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

At Akershus Royal Banquet HallAkershus Royal Banquet Hall

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is located at Epcot’s Norway Pavillion. It is a fantastic opportunity to meet and greet with Disney Royalty on your next Walt Disney World vacation.
 
Join the Disney Princesses for Storybook Dining inside a medieval castle setting in heart of Norway.  When you arrive, guests are immediately greeted by Belle in her gorgeous yellow ballgown.  Don’t worry, a Photopass photographer is present! This means you will have a fantastic photo on your Memory Maker photo account. You will be able to enjoy later and send out to family and friends.
 

Akershus Royal Banquet HallAfter your visit with Belle, guests are are seated in one of two rooms reminiscent of great hall inside a storybook castle.  On my most recent visit, our waiter Paal explained the menu and made suggestions from the menu.  At lunch and dinner, every Guest’s royal feast begins with a “Taste of Norway”. This features Scandinavian seafood, imported cheeses, cured and sliced meats, and a wide selection of salads and fruits.  I went with Paal’s suggestions of  Tradisjonell Kjøttkake  (Swedish meatballs), which was very good.  
 
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
As we dined, many of our favorite Disney Princeses circulated the restaurant and visited with each table.  The Princesses spent amble time with each table allowing for conversation and multiple photo opportunities. By the end of our meal, we were able to meet with Snow White, Aurora, Ariel and Mulan in addition to our formal picture time with Belle.  The Princesses also invite your own little Prince or Princesses to join in the fun. Your child will be able to join their Princess Parade through the restaurant.  I witnessed many smiles as the little princesses waved to guests as they followed the Disney Princesses through the restaurant greeting and welcoming guests to the hall.  
Akershus Royal Banquet HallAkershaus Royal Banquet hall is an excellent opportunity to visit with your favorite Disney Princess. {It only uses 1 table service credit on the Disney Dining plan!}  Lunch and dinner menus have more of an acquired palette. However, children will find traditional favorites like pizza and pasta on their menu.  Be sure to check out the menu here first to see if it fits your family’s taste.  Otherwise, my recommendation would be to book a breakfast here and enjoy traditional favorites like waffles, bacon and eggs.
 
Character dining is a great way to skip the lines and visit with multiple Disney friends as one time.  If your little one is anxious to meet their favorite Disney Princesses then a meal at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall will be a lasting Disney memory for your family.   Want to know more about character dining opportunities with the Princesses, you can read more in our blog, HERE or contact your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist for more details.

Tressa Krippel

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

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

 

 

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

Me and The Mouse Team Trip 2017I had the absolute pleasure of taking my team to Walt Disney World for our very first Me and The Mouse conference from February 8-12.  It was held over a five day period. We maximized every moment of that time! Most of the agents had not met each other before this trip so this was very special to all of us.  Our days included lots of team building, getting to know each other, and activities that focused on camaraderie.   We built our own memories as a team, From team scavenger hunts to a board room conference, to the squeals and laughs on the rides.

The faces behind Me and The Mouse consists of a team full of big hearts, loving the Disney brand, and who all share a common goal of planning a memorable vacation for families.  We just love what we do.  We love visiting Disney and learning new findings to report back to our clients.  Whether it’s a honeymoon, a multigenerational vacation or anything in between, we treat every trip as if it were our very own.

The five days I spent with my team was an honor.  I learned so much about each of them and also about myself.  We spent time growing as a team. We strategized new ways to promote our business, and ways to develop our processes.

Memories from Our Trip!

Click on an image & then scroll through the gallery!

 

Me and The Mouse Conference Schedule:

DAY 1:

Team Scavenger Hunt at Walt Disney World Resorts®

Dinner at Earl of Sandwich

Dessert at Sprinkles

 

DAY 2:

Team Meeting at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Quick Service Lunch at the Contemporary Resort

Take the Monorail to Epcot and play!

