The newest Disney World Crash Course is ready for you to attend!

Kids Pitch in for Pennies
The Walt Disney Company and Shanghai Shendi Group, its joint venture partner in China, have broken ground on the Shanghai Disney Resort following approval from the Chinese central government in Beijing. Both companies marked the start of construction on the first Disney resort in mainland China at a groundbreaking ceremony held April 8, 2011.

"Today marks a significant milestone in the history of The Walt Disney Company," said Robert A. Iger, President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. "Our Shanghai resort will be a world-class family vacation destination that combines classic Disney characters and storytelling with the uniqueness and beauty of China. Working with our Chinese partners, the Shanghai Disney Resort will be both authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese."

"We're incredibly excited to build a Disney resort in Shanghai, one of the world's most vibrant cities," said Thomas O. Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "We are hard at work designing Shanghai Disneyland, which when complete will be a special place where guests of all ages will discover a world of imagination, creativity, adventure and thrills."

The groundbreaking ceremony paid homage to the culture and people of China. Traditional Chinese drum music, a female soloist singing in Mandarin, a 40-voice Shanghai children's choir and Mickey Mouse dressed in a traditional Chinese costume were on hand to mark this special occasion. Following the entertainment and remarks, Iger and Staggs were joined by Shanghai Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng and Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng to officially break ground on the project.

The new Shanghai Disney Resort is slated to open in approximately five years.

The Shanghai Disney Resort will be home to Shanghai Disneyland, a Magic Kingdom-style park that will blend classic Disney storytelling and characters with all-new attractions and experiences tailored specifically for the people of China. The park will feature several themed lands complete with exciting, iconic Disney attractions and experiences. At the heart of the park will be an interactive Disney castle that is truly an attraction unto itself with entertainment, dining and performance experiences that will be unique to Shanghai Disneyland. The park will also contain other large-scale entertainment venues, indoor and out, that can be used for various purposes throughout the year.

A beautiful, 11 acre (46,130 square meter) green space at the center of the theme park will differentiate Shanghai Disneyland and reinforce the themes of sustainability and nature that will be integrated throughout the park. The space will also be a place where friends and family can enjoy local cultural celebrations and customs together.

On Opening Day, the Shanghai Disney Resort will be located on a 963 acre (3.9 square kilometer) site in Pudong, Shanghai, with additional room to expand in the future. At opening, the resort will include Shanghai Disneyland, two themed hotels, a large retail, dining and entertainment venue, recreational facilities, a lake and associated parking and transportation hubs.


Booking Your Trip with me as your Disney Travel Specialist

Whether you've been to Disney World, Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line multiple times, or you're just now planning your very first trip - there are many benefits to booking your vacation with The Pink Ear Pixie. As a Disney travel specialist I love what I do!

Who said nothing in life is free? Booking a Disney vacation with me as your personal travel planner will cost you NOTHING. My services are 100% free to my
clients. It's a win-win situation - you book a trip to your dream destination and you have a free go-to specialist at your disposal.

When booking a client's vacation I first ask for travel dates. This helps me determine what discounts can be applied to the reservation. Disney World typically offers "some" kind of discount for select travel dates throughout the year. Disney Cruise Line occasionally offers discounts on select cruises. An extra service I offer my clients is the assurance that I will keep checking on new discounts for their travel dates. If a client books a reservation and a better discount comes out at a later date, I automatically modify their reservation to reflect the savings. Booking a vacation with The Pink Ear Pixie allows you to sit back and relax and not have to keep up with Disney discount information.

For Disney Cruise Line travelers I also offer extra onboard credit for booking with me. The amount of onboard credit depends on the total cost of the cruise. It can range anywhere from $25 to $100. That's extra money that cruisers can spend on board the ship for souvenirs, spa visits, drinks, Bingo, and other extra touches.

In addition to keeping track of Disney discounts, I also make sure my clients have the best ticket options and dining options for their family. Every family is unique. I work with my clients to find out how many days they plan to visit the parks and what kind of dining preferences they have. This will allow me to recommend the correct tickets and dining plan.

Dining reservations are a big part of travel to Disney World. This is another service I offer for my clients. If they need me to put together restaurant recommendations and make their reservations for them, I will! Not every client needs help, but those that do seem to appreciate this option.

Once dining reservations have been made for Disney World, I list them in the daily itinerary for the client. I put together a personalized daily itinerary for the clients that need them. Again, some clients are experienced Disney World visitors and do not need itinerary help. But others have never visited. And for these clients I list day to day activities in a detailed itinerary.

