Brenda – Chip and Co http://www.chipandco.com Disney Theme Park & Disney Movie News, Disney World & Disneyland Planning Tips, Disney Dining, Reviews and More! Fri, 29 Apr 2016 23:00:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.2 http://i1.wp.com/www.chipandco.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/512-icon-54ced060v1_site_icon.png?fit=32%2C32 Brenda – Chip and Co http://www.chipandco.com 32 32 Disney Rewards Visa Character Meet ‘N’ Greet http://www.chipandco.com/disney-rewards-visa-character-meet-%e2%80%98n%e2%80%99-greet-14985/ http://www.chipandco.com/disney-rewards-visa-character-meet-%e2%80%98n%e2%80%99-greet-14985/#comments Wed, 21 May 2014 11:00:34 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=14985   One of the perks I have always enjoyed about being a Disney Rewards Visa cardholder is the Character Meet ‘N’ Greet opportunity at Epcot. All you have to do is grab your party which can be up to 6 guests per card member and your Disney Rewards Visa card and head to Innoventions West. […]

The post Disney Rewards Visa Character Meet ‘N’ Greet appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
 

Visa Character Meet N Greet

One of the perks I have always enjoyed about being a Disney Rewards Visa cardholder is the Character Meet ‘N’ Greet opportunity at Epcot. All you have to do is grab your party which can be up to 6 guests per card member and your Disney Rewards Visa card and head to Innoventions West. Once inside the building, you will find a special area designated for this unique character opportunity. If you can’t seem to locate it, just ask any cast member and they will be happy to direct you.

Once you arrive at the designated area, just get in line. I know, I know, another line. But this one is never very long and it seems to move pretty fast as a whole group goes in at one time. Once you are near the front of the line, the cast member will ask you for your Disney Visa card, just to make sure you are eligible for this special opportunity.

This Character Meet ‘N’ Greet is held daily at 1:00-7:00 p.m. and includes a free 5X7 photo of your choice. So parents, if you are trying to use this picture as your Christmas card, keep those kids clean during lunch! This is also a great opportunity for other great pics like a gender reveal as pictured in this article.

Different characters are in attendance at different times, but their identity is kept a secret until you enter the room behind the mysterious black curtain for your surprise. There are usually two characters in attendance. We have had photos made with Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and Goofy.

The photographer/cast member will take several photos of your party all together, individually or in any other combination. Another great thing I love is that while you are taking your professional pictures with the characters, you are also allowed to take some with your own camera. Even better, the cast member will actually use your camera to take one with you in it. If you are anything like my hubby, this may be the only proof you were at Disney World at all!

When your session is over, don’t forget the most important part – big hugs for your characters! The CM will give you a voucher with the last four digits of your Visa number on it. You will redeem this voucher later at the Photo Center that’s on your way out of Epcot. Be sure to take a post-it note to stick to your chest as a reminder to pick up your photo once you are winding down from all the day’s events. Once at the Photo Center, you will get to see all the photos you took and choose your favorite for your free 5X7. You can even customize it by adding a border and/or caption of your choice. Of course, any other pictures you can’t pass up can be purchased. Enjoy this opportunity and keepsake and be sure to keep smiling!

The post Disney Rewards Visa Character Meet ‘N’ Greet appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/disney-rewards-visa-character-meet-%e2%80%98n%e2%80%99-greet-14985/feed/ 4
Do you tip Mousekeeping while you are at Walt Disney World? http://www.chipandco.com/tip-mousekeeping-walt-disney-world-88008/ http://www.chipandco.com/tip-mousekeeping-walt-disney-world-88008/#comments Tue, 30 Oct 2012 17:00:36 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=88008 Tipping is an important part of my Walt Disney World budget planning. I budget for Mousekeeping, bell service, and food servers at all my favorite table service restaurants. Each day, I leave a special Mousekeeping envelope with a few dollars inside when we leave  for the day, and I have been blessed with awesome mousekeeping staff when I […]

The post Do you tip Mousekeeping while you are at Walt Disney World? appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

Tipping is an important part of my Walt Disney World budget planning. I budget for Mousekeeping, bell service, and food servers at all my favorite table service restaurants. Each day, I leave a special Mousekeeping envelope with a few dollars inside when we leave  for the day, and I have been blessed with awesome mousekeeping staff when I have traveled.

Now, making towel animals is not a prerequisite for landing a job with the Disney mousekeeping department, but I wanted to share the treasures that Susan and I found waiting for us after long days in the parks. Our special room attendant, Gilma, at the Port Orleans Riverside left us these special mood boosters each day of our stay.

On Thursday, we received a rose.

On Friday, it was sweet swans.

And Saturday was a couple of little ghosts!

Aside from the artistic gifts, when they have the special talent, Mousekeeping is there to help make your stay better. Here are some tips on ways they can help you. If you need bed boards, bed rails, extra pillows and blankets, baby cribs, safety outlet coers, extra hangers, or to request that your room be cleaned at a specific time, touch HOUSEKEEPING on your in-room phone. If you have forgotten anything at home, or if there is any way they can help to make your stay more enjoyable, I have found often that they are happy to help.

When we were leaving on Sunday, we got to meet Gilma and thank her personally for all our treasures and for taking good care of us. Thank you, Gilma, for giving us that extra special something to come home to each day! We really appreciated it!

If you have any Mousekeepting Quick Tips let us know in the comment box below.

  • Ten Reasons Why You Should Stay at Disney’s Polynesian Resort (chipandco.com)
  • Disney World Quick Tips – Tips for Moms at Walt Disney World (chipandco.com)

The post Do you tip Mousekeeping while you are at Walt Disney World? appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/tip-mousekeeping-walt-disney-world-88008/feed/ 2
A Birthday Tribute to Our Friend, Ken! http://www.chipandco.com/birthday-tribute-friend-ken-82263/ http://www.chipandco.com/birthday-tribute-friend-ken-82263/#comments Wed, 12 Sep 2012 13:00:18 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=82263 Disney lovers are a special breed of people. We speak a different language and we understand one another. We know the thrill of planning a trip, the anticipation of waiting for it, and the sheer joy of being home again.  The Disney community is a tightly knit group. We have respect, regard and a genuine […]

The post A Birthday Tribute to Our Friend, Ken! appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

Disney lovers are a special breed of people. We speak a different language and we understand one another. We know the thrill of planning a trip, the anticipation of waiting for it, and the sheer joy of being home again.  The Disney community is a tightly knit group. We have respect, regard and a genuine concern for each other. Our group at Chip & Company is one example of such a group of Disney lovers who truly enjoy sharing all we know with everyone out there in order to try to make your Disney experience better, share our memories with your memories, and reach out whenever help is needed.

If you have been a fan of Chip & Company for a while, you know that we lost a treasured friend and a great writer this year. Today is his birthday so I hope you will indulge us an opportunity to share Ken Brown with all of you – especially those of you who never had an opportunity to know him.

Ken was with Chip right from the beginning. He was one of the original writers and Chip has said that when no one else even knew about C&C, Ken was his #1 fan. He was not only a contributor here, though, he was also a very supportive friend and confidant.  Ken wrote a special series called Disney for Seniors, but he liked to call it “Oldies but Goodies” for fun. I hope you will take a little time to read his posts as he was an awesome writer with a fabulous sense of humor and he posted very valuable, well-presented information about Disney.

Back in the first part of 2011, Chip asked us to do an assignment in which we answered personal questions about ourselves. I read through all the other writers’ responses and I was surprised to find that my Disney life most closely paralleled Ken’s in many cases. I was a mid-40s lady with three grown kids that I had raised Disney and Ken was a senior gentleman who had not even had his first visit to Disney until he was 44 years old. Still, we had some special things in common: he had a Disney home office, most of his clothes were Disney, he collected snowglobes which he kept in a large china closet in his dining room, and his favorite Disney movies were all the Pirates of the Caribbean ones; all just like me. I will never forget his answer to one question in particular though.

The question was, “What is your first Disney memory?” Ken’s answer was the very best of them all in my opinion and it was simply this:  “Walking down Main Street USA and thinking ‘I have finally found MY place!!’“  Now tell me, if you had to think of one answer to that question, wouldn’t that be it? I mean he just encapsulated in a few simple words what Disney means to all of us.

Ken was an important part of our Chip & Co family. He was a walking example of what Disney means to all of us. Happy to share any tip or trick to help make someone’s trip easier or more enjoyable. Ever encouraging and quick with a note about how much he liked one of our posts, he helped to bring out the best in us. He lives on in his posts still displayed on this page for all to enjoy.

I would like to close this tribute to Ken with his own words: “The vision and love produced by everyone who works/has worked there has made Disney an icon that produces a feeling of Magic and happiness in everyone exposed to it. I love going to Walt Disney World and acting like a kid again even though I’m 65 years old, and nobody cares about me being an old fool!!”

Happy birthday, Ken! We all love and miss you!

