If you aren’t able to travel to Disney World or Disneyland this New Year’s Eve, no worries we’re here to make sure your holiday is just as magical at home! Disney Family has thought of several great ideas to make your at home party full of joy and magic. We’ve picked our favorites to share with you!

  1. Mickey’s New Year Wish List

    Get your kids involved as you make your new year’s resolution. Print out the document below and help them plan out their wishes for 2017.

    Mickey's Wish List New Years

    Download Here

  2. Mickey’s New Year Celebration Hat

    This is the perfect DIY craft for your little kiddo. You can add a few extra decorations before the night begins, and then show it off to your party guests.

    mickey-hat-new-years-printable-photo-420x420-fs-5003

    Download Here

  3. Mickey’s & Friends New Year’s Activity Page

    Need something to keep the kids busy for a little while? This download will surely do the trick. Your child will engage in some New Year’s activities while you’re entertaining the adult guests or preparing the next appetizer.

    mickey-and-friends-activity-page-new-years-printable-photo-420x420-fs-4971_11

    Download Here


All of the agents at Me and The Mouse would like to wish you a joyous and magical new year!

Have a safe and Happy New Year!

Dining Plan at Walt Disney WorldIs the Disney Dining Plan worth adding to my vacation package?  What’s included in the Dining Plan?  Do we have to order from a select few entrees?  These are just are a few questions about the Disney Dining Plan that we are asked from our clients.

 

YES!!!  The Disney Dining Plans is worth it.  With over 200 restaurants on property that accept the Disney Dining plan, you will find a wide variety of dining options on the menus at restaurants across the parks, resort properties and Disney Springs.  Your dining credits are available from the moment you check-in to your Disney resort and are applicable until midnight of the night you check-out.  This flexible plan allows guests options in using their dining credits. Dining Plan at Walt Disney World

 

The Disney Dining Plan can actually SAVE you money.  In fact, it is about a 20% savings on the Disney Dining Plan and about 25% on the Deluxe Dining Plan.  My family was recently on vacation at Walt Disney World and this is an example of my dining for the day.

 

Pinocchio’s Village Haus – $15.00

Snack (Dole Whip) – $5.00

Character Dinner at Chef Mickey’s + tip – $60.00 +$12 

Snack (Mickey Ice Cream Bar) -$4.00

Total Cost – $96

 

Dining Plan at Walt Disney WorldOn the 2017 Disney Dining Plan (Disney’s most popular dining plan), you receive 1 table service restaurant, 1 counter service restaurant and 2 snacks per person for each night’s stay at your Walt Disney World resort.  The cost of the day’s worth of dining on the Disney Dining Plan would be around $70.00!!!

Whether your a family who is “on the go” and doesn’t want to be “too scheduled” with your day, a family that enjoys adding character meals to their itinerary to get that extra one on one time with multiple Disney characters, or a couple looking to experience the amazing Signature Dining experiences that Disney offers its guests, there is a Disney Dining Plan for you!  Your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist will work with you to determine which dining plan (Quick, Disney or Deluxe) is the perfect fit for your Disney vacation. Dining Plan at Walt Disney World

If you are like my family, you like having the details of your vacation taken care of.  Adding a Disney Dining Plan allows you to save money, as well as lets everyone choose exactly what they want to eat without having to discuss:  “How many drinks are we buying?  Can I have dessert?”  With the Disney Dining Plan, the details are already taken care of for you.

We love the ease and money savings that the Disney Dining plans add to a resort guests stay at Walt Disney World.   Let your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist know that you want to include the a Disney Dining Plan to your resort vacation package.

 


2017 DISNEY DINING PLAN PRICING

 

*All Disney Dining Plans include a Resort Refillable Mug ($18.00 value) for each guest

**Guests 2 years old or younger do not have to be on a Dining Plan, but are welcome to share a meal with another family member.

