Travel agents are pretty fantastic people (if I do say so myself). If you need a refresher on why, check out our blog about “Why Use a Travel Agent.” That being said, there is one thing we can’t do: read minds. I ordered that crystal ball, but it must have gotten lost in the mail. Consequently, in order to help you plan your dream vacation, we need a little bit of help from you first.
Let me illustrate what I mean. It is not uncommon for us to receive emails like this, “Hey! Me and my family want to take a cruise in October. What can you do for us?” That’s it. That’s all the information we are given, and although we appreciate that you are thinking of using us, it creates a bit of a problem. Namely, we don’t know your budget, details of your family or expectations. For this specific example, there are literally hundreds of cruise options each month that will completely change depending on your personal circumstances. Consequently, we felt it would be useful to our guests to learn more about what they need to think about in advance of reaching out to your travel agent. Trust me. It will save both you & us a lot of time.
CREATE A BUDGET
The absolute most important thing you can do as you start thinking about a vacation is to establish a budget. I remember as a kid, my parents worked really hard, but we didn’t always have a lot of excess money for trips. So, they would look at their budget and say, “Okay, how far can we get with how much money we have?” Some of our best trips were the simplest, and our family never went into debt for vacation. You may have a different philosophy as you plan your budgets, but regardless, it is VERY important that you establish what you are willing & able to spend upfront.
As a travel agent, this helps us because we will only present you with options that fit within your budget. There are fantastic places to stay and things to do at EVERY price point. Our job is to find what works for you & your family & we are happy to do that.
As you create your budget, we recommend considering at least these five basic categories:
- Lodging (Telling us what you’re willing to pay nightly helps a lot!)
- Attraction Tickets
- Transportation (Airfare, Rental Car, Trains, Taxis/Rideshares, etc.)
- Incidentals/Spending Money
Keep in mind, you don’t necessarily have to have all the money in the bank when you book your trip. Depending on how far out you are planning, you may have the option to put a deposit down when you book your trip & then the remainder is due a few weeks before you travel. A lot of families use this option to pay incrementally and/or save up for that final payment while still booking in advance & getting what they want. This may help you spread the financial burden of your trip out over several months, or even a year or more. Regardless, you still need to budget in advance and be prepared for what you can legitimately come up with in the timeframe you have & then share that with your travel agent.
WHEN ARE YOU GOING & WHO IS GOING WITH YOU?
This seems like such a simple thing – but we all know it’s not. Work schedules, health issues, personal budgets, etc. can really make a difference on when you go on vacation & with whom. However, it is in your best interest to try & nail this down as best you can before you request a quote.
As a travel agent, we want to give you accurate information, but prices vary widely depending on when you go & who you go with. For example, ticket prices change based on if someone is a child or an adult. Additionally, a lot of hotels charge extra if there is a third or fourth adult in the room. Plus, hotels & attraction ticket prices can vary day by day, so even shifting a trip by just a few days can make a difference in the price you pay. Now to be fair, you may have some flexibility in the dates you’re looking at, and you just want to go when it’s the least expensive. That’s totally fine! However, if you can narrow it down to a specific few weeks prior to requesting a quote, that would go a long way in helping us get you accurate information.
IDENTIFY YOUR NEEDS & WANTS
We’ve all been there. It’s the age-old question: “Do I need this or do I just want this?” As with most things in life, it is good to identify your needs & wants when you travel & to communicate those to your agent. For example, perhaps someone in your party uses a wheelchair & NEEDS an accessible hotel room – tell us up front so we can make sure that happens & we are only quoting you rooms that meet your needs. Or perhaps one of your friends NEEDS to have their own bed, so even though there are only four of you, you need three beds – tell us so we can quote you only for the rooms that meet your needs. Other needs/wants that you may want to consider may include things like: hotel type, breakfast availability, free parking, distance to attractions, pools, types of views, etc. Please tell us your expectations up front so we have the chance to meet them.
That being said, we are all familiar with the phrase “Managing expectations.” That is our job too. As previously mentioned, our mind-reading abilities haven’t come in yet, so if something is important to you, tell us! We will do our best to find what meets your requirements while still fitting within your budget. But notice that I previously mentioned that there is a difference between needs & wants. Please keep in mind that depending on your budget, you may have to determine what is a need verses a want & then be a little flexible in that regard. For example, an accessible room may be an absolute need, but the only place that has an accessible room doesn’t have the free parking you wanted. What are you willing to compromise on? Do you have any flexibility in your budget to get what you want? These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself in advance & then tell your travel agent up front. We will do our best to give you everything you need & want, but we also respect your budget enough to recognize sometimes compromises need to be made. If they are articulated in advance, it makes the process easier for everyone.
