Ahoy, Mateys!! Are you ready to become a ‘scurvy pirate recruit” and help Captain Jack Sparrow find some hidden treasures? Then you’ve come to the right place.  This free interactive treasure hunt lets you encounter five different pirate adventures within Adventureand.   A Pirate’s Adventure was inspired by the ever popular movie, “Pirates of the Caribbean”.

While in Magic Kingdom, make your way to Adventureland.   You’ll pass the Pirates of the Caribbean ride on your left and head toward the Pirates Adventure Building.  When you enter the building, touch your magic band or park ticket (also known as your Talisman) on the kiosk as indicated on the Pirate Adventure screen.pirate

The screen will walk you through on how to start your pirate adventure.  A Disney cast member is never far away if you need assistance.  Be sure to take the correct map and start at the symbol indicated on your screen.  If you happen to grab the wrong map or start with the wrong symbol, on your first mark you will be told to go to another site.  You can always go back to the Pirates Adventure Building to get assistance.

As you work your way through the different interactive destinations, place your talisman on the symbol to activate the area.  Listen and look closely for the clue to your next destination or maybe you’ve found your treasure.

There are several treasure hunts to go on.  Return to the Pirate Adventure building to activate your talisman and retrieve your new map.  You can take as long as you like to complete each adventure.  When you’re finished, keep the map as a free souvenir.

Fear not Matey’s!! The magic contained in your talisman will help you find the hidden treasure and ensure a folly of fun on your pirate adventure.

Roxanne Genovese

Travel Specialist

Experiencing Disney On Your Own!

Go to Disney…..ALONE?!? Certainly this is something you have never considered, right? We all love Disney, but when we think of a Disney vacation, doesn’t it always involve memories with your friends and family sharing in that special Disney magic?

I recently found myself at Disney World with an extra day to do as I please after the rest of my group caught their flights home. What to do? Mind you – I am not the sort of person who enjoys eating out alone or going to a movie solo. I enjoy company. Sure, I could sit around the pool at the resort and wait until my Magical Express pick-up. So what did I do? I went for one last day in a park, and I had one of the best Disney experiences ever! (100+ trips and counting!)

While there are fabulous attractions at Hollywood Studios, it is a park I always considered a half-day park. Perhaps I was missing something? Off I went!

I chose to do things I didn’t normally do when visiting with my family.

  • I took a walk! I walked down alleyways I usually passed by. There are a lot of hidden shops, scenes and little details that I had overlooked before.nancy_pic
    • I spoke with Cast Members! I was approached for a quick survey and turned right back around and asked my own questions. “What is your favorite activity in the park that you think is overlooked by most guests?” Some of them had a favorite snack spot. Others had a favorite character they loved to watch. One passionately discussed “One Man’s Dream” which is an attraction about Walt and his dream that I had never entered. I headed straight for it!  Cast Members are always helpful, and they are always happy to share their own favorites and personal experiences in the parks and resorts. Don’t be afraid to ask them!
    • I chose a couple attractions that were highlights for me – Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster (which I’d never been able to get my kids on) and Tower of Terror (because I couldn’t wait to see the photos and new video included with Memory Maker). You’d be surprised how many people you meet and chat with in line when you are riding alone!
    • I …*gasp*… ate ALONE! I had a fabulous lunch at the Brown Derby, and I’m sure I got more attention from the super-friendly and very chatty server because I was on my own.
    • I got to go to the Animator’s Academy for a drawing class TWICE simply because I wanted to!
    • I stopped at every Disney photographer and got a photo … of just me! Yes, one photographer looked around as if to ask where the rest of my group was. I just had fun with it! This day was about ME!

I was on no one else’s schedule. I could wander around the park as briskly or leisurely as I wanted, and saw and did whatever I felt like. I simply had a wonderful day (and fell in love with a park I had once overlooked), and it was all because I was flying solo!

I urge you – if the opportunity ever arises for you to visit Disney and none of your friends or family can join you, don’t let that stop you! Go! Explore! Don’t be shy, and see how many new experiences you discover!

