Category Archives: Adventures By Disney

News & discussion from Adventures By Disney

Mouse Unlimited has been “Earmarked”!

Authorized Disney Vacation Planner

Mouse Unlimited has been designated by Disney Destinations as an “Authorized Disney Vacation Planner” based on its strong support in selling Disney vacations.

Mouse Unlimited has been in business since 2008, and has gained specialized knowledge on vacations to the Disneyland® Resort, Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney® vacations.

The Travel Planners at Mouse Unlimited have received extensive training on Disney Destinations theme parks, resorts, cruises, vacation packages and more, and can provide the utmost in professional assistance in planning customized Disney vacations.

In fact, one reason the agency attained the “Authorized Disney Vacation Planner” status is that all the frontline leisure travel agents are College of Disney Knowledge graduates. The College of Disney Knowledge is an in-depth comprehensive course that allows agents to develop their expertise regarding the Disney Destinations – knowledge that consumers can take advantage of
when planning a Disney vacation.

Why Use A Travel Agent?

In the age of online travel planning, why would you ever need a travel agent?

Why do you take your car to the service station to get the oil changed when you could do it yourself?

Why do you go to a car wash when you have a hose and a bucket at home?

Why do you hire the neighbor kid to mow your lawn when you have a perfectly good mower?

Why do you use computer software or an accountant to do your taxes when the instructions are right on the back of the form?

The answer to all these questions is service. Sure, you can do all of these things yourself – including planning and booking a vacation – but why bother when there are professionals who can do it in a fraction of the time and more thoroughly?

With most of the examples above, you pay to have someone provide each service. But not when you plan a Disney vacation with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner (a.k.a. travel agency specializing in Disney destinations) like Mouse Unlimited. Not only do we provide excellent support, expert Disney advice, and complete travel planning services – but we do it all for FREE!

Mouse Unlimited’s agents offer a “personal touch” to your travel planning experience, offering help and advice that a website cannot provide. We handle every aspect of your trip from airline tickets to lodging, ground transportation, activities, tours and more. If you should have a problem during your trip, we can act on your behalf to see that proper restitutions are made.

Think of your travel agent as your personal concierge. Avoid the headaches and let the agents call around and do all the time consuming work of planning a complex itinerary. Planning a trip can be stressful – especially a Disney vacation. There are so many options and details to worry about. Mouse Unlimited’s agents do the work, resulting in less stress for you.

Disney fans knows how valuable every dollar spent on a Disney vacation is, so let’s talk about why using a travel agency like Mouse Unlimited is win-win.  Not only will you save hours of your valuable personal time, but you’ll be guaranteed the most recent discount offers available, making your Disney vacation more economical than if you booked it on your own.

Only the most basic, non-discounted Disney vacations can be booked through Disney’s websites. Thus, you will likely spend a significant amount of time on the phone with a Disney reservationist in order to book your trip, apply payments, apply a new discount (since Disney won’t do it automatically), make dining reservations, and to give them your flight numbers for Disney’s Magical Express.  That’s a lot of calling, and a lot of your precious time spent on hold. Besides, Disney’s staff is trained to up-sell and to only offer up discounts if specifically asked about them.

When you use a travel agency that’s been EarMarked by Disney as an “Authorized Disney Vacation Planner” you’re working with someone who has gone through extensive training on all of the Disney Destinations and who has proven to be worthy of Disney’s vote of confidence.  Mouse Unlimited is such an agency.

When you use a Disney travel agency like Mouse Unlimited, you can book and plan an entire trip via e-mail – but you can also talk to them on the phone if you prefer a little verbal communication.  Once you’ve told them what you want, they’ll take care of the rest, including booking, applying payments, making dining reservations, and planning your daily itineraries.

If you’re someone who likes to retain control of everything, pay close attention.  Many agencies will “hoard” your actual reservation number and mask it with their own in-house identifier.

Mouse Unlimited doesn’t do that. Once you book, you’ll have a confirmation letter with YOUR Disney Reservation Number on it, and a detailed listing of everything included in YOUR reservation.  You are free to make dining reservations on your own, without being restricted by your agency.  So, you reap all of the benefits of having a travel agent – including the cost savings and customer service – and can still plan your own vacation as much as you like.

