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Six Halloween Movies That Are a MUST WATCH Every Fall

Halloween is arguably one of the BEST seasons for movie watching. There are so many classics! Here are six of my favorites, in no particular order. Oh, and best part? You can find the all on DisneyPlus.

1. Wizards of Waverly Place, The Movie
AN OG SHOW! Selena Gomez fan-girl aside, this series always spoke to my HP loving heart. Alex and Harper were friendship goals, and this movie is the ultimate cheese in teamwork. Just watch it.

2. Halloweentown
DUH. The ultimate in Disney Halloween movies. This is charming, redemptive and adorable. I am here for all the versions of this movie–all hail the Queen of Halloweentown, Kimberly J. Brown!!

3. Coco
I can practically hear the mingling and bustle of the family making their offerings, setting out their pictures and talking about their loved ones at the Dia de Los Muertos celebration. This movie is all the feels–they get me with the Grandma EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. So good.

4. Hocus Pocus
No Halloween movie list could ever be complete without this spooky tale–it has it all. Your haunted house. Your meddeling kids. Your accidental release of a coven of witches who want to become immortal and now they must be stopped. HA!! Also, google it–you can order drinks at Starbucks based on the Sanderson Sisters!

5. Toy Story Tower of Terror
I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. THIS MOVIE IS TERRIFYING. Just…go watch it.

6. Haunted Mansion
If you haven’t seen this haunted movie with Eddie Murphy, you NEED TO before you head back to the parks and ride this ride! Cheesy? Kind of. Predictable? Of course. But amazing? TOTALLY. Check it out!

Tell me your favorite Halloween movies in the comments!! Thanks for reading!

Why your journey SHOULD start here, and why it matters.

I brag about our Agency all the time, to anyone who will listen. I truly think we are the best team out there, and we’ve only gotten stronger during this past year (surviving a pandemic will do that to ya!!).

We work hard and we play hard, visiting all the destinations we can, to keep you up to date and in the loop. With over 200 agents, someone always has a picture or an answer if the other needs to ask.

Our hard work and dedication to our clients has awarded us with special credentials I want to share with you.

Disney has awarded us their coveted Platinum Earmarked status–which was the highest honor, up until a few years ago when they released the Diamond Tier. We all have a Diamond Mindset and know we will get there, but this tier is very special to us. We are so proud of this achievement despite the changes that have come our way as our org has shifted and grown. As agents, we are allowed a lot more visits (on a discount) so we can get back to the magic. We also have dedicated phone lines that help us get thru faster, on promo days and during the times you need us most, like a family emergency or a pandemic.

At Universal Studios, we are a Gold UPreferred Partner, soaring right past Bronze and Silver on our Nimbus 2000’s! Our love for Universal has grown so much over the past few years–with their amazing resorts, and great deals, it’s no wonder we are on a quick path to the top with this Destination. Many of our Agents (including me and Laura) got invited to stay and play on their dime last year! They take great care of their Agents–the thing I love the most is the extra media they give Preferred Partners. We have special images and pictures just for you that we get to share as we prepare you for your vacation.

Last but not the least by far, our most recent award is becoming a Preferred Partner with Sandals and Beaches. We did not put our pandemic year to waste by any means. Our entire team spent time training, learning, attending webinars, and traveling on many gifted resort stays to Sandals Destinations all over the world! These All Inclusive Properties have something for everyone, whether you’re looking for Adult Only or for your entire family!

We are dedicated to YOU. We have the combined knowledge and know-how to get you safely on your way to the destination of your choice. When you book with Fairytale Journeys, you can rest easy knowing that you truly have experts on your side.

Finally, the wait is over, I sailed and it was amazing!

Welcome aboard show

The suspension was long, it was hard on the industry, the crew, and those that love to sail. While the world started to open up, travel started to ramp up, but not for cruise lines, they were still told no. BUT NOT ANYMORE.

Slowly but surely the CDC released guidelines for the cruise lines to follow, test sailings began, and here we are, back to sailing. Of course, if you are ready.

I am beyond ready so guess what?? I sailed on Disney’s first sailing in over 15 months aboard the Disney Dream on August 9th. Now I’ll share what it was like.

Boarding picture taken in the terminal where the Concierge/Platinum check-in used to be

First the Important Stuff

I’m not going to lie, it is a lot different now, there are new protocols but honesty, did you expect no covid protocols?? You will have to use a new website called Safe Passage to upload test results or if you CHOOSE, your covid vaccination card. Everyone (even Platinum Castaway Club members has to pick a port arrival time (PAT). Concierge guests may arrive when the port opens and right now that is 1pm.

If you don’t upload proof of vaccine or are not vaccinated, you will be tested at port. If you are 12 and older it is at your expense. Children under 12 are not charged.

Don’t arrive at port before your port arrival time; don’t try it, not to sound mean but no one is that special, you will be turned away! Literally turned away.

If you haven’t completed any forms in Safe Passage you WILL NOT be boarding the ship. Please let this sink in. They left people at port, please read all instructions carefully.

Masks: must be worn inside the ship unless stationary while eating or drinking. They are not needed outdoors or in your staterooms.


Onto the Fun Stuff…

Where to begin, I was home, I finally heard the words “Disney Dream welcomes the Greco family” and yes, I ugly cried…more like sobbed. We were the 2nd family onboard. They welcomed about 10-15 families at a time and did a welcome show in the Atrium. I looked up and saw JIMMY, (cruise director), he saw me and it was such an emotional moment. You can hear it if you saw my live video. He kept saying how emotional it was, both of us sobbed. I think the magic began that very moment.

Jimmy and I on the last night

The muster drill is totally different, you scan the letter on the deck through the DCL app and that’s it. Right before you sail they show the video with directions, I was in The District having my chocolate martini 😁

After we scanned in for the drill, we had lunch at Royal Palace, this is where Concierge guests go for lunch on embarkation day. Then off to the pool.

We watched the Fantasy sail off and we had an epic horn battle…MAGICAL

There wasn’t one crew member that didn’t say thank you for coming back, wasn’t truly grateful for being there. The energy was real!

Speaking of crew, you know you’re home when you are sitting at Satellite Falls and one of the crew members comes up to you and says “hi, it’s good to see you, do you remember me?” Of course I remember Soy, but the fact he remembers me is crazy.

Then Burak, my head server, I request him when I sail and he was there waiting for me. Why? Because I never lost touch with him, we have kept in touch and he made sure to grab my reservation. My family wanted for nothing, we had the best seats in the house, Crush even spoke to us at Animators Palate!

The Dining rooms are still magical, there are even a few surprises!

Crush
New Character show at Enchanted Garden

Let’s Talk about Castaway Cay…

We stopped there twice…how sweet is that? We got a double dip! We had a cabana both days, I can’t tell you how great that was. There were tons of port adventures to choose from, feeding stingrays, paddle boarding, hobie cats, bikes, glass bottom boats, so many to choose from. Not running were any that were operated by nearby islands.

The BBQ, ice cream, soda stations, and bars were all open. The 5k was not officially running BUT you could run it on your own and they gave you a medal. Don’t worry, I had my oceanburger!!!

The Ship…

The Dream is beautiful, she hasn’t changed. Onboard they had 2 shows, Disney’s Believe and Beauty and the Beast. They were shown two nights each. The movies were Jungle Cruise, Black Widow, and Star Wars. When I boarded there was no food or drink allowed in the theaters, night 2 they allowed drinks into the theaters…this is very fluid and things change by the minute.

Preludes reopened on night 2

Fireworks at sea….

Yes, they still have them, even without deck parties. Disney Cruise Line still has magic up the their sleeve and shoots the fireworks off on 2 different nights, one night for early seating and one night for late seating. Your invitation will appear on your app and once on deck you will be told what dot to stand on. Please do everyone a favor and go on your assigned day and stand on your dot.

Did I feel safe???

Absolutely, a lot safer than in my grocery store at home. DCL is not messing around. They make you follow the rules, why? Because if you don’t and there is a covid outbreak THEY DON’T SAIL!! There are social distancing markers all over the ship. Follow them. There are testing rules, follow them. There are capacity rules in the pools and theaters, don’t get mad, follow them. If they say don’t move the lounge chairs, don’t move them. This is why Disney has zero cases so far. Be grateful, they are back and people are working again.

My biggest takeaway is that this cruise only felt different because the ship was so empty. Wearing a mask to walk inside the ship and to shop was not a big deal, I was outside a bulk of the time anyway. If you have never sailed before and think that you are ready, you aren’t missing anything. The characters are actually closer to you on the ship then at Disney World. They are walking around more frequently.

