The Magic of Bounce Back Offers

Disney's Best PromotionMaybe you have heard the term “bounce back” on Disney chat boards but aren’t quite sure what that means. If you are someone who would love to be able to visit Disney World every year but can’t quite fit it in your budget, this tip could help make it more possible to make that dream come true.

Hidden in the literature in your Disney resort room will be a special offer for current guests to book a future trip.  You will have to look for the flyer as it is usually tucked away with other resort information. (If you cannot find an offer in your room, you can call 407-939-1923 from your room and ask what bounce back offers are currently available). Offers will vary as will timeframes. It might include free dining, a room discount, or some other incentive.

Now, if you’re like me, you’re probably not carrying your calendar around with you while on vacation. That’s okay! Choose a date that you think might work for you, and place the required $200 deposit on the reservation. Once you return home and can check calendars and work or school schedules, you can call back and adjust the dates as long as they fit within the offer timeframes and assuming rooms are available for the new dates.

The key is you must book your trip BEFORE you check out by calling the number on the flyer from your room. (You can also have your travel specialist call for you, but you must still be checked in at a Disney property).

Disney's Best PromotionThe benefit of booking in advance with the Bounce Back offer is that you have the opportunity for a great discount that you can determine later if it works or doesn’t work for you. If it turns out that the trip won’t fit into your schedule at all, you can cancel the reservation up to 30 days prior to your check-in date with no penalty. If a new promotion is announced to the public, and either the dates or the promotion end up working out better for you, you can adjust the reservation.

Without promotions like these, many of us could not afford to take Disney vacations as often as we would like. This is an excellent way to save money on a future trip!

Extra tip: Did you work with your favorite travel planner for your current vacation? Great! You can book the Bounce Back offer and request that your travel planner be rolled over to the new reservation. (If you forgot to mention it while you were making the reservation, you can easily transfer it to your travel planner so he/she can continue to provide you with great planning services. Alert your travel planner upon you return home while the transfer window is still open).

 

Nancy Wideman

Travel Specialist

Should I really stay and watch the fireworks? Walt Disney WorldDisney is without a doubt one of THE best vacation destinations to keep you entertained from the instant you open your eyes in your themed resort to the moment you walk out of the parks waving good-bye to Cast Members.

Throughout the day, you have rides, shows, street performers, parades, fabulous dining and snacks, and character meet and greets to entertain you.  That is enough excitement, right?  What about the fireworks?  Being so busy throughout the day, are they really worth staying to watch?  The answer is YES, YES, YES! 

Disney Parks fireworks are like no other!  They are more than just beautifully colored explosions in the sky.  They tell a story, have a theme, include outstanding and memorable music, and put on a production that will keep you mesmerized from start to finish.  The fireworks are simply just ONE more added must see for Disney guests.

How can I stay late, the kids will be so tired!?!

We all know fireworks happen once it’s dark, so if you want to see them….simply plan for it!

I recommend arriving to the parks early in the morning before the crowds start and then take an afternoon break at your resort. {This is also when staying on property is extremely helpful! You can take a short ride back the resort without having to worry about parking!}

  • Swim
  • Nap
  • Have a relaxing drink
  • Get out of the sun and heat

This relaxation time will rejuvenate and prepare you for an amazing evening!

Plan the perfect spot to watch

Should I really stay and watch the fireworks? Walt Disney WorldHaving a great view of the fireworks will add to the enjoyment of watching them.  Many guests pick their favorite spots early, so you want to do the same.  As you wait, make this a fun part of your trip where you regroup as a family.  While you wait…

  • Grab your favorite Disney snacks
  • Talk about favorite attractions
  • Look at your Memory Maker pictures
  • Talk about the next days plans
  • Relive the funniest moments from your trip

Become Immersed

When the show starts, let yourself be transformed by the music, lights, projections and theming!  This is your chance sit back and enjoy some of the best entertainment on property.

What’s your rush? 

As soon as the fireworks end, the masses start to head out of the park.  Sit and relax!  Let the crowds walk passed you.  You can take this opportunity to view the park in a less crowded state.  You may have a new appreciation for its details.  You could also stop for a nighttime photo with one of Disney’s PhotoPass photographers!

Which Disney Parks have Fireworks?

  • Magic Kingdom: Starting May 12th, 2017, Magic Kingdom will debut its newest fireworks show, “Happily Ever After”!  “Wishes” fireworks will end on May 11th.
  • Epcot: Epcot fireworks take place around World Showcase Lagoon and are properly name IllumiNations.
  • Hollywood Studios: Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular is the show that closes a fun day at Hollywood Studios.

The fireworks are NOT an experience to miss.  Have your Me and the Mouse Travel Specialist incorporate these into your itinerary.  This will tie a perfect bow on a day already full of Disney Magic!

Don’t forget!!

Disney World also offers fireworks dessert parties and cruises for an added cost to guests who are interested (read more, here!).  They will get an array of desserts as well as great viewing locations of the fireworks.

For questions on pricing for one of these special parties and to book a reservation, please contact a Me and the Mouse Travel Specialist!

  • Fireworks Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace at Magic Kingdom {Read more, HERE!}
  • Fireworks Dessert Party with Plaza Garden Viewing at Magic Kingdom
  • Ferry tale Wishes Firework Dessert Cruise {Read more, HERE!}
  • Pirates, Pals, and Fireworks Cruise {Read more, HERE!}
  • IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party at Epcot
  • Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party at Hollywood Studios

Megan Thompson

Travel Specialist

 

 

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

 

  1. Pandora

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

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

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

  3. Happily Ever After Nighttime Spectacular at Magic Kingdom

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

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

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

  5. Miss Adventure Falls at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon

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

 

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

I recently announced that my family is going through a MAJOR change.  We are moving to Florida! We are still in the transition process, but we recently had the opportunity to experience our first Zolecki family day trip!!  We are fortunate to have family living in the area we are moving to, and they are just as crazy about Disney as we are!!!

Florida Resident Day Trip

Until recently, the thought of only going to Disney for the day was hard to even imagine.  For the last 20 years, I have always been planning my next trip.  Where do we want to stay?  What restaurant reservations do we want?  What fastpasses do we want to get?  To ensure we obtain our desired itinerary, I would be planning months in advance, just as I do for my clients!  However, now I am a Florida resident.  I can hop in my car and be at a Disney park in a little over an hour!  What about the planning?  What I am quickly learning, the atmosphere of simply being at the park is what I most enjoy!  The attractions are simply icing on the cake!

 

I have the opportunity to slow down, enjoy the atmosphere and really experience the little details.  I am not in a rush to experience every ride and attraction.  If I miss it this time, I know I will be back very soon and will be able to enjoy that attraction the next time (read more about this, here!).  As far as dining at our favorite locations, I began checking a couple of days prior to our planned trip and wouldn’t you know it, there was a reservation that opened up!  If not, perhaps this would be a great opportunity to try out something new that does have availability.

Florida Resident Day Trip

Our first family day trip was a huge success.  We obtained fastpasses the night before. As we were driving onto Disney property the same excitement and awe filled our car as if this was our very first trip!  We enjoyed multiple attractions throughout Magic Kingdom.  Not to mention riding the Walt Disney Railroad all the way around the park in the afternoon when we all were ready for a little break!  In our family, even a ride on the monorail is a must and we accomplished that twice!!!

I will admit, it did feel a bit odd to leave the park and head back home instead of a Disney resort. 

How will this affect me as a Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist?  I believe it will only enhance my ability to serve you!  I have the experience of long term planning , but now I have the experience of spontaneous short trips and the ability to experiencing the newest additions first hand!!  Incorporating my passion and interests is what dream jobs are made of!  I am here to share my knowledge and experience with you to help you enjoy your piece of the magic!

If you’re a Florida resident and are looking to make a short day trip, contact a Me and The Mouse agent today! We would love to help make your 1st trip or 111th trip as magical as possible!

 

Missy Zolecki

Travel Specialist

There are a lot of choices when trying to determine where to stay during your next Walt Disney World vacation.  There’s also a lot of opinions that your friends and family have about where you should stay during your next Walt Disney World vacation.  Sometimes, you’ll hear that you’ll save a lot of money and that it will be a lot less hassle to stay somewhere that’s not a Disney Resort on Disney property.  While they are trying to be helpful, there are actually a lot of reasons as to why you should stay at a Disney Resort on Disney property.

Stay at a Disney World Resort

Some of the reasons to stay at a Disney resort on Disney property are:

  • 25 different resort options
  • Complimentary transportation to and from Orlando’s International Airport and from your Disney resort to the parks. {Yes, I know this is a great perk!!}
  • Early access to FastPass+ Planning
  • Extra Magic Hours
  • Access to Disney’s Dining Plans
  • Complimentary MagicBands

 

As mentioned above, there are many different Disney resort options for you to choose from.  The resorts are put into three categories, deluxe, moderate and value.  This helps ensure that there’s a resort to accommodate almost every budget.  Not only are you staying at a Disney resort, but once you leave the parks, the Disney magic continues.  In all of the resorts, there will be touches of Disney sprinkled throughout so that you’re never far away from the magic!

 

Disney’s complimentary transportation means that you’ll never have to rent a car to get around while at Disney. {Yes, you read that right!}  While staying at a Disney resort, you’re also able to take advantage of Disney’s Magical Express.  It’s a complimentary bus service that will pick you up from Orlando’s International Airport when you land and return you there when it’s time to go home.  You’ll also learn some of the new things that’s happened at the parks during your ride to your resort.

Stay at a Disney World Resort
In addition to Disney’s Magical Express, Disney also provides complimentary bus service from your resort to all of the Disney parks and Disney Springs.  These buses arrive at the bus stop at your resort every 15 to 20 minutes, so you’re never waiting long.  Plus they will drop you off as close as possible to the parks, so it’s never too far of a walk to the main entrance. You don’t have to worry about parking or directions!

 

One of my favorite benefits is the early access to FastPass+ Planning.  FastPass+ allows you access to reserve select shows and attractions up to 60 days before you arrive.  You’ll be one of the first to select a FastPass to some of your favorite rides and attractions to make sure that you experience them during your vacation without having to wait in a long line.  If you were staying off property or not at a Disney resort, you’d still have the FastPass+ Planning available to you, but only at 30 days before you arrive.  This could mean that some of the newer or more popular attractions and shows will be out of FastPasses before you’re able to select them.

Stay at a Disney World Resort

Another favorite is being able to take advantage of Disney’s Extra Magic Hours.  These hours are only available to guests staying on property at a Disney resort.  Certain parks on certain days will open an hour earlier or stay open later to guests staying at a Disney resort.  Additional hours at the parks each day provides more time for fun with family and friends at select attractions and entertainment experiences.

 

Being able to add a Disney dining plan to your vacation package can be a great benefit and savings.  On average, using a Disney dining plan, you could save up to 25% versus paying out of pocket as you go. Depending upon the dining plan you choose, you have use your table service credits to pay in advance for some of the sought after dining, such as Cinderella’s Royal Table, Mickey’s Backyard BBQ and the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue. The dining plans cannot be added if you are not staying at a Disney resort.

 

Last, but certainly not least, is the complimentary MagicBands that you’ll be able to pick out and personalize before you arrive at your Disney resort.  MagicBands hold all the magic to your vacation and keep everything together in one place that’s easily accessible. They are truly magical. You can use them to:

  • Unlock your Disney Resort hotel room
  • Enter theme parks and water parks {with valid admission}
  • Charge food and merchandise purchases {if you choose to set it up that way}
  • Connect PhotoPass images to your account
  • Check in at FastPass+ attraction and entertainment lines

 

These are some of the many benefits of staying at a Disney resort on Disney property during your Walt Disney World vacation.  I hope that they are helpful and provide you with a lot of good information as to why you’d want to stay in the heart of the magic! If you have any other questions or are ready to book, contact a Me and The Mouse agent. You can learn more about the Disney Resorts on our resort page!

 

Leigh Miller

Travel Specialist

 

“The perfect spot to view the Magic Kingdom Fireworks”… is a very subjective opinion. For those who have seen Wishes before, they might suggest to you, “Why not…”: Main Street by The Plaza Restaurant?  The Hub?  The Rose Garden? Tomorrowland Terrace? Main Street USA near the Train Station?  Liberty Square bridge?  These are all amazing spots…but I’m suggesting you take a different and more adventurous approach to your fireworks viewing experience!

 

***this is a suggestion for those who have seen the fireworks before, or don’t feel like grabbing a spot early to view them in their entirety***

 

First, check the times guide to see when the evening Fireworks will be offered the day you will be visiting the Magic Kingdom. “Wishes a Nighttime Spectacular” will be offered until May 11, 2017. Then, starting May 12, 2017, the new show “Happily Ever After” will debut!

 

Watch Fireworks at Disney
Second, arrange a Fast Pass+ for a time that overlaps evening fireworks for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  (Or if lines are short that evening, you can hop in line shortly before the fireworks begin.)

 

Third, mosey over to Frontierland and board Big Thunder Mountain just after they start.

 

Finally, enjoy fireworks in a way you never have before!  I promise that this experience will change your perspective on the nighttime spectacular!   Over every peak, every drop, a new firework will catch your eye.  It’s serene, surprising…just magical.

 

Once your “ride in the wilderness” has ended, there are many options to where you can watch the remainder of the show. The docs in Frontierland give a beautiful view or you might even want to take advantage of another attraction in Frontierland, Adventureland or Liberty Square. If the lines are short enough, you might even want to hop back into line at Big Thunder Mountain! {Don’t worry, I won’t judge! That’s where I’d want to be!}

 

No matter where you are at the Magic Kingdom, or any Walt Disney World theme park, the experience during a fireworks show is something you will remember and treasure forever. They are beautiful, expertly planned, and have something to ‘WOW’ everyone!  

 I hope this new idea makes your next Magic Kingdom Firework experience a memorable one! If you’d ready to visit the castle again, contact a Me and The Mouse agent. We’d love to take the stress away from your vacation planning. 

 

Amy Sowinski

Travel Specialist

If you’re a craft loving, DIY’er like me a fun way to add some magic to your approaching Disney vacation is to make your own Disney lanyard.  These lanyards can be used for multiple things on your Disney vacation:

  • As a pin trading lanyard (click hyperlink to learn about Disney pin trading)
  • To hold your park tickets if you don’t have magic bands
  • To hold a photo pass card

 

Supplies Needed:

  • Your Favorite Disney RibbonFun DIY Disney Lanyard
  • Scissors
  • Big Clasps
  • Fabric Velcro Tabs (if you want pull away lanyards)
  • Clear Nail Polish or No Fray Check
  • Sewing Machine, Hot Glue Gun, or Thread and Needle
  • Pins
  • Name Tag Holder

Step One:

Go pick out your supplies.  I found super cute Disney ribbon at: JoAnne Fabrics (best selection), Wal-Mart, Michaels, and Hobby Lobby.

I found big clasps in the Jewelry making section of my local JoAnne fabrics but I am sure each of the craft stores have them.

Fray check and Velcro tabs can be located at craft stores or Wal-Mart. The plastic name tag holders can be found easily at Staples or Amazon.com.

Fun DIY Disney Lanyard Fun DIY Disney Lanyard Fun DIY Disney Lanyard

Step Two:

Measure how long you would like the lanyard (I usually cut mine at 36”).

Optional Step: I like to make tear away lanyards for safety.  Match up the two ends you cut and then cut the opposite end so that you have one ribbon in each hand that are the same length. If you decided to do this optional step you will now add Velcro tabs to the ends you just cut.

Step Three:

So that the ribbon does not fray you will now use the clear nail polish or the Fray check on each of the cut end of the ribbon. Let the liquid dry before moving on to step four.

Step Four:

After the Fray Check has dried now is the time to add the clasp.  To do this I’ve found it best to put the lanyard on so that you can make sure it lays right when it is worn.  Once you have verified there are no twists, take it off.  Holding the end that the clasp is going on you will put both ends together and fold it about ½”.  If you are using hot glue you will want to glue the fold.  At this point you will slide the clasp on and then make another fold about 1” over.  Then pin the fold in place.  If you are using hot glue you will again glue the fold (I also recommend putting in a few stitches just to make sure it holds).

Fun DIY Disney Lanyard Fun DIY Disney Lanyard Fun DIY Disney Lanyard

I used a sewing machine and that made it simple to sew the folds holding the clasp in place!  You then add the clear plastic name tag if you choose to use one and your lanyard is all ready for your Disney vacation!

Finish the lanyard and ready to go on your next Disney vacation? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today!

Fun DIY Disney Lanyard

Beth Rodgers

Travel Specialist

 

Ready to learn about some extra adventures you can take on your next Aulani Getaway?!

Things to do on Oahu - Aulani ResortAulani is a fabulous destination with many activities on the property to pique the interest of all age levels. But there is also so much to do on the island of Oahu. The excursion desk in the lobby has a variety of planned tours, but if you would like to venture out on your own, you can also rent a car through Alamo with a location on the Aulani property.

  1. Hawaii Plantation Village

    Learn the history of a sugar cane plantation and the island. You will leave with an understanding of the culture and life on the plantation. It is a short 11 mile drive from Aulani. Tours start on the hour between 10:00 and 2:00 and last roughly 2 hours.

  2. The Dole Plantation

    Another plantation tour that is highly recommended is the Dole Plantation Tour, which is located 16 miles from Aulani. You can take a train ride through the plantation and see how to pick and cut a pineapple. You will also learn about all the tasty treats to make with pineapple. After a visit to the plantation, continue driving up the north shore and experience the beautiful beaches, which are less crowded than those in Waikiki.

  3. Golf

    The Ko Olina Golf Club is a short walk from the Aulani resort. As a guest of Aulani, discount rates are also available. The pro shop is a great place to pick up gifts/souvenirs from your vacation.

  4. Pearl Harbor Things to do on Oahu - Aulani Resort

    Visiting Hawaii would not be complete without a visit to this historic site. Tours include the USS Arizona Memorial, USS Missouri Battleship and Bowfin Submarine Museum.

  5. Hawaiian Railway

    The boarding area is about 5 miles from Aulani. The train runs on Saturday’s at 3:00 PM and Sunday’s at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM. You ride along the coast and make a stop for ice cream. A perfect leisurely way to spend a weekend day. It is a great experience for young and old.

  6. Diamond Head State MonumentThings to do on Oahu - Aulani Resort

    Pack your hiking shoes and grab a bottle of water and head out on the trails on Diamond Head. The views of the ocean and the island are spectacular. Diamond head is 36 miles from Aulani.

 

With so much to do at Aulani and throughout the island, you will certainly want to book a second stay to take advantage of all the sites. If you’re interested in booking an Aulani vacation, or want to learn how you can include this fun in your current trip, contact a Me and The Mouse agent today!

Janene Jaroscak

Travel Specidalist

{& Why These Cast Members Will Be
Some of Your Favorite Faces!}

 

Baby Care StationI have done what so many other moms like me have done and what so many others have thought me crazy for.  I have taken my very young children to enjoy the Disney parks. My kids were both under 1 year when we started taking them to the Disney parks regularly. I understand how we want to share our love of Disney and all the magic that that entails with our children, and I also understand how tiring that can be. Disney has created a place even for the smallest guests (and for those caring for them). It is called (*the sounds of angels descending* and cue the spotlight) the Baby Care Station.

With one Baby Care Station located centrally in each of the Disney theme parks (both at Walt Disney World and at the Disneyland Resort), you can find a quiet retreat to nurse or feed your baby, change diapers or visit the toilets, or just grab a quiet corner to escape the bustle and weather outside. They are staffed with the sweetest cast members who are there to help you take care of your little one.

The main room has tables and chairs, as well as high chairs. Forgot something? They also have a small area where you can purchase some of the essentials, such as diapers and baby food.Baby Care Station

When my kids were little, this was one (of many!) of the bright spots to our visit. They loved the pint-sized potties made just for them, and I loved knowing the wonderful cast members were always there for me to offer a smile (or help avoid a diaper emergency!).

Sure, it might sound silly, but when you spend a full day playing in the parks with your young ones, anything that can help keep everyone comfortable and happy is a blessing.

If you are traveling with Littles on your next visit to the parks, grab your map and locate the Baby Care Station for later. You’ll be glad you did!

 

Nancy Wideman

Travel Specialist

Now Available at Walt Disney World

Enchanted Evening OfferLooking for something extra magical for your honeymoon or romantic getaway? Visiting Walt Disney World and in search of something extra-special? The Enchanted Evening package is for you, but don’t wait, this is a limited-time offer! You can book this unique and incredible package from March 14th- May 3rd 2017, with plans to travel March 21-May 10th, 2017.

The Enchanted Evening is a new and limited offer, and it can easily be added to your “Magic Your Way” packages for only $160 a couple. The package includes:

  • 2 Exclusive Honeymoon/Romance-themed MagicBands {a special keepsake from your trip!}
  • 2 Exclusive Romance-themed Luggage tags {you can use this again & again to remember your trip!}
  • 2 Admissions to the Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party at Magic Kingdom + a small, but delicious treat!

To learn more about the incredible Dessert Parties at Disney World, read here! Also note, the Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party is only offered on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday evenings. Admission is required to the Magic Kingdom Theme Park and is not included in the Enchanted Evening package. The Enchanted Evening package must be booked at least 7 days prior to arrival.

If you would like to add this special package on to your trip, contact a Me and The Mouse agent, today!