Category Archives: 2013

Reimagined Disney Magic – Part I

We just returned home from our two night preview cruise on the Disney Magic following her six week dry dock (which became seven).  Before I start my review, I will disclose that I did not pay full fare for our cruise, we were part of the travel agents and media that were invited to sail on the Disney Magic for this two-night sailing.  The opinions however are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Disney Magic at Port Canaveral

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Agents From Travel On A Dream Attend Exclusive Disney Conference

Tracy Whipple, Nicole Riley and Erin Kuzmiak from Travel On A Dream were among nearly 500 top-producing travel agency owners, managers and agents who recently gathered at the Walt Disney World Resort for the 2013 Disney’s EarMarked Conference – a program especially designed for agencies with the “Authorized Disney Vacation Planner” designation.

As a conference delegate, Nicole, Erin and Tracy heard from key Disney leaders who shared what’s new and what’s coming soon for Disney vacation destinations. 

Travel On A Dream has been in business in Deforest, Wisconsin for three years, and has been designated by Disney Destinations as an “Authorized Disney Vacation Planner” based on its strong support in selling Disney vacations. Their expertise includes Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney and Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai‘i.

Many travel counselors at Travel On A Dream have received training on Disney theme parks, resorts, cruises, vacations packages and more, and can provide the utmost in professional assistance in planning customized Disney vacations. In fact, one reason the agency has been designated an “Authorized Disney Vacation Planner” is that  all of its leisure travel counselors have completed Disney Destinations Genius online training courses, which are in-depth, comprehensive programs that allows agents to develop their expertise in planning Disney vacations.

New Fall Disney Offers!

Disney World has extended their discounts and free dining promotion to select fall dates.  Our agents are ready to help you book your Walt Disney World Resort travel today!  There are two offers — one to save up to 30% at select resorts this fall and a second for a free dining plan.  We’ll go through both of them for you.

Save Up to 30% at Select Disney Resort Hotels This Fall!

From September 29 through November 22, 2013 and November 30 through December 23, 2013, you can save up to 30% at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels.  Deluxe and Deluxe Villa resorts can also save on their stay from November 23 to November 25, 2013.  Savings start at up to 15% with select Disney Value Resort hotels, up to 20% at select Disney Moderate Resort hotels, and up to 30% at select Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resort hotels.  Stays up until November 9, 2013 must be booked by September 15, 2013.  All other stays must be booked by November 3 to take advantage of these rates.

The number of rooms available for offer is limited.  Savings are based on non-discounted pricing and a length of stay requirement may apply.  The offer excludes campsites, 3-bedroom villas, The Little Mermaid standard rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

Free Disney Dining Plan This Fall!

You can get a select free dining plan when you purchase a non-discounted package.  This offer can be booked through September 15, 2013 and is valid for arrivals most nights from:

  • September 29 to October 2, 2013
  • October 18 to November 2, 2013
  • November 11 to November 23, 2013
  • December 12 to December 22, 2013

With Disney Value Resort Hotels, you will receive the Disney Quick-Service Dining plan.  With all other resorts included you will receive the Disney Dining Plan.  The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited.  We cannot guarantee table-service restaurant availability.  Offer excluded campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort, Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter and The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.  Dining plans exclude alcoholic beverages and gratuities.  Children ages 3 – 9 must choose from children’s menus if available.

Use a Travel On A Dream Agent to Book Your Stay!

Your Travel On A Dream agent will never assume that one rate is better than the other.  They will check any and all discounts and promotions to see if you qualify for a better deal and get you the BEST deal.  Additionally, you will get concierge services such as itinerary planning, dining reservations and tips/tricks to help make for your vacation the best it can be.  Finally, your Travel On A Dream agent will never charge you more for their services booking and maintaining your Disney World vacation!  It’s all included and at no extra cost to you.  So what are you waiting for?  Visit us at www.travelonadream.com, request a quote, email info@travelonadream.com or call 888-681-1240 (option 1 or your agent directly).

The Lone Ranger

Editor’s Note:  Today’s blog is from our friend Wallis DeCandia who wanted to share her thoughts about the box office bomb, The Lone Ranger.  Thanks Wallis!