Nancy Wideman

Travel Specialist

You may think a Disney vacation is out of the question if you have a child with autism, but it’s not. With a little extra planning to help accommodate your special child, it can be a rewarding and memorable experience for the whole family.

 One of the first steps and most important is to obtain a letter from your child’s physician. This letter should explain your child’s specific condition and any special needs due to this condition. Your doctor’s letter should be detailed enough that it fully conveys your child’s condition to the Disney Castmember reading the letter.

 Once you are ready to hit the parks, bring the physician letter to the Guest Services window at any park and ask for a Guest Assistance Card. The Guest Assistance Card is made for guests who are unable to tolerate extended waits at attractions due to their disability. This allows the guest to schedule a return time that is comparable to the current wait time of that attraction. You may only have one active return time and can be used in addition to Disney FASTPASS service and Disney FastPass+ service. One card is good for all four parks.autism-disney-world

Before your Disney visit, you can start to prepare your child at home. Knowing what to expect is important! Try having your child watch videos about Walt Disney World. Practice waiting in line at home or at stores since lines are to be expect at Disney. Talk to your child about what to do if they get separated from you.

When packing for your trip, think about making a name tag or bracelet for your child that includes name, disability, important medical information, your name and number. Also pack ear plugs or headphones. The theme parks can get noisy and the ear plugs or headphones may help reduce the noise level. You may want to bring an electronic device to keep your child occupied while waiting in line. If your child has a sensory toy, such as a stress ball, to help them relax be sure to pack that too. Most important, pack items to reinforce good behavior such as snacks or small toys since a day at Disney can be long!

As you can see, it will take a little extra planning and preparation on your part but will be well worth it when you see the Disney magic in your child’s eyes

 

Lori Steinnerd, Travel Specialist

Did you hope to get into Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, only to find all reservations were filled? Or the price was a little more than you were willing to pay? No fear, you can have similar results with some magic in your resort room.

Step One: Buy a princess dress before arriving. If you want to save some money, watch the sales with Disney Store online before your trip. Or, consider an alternate source like the Little Dress Shop.http://www.littledressupshop.com

Step Two: Do a princess hair up-do. This is a great time to tease the hair up and keep it in place with the Aquanet powered hairspray. Consider purchasing some colored clip-in hair pieces or spray glitter. Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 9.46.26 PM

Step Three: Apply light makeup. Apply some eye makeup that matches the dress, add pink lipgloss on and finish off with light blush. Once again, purchase some body glitter and apply generously! Place the glitter on the sides of the face, shoulders and neck. 

Step Four: Finish the look with accessories. Consider earrings, necklaces, tiaras, shoes, purses or rings. You may want to buy a princess sash at a party store to place on your dolled up princess. If you really want to do the whole package, paint her nails or buy some Disney themed nail tattoos. 

Step 5: Take her out and show her off. There is no place like Disney to be a princess. The Cast Members will uhhh and ahhh over her and call her princess. Consider making the occasion special with a fun dining reservation like Cinderella’s Royal Table, Be Our Guest, Akershus or 1900 Park Fare.  

The photo included in this blog shows off my daughters after a resort room princess makeover. Not only did we have fun and bond, but I also got some great PHOTOS!!! Please keep in mind Disney restricts anyone over the age of nine from dressing up as a Disney character. There are a few occasions and events when they lift this ban, but overall please make sure your princess is under the age of ten. 

 

Something as simple as having a stroller while at Disney still needs your consideration to choose the best option for your needs.  There are 3 options:

  1. Bring your own stroller from home
  2. Rent a stroller from within the parks
  3. Rent from a reputable local stroller company

To find the best option for you, consider the following when making your decision:

1)      Convenience:  If flying, do you need the stroller to get to and from your terminal?  If driving, will your stroller fit in the vehicle once you pack all your luggage into it?

2)      Needs:  Who and where will you need to use the stroller?  If you need to use the stroller at the resort, keep in mind that Disney park strollers cannot be taken out of the park.  What if your child doesn’t use a stroller at home?  You may think your child will not need one because of this.  However, while in the park and walking hours to various attractions, the option for them to sit and rest is priceless.

