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July 24, 2014

There is no doubt about it, a visit to the Happiest Place on Earth requires more planning than most other destinations. From where to stay to what time of year to visit, there are many decisions to be made, each of them with numerous options. But with thoughtful planning comes great reward, and when you’re taking in the fireworks in front of Cinderella’s Castle, you will no doubt think you’ve been sprinkled with pixie dust.

Whether you are visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort, nearby Universal Orlando or SeaWorld with your grandchildren, there are a few simple steps you can take to make sure it’s the experience of a lifetime!

1. Stay on property.

The Walt Disney World® Resort has 25 hotels, each with its own theme at a variety of price points., Whether you stay in the lush African safari of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge or among the tranquil Southern plantations of Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, you are sure to find accommodations that your grandkids will love.

2. Check the crowd calendar before you plan your trip.

Visit Undercover Tourist’s Crowd Calendar to see daily crowd levels and individual park recommendations up to a year out. While the little ones will enjoy the parks anytime of the year, by using the calendar, you quickly see the very best times to visit within any given month.

3. Make dining reservations. 

While there are plenty of quick-service, walk-up dining options within the parks, you will need reservations during the busiest times of year for the table-service restaurants. For the most in-demand restaurants, such as Victoria and Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom® Park, you should make your reservations as soon as you as you are planning your trip to ensure a spot.

4. Buy your tickets in advance.

Save time and money by purchasing your tickets online. By purchasing tickets in advance through Undercover Tourist you’ll save money on discounted tickets and can go straight through the gates, and skip the lengthy ticket lines outside of the turnstiles.

5. Rent a car.

Although Disney offers complimentary transportation between its parks, entertainment areas and resorts, most guests will find renting a car to be more convenient. During the busiest times of year, you might end up waiting longer for a tram, boat or bus or having to wait for a second bus because the first one is filled up. Having a car makes it simpler to visit other parks, and head back to the hotel for the little guys’ nap time on your own schedule.

6.  Watch the attractions videos before you go.

The very best way to gauge whether you want to ride something is to get a feel for what it’s like before you get to the park. On Undercover Tourist’s YouTube channel you will find hundreds of point-of-view videos that will give you a taste of what to expect from Peter Pan’s Flight® Attraction at Magic Kingdom® Park to Kilimanjaro Safaris® Expedition at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park.

7. Get to the parks early, and take a break in the afternoons.

No matter what time of year you visit, the parks reach their peak crowds in the afternoons. The very best time to tour is in the mornings when crowds are at their lowest. Get to the park ahead of the official opening – cast members often let guests into the park earlier than the posted opening time. You’ll experience more attractions when crowds are lower, and can go at your own pace. Then you can always come back in the evenings rested up and ready for the parades and fireworks.

8. Don’t skip the special events.

The Walt Disney World® Resort has some incredible, first-class events throughout the year.

  • If you are visiting in spring, make sure to visit the Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival, which offers 30 million spectacular blooms and more than 75 topiaries of beloved Disney characters throughout the park.
  • In the fall, you can experience fine cuisine and wines at the Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival.
  • At Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, you are encouraged to wear costumes while you trick-or-treat and meet seldom-seen Disney characters.
  • At Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party you can sip on hot chocolate and nibble cookies while watching Santa come down Main Street U.S.A. in Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.

9. Take a day or two off in between visits to the parks.

No matter how long you plan to visit, make sure you schedule downtime, whether it’s a day lounging at the pool, visiting a local museum or swimming at some of Florida’s nearby beaches. You’ll be refreshed and ready to enjoy all that the resort has to offer.

by Undercover Tourist

Since 2000, Undercover Tourist has sold millions of tickets to top Orlando attractions, and launched in the Southern California market in June 2014. Undercover Tourist helps families save time and money on their vacations with discount attraction tickets, vacation planning tools, and Wait Time Apps.

For more information please visit www.undercovertourist.com. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @ThemeParkFrog.

 


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cool_summer LS blog imageYour employees are requesting vacation days almost every month this quarter, and now asking about summer Fridays? That’s right, we are in the heat of the summer season and for some it can seem like the business world takes a backseat between Memorial and Labor Day.

But, if you plan accordingly and ensure that your employees are fulfilled and working strategically during their time in the office, then you can avoid any sort of three month slump. Here are a few ideas for making summer in the office a breeze.

Stay on track with hours. If your team knows exactly what is on their plate and can make up time before or after 9-5 or on the weekends, then be a pinch more flexible with letting them leave a few hours early on a Friday to beat the traffic on the way to the beach. Of course, just as long as the work is completed in time for deadlines and they know that their hours and requirements won’t slow down during these longer summer days.

Use it to your advantage with clients. Take clients and partners out on the golf course, meet them for lunch at a restaurant with an outdoor patio or, if you have kids around the same age, set up a pool date with you and the youngsters. Use the social aspect of the season and the extra excuses to be outside to get more face time with clients, or prospective new clients, in a light, easygoing atmosphere.

Encourage employee engagement time. Plan a company retreat or volunteer to cover the team’s entry fee to join a summer volleyball league. Let your team know they are valued. Plus, encouraging out-of-office interaction can further strengthen their in-office working relationships and collaboration.

Plan a vacation or two for yourself. Whether it’s just a weekend at the lake or mountains, or even a staycation at a local pool, be sure and take a few days off for yourself. Having time to relax and even enjoy the luxuriousness of boredom makes for a much more productive, fulfilled and rewarding career.

