Time to Plan a Walt Disney World Vacation


It’s the perfect time to plan a Walt Disney World vacation! Disney recently released discounts for this upcoming winter. The thought of Winter sends a chill down my spine, but being at Disney warms my heart. So leave the cold and snow behind and head to sunny Florida! And it doesn’t hurt to save a little money too!

There are two different discounts. First up, Play, Stay, Dine and Save!! This one is a really great deal if you are going with a Disney package.  You save up to $500 on a 5-night 6-day Walt Disney resort room, ticket and dining plan package for a family of four at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels for stays most nights Jan. 1-March 7, 2017 when they book Oct. 3-Dec. 21, 2016.

The next discount is a room only. It’s the Gift of Magic room offer. This offer extends out further than the Play, Stay, Dine and Save discount. So you can save up to 25%  on your room and you still have the option to add tickets and / or dining.  Valid nights are Dec. 15 – 23, 2016 and Jan. 1 – April 8, 2017 when they book Oct. 3 – Dec. 21, 2016.


Full List of Disney Resort Hotel Exclusions:
Campsites, 3-bedroom villas, The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, Bay Lake Tower at th Contemporary Resort, Art of Animation Resort – The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms,  All-Star Movies Resort, and Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter.

If your travel plans take you there starting in March 2017, make sure to visit  EPCOT. There you will find Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival.



See What’s Budding in 2017

Blossoming once again from March 1 to May 29, 2017, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is a fun-filled destination for Guests of every age—and the perfect place for nearly every member of the family to dig up their sense of curiosity and discovery. Highlights may include:

  • Outdoor kitchens offering delectable bites and libations
  • Dozens of world-renowned, Disney-themed topiaries
  • Breathtaking garden spaces and wildlife habitats
  • Inspirational exhibits, seminars and how-to demonstrations
  • An outdoor concert series featuring fan-favorite bands
  • And much, much more

With so much to see and do, you can return to the festival again and again—and uncover something new each and every time! We’ll see you in 2017… Sounds like fun!!

If this sounds like the perfect Winter get away, one of our Travel Pixies would love to help get you there. We always add the extra Pixie Dust to your vacation!!

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Family Vacation Just Got Better at Sea World and Busch Gardens!

Sea World and Busch Garden unveil major new attractions for the updolphincoming year, and family vacation opportunities expand!  Gone are the days that you wonder from pavilion to pavilion watching the lovable sea creatures.  Now you can hop on exciting and thrilling rides that will turn your insides out! This will be the largest new attraction year in the company’s more than 50 year history.

Sea World in San Antonio will be getting  Wave Breaker:The Rescue Coaster. This attraction is inspired by the Emmy award winning program, Sea Rescue. This new coaster is the first of it’s kind in North America.  It combines the thrill of the sea, the rush of a coaster and the excitement of animal rescue.  You will race with  Sea World’s heroic animal care team as they help rescue animals in distress.  Riders will be riding jet skis as they are launched into this hear pounding adventure! Sounds like fun! I wonder if we will get wet? Continue reading Family Vacation Just Got Better at Sea World and Busch Gardens!

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Get Busy Relaxing At Sandals Resorts!

sandals_mapOur Laughing Place Travel has been known as an agency specializing in Disney travel since it’s beginnings years ago.  And we still have a deep love for all things Disney.  But we also love other destinations, too!  Why set limits on our love, right?  One of my personal favorite vacation options is Sandals Resorts.  With amazing destinations, all inclusive convenience, and budget friendly pricing, what’s not to love, right?

Some people ask, ‘what EXACTLY’ is all – inclusive’?  And they ask for good reason because over the years, many destinations have claimed to be all inclusive, but when you arrive, there are lots of things that AREN’T included.  But not with Sandals.  When they say ‘all-inclusive’, they really mean it.  All your meals, drinks (both alcoholic and non alcoholic), resort accommodation, and activities are included.  You can even include round trip airfare!  So once you arrive at your destination, you’re set for a worry free and immensely relaxing vacation experience.sandals1

Of course, the next question would be ‘where ARE these destinations?’.  Well you’re going to LOVE your options!  The Sandals Resort Destinations are:

