Posts filed under ‘Preschoolers’

Top Travel Agent Tips for a Better Disney World Vacation

 Partners Statue featuring Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort. Walt Disney Word: Travel Agent Insider Tips from Build A Better Mouse Trip ~

  • Think through Extra Magic Hours.  Disney has special “Extra Magic Hours” that allow Disney World Resort Hotel guests.  This is where – on select days – the Disney Theme Parks open one hour early or stay open an additional three hours after closing to the general public  A lot of Disney hotel guests plan an itinerary that includes every Extra Magic Hour but this isn’t always a good idea.  For one thing, the Extra Magic Hour park is always the most crowded park of the day so you may actually enjoy more attractions with shorter lines by going to a less crowded park, especially during peak travel seasons.   The parks generally open at 9:00AM, so the Extra Magic Hour begins at 8:00AM – which means that you need to leave your resort by 7:30AM – at the latest – to take advantage of this early opening.  Will your family be interested in getting up that early – especially if they were up late watching fireworks the night before?   Epcot stays open until 9:00PM every night and the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios are also often open late.  Will your little ones really be able to enjoy Extra Magic Hours that begin at 9:00PM or later?   We’re not saying that you should always avoid Extra Magic Hours – we just want you to consider crowds and the potential for exhaustion levels when you plan your Disney vacation itinerary.
  • Disney Theme Park Touring Plans – Did you know that people who use theme park touring plans generally cut their time spent in line by 3 hours per day during the busy summer season?   A touring plan is simply using good information to see and do everything that is important to you in a way that minimizes lines and long waits. We are so convinced of the value of a good touring plan that we provide them free to anyone who books their vacation through us. For more information, see: http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/freetouringplans.php
  • Book T-Rex, Rainforest Cafe, and Raglan Road reservations directly through the restaurants, rather than through Disney dining.  Communication has never been good between these three restaurants and the Disney Dining Reservation system.   Call the restaurants directly, if you’ve been having trouble getting a reservation:   Phone numbers: Raglan Road – 407-938-0300 / Rainforest Cafe (Animal Kingdom) – 407-938-9100 / Rainforest Cafe (Downtown Disney) – 407-827-8500 / T-Rex – 407-828-8739.   These restaurants all participate in the 2012 Disney Dining Plans.
  • Having trouble getting your favorite Disney theme park restaurant reservation?   Go to the restaurant podium as early as possible on the day you’re in that park.  They’ll be able to check for last minute cancellations and may be able to give you a spot, if you can be flexible with dining times.
  • Need to check in for your return flight 24 hours before departure? The guest services desk at the Disney theme parks or the concierge desk at your Disney World resort hotel can help you check in for flights and can even print boarding passes but be sure to bring your airline confirmation number with you.
  • Don’t carry souvenirs & purchases all day – Disney offers package pick-up service at each of the Disney theme parks.  Anything you purchase during the day (cut-off time applies) can be sent to a pick-up desk at the front of the park.  You retain your receipt so there is no worry about lost items.   Guests staying at the Disney World resort hotels can have the items sent to a pick-up area at their resort – they’ll arrive the following day so don’t use the resort delivery service on your day before heading home.
  • Disney Rider Switch Passes for families with small children – Did you know that Disney offers Rider Switch Passes for families that have members who cannot ride a height restricted attraction?  This allows one family member to stay with the non-rider while everyone else rides, then you can switch and the person who waited can ride without having to go to the end of the line.  Disney knows that no one wants to ride alone so the rider switch pass is good for 2-3 riders.  You can read all about it at http://www.squidoo.com/WDWBabySwapPass
  • There are lots of things to do at Disney World that don’t require a theme park admission ticket.  See our list of free things to do at Disney World at http://www.squidoo.com/free-activities-at-disney-world
  • Get schedules for Disney World live entertainment (shows, street performers, etc) at www.wdwent.com
  • Free Activity: Staying at a Disney Resort?  Find out what outdoor movies will be shown at your resort during your stay at http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/activity-outdoormovie.php
  • Our list of the best quick-service meals available at Disney World can be found at http://www.squidoo.com/best-disney-world-quick-service-meals
  • Driving Directions to Disney World http://www.squidoo.com/where-is-disney-world

Thank you

Steve & Annette

Build A Better Mouse Trip
Toll free: 877-815-6515
Email: info@babmt.com

Build A Better Mouse Trip is an independent, Disney-focused travel agency.   We book directly through Disney but are not employees of the Walt Disney World Travel company.

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August 1, 2012 at 3:33 pm Leave a comment

Snow White’s Scary Adventures Closes Forever on June 1, 2012

Snow White's Scary Adventure closes forever on June 1, 2012 - Magic Kingdom / Disney World.  Walt Disney World announced that Snow White’s Scary Adventures – a ride in the Fantasyland area of the Magic Kingdom – will close forever in June 1, 2012.   The area will be changed to a Disney Princess Meet-and-Greet location.

We have a list of all the places you can find the Disney Princesses at Disney World – see: http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/disneyprincesses.php

Trivia

  • In addition to Disney World, this there are Snow White’s Scary Adventures rides at Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Park (Paris).
  • Snow White did not appear in the 1971 version of Magic Kingdom’s Snow White’s Scary Adventures. The idea was for riders to feel like they were experiencing the scenes from Snow White’s perspective, though most guests didn’t understand that concept and wondered why Snow White wasn’t even in her own ride.   In 1994, the ride was redesigned to include Snow White.
  • The 1971 version of the attraction had seven figures of the witch, while the current version has six witch figures.

This is just my opinion but Snow White’s Scary Adventures isn’t one of Disney’s best attractions.   If you’re going to Disney World between now and the end of May, go ahead and ride it just because it is closing.    Don’t despair about missing it, if you haven’t ridden it – Disney is in the midst of a major Fantasyland expansion and it sounds like some great things are coming soon.

Build A Better Mouse Trip
Toll free: 877-815-6515

February 24, 2012 at 4:02 am Leave a comment

Is Fantasmic! at Walt Disney World Too Scary For My Child?

Should I Take My Small Child To See Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park in Orlando, Florida?

There’s a show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios called Fantasmic! and it is only offered a couple of times a week. It’s about 26 minutes long and is very popular – however, there is a fairly significant villain section in that lasts about 8 minutes and it includes a dragon. This article will give you all the information you need to decide whether or not the Fantasmic! show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is appropriate for your child. Fantasmic! is an impressive show and is generally suitable for older children and adults but it may not be appropriate for preschoolers, anyone who does not yet comprehend the difference between reality and make-believe, or to individuals who are prone to nightmares.

What Fantasmic! Is All About – A Brief Outline of the Plot of Fantasmic!  

Stylistically, Fantasmic! may remind you of Fantasia, Mickey’s Philharmagic (3-D attraction at the Magic Kingdom), or the Disney Silly Symphonies. There is very little dialogue and most of the action corresponds with the tone set by the musical score. There are live action sequences with characters from the Disney movies along with familiar images being projected on a screen of water mist. The storyline follows the classic Disney model of a fairly peaceful beginning, followed by a conflict with a villian, good overcoming evil, and a happy ending. In this case, Mickey is having a dream but his imagination runs away with him causing a montage of classic Disney villians come to intimidate Mickey – in the end, he announces “Hey, this is my dream!” and everything goes back to happiness and dancing princesses. Although the story itself is very simplistic, adults will be impressed with the elaborate affects and scene changes. Lightning, giant puppets, fountains, mist screens, flames, and pyrotechnics are impressively incorporated into this spectacular production.  

Things in Fantasmic That Might Frighten Small Children  

If you have any concerns about your child becoming frightened or upset by Fantasmic!, we highly recommend you take the 27 minutes necessary to watch the Fantasmic You Tube video we’ve embedded in this post. You know your child best so you will be able to evaluate the show and pick up on any less obvious elements that might frighten your child. The list below includes some of the things in the show that we think could be potentially frightening to preschoolers or timid souls.

  1. Starting at about 7:19 minutes into the youtube video – or about 7 minutes into the show – you’ll notice that the tone of the music and the images starts to change in subtle ways. The whale from Pinocchio is projected onto a screen, there is a fight scene from the movie Pochahontas, and we start to see some elements of conflict introduced into the plot. Mickey, in the Sorcerer Mickeycostume,  gets caught into a typhoon and calls out “What’s Going On!?!”.
  2. The most intense portion of Fantasmic begins at about 13:45 minutes into the You Tube video or about 13.5 minutes into the actual show. Maleficent (from Sleeping Beauty) appears and threatens Mickey Mouse. Her image is always a bit frightening but we also see the images of other Disney villians like Ursula (Little Mermaid), Hades (Hercules), Jafar (Aladdin), Cruella (101 Dalmatians), & Scar (Lion King) morph from one to the next on a mist screen. The voice track during this portion is ominous. Later on, this segment also includes some wraith, ghost, dragon or demon figures set to the more intense portion of the soundtrack.
  3. At one point, the entire lake catches fire, with actual flames (approximately 21 minutes into the show). People in the lower rows can actually feel the heat from these flames. Flames, in smaller amounts, are also used in other scenes. A comet-like ball flies through the air and causes a bright flash in the scene from Pocohontas. Flames and flashes are a part of Maleficent’s spell.
  4. There is live action snake-like dragon with glowing eyes that appears and moves menacingly. This occurs between 16:30 – 17:35 minutes and at 20:43 – 22:45 minutes into the video and roughly around the same duration into the actual show. This dragon gets absolutely huge.

Ways to Help Your Child Watch Fantasmic Without Getting Scared  

Depending on the maturity of your child, the following tips may help your child enjoy Fantasmic and deal with the scary portions.

  1. Tell your child the whole storyline or let them watch the You Tube video – knowing what to expect in advance can make the intense sections manageable. Don’t worry about spoiling the show; young kids love familiar things – think of how many times they’ve watched their favorite DVD.
  2. Do you have a smart but sensitive older child? Consider arming them with good information and technical details.Tell them that the whole lake will catch on fire. Then explain that Disney uses a carefully measured amount of propane that will float on the water. Assure them that Disney has practiced this over and over so they know the exact amount of gas to use to burn the exact right amount of time. If they express concerns about accidents, tell them that the concrete steps and metal bleachers are not things that easily catch fire.Show your child the snake segment (16:30 – 17:35 minutes into the video) and talk about how it is regular humans that are carrying each segment of the snake. You can show them this You Tube Video of the Chinese Dragon Dance to show how it is done.
  3. Give your child a “weapon” for self-defense. Some people may find this method objectionable but many, many years ago, my son was frightened by the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. His grandma purchased a plastic sword from the gift shop and gave our son permission to fight off any pirates that attacked us on the ride. She carefully explained the difference between pirates and the other tourists in the boat. My son brandished his sword throughout the ride, managed to avoid whacking any of the other guests, and felt brave throughout the whole experience. If you don’t want to buy a sword, consider teaching your child a few good karate chopping motions accompanied by “Hi Yah!” type exclamations before going into the show. The ability to defend oneself goes a long way towards feeling confident in this world.
  4. We’ve given you approximate show times for the most intense, potentially frightening portions. You may be able to distract your child with a snack or a toy. Failing that, you can always take them to the restroom beginning about 12 minutes into the show. If you plan to use this tip, try to sit at the edge of a row so you won’t be stepping over other people as you make your way to the aisle.
  5. Always keep in mind the possibility that you may have to come to your child’s rescue by taking them out of the show, should it become too frightening. You have a choice here – you can react with irritation at the fact that you had to leave the show and you can belittle your child for being frightened. Or…(and this is what we recommend) you can be your child’s hero by protecting his/her precious heart and mind until she/he is older and better able to deal with these types of images. Keep smiling, assure your child that you didn’t mind leaving the show, and tell him/her about a time when you were a child and got frightened by a movie or a scary story. Let your child know that you’re on their side. Remember that you’re making memories – they can be memories of shame and frustration or this can be a situation where you child sees that they can trust you with their fears and with their feelings.