The post A Birthday Tribute to Our Friend, Ken! appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/birthday-tribute-friend-ken-82263/feed/ 4
Disney Cruise Line Adds New Galveston Itineraries http://www.chipandco.com/disney-cruise-line-adds-galveston-itineraries-81057/ http://www.chipandco.com/disney-cruise-line-adds-galveston-itineraries-81057/#comments Fri, 24 Aug 2012 23:00:55 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=81057 It is my opinion that Disney listens to their guests more than any other company of which I am familiar. As proof of this fact, Disney Cruise Line has responded to guest feedback by announcing new 2013 itineraries from Galveston, Texas. Select 8-night Western Caribbean cruises from Galveston have now been changed to a Bahamas […]

The post Disney Cruise Line Adds New Galveston Itineraries appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

It is my opinion that Disney listens to their guests more than any other company of which I am familiar. As proof of this fact, Disney Cruise Line has responded to guest feedback by announcing new 2013 itineraries from Galveston, Texas. Select 8-night Western Caribbean cruises from Galveston have now been changed to a Bahamas itinerary. The six-night and seven-night cruises will remain as originally planned, but select eight-night cruises are being switched to include stops in Key West, Castaway Cay (photo shown above) and Port Canaveral, which will include transportation and one-day park hopper passes for the Walt Disney World Resort.

In order to provide guests with some shorter cruise options as well, some of the 8-night cruises have been modified into two 4-night voyages sailing to Cozumel.

For guests who were booked on the original eight-night sailings, Disney has already begun contacting each guest to provide them with the best options for their travel dates and destination wishes. Guests have until August 24, 2012 to make their changes. If the guests move their booking to a different sail date, the original booking date is used to determine the price of the new cruise.

These itinerary changes only affect cruises sailing from the Port of Galveston on the dates shown below. The itineraries are shown as well.

4-Night Cozumel Disney Cruises  (can be booked beginning 9/5/12)

  • Ship: Disney Magic
  • 2013 Sail Dates: January 4, 8; February 1, 5; March 15, 19; April 12, 16

ITINERARY

PORT

Friday Galveston
Saturday At Sea
Sunday Cozumel, Mexico
Monday At Sea
Tuesday Galveston

8-Night Bahamas Disney Cruises  (can be booked beginning 9/5/12)

  • Ship: Disney Magic
  • 2013 Sail Dates: January 18; February 15; March 1, 29; April 26; May 10
ITINERARY PORT
Friday Galveston
Saturday At Sea
Sunday At Sea
Monday Castaway Cay, Bahamas
Tuesday Port Canaveral, FL
Wednesday At Sea
Thursday Key West, FL
Friday At Sea
Saturday Galveston

 

If you are interested in one of these new itineraries I would be happy to provide you with a free quote. Just contact me by phone at 281-935-7518 or email at brenda@pixievacations.com. These cruises can be booked beginning on September 5, 2012 so be sure to contact me for a free price quote.

Also, if you have never visited Galveston Island and you would like more information about the city, sights to see, and things to do just ask. I was born on the island and have lots of information to share.

Happy sailing!

The post Disney Cruise Line Adds New Galveston Itineraries appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/disney-cruise-line-adds-galveston-itineraries-81057/feed/ 7
ABC’s “GCB” Complete Series DVD Review http://www.chipandco.com/abcs-gcb-complete-series-dvd-review-74880/ http://www.chipandco.com/abcs-gcb-complete-series-dvd-review-74880/#comments Fri, 22 Jun 2012 23:00:14 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=74880 From Darren Star, creator of ‘Sex And The City,’ and Robert Harling, writer of ‘Steel Magnolias,’ comes a deliciously fun, wicked new drama series to DVD. GCB: The Complete First Season shows that a girl can go home again…but only if she’s ready to face the sins of her past. Back in high school, original […]

The post ABC’s “GCB” Complete Series DVD Review appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

From Darren Star, creator of ‘Sex And The City,’ and Robert Harling, writer of ‘Steel Magnolias,’ comes a deliciously fun, wicked new drama series to DVD. GCB: The Complete First Season shows that a girl can go home again…but only if she’s ready to face the sins of her past.

Back in high school, original mean girl Amanda Vaughn (Leslie Bibb) mercilessly tormented her less attractive classmates. Twenty years later, after her hubby is busted for a Ponzi scheme – and meets his maker in a particularly scandalous way – a disgraced Amanda is back in Dallas to start life anew under her mother’s (Annie Potts) palatial roof.

But will the good women of her hometown welcome her with open arms or dole out some kick-ass karmic payback? Let’s just say, hell hath no fury like the cosmetically enhanced!

If you like a hilarious show which crosses the likes of Steel Magnolias with Desperate Housewives, then you will love this series. I found myself laughing out loud while watching it. This show mixes the stereotypical Texas lifestyle, Christianity, sex, sass and revenge into a hilarious adventure. Being a born and bred Texan, this really isn’t Texas life but the exaggeration is so much fun. It is certainly not a reality show, but then neither are ‘reality shows.’

The GCB wasn’t renewed for a second season, and I think that is a shame. The acting alone by Bibb, Chenoweth, Potts, and the rest of the talented cast was great. You never know what to expect with this group and I absolutely loved the scene where Chenoweth sneaks into her neighbor’s house through the doggy door.

Luckily, you can now buy GCB: The Complete First Season on a 3-disc DVD set which also includes bonus materials with everything from the Texas big hair and makeup makeovers to tours of the real homes in Dallas used for inspiration, to bloopers that are a real gas. Released on June 12, 2012, you can now purchase a copy to add to your library.

  • GCB: The Complete First Season – Available June 12, 2012 (chipandco.com)

The post ABC’s “GCB” Complete Series DVD Review appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/abcs-gcb-complete-series-dvd-review-74880/feed/ 2
Walt Disney World Packing Tips http://www.chipandco.com/walt-disney-world-tips-tricks-packing-tips-73834/ http://www.chipandco.com/walt-disney-world-tips-tricks-packing-tips-73834/#comments Sun, 17 Jun 2012 15:00:33 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=73834 I have some time-saving tips I would love to share with you. Whether you are a frequent visitor to “the World” or if you are planning your first magical visit, I hope you will find this information helpful. Up on the top shelf of my closet, I have what I refer to as my Disney […]

The post Walt Disney World Packing Tips appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

I have some time-saving tips I would love to share with you. Whether you are a frequent visitor to “the World” or if you are planning your first magical visit, I hope you will find this information helpful. Up on the top shelf of my closet, I have what I refer to as my Disney Trunk. The contents of this oversized plastic bin have been very important to me over our last eleven years of traveling to Walt Disney World, as it keeps all of our necessities in one place, which makes packing time easy.

I am happy to share with you the list of reusable items I keep inside. Since we are a family of 5, you might guess that there are five of each item inside the box:

Backpacks

We each have a backpack made of lightweight but strong prolypropylene with a drawstring closure and straps. They weigh less than an ounce when empty and are 15” high by 13” wide. Each person carries one loaded with the items below which are needed for a day in the parks.

Insulated Lunchbags

When we are penny-pinching (like when gas is near $4.00 a gallon, for instance) and when we are not taking advantage of a free dining offer, we pack our lunch in the mornings on the days we will eat in the parks. We usually pack a juice box, sandwich, bag of chips, fruit, snacks such as nuts, fruit rollups, etc. and maybe even a surprise special treat that I pull out in the morning. Whenever everyone decides they are ready to eat lunch, we can pick a couple of benches and people-watch while we have our lunch. An alternative would be to rent a locker and put all the lunchbags in it and then go to the front of the park when you are ready, but we like to just stop and drop.

Lanyards

We have lanyards to use during Extra Magic Hours (EMH), which is a special privilege for all Disney resort guests. Our lanyards each have a top-seal card holder attached for our key to the world (room key) which you must show at each ride during EMH. This saves us the time and trouble of taking out our key at each ride. We have even graduated to extra special ones with blinking lights so I always know where my family is if we accidentally get separated during nighttime EMH.

Rain Ponchos

I purchase these at my local Dollar store a few weeks before our trip but always have extras in the box because we have been blessed with great weather during most of our trips. They are sold two for $1.00 and I usually buy 2 packs for each person. Since most of the time, we may have to use only 1, or at the most 2, we usually have some left over. We keep 2 ponchos in each backpack – one just in case the other breaks.

Ziptop Bags

We use ziptop bags for a couple of reasons and every day we place two in each backpack. One holds our cell phone, camera and anything else we want to keep dry. The second is carried as an extra to put a wet poncho in, if necessary. We can also use the spare if we have any leftover chocolate anything from a meal so we can take it with us for a snack later. If you know me, you know I NEVER waste anything chocolate.

Cell phone pouches

Every person in my family has a cell phone, which I am sure you can understand since my kids range in age from 17 to 25. They can easily get dropped and broken if carried loose in a backpack, so each person has a soft cover pouch. These pouches keep them from getting damaged hopping onto and off of rides all day.  The only time we use these pouches is at Disney World so when we return home they get put right back into the trunk.

Carabiners

We have a carabiner with a water bottle holder ring for each person. Each of us carries a bottle of water in addition to the drink in our lunch kit. We refill them throughout the day with the FREE ice water Disney offers to every guest at the quick service locations at any of the parks.  We hook the carabiner to the drawstring cord at the top of our backpack.

Air Freshener

I always take a spray can of air freshener with us. I am sure you can understand why.  Five people (3 males and 2 females) sharing one bathroom — need I say more? Since we are there for only ten days, we usually have enough in the can for the next visit. I replenish this item as needed.

Shoe Organizer

I have an over-the-door shoe organizer I like to use for the bathroom. The organizer has 6 rows of 4 “shoe” slots each. So, for five of us, each person gets a row. That is 4 large slots each to use for our personal bathroom necessities: deodorant, toothbrush, hair gel, hairspray, makeup, face cleanser, etc. It has been very handy to keep us organized since the resort bathroom areas are usually not equipped to handle such a large number of items and, especially, since I don’t want anyone to have to live out of a suitcase for 10 days. The rows are assigned by height, so my youngest at 6’3” gets the top row and so on down to the next to the bottom row. I use the bottom row for other items such as bandaids, pain and fever reducer, lotion, etc.

Powerstrip

I always take a powerstrip with us on the trip. We have 5 cell phones, Ipods, and other electronic devices to charge and there never seems to be enough plugs in the room. Having a powerstrip with many plug-in slots has been a lifesaver for us. We never leave home without it.

Waterproof Map Holder

If you have read my other posts, you have probably gathered that I am old school. I have a smartphone and I really love it but I still like doing things on paper. I prepare a one-page, color-coded Excel spreadsheet for every trip which has my itinerary, ADR confirmation numbers, park times, parade times, fireworks schedule, etc. on the one sheet. When I fold it in thirds horizontally it is the perfect size to fit into my waterproof map holder. Now, when I am having a blast on Splash Mountain or Kali River Rapids, or if I am stuck in the rain, I know that my trip bible is safe and sound and protected from the elements.

Body Glide/Monistat Soothing Care

These products are used to prevent and combat chafing (like on the inner thigh area). When my kids were young I went ahead and put it on them to keep them from having any discomfort from walking all day, getting wet on rides then taking a while to dry out, etc. We now take them just as a precaution but if we need it, we have it.

Germ-X, sunscreen, lipbalm

We have been carrying Germ-X with us for years, long before Disney installed the antibacterial soap dispensers. We still each carry one out of habit, as well as necessity. I know it is not necessary since the Disney installation but I am a moderate germaphobe so I will not even go there. I also keep sunscreen in my backpack as well as a lipbalm for each person, just in case. It sounds hilarious that I still carry lipbalm for each of the kids, especially when I think of my oldest son who now has his own mortgage, but the thing is that we can’t turn off “the mom thing” and I have been doing it this way for so long that it’s just natural. Believe me, I don’t pack their suitcases for them and I don’t hold their hand on the way to the bus stop (even though I would really like to).

Keeping all of these reusable items organized and in one place throughout the year keeps me from having to fumble around for them when our time finally arrives to go back to Walt Disney World. About five weeks before the trip, I take out the box to see what needs to be replenished.

We have been very thankful for the Free Dining offer, because that means we can go to the parks without having to pack a lunch and sometimes we don’t even need to take the backpacks at all. Free Dining makes everything easy. Come on Disney, make the offer – pretty please!

During the times when free dining is not offered though, we really watch our budget and these items have saved us time, trouble and lots of money. Hope you enjoyed these tips! Share your own tips with us as well!

The post Walt Disney World Packing Tips appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/walt-disney-world-tips-tricks-packing-tips-73834/feed/ 3
Disney Announces Disneyland Ticket Price Increases http://www.chipandco.com/disney-announces-disneyland-ticket-price-increases-72510/ http://www.chipandco.com/disney-announces-disneyland-ticket-price-increases-72510/#comments Sat, 19 May 2012 19:00:08 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=72510 This is a notice to all our loyal C&C fans who are planning an upcoming trip to Disneyland. Buy your park tickets today as the prices will be going up tomorrow! Disney has announced that they will increase their  ticket prices for Disneyland Resort on May 20, 2012. Prices for a one-day regular pass will increase […]

The post Disney Announces Disneyland Ticket Price Increases appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

This is a notice to all our loyal C&C fans who are planning an upcoming trip to Disneyland. Buy your park tickets today as the prices will be going up tomorrow! Disney has announced that they will increase their  ticket prices for Disneyland Resort on May 20, 2012.

Prices for a one-day regular pass will increase from $80 to $87. In fact, every ticket option will increase on both regular and park-hopper tickets  as shown below.

Ticket

Ages 10+

Ages 3-9

5-Day Park Hopper

$290

$270

5-Day 1-Park Per Day

$260

$240

4-Day Park Hopper

$275

$255

4-Day 1-Park Per Day

$245

$225

3-Day Park Hopper

$250

$235

3-Day 1-Park Per Day

$220

$205

2-Day Park Hopper

$200

$188

2-Day 1-Park Per Day

$170

$158

1-Day Park Hopper

$125

$119

1-Day 1-Park

$87

$81

This is also bad news for Disneyland Resort Annual Passport holders as their costs will also rise as follows:

Premium  –  $649 (previously $499)

Deluxe – $469 (previously $379)

Southern California* – $329 (previously $269)

Southern California Select*  – $269 (previously $199)

Additionally, the Premier Passport that allows guests to visit all the parks at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World is increasing from $749 to $849.

According to a Disney representative I spoke with, these changes for AP holders will not affect their current monthly payments, but when they renew they will be charged the higher price.

Additionally, if Disneyland tickets are purchased before tomorrow at the current, lower rate they will be honored at the gate.

Get your tickets today!

  • Galactic Food Fun at Star Wars Weekends (chipandco.com)
  • Star Wars Weekends 2012 Maps (chipandco.com)

The post Disney Announces Disneyland Ticket Price Increases appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/disney-announces-disneyland-ticket-price-increases-72510/feed/ 3
Art of Animation Discount for Disney Visa Cardholders http://www.chipandco.com/art-animation-discount-disney-visa-cardholders-71776/ Wed, 09 May 2012 23:00:19 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=71776 Use your Disney’s Visa Card to save 15% at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. Book now through 6/14/12 for travel 6/18/12 – 9/27/12 Experience Disney’s Art of Animation Resort at Walt Disney World® Resort and save 15% when you book with your Disney’s Visa® Card. From the magically themed family suites and rooms, to the spectacular courtyards […]

The post Art of Animation Discount for Disney Visa Cardholders appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

Use your Disney’s Visa Card to save 15% at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

Book now through 6/14/12
for travel 6/18/12 – 9/27/12

Experience Disney’s Art of Animation Resort at Walt Disney World® Resort and save 15% when you book with your Disney’s Visa® Card.

From the magically themed family suites and rooms, to the spectacular courtyards and sparkling pools, you can experience what it’s like to be a Character inside some of the most popular and beloved Walt Disney Pictures and Disney•Pixar movies. Choose to be immersed in one of four wonderful “worlds,” including:

  • Finding Nemo Family Suites
    Opening May 31, 2012
  • Cars Family Suites
    Opening June 18, 2012
  • The Lion King Family Suites
    Opening August 10, 2012
  • The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms
    Opening September 15, 2012

And every family will find the right accommodation for them — from suites sleeping up to six, to standard rooms accommodating up to four Guests. Plus, every Family Suite provides just the right amount of extra room to spread out in comfort.

Check out what Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has to offer. Click here

Plus, when you stay at a select Disney Resort Hotel, you’ll enjoy an array of special Disney touches that let you do things like:

  • Spend more quality time with your family and friends with a benefit where a Theme Park is open extra time each day to enjoy select attractions! (Valid Theme Park admission and Resort ID required.)
  • Get around with ease – thanks to complimentary motorcoach transportation between Orlando International Airport and your Disney Resort Hotel AND throughout Walt Disney World® Resort, as well.
  • Experience amazing entertainment for everyone – fantastic pools included!

Call 1-407-939-1896 or your Pixie travel agent, use code Q4F.

The number of rooms available at this rate is limited. Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room. Minimum length of stay requirements may apply for Friday and Saturday arrivals. See important details.1

 

  • Fans of “All Things Disney” Make Memories, Rack up Rewards with New Disney’s Premier Visa Card (chipandco.com)
  • Disney World Quick Tips – Ten FREE Things To Do At Disney World (chipandco.com)

The post Art of Animation Discount for Disney Visa Cardholders appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
Walt Disney World Planning Tips: What to Pack? http://www.chipandco.com/walt-disney-world-planning-tips-what-to-pack-70901/ http://www.chipandco.com/walt-disney-world-planning-tips-what-to-pack-70901/#comments Wed, 25 Apr 2012 19:00:40 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=70901 Whether you are a frequent visitor to Disney World or if you are planning your first magical visit, I hope you will find this Packing Tip helpful. Up on the top shelf of my closet, I have what I refer to as my Disney Trunk. The contents of this oversized plastic bin have been very […]

The post Walt Disney World Planning Tips: What to Pack? appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

Whether you are a frequent visitor to Disney World or if you are planning your first magical visit, I hope you will find this Packing Tip helpful.

