photopass+

A classic picture in front of Cinderella’s Castle, the moment that your little one meets Buzz and Woody, and experiencing the intensity of Rock n’ Roller Coasters 0 to 60 mph are moments not to be missed and are the moments you don’t want to miss.   With Disney’s PhotoPass+, you won’t have to!

PhotoPass+ allows guests to capture all the magical moments with the help of Disney PhotoPass Photographers that are located throughout the Disney World parks, resorts, water parks (May through September) and select attractions.

What does the PhotoPass+ include?

  • PhotoPass+ Card and Lanyard

  • Gallery CD with more than 400 Disney World stock photos

  • Code to create and order a photo cd with all your photos online at www.DisneyPhotoPass.com

  • Print packages at select Dining locations like ‘Ohana , Chef Mickey’s, Tusker House, 1900 Park Fare and more

  • Digital Downloads at select attractions, such as Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Tower of Terror, Rock n’ Roller Coaster,  Dinosaur, Expedition Everest and Test Track

 

When you receive your resort package documents, you PhotoPass+ voucher is included.  Just take that voucher to the parks or Downtown Disney and exchange it for your PhotoPass+ card and lanyard.  If you are staying at a select Disney Deluxe resort, you can pick up your PhotoPass+ card at your resort.  Pick-up locations are:

  • Town Square Exposition Hall at Magic Kingdom Park

  • Camera Center at Epcot

  • Dark Room/Cover Story at Hollywood Studios

  • Garden Gate Gifts at Animal Kingdom

  • Team Mickey at Downtown Disney

  • M. Mouse Mercantile at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

  • Trader Jack’s at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

  • Zawadi at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

  • Beach Club Marketplace at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort

When you get your lanyard you’ll also receive your cd with the 400 stock photos so be prepared to carry it with you for the rest of the day.

What are the benefits of PhotoPass+?

  • By pre-ordering you’ll save money!  Before you make your final payment, just let us know that you want to add PhotoPass+ and it will be added to your package for a $158.69 (this includes tax).  Cost at the park is $199.95

  • No fumbling with your camera.  Professional photographers are taking the pictures and will help you get just the right pose with your favorite character or Disney landmark.  They are ready to capture that second when your little one runs to give their favorite character a hug.

  • ALL family members are in the pictures!!!  With professional photographers, taking your pictures there is no one left out of the family photos.

  • Convenience.  You have 30 days to download your photos,  edit, add borders, and character signatures if you would like.

  • Once you have edited your photos, order your cd with your redemption code and your cd will arrive by mail.  You then can take it to any local photo processing location and print your pictures.

 

When you take advantage of adding PhotoPass+ to your resort package, you save money, get the convenience of professional photographers capturing your family’s moments at Walt Disney World and the ease of  printing your photos locally when you are ready.  Don’t forget to keep your lanyard, you’ll need this when you get home for the code inside!!

 

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

 Disney has always been about making magical memories.   Those moments, no matter how old you are, make you reflect and smile.  This is what happens for me every time I think of Mouse Ears!!!  Walt Disney World has been a place for celebrations and milestones for my family.  Each symbolized by my collection of mouse ears.creighton mouse ears
 
Each pair of Mouse Ears that I have were purchased are one of my other favorite hidden
treasures,  The Chapeau, on Main Street U.S.A. at Walt Disney World.  “Chapeau” is French for hat or covering your head.  My first set of ears (which I have placed in a “safe spot” in my house.  And as any parent knows, it is so safe that I haven’t been able to find them in time for this blog article) were given to me by my parents to celebrate our first trip to Walt Disney World sometime in the late 70’s.    They are the classic Mickey ears with “Tressa” in gold stitching on the back.  I returned back to The Chapeau in 1996 on my honeymoon.  To celebrate this great, new adventure as a married couple, “wedding ears” were added to my collection.  When we returned to Walt Disney World in 2006 to bring our sons to the Magic Kingdom for the first time, we returned to The Chapeau to start the tradition for our boys and purchased their ears with their names stitched on back, as well as my Mickey “MOM” Ears.  We’ve returned a couple more times and our other children have received their Mouse Ears.  For our family, this is a right of passage for visiting Walt Disney World.  cashton mouse ears
 