Dinner at San Angel Inn

 

DAY 3:

Universal Studios Day!

Tour the Resort

Play at Islands of Adventure

Lunch at Leaky Cauldron

Dinner at City Walk

 

DAY 4:

Departure Day

Say goodbyes! 🙁

Team Favorites Include:

I loved seeing the progress on Universal’s new waterpark, Volcano Bay!

I loved FINALLY getting to meet everyone! We had great time to get to know one another on our team scavenger hunt while visiting the resorts.

My favorite Disney memory was riding Big Thunder Mountain rollercoaster with some of the girls. Lots of laughs shared on the attraction.

I loved visiting Universal, and I was thrilled to see Sapphire Falls for the first time! It was great to learn about the dining and amenities available there.

My favorite memory from this trip was creating bonds with each agent.

My favorite Universal memory was walking through Hogsmead enjoying my cold butterbeer!

My favorite thing at Disney was seeing my final live viewing of the Wishes Fireworks before the new show.  I was beyond blessed to be able to have one last viewing.

I really enjoyed the meal at Cabana Bay which allowed us to experience Universal Resort food {which never disappoints}.

My favorite part at Disney was our time at the Contemporary Resort team building!

 

Elizabeth Hollman

Owner & Travel Specialist

 

Several Me and The Mouse Agents were awarded for the superb performance over the past year. We are so proud of our amazing agents and how they go above and beyond with their services. Please take a look at this year’s award winners.

Elizabeth HollmanElizabeth Hollman

Elizabeth was awarded Top Sales Performer from Disney Destinations. Elizabeth is the owner of Me and The Mouse Travel and lives in O’Fallon, Missouri. She is very passionate about Disney. To learn more about Elizabeth, you can visit her page, here. You can also contact Elizabeth via our contact form or by the following information.

 

elizabeth@meandthemouse.com
Direct: 636.265.1802
Toll-free: 1.855.7.MICKEY

 

Tressa KrippelTressa Krippel

Tressa was awarded Top Sales Performer from Disney Destinations. Tressa has been with Me and the Mouse Travel since 2012 and lives in Rochester, Illinois. She knows the ins-and-outs of vacation planning and works very hard to bring extra magic to families. To learn more about Tressa, you can visit her page, here. You can also contact Tressa via our contact form or by the following information.

tressa@meandthemouse.com
Direct: 217.330.5045
Toll-free: 1.855.7.MICKEY

 

Janene JaroscakJanene Jaroscak

Janene was awarded Top Sales Performer from Me and The Mouse Travel. Janene lives in New Albany, Ohio with her family. Janene has created wonderful memories with her family through their Disney experiences and she looks forward to sharing her expertise with other families. To learn more about Janene, you can visit her page, here. You can also contact Janene via our contact form or by the following information.
janene@meandthemouse.com
Direct: 614.758.0080
Toll-free: 1.855.7.MICKEY

 

Nancy WidemanNancy Wideman

Nancy was awarded Top Sales Performer from Me and The Mouse Travel. Nancy has been with Me and The Mouse Travel since 2013 and lives in Wales, Michigan. She loves to share her Disney passion with other families and loves to hear about the memories families make together. To learn more about Nancy, you can visit her page, here. You can also contact Nancy via our contact form or by the following information.

nancy@meandthemouse.com
Direct: 810-305-1968
Toll-Free: 855-7-MICKEY

 

Michelle Browne MATM AwardsMichelle Browne

Michelle was awarded Top Sales Performer from Me and The Mouse Travel. Michelle lives in Lantana, Texas. Michelle has had a passion for Disney for quite some time, and she wants to give all families precious memories just like she has experienced! To learn more about Michelle, you can visit her page, here. You can also contact Michelle via our contact form or by the following information.
michelle@meandthemouse.com
Direct: 214-566-4572
Toll-free: 1.855.7.MICKEY

 

 

Click on the images, and take a look at their awards!