3)      Price:  Is renting a stroller something you can budget?  The price of renting a stroller is by no means a bank breaker, but it is an expense that you need to consider.

Local stroller company rental:  Prices vary based on number of nights booked, type, and size (double vs single) of the stroller.  Some price examples are below (prices subject to change):

City Mini Single:                1-3 Nights $40                    4-7 Nights $60                    8-10 Nights $80

City Mini Double:             1-3 Nights $60                    4-7 Nights $80                    8-10 Nights $100

BOB Revolution Single:  1-3 Nights $45                    4-7 Nights $65                    8-10 Nights $85

Summit X3 Double:         1-3 Nights $65                    4-7 Nights $85                    8-10 Nights $105

Disney Park stroller rental: 

Single Stroller:   $15/Day (or $13/day for a length of stay rental)

Double Stroller:  $31/Day (or $27/day for a length of stay rental)

** To rent a stroller at Downtown Disney, it will require $100 credit card deposit.

Renting a stroller from a local stroller company:

It is more easy and convenient than you may think.

  1. Work with your agent to determine to best stroller for your needs (consider weight and height restrictions).
  2. Your agent contacts the company to provide payment and set up the drop off/pickup location and time.
  3. When you arrive to the pick-up location, go to bell services, provide them with your name and information and they will retrieve your stroller.  It’s as easy as that!!

NOTE:  If you need the stroller delivered to a different resort other than where it will be picked up, this can be requested.

  1. At the end of your trip, leave the stroller at bell services no later than the agreed time setup by your agent.

They offer free parent consoles, rain guards, and a cooler. They also offer optional insurance (for damage or theft) ranging from $15-$25 depending on stroller rented.

Epcot-Entrance-Stroller-Rental-620x330Megan Thompson

Travel Specialist

Birthdays and Disney…put the two together and you have the makings for a truly memorable occasion!  The first time I celebrated my birthday at Disney I turned 6.  I still remember the birthday fondly, waking up with the excited butterfly’s that it was my special day and we were at DISNEY WORLD!  I recall taking pictures with all the Disney characters I could with my new little blue Kodak camera my parents had gotten me for my birthday.  I remember riding The Haunted Mansion with my head buried into my dad’s side through the entire attraction and him trying to coax me to look by telling me that all the ghosts were dancing and eating birthday cake to celebrate my birthday (which may have made me glance).

Disney World is such a magical place that just being there is celebration enough BUT they really do offer more “Disney Magic” to make birthday’s truly special.

happy birthday


If you are staying on property you can order a celebration cake to be delivered directly to your room via room service or guest services. A 6 inch Cake may also be purchased at full service restaurants as well.  To order the 6 inch cake you just need to talk with the Cast Member at the podium in the restaurant.  If you would prefer a cake that is customized/personalized they will need 72 hour notice and this can be done by calling the cake hotline at 407.827.2253.  Personalized cakes can be delivered to pretty much any Disney table service restaurant so let the cake hotline know where you will be dining on that special person’s birthday!  If you don’t want a full cake but just a little something make sure to inform the server about the birthday boy or girl and they will make sure the special birthday person gets a cupcake with a candle delivered to the table (Table service restaurants only).

First off, stop by your front desk or any guest services to pick up a FREE “Happy Birthday” celebration button.  This button may acquire the wearer many “well wishes” and “extra” special treatment from the Disney’s cast members.  If your child has an autograph book and they are wearing their birthday badge of honor then they will probably get many well wishes in their autograph book from all of their favorite Disney characters.

Also, available to guests staying on property are character birthday messages/phone calls!  Let the front desk know of the birthday so they can inform some favorite characters of the special person’s birthday.  Sometimes when the cast members learn of birthdays when you check in they may work some Disney magic and you may come back to your room and find balloons or an autographed picture (this is not guaranteed…but we’ve had special deliveries arrive in our room).