 

                    Per Adult, Per Night                                      Per Child, Per Night

                            (ages 10 years and older)                         (children ages 3-9 years old)

 

Quick Service Dining:     $49.00                                                            $22.00 

Disney Dining Plan:         $70.00                                                            $26.00

Deluxe Dining Plan:       $106.00                                                            $40.00


 

Any other questions? Contact your Me and The Mouse agent!

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

Pick a PearlHidden in the Japan pavilion in Epcot is a secret treasure you must discover on your next Walt Disney World vacation.

The Pick-A-Pearl adventure is part souvenir, part adventure, part learning all combined into one. As a person that loves to give unique Disney souvenirs to my daughter and nieces at our family reunions, I was excited to finally be able to experience this with five of my favorite girls in the world. While there are multiple Pick-A-Pearl locations at Walt Disney World, the most elaborate experience is in the Japanese pavilion gift shop located under the Teppan Edo and Toyko Dining restaurants. When you walk into the gift shop head to the area from which cheers, chants, and drumming are originating.Pick a Pearl

The first thing you will need to do is pay for the experience which starts at $17 an oyster. With your receipt you will get a customer number and then await your turn while watching other guests before you. The oysters are located in two different pools of shallow water. The advice I had been given was to pick the ugliest oyster I could find and inside would be some of the prettiest pearls one could receive. I passed that on to my daughter and nieces and they really did find some great treasures.

Pick a Pearl Once you’ve picked the oyster, the cast member will open it up for you. Here’s where the learning comes in. Before they open it, they have you count to 3 in Japanese! There is definite fun involved in the anticipation of what your pearl will look like and learning how to count in Japanese gives you a moment of thrill in that anticipation. “Ichi, Ni, San!”, the oyster is opened to reveal your souvenir! Sometimes, the oyster will open up and reveal twins are hiding inside – this was the case for 4 of the 5 girls in our group and it caused quite a commotion for everyone to have so many twin pearls revealed one after another.

Pick a PearlThe pearl is rinsed off and then with pomp and circumstance, the cast member will reveal the size of your pearl. The ceremony comes to an end with a drum roll and you have a souvenir you can keep forever. The store offers settings for your pearl including earrings {perfect for those with twin pearls or who have purchased two oysters as their souvenir}, charms, and ring settings or you can find some perfect Disney themed settings online on such websites as Etsy. Before our trip, I found a great deal online for Cinderella carriage pearl holders and presented them to the girls before we went in to pick the oysters.

Pick-a-pearl locations can also be found at Disney Springs, the Yacht and Beach Club resorts, and Typhoon Lagoon but the most memorable show happens in the Japanese pavilion. Be sure to check out one of these locations on your next stay and take home a beautiful souvenir!

Michelle Browne

Travel Specialist

You have finally managed to save enough for this magical vacation. You have put months of work into planning every detail so things are perfect! You can’t wait to see the smiles and hear the laughter of your kids but that all could change if you don’t plan for the waits. It is just a given, if you are going to Disney, you are going to wait in lines at some point during your trip. A little extra planning beforehand can save you a major meltdown while on your magical trip. Waiting in Line at Disney

Here are some helpful hints that will hopefully make waiting in line more tolerable:

  • Start preparing your kids months before you leave. When you are waiting in line to see a movie or buy a toy, explain that this is what it will be like at Disney. But also, explain the reward at the end of the wait makes it worth it!
  • Make sure the kids have used the restroom before you get in line. There is nothing worse than being so close to the entrance and having to get out of line to take a kid to the bathroom or worst of all, them having an accident.
  • Use the time in line to feed the kids either a meal or a snack. On your way to the attraction, find a restaurant or snack stand. By eating in line, you won’t waste any more time having to sit down to eat. Great way to kill two birds with one stone!
  • Play games in line. You can play trivia like asking who can name the most characters or movies. Bringing card games from home is helpful. Or you could look for hidden Mickeys.
  • If worse comes to worse, you may need to bring out the electronics. Disney does have some great free apps.

