heather – 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 Jul 2016 23:57:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.3 http://www.chipandco.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/512-icon-54ced060v1_site_icon-32x32.png heather – Chip and Co http://www.chipandco.com 32 32 Traveling with a toddler to Disney…lets get real! http://www.chipandco.com/traveling-toddler-disneylets-real-96686/ http://www.chipandco.com/traveling-toddler-disneylets-real-96686/#comments Mon, 11 Feb 2013 20:00:44 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=96686 Envision this:  A “magical” trip to Disney with your toddler.  Nothing but smiles and tears of joy.  The outbursts are non-existent, your child’s patience are at an all time high, and waiting doesn’t evoke a concern in the world.  These are the trips that I envisioned, strives for, and dreamed of.  Now don’t get me wrong; our […]

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Toddler1

Envision this:  A “magical” trip to Disney with your toddler.  Nothing but smiles and tears of joy.  The outbursts are non-existent, your child’s patience are at an all time high, and waiting doesn’t evoke a concern in the world.  These are the trips that I envisioned, strives for, and dreamed of.  Now don’t get me wrong; our trips have been incredibly magical and filled with amazing memories that are sure to last more than a lifetime.  However reality reared it’s ugly head early on in our trips.  I am hoping that you are able to use my experiences to help you plan and understand what traveling to the most magical place on earth could entail!

I will start by saying not every child is the same.  You may have a prince or princess that is happy to sit in their carriage and relax while they are pushed around by you.  Then there is my child.  Jr doesn’t sit…ever!  He loves to run and jump and skip along.  We must have been delusional thinking that his behavior was going to be any different in Disney.  John found joy dodging and weaving in and out of groups of people and running from mommy and daddy.  He refused to sit in the stroller and refused to hold anyone’s hand.  The minute I grabbed for his hand he went into fish mode…you all know that mode when they literally go limp and start flopping around on the ground like a fish out of water…but now add in the screams, yes friends we were “those people.”  I was so desperate to try to find solutions I walked into a store and asked if they had a Mickey backpack with a leash attached to it.  Yes I contemplated putting him on a leash.  I started to brainstorm and one solution that I have come up with since it to put a little ribbon or handle on the side of the stroller for him to hold on to.  This way he is close to us without us making him feel like he is out of control.  I also give him ample warnings and reminders that he MUST sit in the stroller from the bus to the entrance of the park and vice versa.

This brings me to my next plan of attack…burning off energy!  The first time we went with the 2 year old we were not thinking about all of the waiting and standing around.  The more we stood around the more agitated he got.  In between rides now we make it a point to visit somewhere the kids can burn energy such as The Casey Jr. splash station and play area next to splash mountain in Disney’s Magic Kingdom are two of my favorites.  The kids also enjoy jumping through the water that splashes out of the ground all around EPCOT, and the fountain in Downtown Disney Marketplace.

Has anyone else noticed how hard it is to reason with a 2 year old?  Jr flipped out…and by flipped out I mean he went absolutely crazy when he had to wait to see Mickey at Camp Minnie Mickey in Animal Kingdom.  He was kicking and screaming and crying.  He couldn’t understand why he couldn’t just run up to Mickey and give him a hug.   A cast member came over because she thought he was afraid.  We also had to take him out of the Garden Grill restaurant in EPCOT because he was so upset that Pluto left our table.  We now try to prepare him that he may have to wait and that the characters have to leave to see other “friends.”  We also always try to have a back up distraction method such as a snack or a favorite stuffed Mickey to help diffuse a difficult situation.

Toddler 3

The whole point to this post is to help us all remember that our kids are just that…kids.  However they act at home is how they will act at Disney.  You may even find that your child has more meltdowns, or is more easily scared than normal because there is so much going on at any given day at Disney, it is easy for them to become overstimulated.  Always have a distraction method or scope out a spot to take your little one to cool off or calm down.  Just remember you are at Disney and even in those tough moments, these are the memories that will last a lifetime!

Toddler 2

 

Heather is a Disney Gal, who loves the chocolate smell of Pop Century in the morning, dreams of being Snow White in a parade, and happily skips down the middle of Main Street USA while wearing Mickey Ears!

 

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New Fantasyland and your Toddler Part 1 http://www.chipandco.com/fantasyland-toddler-part-1-94821/ http://www.chipandco.com/fantasyland-toddler-part-1-94821/#comments Sun, 09 Dec 2012 20:00:20 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=94821 On my son’s first trip to Disney I was incredibly disappointed that there were not many options to let infants/toddlers crawl around.  Now before I get virtually stoned for my previous statement, this was around the time that Pooh’s play area was closed in Magic Kingdom to make way for New Fantasyland.  At that time […]

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On my son’s first trip to Disney I was incredibly disappointed that there were not many options to let infants/toddlers crawl around.  Now before I get virtually stoned for my previous statement, this was around the time that Pooh’s play area was closed in Magic Kingdom to make way for New Fantasyland.  At that time I had no idea what to expect and I was concerned that there wasn’t going to be much for the younger crowd.  I am happy to say that I couldn’t have been more wrong!

My first stop in this short series is the story book circus that is part of the new (might I add stunning) Dumbo the flying elephant!  While waiting to ride Dumbo you now can “play while you wait.”  When you arrive at Dumbo you can opt to receive a pager that will virtually hold your place in line!  The pager will buzz you when it is your turn to ride.  How amazing is that?!

This play area features:

  • A circus like atmosphere, with circus decor
  • Slides
  • Climbing nets
  • A toddler play area in the center ring
  • Seating so that you too can sit back and relax

The Human Cannonball slide

This tent is sure to bring out the child in you also!  It is themed to the “big top” experience from the movie Dumbo itself.  Upon entering you begin to feel refreshed because it is so nice and cool under this tent!  Yes friends it is air conditioned!  There is a podium where cast members will assign you a pager.  Even if you are not planning on riding Dumbo you still are welcome to relax and let the kids imaginations run wild.  Right in front of you is the center ring…this is the toddler play area.  They have a miniature slide in here and a mini fire truck to climb in and out of among a couple other activities.  The babies in here were so happy to finally be freed from their strollers!  Along the outside of the ring is climbing nets which are great for more active toddlers and older kids also!  All of the children and parents that were in here were having a grand time!  There is so much to do and see and of course in true Disney style the attention to detail is out of this world!

The infant/toddler play area…the “center ring”

If you are looking for a great way to let the kids expend some energy all while taking a break from the heat and hustle and bustle, this is a must do to add to your list!

Heather is a Disney Gal, who loves the chocolate smell of pop century in the morning, dreams of being Snow White in a parade, and happily skips down the middle of Main Street USA while wearing Mickey ears!

 

  • Check Here for a Virtual Sneak Peak to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride! (chipandco.com)
  • Community Leaders Sneak First Peeks of New Fantasyland (chipandco.com)

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My Top 5 must have, most forgotten items for the kids! http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-forgotten-items-kids-87913/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-forgotten-items-kids-87913/#comments Mon, 29 Oct 2012 19:00:42 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=87913 35 Days!  Yes that is the countdown until our “Holiday” trip begins!  I usually am pretty stress free (except for the night before/morning of the trip).  This trip however is a bit different for me.  This upcoming trip I will be traveling with BOTH kids!  Yes I know some of you are old pro’s at […]

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Our prince tuckered out after running in Disney for literally 13 hours!!!