Up on the top shelf of my closet, I have what I refer to as my Disney Trunk. The contents of this oversized plastic bin have been very important to me over our last eleven years of traveling to Walt Disney World, as it keeps all of our necessities in one place, which makes packing time easy.

I am happy to share with you the list of reusable items I keep inside. Since we are a family of 5, you might guess that there are five of each item inside the box:

Backpacks

We each have a backpack made of lightweight but strong polypropylene with a drawstring closure and straps. They weigh less than an ounce when empty and are 15” high by 13” wide. Each person carries one loaded with the items below which are needed for a day in the parks.

Insulated Lunch Bags

When we are penny-pinching (like when gas is near $4.00 a gallon, for instance) and when we are not taking advantage of a free dining offer, we pack our lunch in the mornings on the days we will eat in the parks. We usually pack a juice box, sandwich, bag of chips, fruit, snacks such as nuts, fruit rollups, etc. and maybe even a surprise special treat that I pull out in the morning. Whenever everyone decides they are ready to eat lunch, we can pick a couple of benches and people-watch while we have our lunch. An alternative would be to rent a locker and put all the lunchbags in it and then go to the front of the park when you are ready, but we like to just stop and drop.

You can use a delivery service like Garden Grocer for all your shopping needs!

Lanyards

We have lanyards to use during Extra Magic Hours (EMH), which is a special privilege for all Disney resort guests. Our lanyards each have a top-seal card holder attached for our key to the world (room key) which you must show at each ride during EMH. This saves us the time and trouble of taking out our key at each ride. We have even graduated to extra special ones with blinking lights so I always know where my family is if we accidentally get separated during nighttime EMH.

Rain Ponchos

I purchase these at my local Dollar store a few weeks before our trip but always have extras in the box because we have been blessed with great weather during most of our trips. They are sold two for $1.00 and I usually buy 2 packs for each person. Since most of the time, we may have to use only 1, or at the most 2, we usually have some left over. We keep 2 ponchos in each backpack – one just in case the other breaks.

Ziptop Bags

We use ziptop bags for a couple of reasons and every day we place two in each backpack. One holds our cell phone, camera and anything else we want to keep dry. The second is carried as an extra to put a wet poncho in, if necessary. We can also use the spare if we have any leftover chocolate anything from a meal so we can take it with us for a snack later. If you know me, you know I NEVER waste anything chocolate.

Cell phone pouches

Every person in my family has a cell phone, which I am sure you can understand since my kids range in age from 17 to 25. They can easily get dropped and broken if carried loose in a backpack, so each person has a soft cover pouch. These pouches keep them from getting damaged hopping onto and off of rides all day.  The only time we use these pouches is at Disney World so when we return home they get put right back into the trunk.

Carabiners

We have a carabiner with a water bottle holder ring for each person. Each of us carries a bottle of water in addition to the drink in our lunch kit. We refill them throughout the day with the FREE ice water Disney offers to every guest at the quick service locations at any of the parks.  We hook the carabiner to the drawstring cord at the top of our backpack.

Air Freshener

I always take a spray can of air freshener with us. I am sure you can understand why.  Five people (3 males and 2 females) sharing one bathroom — need I say more? Since we are there for only ten days, we usually have enough in the can for the next visit. I replenish this item as needed.

Shoe Organizer

I have an over-the-door shoe organizer I like to use for the bathroom. The organizer has 6 rows of 4 “shoe” slots each. So, for five of us, each person gets a row. That is 4 large slots each to use for our personal bathroom necessities: deodorant, toothbrush, hair gel, hairspray, makeup, face cleanser, etc. It has been very handy to keep us organized since the resort bathroom areas are usually not equipped to handle such a large number of items and, especially, since I don’t want anyone to have to live out of a suitcase for 10 days. The rows are assigned by height, so my youngest at 6’3” gets the top row and so on down to the next to the bottom row. I use the bottom row for other items such as bandaids, pain and fever reducer, lotion, etc.

Power strip

I always take a powerstrip with us on the trip. We have 5 cell phones, Ipods, and other electronic devices to charge and there never seems to be enough plugs in the room. Having a powerstrip with many plug-in slots has been a lifesaver for us. We never leave home without it.

Waterproof Map Holder

If you have read my other posts, you have probably gathered that I am old school. I have a smartphone and I really love it but I still like doing things on paper. I prepare a one-page, color-coded Excel spreadsheet for every trip which has my itinerary, ADR confirmation numbers, park times, parade times, fireworks schedule, etc. on the one sheet. When I fold it in thirds horizontally it is the perfect size to fit into my waterproof map holder. Now, when I am having a blast on Splash Mountain or Kali River Rapids, or if I am stuck in the rain, I know that my trip bible is safe and sound and protected from the elements.

Body Glide/Monistat Soothing Care

These products are used to prevent and combat chafing (like on the inner thigh area). When my kids were young I went ahead and put it on them to keep them from having any discomfort from walking all day, getting wet on rides then taking a while to dry out, etc. We now take them just as a precaution but if we need it, we have it.

Germ-X, sunscreen, lipbalm

We have been carrying Germ-X with us for years, long before Disney installed the antibacterial soap dispensers. We still each carry one out of habit, as well as necessity. I know it is not necessary since the Disney installation but I am a moderate germaphobe so I will not even go there. I also keep sunscreen in my backpack as well as a lipbalm for each person, just in case.

It sounds hilarious that I still carry lipbalm for each of the kids, especially when I think of my oldest son who now has his own mortgage, but the thing is that we can’t turn off “the mom thing” and I have been doing it this way for so long that it’s just natural. Believe me, I don’t pack their suitcases for them and I don’t hold their hand on the way to the bus stop (even though I would really like to).

Keeping all of these reusable items organized and in one place throughout the year keeps me from having to fumble around for them when our time finally arrives to go back to Walt Disney World. About five weeks before the trip, I take out the box to see what needs to be replenished.

We have been very thankful for the Free Dining offer, because that means we can go to the parks without having to pack a lunch and sometimes we don’t even need to take the backpacks at all. Free Dining makes everything easy. Come on Disney, make the offer – pretty please!

During the times when free dining is not offered though, we really watch our budget and these items have saved us time, trouble and lots of money. Hope you enjoyed these tips! Share your own tips with us as well!

  • Traveling with Infants to Walt Disney World (chipandco.com)
  • Starbucks is coming to Walt Disney World (chipandco.com)

The post Walt Disney World Planning Tips: What to Pack? appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/walt-disney-world-planning-tips-what-to-pack-70901/feed/ 7
GCB: The Complete First Season – Available June 12, 2012 http://www.chipandco.com/gcb-complete-season-june-12-2012-70015/ Fri, 13 Apr 2012 23:00:08 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=70015 From Darren Star, creator of ‘Sex And The City,’ and Robert Harling, writer of ‘Steel Magnolias,’ comes a deliciously fun, wicked new drama that shows you can go home again…but only if you’re ready to face the sins of your past. Back in high school, original mean girl Amanda Vaughn (Leslie Bibb) mercilessly tormented her […]

The post GCB: The Complete First Season – Available June 12, 2012 appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

From Darren Star, creator of ‘Sex And The City,’ and Robert Harling, writer of ‘Steel Magnolias,’ comes a deliciously fun, wicked new drama that shows you can go home again…but only if you’re ready to face the sins of your past.

Back in high school, original mean girl Amanda Vaughn (Leslie Bibb) mercilessly tormented her less attractive classmates. Twenty years later, after her hubby is busted for a Ponzi scheme – and meets his maker in a particularly scandalous way – a disgraced Amanda is back in Dallas to start life anew under her mother’s (Annie Potts) palatial roof.

But will the good women of her hometown welcome her with open arms or dole out some kick-ass karmic payback? Let’s just say, hell hath no fury like the cosmetically enhanced!

“GCB” stars Leslie Bibb, Kristin Chenoweth, Annie Potts, Jennifer Aspen, Miriam Shor, Marisol Nichols, David James Elliott, Mark Deklin and Brad Beyer.  Released in a three-disc DVD set.