Tips for Seeing Fantasmic At Walt Disney World  

  1. The entrance to the Fantasmic! Amphitheater is on Sunset Blvd., between the Beauty & the Beast Live! stage and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride.
  2. Except during peak travel times, Fantasmic! is no longer offered every night of the week so check the Walt Disney World calendar of events before you go and plan to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park on a day when the show is offered.
  3. Avoid any day where Disney’s Hollywood Studios has an “Extra Magic Hour” (special times reserved just for Disney resort hotel guests) and Fantasmic! The combination of these two things will make Disney’s Hollywood Studios disproportionately busy on days that offer both incentives.
  4. Fantasmic Dinner Package – You reserve an early dining time (generally before 4:20PM) and you receive a voucher for a spot in a reserved section. This can save a lot of time you would otherwise spend in line. The three restaurants that participate in the Fantasmic Dinner Package are Hollywood & Vine (buffet), Mama Melrose (Italian), and the Hollywood Brown Derby. The Fantasmic Dinner Package reservation must be confirmed with a credit card and you will be charged a “no-show” penalty if you skip the reservation. There is a 48 hour cancellation policy.Are you on a Disney Dining Plan? The Fantasmic Dinner Packages at Hollywood & Vine and at Mama Melrose each only take one Disney Dining Plan table-service credit per person; the Hollywood Brown Derby is a Signature Dining Location and will require two table-service meal credits per person.There is very limited availability for the Fantasmic Dinner Package so reserve early (up to 180 days prior to arrival). You must specifically reserve a “Fantasmic Dinner Package” to receive these benefits. These restaurants will have regular reservations available that do nto include the Fantasmic seating vouchers.
  5. You don’t have to have a Fantasmic Dinner Package to see the show. It is included as part of your admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. However, the show may fill to capacity. The gates open about 90 minutes prior to the show and, during busy seasons, it is essential to line up at least 70 minutes prior to showtime. It may be possible for one parent to hold a place in line while the other parent gets food at Catalina Eddie’s, Rosie’s All-American Cafe, or the Backlot Express to eat while you wait for the show to start. Combining mealtime with waiting time will reduce the sense that you are wasting time.
  6. There isn’t any meal type food sold inside the amphitheatre but snacks like popcorn and sodas are available for sale. There are restrooms inside the theatre.
  7. Are there two performances of Fantasmic! on the day you’re visiting? If so, the second performance will always be less crowded than the first. The other advantage to the second performance is that it gives you more time to enjoy Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park rides and attractions.
  8. There are no bad seats but we think theseats just to the right or to the left of the center from the middle row of the amphitheatre back to the top row are the best seats. This show has a pretty wide scope so sitting too far forward can actually make it harder to take it all in.
  9. The show is about 25 minutes long. Your showtime might be such that you have about an hour of park time after the show ends. If you hope to get in a few last rides after the show, consider sitting on the right side (as you face the stage) so that you’re closest to the exit when the show ends. Get up and leave promptly so that you don’t get stuck in a slow moving crowd.
  10. Theme Park Touring Plans – Remember that you’re going to have a better time if you have a good touring plan.  It just so happens that we provide three great options for touring plans when you book your Walt Disney World Resort vacation through Build A Better Mouse Trip.

      Note:  Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park used to be called Disney-MGM Studios.

Thank you,

Stephen

Build A Better Mouse Trip
http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/
Toll free: 877-815-6515

 

January 9, 2010 at 5:07 pm 2 comments

Everything you need to know to meet Tinker Bell at Pixie Hollow in Mickey’s Toontown Fair

Tips to avoid long lines when getting an autograph or your picture taken with Tinkerbell.

Can you meet Tinkerbell in person? Yes – you can meet Tinkerbell and her fairy friend at Pixie Hollow in the Mickey’s Toontown Fair area of Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park. Here’s what you need to know before you go:

For many, many years Disney said that there would never be a Tinkerbell “Meet & Greet” area for photos and autographs because…well…Tinkerbell is very tiny and people are much larger. This creates some special difficulties that have only been overcome recently. Disney solved the problem by creating a special area where Magic Kingdom theme park guests are shrunk down to fairy size, making it so much easier for fairies and humans to interact. Some say this happens by magic and others attribute it to modern technological advances. On the other hand, some skeptics suggest guests don’t really shrink and that the whole thing is it is a trick of the eye brought about by making everything in the room look bigger. I’m not an expert on shrinking technology or pixies so I’ll limit my comments to an area where I am an expert: experiencing Disney attracations without waiting in long lines!

Long lines are a huge issue at Pixie Hollow because the fairies want to make each person feel special and this takes time. Lines to meet the fairies build quickly but move slowly.

1. If you want to see Tinkerbell, you need to line up at the entrance of the “Mickey’s Toontown Fair” area of the Magic Kingdom before it opens – when the park opens at 9:00AM, “Mickey’s Toontown Fair” typically opens at 9:45 or 10:00AM. This is subject to change so check your theme park times guide as soon as you arrive. Plan to line up at the entrance by 9:35AM, at the latest.

2. You cannot take strollers through the line to see the fairies so park your stroller in the appropriate area near the “Mad Tea Party” ride (Fantasyland area). Parking your stroller before “Mickey’s Toontown Fair” opens will save valuable time when you get to Pixie Hollow.

3. Go to the left side of the crowd gathering at the entrance. You’ll be turning to the left to go into Pixie Hollow at “Mickey’s Toontown Fair” so starting out on this side of the crowd puts you at a slight advantage.

4. When Mickey’s Toontown Fair opens, a cast member (Disney employee) will direct everyone to walk at a reasonable pace (no running allowed) toward the Toontown Hall of Fame. Politely pass slow movers & be careful not to get stuck behind strollers but don’t be aggressive; there no reason to cause an injury.

5. When you arrive at the “Toontown Hall of Fame”, follow signs to Pixie Hollow and line up immediately; you can take photos outside this area when you exit. This area has two entrances – the one on the left is for the Disney Princesses and the one on the right is for the fairies. The two lines are separate so be sure you’re in line for the fairies. You can get in the princess line when you’re done with the fairies; Tinkerbell is the biggest draw right now so you definately want to do this first thing.

6 As you near the front of the line, you’ll be asked for the number of people in your party. You’ll also receive a special “Pixie PhotoPass” wristband – just in case you want to purchase the pictures taken by the Disney photographers. Then you’ll be ushered through some closed doors to the areas where you’ll be “reduced in size” for your meeting with the fairies. This process is completely painless and they promise to return you to your regular size when you leave Pixie Hollow.

7. As a courtesy to those waiting behind you, have your camera and autograph books ready. It is perfecly acceptable to ask the Disney photographer to use your personal camera to take a picture of the family or kids with the Fairies.

8. Tinker Bell is almost always available for photos and autographs and some of Tinker Bell’s fairly friends (like Iridessa and Rosetta) will also be there. On rare occasions, Tinker Bell may not be available – probably because Peter Pan needs her help for a few minutes.

9. After meeting the fairies, you’ll exit Pixie Hollow. If the Disney princesses are a priority, get in line to see them right away. You can also see Mickey Mouse nearby.

10. Lining up at Pixie Hollow as soon as Mickey’s Toontown Fair opens will mean waiting in line for 10 – 20 minutes. Check the “Waiting Time” sign when you leave – it is not uncommon to see 60 – 90 minute wait times within 15 minutes of this attraction opening and waits of up to 3 hours later in the day. Tinker Bell’s popularity also increases the waiting time at the other character Meet & Greet areas in Mickey’s Toontown Fair.

See our expanded article at http://www.squidoo.com/tinkerbell-at-walt-disney-world  for more ways to see Tinkerbell at Walt Disney World Resort and theme parks.  

Contact us today to plan your next Walt Disney World Vacation.  

Thank you!

Build A Better Mouse Trip

www.buildabettermousetrip.com

Toll free: 877-815-6515

November 6, 2009 at 10:03 am Leave a comment

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Tickets on Sale Now

Walt Disney World Resort has released official ticket prices and party dates for the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.  This event happens every year on select nights in the Magic Kingdom.  The party typically goes from 9:00PM – Midnight.   This event has a limited admission and requires a separate ticket – you cannot enter using a Magic Your Way or Park Hopper ticket.

The October 31st party is always the first to sell out.  Friday night parties tend to draw more residents from the Orlando area but this is spread out over the numerous party dates and won’t have a huge impact on any one night.   Other dates will not reach capacity at all or won’t fill until we get much closer to September and October.  

TIP: Wait until the September and October park hours are released before buying your tickets.   September hours should be released around June 1st and October hours should be released around July 1st.    Because Fantasmic! (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) is no longer offered every night, you may want to select a party night that does not conflict with Fantasmic!.   The tickets are non-refundable and nontransferable.

Our Opinion: These parties are well done and a lot of fun.  Because admission is limited, you can also ride a lot of rides with a very short wait.  If money is no object, go ahead and go.  One the other hand,this is an expensive event – a family of four will pay around $200 for a three hour experience.  If you’re already stretching your budget to take this trip, you do not need to feel guilty about skipping this event – you’re going to have a great time in the theme parks without your having to add one more thing to the schedule.  Since the party goes from 7:00PM – Midnight, this might be too late an event for very small children who go to bed early. 

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
 

Boo! Don’t be afraid. The screams you hear are squeals of delight, not fright. Disney fantasy and Halloween fun come together on selected nights in September and October for a one-of-a-kind celebration. Seize this rare opportunity to visit the Magic Kingdom® in costume*, ride some of the most popular attractions and enjoy some really sweet trick-or-treating with favorite Disney characters in their finest Halloween outfits. With special music, a parade and the spectacular Happy HalloWishes fireworks show, this is no trick — it’s a real treat.
*For safety, costumes must not be obstructive or offensive.


2009 Event Dates & Tickets:

Friday, Sept. 4* Monday, Oct. 12*
Friday, Sept. 11* Tuesday, Oct. 13*
Tuesday, Sept. 15* Thursday, Oct. 15
Friday, Sept. 18* Sunday, Oct. 18*
Tuesday, Sept. 22* Tuesday, Oct. 20*
Friday, Sept. 25* Thursday, Oct. 22*
Tuesday, Sept. 29* Friday, Oct. 23
Thursday, Oct. 1* Sunday, Oct. 25*
Friday, Oct. 2* Tuesday, Oct. 27*
Tuesday, Oct. 6* Saturday, Oct. 31**
Thursday, Oct. 8*  
Friday, Oct. 9  

 Ticket Pricing:
Advance Prices*: $52 USD + tax (Ages 10+), $46 USD + tax (Ages 3 – 9)
*Advance Purchase Price Available on these select nights when purchased prior to the day of the event.

Day-Of Event Prices: $59 USD + tax (Ages 10+), $53 USD + tax (Ages 3 – 9)

Halloween (10/31) Prices**: $64 USD + tax (Ages 10+), $58 USD + tax (Ages 3 – 9)

Entertainment Highlights: (subject to change without notice)

  • Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade!
  • Trick-or-treating throughout Magic Kingdom® Park at numerous locations
  • Happy HalloWishes fireworks spectacular — where the Disney Villains go trick-or-treating in the sky!
  • Characters decked out in their favorite costumes — so wear yours, too.
  • Some of the most popular Magic Kingdom® attractions.

 You can purchase the party tickets directly through Walt Disney World or you can contact us and we’ll be happy to handle it for you.

 TIP: You may become exhausted if you spend the whole day in a theme park before going to an evening party.   Consider doing the party on a day you don’t go into the theme parks or on a day you’re going into one of the water parks and sleep in!   Another option is to combine this with a day that you’ll visit the Magic Kingdom so that you can arrive later in the morning – you can catch any attractions you would’ve ordinarily done right at park opening later in the evening during the party.  If time is short and you must combine a day in the theme parks with the party, consider visiting Animal Kingdom which typically closes around 5:00PM – this way, you won’t miss any fireworks or special shows.

 Information for people who do not have the park hopper option: You are not limited to visiting the Magic Kingdom on the same day that you are going to the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.  Your Magic Your Way ticket is completely separate from the party ticket so it is not considered “Park Hopping” to go to Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or Animal Kingdom during the day and then use your ticket for the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in the evening. 

If you find this information helpful, please consider using us to book your vacation reservations or for custom theme park touring plans.  We are authorized Walt Disney World Vacation Planners and book directly with Disney so you never pay more than if you booked the reservation yourself.  Then we provide lots of help and advice designed to take the stress out of vacation planning.

  •  Help with building a Best Days Itinerary – a daily schedule that puts you in the best park for each day of your trip
  • Help with dining reservations (subject to availability)
  • Custom touring plans that keep you ahead of the crowds and out of the long lines.  Or, if you prefer to do your own plans, we will provide either a subscription to Tour Guide Mike or the newest edition of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World to you instead of our touring plans.  The choice is yours.

These services are intended to make the whole vacation experience better – less stress, less lines, less wasted time and money.

There are two ways that I can provide the touring plans and any other planning help you need at no charge to you:

  •  Free Option #1: If you book a new reservation through us, we’ll provide custom touring as our thank you to you.  We will also help you put together an itinerary that puts you in the least busy park for each day of your vacation and we’ll make dining reservations on your behalf.
  •  Free Option #2:  If you made your existing Walt Disney World vacation package reservation yourself, it is possible to have Build A Better Mouse Trip added to the reservation as the “Agent of Record”. Your price, benefits, and confirmation numbers stay the same – we just become your travel agent.  
  •  With either option 1 or 2, Disney will pay us a commission they would’ve kept for themselves and we accept that commission as payment-in-full for all planning services. 
  •  You can also just purchase custom touring plans from us – the first day’s plan is $45 plus $25  for each additional day’s plan.

 If you have questions or are interested in our services:

  •  just call us toll free at 877-815-6515
  •  or use the online form    

Thank you,

Stephen

Build A Better Mouse Trip
www.buildabettermousetrip.com 
Toll Free Phone: 877-815-6515

May 2, 2009 at 2:41 am 5 comments

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Walt Disney World Resort and Magic Kingdom Theme Park

Disney has released official ticket prices and party dates for the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  This event happens every year on select nights in the Magic Kingdom.  The party typically goes from 9:00PM – Midnight.   This event has a limited admission and requires a separate ticket – you cannot enter using a Magic Your Way or Park Hopper ticket. 

December 18th and dates near Thanksgiving will be the first to sell out but it won’t happen immediately. Friday night parties tend to draw more residents from the Orlando area but this is spread out over the numerous party dates and won’t have a huge impact on any one night.   Other dates will not reach capacity at all or won’t fill until we get much closer to November and December.  

 TIP: Wait until the November and December park hours are released before buying your tickets.   November hours should be released around August 1st and December hours should be released around September 1st.    Because Fantasmic! (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) is no longer offered every night, you may want to select a party night that does not conflict with Fantasmic!.   The tickets are non-refundable and nontransferable.

 Our Opinion: These parties are well done and a lot of fun.  Because admission is limited, you can also ride a lot of rides with a very short wait.  If money is no object, go ahead and go.  One the other hand,this is an expensive event – a family of four will pay around $200 for a three hour experience.  If you’re already stretching your budget to take this trip, you do not need to feel guilty about skipping this event – you’re going to have a great time in the theme parks without your having to add one more thing to the schedule.  Since the party goes from 7:00PM – Midnight, this might be too late an event for very small children who go to bed early. 

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (official information)

 
 
It’s a magical night of special holiday entertainment including Castle Dreamlights!, an enchanting holiday parade, “Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade,” featuring Santa Claus, a festive nighttime fireworks spectacular, Disney Character greetings, live stage shows and tasty treats on Main Street U.S.A.®, plus the most popular Magic Kingdom® attractions!Castle Dreamslights!
Cinderella Castle is transformed every night at the Magic Kingdom® Park during Castle Dreamlights! When Mickey and friends realize the castle isn’t decorated for the holidays, they enlist the help of Cinderella, the Prince, and even the Fairy Godmother!  With all of their help, Cinderella Castle transforms into a glorious, wintry confection, twinkling in the sky!2009 Event Dates & Tickets:

November 10, 12, 13, 17, 19, 20, 29
December 1, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18

Ticket Pricing:
Advance Prices: $52 USD+ tax (Ages 10+), $46 USD + tax (Ages 3 – 9)
Advance Purchase Price Available on these select nights when purchased prior to the day of the event: 11/10, 11/12, 11/13, 11/17, 11/19, 11/20, 12/1, 12/6, 12/8, 12/10, 12/13, 12/15

Premium Event Prices: $59 USD + tax (Ages 10+), $53 USD + tax (Ages 3 – 9)
Premium Event Prices on these select nights: 11/29, 12/4, 12/11, 12/17, 12/18

Day of Event Prices: $59 USD + tax (Ages 10+), $53 USD + tax (Ages 3 – 9)
Day of Event Prices on these select nights: 11/10, 11/12, 11/13, 11/17, 11/19, 11/20, 11/29, 12/1, 12/4, 12/6, 12/8, 12/10, 12/11, 12/13, 12/15, 12/17, 12/18

Entertainment Highlights (subject to change without notice) 

  • Castle Dreamlights!
  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
  • Holiday Wishes – Celebrate the Spirit of the Season Fireworks
  • Live Disney Character stage shows
  • Character greetings throughout the Park
  • “Snow” on Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Complimentary cookies and hot cocoa
  • Use of some of the most popular Magic Kingdom® attractions

 You can purchase the party tickets directly through Walt Disney World or you can contact us and we’ll be happy to handle it for you.

