Woohoo!! Your cruise is booked but now you are wondering how you’re going to get to Port Canaveral. No worries – we’re here to help! It is highly recommended that you fly in at least one day prior to your cruise!  This may impact the means of transportation you chose. Here are a few options to consider.

Disney Cruise Line Transportation

Transportation to and from Port CanaveralDisney Cruise Line shuttles passengers from the airport (MCO) to the port. The cost of the ride is $35/person each way, however it only runs the day of embarkation and debarkation.

If you are flying in the night before and staying at a local hotel and are utilizing this option, I would suggest staying near the airport. The Hyatt Regency is located inside the airport and will be an easy elevator ride down to the bus. Otherwise, a hotel that provides shuttle service to and from the airport is also an easy option. Simply catch the shuttle back to the airport the morning of the cruise.

Renting a car

Some rental car companies have rental locations near the port. This brings a few options. You can either rent the car at the airport and park at the port or you can return the car to the rental location in Cocoa Beach and then pick up another vehicle on your return. The second option will save on parking fees, but will add an additional step since you will need to get the rental shuttle to get to and from the rental location to the port. It’s a simple step, but does add a little time.

Private Transfer

If you have 4 or more people in your party, your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist will be able to arrange a private transfer company. It will be approximately the same cost as Disney transfers. The benefit of the private transfer company provides you flexibility to be picked up at a time that you want and arrive at the port at your convenience. Transportation to and from Port Canaveral

Also, if you fly in the night before, a private transfer company can pick you up at the airport and bring you to a hotel in Cocoa Beach. Your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist will be able to help locate a hotel that provides a shuttle from the hotel to the port the morning of your cruise.

All Me and The Mouse Travel Specialists are highly trained! They would love to help you find the best transportation option for your cruise vacation. Ready to make the move to take a Disney Cruise? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today! We’d LOVE to plan your dream Disney vacation!!

Janene Jaroscak

Travel Specialist

Whether it’s your 1st or your 51st visit – there’s always something new to try!

You have your Disney World vacation planned and booked, but want to explore options to enhance your Disney experience.  There are an abundance of “extras” that can be added to your reservation to make it even more magical.

Disney Hopper Plus – To explore activities outside of the 4 theme parks, you can add the Hopper Plus ticket. The Plus option will give you access to Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon Water Parks! As well as, both Disney miniature golf courses, ESPN Sports Complex and Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course. The number of visits is determined by the number of days of park tickets you have included in your package.

Water Sports – Enjoying water time doesn’t stop at the pools and water parks. Enjoy activities such as parasailing, wakeboarding, tubing, water-skiing, personal watercraft rentals and fishing at the Sammy Duvall’s Water Sports Centre at the Contemporary Resort.

Memory Maker – This is the perfect way to save your memories in the park. Memory Maker will capture all pictures taken by a Disney Photographer and on select rides. For my family, Memory Maker combined with our phone camera was a huge help. We were able to avoid lugging (or losing) our expensive camera in the park and on rides.

Deluxe Dining PlanExtra Magic at Disney WorldIf you visit Disney to enjoy the outstanding food options, you should highly consider this addition! Upgrading your dining plan to the Deluxe Dining Plan will include 3 Meals (table service or quick service). This is a popular meal plan for adult only vacations when you want to take in some of the signature dining options.

Disney Tours – For frequent visitors to Disney World that are looking for a different type experience, try one of the many tour options available. Some have minimum age requirements that your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist will review with you. An example of some of the tours include:

  • Wild Africa Trek – For further information, read more about one of our Travel Specialists experience, HERE!
  • Keys to the Kingdom Tour – Brings you on a walking tour of Magic Kingdom and learn about the history and hidden gems of the park including access to the underground tunnels (Utilizers). Read more HERE!
  • Disney’s Family Magic Tour – A fun 2-hour guided scavenger hunt through Magic Kingdom discovering surprises throughout the park. Extra Magic at Disney World

Car Rental – Since you are headed to Florida, this is a great opportunity to take a day and head to the beach. You can get to either coast in 1 – 1 ½ hours. A complimentary shuttle will pick you up at your resort and bring you to the Car Care Center where your Alamo rental car will be waiting for you. Your Me and The Mouse agent can include a car rental in your resort package.

