Disney Parks name tags have become an icon much like many other seemingly random Disney items like the famous Disney trash cans (an interesting story for another day)! What started as method to identify employees in 1955 of the newly opened Disneyland, name tags quickly took on a life of their own within the company. This is the fascinating story of a little badge and the names on it.

The first name tags at Disneyland were metal with Disneyland in blue written across them and a number. The number represented the employee. All Cast Members were issued a badge. During the first few years most were seen with only a number on them. Some employee such as executives received a badge with their full name in place of the number.

It wasn’t until 1962 that the Cast Members first name was standard on all name tags. And it was only the first name. Why you ask not the last too? That is because of Walt. Walt believed his company was a first name company where it didn’t matter if you were at the top of the ladder or in an entry level job. To the guests of his Magic Kingdom you were known by a first name and there to help. A side note on Walt, he did not like being called Mr. Disney. Those who would meet him and call him Mr. Disney were often replied to with “call me Walt, Mr. Disney was my father.”

So in 1962, the gold metal name tag went away and what appeared was a plastic thin oval version. Through the years the oval changed some and eventually around 1985 took the shape of what we have come to recognize today – an oval with an icon bump out on top. This current look is an homage to the original Disneyland version. There have been a variety of other shapes also used for many different departments, people and celebrations but the most common is what is used today.

There literally have been hundreds of styles of name tags over the years. Today, they have been simplified and are uniform by department, park (Disneyland, Disney World, oversees parks), business line and employee recognition. They typically all contain the hometown the Cast Member printed below the name. They also contain service pins signifying the years the Cast Member has been with the company. Some showcase different languages the Cast Member knows.

In recent years you may have noticed blue name tags which represent Cast Members who have received the Disney Legacy Award, the highest honor for a Cast Member. One thing that is common among nearly every employee of Disney is that they are worn over their left chest. I say nearly all Cast Members wear them over the left chest because there is one department that is given the freedom to wear them on their lanyards and that is Walt Disney Imagineering. When I worked for Disney I could always spot an Imagineer because not only did they have a special Mickey icon on their name tag they typically were wearing them on their company ID lanyard.

A side note on working for Disney and forgetting your name tag. You don’t forget it. If you do you get one issued to you for the day and in my case I got to be Eric. That day was the one and only time I wasn’t Ryan!

Walt was insistent his employees at Disneyland were easily identifiable and proudly wore a badge in 1955 and later one with their name on it. He made sure they were worn on their left side and they always had it on while in guest areas. The only person to not be required to wear a name tag was Walt himself. I guess that is the perk of being Mr. Disney.

Ryan Gross

Travel Specialist

 

It all started with … a mouse? Well, yes, but it also started with a family visit to a local carousel in Griffith Park, California. Sitting on a park bench, Walt imagined a special place a whole family could visit and enjoy together. A Walk in Walt’s Footsteps takes you step by step with a very hands-on Walt Disney as he envisioned and created a very magical new world, Disneyland.

Meeting up at the guided tour booth at the entrance to Main Street, U.S.A., you are greeted by your guide and welcomed into a small group of fellow guests. Groups are generally less than twenty people so you can stay tight and stick together as your guide walks you through some of Walt’s favorite areas. Everyone is fitted with an earpiece so the guide is able to walk with you, pointing things out and explaining the history and decision-making behind various areas.

You will spend time in Fantasyland as well as New Orleans Square, two areas Walt had huge involvement in. You can feel like a VIP as your guide walks you past lines of some of the most iconic attractions where you board immediately. On our tour, we experienced Alice in Wonderland and the Haunted Mansion and got a bit of history and trivia about these areas that added to the fun.

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The tour usually visits one of two rarely seen areas in the park – Walt’s apartment above the firehouse on Main Street, or the family apartment – also known as the Dream Suite – which sits perched atop Pirates of the Caribbean overlooking the Rivers of America. The Dream Suite was our treat for the day, and it was more than I had imagined it might be.

