- MouseSavers.com History
- MouseSavers.com Contributors
- Press Room for MouseSavers.com
- Guidebook Mentions for MouseSavers.com
In February 2001, Mary Waring founded the site that became MouseSavers.com®. It all started as a hobby site that was hosted on a private page on Mary’s business website. Only those who were “in the know” could get to the unlisted link. Mary collected information on good deals at Walt Disney World and posted them for her friends and relatives.
Six weeks later, much to Mary’s surprise, the “How to Save Money on Your Trip to WDW” page (as it was then known) had taken on a life of its own and had received over 23,000 visitors. So in April 2001 Mary created a new, more extensive site called MouseSavers.com and made it accessible to the public.
Two months later the site had quadrupled its traffic and Mary responded to reader requests by adding Disneyland (California) information. She also sent out the first issue of the MouseSavers Newsletter in June 2001. Soon after that, Mary began adding special deals on Disney toys, books and CDs.
By October 2001, MouseSavers.com began covering bargains at additional Disney vacation destinations, including Disneyland Resort Paris, Disney’s Vero Beach and Disney’s Hilton Head resorts. In late 2001 the site also began featuring specially-negotiated rates at top Walt Disney World-area hotels.
Since that time, MouseSavers.com has added hundreds of pages of information, including material about Disney sweepstakes, Disney Cruise Line bargains, Tokyo Disneyland and other Disney resorts around the world, and even savings on Disney’s Broadway shows. The site now also includes substantial sections devoted to deals at Universal Orlando and other major attractions in Central Florida and Southern California.
Since its founding, MouseSavers.com has received a large amount of coverage in the press and has been recommended by many major guidebooks. In January 2006, MouseSavers.com® became a registered trademark. In October 2010, MouseSavers.com was updated with a refreshed look (new logo, fonts and re-arrangement of the home page), as part of the lead-up to the 10th Anniversary of the site. In August 2012, MouseSavers.com was relaunched on the WordPress platform with an updated look and feel.
These days, MouseSavers.com:
- logs around 1 million unique visitors per month
- maintains a newsletter mailing list of over 520,000 subscribers
- has a Facebook page with over 175,000 “likes”
When Sarah met her future husband, Don Munsil, she had only been to a Disney park twice in her life, much to his shock and dismay. To rectify that, Don determined that a trip to Walt Disney World was in order and recruited his sister Mary Waring, another Disney lover and future MouseSavers.com founder, to plan it. Since then, Sarah and Don have visited Disney’s theme parks frequently and she has discovered how much there is to enjoy. Some of her favorite things include Toy Story Midway Mania and the beignets at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen.
When not working on MouseSavers.com or raising their two teenage boys, Sarah spends her time volunteering too much and trying to work her way through the large stacks of books on her bedside table.
Sarah has worked for MouseSavers.com since 2007. She began as editor of the free monthly MouseSavers Newsletter, and over time assumed responsibility for many pages on the website. In early 2014, Sarah and Don took over running MouseSavers.com.
Don Munsil has amassed a truly mind-boggling amount of knowledge about Walt Disney and the various theme parks that bear his name (Walt Disney’s name, not Don’s name). This qualifies him for only a few useful careers, one of which is running a Disney information website. Thus it is an amazing stroke of luck that his sister founded a Disney information website and passed it to him after building it into an unstoppable juggernaut of Disney discount knowledge.
Don is kept from injuring himself by his incredibly smart and patient wife, Sarah Stone, who is way more qualified to be running this site than he is. What’s that? She does run this site as well? Well that’s good news for everyone. Drinks all round! I’m sorry, I left my wallet at home, can I get this next time? Cheers.
Prior to MouseSavers.com, Don spent most of his time arranging ones and zeros into profitable patterns for Microsoft. His hobbies include stereoscopic photography, finding and drinking interesting beers, and convincing his wife to go to Walt Disney World even though they just went.
Kris Borchardt is an accomplished welder, sculptor and furniture maker, in addition to being a professional marketing consultant. She is a technical Luddite, although that may be slowly changing. Kris thanks Mary, her best friend from college, for reminding her that she was once upon a time an English Lit major and, indeed, before learning to weld, she developed marketing strategies, wrote proposals and managed business development efforts in the architecture and engineering world of the “built” environment for more than a decade. With these varied skill sets at her disposal, she has overcome her technical difficulties and works hard to sculpt and weld fabulous hotel and non-Disney attraction deals for MouseSavers Hot Deals and Newsletter subscribers. Since 2010 she has worked in the virtual world of MouseSavers from her home in the San Francisco bay area, and although she visits Orlando and Lake Buena Vista frequently, oddly, she has only been in the Disney parks twice.
In a faux wood paneled station wagon, or a Chevy camper van, and once in a Volkswagen Golf, Jodi’s family took annual road trips to visit her Uncle Milt and Aunt Carol in southern California. These vacations nearly always included a visit to Disneyland. Back then, her favorite Disneyland attractions were Tom Sawyer Island, Swiss Family Treehouse and Autopia.
She graduated from Central Washington University where she majored in Food Science and Nutrition, and became a Registered Dietitian by completing an internship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She came back home and married her college sweetheart, Mark. In the past she was an extremely busy school volunteer, but now an empty nester, Jodi has more time to pursue her hobbies of sewing and browsing recipes online.
Mary Waring is the founder of MouseSavers.com.
After spending an inordinate amount of time pursuing various postgraduate degrees, Mary taught English and writing at the University of Southern California and Scripps College. She left academia to work as an independent marketing consultant in San Diego, where she also acquired a slightly disheveled husband named Mike and a somewhat overenthusiastic 96-pound dog. In 2005 Mary, Mike and the dog decided to set up house in a new location: beautiful Colorado.
A four-day trip to Walt Disney World in 1997 reawakened a lifelong affection for all things Disney, and led directly to the (ahem) megacorporation that is now known as MouseSavers, Inc.
Mike Waring is a world famous explorer, Formula 1 racer, mountain climber, bon vivant and all around nice guy. The truly amazing thing is he has accomplished all this without leaving the comforts of his Laz-E-Boy recliner.
In the few minutes per day when fantasy is not in the forefront, Mike is a semi-retired engineer who likes to dabble in writing, and enjoys reading, traveling, and cooking. He also enjoys sampling brews from around the world and has a lifelong passion to explore the local deep fried snack foods of whatever strange place he happens to find himself in this week.
FoolishQuestions.com is Mike’s blog, launched in September 2007, where he explores travel, technology, the mysteries of life and the universe — or just whatever pops into his head.
Bob Munsil coined the name “MouseSavers” and, inspired by Edward Tufte, created the original minimalist, but fast-loading and highly readable web design for MouseSavers.com, which still provides the basis for the current site layout.
Growing up in Florida, Len’s siblings would have been known as “enablers” had they been as obsessed about something other than Walt Disney World. A two-hour wait at The Great Movie Ride while in college led Len to write his Masters thesis on computer algorithms for minimizing your wait in line at theme parks. Len’s pretty sure that any objective question about travel can be answered with the right set of data.