Character breakfasts are a dream come true for children and adults alike visiting Disney Destinations.  There are none more ‘super’ than the “Supercalifragalistic Breakfast” at 1900 Park Fare, located at the beautiful Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.  

Upon arrival in the Grand Floridian lobby, you will check in at a hostess kiosk in a grand hallway that leads to a topiary garden and a dining hall.  There, you and your family will have your photo taken before being seated in the dining hall.  

Unlike other restaurants on property, this dining location is intimate, yet seats a lot of guests.  You are greeted by a world class server, and drinks are served – a house made fruit juice will start your day off right! Then, you may help yourself to an unlimited buffet of American style breakfast items and fruits – complete with Mickey Waffles!  amy1

You will notice characters out and about during your entire visit.  Winnie the Pooh and Tigger will have fun searching for “hunny” and trouble at your table.  Alice and the Mad Hatter will beg you for a tea party.  And Mary Poppins will grace your table for the Jolliest of Holidays!  If you’re lucky, and there is time – you may get an extra visit from Tigger and Pooh.  All characters will sign autographs and take photos at your table – but Photopass/Memory Maker photographers are not available for these photo ops, so be sure to bring your own camera!

Having just visited in April, with a little one who loves Miss Mary Poppins very much, this was the perfect location to spend a very special breakfast!

I highly recommend this experience to all guests – moderately priced, delicious food, lovely atmosphere, and a relaxed breakfast.

Reservations are strongly recommended for this breakfast, and your Me and The Mouse Travel agent will be happy to assist you with those reservations!

Amy Sowinski

Travel Specialist

My ultimate favorite time to go to Walt Disney World is when they have “decked the halls” for the holiday season!  Between the stunningly, decorated Christmas trees, the lights, and the overall feeling of happiness in the air it has all the makings for a truly magical Disney vacation!  Disney offers some extra “Disney Magic” during the holidays to make your trip even more festive.  These holiday activities include:

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a separate ticket event that takes place in the Magic Kingdom.  The special shows and attractions at the party include:

  • Castle Dream Lights on Cinderella Castle,Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season (a special holiday fireworks show)
  • A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas
  • Celebrate the Season Show
  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
  • Meet-and-greet opportunities with your favorite characters throughout Magic Kingdom
  • Complimentary cookies and hot cocoa
  • A magical snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A.

 The 2015 dates for the Very Merry Christmas Party are:

Cinderella's Christmas CastleNovember 8th, 10th, 12th, 13th, 15th, 17th, 19th,20th and 29th

December 1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 10th, 11th, 13th, 15th,17th, and 18th

Advance ticket purchase price is $74 +tax for adults and $69+ tax for children.

When purchasing the tickets the day of event the cost raises slightly to $79+ tax for adults and $74+tax for children.

There is a special pricing for the December 18th party $82+ tax for adults and $77+ tax for children

Talk to your Travel Specialist about adding tickets to the Very Merry Christmas party to your family’s holiday trip.

A Seasonal In-Room Celebration 

Disney floral gifts can transform your resort room into a holiday home away from home.  Imagine walking up to your Disney resort door to discover a Christmas banner welcoming your friends and family.  Once you step over the threshold you are welcomed by Disney Christmas decor and gifts from your favorite Disney characters.

For more information or to place an order please contact your Me and the Mouse Travel Specialist and they will be more than happy to help you add a some holiday magic to your resort stay!

Holidays Around the World at Epcot

An International Yuletide Extravaganza

At Epcot during the holiday season you can experience how each country around the world showcase celebrates the holidays.

Candlelight Processional

The Candlelight Processional includes a guest celebrity narrator and a 50 piece orchestra.  The narrator tells a moving story from the bible of how the Savior was born to a virgin in the city of Bethlehem.  Intertwined with the readings are choral songs of hope and joy making this a not to miss show!

The 2015 Celebrity Guest Narrator’s include:

Illuminations

During Illuminations, Epcot’s fireworks and laser show, there are some holiday enhancements.  During the Holidays around the World at Epcot, the finale features the song, “Let there be peace on Earth”.

Disney’s Holiday D-Lights Tour

Disney’s Holiday D-Lights Tour is a 5 hour guided tour that will show how Disney transforms into the holiday wonderland!  What you will experience on this tour includes:

Magic Kingdom: On your guided tour view the holiday lights and trimmings down Main Street USA as well as Cinderella’s Castle covered in 200,000 crystal lights…a sight to take in!!!  No matter how many times I have seen the castle lit up it still seems new every time!

Epcot: Experience Epcot’s Processional of Lights (see above).

Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Experience Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing  Lights in its LAST season (insert tears and crying here)!  Osbourne Family Spectacular of lights is a MUST SEE if you are headed to Hollywood Studios this holiday season (see more below)!

