Another new transportation service will soon be available to guests visiting the Walt Disney World property…….”Minnie Vans”. This new transportation service is now available for guests staying at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort and Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Copper Creek Villas and Cabins, and Boulder Ridge Villas at Wilderness Lodge can now go to the front desk at the resort to activate the service for their use. Soon, the service will be available at all Walt Disney World resorts.

Minnie Vans will take you anywhere on Disney property you want to go that is open to the public. Exclusive to “Minnie Vans” is the access to Magic Kingdom. When servicing the Magic Kingdom, guests will be dropped off / picked up at the BUS area, NOT the Ticket and Transportation Center, like all other off-property transfer services. This will provide guests with the short walk to the park entrance without needing to use the monorail or ferryboat service from the Ticket and Transportation.

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Minnie Vans are Chevrolet Traverse mid-sized SUVs that can seat up to 7 or 8 passengers (including the driver) across 3 rows. Each Minnie Van comes equipped with 2 Graco car seats. These car seats are fully adjustable to convert from a car seat into a booster seat, and can be both forward and rear facing.

Minnie Vans will be available through Lyft. When guests open the Lyft app from anywhere in the Walt Disney World Resort the Minnie Van Service is unlocked. The Lyft app will allow guests to request a ride from their smartphone and pay directly through the app. The current price the service is $20 per trip, this includes gratuity. The drivers are all paid employees of Disney. Currently,the hours of operation are 6:30 am until 12:30 am.

Whether you are traveling by monorail, bus, boat or Minnie Van, Disney does recommend allowing up to 90 minutes of travel time to get to dining locations within the Walt Disney World property. The Minnie Van transportation is another great option for arriving for early morning dining reservations, as well as making it easier to travel from resort to resort for dining and shopping.

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

The relatively recent Fastpass Plus system is a great mystery to many Disney guests, even those who have been to Walt Disney World before.  Planning your Fastpasses too late, too spread out, or not doing them at all can completely derail your vacation.  Follow these tips to handle your Fastpass Plus reservations with minimal confusion and chaos so that your days in the parks go as smoothly as possible.

1) Stay on Disney property.   If you stay at a Disney resort hotel, you can make your fastpass reservations 60 days prior to your check in date for the duration of your vacation.  For offsite guests, the fastpass window will open up 30 days prior to your vacation and will require you to make fastpass reservations one day at a time.  If Frozen, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or Avatar Flight of Passage are on your must-do list, you may be very disappointed if you don’t have a 30-day advantage by staying at a Disney resort hotel.

2)  Make your Fastpass Plus reservations for the mornings and as back to back as possible.  Once you use all three fastpasses, you have the ability to get more that day.  By having morning fastpasses, you are at way more of an advantage to get more throughout the day.  Since you have a one hour time frame for a fastpass reservation, make your reservations close together as possible.

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3) On your third fastpass reservation, get on your mobile app right after you scan your band.  While you wait to get on the ride, you can make great use of your time by immediately getting on your my Disney Experience app and securing your next fastpass.  For some of the less popular rides, you may be able to secure a Fastpass within the hour.

4) Use your Fastpasses on rides, not shows.  Whether you have a fastpass or not, you will still be waiting in the same line and the same amount of time for a show.   If Fantasmic, Rivers of Light, or the Festival of Fantasy Parade are on your must-do list, book a dining package instead.  Your seats will be better and you won’t be burning a fastpass.  Rides and absolutely must-see characters are the best use of your fastpass.

5) Make your Fastpass reservations for the rides that typically have the longest lines.  Do your research and check the wait times on your my Disney Experience app to see what rides have the longest lines.  Not only will you have short wait times for rides with longer lines, but rides with typically shorter wait times most likely have reservations you can make the day of (see tip #3).

Fastpass reservations can definitely be confusing for the Disney beginner, but if you use a Me and the Mouse Specialist, they will tailor your fastpasses to your family’s preferences so don’t forget to contact your agent!

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Julie Stewart

Travel Specialist.

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Run, don’t walk to the Polite Pig at Disney’s Town Center!

My family and I recently tried the Polite Pig for the first time, and I guarantee it will not be our last!!  We were a party of 9 and I wanted to try one of everything, but we did have to leave a few items to try for the next visit!  We placed our order at the counter and then found a seat and a server brought the order to us.  They were then incredibly helpful and made suggestions of their available sauces and they were right!

