HOW TO ACE DISNEY by Camilla Packard

When I begin to think about a Disney & Florida Holiday, what immediately springs to my mind is take me back home to the magic! Back to the Disney bubble where nothing else matters apart from when you are going to meet Mickey Mouse or where you are going to stand to watch Tinkerbelle fly over the castle… It really does hold a special place in my heart.

Since visiting the Sunshine state for the very first time as a young child, and staring up in adoration at the princesses, to visiting now with my partner for a ‘slightly’ more adult holiday, Florida never ceases to amaze me, and continues to draw me back year after year. Even though I have countless photographs of Cinderella’s castle, and have strolled down Main Street USA numerous times, I still get butterfly’s when I walk underneath the sign stating “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy” Disney really do know how to make you feel like a big kid again!

I have just returned from my 6th trip to Walt Disney World and already have trip number 7 lined up for April next year… the countdown is on. So, with this in mind, I would like to share my experiences and expertise with you.


Florida is the number one holiday destination in the World, and it’s not difficult to see why. From the world class theme parks and attractions to the huge array of shopping and dining on offer there truly is something for everyone. There is also a huge part of Florida which many tourists (even the ones who return year on year) have yet to discover. Despite what you may think, there is more to Florida than the bustling theme parks of Orlando. The state also offers award winning beaches, beautiful wildlife and year round sunshine. I would like to think that after my many visits, I am a bit of a ‘dab hand’ in planning the perfect Florida Holiday, and have certainly been dubbed the Disney Queen by my colleagues, but trust me, planning the perfect trip takes hours. Let’s face it, in the world we live in now, technology does play a huge role, and many people feel that they are able to book their Florida holiday online themselves. Well, this is true but the booking element is the easy part. It is the hours of planning and organising that follows which can make or break your experience. Trust me, if you haven’t been before, you wouldn’t know where to start.

Here at Travel Stop, my role has evolved into our Disney expert, and I can help you arrange your once in a lifetime trip, (unless you love it so much you decide to go back a further 6 times!). I can share my knowledge and my hints and tips with you so that you can fully enjoy everything on offer at the “Most Magical Place on Earth”. I can put together tailored day by day plans to fit around your family’s requirements and your budget.


From setting up your “My Disney Experience Account” online, to checking the crowd calendars and working out which park to visit which day, I can help with it all. Dining, for me anyway, is a huge part of my holiday, and many of the restaurants at Walt Disney World get booked up 180 days in advance, as soon as the Dining Window opens. I bet you didn’t know that you can eat inside the castle at ‘Cinderella’s Royal Table’, or that after you have finished your dinner at the California Grill, you can stand outside in the warm Florida heat overlooking the Magic Kingdom and watch the Happily Ever After Fireworks show as the music is piped in. When you book your trip with me, we will have already discussed which restaurants you want to visit and I will have a diary note made to get these reservations made as soon as they are available.

Fastpasses as well, can be a tricky element to any Walt Disney World holiday. You have to know which park you are visiting on which day before any fast pass bookings can be made. What would happen if you wasted one of your precious 3 fast passes on it’s a small world, when really you should have booked it for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train? Believe me, you don’t want to find out.

Did you know that if you add in 1 night at one of the preferred Universal Hotel’s you will get unlimited express passes for your whole party, on both the day you check in and the day you check out? This is totally worth doing, as these express passes cost about $99 per person per day when purchased locally! Just another tip I have learnt through my own experiences.

I have now stayed at 2 of the premier Universal Hotels and am visiting the final one when I go in April. I can advise on which would suit you best. If you are planning a trip to Florida, then come in and have a chat with me, I would be more than happy to help you plan the most unforgettable holiday. Clients who have returned from trips which I have organised have said that my tips, knowledge and expertise is invaluable, and they couldn’t have done it without me… it’s good to be appreciated.