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Best Disney Specials for 2013: As Seen on Or So She Says

By Kimberly Fidler 01/23/2013

Get Away Today was featured in one of our favorite blogs, Or So She Says today. We shared highlights of the best Disney vacation deals for 2013 and I gave my personal recommendations for what you can't miss at each of the Disney destinations. You can read the entire article here, or head on over to "Or So She Says."

I personally love all things Disney. I’ve been to Walt Disney World, on three of the four Disney Cruise ships, and to the Disneyland Resort too many times to count! But, no matter how many Disney vacations I go on, I always seem to start thinking about my next Disney trip the moment I get home. No one does it like Disney!

In 2013 the Disney Parks and Disney Cruise Line are offering some fantastic deals, but they’re only for a limited time. I wanted to share a quick highlight of each of the specials that Get Away Today has and throw in a couple of my best tips or must-sees for each destination for anyone who’s planning a Disney vacation for travel this year.

Disneyland® Resort

Deal: Save $35 per 3-day and longer Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Tickets. That’s a huge savings for a family! You can combine the ticket special with any hotel special (like 3rd or 4th night free) to get the best deal and most savings.

Rules: You MUST travel by March 11, 2013. The discount tickets will be no longer valid if you try to enter the Parks on March 12, even if you haven’t used all of your days. The tickets MUST be purchased by February 27, 2013.

Must-sees/tips: If you haven’t been to the Disneyland Resort in a while, you’re in for a treat! Be sure to hit Cars Land which opened in Disney California Adventure Park last June. It’s amazing! Also, the new Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure Park is so much fun and has great live entertainment. My favorite show of all is World of Color over in the Paradise Bay and you need a FASTPASS Ticket to see it. You can grab one at the Grizzly River Run first thing in the morning, or get a free ticket with a World of Color dining option. Over in Disneyland, the Matterhorn Bobsleds and the Indiana Jones Adventure recently reopened after some major overhauls, so you’ll want to ride those for sure. Also, use the FASTPASS system for Indiana Jones, Space Mountain, and Splash Mountain and take advantage of your Magic Morning entry while there. If you stay at one of the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort, you actually get early admission every day you stay!

Walt Disney World® Resort

Deal: Save up to 30% on a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel and Ticket Package

Rules: You must travel February 18-March 23 or April 2-June 14, 2013 and there are some blackout dates. You must book by March 7 for the first set of travel dates and book by March 31 for the second set of travel dates. The discount rate varies depending on the hotel. Most moderate hotels are 25% off, the all-star resorts are 20% off, Disney’s Art of Animation is 15% off, deluxe resorts are 20% off, and deluxe villa resorts are 30% off.

Must-sees/tips: If it’s your first time to Disney World, you’ll want to make sure you allow plenty of time to experience everything. The entire resort covers 40 square miles and is spread out, so you’ll need to plan on giving yourself travel time between your hotel and the parks, waterparks, and shopping, dining, and entertainment districts. As a bonus, when you stay at a Disney World Resort Hotel, you have Magical Express Transportation at your hotel and can take advantage of Extra Magic Hours at select parks each day of your stay. As far as what to do at the parks, the all-new Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom just opened and looks amazing! The Storybook Circus, Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, Enchanted Tales with Belle, and the Be Our Guest Restaurant are some of the new additions to the Park. The Haunted Mansion and other attractions have also had new interactive enhancements in the queue to play while you wait. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, my favorite attractions are without doubt Expedition Everest and the Kilimanjaro Safaris. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, I love the Studio Backlot Tour and Toy Story Midway Mania! Be sure to grab a FASTPASS for Toy Story—they run out early! The Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is another one of my favorites, but it’s pretty intense so may be better suited for older kids. Epcot might be my favorite park because you feel like you’re traveling the globe at the World Showcase where you are immersed in 11 countries. Then, over in Future World, there are so many great attractions like Soarin’, Spaceship Earth, and Test Track. You can’t go wrong with a trip to Disney World.

Disney Cruise Line®

Deal: Kids Sail Free on select dates from Galveston and Miami!

Rules: There are limited dates and departure ports and you have to have 2 paying passengers per room. Most staterooms sleep up to four. Kids sail free from Galveston on most 4, 6, and 8-night Caribbean sailings from now through April 26. Kids sail free from Miami on most 4 and 5-night Caribbean and Bahamian cruises from now through February 25 and April 8 – April 27, 2013. Availability is limited.

Must-sees/tips: Because there are so many itineraries to choose from, I would be sure to pick one that includes a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. It is such a magical place, and it’s so nice that you truly have nothing to worry about when you’re there –it’s just like an expansion of the ship. It was the highlight of my Bahamian and Caribbean cruises. Also, when you take a Disney Cruise, you’ll select between the Main Dining and Second Dining options for dinner and have that schedule throughout your cruise. The Main Dining is assigned an earlier dinner time and the main show of the evening follows dinner. The Second Dining is assigned to a later dinner time after the show. If possible, choose the second dining option for dinner. Disney’s shows are so spectacular that you won’t want your kids to doze off during them and the second show time can seem late for tiny tykes. Plus, if you’re from the West Coast, the second dinner seating is about 6pm MST, so your kids might be used to that meal time already. If your kids get hungry before the show, you can always quickly grab a burger or chicken fingers from the pool deck. Then, your kids can join you for dinner after the show, or they may want to go back to the Kids Camps while you enjoy a leisurely dinner.

UPDATE: As of 1/31/13 Kids Sail Free is now SOLD OUT!

Overall, I can’t say enough about what a fantastic job Disney does in creating perfect vacation experiences. No matter how many times I’ve visited a Disney Park or been on a Disney Cruise, it is always spectacular and there is always something new. If you’re thinking of taking a Disney vacation this year, our agents would love to help you; whether you’re thinking Disneyland, Disney World, or even a Disney Cruise. Feel free to give them a call at 855-GET-AWAY.

Check out these other great blog articles from Or So She Says:

Get Away Today's Top California Vacation Ideas
13 Ways to Save Money on Vacation
Top 10 Things to Do in San Diego

Kimberly Fidler