What happens if you book with a travel agent and then a new discount comes out, or you get one of those elusive PIN codes from Disney?  No problem with Mouse Unlimited!  If Disney publishes a new discount, and it applies to your vacation, Mouse Unlimited will apply it without even being asked to!  If you receive a personal PIN code, just forward it to your agent and they’ll take care of it from there.

When it comes down to it, every Disney travel agency is treated the same by Disney. They all receive the same commission from Disney.  So, your goal is to find the agency that won’t constantly try to up-sell you with add-ons and more expensive options, and who will provide the best customer service throughout your experience.  Expert knowledge of Disney’s vacation products is always a plus too!

If you’re considering a Disney vacation, be sure to contact Mouse Unlimited, and you’ll be guaranteed unparalleled service, expert support, and an economical and magical vacation.

Adventures by Disney Named Number 1 for Families

Adventures by Disney recently earned the distinction of being ranked the No.1 tour and safari operator for families by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine. Adventures by Disney received a staggering 99 point ranking out of 100, making it the clear leader in family travel, while also ranking among the top tour operators overall.

On the same survey, Disney Cruise Line upheld its esteemed position as the leader in family cruising, with readers ranking it as the No. 1 large-ship cruise line for families. In addition, Disney Cruise Line took the No. 4 spot in the magazine’s overall large-ship category.

The rankings also honored Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge at the Walt Disney World Resort, with readers ranking it as the No. 1 family hotel. Several other Walt Disney World Resort hotels made the list as well, with Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s BoardWalk, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Beach Club Resort all ranking among the best of the best. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland Resort and Disney’s Vero Beach Resort also took home honors.

Disney E-Mail Recipient Addresses Compromised

Below is an e-mail we received from Disney, which was sent to e-mail addresses subscribed to certain mailing lists of theirs.  This does not affect everyone on a Disney mailing list.  If you were part of the compromise, you would have received this e-mail below – so please don’t call Disney to “see if you were on the list”.  If you didn’t get this e-mail, you weren’t on the list.

We received this e-mail at one of our accounts, which would explain the obscene amount of spam we’ve been receiving lately.  There’s really nothing we, or you, can do about it except to hit delete a few more times when logging in.

We’re simply posting this as a Public Service Announcement, and a reminder that your e-mail address is always at risk for this type of compromise. While there are laws against the use of e-mail addresses (i.e. spam is illegal), the storage of e-mail address lists is not governed.  Hackers obtain mass mailing lists all the time, which is why we recommend setting up a “fun” e-mail account that you use for all your subscriptions, newsletters (even ours), and anything else you sign-up for on the web or through the mail.  Sure, it’s one more account to check, but it could end up saving you a ton of time and irritation.

Here’s the e-mail sent out by Disney, with the phone numbers removed since they’re only important to those who received the original e-mail.

Dear Guest,

We have been informed by one of our email service providers, XXXXXXX, that your email address was exposed by an unauthorized entry into that provider’s computer system.  We use our email service providers to help us manage the large number of email communications with our guests.  Our email service providers send emails on our behalf to guests who have chosen to receive email communications from us.

We regret that this incident has occurred and any inconvenience this incident may cause you.  We take your privacy very seriously, and we will continue to work diligently to protect your personal information.

We want to assure you that your email address was the only personal information we have regarding you that was compromised in this incident.

As a result of this incident, it is possible that you may receive spam email messages, emails that contain links containing computer viruses or other types of computer malware, or emails that seek to deceive you into providing personal or credit card information.  As a result, you should be extremely cautious before opening links or attachments from unknown third parties or providing a credit card number or other sensitive information in response to any email.

If you have any questions regarding this incident, please contact us at (407) XXX-XXXX during the hours of 9:00 am to 7:00 pm (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday, and 9:00 am through 5:00 pm (Eastern Time) Saturday and Sunday.

Sincerely,

Disney Destinations

Adventures by Disney Special Offer

This holiday season, surprise the family with an unforgettable Adventures by Disney vacation!  Now through Jan. 31, 2011, guests receive a $500 Visa Gift Card* when they book select international itineraries.

Only Adventures by Disney vacations can offer you the Disney Differences – including Adventure Guides, who bring you closer to the places you visit; VIP privileges, like behind-the-scenes access; authentic cultural experiences with local experts and Junior Adventurers activities designed especially for kids.

