About the Author

Lesley Sawhook is a happily married mother of two and lover of all things Disney. She is a Disney planning diva and prides herself in family friendly touring strategies that work. Lesley brings to the table real world experiences as a mother that can help families budget, plan, and enjoy magical family memories together to last a life time. Lesley has taken her love of Disney to the next level as a Certified Disney Travel Agent so she can help plan Magical Disney vacations for others. She welcomes any and all questions and will take them into consideration in future installments of Happiest Tips from Earth.

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Happiest Tips on Earth

by Lesley Sawhook

Congratulations! You're going to Disney World, the Happiest Place on Earth! Now what? Do you have a plan? Do you know what to expect? Are you determined to 'see it all' or die trying? Lesley Sawhook has 'been there, done that' so many times that in her sleep she counts marching Mickeys, not leaping sheep. Her years of experience as a Disney mom, a Disney planner, and a Disney Certified Travel Agent make her uniquely qualified to dispense the Happiest Tips on Earth. Learn from Lesley how to have the Happiest Time at the Happiest Place on Earth.

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

SEP 10Lesley gets all spooky on us and talks about the cost vs. the benefits of attending Walt Disney World's annual October celebration - Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Saving Towards Your Dream Vacation

SEP 1 We all want to have enough money to take that dream Disney vacation. Lesley goes over some ways to save that you might have forgotten about or just not thought of.

Fast Course in FastPass

AUG 12 The concept of a FastPass at Disney World seems simple enough: get the pass, then come back later to board the ride fast. And that's enough for most people. But if you want to leverage the system, just a bit, Lesley knows how to do it.

Saving Money with Disney Cruise Line

AUG 5 Disney cruises cost big money - more than you'd shell out for double the days at a Disney park. So it's even more important to find ways to save before you sail. Lesley Sawhook reveals a few secrets, including the awesome virtual porthole.

Epcot Touring Plan

JUL 29 Lesley continues her excellent series of Disney World touring plans with a calculated romp through Epcot, the biggest park and potentially the most challenging to "do" in a single day. But with Lesley at your side, you'll do it with ease.

Touring the Animal Kingdom

JUL 15 In terms of rides and shows, the Animal Kingdom has less to offer than the other Disney World parks, but that doesn't mean you can breeze through the gates and expect to do everything in one day - unless you have Lesley's touring plan.

Hollywood Studios Park Touring

JUL 8 Lesley is back with her exclusive touring plan for Hollywood Studios. Follow her on the red carpet to streamline your day at the park, avoid the press (of crowds), and board like VIPs the busiest rides and attractions. You're ready for your close-up.

Port Orleans Magic Box

JUL 1 So, once again, you expected Lesley Sawhook, but instead you got me. Lesley is still at Disney World, and while she's there, I'm in residence here, providing my own version of the happiest tips on earth, such as this obscure little jewel.

A Tale of Two Misters

JUN 24 So you expected Lesley Sawhook? Well, she's at Disney World, and while she's there, I'm in residence here, providing my own version of the happiest tips on earth, such as this sweet little tale of the squally kid who had to have a personal mister fan.

Magic Kingdom Park Touring

JUN 17 You've gotten past security, squeezed through the turnstile, trotted under the railroad station. You made it! The Magic Kingdom! Look, you can see the castle! Let's go there, no this way, no that way... Relax. Lesley's got your touring plan.

Celebrating at Disney

JUN 10 Where better to celebrate a 'big day' than at a Disney park? The Mouse is happy to help! Lesley has plenty of tips for making your special occasion a magical occasion, but as she points out, you can't rely upon Disney to do everything.

Going to Disney World with Teenagers

JUN 3 Though fraught with peril, not to mention drama, it IS possible to bring teenagers to Disney World and have a good time. But don't let anyone kid you: it's a challenge. Lesley Sawhook isn't here to kid you; her happiest tips may be your lifeline.

Keeping That Disney Magic Alive

MAY 27 The unbelievers can't believe you're going back to Disney AGAIN. Haven't you SEEN it already? What do you DO there? Lesley Sawhook gets those same questions, and she answers them in a way that makes us realize how much we HAVEN'T seen...

Disney World for Boys

MAY 20 What with all the princesses running regally round, many people assume that Disney World hasn't much to offer boys (at least those too young to appreciate princesses running regally round). Lesley Sawhook disagrees! And she has some happiest tips to prove it.