Birthday’s at Epcot are fun as you make your way “around the world” Cast Member’s from each country will extend birthday greetings in the language of that country.  For some more memorable birthday experiences make sure to talk to your travel specialist about booking these options:

Senses a Disney Spa at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

La Nouba

Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage

Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique

Pirate League

Surfing Lessons at Typhoon Lagoon

Goofy’s Candy Company located in Disney Springs actually offers birthday parties for guests in their party room!  They have 2 party theme options and with either option you will receive party invitations as well as thank you cards and 2 personal party hosts to help during the birthday party.  The party theme options are:

Goofy’s Scien-Terrific Birthday Bash features:

  • Glow Glasses
  • Treat of your choice to decorate
  • Goofy Autographed Photo
  • Party Balloon
  • Goofy Glacier build-a-cup and glacier of your choice
  • Goofy games to play
  • With this themed party the birthday child receives a balloon and a Goofy gumball machine.

Perfectly Princess Party features:

  • Glow necklace
  • Treat of your choice to decorate
  • Autographed Cinderella photo
  • Party Balloon
  • Goofy Glacier build-a-cup and glacier of your choice
  • Perfectly Princess games to play
  • The birthday child receives a crown, sash, a boxed glass slipper and mylar balloon

Whether it is your birthday or your “very happy un-birthday” there are countless ways to make the day special including topping it off with some pretty amazing fireworks!  For further information on any of these activities please make sure to contact your Me and the Mouse Travel Agent.

beth

Here is my sister and I on that first birthday trip I am the star struck one on the right.

Beth Rodgers

Travel Specialist

 

Looking for a delicious table service meal inside the Magic Kingdom?  Look no further than one our family’s favorite restaurants, Tony’s Town Square.  Inside this charming trattoria located on Main Street USA, you can enjoy your favorite Italian dishes, steaks and delicious desserts.

The theming of the restaurant centers around the Disney animated classic, Lady and the Tramp.  In the lobby waiting area, children and grown-up kids can enjoy a few minutes of Lady and the Tramp, which plays constantly on the television. Kids can also color Lady and the Tramp coloring sheets while waiting for their table.

The restaurant offers three distinct dining areas.  In the main dining room, guests will love the fountain of the canine couple, Lady and Tramp, that is the focal point of the room.  The main dining room offers comfortable family seating and is reminiscent of a classic New York City, family-owned, Italian eatery.

The sunroom gives you the impression of dining al fresco while you are still indoors with air conditioning!  It’s a bright and cheerful dining area that offers lots of sunlight and a great view of the activities happening on Main Street.

One of the biggest draws of this Magic Kingdom restaurant is the patio seating area. Tony’s is one of the few table service restaurants that offers an outdoor dining experience.  Specific seating requests can be made at the podium when you check-in.   If you are lucky enough to time your dining reservation just right or have extra time to wait, you can request patio seating and enjoy one of the parades as it moves down Main Street.

The menu is full of delicious Italian dishes, like spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, chicken parmesan, and cannelloni.  Guests will also find choices such as New York Strip Steak, Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Shrimp Scampi on the menu.  You will want to make sure to make room for dessert too.  Tiramisú, Crème Brûlée and Gelato are just the start of what awaits you for a memory-filled meal at Tony’s Town Square.

Step back into one of your favorite moments from Lady and the Tramp, and enjoy your next meal at Tony’s!

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

lady_and_the_tramp_fountain tonys_town_square_resturant tonys_town_square_lady_and_the_tramp_dessert tonys_town_square_cannoli

Disney Theme Park Shoe Recommendations

Something all the travel specialists at Me and The Mouse Travel will suggest to clients heading to Disney theme parks, is to wear comfortable shoes. This statement can be a little vague, therefore I asked a few of the Me and The Mouse ladies to give their personal recommendations for the perfect vacation footwear.

Our first feature is from Emily Haberl. She recommends a comfortable lightweight Charm Skimmer. Perfect for the vacationer on the go, the Charm Skimmer features a mesh upper with sporty accents, ankle pull tab, mesh lining, Champion’s signature Sport Comfort padded insole, and a non-marking outsole. Emily states, “It has a tread and sole similar to a tennis/running shoe but is dressy enough to make pics look good.”

