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

 

Handle the Crowds Like a Pro
& Experience All Pandora Offers!

Pandora: The World of AvatarWhether you loved the movie, hated it or have no clue what it’s even about, Pandora: The World of Avatar is a “must experience” land. All Disney guests should be sure to visit it during their vacation.  The breathtaking scenery, attractions, food and merchandise are bringing in guests by the millions, which means you better go with a plan!  After attending the grand opening of this new land in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, here are some tips to be able to experience all it has to offer.

Tip #1

Plan on going during the Extra Magic Morning Hours at Animal Kingdom.  Since the hours are for resort-guests only, you will have the least crowded hour in the park before it opens to all guests. This will be one of your best times to visit the World of Avatar. If you are taking Disney transportation, plan on being on the very first bus, which departs the resort 45 minutes prior to park opening.

Tip #2

Reserve your Fastpasses 60 days out from your check in date if you are staying at a Disney Resort Hotel.  Since there are two options for Fastpasses in this land and you can only pick one to Fastpass, I recommend Avatar Flight of Passage.  This ride has had wait times up to five hours since opening, so having a Fastpass for this attraction is like having a golden ticket.  If you have a morning Fastpass reserved for this ride, go ahead and get in the standby line for the Na’vi River Journey.  If you are there for the Extra Magic Hours, you will not wait in this line for more than 20 minutes.  Pandora: The World of Avatar

Tip #3

Explore! Once you have ridden the two attraction in this land, take the time to explore and take photos.  Never have I ever felt a part of a movie like I have here.  Every detail is carefully crafted and more than worth exploring.  

Tip #4

Find the Photopass Photographers!  The photo opportunities in this land are countless and one is more amazing than the next.  You can get a standard shot of your family with the floating mountains in the background and you can even get magic shots featuring flying Banshees and other characters native to this land.  Use your My Disney Experience app to locate photographers and make sure you purchase Memory Maker so you can download all of your photos. Pandora: The World of Avatar

Tip #5

Head over to the Situ’li Canteen to get some much-needed sustenance after a busy morning exploring this other world.  With create-your-own rice bowls and other healthy alternatives, the Situ’li Canteen is a great place to take a break and have a meal or a snack before heading back to Earth. You can read more about the Canteen, HERE! The World of Avatar has several tasty places you can try, but we love Situ’li!

 

For more information or to book your Walt Disney World vacation complete with a trip to Pandora, contact a Me and the Mouse Travel agent today!

Julie Stewart

Travel Specialist

If you haven’t stopped by Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the past few months then, you have haven’t noticed the big changes occurring in and around the park. With the addition of Star Wars and Toy Story lands, the park is undergoing extensive work. These two new themed lands will add approximately 20 acres to the park {& a LOT of extra fun}! We are so excited to see and experience the new extensions that will be happening in Florida. Here is an update of where things currently stand. P.S. You should get EXCITED!!

Starting inside the park and with the Star Wars addition, the Streets of America along with the backlot and car stunt show are no longer. A few buildings remain along the street but outside of that not much is there. There are mounds of dirt and the start of new ride buildings gearing up for the opening in 2019. Toy Story land is also under way with a planned opening in 2018, this section of the park will start near Toy Story Mania and circle around eventually to the Star Wars land. This should make a large loop around the park. 

 

There have been very few released details about each of the two lands and access inside of these construction areas are off limits for obvious reasons. However, there is a lot of information regarding the outside of the park including parking and the new entrance. Hollywood Studios has always had the smallest parking lot and has experienced issues lately with access off of Buena Vista Drive. That is all changing. {Wahoo!!} They are expecting a huge influx of attendance projected in the next two years. Disney has decided to add a new driving entrance that will be located off of Osceola Parkway. (See attached road drawings submitted by Disney)

Star Wars LandStar Wars Land

There will be a new interchange near Victory Way and Osceola at the ESPN Wide World of Sports entrance. This interchange will guide cards into the parking lot from an entire new direction. The parking lot is getting upgraded to accommodate the high traffic. By the looks of aerial photos the parking lot will nearly double in capacity with a private lot for Cast Members. Speculation is there will be a private bus route in the park too, limited entrance to guest cars only.

Star Wars Land

As you can see, work is moving along quickly at the Studios. In the coming months, I will post another update as much will be completed this summer and further details. Star Wars and Toy Story lands are expected to be announced at the D23 conference in Anaheim in July. Stay tuned!