35 Days!  Yes that is the countdown until our “Holiday” trip begins!  I usually am pretty stress free (except for the night before/morning of the trip).  This trip however is a bit different for me.  This upcoming trip I will be traveling with BOTH kids!  Yes I know some of you are old pro’s at this but for us this is the first time traveling with not just one child but 2!  I am not embarrassed to admit I am a little stressed! I have the traveling with one kid down pat…Jr has been to Disney 3 times since he was born and on a Disney cruise (he is only 2).  It was relatively easy to pack for one, get to the airport with one, fly with one, and tour the parks with one.  This time is going to be so different!  2 car seats for the plane, most likely an extra bag of luggage due to unpredictable Florida weather in December, 2 single strollers or one double?!  Oh the choices and preparation!

Even though I have only traveled with one I have learned so much!  Things like head back for a nap (or you will be that family in the park…you know the family with the screaming tantrum throwing child, and the parents that are stressed out yelling at each other because of the screaming kid…side note…that has been us!)  So as I prepare for the next phase in our Disney life, I am going to welcome you all along to take a ride with us!  I am going to include you all on some tips and tricks, some packing thoughts and suggestions, decisions that are to be made, tools that we will use in the parks to help us get the most out of our vacation, and when we come back I will share with you new things that I have learned and some great memories that I just know we will make!  So buckle your seat belts and join us for the next chapter in our crazy, busy, Disney loving family’s life!  I am SO glad you are joining us!

First up on my to do list:  PACK MY TOP 5 MUST HAVE/MOST FORGOTTEN ITEMS FOR THE KIDS!

Thermometer:  Flash back to October 2011:  My son’s second trip to Disney at just 16 months old.  He wasn’t acting himself, eventually started not eating and throwing horrid tantrums no matter how much sleep he got!  He had diarrhea so bad one day, felt like he was burning up, and wouldn’t eat and drink.  The next day we booked a flight to come home because I had a feeling it would get worse and as we were waiting for the Magical Express he started vomiting horribly.  Needless to say by the time we got home we rushed him to our Children’s ER because he was so dehydrated and lethargic with a 102 fever.  Needless to say maybe had I brought a thermometer and took his fever as soon as he started acting himself maybe I could have intercepted all of this craziness had I been more prepared!  I have learned that when my kids stop acting like themselves they are most likely getting sick.  From that trip on I always come prepared!

Tylenol & Dosing Syringes:  This goes right along with the thermometer!  If the kids spike a fever it’s easy to make them feel a bit better with a dose of Tylenol/Motrin!  Tylenol can also come in handy if your little angels decided like mine did to cut a tooth in Disney!

Dish Soap:  O.K. people I know that you can buy dish soap at Disney gift shops in the hotels, but I was charged over $3.00 for a travel size Dawn dish soap!  I almost hit the deck but I was desperate since I had bottles, sippy cups, and nipples to clean!

Bottle Brush:  This is so helpful if you have little ones like we do!  I was again charged over $3.00 for a bottle brush!  I learned to bring one from home and then leave it in the garbage on the way home!  I think it is so much easier to use a bottle brush (especially for bottle nipples) than it is to use a washcloth from the room to get the bottles clean!

Please note:  If you don’t mind spending extra money at Disney or are trying to pack/travel light, the Disney gift shops usually have everything that you need and forget!  For our family we try to travel on a budget and get the most of our money so even though it may not be as convenient, it is much more cost-effective to remember as much as possible!

What are some of your top useful items that you tend to forget?!?!  Please Please share with me and all of the readers!  Who knows I just may use YOUR TIP in an upcoming article entitled “Heather’s Readers Tips for traveling with Kids!”

Heather is a Disney Gal, who loves the chocolate smell of Pop Century in the morning, dreams of being Snow White in a parade, and happily skips down the middle of Main Street USA while wearing Mickey Ears!

 

  • Ring in the Holidays with these Disney Top 10 “Must Have” Gifts (chipandco.com)
  • How to Do Mouse Gear and Not Go Home Broke (chipandco.com)

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Green alien cupcakes a perfect Halloween dessert! http://www.chipandco.com/green-alien-cupcakes-perfect-halloween-dessert-86604/ http://www.chipandco.com/green-alien-cupcakes-perfect-halloween-dessert-86604/#comments Fri, 26 Oct 2012 01:00:29 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=86604 This week I decided to tackle some adorable cupcakes with the help of my 2 year old.  We are always looking for fun activities that also aid in learning!  Jr loved baking with mommy! The recipe can be found here!  I think this recipe is a great on that can be used for a Halloween […]

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This week I decided to tackle some adorable cupcakes with the help of my 2 year old.  We are always looking for fun activities that also aid in learning!  Jr loved baking with mommy! The recipe can be found here!  I think this recipe is a great on that can be used for a Halloween party!

First you will want to grab all of your supplies.  I had everything pre-measured and pre-cut so my 2 year old didn’t get bored!

You will need:

  • Cake Mix
  • Vanilla Frosting
  • Green food coloring
  • Mentos
  • Black decorators icing (we bought the one that is already in the tube)
  • We used green melting chocolate for the ears (cut them into tear drops or leaf shapes)
  • Green Laffy Taffy (I melted the taffy in the microwave for 8 seconds and stretched the taffy out, rolled it, and cut into small pieces for the antenna on top of the cupcakes.)

Second prepare cake mix according to directions on box, measure into cupcake tins, and bake for recommended time.

Jr helping to measure all of the ingredients!

He snuck in a taste of the cake batter!

Once the cupcakes are done baking, let cool completely.  After we baked the cupcakes Jr went in for a nap!  While he was sleeping I mixed the vanilla frosting and green food coloring and frosted the cupcakes.

Now comes the fun part decorating! This process is so simple!  You need 2 ears, one antenna, 3 mentos (for the eyes) and the black decorators icing.  My son thought this was the best part (besides eating the cake batter)!  He was able to get messy and creative!

Decorating his masterpiece

I finished decorating the rest of the cupcakes and they actually turned out pretty good!  I am not a crafty person so I was actually impressed at how easy it was to decorate the cupcakes!  They were a hit!  If you do notice though I did make a few substitutions (the laffy taffy for the antenna and the melting chocolate for the ears) I couldn’t find in our local store exactly what was suggested in the recipe but the substitutes that I picked up worked just fine!  I also wanted to caution you that the gel decorating icing that I bought tends to run so sometimes the mouth on your cupcakes will look like the mouth on the character from scream lol!  Next time I wouldn’t buy the gel icing.

All in all I would say this craft is a good activity for you and your kids to do together, it is extremely easy, and the cupcakes will be really tasty!  Give it a try!  I can’t wait to bake and cook more Disney recipes from Disneyfamily.com.  I had the best time with John!  It was a great way to spend an afternoon!

Leave your comments and ideas for some other recipes for us to try!

Heather is a Disney Gal, who loves the chocolate smell of pop century in the morning, dreams of being Snow White in a parade, and happily skips down the middle of Main Street USA while wearing Mickey ears!

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What you can do to get your kids ready for Character Meet & Greets! http://www.chipandco.com/kids-ready-character-meet-greets-84157/ http://www.chipandco.com/kids-ready-character-meet-greets-84157/#comments Tue, 25 Sep 2012 19:00:43 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=84157 When we started taking John to Disney World people told us we were crazy, he is too young, he won’t remember, blah blah blah.  His first trip was when he was 8 months old.  We took a Disney cruise on the Disney Dream (this was AMAZING), and then we headed off to Disney World for […]

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When we started taking John to Disney World people told us we were crazy, he is too young, he won’t remember, blah blah blah.  His first trip was when he was 8 months old.  We took a Disney cruise on the Disney Dream (this was AMAZING), and then we headed off to Disney World for 4 more nights.  This vacation was the best vacation ever!  We made memories that he may not remember, but we sure will!  While at Castaway Cay he met Donald, his first character.

