Avatar Flight of PassageFlying on the back of a banshee is an important rite of passage for the Na’vi, and now visitors of Pandora: The World of Avatar have a chance to experience the thrill of this journey at Disney’s newest attraction, Avatar Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom Park.

 

Deep in the heart of the Valley of Mo’ara, visitors can now climb atop a mountain banshee for a breathtaking, first-person flight over the moon’s amazing landscape, explore the bioluminescent forests, and soar by the Na’vi living among the moon’s beautiful flora.  This attraction will immerse your all your senses as you feel the breath of your banshee beneath you, smell the aroma of the foliage of the rainforest and feel the crisp, cool feel of the waters of Mo’ara.

Avatar Flight of Passage

The journey begins in the queue as guests begin an uphill trek towards the mountains floating above the valley.  You will pass over a land bridge, travel near waterfalls and pass by amazing flora unique to this moon.  The trail leads you to the entrance of a cave, where the Navi had recorded their history of flight with the great–winged banshees, or Ikran as the Na’vis call them.  Next, guests cross through the bioluminescent rainforest and enter the laboratory  where scientific experiments are in progress.   Visitors are now met by cast members who direct the first 16 visitors to their genetic matching room, where they are given a number, scanned and genetic material is sampled to connect them to personal avatar.  Once explorers are matched, they given 3-D glasses and move onto the flight room where they board “link chairs”.

Avatar Flight of Passage

Link chairs are single-seat simulators (like a motorcycle) that a guest must straddle.  Once positioned on their machine, leg supports that rest on the back of your calves will lock in place and a back support will rise up to secure each explorer on their machine.  I found the that link chair very comfortable and not convining as some had described.  Taller guests may find it difficult to position their feet in place to allow the leg supports to lock into place.  Both leg and back supports must be secure for guests to ride.  Once the ride begins, guests will experience an immersive flight that delivers a realistic sensation of riding a banshee breathing beneath them as the soar over Pandora taking in the breathtaking views, smelling the flora of the forests, feeling the splash of the water and wind in your face.

Avatar Flight of Passage

Avatar Flight of Passage is available as a FastPass option. Guests must be 44 inches or taller to ride.  Guests prone to motion sickness or have a fear of heights, may find this ride to be too intense as you will experience the sensation of diving, plunging and swooping throughout the attraction.  Due the popularity of this much anticipated attraction, we highly recommend choosing a FastPass for this ride at  Animal Kingdom Park.

Avatar Flight of Passage

Flight of Passage is a like no other attraction at Walt Disney World.  This immersive ride will take you on breath-taking journey over a land that will leave you wanting to explore again and again.

See More from the Flight of Passage!

 

Ready to book your trip to Pandora? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today!

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

Quick Service Dining at Pandora – The World of AVATAR

The Satuli Canteen is a the Quick Service Dining location in Pandora:  The World of Avatar.  It has a unique menu of healthy dishes to satisfy all travelers exploring the Valley of Mo’ara on Pandora.
Situated between the Flight of Passage and the Na’vi River Journey,  this former RDA (Resource Development Administration) mess hall is now a peaceful resting spot adorned with the art of the Na’vi and supplying travelers with all the comforts of home.  Travelers will find cuisine inspired by their journey through the Valley of Mo’ara.  Satuli Canteen is considered a fast-casual restaurant on the Quick Service Dining Plan. Our meals were served off a china bowls, reminiscent of flora of the natural habitat.  Guests will find silverware to dine with, as well as indoor and outdoor seating.  Self-serve drink stations are also available.

