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

 

Summer 2018 Itineraries
Book Now!

Disney Cruise Line is offering some amazing destinations and experiences in 2018. DCL will be offering new itineraries and new ports, in summer 2018. For the first-time, they will offer destinations to Italy and Ireland. Disney Cruise Line offers incredible tours of Europe and special visits to the Mediterranean, northern Europe, Norway, and Iceland. They will also offer their classic cruises to Alaska, the Caribbean, and the Bahamas.

Disney Cruise LineGuests, will be able to become more engrossed in the incredible culture of Barcelona and unique history of Rome in one cruise. For the first time, on June 16, 2018, the Disney Magic will set sail on a cruise from Barcelona to Civitavecchia {Rome}. Then, on June 23, 2018, it will set sail again on a seven-night cruise from Civitavecchia {Rome} to Barcelona. Also, making its first appearance on a Disney Cruise is Genoa, Italy. Genoa is an incredible historic port is the passageway to the gorgeous, Milan and the beautiful, Portofino.

The fun doesn’t stop there, the Disney Magic will also visit Cork, Ireland. This incredible adventure is a seven-night British Isles cruise. It departs on September 2, 2018. There are several additional ports visited on this sailing, including: Dublin, Ireland; Greenock, Scotland; and Liverpool, England. The summer will hold several other European adventures on the Disney Magic. It will include: Baltic, Norwegian fjords, British Isles and the Mediterranean.

Don’t forget, the newly re-imagined Disney Wonder will return to Alaska for the summer as well!

If the Caribbean is calling your name, the Disney Fantasy will be embarking on special 11-night itinerary. It will depart on June 30th and visit the dreamy and tropical destination of: Aruba, Barbados, Martinique, St. Kitts, Puerto Rico and Disney Castaway Cay.

Castaway Cay has been consistently rated as a top-destination location. The Disney Dream will sail on a series of cruises. It will include two stops at Castaway Cay {double-the-fun}! This is such a fun and incredible opportunity as guests will be able to enjoy more of the beach, sand, and sea, and they will also see more of the pristine island paradise!

Contact us to learn more about these incredible cruises or to let us take all the stress away from your planning! We’d love to help plan your dream Disney cruise.

Elizabeth Hollman

Owner & Travel Specialist

Days at Sea – Part 2

This is the second part of my blog posting “To Cruise Or Not To Cruise?” This post is meant to help those who have never cruised but are intrigued with the idea of going on one. Part one of this post on the advantages of cruising. {You can read about that, here!} Today, will focus on what to do on sea days or for the cruise novice when you are not at port at a destination.

 Top Five Things to do on Sea Days! Is Cruising for me?

  1. Relax You are on a cruise in the middle of the Caribbean so enjoy the beauty. I usually get balcony rooms and on sea days I enjoy ordering room service for breakfast and enjoy the vast ocean and its peacefulness. If you don’t have a balcony that is ok to. Grab a bite to eat and take it to one of the decks and enjoy the same view. It’s also a great time to relax by the pool in a lounge chair soaking up the sun.
  2. Explore Is Cruising for me?Cruise ships today have so much to do that I enjoy walking the ship and finding little surprises. The last cruise I was on I stumbled upon a little known deck at the front of the ship and reenacted the scene from Titanic! It’s also a great time to see which places on the ship are busier than others. You may find a nice place to read a book or enjoy a drink that is quiet and relaxing.
  3. Eat Cruising is about enjoying a lot of great food. Sea days are a great time to do that. It is true that the restaurants are busier on sea days but I’ve found going at non-peak times isn’t all that bad. It’s also a great time to try different restaurants. You may want to grab a sandwich from one place, an appetizer from another and then finish with dessert at a third location. You may eat a lot but going back to point number two if you explore and walk around you will burn those calories off! {Well, maybe not all of them, but who’s counting!}
  4. Entertainment Is Cruising for me?There is always something going on during sea days, including Broadway musicals, movies, and live entertainment! If you want something low key you can take a cupcake decorating class, play bingo, try miniature golf, zip line or take part in trivia contest. There is literally something for everyone. Children can take part in volleyball tournaments, video game contest or meeting their favorite character.
  5. Spa This may be one of the best options on a sea day. Get a massage, skin treatment, steam bath or choose from dozens of other options. I’ve done spa treatments I would never get at home. They have great couples’ options too for those who want to have a relaxing hour together. They often offer sales on days at port, but if those days are full then stop by the spa on a sea day.

