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  1. Here is the trip description and registration link: https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/washington-dc/ Is the price quoted per family, or per person? The prices are per family, not per person. Are spots still available? We're at our max, but I'm accepting waitlist registrations, please submit a registration form as you normally would. You'll have to pay a $250 per-family deposit to confirm your spots on the waiting list. (I'll send you an email with payment information after I receive your registration.) NOTE: It’s difficult to determine where families are on the waiting list. Not everyone on the list will follow through if offered spots, so even if there are 10 (or 100) families ahead of you, you may actually be the next family on the list. If spots come available, your deposit will be applied to your total. If spots don't come available by July 31, or I have to cancel the trip due to COVID-19, your deposit will be refunded in full. If you decide not to go after being offered spots, your deposit will not be refunded. Do you do "photo stops" or "fly-bys" on this tour? I plan to go inside (or get close to) each site listed in the description. For example, we'll go inside the White House, not just do a group photo from the outside, and we won't view the monuments from a bus window, but get up close and personal. I prefer to experience the places we visit rather than just crossing them off a list. This is contingent on getting government approval for tours (it's rare that we don't, and it's usually due to government shutdowns). If you're comparing different itineraries with long lists of sites you'll visit, ask which ones are photo stops and fly-bys, and which ones you'll actually spend time at and go inside. Are our tours guided? Some are guided, some are self-guided. I live in the area - can I join your group for the day? We have a limited number of tour spots, so they're reserved for my group. Can we opt out of the hotel, specific tours, etc.? This is a package deal, with required minimums to qualify for group discounts. You won't be able to opt out of the hotel. You can opt out of any tour on the itinerary, but you won't receive a refund for any missed tours/events. What hotel will we be using? What is our exact itinerary? I'll share hotel information, itinerary, etc., closer to our travel dates in case there are unexpected changes. All of the hotels I partner with are mid-range (for price and value), highly rated, family-friendly, in good areas of town, and near restaurants. Why do I need a cellphone for this trip? I use a mass text messaging system during the trip, so a cellphone with unlimited texting and a portable charger/power bank you can carry with you is required. I have a family of 5, 6, 7, (etc.) - can we all share one room? I have a baby, toddler, preschooler - do they count in the price? The hotel allows a maximum of four people per room due to fire codes. If you have more in your party, you'll have to get two (or more) rooms. This trip is limited to ages 5 and up. Should people with mobility issues go on this trip? Will we have buses? We won't have buses this time. Due to the heavy walking associated with this trip and logistical issues with using public transportation, I don't recommend this trip for anyone with mobility problems. What happens if I get sick, have health issues, or a death in the family? If it's before June 1, 2020 and I have a waiting list, I'll try to replace your family. If I can replace all of your spots, I'll refund everything but the $250-per-person cancellation fee. If it's June 1, 2020 or later, I won't be able to refund anything. Travel insurance is recommended. I have a family of 5 or 6 or 7 or 8. What's the price? Family of 5: combine the price for a family of 2 and a family of 3. Family of 6: double the price for a family of 3. Family of 7: combine the price for a party of 3 and a party of 4. Family of 8: double the price for a party of 4. And so on... Have any other questions? Please reply in this thread and I'll answer and add it to the list!
  2. Dianna

    England

    until
    Join us in England and explore the infamous Tower of London, cruise down the Thames, ride the London Eye, marvel at prehistoric Stonehenge, indulge in an afternoon tea, explore historic Bath, and more! https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/england/
  3. Dianna