This meeting was love at first sight!  He was so happy and excited!  At one point he even tried to kiss his beak.  He loved Donald so much that he actually cried when we had to leave!  We have since been back to Disney 2 more times with John (he is only 2), and his love for Disney characters keeps on growing.  He not only calls all of the characters by name, but he also is always on the look out while there and can spot a character from a mile away.

During all of our visits, I have had quite a few parents approach us and ask “What did you do to prepare your son for characters?”  and “How is this kid not afraid?!”  I tell them we are a Disney household.  We literally eat, sleep, and breathe Disney.  When we are not there we are planning to be there.  We fill up our time by reading Disney stories, watching Disney movies, and playing with our Disney stuffed animals.  I think however that our secret weapon is the Disney Sing A-long Series.  This series is not the animated sing alongs, this is the actual real life, big, characters.  My son loves music and when I found the “Disneyland Fun” DVD it was a match made in heaven.  The DVD’s feature a lot of the main characters that you will see in the park, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Donald, Winnie the Pooh, and Tigger, to name a few.

I think it is easy for a kid to see a small animated character in a book and think of how cute and fun they look, but when they see a gigantic Goofy they become so scared if for nothing else the large size!  These DVD’s help kids to see what a life-size Mickey or Tigger will look like.

Pirate John hugging Lotso at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

We own 4 of the DVD’s but our favorites are Disneyland Fun, Beach Party at Disneyworld, and Campout at Walt Disney World.  My personal opinion is that seeing the life size characters takes the edge off.  It makes it so fun when your toddler literally runs up to Lotso or Mickey and jumps into their arms.  These are some of my best memories at Disney! I am not saying that you must put your child in front of a TV for hours to get them used to seeing life size characters, I am saying watching these DVD’s a few times may help your child become acclimated with the characters.  Plus it is so fun to have a Disney dance party in your living room!

Share with us, what have you done to get your kids ready for meeting the characters?  Please let us know your tips, advice, and experiences!

Heather is a Disney Gal, who loves the chocolate smell of Pop Century in the morning, dreams of being Snow White in a parade, and happily skips down the middle of Main Street USA while wearing Mickey ears!

  • You might be a Disney Addict if (chipandco.com)
  • 5 Things to Do When Not in WDW to get your Disney Fix! (chipandco.com)

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DVD Review: Private Practice The Complete Fifth Season http://www.chipandco.com/dvd-review-private-practice-complete-season-83698/ Sat, 22 Sep 2012 01:00:43 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=83698 If you love the always sexy, steamy, and suspenseful medical drama “Private Practice” as much as I do then you are in luck!  The complete fifth season of Private Practice is now available!  Kate Walsh, Taye Diggs, Tim Daly, Benjamin Bratt, Paul Adelstein, Brian Benben, Amy Brenneman, and my favorite KaDee Strickland are back in […]

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If you love the always sexy, steamy, and suspenseful medical drama “Private Practice” as much as I do then you are in luck!  The complete fifth season of Private Practice is now available!  Kate Walsh, Taye Diggs, Tim Daly, Benjamin Bratt, Paul Adelstein, Brian Benben, Amy Brenneman, and my favorite KaDee Strickland are back in action for this intense and suspenseful fifth season!

The practice is faced with many new changes and challenges as new and unexpected people enter and complicate the lives of these doctors.  We start our journey when Cooper finds Pete after suffering a massive heart attack and brain bleed.  It is a rush to save his life.  Pete has a hard time dealing with his near death experience and it really causes a rift in his relationship with Violet.  This health crisis could seal the deal on their crumbling marriage.  They together face many hard decisions that will put their faith in their relationship, family, and love to the test.

After Violet’s horrific attack, she seems to have not been able to really pull herself together emotionally.  She is in the middle of leaving Pete when she learns of his heart attack.  She seems to emotionally be out of sorts and after she decides she really does need to end her marriage she finds herself really struggling to split time with Pete for her son Lucas.  She finds herself involved in a steamy relationship this season with a hot paramedic; and she feels confused and overwhelmed with her feelings not only for him but also for Pete and what she left behind.  Will she be able to put aside her profession and over-analyzing ways for the sake of her marriage?

Amelia has lost her surgical rights at St. Ambrose because of her addiction and finds herself in a situation with Sheldon that could potentially change their relationship forever.  When Amelia finally decides to deal with her addiction after losing her love, she finds herself in one of the most happy and scary situations one could face.  Amelia finds herself pregnant and is having a very difficult time accepting this baby because she has a feeling that the baby will have health issues due to her use of drugs during the early stages of her unknown pregnancy.  After Amelia comes to grips and actually becomes excited about the pregnancy, she discovers gut wrenching news that is sure to shape the rest of her life.  Will she ever be able to forgive herself for the decisions she has made? How will she cope with the unthinkable?  The writers have created such an amazing character in Amelia.  Caterina Scorsone (Amelia) is genius.  She really pours her heart and soul into this character and she has a way of making you actually feel the pain that Amelia is dealing with this season.

Sheldon seems to be falling in love with Amelia and wants nothing more than to stand by her side. Amelia however seems to have other ideas and says and does some cruel things to Sheldon before and during her recovery.  When she finally realizes how badly she hurt Sheldon she apologizes and seems to realize what she lost.  Sheldon is so hurt he just can’t seem to accept her apology.  What will become of their fragile relationship?  Will Sheldon ever be able to let Amelia back in and if so at what level?

Addison and Sam are back together…or are they?  Addison is still struggling with her infertility and her desire to have a baby of her own.  Will Sam support her in her decision or will they part ways?  Addison hires a gorgeous new doctor Dr. Jake Reilly who coincidentally is also her fertility doctor.  What impact will Jake have with not only Addison’s fertility but also her relationship with Sam?  Will Addison get the baby that she so deeply desires?

Just when Cooper and Charlotte seem to have it all figured out…an 8 year old child shows up on Cooper’s doorstep from a one night stand.  The couple is completely shocked when Erica (the mother of Cooper’s alleged child) shows up with this child, however this is just the beginning of what will prove to be the biggest test that any couple could be faced with.  Griffin Gluck plays Cooper’s son Mason and he is phenomenal.  The raw emotion that Gluck emanates is the work of true brilliance.  Mason’s biological mother introduces Mason to Cooper because she is dying of cancer.  Initially no one knows but Amelia accidentally unveils the secret leaving Charlotte facing an ethical decision.  Eventually a bond is formed and Charlotte plays a key role in helping this family deal with the pain and grief that is coming when they deal with the tragedy of  Erica’s impending death.  KaDee Strickland’s (Charlotte) ability to make you love and hate Charlotte at the same time is quite impressive.  Her feisty personality, matter of fact/tell it like it is attitude seems to mask what is really underneath it all.  She to me is one of the most caring and genuine characters on the show.  The way that she steps up for Cooper, Mason, and Erica, really will win you over.

The season finale is a cliffhanger.  The doctors rush to Amelia’s side as she begins labor with her “unicorn baby.”  Pete is jailed for a “mercy killing” and Violet doesn’t understand why he can not just cooperate so he can be released from lockup.  Mason and Charlotte form a bond that will actually make you cry.  Addison arrives home to find Sam saying he wants to be a family.

This season of Private Practice is my favorite yet!  I found myself re-living these episodes for the second time and they had the same effect on me…I couldn’t stop watching and I was always left in suspense and wanting more.  This season is sure to not disappoint.  Not only will you find yourself laughing, crying, and feeling like you want this group to be your doctor; but you will also find an AMAZING blooper real and never before seen bonus features with the cast that will make you feel like you are a part of their families!

Disney’s release of “The Complete Fifth Season” of Private Practice will leave you wanting more!

Heather is a Disney Gal, who loves the chocolate smell of pop century in the morning, dreams of being Snow White in a parade, and happily skips down the middle of Main Street USA while wearing Mickey ears!

 

  • Private Practice “The complete Fifth Season” on DVD September 11, 2012! (chipandco.com)

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Secret to enjoy a rainy day in Disney with your Toddler http://www.chipandco.com/secret-enjoy-rainy-day-disney-toddler-83706/ http://www.chipandco.com/secret-enjoy-rainy-day-disney-toddler-83706/#comments Thu, 20 Sep 2012 19:00:25 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=83706 I am often asked “What happens if it rains?”  “What is there to do in Disney?”  The great thing about Disney is that there are many options for rainy days.  Your family could shop till you drop at Downtown Disney, visit Disney Quest, open up your umbrella and only visit the shows and rides that […]

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Soaked after a day in the rain!

I am often asked “What happens if it rains?”  “What is there to do in Disney?”  The great thing about Disney is that there are many options for rainy days.  Your family could shop till you drop at Downtown Disney, visit Disney Quest, open up your umbrella and only visit the shows and rides that are indoors such as Mickey’s Philharmagicin the Magic Kingdom, take a break and a much-needed nap in your hotel room, or even visit a few of the Disney resorts (they are especially beautiful during the Christmas season!)

However my favorite answer to give is: “Go out and play in the rain!”  Yes I said it and I mean it…find your inner child, take off your socks, put on a pair of flip-flops, sandals, or Mickey crocs (yes I said that too…CROCS), and go stomp around in puddles!  You will have the time of your lives and your kids will think you are the coolest people on the planet!

This past June my family took a trip down for Star Wars Weekends and to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary!  We have come to expect that when traveling during the summer sometime mid-day we will encounter a rain storm that will last usually about a half hour and then end.  What we were not expecting was days of rain!  It rained for 2 whole days, almost the entire day!  While most people would have been bummed we were excited!  We knew that the parks would empty out, that we would have a chance to cool off, and as long as there wasn’t lightning in the area a lot of the attractions would remain open.  What we didn’t know was how much fun our 2-year-old would have!  My 2-year-old has an affinity for water.  When he sees a puddle it is like there is a magnet that just pulls him to the water!  Every single puddle that he found he would run to and jump right in!  After just a few minutes outside the kid was soaked…along with soggy clothes and wet feet, the most amazing giggles could be heard coming from Jr!  Listening to his giggles and seeing his beautiful smile was contagious.  I thought if something so simple as jumping in a puddle can make him so happy…”why not?!”  So I too decided to jump through puddles with him.  What a day we had!  There is just something so special about jumping through puddles in front of my castle (er I mean Cinderella castle).  Other people saw us jumping in puddles and they decided to join in!

Rain can sour any day unless you do something about it.  Make your own magic, follow your child’s lead, revert back to when you were 2 or 4 or 6…jump in those puddles!  Get wet, giggle with your kids and everyone around you…forget the poncho (use that to cover your stroller!)  These are the memories that you can write about in your scrap-book!  These are the memories that will last a lifetime…your kids will remember that fun day when mommy and daddy were playing in the rain with me!  Do something different!

Have you ever jumped in puddles and played in the rain while you were at Disney?!  Please share your favorite memories of playing in the rain with us!

Heather is a Disney Gal, who loves the chocolate smell of pop century in the morning, dreams of being Snow White in a parade, and happily skips down the middle of Main Street USA while wearing Mickey ears!

  • 5 Things to Do When Not in WDW to get your Disney Fix! (chipandco.com)
  • Escaping the Rain at Walt Disney World (chipandco.com)

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Private Practice “The complete Fifth Season” on DVD September 11, 2012! http://www.chipandco.com/private-practice-complete-season-dvd-september-11-2012-2-81435/ http://www.chipandco.com/private-practice-complete-season-dvd-september-11-2012-2-81435/#comments Fri, 31 Aug 2012 23:00:10 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=81435   If you love the always sexy, steamy, and suspenseful medical drama “Private Practice” as much as I do then it’s your lucky day!  The complete fifth season of Private Pratice is available on DVD September 11, 2012!  Kate Walsh, Taye Diggs, Tim Daly, Benjamin Bratt, Paul Adelstein, Brian Benben, Amy Brenneman, and the ever […]

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If you love the always sexy, steamy, and suspenseful medical drama “Private Practice” as much as I do then it’s your lucky day!  The complete fifth season of Private Pratice is available on DVD September 11, 2012!  Kate Walsh, Taye Diggs, Tim Daly, Benjamin Bratt, Paul Adelstein, Brian Benben, Amy Brenneman, and the ever feisty KaDee Strickland are back in action in this fifth season!  The practice is faced with many new changes and challenges as new and unexpected people enter and complicate the lives of these doctors.

If you want to watch a show that will leave you in suspense every episode; if you want to hang on the edge of your seat learning of an illegitimate son, a sexy new doctor, and complicated personal relationships, then this is the show for you!  Not only will you find yourself laughing, crying, and feeling like you want this group to be your doctors, but you will also find a blooper real and never seen bonus features.  Mark your calendars for the release of one of the best shows on television!  Disney’s release of “The Complete Fifth Season” of Private Practice is sure to keep you wanting more!

  • ‘Castle: The Complete Fourth Season’ Cracks the Case on DVD September 11, 2012 (chipandco.com)
  • Marvel’s ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Pilot Moves Forward at ABC With Joss Whedon (chipandco.com)

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A few tips for enjoying a nice sit down meal with your kids http://www.chipandco.com/tips-enjoying-nice-sit-meal-kids-81164/ http://www.chipandco.com/tips-enjoying-nice-sit-meal-kids-81164/#comments Sun, 26 Aug 2012 19:00:24 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=81164 I love the Disney Dining Plan. I know that some people love it and others not so much, but for my family we really enjoy it.  I am able to book meals in advance, there usually isn’t too much of a wait when checking in, and the food is DELICIOUS!  The problem is (he really […]

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John loved meeting Pluto

I love the Disney Dining Plan. I know that some people love it and others not so much, but for my family we really enjoy it.  I am able to book meals in advance, there usually isn’t too much of a wait when checking in, and the food is DELICIOUS!  The problem is (he really isn’t a problem) my 2-year-old!  He is an incredibly active child, he is always on the go, he runs and doesn’t walk, sitting for 5 minutes is like sitting for 5 hours to him.  We ran into our fair share of problems while waiting for our first sit down meal of our trip.

John was very impatient…he started banging on the table, trying to get out of his highchair, he wanted to run around the restaurant…all behaviors that are totally not acceptable.  I am not one of those parents that let my kid run wild because I want everyone else to be able to enjoy their dining experience too!  Here are a few things that my husband and I have figured out  to make our sit down dining experiences a success!

  • Once you are seated, look at the menu, choose who is going to order for everyone (in our case one meal I order, the next my husband orders), and take the kids and your cell phone and exit the restaurant.  Allow your kids to be kids outside of the restaurant (we let our son explore, and he isn’t becoming agitated from sitting too long).  Once the meal arrives, the person that is at the table calls the one that has the child, we take our son back into the restaurant and we all are able to enjoy our meal because he isn’t antsy!  After we are finished it John is looking for activity, one of us again takes him outside to wait for the bill to be paid and then we are on our way to our next attraction!
  • Character meals!  We LOVE booking character meals.  Our child is one of those kids that cry because Mickey leaves him not because Mickey approaches him!  A character meal is a great way to keep your kid entertained!  They love watching the other children interact with the characters, and the excitement really builds for them while they are waiting for the Characters to visit.  One of our favorite character meals is at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom.  It is a breakfast, the food is delicious, the theming is great, and the Characters are always fun and exciting.  I know that the morning is a great time for my son because he is well rested and not overwhelmed yet!  Choose the time of day that works best for your child’s schedule to enjoy your sit down meals!
  • Come prepared!  We always have some activities with us to keep the kids entertained.  We always bring his blankie, his Disney stuffed animal of choice, he loves trucks so we always have some kind of car or truck, and we have books and coloring materials on hand!  If you are able to keep your kids occupied the waiting doesn’t seem too bad for them!

What are some things that you do to keep your kids occupied while waiting to eat?  How do you make sure that they are a joy not only to you but to the guests around you?  Share your tips, tricks, and ideas with us!

Heather is a Disney Gal, who loves the chocolate smell of pop century in the morning, dreams of being Snow White in a parade, and happily skips down the middle of Main Street USA while wearing Mickey ears!

  • Menu Offerings at Be Our Guest Restaurant (chipandco.com)
  • Enjoying Chef Mickey’s As An Adult Diner (chipandco.com)

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“The Hand That Rocks The Cradle” Coming to Blu-Ray September 4, 2012! http://www.chipandco.com/hand-rocks-cradle-coming-bluray-september-4-2012-80876/ http://www.chipandco.com/hand-rocks-cradle-coming-bluray-september-4-2012-80876/#comments Thu, 23 Aug 2012 03:00:29 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=80876 To celebrate the 20th anniversary of “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle” it is being released for the first time on Blu-ray! Claire Bartel has the perfect life and family which is exactly what her new live-in housekeeper, Peyton Flanders, desires. How far will Peyton go when the life she wants belongs to someone else? […]

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To celebrate the 20th anniversary of “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle” it is being released for the first time on Blu-ray! Claire Bartel has the perfect life and family which is exactly what her new live-in housekeeper, Peyton Flanders, desires. How far will Peyton go when the life she wants belongs to someone else? Will it be too late for Claire to stop her?

This movie features some amazing talent including Annabella Sciorra, Rebecca De Mornay who is said to be at her brilliant best in this movie, Matt McCoy, Julianne Moore, Ernie Hudson, and Madeline Zima. With an amazing cast this riveting drama is sure to please! I know that I for one can not wait to own this movie. The all new Blu-ray release features new digital restoration with enhanced picture!

Stay tuned to Chip and Co for our official movie review!

  • ‘Arachnophobia’ Crawls to Blu-ray September 4, 2012 (chipandco.com)
  • Hocus Pocus Casts a Spell for the First Time Ever on Blu-ray September 4, 2012 (chipandco.com)

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Menu Offerings at Be Our Guest Restaurant http://www.chipandco.com/menu-offerings-guest-restaurant-80777/ http://www.chipandco.com/menu-offerings-guest-restaurant-80777/#comments Mon, 20 Aug 2012 13:30:49 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=80777 Did you know that you can start making your dining reservations for the new Be Our Guest Restaurant Today at 7am eastern standard time?!  I don’t know about all of you but I can hardly wait!  The restaurant officially opens November 19, 2012.  I plan on dining there when my family vacations in December!  Since […]

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Artist rendering of the new Be Our Guest Restaurant coming to new Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park
Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

Did you know that you can start making your dining reservations for the new Be Our Guest Restaurant Today at 7am eastern standard time?!  I don’t know about all of you but I can hardly wait!  The restaurant officially opens November 19, 2012.  I plan on dining there when my family vacations in December!  Since we have to wait lets take a sneak peek at some of the menu offerings!

It is important to note that no character dining will be offered at this location, however I think it is safe to say that there will be many beautiful aspects of the three dining rooms that is sure to keep us entertained!

Lunch:

If you are dining here for lunch and are on the Disney dining plan, this location will only require one quick service entitlement!  I think that is a great deal!  Here is a sneak peak at the pre-opening menu thanks to our friends over at allears.  There are a few options on this lunch menu that my husband and I are really looking forward to trying.

Soup:

  • French Onion Soup:  If anyone can make french onion soup even more delicious than it sounds it has to be Disney!

Main Course:

  • Carved Turkey Sandwich – served on a warm baguette with Dijon mayonnaise and Pomme Frites (essentially french fries)
  • Braised Pork (Coq Au Vin style) eight hour slow-cooked pork – with mushrooms, onions carrots and bacon served with mashed potatoes and green beans jardiniere
  • My husband is looking forward to the Grilled Steak Sandwich – with garlic butter spread and Pommes Frites

Desserts:

The desserts are all appearing to be too delicious for words so here are a few of my favorites

  • Triple Chocolate Cupcake – chocolate sponge cake, chocolate mousse filling, and chocolate ganache (yes please)
  • Chocolate Cream Puff – filled with chocolate mousse topped with whipped cream
  • Lemon-rasberry cream puff – filled with lemon custard ***This is GLUTEN FREE & NO SUGAR ADDED*** (Disney sure does know how to please everyone!

Here is a link to the Lunch menu for the kiddos.  I am loving the fact that this restaurant is offering so many more options than the typical chicken fingers, hot dogs, and pizza.  Your kids can choose from a carved turkey sandwich, pulled pork, whole grain macaroni with marinara sauce, and even Mahi Mahi.

I know that for my son though we will be testing out the:

  • Mickey meatloaf – with broccoli florets and zucchini served with carrot catsup. (Does anyone else hope this will be Mickey shaped?!)

Now for the dinner options!  Dinner is considered a table service meal.  This means if you are on the dining plan it will use one table service dining requirement.  Dinner is what you will need to make dining reservations for!

There are so many delicious offerings on this menu that it is hard for me to just pick a couple to showcase for you! There are many starter offerings and your entrée comes with a choice of dessert.  The dessert offerings appear to be the same as the dessert offerings from the lunch menu.  I am not complaining though because they all look delicious! I am looking forward to trying:

  • Mussels Provencal– with white wine, tomato, garlic, onion, basil, and butter
  • Thyme-scented Pork Rack Chop – with au gratin pasta, seasonal vegetables and red wine au jus
  • Grilled Strip Steak – with garlic butter spread and pommes frites
  • Ratatouille Confit Byaldi – oven baked zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, and caramelized onions sliced and layered with Quinoa served with bell pepper salsa (this is my first choice!)

For those sea food lovers out there; who could go wrong with:

  • Sauteed Shrimp and Scallops – with sauteed mushrooms, carrots, and baby spinach served in a puff pastry with creamy lobster sauce
  • Pan-seared Salmon on Leek Fondu – served with creamy saffron-crushed potatoes

The dining options for the kids are again outstanding as far as I am concerned!  For an appetizer they can choose from a fruit cup or garden salad.  My two favorite entrees (I know my son will love these options!):

  • Grilled fish of the day – with whole grain rice pilaf and seasonal vegetables
  • Grilled Chicken Breast – macaroni topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella served with seasonal vegetables

Now that I made all of you hungry and more excited…what are you looking most forward to tasting while you are dining here?

Heather is a Disney Gal, who loves the chocolate smell of pop century in the morning, dreams of being Snow White in a parade, and happily skips down the middle of Main Street USA while wearing Mickey ears!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Be Our Guest Restaurant Menu and Reservations Info (chipandco.com)
  • Be Our Guest Restaurant to Open for Reservations! (chipandco.com)

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Teach your kids to give back and create magic! http://www.chipandco.com/teach-kids-give-create-magic-78083/ http://www.chipandco.com/teach-kids-give-create-magic-78083/#comments Wed, 08 Aug 2012 18:50:13 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=78083 Every time my family and I make the trip to Walt Disney World our first must do is visit the Magic Kingdom.  Upon entering of course we always are in awe of Cinderella Castle and this is the first thing that normally catches peoples eye!  However for me,the first thing that catches my eyes are […]

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Buying John this balloon made his entire day!

Every time my family and I make the trip to Walt Disney World our first must do is visit the Magic Kingdom.  Upon entering of course we always are in awe of Cinderella Castle and this is the first thing that normally catches peoples eye!  However for me,the first thing that catches my eyes are the balloons!  There is something about seeing all of those balloons and their handlers up and down Main St. that takes my breath away.  It brings me back to when I was a kid!

What is it about a balloon that makes kids go crazy?  Have you ever noticed the look on a child’s face when they get a balloon?  For my son it is like Christmas morning, he jumps up and down, starts screaming “Balloon! Balloon!”  It seems to adults to be such a simple and sometimes silly thing these balloons but to a child they are magic.

I have always wanted to purchase one of these balloons at Disney but I think my family thought that it would look silly if a 20 something girl was skipping down Main St. towards her castle (O.K. it’s not REALLY my castle but a girl can dream), holding a giant Mickey balloon!  My husband would have just rolled his eyes and quietly thought to himself…”did I marry a child?!”  So instead of skipping down Main st. with a balloon, I never bought on and just skipped with my Mickey ears on.

On this last trip in June however, my luck changed!  As soon as we entered the park my son started yelling “Balloon! Balloon!”  BINGO…now how can you tell an almost 2 year old no?!  I told my husband this time…we are buying that balloon!  He and his mother said but “it’s a waste…you can’t take it on the plane with you.”  I however had another idea.  After that happy little face convinced Grandma to shell out $10 for the balloon my son (and I) were happier than can be.  John carried that balloon around with us our entire trip.  It was great to tie on to the handle of our stroller, we could find it easily after a ride or show among the masses of strollers.  It served as a great distraction during diaper changes.  John loved that balloon so much we took it to Animal Kingdom where it went to balloon daycare for the day while we enjoyed the park (balloons are not allowed in Animal Kingdom for the safety of the animals.)  As our trip sadly came to an end, I knew that this balloon was sure to keep on giving.

Right as we were walking through the Pop Century Resorts hotel lobby I was on the lookout.  I was looking for a family with a child who had just arrived to start their trip.  I spotted a boy about 8 years old.  He and his mom were sitting along the wall with all of their luggage.  The boy was so excited and was extremely well behaved!  My son and I approached the family and I asked if they had just arrived.  The mother said yes and the son starting talking about how he couldn’t wait to meet Mickey.  I asked him if he had ever been to Disney before and he said no.  This was the perfect match!  I told the mom and the boy the story about the balloon and how it was my son’s most prized souvenir (besides his new Minne Mouse).  I explained that we couldn’t take our Mickey balloon  on the plane trip back and that we didn’t want it to go to waste.  I asked the boy if he would like this balloon and my gosh did his eyes just light up and sparkle!  I told him that he could have this balloon on 2 conditions.  The first is that he had to take extra special care of it…of course he agreed.  The second condition was that if the balloon was still inflated when it was his time to depart, he had to find another child to give the balloon to!  The boy said “I promise!”

At this point I asked my son to “share” his balloon with the boy and he handed it over, waved goodbye, and off we were to our motorcoach.  As we were leaving I heard the boy telling his mom that dreams do come true and one last time he yelled down the lobby “Thank you!”  As we walked away I was so proud of my son for handing that balloon off to someone else, and thinking of how lucky we are and how happy that boy was actually brought tears to my eyes.  People probably thought I was sad to leave but the reality was I was so happy and proud!  My son is too young to know right now that he just gave back and helped to make a kid’s day, but we will keep teaching him that small things really make a big difference.

Disney is a place where magic happens.  These magical moments are not just made possible by the amazing cast, crew, and imagineers that work so very hard to allow all of us to have the time of our lives.  These magical moments are also made possible by all of us!  It is when we meet a family and our kids are dancing together during the “Move it, Shake it, Celebrate it” parade, it is when we stop to let a wheel chair pass us by, or squeeze in like sardines so another family can join us to watch the “Main Street Electrical Parade.”  It is in the giving and receiving of smiles.  It is in passing off a balloon that would have gone to waste to another child.  Watching his or her eyes sparkle with a little gift makes you feel like Tinkerbell.  Sprinkling a little pixie dust to start off a family’s vacation is just what Walt must have imagined.  You have the power to create magic and memories.

From that moment on I vowed that each and every trip we take we will buy a balloon or two…even when I am 98 and my great grand kids are pushing me down the middle of Main St. I will stop for that balloon, carry it with pride, and I will create a little bit of magic as I leave and hand off this balloon to a new child.  Please help me and my family to keep creating magic at Disney!

How does your family give back?  How do you help to create magic while at Disney?  Please comment and let me know!  Share your ideas with my friends…the readers!

Enjoying our Mickey Balloon!

 

Heather is a Disney Gal, who loves the chocolate smell of pop century in the morning, dreams of being Snow White in a parade, and happily skips down the middle of Main Street USA while wearing Mickey ears!

  • How to avoid a meltdown and enjoy the fireworks and shows with your kids! (chipandco.com)
  • The 10 Commandments of Walt Disney World (chipandco.com)

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How to avoid a meltdown and enjoy the fireworks and shows with your kids! http://www.chipandco.com/avoid-meltdown-enjoy-fireworks-shows-kids-77908/ http://www.chipandco.com/avoid-meltdown-enjoy-fireworks-shows-kids-77908/#comments Mon, 06 Aug 2012 18:50:24 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=77908 You may not have thought about it before, either because you have never been to Disney World or because you haven’t ever been there with a kid but imagine this:  You found the perfect spot for Wishes (the fireworks spectacular over Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom), you and your family arm in arm counting […]

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John, Grandma, and Grandpa enjoying Fireworks in the Caribbean on our first Disney Cruise

You may not have thought about it before, either because you have never been to Disney World or because you haven’t ever been there with a kid but imagine this:  You found the perfect spot for Wishes (the fireworks spectacular over Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom), you and your family arm in arm counting down the minutes until the show begins, the excitement is building, and all of a sudden “Wishes” (cue music) and the fireworks begin *Boom* *Boom*…*wahhhhhhhh* your child begins to wail and cry because of the noise.  You try to calm him down, people around you are passing annoyed glances your way, it’s no use, now to pack up your things and climb over everyone to just get away from the noise.

