If you traveled to Universal Studios Florida recently you may have noticed some big additions to the property with Volcano Bay and Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon. You’ve also may have heard of a new thrill ride coming to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade. Here is what you need to know about each of them.

Let’s start right off with the big news about a new thrill ride coming to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade. Universal is billing this a new type of “highly-themed” coaster experience. It will replace the Dragon Challenge coaster and is said to take storytelling on a roller coaster to a new level. Speculation is this may be themed around the new Harry Potter Franchise, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Little information has been given but some believe this will be a fast thrill ride that is well themed like no other coaster in the world. Creating a story and theming a roller coaster is a difficult task due to the nature of the ride but Universal has done a tremendous job with their current 4D Potter rides in bringing both thrills and an incredible sensory element of the movie to the ride. Like many of Universal’s rides this one looks like it will be geared toward thrill seekers which is a common theme from the company as it contrasts what Disney has to offer.

Universals-Volcano-Bay

Next, let’s take a look at the highlights of the recently completed Volcano Bay. This is more than just a water park it’s a theme park with water! Just a short walk from Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal is billing this as a third gate. It has all the great amenities of a water park such as the lazy river, pools, water slides and places to enjoy the sun but it also has some thrill slides that are in line with Universal’s coasters in the other parks. Take a 125 feet plunge down a 70 degree drop through on Ko’kiri Body Plunge or travel down the iconic volcano on Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides where two people stand on trap doors that open plunging the riders down clear interwinding tubes into a pool. The park still has some kinks to work out but Universal is hoping this will put them on the map along side Disney’s two big water parks.

Finally, let’s take a look at the highly anticipated Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon. Once entering the building which looks like the actual entrance to The Tonight Show in New York, riders will go through a pre-show hosted by Jimmy and his gang. It’s well done and sets the stage for the simulation ride on the Jimmy’s Tonight Rider. Riders join Jimmy as he travels through the studio, around New York’s big attractions and through some crazy coaster like 3D experiences. If you are a fan of the show, New York or 3D simulation rides you will definitely enjoy this new ride.

On April 6, 2017, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon officially opened at Universal Orlando Resort. Hundreds of fans and Universal characters joined Jimmy Fallon in celebrating the opening with a ticker tape parade and ribbon cutting of epic proportions. The new attraction gives guests the ultimate “Tonight Show” experience and gets them up close and personal with the show’s most hilarious segments before taking off on an action-packed race through New York against Jimmy Fallon himself. More info is available at UniversalOrlando.com. © 2017 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.
On April 6, 2017, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon officially opened at Universal Orlando Resort. Hundreds of fans and Universal characters joined Jimmy Fallon in celebrating the opening with a ticker tape parade and ribbon cutting of epic proportions.
The new attraction gives guests the ultimate “Tonight Show” experience and gets them up close and personal with the show’s most hilarious segments before taking off on an action-packed race through New York against Jimmy Fallon himself. More info is available at UniversalOrlando.com.
© 2017 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.

Ryan Gross

Travel Specialist.

 

 

If you are sailing on a Disney Cruise and looking for adult onboard activities, Disney offers tasting events for guests that are at least 21 years old. This is a fun activity that you can experience on select days, generally sea days. I have personally experienced the tastings with a group of friends, but I have also signed up for wine tastings by myself. It is a fun and comfortable environment and a great way to meet other people on your cruise.

Disney Cruise Line Tastings!

Here are a few examples of the types of tastings offered, but they can vary by sailings and the length of the cruise:

 

  • Wines Tasting hosted by a sommelier
  • Beer Tasting
  • Martini and Tequila/Margarita tastings
  • Rum Tasting
  • Cognac Tasting
  • + A variety of other options based on availability

 

Beginning July 13, 2017, you are now able to reserve our tastings online after your booking window opens in the “Onboard Fun” portion of the screen. This is an easy way to start planning your activities prior to leaving home. If the sessions are booked when attempting to schedule them online, you can check with Guest Services after you board and they will direct you the location to see if spots have become available.

Disney Cruise Line Tastings!

Happy sailing and we hope you enjoy your cruise!

If you’re ready to book your next Disney Cruise, contact a Me and The Mouse agent today! We’d love to help plan your next voyage, and help you figure out the ins-and-outs of a Disney Cruise!

Janene Jaroscak

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

The Pandora ExperienceOn May 27, 2017 (The opening day for Pandora) lines for the rides were 250+ minutes.  Thankfully, we are Walt Disney World Annual Pass Holders.  We had the opportunity to sign up for an EXCLUSIVE Pass Holder Preview that took place a week before the land opened to the public.  WHAT AN INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE. The “land” is like none other at Walt Disney World. As soon as you step in, you feel as if you are on another planet or 4.4 light years away.   We were able to explore the “planet” and ride both The Flight of Avatar and The Na’vi River Journey without a wait.  You will be entertained on your way to the ride. As the line queues themselves are full of incredible sites.

 

The Flight of Avatar begins with a process in which an “Avatar” is made for each rider.  This will link you to a “Banshee” in order ride and become a part of the movie. You do have to be a certain height to ride so our 2 year old daughter could not come along.  Mooma (grandma) stayed with her as she is typically not a thrill rider.  Once we got off, we were so amazed that we told mom she NEEDED to do it! When will she have the opportunity to just walk right on again?!?!?! To her own surprise, she ENJOYED it. She did admit to having her eyes closed 20% of the time but is thankful we encouraged her to ride. You can find out more about this specific ride, here!

The Pandora Experience

The family friendly, Na’vi River Journey was nothing short of a spectacle of light, colors and sound.  For those Disney enthusiasts, think riding a boat much like the ones in Small World or The Land but through a bioluminescent forest full of creatures, sounds and plants featured in the movie. Yes, it is as dreamy as it sounds. Want to see more pictures and learn more about this incredible journey, here!

The Pandora Experience

As we finished the rides, Orlando finally received some MUCH NEEDED rain. We were “trapped” inside the gift shop for quite some time where we stocked up on all types of souvenirs.   We of course had to buy the exclusive pass holder pin (they had shirts as well), an ornament (we buy ornaments on every vacation), and we even got to bring home our very own Banshees.

Because of the rain, we did not get to fully explore the land and everything it has to offer. However, the sites are INCREDIBLE! It is a photographer’s dream. Our camera was full of photos of the gorgeous landscape. Even if we don’t score fast passes for our next trip, we will spend some time seeing everything there is to offer.  I’ve been told the food and drinks are also OUT OF THIS WORLD. You can read more about one of the quick service dining experiences, here!

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

Courtney Rooney

Guest Blogger

 

The anticipation of a Disney Cruise can be grand. There’s so much to plan, and for most travelers, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist will guide you in the best options for your travel party: before, during, and after your cruise.  One such option, is visiting the Walt Disney World Resort for a few days before embarking on your cruise that leaves from a Floridian port!

 

There are benefits to visiting the Most Magical Place On Earth BEFORE your cruise… Here are the Top Five!

 

  1.  5 Reasons To Visit Walt Disney World BEFORE Your Disney Cruise!You will be too relaxed (and tired) to visit the Walt Disney Resort after your cruise!

Cruising changes your mood, and changes your routine, to a Hakuna Matata lifestyle!  To then switch gears and amp up for a theme park visit is exhausting. Rest your tired feet, be pampered, and end your vacation refreshed!

 

  1.  By arriving a few days early, you will not have to worry about trip delays with airlines or traffic.

Day-of arrivals for cruises can be extremely stressful, as any major delay could keep you from boarding your cruise on time, or could prevent you from boarding at all!

 

  1. 5 Reasons To Visit Walt Disney World BEFORE Your Disney Cruise!You will experience world-class amenities at the Walt Disney World Resort hotel of your choice!

Not only will you enjoy perfectly themed rooms and resorts to fit your needs, but if you are flying, you will experience free Magical Express transportation from Orlando International Airport to your resort.  Transportation from your resort hotel to the port can also be arranged, but for a nominal fee, either with Disney transportation or with a private car service.  All of which, your Travel Specialist can assist with!

 

  1.  Room and package discounts often make a WDW stay cheaper than an off-site hotel!

And who doesn’t like to save money on vacation?  

 

  1. If you are that close to the Magic…why not?

5 Reasons To Visit Walt Disney World BEFORE Your Disney Cruise!Get the chance to experience an attraction, dine at a restaurant, or meet a character you’ve always dreamed of!  There’s no better time to do so!  Whether your first visit or your umpteenth, your Walt Disney World memories will stay with you forever.  Kids, and the “Kids-at-Heart”, agree that the opportunity to visit WDW along with the Disney Cruise was a great decision.  Every Disney experience is unique and worthwhile! Why not combine the best of both worlds and make unforgettable memories on Land and at Sea?  Especially if this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip!

 

You’re never too old to experience all the Magic that Disney has to offer!  Let your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist guide you through a few easy steps to add your Walt Disney World experience to the start of your cruise vacation, and add more memories that will last a lifetime! If you’re not yet connected with a Me and The Mouse agent, visit our contact page, and we’d love to pair you with one of our incredible specialists!

 

Amy Sowinski

Travel Specialist

Quick Service Dining at Pandora – The World of AVATAR

The Satuli Canteen is a the Quick Service Dining location in Pandora:  The World of Avatar.  It has a unique menu of healthy dishes to satisfy all travelers exploring the Valley of Mo’ara on Pandora.
Situated between the Flight of Passage and the Na’vi River Journey,  this former RDA (Resource Development Administration) mess hall is now a peaceful resting spot adorned with the art of the Na’vi and supplying travelers with all the comforts of home.  Travelers will find cuisine inspired by their journey through the Valley of Mo’ara.  Satuli Canteen is considered a fast-casual restaurant on the Quick Service Dining Plan. Our meals were served off a china bowls, reminiscent of flora of the natural habitat.  Guests will find silverware to dine with, as well as indoor and outdoor seating.  Self-serve drink stations are also available.

 

Pandora: The World of Avatar Quick Service RestaurantSince I do not have an adventuresome palette, I was hesitant that I would find a meal that I would enjoy.  I was pleasantly surprised to find multiple offerings for even the pickiest of diners.  The “Create Your Own Satu’li Bowl” seemed to be the most popular choice. Visitors first choose their PROTEIN, which include beef, chicken, fish or tofu.  Next, you choose your BASE (vegetable salad, potato hash, mixed whole grain and rice or Romaine and Kale salad).  Step 3 is to select your sauce:  charred onion chimichurri, black bean vinaigrette or creamy herb dressing.  I recommend the Creamy Herb Dressing.  The Steamed “Pods” Bao Buns were also very flavorful.  Guests will want to make room for “Ber’ri” (dessert) as the Chocolate Cake and Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse were both highlights of this dining adventure. Pandora: The World of Avatar Quick Service RestaurantPandora: The World of Avatar Quick Service Restaurant

 


For young guests traveling the valley, there’s an option of grilled chicken or beef, fish or tofu with greens or rice; cheese quesadilla, a hot dog wrapped in Parker House dough; or a steamed “pod” (cheeseburger bao bun). 

Pandora: The World of Avatar Quick Service Restaurant

Satuli Canteen is the first fast-casual restaurant to offer Mobile Order, a new convenient option to order and pay for meals on-the-go within the My Disney Experience app.  Guests will be able to bypass the queue to order when they arrive at the restaurant. Using the app, guests can select menu items, customize their order and pre-pay for their meal with a credit card. When they arrive at the restaurant they will tap an “I’m here” button in the app, which will notify the kitchen to prepare the meal. Guests will be notified through the app to pick up their meal at a specific window.   While Satu’li Canteen is on the Disney Dining Plan, the Mobile Order only accepts credit card payments at this time. Pandora: The World of Avatar Quick Service Restaurant

 

Satuli Canteen is one of the best overall counter service restaurants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. With a great variety of options allowing guests to customize their dishes, there is something for everyone at this a former RDA commissary.

Are you ready to experience Pandora for yourself? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today to book your next trip!

 

 

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

 

We’re celebrating Fun Fridays at Me and The Mouse with a collection of our favorite PhotoPass moments. We love the PhotoPass services! They are offered at Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani, and ESPN’s Wide World of Sports. If you didn’t know, PhotoPass allows you to preserve your magical Disney vacation. This special service provides you with professional photography throughout the different Disney destinations. We love that we don’t have to lug around a big camera! Plus, it also helps us have peace of mind that we won’t lose our new expensive camera! PhotoPass photographers are strategically placed throughout the Disney Destinations to not miss a moment of your fun. Take a look at the fun Me and The Mouse agents have had while using the PhotoPass!