Contact a Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist, today! We will be happy to assist you with any extras you would like to add to your vacation to make it a memorable trip!

Janene Jaroscak

Travel Specialist

Ready to learn about some extra adventures you can take on your next Aulani Getaway?!

Things to do on Oahu - Aulani ResortAulani is a fabulous destination with many activities on the property to pique the interest of all age levels. But there is also so much to do on the island of Oahu. The excursion desk in the lobby has a variety of planned tours, but if you would like to venture out on your own, you can also rent a car through Alamo with a location on the Aulani property.

  1. Hawaii Plantation Village

    Learn the history of a sugar cane plantation and the island. You will leave with an understanding of the culture and life on the plantation. It is a short 11 mile drive from Aulani. Tours start on the hour between 10:00 and 2:00 and last roughly 2 hours.

  2. The Dole Plantation

    Another plantation tour that is highly recommended is the Dole Plantation Tour, which is located 16 miles from Aulani. You can take a train ride through the plantation and see how to pick and cut a pineapple. You will also learn about all the tasty treats to make with pineapple. After a visit to the plantation, continue driving up the north shore and experience the beautiful beaches, which are less crowded than those in Waikiki.

  3. Golf

    The Ko Olina Golf Club is a short walk from the Aulani resort. As a guest of Aulani, discount rates are also available. The pro shop is a great place to pick up gifts/souvenirs from your vacation.

  4. Pearl Harbor Things to do on Oahu - Aulani Resort

    Visiting Hawaii would not be complete without a visit to this historic site. Tours include the USS Arizona Memorial, USS Missouri Battleship and Bowfin Submarine Museum.

  5. Hawaiian Railway

    The boarding area is about 5 miles from Aulani. The train runs on Saturday’s at 3:00 PM and Sunday’s at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM. You ride along the coast and make a stop for ice cream. A perfect leisurely way to spend a weekend day. It is a great experience for young and old.

  6. Diamond Head State MonumentThings to do on Oahu - Aulani Resort

    Pack your hiking shoes and grab a bottle of water and head out on the trails on Diamond Head. The views of the ocean and the island are spectacular. Diamond head is 36 miles from Aulani.

 

With so much to do at Aulani and throughout the island, you will certainly want to book a second stay to take advantage of all the sites. If you’re interested in booking an Aulani vacation, or want to learn how you can include this fun in your current trip, contact a Me and The Mouse agent today!

Janene Jaroscak

Travel Specidalist

Port Orleans Riverside ResortDisney’s Port Orleans – Riverside Resort is a moderate level resort with the feel of a deluxe. Once you step foot onto the property, you immediately get the impression you are in a Louisiana port city with southern mansions.

The setting is peaceful and convenient. The parks are a short ride via Disney bus service with bus stops located throughout the resort. This makes transportation easy and near the guest rooms. You are also conveniently located to Disney Springs, which can be accessed via boat. It is a wonderful way to end the day with a peaceful boat ride to and from a nice dinner at Disney Springs. Port Orleans Riverside Resort

The rooms are well appointed and I found they were very quiet. Even with 2 queen size beds, there was ample room and very comfortable.

Exploring the property is a must-do while staying at Port Orleans.  You can take a stroll is a nice way to start or end your day. You can also rent bikes, a surrey bike or even relax in a horse-drawn carriage. Port Orleans Riverside Resort

Riverside Mill Food Court is the quick service restaurant that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is pleasant and does not have the feel of a “food court”.  There are quite a few menu options to meet the demands of even the pickiest of eaters. Boatwright’s restaurant is a great option to get your fill of southern cuisine. It’s a great table service restaurant. Boatwright’s is only open for dinner, so reservations are highly recommended.

If you are looking for a fun way to end the day, head to River Roost Lounge.  You can grab a cocktail at the bar and join in a few songs with Yehaa Bob as he gets the crowd engaged with his piano and songs.

