“It’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow……………”  If you are singing along at this point, you are familiar with my favorite classic attraction at Walt Disney World.  While some may walk by this classic attraction, this is a “MUST DO” on every visit to the Magic Kingdom for my family.

Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress was personally created by Walt Disney for the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair.  In 1975, the attraction moved to its current location in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom.  This nostalgic attraction holds a special place in many people’s hearts because it is one of  the only attractions at Walt Disney World to have been touched by Walt Disney himself.

The Carousel of Progress exemplifies Walt’s love of history and progress.  This attraction highlights the industrial advances over the past century and how they have changed everyday living for the American family.

While this show does not typically have a long wait, take time to watch the pre-show video before entering the theater.  The video talks about the history of the attraction and includes clips of Walt explaining the attraction on his tv show.   If the theater isn’t full, I recommend sitting in the center section of any available row.  The show has innovative seating, where the audience’s seats rotate around a stationary central stage from scene to scene like a carousel.

After the brief introduction, the audience begins to move to the first scene as the attraction’s theme song, “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” begins to play.  Feel free to sing along!  As the scene opens, we meet John, the father of a typical American family living at the “turn of the century”.   We learn how advances like gas lamps, cast-iron stoves, iceboxes and a gramophone have made the pre-electric era an easy time for families.

As we move to the next act, we find ourselves in the summer of the 1920’s.  John shares modern conveniences like the electric iron, the radio, the sewing machine and the light bulb!  Life doesn’t seem like it could get any better.

John explains to the audience that he is now part of the “Rat Race” as we move the next scene which takes place in the Autumn of the 1940’s. Automatic dishwashers, televisions and refrigerators that hold more are just some of the wonders that make life in suburbia even easier for the American Family.

In the final scene that takes place in the Present, the entire family is enjoying high-tech innovations include virtual-reality games, high-definition televisions and voice-activated household appliances.

The Carousel of Progress is a classic attraction and is on my list of “Favorite Attractions”.  This 20-minute Audio-Animatronic show is a great opportunity to get out of the sun (or rain), as well as great place for little ones to rest.   As you look back in the past and take a glimpse the future,  sit back and enjoy Walt’s vision and feel free to sing along ………. “There’s a great big beautiful of tomorrow and Tomorrow’s just a dream away….”

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

Old Key West. Simply put, this charming resort is a hidden gem. As the original Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resort, it can sometimes be overlooked because of newer villa resorts Disney has built or expands upon. This is a do not miss resort! All the charm and small community feel you want is wrapped up for you here.

Theming

As the name of the resort would suggest, this resort’s theme takes in the feel of the Florida Keys! You’re surrounded by villas laid out in a sub-division style, great views of water and golf-course fairways, tropical sounds piped through, and a small community feel of the Conch Flats.

Rooms

The rooms at this location can be described in one word…spacious! Although this isn’t the only word I’d use, it was a key factor for me and my extended family.

It offers 4 room types:

1. Deluxe Studio: Sleeps up to 4; kitchenette; 376 sq ft
2. 1 Bedroom Villa: Sleeps up to 5; 942 sq ft**
3. 2 Bedroom Villa: Sleeps up to 9; 2 full bathrooms; 1,333 sq ft**
4. 3 Bedroom Grand Villa: Sleeps up to 12; 4 bathrooms; 2,022 sq ft**

**Full kitchen

That’s A LOT of room to spread out! With combinations of king beds, queen beds, sleeper sofas and sleeper chairs, there’s a cozy place for each guest to rest after a long day in the parks. They all have their own private balcony with views of the fairways, water, or woodland areas (no noisy street views)!

Only three of the 49 buildings have elevator access, so if you prefer the ground floor for ease, have your Me and the Mouse Agent make this request! Elevator buildings are reserved for DVC guests first.

