Me and The Mouse Team Trip 2017I had the absolute pleasure of taking my team to Walt Disney World for our very first Me and The Mouse conference from February 8-12.  It was held over a five day period. We maximized every moment of that time! Most of the agents had not met each other before this trip so this was very special to all of us.  Our days included lots of team building, getting to know each other, and activities that focused on camaraderie.   We built our own memories as a team, From team scavenger hunts to a board room conference, to the squeals and laughs on the rides.

The faces behind Me and The Mouse consists of a team full of big hearts, loving the Disney brand, and who all share a common goal of planning a memorable vacation for families.  We just love what we do.  We love visiting Disney and learning new findings to report back to our clients.  Whether it’s a honeymoon, a multigenerational vacation or anything in between, we treat every trip as if it were our very own.

The five days I spent with my team was an honor.  I learned so much about each of them and also about myself.  We spent time growing as a team. We strategized new ways to promote our business, and ways to develop our processes.

Memories from Our Trip!

Click on an image & then scroll through the gallery!

 

Me and The Mouse Conference Schedule:

DAY 1:

Team Scavenger Hunt at Walt Disney World Resorts®

Dinner at Earl of Sandwich

Dessert at Sprinkles

 

DAY 2:

Team Meeting at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Quick Service Lunch at the Contemporary Resort

Take the Monorail to Epcot and play!

Dinner at San Angel Inn

 

DAY 3:

Universal Studios Day!

Tour the Resort

Play at Islands of Adventure

Lunch at Leaky Cauldron

Dinner at City Walk

 

DAY 4:

Departure Day

Say goodbyes! 🙁

Team Favorites Include:

I loved seeing the progress on Universal’s new waterpark, Volcano Bay!

I loved FINALLY getting to meet everyone! We had great time to get to know one another on our team scavenger hunt while visiting the resorts.

My favorite Disney memory was riding Big Thunder Mountain rollercoaster with some of the girls. Lots of laughs shared on the attraction.

I loved visiting Universal, and I was thrilled to see Sapphire Falls for the first time! It was great to learn about the dining and amenities available there.

My favorite memory from this trip was creating bonds with each agent.

My favorite Universal memory was walking through Hogsmead enjoying my cold butterbeer!

My favorite thing at Disney was seeing my final live viewing of the Wishes Fireworks before the new show.  I was beyond blessed to be able to have one last viewing.

I really enjoyed the meal at Cabana Bay which allowed us to experience Universal Resort food {which never disappoints}.

My favorite part at Disney was our time at the Contemporary Resort team building!

 

Elizabeth Hollman

Owner & Travel Specialist

 

I never thought I’d have the chance to travel to Disney World alone, however, my most recent trip presented an opportunity to explore Disney solo.  Since this was a once in a lifetime chance for me, I happily accepted!

What does one do when alone?  Anything they want!!  You may or may not have ideas of how to ideally spend your solo trip.  This is how I spent my unforgettable time!

  1. Stay at a new resort

Enjoying a Solo Day at DisneyI stayed at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge for the first time {You can read about this interactive resort, HERE!}.  After a day of travel, I relaxed and explored this breathtaking resort. I…

  • Viewed the animals in the savanna
  • Relaxed on lush seating in the lobby, took in the detailed architecture, and enjoyed the smells that wafted from Boma {Read about this amazing restaurant, HERE!}
  • Ate a quiet dinner at The Mara (chicken corn chowder soup and mixed tomato flatbread)
  • Sat by the indoor fire pit with my feet up
  • Walked the outside path listening to the running water
  • Took pictures from the overhead bridge
  • Shopped at Zawadi Marketplace
  • Grabbed a Zebra cake for dessert to enjoy in my room
  1. Visit your Favorite Park Enjoying a Solo Day at Disney

    I visited Magic Kingdom and strolled down Main Street, watched the welcome show, rode my favorite rides, and took in the details of each land. Just because you’re alone, doesn’t mean rides won’t be fun!  Take this chance to talk to people from all over the world.  You can have some of the best conversations with perfect strangers.

  2. Share with others

    I loved being alone, but chose to share some experiences via social media throughout my day. Facebook Live was a great way to share my views and sites with friends and family.  You can share with everyone or a customized group of people.

**Read Facebook’s copyright rules before posting.  Things like music played for the fireworks are copyright material that you’re not allowed to broadcast.

  1. Eat what you want Enjoying a Solo Day at Disney

    I indulged in my favorites: corn dog nuggets from Casey’s Corner, beef nachos at Pecos Bills, my morning iced coffee and coffee cake from Starbucks in a quiet spot overlooking Cinderella’s Castle, and a bag of popcorn during the fireworks.

  2. Park Hop

    With less of an agenda, being able to enjoy my next favorite park was not out of the question! I visited Epcot and enjoyed Soarin’!

  3. Explore Enjoying a Solo Day at Disney

    I took this chance to see details at resorts I usually don’t have a chance to. From the Ticket and Transportation Center, I walked to the Polynesian and Grand Floridian Resorts.  I enjoyed views of the park, sandy beaches, and quietness along the way!  I then sat in the lobby of the Grand Floridian and listened to the piano while I rested my feet.  Exploration is endless at Disney….

If you ever have a chance to see Disney World alone for a couple hours or a full day, take it!  There is so much for the solo traveler to indulge in.  Enjoy…it is not a day you will soon forget!

Megan Thompson

Travel Specialist

Several Me and The Mouse Agents were awarded for the superb performance over the past year. We are so proud of our amazing agents and how they go above and beyond with their services. Please take a look at this year’s award winners.

Elizabeth HollmanElizabeth Hollman

Elizabeth was awarded Top Sales Performer from Disney Destinations. Elizabeth is the owner of Me and The Mouse Travel and lives in O’Fallon, Missouri. She is very passionate about Disney. To learn more about Elizabeth, you can visit her page, here. You can also contact Elizabeth via our contact form or by the following information.

 

elizabeth@meandthemouse.com
Direct: 636.265.1802
Toll-free: 1.855.7.MICKEY

 

Tressa KrippelTressa Krippel

Tressa was awarded Top Sales Performer from Disney Destinations. Tressa has been with Me and the Mouse Travel since 2012 and lives in Rochester, Illinois. She knows the ins-and-outs of vacation planning and works very hard to bring extra magic to families. To learn more about Tressa, you can visit her page, here. You can also contact Tressa via our contact form or by the following information.

tressa@meandthemouse.com
Direct: 217.330.5045
Toll-free: 1.855.7.MICKEY

 

Janene JaroscakJanene Jaroscak

Janene was awarded Top Sales Performer from Me and The Mouse Travel. Janene lives in New Albany, Ohio with her family. Janene has created wonderful memories with her family through their Disney experiences and she looks forward to sharing her expertise with other families. To learn more about Janene, you can visit her page, here. You can also contact Janene via our contact form or by the following information.
janene@meandthemouse.com
Direct: 614.758.0080
Toll-free: 1.855.7.MICKEY

 

Nancy WidemanNancy Wideman

Nancy was awarded Top Sales Performer from Me and The Mouse Travel. Nancy has been with Me and The Mouse Travel since 2013 and lives in Wales, Michigan. She loves to share her Disney passion with other families and loves to hear about the memories families make together. To learn more about Nancy, you can visit her page, here. You can also contact Nancy via our contact form or by the following information.

nancy@meandthemouse.com
Direct: 810-305-1968
Toll-Free: 855-7-MICKEY

 

Michelle Browne MATM AwardsMichelle Browne

Michelle was awarded Top Sales Performer from Me and The Mouse Travel. Michelle lives in Lantana, Texas. Michelle has had a passion for Disney for quite some time, and she wants to give all families precious memories just like she has experienced! To learn more about Michelle, you can visit her page, here. You can also contact Michelle via our contact form or by the following information.
michelle@meandthemouse.com
Direct: 214-566-4572
Toll-free: 1.855.7.MICKEY

 

 

Click on the images, and take a look at their awards!

 

Are you ready for some Muggle Magic?

Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter is one of the most immersive and impressive themed lands ever created.  It is no wonder that this area is very popular and always crowded.  In order to get the most out of the Wizarding World with the least amount of hassle, you must go in with a plan.  By following the steps below, you are sure to experience all that your Muggle heart desires without the aggravation of lines, crowds and excessive waiting.

 

Step 1 – Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Park 

Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Escape from Gringotts!

Congratulations!  You’ve been accepted into Hogwarts so now you must pick up all of your supplies.  Stepping into Diagon Alley is like stepping into the movie.  Never have I experienced such a feeling of being a part of the story.  You will want to spend some time here experiencing all of its beauty.  Do the attractions in the following order to get the most out of your time here:

  • Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts
  • Purchase your interactive wand from Ollivanders and if you are lucky, your wand will choose you!  Interact and cast spells all over Diagon Alley. (Read more about the Wand Ceremony, HERE!)
  • Grab breakfast at the Leaky Cauldron before catching the Hogwarts Express over to Hogsmeade.

 

Step 2 – Arrive in Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure Park 

Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Hogsmeade

You’ve made it to Hogsmeade and now you are ready to become a wizard!  Stepping off the Hogwarts Express, pause and take it all in.  The snow-topped buildings with the awe-inspiring Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry will be like heaven for muggles so make sure you get plenty of photos!  Explore Hogsmeade in the following order to make the most of your time:

  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • Compete in the Triwizard tournament in Dragon Challenge (Use your Express Pass)
  • Hop on board a Hippogriff in Flight of the Hippogriff (Use your Express Pass)
  • Interact throughout Hogsmeade with your wand
  • Have lunch at Three Broomsticks (Learn more about Universal’s Dining Plan, HERE!)
  • Grab a Butterbeer from one of the carts: regular, frozen or ice cream. Wizarding World of Harry Potter

 

Other tips and tricks to make the most of your visit to the Wizarding World 

  • Stay at a Universal on-site hotel to get early entry into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  For an even more convenient experience, add Universal Express Pass to your tickets or Unlimited Express Pass free with your stay at one of the three premier Universal resort properties.
  • Make sure you have a Park-To-Park Ticket to be able to ride the Hogwarts Express between Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Whether you are a Harry Potter fan or not, you are sure to fall in love with this area of the Universal theme parks.  Take your time, tour with patience and enjoy your journey into this magical world. For more information or to book your Universal Orlando vacation, contact your Me and the Mouse Travel Specialist.

Julie Stewart

Travel Specialist

 

Disney's Animal Kingdom LodgeDisney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a one-of-kind destination at Walt Disney World.  Its views of exotic animals grazing on nearby savannas, guests will feel as if they have escaped on an authentic Safari adventure!

This deluxe resort property is located near Animal Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World.  The African-inspired resort gives guests the opportunity to view grazing exotic wildlife outside their rooms and public areas within the resort. This leaves guests feeling as if they are staying on the African savanna.

Disney's Animal Kingdom LodgeThe rooms can accommodate up to 4 guests, plus one child under age 3. They are available with either a king-size bed, two queen-size beds, or one queen-size bed and bunk beds. Amenities include room service, irons and ironing boards, hairdryers, coffee makers and refrigerators.  Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge also has guest suites and Concierge Level accommodations. This offer access to the Kilimanjaro Club lounge, robes, turndown service and the opportunity to participate in two unique safari experiences (for an additional fee).

There are two amazing pools on property. The Uzima Springs Pool faces the Uzima Savanna and features a zero-depth entry, along with a 67-foot-long waterslide.  Families will enjoy making a splash at the Samawati Springs Pool.  This is located just a short walk away at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Kidani Village.  This family pool features an exciting 128-foot waterslide and zero-depth-entry.  This pool area also includes Uwanja Camp, a water playground with 3 distinct zones for kids of all ages.  Observation Station is for children 4 years of age and younger.  Kids can climb through cargo crates, unscramble animal images and play in a bubbling geyser and shallow cistern pool.  Children, ages 5 to 7, will enjoy playing at the Departure Zone, which includes a leaky water tower and clever African irises that squirt water.  At Base Camp, kids 8 years of age and up can soak each other with water cannons. This is a great place to spend time on a non-park day. These fun pools & slides will keep the kiddos busy all day long!  Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge serves award-winning, African-inspired specialties and classic American favorites for breakfast, lunch and dinner, amid a lush, wildlife preserve.  Animal Kingdom Lodge host to uniquely themed restaurants, BOMA – Flavors of Africa and Sanaa. Sanaa is a restaurant with African cooking with an Indian influence. It offers spectacular views of the savannahs at lunch and dinner.  (You can read our blog post on Sanaa, HERE.)  For parents who want to have a nice, quiet dinner alone at a Signature Dining restaurant, such as Jiko – The Cooking Place, Animal Kingdom Lodge offers Simba’s Clubhouse, a fun night of supervised activities, including arts and crafts, Disney movies, dinner and much more. (Cost for this service is in addition to your resort stay.)

Disney's Animal Kingdom LodgeThe Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge has a special secluded feel. Its unique opportunities to view wildlife up close in open, natural habitats, makes this Deluxe Disney Resort one of my favorites.  If you ready for a relaxing vacation, filled with special and unique experiences, contact your Me and The Mouse Travel specialist. They can help you learn more about Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

 

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

New Guardians of the Galaxy Ride!Disney California Adventure® Park at Disneyland® Resort is adding a new and adventurous attraction to the line up! You will soon be able to join in the fun of the trilling, rocking attraction of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! This new and exciting mission will kick-off May 27th!