As you enter the restaurant you are met with an amazing smell of smoked meats and spices!  It was difficult to choose from the expansive menu.  We did order a variety of entrees and sides.  You can even make a meal out of the sides!!!  You have the option of choosing three sides for $15!  They are plentiful and delicious.

We all happily shared the pretzel with beer cheese fondue, the brisket melt(I asked them to substitute the pimento cheese with the beer cheese fondue) and the ribs.  The brisket melt was a knife and fork sandwich, and it was tender and delicious!!  The ribs were well seasoned and tender with the meat falling of the bone.  The kids enjoyed chicken fingers and ribs and the portions were incredibly generous!

Now on to the sides, as I mentioned earlier, they could be a meal in themselves.  We enjoyed the smoked corn(with lime butter and bread crumbs), crispy brussels sprouts, mac n’ cheese, and sweet potato tots!  The Brussels sprouts were one of my favorites with a great seasoned char on the sprouts.  The lime butter added a delicious freshness to the corn.  The mac n’ cheese was good, but not anything special.  The sweet potato tots were my absolute favorite.  Slightly sweet, with the salty taste of the grated Parmesan cheese.  They had a slight crispiness of the exterior with a soft center.  Even my pickiest eater ate these and enjoyed it!!!

There were multiple sauce options at the counter.  The soft drink beverages were self serve, and they had a full bar with both indoor and outdoor seating!!  We were stuffed and unable to try any of the desserts on this trip!

I would recommend you add the Polite Pig to your list the next time you visit Disney Springs!  It will definitely remain at the top of mine!!

 

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Missy Zolecki

Travel Specialist.

Have you ever walked into one of the parks at Walt Disney World and wonder who those people were wearing the same outfit taking everyone’s picture?  They are actually photographers that are part of Disney’s PhotoPass.  They will take your pictures at some of the most memorable places and in front of some of the iconic landmarks of Walt Disney World.  Once they take your picture, they will scan your MagicBand or park ticket to automatically link it to your My Disney Experience account.  From there you can browse through all of the pictures that were taken and decide if you’d like to purchase any to download.

Walt Disney World Magic Shots

Instead of paying for individual photos, your best option is to include Disney’s Memory Maker with your vacation package.  The Memory Maker photo package lets you download all of the pictures that were taken by Disney’s PhotoPass photographers for one up front cost.  

Walt Disney World Magic Shots

Now, here’s something special that can happen when a Disney PhotoPass Photographer takes your picture.  It’s called a Magic Shot.  It combines the great photograph of you and your family with some Disney magic!  Before these Magic Shots were sprinkled throughout the parks and were sometimes hard to find.  

Walt Disney World Magic Shots

Disney’s now made them easy to find!  By visiting Disney PhotoPass Service Facebook page, and clicking on the Albums tab, there’s a photo album showing each park’s current Magic Shot offerings and where they can be found inside the parks.  It’s always updated and there will be more Magic Shots available during festivals and holidays.  

 

Whether you’d like to have a picture with Stitch, Figment or Sebastian, you’ll now be able to know before you head to the parks if they’re available and where to go to find them!  Magic Shots is certainly a great added feature to the PhotoPass service that you’ll surely not want to miss!

Are you ready to book your next Disney vacation? Contact a Me and the Mouse agent today! All of our agents are highly trained in Disney vacation planning!

Leigh Miller

Travel Specialist

at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amy Sowinski

Travel Specialist

To Infinity and Beyond!

Toy Story Land at Walt Disney WorldHowdy, Howdy, Howdy!!!  Toy Story is one of my favorite Disney movies, and I am super excited to announce that coming summer 2018 Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be home to a new Toy Story Land!  The idea of this new land is similar to that of Cars Land at Disneyland, it is an all immersive land where you actually feel like you are walking around Radiator Springs {such a fun land to visit}!  The new Toy Story Land will shrink down guests and become Andy’s new toys!  

The new 11 acres of Andy’s backyard play area you will be full of Toy Story fun! You will find 2 new amazing attractions 1. The Slinky Dog Dash Family Friendly Rollercoaster and 2. Alien Swirling Saucers. Toy Story Mania will continue in operation and has actually extend its track for a longer and even more entertaining ride.

The Slinky Dog Dash will be a coaster that the whole family can enjoy. The track {designed by Andy using his Mega Coaster Play Kit} will stretch, as long as Slinky Dog can, throughout the new land.

Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World

Toy Story Land at Walt Disney WorldThe other new attraction will be Alien Swirling Saucers.  This attraction is inspired by the first film and Andy’s visit to Pizza Planet.  In the film, Buzz and Woody were stuck in the claw game.  The claw makes a big appearance during this new attractions as it looms over riders that are spinning and swirling in their toy flying saucers trying to keep away from the aliens as they try to catch you with “The Claw”.

Toy Story Mania is a beloved attraction by many and it will be getting even better.  The fan-favorite attraction will be adding even more track with the opening of this new Toy Story Land. Guests will also get the chance to travel under Andy’s bed. They will see an amazing carnival that Andy has built.  

If you’re ready to check out this new addition, 2018 packages for next summer are already being reserved!  Be sure to contact a Me and the Mouse Agent for more information and to get your families visit to Walt Disney World and Toy Story Land planned! We know you are going to love this new expansion!

Beth Rodgers

Travel Specialist

Disney Springs Dance Party - Beat the HeatAs many of you know, Florida is quite HOT in the summer. When visiting the area, many families are trying to figure out the best way to CHILL out! On our last day trip to Disney Springs, we stumbled upon one the coolest new FREE things to do for the kids {and adults}! It was the Beat the Heat Dance Party!!!

This fun dance party is located at a water fountain area. It’s nestled near Once Upon a Toy, the Carousel and Earl of Sandwich! The Beat the Heat Dance party has a live DJ, umbrellas for the parents that need a little shade, hula hoops and water toys and of course WATER!!  Spinning the latest hits, the DJ’s keep the party going from 1pm – 5pm {and again in the evening from 6pm – 10pm} all summer long!  It reminded me of the Resorts’ pool interactive recreation activities they have for the kids! However, it has the flexibility of having it in the open marketplace, an unexpected surprise!!

Disney Springs Dance Party - Beat the HeatIt was a great way for my 8 year old to be able to cool down and my 3 year old nephew to have some play time too, without feeling like they were crowded or had to take turns waiting in lines for slides and rides. It was so convenient, and we all loved it! Disney Springs continues to amaze me with all of the creative additions to their already spectacular revamp. If you haven’t had a chance to check out this FREE admission area then you certainly need to! There are always new activities and events that Disney plans for Disney Springs.

Ready to plan your trip {or DAY TRIP} to Disney?! Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today! We are highly trained and would love to bring a little extra magic to your vacation!

 

Amy Pattee

Travel Specialist

Incredible Restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom ParkYak & Yeti Restaurant at Animal Kingdom

One of the best tips for making the most of your time at Walt Disney World is to stay in the parks for your meals.  While there are many great table service selections in Epcot, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, there are only a handful available in Animal Kingdom.  With the new Pandora expansion, more and more guests are wanting to spend time in Animal Kingdom so a table service meal inside the park is usually the best way to have a meal break without wasting time traveling to another part of Walt Disney World. I’m introducing you to one of my favorite spots to grab a bite to eat – Yak & Yeti!

 

Nestled in the Asia section of Animal Kingdom lies one of the most overlooked restaurants in all of Walt Disney World: The Yak & the Yeti. This restaurant is often overshadowded by Tusker House. However, this table service restaurants has one of the most diverse and delicious menus of any restaurant on property.  Since there are two Yak & Yeti locations within Animal Kingdom park {one table service and one counter service}, most guests think if you’ve experienced one, you have experience both, but that could not be further from the truth.  Yak & Yeti Restaurant at Animal Kingdom

 

Walking into this gorgeous, two-story restaurant, you immediately feel engrossed in the culture of Asia.  The Asian art and artifacts in this environment get you prepped and ready for the amazing meal you are about to have.  Yak & Yeti Restaurant at Animal Kingdom

 

We were seated in the quiet second story of the restaurant, and our friendly waiter greeted us! She offered several helpful suggestions!  Our tabled ordered the teriyaki chicken and the steak and coconut shrimp for our entrees and neither disappointed.  Both dishes had an Asian flair without being “too much” for the picky eater in your family.