  • Jamaica
    •  Montego Bay
    •  Royal Caribbean
    •  Negril
    •  Whitehouse
    •  Ochi
    •  Royal Plantation
    • Sandals Inn
  • St Lucia
    •  Regency La Toc
    •  Grand St Lucian
    •  Halcyon Beach
  • Bahamas
    •  Royal Bahamian
    •  Emerald Bay
  • Antigua
    • S Grand Antigua
  • Grenada
    •  LaSource Grenada
  • Barbados
    • Sandals Barbados

Sandals Resorts are adult only venues.  They are wonderful for honeymoons, romantic vacations, anniversaries, or just a glorious couple’s get-away.  But don’t worry if you’d rather have a vacation destination that you can bring the entire family on.  Sandals also has sister resorts called Beaches Resorts.  These wonderful vacations are also all-inclusive and include family activities as well as activities that cater to the young travelers while mom and dad can enjoy some grown up adventures of their own.

beach22_at_the_beaches_negril_resort_spaBeaches Resort destinations include:

  • Jamaica
    • Beaches Ocho Rios
    • Beaches Negril
  • Turks and Caicos
    • Beaches Turks and Caicos

The Beaches Resort locations are perfect not only for family vacations, but also for weddings / honeymoons (guests of all ages  beaches-turks-caicosare welcome!), best friends vacations, group gatherings, family reunions, and even couples who want some more youthful fun like water slides!  And, like Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resort vacations are surprisingly affordable.

So now that I’ve peaked your interest, why not contact one of our OLP Travel Pixies to get more details and start planning your next Sandals / Beaches Resort vacation!  Prepare to be awed!

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Fantasy Parade Dining Package at Walt Disney World


I’m not sure if this is really true, but rumor has it, it’s been known that Disney guests often ask a cast member when the 3 o’clock parade is. Too funny, right?! We all love a parade, but a Disney parade really takes it to the next level of excitement. The only not so magical thing may be having to hold your spot for a long time before the start parade to make sure you get a great viewing. At least for me, that’s a huge factor in deciding if I will see the parade. I really have to decide if I want to wait a long time while saving my spot or should I hit the popular rides during the parade? Hmm, decisions, decisions. Continue reading Fantasy Parade Dining Package at Walt Disney World

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Universal Is EPIC!

A sentence that I find myself saying, quite often, as a Travel Pixie, is “Universal Studios is not part of Disney.”  Universal universalStudios is about 20 minutes away from Disney World.  It’s located closer to the Orlando International Airport.  And yes, it is NOT part of Disney.  Universal is it’s own unique and awesome vacation destination!

Last month, I shared information about the awesome resorts that are located on the Universal grounds.  Now, I want to share the two incredible parks.  Universal has two parts: the Studios and Islands of Adventure. Continue reading Universal Is EPIC!

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Cruising – Amazing Experiences Plus Great Rates!

RC 1Cruising is a great way to warm up a cold winter!  And as we close out another hot summer season, we all know that soon enough another long, cold winter will be upon us.  So why not plan now for a warm, sunny cruise?  To make it even better, there are some amazing sales and promotions available for some of the most popular cruise lines out there!  So let’s take a look at a couple of my personal favorite cruise lines and the great promotions they are offering!


Right now Royal Caribbean is showing off their amazing holiday sailing RC 2packages!  Let Royal Caribbean® make your spirit merry and bright this December. All month long, they’re hosting the biggest holiday celebration at sea featuring Santa and his elves, snow days on deck, your favorite DreamWorks characters, and more. And if you joins them over the holidays, you’ll get some extra holiday cheer with 25% off third and fourth guests – plus up to $400 to spend at sea. So join them onboard and start a new, decked out tradition.

azamara-questRoyal Caribbean also has two ‘sister’ cruise lines as well:  Azamara and Celebrity!  And yep, you guessed it, there are some awesome offerings from these two as well.  For Azamara, you can get an amazing double upgrade!  Imagine yourself enjoying complimentary room service on your veranda as you sail across the Mediterranean watching the sunrise. Now imagine that you’ll only have to pay for an interior stateroom to do just that.  When you book a select voyage between September 1 and November 30, 2016, you’ll get a complimentary double upgrade from a club interior to a club verandah stateroom!  NICE!

