Disney Golf: SERIES TWO 

Disney Gold Junior Summer Camp 3I hope you are all having a MAGICAL day! I am back and excited to share the second installment of my Walt Disney World® Golf Blog! {You can read the first one, HERE!} As I mentioned in May, Walt Disney World® Golf  is located right on the Disney property across from Disney’s Polynesian and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resorts. There are two championship courses including Disney’s Palm, Disney’s Magnolia, and a 9-hole walking course, Disney’s Oak Trail.  Also across from Disney Springs is their third championship course, Disney’s Lake Buena Vista golf course.  

 

Walt Disney World® Golf has a wide range of activities for your family or groups traveling to Walt Disney World. This month, I am sharing about the great options for kids on the courses for the summer, Disney’s Summer Junior Golf Camps.  This exciting opportunity gives kids ages 7-17 a chance to learn the fundamentals of golf from a PGA instructor.  While this camp might seem like a locals choice, even vacationers can take advantage of the camp while they are in town, as they offer  multiple week long sessions.  Camp runs from June 5th – August 11th, with a break for the July 4th Holiday.  The hours for the camp are 9am – 2pm Monday – Friday. The camps are located at Disney’s Palm, Disney’s Magnolia, and Disney’s Oak Trail courses.  With their camp fee of $350 (per week), campers will receive complimentary lunch and beverages as well as being eligible to win great prizes in the daily contests and games. Your kids are bound to have a blast this summer hitting the greens! It doesn’t matter if they are a beginner or a seasoned pro. Their skills will grow while having a blast!Disney Gold Junior Summer Camp 2

 

You can register for summer camps by calling (407) WDW-GOLF. The spots are limited and some discounts apply!!

 

Make sure you check back with my blog in the next few months, you won’t want to miss out! If you are a local Floridian and are looking for a FUN and EXCITING new experience close to home, please do not hesitate to contact a Me and The Mouse agent today! The Magic AND GOLF is just a phone call away!

Amy Pattee

Travel Specialist

 

Handle the Crowds Like a Pro
& Experience All Pandora Offers!

Pandora: The World of AvatarWhether you loved the movie, hated it or have no clue what it’s even about, Pandora: The World of Avatar is a “must experience” land. All Disney guests should be sure to visit it during their vacation.  The breathtaking scenery, attractions, food and merchandise are bringing in guests by the millions, which means you better go with a plan!  After attending the grand opening of this new land in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, here are some tips to be able to experience all it has to offer.

Tip #1

Plan on going during the Extra Magic Morning Hours at Animal Kingdom.  Since the hours are for resort-guests only, you will have the least crowded hour in the park before it opens to all guests. This will be one of your best times to visit the World of Avatar. If you are taking Disney transportation, plan on being on the very first bus, which departs the resort 45 minutes prior to park opening.

Tip #2

Reserve your Fastpasses 60 days out from your check in date if you are staying at a Disney Resort Hotel.  Since there are two options for Fastpasses in this land and you can only pick one to Fastpass, I recommend Avatar Flight of Passage.  This ride has had wait times up to five hours since opening, so having a Fastpass for this attraction is like having a golden ticket.  If you have a morning Fastpass reserved for this ride, go ahead and get in the standby line for the Na’vi River Journey.  If you are there for the Extra Magic Hours, you will not wait in this line for more than 20 minutes.  Pandora: The World of Avatar

Tip #3

Explore! Once you have ridden the two attraction in this land, take the time to explore and take photos.  Never have I ever felt a part of a movie like I have here.  Every detail is carefully crafted and more than worth exploring.  

Tip #4

Find the Photopass Photographers!  The photo opportunities in this land are countless and one is more amazing than the next.  You can get a standard shot of your family with the floating mountains in the background and you can even get magic shots featuring flying Banshees and other characters native to this land.  Use your My Disney Experience app to locate photographers and make sure you purchase Memory Maker so you can download all of your photos. Pandora: The World of Avatar

Tip #5

Head over to the Situ’li Canteen to get some much-needed sustenance after a busy morning exploring this other world.  With create-your-own rice bowls and other healthy alternatives, the Situ’li Canteen is a great place to take a break and have a meal or a snack before heading back to Earth. You can read more about the Canteen, HERE! The World of Avatar has several tasty places you can try, but we love Situ’li!

