Located on the first floor of Disney’s Paradise Pier at Disneyland in California is a hidden gem of a dining experience. The only place on property where you can meet Mickey Mouse while you eat, the Surf’s Up! Breakfast with Mickey and Friends at the PCH Grill, is a treat for young and old.

The stars of the show are the characters themselves. Ready for a day at the beach, the characters have stopped by for breakfast before grabbing their surfboards and heading off for a day of fun. While they are there, the characters will stop by your table for pictures, autographs, and the occasional dance party. While Mickey is the official host, some of the characters that might visit your table include Minnie Mouse, Stitch, and Daisy. Pictures with Mickey’s official photographer occur near the entry under the PCH Surf Shack sign. If you wish to have these pictures included with your MaxPass pictures, be sure to have your breakfast scheduled after you have time to enter a park for the day to activate that day’s MaxPass. If you do not have time to activate your MaxPass, the photographer will be happy to use your own camera to take pictures.

The PCH Grill will not disappoint as delicious treats start your day in the most scrumptious manner. You know you are at Disneyland when you see the celebrated Mickey waffles and Minnie pancakes. The Bananas Foster French toast is decadent and the pastries are sublime. Build your own parfait, select one or more the flatbread selections, or enjoy a traditional breakfast of eggs and sausages.

The PCH Grill has a welcoming environment for all. The restaurant is open and airy with large windows showcasing the California sun overlooking Disneyland Drive. The buffet has a wide, curving aisle to move around with your children as they make their selections and the tables have fresh and lively colors to brighten your spirits.

The PCH Grill Surf’s Up! character meal is only available during breakfast hours. Standard dining vouchers, available as a package add on to your Disneyland reservation, are accepted. Dining reservations open up 60 days in advance and reservations are strongly recommended. Be sure to contact your Me and the Mouse Travel agent to book your breakfast and get ready to “hang ten” with Mickey and all his friends!

Michelle Browne

Travel Specialist

 

Combine Disneyland and Christmas and what do you get? One of the most magical, spectacular, beautiful Christmas experiences that your family can ever enjoy!

Starting with checking into your Disneyland resort hotel, each resort is decked out with boughs of holly and Christmas trees reflecting the resort’s own theme including the sea, the woodlands, and adventure. Stop by the Grand Californian to see a huge gingerbread house version of the hotel and sit by the fire while enjoying some of the most amazing hot chocolate you’ll ever taste at the limited hot chocolate stand located in the lobby.

Disneyland Park welcomes you with a 60 foot tall Christmas tree covered with 2000 ornaments and almost 75,000 lights! During the day the tree is beautiful but when night falls and the tree lights up your breath will be taken away. Rivaling the tree’s lights is Sleeping Beauty’s castle which appears as a shimmering ice castle and stands as a beautiful foreground for Disney’s “Believe… In Holiday Magic”, Disney’s Christmastime fireworks show. Be sure to get there early for the fireworks as Main Street’s best viewing locations fill up well before the start of the show. When the fireworks end, stay in your spot and look up – you will become enthralled to see it’s snowing in California! Disneyland Imagineers have two attraction overlays that are set up during the Christmas season. For both the Halloween and Christmas seasons, the Haunted Mansion celebrates “The Nightmare Before Christmas” with jack-o- lanterns and wreaths, completely transforming the ride. “it’s a small world” is also transformed during the holiday season with celebrations from around the world coming to life in each scene. Be sure to get a FastPass for both of these overlays as the standby lines are quite long.

California Adventure Park headlines the holidays with its Festival of Holidays. Festival of Holidays is inspired by festivals of traditions from around the world and features musicians and dancers, Disney characters, festive food market booths, and a meet and greet with Santa himself! CarsLand is another favorite area of guests with its Christmas decorations and Mater’s Jingle Jamboree. Sing along to your favorite Christmas tunes as you swing on the tractor dance floor. At the end of your day in California Adventure Park, be sure to watch World of Color – Season of Light. In World of Color, hundreds of fountains dance to holiday music from around the world while holiday scenes from your favorite Disney and Pixar movies are displayed on the water mist screen.

Christmas holiday celebrations in Disneyland begin early in November and continue through the very beginning of January. Contact your Me and the Mouse Travel agent today to make sure you don’t miss out on making Christmas memories with your family!

Michelle Browne

Travel Specialist

 

Kon’nichiwa! Greetings from Japan! Whether your family loves eating out at your local hibachi restaurant or you’ve never tried hibachi before, on your next Walt Disney World vacation be sure to have your Me and the Mouse travel agent reserve for you a lunch or dinner at Teppan Edo, a table service meal located in Japan on the far side of World Showcase Lagoon.

Check-in for Teppan Edo is located at the bottom of the stairs to the restaurant which is above the Mitsukoshi department store. After check-in, head up the stairs (an elevator is available for those that require it) and enter a calm and peaceful environment away from the hustle and bustle of Disney. Meals are served in one of several smaller rooms located along a hallway that overlooks Japan with a glimpse of World Showcase Lagoon. Four tables of 8 are located in each room and if your group does not fill a full table you will be seated with other Disney guests. Since everyone loves Disney, it’s a perfect ice breaker and before dessert you will become the best of friends.

Drinks, appetizers and sushi requests are the first thing offered after you sit down. The sushi options come with 8 pieces, perfect for sharing and they even have a sampler plate if you can’t decide between the various types of sushi. Please remember that appetizers and sushi are not included if you are on the standard Disney Dining plan but if you are interested in some of these I highly recommend the sushi sampler.

Once you have your appetizers and drinks, it’s time to pick the type of entree that appeals to you. Beef, chicken, salmon, shrimp, and vegetable options will all tempt you. Can’t decide? Select a combination meal. Garden salad, vegetables, and sukiyaki beef rice will accompany all choices. Now it’s time for the show! If you haven’t experienced a hibachi meal before, you are in for a treat. Each table will have their own amazing chef who will show off knife skills, toss food into the air, make a volcano from the sliced onions, and of course, being at Walt Disney World, you may also get treated to a hidden Mickey during your meal’s preparation. Once the show is over and your meal fully prepared, the food itself is delicious – a favorite on property for many.

Dessert is a choice between 3 different types of mousse cake and 3 different types of ice cream. My favorite is the mango mousse cake – a refreshing and light option.

Next time you have a day at Epcot, try something new and reserve a meal at Teppan Edo. You will not only have a great meal but an experience you won’t soon forget!

Michelle Browne

Travel Specialist

 

The word chill is an adjective meaning very relaxed or easygoing. Disney Cruise Line has the goal of giving teens aged 13 to 17 a very relaxed experience by offering a menu of spa treatments on all four of their ships at the teen exclusive Chill Spa.

chill spa menu

If your teenager is interested in visiting Chill Spa, you must wait until you board the ship before you can book a treatment as this is not an option to book online. Head to the Senses Spa and request your appointment type and treatment as soon as you can – appointments will go fast, especially for your days at sea. Treatments include facials, massages, hair care, and beauty and wellness treatments such as wraps, manicures, and pedicures. Is your teen interested in attending a boot camp? Chill Spa also offers a Fitness Frenzy option that includes 3 specialized boot camp classes a personalized metabolism test. Let your teen indulge in multiple treatments with the Me! Bath Ice Cream Pedicure and the Truth or Hair styling session on formal night and they will be dressed to impress at dinner. Parents looking for side by side treatments with their teen can sign up for the Mother/Daughter Paradise Massage or the Father/Son Chill Out Massage.

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This past July my daughter was able to experience a treatment on the Disney Magic while sailing to Barcelona. To celebrate her recent birthday becoming a teenager, she selected one treatment to enjoy and she chose the 50 minute Heavenly Massage. As parental or guardian supervision is required for all treatments, we both showed up about 15 minutes before her appointment time where I filled out the necessary paperwork and consent forms before heading to the treatment room. Teens receiving a massage or wrap are requested to wear a swimsuit for their appointment so make sure your teen is prepared for their type of treatment. The massage was performed in a quiet room with soothing music and lasted a full 50 minutes. Before starting, the masseuse inquired if there were any areas that needed special attention and my daughter mentioned she was experiencing tightness in her lower back. After listening carefully, great care was taken for her lower back in addition to a general body massage. At the end of the treatment she was given cucumber water to flush out her toxins and instructions on staying healthy.

Hanging out, having fun, taking a breather, and just being yourself is the philosophy of the Chill Spa. Let
your teen be pampered to perfection on their next Disney cruise and you will have them thanking you for months afterwards and giving you the parent of the year award.

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“I loved going to Chill and after I went I felt really relaxed. I would totally do it again if my mom let me.” -Kirsten, 13

Michelle Browne

Travel Specialist

 

Every summer Disney Cruise Line sails one of its ships to Europe for one of the most special sets of itineraries available. Disney Cruise Line separates their European itineraries into Northern Europe and Mediterranean itineraries. This summer my family was able to experience the unique 7 night re-positioning cruise that connected these guest experiences. We started in Dover, England and ended in
Barcelona, Spain and it was a vacation we will never forget and recommend to all interested in visiting Europe with their family.

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Visiting Europe on a Disney cruise allows families to visit multiple countries and cultures in a short time while keeping a home base on the ship. The tours offered by Disney’s port adventures team allow for the interests of all ages with varying tour lengths to accommodate your needs.

On our particular cruise, we docked in Le Havre, France; Lisbon, Portugal; and Cadiz, Spain with 3 full days at sea. All of these countries were new to our family so we took advantage of the tours to see all we could while we were in port. Le Havre is located in northern France and about a 2 ½ to 3 hour drive from Paris. With a 16 hour stopover, there was plenty of time to take an adventure into Paris and see the main sights of the city. Lisbon’s city tour showed us how important the city and its inhabitants were to navigation of the oceans and the discovery of the new world. Cadiz’s town square, just steps from the dock, allowed us a walking tour of the city that dates from the time of the Phoenicians, about 1100 BC. Another amazing sight was seeing Africa as we sailed through the Strait of Gibraltar late one evening.

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Families of all ages can be found on Disney’s European cruises. If you have young children, exposing them to the historical locations, introducing them to new languages, and giving them a fun time each day is a great introduction to Europe. Tweens and teens will get excited when they recognize places and people that they’ve studied in school and then when they are back on ship the excitement doesn’t stop when the meet up with new friends in Edge and Vibe.

What makes Disney’s cruises so special to experience Europe is the fun, family friendly atmosphere. From the shows, to the on board events, to the age appropriate port adventures, to characters that dress in the native clothing of the ports, you will find everyone young and old enjoying each day of the cruise from morning until night.

Going on a European Disney Cruise Line vacation is one of the most memorable vacations that a family can have. Disney’s European itineraries are available for booking by contacting your Me and the Mouse travel agent.

Michelle Browne – travel specialist

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The live action movie release of Beauty and the Beast brought a new generation to love this classic love story. Emma Watson’s character displays a beauty that stems from self-sacrificial love and looks beyond her circumstances to find true love. If you are ready to create your own Beauty and the Beast themed vacation when visiting Walt Disney World, visit these must see attractions as Disney beckons you to “Be our guest!”

Magic Kingdom

Start your day at Enchanted Tales with Belle. First, explore Maurice’s cottage and workshop, and then enter the wardrobe room. Some audience members will be selected before each showing to participate in a heartfelt retelling of the story along with the help of Lumiere and Belle.


Gaston’s Tavern is a great place for a snack during your day. Treat yourself to a warm cinnamon roll and LeFou’s Brew. You can then meet Gaston outside his Tavern and get ready to pose for your picture.

Create your own Beauty and the Beast Vacation!

Looking for a souvenir? Bonjour! Village Gifts includes all types of merchandise that feature Belle, the Beast, and all the magical castle characters. Bring home a t-shirt, doll, Chip mug, or Belle’s favorite souvenir, a book.

Be Our Guest is one of most coveted dining reservations on property where you can eat in Grand Ballroom, the Castle Gallery, or the West Wing. Breakfast and lunch are quick service meals {reservations required} while dinner offers full table service. At dinnertime, save room for The Grey Stuff which is definitely delicious! While not an official character meal, the Beast will often greet guests in his private library after dinner service only. Create your own Beauty and the Beast Vacation!

Epcot

Belle’s quiet village is located in France so it’s not a surprise that she often appears in France for meet and greets over in World Showcase. Perhaps, you’ll find her near the water fountain at the front of the country.

If you are looking for another dining opportunity, Belle is often not only a frequent visitor at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, but often the host princess at the front of the restaurant. Located in Norway, Akershus is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and features multiple princess greeting opportunities. Please note that occasionally Belle has other royal commitments and does not guarantee her attendance at the restaurant.

Hollywood Studios

Create your own Beauty and the Beast Vacation!With multiple shows per day, the Theater of the Stars hosts a 25 minute musical production of Beauty and the Beast Live. Watching this Broadway style performance will bring you back to the first time you saw the movie and you will fall in love again with the tale as old as time. 

For one last meet and greet opportunity, you can look for Belle at Character Palooza. She some times appears at Character Palooza – an unscheduled character meet and greet from 4-7 located at Hollywood Studios on select days.

Beauty and the Beast is a beautiful story that comes to life in Wal Disney World. Step into the story retold as Walt Disney World invites you to be their guest!

Ready to plan your Beauty and the Beast vacation? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today! We are highly trained in all things Disney, and we’d love to add a little extra magic to your next vacation!

Michelle Browne

Travel Specialist

For many families, planning your vacation last minute is a necessary decision. When friends panic and tell you that you can’t do it – take a breath and go for it! A last minute trip to Walt Disney World can be filled with wonderful memories! We here at Me and the Mouse Travel want to make it a magical experience for you.

The first thing you need to remember when booking a last minute vacation to Walt Disney World is to be flexible. If you open yourself up to the options available you are going to find treasures of delight hiding around every corner.

Planning a Last Minute Disney Trip!Staying on property at Walt Disney World is a key component of a last minute vacation. This allows you to partake in extra magic hours, maximizing your fun each day. A last minute trip will have reduced resort and room selection but consider these options an opportunity to explore what makes each resort unique and special. While most of Disney’s promotional offers do not apply to last minute bookings, if your budget is tight consider staying at a value resort.

 

Many families are concerned that if they book a last minute vacation they will not be able to eat at character meals. Your agent will recommend the available character meals that include many of the characters you are wishing to see at alternate locations on property. You might also be one of the lucky families and get a reservation released from a last minute cancellation! Be sure to check each night at your resort concierge desk for any updates on cancellations for the following day.  

Planning a Last Minute Disney Trip!Looking for just a nice place to sit down for a meal? Consider eating at resorts as they are often hidden gems. A favorite place to eat is Epcot for its many international restaurants. Having a park hopper ticket, you can head to this park for a meal on any day. Disney Springs is also a FREE location with many different dining options. Stressed about trying for dining reservations? Skip reservations completely and eat at Disney’s many quick service restaurants that serve a wide variety of entrees. 

Lastly, if you book less than a month before your trip, some of the top FastPass attractions may not have availability. However, there are ways to still experience these rides with minimal wait. This is the perfect time to use extra magic hours. Another option is to head to those favorite attractions first thing in the morning when the parks open. Don’t forget to check the Me and the Mouse touring pages in your travel package for the must see attractions in each park.

Planning a Last Minute Disney Trip!A last minute trip can be one of the most stress-free vacations you’ve ever had! The reduced options allow you to focus on what is most important to you and your family. Remember to be flexible!! Let your travel agent work their magic! You are sure to have a great time on your Walt Disney World vacation.

Ready to book your last minute vacation? We’re here to help! Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today!

Michelle Browne

Travel Specialist

 

Resort Spotlight: All-Star MusicIf you are a family dreaming of the benefits of staying at a Walt Disney World resort but have a limited budget, Disney’s All-Star Music resort is a value level resort you should consider for your next magical vacation.

With a red carpet and backdrop to pose for pictures, your check-in experience at the All-Star Music resort turns into your debut as the newest music sensation. Walk outside and the fun starts for all. Pose for pictures in the Calypso section with the giant xylophone or bongos. Stop by the Jazz section to see the biggest drum set of your life. Are you more into country music? The banjo or harmonica might be calling your name. There isn’t anywhere you can turn outside without being reminded of the powerful influence music has on all our lives.Resort Spotlight: All-Star Music

All-Star Music features 2 different styles of rooms. The standard style room features 2 double size beds and accommodates a family of 4. The family suite features 1 queen-size bed, 1 twin-size sleeper chair, 1 double-size sleeper sofa, and 1 twin-size sleeper ottoman, accommodating a family of 6. The suite also adds a kitchenette including microwave and coffee maker and an additional bathroom to speed up getting ready in the morning. The rooms are quite comfortable and very functional. For families that do not spend much time in the room itself, you will find it a great place to lay your head at night.

Resort Spotlight: All-Star MusicSummer days require somewhere to cool off and the All-Star Music pools do not disappoint. The guitar-themed heated pool found in the Calypso section includes the Three Caballeros – Donald Duck, José Carioca and Panchito spraying water at everyone swimming. Closer to the back of the resort you can swim while tickling the ivories in the black and white grand piano themed pool.

The Intermission Food Court is the All-Star Music’s quick service restaurant serving food from 6:30 am until 12 midnight. Be sure try out their smoothies; you may find them your new favorite Walt Disney World treat.
Resort Spotlight: All-Star MusicBus transportation to Disney’s theme parks from All-Star Music is extremely convenient. Although buses are sometimes shared between all three All-Star resorts, during busy times of the day, Disney runs a dedicated bus service to each of them. While waiting for the buses, you may even be entertained by a resort DJ hosting dance parties, singing custom lyrics to your family, or asking you to join in on songs from the past and present.

The All-Star Music resort brings memories for families filled with background music that speaks to the hearts of all. If this resort sounds like the perfect pitch to your ears, contact a Me and The Mouse agent to book All-Star Music for your next Walt Disney World Vacation!

Michelle Browne

Travel Specialist

Exactly one year ago, my family was enjoying Walt Disney World and the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. Spring Disney DIY ActivitiesThis year we are missing one of the most beautiful times to visit the parks but that doesn’t mean we can’t bring a little Disney and a little Flower and Garden Festival to our own home.

Crafting is a great way to spend time with your children and completing a Disney craft is always a fun way to spend an afternoon.  This year, my daughter and her cousins took an afternoon to complete Disney themed flower pots and a birdhouse. The results are fun and useful items! These are going to bring a smile to our home every time we look outside.

Spring Disney DIY ActivitiesMaterials:

  • Terra Cotta Flower Pots –I recommend at least 6” pots
  • Optional: Terra Cotta Flower Pot bases
  • Wooden Birdhouse
  • Pencil
  • Optional: Tape
  • Acrylic paint in your required colors
  • Acrylic paint sealer
  • Paint Brushes in different sizes

 

Spring DIY Flower Pot 2Step 1: Determine the pattern you wish to complete on your pot or birdhouse. Mickey and Minnie themed patterns are the simplest to complete! However, there are several other popular themes including: Goofy, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, Pooh, and all of the Disney princesses. {Check out our Pinterest DIY Board for more ideas!}

Step 2: Draw your pattern on the flower pot or birdhouse with a pencil. If needed, use tape for straight lines which will assist you during painting. Painter’s tape is especially handy during this step as it comes off super easy!

Step 3: Paint your flower pot or birdhouse. Most colors will need 2-3 layers of paint for coverage so allow each layer to completely dry before applying another coat of paint. Entertain the kiddos with a favorite Disney movie while you wait for the paint to dry!

Spring Disney DIY ActivitiesStep 4: Once your paint has dried apply a coat of Acrylic paint sealer to seal your pattern from water damage.

Step 5: Plant your flowers, hang up your birdhouse, and enjoy!

Making these crafts brought laughter, encouragement, and deepened the bond between the girls.  You too can make your own versions of these crafts and have the joy of remembering your own Disney vacations when you see the flower pots and birdhouses outside your home.  Be sure to tag your pictures of your creation on your Facebook page with #MeandTheMouse! When you use our special tag, we are able to see the amazing creations your family creates.

Michelle Browne

Travel Specialist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michelle Browne

Travel Specialist