For Celebrity Cruise Line, you can enjoy the ‘Two if By Sea’ sale!    Half offcelebrity_cruises_slider2 the second guest, plus GO BIG with free drinks for both.
On your next vacation (to almost anywhere they sail), save 50% off the second guest’s fare, plus GO BIG and get complimentary Classic Beverage Packages for both guests in an ocean view stateroom or higher.

So you can sip cappuccinos in Rome, hot toddies in Alaska, rum punches in the Caribbean… you get the idea. It’s the perfect combination for an unforgettable, modern luxury vacation — sip and save together.   Sailing date range from December 1, 2016 – April 30, 2018.  


NCL 1How does the word ‘free’ sound?  Well with the ‘Free at Sea’ discount, you can enjoy a variety of FREE offers!  Choose from FREE unlimited open bar, FREE specialty dining, FREE prepaid service charges, FREE wifi, or family and friends sail FREE.  Here’s how it works:

  • Book a Studio or Inside Stateroom and Choose One Free Offer
  • Book an Oceanview, Balcony or Mini-Suite and Choose Two Free Offers
  • Book a Suite or Haven and receive all five offers

The booking window for this amazing offer (which I personally have taken advantage of!) is only through September 18th for 3 night or longer sailings through 2017.  This is an awesome deal, so you won’t want to miss it!  

Now I’ll bet you’re ready to start planning your amazing cruising adventure, right?  It’s easy and fun when you contact Our Laughing Place Travel and let one of our awesome travel pixies get you all the details and help you chose and book the perfect cruise for you and your family.  Bon Voyage!

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Walt Disney World Holiday Discount

castleI want you to think about the upcoming Christmas holiday.  I know it’s August and it’s HOT out, but for just for a minute, think snow and cooler temps. Now picture yourself at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park, in front of Cinderella’s castle. Imagine it’s lit up in holiday lights. It will truly take your breath away! While “snow” is softly falling on Main St. USA and Christmas music is playing in the background. Oh and you’re drinking your hot chocolate and eating a sugar cookie or two, while watching Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. All of this is followed by a special fireworks show not to be missed! Since the characters are dressed in their best holiday attire, imagine yourself in your “Goofy” holiday sweater!

You’re already picturing what your Christmas card will look like, aren’t you? So now that you are ready to live out this vision dancing in your head.. pack your bags … and makes plans to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! Well, I don’t mean grab your suitcases just yet, but starting on November 7, 2016 you can! The party is currently scheduled to take place on the following dates in 2016 – November 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 27 and 29 December 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18 and 2.  Ticket prices start at $86 per person.

Now that you want to go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Disney is offering a discount to help with your magical adventure. You can save up to 20%* on rooms at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels for stays most nights Nov. 6-Nov. 10, Nov. 13-Nov. 22, Nov. 26-Dec. 23, 2016. It’s like getting one of the nights FREE when you book a 5-night stay at a select Disney Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resort.

Booking Window:
Aug. 8-Oct. 8, 2016

Travel Window:
Nov. 6- Nov. 10, Nov. 13-Nov. 22, Nov. 26-Dec. 23, 2016

Full List of Disney Resort Hotel Exclusions: 
Campsites, 3-bedroom villas, The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms, and Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter.

I dare say, this time of year is the most magical at the Magic Kingdom. And be sure to visit the other theme parks and Disney resorts to experience even more of the holiday feel!gingerbread

To keep up to date about all thing Disney, follow us on our Facebook page, Our Laughing Place. And make sure you contact Our Laughing Place Travel for all of your travel needs. We offer free pixie dust service that’s a step above concierge!


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Orlando Is Not Just Disney, It’s Universal Orlando, Too!


Many times, I’ve heard people say “What’s that other park inuniversal
Orlando?”  The truth is,  there are multiple theme parks in the Orlando area.  And Universal Orlando is an entire vacation destination by itself.  After attending an informational seminar, I’ve learned that this is a “must see” for people of all ages.

Let’s start by taking a look at the fabulous resorts that Universal offers.  There are now 5 that you can choose from, all with different themes and perks. hard rockThere is a resort for every price range and style.  The two original resorts, Hard Rock and Portofino Bay, are the in the ‘Premiere Resort’ category.  Both offer early admission to Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Express Pass that allows you to skip the lines, complimentary transportation to the parks and Universal City Walk, access to City Walk, delivery of merchandise purchased throughout the resort, priority seating at restaurants and transportation to Sea World and Aquatica.