 

Pandora: The World of Avatar Quick Service RestaurantSince I do not have an adventuresome palette, I was hesitant that I would find a meal that I would enjoy.  I was pleasantly surprised to find multiple offerings for even the pickiest of diners.  The “Create Your Own Satu’li Bowl” seemed to be the most popular choice. Visitors first choose their PROTEIN, which include beef, chicken, fish or tofu.  Next, you choose your BASE (vegetable salad, potato hash, mixed whole grain and rice or Romaine and Kale salad).  Step 3 is to select your sauce:  charred onion chimichurri, black bean vinaigrette or creamy herb dressing.  I recommend the Creamy Herb Dressing.  The Steamed “Pods” Bao Buns were also very flavorful.  Guests will want to make room for “Ber’ri” (dessert) as the Chocolate Cake and Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse were both highlights of this dining adventure. Pandora: The World of Avatar Quick Service RestaurantPandora: The World of Avatar Quick Service Restaurant

 


For young guests traveling the valley, there’s an option of grilled chicken or beef, fish or tofu with greens or rice; cheese quesadilla, a hot dog wrapped in Parker House dough; or a steamed “pod” (cheeseburger bao bun). 

Pandora: The World of Avatar Quick Service Restaurant

Satuli Canteen is the first fast-casual restaurant to offer Mobile Order, a new convenient option to order and pay for meals on-the-go within the My Disney Experience app.  Guests will be able to bypass the queue to order when they arrive at the restaurant. Using the app, guests can select menu items, customize their order and pre-pay for their meal with a credit card. When they arrive at the restaurant they will tap an “I’m here” button in the app, which will notify the kitchen to prepare the meal. Guests will be notified through the app to pick up their meal at a specific window.   While Satu’li Canteen is on the Disney Dining Plan, the Mobile Order only accepts credit card payments at this time. Pandora: The World of Avatar Quick Service Restaurant

 

Satuli Canteen is one of the best overall counter service restaurants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. With a great variety of options allowing guests to customize their dishes, there is something for everyone at this a former RDA commissary.

Are you ready to experience Pandora for yourself? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today to book your next trip!

 

 

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

 

We’re celebrating Fun Fridays at Me and The Mouse with a collection of our favorite PhotoPass moments. We love the PhotoPass services! They are offered at Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani, and ESPN’s Wide World of Sports. If you didn’t know, PhotoPass allows you to preserve your magical Disney vacation. This special service provides you with professional photography throughout the different Disney destinations. We love that we don’t have to lug around a big camera! Plus, it also helps us have peace of mind that we won’t lose our new expensive camera! PhotoPass photographers are strategically placed throughout the Disney Destinations to not miss a moment of your fun. Take a look at the fun Me and The Mouse agents have had while using the PhotoPass!

If you’re considering using the PhotoPass services that are throughout Walt Disney World, we highly recommend purchasing the Memory Maker Package. If you don’t purchase this package, you will have to pay a decent charge for each photo. The great thing about the package is that once you purchase it, you can download as many pictures as you’d like! This is especially great if its your first time visiting, your celebrating something special on a trip, you have a young child and you want to capture every moment, or like we mention before you want to have tons of pictures, but you don’t want to carry an expensive camera around all day.

To add the Memory Maker Package on to your Disney Destination package, contact a Me and The Mouse agent today!

Now, enjoy some of our fun photos!!

Disney Destination PhotoPassThe Beast - Disney Destination PhotoPassDisney Destination PhotoPassDisney Destination PhotoPassTinker bell - Disney Destination PhotoPassDisney Destination PhotoPass

I am not a runner…at all…but that didn’t stop me from joining friends in my first runDisney marathon weekend! Whether you are up every morning for that morning run, or if you simply want to experience a runDisney event, here are several reasons to love runDisney races!

The Challenge!

Hopefully all races are a challenge no matter your level of experience. For this girl, I’ll admit I didn’t train nearly enough knowing what I do now. Disney recommends a pace time of 15 minutes or under per mile whether you run or walk {or a combination of both}. “Balloon Ladies” {and sometimes Balloon Men!} keep the pace from the back and encourage you to keep going. If you fall behind, you will eventually get picked up and taken to the finish. I was able to stay ahead of them, but I saw faces of defeat on those who were not so lucky. The race itself is challenging, and there are so many people who attend these events who have personal challenges they are overcoming. My motto is simple –  Do your best and have fun!

Train with Jeff Galloway!  https://www.rundisney.com/training/running/

The Camaraderie!

It’s amazing all the people you will meet, everyone cheering each other on, and the excitement in the corrals and along the route. You have the opportunity to sit and chat with people from all over the world as you wait for your corral to be released for the race. You’ll meet plenty of first-timers as well as marathon pros who have been running the circuits for years.