You don’t have to wait until Star Wars and Toy Story lands are opened to the public to visit Disney World! Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today to book your trip to a Disney Destination!

Ryan Gross

Travel Specialist

Today, I am sharing with you 5 incredible places to meet Mickey Mouse at Walt Disney World.  What is a “Meet and Greet” you ask?  It is a designated spot to find Disney Characters.  Your family is able to meet with them, take pictures and get their autographs. Meeting a character is one of the best things you can do on your Disney Vacation! It is so much fun to get your picture, but you also get to experience their personality in real life {the characters do some pretty entertaining things!}. Take a look at my favorite spots to meet the Mouse himself!

 

5 Favorite Spots to Meet Mickey Mouse:

 

  1. Magic Kingdom – located on Main Street USA in the Town Square Theater5 Favorite Places to Meet Mickey at Walt Disney World

Meet Talking Mickey dressed as a magician at this location.  It is so fun interacting with your “favorite” mouse. If you’re lucky, he might even show you one of his magic tricks. 

 

  1. Epcot – located in Future World at the Epcot Character Spot

At this location, you will find lovable Mickey Mouse in his regular dapper attire. If you’re someone that is looking for a classic Mickey Mouse picture, this is where you should go! 

 

  1. Hollywood Studios – located on Commissary Lane – Red Carpet Dreams near the New Star Tours

Meet Mickey all dressed up as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. 5 Favorite Places to Meet Mickey at Walt Disney World

 

  1. Animal Kingdom – located in Discovery Island – Adventurers Outpost

Meet Mickey the Explorer dressed as a safari guide to find a new adventure! This outfit might be my personal favorite {in addition to the classic}, and Minnie looks pretty cute as well! 

 

  1. Character Dining Location – “Chef Mickey” – located at the Contemporary Resort

Looking for a two for one opportunity? You can join Mickey {and Friends} while dining and celebrating! If you have a busy trip and want to make the most of your time, this might be right up your alley. You can enjoy delicious Disney dining and meet Mickey at the same time! Plus – Mickey is adorable dressed as a Chef. What more could you want? 

 

Ready to plan your trip to meet the mouse? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent, today!

 

Traci Perjak

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!!

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

 

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

Learn all about The World of Avatar!

 

Alpha Centauri Expeditions {ACE} has made it possible for humans to explore Pandora.  Unique expeditions and breathtaking views are around every corner in the Valley of Mo’ara on Pandroa.

Pandora the World of Avatar - Na'vai River Journey

Pandora features floating mountains, gentle waterfalls, bioluminescent rainforest and amazing, flying creatures known as Banshees or “Ikran” by the Na’vi.  Stepping into the land of Mo’ara, guests are immediately transformed by the beauty of the flora that surrounds them.   The plant life is diverse in both color and size, as well as in purpose.  For example, Vein Pods act as sponges and help maintain stability in the environment.  Puffball Trees are important plants on Pandora for detoxifying the atmosphere.  Panopyra resemble Earth’s jellyfish and captures water and minerals from the dew and fog.  Guests will have the opportunity to interact with different elements in nature as well. For example, when you rub a native plant, the Flaska Reclinata, it releases its spores into the air.

Pandora the World of Avatar - Na'vai River Journey

There is so much to take in and enjoy as you explore Pandora.  A Na’vi-built drum circle, containing instruments, is available for guests to play.  Wilderness Explorers will find new challenges and badges to collect as they interact with the land in Pandora as well.  You may even encounter tour guides from Alpa Centauri Expeditions {ACE}, scientists from the Pandora Conservation Initiative {PCI}, or even a unique expat or two, who have opened a refreshing drink stand on Pandora {I recommend the Night Blossom}.

Pandora the World of Avatar - Na'vai River Journey

In the evenings, the land transforms into an even more spectacular scenery with bioluminescent plants radiating light throughout Pandora.   You’ll notice sights and sounds from nocturnal creatures as you walk the paths and explore the mountains of the Valley of Mo’ara.   Animal Kingdom Park has become a full day park with the addition of the Pandora- The World of Avatar, as well as new nighttime offerings.

Pandora the World of Avatar - Na'vai River Journey

 

If you are ready to take the expedition to Pandora, contact your Me and The Mouse Travel specialist to book your trip to Walt Disney World!

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

Nestled in the Valley of the Mo’roa on the moon of Pandora, explorers are invited on a mystic journey down the Na’vi River.

