Coming to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

The Frozen Summer Games return to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park at Walt Disney World Resort starting May 26th, 2017! You won’t want to miss out on this snowy, Frozen, summery fun!

When you get to Blizzard Beach you can join either Team Kristoff or Team Olaf, and you can participate in a wide variety of fun {& refreshing} activities. Choose to join in on the Ice Pail Relays, Snowball Toss, Ski Pole Limbo, and Slide Races!

 

Frozen Summer Games at Blizzard BeachThe fun really starts when you get to meet Kristoff! For the “first time in forever”, you can meet and take photos with both Kristoff and Olaf at their special character greeting location inside Disney’s Blizzard Beach.

Blizzard Beach will be full of extra fun, laughter, and memories! There will be crafts, games, and a DJ spinning fun, uptempo tunes throughout the day! The Frozen Summer Games are sure to be a hit this summer at Disney’s Blizzard Beach, and you’re going to want to join in on all the festivities!

Interested in adding a day at Blizzard Beach to your trip this summer?! Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today. We would LOVE to help you plan and take the stress away from you!

 

Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, MercyMe, & MORE!

This fall is full of fun in Orlando, FL. You can kick off the fall festivities with the 35th Disney Night of Joy! This year’s event will feature 15 of the greatest performers in the Contemporary Christian music industry. Join in on the JOY either Friday, September 8th or Saturday, September 9th, 2017!

 

Night of JOY at ESPNSeveral Country Christian Music legends like MercyMe, Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Kirk Franklin will take the stage. However, you will meet new Christian hit artists like Danny Gokey, Jordan Feliz, and Rend Collective. The EPSN Complex will feature two nights of awe-inspiring music. And, we’ve heard that Amy and Steven might even sing a couple of songs together!

The concert experience doesn’t stop there. Matthew West will be the host for the two-night event this year. He will be running around the complex, introducing artists, and keeping everything moving!

You will not want to miss this year’s event. The Night of Joy features one of the greatest concert lineups in Contemporary Christian music history.

Take a Look at the Current Schedule:

(Entertainment subject to change.)

  • Friday, Sept. 8 – MercyMe, TobyMac, Natalie Grant, Danny Gokey, Matt Maher, Colton Dixon, Rend Collective, Zach Williams.
  • Saturday, Sept. 9 – Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, Kirk Franklin, Jordan Feliz, Crowder, Jeremy Camp, Tye Tribbett.

Tickets will go on sale in early June. Stay tuned for more information! If you are interested in adding this amazing concert experience on to your current Disney vacation, contact a Me and The Mouse agent today. OR – if you’re looking to add a day {or two} at the parks, before the concert, one of our travel specialists would LOVE to help you plan a day full of fun!

Elizabeth Hollman

Owner & 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

Loews Royal Pacific at Universal Orlandoulie4Staying “on property” at Universal Orlando definitely has its perks, but what you might not expect is the high quality of their hotels.  I had the pleasure of staying at Loews Royal Pacific during my last visit and had one of my most enjoyable hotel stays to date in Orlando.

Loews Royal Pacific is a tropical, “South Pacific” themed resort just tenths of a mile away from the entrance of Islands of Adventure.  While you are just walking distance away from Universal Studios, you feel a surprising sense of peace and relaxation in this gorgeous resort hotel. Room types include water view and garden view rooms available with one king bed or two queens at 335 square feet as well as suites, including the popular Jurassic Park kids’ suites. Loews Royal Pacific at Universal OrlandoThese rooms provide an incredibly comfortable night’s rest so you are refreshed and ready for Early Entry to the Wizarding World the next day!

 

If you are looking for recreation and amenities, Royal Pacific offers some of the very best in the area.  The center piece of this resort is the huge lagoon-style pool with two hot tubs and an interactive water play area for little ones.  When you aren’t at the parks, you can take part in poolside activities such as ping pong, hula hoop contests, arts and crafts and poolside “Dive-In Movies” after dark.   If you aren’t too exhausted from enjoying your day in the parks, there is 5,000 square foot fitness center complimentary to guests.