Over the years, this area has been converted for different uses. Walt never actually got to stay here as he passed away before it was completed. It was designed for Walt’s family and also as a space to entertain his guests (in combination with Club 33). In the early 90’s, I remember walking through the rooms as it was set up as an art gallery of original drawings and Disney history. The Dream Suite now is quite a lavish and charming apartment complete with parlor, guest bedrooms, luxurious bathrooms, and enchanted details that will surprise and delight any guest. You will have to walk in Walt’s footsteps to see for yourself!

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While the visit to the Dream Suite was definitely an amazing opportunity, the highlight of the tour for me personally was our last stop. A bit more backstory and one of Walt’s favorite songs playing through the earpieces left everyone in our group affected and moved, many to tears.

We ended with a special lunch (pre-selected before the tour began) with our tour mates at the Jolly Holiday Bakery (one of my favorite places to stop for a bite to eat). We had our final opportunities to ask questions and chat with each other and our guide. We were each handed a beautiful collectible pin to commemorate the tour. A perfect ending to an incredible tour.

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This tour is great both for a first-time visit, giving you an introduction and details of Disneyland that most guests do not experience, and also as a moving journey for guests like myself who had literally visited Disneyland over a hundred times before ever taking a tour.

That old bench from Griffith Park now sits where you can see it inside the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln attraction, and the old carousel? Still turning in Griffith Park!

Nancy Wideman

Travel Specialist

My ultimate favorite time to go to Walt Disney World is when they have “decked the halls” for the holiday season!  Between the stunningly, decorated Christmas trees, the lights, and the overall feeling of happiness in the air, it has all the makings for a truly magical Disney vacation!  Disney offers some extra “Disney Magic” during the holidays to make your trip even more festive.  These holiday activities include:

 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a separate ticketed event that takes place at the Magic Kingdom.  The special shows and attractions at the party include:

  • Castle Dream Lights on Cinderella Castle
  • Holiday Wishes fireworks performance
  • A Frozen Holiday Wish stage Show
  • Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration Show
  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
  • Meet-and-greet opportunities with 15 of  your favorite characters throughout Magic Kingdom dressed in their holiday best
  • Complimentary cookies and hot cocoa
  • A magical snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A.

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The 2017 dates for the Very Merry Christmas Party are:

November 9th, 10th, 12th, 14h, 16th, 17th, 26th and 28th

December 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 8th,10th, 12th, 14th, 15th,17th,19th ,21st and 22nd

Ticket price ranges from $89 to $109

Talk to your Travel Specialist about adding tickets to the Very Merry Christmas party to your family’s holiday trip.

 

Sunset Season’s Greetings and Jingle Bell Jingle Bam

 New this year to Hollywood Studios is Sunset Seasons Greetings.  As dusk settles over Hollywood Studios Sunset Boulevard, the lights of Christmas will start to twinkle and snow will begin to fall.  Billboards will come into motion and the “Tower of Terror” will transform as Disney characters start to tell stories of Christmases past, excitement over gifts, foods of the holiday, and beautiful Christmas sights.  Special characters joining this event include: Mickey and Minnie, Toy Story Toys, Olaf, and the Swedish Chef.

Another Christmas celebration is Jingle Bell Jingle Bam.  This incredible night time extravaganza uses the technology of projections, fireworks, and holiday music to tell the story of how Kris Kringle is rescued by stars of Disney’s Prep and Landing.  Another option with the Jingle Bell Jingle Bam holiday show is to take part in the Jingle Bell Jingle Bam Holiday party.  Talk to your travel specialist about adding a reservation onto your package and you will be able to dine on holiday sweets and drinks while enjoying the nighttime show in a special viewing area.

 

A Seasonal In-Room Celebration 

Disney floral gifts can transform your resort room into a holiday home away from home.  Imagine walking up to your Disney resort door to discover a Christmas banner welcoming your friends and family.  Once you step over the threshold you are welcomed by Disney Christmas décor and gifts from your favorite Disney characters.

