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

 

 

Lights, Camera, Action!  Welcome to Disney’s All Star Movies Resort.  The All Star Movies resort is one of three All Star value resorts on Disney property.  This resort will get your family into the scenes of some of your favorite legendary Disney movies.

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I had the opportunity to stay at All Star Movies resort with my family.  My kids were enamored by the gigantic character scenes that were located in each of the 5 different themed areas of the resort.  These huge scenes are perfect photo opportunities for your family!

The rooms (both preferred and standard), are 260 sq. feet and have 2 double beds.  They can accommodate a family of four.  They can accommodate a family of five if one of the children is under the age of 3 and sleeping in a Pack N’ Play. The rooms do come with a mini fridge, flat screen TV, wireless internet, hair dryer, iron and ironing board.   

Preferred Rooms are located closer to the main building, dining, and transportation.  At the All Star Movies resort the preferred rooms are located in Toy Story, Fantasia, and 101 Dalmatians sections of the resort. The standard room are located further away from the main building, but many also find these rooms are more quiet, as there is not as much foot traffic. The standard rooms are located in the Mighty Ducks and Herbie the Love Bug Sections.  

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The All Star Movies resort features 2 heated pools always kept at a nice 80 degrees.  The first pool is called Fantasia and is located between the 2 Fantasia buildings and right outside Cinema Hall.  My kids loved that the pools were heated and that even though we were there at an unusually cold week in November, they could still enjoy some time swimming.  Located close to the Fantasia pool you can also enjoy a smaller “kiddie pool”.  The second pool is called Duck Pond Pool. It has a hockey theme and is located between the Mighty Duck buildings and not far from the 101 Dalmatians building.

 all Star Movies 2Within the Cinema Hall building you will find dining options at The World Premiere Food Court which features 5 marquee themed quick service restaurants opened from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. There is something for everybody’s taste buds at the Quick Service Dining locations at the All-Star Movies. From the typical child favorites of pizza and hamburgers to grilled chicken, pasta, and barbecue ribs! The resort also offers room service of pizza, salad, and beverages from 5 p.m.-midnight! Silver Screen Spirits is a pool side bar located next to the Fantasia pool and serves a continental breakfast in the morning and sandwiches and snacks the remainder of the day.

For more information on this or any of the other amazing Disney resorts contact your Me and the Mouse Travel Specialist!

Beth Rodgers

Me and the Mouse Travel Specialist

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Step back to a simpler time in this retro style resort. Depicting the feel of the 1950’s and 60’s, this resort makes you feel you have walked onto the set of Mad Men and the Brady Bunch. Cabana Bay may be considered a value resort, but it is fabulous well-appointed and clean resort and perfect for families with their spacious family suites, that sleeps up to 6 people or their 2 Bedroom suites, that sleep up to 8. All family suites make dining more convenient for busy families with each suite fully equipped with kitchenettes complete with microwaves, mini-refrigerators and a kitchen sink. Each living area also has its own flat screen TV.

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If water fun is on your agenda, you can enjoy two large pools, one is complete with a lazy river. In my opinion, the best part of Cabana Bay is the fact it is adjacent to the all-new Volcano Bay Water Park. Universal recently opened the tower portion of the resort and some of the suites in the brand-new tower provide a spectacular view of Volcano Bay.

For your dining convenience, there are plenty of quick service dining options throughout the resort including pizza delivery and a Starbucks to help kickstart your day. If you are looking for fun and a table service option, take in a few rounds of bowling at the Galaxy Bowl and grab dinner at the Galaxy Bowl restaurant.

Loews Cabana Bay Beach Resort Collage

If you didn’t get enough exercise walking around the parks, stop by the Jack LaLanne Fitness area. Yes, for those of that age group, that Jack LaLanne in the one-piece workout suit. The fitness club has state of the art equipment, but you can also see Jack LaLanne memorabilia.

As with any of the Universal resorts, you will enjoy early park access to enjoy the parks before the crowds arrive.

Enjoy your time at Universal Studios!!!

Janene Jaroscak

Travel Specialist

A huge part of our family’s experience when we visit any Disney destination is enjoying so many amazing restaurants. Good food allows us to relax and simply enjoy the moment together. Great food keeps us coming back!

When we’re back home, we’ll think back on that special something and wish we could have just one bite! For me, the bread pudding at Ohana’s at the Polynesian Village is one of those “aaaaah” foods. Lucky for my family, it’s also pretty easy to make!

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Nancy Wideman
Travel Specialist

Loews Portofino Bay Resort is my resort of choice while visiting Universal Studios in Orlando. The beautiful re-creation of the famed seaside resort village of Portofino, Italy truly gives you the feeling of a piece of Italy in Orlando. I have stayed here on several occasions and continue to come back because it is exquisite in every way. The rooms are spacious and luxurious designed with superior quality and make you feel like a V.I.P. while you are a guest. You will feel the grandeur as you enter the lobby.

The service here is impeccable. This upscale resort is worth every penny because it includes complementary Universal Express passes for each guest in your party. The Universal Express pass allows you to skip the lines on many of the popular rides at the Universal Parks, including all of the Harry Potter attractions. You will also receive one hour early entry into the parks allowing you to beat the crowds. Water taxi service is available from this resort which provides easy access to the parks.

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If you are looking for a fun hotel catering to children, try a Despicable Me-themed Kid Suite with a Garden or Bay View. Parents can have privacy in a beautiful master bedroom with a king bed and the kids will have a connecting room with 2 twin beds shaped like Minion missiles.

The grounds and pools are always beautiful and well kept. Portofino Bay offers 3 swimming pools. The Beach pool is a lively pool ideal for families. It has a waterslide and a sandy beach. The Villa pool has a more serene atmosphere. Lastly, the Hillside pool offers more privacy. It is great to be able to return to your resort for some poolside relaxation after spending an active day at the parks. The Mandara Spa promises blissful renewal of both mind and body and offers a variety of spa services and treatments, a complimentary fitness center, and exclusive steam and sauna facilities.

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Each evening at sunset, the Harbor Piazza hosts nightly Italian musical performances, including Opera Singers, which really adds to the ambiance of this magnificent resort. It is a delightful way to end the day.

There are many restaurants onsite at Portofino Bay serving a variety of menus, including Mama Della’s Ristorante, Trattoria del Porto, Sal’s Market Deli and the superb Bice Ristorante. Dining and ambiance at this onsite resort is part of the wonderful experience at staying at a Universal resort.

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This resort holds a special place in my heart because of the incredible memories my family has made there. Loew’s Portofino Bay Resort offers onsite guests the opportunity to enjoy time away to rest, relax and enjoy a little piece of Italy.

Contact your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist to book your next vacation to Universal Studios Orlando!

Traci Perjak
Travel Specialist

Starting November 18, 2017 and running through January 6, 2018, you can celebrate the holidays at Universal with special entertainment, including an exciting new transformation in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Universal Orlando Resort Holiday Activities - Hogwarts

Included with your admission ticket to the Universal theme parks:

  • Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is extra magical. It will include festive decorations, special sweets and treats, entertainment, and a beautiful new projection show up on Hogwart’s castle that is sure to delight all Muggles.
  • Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s as Santa Claus is joined by the Minions. You’ll also see some of your favorite characters from Madagascar and Shrek!
  • A live re-telling by the Grinch of the Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular.
  • Mannheim Steamroller returns with live performances of Christmas classics on select nights.
  • Holiday activities and exclusive benefits at Universal’s on-site resorts.

A separately ticketed New Year’s celebration, EVE, is sure to be the biggest party of the year at Universal’s CityWalk.

Universal Orlando Resort Holiday Activities - Minions

Included in your Universal package:

  • A stay in one of Universal’s beautiful on-site resorts. Choose from Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Loews Sapphire Falls, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Hard Rock Hotel, and Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
    • Guests staying at the Royal Pacific, Hard Rock, or Portofino Bay hotels also received unlimited Express Passes for participating rides and attractions.
  • Early Admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – one hour before the general public!
  • Free transportation within the resort. A water taxi is a convenient and fun way to explore other resorts. The parks and CityWalk are all in close proximity to each other.
  • Charging privileges throughout the resort.

Universal Orlando Resort Holiday Activities - Grinchmas

BONUS inclusions if you book the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Exclusive Vacation Package.:

  • 4 night hotel accommodations
  • 3-Park, 4-Day Park to Park ticket
  • Breakfast at the Leaky Cauldron in Universal Studios
  • Breakfast at the Three Broomsticks in Universal’s Islands of Adventure
  • One Shutterbutton’s Photography Studio session in Diagon Alley.

Packages for the holiday celebrations include visits to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Universal’s exhilarating new water park, Volcano Bay.

Holiday packages are booking now, so contact a Me and the Mouse travel specialist to reserve your favorite resort! To make your visit even more magical, combine visits to Universal Orlando with Walt Disney World and get the best of both resorts during the holidays!

Nancy Wideman

Travel Planner

Get ready for Universal’s SCARIEST event of the YEAR! 

As summer winds down, fall quickly follows full of fun and its own kind of excitement. Although the end of summer saddens many, it does bring one of the most anticipated holidays for Universal Studios Orlando….Halloween!!  Universal hosts one of THE most frightening, but exciting events! We are so thrilled to talk about Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights!

Halloween Horror Nights - 2017

 

What to Expect:  

The streets of Universal are transformed into the most terrifying location you’ve ever seen. 

  • Experience scare zones throughout the park, but BEWARE!  They’re filled with monsters and maniacs ready frighten you ALL night long.  
  • Walk through brilliantly themed haunted houses!  This year, American Horror Story is making its second-year return and NEW this year is The Shining…beware of room 237!  
  • Stop {and cover your eyes} during shockingly graphic live shows.
  • Also enjoy many of the park’s rides/attractions.  

Halloween Horror Nights - 2017

 

Dates/Event Time:

  • September: 15 – 17, 21 – 24, 29 – 30
  • October: 1, 4 – 8, 11 – 15, 18 – 22, 25 – 31
  • November: 3 – 4
  • Begins @ 6:30 PM {closing times vary}

 

Event Tickets

There’s an array of options to get as much {or little} scare as you desire.  Below are ticket/pricing options to choose the amount of fright you prefer!  

**Pricing is advance purchase prices, per person, & NOT including tax

 

1. Halloween Horror Night Flex Tickets

Is ONE event all you can handle?  Choose the ticket that includes the day of the week you plan to take your chances.      

  • Flex Sunday – Friday:  $77.99
  • Flex Sunday – Saturday:  $85.99

Add On:  Express Pass

  • Get one-time express ride access for a specific event date.  
  • Enjoy a separate queue line with shorter wait times at ALL haunted houses and participating rides/attractions.
  • Pricing/night varies {$79.99 – $129.99}

**Looking to save money on one-day passes?  Save up to $50 on select nights with a Coca-Cola can product when you buy advance tickets!!  

2. Fear Passes

If being scared is your thing, these passes are for you.  They offer amazing savings for multiple nights of terror!

  • Rush of Fear:  Access to the 1st ten nights.
    • $91.99
    • With Express Pass: $299.99
  • Frequent Fear:  Up to 21 nights of Halloween Horror Night admission {Sunday, Wednesday, & Thursday event nights} plus the 1st weekend {September 16 & 17}.
    • $102.99
    • With Express Pass:  $339.99
  • Frequent Fear Plus:   Up to 28 nights of Halloween Horror Night admission {Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday event nights} plus the 1st {September 16 & 17} and last weekend {November 3 & 4}.  
    • $118.99
    • With Express Pass:  $399.99
  • Ultimate Frequent Fear:  Access to all Halloween Horror Night event nights!  
    • $199.99
    • With Express Pass:  $599.99

Halloween Horror Nights - 2017

Know before you go!

This event has so much to look forward to, but like anything, rules and warnings must be heeded.

  • NO masks or costumes allowed!!
  • NO food, drinks, bottles, recordings, flash photography, flashlights, or laser pens allowed in the Haunted Houses.
  • Motorized wheelchairs and ECVs are NOT permitted in any queue, haunted house, or on any ride vehicle.

BE WARNED!  This INTENSE event is NOT recommended for young children under age 13.

Anyone who enjoys the scare that Halloween brings should NOT miss this event!  Contact a Me and the Mouse Travel specialist for further details on planning for the fright of your life! We can’t wait to hear from you!

Megan Thompson

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!

 

 

As you may or may not know, Caribbean Beach Resort, a Moderate Resort on Walt Disney World Resort property, has been undergoing some extensive refurbishments and construction over the last few months.  Construction is projected to continue through June 2018 to make way for fabulous new rooms, additional hotel buildings within the resort, new dining experiences, and some other surprise features as well {like deluxe resort quality mattresses}!

Caribbean Beach Updates

While we still encourage our guests to stay at this wonderful resort – to enjoy the ‘cluster’ housing design, great themed pools, and Island feel – we want you to be informed on the most recent updates to this resort.

 

In May 2017, many building clusters were sequestered from others by way of sidewalk. Other sections of the resort are only accessible by your own car, or by Disney internal bus system.  This is mainly a safety precaution due to heavy machinery working daily.  

Wondering about construction noise?  Work typically begins at 9am, and ends at dusk.  Evening work has been pushed to a minimum.  Construction has not been projected to interrupt your family time for sleeping!

Caribbean Beach UpdatesIt might be a little more difficult for travel to the main building {Centertown} for snacks, meals and quick drinks. So, Disney has created a room in each building cluster and designated it as an ‘Island Market’. The Market is staffed by a Cast Member to assist you with bottled drinks, coffee, grab and go style snacks, breakfast muffins and fruit. They are located in Aruba, Martinique, and Jamaica clusters. Coke Free-Style machines have been added to these markets and accept the resort refillable mugs! Some dining plan credits are accepted at these markets, but you will have to verify the dining plan logo.  This convenience has alleviated a lot of headache, and is a great addition to guest service!

Pool parties at the main pool have stepped up the guest interaction!  While not daily, a few characters have been known to show up and host a dance party with our younger guests! Weather permitting, Minnie, Goofy, and Donald have been making sporadic appearances at the main resort pool.  Appearances are not guaranteed, however.

Caribbean Beach Updates

The permanent dining experiences in Centertown are closed for refurbishment. However, a new breakfast buffet is now open at the outdoor eatery. Dining plan quick service credits are accepted.  Food trucks have also been set up around Centertown offering a variety of island inspired dishes for guests to enjoy in lieu of the traditional dining locations at Caribbean Beach Resort.  Room service options are still available as well!

Finally, a nice touch to a client room who just returned from a stay at Caribbean Beach – upon arrival, a gift basket was awaiting them on their bed.  The basket was filled with snacks, cereal and milk, a few drinks, and a Caribbean Beach lunch sized cooler bag.  ***It is unclear if this is a trend we will see in all rooms. This particular room’s view was of heavy construction, and a crane.  ***We cannot guarantee your room will have a gift basket***

 

Guests are still flocking to this resort, regardless of the construction. Disney is doing an amazing job to accommodate guests and to still provide world-class amenities and services.  We hope your stay at Caribbean Beach is a wonderful one!

 

Want to book a stay at Caribbean beach? Contact a Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist today!

 

Amy Sowinski

Travel Specialist

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