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!!

The Animal Kingdom Lodge SavannahDuring my time as a Cast Member at Walt Disney World, I had a role that allowed me to work in a different resort or park each day. It was great for many reasons, but I especially enjoyed my days at the resorts. I was able to become incredibly familiar with each resort and talk to the guests that visited and stayed at them. I can truly say I think they all have great features in their own way. However, there is one resort that I can say is my favorite: Animal Kingdom Lodge! The resort has many features that I absolutely love, but today, I will tell you three things that I separate it from any other resort on property. Here is why Animal Kingdom Lodge is the top of my list.

 

Location 

Some people will say it’s far away from the other parks, and I respond to that with “that is why I love it!” As a frequent guest to Disney World, I love this feature. After spending the day in the parks, I love traveling back to the resort. I feel as though, I’m being transported to tranquil destination away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of Disney World. When you step off the bus, you are surrounded by tall trees and plants. These types of vegetation are not seen anywhere on property! You hear nothing but crickets and the ambient music of the resort it is instantly relaxing. 

 

The Lobby

Animal Kingdom Lodge LobbyThere are incredible lobbies at Disney resorts, but I believe there is nothing like the one at Animal Kingdom Lodge. It is grand in a way that no others can compare. It rarely feels crowded, is set up wonderfully and smells incredible! Yes, I said smells incredible! That is because Boma, the buffet located near the lobby, is cooking up amazing wood fired dishes and the aroma feels the air. The lobby and corridors also offer an extensive collection of African art. You can easily spend hours looking at and reading about the deep African history. This space is truly unique, and it is a great fit for the safari lover in your family!

 

The View

The View at the Animal Kingdom Lodge looking at the SavannahThe view is where the resort really shines. There are multiple areas to view the savannah and animals that roam the resort. I’ve spent an hours sitting in rocking chair just taking in the sights of giraffes, zebras and other animals. Even if you aren’t into animal sight seeing, the view is peaceful and relaxing. The pool is another area that provides a special visual experience. It’s surrounded by the beautiful architecture of the resorts and greenery. It feels as if it’s an African oasis. There are incredible savannah viewing points, just steps away from the pool. However, I think the best view in the resort is actually one you can book! When you book a room that overlooks the savannah, the view is absolutely incredible. I have enjoyed this amazing view on my own visits, and I always look forward to it! 

 

If you’re looking for a memorable and magical experience on your next Disney World vacation, I would gladly recommend the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Ready to book? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent, today!

Ryan Gross

Travel Specialist

Whether it’s your 1st or your 51st visit – there’s always something new to try!

You have your Disney World vacation planned and booked, but want to explore options to enhance your Disney experience.  There are an abundance of “extras” that can be added to your reservation to make it even more magical.

Disney Hopper Plus – To explore activities outside of the 4 theme parks, you can add the Hopper Plus ticket. The Plus option will give you access to Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon Water Parks! As well as, both Disney miniature golf courses, ESPN Sports Complex and Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course. The number of visits is determined by the number of days of park tickets you have included in your package.

Water Sports – Enjoying water time doesn’t stop at the pools and water parks. Enjoy activities such as parasailing, wakeboarding, tubing, water-skiing, personal watercraft rentals and fishing at the Sammy Duvall’s Water Sports Centre at the Contemporary Resort.

Memory Maker – This is the perfect way to save your memories in the park. Memory Maker will capture all pictures taken by a Disney Photographer and on select rides. For my family, Memory Maker combined with our phone camera was a huge help. We were able to avoid lugging (or losing) our expensive camera in the park and on rides.

Deluxe Dining PlanExtra Magic at Disney WorldIf you visit Disney to enjoy the outstanding food options, you should highly consider this addition! Upgrading your dining plan to the Deluxe Dining Plan will include 3 Meals (table service or quick service). This is a popular meal plan for adult only vacations when you want to take in some of the signature dining options.

Disney Tours – For frequent visitors to Disney World that are looking for a different type experience, try one of the many tour options available. Some have minimum age requirements that your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist will review with you. An example of some of the tours include:

  • Wild Africa Trek – For further information, read more about one of our Travel Specialists experience, HERE!
  • Keys to the Kingdom Tour – Brings you on a walking tour of Magic Kingdom and learn about the history and hidden gems of the park including access to the underground tunnels (Utilizers). Read more HERE!
  • Disney’s Family Magic Tour – A fun 2-hour guided scavenger hunt through Magic Kingdom discovering surprises throughout the park. Extra Magic at Disney World

Car Rental – Since you are headed to Florida, this is a great opportunity to take a day and head to the beach. You can get to either coast in 1 – 1 ½ hours. A complimentary shuttle will pick you up at your resort and bring you to the Car Care Center where your Alamo rental car will be waiting for you. Your Me and The Mouse agent can include a car rental in your resort package.

