The Magic of Bounce Back Offers

Disney's Best PromotionMaybe you have heard the term “bounce back” on Disney chat boards but aren’t quite sure what that means. If you are someone who would love to be able to visit Disney World every year but can’t quite fit it in your budget, this tip could help make it more possible to make that dream come true.

Hidden in the literature in your Disney resort room will be a special offer for current guests to book a future trip.  You will have to look for the flyer as it is usually tucked away with other resort information. (If you cannot find an offer in your room, you can call 407-939-1923 from your room and ask what bounce back offers are currently available). Offers will vary as will timeframes. It might include free dining, a room discount, or some other incentive.

Now, if you’re like me, you’re probably not carrying your calendar around with you while on vacation. That’s okay! Choose a date that you think might work for you, and place the required $200 deposit on the reservation. Once you return home and can check calendars and work or school schedules, you can call back and adjust the dates as long as they fit within the offer timeframes and assuming rooms are available for the new dates.

The key is you must book your trip BEFORE you check out by calling the number on the flyer from your room. (You can also have your travel specialist call for you, but you must still be checked in at a Disney property).

Disney's Best PromotionThe benefit of booking in advance with the Bounce Back offer is that you have the opportunity for a great discount that you can determine later if it works or doesn’t work for you. If it turns out that the trip won’t fit into your schedule at all, you can cancel the reservation up to 30 days prior to your check-in date with no penalty. If a new promotion is announced to the public, and either the dates or the promotion end up working out better for you, you can adjust the reservation.

Without promotions like these, many of us could not afford to take Disney vacations as often as we would like. This is an excellent way to save money on a future trip!

Extra tip: Did you work with your favorite travel planner for your current vacation? Great! You can book the Bounce Back offer and request that your travel planner be rolled over to the new reservation. (If you forgot to mention it while you were making the reservation, you can easily transfer it to your travel planner so he/she can continue to provide you with great planning services. Alert your travel planner upon you return home while the transfer window is still open).

 

Nancy Wideman

Travel Specialist

Should I really stay and watch the fireworks? Walt Disney WorldDisney is without a doubt one of THE best vacation destinations to keep you entertained from the instant you open your eyes in your themed resort to the moment you walk out of the parks waving good-bye to Cast Members.

Throughout the day, you have rides, shows, street performers, parades, fabulous dining and snacks, and character meet and greets to entertain you.  That is enough excitement, right?  What about the fireworks?  Being so busy throughout the day, are they really worth staying to watch?  The answer is YES, YES, YES! 

Disney Parks fireworks are like no other!  They are more than just beautifully colored explosions in the sky.  They tell a story, have a theme, include outstanding and memorable music, and put on a production that will keep you mesmerized from start to finish.  The fireworks are simply just ONE more added must see for Disney guests.

How can I stay late, the kids will be so tired!?!

We all know fireworks happen once it’s dark, so if you want to see them….simply plan for it!

I recommend arriving to the parks early in the morning before the crowds start and then take an afternoon break at your resort. {This is also when staying on property is extremely helpful! You can take a short ride back the resort without having to worry about parking!}

  • Swim
  • Nap
  • Have a relaxing drink
  • Get out of the sun and heat

This relaxation time will rejuvenate and prepare you for an amazing evening!

Plan the perfect spot to watch

Should I really stay and watch the fireworks? Walt Disney WorldHaving a great view of the fireworks will add to the enjoyment of watching them.  Many guests pick their favorite spots early, so you want to do the same.  As you wait, make this a fun part of your trip where you regroup as a family.  While you wait…

  • Grab your favorite Disney snacks
  • Talk about favorite attractions
  • Look at your Memory Maker pictures
  • Talk about the next days plans
  • Relive the funniest moments from your trip

Become Immersed

When the show starts, let yourself be transformed by the music, lights, projections and theming!  This is your chance sit back and enjoy some of the best entertainment on property.

What’s your rush? 

As soon as the fireworks end, the masses start to head out of the park.  Sit and relax!  Let the crowds walk passed you.  You can take this opportunity to view the park in a less crowded state.  You may have a new appreciation for its details.  You could also stop for a nighttime photo with one of Disney’s PhotoPass photographers!