Port Orleans Riverside ResortPort Orleans – Riverside is a sister resort to Port Orleans – French Quarter and is a quick and easy walk between the two resorts. In fact, as a guest at either resort, you are free to use the pool at both Riverside or French Quarter.

If you are looking for a resort to unwind after a busy day in the parks, Port Orleans Riverside is a perfect fit. Contact a Me and The Mouse to book this resort for your next Walt Disney World Vacation!

Janene Jaroscak

Travel Specialist

 

Many people associate going to Disney World with visiting the parks, but there is so much to do outside of the parks.  In fact, our family has enjoyed a Disney vacation without ever stepping foot inside a park. It’s also great to build in non-park days to get in a little downtime between park days. There are a variety of activities to experience other than the fabulous pools located at your resort.

  1. Take a stroll around Disney Springs and browse the stores to purchase your souvenirs. One of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique locations is right in Disney Springs so you can get your little princess ready for one of your princess dining experiences. Or visit Splittsville and enjoy their fun bowling alley and restaurant. Disney Fun Things to do
  2. Take in a round of golf on one of 3 – 18-hole championship courses. If you don’t want to bring your clubs, no problem, clubs and shoes are available to rent with advanced reservations. Or for those that would like to golf with young children, Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course is a 9-hole walking course and is an excellent option.
  3. If taking on a regular golf course isn’t your thing, Disney has a fun, family friendly version of golf with their 2 miniature golf coursesGolf at Walt Disney World
  4. Ride the monorail and resort hop. The Grand Floridian, Contemporary and Polynesian each have unique shops and restaurants. Stay after dinner to watch the Electric Water Pageant Parade on the lagoon or watch fireworks from the Polynesian or Grand Floridian Beach.
  5. The Boardwalk Area – Rent a bike or take a stroll around the Boardwalk/Beach Club area. Disney’s Boardwalk has shops, restaurants, and nightclubs that surround Crescent Lake and the Boardwalk, Beach Club and Yacht Club resorts. It is within walking distance to both Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Spend an evening dining at one of the specialty restaurants then walk the boardwalk to see street performers, food vendors, midway games, or stop in the piano bar for a few tunes. Boardwalk at Disney Springs
  6. If your kids are between the ages of 4 – 12, they can have their own fun while mom and dad have a couple of hours to explore on their own. Disney’s Pirate Adventure is a kids only event. You can select from four different resort locations that take place from 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM. They will set sail exploring for hidden treasure and listening to pirate stories. Mom and dad can have a couple of hours for shopping or having a quiet breakfast together.

 

Spending time at Disney is so much more than visiting the parks. When you talk with your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist, they will be able to help you build an itinerary to include some of these fun extra experiences.

Janene Jaroscak

Travel Specialist

 

A Hidden Gem

Grand Floridian Resort For our family, having a great breakfast is an essential way to start a busy day in the parks. Our restaurant of choice is the Grand Floridian Café, which is inspired by the sea coast resorts with a Victorian charm. The café has beautiful views of the resort pool and gardens.

The café is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (or a quick dessert or snack), but it is our go-to restaurant for breakfast for a variety of reasons:

  • It is a nice start to a day we plan on spending at Magic Kingdom no matter which resort we are staying. If you are not staying at the Grand Floridian, it has easy access by taking the bus to Magic Kingdom and hopping on either the monorail or a water taxi.
  • The service is friendly
  • The food is plentiful
  • We have found it an easy choice as a last-minute reservation. We are generally able to get a reservation by logging into the My Disney Experience App while in our room and able to get a reservation for a time after factoring in travel time. Reservations are highly recommended.
  • On trips that we aren’t on the dining plan, we find the prices are very reasonable for plenty of food.
  • The menu is small, but there are many options to satisfy a variety of pallets. They have a nice selection of seafood choices including lobster benedict.
  • Since I have a food allergy, Disney makes eating gluten free on vacation easy and plentiful and for breakfast the Grand Floridian Café has the best selection and the most accommodating. They cater to gluten free allergies at breakfast, lunch and dinner, but a big breakfast is my special treat while on vacation. Grand Floridian Resort

 

Whether you start your day with a relaxing breakfast or end the day with a nighttime dessert, the Grand Floridian Café is a convenient hidden gem.