Contact a Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist, today! We will be happy to assist you with any extras you would like to add to your vacation to make it a memorable trip!

Janene Jaroscak

Travel Specialist

Resort Spotlight: All-Star MusicIf you are a family dreaming of the benefits of staying at a Walt Disney World resort but have a limited budget, Disney’s All-Star Music resort is a value level resort you should consider for your next magical vacation.

With a red carpet and backdrop to pose for pictures, your check-in experience at the All-Star Music resort turns into your debut as the newest music sensation. Walk outside and the fun starts for all. Pose for pictures in the Calypso section with the giant xylophone or bongos. Stop by the Jazz section to see the biggest drum set of your life. Are you more into country music? The banjo or harmonica might be calling your name. There isn’t anywhere you can turn outside without being reminded of the powerful influence music has on all our lives.Resort Spotlight: All-Star Music

All-Star Music features 2 different styles of rooms. The standard style room features 2 double size beds and accommodates a family of 4. The family suite features 1 queen-size bed, 1 twin-size sleeper chair, 1 double-size sleeper sofa, and 1 twin-size sleeper ottoman, accommodating a family of 6. The suite also adds a kitchenette including microwave and coffee maker and an additional bathroom to speed up getting ready in the morning. The rooms are quite comfortable and very functional. For families that do not spend much time in the room itself, you will find it a great place to lay your head at night.

Resort Spotlight: All-Star MusicSummer days require somewhere to cool off and the All-Star Music pools do not disappoint. The guitar-themed heated pool found in the Calypso section includes the Three Caballeros – Donald Duck, José Carioca and Panchito spraying water at everyone swimming. Closer to the back of the resort you can swim while tickling the ivories in the black and white grand piano themed pool.

The Intermission Food Court is the All-Star Music’s quick service restaurant serving food from 6:30 am until 12 midnight. Be sure try out their smoothies; you may find them your new favorite Walt Disney World treat.
Resort Spotlight: All-Star MusicBus transportation to Disney’s theme parks from All-Star Music is extremely convenient. Although buses are sometimes shared between all three All-Star resorts, during busy times of the day, Disney runs a dedicated bus service to each of them. While waiting for the buses, you may even be entertained by a resort DJ hosting dance parties, singing custom lyrics to your family, or asking you to join in on songs from the past and present.

The All-Star Music resort brings memories for families filled with background music that speaks to the hearts of all. If this resort sounds like the perfect pitch to your ears, contact a Me and The Mouse agent to book All-Star Music for your next Walt Disney World Vacation!

Michelle Browne

Travel Specialist

Get excited for Walt Disney World’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for Fall 2017! You can enjoy 53 days of absolute fun and unexplainable MAGIC this fall at Magic Kingdom!

 

dtnemail-MNSSHP-21b58Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, 32 spook-tacular dates include:

  • August 25, 29
  • September 1, 7, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26, 29
  • October 1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 29, 31
  • November 1

Returning to the Magic Kingdom fright-fest are the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular stage show in front of Cinderella Castle featuring the mischievous Sanderson sisters from the hit Disney film Hocus Pocus; Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade; and Happy HalloWishes. You won’t want to miss out on these fall fun activities.  Prices for this special ticketed event range from $74-$115 for adults and $69-$110 for children (ages 3-9). Pricing varies depending on the party date.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas, 21 holiday-tastic dates include:

  • November 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 26, 28
  • December 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22

Returning favorites for the holidays include Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, Holiday Wishes, A Frozen Holiday Wish and Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration. Prices for this special ticketed event range from $89-$109 for adults and $84-$104 for children (ages 3-9). Pricing varies depending on the party date.

Want to book?!

Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today if you’re ready to book or if you have specific questions! These limited and exclusive events are always a fan-favorite!

Summer 2018 Itineraries
Book Now!

Disney Cruise Line is offering some amazing destinations and experiences in 2018. DCL will be offering new itineraries and new ports, in summer 2018. For the first-time, they will offer destinations to Italy and Ireland. Disney Cruise Line offers incredible tours of Europe and special visits to the Mediterranean, northern Europe, Norway, and Iceland. They will also offer their classic cruises to Alaska, the Caribbean, and the Bahamas.