    England 2020 - FAQs

    Here is the trip description and registration link: http://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/england/ Is the price quoted per family, or per person? The prices are per family, not per person. Are spots still available for this trip? How do I get on the waiting list? I'll post updates on my website (link above) regarding the status of the trip. If it's full and I'm still accepting waitlist registrations, please submit a registration form as you normally would. A $500 per-person non-refundable deposit will be required to confirm your spots on the waiting list. (I'll send you an email with payment information after I receive your registration.) If spots come available, your deposit will be applied to your total. If spots don't come available by May 30, 2020, your deposit will be refunded in full. If you decide not to go after being offered spots, your deposit will not be refunded. So, in other words, make sure you really do want to go before registering for my waiting list. Wow! That's a lot of money to send to someone I don't know. Can you provide references? You're smart to hesitate before sending money to anyone you don't know, especially someone you "met" on the internet. I could provide references from families who've traveled with me since I began doing these trips in 2006, but the references could be faked. Instead, read my About page to find out more about our organization, then do a search of “Carolina Homeschooler trips" and "Traveling Homeschooler trips." If I’ve cheated anyone, it’ll be all over the internet. My “Traveling Homeschoolers” name is newer, created in 2016 to differentiate between my local member trips, and trips that are open to everyone, so search both names. You can also get a sense of who we are if you follow/read my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/travelinghomeschoolers/ Please don’t register for any of my trips or send me money until you trust me. It's just too stressful! Can we opt out of the hotel, specific tours, etc.? This is a package deal, so you won't receive a refund if you opt out of the hotel or any tour on this trip. What hotel will we be using? What type of hotel is it? Until our itinerary is finalized something may change, so I wait to share hotel information, itinerary, etc., until closer to our travel dates. All of the hotels I partner with are mid-range (for price and value), highly-rated, family-friendly, in good areas of town, and near restaurants. Does your website list everything we're doing? Not all the sites on my website have confirmed rescheduling for September (due to COVID-19). The itinerary is subject to change, regardless. How is this trip different from your other international trips? I'm not partnering with an international company for this trip, so I have complete control over hotels, tour guides, site visits/timing, etc. We'll use public transportation and walk more than on other international trips - it's not as "escorted." I have a family of 7, 8, 9, etc., and have very young children. Can we all share one room? The hotel I use allows up to 4 per room (two adults and two children) and has double beds. If you have more than that, you'll have to get another room. This trip is limited to ages 9 and up. (The hotel may have a limited number of rooms for larger families.) I have a baby, toddler, preschooler - do they count in the price? This trip is limited to ages 9 and up, and everyone counts in the price. Should people with mobility issues go on this trip. Due to the heavy walking associated with this trip and logistical issues with using the tube/underground, I don't recommend this trip for anyone with mobility problems. I have a family of 7 or 8 or more. What's the price? If you have a larger family, combine the price for a party of 3 and a party of 4 if you have 7, or double the price for a party of 4 if you have 8, etc. Have any other questions? Please reply in this thread and I'll answer and add it to the list!
  4. Can Disney accommodate allergies and food issues at your special events? Special dietary requests? Disney has done a great job accommodating any food allergies we've thrown at them. They can usually accommodate kosher food requests, but it'll be at an extra cost. In order to make sure your allergies, issues, requests can be accommodated, you must list them on your registration form. I'll let you know if Disney can't accommodate them before you pay. Why is there an extra fee for Slinky Dog during the Toy Story Breakfast? The $19 fee for Slinky Dog is an attraction fee charged by Disney for newer rides. We were charged a fee for Flight of Passage last year during the Pandora Breakfast, too. I have no control over this. I'm sorry. I'm staying at a Disney Resort and want to do your private breakfasts. Does Disney transportation run that early? Disney can't guarantee transportation that early, and most likely won't provide it. Ask Guest Services at your hotel what your transportation options are that day so you'll know whether you have to arrange your own (Uber, Lyft, taxi, etc.). Also, Disney's "Minnie Van" service has a partnership with Lyft. See more info here: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/minnie-van-service/ Why is there a $20 extra fee for the Visual Arts programs? Do parents have to pay, too? It's to cover materials, and everyone who attends has to pay, including parents. (They'll want to participate... trust me!) The Disney website says 4-year-old children can attend Caring for Giants and Behind the Seeds! Why do you say age 5 and up? The public programs and our private programs are different. The minimum age for us is 5 years old. No exceptions. Even my very adorable and sweet 4-year-old granddaughter won't be able to do the tours. Why is the minimum age for Up Close with Rhinos set at 12 years old? We have very few spots available for this, so we're offering it as a follow-up program for older students who attended last year. Make sure you choose a second program in case we don't have enough spots for your family. Can my 4-year-old, 3-year-old, 18-month-old (or other under-5-year-old) attend the educational tour with us? No, they'll need to stay behind with another adult in your party. No exceptions, for any reason. I'm sorry. Can grandma attend the educational program with my student so I can stay with the rest of the children? Yep! Grandparents are welcome to chaperone in place of one or both parents. I'm going with my children, ages 12, 9, 7, and 4. Will I need to bring adult to watch the 4-year-old? Yes - you have to attend the program with your older children, so someone will need to stay behind with your 4-year-old. In cases like this, grandparents come in very handy. Especially if they'll pay for some or all of the trip. Just saying. Can we choose more than one educational program? We're anticipating a very large group this year, so we're limiting it to one program per student [and accompanying parent(s)]. Extra adults (grandparents, older siblings, aunts, uncles, whatever) won't be able to attend any of our educational programs. (But can attend our special events.) Why aren't you offering the Pandora Breakfast again this year? We're not offering the Pandora Breakfast this year because we'll be able to enjoy the Flight of Passage attraction during our private group event. When and where is our private group event? Who can attend? Is there an extra fee? Do I need a ticket? What else do I need to know? Animal Kingdom Tuesday, November 17, 9:00 pm to midnight Included in our tickets is an amazing private group party with snacks, music, and exclusive access to several attractions, including Disney's Avatar Flight of Passage! A park ticket is not needed unless you want to enter the park before it closes. You must provide your own transportation (car, Uber, Lyft, taxi, etc.) to and from this event. Disney transportation won't be available, even if you're staying at a Disney resort. Please opt out of the event if you're not able to provide your own transportation. Since the event ends so late, I won't plan anything for Wednesday morning, so families can sleep in if they want to. Be sure to let your younger kids take a nap before the event - they won't want to miss it! Will you run out of spots for any of the educational programs, special events, or private group event? We'll definitely run out of spots for the Up Close with Rhinos tour, and very likely for the Caring for Giants tour, too, because both have limited capacity. We have a lot more spots for Behind the Seeds and Visual Arts, and will probably be able to add more spots, if needed. If we run out of those, we'll figure something out. We have limited capacity for our breakfasts, Epcot dessert party, and Fantasmic dinner party, but we usually don't run out right away, so don't stress. We won't run out of spots for the private group event at Animal Kingdom. If we exceed capacity, we'll figure something out. Everyone in our group will be able to attend. I don't have the money to register right now. Will you hold spots for me? We won't run out of tickets, so don't worry about that. We may run out of spots at your first-choice educational program, and special events, so register as soon as you have the money to increase your chances of getting what you want. I can't hold spots for anyone for any event. Can I register for tickets now and add special events later, when I have the money? Yes - I can add events until my final registration deadline, if spots are still available. Is it possible for only part of our party to do a special event? Yes - just make it clear who's doing what in the comments section of your registration form. When do you usually run out of spots for (insert event here)? We don't usually run out of spots for anything until later in the year - around summer. But this year may be different and I'm scared to guess and be wrong and negatively impact your trip and then people will hate me and I'll cry. And I'm not a pretty crier. So, I'll try very hard to update my website every day if I'm getting close to running out of spots for anything. So check every day or couple of days and all will be well. Disney Trip Description & Registration Link: https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/disney-world/
  5. Dianna

