It’s time to start planning your 2018 Walt Disney World Vacation!

Starting June 20th, 2017, The 2018 Walt Disney Travel Company vacation packages for Walt Disney World® Resort will now be available for purchase.

These vacation packages will be valid for arrivals Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2018. Please note the last date of your vacation cannot be booked more than 499 days in the future.

Walt Disney World offers many exciting and incredible activities and attractions. Don’t forget about the new land at Pandora: The World of Avatar or the expansions going on throughout the parks. Don’t forget to stay in the magic with an on-property resorts. The resorts are perfectly themed and keep the magic going long after you’ve left the park!

Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today to book your 2018 vacation package!!

The Pandora ExperienceOn May 27, 2017 (The opening day for Pandora) lines for the rides were 250+ minutes.  Thankfully, we are Walt Disney World Annual Pass Holders.  We had the opportunity to sign up for an EXCLUSIVE Pass Holder Preview that took place a week before the land opened to the public.  WHAT AN INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE. The “land” is like none other at Walt Disney World. As soon as you step in, you feel as if you are on another planet or 4.4 light years away.   We were able to explore the “planet” and ride both The Flight of Avatar and The Na’vi River Journey without a wait.  You will be entertained on your way to the ride. As the line queues themselves are full of incredible sites.

 

The Flight of Avatar begins with a process in which an “Avatar” is made for each rider.  This will link you to a “Banshee” in order ride and become a part of the movie. You do have to be a certain height to ride so our 2 year old daughter could not come along.  Mooma (grandma) stayed with her as she is typically not a thrill rider.  Once we got off, we were so amazed that we told mom she NEEDED to do it! When will she have the opportunity to just walk right on again?!?!?! To her own surprise, she ENJOYED it. She did admit to having her eyes closed 20% of the time but is thankful we encouraged her to ride. You can find out more about this specific ride, here!

The Pandora Experience

The family friendly, Na’vi River Journey was nothing short of a spectacle of light, colors and sound.  For those Disney enthusiasts, think riding a boat much like the ones in Small World or The Land but through a bioluminescent forest full of creatures, sounds and plants featured in the movie. Yes, it is as dreamy as it sounds. Want to see more pictures and learn more about this incredible journey, here!

The Pandora Experience

As we finished the rides, Orlando finally received some MUCH NEEDED rain. We were “trapped” inside the gift shop for quite some time where we stocked up on all types of souvenirs.   We of course had to buy the exclusive pass holder pin (they had shirts as well), an ornament (we buy ornaments on every vacation), and we even got to bring home our very own Banshees.

Because of the rain, we did not get to fully explore the land and everything it has to offer. However, the sites are INCREDIBLE! It is a photographer’s dream. Our camera was full of photos of the gorgeous landscape. Even if we don’t score fast passes for our next trip, we will spend some time seeing everything there is to offer.  I’ve been told the food and drinks are also OUT OF THIS WORLD. You can read more about one of the quick service dining experiences, here!

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

Courtney Rooney

Guest Blogger

 

Returning this Summer with NEW Magic!

A few of the iconic Disneyland attractions will be returning to the park this summer! Disneyland Railroad and the Rivers of America will both reopen with new magic and fun! Take a look at the artistic rendering {courtesy of Walt Disney Imagineering} of the new north bank of the Rivers of America! It will feature a gorgeous new waterfront and an elevated trestle over which the classic Disneyland Railroad will travel. You will not want to miss out on this experience!Disneyland Railroad & Rivers of America

The Rivers of America will celebrate several famous rivers including the: Mississippi, Columbia, Missouri, Rio Grande, and Columbia Gorge! It will feature magnificent waterfalls and vegetation. The Big Thunder River Waterfall and Twin Sisters Waterfall will welcome five new, and incredible, waterfalls along the Rivers of America. Guests will be able to see these sights while on board the Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia and Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes!

However, if you don’t want to experience these gorgeous falls up close on the water, you can still see all of the beauty while aboard the Disneyland Railroad. The railroad with travel across the new and magnificent trestle. You will experience a breathtaking view of the new waterfalls {be sure to have your camera ready!}. Disneyland Railroad & Rivers of America

While there are lots of new additions to these classic rides, there are still some familiar aspects that will make you feel right at home. You will see several familiar faces along the Rivers of America as well as throwbacks to Frontierland’s past. The Indian Village will return, but will be in a new location. It will include a more prominently featured Shaman! He will tell the story of how the hummingbird taught the Indian chief to make a flute.

We are so excited to see these new changes to a few of our favorite classic rides. Disney has yet to announce the opening dates for these attractions. We will keep you posted as soon as we know!

Ready to head to Disneyland right now? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today! We’d love to help take the stress from your vacation planning!

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’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

An Out-of-This Galaxy Experience!

Star Wars Galactic Nights at Disney Hollywood StudiosFrom the red carpet entrance by Captain Phasma and her Storm Troopers, to meeting BB-8 (yes, he made his debut!), to watching the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks show, this was one of our best family nights. Disney’s Hollywood Studios was the perfect backdrop for the average Star Wars fan.

We walked in and were immediately greeted by members of the Rebel Alliance that supplied us with our special event lanyard. The lanyard had the SW Galactic Nights image on one side and sticker pieces that we would collect at each photo backdrop on the other. The stickers would display an array of images from all the movies when complete. It also would display a secret message that would appear at the end of the night.

We headed towards the SW Launch Bay and were surrounded by many different R2 units. It included the regular blue and white R2D2, a psychedelic R2, a Poe Dameron R2 and many others. Our son, Adyn, had a blast stopping to take pictures with each one. It all just seemed unreal. We got to visit with Kylo Ren, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Boba Fett and…BB-8! Watching Adyn interacting with BB-8 was so much fun. He was convinced that he was being given the secrets to saving the Rebel base.

Star Wars Galactic Nights at Disney Hollywood Studios

Even though this was a Star Wars event, all the rides we still running and the lines were more than manageable. Most in attendance were so busy trying to get their picture taken with each of the backdrops that were positioned throughout the park. The Rockin’ Rollercoaster ride was also in character as it was zooming through hyperspace for the event. And just around the corner from the ride we stopped by for the boys to take a picture of Han Solo frozen in carbonite. Even the Force could not set him free! Not to worry, Jabba the Hutt was just next door keeping an eye on him.

Star Wars Galactic Nights at Disney Hollywood Studios

Now, Adyn isn’t the typical 9 year old when it comes to Star Wars. He likes to know the why. Disney was able to bring together some of the people behind the voices and model sets of the franchise. We sat in the Indiana Jones stadium and learned about what makes them tick, how they got their start and how they felt about joining the Star Wars family. Alan Tudyk, voice of K-2SO, was sharing his experience on set and how much fun he had.

 

Star Wars Galactic Nights at Disney Hollywood StudiosAfter some popcorn and shopping stops, we made our way to one last character before finding a place to park for the fireworks. The night was so magical that only Sorcerer Mickey could be in attendance. He knew only a Jedi could use the force to do the Fantasia dance, so he and Adyn paired up and showed us their moves. The line for Mickey and Princess Minnie was no more than 5 minutes, so we had plenty of time to find place where we could get a good view of what was to come.

To call it a firework spectacular is an understatement. For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of witnessing what Disney has put together, I recommend you make the trip. They combine a series of film clips and engaging scenes with fun and excitement blended with the right queue of fireworks. Not one movie is left out. A perfect ending to a wonderful Star Wars experience.

 

Take A Look at More of the Fun!

 

Marisela Del Cid

Me and The Mouse Client

Looking for a Rootin’ Tootin’ good time?

Hoop Dee Doo Musical at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort
If you want a different experience, head on over to Pioneer Hall at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground for a night of entertainment and dinner.  Hoop Dee Doo Review is fun for the whole family.  This show is truly entertaining. You’ll love how the entertainers interact with the audience getting everyone engaged in the hand clapping, foot stomping, sing-along fun!

Grab your cowboy boots and then kick back and relax! You’ll enjoy a non-stop interactive Wild West performance which includes dancing, singing, and hilarious comedy. Your waiter will serve your meal family style while you and your family enjoy the show! The offerings are “finger-lickin’ good” and include: all-you-care-to-eat smoked BBQ pork ribs, crispy fried chicken, mashed potatoes, baked beans, salad, seasonal vegetable, delicious cornbread, and amazing strawberry short cake for dessert.  

Hoop Dee Doo Musical at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort
Non alcoholic beverages are included for the whole family! For the “young-at-heart,” {but over 21 crowd} unlimited draft beer, wine and sangria is included and served when you serve up proper identification!!  Yee Haw!

There are 3 Hoop Dee Doo shows per night and prepayment and reservations are required.  Three categories of tables and pricing are offered with two levels of seating available to guests.


Be sure to allow plenty of time for transportation.  You won’t want to miss any of this dinner show.

If you and your family want to experience the unique Hoop Dee Doo experience, contact a Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist for assistance in making reservations. 

 

 


See More From Our Incredible Visit:

 

Traci Perjak

Travel Specialist

The reality is that unexpected illness or injuries can happen, even at Disney!  There are multiple resources available to assist you and your family. Disney makes sure you will receive the care that you need, so that you can get back to enjoying your trip as soon as possible!