Disney Cruise LineGuests, will be able to become more engrossed in the incredible culture of Barcelona and unique history of Rome in one cruise. For the first time, on June 16, 2018, the Disney Magic will set sail on a cruise from Barcelona to Civitavecchia {Rome}. Then, on June 23, 2018, it will set sail again on a seven-night cruise from Civitavecchia {Rome} to Barcelona. Also, making its first appearance on a Disney Cruise is Genoa, Italy. Genoa is an incredible historic port is the passageway to the gorgeous, Milan and the beautiful, Portofino.

The fun doesn’t stop there, the Disney Magic will also visit Cork, Ireland. This incredible adventure is a seven-night British Isles cruise. It departs on September 2, 2018. There are several additional ports visited on this sailing, including: Dublin, Ireland; Greenock, Scotland; and Liverpool, England. The summer will hold several other European adventures on the Disney Magic. It will include: Baltic, Norwegian fjords, British Isles and the Mediterranean.

Don’t forget, the newly re-imagined Disney Wonder will return to Alaska for the summer as well!

If the Caribbean is calling your name, the Disney Fantasy will be embarking on special 11-night itinerary. It will depart on June 30th and visit the dreamy and tropical destination of: Aruba, Barbados, Martinique, St. Kitts, Puerto Rico and Disney Castaway Cay.

Castaway Cay has been consistently rated as a top-destination location. The Disney Dream will sail on a series of cruises. It will include two stops at Castaway Cay {double-the-fun}! This is such a fun and incredible opportunity as guests will be able to enjoy more of the beach, sand, and sea, and they will also see more of the pristine island paradise!

Contact us to learn more about these incredible cruises or to let us take all the stress away from your planning! We’d love to help plan your dream Disney cruise.

Elizabeth Hollman

Owner & Travel Specialist

{& Why These Cast Members Will Be
Some of Your Favorite Faces!}

 

Baby Care StationI have done what so many other moms like me have done and what so many others have thought me crazy for.  I have taken my very young children to enjoy the Disney parks. My kids were both under 1 year when we started taking them to the Disney parks regularly. I understand how we want to share our love of Disney and all the magic that that entails with our children, and I also understand how tiring that can be. Disney has created a place even for the smallest guests (and for those caring for them). It is called (*the sounds of angels descending* and cue the spotlight) the Baby Care Station.

With one Baby Care Station located centrally in each of the Disney theme parks (both at Walt Disney World and at the Disneyland Resort), you can find a quiet retreat to nurse or feed your baby, change diapers or visit the toilets, or just grab a quiet corner to escape the bustle and weather outside. They are staffed with the sweetest cast members who are there to help you take care of your little one.

The main room has tables and chairs, as well as high chairs. Forgot something? They also have a small area where you can purchase some of the essentials, such as diapers and baby food.Baby Care Station

When my kids were little, this was one (of many!) of the bright spots to our visit. They loved the pint-sized potties made just for them, and I loved knowing the wonderful cast members were always there for me to offer a smile (or help avoid a diaper emergency!).

Sure, it might sound silly, but when you spend a full day playing in the parks with your young ones, anything that can help keep everyone comfortable and happy is a blessing.

If you are traveling with Littles on your next visit to the parks, grab your map and locate the Baby Care Station for later. You’ll be glad you did!

 

Nancy Wideman

Travel Specialist

Now Available at Walt Disney World

Enchanted Evening OfferLooking for something extra magical for your honeymoon or romantic getaway? Visiting Walt Disney World and in search of something extra-special? The Enchanted Evening package is for you, but don’t wait, this is a limited-time offer! You can book this unique and incredible package from March 14th- May 3rd 2017, with plans to travel March 21-May 10th, 2017.

The Enchanted Evening is a new and limited offer, and it can easily be added to your “Magic Your Way” packages for only $160 a couple. The package includes:

  • 2 Exclusive Honeymoon/Romance-themed MagicBands {a special keepsake from your trip!}
  • 2 Exclusive Romance-themed Luggage tags {you can use this again & again to remember your trip!}
  • 2 Admissions to the Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party at Magic Kingdom + a small, but delicious treat!

To learn more about the incredible Dessert Parties at Disney World, read here! Also note, the Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party is only offered on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday evenings. Admission is required to the Magic Kingdom Theme Park and is not included in the Enchanted Evening package. The Enchanted Evening package must be booked at least 7 days prior to arrival.

If you would like to add this special package on to your trip, contact a Me and The Mouse agent, today!

Rider Switch PassEver wonder if you’ll miss out on riding an attraction at Disney World because you’re traveling with someone either not tall enough or who does not want to ride?
No worries! Disney offers a Rider Switch pass for guests in this situation.

 

What is Rider Switch?

Rider Switch (aka child swap/rider swap) allows an adult who has waited off the attraction with a child or guest unable to ride, the ability to enjoy the ride after the remainder of his/her party returns from the line.

