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

 

Starting November 18, 2017 and running through January 6, 2018, you can celebrate the holidays at Universal with special entertainment, including an exciting new transformation in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Universal Orlando Resort Holiday Activities - Hogwarts

Included with your admission ticket to the Universal theme parks:

  • Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is extra magical. It will include festive decorations, special sweets and treats, entertainment, and a beautiful new projection show up on Hogwart’s castle that is sure to delight all Muggles.
  • Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s as Santa Claus is joined by the Minions. You’ll also see some of your favorite characters from Madagascar and Shrek!
  • A live re-telling by the Grinch of the Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular.
  • Mannheim Steamroller returns with live performances of Christmas classics on select nights.
  • Holiday activities and exclusive benefits at Universal’s on-site resorts.

A separately ticketed New Year’s celebration, EVE, is sure to be the biggest party of the year at Universal’s CityWalk.

Universal Orlando Resort Holiday Activities - Minions

Included in your Universal package:

  • A stay in one of Universal’s beautiful on-site resorts. Choose from Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Loews Sapphire Falls, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Hard Rock Hotel, and Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
    • Guests staying at the Royal Pacific, Hard Rock, or Portofino Bay hotels also received unlimited Express Passes for participating rides and attractions.
  • Early Admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – one hour before the general public!
  • Free transportation within the resort. A water taxi is a convenient and fun way to explore other resorts. The parks and CityWalk are all in close proximity to each other.
  • Charging privileges throughout the resort.

Universal Orlando Resort Holiday Activities - Grinchmas

BONUS inclusions if you book the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Exclusive Vacation Package.:

  • 4 night hotel accommodations
  • 3-Park, 4-Day Park to Park ticket
  • Breakfast at the Leaky Cauldron in Universal Studios
  • Breakfast at the Three Broomsticks in Universal’s Islands of Adventure
  • One Shutterbutton’s Photography Studio session in Diagon Alley.

Packages for the holiday celebrations include visits to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Universal’s exhilarating new water park, Volcano Bay.

Holiday packages are booking now, so contact a Me and the Mouse travel specialist to reserve your favorite resort! To make your visit even more magical, combine visits to Universal Orlando with Walt Disney World and get the best of both resorts during the holidays!

Nancy Wideman

Travel Planner

Get ready for Universal’s SCARIEST event of the YEAR! 

As summer winds down, fall quickly follows full of fun and its own kind of excitement. Although the end of summer saddens many, it does bring one of the most anticipated holidays for Universal Studios Orlando….Halloween!!  Universal hosts one of THE most frightening, but exciting events! We are so thrilled to talk about Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights!

Halloween Horror Nights - 2017

 

What to Expect:  

The streets of Universal are transformed into the most terrifying location you’ve ever seen. 

  • Experience scare zones throughout the park, but BEWARE!  They’re filled with monsters and maniacs ready frighten you ALL night long.  
  • Walk through brilliantly themed haunted houses!  This year, American Horror Story is making its second-year return and NEW this year is The Shining…beware of room 237!  
  • Stop {and cover your eyes} during shockingly graphic live shows.
  • Also enjoy many of the park’s rides/attractions.  

Halloween Horror Nights - 2017

 

Dates/Event Time:

  • September: 15 – 17, 21 – 24, 29 – 30
  • October: 1, 4 – 8, 11 – 15, 18 – 22, 25 – 31
  • November: 3 – 4
  • Begins @ 6:30 PM {closing times vary}

 

Event Tickets

There’s an array of options to get as much {or little} scare as you desire.  Below are ticket/pricing options to choose the amount of fright you prefer!  

**Pricing is advance purchase prices, per person, & NOT including tax

 

1. Halloween Horror Night Flex Tickets

Is ONE event all you can handle?  Choose the ticket that includes the day of the week you plan to take your chances.      

  • Flex Sunday – Friday:  $77.99
  • Flex Sunday – Saturday:  $85.99

Add On:  Express Pass

  • Get one-time express ride access for a specific event date.  
  • Enjoy a separate queue line with shorter wait times at ALL haunted houses and participating rides/attractions.
  • Pricing/night varies {$79.99 – $129.99}

**Looking to save money on one-day passes?  Save up to $50 on select nights with a Coca-Cola can product when you buy advance tickets!!  