If you’re considering using the PhotoPass services that are throughout Walt Disney World, we highly recommend purchasing the Memory Maker Package. If you don’t purchase this package, you will have to pay a decent charge for each photo. The great thing about the package is that once you purchase it, you can download as many pictures as you’d like! This is especially great if its your first time visiting, your celebrating something special on a trip, you have a young child and you want to capture every moment, or like we mention before you want to have tons of pictures, but you don’t want to carry an expensive camera around all day.

To add the Memory Maker Package on to your Disney Destination package, contact a Me and The Mouse agent today!

Now, enjoy some of our fun photos!!

Disney Destination PhotoPassThe Beast - Disney Destination PhotoPassDisney Destination PhotoPassDisney Destination PhotoPassTinker bell - Disney Destination PhotoPassDisney Destination PhotoPass

Golf at Disney WorldAnother one of Disney’s best {but one of the most exciting} kept secrets is Walt Disney World® Golf.  It is located right on Disney property across from Disney’s Polynesian and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resorts. There are two championship courses: 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.  All are an exhilarating yet relaxing way to take a break from the theme parks but still have an amazing time!

 

As a previous cast member with the Walt Disney World Resort, I had the awesome opportunity to experience all that Disney Golf had to offer! My department even surprised my colleagues and I for Administrative Professionals Week with a morning outing to the courses.  Not only did we get to have a world class tour of the property, but we were able to participate in a quick putt around the green! We even got to head out {on the Mickey golf cart} to the driving range and try our hand on some sweet swings! Golf at Disney World

 

Walt Disney World® Golf has a wide range of options for your family or groups traveling to Walt Disney World! If you’re looking for a way to get out and enjoy a few rounds of golf – Disney Style – then this is for you!

One More Thing…

Walt Disney World® Golf and Arnold Palmer Golf Management have teamed up to present these NEW Mickey Mouse logo MD3 wedges designed by Callaway Golf! The red, yellow, white, and green weight ports also represent Mr. Arnold Palmer’s famous umbrella logo. See more information, HERE!

 

Golf at Disney World

If you’re a local Floridian, and you’re looking for a FUN and EXCITING new experience close to home, contact a Me and the Mouse agent, today!!  The Magic AND GOLF is just a phone call away!

 

 

Amy Pattee

Travel Specialist

 

 

Photo Credit Courtesy of Anna Lazorchak Sales and Marketing Manager Disney Golf

 

Looking for a Rootin’ Tootin’ good time?

Hoop Dee Doo Musical at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort
If you want a different experience, head on over to Pioneer Hall at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground for a night of entertainment and dinner.  Hoop Dee Doo Review is fun for the whole family.  This show is truly entertaining. You’ll love how the entertainers interact with the audience getting everyone engaged in the hand clapping, foot stomping, sing-along fun!

Grab your cowboy boots and then kick back and relax! You’ll enjoy a non-stop interactive Wild West performance which includes dancing, singing, and hilarious comedy. Your waiter will serve your meal family style while you and your family enjoy the show! The offerings are “finger-lickin’ good” and include: all-you-care-to-eat smoked BBQ pork ribs, crispy fried chicken, mashed potatoes, baked beans, salad, seasonal vegetable, delicious cornbread, and amazing strawberry short cake for dessert.  

Hoop Dee Doo Musical at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort
Non alcoholic beverages are included for the whole family! For the “young-at-heart,” {but over 21 crowd} unlimited draft beer, wine and sangria is included and served when you serve up proper identification!!  Yee Haw!

There are 3 Hoop Dee Doo shows per night and prepayment and reservations are required.  Three categories of tables and pricing are offered with two levels of seating available to guests.


Be sure to allow plenty of time for transportation.  You won’t want to miss any of this dinner show.

If you and your family want to experience the unique Hoop Dee Doo experience, contact a Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist for assistance in making reservations. 

 

 


See More From Our Incredible Visit:

 

Traci Perjak

Travel Specialist