For Your Health!

Whether you walk, run, crawl,….it doesn’t matter! Get out in the fresh air and get some exercise in! It does your body and your brain good! If you have any health concerns, consult your doctor prior to beginning training. Use a Fitbit or smart watch to monitor heart rate and have fun watching that step counter tick away!

The Outfits! runDisney event for Non-Runners!

It’s fun to see all the people who come dressed as Disney characters, Disney foods, or maybe even as an attraction! That’s a huge part of the fun – people get extremely creative and go all out which also makes for fun photos!

The Bling!

Because really…..don’t we all want that medal at the end? And the DISNEY medals? I’ve got my eyes on a Star Wars event just for that!

runDisney event for Non-Runners!The fun characters you’ll get to meet along the way!

I have always loved meeting Disney characters, and at a runDisney event, you’ll run into characters that aren’t often seen in the parks. For the 2016 Food & Wine race, we got to meet Remy and Emil from Ratatouille!

The After-Party!

If you still have energy the night of the big race, Disney throws a fun after-party which includes more characters and entertainment!

And let’s not forget…The Destination!

Disney races are held at Walt Disney World in Florida, the Disneyland Resort in California, on Castaway Cay in the Bahamas during Bahamian and Caribbean Disney cruises, and even at Disneyland Paris!


These are all great reasons to participate in a runDisney event, and I did absolutely love my weekend. I did my best and had a blast!

For upcoming events, check the official runDisney website!  https://www.rundisney.com/

 

 

Nancy Wideman

Travel Specialist

You won’t want to miss out on this incredible resort!

Disney’s Copper Creek Villas at Wilderness LodgeI am so excited about Disney’s villas Copper Creek at the Wilderness Lodge Resort.  They are brand new and beautiful!  Rooms ranges from deluxe studios, one to three bedroom villas, and 26 private waterfront bungalows. If you’re looking to add some extra magic on your next Disney World vacation, this right up your alley!

One great thing about Copper Creek is that they are able to accommodate nearly any size family! The deluxe studio and one-bedroom villa can accommodate up to four guests. The two bedroom can sleep up to eight guests and the three-bedroom grand villa can accommodate up to twelve guests. These spaces will make you feel right at home. All of the villas come with a fully equipped kitchen, stacked washer and dryer, and jetted tub. It’s perfect for the whole family!Disney’s Copper Creek Villas at Wilderness Lodge

Want to spend some time around the resort? You won’t be disappointed! Guests can enjoy two heated picturesque pools that include a 67-foot waterslide and both cold and hot whirlpool spas.  Children can also have a fun exploring the aquatic play area. Nearby is Geyer Point Bar and Grill which is an open-air lounge overlooking the bay. Disney’s Copper Creek Villas at Wilderness LodgeDisney’s Copper Creek Villas at Wilderness Lodge

Copper Creek also offers a special spa-like oasis of its own.  Salon by the Springs are where guest can get pampered with a manicure, pedicure, and facial.

The perks of staying at Copper Creek don’t stop there! All Copper Creek guests will still be allowed to use all the amazing amenities at the Wilderness Lodge! This includes bike and boat rentals, jogging trails, movies under the stars, campfires, and the use of the health club. It’s like getting two resort experiences in one!

If you have any questions or are ready to book your trip to Copper Creek contact a Me and The Mouse agent today! We’d love to help plan your dream Disney vacation!

Elizabeth Hollman

Agency Owner & Travel Specialist

I mean who doesn’t want to look cute in their vacation pictures?

Denim & Capri Outfit at Disney I don’t know about you, but vacation week is the ONE time of year I can get out of yoga pants and put on clothing outside of spandex.  With busy days working from home and continuously entertaining my 2 boys, I have limited times when putting on something cute is practical.

I also look forward to wearing more stylish clothing on vacation because this is a week I take more pictures with my kids than I do ALL year.  It’s my chance to take candid or Memory Maker photos to replace the older pictures around my house.

Some say, “It’s Disney, I’m going casual, no need for the ‘cute’ factor”.  But why can’t you be practical AND stylish?

