After you enter Epcot and take your picture by Spaceship Earth, the big golf ball, everyone rushes to their favorite attractions. Test Track, Soarin’ and Frozen Ever After to name a few. What some people don’t realize is that there’s a lot of really cool hands on areas as well as having the opportunity to not only learn more about our world, but there’s also a lot to learn about some of the different countries that are part of our world.

Epcot consists of the World Showcase and Future World. Future World has pavilions that are dedicated to such topics as the ocean, space, transportation, agriculture, and innovation. Not only are their fun attractions at some of these pavilions, there’s also an area of hands on fun and learning. For example, after Journeying into the World of Imagination with Figment, you enter into the ImageWorks – The “What If’ Labs. It’s a sensory-inspired play space allows you to wave your arms like a conductor of an orchestra to create music, create a symphony of sound by jumping on squares on the ground, and record sounds and play it back in different speeds.

At Living with the Land, you’re able to sail through the greenhouses of The Land Pavilion on a boat to see firsthand how Disney’s horticulturalists are using innovative growing techniques and cross-breeding high-yield crops with the goal of sustaining our growing global population. And if you’re so inclined to learn more, you’re welcome to make a reservation for a walking tour of Behind the Seeds, which takes a deeper look at sustainable high-tech horticulture.

As if Future World doesn’t have enough to offer and experience, the World Showcase has even more. World Showcase is home to 11 countries. Each country will provide you with some learning about their culture, their people, and their community. Upon entering each country, you’ll be transported to another section of the globe by seeing familiar famous landmarks, smelling the cuisine specific to that country and even hearing the native language being spoken by cast members from these countries.

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Depending upon the country, you’ll also be able to learn more about that country, the culture, and the goods that they provide. For example, upon entering China, you’ll be able to journey through ancient and modern China by watching a short Circle-Vision 360 degree film called Reflections of China. You’ll follow along as the Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai guides you through the sights and sounds of China.

After leaving Reflections of China, you might find yourself in the middle of a performance of the Jeweled Dragon Acrobats, which is an acrobatic troupe from China that performs breathtaking feats of strength, agility and balance. You might also find that the film left you a little hungry for some authentic Chinese cuisine. Whether you’d like to sit, relax and enjoy a table service meal at Nine Dragons Restaurant or want to grab a quick bite on the go at the Lotus Blossom Café, you won’t be disappointed.

There are a lot of things to discover at Epcot both in Future World and World Showcase. These are just some highlights of the many ways to learn more about exploring our world and the other countries within our world. We hope you’ll have a chance to take advantage of all it has to offer the entire family. You might have fun learning something new along the way!

Leigh Miller

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.

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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

 

Ahoy! I welcome you to take a tour with me to explore the exceptional features of a popular upscale water-front dining experience offering indoor and outdoor seating with exceptional views. In addition to helping you travel through a variety of food choices you will find while dining at this family-friendly restaurant, I will also explain why The BOATHOUSE will provide you with a unique experience for kids of all ages in your family.

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Don’t sink your chances of dining here. While walk-up patrons are welcome, reservations here or at any restaurant on Disney property are highly recommended so be sure to discuss your dining preferences with your agent from Me and the Mouse Travel. You may use your Disney Dining Plan. Two credits are required.

BoathouseSeafood and Steak offerings are the main event. If you are a seafood fan, you will find a variety of starters and main courses featuring “authentic fresh daily” seafood options that your palate will love exploring. Featured on the menu is an Original Lobster Bake for Two which includes: 1¼ pounds of Whole Main Lobster, Shrimp, Mussels, Clams, Oysters, Andouille Sau-sage, Red Potatoes, Corn on the Cob and Boathouse Lobster Broth. Other seafood offerings include Maine Lobster Bisque, Firecracker Shrimp, and New England Lobster Roll. Dock Side Buckets with fresh cut fries are offered as follows: “Coconut Fried Wild Sea of Cortez Shrimp”, “Crispy Panko-Fried Fish of the Day”, “Fried Wild Caught Atlantic Surf Clam Strips”.

If you are like me and seafood is not your thing don’t despair. You can sink your teeth into your choice of a variety of steaks – a NY Strip Steak, Filet Mignon, Chicago Cut Rib Eye or Porterhouse.