2. Fear Passes

If being scared is your thing, these passes are for you.  They offer amazing savings for multiple nights of terror!

  • Rush of Fear:  Access to the 1st ten nights.
    • $91.99
    • With Express Pass: $299.99
  • Frequent Fear:  Up to 21 nights of Halloween Horror Night admission {Sunday, Wednesday, & Thursday event nights} plus the 1st weekend {September 16 & 17}.
    • $102.99
    • With Express Pass:  $339.99
  • Frequent Fear Plus:   Up to 28 nights of Halloween Horror Night admission {Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday event nights} plus the 1st {September 16 & 17} and last weekend {November 3 & 4}.  
    • $118.99
    • With Express Pass:  $399.99
  • Ultimate Frequent Fear:  Access to all Halloween Horror Night event nights!  
    • $199.99
    • With Express Pass:  $599.99

Halloween Horror Nights - 2017

Know before you go!

This event has so much to look forward to, but like anything, rules and warnings must be heeded.

  • NO masks or costumes allowed!!
  • NO food, drinks, bottles, recordings, flash photography, flashlights, or laser pens allowed in the Haunted Houses.
  • Motorized wheelchairs and ECVs are NOT permitted in any queue, haunted house, or on any ride vehicle.

BE WARNED!  This INTENSE event is NOT recommended for young children under age 13.

Anyone who enjoys the scare that Halloween brings should NOT miss this event!  Contact a Me and the Mouse Travel specialist for further details on planning for the fright of your life! We can’t wait to hear from you!

Megan Thompson

Travel Specialist

{Or if it’s your first trip in a long time!}

I recently took my family on a mini vacation to an amusement park.  I had not been there since I was a child.  While I have planned 100’s of Disney vacations planning this destination for my family gave me a reality check to how my clients feel when they are planning for a first {or first time in a really long time} visit to Disney World! Today, I’m sharing my answers to the top questions I receive from first time guests or guest that are trying to get back into the swing of planning a Disney World Vacation.

