Build your own Droid in Hollywood Studios

During a recent Mom and son trip to Disney, I was thrilled that my 8 year old son was excited to ride Star Tours in Hollywood Studios. He has been slow to catch on to the awesomeness that is Star Wars and I was beginning to wonder if he was truly part of my family (I kid!). After exiting Star Tours, we poked around a store called Tatooine Traders (Stores at the exits are just pure genius but take such a horrible toll on my wallet!).

In the middle of the store is something fairly new – Droid Factory. Here, you can build your own droid. Yes, all you Sci-Fi fans… create your own. That means you – Dads, Grandpas, Uncles… You’re safe from judgement. Here, anyway. There are 71 different pieces you can use to create your droids. Choose a dome, body, legs and novelty hats (Mickey ears on my droid? Yes, please!). When finished, they will stand around 4 inches tall. 71 pieces… This means lots of different combinations. This also means that your child (or adult) will likely have a one of a kind droid to call their own!

Once you are finished building your droid you can select the packaging. Single ($11.95) and double packaging ($19.95) is available. Note that if you plan to keep one for yourself and give one as a gift, you must put each one in a single package for purchase. We found out from personal experience that they will not give you 2 single packs and charge you the double value price. It ends up costing a few dollars more to do it this way but hey, what’s a few dollars? This way we were able to give one as a gift including packaging and we have one with packaging as well. Who knew that packaging was so important to an 8 year old?

Every droid needs a name. Not sure what to name yours? Take your time. A sticker sheet is given to you at checkout so you can flash your droid’s name right on the front cover of the packaging!

This is such a great and unique thing to do with the kids…especially the boys who have already made lightsabers and are looking for something new to do.

Contact me for more info or for a free quote today!

Erin Santamaria 1-877-377-0505 or

You can also find me on Facebook or Pinterest.

Do you like to volunteer?

 On my last trip to Hollywood Studios, we just sat down to watch Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Show and they were asking for volunteers.  My kids both raised their hands but they wanted an adult.  I thought, why not, so I shot my hand in the air.  The announcer looked right at me and I was picked.  I ran down the huge arena and I was standing on the stage.

 They asked me a couple questions and then sent me to wardrobe.  I was put into a purple hooded robe and sent back onto the stage.  I got to be right in the action of the show.  I must say, it was a completely different experience being on the stage vs. watching the show.

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Show is a 30 minute live show that takes clips from the movies and brings them to life.  There are explosions, a huge 12 foot tall rolling boulder, flames and a large stunt featuring a motorcycle and airplane.

Have you ever wanted to be part of the action?  Give me a call at: (877) 818-6106 and I will help plan the perfect action filled vacation!

Karen Kalinowski  – or (877) 818-6106

Making more Magical Memories at Disney’s Beach and Yacht Club Resort!

Last Spring, I had the opportunity to stay at Disney’s Yacht Club resort.  It was a wonderful experience.  The Yacht Club resort is right next door to the Disney’s Beach Club resort.  Both resorts offer wonderful accommodations, gorgeous pools, yummy snack bars and fun family activities while overlooking one of Walt Disney World’s many lakes.  We were able to take a short water taxi ride over to Hollywood Studios.  In the evening, your family can enjoy a beach campfire with sing-a-long songs and a movie.

Another great aspect of staying at Disney’s Beach and Yacht Clubs is the access to Disney’s Boardwalk area.  The Boardwalk is a fun, family area that offers several great signature restaurants, a candy store and ice cream parlor, ESPN Zone, dueling pianos, street performers and more.

One more great convenience of staying at either the Yacht Club or Beach Club is the back door entrance you will have to Epcot.  When staying here, you are a short 10 minute walk right into the countries of Epcot.  You can also take the water taxi over to Epcot if you choose.

If you have any questions and would like to use a planner for free – contact me at or call me directly at 1-800-670-4312 ext 125.  I have an unexplained passion for Disney and making sure that everyone is getting the most that they can out of every visit!




So many ticket options to choose from…..HELP!