The Hard Rock name is known for it’s rock star style and rare rock memorabilia.  That’s exactly what you will find at this resort.  Rock star theming along with comfy beds, full service dining and great pools!  Speaking ofhard rock pool pools, HR has the only pool that allows you to jam under water with it’s submerged speakers.  The pool also has a fun water slide and cabana rentals.  On select evenings, you can catch a “dive-in” movie poolside.  The standard rooms at Hard Rock can sleep up to 4 people.  If you need a bit more space and have the kids in tow, you might want to opt for the rock themed kid suites.

Looking for some great food?  Try The legendary Palm bringing the waffkeslegacy of its famous New York steakhouse to Universal Orlando® Resort.  The Palm’s legendary menu offers a variety of American fare, Italian specialties, and its prime cuts of beef and jumbo lobster. If you’re in the mood for eating like the velvetcelebs, head to The Kitchen. It has an array of comfort foods with rock memorabilia on the walls. If you are lucky enough to be visiting Hard Rock on the last Thursday of the month, you can sit in on a Velvet Session.

Portofino Bay, in my opinion, is the stark opposite of HR.  It is an experience in the charm and romance of a Mediterranean village in Italy.  Portofino has elegant rooms and dining.  The water area is potogorgeous with it’s 3 pools and breathtaking  lagoon.  The Beach pool has a water slide and sand beach, the Villa Poll has cabana rentals and if you’re looking for some quiet time, check out the Hillside pool.  PB comes alive at sunset when guests are serenaded on the piazza with live Italian opera during Misica della Notte (Music of the Night).

The accommodations  are made up of 750 rooms and suites. There are several different suite configurations.  One of my favorites is the Despicable Me themed kid suites. minion  An exquisite culinary voyage right to the heart of Italy awaits you amid a decor of Bice (Bee-Chay) at Portofino, which combines Old World elegance and modern chic.  Bice Ristorante offers Northern biceItalian cuisine and superb service in an elegant atmosphere.  If you have a hankering for a  brick oven pizza, be sure to give Sal’s a try.  The Thirsty Fish is a casual bar on the piazza that offers live Jazz Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.

Royal Pacific and Sapphire Falls are the Preferred class of resort. Royal Pacific offers the same front of line access of  the two Premier resorts .  Royal Pacific also will give you priority seating at the royalrestaurants throughout the resort.  Other perks, such as  early admission to Wizarding World of Harry Potter,  complimentary transportation to the parks and Universal City Walk, access to City Walk, delivery of merchandise purchased throughout the resort, priority seating at restaurants and transportation to Sea World and Aquatica are available at both.

The Royal Pacific will transport you to an exotic South Seas island with it’s sparkling waterfall and lush landscaping.  The 1,000 jurrasicguest rooms and suites, it can accommodate families of 2 to 5.  If you want some privacy away from the little ones, opt for the Jurrasic Park kid suites.

RP offers some great dining choices.  The Island Dining room features Pan Am with a twist.  This is where you can dine with the characters and there is even a special dining room for the kids!   Emeril’s Tchoup Chop (Chop Chop) features cuisine with an Asian-Polynesian fusion.  How can you go wrong with Emeril?  One of the best “extras” at RP is the Luau on Saturday evenings.  It all starts with the nightly torch lighting. luau Sit back and experience an evening of authentic Polynesian food and entertainment at the enchanting Wantilan Luau.  The weekly Hawaiian dinner show featuring an all-you-can-eat buffet of Polynesian specialties, live Hawaiian music and traditional hula dancing. Hula and fire dancers delight the audience and entice a few to even learn the hula!

Sapphire Falls is the newest resort and Universal calls it “an island escape in the heart of an unforgettable adventure”.   It boasts a sapphire16,000 sq ft. zero-entry pool with water slide, play area, hot tub and fire pit. The 1000 guest rooms and suites all sleep up to 5 people, with different configurations.  Each room has a mini fridge, coffee maker and free WiFi.  You can pick from standard view, lagoon view or pool view.  All of the rooms are comfy and a great place to rest after a long day at the parks.