Grounds

Size and Transportation: This resort is large, so walking casually to the lobby may not be something you will do, depending on the location of your building. Bus transportation to the parks and Disney Springs (boat transportation also available) stop at all 5 bus stops on property starting with Peninsular Road and ending at the Hospitality House. **The Disney Springs bus starts at the Hospitality House.

Hospitality House: This is where check-in, Olivia’s Café (table service), Good’s Food to Go (quick service), Gurgling Suitcase (bar), the Sandcastle pool, the boat to Disney Springs, and Conch Flats General Store are located. To get here, internal shuttles loop through OKW’s bus stops or take a park bus (last stop is the Hospitality House).

Pools: The Sandcastle Pool (main pool) is at the Hospitality House. There are also 3 smaller leisure pools located at South Point Road, Miller’s Road, and Old Turtle Pond Road (which has the Turtle Shack Snack Bar with a lot of the same offerings as Good’s Food to Go).

If you’re looking for less of a resort feel and more of a small-town atmosphere, this is the place to stay! The laid-back feeling while staying here can’t be beat. Especially larger families looking for more space, look no further than Old Key West!

Megan Thompson

Travel Specialist

 

I know, I know, this sounds like crazy talk – but doing “4 Parks in 1 Day” is doable…even if you have only 1 day to do it, versus multiple park days.  It’s giving brief attention to each park, for what you absolutely want to do…all while understanding that there will be a lot of travel, both on foot and between the parks.

Let’s set you up for success, with realistic expectations, and a time frame.  

  1. REMINDER: There is no guarantee you will get to do everything in every park.  Choose those must do’s (2-3 attractions, characters, or shows) in each park.
  2. Pre-planning is key. Look at park hours. Do you want to do early morning magic hours?  Would you rather do late night?  Would you rather not do either, and hit those ‘magic hour’ parks midday instead?  Find what works for you.  Put each park in order.
  3. Book your Fast Passes for the park in which you want to do the MOST.  This will maximize your time in that park, and move you through quicker!  
  4. If it coordinates, make the park you made the Fast Passes in be the first park you visit in the day. That way you can utilize extra Fast Passes later in the day.
  5. Whichever park you pick first, be there at park opening/rope drop (or as early as you are able).  You can accomplish a lot at that early time, even without your Fast Passes.  
  6. Remember that you can adjust Fast Passes for other experiences if your choices end up being shorter waits than anticipated!
  7. Don’t focus on table service meals. Quick service, and ‘walkable’ foods/drinks, will help you get through the parks faster.
  8. Utilize in-park transportation.  It is much quicker than your own. (water taxi’s may delay your time frame, so plan accordingly)
  9. If you get side-tracked, or something keeps you from your set plan – be flexible enough to modify your plans on the fly if necessary.
  10. Finally, realize that you will spend every bit of 12-14 hours in the parks that day – especially if you have utilized Extra Magic Hours.  Wear comfortable shoes and clothing!

Now, what if you have elementary aged kiddos?  You know your kids better than anyone – and the list above can be adapted for kids as well.  

  • Add their list of ‘must-do’s’ in the mix – can they be achieved in a timely manner too? Or will you compromise for a little of each?
  • Are your kiddos early risers or night owls?  Do they need naps, etc?  This must go into your pre-planning as well.  
  • If you don’t want to go back to the hotel for naps – perhaps longer, air conditioned, attractions (i.e Spaceship Earth, a 3D show, etc) may be a good alternative ‘down time’ – and should be figured into your schedule.
  • Figure in ‘melt down’ times. It will happen. We know, and understand.  Just plan for it 🙂
  • And realize, at the end of the night, you may be carrying them out, sleeping in your arms!

Kiddos in strollers?  Well, while it is doable to do all 4 in a day with a stroller aged kiddo – It may be better to plan for 4 parks, but to stop when it’s appropriate for your family.  If they can sleep through anything, bring the stroller along!  