I witnessed first hand how frustrating it can be for parents trying to calm their frightened child, and how disappointed they were that they couldn’t enjoy wishes, or It’s a Bugs Life as a family.  Your child could be the most laid back kid on this planet yet a loud noise could be just the thing to set them off.

Let’s face it, Disney World is loud and can be overwhelming.  It’s like sensory overload sometimes even for us adults.  Imagine what it must be like for a baby or a 2 or 3 year old.  How can they possibly process all of it?

Well I may just have the solution for you.  Before we took our son on his first trip, I was worried that he wouldn’t be able to enjoy his trip because of the noise and sensory overload.  I did some research and stumbled upon 3M Peltor Jr earmuffs on Amazon (we chose blue for John.)  These earmuffs are specifically designed for babies and children.  They feature a small adjustable headband which provides a better fit and more reliable noise reduction and sound protection.  They have liquid and gel filled cushions which are comfortable for extended wear.

Relaxing waiting for Wishes!

These earmuffs were the perfect solution for us.  My son actually still loves these!  We were able to enjoy fireworks in the Caribbean on the Disney Dream, we enjoyed Wishes in the Magic Kingdom,  and Illuminations in EPCOT.  We even took him in to It’s Tough to be a Bug in Animal Kingdom and the loud noise didn’t phase him.  John wore these when he seemed to be overwhelmed and we put these on him at night when we were putting him to sleep in the stroller.

Thanks to the earmuffs I am fast asleep and mommy and daddy can enjoy some extended time in the Magic Kingdom!

The earmuffs are inexpensive (around $20) and are so worth it!  It lessened the noise enough to allow him to truly enjoy himself and also helped him to relax!  We now take them whenever we travel to Disney and they also can be used around your neighborhood for fireworks or if you are going to a race track.  My son loves these earmuffs and now he even grabs them when he feels overwhelmed in the parks.  We plan on getting my daughter Sophia a pink pair for  her first trip this December.  I recommend all of my friends and family with young children pick a pair up for their trip!  I even have recommended these to people with children on the autism spectrum and other disabilities (or abilities as I like to think of them!)

What are some other tips that you have for helping to reduce the stress the loud noise causes at Disney?  Please share them with me and our readers!

Heather is a Disney Gal, who loves the chocolate smell of Pop Century in the morning, dreams of being Snow White in a parade, and happily skips down the middle of Main Street USA while wearing Mickey ears!

 

  • Free Wifi for Magic Kingdom Guests (chipandco.com)
  • Disney World Quick Tips – Christmas in the Magic Kingdom (chipandco.com)

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How to get baby and all of their “stuff” to and from Disney World http://www.chipandco.com/baby-stuff-disney-world-77891/ http://www.chipandco.com/baby-stuff-disney-world-77891/#comments Fri, 03 Aug 2012 18:50:32 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=77891 Have you ever wondered “How and I going to transport my baby and all of their things while at Disney?”  Well look no further I am here to let you in on an amazing service that Disney offers if you are staying at a Disney resort and arriving/departing from the Orlando airport (MCO)! We all […]

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John’s favorite ride at Disney was the Magical Express Bus or as he says “beeees”

Have you ever wondered “How and I going to transport my baby and all of their things while at Disney?”  Well look no further I am here to let you in on an amazing service that Disney offers if you are staying at a Disney resort and arriving/departing from the Orlando airport (MCO)!

We all know (or can imagine) how difficult it is to travel with small children.  Babies and toddlers need bottles, sippy cups, bibs, burp cloths, diapers, wipes, diaper cream, etc.  Toddlers and other young kids love to get messy, and sometimes (o.k. most times) they don’t even have to try to hard, it’s like a skill they were born with.  There are usually 2-3 changes of clothes that we must pack per day, pull ups, favorite blankies, pacifiers, beloved Mickey stuffed animals (you know the one that you have sewn the arm back on at least 5 times in the past year?!)

The thought of not only packing all of these things into a suitcase (that you surely will be charged for if it is over the weight limit) can be quiet overwhelming.  If packing is overwhelming; then start thinking about getting the suitcases, stroller, car seat from plane ride, and child/children to Disney.  Sure you can rent a car, or pay an astronomical fee for a cab ride or a limo (and you may also have to deal with quirky drivers), or you can use Disney’s Magical Express.

The Magical Express is a free service given to guest’s that are staying on Disney property.  When you book just include your flight info (this info can also be added after booking if you do not yet have flights). and you will be set up in the system.  Up to 45 days before your trip you can expect a packet in the mail containing easy to follow instructions and tags that will need to be attached to each piece of your luggage before you check your baggage.  Once you check your baggage you will not have to worry about it again!  Just take your magical express booklet on the plane and relax.

Once you land take your carry on items and family to Terminal B to the Disney Magical Express Welcome Center.  Here they will scan your booklet and direct you to the correct holding area for the buses.  Once your bus arrives you can store large items like strollers, car seats (they are not allowed on the bus). and large suitcases underneath the bus.  Then sit back and enjoy the ride!  The bus ride takes about 40 minutes to get to Disney World.  While on board they play a fun movie complete with tips and tricks to make your stay easier…and it even has your favorite characters as the stars of the movie!  I love hearing the happy screams of the kids on board when they see Mickey and Minnie!  The bus ride will take you directly to the entrance to your resort (there could possibly be 3 hotel stops along the way).  Here you will collect your carry on items and head to check in.

Driving under the Disney World Sign!

Well wait a minute…What happened to my luggage?  Don’t worry Disney thought of that too!  They use that pixie dust and within a few hours of arrival your luggage will magically appear in your hotel room (or if you are waiting on your room to be ready it will be stored at bell services and a bellman will be happy to bring your luggage to your room once it is ready for you!)

The best part is this service is available for your ride back to the airport at the end of your trip also!  If you are flying on a participating airline you can even check your bags for your return flight right at your resort and you won’t have to worry about your luggage until you arrive home.  Now how is that for service!

I cannot even begin to express (pun intended) how valuable this service is, especially when traveling with small children.  I usually have at least one extra large suitcase filled with my children’s belongings in addition to the suitcase that my husband and I travel with.  I could not imagine having to transport all of the suitcases, strollers, and other items, oh yea and the kids through the entire airport and then to the resort.  Disney’s Magical express really helps to make your life less stressful, much more simple, and it really helps you to start your vacation off on the right foot!

One final perk:  The kids usually LOVE the bus ride!

We all are sad here because this is our return bus ride :-(

Have you used the DME? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.

Heater is a Disney Gal, who loves the chocolate smell of pop century in the morning, dreams of being Snow White in a parade, and happily skips down the middle of Main Street USA while wearing Mickey ears!

 

 

 

 

  • Ridership dips on Disney Magical Express (chipandco.com)
  • Disney to reduce evening park hours for hotel guests (chipandco.com)

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How to avoid getting sick while at Disney http://www.chipandco.com/avoid-sick-disney-77325/ http://www.chipandco.com/avoid-sick-disney-77325/#comments Tue, 31 Jul 2012 18:50:38 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=77325 Ahhh…the perfect vacation (we all know my perfect vacation means being at Disney or cruising with them.)  We all plan for it, save for it, count down for it, and think this is going to be the best vacation yet.  However sometimes an illness rears it’s ugly head and rains on your Disney parade. I […]

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This is on the eve of the illness…before the diarrhea and vomiting started.