    Universal

    until
    Join us at Universal Orlando and enjoy Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios, with optional add-ons to Volcano Bay and a backstage tour! https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/universal/
  6. Dianna

    Disney World

    until
    Join us at Disney World and enjoy all four theme parks, educational programs and tours, special group meals, an exclusive group party, and more! https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/disney-world/
  7. Kerri

    Anyone need a roommate?

    Disney 2020 - Our family fills two rooms at Pop Century and now Grandma wants to come too. She is willing to stay by herself in a third room but we thought we would ask if anyone was in a similar situation and would like to share a room and help with the cost. Thanks!
  8. Dianna

    Universal 2020 - FAQs

    What type of tickets will you offer? How much are they? We're offering two types of park-to-park (hopper) tickets: 2-day, 2-park ($166) 3-day, 3-park ($214) Do the tickets include tax, etc.? The price includes everything, except parking (currently $26 per car). There are no hidden charges. Are the tickets discounted? You're saving $148+ per 2-day, 2-park ticket, and $180+ per 3-day, 3-park ticket that includes Volcano Bay, comparing it to the online discounted price as of 12/8/19. (Your savings may be more if they increase prices during the year.) What dates are our tickets valid for? Tickets will be valid November 1-30. However, all park days must be used within 7 days. After you use it the first day, you'll have 6 days left to use the rest of the ticket. They'll expire after that and unused days won't be refunded. Do I have to register for the Disney trip, too? No, they're two separate trips, so you can register for one and not the other. I want to do Disney World *and* Universal. Do I need to register and pay for them at the same time? No, you can register for one now, and wait until later for the other one. Will you offer the behind-the-scenes tour (educational program) again? Yes, we're offering Universal's excellent Behind the Adventure tour this year. The cost is $27 per person. (NOTE: Attendance at an educational program isn't required to get the discounted Universal tickets.) Will you get discounts at a Universal hotel for our group? In order to streamline, I won't get group rooms at Universal in 2020. If we stay onsite at a Universal Resort, will we be able to get the Early Admission perks with these tickets? Early Admission is tied to your resort stay, so you'll get Early Admission through your hotel room key, even with our tickets. Enjoy! Universal Trip Description & Registration Link: https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/universal/ Have more questions? Post them in this thread and I'll answer as soon as possible.
  9. How much of a discount will I get? You'll save $156+, per person, ages 10 and up, based on the current Disney World gate ticket price beginning on November 14, 2020. (Disney has date-based pricing now, so start date matters.) Our tickets also include an educational program and our private group event, so our discount is actually more than this. Disney usually increases their regular ticket prices at least once a year, so our discount may be more. (The price for our group tickets won't change.) How do we qualify for these tickets? Students (and at least one parent) must participate in one of our educational programs: Caring for Giants - Monday, November 16, ages 5 and up Caring for Giants - Friday, November 20, ages 5 and up Up Close with Rhinos - Monday, November 16, ages 12 and up Up Close with Rhinos - Friday, November 20, ages 12 and up Disney Visual Arts Programs - Tuesday, November 17, ages 10 and up, $20 materials fee Behind the Seeds - Thursday, November 19, ages 5 and up Your travel dates must include one of our programs, and you must have a day available on your ticket to enter one of the theme parks on the date of your program. Our educational programs are not "drop-off events," regardless of age. NOTE: Your children don't have to choose the same educational program. However, one parent must attend with students, while another parent/adult in your party stays behind with students who'll be attending a different program. If you're the only adult in your party, all of you must attend the same program together. Do we have to stay together as a group? You must attend the group educational program you chose when you registered. Our private group event is optional, but awesome. We also have optional special events for our group (breakfasts, dinner party, dessert party). Everything else is on your own. Do you ever run out of tickets? Should I register early? We never run out of tickets, but we can (and probably will) run out of spots for special events and group rooms. I'm expecting a big group this fall, so if you register early, you'll have a better chance of getting special meals/events and rooms. Will everyone in my party get the discounted tickets? Everyone in your party will get the discounted tickets, and all students (and at least one parent) must attend an educational program, whether they're homeschooling or not. Each family unit must register and pay separately (grandparents, single aunt, adult brother can be included on your registration). Ask others in your traveling party (sister's family, best friends and their children, etc.), to register separately and note that they're your guests in the comments section of their registration. If I visit Magic Kingdom and Epcot on the same day, does that count as 2 park days? No - you have hopper tickets and can visit 1, 2, 3 or all 4 parks in one day, it still only counts as one park day. This is very helpful if you want to spend the day at Animal Kingdom, then hop over to Epcot for our Dessert Party. Or whatever. Can I skip a day at the parks? Yes - park days don't have to be consecutive. You can go one day, skip the next, go the next, and the next, then skip the next two. Just stay within the date range of the tickets and make sure you save a day to attend the mandatory educational program. Can we use MagicBands with these tickets? Yes, you'll be able to add our tickets to your MagicBands via the My Disney Experience website. (I'll email more information about that when I mail your tickets.) Do we get MagicBands with these tickets? Only families staying at a Disney Resort get the MagicBands (whether they're with our group or not). MagicBands are a perk of staying at a