Each of my clients has their own client page that lists their reservation information and their itinerary with dining reservations. Whether they are a Disney Cruise Line traveler or a Disney World traveler, they will receive log-in information for their password protected page. Within the page there will also be a payment submission form and I've just begun adding a general contact form within each page as well. My clients seem to appreciate their own personal space and most of them visit their pages regularly. It's a nice reminder that their vacation is coming soon!

I love when a client chooses to book a vacation with me because I really enjoy working with families to make their Disney dreams come true. And best of all - I have lots of new friends to share the joy of Disney!

My name is Amanda Sykora and I am a Disney-holic.

When I was 2 years old I visited Disney World for the first time. The trip consisted of a quick stop to the Magic Kingdom with my mother and my Nannie (my mom's mom) in February 1979. While I do not remember any of the trip, even when my mom tells the story of me falling asleep while eating potato chips in bed after an exhausting day of walking around the Magic Kingdom in a pair of brand new sandals that left blisters the size of grapes on my heels, apparently the experience left a lasting impression that has now manifested into a lifetime of love for all things Disney.

Fast forward, oh, 30-something years, and here I sit wanting to pour out my heart and soul about how Disney has affected my life and why I still become teary eyed when even thinking of being in the presence of Cinderella's Castle. Don't even try and ask my kids what I think about Disney World. Following an eye roll, you'll get an explanation of how my life revolves around planning our next trip - even if that trip is 2 years in the future. And they're right. Whenever we do not have a family vacation in the works I'm miserable!

In late 2009 I realized that I was not able to visit Disney World nearly as often as I'd like. So I decided it was time to reach out and start living vicariously through other Disney World visitors. I started as a travel agent specializing in Disney vacations to help feed the Disney hunger. I can honestly say that I love my job and I have really enjoyed helping other families with their dreams of Disney vacations. During my time as a travel agent I have helped clients from all over the US (including Alaska!) and even a few international clients. My clients mean a lot to me and I'm happy to call many of them my friends.

The Pink Ear Pixie and my blog have been a great source of fun for me. I've been able to share a little about myself and my Disney knowledge with the other Disney followers in cyberspace. Most of my focus for my blog has been about Disney World and Disney Cruise Line discounts and deals, plus new and upcoming events between the two. Occasionally, I will feel the need to write up something silly about a Disney product or Disney character. You never know what you may find on my blog and website.

Coming soon to Walt Disney World! Visit Mickey Mouse using a FastPass! How cool and convenient is that?!

This new and exciting option will begin when Mickey movies into his new "home" in Town Square. The first date to begin using the FastPasses is to be determined.

Currently, Mickey is greeting guests in Tomorrowland after the closure of Mickey's Toontown Fair due to the Fantasyland expansion.

Stay tuned for more details on visiting Mickey Mouse with a FastPass!

You can now book the Disney Fantasy for September through December 2012. Do NOT wait to book these new dates as the pricing will go up and up and up. This is very exciting news for Disney Cruise Line - for new and experienced cruisers alike!

Contact me for a quote! And remember I always offer extra onboard credit to my clients!

Western Caribbean with Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel
  • September 01, 15, 29
  • October 13, 27
  • November 10, 23
  • December 8, 22

Eastern Caribbean with St. Maarten and St. Thomas
  • September 8, 22
  • October 6

Eastern Caribbean with St. Thomas and San Juan
  • October 20
  • November 3, 17
  • December 1, 15, 29

More info will be added as information is released.
Mickey's Toontown Fair opened in 1988 and today is the very last day for Walt Disney World guests to visit. The Magic Kingdom's Toontown will be closing it's doors forever. Due to the elaborate Fantasyland Expansion, Toontown is being shut down and will be revamped into something Walt Disney World guests will find almost unrecognizable. The train station in Toontown is also going to be shut down and the train will not be making stops there for possibly several years.

Toontown was a well-known place to meet and greet the classic Disney characters. The characters will be placed in other sections of the park and welcome you to stop by and say hi!

- Mickey and Minnie and the Disney Princesses will be moved to the Town Square
- Tinker Bell will be available at Hollywood Studios
- Other Disney Fairies will be at Epcot

If you have an upcoming trip planned, do not let this get you down. I can promise you that while Toontown was a very special place, it is not all there is to Disney World. Your family will find other places to meet the characters and you'll have a magical vacation.

