There is something thrilling about dropping everything for a few days and escaping. Sometimes spontaneous trips are the best trips. As with everything though, these last-minute adventures typically come at a cost. Now I know what some of you are thinking. “But sometimes you can get great last-minute deals!” That’s true & last-minute deals can be fantastic, but more often than not, there will be some aspect of your trip that will be more expensive because you waited until the last minute. For example, maybe you got a super cheap cruise last minute, but then your airfare was super expensive. Or maybe you got a great deal on airfare, but hotels are limited due to the short notice, so their prices are higher. Plus, everything has to be paid for upfront. When you wait to book last minute, you have to be prepared to pay for everything at once. Most people’s budgets need a bit more advance notice to be able to accommodate a trip. Fortunately, quite a few aspects of the travel industry allow for payment to be made over time.
As outlined in our blog post, “Help Us, Help You,” the first thing anyone should do before making travel plans is to decide on a budget. I feel this is true for any kind of trip, whether it be spontaneous or planned well in advance. The world is amazing, but you’ll enjoy it more if you don’t have a mountain of debt to come home to. Budgeting & planning in advance can give you the flexibility to save up & pay for your trip over time so you don’t accrue unnecessary debt due to your travels.
Once you have determined your budget, I recommend working with a Travel Agent to help plan your trip. This is for a few reasons (see our blog post “Why Use a Travel Agent”), but a few of the most notable reasons is their ability to help you stay within your budget & to bundle the various pieces to your travel together into a package. Though not the only way to pay for a trip over time, having your travel agent put together a package for you will often give you more flexibility in terms of when you can pay.
For example, let’s say you’re traveling to the Disneyland or Walt Disney World Resort. If you were to buy a hotel or condo off Disney property & bought your theme park tickets separately, you would have to pay outright for those theme park tickets and maybe your lodgings too. If you haven’t been to a Disney park recently, tickets are a large bulk of the cost for that type of vacation and if you buy them separately, they have to be paid in full up-front & they are non-refundable. However, if you plan in advance & bundle your package to include both hotel & tickets on property or at a Good Neighbor hotel, then you could simply pay $200 down when you book & then the rest isn’t due until 30 days before you travel. Up until that 30-days before, you can change or cancel your reservation at no cost to you. This allows you much more freedom than if you purchased them separately. Additionally, as a package you are more than welcome to make partial payments over time, or if you’d rather keep your money accruing in the bank, you can wait until that due date 30 days before to make your final payment. This allows you significantly more time to save your money & spread out the cost of your vacation over several months.
Much like stand-alone tickets, airfare is also notorious for having to be paid for up-front & it is most often non-refundable. If you plan your trip in advance, it allows for large required purchases like airfare to not be such a burden. Maybe you’ve booked your hotel/tickets a year in advance, and have been saving up or making payments over time, but you wait to purchase airfare until three or four months in advance of your trip. Being able to spread out the payments for the other aspects of your package allow you to be able to pay for that airfare when it comes up without any budgetary constraints.
What you may not realize is that occasionally, your travel agent can package your airfare in with other aspects of your trip. This means that your airfare would follow the same rules as your package does. For example, if you were to book a Disney Cruise, you would be required to put 20% down up front & final payment is due 90-120 days before you travel. If you chose to book airfare as a package with your cruise & you select a flexible fare, that airfare gets bundled into your cruise package price as a whole. You would simply pay the 20% of the package price & then pay the remainder when final payment is due or in partial payments over time. Again, allowing for better budgeting in advance.
Besides being able to spread out paying for your trip, booking in advance will most often get you the best deal. There are last-minute deals that are worthwhile, but as previously mentioned, you’ll typically get hit with a larger than average bill in some other aspect of your trip. In general, the longer you wait to book, the more you will pay. For example, Disney is notorious for increasing their ticket prices in either late January or early February every year, but sometimes they do it multiple times per year. If you plan in advance, your ticket prices, or cruise fare, or nightly hotel price, gets locked in, ultimately saving you money than if you waited to book your trip last minute. Plus! If you use a travel agent & a deal does come up, they can often get it applied to your existing reservation. Just one more reason to use them!
Overall, making a budget, planning in advance, & taking advantage of what a travel agent can offer can really help you to spread the cost of you trip out over time. This can make a big difference to your everyday finances so that your trip really is a vacation & not a means to more debt. If you’re feeling unsure, ask your travel agent for help! They want to make sure you stay within your budget & have the best time possible. Paying over time can alleviate a lot of stress on you & your budget, so recognize it is an option. Plan in advance & take advantage!