 

Reasons for not riding

  • Height restrictions
  • Guests with disabilities
  • Child chooses not to ride Rider Switch Pass

 

How does it work?

  1. The entire party goes to the front of the line of the attraction they wish to ride (either the stand-by line or FastPass line, if they have one).
  2. Let the Cast Member at the front of the line know you need a Rider Switch for the adult waiting with the non-rider(s).Rider Switch Pass
  3. Depending on the ride, the process for obtaining the Rider Switch pass may vary. At some attractions, the pass may be given to the group waiting off the attraction immediately OR the riders may be given a green lanyard to carry as they enter the line.
  4. The non-riders find a place to rest outside the attraction, enjoy other areas of the park, shop, or enjoy another attraction as they wait.
  5. If given a lanyard, the riders will exchange it with the next cast member in line. That cast member will provide them with a paper pass for the other adult to use later.
  6. Once the riders meet back with the non-riders, the waiting adult can now go to the attraction’s FastPass line with the Rider Swap ticket. They can take up to 3 guests with them.

Rider Switch expiration

There is generally an expiration date on Rider Switch passes.  Some are SAME DAY passes (must be used by the close of the park that day) and some may be good for a few days/weeks (due to expiring at the end of the month).

Rider Switch Pass

This means non-riders do NOT need to use the pass immediately after the initial riders have ridden.  They can return before the expiration date to ride.

**If you choose to use the pass on a different day, park admission is required.

 

Rides offering Rider Switch

  • Magic Kingdom
    • The Barnstormer (35in)
    • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (40in)
    • Space Mountain (44in)
    • Splash Mountain (40in)
    • Stitch’s Great Escape (40in)
    • Tomorrowland Indy Speedway (32in)
    • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (38in)
  • Epcot
    • Frozen Ever After (no height restriction)
    • Mission: SPACE (44in)
    • Soarin’ (40in)
    • Test Track (40in)
  • Hollywood Studios
    • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster (48in)
    • Star Tours (40in)
    • Tower of Terror (40in)
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park
    • DINOSAUR (40in)
    • Expedition Everest (44in)
    • Kali River Rapids (38in)
    • Primeval Whirl (48in)

 

**If you want to know if a Rider Switch is an option on a ride, please ask a cast member.

 

Megan Thompson

Travel Agent

 

Spring Break at Disney WorldSpring is a wonderful time of year to visit Walt Disney World. The weather is just about perfect- not too hot, not too cool. And who can forget all the flowers in bloom at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. But the one thing that may keep you away is Spring breakers! Don’t let that keep you from experiencing all the beauty of Walt Disney World in the spring. We have some helpful tips to help avoid lines and make you vacation magical.

  1. Be sure to book your hotel and dining early. By booking early, you are sure to get the resort you would like in the room category you are hoping for. If you are afraid you may miss out on a better price, don’t worry! The Me and The Mouse Travel agents will monitor your reservation for any promotions available during you stay and get that price applied if there is availability. Remember with Disney dining, reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance. Popular restaurants such as Cinderella’s Royal Table and Chef Mickey fill up early so booking at the 180 day mark will give you the best chance of getting that reservation.Spring Break at Disney World
  2. Take advantage of the FastPass system. FastPasses can be made 60 days ahead of time if you are staying on Walt Disney World property. This will save time waiting in line at some of the more popular attractions.
  3. Utilize the Magic Hours if you are staying on Walt Disney World property. Magic Hours are when one of the four theme parks either opens an hour early or stays open two hours later.
  4. Arrive early! By arriving at least 30 minutes before that park opens, you will be able to enjoy more attractions with shorter lines. Take a mid-day break and then head back out to the parks for the evening.
  5. If there is a second Fantasmic! Show or second parade, plan on attending that one. It is usually less crowded than the first one.
  6. Go to quick service restaurants at off times. For example, eat lunch around 11:00am or dinner around 4:00pm or after 8:00pm. The lines will be shorter and you will have an easier time finding a table.
  7. When leaving the theme parks at night, don’t rush to the buses with everyone else in the park. Take that time to get a snack and browse the shops. Spring Break at Disney World

So just because it’s Spring Break doesn’t mean you should avoid Disney World. It will just take some extra planning to make for a magical vacation. If the thought of all the planning scares you, contact a Me and The Mouse Travel agent and we will be happy to take the stress off you! If you’ve already begun planning, Me and The Mouse is able to have your reservations transferred to the company! We will be able to keep your previous choices, and help you decide your future decisions.

Lori Steinnerd

Travel Specialist