You will be immersed in to the Guardians of the Galaxy universe alongside characters from the famous films and comics. You will help Rocket bust his pals out of the Collector’s Fortress! You will experience randomized ride experiences complete with all-new visual and audio effects and music inspired by the popular film soundtracks.

The fun doesn’t stop there! There will be even more ways to step into Super Hero stories with Summer of Heroes, May 27 through Sept.10, 2017. You can answer the call for this limited-time celebration as you join the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy for all-new epic experiences.New Guardians of the Galaxy Ride

Summer of Heroes will launch these new, year-round experiences:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off! – You may run into the Guardians of the Galaxy on their way to the Milano, with Star-Lord firing up his old-school boom box to get the party started. Gamora may prefer to stand back and observe, but everyone else is bound to get in the groove and show off their moves during this awesome rock ‘n’ roll bash!
  • Super Hero Encounters – For the first time, citizens of Earth will come face-to-face with Groot, one of the Guardians of the Galaxy! You can also step up to meet the First Avenger, Captain America, along with everyone’s favorite web slinger, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

And for a limited time, you can step up to the challenge with new adventures during Summer of Heroes:

  • Avengers Training Initiative – Black Widow and Hawkeye assemble young recruits for a series of tests to see if they have what it takes to join the ranks of the Avengers.
  • Heroic Encounter: Black Widow – Black Widow will arrive on the scene several times throughout the day in an armored Avengers vehicle for her heroic encounter with park Guests.
  • Grab a Piece (or Bite) of the Action – Special deliciously themed merchandise and food will be available throughout Hollywood Land. You will definitely want to partake in this fun!

This summer is sure to kick off full of fun and action packed with the new release of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT on May 27th!

If would like to learn more about the Summer of Heroes at Disneyland, contact a Me and The Mouse agent today!

 

Meet BB-8Hey all you Star Wars fans – you now have more to look at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® at Walt Disney World® Resort. Disney is has added more Star Wars fun as BB-8, the new droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens has now made its way to the park! BB-8 is greeting guests at the Star Wars Launch Bay.

BB-8 appears with Kylo Ren and Chewbacca. In addition to the fun character meet-ups, you can enjoy all the fun and activities of the Launch Bay! The Launch Bay includes galleries packed full of Star Wars memorabilia and authentic replicas of Star Wars artifacts. The Launch Bay also included new pieces from the new film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

You can also relax while watching the daytime show, “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away”. Children ages 4-12 are eligible to sign up to become a Jedi in the Jedi Training {read more about that, here}! There are also several additional activities and attractions to keep you busy throughout the day.

Interested in including Star Wars fun into your next Walt Disney World vacation?  Contact a Me and the Mouse agent, today! {For you extreme Star War fans out there – Disney is offering select Star Wars: Day at Sea Disney’s Cruises! If you are interested in this unique opportunity contact an agent today!}

Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort Day ActivitiesAre you looking for a new way to experience Walt Disney World on your next vacation? I’d like to recommend spending a day at Animal Kingdom Lodge. This resort is a destination unto itself with most activities are available to all guests and activities are available from morning until after sunset.

You can view the animals on the savanna throughout the day and into the evening hours. There are multiple overlooks of the savannas at both Jambo House and Kidani Village. Guides will teach you about wildlife and the African culture. After sunset, night vision googles will allow you to see the animals from a new perspective.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort Day ActivitiesThe String of Memories is a favorite activity of children {and parents} that teaches them about African culture and wildlife conservation in a fun and memorable way. You will receive a unique bead as your reward for completing each activity. If you choose to complete all eight activities you will be rewarded with a special totem bead.

Animal and wildlife discovery activities include learning about the feeding strategies of flamingos and pelicans, how scientists track animals, how animal experts present interactive objects to the animals while on the savanna, learning the sounds of the animals on the savanna, the biodiversity that contributes to the African ecosystem, and general animal trivia. Cultural activities include learning how to play African instruments and general trivia on the African continent.  Completing all activities will require you to visit both Jambo House and Kidani Village. There is a walking path between both sections or you can take a shuttle between them. These activities are timed throughout the day, and they do not require reservations.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort Day ActivitiesThere are several other African cultural activities. They are in the lobbies and restaurants of Kidani Village and Jambo house. These activities are during the afternoon and early evening.  Medallion rubbing, stamping, African face painting, drum playing, and storytelling are just a few of the events to immerse you in the African culture.

Looking for something more elaborate to enhance your stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge? Book the exclusive Wanyama Safari or Sense of Africa tour. The Wanyama Safari includes an afternoon safari followed by dinner at Jiko. While the Sense of Africa tour includes breakfast at Boma followed by behind-the-scenes animal encounters. These tours are held on select days for guests ages 10 and above. They require additional fee reservations.

Animal Kingdom Lodge is a resort worthy of a day to experience. Be sure to check it out on your next Walt Disney World vacation. Contact your Me and the Mouse Travel agent for more details.

Michelle Browne

Travel Specialist

Do you know that Disney World is one of the top ten domestic honeymoon spot in the United States? That should be no surprise to anyone who knows about Disney World. If you stop and think about it Disney has great food, great entertainment, and plenty of activities for you to do.

Let me give you some helpful tips to make your honeymoon memorable. Honeymooning at Disney

  1. Choose to travel in off peak season if you can. You will enjoy your Disney World honeymoon much more if you can avoid the crowds. You might be able to find better deals as well.
  2. Sign up for Disney’s Honeymoon Registry. Yes, you read that right. Disney offers a registry. So instead of getting four toaster ovens, you can get exactly what you want. You can go to disney.honeymoonwishes.com to start a registry.
  3. If your budget can manage it, stay at a moderate or deluxe Disney resort. Staying on-site will provide less hassles. Moderate or Deluxe resorts provide more on-site recreations and dining options. If you can’t afford to stay at these resorts, be sure to research the value resorts to find the best fit for you and your spouse.
  4. Make Advanced Dining Reservations. This is so important! This is a nice time for you and your spouse to have some down time and enjoy each other without the crowds. Signature Restaurants might provide a nice, romantic option. Also Le Cellier or Be Our Guest are good options. And husbands, if you want to treat your wife like a princess, try Cinderella’s Royal Table. Honeymooning at Disney
  5. Be sure you both are on the same page about what kind of honeymoon you would like to have. Do you want to wake up early to an alarm clock and go all day in the parks or do you want a more relaxed honeymoon?
  6. Don’t forget to get your celebration buttons at Guest Relationships. You will get a lot of attention from cast members if you wear this button. Also go ahead and get the bride and groom Mickey ears. You only get to wear them once in a lifetime.
  7. Get the Memory Maker. This is Disney’s photopass service. This is a great way to get quality photos of the two of you. When you get home, you can edit the photos by adding fun borders.
  8. Make sure you plan some non-theme parks activates. Spend a day at Disney Springs, at the spa, or playing golf.

Most important, let loose and be a kid. You just married the love of your life. Embrace life and the happiness you feel and live, love, Disney!

Lori Steinnerd

Travel Specialist

The Perfect Disney Creative Event

Want to get away?  Is your bank account drained because you just returned from a Walt Disney vacation and your head is spinning because you want to go back so badly – right now?  Give your bank account a break and host a Disney Scrapbook weekend for a fraction of the cost of your Disney vacation.  I mean, “Who doesn’t like to save money” but still create a little Disney magic and excitement!  It’s time to pack your Pixie Dust and get started! Disney Scrapbook Night

Check with your friends – Does anybody have any Disney photos they would like to get organized?

If the answer is “Yes”, then let’s get started.  Let’s be honest, some of your friends may not be Disney enthusiasts.  I know that is so hard to image, but just in case, let them know they can bring any type of photos to get organized.

Hosting a Disney-themed scrapbook event with your friends is fun and productive.  You can make memories with your friends, while organizing your Disney memories.  I had a huge scrapbook event in January with 65 of my closest friends… and it was awesome!  Don’t have 65 friends to invite?  No problem!  The great thing about hosting an event is you’re the boss, you make the rules!!!

You can host a party at your home for the night or the weekend or find a venue to accommodate your needs.  Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing… Disney Scrapbook Night

  • Make traditional scrapbooks or digital
  • Make Disney-themed food/drinks
  • Decorate with Disney in mind
  • Have T-shirts made for your weekend (this is so fun)
  • Set up a Photo Op to take pictures with your friends – it is a must to have more Disney-themed photos
  • Share ideas to make your photos look spectacular
  • Have a Costume Contest
  • Offer prizes/attendance prizes – For ideas visit our Pinterest Page!
  • Play a Disney Game
  • Get Creative – The sky is the limit!

Share and Tag your photos with Me and the Mouse on social media! We’d love to see what you’ve created!

Traci Perjak

Travel Specialist