Yak & Yeti Restaurant at Animal Kingdom

The real star of the show at Yak & Yeti was dessert.  Our table ordered the chocolate cake with raspberry sauce and the fried wontons! The cake was great! However, I cannot imagine this meal without the fried wontons. They were sweet cream cheese filled wontons on skewers with fresh pineapple, drizzled with honey-vanilla yogurt, strawberries and a side of vanilla ice cream. I can say it was  absolutely heavenly and so refreshing. It made for the perfect treat on an unbearably hot day.  If you are dining at Yak and Yeti, you cannot miss the fried wontons.

Yak & Yeti Restaurant at Animal Kingdom Yak & Yeti Restaurant at Animal Kingdom

The service and food were absolutely outstanding, but this meal is also a great value.  With prices ranging from $16 per plate, this is a great value if you are paying out of pocket.  Yak and Yeti is one credit on the Disney Dining Plan for one beverage, an entrée and a dessert.  Next time you are at Animal Kingdom, consider giving Yak and Yeti a try.  You will not regret it!

 

Ready to plan your trip to Animal Kingdom to try Yak and Yeti? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today! We can’t wait for you to join the Me and The Mouse family!

Julie Stewart

Travel Specialist

As the summer fun continues to rise at Walt Disney World, your family will enjoy the opportunity to cool down and enjoy some delicious tasty treats while visiting the parks.  We’re sharing  our list of Cool Treats to enjoy at Walt Disney World in 2017!!! Enjoy!!

 

  1. Night Blossom: Top 10 Cool Treats to Enjoy at Walt Disney World

    This fun drink can only be found at Pongu Pongu inside Pandora – The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom Park.  The Night Blossom is a non-alcoholic limeade slushy with apple and pear flavors topped with passion fruit boba balls.  {1 snack credit on the Disney Dining plan}

 

  1. Dole Whip Float: Top 10 Cool Treats to Enjoy at Walt Disney World

    Identified as my FAVORITE snack on property, the Dole Whip Float should NOT be missed on a trip to the Magic Kingdom. You will find this amazing treat made up of pineapple soft serve surrounded by freshly squeezed pineapple juice only at the Aloha Isle in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom. While Dole Whip ice cream can be found at the Polynesian Village Resort, I highly recommend the float version as you enjoy the sounds of the birds from the Tiki Room in the background. {1 snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan}

 

  1. Lefou’s Brew:

    Beauty and the Beast fans will certainly want to stop by Gaston’s Tavern located in the New Fantasyland section of Magic Kingdom to enjoy Lefou’s Brew. This special treat is a no-sugar added frozen apple juice with a hint of toasted marshmallow, topped with all-natural passion fruit-mango foam. {1 snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan}

 

  1. The Plaza Sundae:

    The All-American sundae at the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street USA is a memorable treat that you will want to check out on your visit. You will enjoy your view of the Castle as you enjoy old-fashioned vanilla and chocolate ice cream with hot fudge, peanut butter drizzle, whipped cream, and a cherry. {1 snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan}

 

  1. Root Beer Float: Top 10 Cool Treats to Enjoy at Walt Disney World

    Don’t let this classic treat pass you by!  The refreshing root beer crystalizes as it meets the cold vanilla soft-served! This makes it the perfect scrumptious treat to cool down with as you visit the parks.  While root beer floats can be found at multiple locations, my favorite is at Storybook Treats in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom. {1 snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan}

 

  1. Apple Pie Sundae:

    This brand new dessert can be found near Test Track at the adjacent Taste Track beverage and snack kiosk. Currently, this location is only open seasonally. You will find several unique sundae options here, but the apple pie sundae is what caught my attention.  This large sundae is made up of soft vanilla iced cream drizzled with caramel sauce topped with vanilla beach whipped cream and Caramel popcorn and salted caramel pearls. All of this deliciousness is surrounded by three warm apple pie pockets pressed into the sundae. This treat is not on the Disney Dining Plan. However, the $6.50 charge is worth it to enjoy this special, tasty treat at EPCOT!

 

  1. Doughnut Sundae:

    This treat is new to the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, but the doughnut sundae was a “must have” for my 16 year old! We were able to try out this incredible new sweet treat on his recent band trip! The doughnut sundae includes a glazed doughnut topped with your choice of hand-scooped Edy’s ice cream, hot fudge, a cinnamon apple topping, whipped cream, peanut butter chips, chocolate chips and of course, a cherry.  {1 snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan}

 

  1. Mickey Ice Cream Bar: Top 10 Cool Treats to Enjoy at Walt Disney World

    A Disney vacation is not complete without enjoying a classic Mickey ice cream bar. This premium Mickey-shaped, treat is first made up of creamy vanilla ice cream. Then, it’s dipped in a thick, decedent chocolatey coating. You will not want to miss out on this classic, rich treat. Mickey’s premium ice cream bars can be found across the Walt Disney World property! You can find them at various ice cream carts, snack stands and quick service dining locations. {1 snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan}

 

  1. Citrus Swirl:

    Located at the Sunshine Tree Terrace, guests will find a tasty treat with the citrus swirl.  It’s a blend of orange slush with vanilla soft-serve ice cream! This sweet treat is a family favorite when we are visiting Magic Kingdom. {1 snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan}

 

  1. Cinnamon, Caramelized Apple & Crumble Crunch Ice Cream:

    L’Artisan des Glaces is hidden gem tucked away in France at the World Showcase Pavilion at Epcot.  This ice cream shop sells sixteen different flavors of house-made ice cream and sorbet. While there are so many options, we continually go back for the apple & crumble crunch which reminds us of all the goodness of your favorite apple pie.  {1 snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan}

 

Top 10 Cool Treats to Enjoy at Walt Disney WorldWhile menus are subject to change, the Disney Parks continue to offer amazing treats and dining opportunities to their guests.  Check out our website and visit our blog for additional information on the Disney Dining Plans and restaurant reviews!

Ready to give these 10 treats a try? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent to book your next Disney vacation today!

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

 

The live action movie release of Beauty and the Beast brought a new generation to love this classic love story. Emma Watson’s character displays a beauty that stems from self-sacrificial love and looks beyond her circumstances to find true love. If you are ready to create your own Beauty and the Beast themed vacation when visiting Walt Disney World, visit these must see attractions as Disney beckons you to “Be our guest!”

Magic Kingdom

Start your day at Enchanted Tales with Belle. First, explore Maurice’s cottage and workshop, and then enter the wardrobe room. Some audience members will be selected before each showing to participate in a heartfelt retelling of the story along with the help of Lumiere and Belle.


Gaston’s Tavern is a great place for a snack during your day. Treat yourself to a warm cinnamon roll and LeFou’s Brew. You can then meet Gaston outside his Tavern and get ready to pose for your picture.

Create your own Beauty and the Beast Vacation!

Looking for a souvenir? Bonjour! Village Gifts includes all types of merchandise that feature Belle, the Beast, and all the magical castle characters. Bring home a t-shirt, doll, Chip mug, or Belle’s favorite souvenir, a book.

Be Our Guest is one of most coveted dining reservations on property where you can eat in Grand Ballroom, the Castle Gallery, or the West Wing. Breakfast and lunch are quick service meals {reservations required} while dinner offers full table service. At dinnertime, save room for The Grey Stuff which is definitely delicious! While not an official character meal, the Beast will often greet guests in his private library after dinner service only. Create your own Beauty and the Beast Vacation!

Epcot

Belle’s quiet village is located in France so it’s not a surprise that she often appears in France for meet and greets over in World Showcase. Perhaps, you’ll find her near the water fountain at the front of the country.

If you are looking for another dining opportunity, Belle is often not only a frequent visitor at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, but often the host princess at the front of the restaurant. Located in Norway, Akershus is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and features multiple princess greeting opportunities. Please note that occasionally Belle has other royal commitments and does not guarantee her attendance at the restaurant.

Hollywood Studios

Create your own Beauty and the Beast Vacation!With multiple shows per day, the Theater of the Stars hosts a 25 minute musical production of Beauty and the Beast Live. Watching this Broadway style performance will bring you back to the first time you saw the movie and you will fall in love again with the tale as old as time. 

For one last meet and greet opportunity, you can look for Belle at Character Palooza. She some times appears at Character Palooza – an unscheduled character meet and greet from 4-7 located at Hollywood Studios on select days.

Beauty and the Beast is a beautiful story that comes to life in Wal Disney World. Step into the story retold as Walt Disney World invites you to be their guest!

Ready to plan your Beauty and the Beast vacation? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today! We are highly trained in all things Disney, and we’d love to add a little extra magic to your next vacation!

Michelle Browne

Travel Specialist