For more information or to place an order please contact your Me and the Mouse Travel Specialist and they will be more than happy to help you add a some holiday magic to your resort stay!

 

An International Yuletide Extravaganza

At Epcot during the holiday season, you can experience how each of the 11 nations around the world showcase celebrates the holidays.  Indulge in seasonal favorites, experience live musical productions and costumed performers as they bring seasonal traditions to life.  You may also visit Santa and Mrs. Claus as they visit the American Pavilion.

Candlelight Processional

The Candlelight Processional includes a guest celebrity narrator and a 50 piece orchestra.  The narrator tells a moving story from the bible of how the Savior was born to a virgin in the city of Bethlehem.  Intertwined with the readings are choral songs of hope and joy making this a not to miss show!

The 2017 Celebrity Guest Narrator’s include:

TBD – November 24 to 26, 2017

Matt Bomer – November 27 to 28, 2017

TBD – November 29 to 30, 2017

Whoopi Goldberg – December 1 to 3, 2017

Pat Sajak – December 4 to 5, 2017

TBD – December 6 to 8, 2017

TBD – December 9 to 11, 2017

Warwick Davis – December 12 to 14, 2017

Trace Adkins – December 15 to 17, 2017

Neil Patrick Harris – December 18 to 21, 2017

CCH Pounder – December 22 to 24, 2017

Jaci Velasquez – December 25 to 27, 2017

Chandra Wilson – December 28 to 30, 2017

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Chip and Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree

Chip and Dale are looking for help as they collect ornaments for their Christmas tree!  Your family will need to make a stop at Epcot’s Disney Traders and World Travelers International Gateway and pick up a map (the price for the map is $6.99).  As you follow Chip and Dale around the World Showcase, learning how different cultures celebrate the Christmas holiday you will look for Chip and Dale.  When you spot them with their ornament you will place the corresponding ornament on your map.  After you have your map completed you can take it to Disney Traders and exchange for a special gift.

 

Joyful

At Epcot you can delight in inspirational holiday performances of Gospel, Jazz, R&B, and more.  These daily performances are located at the stage in front of the Future World Fountain.

 

Holiday Kitchen’s at Epcot

What is better than snacking around the World Showcase at Epcot?  Snacking on holiday goodies from around 11 different nations at Epcot!!!  Each marketplace will feature a festive holiday dining experience from each nation’s culture.

 

Illuminations

During Illuminations, Epcot’s fireworks and laser show, there are some holiday enhancements.  During the Holidays around the World at Epcot, the finale features the song, “Let there be peace on Earth”.

Disney’s Holiday D-Lights Tour

Disney’s Holiday D-Lights Tour is a 5-hour guided tour that will show you how Disney transforms into the most beautiful holiday wonderland!  Your tour guide or “Holiday Host” as they are called, will guide you on a journey with stops at Epcot to see the Candlelight Processional, Magic Kingdom to see the lighting ceremony of Cinderella’s Castle, and the star on top of the Christmas tree you will get to meet with some of the individuals responsible for turning Disney into a holiday wonderland.  You will also get to enjoy a family style barbeque dinner at Wilderness Lodge.

Tickets for this tour are $259 and you must be at least 12 years of age.

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Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy…A Backstage Adventure

During the Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy 3 hour tour you will meet at Epcot’s silver and blue guided tours Epcot location.  From there you will head backstage and learn about the logistics involved in the seasonal transformation of Walt Disney World Resort each year.  You will meet the Disney “Elves” that transform the resort into a Walt Disney holiday wonderland.  You will be guided through the World Showcase and learn how each country celebrates the holiday season.  You will also visit one of the resorts on the Disney property to see how Disney decorates on a grand scale using color, texture, attention to detail, illusion, and architecture.  You will also receive a special holiday keepsake.  To partake in the tour you must be at least 16 years of age.  Tickets for this tour are $99 per person. 

