Disney offers an Agent Education Program to agents who actively sell Disney vacations and want to further their education to sell even more. I was fortunate enough to go on the most recent AEP in mid-January at Walt Disney World!
I’m going to blog each day separately because there’s a lot of information (and many, many pictures) that I hope will both entertain and educate you, gentle viewers. So let’s get started!
I always drive to Disney because I’m frugal and I like having the freedom of packing anything I want into my car. Disney has started charging for parking at resorts recently, so if you’d rather fly, FLY! You can use all of Disney’s transportation for FREE to get around everywhere, including to and from the airport. I highly recommend this. If you’re stubborn like me, you can still drive and park, you will just have to pay a nightly parking fee.
I have only stayed at value resorts at Disney before. I’ve stayed at all 3 All-Star Resorts and Pop Century. For our program, we were given rooms at the Caribbean Beach Resort. CBR is a moderate-level resort that is currently being renovated (and is almost done!) I love this place! There are sandy beaches with hammocks, kids play areas, a super cool main pool, quick-service and table-service options, and lush tropical landscaping. I will definitely stay here again.
Right behind my hotel room. I stayed in the Aruba section.
Aruba is furthest away from the main lobby, pool, and restaurants. We had to walk across a bridge to get over there, but it was a gorgeous walk!
A pretty view along the walk from Aruba to the main lobby.
I didn’t have a lot of time to check out CBR, as I had to head to Animal Kingdom to meet up with all of the other agents in the program. I had some time to kill before our 4 PM meet-up so I hopped on Kilimanjaro Safaris and DINOSAUR. I was hoping to make it to Everest as well but didn’t have quite enough time. Being alone at Disney is…a strange experience, but not unpleasant! It was nice being able to move at my own (superfast) pace. I was much happier hanging out with the group of friends I made than being alone, however. Disney is best enjoyed with other Disney addicts:)
I saw Pluto behind DINOSAUR and no one was waiting to meet him! I like that pup.
All 34 agents met up in front of DINOSAUR, where we were led to the Dinosaur Lounge inside the ride building. (Going into these behind-the-scenes areas during the program was SO EXCITING for a hardcore Disney addict like myself). We had an introductory meeting and started getting to know each other. I forgot to mention earlier, on the bus from CBR to Animal Kingdom, there were 4 other agents heading to the program. We were the only 5 people on the bus. Funny enough, we all became fast friends and the 5 of us (plus a couple other girls we met that night) formed a group that stayed together during the whole program. (Special shoutout to Jen, Stephanie, Colleen, Denise, Krystle, Rhiannon, and Amanda)!
We all headed to dinner at the Tusker House Restaurant around 7. I’ve never eaten here and I’m really glad I was able to! It’s a character dining experience, with Disney characters in safari outfits. It was super cute, and the food (buffet style) was fantastic. The cuisine has heavy African vibes (curry and other spices) and dessert was THE BEST. I always judge restaurants based on their dessert choices. These were solid. I got to meet Donald, Daisy, Mickey, and Goofy. Goofy was a HOOT. He took my napkin to wipe my face off before the picture, then gave me my water to have a sip. He was cracking everyone up!
We were able to finish dinner and get to Flight of Passage 10 minutes before park closing. We only had to wait 25 minutes to get on the ride! HERE’S A TIP: If you can’t snag a fastpass to FoP, go get in line right before the park closes! We got there at 7:50, and had ridden FoP and were out of the park by 8:30! It was fantastic! If you’ve never ridden FoP, DO IT NOW. Just do it. Seriously.
Pandora at night is breath-taking. You have to see it in person.
Epcot was having Extra Magic Hours from 9-11 PM, so 3 of us headed over there to ride Soarin’ and Frozen Ever After, before returning our resort and crashing in bed around midnight. Extra Magic Hours are available to guests staying at Disney Resorts. Every day, a different park has Extra Magic Hours, either before opening or after closing. Fastpasses are not used at this time and most rides are easy to just walk on! I definitely recommend taking advantage of these hours if you’re staying at a Walt Disney World Resort.
Stay tuned for days 2-4. I’ll have information on multiple resorts, restaurants, theme parks, and the Disney Dream Cruise Ship!