Top 10 Questions From First Time Disney World Guests

  1. Why Use a Me and the Mouse Travel Specialist?  I kind of joked with my husband that I wish I had a “me” to call when planning our trip to Cedar Point.  I had questions and spent hours searching for answers online.  The team at Me and the Mouse Travel is a wealth of information regarding Disney and Universal not only can we answer any question that you can come up with but we will save you that time you would have spent researching or on hold waiting to find out answers. If you’re a first time guest to Disney, Me and the Mouse would love to help iron out details and explain anything! We love serving our families! 
  2. Walt Disney World 101: First Time GuideWhen should I start planning my Disney Vacation?  I recommend starting your planning 6-12 months out if you have the luxury to do so.  With giving yourself plenty of time to plan you set your family up to:
    • Get the best price on your vacation package
    • Acquire the dining reservations you desire
    • Better room availability to choose from
    • Best selection to choose from for your fastpasses
  3. When do I need to make dining reservations?  180 days from the day you check in!  Yes, 6 months out.  I often hear how will I know what I want to eat 6 months out?  Your Me and the Mouse agent can help you with this we all have eaten at most of the restaurants on property and offer recommendations based on what we think your family will enjoy. 
  4. What are FastPasses?  Fastpasses are pre-set up time slots where you can go to an attraction or show and not have to wait in the standard line but you go through a FastPass cue.  There is not an extra cost for the FastPass.  You start off with 3 FastPasses per day.  Then you can add another from the My Disney Experience app on your phone.  If you are staying at a Disney resort you can pre pick out your FastPasses 60 days before you arrive.  If you stay off property you can still pre-pick out FastPasses but it is only 30 days out.
    Walt Disney World 101: First Time Guide
  5. What are Magic Bands?  When staying at a Disney resort you will receive a Magic Band which is a colorful wristband with a Mickey Logo on it.  The Magic Band links all your vacation choices on your wrist.  The Magic Band is your room key, park tickets, fastpasses, dining plan, Memory Maker, and you can use it to make purchases while on Disney property. The name says it all – it’s pretty magical! 
  6. What is at Disney World?  Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, 2 water parks {Typhoon Lagoon & Blizzard Beach}, Disney Springs, 3 championship golf courses, and close to 30 different resort options.  There are also more delicious dining spots than you can count, a wide variety of shops, and a countless amount of picture perfect locations. We’re kinda in love with this place, and we have a feeling you will be too! 
  7. How do I get around while on Disney property?  Disney World expands over 40 square miles!!!  Disney provides transportation everywhere on property via bus shuttles, monorails, and water taxi’s. If you plan to road trip to Disney, there are also different parking lots and garages to accommodate you. 
  8. What is Disney’s Dining Plan(s)? Disney has 3 different meal plans that your family can choose from: Quick Service Meal Plan, Disney Dining Plus (most popular), and the Deluxe Dining plan.  What I find great about adding this option onto my package is that my meals at Disney are now taken care of and at a discounted price then if I had not used the dining plan!  Your dining plan becomes active the day that you check in and ends at midnight the day you check out. {Read our blog about the 2017 Dining Plans: HEREWalt Disney World 101: First Time Guide
    • Quick Service Dining Plan
      • 2 quick service meals per person {This includes 1 entrée or 1 complete combo meal, 1 beverage.}
      • 1 snack per person
      • 1 resort refillable mug per person over the age of 3
    • Disney Dining Plus
      • 1 table service meal per person per night stay {including character dining}
      • 1 quick service meal per person
      • 2 snacks per person
      • 1 resort refillable mug per person over the age of 3
    • Deluxe Dining
      • 3 meals {table service or counter service} per person
      • 2 snack per person
      • 1 resort refillable mug per person over the age of 3 
  9. What are the different ticket options available? 
    • Base Tickets
      • You can choose the number of days you plan to be at Disney parks.  You have the flexibly to come and go to the same theme park during that days visit.
    • Park Hopper 
      • By adding the Park Hopper option onto your ticket it gives you flexibility to go to multiple theme parks during a single day!  So if you happen to miss the parade at Magic Kingdom on the day you planned to do Magic Kingdom you have the flexibility to go back on another day.  This option is an all or nothing it is the same price whether you have 2 days of park tickets or 10.
    • Park Hopper Plus
      • The Park Hopper Plus option you get the specified number of days to visit the theme parks {Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom} then you also get the same number of days to go visit the “Plus” visits to:
        • Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
        • Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park
        • 1 round of mini golf at Fantasia Gardens mini golf course 
          • Must be before 4 pm 
          • Can’t be used the same day as Winter Summertime
        • 1 round of mini golf at Winter Summertime miniature golf  
          • Must be before 4pm
          • Can’t be used the same day as Fantasia Gardens
        • Admission to ESPN Wide World of Sports
          • Valid only on event days
          • Some sports may require an additional admission
        • One Round of Golf at Disney’s Oak Trail
          • Tee time reservations required
  10. How will I get to and from the airport to my resort?  If you fly into Orlando International Airport {MCO} you will be able to ride Disney’s Magical Express directly to your resort. This transportation service is complementary with your package. As a mom of 4, my favorite part of the Magical Express, they pick up your checked luggage from the airport and deliver it directly to your room within 3 hours of landing! {Make sure to take anything you are going to need during that time on your carry on.}  

 

Ready to let a Me and the Mouse agent take the stress away from planning your first trip to Walt Disney World? Contact one of our incredible, top-notch agents today!

Beth Rodgers

Travel Specialist

 

A Holiday Classic the Whole Family will LOVE!

We’re so excited to share that 2017 Candlelight Processional Dinner Packages at Epcot are now available for purchase!! We love the holidays and Disney, so when you put them together something magical is bound to happen! The Candlelight Processional is an Epcot favorite as it showcases the traditional story of Christmas in a unique Disney way. It includes a celebrity narrator, a 50-piece orchestra and a mass choir {and don’t forgot the DINNER!}

Disney is welcoming a few new faces to the narrator spotlight this year, but we don’t think you’ll be disappointed in the slightest {you might actually be jumping up and down!!}. These narrators include Daytime Television Legend Pat Sajak and TV star CCH Pounder, who was also at the grand opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar.