~My top style choices~

  • Comfortable lightweight shorts: I love elastic waist shorts in various colors!  Pair them with a solid or patterned top for a fun outfit.  In Disney, we tend to eat more than usual, so having shorts that do not push on your belly is key.
  • Loose fitting tops: With the heat and the amount of food consumed {again}, loose clothing is comfier!  With tighter shirts, you may also deal with unwanted stickiness from Florida heat.   Loose tops are more breathable!
  • Flowy dresses: Flowy dresses in summer are great!  Dress it up or down to wear to the park or dinner.  Again, flowy = breathable and expandable for food consumption.
  • Rompers: Don’t like dresses?  Try a romper!  They’re easy to wear to the parks or dinner for a night.  Material is light and cool and I love that they aren’t tight…all good things, all good things. If you’re concerned about trying a romper, take a look below at this extremely easy & carefree outfit I put together. This makes for easy packing & cute pictures!Wear Cute & Practical Clothes at Disney!
  • Cute shoes: Ok…you may not want my advice on this one.  Because I hate hot/enclosed feet in the summer, I always wear sandals!  The last couple trips, I’ve worn flat strappy sandals with zero support.  I don’t recommend this, but if you’re like me, I’d save them for a nice dinner or night where you plan on doing little walking {because my feet ached!}. I love Clarks sandals for park days which offer great support {just be sure to break them in before you go}.
  • Safety Sweater: Disney restaurants are COLD, which is great in Florida heat, but with less clothing, it’s….brrrr!  I take a limited amount of sweater options since I’m only wearing them at restaurants or on a cool morning/night.  Take a jean jacket {goes with everything} and a black and a white cardigan.  These options are light and easy to throw in a park bag.
  • Capris: I tend to travel in warmer months, so pants/capris are not something I bring a lot of.  I prefer a looser pair of boyfriend capris for days I need something heavier.

Take a Look at Some of My Outfits!


 

These are my top clothing styles for my Disney trips.  The clothing is light and minimal which also makes packing easier!  With a few accessories to tie it together, it’s easy to complete your outfit.

Putting “real” clothes on for this mom of 2 is just ONE of the highlights of my vacation…it’s the little things in life.

Looking for more than just fashion advice? We’d love to help plan your dream Disney or Universal vacation! Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today to help take the stress away from your planning!

 

Megan Thompson

Travel Specialist

 

 

Golf at Disney WorldAnother one of Disney’s best {but one of the most exciting} kept secrets is Walt Disney World® Golf.  It is located right on Disney property across from Disney’s Polynesian and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resorts. There are two championship courses: Disney’s Palm, Disney’s Magnolia, and a 9-hole walking course: Disney’s Oak Trail.  Also across from Disney Springs is their third championship course, Disney’s Lake Buena Vista golf course.  All are an exhilarating yet relaxing way to take a break from the theme parks but still have an amazing time!

 

As a previous cast member with the Walt Disney World Resort, I had the awesome opportunity to experience all that Disney Golf had to offer! My department even surprised my colleagues and I for Administrative Professionals Week with a morning outing to the courses.  Not only did we get to have a world class tour of the property, but we were able to participate in a quick putt around the green! We even got to head out {on the Mickey golf cart} to the driving range and try our hand on some sweet swings! Golf at Disney World

 

Walt Disney World® Golf has a wide range of options for your family or groups traveling to Walt Disney World! If you’re looking for a way to get out and enjoy a few rounds of golf – Disney Style – then this is for you!

One More Thing…

Walt Disney World® Golf and Arnold Palmer Golf Management have teamed up to present these NEW Mickey Mouse logo MD3 wedges designed by Callaway Golf! The red, yellow, white, and green weight ports also represent Mr. Arnold Palmer’s famous umbrella logo. See more information, HERE!

 

Golf at Disney World

If you’re a local Floridian, and you’re looking for a FUN and EXCITING new experience close to home, contact a Me and the Mouse agent, today!!  The Magic AND GOLF is just a phone call away!

