4 theme parks, 2 water parks, and a themed retail, dining and entertainment center called Disney Springs provides endless choices for you to spend your vacation.  It is very easy to feel overwhelmed with all the options.  Guests want to make certain they maximize their time and have the opportunity to enjoy everything on their wish list!  I have often heard guests say they need a vacation from their vacation!

When you plan a vacation, most are intending to take a break from the hustle and bustle of work and routine.  However, we often forget the rest and relaxation part of vacation when visiting Walt Disney World.  There are many options for fun and unique activities to bring the R & R back to your vacation.

  • Spa services: Who doesn’t enjoy a relaxing manicure, pedicure, facial or a massage?  Spa services can be scheduled at Saratoga Springs Resort and the Grand Floridian Resort
  • Horseback riding or Horse Drawn Carriage Rides at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
  • Watersports – Sammy Duvall’s Watersport Centre is located at the Contemporary resort.   You can choose from personal watercraft, tubing, water skiing or wakeboarding.  Parasailing is also available as an individual or tandem.  This will provide an amazing birds eye view of the Disney property.
  • Disney’s Waterparks – Blizzard Beach and Typhoon lagoon both have unique themes and waterslides as well as a relaxing sandy beach area.
  • Golf – There are 3 outstanding champion courses and a par 36 walking course located on property.  Forgot your clubs?  Not to worry, you can rent clubs at the course!  Don’t forget, there are 2 miniature golf courses available: Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland
  • Resort Pool – with 25 uniquely themed resorts, each resort offers multiple pools.  Although pool hopping is allowed at select resorts, there are black out dates as well as certain resorts that restrict the use to resort guests only.
  • Shopping – Each resort and theme park have multiple shopping locations.  Disney Springs offers several locations where you can find Disney souvenirs and home goods, but it also has multiple widely known retail locations.  Don’t forget while you are shopping to enjoy the vast dining/dessert options or even have a glass of wine at Starbucks!
  • Enjoy the music – There are often musicians performing throughout Disney Springs, the House of Blues, Piano Bob at Port Orleans Riverside, or my most favorite….Jellyrolls Dueling Piano Bar  at the Boardwalk Resort
  • Movie – You can watch the latest movie release at the AMC dine in movie Theatre at Disney Springs!  A movie theater and restaurant all wrapped in to one!! Many of the resorts offer outdoor evening movies.  Check with your individual resort.
  • Bowling – Splitsville at Disney Springs offers both bowling and an expansive menu!  From traditional snack food (nachos, cheese fries) to more eclectic(sushi) and everything in between!

Take a day during your vacation to sleep in, take a nap, or simply take a relaxing stroll throughout your resort!

Your Travel Specialist is here to help you plan your own downtime day!

Missy Zolecki

Travel Specialist

 

 

Disney Parks name tags have become an icon much like many other seemingly random Disney items like the famous Disney trash cans (an interesting story for another day)! What started as method to identify employees in 1955 of the newly opened Disneyland, name tags quickly took on a life of their own within the company. This is the fascinating story of a little badge and the names on it.

The first name tags at Disneyland were metal with Disneyland in blue written across them and a number. The number represented the employee. All Cast Members were issued a badge. During the first few years most were seen with only a number on them. Some employee such as executives received a badge with their full name in place of the number.

It wasn’t until 1962 that the Cast Members first name was standard on all name tags. And it was only the first name. Why you ask not the last too? That is because of Walt. Walt believed his company was a first name company where it didn’t matter if you were at the top of the ladder or in an entry level job. To the guests of his Magic Kingdom you were known by a first name and there to help. A side note on Walt, he did not like being called Mr. Disney. Those who would meet him and call him Mr. Disney were often replied to with “call me Walt, Mr. Disney was my father.”

So in 1962, the gold metal name tag went away and what appeared was a plastic thin oval version. Through the years the oval changed some and eventually around 1985 took the shape of what we have come to recognize today – an oval with an icon bump out on top. This current look is an homage to the original Disneyland version. There have been a variety of other shapes also used for many different departments, people and celebrations but the most common is what is used today.

There literally have been hundreds of styles of name tags over the years. Today, they have been simplified and are uniform by department, park (Disneyland, Disney World, oversees parks), business line and employee recognition. They typically all contain the hometown the Cast Member printed below the name. They also contain service pins signifying the years the Cast Member has been with the company. Some showcase different languages the Cast Member knows.

In recent years you may have noticed blue name tags which represent Cast Members who have received the Disney Legacy Award, the highest honor for a Cast Member. One thing that is common among nearly every employee of Disney is that they are worn over their left chest. I say nearly all Cast Members wear them over the left chest because there is one department that is given the freedom to wear them on their lanyards and that is Walt Disney Imagineering. When I worked for Disney I could always spot an Imagineer because not only did they have a special Mickey icon on their name tag they typically were wearing them on their company ID lanyard.

A side note on working for Disney and forgetting your name tag. You don’t forget it. If you do you get one issued to you for the day and in my case I got to be Eric. That day was the one and only time I wasn’t Ryan!

Walt was insistent his employees at Disneyland were easily identifiable and proudly wore a badge in 1955 and later one with their name on it. He made sure they were worn on their left side and they always had it on while in guest areas. The only person to not be required to wear a name tag was Walt himself. I guess that is the perk of being Mr. Disney.

Ryan Gross

Travel Specialist

 

Look up, look down, and pay attention to the detail created by Disney Imagineer’s and Cast Members because hidden surprises are around every corner.

Looking for Hidden Mickeys is a fun activity and provides an opportunity to explore all the creativity the Imagineer’s put into designing Disney. They can be found throughout the resorts, parks, Disney Cruise Line, and even on some Disney products. Or, it can even be as simple as a Cast Member being creative with the placement of dinnerware on the tables at a restaurant.

Our family makes a game to see who can find the most Hidden Mickeys. We noticed it forces us to slow down and truly enjoy our surroundings and appreciate the little touches of magic that goes into creating all the magic. Since there are thousands of hidden Mickey’s all over Disney World, there are enough to keep you busy to discover new ones during many future vacations.

Let’s have some fun finding a few Hidden Mickeys.

Can you find the Hidden Mickeys on Disney Cruise Line?

Keep an eye out in the parks and resorts. Some are more obvious than others, but they are all fun to find.

If you like to participate in the Disney pin trading activities, keep a lookout for special pins with Hidden Mickey’s.

Enjoy your scavenger hunt – Disney style.

Janene Jaroscak

Travel Specialist

 

After you enter Epcot and take your picture by Spaceship Earth, the big golf ball, everyone rushes to their favorite attractions. Test Track, Soarin’ and Frozen Ever After to name a few. What some people don’t realize is that there’s a lot of really cool hands on areas as well as having the opportunity to not only learn more about our world, but there’s also a lot to learn about some of the different countries that are part of our world.

Epcot consists of the World Showcase and Future World. Future World has pavilions that are dedicated to such topics as the ocean, space, transportation, agriculture, and innovation. Not only are their fun attractions at some of these pavilions, there’s also an area of hands on fun and learning. For example, after Journeying into the World of Imagination with Figment, you enter into the ImageWorks – The “What If’ Labs. It’s a sensory-inspired play space allows you to wave your arms like a conductor of an orchestra to create music, create a symphony of sound by jumping on squares on the ground, and record sounds and play it back in different speeds.

At Living with the Land, you’re able to sail through the greenhouses of The Land Pavilion on a boat to see firsthand how Disney’s horticulturalists are using innovative growing techniques and cross-breeding high-yield crops with the goal of sustaining our growing global population. And if you’re so inclined to learn more, you’re welcome to make a reservation for a walking tour of Behind the Seeds, which takes a deeper look at sustainable high-tech horticulture.

As if Future World doesn’t have enough to offer and experience, the World Showcase has even more. World Showcase is home to 11 countries. Each country will provide you with some learning about their culture, their people, and their community. Upon entering each country, you’ll be transported to another section of the globe by seeing familiar famous landmarks, smelling the cuisine specific to that country and even hearing the native language being spoken by cast members from these countries.

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Depending upon the country, you’ll also be able to learn more about that country, the culture, and the goods that they provide. For example, upon entering China, you’ll be able to journey through ancient and modern China by watching a short Circle-Vision 360 degree film called Reflections of China. You’ll follow along as the Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai guides you through the sights and sounds of China.

After leaving Reflections of China, you might find yourself in the middle of a performance of the Jeweled Dragon Acrobats, which is an acrobatic troupe from China that performs breathtaking feats of strength, agility and balance. You might also find that the film left you a little hungry for some authentic Chinese cuisine. Whether you’d like to sit, relax and enjoy a table service meal at Nine Dragons Restaurant or want to grab a quick bite on the go at the Lotus Blossom Café, you won’t be disappointed.

There are a lot of things to discover at Epcot both in Future World and World Showcase. These are just some highlights of the many ways to learn more about exploring our world and the other countries within our world. We hope you’ll have a chance to take advantage of all it has to offer the entire family. You might have fun learning something new along the way!

Leigh Miller

Travel Specialist

My ultimate favorite time to go to Walt Disney World is when they have “decked the halls” for the holiday season!  Between the stunningly, decorated Christmas trees, the lights, and the overall feeling of happiness in the air, it has all the makings for a truly magical Disney vacation!  Disney offers some extra “Disney Magic” during the holidays to make your trip even more festive.  These holiday activities include:

 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a separate ticketed event that takes place at the Magic Kingdom.  The special shows and attractions at the party include:

  • Castle Dream Lights on Cinderella Castle
  • Holiday Wishes fireworks performance
  • A Frozen Holiday Wish stage Show
  • Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration Show
  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
  • Meet-and-greet opportunities with 15 of  your favorite characters throughout Magic Kingdom dressed in their holiday best
  • Complimentary cookies and hot cocoa
  • A magical snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A.

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The 2017 dates for the Very Merry Christmas Party are:

November 9th, 10th, 12th, 14h, 16th, 17th, 26th and 28th

December 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 8th,10th, 12th, 14th, 15th,17th,19th ,21st and 22nd

Ticket price ranges from $89 to $109

Talk to your Travel Specialist about adding tickets to the Very Merry Christmas party to your family’s holiday trip.

 

Sunset Season’s Greetings and Jingle Bell Jingle Bam

 New this year to Hollywood Studios is Sunset Seasons Greetings.  As dusk settles over Hollywood Studios Sunset Boulevard, the lights of Christmas will start to twinkle and snow will begin to fall.  Billboards will come into motion and the “Tower of Terror” will transform as Disney characters start to tell stories of Christmases past, excitement over gifts, foods of the holiday, and beautiful Christmas sights.  Special characters joining this event include: Mickey and Minnie, Toy Story Toys, Olaf, and the Swedish Chef.

Another Christmas celebration is Jingle Bell Jingle Bam.  This incredible night time extravaganza uses the technology of projections, fireworks, and holiday music to tell the story of how Kris Kringle is rescued by stars of Disney’s Prep and Landing.  Another option with the Jingle Bell Jingle Bam holiday show is to take part in the Jingle Bell Jingle Bam Holiday party.  Talk to your travel specialist about adding a reservation onto your package and you will be able to dine on holiday sweets and drinks while enjoying the nighttime show in a special viewing area.

 

A Seasonal In-Room Celebration 

Disney floral gifts can transform your resort room into a holiday home away from home.  Imagine walking up to your Disney resort door to discover a Christmas banner welcoming your friends and family.  Once you step over the threshold you are welcomed by Disney Christmas décor and gifts from your favorite Disney characters.

For more information or to place an order please contact your Me and the Mouse Travel Specialist and they will be more than happy to help you add a some holiday magic to your resort stay!

 

An International Yuletide Extravaganza

At Epcot during the holiday season, you can experience how each of the 11 nations around the world showcase celebrates the holidays.  Indulge in seasonal favorites, experience live musical productions and costumed performers as they bring seasonal traditions to life.  You may also visit Santa and Mrs. Claus as they visit the American Pavilion.

Candlelight Processional

The Candlelight Processional includes a guest celebrity narrator and a 50 piece orchestra.  The narrator tells a moving story from the bible of how the Savior was born to a virgin in the city of Bethlehem.  Intertwined with the readings are choral songs of hope and joy making this a not to miss show!

The 2017 Celebrity Guest Narrator’s include:

TBD – November 24 to 26, 2017

Matt Bomer – November 27 to 28, 2017

TBD – November 29 to 30, 2017

Whoopi Goldberg – December 1 to 3, 2017

Pat Sajak – December 4 to 5, 2017

TBD – December 6 to 8, 2017

TBD – December 9 to 11, 2017

Warwick Davis – December 12 to 14, 2017

Trace Adkins – December 15 to 17, 2017

Neil Patrick Harris – December 18 to 21, 2017

CCH Pounder – December 22 to 24, 2017

Jaci Velasquez – December 25 to 27, 2017

Chandra Wilson – December 28 to 30, 2017

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Chip and Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree

Chip and Dale are looking for help as they collect ornaments for their Christmas tree!  Your family will need to make a stop at Epcot’s Disney Traders and World Travelers International Gateway and pick up a map (the price for the map is $6.99).  As you follow Chip and Dale around the World Showcase, learning how different cultures celebrate the Christmas holiday you will look for Chip and Dale.  When you spot them with their ornament you will place the corresponding ornament on your map.  After you have your map completed you can take it to Disney Traders and exchange for a special gift.

 

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At Epcot you can delight in inspirational holiday performances of Gospel, Jazz, R&B, and more.  These daily performances are located at the stage in front of the Future World Fountain.

 

Holiday Kitchen’s at Epcot

What is better than snacking around the World Showcase at Epcot?  Snacking on holiday goodies from around 11 different nations at Epcot!!!  Each marketplace will feature a festive holiday dining experience from each nation’s culture.

 

Illuminations

During Illuminations, Epcot’s fireworks and laser show, there are some holiday enhancements.  During the Holidays around the World at Epcot, the finale features the song, “Let there be peace on Earth”.

Disney’s Holiday D-Lights Tour

Disney’s Holiday D-Lights Tour is a 5-hour guided tour that will show you how Disney transforms into the most beautiful holiday wonderland!  Your tour guide or “Holiday Host” as they are called, will guide you on a journey with stops at Epcot to see the Candlelight Processional, Magic Kingdom to see the lighting ceremony of Cinderella’s Castle, and the star on top of the Christmas tree you will get to meet with some of the individuals responsible for turning Disney into a holiday wonderland.  You will also get to enjoy a family style barbeque dinner at Wilderness Lodge.

Tickets for this tour are $259 and you must be at least 12 years of age.

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Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy…A Backstage Adventure

During the Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy 3 hour tour you will meet at Epcot’s silver and blue guided tours Epcot location.  From there you will head backstage and learn about the logistics involved in the seasonal transformation of Walt Disney World Resort each year.  You will meet the Disney “Elves” that transform the resort into a Walt Disney holiday wonderland.  You will be guided through the World Showcase and learn how each country celebrates the holiday season.  You will also visit one of the resorts on the Disney property to see how Disney decorates on a grand scale using color, texture, attention to detail, illusion, and architecture.  You will also receive a special holiday keepsake.  To partake in the tour you must be at least 16 years of age.  Tickets for this tour are $99 per person. 

Disney Springs

At Disney Springs you can really dive into the spirit of the season.  The streets are decorated for a great family photo opportunity.  Your children can also visit with Santa Clause and you can stop at the Starbucks for some hot cocoa or maybe Ghirardelli for some ice cream.  You can also enjoy some live Christmas entertainment including christmas carolers, a tree lighting ceremony, a dance party, and you can take a walk amongst specialty decorated Christmas trees!

Just in case your kids weren’t exactly sure what they wanted on their Christmas lists there is plenty of shopping to be done at Disney Springs…including The Christmas Store!

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Victorian gingerbread house at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a beautiful place to visit and just look around if you don’t happen to be staying at that resort.  During the holidays there is another reason to make a stop on the monorail and visit the resort and the Victorian gingerbread house that they have on display!!!  The ingredients for the grandiose creation include: 1050lbs of honey, 140 pints of egg whites, 600lbs of powdered sugar, 700lbs of chocolate, 800lbs of flour, 35lbs of spices, and lots of Disney magic….oh did I forget to mention this is a fully functioning snack shop with actual cast members working inside!!!  Inside they sell creations such as: gingerbread men, gingerbread shingles, Mickey pops, and large gingerbread ornaments just to name a few.  Make sure to stop by and check this out!!!

Beth Rodgers

Travel Specialist

 

Walt Disney World’s newest attraction, Flight of Passage, is a like no other attraction at on property. This immersive ride will take you on breath-taking journey over the land on the back of a Banshee. This exciting new experience will leave you wanting to explore Pandora again and again.

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Like the Na’vi, guests can connect with these animals and form a lifelong bond with these magnificent creatures at The Rookery, which is located inside Windtraders, the primary merchandise location on Pandora.

The Rookery sits beneath a brightly colored hand-painted map depicting banshees soaring over Pandora. At the Rookery, a Naturalist from Alpha Centauri Expeditions will assist you in identifying a favorite Banshee from among 10 unique styles. Each interactive Banshee includes three ranges of motion – mouth, head, and wings – that are controlled by hand. Guests will also hear them make authentic banshee sounds, as they travel on your shoulder or sit on their perch.

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At the Rookery, guests can participate in a selection process where they are able to select their own Banshees to care for and take home. Guests are then asked to take the Banshee Pledge, which teaches the importance of the banshee as a symbol of their commitment to the environment.

Adopting a Banshee is a wonderful way to remember your adventures on Pandora. Banshees are $50 a piece and their perch can be purchased for $15. This unique keepsake has been in high demand since the opening of Pandora: The World of Avatar in May 2017. Colors and styles are subject to availability.

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Want to know more about Pandora! Check out our blogs on this magnificent new land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park.

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

Ahoy! I welcome you to take a tour with me to explore the exceptional features of a popular upscale water-front dining experience offering indoor and outdoor seating with exceptional views. In addition to helping you travel through a variety of food choices you will find while dining at this family-friendly restaurant, I will also explain why The BOATHOUSE will provide you with a unique experience for kids of all ages in your family.

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Don’t sink your chances of dining here. While walk-up patrons are welcome, reservations here or at any restaurant on Disney property are highly recommended so be sure to discuss your dining preferences with your agent from Me and the Mouse Travel. You may use your Disney Dining Plan. Two credits are required.

BoathouseSeafood and Steak offerings are the main event. If you are a seafood fan, you will find a variety of starters and main courses featuring “authentic fresh daily” seafood options that your palate will love exploring. Featured on the menu is an Original Lobster Bake for Two which includes: 1¼ pounds of Whole Main Lobster, Shrimp, Mussels, Clams, Oysters, Andouille Sau-sage, Red Potatoes, Corn on the Cob and Boathouse Lobster Broth. Other seafood offerings include Maine Lobster Bisque, Firecracker Shrimp, and New England Lobster Roll. Dock Side Buckets with fresh cut fries are offered as follows: “Coconut Fried Wild Sea of Cortez Shrimp”, “Crispy Panko-Fried Fish of the Day”, “Fried Wild Caught Atlantic Surf Clam Strips”.

If you are like me and seafood is not your thing don’t despair. You can sink your teeth into your choice of a variety of steaks – a NY Strip Steak, Filet Mignon, Chicago Cut Rib Eye or Porterhouse.

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There are also many other delicious “shore” options that will delight your taste buds such as grilled chicken breast, BBQ/Baby Back Ribs, and a variety of pasta including seafood choices.Mouth-watering rolls and butter are served and one basket may not be enough.Salad varieties include Garden, The Wedge, The Chopped, and Caesar, and Buffalo Chicken salads.

Sandwich selections such as a variety of burgers, pulled pork, club, Angus brisket French dip, and my favorite “the filet mignon sliders” are served with fresh cut fries. For your sweet tooth, you may want to end your meal with Key Lime pie in a Mason jar, Mango Sorbet, NY Style Blueberry Cake Cheesecake, a Root Beer Float or Whiskey Carmel Cornbread Cake. If you are looking for a dessert for a party of 4, try S’mores Baked Alaska or Florida Sunshine Cake.

Kids’ menus are available for children ages 9 and under. You will find special entrées, beverages and desserts designed with kids in mind.

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Live musicians perform most nights offering old school rock and roll, country, or pop music.

If you find you have time before or after your meal, be sure to explore The Boatique gift shop which is adjacent to The BOATHOUSE and features themed authentic nautical items. You will find many unique gifts personalized with fun sayings.

Amphicars

The BOATHOUSE is the only place in the world to enjoy an interactive experience by land and water by taking a Captain’s Guided Tour in a vintage Amphicar. What is an Amphicar? Great question! Amphicars are dream boats that look like vintage cars from the ‘30’s, ‘40’s and ‘50’ but, SURPRISE – THEY FLOAT! Stop by the marina and book a 25 minute water tour of Disney Springs. The cost of the ride is $125. In addition to the Captain, an Amphicar will hold 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 small children. Be sure to capture the memories of your Amphicar water adventure by asking about flexible photo packages. Before you depart on your Amphicar sailing, a picture of your family will be taken outside the car, inside the car and in the water. At the end of your water adventure, visit The Boatique gift shop to select your photo packages. Flexible packages and pricing are available. BONUS: You will receive a souvenir magnet(s) with your photo package depending on the option you choose. Other boat tours are available through The BOATHOUSE marina.

***Please note that all menu items and boat tour pricing are always subject to change***

Want to know more about The Boathouse and other fantastic dining options at Walt Disney World? Visit our blog for more Walt Disney World Restaurant reviews and other “Helpful Hints and Tips”. Contact your Me and The Mouse Travel specialist, who is happy to recommend and book all your dining reservations for you.

Traci Perjack

Travel Specialist

This past summer, Universal Orlando opened its gates to the most incredible and advanced water theme park I have ever seen.  It is no wonder this is a very popular (and very crowed) park! Here are three tips to enjoy your experience and dodge some of the crazy crowds.