What do you get when you put Johnny Depp, Gore  Verbinski, and Jerry Bruckheimer together?? In nine out of ten cases a blockbuster movie that everyone is talking about.  But I guess even this dynamic trio could only keep it going for so long. According to the box office receipts from a holiday opening weekend their most recent endeavor seems to be a total dud.  Ladies and Gentlemen I give you The Lone Ranger –  a movie that cost around $250 million to make and only brought in $48 million in domestic sales and $24 million from overseas over the 5 day opening. If we estimate that the average movie ticket costs $10, that’s roughly only 7.3 million people who decided to give up 2 hours and 29 minutes of their holiday weekend to sit through this movie.  According to a website that shall not be named, the Tomatometer gave Ranger a very sad 25%, but the audience reviewers gave it a semi respectable 68%. Talk about a big gap in opinions! After reading a few reviews and deciding that we don’t always agree with what the “experts” think when it comes to movies my husband Leo and I headed to our local theater for the $5 matinee on Saturday morning (we decided it wasn’t worth $10 to see it in prime time in case it really was as bad as everyone seemed to be saying!).

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We went to the 11am show and I honestly figured the theater would be semi empty….bad reviews, a beautiful Saturday morning that was also 4th of July weekend, and 11am should have thoroughly backed up this assumption. But I was wrong! The theater was about ¾ full and we almost had people sitting in front of us (the horror!!)   I just have to mention here that we saw some wonderful previews (I LOVE previews, Leo feels they should be at the end of the movie so you don’t have to watch them, that’s how much he adores them)- Thor: The Dark World (helllooooo Chris Hemsworth), Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and The Wolverine (do I need to even say anything here??) were among the top 3 we saw. Then after some technical difficulty of the screen getting stuck, the movie began.

The familiar Disney intro- the flowing river, the castle with fireworks in the backround, finishing with Walt Disney Pictures logo on the bottom of the castle- how could any movie be bad with an intro like that???

The Lone Ranger opening scene starts at the “end” of the story- a young boy named Will is walking around a San Francisco carnival circa 1933. Will wanders into the Wild Wild West sideshow, and we see that he is dressed up as the Lone Ranger, mask and all. He seems mesmerized by the life size dioramas, reading the descriptions and taking the scenery in. He gets to the scene titled “Noble Savage”, and after staring at the wrinkly old man for a few seconds Tonto comes to life! Tonto, a Comanche tribesman with a dead bird on his head who he continues to feed in case the spirit of the bird ever comes back, is played by Depp, (and in my opinion, only Depp can successfully  pull this character off). Tonto proceeds to tell Will the story of himself and The Lone Ranger aka John Reid (played by Armie Hammer). The story goes back and forth from 1869 to 1933, with the film returning to Will and present day Tonto- much like The Princess Bride and The Never Ending Story did. A lot of reviews claimed this was disruptive to the storyline, but we didn’t feel this way at all.

horses-wagon

The movie then transitions into the opening scene of 1869 showing John Reid on a train taking him back to his childhood home of Colby, Texas- it just so happens that the same train is also transporting Tonto, and the outlaw Bill Cavendish, the latter who is heading to his hanging.  Bill’s posse attacks the train, frees Bill, and the first big action scene of the movie is complete.  After the train crashes, John joins up with his brother and 5 other Texas Rangers and they go out to go bring Bill “back to justice”. Without giving too much of the film away that plan goes completely awry and Tonto finds John in the desert with a white horse who he believes is a spirit horse who were sacred to the Comanche. Tonto believes John is now a spirit walker, and cannot be killed in battle. He convinces John that he needs to wear a mask so Cavendish doesn’t recognize him, gives him a special silver bullet that he believes is the only thing that will take down Cavendish, and tells him that from now on he should go by The Lone Ranger.

cave

The two decide to head into town to follow up on a lead as to where Cavendish went and find themselves in a brothel run by Red Harrington (played by Helena Bonham Carter). Harrington is not only a red headed saucy woman in a too tight corset, but she also has a full ivory leg with intricate tattoos on it which happens to house a shotgun that shoots from the heel  A little over the top? Perhaps, but I loved it!  Red gives them a little insight into the trouble over some silver rocks between John’s brother Dan and railroad tycoon Latham Cole, who was managing the Transcontinental Railroad being built in Colby. Red happens to have one of these rocks,  which give John a hallucination when he touches it.  John “sees” Cavendish’s men raiding settlements near the Comanche-American border while disguised as Comanche Indians—-cough, foreshadowing, cough.