Which Disney Parks have Fireworks?

  • Magic Kingdom: Starting May 12th, 2017, Magic Kingdom will debut its newest fireworks show, “Happily Ever After”!  “Wishes” fireworks will end on May 11th.
  • Epcot: Epcot fireworks take place around World Showcase Lagoon and are properly name IllumiNations.
  • Hollywood Studios: Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular is the show that closes a fun day at Hollywood Studios.

The fireworks are NOT an experience to miss.  Have your Me and the Mouse Travel Specialist incorporate these into your itinerary.  This will tie a perfect bow on a day already full of Disney Magic!

Don’t forget!!

Disney World also offers fireworks dessert parties and cruises for an added cost to guests who are interested (read more, here!).  They will get an array of desserts as well as great viewing locations of the fireworks.

For questions on pricing for one of these special parties and to book a reservation, please contact a Me and the Mouse Travel Specialist!

  • Fireworks Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace at Magic Kingdom {Read more, HERE!}
  • Fireworks Dessert Party with Plaza Garden Viewing at Magic Kingdom
  • Ferry tale Wishes Firework Dessert Cruise {Read more, HERE!}
  • Pirates, Pals, and Fireworks Cruise {Read more, HERE!}
  • IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party at Epcot
  • Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party at Hollywood Studios

Megan Thompson

Travel Specialist

 

 

At Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

If you are looking for something literally “off the beaten path” on your next Walt Disney World vacation, your search is over! The Tri-Circle-D Ranch at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is perfect for the younger crowd and is the perfect place for memory making!

 

Tri-Circle-D at Disney Wilderness ResortBeing a local Floridian people think that we go to Disney every day. I’m sure that if it was up to my daughter we would!  However, in reality, and for the sake of the Magical experience becoming commonplace, we treat every trip like a mini vacation.  We stumbled upon the Tri-Circle-D Ranch on one of our many “staycations”.  My family of five found Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground to be perfect. Our cabin was a great fit for all five of us. Our cabin had a full kitchen and an eating area both inside and outside.  It had it all, from the rustic campground feel to all of the comforts of home.  We have made going to “The Cabins” as my family calls them, an annual tradition.

 

On one of yearly adventures, after breakfast (at Trail’s End Restaurant), we wandered over to the stables near the entrance of Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. There were about five or six mini ponies walking along a path with riders and my daughter fell in love.

 

Tri-Circle-D at Disney Wilderness ResortWe found out there was only a small fee (currently $8.00 a ride). We were hooked! Now, we can’t pass up the chance to visit the ponies at the Tri-Circle-D Ranch every year we visit! This is one of our favorite places to make memories.

 

The Tri-Circle-D Ranch is located near Pioneer Hall.  It is perfect for pint sized pony enthusiasts (at least 2 years old and under 80 pounds and under 48 inches). Your child will be able to ride a pony guided by parents or guardians around a fenced path.  The Pony Rides are open daily from 10am – 5pm and you don’t even need a reservation!

 

In addition, to the pony rides, they also have a state of the art playground for the kids. This is perfect way to keep the kids busy as you wait for your dining reservation. There are many delicious dining locations nearby including Trail’s End Restaurant, Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, and Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue.

Tri-Circle-D at Disney Wilderness Resort

So, if you are looking for a relaxing alternative or a break from the Parks for a few hours, Tri-Circle-D Ranch at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is just the place to hang your hat!

 

This is perfect for local Floridian and who are looking for a FUN and EXCITING new experience close to home! Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today to ask any additional questions or add this into your next Walt Disney World Vacation!  The Magic is just a phone call away!

Amy Pattee

Travel Specialist

Maybe you have been to Walt Disney World numerous times and feel you want something new to do this summer since you’ve already done everything at the parks. Well stop right there! Disney has added some new attractions in 2017 that you will not want to miss.