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Tip #1 When Should I Get There? I have three very different recommendations on when to arrive to make sure you get in and not have to deal with horrible lines.  Your best bet is arrive at park opening and claim your chair at Waturi Beach.  This works even better if you are staying on site and eligible for Early Morning Hours.  You will be guaranteed entry and will have your choice of chairs and best view of the breathtaking volcano.  My second recommendation is after 4 pm.   Guests that have arrived in the morning are exhausted, sunburned and ready to leave, which means you will be walking into an empty park.  Similar to this strategy is a little more spontaneous, but very effective.  See a thunderstorm coming? If it is just one of those short Florida bursts, head over to Volcano Bay!  Most guests will not wait out the storm, and again, you will be walking into an empty park.

What to Avoid: Definitely do not try to arrive between 10-2 pm.  Since they have been closing park due to capacity, you would be risking being turned away at the gate.

Tip #2 – Use Tapu Tapu Wisely: IMG_0649Tapu Tapu is incredible technology launched by Universal to help you avoid standing in line for long periods of time.  You will receive your Tapu Tapu when you go through the entrance and feels like an Apple Watch.  To use, you will go to any of rides with a wait time listed and tap your band.  Your Tapu Tapu will buzz when it is time for you to ride.  To make the best use, go to the most popular ride in the park (Krakatau Aqua Coaster) and tap for your wait time, then go find rides with signs that say “Ride Now.” Tapu Tapu will hold your place in like for the Krakatau Aqua Coaster while you ride other lines, experience the lazy rivers, explore the caves or lay out on the beach.  While this doesn’t completely cut out standing in line, it does help you enjoy more during your day.

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What to Avoid: Don’t do a “Ride Now” without first tapping for one of the more popular rides.  Virtual lines fill up, too, and that can cause you to miss a ride you really want to do.   

 Tip #3 Lockers and Credit Cards: Right when you enter, test up your credit card to link your Tapu Tapu on the Universal Orlando app (you can pay for stuff with this, too with Taptu Pay!).  Next, take the path to the right to the very last lockers on the right hand side and rent a locker for the day.  These lockers will be the least crowded and in a more convenient location to the slides and restaurants.  Tapu Tapu actually controls your locker, too!

What to Avoid: Don’t go to the first locker area.  This is the most crowded and chaotic area of the entire park. 

To add Volcano Bay to your Universal package, contact your Me and the Mouse specialist.

Julie Stewart

Travel Specialist

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When you visit Universal – Orlando, I suggest adding a couple of extra days to your resort stay and enjoy all the other activities Universal has to offer without stepping foot in the parks.

You’re on vacation so take time to relax by enjoying one of the pools at any of the Universal Orlando resorts. One of the benefits of staying on property is your ability to pool hop between resorts. All the resorts can be accessed by a shuttle service or even a pleasant walk due to the proximity of the resorts.

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After spending a day in the sun, head over to Universal CityWalk, which is a destination in itself. It is packed with restaurants, shopping, nightclubs, miniature golf and an AMC movie theatre. You can find famous restaurants, such as Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville and Hard Rock Café. But there are other options including my favorite restaurant Antojitos, where you can enjoy authentic Mexican food and on certain nights, live Mariachi music.

The most popular attractions in CityWalk is the Blue Man Group. I recently experienced the Blue Man Group for the first time. It was a wonderful and entertaining time for all age groups. The audience becomes part of the show, which adds to the fun.

If taking in a sporting event is more up your alley, head over to the Cabana Bay Beach Resort for a dinner and bowling at the Galaxy Bowl. The bowling alley follows the same retro feel as the rest of Cabana Bay and is located on the second floor of the resort. Or maybe hitting the links for a round of miniature golf on one of two 18-hole golf courses. The Hollywood Drive-in golf is located on the first floor by the parking garage of CityWalk. This is a unique miniature golf course that takes on a sci-fi and haunted twist (depending on the course you chose) with fun and over the top special effects, but very family friendly.

When planning your Universal Orlando stay, keep in mind the extra activities when deciding on the number of days to spend at your resort and create more memories of your vacation.

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Janene Jaroscak

Travel Specialist

 

Oh my favorite thing…food on VACA!! What’s even better? Having a meal where you can get a great portion and awesome food for the money (or quick service credit) you are spending. Below is the top 5 based on food quantity and/or quality based on my personal experience along with our agent’s and guest’s favorites!

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Megan Thompson

Travel Specialist