The movie continues to go into quite a bit of detail that shows how Tonto, Cavendish, and Cole all played a part in each other’s lives and all that foreshadowing plays out. I won’t give you a full play by play but know that there are a lot of action scenes, a couple of twists, a few jokes that only Depp could deliver correctly, a big over the top chase scene where the theme from the original Lone Ranger show (that’s the 4th part of Rossini’s William Tell Overture for all you music buffs out there) is remastered and blasted through the speakers, and a “happy” ending to boot.

fire

So what’s our final verdict?  Leo and I walked out saying we really liked it!! Were some of the action scenes totally unbelievable?  Of course! Would any real day person be able to jump from one moving train onto another and live??  Of course not! But since when is any action film even close to realistic?  Any movie that Bruckheimer has been a part of has crazy action scenes- but they are executed and planned well, and that’s what makes a great movie.  So don’t listen to that 25% who say this movie is for the birds and join us over at the cool kids table who think this is a great way to spend 2 ½ hours of your time.

Happy Birthday ToaD (and Tripp)

June 20, 2010 we booked our very first reservation as Travel On A Dream.  Three years later, we are still going strong, stronger than ever, thanks to all of you.  Thousands of cruises and travel packages later we have grown from just a dream of mine to ten agents.  We cannot thank you enough for putting your faith and trust in us to take care of your travel plans.  Your personal bookings and your referrals of us to your friends and families mean more than words can say.

thanks-so-much-frogs

Referrals mean the world to us.  When you go to a restaurant and the service is sub-par, you don’t tell your friends to go there.  In fact, you tell them NOT to go there.  When you refer people to us, you are saying that not only were you happy with the service, you are willing to put your reputation on the line by telling others about it.  To thank you for these referrals, we offer referral rewards and have from the beginning.  We have paid out hundreds of referral credits and gift cards.

Double Referral Credits!

As a birthday gift to all of you, we are doubling our referral credits for the next month!  For all new referrals with bookings deposited by July 20, 2013, we will give you double referral credit.  For example, if your friend books a $2500 package, on your next trip booked with Travel On A Dream after they travel, you normally will receive either a $25 gift card or onboard credit.  With our double referral credit promotion, you will receive $50!

We also love groups!  As you may know, we have cruise groups going to the Bahamas this October, Southern Caribbean next October and Alaska in August, 2014.  There is still room for more so come join us!

Groups Bonus!

As another birthday gift to all of you, any new groups booked and deposited before July 20, 2013 of at least five rooms will receive a bonus.  Groups can be organized tours, airfare/hotel packages, cruises or Disney packages.  The group coordinator will receive double onboard credit for their cabin on the cruise or $100 gift card for packages.  Adventures by Disney packages may qualify for an additional bonus.  Get your group of friends or family together and contact us today!  Please note, this cannot be combined with the referral credits for the group leader, but your agent will give you the better of the two promotions.

Itinerary Planning Changes

Over the years we have handled a variety of travel plans for you.  We have done so in many cases without a service fee to you.  We want to continue to serve you without fees and will do so with most cruises, tours and Disney Destinations.

Effective June 20, 2013, Super Saver rates on Carnival and any stand-alone hotel and airfare reservations will be subject to a service fee.  For one night stays or airfare only reservations, the fee will be $50.  For longer stays or Carnival Super Saver rates, the fee will be $100 per room/cabin.  More detailed vacation planning may be subject to higher fees.  We are finding that we are working harder for the great rates and many of the travel suppliers are putting limitations on what they will pay us (with many of the lowest rates, they won’t pay at all).  These fees will allow us to continue to give you top quality service.

Thank you!

Thank you again for helping us achieve this milestone.  Without your support (and bookings!), we wouldn’t be here today.  We look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with all of you.

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