Bottom line is there is no way to avoid lines at Disney. But preparation prior to the trip and utilizing the Fastpass system will hopefully make the wait more manageable. The wait is worth the reward especially at Disney!

Lori Steinnerd

Travel Specialist

Holidays at UniversalWhen you think of Christmas in Orlando, most people immediately think of Cinderella’s Castle decked out in gorgeous lights or the giant gingerbread house on display at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.  Lesser known, but very impressive, are the celebrations and special events at Universal Studios.  With the Macy’s Holiday Parade, Grinchmas and the Manheim Steamroller live in concert, guests are sure to get in the holiday spirit.

During the month of December, the streets of Universal Studios come alive with the floats, balloons, bands and dancers of the Macy’s Holiday Parade.  The parade happens daily at 5pm on the Universal Studios side of the park, kicking off in the New York area.  Spectators will need to reserve a spot no later than 4pm.  The best place to view the parade is New York Street across from the Mummy attraction.  Holidays at Universal

The Manheim Steamroller concert is also a big draw to Universal Orlando during the Christmas Season.  This concert takes place exclusively on weekends at 7pm on Hollywood Street on the Universal Studios park side.  This concert lights up the street with classic Christmas music and stage effects sure to put you in the Christmas Spirit.  To view this concert, it is best to start finding seats no later than 5:30pm.

Holidays at UniversalAt Islands of Adventure, Seuss fans can enjoy the story of Grinchmas.  Located near Circus McGurks, this indoor show blends acting, music and other theatrical elements to tell the story of the beloved Grinch.  The show takes place 6-8 times daily during the holiday season.

 

 

Holidays at UniversalEach of these special holiday events are free with park admissions.  For more information, or to book a Universal holiday vacation, please contact your Me and the Mouse Travel Specialist.

Julie Stewart

Travel Specialist

Can you really get FREE things at Disney?
You absolutely can, if you know where to look.

 

I’m Celebrating Buttons I'm Celebrating Button

Are you and your family celebrating something while visiting Walt Disney World?  A Birthday? Anniversary? Family Reunion? Graduation?  If you are, get your “I’m Celebrating Button” as soon as possible.  Ask a Cast Member where to get yours.  While wearing your button, you might find other “Magical Moments” may come your way.

 

Driver’s License

If you have a ticket for Magic Kingdom, visit the Tomorrowland Speedway and get an Official Tomorrowland Speedway Driver’s License signed by Mickey Mouse for kids or adults, just ask a Cast Member working at the Speedway.  It makes a great souvenir for your scrapbook. Speedway License

 

Monorail and Boat Rides

You don’t need a ticket to ride the Monorail or take a ride on one of the many boats on Disney World property.  Kids love riding both. It is a fun, unique way to travel across Disney property.

 

Disney Springs

Visiting Disney without a park ticket for a day, be sure to visit Disney Springs for FREE!  You will find a variety of restaurants, shops, and outdoor entertainment.  This entertainment includes live musical performances daily. While you are there, visit Ghirardelli’s for a free chocolate sample too!

 

View Animals at Animal Kingdom Lodge Animal Kingdom Resort

You do not need to be a guest at Animal Kingdom Lodge to visit and view the animals for FREE! The lodge offers a great view of many of the animals, especially the giraffes. The restaurants also provide great viewing opportunities from your dining table.

 

Electrical Water Pageant

Electrical Water Pageant is a floating parade that can be seen nightly in the resort areas of the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. Ask a Cast Member for detail and times.

 

Club Cool

If you have a ticket for Epcot, be sure to visit Club Cool located in Future World.  It is sponsored by Coca-Cola.  Here you will find samples of 8 drinks sold in other countries around the world. It’s the perfect place to cool down on a hot day in Florida.

 

These are just a few FREE opportunities to explore.  Ask your Me and the Mouse Travel Agent for additional tips to make your vacation memorable.