I can’t wait to get back onboard!!! I would love to answer any of your questions so don’t hesitate to ask!!

Mother’s Day Photo Opp!

Y’all know I”m a huge advocate for putting your phone down at Disney, and letting the professionals do their thing. I can’t tell you how many moments I would have missed if I had been messing with my camera, when Clare has run whole heartedly into a meet and greet with Pluto or Minnie! I LOVE being able to be present in that moment and not worry about not having a great picture.

I love to do this side by side because you can see, my angle INCLUDES THE PHOTOGRAPHER for crying out loud, and SHE knew exactly what to say, do, and position to make this picture magical.

We also LOVE visiting our bestie, Candi with Magical Pix when we are in Florida because she adds extra magic to our photos! Check out me and my Disney bestie Laura casting a Tink patronus in Diagon Alley!!!

So when it comes to Mother’s Day, AKA THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF THE YEAR YALL, why not trust your experience to a professional as well?

LOCAL FRIENDS: I have an amazing opp for you. I’ve partnered with Jana Gross Photography, to bring YOU some amazing magic, swag an fun this year.

Jana is doing something truly innovative and different. You’ll book your time-slot directly with her (I’ll paste her info below) to meet at a gorgeous historic home in Pflugerville, TX. You’ll get to chat with her beforehand about what to expect and how everything will work. She will be practicing COVID safe policies and is truly wonderful to work with!

You will receive a metal print (amazing) with the option to upgrade to more print packages. This session will last one hour, and will benefit ReWork Project.

Best part? It only cost $99. This is truly an amazing deal, benefiting one of the coolest non-profits around.

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!!! You’ll also get a SWAG BAG!

You’ll get a special Disney item from me, as well as items from:

Bluebonnet Picnic Company
Natalie Avila-Gonzales
Kimberly Michelle Kennedy
Rural Birch

It’s a win for EVERYONE!!

Contact Jana to book:
512-537-0609
jana@janagrossphotography.com

What are your Mother’s Day plans??

Thanks for reading!

Let’s Take a Trip to Sandals Montego Bay (MOBAY)!

Sandals Montego Bay is the flagship resort

I recently had the honor of being invited to Sandals Montego Bay (Mobay, as we like to call it), by my BDM for a Back to the Beach FAM event. What does that mean, you ask? It’s a learning event for agents and this one was to see the new safety and testing protocols that Sandals put in place, live and up close, as well as the experience the resort for ourselves.

I learned so much and now I want to share it with all of you.

Oh No, I Have to Test to Go and to Come Home?!?

This is the biggest question that I have received since the announcement was made about needing to test in order to come home. Let me calm your fears about the process, Sandals has you covered.

Step 1: 3 days prior to leaving for Jamaica you will need a COVID-19 test, this may be a rapid Antigen or a PCR test.

Step 2: 5 days prior to leaving for Jamaica you must log onto the Visit Jamaica site: https:/www.visitjamaica.com and fill out the application for your Travel Authorization form. You NO LONGER need to upload your negative COVID-19 results so don’t stress if you do not have them yet. Once you submit the application you will IMMEDIATELY be approved, yes immediately. Print the forms that you are emailed. YOU WILL BE DENIED BOARDING AT THE AIRPORT IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE NEGATIVE COVID-19 TEST AND THE JAMAICA AUTHORIZATION FORM WITH YOU.

It is important to keep in mind that everyone on your flight as well as at the Sandals Resort has tested negative as well:). The Resort is considered your place of quarantine by the Jamaican Government and you must stay on property or at Sandals Royal Caribbean. (You have the use of both resorts)

Step 3: Two days prior to departure you will receive a letter on your door, this letter will tell you the room number and time window to go for your COVID-19 test for your return home. The tests are done by the Jamaican government, they are paid for by SANDALS. The form you need to take with you is in the envelope, you need that form and your passport the day of the test. It is a rapid test much like a pregnancy test. You want one line not two!

They take 2 people into the room at a time and sanitize between each couple. You must wait for your results and they hand you the papers you take to the airport. The entire process took us about 30 minutes to complete.

I know what you are thinking…what if I test positive??? Well in the event you test positive, you get to stay in your room, so if it’s a swim up butler suite, it’s yours for another 10 days! They will bring you food and beverages and you will be allowed on your balcony area. The cost is 200.00 per night BUT it’s totally covered by Sandals insurance so guess what, it’s reimbursed.