 

 

Amy Pattee

Travel Specialist

 

 

Photo Credit Courtesy of Anna Lazorchak Sales and Marketing Manager Disney Golf

 

Leaky Cauldron - Universal StudiosIf you are like most Universal Orlando guests, you start your morning by running to the back of Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure to beat the crowds to see all of the Harry Potter attractions.  After some playing, you are bound to feel hungry.  Good news!  You can continue to feel the magic of the Wizarding World with meals and snacks inspired by the series.
On the Universal Studios side, immerse yourself in London, get all of your Wizarding supplies and grab a meal at the Leaky Cauldron.  This restaurant serves breakfast,  lunch and dinner in the setting of the famous pub right out of the movies.   I prefer to grab breakfast at the Leaky Cauldron just after my ride on the Escape From Gringotts and before heading over to Hogsmeade on the Hogwarts Express.  On the Islands of Adventure side, head over to Three Broomsticks from some traditional English fare.  The ordering stations are laid out to look just like you are checking in as a guest of this famous inn.  This restaurant does a fabulous job of immersing guests into the movie while they enjoy a tasty meal.

 

Do I need to make reservations?

Leaky Cauldron - Universal StudiosNo!  Both of these restaurants are considered counter service locations so simply decide when you want to eat, walk up and order.  Prices range from a reasonable $9.99-$16.99 or 1 counter service credit on the Universal Dining Plan.  Both of these restaurants are pretty busy all day, but don’t let a line deter you.  They move people very quickly and there is always room to sit.

 

Leaky Cauldron - Universal Studios

If you are having way too much fun to take time to sit and eat, but still want to experience some Harry Potter treats, there are plenty of options.  If Butterbeer is what you crave, there are plenty of Butterbeer carts in both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley served regular, frozen or my personal favorite, Butterbeer ice cream.  If you want a more magical snack to take home as a souvenir, visit Honeydukes in Hogsmeade.  You can fill your own bag of Bertie Bott’s, take home some Butterbeer fudge or surprise your friends with some Exploding Bon Bons!

 

Leaky Cauldron - Universal StudiosUniversal does an excellent job of immersing guests in the magic of Harry Potter.  Eating like a wizard here is a magical experience for both adults and kids.

 

For more information about Universal or to book your vacation, please contact a Me and the Mouse Travel Specialist. We are highly trained in both Universal and Disney destinations, and we would love to assist you!

Julie Stewart

Travel Specialist

Looking for something sweet while at Epcot?

Caramel Confections at the Karamell-KücheNestled inside the quaint village-like setting of Germany at Epcot’s World Showcase is one of my favorite treasures…Karamell-Küche {Caramel Kitchen}.

 

This charming confectionary is a “must do” on every trip to EPCOT.  The rich smell of carmel entices you in as you walk by the front door.  Guests are immediately greeted with the smell of the fresh caramel popcorn that is being made in the store.  Don’t be afraid of the line.  It will move fast and the wait is definitely worth it!!!  At quick glance, many will see the caramel popcorn identified as a snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan.  While I highly recommend this use of your snack credit, don’t think you are limited to just the savory hot caramel popcorn.  As you wait your turn, you will get a glimmer of the delicious, heavenly treats that are available.  Extra large caramel pecan clusters, chocolate covered strawberries, and freshly made caramel apples all will catch your eye at first look.

 

Caramel Confections at the Karamell-KücheA few years ago, I found MY special treat here at Karamell-Küche.  On a hot, summer day in August, the freshly cut pineapple spear, dipped in milk chocolate and drizzled in rich caramel was an invitation waiting to happen.  I was thrilled to discover that this magnificent treat! This treat and most of the delicious caramel confections were each 1 snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan.  On subsequent trips, I always treat myself to the pineapple spear, as well as another rich morsel.  On my most recent trip, I found delight in the freshly baked oatmeal cookie with apple chunks drizzled with caramel.  I have now added this delicious treat to my recommended snack list.

Caramel Confections at the Karamell-Küche

The World Showcase at Epcot has so much to offer the entire family.  From performing arts to unique shops to amazing dining experiences,  Epcot is a full day activities and entertainment to enjoy.  And while you are there, stop by and pick yourself up a treat {or two} at Karamell-Küche.  You won’t be disappointed in this “sweet destination”.