Disney Springs

At Disney Springs you can really dive into the spirit of the season.  The streets are decorated for a great family photo opportunity.  Your children can also visit with Santa Clause and you can stop at the Starbucks for some hot cocoa or maybe Ghirardelli for some ice cream.  You can also enjoy some live Christmas entertainment including christmas carolers, a tree lighting ceremony, a dance party, and you can take a walk amongst specialty decorated Christmas trees!

Just in case your kids weren’t exactly sure what they wanted on their Christmas lists there is plenty of shopping to be done at Disney Springs…including The Christmas Store!

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Victorian gingerbread house at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a beautiful place to visit and just look around if you don’t happen to be staying at that resort.  During the holidays there is another reason to make a stop on the monorail and visit the resort and the Victorian gingerbread house that they have on display!!!  The ingredients for the grandiose creation include: 1050lbs of honey, 140 pints of egg whites, 600lbs of powdered sugar, 700lbs of chocolate, 800lbs of flour, 35lbs of spices, and lots of Disney magic….oh did I forget to mention this is a fully functioning snack shop with actual cast members working inside!!!  Inside they sell creations such as: gingerbread men, gingerbread shingles, Mickey pops, and large gingerbread ornaments just to name a few.  Make sure to stop by and check this out!!!

Beth Rodgers

Travel Specialist

 

If you’ve been to Walt Disney World or Disneyland you probably have ridden the monorail and like me you probably remember your first ride. Mine came the summer before my sixth grade year. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was at Disneyland and we boarded at Tomorrowland. As we cruised around the park and over, what was then the Submarine Voyage ride, I was beyond thrilled and amazed. But what was this amazing ride in the sky that I was on? Little did this boy from Nebraska know that this incredible piece of technology opened on June 14, 1959. That’s right – 1959!

Monorail Nixon

Walt Disney loved technology and wanted a fun and innovative way to transport guests around the park. He hired Imagineer, Bob Gurr, to design the ALWEG Monorail. The technology had existed in Europe and Gurr was tasked with making it work at Disneyland. On that day in 1959, the Disneyland Monorail became the first monorail to transport people in the Western Hemisphere. Guess who cut the ribbon on that day? Vice President Richard Nixon and his family. There is great story about the monorail taking off with Nixon and leaving behind the Secret Service and then after the first trip around, Nixon’s daughters asked for another ride and again left the Secret Service in panic!

Before we move onto the monorail system at Walt Disney World, a fun fact about the Disneyland version is that it was actually owned by a company called Retlaw, which was a private company Walt owned. They also owned the Disneyland Railroad. The Cast Members working these rides were employed by Retlaw. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that the Disney family sold the rides to the Disney Company.

The Walt Disney Monorail opened on October 1, 1971 which was opening day for the park. It traveled around the Seven Seas Lagoon to transport guests from the resorts to the Magic Kingdom and from the Transportation and Ticket Center known as the TTC. The TTC is a critical but not too often thought about area of Disney World as it was built to create a buffer from parking to the Magic Kingdom. Something Disneyland did not have the luxury of having.

The Disney World monorail was special as it actually went through a building, The Contemporary Resort. The first time I rode that monorail I had to do three more times because I was amazed that we were inside a hotel! Fun fact about The Contemporary is that each room was built off-site as a modular then the nearly nine ton rooms were lifted by crane into place.

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The monorail was expanded to connect the TTC, Magic Kingdom and resorts to Epcot in 1982. Anyone who has taken a spin in the monorail knows that for many years there was a familiar voice who made announcements including this famous one in english and spanish. “Please stand clear of the doors. Por favor manténganse alejado de las puertas.” This was, of course, the voice of Disneyland, Jack Wagner. In the early days of Disneyland his voice was heard from parades to rides throughout the park.

So there you go, a little history lesson on an amazing transportation vehicle, which I thought was futuristic in 1991 but was around for nearly 40 years before. The next time you get on an elevator give ole Jack Wagner a nod and say “Please stand clear of the doors. Por favor manténganse alejado de las puertas.” You might get some strange looks but for us Disney fans you will get a big smile!