When we travel to Walt Disney World we always take the park hopper option! When you are spending money on your magical vacation you do not want to be limited as to when and where you go during your stay. This can make dining reservations a little easier as well. Play at one park all day and eat at another at night. However when my Sister and her family go they always choose the Base ticket to save money and time at the park of their choosing. There are different options for different folks…that’s one of the things I love about Disney.

 The four parks at Walt Disney World are Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studio’s and Animal Kingdom. Disney has also added 2 Water Parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. They didn’t stop there with an incredible addition of Disney Quest, an indoor interactive theme park.


With Disney World you have a couple options when you buy your tickets. Base tickets, Hopper tickets and Water Parks and more. The base ticket will get you into any park of your choosing for the day but you cannot go to any other park that day. The Park Hopper option will let you Hop between whichever parks you want to all day and night long.

The Water Parks and more option include the following. Admission to Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, Admission to Disney Quest, Admission to Wide World of Sports, A round of Mini Golf at Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland, And a round of golf at Oak Trail Family Walking Course. You can use these choices each day you have a park ticket.

As you can tell there are many different options to your Park ticket!

For a FREE quote and FREE service contact me today and will help make the right ticket fit your family’s needs!

Amy Blades


Making more Magical Memories! Ticket options!

To hop or not to hop…..

Many people always ask me “Do you get the hopper tickets for every visit?” and my answer is always “Yes” because that is what works for my family.  Here is some information to help you decide what will work for your family.

First, an explanation of the parks at Walt Disney World for those who have not visited:

There are 4 theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom), 2 water parks (Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach), Downtown Disney (shopping and DisneyQuest – a 5 story indoor arcade) and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  Disney really has a little bit of everything for everyone!


Now, an explanation of the ticket options:

Base ticket option – you may visit 1 of the 4 theme parks per day.  You can come and go from that park, but you may only go to that 1 theme park.

Hopper ticket option – you can visit as many of the 4 theme parks in a day as much as you want.


What is best for your family?  This is where having a planner can really help.  A planner (like me) can talk with you about what each theme park has to offer your family and help you decide between the hopper and base ticket.  For us, especially when Robert was younger, we would only spend half of a day at some of the theme parks.  This is why hopping works for us.  When we did everything we wanted to do at one park, we can “hop” on over to another park.

Now, you may be wondering the best option for enjoying the water parks or ESPN Sports Complex.  Walt Disney World also offers the Water Park Fun and More option.  This option gives you access to both water parks, DisneyQuest at Downtown Disney, the ESPN Sports Complex and 2 Miniature Golf courses.    This option can easily be added to either the base or hopper tickets.   This is a great and inexpensive way to enhance your stay.


I hope this helps to shed a little more light on to the ticket options for Walt Disney World.  If you have any questions and would like to use a planner for free – contact me at or call me directly at 1-800-670-4312 ext 125.  I have an unexplained passion for Disney and making sure that everyone is getting the most that they can out of every visit!

It Just Never Gets Old

I’m getting ready to go to Disney World and I am so excited I can hardly stand it!  I find myself questioning how it’s possible that I get so excited each time.  You’d think it was my first visit but I get like this before each and every single visit and I’ve grown up going to Disney World!

Not to get too psychological but I think what it goes back to is the fact that Disney World brings back so many feelings of nostalgia and comfort from my childhood, yet there’s always something new to try so it keeps things fresh and exciting at the same time. There is also something for each member of my family so everyone is happy which is very important to me while on vacation.  I love the same feeling I get as I walk down Main Street, seeing Cinderella castle in all her glory.  I love the night time parade, particularly Main Street Electrical Parade. I just can’t control myself from doing a jig each time I hear the Baroque Hoedown! Yes, my family rolls their eyes at me each time but oh well!   Seeing the fireworks makes me teary (embarrassing but true). I love riding Spaceship Earth, Haunted Mansion, the People Mover, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  Just the smells of Disney make me smile.  There is nothing quite like the scents of the Main Street Bakery, riding in a boat on Living on the Land, smelling the burning scene in Rome on Spaceship Earth or flying over the orange groves during Soarin’. These are some of my favorite things that I enjoy time and time again.

I’m not one who likes mundane things.  I like change in my life.  So how do these things not get boring? I’m sure people wonder how I can go the same place for a vacation multiple times a year.  I try to change each trip up by staying in a different resort, eating at a new restaurant, trying a new special event, seeing a new show, etc.  I am fortunate enough to go multiple times a year and I still haven’t run out of new things to try.  I find it keeps things new.  Only at Disney can you get completely immersed by staying in a particular resort.  You can view animals on a savanna from your room, walk through Radiator Springs and feel like you’re staying in the middle of a Pixar film. You can also  feel like you are staying the South Seas or an upscale yacht club and so much more.  I love that I can make my vacation completely unique each time yet get that same feeling of comfort because I know my surroundings so well and that’s what keeps me returning time and time again.

If you need assistance planning your own unique Disney vacation, feel free to contact me!  I’d love to help!  You can email me at or give me a call at 800-670-4312 x 128. I look forward to hearing from you!


Dreaming of being a Jedi….dream no more!

Do your children love Star Wars?  Do you love Star Wars?  Hollywood Studios is the place for you!  Not only do they have the Star Tours the 3-D Experience ride but they have Star Wars: Jedi Training Academy. 

The Jedi Training is a 30 minute show for children ages 4-12.  Children will be taught under the Jedi Master and learn the Jedi oath, get to wear a Jedi robe, and learn how to use a lightsaber.  Watch out because you might even fight Darth Vader.  Will your child be able to fight the dark side? 

I recommend signing up for the Jedi Training as soon as you enter Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  The show times sell out fast because they only allow 15 kids per show.
To find out how your child can be a Jedi, call me
Karen Kalinowski -  1-877-818-6106       
or email:  My services are always FREE!

Animation Academy

Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s has a little hidden gem that is often overlooked or just completely missed. Located in, the Magic of Disney Animation Academy. This is a drawing class that is led by a Disney-trained artist. You will learn to sketch a Disney character.

The characters are always changing so it will be a surprise as to what you draw. This is not just a class for kids, but teenagers and adults alike. Drawing boards with lights under them help you to draw like a Disney trained artist. One thing that is not provided an eraser. There are no mistakes. Make sure you are there early because the end of the line gets lap board to draw on. You can take as many classes as you would like, you may be a future Disney Artist.

Book your Disney vacations with me so you can go to, The Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s and draw with a Disney Artist.

Call or Email me!

Allison King

1-800-670-4312 ext. 134

Disney… not just for kids


“Oh, you are going to Disney World!!! That’s awesome.. But wait… I didn’t think you had kids?  What are you going to do there if you have no kids?”

Ah yes, my favorite line from many a people that I meet along the path of life.  That is right, YES we are going to Disney and NO we do not have any children.  Yes, one day, if we are blessed with children, we would love to take out child there, but if it will only be my husband and I, like a real life Carl and Ellie, we shall embrace adventure at our favorite place, Walt Disney World.  So here a few benefits to going it alone,  as adults.

1.     Fine Dining.  Of course children are allowed at the fine dining establishments in WDW, but there is nothing like a nice romantic dinner with your loved one, with some amazing food and excellent service.  We had dinner in Queen Victoria’s Room at Victoria and Albert’s on our last trip.  This dinner was about 4 hours long, including over 10 courses and wine tasting.  It was a night we will never forget, just the two of us. Also, when I was a kid, I ruined every meal we ever went to. HA. ask anyone who traveled on that first fateful trip.

2.     Rides for Two.  Well, we never have to fight over who will sit with who on specific rides!  And no height requirements, so no one feels left out.

3.  Minimal Temper Tantrums.  I’m not gonna lie, I have had a few “special moments” I’m not to proud of while being on Disney property… but it’s nothing like some of the extreme melt downs by kids I have seen.  It’s actually beautiful when you see them, the kid stops moving, goes down on the ground for the count, kicking screaming… pure brilliance kid, pure brilliance!

4. Can I Buy That??? Well, I must say, I’m spoiled.  Just ask my husband.  But at least with just the two of us, he can fuel my vinyl, pin, and Dooney & Bourke obsessions.

5. Getting a little Goofy.  From having drinks around the “World Showcase”, to night life over at Downtown Disney, when it’s just adults, you are more likely to let your hair down and enjoy!