Disney Resort. If you're not staying at a Disney Resort, you won't get MagicBands, but can buy them once you arrive (if you want them - they're not mandatory). Why aren't you offering Plus/Premium tickets this year (the ones with a water park and mini-golf courses added)? In order to streamline, I'm offering only the 6-day hopper tickets. It has the biggest discount and is the best value for our group. Few families wanted Plus/Premium tickets in the past, and with only one water park open and cooler temperatures in November, the extra cost isn't worth it. Do I still need to get your tickets if I have an annual pass to Disney, a military ticket, or if I'm a Disney cast member? Disney doesn't allow annual passholders, military ticket holders, and cast members to participate in our educational programs or group events without purchasing our tickets. Is the ticket price per day, or per ticket? The price is per ticket, not per day. When will I receive my tickets? If you register by the FastPass Registration Deadline, you'll receive your tickets in time to reserve your FastPass times 60 days in advance of our group arrival date (if you’re staying at a Disney resort) and 30 days in advance of our group arrival date (if you’re staying off Disney property). If you register by the Final Registration Deadline, you’ll get your tickets by two weeks prior to our group travel dates. Regardless of when you register, you won't receive your tickets right away. This is normal and your money is safe with me. If you don't trust me with your money, please don't register for this trip. (Here's more information about our group and how to determine whether you can trust me with your money.) Your tickets will be mailed to you via Priority, tracked, signature-required mail. Since we first started coordinating this trip in 2006, we never lost tickets in the mail until 2017 (two families, hurricanes impacted delivery) and 2019 (one family, clueless post office). In each case we were able to work around the issues. So no worries; no stress! What dates are the tickets good for? Tickets will be valid from November 7 to November 28, but you must attend your chosen educational program to qualify for our tickets. They'll expire after November 28, even if you haven’t used all 6 days. NOTE: Don't believe travel agents or even Disney cast members who tell you differently. They're not familiar with our tickets and will insist that they work the way regular Disney tickets do. (They don't.) You can arrive early or stay later than our group dates of November 14-21, but you must attend the educational program that week so make sure you save one day on your ticket to attend. Can I get more (or get fewer) days on our tickets? Disney doesn't offer our group discounted tickets above 6 days, and you can't add them to your tickets while you're at Disney. However, even if you plan to stay at Disney more than 6 days, our tickets will very likely be all you'll need. There are other places to spend your time that don't require a ticket: Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) has a lot of shops, restaurants, and activities, as does the BoardWalk area. Families are often surprised at how much they enjoy Disney Springs, the BoardWalk, and just taking a break from the parks. You can't get fewer days because I'm only offering 6-day tickets this year. They're the best value for the majority of my travelers. If you're staying fewer days, use the extra day(s) to see the fireworks at Magic Kingdom on the day you arrive, or catch one more ride on your favorite attraction the morning of your departure day. Having the extra day really helps families feel they have more flexibility in their schedule, and a less stressful itinerary. Can I add park days to these tickets while I'm at Disney? You can't add days to these tickets. Are you offering Universal tickets in November? Yes - here's the link: https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/universal/ Disney Trip Description & Registration Link: https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/disney-world/
  10. What are the dates for the 2020 trip? Our group dates are November 14-21. When is the registration deadline? Do I have to pay by July 31 or August 31? Does my payment have to be postmarked by July 31 or August 31? If you want to reserve FastPasses in advance (60 days in advance for Disney resort guests; 30 days in advance for off-property guests), you must register by July 31. (Your payment will be due in my mailbox within 7 days of my email confirmation.) If you don't want or need to reserve your FastPasses in advance, you must register by August 31. (Your payment will be due in my mailbox within 7 days of my email confirmation.) Regardless of the registration deadline you choose, I must receive your payment within 7 days of my confirmation email to you. Do you ever run out of tickets? Should I register early? We never run out of tickets, but we can (and often do) run out of spots for special events, group rooms, and your choice of educational program/tour. If you register early, you'll have a better chance of getting the special meals, events, educational program/tour, and room preferences you want. Do I have to pay in full upfront? Do you have a payment plan? Full payment for tickets and optional group events is due within 7 days of the day I confirm your registration. Please wait until you're able to pay in full before you register. We won't run out of tickets, but may run out of spots at our optional group events, your first choice educational program/tour, and rooms at our group resorts, so register as soon as you you're able to pay for the best chance of getting everything you want, and for getting a discount room at one of our resorts. If you stay at a group resort, you'll pay Disney for that separately and can make payments. (You won't be able to reserve a room until you've registered and paid for your tickets. Any room reservations made before making payment will be cancelled.) What payment methods do you accept? I accept: Personal checks Bank checks BillPay checks (not PopMoney) through your bank Zelle online transfers through your bank I can't accept: Money orders (they're getting more difficult to deposit electronically, and if they get lost in the mail, you'll have a difficult time getting a refund for them) Credit cards PayPal Disney gift cards for tickets or special events, but Disney accepts them (and reward points) for group rooms. You'll have to reserve your room with a credit card, and