 

For more information or to book your Walt Disney World vacation complete with a trip to Pandora, contact a Me and the Mouse Travel agent today!

Julie Stewart

Travel Specialist

For many families, planning your vacation last minute is a necessary decision. When friends panic and tell you that you can’t do it – take a breath and go for it! A last minute trip to Walt Disney World can be filled with wonderful memories! We here at Me and the Mouse Travel want to make it a magical experience for you.

The first thing you need to remember when booking a last minute vacation to Walt Disney World is to be flexible. If you open yourself up to the options available you are going to find treasures of delight hiding around every corner.

Planning a Last Minute Disney Trip!Staying on property at Walt Disney World is a key component of a last minute vacation. This allows you to partake in extra magic hours, maximizing your fun each day. A last minute trip will have reduced resort and room selection but consider these options an opportunity to explore what makes each resort unique and special. While most of Disney’s promotional offers do not apply to last minute bookings, if your budget is tight consider staying at a value resort.

 

Many families are concerned that if they book a last minute vacation they will not be able to eat at character meals. Your agent will recommend the available character meals that include many of the characters you are wishing to see at alternate locations on property. You might also be one of the lucky families and get a reservation released from a last minute cancellation! Be sure to check each night at your resort concierge desk for any updates on cancellations for the following day.  

Planning a Last Minute Disney Trip!Looking for just a nice place to sit down for a meal? Consider eating at resorts as they are often hidden gems. A favorite place to eat is Epcot for its many international restaurants. Having a park hopper ticket, you can head to this park for a meal on any day. Disney Springs is also a FREE location with many different dining options. Stressed about trying for dining reservations? Skip reservations completely and eat at Disney’s many quick service restaurants that serve a wide variety of entrees. 

Lastly, if you book less than a month before your trip, some of the top FastPass attractions may not have availability. However, there are ways to still experience these rides with minimal wait. This is the perfect time to use extra magic hours. Another option is to head to those favorite attractions first thing in the morning when the parks open. Don’t forget to check the Me and the Mouse touring pages in your travel package for the must see attractions in each park.

Planning a Last Minute Disney Trip!A last minute trip can be one of the most stress-free vacations you’ve ever had! The reduced options allow you to focus on what is most important to you and your family. Remember to be flexible!! Let your travel agent work their magic! You are sure to have a great time on your Walt Disney World vacation.

Ready to book your last minute vacation? We’re here to help! Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today!

Michelle Browne

Travel Specialist

 

It’s time to start planning your 2018 Walt Disney World Vacation!

Starting June 20th, 2017, The 2018 Walt Disney Travel Company vacation packages for Walt Disney World® Resort will now be available for purchase.

These vacation packages will be valid for arrivals Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2018. Please note the last date of your vacation cannot be booked more than 499 days in the future.

Walt Disney World offers many exciting and incredible activities and attractions. Don’t forget about the new land at Pandora: The World of Avatar or the expansions going on throughout the parks. Don’t forget to stay in the magic with an on-property resorts. The resorts are perfectly themed and keep the magic going long after you’ve left the park!

Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today to book your 2018 vacation package!!

4th of July at Disney WorldDoes your summer vacation happen to fall on July 4th or were you wanting to celebrate Independence Day at one of the most magical places on earth?  Well, you’ve picked a great time and place to see something special!  Throughout all of the parks, Walt Disney World will be celebrating the 4th with all of the Disney touches.  

Only at Magic Kingdom can you celebrate July 4th on the 3rd.  That’s right, they will have 2 special firework shows.  Celebrate America – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky fireworks will be shown on July 3rd and 4th.  These fireworks are sure to amaze you as well as celebrate our country’s birthday.  

4th of July at Disney WorldThe flag retreat is another hidden gem that happens at Magic Kingdom every night at 5pm.  Make sure you put this on your list of must do’s as well. You’ll want to head to the town square on Main Street USA to watch Cast Members retire Magic Kingdom’s American flag for the night. This special event is specifically to thank veterans for their service, sacrifice and dedication to protecting our country. 