There will be some familiar faces joining the Processional including television, film and stage superstar Neil Patrick Harris, country music star Trace Adkins, and Contemporary Christian music artist Jaci Velasquez.

Disney has confirmed the following narrators, so far*:

  • Nov. 24- Dec. 3 – To Be Announced
  • Dec. 4-5 – Pat Sajak
  • Dec. 6-14 – To Be Announced
  • Dec. 15-17 – Trace Adkins
  • Dec. 18-21 – Neil Patrick Harris
  • Dec. 22-24 – CCH Pounder
  • Dec. 25-27 – Jaci Velasquez
  • Dec. 28-30 – To Be Announced

The Candlelight Processional is performed three different times {5, 6:45, &8:15} on the following nights at the America Gardens Theatre. This should give you ample amount of opportunities to see one of these incredible performances. The dining packages, available on select nights, include a savory meal and a guaranteed seat for one of the Candlelight Processional performances. Availability is limited.

Just like last year, in addition to lunch and dinner packages, delicious breakfast options are available at some fan favorite restaurants. These options are all in and near Epcot like Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and The Garden Grill. You can also select from breakfast, lunch, and dinner options at Captain’s Grille at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. Trattoria Al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk is another breakfast and dinner option be offered.

Candlelight Dining Packages

  • Breakfast:

    Starting at $35 + tax per adult & $21 + tax per child, ages 3-9

  • Lunch & Dinner:

    Starting at $44 + tax per adult & $15.50 + tax per child, ages 3-9

Holidays Around the World

In addition to the magic of the Candlelight Processional, make sure you check out all that Epcot’s Holidays Around the World has to offer. It runs November 24th – December 30th, 2017 at Epcot. Holidays Around the World is an extravaganza of fun and exciting holiday entertainment. It includes special merchandise, food, and beverages. You can enjoy different festivities that Epcot offers only throughout the holiday season. There are so many incredible sights and sounds of the countries of World Showcase for you to experience this holiday season!

Ready to book your trip to see the Candlelight Processional? Contact a Me and the Mouse agent today! We would love to help you plan a magical holiday getaway!

 

*Narrators and entertainment are subject to change without notice. Epcot admission is required and not included in the dining package price.

Disney Golf: SERIES TWO 

Disney Gold Junior Summer Camp 3I hope you are all having a MAGICAL day! I am back and excited to share the second installment of my Walt Disney World® Golf Blog! {You can read the first one, HERE!} As I mentioned in May, Walt Disney World® Golf  is located right on the Disney property across from Disney’s Polynesian and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resorts. There are two championship courses including Disney’s Palm, Disney’s Magnolia, and a 9-hole walking course, Disney’s Oak Trail.  Also across from Disney Springs is their third championship course, Disney’s Lake Buena Vista golf course.  

 

Walt Disney World® Golf has a wide range of activities for your family or groups traveling to Walt Disney World. This month, I am sharing about the great options for kids on the courses for the summer, Disney’s Summer Junior Golf Camps.  This exciting opportunity gives kids ages 7-17 a chance to learn the fundamentals of golf from a PGA instructor.  While this camp might seem like a locals choice, even vacationers can take advantage of the camp while they are in town, as they offer  multiple week long sessions.  Camp runs from June 5th – August 11th, with a break for the July 4th Holiday.  The hours for the camp are 9am – 2pm Monday – Friday. The camps are located at Disney’s Palm, Disney’s Magnolia, and Disney’s Oak Trail courses.  With their camp fee of $350 (per week), campers will receive complimentary lunch and beverages as well as being eligible to win great prizes in the daily contests and games. Your kids are bound to have a blast this summer hitting the greens! It doesn’t matter if they are a beginner or a seasoned pro. Their skills will grow while having a blast!Disney Gold Junior Summer Camp 2

 

You can register for summer camps by calling (407) WDW-GOLF. The spots are limited and some discounts apply!!

 

Make sure you check back with my blog in the next few months, you won’t want to miss out! If you are a local Floridian and are looking for a FUN and EXCITING new experience close to home, please do not hesitate to contact a Me and The Mouse agent today! The Magic AND GOLF is just a phone call away!