Janene Jaroscak

Travel Specialist

 

How many times have you had an itch to get on vacation, but the thought of making a reservation at the last minute would cost an arm and a leg? Disney Cruise Line may have a solution for last minute planners. Many times, Disney Cruise Line releases promotional rates called IGT (Inside Guaranteed), OGT (Oceanview Guaranteed) and VGT (Verandah Guaranteed). Disney Cruise Line Discount

Granted, you may receive a lower fare if you book as soon as Disney releases their new itineraries, but many people have a hard time planning that far in advance. If you happen to discover you have extra vacation days at work or you just need a little time away, these fares may be right up your alley.  They are usually quite a discount from the regular fares that you would book last minute.

Disney generally releases these fares after the pay in full date, which for most sailings and stateroom categories, that is 75 days prior to sailing. However, they have been known to release them prior to the pay in full date.

In exchange for the discounted fares, you agree to a few things when you book an IGT, OGT or VGT rate:

  1. These rates are only applicable to new bookings.
  2. You are agreeing to book a stateroom category vs. a specific stateroom. For example, if you book an OGT, Disney will book you in a stateroom that is at least an Oceanview based on availability. You could possibly get bumped up to a Verandah, but you would not be moved down to an inside stateroom.
  3. Your stateroom assignment may include an obstructed view.
  4. In most cases, you will know your stateroom about 30 days prior to departure.
  5. The GT rates cannot be combined with any other discount, such as an onboard booking discount
  6. You are also agreeing to pay in full at the time of booking and you cannot cancel. Disney Cruise Line Discount

If you are looking for a last-minute vacation, reach out to one of our Me and The Mouse Travel Specialists and they will be able to help you with the next step.

Janene Jaroscak

Travel Specialist

Viking River CruiseMy family recently enjoyed a family reunion onboard a Viking River Cruise on the Rhine River sailing from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland.  Viking made the journey worry free and easy, so we could enjoy your time together and not have to worry about any of the details. It was a first-class experience and exceeded our expectations.

This was the perfect vacation for a large family that included members in their 80’s and individuals who had never been to Europe.  Many people associate river cruising with grandparents, but I would estimate that the average age on our ship were in their 50’s with quite a few in their 30’s. Viking River Cruise

For us, there were many benefits to sailing with Viking:

  1. Traveling along the Rhine immersed us in the history and beauty of the region. The onboard activities include local musicians, dining to give you a taste of the local culture and speakers that discuss the local region.
  2. Each day had one included excursion at each port of call and optional excursions that we could add-on. The additional excursion options offered a variety of activity levels, so there was something for everyone. We were transported in luxury motor coaches.
  3. We had plenty of time on our own to explore cities. If our included excursions were in the morning, it gave us an opportunity to get the lay of the land so we felt comfortable venturing out on our own after lunch or dinner. Viking River Cruise
  4. The tour guides were exceptional and the groups were also well managed. Those that wanted to go at a slower pace or needed a little extra assistance were put into separate groups.
  5. Our meals were fabulous with all wine and beer included at lunch and dinner. We also had 3 members of our family with dietary needs and they were accommodated beautifully.
  6. We were on one of Vikings Longships, which is elegant, modern and provided a comfortable environment. The 190-passenger ship was small and intimate and all staterooms are outside cabins. We never had more than 2 flights of stairs to get anywhere, which made moving about the ship very convenient.

 

We will definitely enjoy a future vacation to discover other regions of Europe. The Viking hospitality has us sold.