USE THE GET A QUOTE FORM
At Woodbrey Family Travel, we have built a “Get a Quote” form that you can access on our website. We highly recommend using this form when making requests. We have designed it so that it asks a lot of the questions we need answered prior to getting you an accurate quote. Additionally, we’ve left space for you to leave comments & tell us anything extra we need to know, like budgetary constraints or your needs & wants. We hope you can recognize how thinking about these things in advance & communicating them to your travel agent up front will help everyone involved. We look forward to working with you & appreciate that you would consider how you can help us, help you!
The longer you stay, the more you save when you take advantage of this special offer—valid for stays most nights August 1 through November 22 and November 28 through December 21, 2020, with check-out on December 22, 2020.
- Save 35% on select rooms for stays of 5 or more consecutive nights
- Save 30% on select rooms for stays of 4 consecutive nights
- Save 25% on select rooms for stays of 3 consecutive nights
Book through October 24, 2020.
No matter how long you stay, you’ll enjoy a magical vacation that includes something for everyone: stunning pools, exhilarating water slides, a relaxing lazy river, an idyllic beach—and so much more!
This offer excludes suites and 3-Bedroom Grand Villas.
- Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room and the same travel dates. Book from June 16, 2020 through October 24, 2020. Travel must be completed by December 22, 2020.
- Not valid on suites and 3-Bedroom Grand Villas, or on previously booked rooms.
- Advance reservations required.
- Subject to availability as the number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited.
- Excludes applicable fees and taxes.
- Limit two (2) rooms per reservation and occupancy restrictions apply per room.
- Additional charges apply if more than two (2) adults per hotel room; not applicable for Suites or Villas.
- Not valid in combination with any other hotel discounts or offers.
- Subject to restrictions and change without notice.
- Select activities require additional fees.
Contact us for more information and to book your next Aulani Adventure!
Woodbrey Family Travel
Creating Dream Vacations
Today is Cody’s birthday, which means it’s time to celebrate! In honor of his real birthday and your Very Merry Unbirthday, Woodbrey Family travel will be giving away $500 towards a future Disney trip! There will also be two runners-up who will win Disney Gift Packages with Disney merchandise. The celebration ends on February 29, 2016. Click here to entered to win the giveaway. Gain an extra entry by donating to the Kellsie’s Hope Foundation, click here to donate.
Here is How to Win
To be eligible for the GRAND PRIZE $500 credit towards a future Disney vacation package, please follow these steps:
The grand prize winner will be chosen from participants who have completed all four steps above.
Two additional winners will be chosen for a Disney Gift Packages with Disney merchandise.
Good Luck and thanks for sharing and may you have a Very Merry Unbirthday!
– Cody Woodbrey
Woodbrey Family Travel Giveaway Official Rules: No Purchase Necessary to Enter or Win. Some restrictions may apply. The Woodbrey Family Travel: Happy Unbirthday Giveaway (“Contest”) runs from 2:00 p.m. Mountain Time (MT) on February 3, 2016 until 11:59 p.m. Mountain Time (MT) on February 29, 2016. Contest is sponsored by Woodbrey Family Travel. This Contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook or Twitter. You understand that you are providing your information to Woodbrey Family Travel and not to Facebook or Twitter. Eligibility: The Contest must be over eighteen years of age as of the beginning of the Contest. Contest is subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations. How to Enter: To enter, you must do the following; 1: Each participant must fill out the entire entry form with his or her information 2: Accept Giveaway Terms and Conditions. 3: Be a fan of Woodbrey Family Travel on Facebook and/or Twitter. 4: Share the Very Merry Ubirthday Facebook post. Participants must enter to win by February 29, 2016 at 11:59pm. Winners will be announced within 48 hours. Prizes: There will be one grand prize winner of a $500 credit to use towards a future Disney Vacation Package. There will be two additional winners of whom will win a Disney Gift Package with Disney merchandise. Attempts made by the same individual to submit multiple entries by using multiple or false contact information, including multiple Facebook or Twitter accounts, may be disqualified. The $500 credit can only be used through bookings with Woodbrey Family Travel. When using the $500 credit for a Disney Theme park package, the winner must include; 2 Day Park hopper tickets, hotel, Disney dining and must be greater than 3 nights. Notification: Winners will be notified through social media or by email. In the event of non-compliance of these Official Rules, or if the prize is unclaimed, the prize will be forfeited and awarded to an alternate winner. By accepting any prize, the winner consents to the use of his or her name, likeness and any other information of any and all advertising/publicity purposes without further consideration, except where prohibited by law, and without any additional compensation. The winner expressly waives the right to review any and all advertising bearing his or her name, photograph, likeness, and titles prior to their use. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY AND RELEASE. WOODBREY FAMILY TRAVEL ASSUMES NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR TECHNICAL FAILURES OF ANY KIND, OR FOR ENTRIES THAT ARE STOLEN, MISDIRECTED, INCOMPLETE, DELAYED BY COMPUTER TRANSMISSIONS, LOST, LATE, MISDIRECTED, ILLEGIBLE, OR MUTILATED. WOODBREY FAMILY TRAVEL IS ALSO NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY INCORRECT OR INACCURATE INFORMATION, WHETHER CAUSED BY WEBSITE USERS OR BY ANY OF THE EQUIPMENT OR PROGRAMMING ASSOCIATED WITH OR UTILIZED IN THE CONTEST OR BY ANY TECHNICAL OR HUMAN ERROR WHICH MAY OCCUR IN THE PROCESSING OF SUBMISSIONS IN THE CONTEST. SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT AT ITS SOLE DISCRETION TO CANCEL, TERMINATE, MODIFY OR SUSPEND THE CONTEST. ANY ATTEMPT BY ANY PERSON TO DELIBERATELY UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST MAY BE IN VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAW, AND, SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. SHOULD WOODBREY FAMILY TRAVEL CHOOSE NOT TO ENFORCE ANY TERM OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES, IT SHALL NOT CONSTITUTE A WAIVER OF THAT PROVISION. Governing Law and Disputes: All participants agree to abide by these Official Rules and by the decisions of Woodbrey Family Travel. This Contest is governed by the laws of the state of Utah. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. Sponsors reserve the right to terminate or modify the Contest in its sole discretion. Except where prohibited, all participants agree that: (1) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the United States District Court for the District of Utah; (2) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Contest, but in no event, attorneys’ fees; and (3) under no circumstances will participants be permitted to obtain awards for, and participant hereby waives all rights to claim, indirect, punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of the entrant and Sponsor in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and accordance with, the laws of the State of Utah without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules, which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Utah. Miscellaneous. Contest prizes are non-transferrable and prizes may not be substituted for or redeemed for cash. All decisions of Woodbrey Family Travel with respect to the contest are final. At Woodbrey Family Travel’s discretion, it reserves the right to cancel or modify the Contest if fraud or technical problems bring into question the integrity of the Contest.
Woodbrey Family Travel is excited to announced his Summer Promotion and Raffle!
Each summer, Woodbrey Family Travel has a big incentive for those who book Disney vacations in the month of July and August along with a Big Summer RAFFLE that takes place on his Facebook page. The details on how to enter the raffle and the booking offer are below.
Big Summer Raffle Details
Who doesn’t like to win FREE Disney merchandise just for commenting and sharing Facebook posts?! I know I do and here is your chance to do exactly that. Throughout the month of July until August 9th, share and comment on the new posts that are made. Each time you do so you will get an entry into the raffle to win Disney Merchandise. You could win one or several of the gifts in the above picture. Some posts will be worth double or triple entries so keep an eye out for those ones. If you book a Disney trip before August 9th you will automatically get 5 extra entries. There will be multiple winners!
Booking Incentives Details
When you book ANY Disney vacation package with Woodbrey Family Travel between now and August 9th, you will receive all sorts of extra Disney themed gifts when you book your trip. Below you will find the extra gifts that are given for each Disney Destination. Make sure to mention this blog or code DisneySummerGift to qualify for the extra gifts… So where will you be vacationing this next year?
Walt Disney World Vacation Package Gifts
Lanyards, Luggage Tags, Trading Pins, Disney Activity Book (Packages with kids)
Disney Autograph Book and Pen or Disney Activity Pack (One Per Child), Disney Key Chains (One Per Adult), Disney Crayons Disney (One Per Child), Toy Story Tsum Tsum
Disney Mini Golf Voucher, Planet Hollywood Souvenir Voucher (One per package)
Planet Hollywood $15 Meal Voucher (One per Package), Walt Disney Travel Savings book – Special offerings and savings at many participating dining and merchandise locations throughout the Downtown Disney shopping area – “Disney Springs.”