 


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By Scott Uhrig – An executive recruiter and founder of Career Artisan, a program that helps people craft more rewarding careers. Become a fan

Posted: 07/24/2014

In the 1970s, Dr. Douglas LaBier, a business psychologist and psychotherapist, conducted research on careers and motivations. LaBier was perhaps the first to recognize that the drive for success, and its criteria of money, power and prestige, exists alongside a parallel, but less visible, drive for increased fulfillment and meaning from work.

As LaBier noted,

I often found that people would want to talk about a gnawing feeling of wanting something more ‘meaningful’ from their work. They didn’t have quite the right language back then to express what that would look like other than feeling a gap between their personal values and the trade-offs they had to make to keep moving up in their careers and companies.

As an executive recruiter and career advisor, I have one-on-one conversations with professionals about their jobs and careers. Most of them already have at least some of the money, power and prestige to which LaBier alludes. Like LaBier, I’ve also noticed that many professionals want to talk about the gnawing feeling of wanting something more. Yet, despite the fact that it’s been over 40 years since LaBier began his research, many professionals still struggle to find the right language to articulate what it is they’re looking for in their career.

To analyze what career success means to you, leverage this straightforward framework to think through what causes perpetual dissatisfaction and what really represents reward.

Get less of these things
There are things we want less of — let’s call them ‘dissatisfiers.’ They include long hours, long commutes, dysfunctional culture, a micromanaging boss, etc. Seems obvious, right? But here’s the problem. We tend to diminish their importance when making important career decisions. We say to ourselves, “My new boss seems like a micromanager, but I’m sure I can work around that. Besides, I’ll be getting a 20 percent salary increase and more responsibility.” Occurring infrequently, dissatisfiers may matter little, but when they persist and worsen over time, they often lead to extreme job dissatisfaction.

Get more of these things
Minimizing dissatisfiers is important, but it seldom leads to a satisfying job. It just leads to a job that’s not dissatisfying. Job satisfaction is more directly related to intrinsic rewards. The satisfaction you receive from solving a puzzle, playing a musical instrument or being a good parent are examples of intrinsic rewards. While there are many intrinsic rewards that can contribute to job satisfaction, there are three that provide the foundation for career success.

Enjoyment. Do you like what you do each day? According to a Gallup survey, only 20 percent of people do. An enjoyable job provides you with activities that you enjoy performing on a daily basis. Sure, they’ll be some bad days, but for the majority of the time you should be satisfied with the work itself. Chances are if you truly enjoy your job, you’re pretty good at it.

Learning and growth. For those who want more out of their careers, maximizing learning and growth opportunities are powerful strategies. If you’re a knowledge worker in the 21st century, your value is largely a function of your ‘career capital’ – your experience, skills and abilities. Rather than pursuing jobs that maximize your short-term economic capital, look for the opportunities that maximize your long-term career capital.

Impact and Meaning. Choose jobs that have meaning to you, and allow you to impact something you care about on a regular basis. You shouldn’t expect to save the world from poverty or solve global climate change fresh out of college, but what you do should be meaningful to you in some way.

Get just enough of these things
Money, prestige, power, status and authority are examples of extrinsic rewards. Extrinsic rewards are not necessarily bad. They’re especially useful for providing short-term motivation, but when it comes to extrinsic rewards, we want just enough of them. People who focus too much on extrinsic rewards are often left unfulfilled and wanting even more. On the other hand, people who completely ignore extrinsic rewards, especially ambitious people, often become bored and unhappy.

What does success mean to you?
Try using the above framework to begin developing your own definition of what career success means to you. Then, think about the best job you’ve ever had – what made it so good? Think about the worst job you’ve ever had — what made it so bad? Think about your current job — how does it stack up across the parameters of the framework? Most important, think about your next job — how will you decide what’s most important to you?

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Follow Scott Uhrig on Twitter: www.twitter.com/scottuhrig

 


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July 17, 2014

By JD Alois

Inner10 logoA new generation of regional real estate investment experts are launching Inner 10 Capital, a real estate crowdfunding site and sister company to Inner 10 Development. The company incorporates an analytics-based investment model to identify high yield urban development projects in Austin’s top 10 zip codes, Inner 10 Capital hopes to raise more than $25 million dollars in funds and developing over 20 new Austin-based residential projects in 2014.Bryan-Hancockcrowdfund insider

“We are launching Inner 10 Capital in response to the incredible success we’ve experienced with Inner 10 Development,” said Bryan Hancock, managing partner of Inner 10 Capital and Inner 10 Development. “There is increasing worldwide interest in investing in Austin’s incredible economy and real estate market and many opportunities for success. We’ve put this new company together to offer investors strategic opportunities based on best practices and our deep understanding of the region.”

crowdfund insider house imageInner 10 Capital’s team and strategy is built on decades of experience identifying and creating meaningful real estate investment opportunities in high-growth markets.  The company states they have experienced data scientist as part of the investment team.  John Prior of  Inner 10 leverages an analytics-based assessment process and predictive modeling methodology to determine outcomes and optimize results.

In addition to Hancock and Prior, Inner 10 Capital’s investment team includes John Blackman as operations manager. Blackman possesses an extensive background in real estate and concurrently serves, along with Hancock, as a principal with Bullseye Capital Real Property Opportunity Fund, a nationally focused real estate private equity fund.

Inner 10 Capital is a real estate platform for accredited investors.John Prior headshot

 

 

 

 

 


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