On your tour you will also have the opportunity to meet the talented cast members whose job it is to turn the 47 square miles of Walt Disney World into a Seasonal Wonderland!  You will also enjoy a lite holiday themed buffet and receive a limited edition trading pin.

To inquire about adding the Holiday D-Lights Tour get in touch with your Me and the Mouse Travel Specialist!

Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy…a backstage adventure

During the Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy 3 hour tour you will meet at Epcot’s silver and blue guided tours Epcot location.  From there you will head backstage and learn about all of the logistics involved in the seasonal transformation of Walt Disney World Resort each year.  You will meet the Disney “Elves” that transform the resort into a Walt Disney holiday wonderland.  You will be guided through the World Showcase and learn how each country in representation celebrates the holiday season.  You will also visit one of the resorts on the Disney property and get to absorb how Disney decorates on a grand scale using color, texture, attention to detail, illusion, and architecture.  You will also receive a special holiday keepsake.  To partake in the tour you must be at least 16 years of age and tickets are $99 per person.  To get the Disney Yuletide Fantasy tour added on to your vacation please contact your Me and the Mouse Travel Specialist.

Horse Drawn Excursion – Holiday Sleigh Rides

Get the opportunity to experience an activity from a treasured Christmas Carole classic, Jingle Bells.  You will go Dashing…well through the woodlands of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Lodge & Campground, in a 1 horse open sleigh.  The sleigh, decorated in the Christmas fashion of lights and garlands, will take up to 4 adults (or 2 adults and up to 3 small children) on a 25 minute route that will have you “laughing all the way”.  The sleigh ride is priced at $79 per sleigh and it is a good idea to have your travel specialist make a reservation ahead of time to ensure availability for your family.

Festival of the Seasons

Festival of the SeasonsAt Disney Springs (formally Downtown Disney) you can really dive into the spirit of the season.  The streets are all decorated and there are Christmas trees perfect for a great family photo opportunity.  Your children will also get the opportunity to visit with Santa Clause and you can stop at the Star Bucks for some Hot Cocoa or may Ghirardelli Chocolates for some ice cream (so yummy).  Then your family can enjoy some live Christmas entertainment including Christmas Carolers, Costumed stilt walkers, and even more holiday music.

Just in case your kids weren’t exactly sure what they wanted on their Christmas lists there is plenty of shopping to be done at Disney Springs…including The Christmas Store (my mom’s personal favorite).

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

Osbourne Spectacle of Dancing LightsI am so sad to say this will be the LAST SEASON for The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.  I have so many memories of walking through this Christmas light display as both a teen and again with my own children…it is one of those in my opinion that never gets old.

The Osborne family started accumulating Christmas lights in 1980 after their daughter had asked them to hang up Christmas lights.  So as the years went by the family gathered more and more lights, they eventually obtained over 3 million Christmas lights.  In 1993, the families neighbors began to complain about the traffic the Osborne family’s display caused.  The neighbors said that a simple trip to the corner store would take upwards of 2 hours for the 35 days every year the Osborne family displayed their lights.  The neighbors also held the concern that in the event of an emergency, emergency crews would not be able to get through so they filed a law suit.  The Osborne family replied by obtaining 3 MILLION more lights!!!  In 1995 the case made it to the Supreme Court and the light display was ordered to by shut down.  At this time Disney contacted Jennings Osbourne and a new home was found for The Osborne Family Christmas Lights, MGM Studios (later named Disney’s Hollywood Studios).

So if you are lucky enough to be visiting Hollywood Studios during this holiday season please go and visit this awesome light display you will not be sorry you did!!!

Victorian gingerbread house at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a beautiful place to visit and just look around if you don’t happen to be staying at that resort.  During the holidays there is another reason to make a stop on the monorail and visit the resort, the Victorian gingerbread house that they build and have on display!!!  The ingredients for the grandiose creation include: 1050lbs of honey, 140 pints of egg whites, 600lbs of powdered sugar, 700lbs of chocolate, 800lbs of flour, 35lbs of spices, and lots of Disney magic….oh did I forget to mention this is a fully functioning snack shop with actual cast members working inside!!!  Inside they sell creations such as: gingerbread men, gingerbread shingles, Mickey pops, and large gingerbread ornaments just to name a few.  Make sure to stop by and check this out!!!