Offer Details:

Book a qualifying Adventures by Disney land package between Nov. 16, 2010, and Jan. 31, 2011, and receive a $300 Visa Gift Card* on select domestic and Gateway itineraries, or a $500 Visa Gift Card* on select international itineraries.

Booking and Travel Window:

  • Booking window: Nov. 16, 2010 – Jan. 31, 2011
  • Travel window: Feb. 15 – Sept. 30, 2011

Additional Details:

  • For each reservation, the lead Guest of an eligible trip will receive a $500 gift card for international departures, or a $300 gift card for domestic U.S. and all Gateway departures, during the trip.

Booking Information:

  • Valid on new bookings only.
  • Must advise Mouse Unlimited Agent of this offer at time of booking.

Fine Print:

*Receive a Visa Gift Card on your vacation with the purchase of eligible Adventures by Disney departure dates when booked at the non-discounted Regular Rate between 11/16/10 and 1/31/11 for travel between 2/15/11 and 9/30/11. For each reservation, the lead guest of an eligible trip will receive a $500 gift card for international departures or a $300 gift card for domestic US and all Gateway departures during the trip. Limit 1 gift card per reservation. Gift card available on select departures of most itineraries. Must advise Mouse Unlimited Agent of this offer at time of booking. Valid on new bookings only. Land packages are subject to availability. Lead guest on the reservation must travel on the land package booked. Not transferable or redeemable for cash in whole or in part; will not be replaced if lost or stolen. Subject to terms, conditions and restrictions of Visa. Use of gift card is acceptance of its terms and conditions. Other restrictions may apply. Cannot be combined with any other offer, discount, or promotion or sold or transferred for commercial use. Terms, conditions and restrictions apply, subject to change without notice. Void where prohibited.

See the World with Adventures By Disney

Why do so many Adventures by Disney Guests become repeaters? It’s because they experience more than expected – and even more than imagined!

We invite you to see Europe with Disney for the first, or second, time. With destinations ranging from England to Egypt, finding a place you want to visit is easy. Here are more reasons why the only way to see the world is to see it with Disney.

Adventure Guides
As hosts of the trip, two Adventure Guides will make you feel right at home – wherever you go. But it’s more than the personal attention. Adventure Guides also have the unique ability to bring you closer to the place you visit with their knowledge and knack for storytelling. By the end of the vacation, Adventure Guides become part of the family.

Junior Adventurers
Kids will not only see some of the world’s most famous places, they’ll step into the pages of history, meet legendary figures and live timeless stories. Unique activities are designed just for them. Where else can a kid go on a scavenger hunt in the Louvre Museum or make pizza on a real Italian farm? Plus, Junior Adventurers enjoy special fun like dinners or movie nights.

Authentic Experiences
You aren’t just on vacation, you’re experiencing the heart and soul of the places you visit. Examples of some authentic experiences include learning archery from an expert marksman in Germany or cooking alongside Tuscan chefs in Italy.

VIP Experiences
You will get into places most travelers only dream of visiting. Privately guided tours, backstage access, special entertainment and performances are included. And, you’ll bypass lines at popular museums and attractions!

Request a free quote for your next Adventure today!

Adventures By Disney Now Offering Egypt Trips

Visit the land of pyramids, pharaohs and ancient treasures in 2011 or 2012 with Adventures By Disney.  The new exotic itinerary joins other unforgettable worldwide destinations.

Bookings open on July 21, 2010, so be sure to book early for the best rates of the season, and the best availability.

Some highlights of the 8- and 10-day Egypt itineraries include:

  • Ride a camel at the Great Pyramids of Gizah, tour the Pharoah’s Boat Museum and come nose-to-nose with the Sphinx
  • Learn to make papyrus and write your name in Egyptian hieroglyphics
  • Enjoy three days of leisurely cruising on the Nile River from Aswan to Luxor, discovering ancient temples, tombs and treasures
  • Shop and dine in the colorful Khan el-Khalili Market, Cairo’s ancient souk
  • Experience the Nile on a felucca – the traditional sailing craft that have plied the river’s waters for thousands of years
  • Travel with a licensed Egyptologist through ancient monuments and wonders of Egypt
  • Junior Adventurers explore the Egyptian Museum while playing the Art Detective Game, The Case of the Missing Mummy

Adventures By Disney vacations are nearly all-inclusive with VIP experiences, immersive events and activities, dining and resorts, hassle-free travel and admissions. All you have to do is get yourself there and back – but Mouse Unlimited can take care of that too!