On our last trip, we squeezed 3 of the 4 parks into our day.  A table service meal, and a longer line to see Mickey than anticipated bogged us down.  Had we only done quick service, and utilized a Fast Pass for Mickey – we could have gotten to all 4.  Lesson learned!

Want to plan a jam packed day? Contact your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist today!

Amy Sowinski

Travel Specialist

 

Looking for a little nostalgia? Stop in and visit the Bayliner Diner. It is located in the Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Studios. The Bayliner Diner is a self-service food court with multiple counters to pick from. It is open from 7 a.m. – 11 p.m. serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (Hours are subject to change.)

The atmosphere is family friendly offering a casual dining experience. Many families like to gather here before and after going to the parks, so expect a lot of activity during these times.

Grab a tray and explore the variety of choices offered!

Discover a new favorite food from around the world at the International Station, with dishes changing seasonally.

At the Deli Station, you will find fantastic wraps and sandwiches.

The Pizza Station offers home-style pizza and pasta options that everyone can enjoy.

For the healthy eaters, a Salad Station is offered with an abundance of toppings to build an amazing salad – just the way you like it.

My favorite station to visit it the Grill Station featuring burgers and chicken sandwiches. I found the bacon cheeseburgers to die for. I ordered a combo meal which included french fries and a shake. The burgers are made-to-order, so mine was served hot, juicy, and delicious. My french fries came out piping hot just the way they should. I decided to choose the chocolate shake over the vanilla even though both are great options according to my family. If you’re a fan of thick, creamy, frosty shakes, these will be the perfect fit for your taste buds.

Save room for the Dessert/Bakery Station offering frozen yogurt with your choice of toppings. This is great option to take with you poolside.

If you don’t have time to stay and enjoy the atmosphere, head to the “Grab and Go” area to pick up snacks to take on your next adventure. Get yourself a cold sandwich or a delicious pre-made salad plus more.

Drinks are self service with Coca-Cola Freestyle machines. These machines allow you to put your own twist on fan favorite Coke products. Have some fun making a vanilla Coke or a cherry Sprite. Refillable resort mugs are
offered for sale and can be a great deal if you are staying at the Cabana Bay Resort. One more important nugget of information – the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines are located in the dining section where you sit down to eat (not inside the food service section) so you may refill your mug anytime day or night even after the food service section closes. I often like to get a drink to take back to the room late at night so this is win-win scenario for me.

The Bayliner Diner will take you back in time while you eat. The fun old time commercials from the 50’s and 60’s era playing on big screen televisions in the dining area help create a fun environment. This relaxing area is a large, airy, and colorful space with plenty of seating for any sized family to enjoy. So stop in and enjoy a retro experience.

Please note: Menu items, times and rules are subject to change.

Traci Perjack

Travel Specialist

 

4 theme parks, 2 water parks, and a themed retail, dining and entertainment center called Disney Springs provides endless choices for you to spend your vacation.  It is very easy to feel overwhelmed with all the options.  Guests want to make certain they maximize their time and have the opportunity to enjoy everything on their wish list!  I have often heard guests say they need a vacation from their vacation!

When you plan a vacation, most are intending to take a break from the hustle and bustle of work and routine.  However, we often forget the rest and relaxation part of vacation when visiting Walt Disney World.  There are many options for fun and unique activities to bring the R & R back to your vacation.