We would be happy to help you along your way. Please visit our website to request a quote: http://woodbreyfamilytravel.com/getaquote.php
Summer 2018 will bring a transformed land for guests to experience at Disney California Adventure® Park when Pixar Pier opens along the southern shore of Paradise Bay, with newly themed attractions, entertainment, foods and merchandise throughout. This new, permanent land in the area that is now Paradise Pier will introduce four new neighborhoods representing beloved Disney·Pixar stories.
The first of the four themed neighborhoods guests will find is inspired by “The Incredibles.” Here, the new Incredicoaster, permanently transformed from the attraction that is now California Screamin’, will open with Pixar Pier in summer 2018. This new experience will feature a mid-century-modern-style loading area, new character moments and a new look for the ride vehicles. To prepare for this transformation, California Screamin’ will close Jan. 8, 2018.
The popular Toy Story Mania! will anchor the “Toy Story”-inspired neighborhood. A neighborhood inspired by “Inside Out” will be found on the western side of the boardwalk and will welcome a new family-friendly attraction, scheduled to open at a later date.
The fourth neighborhood will be a celebration of many favorite Pixar stories. In this neighborhood, Mickey’s Fun Wheel will have a new look, with each of the 24 gondolas featuring different Pixar characters and the iconic face of Mickey Mouse remaining on the Paradise Bay side of the wheel. At the Games of the Boardwalk, which already includes the Bullseye Stallion Stampede game, all of the midway games will be inspired by Pixar characters. Mickey’s Fun Wheel, Games of the Boardwalk and Sideshow Shirts will close Jan. 8, 2018 to begin this transformation.
Ariel’s Grotto restaurant and the Cove Bar will be transformed into a new lounge and grill offering sparkling views of Paradise Bay and the new Pixar Pier. Both locations will close Jan. 8, 2018, with Cove Bar reopening briefly in April before closing again for its permanent transformation. Guests wishing to reserve “World of Color” dining packages after Jan. 7, 2018, may consider Carthay Circle Restaurant or Wine Country Trattoria.
The remaining areas of the land that is now Paradise Pier, including Paradise Gardens, Silly Symphony Swings, Jumpin’ Jellyfish, Goofy’s Sky School, Golden Zephyr and The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, will become a new land called Paradise Park.
Pixar Pier will open during the limited-time Pixar Fest celebration, which begins April 13, 2018. The celebration will include the new “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” fireworks spectacular as well as the return of Pixar Play Parade and “Paint the Night” parade, and much more throughout the entire Disneyland® Resort.
Woodbrey Family Travel
Disneyland has some exciting news to share with everyone about continuing expansion and growth of the Disneyland® Resort. For the first time in almost two decades, Disneyland will open a new Four Diamond hotel! Set to open in 2021, this hotel will transform the west end of the Downtown Disney® District and anchor a new gateway to the Disneyland Resort.
The stunning 700-room hotel will feature a sophisticated design and be a game-changer for Anaheim, creating a dynamic dining, entertainment and hotel experience for resort visitors and local residents. Extensive landscaping and water elements will create a resort oasis, showcasing nature on every level of the hotel. The hotel’s location embraces the iconic Disneyland Monorail with a dedicated platform inside the hotel for direct transport into Disneyland Park.
Guest rooms, public spaces and gardens will provide views of the Downtown Disney District. In addition, an upper-level restaurant and lounge will give guests a view of the popular Disneyland Park fireworks.
The ground level of the hotel will include shops and restaurants opening onto an expansive landscaped plaza complete with playful water features, creating a gathering place for guests and visitors. The new hotel also connects all four Hotels of the Disneyland Resort through lush gardens and beautifully landscaped walkways, transforming the gateway on the west side and creating a welcoming entry for guests.
Construction is scheduled to start in summer 2018, with a grand opening slated for 2021.
Woodbrey Family Travel
As part of the multi-year expansion of the Disneyland® Resort, Disney is upgrading, improving and adding new parking and transportation enhancements that have been long envisioned for the resort. The centerpiece of this plan is an all-new parking structure to be built on the current Pinocchio surface parking lot next to Mickey & Friends.
This new 6,500-space structure is designed to dramatically improve parking and traffic flow throughout the resort. It is expected to significantly speed up guest arrival by providing a 60 percent increase in the number of access lanes and adding additional parking capacity on the west side of the resort.
The additional parking capacity and access lanes will streamline vehicle arrivals on the west side of the resort and eliminate backups onto city streets. In addition, the tram boarding area will be reconfigured to enhance the transportation experience for guests parking at both the new structure and Mickey & Friends.