it will be charged one night's deposit. However, when you arrive, you can apply your rewards points/gift cards to pay for the stay and get a refund on your original credit card for the first night. Other payment methods not listed above If something happens and I have to cancel, can I get a refund? Starting with this trip (fall 2020), Disney will not give refunds for tickets or special events. They aren't transferable, either. Please be sure you want to go before registering and paying. Can I call Disney directly and reserve all of this? You'll have to get your tickets and reserve optional group events through me. If you want to stay at one of our group resorts, I'll give you our group contact information to reserve your room after I receive your payment. (Any rooms reserved in our block before I receive payment will be cancelled without notice.) Can you give me an estimate? I can't give you an estimate because each family wants different things. There are no hidden charges - what you see is what you get. All prices include tax. The ticket price for 2020 is $399 (per person, ages 3 and up). One educational program/tour and the Group Event are included in your ticket. So start with the price of your ticket, then add: Optional Extras Living Seas & Soarin’ Breakfast - add $35 per person, ages 3 and up Epcot Dessert Party - add $37 per person, ages 3 and up Toy Story Breakfast - add $35 per person (plus $19** per person if choosing Slinky Dog), ages 3 and up Fantasmic Dinner Party - add $61 per person, ages 3 and up If you choose one of the Visual Arts educational programs, there's an extra $20 per person (parents, too!) materials fee. **The $19 fee for Slinky Dog is an attraction fee charged by Disney for newer rides. I have no control over this. I'm sorry. There's no extra charge for Toy Story Mania because it's older. But it's still wicked fun!) NOTE: We're not offering the Pandora Breakfast this year because we'll be able to enjoy the Flight of Passage attraction during our private group event. Optional Group Hotels (you'll pay for this separately to Disney after I give you the group code) Pop Century (standard) – $110.25 per night All-Star Sports (standard) - $111.23 per night Port Orleans Riverside (standard) -- $203.51 per night Port Orleans Riverside (5-person) – $261.23 per night Why does choosing Slinky Dog for the Toy Story Breakfast cost $19 more? Disney charges an extra fee for newer attractions (they charged us extra for Flight of Passage last fall, too). Slinky Dog is a newer attraction, so it has that extra fee. Soarin' and Toy Story Mania are older attractions and don't require an extra fee. How long have you been doing this trip? Since 2006 through our Carolina Homeschooler website, and then moved it to our Traveling Homeschoolers website in 2016. We created our Traveling Homeschoolers website to feature our national and international trips that are open to everyone. Do you do this every year? We've done this trip every year since 2006. Will you do a Universal trip this year, too? Yes - it's in November, too. Here's the link: https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/universal/ Is November a good time to go? Fall is my favorite time to go to Disney. We'll have cooler weather (usually averaging in the 70s), lower humidity, and lower chance of rain than in the summer. There's a Christmas/holiday feel, with Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival going on. The first two days of our November 2019 trip were cold (50s), but that wasn't normal. Starting on Monday, the weather was warmer (cool at night) and sunny - no rain the entire week. It's getting harder and harder to predict crowd levels at Disney now due to special promotions and the new date-based pricing. Crowd-level calendars don't always agree since there've been so many changes, but crowd levels are low around this time of year. (But "low" is relative - low crowds now don't mean the same thing as it did 3 or 5 years ago.) But yeah... it's still my favorite time to go! Disney Trip Description & Registration Link: https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/disney-world/
  11. Hotel Information & Advice 2020 Group Resorts and Rates Pop Century (standard) – $110.25 per night Port Orleans Riverside (standard) – $203.51 per night Port Orleans Riverside (5-person*) – $261.23 per night *5-person rooms have a small murphy bed (5 feet x 3 feet) that can accommodate a 5th person under the age of 9. Price includes taxes and fees, but not resort parking. Our discounted rate will be available from Saturday, departing the next Saturday. If you want more nights before and after, you can reserve them when you reserve your group room, but they'll be at the non-discounted rate. You don't have to stay with the group - you can stay wherever you want. Notes about staying at our group Disney resorts (or another non-group Disney resort) You'll be able to reserve your FastPass times 60 days in advance. Buses (and the new Skyliner - if you stay at Pop Century) will transport you around Disney property relatively frequently throughout the day. Pop Century is a Skyliner Resort. And wow - what a game-changer! It's faster and more convenient than the buses, monorail, boats, etc., for Epcot (International Gateway entrance), Hollywood Studios, and the BoardWalk area. Cast members told us that it's been so popular that Disney is planning to expand it to the other Disney resorts and parks. Port Orleans Riverside is not a Skyliner Resort, but does have boat transportation to Disney Springs in addition to bus transportation to the parks, etc. No parking fee at the parks (saving you $25 per day). However, Disney is now charging for overnight parking at the resorts ($15 per night at Pop Century, $20 per night at Port Orleans Riverside), our group is no longer exempt from this fee. You're right in the middle of the magic, and Disney does "magic" very well. You're able to visit Disney's parks during extra magic hours. You'll have free Magical Express transportation to and from the Orlando airport. You'll get the MagicBands (if that's important to you). Value resorts (Pop Century) are louder in noise level and theming than a moderate resort, less spread out, and rooms are smaller (but beds are queen size now, one is murphy-style and can be stored during the day). Moderate resorts (Port Orleans Riverside) are quieter in noise level and theming than a value resort, more spread out, and rooms are a little bigger than the value resorts (two queen beds). Notes about staying off-property You won't be able to reserve your FastPass times until 30 days in advance. Depending on hotel, an off-property hotel will probably be less expensive for what you get. Depending on hotel, they may have bigger rooms than Disney resorts for the price, and many can accommodate more than four less expensively. Some hotels offer free breakfast (of varying quality). They're not usually themed as well as Disney's resorts, and it may not feel like you're part of the "magic." They may not have the same level of customer service as Disney resorts (Disney is hard to match in that respect). You most likely won't be able to participate in Disney's Extra Magic Hours. You may feel disconnected from the group. If driving to the parks, parking will be an extra $25 per day. If you don't have a car, transportation to the Disney parks won't be as convenient. Even if your hotel offers a shuttle, it may go only to the parks (not to Disney Springs or other Disney areas). And it'll almost certainly be less frequent, with longer wait times than Disney transportation. To make it worse, hotels often share shuttles, making many lengthy stops along the way. Many travelers end up unexpectedly renting a car (or getting Ubers or Lyfts) due to the inconvenience and hassle, so factor the price of a rental car or Uber/Lyft rides into your budget, even if you think you won't need it. My advice... Choose the accommodations that best fit your needs and budget - a Disney resort, off-site hotel, timeshare, rental, campground, whatever. If you won't have your own car and don't want to rent one or arrange for Uber/Lyft rides, a Disney resort will most likely be your best bet. The extra money you'll spend will be offset by no parking fees (currently $25 per day at the parks), and much better transportation options (more convenient, frequent, and less time-consuming than off-site hotels, regardless of what the off-site hotels advertise - trust me on this). If you want to be in the middle of the magic, choose a Disney resort (Disney does "magic" very well). If you have a camper, consider Disney’s Fort Wilderness campground (but use your own transportation to get to the parks - the Fort Wilderness bus system is slow and cumbersome). If you're on a tight budget, will have a car, and don't mind being more removed from the magic, choose an off-site hotel near Disney property. Look for one that offers a good free breakfast at the hotel (saves money and time). If you have a camper, consider an off-site campground. Don't buy into the myth that you'll spend all your time traveling to parks if you don't stay at a Disney resort. The Disney parks, resorts, water parks, and Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) are spread out over miles. Even guests who stay at Disney's resorts have to drive to get to the different areas (or use Disney transportation). Many off-site hotels are located near Disney property (or even inside Disney property in the Disney Springs area), so you probably won't have to drive much farther than we will. Choose whatever is best for your family's budget and preferences. You'll have a great time regardless of where you stay. Disney Resort Parking Fee & Parks Parking Fee Disney recently started charging for parking at their resorts. Beginning in 2020, they won't be able to waive this fee for us. Disney increased their parking fee at the parks to $25 per day. If you're not staying at a Disney Resort, you'll have to pay this fee. If you hop parks, the fee covers all the parks you visit that day. If you stay at a Disney Resort, this fee is waived. Disney Springs Area Resorts The seven Disney Springs Area Resorts will have the 60-day advance FastPass reservation benefit, and the Extra Magic Hours benefit through December 31, 2020. (But guests have to pay for parking at the parks.) How do I reserve our room at one of the group resorts? I'll send you the information you need to reserve rooms at either of our group resorts after I receive your payment. You won't be able to reserve your room until after I receive your payment. Rooms are first-paid, first-served. Any reservations made before you pay for your tickets will be cancelled. Am I required to reserve a room at one of the group resorts or stay on Disney property to get your tickets? No, you can stay wherever you want. Can my family of 6 stay in one room at one of the group resorts instead of getting two rooms? Probably not, but talk to them when you call to reserve. Can we stay extra nights? Our group stay is November 14-21, so our group block is during that time. You can reserve extra nights before and after, but they'll be at the non-discounted rate. Disney Trip Description & Registration Link: https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/disney-world/
  12. Here is the trip description and registration link: https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/pioneer-campout/ Are spots still available for this trip? I'll post updates on my website (link above) regarding the status of the trip. I live in the area - can I join your group for the day? The ranch won't allow non-campers to enter the wagon area. I feel uncomfortable sharing a wagon with people I don't know. What can I do? A lot of families travel with friends and request to share a wagon, and others opt for a private wagon (if we have any empty wagons left). Others bring tents (and pay a cheaper price). Do whatever you feel comfortable with. I have a baby, toddler, preschooler - do they count in the price? Children ages 2 and under can go free with proof of age. Have any other questions? Please reply in this thread and I'll answer and add it to the list!
  13. I'm flying into Orlando International Airport. How do I get to Disney World? If you're staying at a Disney Resort, you can use Disney's Magical Express. There's no extra cost. Here's the link: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/magical-express/ If you're not staying at a Disney Resort, or prefer different options, here are alternatives: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/faq/transportation/airport-transportation/ I'm staying at a Disney Resort, but won't have a car at Disney. How do I get around during the day? Disney provides transportation to the parks, water parks, and Disney Springs (used to be called Downtown Disney) during times they're open to the public. Here's more information: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/resort-transportation/ I'm staying at a Disney Resort and want to do your private breakfasts. Does Disney transportation run that early? Disney can't guarantee transportation that early, and most likely won't provide it. Ask Guest Services at your hotel what your transportation options are that day so you'll know whether you have to arrange your own (Uber, Lyft, taxi, etc.). Also, Disney's "Minnie Van" service has a partnership with Lyft. See more info here: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/minnie-van-service/ Disney Trip Description & Registration Link: https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/disney-world/ Have more questions about transportation? Post them here and I'll add them to our FAQs.
  14. What about Disney's Dining Plan? Disney doesn't allow multiple discounts, so we can't add the free dining plan to our room block. However, free dining isn't really free. Keep reading this section for more information. The dining plan (whether free or not) isn't as much of a bargain as it used to be. You currently have to pay for a 4-day park ticket that includes either Park Hopper or the Park Hopper Plus option to qualify for the free dining. Some resorts are excluded from this offer and certain room categories may not be available. Also, there fewer dates of the free dining plan available now. You have to stay at a Disney deluxe resort to get the regular dining plan. You can stay at a value or moderate resort and get the quick service plan and then upgrade to the regular dining plan for an extra fee per person, per day, but that just increases the cost of the "free" dining. Also keep in mind that the dining plan (whether free or not) doesn’t include gratuity. Meals at Disney restaurants are very expensive, so their gratuity is also very expensive. (In some cases, the gratuity we paid for a Disney "free" meal was the same or more than what we paid for an entire meal for our family off-property.) We did the math and found that we could get our discounted tickets, pay out of pocket for our dining, and come out with a better deal. We've done this for the past 10 or so years (after doing the free dining for 5 or so years prior to that), and find that we actually eat better, and enjoy our meals more. We park in the off-property restaurant's parking lot and walk right in, with no reservations, and are usually seated immediately. The atmosphere is always better - quieter, less hectic, and more leisurely paced. And the food has been better than comparable Disney restaurants. (In our opinion, the quality and portion sizes at Disney's restaurants have decreased over the years due to the free dining.) Every family is different, though, so I encourage you to check out your options and do the math for your own family and circumstances. The dining plan has changed so much now that it may not be the best deal for your family, either. Can we pay for the Dining Plan if we stay at one of the group resorts? You won't be able to buy a dining plan if you reserve one of our discounted group rooms. If we add the dining plan to our group block, it locks us into the current rate. If Disney offers a room discount that results in a lower price than our group rates, we can ask them to reduce our group rate (if we don't have the dining plan attached). Also, if we add the dining plan, each adult in the room would have to pay more, even if they don't want to add on the dining plan. If we don't add the dining plan, we can have more than 2 adults in a room without paying more. Disney Trip Description & Registration Link: https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/disney-world/
  15. Registration will open at noon EST on Friday, January 17. 🙌
  16. Join us in England and explore the infamous Tower of London, cruise down the Thames, ride the London Eye, marvel at prehistoric Stonehenge, indulge in an afternoon tea, explore historic Bath, and more! https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/england/
  17. Are these FastPass tickets? Will I receive my tickets in time to make advanced FastPass reservations? FastPass tickets don't exist. FastPasses are when you reserve times for specific rides, attractions, or events in advance. To find out more about Disney's FastPass system and how it works, visit Disney’s FastPass Planning and FastPass FAQs websites. If you register by the FastPass Registration Deadline, you'll receive your tickets in time to reserve FastPasses 60 days in advance of our group trip dates (if you stay at a Disney Resort) or 30 days in advance (if you stay off-property). You can still make FastPass reservations after those dates, and even while you're there. Please read the links above to learn how it works. If I visit Magic Kingdom and Epcot on the same day, does that count as 2 park days? No - you have hopper tickets and can visit 1, 2, 3 or all 4 parks in one day, it still only counts as one park day. This is very helpful if you want to spend the day at Animal Kingdom, then hop over to Epcot for our Dessert Party. Or whatever. Can I skip a day at the parks? Yes - park days don't have to be consecutive. You can go one day, skip the next, go the next, and the next, then skip the next two. Just stay within the date range of the tickets and make sure you save a day to attend the mandatory educational program. Can we use MagicBands with these tickets? Yes, you'll be able to add our tickets to your MagicBands via the My Disney Experience website. (I'll email more information about that before I mail your tickets.) Do we get MagicBands with these tickets? Only families staying at a Disney Resort get the MagicBands (whether they're with our group or not). MagicBands are a perk of staying at a Disney Resort. If you're not staying at a Disney Resort, you won't get MagicBands, but can buy them once you arrive, if you want them (they're not mandatory). I'm staying at a Disney Resort, so I'll get MagicBands. How do I link our tickets to the Magic Bands? Do we need our tickets to get into the park, or can we use our MagicBands? You'll add your physical tickets to your MagicBands via the My Disney Experience (MDE) website. The MagicBands will then be linked to your resort reservation and your physical tickets. You'll use them to get into your rooms, get into the park, etc. You will not need your physical tickets to scan into the parks if you have them linked to your MagicBands, but you can use them to get into the parks if you want to. Disney Trip Description & Registration Link: https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/disney-world/
  18. Dianna