  • Spa services: Who doesn’t enjoy a relaxing manicure, pedicure, facial or a massage?  Spa services can be scheduled at Saratoga Springs Resort and the Grand Floridian Resort
  • Horseback riding or Horse Drawn Carriage Rides at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
  • Watersports – Sammy Duvall’s Watersport Centre is located at the Contemporary resort.   You can choose from personal watercraft, tubing, water skiing or wakeboarding.  Parasailing is also available as an individual or tandem.  This will provide an amazing birds eye view of the Disney property.
  • Disney’s Waterparks – Blizzard Beach and Typhoon lagoon both have unique themes and waterslides as well as a relaxing sandy beach area.
  • Golf – There are 3 outstanding champion courses and a par 36 walking course located on property.  Forgot your clubs?  Not to worry, you can rent clubs at the course!  Don’t forget, there are 2 miniature golf courses available: Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland
  • Resort Pool – with 25 uniquely themed resorts, each resort offers multiple pools.  Although pool hopping is allowed at select resorts, there are black out dates as well as certain resorts that restrict the use to resort guests only.
  • Shopping – Each resort and theme park have multiple shopping locations.  Disney Springs offers several locations where you can find Disney souvenirs and home goods, but it also has multiple widely known retail locations.  Don’t forget while you are shopping to enjoy the vast dining/dessert options or even have a glass of wine at Starbucks!
  • Enjoy the music – There are often musicians performing throughout Disney Springs, the House of Blues, Piano Bob at Port Orleans Riverside, or my most favorite….Jellyrolls Dueling Piano Bar  at the Boardwalk Resort
  • Movie – You can watch the latest movie release at the AMC dine in movie Theatre at Disney Springs!  A movie theater and restaurant all wrapped in to one!! Many of the resorts offer outdoor evening movies.  Check with your individual resort.
  • Bowling – Splitsville at Disney Springs offers both bowling and an expansive menu!  From traditional snack food (nachos, cheese fries) to more eclectic(sushi) and everything in between!

Take a day during your vacation to sleep in, take a nap, or simply take a relaxing stroll throughout your resort!

Your Travel Specialist is here to help you plan your own downtime day!

Missy Zolecki

Travel Specialist

 

 

Disney Parks name tags have become an icon much like many other seemingly random Disney items like the famous Disney trash cans (an interesting story for another day)! What started as method to identify employees in 1955 of the newly opened Disneyland, name tags quickly took on a life of their own within the company. This is the fascinating story of a little badge and the names on it.

The first name tags at Disneyland were metal with Disneyland in blue written across them and a number. The number represented the employee. All Cast Members were issued a badge. During the first few years most were seen with only a number on them. Some employee such as executives received a badge with their full name in place of the number.

It wasn’t until 1962 that the Cast Members first name was standard on all name tags. And it was only the first name. Why you ask not the last too? That is because of Walt. Walt believed his company was a first name company where it didn’t matter if you were at the top of the ladder or in an entry level job. To the guests of his Magic Kingdom you were known by a first name and there to help. A side note on Walt, he did not like being called Mr. Disney. Those who would meet him and call him Mr. Disney were often replied to with “call me Walt, Mr. Disney was my father.”

So in 1962, the gold metal name tag went away and what appeared was a plastic thin oval version. Through the years the oval changed some and eventually around 1985 took the shape of what we have come to recognize today – an oval with an icon bump out on top. This current look is an homage to the original Disneyland version. There have been a variety of other shapes also used for many different departments, people and celebrations but the most common is what is used today.

There literally have been hundreds of styles of name tags over the years. Today, they have been simplified and are uniform by department, park (Disneyland, Disney World, oversees parks), business line and employee recognition. They typically all contain the hometown the Cast Member printed below the name. They also contain service pins signifying the years the Cast Member has been with the company. Some showcase different languages the Cast Member knows.

In recent years you may have noticed blue name tags which represent Cast Members who have received the Disney Legacy Award, the highest honor for a Cast Member. One thing that is common among nearly every employee of Disney is that they are worn over their left chest. I say nearly all Cast Members wear them over the left chest because there is one department that is given the freedom to wear them on their lanyards and that is Walt Disney Imagineering. When I worked for Disney I could always spot an Imagineer because not only did they have a special Mickey icon on their name tag they typically were wearing them on their company ID lanyard.

A side note on working for Disney and forgetting your name tag. You don’t forget it. If you do you get one issued to you for the day and in my case I got to be Eric. That day was the one and only time I wasn’t Ryan!