 

Janene Jaroscak

Travel Specialist

Viking River Cruise

 

 

 

 

If you are weighing the idea of staying on property or off for a Universal Orlando vacation, consider the following list of benefits of enjoying one of Universals incredible properties.Stay on Property at Universal Studios

  • Early Admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You are able to get in 1 hour prior to the public.
  • Shuttle busses to the theme parks and CityWalk, however, all of the resorts are within walking distance if you would like to take a leisurely walk to and from the parks.
  • It grants you charging privileges with your room key.
  • Complimentary transportation to Sea World and Aquatica
  • If golf is on your agenda, you are given priority tee times and complimentary transportation to select area golf courses.
  • Being on-site also provides easy access to and from the parks to your resort for a midday break. This allows you to hit the parks early, spend the afternoon at the pool and then head back to the parks and/or CityWalk for nighttime attractions. Stay on Property at Universal Studios

Staying at one of the deluxe resorts, (Lowe’s Portofino, Royal Pacific or Hard Rock), provides the most benefits, which includes all of the above, but the biggest advantages to staying at one of the deluxe results:

  • The ability to skip the lines at select attractions with a complimentary Universal Express Unlimited ride pass. This is especially a huge plus especially during peak seasons. This is a savings of up to $89 per person per day. Depending on your party size, that could be the difference between staying at a value resort to upgrading to a deluxe resort. (You will still need to purchase a regular park admission ticket to take advantage of the Unlimited Express tickets.
  • Priority seating at certain restaurants at the theme parks and CityWalk.
  • Water taxis from the resort to the theme parks and CityWalk. Stay on Property at Universal Studios

 

Contact one of our Me and The Mouse Travel Specialists to help you plan a Universal Orlando Resort vacation.

 

Janene Jaroscak 

Travel Specialist

If you are like my family, we are interested in exploring other countries but want ease in our traveling, so a Disney Cruise is our perfect solution. What could be easier than being transported to a variety of locations on one vacation and only having to unpack your bags once? Disney offers excellent excursions to meet a variety of interests and activity levels.

Disney Mediterranean Cruise – List of Ports:

Barcelona, Spain

It is beneficial to arrive a few days early to adjust to the time change, and see the beautiful city of Barcelona. Highlights of the city include La Sagrada Familia, Olympic Village area, and Las Ramblas.

Disney Cruise Line European
The Port of Villefranche

Villefranche, France – Monte Carlo, Monaco and Eze

  • The port of Villefranche is picturesque and lined with restaurants, quaint hotels and shops.
  • In Monaco, all the roads lead to the palace. The streets are lined with small shops and lovely restaurants with patios.
  • Monte Carlo is filled with massive yachts. The famous Loews curve, as seen on the Monte Carlo Grand Prix and the Casino, is only open for those 18+ years.

    Disney Cruise Line European
    Monaco

  • Eze is a medieval city that was first populated around 2000 BC.  It provides magnificent views of the Mediterranean.

Pisa and Florence

  • Pisa – This is a perfect visit for a Leaning Tower of Pisa picture opportunity.
  • Florence – If possible, take time to walk the Ponte Vecchio. It is filled with shops and is normally very busy, therefore, arrive early to avoid some of the crowds. Another key stop is the Basilica di Santa Maria del Flore, which is the main church in Florence.

    Disney Cruise Line European
    Look at that view! – Amalfi Coastline

Naples, Italy – Pompeii, Sorrento and
Positano

  • Pompeii – You’ll want to make sure you visit this historic city. In 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried the city in 20 feet of ash.
  • Sorrento & Positano The beautiful Amalfi coast makes these two spots a major hit! It’s stunning beauty makes it the perfect picture spot.

Rome, Italy

Disney Cruise Line European
The Colosseum

I recommend using a private driver or do a small group tour. We were able to see so much more than we would have on a large group tour. This allowed us to see several key locations in one day, including:

  • The Catacombs of San Sebastiano – Only a portion of the catacombs are open to the public, so it was a fairly short tour.
  • “The Secret Key Hole” – When you look through the key hole, you can see St Peter’s Basilica perfectly.
  • The Colosseum
  • The Vatican, St Peter Basilica and the Sistine Chapel
  • Trevi Fountain
  • The Pantheon
  • The Spanish Steps

Disney definitely helped to make our European vacation magical. If you’re interested in visiting Europe, consider travel with Disney Cruise Line for a little extra magic! Don’t forget, Me and the Mouse Travel will be happy to help you make wonderful family memories on your European adventure.

Janene Jaroscak

Disney Vacation Planner