Woodbrey Family Travel
Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! opens May 27 with Summer of Heroes and more at Disney California Adventure Park
Disney California Adventure® Park at Disneyland® Resort will soon be the destination for adventure, intrigue and triumph as recruits from around the world join forces with legendary Super Heroes in an ever-expanding universe of stories that will grow even bigger over time. This summer, Disney is kicking off the action with the May 27 grand opening of the thrilling, rocking attraction, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
This new adventure blasts guests straight into the “Guardians of the Galaxy” story for the first time ever, alongside characters from the blockbuster films and comics. As guests help Rocket bust his pals out of the Collector’s Fortress, they’ll experience randomized ride experiences complete with all-new visual and audio effects and music inspired by the popular film soundtracks. Guests will never know which adventure they’ll get!
There will be even more ways to step into Super Hero stories with Summer of Heroes, May 27 through Sept.10, 2017. Guests can answer the call for this limited-time celebration as they join the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy for all-new epic experiences.
Summer of Heroes will launch these new, year-round experiences:
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off! – Guests may run into the Guardians of the Galaxy on their way to the Milano, with Star-Lord firing up his old-school boom box to get the party started. Gamora may prefer to stand back and observe, but everyone else is bound to get in the groove and show off their moves during this awesome rock ‘n’ roll bash!
- Super Hero Encounters – For the first time, citizens of Earth will come face-to-face with Groot, one of the Guardians of the Galaxy! Guests can also step up to meet the First Avenger, Captain America, along with everyone’s favorite web slinger, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
And for a limited time, guests can step up to the challenge with new adventures during Summer of Heroes:
- Avengers Training Initiative – Black Widow and Hawkeye assemble young recruits for a series of tests to see if they have what it takes to join the ranks of the Avengers.
- Heroic Encounter: Black Widow – Black Widow will arrive on the scene several times throughout the day in an armored Avengers vehicle for her heroic encounter with park guests.
- Grab a Piece (or Bite) of the Action – Special themed merchandise and food will be available throughout Hollywood Land.
The summer brings even more to get excited about over at Disneyland park as classic favorites return with the reopening of the Disneyland Railroad and Rivers of America attractions, with the “Fantasmic!” nighttime spectacular returning later in the summer.
Let your Super Hero out!
Woodbrey Family Travel
Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT Is To Open Summer 2017 at Disney California Adventure Park
Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT transformation is underway at Disney California Adventure Park and is expected to open in the summer of 2017.
The above picture gives us a glimpse as to what the exterior of the attraction will look like. Every detail in the model will be replicated in the full size attraction, as designers, builders and artists work to bring The Collector’s realm to life.
The Collector’s Fortress is designed to be intimidating and imposing, but also shimmering and regal. It will be the location where the Collector secures and shows off his most prized collections. Which will include the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT attraction will still feature the breathtaking free-fall sensation we have all grown to love over the years but with all-new visual and audio effects, including music inspired by the popular “Guardians of the Galaxy” film soundtrack. Much like with the Hollywood Tower Hotel guests will experience a variety of randomized ride experiences.
We are excited to announce the 2017 Disneyland Resort vacation packages are now open for booking. Each package will include accommodations at one of the three Disneyland Resort hotels, or at a nearby Good Neighbor Hotels. Packages will include souvenir tickets with Magic Morning Entry, Magical Extras Savings Card, Disneyland Photo Memory, ESPN Game Card and Burger, as well as a collectible pin, lanyard and luggage tags per guest. All kids traveling will receive autograph books and pens as well.
Please contact us for additional information or to book your next Dream vacation to Disneyland.
With the opening of the New Super Hero HQ this fall at Disneyland Park, everyone’s favorite web slinger is swinging in for the occasion. That’s right! Spider-Man will be making his Disneyland Resort debut in a heroic new character greeting location, where guests can snap a photo, get an autograph or shake hands with the hero himself.
The Super Hero HQ will also be the location where guests will be able to meet some of their other super heroes like Thor of Asgard and Captain America. Guests will also be able to virtually suit up as Iron Man and check out the Hall of Armor at Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries, play some of the latest video games and buy some Super Hero gear to take with them on their journey home.
Stay tuned for more information on the New Super Hero HQ!
– Cody Woodbrey
In the summer of 2016 at the Disneyland Resort, “Frozen” will come to life in an all-new theatrical production at the Hyperion Theater at Disney California Adventure Park. This new show will immerse guests in the world of “Frozen” as never before, with elaborate costumes and sets, stunning special effects and surprising scenic transformations.
With a new show set to open at the Hyperion Theater, the award-winning “Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular” will prepare to take its final curtain call on Jan. 10, 2016, so be sure to see Aladdin before it closes.
– Cody Woodbrey