Mouse Ears can be purchased throughout the parks at Walt Disney World, but our favorite is The Chapeau on Main Street U.S.A.  Guests can shop in this vintage Victorian looking hat shop and if they choose,  watch as their ears are embroidered with their name or other special moment being honored.  At the Chapeau, you can have any name embroidered on any Mickey (or Minnie) Ears you buy!  There is a choice of three different fonts…. traditional ($3.00 a name), while Script and Fun Fonts are both $7.00 a name.  If you’re worried about keeping track of your ears, they will gladly hold your ears at the store for you to return for them later.my mouse ears
 
This year, Disney has announced 2013 as the “Year of the Ear”!  Each month, Disney will introduce special Mouse Ears and Ear headbands for fans to add to their Mouse Ear collections.  January kicked off the “Year of the Ear” with 5 new Couture Ear Hats.  When visiting Walt Disney World, be sure to take time to stroll down Main Street U.S.A. and don’t forget a stop in at The Chapeau to see the collection of Mouse Ears, hats,  baseball caps and trinkets that make memorable souvenirs.

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

Attention Swashbucklers!

 
Aye Matey!  Welcome to the Pirates League!!!  If you have a little Swashbuckler in your crew, then there is extra magic in store for them at the Pirate’s League at Magic Kingdom Park.  
 
Boys will beam while transforming into their favorite pirate from Captain “Jack Sparrow” to “Jake and the Neverland Pirates”.  Girls will delight in becoming “Empress” or a chance to transform into a mermaid while visiting the Pirates League.   Even parents can be recruited into the Pirate League!!
 
Aspiring pirates wanting to join the league, must be 3 years of age and accompanied by an adult.  Swashbucklers must bring their own comb or brush and have their nails bare (if they are getting polish).  Plan on spending an hour at the Pirates League with your child being recreated into their pirate alter-ego.  Packages start at $34.95 doubloons and up, with Deluxe packages at $79.95.
 
Ye pirate transformation begins when you receive your Official Pirate name and recorded in the leather-bound captain’s log.  Next, your swashbuckler moves to the Muster Station where the Pirate Masters create a marauder’s makeover.  As yer buccaneer beard, earrings, scars and eye patches are applied, the scurvy sea dogs will tell you tales of buried treasure and sunken ships.
 
Once fully transformed,  your buccaneer will take the pirate’s oath and then enter the secret room where hidden treasure will be revealed to them.  In addition, their official portrait is taken by a PhotoPass photographer.  (Guests are welcome to take photos during the transformation, but cameras are not allowed in the secret room)
 
Now as an official member of the Pirates League, your new swashbuckler can join the daily Adventureland Pirate Parade (weather permitting), meet Pirate Goofy nearby or learn how to sword fight at Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial.
 
Yo-ho-ho!  The entire family can enjoy the jolly good fun of a pirate’s life at the Pirates League experience at Magic Kingdom Park.

 

Tressa Krippel 

Travel Specialist 

Lost at Disney World Compressed

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. You’re on the vacation of a lifetime and the next thing you know, you can’t find your child. My family has been there. But rest assured, at Disney World, a cherished reunion is just around the corner!

Our story revolves around my then 7-year-old nephew. He’s a child that follows all the rules but when we paused a moment at the end of our Magic Kingdom day, he kept walking, not knowing that the rest of our group had stopped. The next thing we knew, he was gone!

If you lose your child at Disney, the first thing you need to do is find the nearest cast member. While you can identify your child the quickest, having eyes all around will find your child even faster. Lost children are their first priority and they will pass the word around immediately. Have a picture of your child from that day handy on your camera so that they can be identified not only by their name, but by how they are dressed. It took the cast members about 5 minutes to locate my nephew farther down the path. During those 5 minutes, we continued with our next attempt at finding him.

If possible, have adults split up and have one go to the last spot where you were with your child. A child’s instincts are to go back to where they last felt safe with you. Call out their name loudly while you are walking and once you get there. From a child’s perspective, they can’t see the tall faces in the crowds, but they can hear your voice calling their name.

Have a plan of action before you leave for Disney World. Have your contact information on your child. You can have it on a bracelet, around their neck, on a temporary tattoo, or write it on a piece of paper inside their shoes. While many others recommend a sticker inside a child’s clothing, know that Disney cast members will not look for stickers beneath clothing so use another method of keeping your information on them.

Having your children all wear the same color also helps when you are scanning the crowd looking for them.

Make sure your child can identify a cast member by looking for a name tag. Point them out to your child when you first get to the parks. Make your child comfortable talking to a cast member should they lose sight of you and have that as their first action.  Trading pins with cast members also helps children to feel familiar when talking to a cast member.   