 

  1. Pandora

    Top 5 Things To Do at Disney World this SummerThe World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom- Opening in May 27, 2017, this new land will transport you to the world of Pandora, home of the Na’vi. Inspired by James Cameron’s movie in 2009. The land is full of plants and centered with floating mountains that is sure to impress anyone. There are two main attractions to see. The Na’vi River journey where you will travel down a river hidden in the rainforest and have an encounter with a Na’vi Shaman and the other attraction is the Avatar Flight of Passage which will have you flying over Pandora. {Read more about it, here!}

  2. River of Lights at Animal Kingdom Top 5 Things To Do at Disney World this Summer

    This is the first nighttime show for the Animal Kingdom park. The kingdom is brought to life at dark with water, sound, dramatic lighting, and special effects. What a way to celebrate the beauty of all living things!

  3. Happily Ever After Nighttime Spectacular at Magic Kingdom

    Debuting in May of 2017, this new nighttime show will light up the sky above Cinderella’s Castle. This show will inspire guests to find their own “Happily Ever After” through storytelling, pyrotechnics, and classical characters.

  4. Top 5 Things To Do at Disney World this SummerThe Music of Pixar LIVE: A Symphony of Characters

    Opening in May of 2017, this amazing show features a live symphony playing music from Disney Pixar films. And if you are lucky, your favorite Disney Pixar character will make a magical appearance.

  5. Miss Adventure Falls at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon

    What adult doesn’t like a good adventure? This family style raft will take on a white water rafting adventure past the lost and glittering treasure of Captain Mary Oceaneer. This ride is one of the longest water attractions at the two parks!

 

So as you can see there are many new attractions and adventures you will not want to miss this summer at Walt Disney World! If you’re ready to book or have any questions, contact a Me and The Mouse agent today.

If you’re a craft loving, DIY’er like me a fun way to add some magic to your approaching Disney vacation is to make your own Disney lanyard.  These lanyards can be used for multiple things on your Disney vacation:

  • As a pin trading lanyard (click hyperlink to learn about Disney pin trading)
  • To hold your park tickets if you don’t have magic bands
  • To hold a photo pass card

 

Supplies Needed:

  • Your Favorite Disney RibbonFun DIY Disney Lanyard
  • Scissors
  • Big Clasps
  • Fabric Velcro Tabs (if you want pull away lanyards)
  • Clear Nail Polish or No Fray Check
  • Sewing Machine, Hot Glue Gun, or Thread and Needle
  • Pins
  • Name Tag Holder

Step One:

Go pick out your supplies.  I found super cute Disney ribbon at: JoAnne Fabrics (best selection), Wal-Mart, Michaels, and Hobby Lobby.

I found big clasps in the Jewelry making section of my local JoAnne fabrics but I am sure each of the craft stores have them.

Fray check and Velcro tabs can be located at craft stores or Wal-Mart. The plastic name tag holders can be found easily at Staples or Amazon.com.

Fun DIY Disney Lanyard Fun DIY Disney Lanyard Fun DIY Disney Lanyard

Step Two:

Measure how long you would like the lanyard (I usually cut mine at 36”).

Optional Step: I like to make tear away lanyards for safety.  Match up the two ends you cut and then cut the opposite end so that you have one ribbon in each hand that are the same length. If you decided to do this optional step you will now add Velcro tabs to the ends you just cut.

Step Three:

So that the ribbon does not fray you will now use the clear nail polish or the Fray check on each of the cut end of the ribbon. Let the liquid dry before moving on to step four.

Step Four:

After the Fray Check has dried now is the time to add the clasp.  To do this I’ve found it best to put the lanyard on so that you can make sure it lays right when it is worn.  Once you have verified there are no twists, take it off.  Holding the end that the clasp is going on you will put both ends together and fold it about ½”.  If you are using hot glue you will want to glue the fold.  At this point you will slide the clasp on and then make another fold about 1” over.  Then pin the fold in place.  If you are using hot glue you will again glue the fold (I also recommend putting in a few stitches just to make sure it holds).

Fun DIY Disney Lanyard Fun DIY Disney Lanyard Fun DIY Disney Lanyard

I used a sewing machine and that made it simple to sew the folds holding the clasp in place!  You then add the clear plastic name tag if you choose to use one and your lanyard is all ready for your Disney vacation!

Finish the lanyard and ready to go on your next Disney vacation? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today!