Looking to plan your next trip to Disney and have no clue where to start? Me and The Mouse Travel would LOVE to help you plan your dream Disney {or Universal} vacation. All agents are highly trained and love to bring magic to families young and old. Contact an agent today to start planning!

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

I’ve Booked My Disney Cruise…Now What?

Keeping the excitement of a future cruise – especially one that is over a year away – can be difficult unless you are sailing with Disney!  Once you have booked your cruise with Me and the Mouse Travel, here are some things to do or consider.

1. Join the cruise Facebook group. 

Each Disney cruise has a Facebook group organized by an individual or group of individuals on the sailing, usually a DCL veteran.  In the Facebook search toolbar, type the name of your ship and year of your cruise i.e. Disney Wonder 2017, and you should be able to locate the group.  Groups are typically “closed” and a request to join is necessary.  It is a great way to get to know your fellow Guests, and many groups schedule a group meet-up or other private events on board.  It also serves as a wonderful resource to ask questions.

2. Join a Fish Extender or Secret Mickey group. 

Within each Facebook cruise group, an individual coordinates a gift exchange program.  Guests sign up and provide family name, cabin number, and additional information.  Many gifts are homemade and personalized, and you receive a set number of cabins to gift while you receive gifts from your group of cabins.  The Secret Mickey exchange is similar to Secret Santa, and you exchange with only one other cabin.  The recipients do not know who is giving the gifts until the end of the cruise or even after returning home.

 

3. Watch videos. 

Official and unofficial Disney Cruise Line videos can be found on YouTube to help keep you excited and see adventures posted by other Guests.
What to Do Before Your Disney Cruise

 

4. Download the DCL Navigator app. 

While on board, the app will provide activity schedules, ship information and maps, dining room menus, free texting capability with other guests or groups, and more.  At home, a countdown clock is visible anytime you open the app once you enter your sail date.  Visit the iTunes or Google Play store to download the app for free.  A note about the messaging capability:  Guests do not share personal information.  Guests provide a designated chat number to other guests they want to be able to message.  Even if the chat number is shared, no personal information is provided to the recipient.  Parents have the capability of granting messaging access to children.

 

5. Schedule a character call.

Each reservation gets the opportunity to have a generic pre-cruise character call.  These are great to use for surprising kids with the trip.
What to Do Before Your Disney Cruise

 

6. Review Personal Navigators from similar sailings. 

You can find Personal Navigators {daily activity schedule} from previous cruises here.  The more recent the sail date, the less the activity schedule changes.  These serve as a great resource for advance planning.

 

7. Submit dining room requests. 

If you would like to be in a specific dining room on a certain night, you can have your Me and The Mouse agent submit your request to DCL.  If you have severe food allergies, those can also be submitted in advance.

 

8. Book onboard activities and shore excursions. 

Each Guest has an individual booking window depending on their frequent cruise club status.  Click here to calculate your window.  Booking opens at midnight Eastern, so adjust accordingly to where you are located.  Any changes that are needed can be made until approximately three days before sailing without cancellation fees, depending on the item or excursion reserved.
What to Do Before Your Disney Cruise

 

9. Complete your online check-in. 

You can complete this up to two days prior to sailing.  Have your travel itinerary, passports {if applicable}, and credit card ready.  Many people like to complete check-in when it opens at the same time as the booking window in order to get the earliest port arrival time possible.

What to Do Before Your Disney Cruise

 

10. Review DCL gifts and photo opportunities available. 

Visit disneycruise.com and you can see the gifts available for purchase that can be delivered to your cabin or someone else’s cabin.  You can also make advance photo purchases, which offer savings versus while on board.

Don’t Forget: Pack and complete final preparations. 

Your Me and The Mouse agent will supply you with a packing list before you set sail.  If applicable, be sure to check in for your flight in advance and allow plenty of time to get to your airport.

 

You’re now ready to set sail!

Jenniffer Sheldon
Guest Contributor || Disney Cruise Platinum Guest