Goodbye Toontown! See ya real soon!
Here's an update on some fun at The Pink Ear Pixie!
  • "Caption This" - Take a look at this picture posted on the Facebook fan page. Vote for your favorite caption and add your own caption to the contest.
  • Referral Contest - If you're a fan on Facebook please join in the referral contest ongoing until February 18. You can win a "gift basket"!
  • Clients Only - Current and past clients now have access to Exclusive Content! This is an invitation only opportunity - if you have not rec'd an invitation and you are a client of mine who has booked their vacation with me (whether you've yet to travel or traveled already) please drop me an email and let me know you'd like an invitation. For those that are still in the research stage and you've yet to book, I will be happy to send you an invitation once your vacation is booked. I am limiting this to booked clients to protect the privacy of my clients.
Thanks for reading and let me know if you have questions!

There is a lot of report in the world of Disney this week. New changes to DCL and WDW. If you know of something else that needs to be listed here, feel free to comment and let me know!

Disney Cruise News
  • Disney Cruise Line has a brand new, enhanced online check-in process. Cruisers will be able to input more information at home before cruise time. This will allow a smoother check-in at the port. If you have an upcoming cruise be sure you check it out -
  • In addition to the new online process, Disney Cruise Line has started assigning port arrival times. This is a big change from what Disney  has done in the past. Each cruisers will be assigned a time to arrive during the online check-in process. You will have a choice of available times. This new feature does not apply to concierge or Platinum guests.
  • As a reminder, Guests are given access to “My Online Check-in” as follows:
  1. Concierge and Platinum Castaway Club: 120 days in advance
  2. Gold Castaway Club: 105 days in advance
  3. Silver Castaway Club: 90 days in advance
  4. First Time Cruiser: 75 days in advance

Disney World news
  • Tomorrow, February 4, 2011, marks the last day for the Velcro show at Innoventions West in Epcot. "What's Your Problem?" will be replaced but at this time nothing has been reported for its replacement. If you are like me, you have fond memories of this show - even as hokey as it was! :o)  During our August 2010 trip, my older boys were chosen to be in the show. I laughed and laughed at them as they tried to build a block tower with Velcro blocks.
  • "The Magic, the Memories and You", the new projection show at Disney World and Disneyland, has begun. This high-tech show begins about 15 minutes before Wishes and displays up to 500 guest pictures onto Cinderella's Castle (Disney World). While this new show has met a lot of criticism, I think it's probably a "have to see in person to appreciate" situation. Let the Memories Begin!
  • The Flower Power Concert Series (part of the 2011 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival) begins March 2 and runs through May 15, 2011. Here's the tentative line-up.
March 4-6 - Jose Feliciano
March 11-13 - The Guess Who
March 18-20 - Chubby Checker & The Wildcats
March 25-27 - Melissa Manchester
April 1-3 - Starship Starring Mickey Thomas
April 8-10 - Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.
April 15-17 - Juice Newton
April 22-24 - The Nelsons
April 29-May 1 - Paul Revere and the Raiders
May 6-8 - Davy Jones
May 13-15 - Herman's Hermits Starring Peter Noone

Disney's Aulani Resort
  • Many people are still unaware of Disney's new Hawaiian resort. Due to open in August 2011, this resort will bring the magic of Disney to Hawaii. And Disney has created it with as much class and uniqueness as possible.
  • "When Guests visit Aulani they may notice playful figures, known as Menehune, hiding around the resort. According to Hawaiian legend, the little Menehune (men-neh-HOO-nay) are shy folk who come out mostly at night. They are said to be gifted, possibly magical, craftspeople."
Need information on Disney Cruise Line, Disney World, Disneyland or Aulani? Let me help - contact me today.

Good news! Kids Sail FREE to Alaska on Disney Cruise Line!

Book a Verandah or Oceanview stateroom and kids ages 17 and under, traveling with 2 full-fare guests in the same stateroom, sail FREE* on select 7-night Alaskan cruises departing between May 3 to June 7, 2011.

Request a quote and let me help you plan an Alaskan Disney vacation!

*Offer is only available to US and Canada residents. Rates are in US dollars, per person, based on double occupancy. Valid for stateroom categories 4A through 9D only. The number of staterooms allocated for this offer is limited. Government Taxes and Fees and Port Adventures not included. Certain restrictions may apply. This offer cannot be combined with any other offers.