Fun DIY Disney Lanyard

Beth Rodgers

Travel Specialist

 

Inaugural 2017

This new Epcot festival debuted in January 2017.  The Festival of the Arts ran for 6 weeks from January 13-February 20, 2017 each weekend Friday-Monday.  There is so much to see, taste, and experience.  Everybody can get involved and become immersed in the art.  Disney makes it easy to get excited about art!

Disney Festival of the ArtsParticipating in the paint-by-numbers mural at the Expression Section sponsored by Glidden is interactive fun for the whole family.  Grab a sponge brush, small container of numbered paint, and step up to the mural to paint within the coordinating numbered squares.  This activity is so simple and so much fun! By making a small artistic contribution, you will be a part of something so much bigger. The end result is an amazingly huge mural!  Find your inner artist!

Disney Festival of the ArtsThe festival provides the opportunity to strike poses in larger-than-life walk-in paintings that Disney created for guests, inspired by famous artists.  Be a part of crossing the Delaware with George Washington.  Thanks to the Disney PhotoPass team, you will able to take home some unique, fun, unforgettable photos.

Disney Festival of the ArtsMany artists are on hand at booths to show off their work and talk to guest while having the opportunity to sell their art, including many Disney-inspired pieces.  When I attended, I was most impressed when I caught a glimpse of an amazing artist painting to music.  Starting with a blank white canvas, he created a masterpiece painting of Olaf from Disney’s Frozen by literally throwing paint at the canvas with his hands then using his hands to blend the paint.  It was so much fun trying to figure out what the end result would be as he continued to throw and blend the paint.
Disney Festival of the ArtsA festival at Epcot would not be complete without providing guests a culinary experience.  The Festival of the Arts allows guests to travel around Epcot’s World Showcase to sample cultural culinary delights similar to other Epcot festivals, but with more of an artistic flair.  The food at Epcot is always a highlight.

For entertainment, check out the Disney Broadway Concert Series featuring original performers from Disney Broadway musicals.

Contact a Me and The Mouse agent if you want help planning your trip to the Festival of the Arts in 2018. You won’t want to miss this new and unique festival!

Traci Perjak

Travel Specialist

Do you have a character that you or your family MUST meet and get a picture with?  They are not always easy to locate.  Your My Disney Experience(MDE) App will make your search much easier!!! Grab your phone and open your app and follow along! P.S. Your life is about to be changed!

How to Find Your Favorite Characters:

  1. Select the character icon at the top of the app. It will open the map. {FYI: If the park is closed and you select a park, it will tell you the characters are all sleeping!}

    Step 1
    Step 1

 

  1. Select the locator icon in the bottom right corner.

    Step 2
    Step 2

 

  1. Select which park you are looking to locate.

    Step 3
    Step 3

 

  1. If you select the icon on the bottom right it will list the characters available for a meet and greet

    Step 4
    Step 4

 

  1. OR… You can look at the map, which shows how many characters are available at each park. Select the park you are in or plan on going to. You will see the icons throughout the park that indicate there is a scheduled character meet and greet.  Select the icon and it will tell you exactly which character is in that location.

    Step 5
    Step 5

 

  1. Once you select a character you have the option to get directions to their location! {This is a major time and stress saver!}

    Step 6
    Step 6

 

  1. You have the option to type in your location or enable location services and the app will locate you!!! Then it will provide directions to the character.

    Step 7
    Step 7

 

  1. You can also select the icon on the bottom right and it will pull up an alphabetical list of the possible characters!

    Step 8
    Step 8

 

  1. Here is the alphabetical list of characters.  You can also select the icon on the bottom right and it go back to locating the characters on the previous picture.  Your other option is to click on the particular character.

    Step 9
    Step 9

 

  1. Tarzan is one of our favorites and not always easy to find. Now we would know where and when we could meet him!!

    Step 10
    Step 10

 

Next time you are looking for your favorite character, now you know how to locate them efficiently!!  If you’re needing help using Your My Disney Experience(MDE) App or in need of de-stressing your vacation planning contact a Me and the Mouse Travel Specialist. We’d love to take all the worries and the stress away for you to enjoy your magical vacation!