Disneyland Vacation Package Gifts
Diamond Anniversary Lanyards, Diamond Anniversary Luggage Tags, Diamond Anniversary Trading Pins, Disney Diamond Anniversary Activity Book (Packages with kids), Disney Diamond Anniversary Pen, Disney Diamond Anniversary Magnet, Toy Story Tsum Tsum, $10 ESPN Game Card, Free 5X7 photopass Photo (Photo can be either an attractions photo or one from the park), Disney Autograph Book and Pen or Disney Activity Pack (One Per Child), Disney Key Chains (One Per Adult)
Disney Crayons Disney (One Per Child), Walt Disney Travel Savings Card – A special card offering savings and values at many participating dining and merchandise locations throughout the Disneyland Resort and Early Entrance into Disneyland as long as you have 3 days or more.
Disney Cruise Line Vacation Package Gifts
$30 Onboard Credit, Disney Lanyards
Disney Trading Pins, Disney Activity Book (Packages with kids), Disney Autograph Book and Pen or Disney Activity Pack (One Per Child), Disney Key Chains (One Per Adult)
Disney Crayons Disney (One Per Child), Disney Dry Erase Board, Disney Playing Card, Toy Story Tsum Tsum, Disney’s Frozen String Bag and a Disney’s Frozen Kids Purse
Aulani Vacation Gifts
Disney Lanyards, Disney Trading Pins, Disney Activity Book (Packages with kids), Disney Autograph Book and Pen or Disney Activity Pack (One Per Child), Disney Key Chains (One Per Adult), Disney Crayons Disney (One Per Child), Disney Playing Card, Toy Story Tsum Tsum, Disney’s Frozen String Bag, Disney’s Frozen Kids Purse, Disney Chalk Board and a $30 booking Credit (Must be at least 6 nights)
Adventures by Disney Vacation Gifts
Disney Lanyards, Disney Trading Pins, Adventures by Disney Luggage Tags, Adventures by Disney laptop bag, Adventures by Disney, Disney Activity Book (Packages with kids), Disney Autograph Book and Pen or Disney Activity Pack (One Per Child), Disney Key Chains (One Per Adult), Disney Crayons Disney (One Per Child), Toy Story Tsum Tsum, Disney’s Frozen String Bag, Disney’s Frozen Kids Purse and a $50 booking credit (Must book at least a 6 night trip)
I hope, as you look to future Disney adventures, that you will think of Woodbrey Family Travel when planning. Remember, at Woodbrey Family Travel, my services are absolutely free. Disney takes care of me with no extra cost to you. I am a current Disney cast member and know Disney travel extremely well and I promise you will have the best possible trip planned when booking with us.
– Cody Woodbrey
There are several ways in which to get the most out of your “meet and greet” with your favorite Disney Characters. As a performer at Walt Disney World, I can tell you that I’ve seen and experienced it all – the good, the bad, and everything in between. I have therefore compiled some tips and information for you in order to help make this experience the best for your family. This blog post is created to help you better your experience and maximize your “meet and greet” time with the characters.
Lesson 1: Be Prepared
There are a couple of things you can do to be prepared before you ever meet the character.
1. Have your autograph books and cameras ready. This will give you more time to play and interact with the characters versus trying to get your book out or camera ready. This also helps the line go quicker.
2. Take off jackets, bags and/or ponchos. Doing this makes for better-looking pictures. Waiting until you get up to the character takes away from your time to interact with them.
3. Put down any food or drinks. The characters will not take pictures with them in the picture.
Lesson 2: The Approach
When you approach the Disney character, don’t shove your book into their hands.
1. They want to say hi first with a hug or a high five. They want to know you are there for more than just a signature.
2. Make sure the character sees you approaching. They don’t have the best eyesight, and at times they don’t even realize there is a young child by their legs.
3. Please do not jump up on them.
4. Be careful when touching their heads – it’s actually preferred that you don’t touch their heads at all.
5. Everyone must be wearing shoes unless they are being held.
6. They cannot hold your baby.
7. Don’t be rough with the characters. They can be hurt!
Lesson 3: Helping Unsure Kids
I’ve seen hundreds of families that wait in long lines to see the characters only to get up to them and find that their child no longer wants to see them or is crying. These tips will help you get those pictures without the big hassle or need for convincing.
1. Let them watch the character interact with the other families and talk to them about all the fun the other families are having.
2. Holding the child or getting down to the child’s level helps the child feel safe and protected.
3. Hold the child’s hand while walking up to the character.
4. Ask someone to take the picture for you so you can stay with your child. I usually ask the family behind me to do it just in case there isn’t someone at the front of the line to do it. Always check the photo before moving on, as not everyone knows how to use a camera correctly.