Pandora the World of Avatar - Na'vai River Journey

At the water’s edge, explorers will board small reed boats to begin their journey.  As your travel begins, you are met by a Na’vi warrior, who grants you passage into the rainforest and your eyes are open the wonderment of Pandora.

Pandora the World of Avatar - Na'vai River Journey

A spectacular bioluminescent rainforest surrounds you as you discover exotic flora and the sounds of Pandoran creatures in the distance.   As the voyage continues, you hear music in the distance and encounter unique creatures, like viperwolf, who seem to be traveling down river with you as you in search of the Na’vi “Shaman of Songs”.

Pandora the World of Avatar - Na'vai River Journey

Finally, you see the Shaman holding a musical ceremony while playing an instrument and singing along.  Her music sends positive energy throughout the rainforest of Pandora. Pandora the World of Avatar - Na'vai River Journey

 

Na’vi River Journey is one of two new attractions in Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park.  The slow-moving boat ride is a family-friendly attraction and takes 4 1/2 minutes to complete the journey.  FastPass are available for this new attraction.  Guests with disabilities must transfer from wheelchairs/EVCs to experience the attraction.   Pandora the World of Avatar - Na'vai River Journey

 

Na’vi River Journey is a spectacular attraction that showcases the amazing technology that Disney posses in creating new, family-friendly attractions.  As you disembark your reed boat, you are awestruck with the beauty and spiritual connection between the Na’vi people and their environment.  Pandora the World of Avatar - Na'vai River Journey

Ready to journey to Pandora? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today to book your trip! We’d love to help take the stress away!

 

Tressa Kripppel

Travel Specialist

Avatar Flight of PassageFlying on the back of a banshee is an important rite of passage for the Na’vi, and now visitors of Pandora: The World of Avatar have a chance to experience the thrill of this journey at Disney’s newest attraction, Avatar Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom Park.

 

Deep in the heart of the Valley of Mo’ara, visitors can now climb atop a mountain banshee for a breathtaking, first-person flight over the moon’s amazing landscape, explore the bioluminescent forests, and soar by the Na’vi living among the moon’s beautiful flora.  This attraction will immerse your all your senses as you feel the breath of your banshee beneath you, smell the aroma of the foliage of the rainforest and feel the crisp, cool feel of the waters of Mo’ara.

Avatar Flight of Passage

The journey begins in the queue as guests begin an uphill trek towards the mountains floating above the valley.  You will pass over a land bridge, travel near waterfalls and pass by amazing flora unique to this moon.  The trail leads you to the entrance of a cave, where the Navi had recorded their history of flight with the great–winged banshees, or Ikran as the Na’vis call them.  Next, guests cross through the bioluminescent rainforest and enter the laboratory  where scientific experiments are in progress.   Visitors are now met by cast members who direct the first 16 visitors to their genetic matching room, where they are given a number, scanned and genetic material is sampled to connect them to personal avatar.  Once explorers are matched, they given 3-D glasses and move onto the flight room where they board “link chairs”.

Avatar Flight of Passage

Link chairs are single-seat simulators (like a motorcycle) that a guest must straddle.  Once positioned on their machine, leg supports that rest on the back of your calves will lock in place and a back support will rise up to secure each explorer on their machine.  I found the that link chair very comfortable and not convining as some had described.  Taller guests may find it difficult to position their feet in place to allow the leg supports to lock into place.  Both leg and back supports must be secure for guests to ride.  Once the ride begins, guests will experience an immersive flight that delivers a realistic sensation of riding a banshee breathing beneath them as the soar over Pandora taking in the breathtaking views, smelling the flora of the forests, feeling the splash of the water and wind in your face.

Avatar Flight of Passage

Avatar Flight of Passage is available as a FastPass option. Guests must be 44 inches or taller to ride.  Guests prone to motion sickness or have a fear of heights, may find this ride to be too intense as you will experience the sensation of diving, plunging and swooping throughout the attraction.  Due the popularity of this much anticipated attraction, we highly recommend choosing a FastPass for this ride at  Animal Kingdom Park.

Avatar Flight of Passage

Flight of Passage is a like no other attraction at Walt Disney World.  This immersive ride will take you on breath-taking journey over a land that will leave you wanting to explore again and again.

See More from the Flight of Passage!

 

Ready to book your trip to Pandora? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today!

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist