How do you get a Hi Ho Vacation planner? Click HERE to check out the different Hi Ho Vacation planners and get started planning your perfect trip.
We're working with Hi Ho Vacations and sharing our real-life experience using a Disney vacation planner. This article is part two in a series sponsored by Hi Ho Vacation. See my top five reasons I'm working with a planner.
Now I’ll tell you a bit about how it works when you get started with HiHo. First, you choose a planner. I worked with Jenn Nass. Like me, she is a former teacher and like me she also has three kids. Frankly though, I wasn’t concerned about which planner to use. All of the HiHo Vacations planners are vetted and have extensive personal Disney experience. After I reached out we set up a call. Mostly Jenn wanted to learn about our family and what kind of experience we were hoping to have.
A few important and obvious things our planner needed to know included:
My kids’ ages – Of course this is going to make a difference in what will blow their minds (I have boys who will be 6 and 5 when we go and a 3 year old daughter).
What kind of Disney family we are – Do we go yearly? Is this our first trip? Are we going to be a one-and-done family? (This is our first trip, and we will likely go back again when the kids are quite a bit older).
When and how long we want to go – We are going over spring break, but were slightly flexible on dates. The exact length of our trip wasn’t set in stone so we used Jenn’s expertise to figure that out.
Some more personal information helped our planner tailor the trip options to our family specifically. These included:
What would make the trip stressful for us – Complicated logistics, (Daddy getting hot and grouchy while taking 5 modes of transportation to get to the park), no rest between park days, a very cramped hotel room.
Our family style – Are we early risers? (NO!) What do we love? (Rides, tasty but easy restaurants, swimming, swimming, swimming!) What do we want out of this trip? (Tons of fun memories, PHOTOS!, and for it to be as easy as possible on the adults)
What we didn’t talk about – Money. I know you want to know how much Disney is going to cost, but here’s the thing – your planner is going to listen to your needs and desires and show you ALL the options. HiHo Vacations isn’t there to get you to spend the most money that you possibly can, they are going to make sure that you spend money where it will matter the most for you.
Your planner knows all about Disney and all about you…Now what?
About a day later (yes, I’m not kidding, it’s fast…remember, planning your Disney vacation is your HiHo planner’s JOB!) I received a quote with three options for hotels which gave me pricing for our basic trip outline. We started the planning with 5 hotel nights, 4 park days, and the Disney Dining Plan (more on that later). Jenn didn’t do our quote with park hopper tickets (from our discussion she knew that running from park to park wasn’t going to be our idea of fun). Disney resorts have three levels: Value, Moderate, and Deluxe, which vary in price, location, and amenities. All have their advantages, and seeing the prices for the full package was helpful in understanding what we would get for the money. While we could have chosen any resort on the property, Jenn recommended these three for us, and her suggestions were spot on!
Art of Animation Resort – Quick bus to Magic Kingdom, lowest price of the three options, fun themed rooms great for young kids, multiple themed pools, larger suite style rooms for our family of five.
Port Orleans Resort – Easy access to Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios (Jenn had picked up that those would be the most interesting for our family), larger standard rooms than the moderate resort, less expensive than the deluxe resort, large pool complete with a water slide.
Beach Club Resort – With a sand bottom pool and water slides Jenn knew our water-loving family would love this options. It’s close to Hollywood Studios, an easy ride to Magic Kingdom, and just a short walk to Disney Springs for shopping and restaurants.
So far choosing the hotel has been the hardest part, and I went back and forth for weeks. We eventually chose to splurge and go with The Beach Club Resort! Ultimately we decided that our family would enjoy the trip more if we didn’t pack in too much. We shorten the trip by a night and went down to 3 park days in order to allow us the budget for the deluxe level resort. Having a 5-day trip with 3 park days allows us to take a pool day in between each park day. I can’t WAIT to tell you all about it!
Have more questions? Ready to pick your planner? Go HERE.