Rumbling in your tummy?  SF has full service dining at Amatista cakeCookhouse, Water Tavern and Drhum Club Kantine.  If you are
looking for something filling with great ambiance, try Amatista.  The outside seating is next to the waterfall for a beautiful, relaxing sound. Upon entering the Strong Water Tavern,  you’ll find a wall of vintage rums complete with your own rum expert, a ceviche bar, and a patio with breathtaking views of the lagoon. Be sure to take part in the daily rum tasting.

bowlIf you are looking for a value, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is first resort in the Prime Value group.  Currently, the Bay has 1800 guest rooms and suites.  The plan is to add another 450 rooms by the end of 2017.  The standard rooms will fit a family of 4 comfortably.  They do offer family suites that sleep 6.  Cabana has 2 large pools,  a tasty food court and the Galaxy Bowl Restaurant, which is a sit down.  Along with a sand beach, CB has a 10 lane bowling alley and dive-in movies.  If you want a blast from the past and you’re missing the beach hotels of yesteryear, this is just what you’ve been looking for!

So, as you can see, Universal Orlando offers a resort for everyone.  Whether you are looking for top of the line amenities or just a great resort at a value, you can’t go wrong.  By the way, did you know that there are 2 awesome parks within walking or complimentary shuttle distance?  Watch for my September blog for more information about those adventures.

If you would like more information about any of the spectacular resorts of Universal Orlando, just contact one of the Travel Pixies at Our Laughing Place Travel.  We will help you plan the perfect vacation!



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OLP Travel’s Walt Disney World Favorites – Resorts!

Our Laughing Place Travel, Disney travel agentA while ago, I shared with you some of the favorite dining locations of our travel pixies at OLP Travel.  Today I’m back to follow up on that blog by sharing the travel pixies’ favorite resorts for various ages and stages of Disney vacationers.  So let’s get started with some resort fun! Continue reading OLP Travel’s Walt Disney World Favorites – Resorts!

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Disney’s Hollywood Studio News

DHS EMMToday, let’s chat about Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Starting on Aug. 1, 2016, you can experience Disney Early Morning Magic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

On these special mornings, the rides you can experience will include Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, Toy Story Mania!, Pixar Place character greetings (with Woody and Buzz), and Mickey and Minnie on Commissary Lane and Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight.

Make sure to bring your appetite because you can also partake in a hearty all-you-care-to-enjoy breakfast at ABC Commissary from 8-10 a.m. Disney Early Morning Magic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios takes place Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:45-10 a.m.

Disney Early Morning Magic will be offered on different days than Extra Magic Hours. This special event requires a separate ticket – $69 for adults and $59 for children ages 3-9 (plus tax), in addition to regular theme park admission.  Breakfast is included in the ticket price. The number of tickets available for each morning is limited.

In other Disney Hollywood Studio news…

villainsSunset Showcase will again be hosting Club Villain, a special ticketed event  that features some of Disney’s most popular villains. Your host, Dr. Facilier, along with some evil-diva co-hosts, invite you to an evening full of spooky dining and dancing!

This spellbinding evening serves up decadent New Orleans delicacies like tender beef striploin rubbed with herbes de Provence, Voodoo sticky “pig wings” with citrus gremolata and spicy shrimp sautéed with Andouille sausage, tomato, okra and onions over creamy polenta.
Trick or treat yourself to some chilling cocktail concoctions… there will be specialty alcoholic drinks plus beer and wine, hilarious stage-show numbers and up-close encounters with Disney’s most dastardly doomsday divas. Mix and mingle with mysterious Maleficent, hilarious Queen of Hearts, the delirious Evil Queen and the always fur-fetched Cruella De Vil—and wicked jams from our house DJ!

This event runs on Friday and Saturday night from September 2 – October 29, with a final event on Monday, October 31. There are two nightly events to choose from: a 5:15 pm and an 8:30 pm. Also, be aware that since this event will offer banquet style seating,  you may be seated with other parties. Disney dining plan entitlements may not be redeemed for this event. Tickets are$129 per person, tax and gratuity included, and can be purchased 90 days in advance.  Separate admission to Hollywood Studios is required and not included in the price of this package.

Both of these extra events sound fun!  Contact one of our Travel Pixies for more information . We’re always excited help with all of your Disney planning!

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