 

Missy Zolecki

Travel Specialist

 

 

 

Disney's Animal Kingdom LodgeDisney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a one-of-kind destination at Walt Disney World.  Its views of exotic animals grazing on nearby savannas, guests will feel as if they have escaped on an authentic Safari adventure!

This deluxe resort property is located near Animal Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World.  The African-inspired resort gives guests the opportunity to view grazing exotic wildlife outside their rooms and public areas within the resort. This leaves guests feeling as if they are staying on the African savanna.

Disney's Animal Kingdom LodgeThe rooms can accommodate up to 4 guests, plus one child under age 3. They are available with either a king-size bed, two queen-size beds, or one queen-size bed and bunk beds. Amenities include room service, irons and ironing boards, hairdryers, coffee makers and refrigerators.  Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge also has guest suites and Concierge Level accommodations. This offer access to the Kilimanjaro Club lounge, robes, turndown service and the opportunity to participate in two unique safari experiences (for an additional fee).

There are two amazing pools on property. The Uzima Springs Pool faces the Uzima Savanna and features a zero-depth entry, along with a 67-foot-long waterslide.  Families will enjoy making a splash at the Samawati Springs Pool.  This is located just a short walk away at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Kidani Village.  This family pool features an exciting 128-foot waterslide and zero-depth-entry.  This pool area also includes Uwanja Camp, a water playground with 3 distinct zones for kids of all ages.  Observation Station is for children 4 years of age and younger.  Kids can climb through cargo crates, unscramble animal images and play in a bubbling geyser and shallow cistern pool.  Children, ages 5 to 7, will enjoy playing at the Departure Zone, which includes a leaky water tower and clever African irises that squirt water.  At Base Camp, kids 8 years of age and up can soak each other with water cannons. This is a great place to spend time on a non-park day. These fun pools & slides will keep the kiddos busy all day long!  Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge serves award-winning, African-inspired specialties and classic American favorites for breakfast, lunch and dinner, amid a lush, wildlife preserve.  Animal Kingdom Lodge host to uniquely themed restaurants, BOMA – Flavors of Africa and Sanaa. Sanaa is a restaurant with African cooking with an Indian influence. It offers spectacular views of the savannahs at lunch and dinner.  (You can read our blog post on Sanaa, HERE.)  For parents who want to have a nice, quiet dinner alone at a Signature Dining restaurant, such as Jiko – The Cooking Place, Animal Kingdom Lodge offers Simba’s Clubhouse, a fun night of supervised activities, including arts and crafts, Disney movies, dinner and much more. (Cost for this service is in addition to your resort stay.)

Disney's Animal Kingdom LodgeThe Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge has a special secluded feel. Its unique opportunities to view wildlife up close in open, natural habitats, makes this Deluxe Disney Resort one of my favorites.  If you ready for a relaxing vacation, filled with special and unique experiences, contact your Me and The Mouse Travel specialist. They can help you learn more about Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

 

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

Tackle Sensory Overload at DisneyLast month, I discussed tips on how to prepare and items to bring to hopefully avoid sensory overload. {You can read about it, here!} As a mom of a son living with Fragile X Syndrome, the leading cause of inherited intellectual impairment and leading known genetic cause of Autism, I feel as if I am always anticipating what could be a potential trigger for overload.  Sometimes, even the best-laid plans don’t work out.  A storm can pop up, a ride can have a temporary closure, or fireworks can suddenly go off from a show that you didn’t even realize was taking place!! I have put together a list of tips/suggestions for managing overload once it has reached near overflow!

 

  1. Baby Care/First Aid Station:

    Although you do not “need” any aid, this is often an area with air conditioning, seating and simply a quiet place out of the hustle and bustle.

    Tackle Sensory Overload at Disney

  2. Snack/Meal/Treat Break: 

    There are endless options. Look for an air conditioned location and often you can find a quiet corner, out of the way, to decompress.  Ask a cast member for suggestions if you don’t readily see a quiet place.