 

I hope first time cruisers now have a better understanding of why you should give a cruising a try! I also hope this blog has shown you what you can do on your day at sea. Be sure to check my future blog posts for what do at port and figuring out what excursion to take!

Ryan Gross

Travel Specialist

One of the most sought-after experiences of a Disney Cruise is having a cabana at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.  Our family has been fortunate to experience this luxury, which we like to label “peace, quiet and solitude.” Cabana at Castaway Cay

The cabana experience includes:

  • Bottled waters, cans of soda, and cold towels in a refrigerator
  • Fresh fruit, granola bars, and chips
  • Towels and sunscreen
  • Fresh water shower including foot rinse
  • Hammock
  • Lounge areas, changing area, storage, safe, ceiling fan, music, and outlet
  • Floats and tubes and one-hour bike rental
  • The Family Beach includes a private beach experience with beach loungers, chairs, umbrellas, snorkel equipment, and sand toys
  • Cabana host and service button

Twenty cabanas grace the Family Beach – including one accessible cabana – while four are at the adults-only Serenity Bay.


Cabana at Castaway Cay

The Experience

The experience is especially good for families traveling with heat-sensitive guests, elderly or small children.  My 80-year-old mother-in-law could not enjoy the island but for an hour during her first cruise.  On her following visit, she was able to stay on island the entire day thanks to the cabana and its fan that provided reprieve from the heat.  Families can enjoy still enjoy the experience while small children nap on the couch or in a complimentary pack-and-play.

The ship’s Concierge class crew services the cabanas, and guests summon the cabana host with a simple push of a button.  My husband’s parasailing experience was in question, and our host kept in touch with the parasailing hut and even re-scheduled the booking that was cancelled.  Without this service, he would have had to go all the way back to the hut by the ship to check the status.  Another host hung a birthday sign for our daughter that was visible upon her cabana arrival.  Cabana at Castaway Cay

Reservations

How do I get a coveted cabana?  Cabanas are typically snatched up by Concierge guests and Platinum status guests. However, I have even seen them available at Gold and Silver status activity booking openings.  Guests can cancel up to three days before embarkation, so many guests will check daily for cancellations.  You may also have your name added to a wait list at the Port Adventures desk upon boarding.

The luxury and service do come at a cost, however.  Many guests will offer other guests to share the cabana to help defray the expense.

  • Family Beach: $590.18, up to six guests included; up to four additional can be added at $53.75 each
  • Family Beach Grand Cabana: $966.43 for up to 10 guests; up to six additional may be added
  • Family Beach seasonal surcharge: $53.75 additional total cost late April through late September
  • Serenity Bay: $428.93 for up to four guests; up to six additional may be added

Cabana at Castaway CayIs it worth it?  This is the number one question most folks have, and that answer lies solely with the guests reserving it and their needs and wants.  We prefer to look at the cost by hour. We feel the privacy, peace of mind with our belongings and relaxed beach atmosphere is worth the splurge.

 

Jenniffer Sheldon

Guest Contributor

Disney Cruise Platinum Guest

 

 

You booked your Disney vacation over six months ago. The anticipation is unbearable! Here are some fun ways to help your kids (and you) count down to the magical day!  Countdown to Dinsey

  1. Make a paper chain. Remember counting down to Christmas using those? Use Mickey colors or favorite princess colors.
  2. Watch Disney movies. One week before the trip, stack up seven movies and watch one each night. This will help the kids countdown the days and get reacquainted with the characters.
  3. Mickey Dry erase board. Print off a Mickey themed picture and place it in a cheap frame with glass. Use a dry eraser marker to count the days down.
  4. Paper bag surprise. A week before your trip, fill a paper bag with a Disney goody such as stickers, autograph books, penny bags for the penny-press, spending money, etc. Staple each bag and number the bag. Let the kids open a bag a day until you leave.
  5. Print off a calendar representing 30 days before your trip. Let the kids place a sticker on each day until the day you leave. Countdown to Disneyd
  6. For more ideas, check out Me and The Mouse’s special Pinterest Board, click here. There you will be able to find several other ideas for activities for your family’s countdown to Disney!

I hope you and your family enjoy building the excitement before your big trip. Enjoy the magic!

As always, let Me and The Mouse Travel take the stress from your travel planning. Contact a Me and The Mouse Agent today!

Lori Steinnerd

Travel Specialist

                                                                                                                         

That is the Question – Part 1

This time of year I get many people say “I’m want to go somewhere warm!” I reply with the one thing I love more than any other vacation and that is a Caribbean cruise! There reaction is one of three replies. Love em, hate em, and the most common answer I get is “It sounds fun but what do your really do on a boat all day?” That is when my ears perk up! Watch out, I’m about to tell you what you can do a cruise all day. Is Cruising for me?