 

If you are in a park and you are in need of assistance, seek out the nearest cast member! They will be able to assist you in locating the care you need.  Each of the parks has a First Aid/Baby Care location.  These locations are staffed with a nurse and have common over the counter medications you can purchase.  (They even sell some baby care items in case you need food, formula or diapers. Read more about the Baby Care Stations, HERE!)  They can also offer some basic first aid.  If your situation is more serious, the cast member may assist you in making arrangements. These arrangements can range from: visiting a walk in/urgent care clinic or activating the local Emergency Medical System (EMS).  As you travel throughout Disney World, you may see the Reedy Creek Fire Department Stations.  Unexpected Illness or Injury at DisneyEach firehouse has its own unique theme and exterior design!  If you are in need of receiving care in an Emergency Room, you will be transported to the most appropriate ER.  If you or your family member does not require admission to the hospital, ask the ER to assist you with returning to your resort.

 

It seems as if 3am is when the unexpected illness presents itself! Call the Front Desk/Concierge at your resort.  They can assist you in arranging for a concierge/on call physician to make a visit directly to your room.  Please be aware, this will be an out of pocket expense and they often will not bill your insurance.  If you are inquiring about care during the hours the local walk in/urgent care is open, the concierge can assist you with transportation to and from the visit.  If your condition warrants or you would like to have the paramedics called, the hotel can call on your behalf, or you can call from your room or your cell phone.

 

Unexpected Illness or Injury at DisneyWhen preparing for your vacation, make sure you have adequate supply of your prescription medications. ALWAYS pack your medications in your carry on luggage.  What if you forgot a medication at home?  Contact the Front Desk/Concierge and they can assist you in locating the resources to obtaining your medication.  It is always good to contact your insurance provider. This way, you can discuss where you could seek care if something happened! Also, make sure to bring your insurance information with you.  I am a mom and a nurse. I always make sure to bring common over the counter medications. It doesn’t matter if we are visiting for a few hours or several days. For liquid medications, make sure you have the proper dose measuring device.

 

I hope you don’t need to use any of these resources, but in the event that you need to seek medical care, there are a variety of options available to assist you!

 

Missy Zolecki

Travel Specialist

 

Coming to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

The Frozen Summer Games return to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park at Walt Disney World Resort starting May 26th, 2017! You won’t want to miss out on this snowy, Frozen, summery fun!

When you get to Blizzard Beach you can join either Team Kristoff or Team Olaf, and you can participate in a wide variety of fun {& refreshing} activities. Choose to join in on the Ice Pail Relays, Snowball Toss, Ski Pole Limbo, and Slide Races!

 

Frozen Summer Games at Blizzard BeachThe fun really starts when you get to meet Kristoff! For the “first time in forever”, you can meet and take photos with both Kristoff and Olaf at their special character greeting location inside Disney’s Blizzard Beach.

Blizzard Beach will be full of extra fun, laughter, and memories! There will be crafts, games, and a DJ spinning fun, uptempo tunes throughout the day! The Frozen Summer Games are sure to be a hit this summer at Disney’s Blizzard Beach, and you’re going to want to join in on all the festivities!

Interested in adding a day at Blizzard Beach to your trip this summer?! Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today. We would LOVE to help you plan and take the stress away from you!

 

Maybe you have been to Walt Disney World numerous times and feel you want something new to do this summer since you’ve already done everything at the parks. Well stop right there! Disney has added some new attractions in 2017 that you will not want to miss.

 

  1. Pandora

    Top 5 Things To Do at Disney World this SummerThe World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom- Opening in May 27, 2017, this new land will transport you to the world of Pandora, home of the Na’vi. Inspired by James Cameron’s movie in 2009. The land is full of plants and centered with floating mountains that is sure to impress anyone. There are two main attractions to see. The Na’vi River journey where you will travel down a river hidden in the rainforest and have an encounter with a Na’vi Shaman and the other attraction is the Avatar Flight of Passage which will have you flying over Pandora. {Read more about it, here!}

  2. River of Lights at Animal Kingdom Top 5 Things To Do at Disney World this Summer

    This is the first nighttime show for the Animal Kingdom park. The kingdom is brought to life at dark with water, sound, dramatic lighting, and special effects. What a way to celebrate the beauty of all living things!

  3. Happily Ever After Nighttime Spectacular at Magic Kingdom

    Debuting in May of 2017, this new nighttime show will light up the sky above Cinderella’s Castle. This show will inspire guests to find their own “Happily Ever After” through storytelling, pyrotechnics, and classical characters.

  4. Top 5 Things To Do at Disney World this SummerThe Music of Pixar LIVE: A Symphony of Characters

    Opening in May of 2017, this amazing show features a live symphony playing music from Disney Pixar films. And if you are lucky, your favorite Disney Pixar character will make a magical appearance.

  5. Miss Adventure Falls at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon

    What adult doesn’t like a good adventure? This family style raft will take on a white water rafting adventure past the lost and glittering treasure of Captain Mary Oceaneer. This ride is one of the longest water attractions at the two parks!

 

So as you can see there are many new attractions and adventures you will not want to miss this summer at Walt Disney World! If you’re ready to book or have any questions, contact a Me and The Mouse agent today.