 

Loews Royal Pacific at Universal Orlando

Another huge draw to this resort is the variety of shopping and dining located within the resort.  With two large Universal gift shops located within the hotel, all the souvenirs and items you may have left at home are at your fingertips.  You are also sure to never go hungry with a variety of restaurants located throughout the hotel.  Emeril’s Tchoup Chop, featuring Asian Fusion food, and Islands Dining Room for breakfast with some of my favorite Universal friends are some of the most enjoyable meals I have ever had in the Orlando area and are all very reasonably priced.

 

Loews Royal Pacific at Universal OrlandoWith any Universal Orlando resort stay, guests are treated to exclusive advantages to make the most of your time in the theme parks.  Guests can enjoy complimentary transportation to and from the parks and City Walk via boat, early entry into the Wizarding World and free Universal Express Pass for every member of your party.  Extras like these make this resort an excellent value that your whole family will be sure to enjoy!

 

To book a Universal package or hotel stay at Loews Royal Pacific, please contact your Me & the Mouse Travel Specialist.

Julie Stewart

Travel Specialist

Sprinkles at Disney SpringsLocated in the Marketplace Town Center right in the Heart of Disney Springs (across from The Landing) hides this hidden gem!  Sprinkles Cupcakes boasts a wide variety of sweet treats, including gourmet cupcakes, cookies, ice cream, shakes, and an assortment of specialty beverages.

Sprinkles opened its doors at Disney Springs May 15, 2016 and continues to command a crowd of sweet seekers nightly.  The hours of operation are 10am – 12am daily.  During peak seasons, they have a queue out front for guests, so the line doesn’t get out of control while they wait for their sweet treat.  For patrons on the go, the Sprinkles at Disney Springs even has a Cupcake ATM! {I know, it sounds amazing!} It’s restocked throughout the day and night. So you can purchase cupcakes and cookies 24 hours a day {again, this sounds like a dream!!}!  Guests can enjoy their cupcakes out on the deck overlooking the Disney Springs Marketplace and Walking Bridge in the heart of the entertainment district.
Sprinkles at Disney Springs

Sprinkles has an assortment of cupcake sizes: regular and mini and flavors: chocolate, vanilla, banana, coconut, lemon, salty caramel, and many more!  They also update their menu weekly, monthly and seasonly. So, anytime you go you can always try something different! My current favorite flavors are raspberry chocolate chip and maple bacon.  Sprinkles also caterers to a variety of dietary restrictions by offering vegan, sugar free and gluten free cupcakes. To top off the whole experience, you can watch the cupcake bakers make the sugary sweet treats while you wait! I am fascinated by the baking process, and watching it makes the wait much more fun!

Sprinkles at Disney SpringsSprinkles also has a perks program that offers deals and information about upcoming flavors and promotions.  You get a free cupcake for signing up AND one on your birthday!!  The more you visit, the more perks you earn.  Who doesn’t love FREE and CUPCAKES?!
So, the next time you’re at Disney Springs day or night don’t forget to stop by Sprinkles and pick up a cupcake or a dozen! P.S. Be sure to tag your photos on social media with #MeandTheMouse so we can see all the fun you’re having!
If you’re looking for more fun activities to do outside of the parks, contact a Me and The Mouse agent today. We would love to help put a little extra magic into your next visit!

Amy Pattee

Travel Specialist

 

A Universal Orlando Character Dine Review

Character Dining at Universal If you want to see characters on your next Universal Orlando vacation, avoid the long lines for character meet and greets and enjoy breakfast with some of your favorite friends.  Often overlooked is the character breakfast at Islands Dining Room located at Loews Royal Pacific Resort. {Read more about this incredible resort, here.} This breakfast has wonderful character interaction and a wide variety of breakfast foods all for a great value.

Every Sunday morning Islands Dining Room comes alive with characters from The Simpsons, Despicable Me, Hop and more while guests enjoy an all-you-can eat breakfast buffet.  Each character visits your table for photos, autographs and meaningful interactions.  Unlike many other character meals, I found the character breakfast at Islands to be peaceful, low key and very relaxing. Character Dining at Universal

Included in the buffet are many breakfast favorites like scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, fresh fruit, waffles, pastries and an omelet station.  While nothing on the buffet is particularly original, I felt the quality, variety and taste were all excellent.  There is truly something for everyone, even the pickiest eaters.