Amy Pattee

Travel Specialist

It’s time to start planning your 2018 Walt Disney World Vacation!

Starting June 20th, 2017, The 2018 Walt Disney Travel Company vacation packages for Walt Disney World® Resort will now be available for purchase.

These vacation packages will be valid for arrivals Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2018. Please note the last date of your vacation cannot be booked more than 499 days in the future.

Walt Disney World offers many exciting and incredible activities and attractions. Don’t forget about the new land at Pandora: The World of Avatar or the expansions going on throughout the parks. Don’t forget to stay in the magic with an on-property resorts. The resorts are perfectly themed and keep the magic going long after you’ve left the park!

Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today to book your 2018 vacation package!!

4th of July at Disney WorldDoes your summer vacation happen to fall on July 4th or were you wanting to celebrate Independence Day at one of the most magical places on earth?  Well, you’ve picked a great time and place to see something special!  Throughout all of the parks, Walt Disney World will be celebrating the 4th with all of the Disney touches.  

Only at Magic Kingdom can you celebrate July 4th on the 3rd.  That’s right, they will have 2 special firework shows.  Celebrate America – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky fireworks will be shown on July 3rd and 4th.  These fireworks are sure to amaze you as well as celebrate our country’s birthday.  

4th of July at Disney WorldThe flag retreat is another hidden gem that happens at Magic Kingdom every night at 5pm.  Make sure you put this on your list of must do’s as well. You’ll want to head to the town square on Main Street USA to watch Cast Members retire Magic Kingdom’s American flag for the night. This special event is specifically to thank veterans for their service, sacrifice and dedication to protecting our country. 

 

Hopping over to Epcot, you’ll enjoy some other festive 4th of July happenings.  Throughout the day, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy will appear in their patriotic costumes! You can find them near the promenade by The American Adventure in World Showcase.  While you are there, be sure to stick around for the various 4th of July concerts! These will be taking place at the American pavilion. Then following IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, there will be a patriotic firework finale! This special show is called, The Heartbeat of Freedom

leigh3

At each of the parks, there will be special Independence Day merchandise and treats available! You’ll not want to miss out on these limited editions! Since the celebration is so big, July 3rd and 4th tends to be crowded days at the parks. However, do not let that detour you from spending the holiday at Walt Disney World. {Arriving early to the parks can help you get in extra activities before the crowd gets big!} You won’t want to miss this special Walt Disney World 4th of July Celebration! 

Want to book your Fourth of July at Disney World? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today! If you are a local Florida resident, we would still love to assist you in your planning!

Leigh Miller

Travel Specialist

I am not a runner…at all…but that didn’t stop me from joining friends in my first runDisney marathon weekend! Whether you are up every morning for that morning run, or if you simply want to experience a runDisney event, here are several reasons to love runDisney races!

The Challenge!

Hopefully all races are a challenge no matter your level of experience. For this girl, I’ll admit I didn’t train nearly enough knowing what I do now. Disney recommends a pace time of 15 minutes or under per mile whether you run or walk {or a combination of both}. “Balloon Ladies” {and sometimes Balloon Men!} keep the pace from the back and encourage you to keep going. If you fall behind, you will eventually get picked up and taken to the finish. I was able to stay ahead of them, but I saw faces of defeat on those who were not so lucky. The race itself is challenging, and there are so many people who attend these events who have personal challenges they are overcoming. My motto is simple –  Do your best and have fun!

Train with Jeff Galloway!  https://www.rundisney.com/training/running/

The Camaraderie!

It’s amazing all the people you will meet, everyone cheering each other on, and the excitement in the corrals and along the route. You have the opportunity to sit and chat with people from all over the world as you wait for your corral to be released for the race. You’ll meet plenty of first-timers as well as marathon pros who have been running the circuits for years.

For Your Health!

Whether you walk, run, crawl,….it doesn’t matter! Get out in the fresh air and get some exercise in! It does your body and your brain good! If you have any health concerns, consult your doctor prior to beginning training. Use a Fitbit or smart watch to monitor heart rate and have fun watching that step counter tick away!