 

Ryan Gross

Travel Specialist

If you’re a regular visitor to the Disneyland Resort’s Downtown Disney District than you probably have seen construction going on for the newest edition! Splitsville Luxury Lanes, a family-friend restaurant will open later this year! Splitsville has already been a huge hit at Walt Disney World with its unique combination of dining, bowling and live entertainment! It’s been a huge fan favorite, and we can’t wait to see the new unveiling this winter!

The Space!

 

Disney’s development team is creating another spectacular environment for families. It will fuse modern and retro styles for a lively, but comfy atmosphere for guests of all ages! This new space will be over 40,000 square feet and 2 stories of entertainment! It will feature floor-to-ceiling windows and lots of outdoor seating to look out over Downtown Disney District. Plus as an added feature there will be live entertainment daily – lots of fun for the entire family!

Family Fun

Splitsville Luxury Lanes at Downtown Disney District will be an exciting destination offering families a unique combination of dining, drinks, bowling and entertainment! There will be 20 bowling lanes throughout the location, four dining areas {indoors and out}, two billiards tables, 25+ flat screen TVs, and the ability to host live performers and DJs.

Splitsville headed to Disneyland

Dining

It doesn’t stop there! Splitsville will also have a wide selection of menu items. It will feature classics like hand-tossed pizza and gourmet burgers, but it will also include specialities such as grilled avocado with ahi tuna and filet sliders. Last, but not least, don’t forget the Splitsville speciality the “Fantasy Roll”. This fresh-rolled sushi is sure to make you come back for more!

Ready to plan your next Disney Destination Vacation? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent, today!

 

 

At Disney’s California Adventure

Looking for something a little special to do while you’re at Disneyland in California?  The World of Color Dining Package is definitely something you’ll want to do.  The World of Color show is the most impressive and fanciful nighttime extravaganza Disney has ever produced.  It’s accompanied by momentous music as well as stunning fire, fountain, fog and laser effects.  Not only will you get a reserved viewing location, but you’ll also be treated to delicious food at one of the three restaurants that offer this package.

 

First, start off by selecting the restaurant you’d like to eat at.  There are three different restaurants with the World of Color Dining Package.  

  • Ariel’s Grotto
  • Carthay Circle Restaurant
  • Wine Country Trattoria

 

World of Color Dining PackageAt each of these restaurants, you’ll enjoy a full-service, 3-course meal during lunch and/or dinner plus a non-alcoholic beverage.  The restaurant that we selected was Ariel’s Grotto.  We were able to choose from a soup or salad and had a variety of options for our main meal, including a surf and turf option.  To end the meal, we were each brought out a dessert with a sampling of three different types of desserts.  The food was amazing and was just what we needed to continue our day at the park until it was time for the show.

 

When it was time to get ready to view the World of Color, we headed to our reserved viewing area.  We were ushered down to our choice of unobstructed viewing area.  Once the show began, it was amazing.  It was nothing like we had ever seen before.  To create the approximately 19,000 square-foot projection screen, nearly 1,200 fountains shoot water 200 feet into the air. Watch the water dance and the perfectly timed pyrotechnics explode!

 

As the show’s extraordinary elements are woven into a kaleidoscope of imagination, the spectacle sweeps and expands across Paradise Bay, while the astonishing soundtrack lifts your spirits, spanning decades of Disney movies―from the classics to the most recent releases.

World of Color Dining Package

This package is something our family will definitely be doing again during our next visit!  A word of caution when selecting your viewing area for the World of Color Show, the closer you stand to the water, the more likely it is that you’ll get a little wet!  

Are you ready to experience this one-of-a-kind show?! Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today to book your next Disney Destination Vacation Package!

Leigh Miller

Travel Specialist

It happens to all of us.  We LOVE a certain movie, animated feature, or Disney Channel show…and there’s that one character that has stolen our hearts.  We dream of traveling to Walt Disney World to meet our favorite character…and when we arrive, that character is nowhere to be found!  Don’t fret!