I also really enjoyed the environment and the feel of this restaurant.  Islands is a beautiful, tropically-themed restaurant with views of lush tropical plants and the and  South Pacific-inspired décor.  It is easy to kick back, relax and forget you are just walking distance from the hustle and bustle of City Walk, Universal Studios-Florida and Islands of Adventures. Character Dining at Universal

The character breakfast at Islands Dining Room is offered only on Sundays between 7am-12pm.  At $26.99 per adult and $14.99 per child, this is an excellent value for an all-you-can-eat character breakfast.   During the off season, it is fairly easy to walk up and be seated within 10 minutes, however, reservations are recommended.  To reserve your breakfast at Islands, please contact your Me and the Mouse Travel Specialist.

Julie Stewart

Travel Specialist

Dining Plan at Walt Disney WorldIs the Disney Dining Plan worth adding to my vacation package?  What’s included in the Dining Plan?  Do we have to order from a select few entrees?  These are just are a few questions about the Disney Dining Plan that we are asked from our clients.

 

YES!!!  The Disney Dining Plans is worth it.  With over 200 restaurants on property that accept the Disney Dining plan, you will find a wide variety of dining options on the menus at restaurants across the parks, resort properties and Disney Springs.  Your dining credits are available from the moment you check-in to your Disney resort and are applicable until midnight of the night you check-out.  This flexible plan allows guests options in using their dining credits. Dining Plan at Walt Disney World

 

The Disney Dining Plan can actually SAVE you money.  In fact, it is about a 20% savings on the Disney Dining Plan and about 25% on the Deluxe Dining Plan.  My family was recently on vacation at Walt Disney World and this is an example of my dining for the day.

 

Pinocchio’s Village Haus – $15.00

Snack (Dole Whip) – $5.00

Character Dinner at Chef Mickey’s + tip – $60.00 +$12 

Snack (Mickey Ice Cream Bar) -$4.00

Total Cost – $96

 

Dining Plan at Walt Disney WorldOn the 2017 Disney Dining Plan (Disney’s most popular dining plan), you receive 1 table service restaurant, 1 counter service restaurant and 2 snacks per person for each night’s stay at your Walt Disney World resort.  The cost of the day’s worth of dining on the Disney Dining Plan would be around $70.00!!!

Whether your a family who is “on the go” and doesn’t want to be “too scheduled” with your day, a family that enjoys adding character meals to their itinerary to get that extra one on one time with multiple Disney characters, or a couple looking to experience the amazing Signature Dining experiences that Disney offers its guests, there is a Disney Dining Plan for you!  Your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist will work with you to determine which dining plan (Quick, Disney or Deluxe) is the perfect fit for your Disney vacation. Dining Plan at Walt Disney World

If you are like my family, you like having the details of your vacation taken care of.  Adding a Disney Dining Plan allows you to save money, as well as lets everyone choose exactly what they want to eat without having to discuss:  “How many drinks are we buying?  Can I have dessert?”  With the Disney Dining Plan, the details are already taken care of for you.

We love the ease and money savings that the Disney Dining plans add to a resort guests stay at Walt Disney World.   Let your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist know that you want to include the a Disney Dining Plan to your resort vacation package.

 


2017 DISNEY DINING PLAN PRICING

 

*All Disney Dining Plans include a Resort Refillable Mug ($18.00 value) for each guest

**Guests 2 years old or younger do not have to be on a Dining Plan, but are welcome to share a meal with another family member.

 

                    Per Adult, Per Night                                      Per Child, Per Night

                            (ages 10 years and older)                         (children ages 3-9 years old)

 

Quick Service Dining:     $49.00                                                            $22.00 

Disney Dining Plan:         $70.00                                                            $26.00

Deluxe Dining Plan:       $106.00                                                            $40.00


 

Any other questions? Contact your Me and The Mouse agent!