Younger children need to be in a stroller, holding a hand or carried in the heaviest of crowds. For older children, have them memorize your cell phone number, but also agree on a specific meeting place. I recommend designating a statue, or an exit of a specific ride to meet.

Disney cast members are terrific at calming down scared, lost children and scared parents. They have an official room where lost children can stay and be entertained until they can be reunited with their parents.

Once you are reunited with your child, give them the biggest hug you can, and assure them of your love!

Michelle Browne

Travel Specialist

   

lamp in Royal Guest room
lamp in Royal Guest room

When visiting Disney you may notice some special surprises peeking out around every corner. This is no secret and often times what many guests look forward to while they’re there. Occasionally you may even notice a familiar “face”.  If you think you see the outline of Mickey or some other characters you may just be right.There’s a fantastic “character hunt” style game that you can play just about everywhere. Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Theme Parks and Resorts all get in on the fun.  And the best part… IT’S FREE.  Hidden Mickey’s can be found in the most interesting places. Sometimes the best part of the game is searching for that last elusive one on the list. If you need help you can usually find a Cast Member that will know where to guide you to find some of the tougher ones.

This game can be a great activity when waiting in line for a ride, sitting at a restaurant or just winding down after a busy day. There’s even a book that can give you tips and hints to guide you in the right direction. As well as a point system you can use to tally up your finds.  The Hidden Mickeys Field Guide by Steven M. Barrett is available for each location. There’s also an app available for iPhone so you can take the fun wherever you go.

Having played this game ourselves I can tell you it can be a blast for kids and adults alike. It’s one of our favorite free extras to do while visiting our “second home”. Be sure to try it out the next time you visit!

Do you have any Hidden Mickey pictures that you would like to share?

Royal Guest Room Shower Curtain
Royal Guest Room Shower Curtain
"flamingo island" on the Kilimanjaro Safari Tour in AK
“flamingo island” on the Kilimanjaro Safari Tour in AK

 

 

 

balloon inside a balloon

Hearing this uttered from the mouth of a fellow mom really surprised me…..and then I heard it again from another mom. What age is “too old?”

There seems to be a misconception about what the “appropriate” age is to enjoy Disney. These parents didn’t take their children on a Disney vacation when they were toddlers, so now they feel they’ve lost their window of opportunity. What they don’t understand is that Walt Disney imagined a place where the entire family, young and old, could be submersed in a magical world where amazing memories would be created.

Taking a trip to Walt Disney World or the Disneyland Resort?

Your toddler will love the parades, the music, the characters (perhaps only from afar) and the rides. Disney makes sure to devote entire areas to smaller children and to children at heart, but as our children grow, so does the Disney experience.

At age 5, your daughter will step out of her vehicle at Autopia believing she truly is the best 6-year-old driver … ever!

At 7, your son may bravely experience his first thrill ride without Mom or Dad.

At 10, you may watch your daughter and her friends spin themselves dizzy in the Tea Cups, heads thrown back and giggling the whole time.

At 12, they are eyeing the Tower of Terror wondering …”Am I ready?”

I challenge you to find a boatload of junior high and high school kids who are NOT Yo-Ho’ing all the way through Pirates of the Caribbean and loving every minute of it!

And it’s not just for our kids!

My grandmother loved going to Disneyland with me when I was growing up. She enjoyed the more leisurely things – riding on Mark Twain’s Riverboat, sitting back in a rocking chair on Main Street U.S.A. and watching the parade go by, and talking with the arborists about how they trim their topiaries and keep the gardens so lovely.

As a mother, I have relived all my favorite Disney moments through the eyes of my children. I watch their expressions closely, excited to see what excites them. I spin the Tea Cup as fast as I possibly can as they shriek with delight. We stop for our obligatory Tigger Tail, taking it home if the day’s other nibbles have left us too full for our favorite treat, and we always, always get that Mickey balloon-within-a-balloon that was my own favorite way to end a day at Disney when I was their age.

I will never grow tired of Disney, and I hope my kids never do, either. I will continue to enjoy my Disney vacations with my family until I can no longer physically get there, and even then it would be pretty hard to keep me away!