TIP: You may become exhausted if you spend the whole day in a theme park before going to an evening party.   Consider doing the party on a day you don’t go into the theme parks or sleep in!   Another option is to combine this with a day that you’ll visit the Magic Kingdom so that you can arrive later in the morning – you can catch any attractions you would’ve ordinarily done right at park opening later in the evening during the party.  If time is short and you must combine a day in the theme parks with the party, consider visiting Animal Kingdom which typically closes around 5:00PM – this way, you won’t miss any fireworks or special shows.

 Information for people who do not have the park hopper option: You are not limited to visiting the Magic Kingdom on the same day that you are going to the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  Your Magic Your Way ticket is completely separate from the party ticket so it is not considered “Park Hopping” to go to Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or Animal Kingdom during the day and then use your ticket for the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in the evening. 

If you find this information helpful, please consider using us to book your vacation reservations or for custom theme park touring plans.  We are authorized Walt Disney World Vacation Planners and book directly with Disney so you never pay more than if you booked the reservation yourself.  Then we provide lots of help and advice designed to take the stress out of vacation planning.

  • Help with building a Best Days Itinerary – a daily schedule that puts you in the best park for each day of your trip
  • Help with dining reservations (subject to availability)
  • Custom touring plans that keep you ahead of the crowds and out of the long lines.  Or, if you prefer to do your own plans, we will provide either a subscription to Tour Guide Mike or the newest edition of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World to you instead of our touring plans.  The choice is yours.

These services are intended to make the whole vacation experience better – less stress, less lines, less wasted time and money.

There are two ways that I can provide the touring plans and any other planning help you need at no charge to you: 

  • Free Option #1: If you book a new reservation through us, we’ll provide custom touring as our thank you to you.  We will also help you put together an itinerary that puts you in the least busy park for each day of your vacation and we’ll make dining reservations on your behalf.
  •  Free Option #2:  If you made your existing Walt Disney World vacation package reservation yourself, it is possible to have Build A Better Mouse Trip added to the reservation as the “Agent of Record”. Your price, benefits, and confirmation numbers stay the same – we just become your travel agent.  

With either option, Disney will pay us a commission they would’ve kept for themselves and we accept that commission as payment-in-full for all planning services. 

You can also just purchase custom touring plans from us – the first day’s plan is $45 plus $25  for each additional day’s plan.

 If you have questions or are interested in our services:

  •   just call us toll free at 877-815-6515
  •  or use the online form

Thank you,

Stephen  

Build A Better Mouse Trip
www.buildabettermousetrip.com 
Toll Free Phone: 877-815-6515

Build A Better Mouse Trip is a full service travel agency specializing in Florida vacations & Cruises. Build A Better Mouse Trip is not affiliated with or in any way officially connected with, The Walt Disney Company, Disney Enterprises, Inc., or any of their affiliates.

May 1, 2009 at 9:29 pm 1 comment

Disney’s Magical Express (Airport Shuttle Service) – New luggage procedure for late night arrivals.

As of March 30th, luggage service will no longer be available for guests arriving at the Orlando International Airport (MCO) after 10:00PM.   If you have a late night flight into Orlando, simply Collect your luggage at baggage claim area and take them with you to the Disney’s Magical Express check-in desk.   The buses have enclosed luggage compartments.
Most guests arriving late tended to collect their bags anyway so that they didn’t have to wake up in the middle of the night when the bags arrived, or try to round up bags the next morning when the family is eager to head to the theme parks.
Disney Magical Express (DME) is contracted with Mears Transportation and it is customary to tip the bus driver when suitcases must be loaded and unloaded.   You do not need to tip the Walt Disney World Resort bus drivers who transport you between the resorts and theme parks.

 

 

 

February 26, 2009 at 8:59 pm 2 comments

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