Living in Nebraska I find a lot people haven’t cruised before, so not know what cruises are all about is very common. Here is my breakdown of what I think are the advantages of cruising.

  1. It is the most relaxing week of my year. I board the ship, turn off my phone and put it in the safe, wait for the ship to debark and next thing I know I’m in the middle of the expansive and beautiful ocean. You feel as if you are a world away from the one you left. 
  2. I eat, then I eat, then I get ice cream, then I eat, then I get dessert then a midnight snack. I don’t know about you, but vacationing is a time that I can say “NO” to watching what I eat. From amazing restaurants to classic buffets to room service with breakfast on your balcony – the food is part of the experience. For those who aren’t into the endless smorgasbord, many ships are offering healthy food restaurants. These restaurants serve endless fruits, quinoa and delicious steamed fish.
    Is Cruising for me?
  3. Amazing entertainment awaits around every corner. I’ve been on Disney and Royal Caribbean cruises and both have world class shows. Disney Cruise Line brings to life live action shows featuring your favorite Disney characters set in a beautiful broadway style theater. On Royal Caribbean ships, you can catch shows such as Cats, Chicago and and line up of original performances made just for the cruise. 
  4. It’s a kids dream! Children of all ages have a huge variety of entertainment and activity choices. From clubs just for the little ones to teen lounges, your kids will never say “I’m bored”. I tell parents it’s the ultimate vacation. They can relax by the pool while their kids are in supervised areas having fun doing what they want to do! 
  5. Different destinations every morning without packing a suitcase? That to me is the best part of cruising. I can wake up to a view in the middle of the ocean one day and the next touring Jamaica. Everyday is a truly a different day. I get to experience the best of the Caribbean in one week!

Is Cruising for me?Yes, cruising might not be for everyone but I think it should get a close look when booking your next vacation. You might end up like me – a Cuisy!!

This is part one of my “To Cruise Or Not To Cruise” blog. I will follow up with a Day at Sea! I will guide you through what I do when my ship is not at a port for the day.

 

 

If you are interested in cruising, be sure to contact a Me and The Mouse agent! Let us take the stress out of planning your next adventure!

Ryan Gross

Travel Specialist

It wasn’t until my oldest son, who is living with Fragile X, was almost 3 that I began to have a greater understanding of his sensory integration challenges.  Fragile X is the leading cause of inherited intellectual impairment and the leading known genetic cause of Autism. I was attending an education workshop, and I participated in an exercise that helped me understand what someone with Fragile X/Sensory integration challenges experiences. I began to view the world with a different perspective. Sensory Overload

On our next trip to Walt Disney World, It was as if I was experiencing it for the first time.  Guests are immersed in their experience even before entering the gates.  Our senses are constantly bombarded.  As my son grew older, it was clear that the sensory input, at times, was too much.  If we wanted to continue to enjoy traveling to Disney destinations, we needed to come up with a plan.

Over the years, we have used many strategies to lessen the sensory bombardment. Trial and error is worth the effort and can lead to developing a great plan.  Try to utilize strategies that are used at home/school/work and modify them for use while on vacation too! Here are a few of the strategies that we have used over the years.

  1. Social Story:
    Search the Internet for examples or reach out to your speech therapist to help develop one for your upcoming trip.
  2. Videos:
    There are many options available.  Disney Park’s has a wide variety of video’s to help those of us who are visual learners! Check out Disney Parks’ YouTube Channel, here!

  3. Review Disney resources throughout the planning process:
    Check out the WDW Cognitive Guide, here!

  4. Visual schedule:
    Search for “images” of Disney destination attractions/dining/parks/transportation. Many digital applications allow you to add photos to create the schedule on the go.  Prior to having a digital device, I pasted those images into a word document, printed them out, laminated and then placed Velcro on the back.
  5. Noise cancelling headphones/ear phones.
    This allows your child to either eliminate overwhelming sounds or decrease the level of auditory input.
  6. Biting options:
    If your family member tends to bite on items, chew on gum, or has a preferred snack, bring those items with you. Gum is not sold on property.  If your family member has brand specific preferences, I suggest bringing your own snacks.
  7. Downtime/waiting activities:
    Bring some preferred activities to help pass the time: pictures (of preferred people works for us), digital devices (wifi is available for FREE), card games, travel size versions of games (magnetic options), coloring book/crayonsSensory Overload
  8. Back pack.
    Utilizing a back pack (moderately weighted works best for us) helps to provide the needed sensory input that helps your family member combat the overwhelming input. It is also a great place to keep all your items above.