  3. Park Specific Options:

    This is not a comprehensive list, but giving you some options and ideas:

Magic Kingdom – Railroad (we often ride it around, sometimes more than once when overload is peeking), TTA- People Mover, Garden Area behind the Ye Old Christmas Shop

Epcot – The Land (Ride and Sunshine Seasons), Friendship Boats in the World Showcase, Garden Area in France, Fountain Area Outside of the Pixar Shorts Attraction

Animal Kingdom – The Safari (There is some talking and stopping, but a great place to decompress.), Restaurantosaurus has many quiet corners to cool off and relax

Hollywood Studios – Frozen Sing Along (Yes, there is music and singing, but it is cool and the music is familiar.), Benches Outside the Hollywood Brown Derby (Extra Bit: There are restrooms nearby too!)  ABC Commissary/Backlot Express

Tackle Sensory Overload at Disney

  1. Transportation:

    For my family, leaving the park before the dreaded meltdown occurs is essential. Riding the monorail or bus provides a slow rhythmic option to help decrease the overload.  I am ashamed to admit how many times I have gotten sleepy on the trip back to the resort!  There are also boat options to select resorts from all parks except Animal Kingdom.

  2. Resort Pool:

    Even a quick trip to the pool can be beneficial! This is one of our best strategies for managing sensory overload.

  3. Nap/Sleeping in:

    We all want to maximize our time when visiting a Disney destination. Detouring from the schedule to rest may be just the right thing to do! Fatigue makes it even harder to manage sensory overload.
    Tackle Sensory Overload at Disney

  4. Cast members:

    If you are in need of assistance, difficulty finding a quiet place or you fear you are nearing the brink of overload, ask for help!

 

I am mindful about sensory needs/overload and am happy to help you plan your next trip to a Disney Destination with your needs in mind! Visit our Contact Page to speak with one of our amazing and talented agents!

 

Missy Zolecki

Travel Specialist

The saddest part about a Disney trip is the walk out of the park on that last day.  Many guests want to bring something home to remember the trip by and will trigger the memory of their amazing stay!

With SO many gift shops in the parks, it is easy to find the perfect souvenir!  But with so many options in the shops, how do you choose?  Here are a few things I have bought to commemorate the fun I had during my stay.

  1. Disney Magnets Best Disney Souvenirs

    These are a must for me!! I love the clip magnets that hold pictures of memories or important notes on my fridge.  Most resort gift shops and park shops have them.  Take your time looking throughout the trip to find the one you want the most as some shops carry different ones.  My favorites have the year displayed!  They are an affordable option and, if you fly, do not add weight or bulk to your packing!

  2. Disney Key Chains

    Key chains are a great souvenir for you or someone who you are coming home to.  Since the wear and tear on them happens easily, a new key chain is something fun and affordable to update after each trip.

  3. Disney Mugs Best Disney Souvenirs

    In a world surrounded by yummy coffee and tea, a cute Disney mug is a great way to start your morning!  Mugs can be found throughout parks and resorts and the designs are ever changing.  Find one that reflects your personality or one that shows your favorite character or park.  These are a little more expensive than the first two options, but still very affordable!

  4. Alex and Ani Bracelets Best Disney Souvenirs

    Ok, this is admittedly my new obsession!  I just purchased my first one during a recent trip.  They are sold in gold and silver and come with a variety of themes… characters, travel year, park icon image, and Disney phrases (just to name a few).  Here are just a few places you can find them at the park:

  • Emporium on Main Street in Magic Kingdom
  • Keystone Clothiers in Hollywood Studios
  • Tren-D in Disney Springs
  • Mouse Gear in Epcot

To see more of a list of locations these can be found, download the Shop Parks app, search for Alex and Ani and pick a bracelet you like.  When you choose the image, click the “find on map” button and see where that bracelet is sold on Disney Property!  This will save you running around to find your favorite! The price on a souvenir like this may be a little higher than the others, but it is an adorable option and something you can get use out of each day.


What are some of your favorite things to bring home with you?  A new stuffed animal, a photo album or frame, a new pen?

Whatever it is, make sure you put some money aside to bring that one special item home with you! If you already have an idea of an item you’re looking for, contact your Me and The Mouse agent and they can help give you ideas where you could purchase it!

Megan Thompson

Travel Specialist