Release Date:                     June 12, 2012

Rating:                                  TVPG D L S

Suggested Retail Price:    $39.99 US; $44.99 Canada

Running Time:                     430 minutes (10 episodes)

  • Scandal: The Complete First Season – Available on DVD June 12, 2012 (chipandco.com)
  • THE RIVER: The Complete First Season – Available April 10, 2012 (chipandco.com)

 

The post GCB: The Complete First Season – Available June 12, 2012 appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
Interview with Jonathan Morgan Heit of “Jake and the Neverland Pirates: Peter Pan Returns” http://www.chipandco.com/interview-jonathan-morgan-heit-jake-neverland-pirates-peter-pan-returns-69776/ Sun, 08 Apr 2012 17:00:52 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=69776 I recently had an opportunity to chat with Jonathan Morgan Heit, star of Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Peter Pan Returns which arrived on DVD and Digital Copy on April 3.  In this great adventure, Peter Pan is back – but his shadow is missing! When Peter loses his shadow while playing a game […]

The post Interview with Jonathan Morgan Heit of “Jake and the Neverland Pirates: Peter Pan Returns” appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

I recently had an opportunity to chat with Jonathan Morgan Heit, star of Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Peter Pan Returns which arrived on DVD and Digital Copy on April 3.  In this great adventure, Peter Pan is back – but his shadow is missing! When Peter loses his shadow while playing a game of Catch-Me-If-You-Can, he returns to Never Land to seek help from his kid pirate friends Jake, Izzy and Cubby.

Jonathan Morgan Heit plays the lovable Cubby. I was already a fan of this special young man since he played adorable Patrick in Bedtime Stories and Oliver in Date Night, and he is one busy little dude. He is a top student, plays several sports, acts, directs, sings and is already working on several great philanthropic projects. At a mere 11-years-old, he has already begun a great career and is ready to help change the world.

Jonathan Morgan Heit began acting at only 4 ½ years of age. His professional acting debut was in 2006, when he appeared in the television series Close to Home and General Hospital. In 2007, he appeared in two more television shows, ER and the talk show The Showbiz Show with David Spade. Some of the highlights of his movie career, thus far, include roles in Bedtime Stories, Valentine’s Day,  and Date Night, just to name a few. He has also directed two short films.

His television career has included roles on How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement, voice over for Santa Buddies and he is, of course, the voice of Cubby on the television series Jake and the Never Land Pirates which is Disney Junior’s uber popular series for children through age 7.

Jonathan has a heart for doing good in his community and the world. He has been active in serving with the Los Angeles Mission, Book Pals, Autism Speaks, and the Lollipop Theater Network. He has been featured on a special series, Young Icons, and by the end of this interview I hope you will understand why.

 

Brenda: I know the Jake and the Never Land Pirates series has been very successful and I know you must be super excited about the release of the feature-length animated adventure Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Peter Pan Returns. How has it been for you working in the studio for both the show and the movie?

Jonathan: It’s really great because I get to work with Madison Pettis and Colin Ford and everyone is really great. And now I get to work with the new Jake, Cameron Boyce. And, of course, I got to work with Peter Pan who is a great actor and it was really cool because Peter Pan is such a classic character and it was awesome getting to do a movie with Peter Pan.

Brenda: When you’re doing the voice over, are you actually watching the animation on a screen while performing your lines or are you just in the studio with a mic and a script and a chair?

Jonathan: It’s kind of the second one but it’s not as dark as it sounds (chuckle). It is great fun because you get to work with all the other people so it is fun, but you are in there with only a script, a chair, a table and a mic. But it’s really cool because you can go in there in pajamas and it doesn’t matter. How many people get to go to work in their pajamas?

Brenda: I really like Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Peter Pan Returns because the writing is terrific, the animation is perfectly done, and it gets kids up and moving. It is also a great way to introduce important life lessons to kids. What drew you to the role of Cubby?

Jonathan: Well, I really like the role of Cubby because, like you said, in the script they might not say  “you shouldn’t do this” or “do that” but it is kind of subtle like, “oh don’t get mad at Captain Hook he has his reasons” and stuff like that. Also, Cubby is funny because he always has his map. So, whenever they have to go somewhere he says “we have to go this way, then this way, then this way.” Whenever I go on a trip with my family, I always have the map. Do you really? Yes, I am always saying go right up here or left here it is really funny.

Brenda: You know, being a writer for Chip and Company, I am a humongous Disney fan and I know you have recently been to Disneyland. Have you ever visited Walt Disney World?

Jonathan: I haven’t actually been to Disney World but I really want to. We want to because it is so huge in comparison to Disneyland. I really want to go and I think we are going to probably end up going soon.

Brenda: For all of our Chip and Company Disney lovers, I am going to ask you a series of quick answer questions about Disneyland. Just give me a quick response to each, OK?

Jonathan: OK, ready.

All-time Favorite ride? Tower of Terror and California Screamin’

Favorite park food? Funnel cake

Favorite Disney character? Mr. Smee, I really like him because he is really funny. Besides the classics, I think he is a great character. Captain Hook tries to force him to be evil but he is funny and tries to be nice when he has to do what Hook says.

Favorite Disney princess?  Belle

All-time Favorite Disney movie?  Lion King

Brenda: What do you think of the new Jake and the Never Land Pirates makeovers at The Pirates League – pretty cool huh? Kids can be dressed as Jake and get a Jake and the Never Land Pirates bag and everything.

Jonathan:  That is cool, I will have to check it out when I’m there. I think it would be fun if we could have Cubby looking like Cubby!

Brenda: I know you love acting and that you have already completed a couple of courses at the New York Film Academy. What are your career aspirations – acting, directing?

Jonathan:  Actually I have already directed two films (It Happens and Coincidence) and I really want to do that later on as it’s really fun. Also acting is great, because when you work on a movie everyone is like a big family. You get to know everyone on the set and that is really great because you build real connections with people you didn’t really expect you would.

Brenda: You have already begun a wonderful and very promising movie career and you have been able to work with some A-list stars. May I ask whom you would love to get to co-star with but haven’t met yet?

Jonathan:  Well, I am open to everyone but I think it would be really cool to work with Morgan Freeman.

Brenda: I am on the Board of a foundation for orphans in Kenya that began exactly 11 years ago tomorrow. I find it strangely ironic that today I am interviewing an 11-year-old young man who has such a heart for charity and has even begun a charity for Kenya as well. I have read about your Crowdrise “Kids for Kenya” campaign and I must say that I am so proud to meet you. You have such a great heart and you have the celebrity to really make a difference. Can you tell me a little more about “Kids for Kenya”?

Jonathan:  Sure. I went to Kenya last summer and my aunt has always been working in Kenya and has an organization called NextAid that uses the power of music to improve the lives of kids and adults affected by AIDS. So, through NextAid, I started an organization called Kids for Kenya. There is a place I visited called the Kawangware Vision Centre and what they do is provide positive opportunities to get kids off the streets from the slums and give them food and shelter and all this great stuff. I was thinking, you shouldn’t do things for them, you should help them do it themselves. If you coddle something and don’t let them do it for themselves then you leave, or can’t fund them anymore, they won’t know what to do. So, I am interested in helping them raise money to help the kids there. It’s a great organization.

Brenda: Here is a topic that I know is near and dear to you, from where did you develop such an obsession for shoes?

Jonathan: Well? I have no idea where my shoe obsession comes from (chuckle). I think it’s that it’s one way for girls but different for boys. I mean girls’ clothes have a lot of different options: colors, different dresses, ruffles and stuff, but it’s not so much for boys. It’s more just like normal shirts and stuff, so the shoes are a way to express yourself because you can have the craziest shoes you could ever imagine and you can still wear normal clothes. I almost just want to start my own shoe company, I mean for younger kids there’s not that many different shoes. You’d expect there to be more really cool shoes. I mean, there are baby-size shoes which are really cool because Jordan and Nike are making baby versions of the big shoes. But, they don’t make the middle sizes, and I have small feet – I wear a size 5.

Brenda: You are clearly an inspiration for young people all over the world. I saw you featured on Young Icons and you most certainly are one. I understand you are the first kid spokesperson for Soles4Souls.  Will you please tell me a little about Soles4Souls?

Jonathan: OK, well Soles4Souls is an organization that gives shoes, nice shoes, to kids all over the world who need it. The problem is, just like I saw in Kenya, people are walking around without any shoes and there was glass, nails, and harmful things to your feet and they had no shoes. It’s really not good for your feet. So, Soles4Souls gives shoes to people who need it. Next summer, I am going to Haiti and I am going to be able to give shoes away there.

You don’t even realize what a difference a pair of shoes can make. I mean, right now I don’t have shoes on and I’m pretty cold. And the kids run; I mean I met a kid in Kenya and I asked him where his school was and he said it was about 10 miles away. And I was like, ‘10 miles, do your parents have a car?’ And he said “no,” and I said ‘well how do you get to school every morning?’ and he said, “I run.” And I was like ‘without shoes on?’ I mean it is a far distance to run without shoes and he does that every single morning.

Brenda: I know you are extremely smart, what are your favorite subjects in school?

Jonathan: My favorite subjects are math and science. I like Math because of the numbers and Science because it is exploring things. I like pretty much all subjects but I read a lot of scripts and I am a good reader but, being an actor I read scripts like every single day so rather than sitting down to do English and reading, I would rather go out and do sports. This year, I have really liked history because of what we are learning: ancient civilizations. I really like that.

Brenda: I know you really enjoy playing sports, what are your favorite sports to play and which ones do you like to watch?

Jonathan: For playing, the order would be lacrosse, basketball, and tennis. For watching, it would be basketball, soccer, and football.

