingdom Lodge with Savanna View

View of wild animals such as giraffes and zebras roaming just off your balcony!

Package total: $3,010.66

Beach Club Resort with Standard View


Gorgeous resort with enormous pool area located within walking distance to Epcot and all the fun of Disney’s Boardwalk!

Package total: $2,883.08

Fully refundable $200 deposit required to book.

I have endless suggestions making your fairy-tale dreams come true! After all, I did get engaged in Epcot! I will include suggestions on:

  • Adult Activities
  • Romantic Hideaways
  • Best Restaurants and Lounges for Dates
  • Floral and Gift Delivery Tips
  • Options for Surprises
  • …Engagement Ideas…?

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Imagine snuggling up with your fairest-of-them-all to watch the fireworks at the end of a memorable day! Send me an email with a few thoughts to get started. Planning your Disney vacation with Hi Ho Vacations is always 100% free, and 100% magical.



hi ho vacationsauthorized-disney-travel-planner