Disney's PhotoPass

MAY 13 At Disney, no matter your age, you may get 'carded' when your photo is taken. The card is the PhotoPass card, and it's a handy place to keep all of the pictures shot of your family by Disney photographers. Learn from Lesley how to get the most out of it.

Disney Character Dining

MAY 6 If there's one thing better than the Disney dining plan, it's the free Disney dining plan. And it's back! Before you bite, learn how to use it right, with Lesley Sawhook's tips about getting bang for your buck, and plenty of characters with your cuisine.

Disney World Not Just for Kids

APR 29 Let's take the kids to Disney World! Or better: let's not. Lesley Sawhook reminds us that you don't always need the kids to have a great time at Disney. The parks offer plenty for adults who'd prefer to party or just plain relax.

How to Beat the Heat at Disney World

APR 22 It's coming. Hot weather. And in Florida, really hot weather. Other than cold weather, nothing takes the fun out of a day at Disney World than stinkin' hot, humid weather. Fortunately, we have Lesley Sawhook to cool it down with some happiest tips.

Choosing Your Disney World Digs

APR 15 Staying on Disney property enhances your Disney vacation. Just ask Lesley Sawhook. She has lots of reasons for staying on property. But can you afford it? Lesley Sawhook takes a look at your options, from the inexpensive values to the pricey deluxes.

How Not to Lose Your Child at Disney World

APR 8 I like to joke around when writing these brief intros, but the topic of Lesley Sawhook's column today leave no room for jokes: it's about how to prepare for the very worst thing that can happen at Disney - the disappearance of your child.

Birthday Freebies at Disney World

APR 1 For this week's Happiest Tips on Earth, enjoy (or tolerate) a special surprise appearance by Bob McLain as he shares his happiest tips for having the happiest birthday, ever, in Disney World - for free! And it's not even his birthday!

Disney in the Rain

MAR 25 Rain can ruin any vacation, including a Disney vacation. Right? Wrong. Lesley Sawhook doesn't let rain ruin her Disney vacations - in fact, she welcomes the rain, and her newest crop of happiest tips will help you turn those droplets into diamonds.

Organizing for a Disney Vacation

MAR 18 Quick! Which takes more careful planning: a trip to the Moon or a trip to Disney World? If you answered 'Disney World', you are correct. To get the most happy from the happiest place on earth, you have to plan for it. Lesley Sawhook has some great tips.

Epcot Interactive Adventures

Lesley Sawhook knows how to keep kids happy at Epcot

MAR 11 When I talk to parents of young children about their upcoming Disney vacations, I'm often dumbfounded that many of them consider skipping Epcot. Many parents have told me that they don't feel Epcot would interest their kids. I'm here to tell you that Epcot is a do-not-miss park for everyone - especially those with... MORE

Extra Magic Hours

Lesley Sawhook ponders: to EMH or not to EMH

MAR 4 As a Disney travel planner, I am always working on detailed itineraries for myself, my family, and friends and clients. Our biggest debates are "should I take advantage of the early and late magic hours the parks are having?" and "should we spend the extra money on park hoppers?" I'll tackle the first... MORE

Disney World Hidden Gems

Lesley Sawhook finds what Disney tries to hide

FEB 25 It's hard for lots of people to slow down at Disney World. They run to rides, dash to dinner, sprint to shows. And by doing so, they miss the 'hidden gems' available at each of the parks for folks not in such a hurry. Lesley Sawhook reveals what you might be missing. "If you're like my family, you have been to... MORE

Dealing with Disney Trip Anticipation

Lesley Sawhook helps you start your Disney trip before leaving home

FEB 18 You've finally booked your magical Disney vacation and now the anticipation is killing you. The kids keep asking: "HOW MANY DAYS, MOM?" It just can't get here fast enough. What can you do to pass the time and enjoy the days leading up to your vacation? Here are some 'happiest tips' to help start... MORE

The Great Stroller Debate

Lesley Sawhook gently dissects a Disney hot button issue

FEB 11 I have been taking my children to Disney World since my son was 2 and my daughter was 8 months old. Every year before we left for Disney we would have the GREAT stroller debate: should we rent a stroller at the parks? should we bring our stroller with us? As my son got older, we wondered if we should just... MORE

Soothing the Screamers

Lesley Sawhook shares tips for letting the magic happen

FEB 4 When walking through the Happiest Place on Earth, sometimes you hear ... screaming. For example: I've seen children scream as their parents drag them to places they don't want to go. The angry parents scream back: "I paid too much for this vacation to hear you throwing a fit!". Then, having finally made it to... MORE