Is it Safe/Clean?

Absolutely, hands down, totally sanitized, clean, and safe! Each room is totally sanitized and sealed after and you are the first to break that seal upon arrival. They clean EVERYTHING including the vents of your air conditioning unit.

There is hand sanitizer all over the resort and you must use it before entering restaurants and the gift shops.

Do you have to wear a mask? Only in the gift shop or enclosed locations like the club area to check in. The staff is in masks but you don’t have to be unless you want to be. The resort is all outdoors and naturally socially distanced. It is the most normal I have felt. **remember, we are all tested to be there and while we are there to come home.

Now the Fun Stuff…What’s Included in a Sandals Vacation??

Sandals Resorts include EVERYTHING! Room, food, top shelf liquor, entertainment, activities (even scuba diving if you are certified), transfers from the airport, and gratuities!

**not included: spa treatments, excursions such a catamaran cruises and tours, Butler gratuities (if you’re in a butler suite), and cabana rentals.

Food and Drink…soooo much

Sandals Montego Bay has 12 Restaurants, yes 12!!! You can eat at all of them, they are all included, I had many 2nd lunches and 2nd dinners to get them all in. Currently reservations are only required for 2 of the restaurants, Butches Steak House and Tokyo Joe’s.  The other restaurants are just walk up but I still make one at Soy’s to be sure I had a table inside.  

The 12 restaurants at Mobay are Bayside Restaurant, Oleander Room, Stew Fish, Cucina Romana, Tokyo Joe’s, The Cricketers Pint, Dino’s Pizzeria Italiana, The Mariner Seaside Bar and Grill, Café de Paris, The Jerk Shack, Butches Steak and Seafood, and Soy Sushi Bar. Where would you start?

The drinks, from coffee to any beverage you can dream up. My favorites, Dirty Banana, Purple Rain, Bob Marley!

The Rooms…

Holy Moly, where to begin, there are so many different types of rooms to choose from, I toured 5 and stayed in 2 different ones. I definitely have a favorite. The one that I absolutely love (and stayed in when I visited in October) is the Beachfront Swim-up Super Luxe One-Bedroom Butler Suite w/ Patio Tranquility Soaking Tub! This room features Room Service, Butler Service, Love Nest, In-Room Bar w/ Premium Liquors, private BMW Transfer, Free Wifi, and a Tranquility Soaking Tubs™ for Two. I also this beautiful pool that I could swim across and walk right onto the Beach.

I will upload some room tour videos but first here is a look at some pictures of our Butler Suite from October

Romeo and Juliet Suite
Crystal Lagoon club level swim up suite…yes there is a blooper at the end.
Millionaire Swim out Butler Suite
Oceanview Penthouse Club level jr suite with balcony tranquility tub
Oceanfront honeymoon walkout club level rooms with tranquility tub

Weddings and Retie the Knot Ceremonies

Did you know that you can get married or retie the knot at Sandals? There are multiple venues, some are FREEEE! Pictured above is the over the water chapel, it will cost you 750.00 to use this for your event. The floor has a glass bottom so you can see into the ocean.

There is also another chapel that can be used for 350.00 and a Catholic Priest will come in and perform the ceremony. This venue is also used as a backup in case of bad weather and will be at no charge should that happen.

You can be married anywhere on the beach or in any other wedding location for free. They even have a bridal room that you can use!

Contact me for more information about weddings!

Coming Home?

You all know me, DCL is my “home” and I am missing it terribly. That said, I have been to Mobay twice and it is like coming home! Although I didn’t have a butler for this FAM, I did see my butler Wilson and guess what, he remembered me! So did Stephanie from the spa, and Kayon from the bar, and Adam and Ray from entertainment!! It is just what I needed to feel relaxed and happy while the world is still upside down.

My Thoughts

I know some are ready to travel and some are not. I know some feel disconnected from spouses/partners because of the quarantine, homeschooling, Covid stress, etc.

If you are ready to travel and reconnect with your loved one, Sandals is a safe and romantic place to do it, it might be just what you need to reconnect or just have some alone time.

I leave you with some pictures. If you’re ready, I am here to help you plan!

Drop a comment below if you want to go to paradise!!