Travel Insurance: Don’t Get Caught Without It

The following blog has been excerpted in whole or in part from an article originally written by John Stone, a veteran travel trade journalist and media relations manager for Travel Insured International.

These days travelers have more reason than ever to decide whether they need to purchase insurance when booking their next vacation. This year, which isn’t even half over, has already seen massive floods in Machu Picchu, Rio de Janeiro and Nashville.  It has seen at least four major earthquakes affecting such destinations as Haiti, Chile, China and Mexico. And, more recently, it has seen the unprecedented closure of northern European airspace for a week in April, with briefer subsequent disruptions since then, due to volcanic ash clouds from the Iceland eruptions.

In each of these disasters, many trips to affected destinations were cancelled or delayed for many hours, if not days, forcing travelers with prepaid itineraries or unplanned expenses to face substantial financial losses. For those who purchased a comprehensive travel insurance plan prior to the outbreak of the specific disaster that disrupted their trip, their prepaid funds could be protected and their unplanned expenses reimbursed. Without such coverage, as widely reported in the consumer media, most travelers had to incur significant costs and lost any monies paid for their trip.

It therefore came as a surprise to many travel experts when they read the popular financial website Forbes.com describing travel insurance as a “rip-off” in its May 18, 2010 column, “10 Ways You’re Getting Ripped Off.” Forbes.com made no effort to present its two-paragraph “rip-off” proclamation as the opinion of the writer or her single source identified in the column. Instead, the article, presented as informed financial advice, saw nothing good to say about either travel insurance or the travel agents who sell it.

“[Travel insurance] is not a good economic decision for most people,” said the official from the Consumer Federation of American, whom Forbes.com quoted. “If you just can’t sleep without insurance, don’t buy from someone who’s selling you something else. It’s almost always a bad deal involving kickbacks to whoever is offering the service.” The Consumer Federation official further argued that homeowners’ insurance and credit cards can cover cancelled flights, without providing any documented examples of how this could work.

Fortunately for consumers and agents, the U.S. State Department has an opposite opinion from that of Forbes.com, as stated on its website (www.travel.state.gov). Unlike Forbes’ dismissal of insurance, the State Department sees the necessity for travel insurance to prevent major consumer losses due to unforeseen risks while traveling.

“Obtaining medical treatment and hospital care abroad can be expensive, and medical evacuation to the U.S. can cost more than $50,000,” the State Department says. “Note that U.S. medical insurance is generally not accepted outside the United States, nor do the Social Security Medicare and Medicaid programs provide coverage for hospital or medical costs outside the United States. If your insurance policy does not cover you abroad, it is a good idea to consider purchasing a short-term policy that does.”

In addition to citing the disasters over the past few months that could be covered by pre-purchased travel insurance, travelers should not hesitate to consider some other potential uncertainties that can be covered by a good travel insurance plan. Here are just a few examples:

  • Trip Cancellation or Interruption coverage when a steady job is lost between pre-booking and travel, or the boss says you must work on dates on which you are booked to travel.
  • Trip Cancellation or Interruption coverage when a client cancels due to the illness or injury of a family member, whether that relative is scheduled to go on the trip or not.
  • Trip Cancellation or Interruption when the supplier providing the trip goes bankrupt and defaults before departure or during the trip.
  • Trip Cancellation coverage when the school attended by your child needs to extend the school year calendar into a pre-booked vacation date to make up for snow days.
  • Trip Cancellation when the client or travel companion is involved in a car accident en route to the departure airport.
  • Trip Interruption when clients learn that their home was burglarized after they left on their vacation.

There are still people, like the Consumer Federation official quoted by Forbes.com, who want to accept the financial responsibility for themselves, regardless of risk.  The outright dismissal of travel insurance without reviewing its content, as suggested by Forbes.com, is when the true “rip-offs” occur. This is when unforeseen trip disruptions cause travelers who did not buy travel insurance are truly separated from their hard-earned, prepaid travel investments.

Mouse Unlimited sells travel insurance offered directly by The Walt Disney Travel Company. We offer it to every client, with no obligation or requirement to purchase. We provide sample policies for review before purchase. Please e-mail us if you have more questions.