The Outfits! runDisney event for Non-Runners!

It’s fun to see all the people who come dressed as Disney characters, Disney foods, or maybe even as an attraction! That’s a huge part of the fun – people get extremely creative and go all out which also makes for fun photos!

The Bling!

Because really…..don’t we all want that medal at the end? And the DISNEY medals? I’ve got my eyes on a Star Wars event just for that!

runDisney event for Non-Runners!The fun characters you’ll get to meet along the way!

I have always loved meeting Disney characters, and at a runDisney event, you’ll run into characters that aren’t often seen in the parks. For the 2016 Food & Wine race, we got to meet Remy and Emil from Ratatouille!

The After-Party!

If you still have energy the night of the big race, Disney throws a fun after-party which includes more characters and entertainment!

And let’s not forget…The Destination!

Disney races are held at Walt Disney World in Florida, the Disneyland Resort in California, on Castaway Cay in the Bahamas during Bahamian and Caribbean Disney cruises, and even at Disneyland Paris!


These are all great reasons to participate in a runDisney event, and I did absolutely love my weekend. I did my best and had a blast!

For upcoming events, check the official runDisney website!  https://www.rundisney.com/

 

 

Nancy Wideman

Travel Specialist

An Out-of-This Galaxy Experience!

Star Wars Galactic Nights at Disney Hollywood StudiosFrom the red carpet entrance by Captain Phasma and her Storm Troopers, to meeting BB-8 (yes, he made his debut!), to watching the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks show, this was one of our best family nights. Disney’s Hollywood Studios was the perfect backdrop for the average Star Wars fan.

We walked in and were immediately greeted by members of the Rebel Alliance that supplied us with our special event lanyard. The lanyard had the SW Galactic Nights image on one side and sticker pieces that we would collect at each photo backdrop on the other. The stickers would display an array of images from all the movies when complete. It also would display a secret message that would appear at the end of the night.

We headed towards the SW Launch Bay and were surrounded by many different R2 units. It included the regular blue and white R2D2, a psychedelic R2, a Poe Dameron R2 and many others. Our son, Adyn, had a blast stopping to take pictures with each one. It all just seemed unreal. We got to visit with Kylo Ren, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Boba Fett and…BB-8! Watching Adyn interacting with BB-8 was so much fun. He was convinced that he was being given the secrets to saving the Rebel base.

Star Wars Galactic Nights at Disney Hollywood Studios

Even though this was a Star Wars event, all the rides we still running and the lines were more than manageable. Most in attendance were so busy trying to get their picture taken with each of the backdrops that were positioned throughout the park. The Rockin’ Rollercoaster ride was also in character as it was zooming through hyperspace for the event. And just around the corner from the ride we stopped by for the boys to take a picture of Han Solo frozen in carbonite. Even the Force could not set him free! Not to worry, Jabba the Hutt was just next door keeping an eye on him.

Star Wars Galactic Nights at Disney Hollywood Studios

Now, Adyn isn’t the typical 9 year old when it comes to Star Wars. He likes to know the why. Disney was able to bring together some of the people behind the voices and model sets of the franchise. We sat in the Indiana Jones stadium and learned about what makes them tick, how they got their start and how they felt about joining the Star Wars family. Alan Tudyk, voice of K-2SO, was sharing his experience on set and how much fun he had.

 

Star Wars Galactic Nights at Disney Hollywood StudiosAfter some popcorn and shopping stops, we made our way to one last character before finding a place to park for the fireworks. The night was so magical that only Sorcerer Mickey could be in attendance. He knew only a Jedi could use the force to do the Fantasia dance, so he and Adyn paired up and showed us their moves. The line for Mickey and Princess Minnie was no more than 5 minutes, so we had plenty of time to find place where we could get a good view of what was to come.

To call it a firework spectacular is an understatement. For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of witnessing what Disney has put together, I recommend you make the trip. They combine a series of film clips and engaging scenes with fun and excitement blended with the right queue of fireworks. Not one movie is left out. A perfect ending to a wonderful Star Wars experience.

 

Take A Look at More of the Fun!

 

Marisela Del Cid

Me and The Mouse Client