 

Tips to help you find your favorite character

{if they make appearances} or to cope with not seeing them!Tips for Finding Favorite Characters

  1. Use the My Disney Experience app!  Your FREE app on your mobile device lets you find characters throughout the Walt Disney World property.  Agent Missy gives you a step by step on this process HERE.

  2. Use our Character Dining blog – hard to meet characters can be found at our Character Dining locations, plus we are able to meet several characters at one location.

  3. Hollywood Studios tends to have the newest characters from the most recently released movies to meet and greet!  Checking this park out is a MUST if you have a recent character in mind!

  4. Visit an attraction or show based on the movie/tv show you love!  While you may not get up close and personal with them, you will get to see them in real life! Tips for Finding Favorite Characters

  5. Visit during one of our special holiday parties!  Both Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party AND Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party have special characters you cannot meet anywhere else!  {We’re looking at you, Jack Skellington and Sally!}

  6. Open a Disney Visa card with Chase! With special designated character meet and greet locations at both Hollywood Studios and Epcot, you never know what character will show up!

  7. Become friends with a Disney Vacation Club member!  Occasionally, DVC members will get special invites to DVC only parties where special and rare characters come out to greet!  Tips for Finding Favorite Characters
  8. Why not try a new destination?  Keep in mind, Disneyland on the West Coast has meet and greet for characters that Walt Disney World doesn’t (Marvel characters, Judy Hopps, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, etc).  Maybe you’ll find who you are looking for in a new location!

 

Asking guest relations would be your best bet in finding your beloved character after you’ve exhausted the above options.

 

Tips for Finding Favorite CharactersI met Robin Hood, Prince John, Little John, and Friar Tuck when I was 7…while dining in Cinderella’s Castle.  Yes, in 1987, those were the characters at the castle!  Skip forward to the 2010s…those are the characters my kiddo has been dying to meet.  While we haven’t been able to nail them down yet, we are hopeful we will in the future as they have been at special events around property.

 

The most important thing, however, is to NOT let this ruin your trip!  You’ll make magical memories with anyone you meet.  Enjoy your vacation!

Ready to start planning your next Disney {or Universal} vacation? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today!

 

Amy Sowinski

Travel Specialist

 

Cruz has joined Lightning McQueen and Mater in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park at Disneyland Resort. Cruz’s journey won’t stop there! She will then be taking a summer road trip down to Pixar Place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort!

Get in on the action, and make sure that you’ve seen the newest Cars movie! In Disney Pixar’s Cars 3, Cruz Ramirez is a top-notch technician at the Rusteze Racing Center. She’s has been assigned to train the team’s talented rookies. Cruz has always wanted to compete in racing, but it isn’t until she meets Lightning McQueen that she realizes that she is still passionate about it. She finally has the chance to see if she’s got what it takes to win.

Don’t forget. You can catch Cars 3 in 3D in theaters, today! Let us know how excited you are for this new film and meet up!

 

For many families, planning your vacation last minute is a necessary decision. When friends panic and tell you that you can’t do it – take a breath and go for it! A last minute trip to Walt Disney World can be filled with wonderful memories! We here at Me and the Mouse Travel want to make it a magical experience for you.

The first thing you need to remember when booking a last minute vacation to Walt Disney World is to be flexible. If you open yourself up to the options available you are going to find treasures of delight hiding around every corner.

Planning a Last Minute Disney Trip!Staying on property at Walt Disney World is a key component of a last minute vacation. This allows you to partake in extra magic hours, maximizing your fun each day. A last minute trip will have reduced resort and room selection but consider these options an opportunity to explore what makes each resort unique and special. While most of Disney’s promotional offers do not apply to last minute bookings, if your budget is tight consider staying at a value resort.

 

Many families are concerned that if they book a last minute vacation they will not be able to eat at character meals. Your agent will recommend the available character meals that include many of the characters you are wishing to see at alternate locations on property. You might also be one of the lucky families and get a reservation released from a last minute cancellation! Be sure to check each night at your resort concierge desk for any updates on cancellations for the following day.  

Planning a Last Minute Disney Trip!Looking for just a nice place to sit down for a meal? Consider eating at resorts as they are often hidden gems. A favorite place to eat is Epcot for its many international restaurants. Having a park hopper ticket, you can head to this park for a meal on any day. Disney Springs is also a FREE location with many different dining options. Stressed about trying for dining reservations? Skip reservations completely and eat at Disney’s many quick service restaurants that serve a wide variety of entrees. 

Lastly, if you book less than a month before your trip, some of the top FastPass attractions may not have availability. However, there are ways to still experience these rides with minimal wait. This is the perfect time to use extra magic hours. Another option is to head to those favorite attractions first thing in the morning when the parks open. Don’t forget to check the Me and the Mouse touring pages in your travel package for the must see attractions in each park.

Planning a Last Minute Disney Trip!A last minute trip can be one of the most stress-free vacations you’ve ever had! The reduced options allow you to focus on what is most important to you and your family. Remember to be flexible!! Let your travel agent work their magic! You are sure to have a great time on your Walt Disney World vacation.

Ready to book your last minute vacation? We’re here to help! Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today!

Michelle Browne

Travel Specialist

 

A strategy for successfully navigating your next vacation!

Uncle "Tim" EffectOver the past several months, I have written many blogs about different strategies that my family has utilized to help make our visits to Walt Disney World successful {You can read those here & here!}. My oldest son, Matt, is living with Fragile X Syndrome. It is the leading cause of inherited mental impairment and leading known genetic cause of Autism.  My son often struggles with becoming overwhelmed by even preferred activities, and this can lead to less than desirable behaviors.  We have used many strategies as I have discussed in previous blogs.  This blog is focused on our most successful strategy.  We affectionately call it “The Uncle Tim effect”!


Over the years, we noticed a marked difference in my son. When we would have someone else visiting the parks with use, he would have a better ability to manage his environment and to keep the undesirable behaviors under control.  We have been very fortunate over the years to experience the parks with a wide variety of friends and family.  Our expectations are realistic {you can read about that, here}. W
e are continually aware and mindful that Matt may be reaching his limit and in need of a break.  

Uncle Tim Saves the Day

When Uncle Tim is with us, things are different. Uncle "Tim" EffectWhen a preferred person is with us, Matt is incredibly motivated to be a part of the experiences much longer.  For example, when we visit with my immediate family only we know 3-4 attractions/hours are his limit before he needs a break, a meal, a bus ride, or we have to pull out the ultimate reward, a ride on the monorail.  Although, Matt may not want to participate/ride all the attractions that others may prefer, when we have Uncle Tim with us he patiently waits.  On our most recent day trip, we visited two parks over nearly 11 hours!!!!  No undesirable behaviors, no extra breaks and not even one ride on the monorail!  

A vacation to a Disney destination, Universal or Disney Cruise Line is not inexpensive.  There is no value you can put on the experience, in my opinion.  The memories, the excitement, the wonder and awe we experience together as a family will be with us for the rest of our lives.  Bringing a support person(s) with you will only enhance your experience and well worth the additional investment.  This concept is not exclusive to families who have special needs and can be beneficial to a wide variety of visitors and families.  

Uncle "Tim" Effect

So maybe you don’t have an actual Uncle Tim in your life! However, I’m sure you have a family friend, a preferred peer, or even an Uncle Tom! They would love to accompany you on your next trip. It would be an honor to be asked to be the support person for your family. They would know they were making a difference in your family’s next vacation experience!  

I look forward to helping you plan your most successful strategy for your next vacation. I know my family has been able to experience more because of the careful time that has gone into planning each of our vacations.

 

Ready to plan your next Disney Destination Vacation? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent, today!

 

Missy Zolecki

Travel Specialist