Podcast Episode 221: Splurges Under $100

Splurging at Disney is one of the most fun things you can do but it can be expensive.  We’ve given you some good ideas of little extra things you can buy or do that cost less than $100 per person!

Happy listening!

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Podcast Episode 158: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

By now you’ve probably heard all about the special Halloween event at Walt Disney World, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.  In this episode, we’ll explain to you what it’s all about and why you should make it a priority on your next visit!

Happy listening!

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Podcast Episode 114: Fall 2016 Disney News

Here at Dole Whipped, we like to keep you informed of all the Disney information available so this week we bring you Fall 2016 Disney news!  We hope this helps you better plan your upcoming Disney vacations!

Happy listening!

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Guest Blogger Michelle K.: The ABC’s and 123’s of Planning Your Disney Trip

You’ve decided to take a Walt Disney World vacation.  OH YEAH!!  If you are like me, it can seem a little overwhelming to start planning your vacation.  Not to fear though, you don’t have to have a Mousester or Ducktorate degree in all things Disney to plan a great trip!


The best option is to use a Disney expert travel agent to help guide your decision making Blog2to create a customized vacation just for you.  As a former cast member, even I love having the help and ease of using one.  (Huge shout-out to Tara McClure one of the DoleWhipped ladies and Disney travel planner; our last vacation was just perfect!)

Want to start planning yourself?  Great!  As a huge Disney fan (or fanatic per dear Husband), with numerous trips to the mouse house under our belt, I’d love to share the 8 steps we use for you to start planning you dream vacation at Walt Disney World.

1.    Call to request your free Walt Disney World planning DVD.  These are a great resource for planning your trip and bonus, they are fun for kiddos to watch in the car if you are making a road trip of it!

2.    Decide when you would like to go! A few considerations to picking the best dates:

  • Consider weather and crowd levels! Take a look at free crowd calendars available on the web; it is a great tool to help pick a week that may be less crowded than others.  Will you want to hit the fabulous pools at the resorts or at the Disney water parks?  If so, January or December weather might be iffy.  That being said, we took a February trip to Walt Disney World this year and swam at the resort or Blizzard Beach 5 out of 7 days.  Thank goodness for heated pools!


  • Want to time your vacation to take part in a special event? Throughout the year, Walt Disney World hosts different events, some are covered through basic tickets and Blog4others require a special ticket purchase.  These include Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, Star Wars and Princess Running events including marathon, half marathon, 5K and family fun run options, and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, just to name a few!  We’ve attended the Halloween party twice and it was fantastic!  Everyone should try it once for the special Halloween treats, fireworks, parade, and trick or treating.



  • Consider dining and fast pass reservations. Dining reservations can be booked 180 days in advance; fast pass reservations can be booked 60 days in advance if staying at a WDW resort or 30 days in advance with your ticket.  Planning your trip a little further in advance makes it easier to secure hard to get reservations!  Not to fear though, booking last minute trips has worked for us too but did require a little more flexibility.

3.    Determine how long you want to stay! There is so much to do at Walt Disney World.  Walt Disney World has 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, the ESPN sports complex, 5 golf courses, 2 mini golf courses, multiple spas, boating recreation, and a dining and shopping area at Downtown Disney with enough activities to fill multiple days.

4.    Decide where you would like to stay! There are a lot of choices and the great news is that it becomes easy to narrow down what works best for your needs by thinking about a few questions.

  • How many of your posse are going on the trip? Some resorts have more room options for groups larger than 4 wanting to share a room.
  • What will be important to make the most of your time there? Are you looking for the most amazing pool or little kid water play area?  What is important to you regarding location, do you want to pick the resort in walking distance to your favorite park?
  • Lastly, what works best for your budget? Resorts are available at every price point; offsite, value, moderate, or deluxe are available with numerous options for each!


5.    Would you like Disney Dining? If you are staying on property (in one of the Disney World resorts) you are eligible for a prepaid dining plan.  Several web sites break down the different plans and offer helpful tips if you aren’t sure.  We’ve made trips with and without the plan and were equally happy with both.  We enjoyed getting to try so many different types of snacks and meals on the Dining plan, especially character meals and dining at Epcot (gelatos, sushi, and crepes, oh my!).  Also great was being able to order the most expensive meal on the menu in restaurants for table dining that was covered by the plan!  On the other hand, we also enjoyed the flexibly of bringing in our own lunches to eat wherever and whenever was convenient.

6.    Make your resort reservations and purchase your tickets! If staying onsite, make sureBlog7 to use a Disney travel expert.  Their services are free to you (score!); they are paid directly by Disney and all prices are identical to what you would get booking directly with WDW.  There is really only an upside to this as they provide expert advice, ideas, and guidance to make your vacation the best it can be.  If you would like to use the dining plan, make sure to book it with your room reservations.


7.    Book your dining reservations as soon as possible! There are so many fun, unusual, Blog8and yummy options.  If you don’t already have a few favorites in mind, try checking out on-line reviews and on-line menus to find great places to eat.  Also, consider if you would like a character meal while on vacation.  There is a large variety available with different characters and menu options (everything from standard breakfast fare to African to Norwegian!)   Don’t worry if you can’t get all of your top reservations at first.  For each trip, I was able to get every restaurant, even the hard to get ones like Ohana and Crystal Palace that we wanted by checking availability a few times a day for several weeks and being flexible with meal times.


Blog98.    Lastly, book your fast pass choices as soon as possible. Choosing fast passes to your favorite attractions early helps ensure you get the times and choices you want!



Now sit back and get your Disney vacation count down calendar ready – You’ve got a great vacation to look forward to!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Tickets Go On Sale 05/05/16 – Open for dates and pricing!


FINALLLYYYY…what you have all been waiting for and wondering why Disney is making you wait. Well, the day is finally here! If you are planning a trip to Disney this Fall or Early Winter you should absolutely make plans to attend on these extra special events.

My favorite is the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and especially the Boo to You parade!13115896_10153701704279423_229910031_n


All tickets go on sale tomorrow, 5/5/16:




  • September 2, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 29, 30
  • October 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31

September 2, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 25 – $72.00 plus tax age 10+, $67.00 plus tax age 3-9 in advance, $79.00/$74 same-day

September 29, 30 – $79.00 plus tax age 10+, $74.00 plus tax age 3-9 in advance, $88/$83.00 same-day

October 2, 6 – $86.00 plus tax age 10+, $81.00 plus tax age 3-9 in advance, $95.00/$90 same-day

October 4, 10, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27 – $91.00 plus tax age 10+, $86.00 plus tax age 3-9 in advance, $95.00/$90 same-day

September 23 – $85.00 plus tax age 10+, $80.00 plus tax age 3-9

October 7, 14, 21, 28, 30 – $95.00 plus tax age 10+, $90.00 plus tax age 3-9

October 31– $105.00 plus tax age 10+, $100.00 plus tax age 3-9

Passholder Rates available 9/2, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 23, 25, 29, 30; 10/2, 6 : Rates are $67-80 (depends on night) plus tax. DVC members have discounts on additional nights (in addition to all APs dates) 10/4, 10, 11, 13, 16, 18, & 20 can be purchased at a discount ranging between $62-83.


  • November 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 27, 29
  • December 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 22


November 10, 13 – $86.00 plus tax age 10+, $81.00 plus tax age 3-9 in advance, $91.00/$86 same-day

November 18, 27, 29, December 2, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13 – $92.00 plus tax age 10+, $87.00 plus tax age 3-9 in advance, $96/$91.00 same-day

November 7, 8, 11, 15, December 1 – $91.00 plus tax age 10+, $86.00 plus tax age 3-9

December 9, 15 – $96.00 plus tax age 10+, $91.00 plus tax age 3-9

December 16, 18, 22 – $99.00 plus tax age 10+, $94.00 plus tax age 3-9

Passholder Rates available 11/7, 8, 11, 15; 12/1, 10, & 13 : Rates are $74-$84 plus tax depending on night. DVC members also discounts on additional nights (in addition to all APs dates) 11/10, 13, 18, 27, 29, & 12/6 can be purchased at a discount ranging between $74-89 plus tax.




All pricing should be confirmed when purchasing tickets. DoleWhipped is not responsible for typos or errors related to dates and pricing.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

2014 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Dates:

September: 1, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26, 28 (All September dates at a cost of $62 for adults and $57 for children under the age of 10)

October: 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 13, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, 24, 26, 28, 30, 31 (Dates in October range from $67-77 for adults and $62-72 for children under the age of 10)

Things to do during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party:

Character Meet & Greets. During the party there are several meet and greets of lesser seen characters around the park! The 7 Dwarves (seen with or without Snow White) will be especially popular this year with the opening of the new Mine Train ride, but some princes, Jack Skellington and Sally, Winnie the Pooh and Friends (in Halloween costumes!), and more are also scheduled to appear.

Seven Dwarves meet & greet

Snow White & The Prince meet and greet

Boo To You Halloween Parade. I am normally not a parade person and in my opinion the 3:00 parade is hit or miss… and I usually take a pass. But this parade is my absolute favorite attraction in all of Disney World! From the headless horseman’s ride at the start of the parade to the gravediggers and more this is a show NOT to be missed.

HalloWishes. A special extra pyrotechnic fireworks show only put on for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party!

Rides! One of the greatest benefits to attending a “hard ticket” event at Disney is that the crowds are lower than a normal day. This often means rides have little to no wait and you can often walk right on! For me, a Halloween party isn’t a Halloween party without a ride on Pirate’s of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion, at the very least.



  • You can enter the Magic Kingdom beginning at 4pm with your party tickets. The party doesn’t begin until 7pm but that’s 3 hours of extra park time! Make use of it, even just to grab some dinner before the party starts.
  • Think about having a relaxing morning at your resort or Downtown Disney on party day, especially if you’ve got little ones. A nap before the event will help everyone stay happy until the end of the party at midnight!
  • While normally very crowded, my favorite place to view the Boo To You Halloween parade and the Hallowishes fireworks show is on the train station platform at the entrance of the Magic Kingdom. I’ve had good luck nabbing a great spot there even 20 minutes before the second parade was set to begin!
  • Don’t waste time Trick-or-Treating. Sure, the kids will want candy but the lines can get long and you can buy a bag of your favorite candy (this isn’t special Disney candy, just grocery store stuff) for a lot less than the cost of your ticket 😉
  • Wear a costume! Children and adults alike dress up for this event, or at the very least wear a festive holiday tee shirt 🙂