Brenda: Thank you so much for meeting with me today. I wish you the very best of everything life has to offer. Keep up the good work with your acting and your charities. And from me, and all of us at Chip and Company, happy soon to be 12th birthday on July 16!

Jonathan: Thank you and good luck to you too!

  • Jake And The Never Land Pirates: Peter Pan Returns DVD Giveaway (chipandco.com)
  • Photos: Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Peter Pan Returns Premiere Event (chipandco.com)

The post Interview with Jonathan Morgan Heit of “Jake and the Neverland Pirates: Peter Pan Returns” appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
Disney Adds Art of Animation Resort to Free Dining Offer http://www.chipandco.com/disney-adds-art-animation-resort-free-dining-offer-2-69575/ http://www.chipandco.com/disney-adds-art-animation-resort-free-dining-offer-2-69575/#comments Wed, 04 Apr 2012 22:03:00 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=69575 Here is great news for everyone who has been looking forward to staying at Disney’s brand new Art of Animation Resort but gave up your chance in order to get free dining. Disney has just added the Art of Animation Resort to its list of resorts for the current free dining offer. To take advantage […]

The post Disney Adds Art of Animation Resort to Free Dining Offer appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

Here is great news for everyone who has been looking forward to staying at Disney’s brand new Art of Animation Resort but gave up your chance in order to get free dining. Disney has just added the Art of Animation Resort to its list of resorts for the current free dining offer.

To take advantage of this amazing Disney World Vacation offer, contact Pixie Vacations today.
This Disney Free Dining offer is limited so book now to reserve your preferred Disney Resort.

Booking Window: 3/5 – 5/18/2012
Travel Window: 8/25 – 9/29/2012

Disney World Free Dining Details:

Purchase a non-discounted 5 night / 6 day Magic your way package for stays most nights 8/25 – 9/29/12 with accommodations and Theme Park tickets included and get Free Dining.  You will get a Free Quick Service Dining Plan when you book this offer for stays at select Disney Value Resorts, including Disney’s brand new resort, Art of Animation.

Or, you can receive the Disney Dining Plan for Free when you book your stay at select Disney Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villa Resorts.  This offer is limited so do not delay and book today.

  • Is Disney World Free Dining For You? (chipandco.com)
  • Disney World Free Dining is Back! (chipandco.com)

The post Disney Adds Art of Animation Resort to Free Dining Offer appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/disney-adds-art-animation-resort-free-dining-offer-2-69575/feed/ 8
Is Disney World Free Dining For You? http://www.chipandco.com/disney-world-free-dining-2-68328/ http://www.chipandco.com/disney-world-free-dining-2-68328/#comments Wed, 21 Mar 2012 17:00:00 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=68328 Disney World Free Dining is again being offered at Walt Disney World. My family and I have enjoyed this great deal for four years now. When our dining receipts are all tallied up the amount spent for our meals, coupled with the convenience of the plan, have made free dining a truly great deal for […]

The post Is Disney World Free Dining For You? appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

Disney World Free Dining is again being offered at Walt Disney World. My family and I have enjoyed this great deal for four years now. When our dining receipts are all tallied up the amount spent for our meals, coupled with the convenience of the plan, have made free dining a truly great deal for us.

During our longer trips, we enjoy the Plus Dining plan which offers high quality food in a unique dining atmosphere, sometimes even with characters. We enjoy sitting down with the family and feasting on succulent steak, authentic area cuisine from around the world, and capping it all off with a decadent creme brulee.

During our shorter trips, we enjoy the Quick Service Plan because of the flexibility and convenience. When trying to cram a week’s worth of park-hopping into a few days, it is convenient to just stop and eat when we get hungry, with no reservation required.

If you are interested in booking a Disney World Free Dining package, here are the details:

  • Travel between August 25, 2012 – September 29, 2012
  • Offer is not valid for Campsites, Art of Animation or All-Star Music Family Suites
  • Minimum 2-day ticket
  • Minimum 3-night stay
  • Book this offer until May 18th
  • Free Plus Dining Plan for moderate and deluxe resorts
  • Free Quick Service Plan for value resorts

Here are a few tips:

  • Remember, if you have an existing reservation and you meet the above criteria, you can add this promotion.
  • Treat this like it’s the only offer you’ll see for this time period. I know some people are waiting for annual passholder discounts or for room discounts (which often work better at the deluxe resorts), but we can’t predict if Disney will release those. Purchase this package now and change it later if something better comes out.

To book, contact me anytime at Brenda@PixieVacations.com.


 

  • Disney World Free Dining is Back! (chipandco.com)
  • Order Disney Food Blog’s Guide to Walt Disney World Dining (chipandco.com)

The post Is Disney World Free Dining For You? appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/disney-world-free-dining-2-68328/feed/ 9
Disney World Quick Tips – Preserving Space for Large Families http://www.chipandco.com/disney-world-quick-tips-preserving-space-large-families-67985/ http://www.chipandco.com/disney-world-quick-tips-preserving-space-large-families-67985/#comments Fri, 16 Mar 2012 21:00:05 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=67985 I am one of those people who will do whatever it takes to stay on property when we visit Disney. I love the Disney resorts as they are a big part of the magic for me. But as much as I enjoy the theming, the ambience, and the convenience of being close to everything, there […]

The post Disney World Quick Tips – Preserving Space for Large Families appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

I am one of those people who will do whatever it takes to stay on property when we visit Disney. I love the Disney resorts as they are a big part of the magic for me. But as much as I enjoy the theming, the ambience, and the convenience of being close to everything, there is one thing I have an issue with at the Disney resorts – the bathrooms.

I have stayed at value, moderate and deluxe resorts. The size of the bathroom is usually adequate and last year, at the Contemporary Resort, we even had a private toilet area with a door that closed to the rest of the bathroom. What’s my problem then? Well, as you might deduct from this picture, there is not enough counter space.

Pixie Brenda - 2011

Plus, I have a family of five including: my husband, myself, a 26-year-old son, a 21-year-old daughter and an 18-year old son. We all have necessities when it comes time to being fresh and clean, not to mention our primping needs. We have many products for brushing, flossing, moussing and deodorizing. We need a place to put it all!

Luckily, I have a way to overcome this deficiency while creating more space and greater efficiency for our time and needs. It is the shoe organizer.

Pixie Brenda - 2011

We each have our own row (that is 4 large slots each). We traditionally assign rows according to height so my youngest son gets the top row because he is tallest, and my daughter gets the bottom row because she is vertically-challenged. Everyone organizes their things the way they want and it makes getting ready in the morning much smoother.

I have used this trick for several years and it has worked out really well. The only issue I have run across is that the bathroom doors at a couple of the moderate resorts were quite thick, so I bought extra large hangers to use when faced with that problem. My organizer was especially easy to hang last year because the Contemporary has a metal ladder-type rack for hanging towels, which served me perfectly when hanging my shoe organizer.

Pixie Brenda - 2011

If you have a large family, including teens with lots of special products, this should really help you. Everyone knows how hard it is to get everyone up and ready for a day at the parks. Hassle-free mornings and getting to the park earlier is what my vacation is all about!

  • Disney Free Dining for 2012! (ideallydisney.com)
  • Disney’s Story Rooms Invite Disney World Resort Guests to Magical Worlds of Film and Fantasy (chipandco.com)

The post Disney World Quick Tips – Preserving Space for Large Families appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/disney-world-quick-tips-preserving-space-large-families-67985/feed/ 4
Oops, I Did It Again! Unexpected trip to Disney World http://www.chipandco.com/oops-unexpected-trip-disney-world-67712/ http://www.chipandco.com/oops-unexpected-trip-disney-world-67712/#comments Mon, 12 Mar 2012 17:00:01 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=67712 What will it take for a Disney Addict to give up a trip to Walt Disney World in order to visit another destination? My family and I have been visiting WDW for many years now and our annual November trip has become a family tradition. Disney hasn’t only become a big part of our family legacy, […]

The post Oops, I Did It Again! Unexpected trip to Disney World appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

What will it take for a Disney Addict to give up a trip to Walt Disney World in order to visit another destination? My family and I have been visiting WDW for many years now and our annual November trip has become a family tradition. Disney hasn’t only become a big part of our family legacy, it is truly like a second home to all of us. We have on several occasions tried to change our annual family trip to visit a different destination but we always come right back to Disney. So, what will it take for a Disney Addict to give up a trip to Walt Disney World in order to visit another destination? I have absolutely no idea.

My husband and I recently decided we were going to go away for a long weekend, just the two of us. Our youngest child is in his first year of college and all three of our kids are running busily about with not much time for mom and dad, so we decided we could allow ourselves to actually take a vacation without the kids for once. So, we are planning a short trip for just the two of us in April. We sat down to brainstorm where we would go and we decided on San Francisco for several reasons: 1) my husband has never been there before; 2) I have not visited there since I was a teen; 3) there is a lot to see and do there; 4) the weather is great in California in the Spring; and 5) I have wanted to visit The Walt Disney Family Museum since it opened in October, 2009. So, that was it then, we were going to San Francisco.

I made all the reservations for the flight and hotel. I received our confirmations and started my file. Then, I started researching some site seeing options, transportation information, must-try restaurants, etc. A couple mornings later, we were talking about Disney, just like we always do, and I mentioned that the Flower and Garden Festival was getting ready to start. We have never attended Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival. Oops, I did it again! We both knew what was coming. YES, I was on the phone later that morning cancelling our San Francisco trip and finding out about rates for the Flower and Garden Festival instead. What can you do, some things never change.

Still, this trip to Walt Disney World will be a new experience in many ways. First, we have never been to Walt Disney World just the two of us; we usually have a party of at least 6 people. Second, we have never stayed at the Polynesian Resort, although I have always wanted to stay there, and this trip we will be doing just that. Third, we will get to see all the beautiful Springtime displays at the festival. Finally, we decided to make all but two of our table service ADRs at restaurants where we have never eaten before. Incorporating new things into our trips is something we have done for years. Isn’t it funny that no matter how many times you’ve visited Walt Disney World, there are always new experiences you can include in your trip? That is one of the very best things about Disney.

So, what does it take for a Disney Addict to give up a trip to WDW? I don’t know, but I know one thing; being blessed with a spouse who is as much of a Disney Addict as I am, I guess I will never have to worry about that!

  • Why Should You Go to Walt Disney World? (chipandco.com)
  • Top 5 ways to sound like a “planner” on your next Walt Disney World vacation (chipandco.com)

The post Oops, I Did It Again! Unexpected trip to Disney World appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/oops-unexpected-trip-disney-world-67712/feed/ 6
How to Tour the Parks – Zigging and Zagging Your Way Around Disney http://www.chipandco.com/tour-parks-zigging-zagging-disney-67537/ http://www.chipandco.com/tour-parks-zigging-zagging-disney-67537/#comments Sat, 10 Mar 2012 18:00:05 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=67537 One of the most important things to know when planning your days at Walt Disney World is that you may need to adjust your itinerary based on the habits of the other guests. Learning to zig while others zag is based on experiencing the parks on different days and at different times of the year […]

The post How to Tour the Parks – Zigging and Zagging Your Way Around Disney appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

One of the most important things to know when planning your days at Walt Disney World is that you may need to adjust your itinerary based on the habits of the other guests. Learning to zig while others zag is based on experiencing the parks on different days and at different times of the year with varying crowds. There are many books and phone apps available that speak directly to planning your day in the parks. They are helpful as far as crowds, but I have been to the park on uncharacteristically-crowded days 3 times this year alone. The crowds are growing, so flexibility might help. In other words, plan your time for less stress and more fun by not going with the flow. I am referring to modifying your plan when you are faced with the unexpected. There are many ways to conform to your unique travel circumstances whether at the resort or at any of the four Disney parks.

If you have planned to have breakfast at 7:00 on your first day at the resort and you are greeted with no tables at which to sit, long lines of guests waiting to order and to pay for food, or a loud and chaotic environment, then you might want to rethink your breakfast time on day two. In this scenario, you may wish to plan to sleep in a little while, have breakfast at the resort at 9:30 or 10:00, and then stay at the park later. Conversely, you may want to get up extra early, have breakfast in the room then head out to early extra magic hours. The choice is yours.

During my trip for Walt Disney World’s 40th Anniversary, our itinerary for Friday included Hollywood Studios from opening until around 5 p.m. and then to Downtown Disney for some shopping. We went out to the bus stop at Port Orleans Riverside and there was a massive crowd waiting for the Hollywood Studios bus, so I quickly thought and asked my friend if she wouldn’t mind flip-flopping our day and while all the crowd zigged to DHS, we zagged on a bus with just 3 other people to Downtown. After we finished our shopping, we dropped our packages at the resort, filled up our mugs and caught an empty bus to the Studios. When we arrived there (mid-afternoon), most of the crowds had already left and we had a very enjoyable evening with short ride lines.

Two more specific tips I can provide are based on your choice of resort and your choice of park ticket. If you are staying at a Disney resort, taking advantage of extra magic hours is a great idea. But, if you are not staying on Disney property, you will want to avoid the selected Extra Magic Hour parks on those days. Also, having park hopper tickets provides maximum flexibility, so if you can purchase these, I highly recommend it.

Times to zig when touring the Magic Kingdom might be when everyone is lining up to watch the parade and you have either seen it before or will be watching it later. Take advantage of this opportunity by riding the most popular rides during parade time. If you will be visiting MK for two days, you may want to watch the afternoon parade and use the evening parade time for this purpose on the first day, then do the opposite on your second day in the park.

Learning to zig at Disney Hollywood Studios will save you a lot of aggravation with the right planning. For instance, it is never a good time to head for the Backlot Tour line when Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show has just let out. Traditionally, guests head to the Backlot Tour immediately after the show ends, as it is in close proximity. The times guide for the park lists the show times for the 33-minute stunt show so follow this guideline – unless you are seeing the show, avoid the backlot area if it is 1 to 1 ½ hours after the scheduled start time of Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show! There are only 2-3 shows per day so this should be easy enough.

Also, many people think that right after the parade ends on Hollywood Boulevard is the perfect time to ride The Great Movie Ride so you should do this before the parade or at least an hour after, if possible.

There are a few high demand rides at Epcot that may warrant some zigging. Both Soarin’ and Test Track get very crowded very quickly and they also run out of fast passes by early afternoon. When entering Epcot during park opening, pay attention to the flow of the crowd. If it looks as if most of the crowd is heading toward Soarin’, ride Test Track first. If it looks like more folks are heading toward Test Track, then ride Soarin’ first. Either way, be sure that after you are off the first ride you head straight to the other to grab a fast pass for later. My family usually rides Test Track first, regardless, because of the limited capacity vehicles making the line go slower.

The Animal Kingdom has an opening show 15 minutes before the park opens, so I would suggest making that if you can. First thing in the morning, you will want to head to your favorites so you can ride them before the large crowds arrive about mid-morning. If the crowds build early and you don’t want to wait out the lines, just zig over to a show. I have found that the most crowded times of the day also happen to be the hottest part of the day during Spring and Summer months. Saving the indoor shows and rides for the middle of the day, then, will serve you well for a few reasons: it will give you relief during the hottest part of the day; it will provide you with a place to sit and rest and enjoy a show; and the shows are in large capacity facilities so many people can attend at one time.

In late afternoon, go back and ride all the rides you had to skip earlier. If too many people are following along with the same advice and it is just too crowded, then regroup and go back to the resort for a swim; tackle the park in the evening another day.

If dealing with the crowds starts to steal your magic, don’t let it. There are places at each park where you can rest, cool off and spend time with your family in a less-crowded spot:

At the Magic Kingdom, ride the railroad or the Tomorrowland Transit Authority; go enjoy some time on Tom Sawyer Island, or see a show at the Enchanted Tiki Room, Country Bear Jamboree, or Carousel of Progress (one of Walt’s originals).

At Epcot, ride Spaceship Earth, Living with the Land, or Universe of Energy; or see a show such as the American Adventure or any of the live street shows throughout the park.

At Disney Studios, escape into One Man’s Dream or The Magic of Disney Animation; or enjoy Beauty & the Beast or the Voyage of the Little Mermaid.

At Animal Kingdom, disappear on the Wildlife Express or peruse the Conservation Station; or head over to see It’s Tough To Be a Bug or Flights of Wonder.

Your own travel patterns will change as your family gets older, so things that work for you this trip may not be feasible during your next visit. Since my kids are older now, we like to head to the parks in the mornings only on morning EMH days. The rest of the time, we head over around 2:00. Evening EMH are our favorite time and we head to the park around 6:00 p.m. and stay until the parks close (even in the wee hours of the morning). It makes no difference since we can sleep late the next day. Few people are following along with this plan so it has worked out nicely for us.

The main thing is to be flexible enough to be able to zig your way to great trip memories. A big part of enjoying your trip is being able to breathe it all in and enjoy the wonder and magic of Disney. I hope these tips will be helpful to you when planning your magical family vacation.

  • How to Tour the Parks – Dancing through Hollywood Studios (chipandco.com)
  • How to tour the Parks – Splitting up Epcot (chipandco.com)
  • How to Tour the Parks – Floating through the Magic Kingdom (chipandco.com)

The post How to Tour the Parks – Zigging and Zagging Your Way Around Disney appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/tour-parks-zigging-zagging-disney-67537/feed/ 2
Why Should You Go to Walt Disney World? http://www.chipandco.com/walt-disney-world-67519/ http://www.chipandco.com/walt-disney-world-67519/#comments Fri, 09 Mar 2012 18:00:11 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=67519 This weekend, I was looking through all the pictures we have accumulated through the years. I was reminded of such wonderful memories. I started to think about why we began taking our family to Walt Disney World in the first place and why we kept the tradition year after year. I remember the times we […]

The post Why Should You Go to Walt Disney World? appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

This weekend, I was looking through all the pictures we have accumulated through the years. I was reminded of such wonderful memories. I started to think about why we began taking our family to Walt Disney World in the first place and why we kept the tradition year after year. I remember the times we could not afford to park hop or eat in the parks, but we were there and that is all that mattered. We saved to go, stuck to our budget, and we had a wonderful family time that has closely knit our family together with threads of Disney memories that I hope will last a lifetime.