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There are also many other delicious “shore” options that will delight your taste buds such as grilled chicken breast, BBQ/Baby Back Ribs, and a variety of pasta including seafood choices.Mouth-watering rolls and butter are served and one basket may not be enough.Salad varieties include Garden, The Wedge, The Chopped, and Caesar, and Buffalo Chicken salads.

Sandwich selections such as a variety of burgers, pulled pork, club, Angus brisket French dip, and my favorite “the filet mignon sliders” are served with fresh cut fries. For your sweet tooth, you may want to end your meal with Key Lime pie in a Mason jar, Mango Sorbet, NY Style Blueberry Cake Cheesecake, a Root Beer Float or Whiskey Carmel Cornbread Cake. If you are looking for a dessert for a party of 4, try S’mores Baked Alaska or Florida Sunshine Cake.

Kids’ menus are available for children ages 9 and under. You will find special entrées, beverages and desserts designed with kids in mind.

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Live musicians perform most nights offering old school rock and roll, country, or pop music.

If you find you have time before or after your meal, be sure to explore The Boatique gift shop which is adjacent to The BOATHOUSE and features themed authentic nautical items. You will find many unique gifts personalized with fun sayings.

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The BOATHOUSE is the only place in the world to enjoy an interactive experience by land and water by taking a Captain’s Guided Tour in a vintage Amphicar. What is an Amphicar? Great question! Amphicars are dream boats that look like vintage cars from the ‘30’s, ‘40’s and ‘50’ but, SURPRISE – THEY FLOAT! Stop by the marina and book a 25 minute water tour of Disney Springs. The cost of the ride is $125. In addition to the Captain, an Amphicar will hold 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 small children. Be sure to capture the memories of your Amphicar water adventure by asking about flexible photo packages. Before you depart on your Amphicar sailing, a picture of your family will be taken outside the car, inside the car and in the water. At the end of your water adventure, visit The Boatique gift shop to select your photo packages. Flexible packages and pricing are available. BONUS: You will receive a souvenir magnet(s) with your photo package depending on the option you choose. Other boat tours are available through The BOATHOUSE marina.

***Please note that all menu items and boat tour pricing are always subject to change***

Want to know more about The Boathouse and other fantastic dining options at Walt Disney World? Visit our blog for more Walt Disney World Restaurant reviews and other “Helpful Hints and Tips”. Contact your Me and The Mouse Travel specialist, who is happy to recommend and book all your dining reservations for you.

Traci Perjack

Travel Specialist

Oh my favorite thing…food on VACA!! What’s even better? Having a meal where you can get a great portion and awesome food for the money (or quick service credit) you are spending. Below is the top 5 based on food quantity and/or quality based on my personal experience along with our agent’s and guest’s favorites!

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Megan Thompson

Travel Specialist

Who in your family would enjoy seeing Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire? Why everyone, of course. This is a show for the whole family. Please be sure to bring mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers. Children of all ages will love this entertaining performance so make sure Grandma and Grandpa tag along too! Join Mickey Mouse and his pals in this dazzling stage show at Magic Kingdom.

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Where can you find this performance by Mickey and his friends old and new? Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire is performed in front of Cinderella’s Castle on the Castle Forecourt Stage, and is presented several times daily. Please check for exact times on the My Disney Experience mobile app and/or pick up a Times Guide located at the entrance of Magic Kingdom. Just be aware because this show is held outdoors, it is subject to cancellation for inclement weather. Performance times are subject to change so be sure to use the above resources for up-to- date performance times.

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Why should you take time out of your busy day at Magic Kingdom to see a show when there are so many fun rides waiting for you? Because Mickey and his friends want you to experience everything Magic Kingdom has to offer. Mickey has invited so many of his friends to help him entertain you and your friends in this magical musical extravaganza. You can be sure that Minnie will be there along side of Mickey. Mickey has made so many friends through the years, you will get to see Donald and Daisy shake their tail feathers and Goofy adds a little comedy to the mix! Mickey has had these friends for years so they wanted to invite some new friends too. We know that Mickey always has new pals. So if any of you are Frozen fans, you will want to arrive early to get close to the stage because Anna and Elsa will be there and they would not dream of performing without their good friend, Olaf. While Olaf is so adorable and adds “cool” touches to the show, I wanted to reach out and give him a “warm hug” because he is one of my favorites. Olaf loves the attention he gets while performing Frozen favorites.