6. Nap Time is REALLY Nap Time.. My husband and I love getting into the parks extra early, and heading home midday to take a nap.  No one to fight us about taking that afternoon snooze.

7. Disney is Romantic.  From fireworks shows, to fine dining, to horse and carriage rides, Disney has everything that you can imagine to make  your trip with your loved one a romantic time!

These are just a few of my fun things my husband and I like to do while traveling alone.  If you are looking to go and leave the kids at home, I’m your girl!  From honeymoons, to anniversaries, to friend getaways, let me know how I can make your Disney vacation a fun and awesome one!!! Contact me today for a free quote,

Walt Disney World… a “Special” family’s dream!

We were so excited to plan it out. My husband and I decided that our 2 boys NEEDED to visit Walt Disney World for the first time (Ok, I decided…). Admittedly, excitement soon turned into anxiety over how our youngest (Jake) would react to a vacation.

Jacob was nearly 2 years old and we had just been told that he is on the severe end of the Autism Spectrum. We were confused and didn’t know if a vacation was even a good idea.  We stressed about every little detail and all of the “what if’s”. What if Jake cried ALL week long over every little thing? What if he was afraid of the crowd even from his stroller? What if his older brother was upset that we were taking so many breaks? These are all questions that we went over in our minds so many times. But we decided to just do it and roll with the punches. It was the best decision we ever made.

From the moment we started our walk down Main Street I knew that our family would be forever changed. I don’t know how. I just had a feeling that being there would somehow help Jake. When he wanted to get out of his stroller and walk to Cinderella Castle I knew that I was right. We assumed that he would be happiest in the stroller. He felt safe in strollers. To see my son holding his brother’s hand and walking down Main Street was something I will never forget.

 One day at Epcot (after walking back from an attraction with a family member), we spotted the most adorable little boy jumping around in the water fountain…fully clothed. He was squealing with joy and laughing hysterically. When we got close enough we realized that it was Jake. To some it was just a cute kid laughing in the water. To us it was a bigger deal than I can explain. Jake was always afraid of water. It took me and my husband to give him a bath- one of us holding him, the other washing. He would scream during the whole thing. It broke our hearts and was something we didn’t know how to help him with. He also didn’t laugh often. He was (and still is) non verbal and we cherished the few times that he did laugh or use his voice.

 Crowds were also an issue. He got scared and upset if people were too close to him. We wondered how he would handle waiting in lines. We weren’t visiting during peak season but we were still worried. I did some research on the Guest Assistance Pass. This is something available to guests with special needs and can be issued at any Guest Relations location in the parks.  It isn’t a front of the line pass, but rather a way for those with sensory issues to wait in a less crowded area. In a lot of cases it would send us to the Fastpass line. In other cases we were directed to a separate waiting area. In either case, it helped tremendously. It made us so happy that Jake was enjoying the attractions with the rest of us.

 In addition to the Guest Assistance Pass, we were given a red sticker with a picture of a wheelchair on it for our stroller. This allowed the stroller to act as a wheelchair. It was very convenient in the restaurants that Jake had a safe and familiar place to sit and eat (high chairs were not always the best option for him). This sticker was also convenient during shows. If we needed to leave the show quickly we were able to do so without disrupting the other guests. Jake likes to “bolt”, meaning he doesn’t like to sit still and will run away any chance he gets. It can be dangerous as he has no safety awareness.

Needless to say, we had an amazing vacation. But it was more than a vacation. I can’t explain it. Both of my boys returned home different kids. Jacob is excited to take baths! We now call him our little fish! Nick learned that he can have fun with his brother despite his limitations. This was important and to this day I believe there is no better big brother on Earth. Everyone was brought closer together during our amazing trip. We still talk about all of the milestones reached during that one week.

We could not have picked a better destination for our first “family” vacation. We were so happy with how accommodating Disney was with their special needs guests. Our worry about the difficulties we might face completely disappeared. Some would say a vacation with a special needs child is out of the question. I would say that’s because they haven’t visited Walt Disney World.

 If you are considering a visit with your family and have questions, feel free to contact me.

Quotes and services are free!

Erin Santamaria –  877-377-0505