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

1…2…3…Say Cheese!

Photo Spots on AttractionsAs a huge fan of the Memory Maker photo package, I want to be sure to get some fun pictures from the rides that offer PhotoPass at Walt Disney World. Pictures are great memories of a vacation and these rides will give you enjoyable moments to look back on. Be prepared for that picture perfect moment!

Magic Kingdom

  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – the room right before this picture is near the end of the ride and has a video of Zurg’s ship moving from side to side as you gather your last points. Your vehicle locks into a forward facing direction and then the picture is taken. Be sure that little faces are between the two blasters or their faces might be hidden in the picture. Photo Spots on Attractions
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – not one but two pictures are taken on this ride. The first picture is taken as you come out of the mine and into the light for the first drop. The next picture is taken later in the series of turns as you approach the end of the ride.
  • Space Mountain – when the ride first starts, you head down a tube of flashing blue lights. Right after the tunnel, you take a sharp turn and the picture is taken right after that turn.
  • Splash Mountain – your moment is captured right as you start the 50 foot drop. Say cheese! Photo Spots on Attractions

 Epcot

  • Frozen Ever After – part of this ride is experienced backwards. Your boat turns forwards when you see Marshmallow and the Snowgies and this is the time to get ready for your perfect pose. Your picture is captured as you start the decent that is also viewed from outside the ride.
  • Test Track – get ready to pose as you break through the barrier to the outdoor speed portion of this ride.

Hollywood Studios

  • Rock n Roller Coaster3, 2, 1, go! Not only is the countdown indicating the start of the ride, but it’s also a countdown to your picture taken at 57 mph.
  • Tower of Terrorwith no two rides the same, be ready for your picture as you are pulled down the hotel’s elevator shaft.
    Photo Spots on Attractions

Animal Kingdom

  • Expedition Everestthis roller coaster takes your picture after you turn back forwards and drop outside the mountain.
  • Dinosaurwatch out for the huge dinosaur on the right hand side near the end of this ride as your picture captures your reaction to it looming over you.

The front rows of the ride will give you the best picture of your family. If there are people behind you, don’t put your arms up as there is a good chance you will hide the people’s faces behind you. Have fun experimenting with poses. The memories you bring home will bring smiles to all for years to come.

 

Michelle Browne

Travel Specialist

Viking River CruiseMy family recently enjoyed a family reunion onboard a Viking River Cruise on the Rhine River sailing from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland.  Viking made the journey worry free and easy, so we could enjoy your time together and not have to worry about any of the details. It was a first-class experience and exceeded our expectations.

This was the perfect vacation for a large family that included members in their 80’s and individuals who had never been to Europe.  Many people associate river cruising with grandparents, but I would estimate that the average age on our ship were in their 50’s with quite a few in their 30’s. Viking River Cruise

For us, there were many benefits to sailing with Viking:

  1. Traveling along the Rhine immersed us in the history and beauty of the region. The onboard activities include local musicians, dining to give you a taste of the local culture and speakers that discuss the local region.
  2. Each day had one included excursion at each port of call and optional excursions that we could add-on. The additional excursion options offered a variety of activity levels, so there was something for everyone. We were transported in luxury motor coaches.
  3. We had plenty of time on our own to explore cities. If our included excursions were in the morning, it gave us an opportunity to get the lay of the land so we felt comfortable venturing out on our own after lunch or dinner. Viking River Cruise
  4. The tour guides were exceptional and the groups were also well managed. Those that wanted to go at a slower pace or needed a little extra assistance were put into separate groups.
  5. Our meals were fabulous with all wine and beer included at lunch and dinner. We also had 3 members of our family with dietary needs and they were accommodated beautifully.
  6. We were on one of Vikings Longships, which is elegant, modern and provided a comfortable environment. The 190-passenger ship was small and intimate and all staterooms are outside cabins. We never had more than 2 flights of stairs to get anywhere, which made moving about the ship very convenient.

 

We will definitely enjoy a future vacation to discover other regions of Europe. The Viking hospitality has us sold.

 

Janene Jaroscak

Travel Specialist

Viking River Cruise