Tressa Krippel, our go-to-gal for all things Disney, recommends two different shoes. “Saucony running shoes for in the parks, then a Dansko sandal back at the resort to give my feet a break and a little more arch support.”

Saucony shoes can been seen on the feet of marathon runners, cross-country addicts and adrenaline junkies alike, but they can also be used brilliantly for everyday wear. There is a wide variety of styles, sizes and colors. The shoe brand was even recently recognized as “Runner’s World” International Shoe of the Year.

Danskos can often be found on the feet of nurses, and are known for their support. Tressa wears the sandal version of this shoe to walk from her resort room to the pool. I think this is a great idea, and a far cry from the KMART flip-flop that seems to ALWAYS break when one is on vacay.

Lastly, I recommend the purchase of a pair of Keen Whispers. I love wearing Keen shoes in the parks, because they are comfortable, colorful and most of all you can get these babies wet and they dry out in no time. They are lined with neoprene so even when they are wet, they are still comfortable. They provide extra support from your usual sandal, and boasts a quick draw elastic lacing system on the front of the shoe, which accounts for all types of feet widths. Lastly, the shoe is super lightweight and features an antimicrobial/anti-odor protection. It looks good, feels great, dries quickly, and is odorless — Where do I sign up!?

Included with this blog is a picture of yours truly, with her Keens donned ready to take on The World! I’d love to hear your favorite park shoe.  Happy walking!

Amanda1

Star Wars Weekends occur at Disney’s Hollywood Studios during designated weekends in May and June, and it is extremely special time for super fans. Our young family decided to partake in one of the special dining events during SWW, at the Hollywood and Vine with Mickey and Friends. Disney’s favorite characters come together dressed as Star Wars classics. Be ready to see Jedi Mickey, Princess Leia Minnie, Darth Goofy, Ewok Chip and Dale, and Storm Trooper Donald.

 If you have visited the Hollywood and Vine under the leadership of Disney Junior, the atmosphere is very similar. When we entered we were treated to a photo opp with Ewok Chip and Dale, with pre-signed autograph cards. We were seated and the characters began rotating around the room and signing autographs and taking pictures.

 The buffet offered is VERY similar to the traditional Hollywood and Vine menu, only the menu items are renamed with a Star Wars theme in mind. However, the dessert bar is where the food experience shines! Among the many Force-laden treats are the ever-coveted Darth Vader and Yoda Cupcakes.

Star Wars 1        Star Wars 2

Paper lightsabers were given to kids, that could either be green or red and so the Younglings can sport the dark or light side of the Force during special parts of the relaxed programming.

 It should be noted that this meal did take 2 dining credits. Our family was thrilled with the experience and we met some of the characters that my kids would not have had the patience to meet by waiting in lines.

Rider Switch Ticket

Taking a smaller child to Disney World who might not be able to ride the rides that you want to ride? Never fear, the legendary service of Disney has come to the rescue! Introducing “Rider Switch.”

What is RS exactly and how does it work? RS is an option Disney offers to families with children below height limits for rides, which allows the family to wait in line only once when taking turns babysitting the vertically-challenged family member.

Here’s how it works: the entire family gets in the standby line for a ride (unless you have Fastpasses for the ride, in which case you would get in the Fastpass line). Stop and talk to the first Cast Member you see working the ride and tell them you want to do the RS. The members of the family who want to ride first go ahead, and the person who stays behind with the baby gets a paper Rider Switch return ticket. When the first group finishes the ride, they take over the baby duties, and the person with the paper RS return ticket can then enter the Fastpass line with up to two-three additional guests.  The paper ticket will give the details.

Last summer when my family traveled to Walt Disney World, my older child who was five was just tall enough to start riding some of the bigger rides, like Star Tours, Barnstormer, etc. However, we also have a 2-year-old who is unable to partake due to her height. My family loved the RS option, and as a result my 5-year-old got to experience some of the most popular rides back-to-back riding with both my husband and myself. It was a win/win for everyone!