 

Hopping over to Epcot, you’ll enjoy some other festive 4th of July happenings.  Throughout the day, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy will appear in their patriotic costumes! You can find them near the promenade by The American Adventure in World Showcase.  While you are there, be sure to stick around for the various 4th of July concerts! These will be taking place at the American pavilion. Then following IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, there will be a patriotic firework finale! This special show is called, The Heartbeat of Freedom

leigh3

At each of the parks, there will be special Independence Day merchandise and treats available! You’ll not want to miss out on these limited editions! Since the celebration is so big, July 3rd and 4th tends to be crowded days at the parks. However, do not let that detour you from spending the holiday at Walt Disney World. {Arriving early to the parks can help you get in extra activities before the crowd gets big!} You won’t want to miss this special Walt Disney World 4th of July Celebration! 

Want to book your Fourth of July at Disney World? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today! If you are a local Florida resident, we would still love to assist you in your planning!

Leigh Miller

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

During discussions with my clients I often bring up visiting Disney Springs while on vacation.  I have uncovered that many Disney first timers were unaware of this not-so-hidden oasis at Disney World.  So the homeschool mom in me has put together today’s lesson: Disney Springs 101.

 

Lesson 1: The History behind Disney Springs

  • This area of Disney World opened on March 22, 1975 as Lake Buena Vista Village and was Disney’s first shopping area.  The shopping area was actually set up to serve residents who were supposed to be living on Disney property.  The plans changed and with that so did the name and purpose of Lake Buena Vista Village.  
  • The first name change took place in 1977 to Walt Disney World Village and the idea behind it now was to keep Disney guests on Disney property.  With that idea in hand Walt Disney World Village transformed into the entertainment district encompassing entertainment, shopping, and restaurant options that would not be found in any of the Disney theme parks. Disney Springs 101 
  • Then in 1989 Disney had seen another need arise, that to add more adult nightlife options.  This new area became named Pleasure Island and had celebrations nightly kicked off at midnight.  During that same year, Walt Disney World Village Market underwent yet another name change to The Disney Village Marketplace.     
  • In 1995, Walt Disney World Village went through yet another rebranding and combined both Pleasure Island and Walt Disney World Village to create the Downtown Disney District.  This turned out to be a very great option for this space for many years! (I know I loved visiting the area when I worked at Disney.)
  • The time had come on November 18, 2010 Disney announced their newest inspiration for this shopping and entertainment district a themed town built around the idea of a twentieth century water side town, Disney Springs.  Disney Springs would bring in even more shopping and dining options, nearly doubling its current size and adding not one but two parking structures. This space is still known today as Disney Springs!

 

Lesson 2: Geography of Disney Springs

There are 4 different themed areas that are combined to create Disney Springs:

  • The Landing
  • The Marketplace
  • The Westside
  • Town Center

 

Lesson 3: Dining while at Disney Springs

Disney Springs 101First and foremost, your dining plan can be used at many locations at Disney Springs! There are currently 55 different dining locations offered within the 4 themed areas.  There is something for everyone! You can find anything from amazing sandwiches {check out Earl of Sandwich} to waterfront fine dining at the Boathouse!  Let’s not forget all the dessert options!  Two of my favorite sweet stops are: Sprinkles Gourmet cupcakes and Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop. This special Sprinkles location features a cupcake ATM. {You can read more about Sprinkles, here!}  

 

Lesson 4: Shopping at Disney Springs

Disney Springs 101Disney Springs really has stepped up the game on shopping options!  There are 110 unique shopping venues available!  Some of the stores have stayed post renaming such as:

  • The Lego Store
  • The Wide World of Disney
  • Basin
  • Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
  • Disney Days of Christmas

There are also SEVERAL new options of stores to check out such as:

  • The Coca Cola Store
  • Happy Hound
  • Kate Spade New York
  • Lefty’s the Left Handed Store

 

Lesson 5: Entertainment Opportunities while at Disney SpringsDisney Springs 101

Disney Springs is more than just dining and shopping! You can enjoy some family friendly entertainment at:

  • Cirque Du Soleil La Nouba
  • AMC 24 Movie Theater
  • Disney Quest Interactive Theme Park
  • Splitsville Luxury Lane Bowling {Read more, here!}
  • House of Blues
  • Market Place Stage Live Shows

 

Questions from the Class

  1. Does admittance into Disney Springs require a park ticket or any charge?

No, it’s FREE!! This makes it a great option to go to on a non-park day such as the first day you arrive or if you have an off day in your itinerary to rest around the resort.  A ticket is required if you plan to go to Cirque Du Soleil’s La Nouba (which your Me and the Mouse agent can help you with), Disney Quest, or to go see a movie at the AMC 24.

2. How can I get to Disney Springs?

There is bus transportation to and from your Disney resort to Disney Springs.  If you are staying at: Port Orleans French Quarter, Port Orleans Riverside, Disney’s Old Key West Resort, or Saratoga Springs you may also choose to take a boat over to Disney Springs.  Guests staying at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort may also walk from their resort using the pedestrian bridge which takes you directly into the Market Place area. Staying on the Disney Property will make it easier to get to Disney Springs, but it is not required to stay on property. Disney Springs 101

3. If I drive my car to Disney Springs, how much will it cost to park?

There is no charge for parking in either parking structure or in the surface parking lots. However, if you choose to have the valet service park your car there is a cost of $20.

4. Can I use my dining plan at Disney Springs?

Yes! {One of the many reasons why we love Disney Springs!} Many of the dining locations accept the Disney Dining Plan!  If you are curious if a restaurant choice is on the dining plan ask your Me and the Mouse agent, or look on your My Disney Experience account!

5. In your opinion is it worth it to visit Disney Springs?

Yes! {Is this even a question?!} There has not been one Disney vacation where we haven’t made the trip to Disney Springs to walk around, shop, and enjoy the dining and entertainment! It is such a great place to relax without leaving the fun of Disney!!

Are you ready to take a trip to Walt Disney World and visit Disney Spring?! Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today! We would love to help plan your vacation!

Beth Rodgers

Travel Specialist

Nestled in the Valley of the Mo’roa on the moon of Pandora, explorers are invited on a mystic journey down the Na’vi River.

Pandora the World of Avatar - Na'vai River Journey

At the water’s edge, explorers will board small reed boats to begin their journey.  As your travel begins, you are met by a Na’vi warrior, who grants you passage into the rainforest and your eyes are open the wonderment of Pandora.

Pandora the World of Avatar - Na'vai River Journey

A spectacular bioluminescent rainforest surrounds you as you discover exotic flora and the sounds of Pandoran creatures in the distance.   As the voyage continues, you hear music in the distance and encounter unique creatures, like viperwolf, who seem to be traveling down river with you as you in search of the Na’vi “Shaman of Songs”.

Pandora the World of Avatar - Na'vai River Journey

Finally, you see the Shaman holding a musical ceremony while playing an instrument and singing along.  Her music sends positive energy throughout the rainforest of Pandora. Pandora the World of Avatar - Na'vai River Journey

 

Na’vi River Journey is one of two new attractions in Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park.  The slow-moving boat ride is a family-friendly attraction and takes 4 1/2 minutes to complete the journey.  FastPass are available for this new attraction.  Guests with disabilities must transfer from wheelchairs/EVCs to experience the attraction.   Pandora the World of Avatar - Na'vai River Journey

 

Na’vi River Journey is a spectacular attraction that showcases the amazing technology that Disney posses in creating new, family-friendly attractions.  As you disembark your reed boat, you are awestruck with the beauty and spiritual connection between the Na’vi people and their environment.  Pandora the World of Avatar - Na'vai River Journey

Ready to journey to Pandora? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today to book your trip! We’d love to help take the stress away!

 

Tressa Kripppel

Travel Specialist

Avatar Flight of PassageFlying on the back of a banshee is an important rite of passage for the Na’vi, and now visitors of Pandora: The World of Avatar have a chance to experience the thrill of this journey at Disney’s newest attraction, Avatar Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom Park.