Nancy Wideman

Travel Specialist

With summer upon us, the heat and humidity of Florida can send even the most southern of families screaming for a cool relief. We know you’ve been eagerly anticipating your Disney World vacation for months and we don’t want you to miss out on any of the fun that Disney has to offer because of the heat. Here are some tips to help you survive the hottest and most humid of Disney days:

  1. Magic Hours Beat the Disney World Summer Heat

    Take advantage of Disney’s Extra Magic Hours. By staying on property at Disney, you qualify to go early or stay late at Disney’s parks. The extra magic hours are the coolest of times to visit the parks not to mention the least busy times. Not a morning or a late person? Go back to your hotel during the hottest part of the day to take a nap so that you’ll have the energy to use those times to your advantage.

  2. Plan Your Day!

    Plan the order of your attractions to visit the outdoor activities in the morning and evening and the indoor activities during the midday. Many of Disney’s rides and shows are located in air conditioned comfort with even their waiting lines inside.

  3. Water Bottles to the Rescue Beat the Disney World Summer Heat

    Be sure to bring along extra water. Keeping hydrated will do a lot to improve your temperament while waiting in the hot sun and will help distract the younger ones with something to drink. If you pack your own reusable water bottles, be sure to load them with ice before you head to the parks each day and refill them at the fountains in the parks.

  4. Fan

    Bring along a water misting fan. Purchase them before you leave for your vacation and you can save your souvenir dollars for other fun trinkets.

  5. Temporary Ice Pack

    Put a wet washcloth in the freezer overnight and then bring it along in a ziplock bag during the day. Each room at Disney World comes with an in-room refrigerator where you can cool items at night and have them ready to go when you leave for the parks. Have a second washcloth waiting for you in the freezer if you plan to head back midday.

  6. Water Rides Beat the Disney World Summer Heat

    Take advantage of the splash areas at the parks. In Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland, you’ll find the Casey Jr. Splash and Soak Station, in Epcot’s Future World there is a splash pad near Mission Space and Test Track and another located at Innoventions.

  7. Enjoy the Pool

    Go for an afternoon swim. Going back to your hotel and taking a nap and some time at the pool will help pass the hours when the Florida sun is at its hottest.

  8. Water Parks!Beat the Disney World Summer Heat

    Upgrade your ticket to a Park Hopper Plus pass to enjoy both of Disney’s amazing water parks: Typhoon Lagoon & Blizzard Beach. Blizzard Beach will feature several fun Frozen-themed activities during Summer 2017! {Read More, HERE!}

 

Being prepared for the heat will allow your family to enjoy the most of your Disney World vacation during the summer. You won’t miss a beat and will be so proud that you successfully conquered the Florida heat! If you’re looking to add any of these special options to your next Disney vacation, contact a Me and The Mouse agent today!

 

Michelle Browne

Travel Specialist

 

Disney TV 1971

And now the time has come for the conclusion of my Memories In The Making list.  I hope this has given you ideas for your own list and also helped you to realize all of the amazing and magical activities that are available to do/see/experience while at Walt Disney World.  

58.  Ride the Maelstrom in Norway.

 59.  Eat at Cinderella’s Castle.

 60.  Ride Rock’n Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios.

 61.  Stay at Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

 62.  Play Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom.

 63.  Ride in the front row on Splash Mountain.

 64.  Get picture taken with Wreck-It Ralph.

 65.  Ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

 66.  Dine at Tony’s Town Square on Main Street U.S.A.

 67.  Visit Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.

 68.  Enjoy a Mickey Mouse shaped pretzel.

 69.  Ride the new Star Tours:  The Adventure Continues.

 70.  Eat dinner at Le Cellier Steakhouse in Epcot’s Canada.

 71.  Ride Kali River Rapids at Animal Kingdom.

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

IMG_9404

One of our favorite parts of visiting Disney is interacting with the characters. Yes, even the grown-ups in our household!  So what do you say or do when you finally meet with them face-to-face?  Are you the type that just wants to stand next to Mickey and smile for the camera? Simply give a princess a hug?  Or are you looking for more from your time with the characters?

Here’s a suggestion: Try some of these interactions with the characters and I guarantee you’ll leave with some extra special memories. Believe me, we’ve tried them with almost every character we met. Some of these were suggested to us and others my kids came up with on the fly which makes it even more fun. (Especially for our older child that may have been less inclined to wait in a queue to see a character except for the fun of thinking up the perfect comment to make to them.)