 

The key is to integrate a familiar strategy with new options and modifications, and your next trip will be a success!!!

 

Missy Zolecki

Travel Specialist

How many times have you had an itch to get on vacation, but the thought of making a reservation at the last minute would cost an arm and a leg? Disney Cruise Line may have a solution for last minute planners. Many times, Disney Cruise Line releases promotional rates called IGT (Inside Guaranteed), OGT (Oceanview Guaranteed) and VGT (Verandah Guaranteed). Disney Cruise Line Discount

Granted, you may receive a lower fare if you book as soon as Disney releases their new itineraries, but many people have a hard time planning that far in advance. If you happen to discover you have extra vacation days at work or you just need a little time away, these fares may be right up your alley.  They are usually quite a discount from the regular fares that you would book last minute.

Disney generally releases these fares after the pay in full date, which for most sailings and stateroom categories, that is 75 days prior to sailing. However, they have been known to release them prior to the pay in full date.

In exchange for the discounted fares, you agree to a few things when you book an IGT, OGT or VGT rate:

  1. These rates are only applicable to new bookings.
  2. You are agreeing to book a stateroom category vs. a specific stateroom. For example, if you book an OGT, Disney will book you in a stateroom that is at least an Oceanview based on availability. You could possibly get bumped up to a Verandah, but you would not be moved down to an inside stateroom.
  3. Your stateroom assignment may include an obstructed view.
  4. In most cases, you will know your stateroom about 30 days prior to departure.
  5. The GT rates cannot be combined with any other discount, such as an onboard booking discount
  6. You are also agreeing to pay in full at the time of booking and you cannot cancel. Disney Cruise Line Discount

If you are looking for a last-minute vacation, reach out to one of our Me and The Mouse Travel Specialists and they will be able to help you with the next step.

Janene Jaroscak

Travel Specialist

Looking for a new way to experience the magic of Disney, Marvel, and cruising? Disney Cruise Line and Marvel have teamed up to present you with Marvel Day at Sea. This fun cruise is for the superhero lover in your family. Your family will be able to discover Marvel’s superheroes, comics, films, and more!

One epic day. Seven select sailings.


If you’re interested in sailing on one of the seven select trips, contact a Me and The Mouse agent today.

When you are sailing onboard your Disney Cruise, take time to pamper yourself and make a reservation at the SENSES Spa.  The full service spa includes massages, manicures, pedicures and salon services. Senses Spa

When cruising, I recommend treating yourself to the Rainforest Deluxe Cruise pass.  This fantastic spa package is available on all sailings and includes unlimited access to the scented showers, aroma steam, sauna rooms and private jacuzzis.  Depending on your Disney Cruise ship, you can also enjoy the warm loungers that overlook the ocean (Disney Dream and Fantasy cruise ships) or relax and unwind with the tranquil sounds of water in an exclusive relaxation room (Disney Magic and Wonder cruise ships).  This package also includes scented body scrubs of your choice to use to exfoliate while enjoying the Rainforest showers and saunas.

Senses SpaNo appointments are necessary for you to use your Rainforest Spa package.  Simply check-in with your stateroom key at the front desk.  Your attendant will give you your scented body scrubs and loofa, as well as your Spa bracelet that allows you access to the Rainforest.  Next, you will head to the locker room where you will change into your swimwear and find cotton robes and waterproof sandals (if you didn’t bring your own).  Lockers are available free of charge so you can secure your personal belongings while you enjoy the Rainforest.

On the Disney Dream and Fantasy, the Rainforest Room has the Laconium (a dry sauna), the Caladium (a hot steam room) and the Hammam (a large, tiled steam room that is not as hot than the regular steam room), four scented showers with multiple “rain” programs, numerous heated loungers with views of the sea and two hot tubs on a private deck overlooking the water. Senses Spa

In the Rainforest Room on the Magic and Wonder, there are three tiled saunas, each having a different temperature.  You will find open showers with different scented “rain” programs.  Those amazing, tiled heated loungers are also available to relax, unwind and read a book if you desire.

Rainforest packages are limited and can be purchased for individuals or couples. Pricing varies based on your length of your cruise and passes can be purchased for a single day or for the length of your cruise.   You must be at least 18 years of age to utilize the spa services.

A Disney cruise is the perfect way to relax and unwind.  A trip to The Rainforest at the Senses Spa is another dash of “pixie dust” on a memorable Disney vacation.

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist