Season'sGreetings Newsletter Late Fall 2016

Welcome to my first newsletter! Enjoy!

Shannon Stuemke with Ears of Experience

Using an Ears of Experience Travel Agent

By Shannon Stuemke

Today, I thought I would talk a little bit about the services I offer when you book a Disney Vacation Package with me. Additionally, I will give a little background as to how I got into this business of booking Disney vacations. It's important to build relationships with people that could become potential clients. That's all of you! I want each of you to know why I do this, and more importantly, that you can trust me to handle your vacation as I would handle my own. That's not to say that I will be controlling your vacation and "doing" your vacation the way I do mine. Ultimately, you, my client, will be taking this trip and you know what is best for you!

​How did I get into this? I have always loved to travel and loved the details that go into putting a vacation together. In fact, to me, the planning is half the fun. I especially feel this way about planning Disney vacations. I compare it to planning for a wedding. You spend a year, or sometimes more, thinking about and planning every last detail. You save and spend a lot of money! Then the day arrives and it's everything you hoped it would be and then it is over (insert sad face). That's how planning my own Disney vacations was for me. I felt euphoric and giddy when planning and had the most wonderful time once there but then it was over and I felt...depressed? Bummed? Let down? So, this summer I started to think about how much I loved the planning portion of Disney and decided to start researching Disney travel planning as a career. After researching many agencies, I found Ears of Experience, LLC and decided it would be the perfect fit for me. Now, here I am. It is a lot of hard work to get a business going, but I love the challenge and I know I'm doing what I should be doing.

Now you know how I got here and why I chose to do this. You now need to know why you should use an Ears of Experience Travel Planner and more specifically, me! The info graph above that I created outlines reasons for using an agent. I will list the points below as I'm not so sure how easy the graph is to read in this newsletter.

First, Ears of Experience pricing is always equal to or less than booking through the Disney Travel Company. While Disney agents are great to work with, they do not price watch for you or automatically adjust your pricing when a promotion comes out. Ears of Experience does that for you!

Second, you will save time! Sometimes you can wait a long time to speak with an agent. This holds especially true if you are trying to call during a special promotion that Disney is offering. Do you know who does the holding when you book with an Ears of Experience agent? Me! Also, an Ears' agent will save you time in the parks because we put together an itinerary customized to your needs and offer great park tips that will keep you waiting in less lines and visiting more attractions!

Thirdly, we help to keep your vacation planning stress free. We are experts at planning and coordinating and we are the "mouse experts." This equals a more enjoyable vacation for you and your family.

We can help make your vacation extra magical! Ears of Experience agents can find you the perfect hotel, get you the best Fast Pass+ reservations, and help to find and reserve those all important character dining experiences. You tell us what you want and we will do our very best to get it for you!

Finally, we can help you protect the trip that you have worked so hard for. Travel insurance can be confusing. Our agents can help find the best protection for your travel!

I know using a travel planner is not for every Disney traveler. Like me, some of you are Disney fans and planning is half the excitement! Go for it! I understand! However, I know there are people out there (because they have told me) that avoid taking a Disney vacation because it is just too overwhelming to even plan. Maybe you are a stay at home mom trying to keep your head above water the way it is. You would love to plan a Disney vacation but, who has time for that? Maybe you and your significant other both work and then come home in the evening to take care of the kiddos. By the time everyone is fed, bathed, and put to are ready to crash yourself! Grandparents love the idea of taking their entire family to Disney but that's a lot of work! Don't worry! I got this! Let me help you and I promise you will have the most magical and memorable Disney vacation you could ask for. Ears of Experience agents are "the plan behind the magic."

Looking for some quick tips on traveling to

Walt Disney World with kids?

If you are looking for great travel tips for traveling with kids to Disney or want to offer your own advice and tips...I have set up a new Facebook group-Traveling to WDW with Kiddos. Click on the link under this picture to join the group!.

What my clients are saying!

Look at all amazing information you get when you book your Disney Vacation with me!
"THANK YOU! THANK YOU! For your help and all you did and will continue to do to help us. To be honest, heard so many great things about a couple other travel agents, but they dropped the ball. Your consistent communication and checking in with me was the reason I chose you. Thank you for all of your help with pricing, dining, hotel etc. "

~Jessica S.

Disney's Special Offers

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Want to stay off property at Walt Disney World?

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Want to know more about staying Off property vs. Staying on Disney Property? Read my article below!

On or Off Property...Where Should I stay?

By Shannon Stuemke

It has been awhile since I have had a chance to sit down and write. Life has gotten really busy as I'm sure many of you are familiar with. October is one of my favorite months but it is starting to prove to be just as busy as December. With the holidays right around the corner, I'm sure things will not be slowing down much. So with one child actually taking a nap (this does not happen often anymore since they have turned 5) and the other content watching YouTube Kids, I decided to use the time wisely.

I thought I would spend a bit of time talking about the differences between staying off and on Walt Disney World property. For Disney fans, there is nothing to consider. They almost always choose to stay on Disney property. For those who just see Disney as a destination to take the family, they may be more likely to stay off property. People have different levels of excitement about Disney and that is okay. Everyone vacations differently and that is okay too! As I have taken on this new travel business venture, it has given me the opportunity to learn about other ways to do Disney. This, I feel, is making me more of an expert and also helping me to grow as a travel professional.

Honestly, I have only stayed off Disney property one time. I am a Disney fan so even if it means spending extra money, I want to immerse myself in the ​Disney experience. In order to be able to write this article, I had to do a little research to find out more about staying off property. Looking at different Disney blogs, websites, and then speaking with a very helpful and knowledgeable Disney Travel Company Cast Member allowed me to feel comfortable with offering my readers some facts about staying off and on Disney property. This is not written to suggest that you choose one over the other. This is a simple list of what you do or do not get on and off property.

Both onsite and Disney Good Neighbor hotels can be booked as Disney Packages (excluding the Disney Dining Plan.) If you find yourself interested in getting a FREE quote for a Disney Good Neighbor Hotel, I am happy to assist with that. Contact me at


Staying on Walt Disney World Property

There is a lot of convenience to being right on property. You are close to everything and will not need a car unless you plan on leaving Walt Disney World Resort. Their transportation is free to onsite guests.

​​Extra Magic Hours are available to those staying on Disney property. Certain parks will open early or stay open late to guests that are staying on site. This gives ​Disney on site guests the added benefit of seeing more and doing more because there are less people in the parks during these hours.

The Disney Dining Plan can currently only be booked for those staying on Disney property as part of a package. If the free dining promotion is offered by Disney, it is only available to on site guests.

The resorts are an experience in and of themselves. From the oversized theming at value resorts to the beauty and grandeur of the deluxe resorts, they are truly an extension of the theme parks and the Disney brand.

Dining reservations can be made at 180 days out for your entire trip. This is important for those not to be missed character dining experiences.

​​Fast Pass + attractions can be reserved at 60 days out compared to 30 days out when staying off site.

You get to live in the Disney “bubble”. This is important to those who want to be completely immersed in the Disney experience.

Staying at a Disney Good Neighbor Hotel

These are known as Disney Good Neighbor hotels but they are not owned by Disney. I have seen mixed reviews on these resorts but that holds true for certain Disney resorts as well (mostly value resorts).

They likely will be more budget friendly because these hotels compete against each other for pricing. Comparing a Disney Resort hotel to a Good Neighbor is really like comparing apples to oranges and there is such a demand for staying on site that Disney does not have to compete with those not owned by them.

Last minute deals can be obtained at these hotels which can equate to a really great nightly rate.

Many have free shuttle buses to the Disney parks.

There may be additional resort fees besides the nightly rate.

Guests staying off site can book dining 180 days out but not for the entire trip like those staying on Walt Disney World property.

Fast Pass + attraction reservations do not open to those staying off site until 30 days out compared to 60 days out for those staying on Disney Property.

So, there it is. There are pros and cons to staying both on and off site. I would love to hear from you about which you prefer.

Earn up to $500 of on board credit when you book your 2017 Disney Cruise through me by 1/15/17!

Credit offered based on price per booking.

There is always extra magic when you book your Disney Vacation with me!

Book your Disney Vacation by 12/21/16 and receive a reveal gift to place under your tree!

Click the "My Special Offers" link to get even more discounts when your Walt Disney World Vacation Package is Booked through me by 12/21/16!​ is not affiliated with, authorized or endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with, The Walt Disney Company

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