Also, I have a hint for you. If there are several people waiting behind you for their turn, be sure to choose what you want to say or do ahead of time. Some people may have a harder time seeing the fun in this activity if they have to wait for your turn to be over before they get a chance. With that being said, if you can book a character meal or two you will get a slightly longer time to talk with the characters without worrying about the next person that is waiting.  Either way you should have your cameras, video recorders, and photo books ready for some really funny moments…

Now for the fun!

These are just a few of our favorites.  Feel free to add your own ideas. If you are not sure where to find the characters you are looking for be sure to check out our blog on Character Dining Locations. Please keep in mind that the characters are subject to change without notice.

 

Aladdin Ask him if you can see the magic lamp of the Genie.
Alice Tell Alice that today is your Unbirthday!
Ariel When posing with Ariel, ask if she will make a “fishy face”.
Aurora Ask Aurora if she likes to takes naps.
Belle Ask Belle for a book recommendation.
Buzz Ask Buzz to go into Latin mode.
Captain Hook Stand behind Captain Hook and go tick tock, tick tock or call him a codfish.
Chip/Dale Ask Chip/Dale who has the better dance moves.
Cinderella Offer to trade her one of your shoes for her glass slipper.
Daisy Propose marriage to Daisy or ask for a kiss.
Donald Ask Donald why he doesn’t wear pants.
Fairy Godmother Pick an object (potato, for example) and ask her what she can turn it into.
Flynn Rider Ask him to see what is in his bag.
Gaston Gaston loves to compare muscles.
Goofy Tell Goofy you would like to learn to become a Musketeer, then he will show his swordplay. Correct yourself and say you would like to become a MOUSEketeer.
Lady Tremaine Ask Lady Tremaine how much hairspray it took to hold her hair up like that.
Mary Poppins Ask Mary why your room doesn’t clean itself when you snap your fingers.
Merida Ask her how she learned to be a great archer.
Mickey Tell Mickey that you are going to propose to Minnie since he has waited so long.
Minnie Compliment Minnie on her outfit
Peter Pan Greet him with a loud “Cock a doodle doo”.
Phineas and Ferb Ask them if they know what they’re gonna do today.
Pluto Tell Pluto he is a good boy for taking pictures with you and scratch him behind his ear.
Pooh Ask Pooh where you can locate some honey because you have a rumbly in your tummy.
Princesses Complement Princesses on their dresses.
Rapunzel Ask her if she has her frying pan nearby.
Rosetta Ask her what her favorite flower is.
Snow White Ask her if she can name all 7 Dwarves.
Step Sister Ask one of Cinderella’s Step Sisters to sing. (Have your video camera ready for these ladies.)
Sulley Pose for your photo is a scary pose.
Tiana Ask her what it was like to kiss a frog.
Tigger Tell Tigger you can bounce higher than him.
Woody Ask Woody for a showdown.

Waiting with Preschoolers Part 2 - Boneyard

Patience for people at all ages is hard, but for a preschooler, it’s even harder. In this part of our waiting blog, we give you a list of places to go at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios with your preschooler when you are waiting for others to go on height restricted rides that will entertain and fascinate your little ones.

Waiting at Animal Kingdom – Dinosaur and Primevil Whirl

Located in DinoLand USA is the Boneyard, a sandy play maze where kids can dig for fossils, slide and climb. A bridge over the pedestrian pathway connects two sections of the playground and will provide entertainment for eager explorers.

Waiting at Animal Kingdom – Kali River Rapids and Expedition Everest

A great area for preschoolers in Asia is the Maharajah Jungle Trek. A walk through what appears to be the ruins of an ancient palace, this trek will have your kids enjoy seeing various exotic animals up close. If you anticipate a lengthy waiting time, take the kids up to Rafiki’s Planet Watch where they can interact with animals at the Affection Section petting zoo.

Waiting at Hollywood Studios – Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror

While there isn’t a play area located near these rides, head over to the courtyard in front of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster as there are occasional crafts for young ones to participate in while waiting for older ones to finish their rides. Alternatively, time going on these rides so that the younger ones can watch the parade near the Sorcerer’s Hat.

Waiting at Hollywood Studios – Star Tours

Located not too far from this ride is the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure. This larger than life playground will entertain your child for hours if you let them. If you allow them to wander through the play area by themselves, or if you have multiple children you are with, know that there is only one exit from the area so you can make sure your little bug won’t escape!

Enjoy your time with your preschooler at Disney World. They delight in the littlest things and by taking some one on one time with them, they will cherish their vacation just as much as the older ones in your family!

Michelle Browne

Travel Specialist