5. When taking a picture with your child, put them on the outside shoulder away from the character. By doing this you will help keep them from looking at the camera instead of at the character and/or help them stop crying.
6. If the opposite shoulder strategy doesn’t work, take several steps in front of the character, get their attention to look at the camera, and take the picture. This helps because the child is far enough away that they feel a bit safer and you still get a picture with the character.
Lesson 4: Writing Material for Autographs
By having the right kind of writing utensils it will help you get the best signature possible.
1. Even before you hand the character the autograph books, make sure you use the words “Please” and “Thank You”. These words are often forgotten, but greatly appreciated!
1 – 2-inch pens are hard for anyone to write with, and with a paw it is even harder.
2. Light ink pens or coloring utensils make it hard for the characters to see what they are signing. Use dark ink or colors for signing. When the character can see what they are signing you will get a great signature.
3. Larger-than-life pens are also not the easiest to write with for the characters. The thickness of the pen does make it a bit hard to get a good grip for a great signature.
4. Disney characters’ favorite type of writing utensil is a regular-sized SHARPIE. The inks are thick and they are extremely easy to hold.
5. Characters love it when you use different colors – For example: Tigger loves using Orange colors, whereas The Green Army Man loves using Green to write.
6. The characters also love writing with the fun different Disney pens. They love tickling your faces with the ones with the fuzz on the ends or twirling the character on the end of the pen. They especially love pens with themselves on them.
7. 2-inch size papers or loose papers without something hard behind them are hard to sign on. If you are going to have the papers loose, then use a small clip board. Doing this will help you get the best quality of signatures possible.
Lesson 5: What Characters Can Write On
Disney characters love to sign their name on things, but there are a few things they cannot sign.
1. They cannot sign currency, checks, receipts, other important documents, or things with inappropriate materials on them.
2. They can sign shirts, hats, toys, blankets, and things like that
3. They can’t sign anything while it is being worn. You can take the item off only if it doesn’t reveal skin or undergarments.
4. They can sign the cast of a broken arm or leg – this is the only exception to the previous rule. (Signing casts at the Walt Disney World parks is allowed but NOT at Disneyland parks)
Lesson 6: Creating a Little Bit of Extra Magic
1. The characters love holding, signing, and playing with things that have them on it. Buzz Lightyear loves pretending to fly with his action figure… Or should I say, “Falling with style.”
2. They love giving hugs and high fives
3. Be creative with your pictures. Don’t just stand there; strike a pose! They take thousands of pictures a day with guests posing the same way and they are eager to do something different. Go with the flow – If they want you to pose a certain way, do it. They do some great poses. You can even ask them, “What pose should we make today?” and they will respond with some great ideas. If you have some ideas, they will also join in, as long as it is appropriate.
4. Use more than just your phone camera – you will get better pictures using a real camera.
5. Take a “Selfie” with the characters.
6. Share with the characters why you love them and are there to see them.
Lesson 7: Leaving
When you leave, make sure you thank the Disney characters and the character attendants for letting you come and see them. It’s not easy standing out in the heat all day, but it’s worth it when they feel appreciated and loved. Give last minute high fives and hugs!
If you are planning a trip to one of Disney’s theme parks or a Disney Cruise, please contact me for more information.
– Cody Woodbrey
My name is Cody Woodbrey and I specialize in planning Disney vacations and as someone who has worked years in the parks, I provide the insider’s touch that few travel consultants can offer.
Since my first trip to Disneyland when I was four years old, my passion for this company and what it offers to families has grown exponentially. I find myself wanting to share that passion, as well as my experience and knowledge with others so they in turn may grow to love what this company has to offer.
When I travel to Disney destinations, I cringe when I see families struggle to enjoy themselves because they are stuck in line, or are just not aware of the amenities and services that Disney provides. As someone who has worked on, and lived near the Walt Disney World property, has experienced Disneyland more times than I can remember, and has cruised multiple times on the Disney Cruise Line, I can help guests and their families plan a vacation that is built around their dreams and is specific to them. In the words of Walt Disney, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
My goal is to provide guests with the most current information, and best advice to make sure they spend their time exactly how they would like to. My services are ABSOULTELY FREE to those who book with me.
This blog is an extension of those services. With advice on all things Disney travel. I am excited to share my love and passion of all things Disney Travel with you.
Your Disney Travel Expert,