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Who else can you expect to come and sing-a- long? Tiana and friends arrive from the Bayou to entertain with music from The Princess and the Frog. A fabulous part of the show features Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder providing a lively singing and dancing performance that will make you want to clap your hands and stomp your feet and sing along with them as they share their “dreams” and memorable music from Tangled.

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This show is so cute, fun and entertaining, you will dance away from the stage singing the songs you just heard and will have a happy heart as you continue your adventure through Magic Kingdom. The costumes are amazing so be sure to have a camera ready to snap lots of photos. This show will add a lot of “Disney” magic to your day. If you have additional questions, please be sure to contact your Me and the Mouse Travel Agent. We are always here to help you!

Traci Perjak, Travel Specialist

Even though my husband and I have visited WDW dozens of times, he had NEVER had the privilege of enjoying MNSSHP!!! We remedied that by attending OPENING NIGHT 2017!!!

We arrived about 3:30pm and there were already party guests lined up to enter. Although the MNSSHP starts at 7pm, guests can enter the park as early as 4pm with their party tickets! We were able to enter using our annual pass, but later we checked in with a cast member in Tommorowland and receive our party bracelet, guide map and trick or treat bag! As we entered Magic Kingdom, the decorations put you in the Halloween spirit and many guests were dressed in their party bests! Make sure to read the costume rules here when you are planning:
(https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/faq/parks/dress/). Our first stop, the confectionary on Main Street to discover the Halloween themed treats. There were delicious cupcakes, cookies and rice cereal treats, but the pumpkin Mickey cake pop was our choice!! There were many special treats that were available during the party ONLY! Don’t worry if you have allergy concerns, they offer allergy friendly options too!

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When the party officially began, access to attractions were only allowed for guests with party wristbands. Cast members were dressed in Halloween themed attire. The treat locations were open and the lines were lengthy. We made the decision to walk back to Fantasyland to view the exclusive merchandise and pins that were being offered. I saw Daisy and Donald duck and Minnie in her Halloween costume and I had to get my photo with them. There are endless character meet-n- greet opportunities throughout Magic Kingdom, including meeting all 7 Dwarfs!!! The wait for the Dwarfs or Jack Skellington was averaging 3 hours!!!

The Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular was about to begin on the stage in front of the Castle. We chose to watch a later performance and decided to visit some of the treat locations while other party guests were lining up for the first performance of the Boo to You parade (9:15pm)! We did enjoy the Monstrous Scream-O- Ween Ball at the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland. Who doesn’t love dancing with Mike, Sulley and Boo?!!??

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We then headed over to the Main Street area to view the Happy Hallowishes Fireworks Spectacular! The projections on the castle, along with the fireworks and music make this a not-to- miss item for this party! Many guests leave after the fireworks, which allows for more availability for great viewing spots for the 11:15pm parade! It began to rain and the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular was cancelled, but we were awaiting the parade. We had an excellent view of the parade. The parade music gets in your head and I am still singing it! The character interaction was one of the best I have ever experienced in a parade!

My top 5 not to miss activities at the MNSSHP are

1. Character Meet-n- greet
2. Boo to You Parade(11:15 pm)
3. Hallowishes Fireworks Spectacular
4. The Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular show
5. Treats(specialty desserts, popcorn in a mickey pumpkin refillable container
and trick or treating candy)

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Your Me and The Mouse Travel specialist is ready to help you plan your immersion into the Halloween Spirit!

Missy Zolecki
Travel Specialist

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Lights, Camera, Action!  Welcome to Disney’s All Star Movies Resort.  The All Star Movies resort is one of three All Star value resorts on Disney property.  This resort will get your family into the scenes of some of your favorite legendary Disney movies.

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I had the opportunity to stay at All Star Movies resort with my family.  My kids were enamored by the gigantic character scenes that were located in each of the 5 different themed areas of the resort.  These huge scenes are perfect photo opportunities for your family!