Time Lapse of the Grand Floridian Resort’s Gingerbread House

Beth Rodgers

Travel Specialist

Are you looking for a way your little one can have a unique experience at Disney’s Star Wars Weekends [mid-May thru Mid-June]? Consider the Padawan Mind Challenge. Designed for kids ages 4 to 11, this interactive trivia event will test your little ones’ Star Wars knowledge.
My six-year-old participated in the event during SWW 2015. It was the first time and we loved the experience. We headed to Hollywood Studios for SWW and we were at the gate one hour before park opening. SWW are a little crowd crazy, and if you want to participate in any of the activities you need to sign-up when the park first opens. Padawan Mind Challenge 1
Signup was located at the ABC Sound Studio. The participant [Padawan] and one adult had to be present for signup, no exceptions. We walked straight to the ABC Studio and signed up easily. Most people were hoping to sign their little ones up for the Jedi Training Academy, which can be very difficult to participate in on these special weekends. For more information about Jedi Training visit: http://www.meandthemouse.com/blog/learning-the-ways-of-the-force-jedi-training/ 
After signups, Padawans were given a time to return to the main stage. The Padawan Mind Challenge was led by the silly galactic duo Snig and Oopla. Star Wars Rebel characters were also on stage to add to the excitement.
Every Padawan was given a blue and red lightsaber. Every question was in relation to Star Wars Rebels and it had two possible answers. Padawans were instructed to answer either blue or red and to hold up the colored lightsaber they believed to be correct. Participants who answered incorrectly were asked to stand to the side with the characters of Star Wars Rebels, and those who answered correctly were allowed to advance to the next round. There were no real losers or winners, and it was more fun and silly than anything serious. Several participants made it to the final round.Padawan Mind Challenge 2
The last Padawans standing were asked a little bit about themselves and everyone clapped for them. For the very last question all the Padawans were allowed back in the game and won a prize [Star Wars Action Figure].
During this time, the family of the Padawans were allowed front stage access and their kiddos were always in direct line of sight. My little Padawan, Liliana, loved this event and it was less scary than the Jedi Training Academy for her. It was a very cute show and we can’t wait to do it again!

I am a parent of a child born with Fragile X Syndrome.  My son has challenges in all aspects of his life, and easily becomes overwhelmed by his environment.  That can lead to difficulty with communication and the dreaded behavioral meltdown.   He was born with Disney loving parents who are determined to make our Disney trips a consistent part of our lives.  Are we nuts?  Perhaps.   I tend to think of my family as goal oriented, determined, hopeful, persistent and perhaps, at times, incredibly brave.   We were blessed with 2 additional  “typically developing” children.   We CHOOSE to live as “typical” of a family life as we possibly can. IMG_6713

Why would we knowingly bring a child who has such strong sensory (especially auditory) processing challenges to an environment with an overwhelming amount of input?  As I mentioned above, when we became engaged at Walt Disney World, and my fiance’ (husband now) and I discussed our vision of our lives, trips to Disney Destinations was near the top of our list.  Having a child with an overwhelming diagnosis, we easily could have said, lets put all of our resources and time into therapy and education.  We could have stayed home where everything was controlled and familiar, but that isn’t real life.  Life is full of unpredictability, as we learned when our son was diagnosed with Fragile X.  It is overwhelming at times.  It is also incredibly joyful, full of laughter and wonder.  We are so privileged to live where possibilities are endless and we have a choice to pursue our dreams.  After our initial shock and adjustment to a “diagnosis”, we CHOSE to continue on with our lives as we had planned!

IMG_6712While pregnant with our son, we had made a plan to visit Walt Disney World with him when he was 9 months old.  We had talked about how exciting it would be to see the parks through the eyes of our child.  Hokey?  Maybe, but that was what we had planned.  We loved being there with our son.  We were “typical” that week.  No therapy, no worries about his future.  We lived in, and enjoyed the moment!  It was a much needed break from our reality!We planned another trip when he was 15 months old.  We were still navigating his diagnosis and immersing ourselves in learning how to help him in every way we possibly could.  We looked forward to our trip because it was our relief, our motivation.  While on that trip, our son certainly showed more challenges with being overwhelmed by his environment.  Our expectations had to be adjusted on how we would navigate our time in the park.  Arriving early and leaving to make sure we kept his nap routine.  Frustrating at times, that we couldn’t follow our idealistic plan.  Then the magic happened.  Our speech delayed, minimally verbal child started to try and talk.  He was trying to communicate what he wanted.  His reaction to the monorail was priceless.  We sat inside of Epcot just waiting for the next monorail to come through just to hear him excitedly try to communicate, as it would pass by!  We were hooked!  We are “lifers” now.

I plan to share our strategies that we have been forced to develop.  Not all of our moments have been joyful, but we are persistent.  My goal in sharing these experiences is to help families with a “diagnosis” be hopeful that a trip to Disney can be a reality! Stay tuned to read more about our lessons learned!

Missy Zolecki

Travel Specialist