The main result of my reminiscing about our trips to Walt Disney World was an even stronger resolve to make sure that every family realizes they can visit WDW without spending a fortune. So, today I am going to talk about the reasons why you should plan your trip.

WHY SHOULD YOU GO?

1. Time is ticking: There is utter truth in the phrase “time passes way too fast.” Don’t take one second for granted when your kids are young. Trust me, they will be grown in the blink of an eye; and while you are waiting on “maybe next year” your time “this year” is lost. There will come a time, sooner than you think, when your children will have lives of their own and this valuable time will be gone.

2. Caring is sharing: Sharing special time with the kids is what they will remember throughout their lives and, trust me, there is no place more special than Walt Disney World. Families on vacation tend to spend quality time together; talking, laughing and enjoying new fun experiences. And don’t forget, the family that plays together stays together.

3. Nothing to do but what you want: Can you remember a time when your schedule was truly your own? When you are on vacation, no one will have to rush to practice, a game, dance class, etc. Your time on vacation is spent on whatever you want to do without life pulling you in a million different directions. When is the last time your family had dinner all together at the same time? If it has been a while, a vacation is a great time to rebuild that family relationship.

4. Unplug and get away from it all: Getting away from technology for a little while helps everyone to focus on what’s most important. In my opinion, this is relationships. Some children have not yet learned the value of a close-knit family that needs only rely on their relationship with one another to enrich their lives.  A vacation is the perfect time to really get to know one another, and what a blessing that is.

5. Open your mind to new things: Travel is an excellent learning tool for kids. Nearly every vacation activity involves teachable moments. For instance, at Epcot children can learn about different cultures, foods, history, climate and much more. They will actually be able to meet people from other countries and have exposure to accents and personality traits specific to their regions.  At the Animal Kingdom they can see animals in their own natural habitat and learn about the environment up close and personal. There are many opportunities in which to learn, and it is much more fun to learn things hands-on than by doing homework.

6. You deserve a vacation: Life is hard nowadays; many people work too much and play too little. One of the most important reasons to take a vacation is simply for rest and relaxation. Have you heard of it? Have you experienced it lately? If not, experience it again soon.

7. Being surrounded by Disney: The best reason to visit Walt Disney World is simply being exposed to the magic that is Disney. I believe in the Disney philosophy of every visitor being a guest. People are even nicer and clearly happier when they are at WDW. They are not fighting the clock, deadlines, gridlock and all the things that get us down. It is wonderful to carry on conversations with nice, happy people from all over the world. Walt Disney opened this world up to us to enjoy and share with family. I know it has brought an abundance of happiness to mine.

I sure hope you will seriously consider the reasons why your family might be due for a Disney vacation. I would love to help you plan the perfect getaway for your family, or just hear your comments on what your family Disney vacations have meant to you. Contact me anytime at Brenda@PixieVacations.com.

  • Wanted: Indiana Jones Adventure at Walt Disney World (chipandco.com)
  • Pictures from the Parks — Walt Disney World Pictures (mydreamsofdisney.com)

The post Why Should You Go to Walt Disney World? appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/walt-disney-world-67519/feed/ 2
Wanted: Indiana Jones Adventure at Walt Disney World http://www.chipandco.com/wanted-indiana-jones-adventure-walt-disney-world-66960/ http://www.chipandco.com/wanted-indiana-jones-adventure-walt-disney-world-66960/#comments Fri, 02 Mar 2012 16:00:13 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=66960 I just returned from my first trip to Disneyland since I was a small child. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I had read during some of my pre-trip planning that some of the rides there better than at Walt Disney World. Admittedly, I was pleasantly surprised. The Pirates of the Caribbean at […]

The post Wanted: Indiana Jones Adventure at Walt Disney World appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

I just returned from my first trip to Disneyland since I was a small child. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I had read during some of my pre-trip planning that some of the rides there better than at Walt Disney World. Admittedly, I was pleasantly surprised. The Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland is far superior to that at Walt Disney World. Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad are better in my opinion as well. The ride that surprised me the most, though, was the Indiana Jones Adventure. This ride was amazing and we used several of our fastpasses on it. I think it’s time Walt Disney World built the same attraction.

Many people love this ride at Disneyland, but many Disney lovers have not experienced it because they only visit Walt Disney World. Take it from me, this would be a welcomed addition to WDW. I know that there are folks that would not want to change the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but how about putting it in another location? It could fit in a number of locations, although the queue would likely not be as cool – a tomb that seems to go on forever.

The Indiana Jones Adventure is a thrilling ride through Indiana Jones’ archeological finds — the lost Temple of the Forbidden Eye. The ride vehicle is a 12-passenger jeep that is a moving motion simulator capable of a wide range of different movements. Each ride is unique as the guests speed, bounce, stutter, stop on a dime and race through the temple in an attempt to avoid the wrath of the god Mara. It is 3 minutes, 15 seconds of exhilarating fun and laughter! We absolutely loved it.

How about it Disney? May we please get an Indiana Jones Adventure in Walt Disney World?

  • Some of our Favorite Hot Dogs at Walt Disney World Resort (chipandco.com)
  • iPhone App Review: Where in Walt Disney World? (chipandco.com)

The post Wanted: Indiana Jones Adventure at Walt Disney World appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/wanted-indiana-jones-adventure-walt-disney-world-66960/feed/ 6
Unplanned Surprises Add Extra Magic to Your Disney Trip http://www.chipandco.com/unplanned-surprises-add-extra-magic-disney-trip-65828/ http://www.chipandco.com/unplanned-surprises-add-extra-magic-disney-trip-65828/#comments Thu, 16 Feb 2012 22:00:27 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=65828 I love planning for my Disney vacations. The planning is, as we all know, a big part of the excitement we all feel when waiting for our magical Disney trip to begin. Don’t you just love it when, in the middle of planning your daily activities, you find out that there is going to be […]

The post Unplanned Surprises Add Extra Magic to Your Disney Trip appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

I love planning for my Disney vacations. The planning is, as we all know, a big part of the excitement we all feel when waiting for our magical Disney trip to begin. Don’t you just love it when, in the middle of planning your daily activities, you find out that there is going to be a special celebration you will be able to participate in that you didn’t even know was going to happen during your trip? Well, that is how I felt when I found out that my daughter, our friends and I will be able to attend New Orleans Bayou Bash at Disneyland next week.

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in February and March (as well as Feb. 20 & 21), New Orleans Square comes alive for a one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras party. I am so excited that we will be able to attend on February 24. According to Disney, New Orleans Square and parts of the Rivers of America will be “filled with vibrant excitement, jazzy music, street performers and the sensational food of New Orleans — all presented with warm Southern hospitality.” That is right up my alley.

The party will include Princess Tiana, Louis, Naveen, Mickey and Minnie, and lots of other Disney Characters donning their most festive Mardi Gras attire. There will be lots of music, dancing, partying and special Cajun food – Yum!  The best news for me is that there will be special Mardi Gras Cupcakes (my favorite) as well as specialty beignets.

I am from Galveston, Texas and Mardi Gras began on Galveston Island way back in 1867. In 1985, the tradition was revived and very year my hubby and I attend the first weekend of Mardi Gras festivities, which took place this past weekend. This is usually a great time to party and celebrate life, and to see old friends from high school that we usually only see once a year. Unfortunately, I was sick in bed so we were unable to attend last weekend. Celebrating Mardi Gras in Disneyland is sure to be an awesome time. I hope to take lots of pictures and celebrate big! I just wish my hubby would be able to attend with me! I’ll be sure to have a cupcake mint julep in his honor!

The post Unplanned Surprises Add Extra Magic to Your Disney Trip appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/unplanned-surprises-add-extra-magic-disney-trip-65828/feed/ 1
Downtown Disney Transportation News for Visitors from Now through January 31 http://www.chipandco.com/transportation-news-disney-world-visitors-january-31-63213/ Sat, 21 Jan 2012 17:00:33 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=63213 If you are at Walt Disney World right now, or if you will be visiting throughout the rest of this month like our own, Chip, you will need to note some short-term transportation changes at Downtown Disney. Downtown Disney Marketplace bus stops are now closed for refurbishment and will remain closed until January 31. 2012. During […]

The post Downtown Disney Transportation News for Visitors from Now through January 31 appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

If you are at Walt Disney World right now, or if you will be visiting throughout the rest of this month like our own, Chip, you will need to note some short-term transportation changes at Downtown Disney.

Downtown Disney Marketplace bus stops are now closed for refurbishment and will remain closed until January 31. 2012.

During this period, the only operating bus stops will be the Pleasure Island stops near to Planet Hollywood.

The post Downtown Disney Transportation News for Visitors from Now through January 31 appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>