The rooms (both preferred and standard), are 260 sq. feet and have 2 double beds.  They can accommodate a family of four.  They can accommodate a family of five if one of the children is under the age of 3 and sleeping in a Pack N’ Play. The rooms do come with a mini fridge, flat screen TV, wireless internet, hair dryer, iron and ironing board.   

Preferred Rooms are located closer to the main building, dining, and transportation.  At the All Star Movies resort the preferred rooms are located in Toy Story, Fantasia, and 101 Dalmatians sections of the resort. The standard room are located further away from the main building, but many also find these rooms are more quiet, as there is not as much foot traffic. The standard rooms are located in the Mighty Ducks and Herbie the Love Bug Sections.  

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The All Star Movies resort features 2 heated pools always kept at a nice 80 degrees.  The first pool is called Fantasia and is located between the 2 Fantasia buildings and right outside Cinema Hall.  My kids loved that the pools were heated and that even though we were there at an unusually cold week in November, they could still enjoy some time swimming.  Located close to the Fantasia pool you can also enjoy a smaller “kiddie pool”.  The second pool is called Duck Pond Pool. It has a hockey theme and is located between the Mighty Duck buildings and not far from the 101 Dalmatians building.

 all Star Movies 2Within the Cinema Hall building you will find dining options at The World Premiere Food Court which features 5 marquee themed quick service restaurants opened from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. There is something for everybody’s taste buds at the Quick Service Dining locations at the All-Star Movies. From the typical child favorites of pizza and hamburgers to grilled chicken, pasta, and barbecue ribs! The resort also offers room service of pizza, salad, and beverages from 5 p.m.-midnight! Silver Screen Spirits is a pool side bar located next to the Fantasia pool and serves a continental breakfast in the morning and sandwiches and snacks the remainder of the day.

For more information on this or any of the other amazing Disney resorts contact your Me and the Mouse Travel Specialist!

Beth Rodgers

Me and the Mouse Travel Specialist

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Step back to a simpler time in this retro style resort. Depicting the feel of the 1950’s and 60’s, this resort makes you feel you have walked onto the set of Mad Men and the Brady Bunch. Cabana Bay may be considered a value resort, but it is fabulous well-appointed and clean resort and perfect for families with their spacious family suites, that sleeps up to 6 people or their 2 Bedroom suites, that sleep up to 8. All family suites make dining more convenient for busy families with each suite fully equipped with kitchenettes complete with microwaves, mini-refrigerators and a kitchen sink. Each living area also has its own flat screen TV.

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If water fun is on your agenda, you can enjoy two large pools, one is complete with a lazy river. In my opinion, the best part of Cabana Bay is the fact it is adjacent to the all-new Volcano Bay Water Park. Universal recently opened the tower portion of the resort and some of the suites in the brand-new tower provide a spectacular view of Volcano Bay.

For your dining convenience, there are plenty of quick service dining options throughout the resort including pizza delivery and a Starbucks to help kickstart your day. If you are looking for fun and a table service option, take in a few rounds of bowling at the Galaxy Bowl and grab dinner at the Galaxy Bowl restaurant.

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If you didn’t get enough exercise walking around the parks, stop by the Jack LaLanne Fitness area. Yes, for those of that age group, that Jack LaLanne in the one-piece workout suit. The fitness club has state of the art equipment, but you can also see Jack LaLanne memorabilia.

As with any of the Universal resorts, you will enjoy early park access to enjoy the parks before the crowds arrive.

Enjoy your time at Universal Studios!!!

Janene Jaroscak

Travel Specialist

The Hyatt Regency at Orlando International Airport is a lovely alternative for a 1 night stay surrounding your full vacation.  Located on B side terminal, the Hyatt provides restaurants, bars, waiting areas, free lobby wi-fi, conference rooms and ballrooms to guests and visitors.

To those staying at the Hyatt, free in-room wi-fi, plush bedding, in-room fridge, flat screen tv’s, room service, and a rooftop pool (with poolside room service!) are just some of the luxurious amenities provided. Surrounding the terminal, large rooms provide guests with a soundproof experience, black out curtains for uninterrupted sleep, and valet service for bags and/or your car.  