Walt was insistent his employees at Disneyland were easily identifiable and proudly wore a badge in 1955 and later one with their name on it. He made sure they were worn on their left side and they always had it on while in guest areas. The only person to not be required to wear a name tag was Walt himself. I guess that is the perk of being Mr. Disney.

Ryan Gross

Travel Specialist

 

Look up, look down, and pay attention to the detail created by Disney Imagineer’s and Cast Members because hidden surprises are around every corner.

Looking for Hidden Mickeys is a fun activity and provides an opportunity to explore all the creativity the Imagineer’s put into designing Disney. They can be found throughout the resorts, parks, Disney Cruise Line, and even on some Disney products. Or, it can even be as simple as a Cast Member being creative with the placement of dinnerware on the tables at a restaurant.

Our family makes a game to see who can find the most Hidden Mickeys. We noticed it forces us to slow down and truly enjoy our surroundings and appreciate the little touches of magic that goes into creating all the magic. Since there are thousands of hidden Mickey’s all over Disney World, there are enough to keep you busy to discover new ones during many future vacations.

Let’s have some fun finding a few Hidden Mickeys.

Can you find the Hidden Mickeys on Disney Cruise Line?

Keep an eye out in the parks and resorts. Some are more obvious than others, but they are all fun to find.

If you like to participate in the Disney pin trading activities, keep a lookout for special pins with Hidden Mickey’s.

Enjoy your scavenger hunt – Disney style.

Janene Jaroscak

Travel Specialist

 

It all started with … a mouse? Well, yes, but it also started with a family visit to a local carousel in Griffith Park, California. Sitting on a park bench, Walt imagined a special place a whole family could visit and enjoy together. A Walk in Walt’s Footsteps takes you step by step with a very hands-on Walt Disney as he envisioned and created a very magical new world, Disneyland.

Meeting up at the guided tour booth at the entrance to Main Street, U.S.A., you are greeted by your guide and welcomed into a small group of fellow guests. Groups are generally less than twenty people so you can stay tight and stick together as your guide walks you through some of Walt’s favorite areas. Everyone is fitted with an earpiece so the guide is able to walk with you, pointing things out and explaining the history and decision-making behind various areas.

You will spend time in Fantasyland as well as New Orleans Square, two areas Walt had huge involvement in. You can feel like a VIP as your guide walks you past lines of some of the most iconic attractions where you board immediately. On our tour, we experienced Alice in Wonderland and the Haunted Mansion and got a bit of history and trivia about these areas that added to the fun.

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The tour usually visits one of two rarely seen areas in the park – Walt’s apartment above the firehouse on Main Street, or the family apartment – also known as the Dream Suite – which sits perched atop Pirates of the Caribbean overlooking the Rivers of America. The Dream Suite was our treat for the day, and it was more than I had imagined it might be.

Over the years, this area has been converted for different uses. Walt never actually got to stay here as he passed away before it was completed. It was designed for Walt’s family and also as a space to entertain his guests (in combination with Club 33). In the early 90’s, I remember walking through the rooms as it was set up as an art gallery of original drawings and Disney history. The Dream Suite now is quite a lavish and charming apartment complete with parlor, guest bedrooms, luxurious bathrooms, and enchanted details that will surprise and delight any guest. You will have to walk in Walt’s footsteps to see for yourself!

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While the visit to the Dream Suite was definitely an amazing opportunity, the highlight of the tour for me personally was our last stop. A bit more backstory and one of Walt’s favorite songs playing through the earpieces left everyone in our group affected and moved, many to tears.

We ended with a special lunch (pre-selected before the tour began) with our tour mates at the Jolly Holiday Bakery (one of my favorite places to stop for a bite to eat). We had our final opportunities to ask questions and chat with each other and our guide. We were each handed a beautiful collectible pin to commemorate the tour. A perfect ending to an incredible tour.

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This tour is great both for a first-time visit, giving you an introduction and details of Disneyland that most guests do not experience, and also as a moving journey for guests like myself who had literally visited Disneyland over a hundred times before ever taking a tour.

That old bench from Griffith Park now sits where you can see it inside the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln attraction, and the old carousel? Still turning in Griffith Park!

Nancy Wideman

Travel Specialist

After you enter Epcot and take your picture by Spaceship Earth, the big golf ball, everyone rushes to their favorite attractions. Test Track, Soarin’ and Frozen Ever After to name a few. What some people don’t realize is that there’s a lot of really cool hands on areas as well as having the opportunity to not only learn more about our world, but there’s also a lot to learn about some of the different countries that are part of our world.

Epcot consists of the World Showcase and Future World. Future World has pavilions that are dedicated to such topics as the ocean, space, transportation, agriculture, and innovation. Not only are their fun attractions at some of these pavilions, there’s also an area of hands on fun and learning. For example, after Journeying into the World of Imagination with Figment, you enter into the ImageWorks – The “What If’ Labs. It’s a sensory-inspired play space allows you to wave your arms like a conductor of an orchestra to create music, create a symphony of sound by jumping on squares on the ground, and record sounds and play it back in different speeds.

At Living with the Land, you’re able to sail through the greenhouses of The Land Pavilion on a boat to see firsthand how Disney’s horticulturalists are using innovative growing techniques and cross-breeding high-yield crops with the goal of sustaining our growing global population. And if you’re so inclined to learn more, you’re welcome to make a reservation for a walking tour of Behind the Seeds, which takes a deeper look at sustainable high-tech horticulture.

As if Future World doesn’t have enough to offer and experience, the World Showcase has even more. World Showcase is home to 11 countries. Each country will provide you with some learning about their culture, their people, and their community. Upon entering each country, you’ll be transported to another section of the globe by seeing familiar famous landmarks, smelling the cuisine specific to that country and even hearing the native language being spoken by cast members from these countries.

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Depending upon the country, you’ll also be able to learn more about that country, the culture, and the goods that they provide. For example, upon entering China, you’ll be able to journey through ancient and modern China by watching a short Circle-Vision 360 degree film called Reflections of China. You’ll follow along as the Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai guides you through the sights and sounds of China.

After leaving Reflections of China, you might find yourself in the middle of a performance of the Jeweled Dragon Acrobats, which is an acrobatic troupe from China that performs breathtaking feats of strength, agility and balance. You might also find that the film left you a little hungry for some authentic Chinese cuisine. Whether you’d like to sit, relax and enjoy a table service meal at Nine Dragons Restaurant or want to grab a quick bite on the go at the Lotus Blossom Café, you won’t be disappointed.

There are a lot of things to discover at Epcot both in Future World and World Showcase. These are just some highlights of the many ways to learn more about exploring our world and the other countries within our world. We hope you’ll have a chance to take advantage of all it has to offer the entire family. You might have fun learning something new along the way!

Leigh Miller

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 ticketed event that takes place at the Magic Kingdom.  The special shows and attractions at the party include:

  • Castle Dream Lights on Cinderella Castle
  • Holiday Wishes fireworks performance
  • A Frozen Holiday Wish stage Show
  • Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration Show
  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
  • Meet-and-greet opportunities with 15 of  your favorite characters throughout Magic Kingdom dressed in their holiday best
  • Complimentary cookies and hot cocoa
  • A magical snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A.

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The 2017 dates for the Very Merry Christmas Party are:

November 9th, 10th, 12th, 14h, 16th, 17th, 26th and 28th

December 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 8th,10th, 12th, 14th, 15th,17th,19th ,21st and 22nd

Ticket price ranges from $89 to $109

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

 

Sunset Season’s Greetings and Jingle Bell Jingle Bam

 New this year to Hollywood Studios is Sunset Seasons Greetings.  As dusk settles over Hollywood Studios Sunset Boulevard, the lights of Christmas will start to twinkle and snow will begin to fall.  Billboards will come into motion and the “Tower of Terror” will transform as Disney characters start to tell stories of Christmases past, excitement over gifts, foods of the holiday, and beautiful Christmas sights.  Special characters joining this event include: Mickey and Minnie, Toy Story Toys, Olaf, and the Swedish Chef.

Another Christmas celebration is Jingle Bell Jingle Bam.  This incredible night time extravaganza uses the technology of projections, fireworks, and holiday music to tell the story of how Kris Kringle is rescued by stars of Disney’s Prep and Landing.  Another option with the Jingle Bell Jingle Bam holiday show is to take part in the Jingle Bell Jingle Bam Holiday party.  Talk to your travel specialist about adding a reservation onto your package and you will be able to dine on holiday sweets and drinks while enjoying the nighttime show in a special viewing area.

 

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 décor 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!

 

An International Yuletide Extravaganza

At Epcot during the holiday season, you can experience how each of the 11 nations around the world showcase celebrates the holidays.  Indulge in seasonal favorites, experience live musical productions and costumed performers as they bring seasonal traditions to life.  You may also visit Santa and Mrs. Claus as they visit the American Pavilion.

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 2017 Celebrity Guest Narrator’s include:

TBD – November 24 to 26, 2017

Matt Bomer – November 27 to 28, 2017

TBD – November 29 to 30, 2017

Whoopi Goldberg – December 1 to 3, 2017

Pat Sajak – December 4 to 5, 2017

TBD – December 6 to 8, 2017

TBD – December 9 to 11, 2017

Warwick Davis – December 12 to 14, 2017

Trace Adkins – December 15 to 17, 2017

Neil Patrick Harris – December 18 to 21, 2017

CCH Pounder – December 22 to 24, 2017

Jaci Velasquez – December 25 to 27, 2017

Chandra Wilson – December 28 to 30, 2017

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Chip and Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree

Chip and Dale are looking for help as they collect ornaments for their Christmas tree!  Your family will need to make a stop at Epcot’s Disney Traders and World Travelers International Gateway and pick up a map (the price for the map is $6.99).  As you follow Chip and Dale around the World Showcase, learning how different cultures celebrate the Christmas holiday you will look for Chip and Dale.  When you spot them with their ornament you will place the corresponding ornament on your map.  After you have your map completed you can take it to Disney Traders and exchange for a special gift.

 

Joyful

At Epcot you can delight in inspirational holiday performances of Gospel, Jazz, R&B, and more.  These daily performances are located at the stage in front of the Future World Fountain.

 

Holiday Kitchen’s at Epcot

What is better than snacking around the World Showcase at Epcot?  Snacking on holiday goodies from around 11 different nations at Epcot!!!  Each marketplace will feature a festive holiday dining experience from each nation’s culture.

 

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 you how Disney transforms into the most beautiful holiday wonderland!  Your tour guide or “Holiday Host” as they are called, will guide you on a journey with stops at Epcot to see the Candlelight Processional, Magic Kingdom to see the lighting ceremony of Cinderella’s Castle, and the star on top of the Christmas tree you will get to meet with some of the individuals responsible for turning Disney into a holiday wonderland.  You will also get to enjoy a family style barbeque dinner at Wilderness Lodge.

Tickets for this tour are $259 and you must be at least 12 years of age.

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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 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 celebrates the holiday season.  You will also visit one of the resorts on the Disney property to see 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.  Tickets for this tour are $99 per person. 

Disney Springs

At Disney Springs you can really dive into the spirit of the season.  The streets are decorated for a great family photo opportunity.  Your children can also visit with Santa Clause and you can stop at the Starbucks for some hot cocoa or maybe Ghirardelli for some ice cream.  You can also enjoy some live Christmas entertainment including christmas carolers, a tree lighting ceremony, a dance party, and you can take a walk amongst specialty decorated Christmas trees!

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!

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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 and the Victorian gingerbread house that they 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!!!

Beth Rodgers

Travel Specialist