 

Deep in the heart of the Valley of Mo’ara, visitors can now climb atop a mountain banshee for a breathtaking, first-person flight over the moon’s amazing landscape, explore the bioluminescent forests, and soar by the Na’vi living among the moon’s beautiful flora.  This attraction will immerse your all your senses as you feel the breath of your banshee beneath you, smell the aroma of the foliage of the rainforest and feel the crisp, cool feel of the waters of Mo’ara.

Avatar Flight of Passage

The journey begins in the queue as guests begin an uphill trek towards the mountains floating above the valley.  You will pass over a land bridge, travel near waterfalls and pass by amazing flora unique to this moon.  The trail leads you to the entrance of a cave, where the Navi had recorded their history of flight with the great–winged banshees, or Ikran as the Na’vis call them.  Next, guests cross through the bioluminescent rainforest and enter the laboratory  where scientific experiments are in progress.   Visitors are now met by cast members who direct the first 16 visitors to their genetic matching room, where they are given a number, scanned and genetic material is sampled to connect them to personal avatar.  Once explorers are matched, they given 3-D glasses and move onto the flight room where they board “link chairs”.

Avatar Flight of Passage

Link chairs are single-seat simulators (like a motorcycle) that a guest must straddle.  Once positioned on their machine, leg supports that rest on the back of your calves will lock in place and a back support will rise up to secure each explorer on their machine.  I found the that link chair very comfortable and not convining as some had described.  Taller guests may find it difficult to position their feet in place to allow the leg supports to lock into place.  Both leg and back supports must be secure for guests to ride.  Once the ride begins, guests will experience an immersive flight that delivers a realistic sensation of riding a banshee breathing beneath them as the soar over Pandora taking in the breathtaking views, smelling the flora of the forests, feeling the splash of the water and wind in your face.

Avatar Flight of Passage

Avatar Flight of Passage is available as a FastPass option. Guests must be 44 inches or taller to ride.  Guests prone to motion sickness or have a fear of heights, may find this ride to be too intense as you will experience the sensation of diving, plunging and swooping throughout the attraction.  Due the popularity of this much anticipated attraction, we highly recommend choosing a FastPass for this ride at  Animal Kingdom Park.

Avatar Flight of Passage

Flight of Passage is a like no other attraction at Walt Disney World.  This immersive ride will take you on breath-taking journey over a land that will leave you wanting to explore again and again.

See More from the Flight of Passage!

 

Ready to book your trip to Pandora? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today!

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

Golf at Disney WorldAnother one of Disney’s best {but one of the most exciting} kept secrets is Walt Disney World® Golf.  It is located right on Disney property across from Disney’s Polynesian and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resorts. There are two championship courses: Disney’s Palm, Disney’s Magnolia, and a 9-hole walking course: Disney’s Oak Trail.  Also across from Disney Springs is their third championship course, Disney’s Lake Buena Vista golf course.  All are an exhilarating yet relaxing way to take a break from the theme parks but still have an amazing time!

 

As a previous cast member with the Walt Disney World Resort, I had the awesome opportunity to experience all that Disney Golf had to offer! My department even surprised my colleagues and I for Administrative Professionals Week with a morning outing to the courses.  Not only did we get to have a world class tour of the property, but we were able to participate in a quick putt around the green! We even got to head out {on the Mickey golf cart} to the driving range and try our hand on some sweet swings! Golf at Disney World

 

Walt Disney World® Golf has a wide range of options for your family or groups traveling to Walt Disney World! If you’re looking for a way to get out and enjoy a few rounds of golf – Disney Style – then this is for you!

One More Thing…

Walt Disney World® Golf and Arnold Palmer Golf Management have teamed up to present these NEW Mickey Mouse logo MD3 wedges designed by Callaway Golf! The red, yellow, white, and green weight ports also represent Mr. Arnold Palmer’s famous umbrella logo. See more information, HERE!

 

Golf at Disney World

If you’re a local Floridian, and you’re looking for a FUN and EXCITING new experience close to home, contact a Me and the Mouse agent, today!!  The Magic AND GOLF is just a phone call away!

 

 

Amy Pattee

Travel Specialist

 

 

Photo Credit Courtesy of Anna Lazorchak Sales and Marketing Manager Disney Golf