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Soundproof rooms is not a misnomer. While there are some terminal sounds you may hear, if your balcony faces it (other rooms face the outer perimeter of the airport), you will have a quiet night sleep.  My family could not tell we were at the airport! The rooftop pool has a family friendly pool with waterfall, and a smaller ‘kiddie’ pool. Pergolas covering lounge chairs, umbrellas, and seating abound. Poolside towels are also available and a great amenity.

Room service at the Hyatt is one amenity we took advantage of a lot.  A pre fixe menu can be ordered from, or from the in-house restaurant, and is brought to your room on a fancy tray or roll cart.  The wait staff will inform you of their shift, and you can personally request them again if desired.  It was also especially nice for breakfast! Door hangers are provided, and you can place your order before midnight with a desired delivery time. It is a lovely feature!  While the convenience is a little pricier, we found it worth it to not have to fight through airport crowds, and to have a better and healthier meal than typical airport fast food.

Those returning from a cruise can also take advantage of ‘day rooms’ – rooms rented for the day to relax, nap, or swim before your evening flight. The convenience of printing your boarding pass at the business center, a concierge on staff for your every need, and a short walk to check your baggage makes this the perfect ‘post vacation’ stay.  

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It is also convenient to all theme park shopping, other high end stores located at the airport, as well as the food court.  Need a spa treatment? A haircut?  A new suit?  The Hyatt is just a few steps away from all of these airport amenities and sure to cover all your needs.

The Hyatt Regency at Orlando International Airport is a hidden gem you may not have realized was an option. Your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist can set you up with the exact pre- or post- vacation night you need!

 

Amy Sowinski

Travel Specialist

 

at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

Bon Voyage Breakfast- Trattoria al FornoA relatively new experience, the Bon Voyage Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno is a lovely alternative for  character meals.  Meet two of the most adventurous princesses out there – Ariel and Rapunzel! Accompanied by Prince Eric and Flynn Ryder {Eugene for those that know him well}, no less!  Introduced by royal decree – each couple comes to visit tables and bring adventure to every family!  Sometimes, Ariel may ask you to swim with her like her favorite fishy friends in a conga line!

This restaurant boasts a charming, dark-wood, tile-floor, open kitchen concept everyone is sure to love. The dining room is more intimate, and ordering off menu versus a buffet is a wonderful change of pace!  Every menu item is inspired by The Little Mermaid or Tangled.  

Before you start your adventure, each table has a “Bon Voyage Adventure Journal” to fill out. In it, your family will find a place to write down your favorite adventures, your favorite travel companions, and other fun items to commemorate your trip!

Bon Voyage Breakfast- Trattoria al FornoTo start your day, you are given a ‘glass of sunshine’ and an assortment of delicious pastries served in a frying pan {Rapunzel’s weapon of choice}. You can then order your drink of choice {even Mimosas!} and select a fruit cup or parfait.  Both are beautiful and tasty!

Entrées range from eggs to calzones!  Kiddos can enjoy traditional breakfasts if they wish – Mickey Waffles, however, are served as Ariel and Flounder waffles…and they are just as good!  Our family enjoyed a breakfast calzone fit for King Triton, a “tower of pancakes”, and those “Tangled” eggs.  Everything was beautifully served, and tasted delicious. My “Tangled” Eggs were served on top of roasted red potatoes, sun dried tomatoes, and served with bacon. It was scrumptious – Rapunzel would have approved!

Flynn Ryder and Rapunzel visited us first…and of course, Flynn requested a new ‘wanted’ poster.  Then Ariel and Prince Eric came to visit.  I have to admit, Prince Eric was wonderful. He had so much to talk to everyone about and was able to bring most kiddos out of their shell….I guess that’s why Ariel fell in love with him!

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Gluten free and allergy options were available – but it is so very important to make your dining reservations with those needs noted, as well as alerting everyone you encounter of your needs at your dining time. All special dietary needs can be met, however it does take a bit longer to prepare! Also, some dishes do not translate completely to the allergen free option.  Keep that in mind!

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I LOVED this new experience. It’s calm since you are ordering off menu, the characters can be more interactive, and it felt less ‘busy’ than other meals. I would definitely recommend this breakfast on your next Walt Disney World adventure!

Contact a Me and The Mouse Agent today to book your next Disney vacation and to include this fun experience in your next adventure! 

Amy Sowinski

Travel Specialist