 

Traci Perjak

Travel Specialist

 

We’re proud to announce that we have been EarMarked GOLD by Disney. We are so honored to have received this award for the third year in a row! This special and exclusive award recognizes Me and The Mouse Travel as a top-tier Travel Agent. This is only possible because of all of our families and clients. They have given us the opportunity to serve them and to do what we love. We love being a part of all of the past year’s vacations and special trips.

EarMarked Gold

 

A former Cast Members guide for first time Disney guest

After working for Walt Disney World for nearly five years I’ve seen a lot of overwhelmed faces from first time Disney guests. So the question is how not get overwhelmed by all that Disney World has to offer. I’ve compiled my list of things that may help a first time guest to vacation capital of the world. Much of what will help keep you from getting overwhelmed can be done before you even get on the plane.

 

Tips for First Time Disney Guest

  1. Get familiar with what Disney World has to offer ahead of time. Disney has many resources to help families prepare for their first visit. Research Disney World’s website and explore the 27,000 acres the resort covers. What I found helpful before I ever worked at Disney was talk with someone who knows the lay of the land. In this case that would be myself and others on the Me and the Mouse Team:)
  2. Prioritize what you want to do. It’s a huge place and you will never do it all in one visit. I’ve helped first time families by asking a lot of questions like what do the kids like and then combining that with their ages I can help create a pretty good vacation strategy. First Time at Disney
  3. There is a lot to eat! Get a grip on the dining plan if you are going to purchase it. Know the restaurants and their features. Ask the question “do I want something in the parks or at resort?” Find out what characters at what restaurants too. You don’t want to miss Mickey! Also, don’t think that Disney Quick Service is just hot dogs and hamburgers because it is so much more now. Look at menus on Disney World’s website.
  4. A FastPass is a family’s best friend! Your Me and the Mouse vacation planner can give you the ins and outs of this great time saver. The FastPass system allows you to bypass the line and get more done on your vacation.
  5. Have your Me and the Mouse vacation planner send you a Disney ebrochure that is customized to your vacation. This is a great piece that is visual and will give you a good look at what is to come.
  6. Ask lots of questions. While planning your vacation ask questions and then when you arrive ask any Disney Cast Member for help. Cast Members are your guides while on vacation. They can assist with directions, getting dining reservations and almost anything. While I was a Cast Member, I helped a family who had their luggage misplaced by the airline. We were able to get their vacation started on the right foot by providing them with the essentials until their luggage was found. So don’t ever hesitate asking a Cast Member.

 

And of course all of us at Me and the Mouse are here to help! Ask your questions and we will do our best to help your family have the best possible first time vacation to the Magic Kingdom!

 

Ryan Gross

Travel Specialist

 

 

For families like mine, the Disability Assistance Service has allowed us to navigate and enjoy the many attractions and characters throughout Walt Disney World.  My oldest son was diagnosed at birth with Fragile X Syndrome, the leading cause of inherited intellectual disability and the leading known genetic cause of autism.  Although he enjoys all that Walt Disney World has to offer, it can quickly overwhelm him.  My family is incredibly appreciative of this service.  I have compiled a list of what are the most frequent questions {and answers} that I have received while assisting guests in planning for their vacations.

Disability Assistance

What is the Disability Assistance Service (DAS)?

A service for guests with a disability to schedule a return time that is comparable to the current standby wait for the given attraction.

 

Where do I obtain the DAS?

You may visit Guest Services at Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios or City Hall in Magic Kingdom the first day.  The Cast member will ask you several questions to make certain you are receiving the most appropriate assistance based on your/family members needs.  They will also provide you with information and answer any questions you may have.

 

Do I need to stop into Guest Services every day?

No, the Cast member will ask you how long you will be visiting Walt Disney World and the DAS will be active the entire stay (up to 14 days). Disability Assistance

 

Do I need documentation of a disability?

Due to HIPAA regulations, the Cast Member will not read any physician letter or medical documents.  They will ask you several questions as well as take a picture of the Guest with a disability.

 

How many guests can be included?

Up to 11 additional guests can be included.  All guests must be present when obtaining the DAS.

 

What if we have family that will only be spending part of the trip with us?

If they were not present when you obtained the DAS and you have not exceeded the limit of 11 additional guests, go to Guest Services or City hall and speak with a Cast member.  Every guest, including your original party, must be present when increasing the number of guests eligible to utilize the DAS.  They will need to have their magic bands or park tickets scanned.

 

How is a return time obtained?

Any member of your party who is included in the DAS party can approach the selected attraction to be assigned a return time.  The return time will be approximately 10 minutes less than the current standby time.  Only guests currently inside the selected park can be included in the return time.  **Ask the Cast Member if they could make your first return time when obtaining the DAS the first day.

 

Our return time is here, now what?

Approach the attraction fast pass line entrance.  The person who was assigned the DAS needs to scan their ticket/magic band first to activate the entitlement for the entire party.  Then the rest of the party will scan their magic band/tickets just as they would for any fastpass entitlement.

img_6034

Can I use the Fastpass system AND the DAS?

Yes!  You can add a DAS return time concurrently with your previously scheduled Fastpasses.  Please note on the picture the Disability Access Return Time has a bold green banner above it to allow the guest to recognize the difference between other fastpass entitlements or dining reservation times.

Can I schedule more than one DAS return time?

No.  You are not able to schedule another return time until your current entitlement is used or cancelled.

 

Disability Assistance

When does the DAS return time have to be used?

Anytime from the designated return time until the park closes.  All unused return times will expire at park close.

Can my family member stay in their stroller/wheelchair?

Waiting queues accommodate wheelchair/strollers.  Some attractions require the ability to transfer. Discuss the specific attraction requirements with a cast member.

 

**Guests whose disability is based on the necessity of using a wheelchair/scooter are not eligible for a DAS.  Guests with additional needs should discuss them with Guest Services/City Hall.

 

What if I am still unsure how to use the DAS?

Please see a Cast Member at the selected attraction.  They will be happy to answer your questions. Disney also offers both an email and phone number to ask additional questions.
Contact: Disability.services@disneyparks.com or (407) 560-2547.

 

Your Me and the Mouse Travel Specialist is here to help! Contact your agent if you have any other questions.

 

Missy Zolecki

Travel Specialist

While vacationing at Walt Disney World, there are a lot of things on your must do list.  Some of the essentials are getting to meet your favorite Disney character, enjoying some good food, and making sure you’re building unforgettable memories.  There’s one place that you can achieve all three of these things at the same time.  It’s at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ!  It’s a seasonal dining event that can be sometimes overlooked.  We stumbled upon it a long time ago, and now it’s on our must do when we vacation at Walt Disney World.

Mickey's Backyard Barbecue

What makes is so special you ask?  Well there are more than just a few things.  When you arrive at the pavilion at The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, you will have your choice of seating at one of many long picnic style tables.  Once the food is ready, everyone is able to get their food at their leisure.  It’s available throughout the entire evening and is a buffet of all of your BBQ favorites.  The food is outstanding! There also some frozen desserts available as well as all of the typical drinks, including beer and wine.  This is all included in the price of admission {or the 2 table credits from the dining plan}.

Mickey's Backyard BBQThere will also be times throughout the evening when you can venture off to the sides of the pavilion and get a quick autograph and picture with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, or Chip ‘n Dale, who are all dressed in their best Western attire!  Next, you will meet the MC’s for the evening who will be introducing a cowboy who will amaze you with his unbelievable rope tricks.  Followed by being able to dance with Mickey and friends to the music of a Country Western band.  The best part about all of this – the kids can come up close to watch the Cowboy or come out to one of the dance floors to let loose and have fun with their Disney pals.

It’s a great dining experience for the whole family.  One that the kids don’t have to sit still in their seat.  Actually, they are encouraged to get up and have some fun.  That goes for all ages of kids!  I would strongly recommend this if you are looking for something a little different, but something that will provide you with a fun, unforgettable evening.

Leigh Miller

Travel Specialist