    Morocco 2020 - FAQs

    Here is the trip description and registration link: https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/morocco/ Is the price quoted per family, or per person? The price is per person. Are spots still available for this trip? How do I get on the waiting list? I'll post updates on my website (link above) regarding the status of the trip. If it's full and I'm still accepting waitlist registrations, please submit a registration form as you normally would. You'll have to pay a $250 per-person non-refundable deposit to confirm your spots on the waiting list. (I'll send you an email with payment information after I receive your registration.) If spots come available, your deposit will be applied to your total. If spots don't come available by March 31, 2020, your deposit will be refunded in full. If you decide not to go after being offered spots, your deposit will not be refunded. So, in other words, make sure you really do want to go before registering for my waiting list. Can we opt out of the hotel, specific tours, etc.? This is a package deal, so you won't receive a refund if you opt out of any hotel, site, or tour on this trip. Can you tell us what hotels we'll be using? What's our day-to-day itinerary? Things may change as we get closer to our travel dates, so I have to wait to share hotel information, itinerary, etc. I've chosen hotels that I think would be a good fit for our group, and I've upgraded where possible. However, I've never personally been to these hotels, and standards in Morocco may not be the same as they are here. Our rooms may be smaller, service may not be as good, etc. That said, I think we'll be pleased with most (hopefully all) of them. Does your website list everything we're doing? My website lists most of what we're doing, but I may be able to add things here and there. The itinerary is subject to change, regardless. How is this trip different from your other trips? I plan and operate most of my trips, but am partnering with an outside company for our Morocco trip. I don't have complete control over the details, but have customized the trip as much as possible to enhance the experience for our group. I have a larger family and have very young children. Can we all share one room? The hotels we're using allows up to three people per room. If you have more than three people in your party, you'll have multiple rooms, and at least one adult must sleep in each room. This trip is limited to ages 8 and up. I have a baby, toddler, preschooler - do they count in the price? This trip is limited to ages 8 and up, and everyone counts in the price. Should people with mobility issues go on this trip? This is the first time we've done the trip, so I can't speak from personal experience. Based on my research, however, I don't recommend this trip for anyone with mobility problems or for anyone who uses a wheelchair. Have any other questions? Please reply in this thread and I'll answer and add it to the list!
  19. Dianna

    Morocco

    until
    Visit Morocco with us and explore a kasbah, tour a mosque, hike through a mountain gorge, ride a camel, sleep in the desert, and more! https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/morocco/
  20. Visit Morocco with us and explore a kasbah, tour a mosque, hike through a mountain gorge, ride a camel, sleep in the desert, and more! https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/morocco/
  21. Join us for our annual group trip to Washington DC in September! We plan to tour the US Capitol, Library of Congress, White House, the Pentagon, Arlington Cemetery, museums, monuments, and more. Learn more: https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/washington-dc/
  22. Dianna

    Washington DC

    until
    Join us for our fall trip to Washington DC and explore the US Capitol, White House, Arlington Cemetery, Pentagon, and more! https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/washington-dc/
  23. Explore Boston with us and enjoy a guided tour of the Freedom Trail, go on a Whale Watch, visit the New England Aquarium, dump some tea in the harbor, and more! Learn more: https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/boston/
  24. Dianna

    Georgia Aquarium Sleepover

    until
    Spend the night with us at our Georgia Aquarium Sleepover! We’ll enjoy guided activities, behind-the-scenes tours, and admission to some of the aquarium’s special shows. https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/georgia-aquarium-sleepover/
  25. Spend the night with us at our Georgia Aquarium Sleepover! We’ll enjoy guided activities, behind-the-scenes tours, and admission to some of the aquarium’s special shows. https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/georgia-aquarium-sleepover/
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