Ahhh…the perfect vacation (we all know my perfect vacation means being at Disney or cruising with them.)  We all plan for it, save for it, count down for it, and think this is going to be the best vacation yet.  However sometimes an illness rears it’s ugly head and rains on your Disney parade.

I unfortunately experienced this first hand in October 2011.  It literally was the worst trip and experience of my life.  My son was 16 months old, I was 6 months pregnant…we flew in to Disney on a Wednesday and had to fly home that Friday…yes 2 days later because of a horrible stomach flu that left both my son and I so sick we both ended up in the hospital severely dehydrated. We both had never been so sick in our lives.  I wished that I would have taken some extra precautions because maybe if I would have followed some of the advice that I am going to give you this whole thing could have been avoided!

  • Wash your hands:  O.K. I know this sounds so simple but do we really do it enough?  We live in a hand sanitizer society…we always think that by using hand sanitizer we are erasing all of the germs on our hands but are we really?  Some research is showing that bacteria is actually becoming immune due to overuse of sanitizer.  The number one way to erase and prevent the spread of germs is by good old fashioned hand washing…and not just for 2 seconds.  According to the Mayo clinic you must wash your hands VIGOROUSLY for AT LEAST 20 seconds.  To help your kids accomplish this (and even yourself) you can sing your ABC’s twice.  You should wash your hands IMMEDIATELY after exiting your airplane (and airplane is a cest pool of germs), before touching or eating food, before taking/giving medications, immediately upon entering your hotel room (before you start touching your bed, the phone, tv remote, etc.), after using the washroom or changing a diaper, after blowing your nose or sneezing in your hands, and whenever visibly soiled.  I also bring a pump antibacterial soap from home to use in our hotel room instead of the bar soap that is provided.  Ok this may sound extreme but it truly is the easiest and most simple way to avoid getting sick.  Hand sanitizer does also help but I always recommend washing your hands as often as possible especially before eating.
  • Cleaning:  I always bring travel size Lysol wipes with me when I travel.  We always fly Southwest and they have leather seats.  My husband tells me I look like a maniac but I always wipe down our plane seats, arm rests, and tray table.  Once we arrive at the hotel I use the Lysol wipes to wipe down the remote, telephone, inside of doorknobs (including the bathroom), alarm clock and the handle on the toilet.  It honestly only takes a few minutes but it give me peace of mind that I am preventing my family from getting sick.
  • Sleep:  If you normally sleep for 8 hours at home and your kids nap for 2…do the same thing at Disney.  It is so easy to go, go, go, that we forget our body needs rest.  If we suddenly shake up our routines and forget to sleep…you are running your immune system into the ground opening the door for a bug to get into your system and make you sick.
  • Water:  I know I am so excited to be in Disney and take in all that there is to see and do that I literally take off skipping down Main St. USA.  Just imagine doing that all day every day and only having a few sips of water.  You will need more than your normal 8 eight ounce glasses of water in a day especially if you are visiting in the hot summer months.  You can use a service such as garden grocer to deliver a case or two of bottled water to your hotel room for your arrival (you are allowed to take your own water into the park), bottled water is always readily available for purchase throughout all of the parks, and you can always walk into a counter service restaurant and ask for a cup of water.  If you don’t like the taste of water you can always bring along a crystal light package to add to the bottle or drink some gatorade, but keep in mind that often times these are loaded with sugar.
  • Healthy Choices:  I like most love to eat my Dole Whip, Egg rolls, fried dough, (and the list could go on and on) but Disney does provide many healthy options and they make it easy to choose too!  Choosing to eat fruit and vegetables (in addition to your other snacks) affords your body with extra healthy nutrients.  If your driving in, stopping at the local grocery store on your way into town, or using Garden Grocer you can also pick up healthy snacks to take into the park with you.
  • Traveling with a baby:  I bring the bottles that have the inserts in them (you will need extra drop ins), enough nipples for an entire day, a bunch of pacifiers, and 2 quart sized ziploc bags for each day, I also bring disposable sippy cups, a brand new bottle brush, travel antibacterial dish soap, and one of those cheap wash basins I put my clothes in there so we don’t waste room in the suitcase.  At the start of a new day in one of the ziploc bag I put the clean nipples (enough for a whole day at the park) and the other is for dirty (I also label so I don’t get confused).  Every bottle that the kids drink gets a CLEAN nipple and a new drop in.  The dirty nipple goes in the dirty bag and the liner in the garbage.  If a Pacifier is dropped we do not wipe it we give a new one (we also put pacifiers on strings that attach to the clothes.)  At the end of the day once back at our hotel room I wash with hot soapy water all of the bottles (I usually only need 2 to get through the day thanks to the drop ins), all of the nipples and pacifiers.  I then get the hot water that is used for tea in the food courts and let the nipples and pacifiers sit in the hot water for 5 minutes.  It isn’t the same as sanitizing but I feel the water is so hot that it helps!  If you are in a villa or vacation home then your in luck because there is at least a microwave so all that you will need is those cool bags that you can use to sanitize the nipples and pacifiers.
  • Vitamins or Airborne: Maybe you want to consider taking a daily multivitamin or some airborne (per directions) before and/or during your trip. ****Disclaimer:  Please consult your physician before starting to take any vitamin or medication even if it is over the counter***

If all else fails and you do get sick Disney has help for you.  You can always call the front desk for help and they will be happy to direct you to the nearest drug store, urgent care center, hospital, or even put out a call for a doctor to come visit you right in your hotel room (yes this does happen!)  Also if in the parks check out the first aid stations!  A nurse is always on duty.  If it is an emergency find the nearest cast member and they will call for immediate help.  Always make sure to travel with your insurance card!

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Can I really travel to Disney with a baby?! http://www.chipandco.com/travel-disney-baby-77191/ Fri, 27 Jul 2012 18:50:11 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=77191 Yes!!!  Our best family memories have been made on our Disney trips!  We took my son on his first Disney trip when he was 8 months old.  I had been waiting for this moment and planning for the trip even before he was born!  We even managed to snag an appointment for his first haircut […]

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John’s first haircut

Yes!!!  Our best family memories have been made on our Disney trips!  We took my son on his first Disney trip when he was 8 months old.  I had been waiting for this moment and planning for the trip even before he was born!  We even managed to snag an appointment for his first haircut at the Harmony Barbershop on Main St. USA.

However there is one important step you must take to make the most out of your vacation!

Plan, Plan, Plan:  You can not go to Disney without a plan in place, especially if it is your first time visiting the happiest place on earth.  First start by visiting insider websites, and focus on topics that will help you with planning. (Tip:  use the search engine at the top of the page and type in a keyword or two, most likely great, informative articles will pop up to aide in your planning needs!)  Anther great place to go for advice is the Disney World Mom’s Panel.  In this forum you can search through questions that people have asked and already had replies to from the mom’s themselves, and you can also ask your own question. (Note: you may or may not receive a response due to a high number of question submissions.)  I have had a few of my own questions answered and these “mom’s” are incredibly knowledgeable and they truly love helping others plan!

Here are my top planning tips to make your vacation a success!

  • Baby Care Centers:  Familiarize yourself with Baby Care Centers.  These areas are a must use to make diaper changes, nursing, preparing bottles, cooling off, and just taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the parks.  There are high chairs, kid size potty seats, a movie plays in a spacious area that kids can relax in, changing tables, nursing rooms, and they are even fully stocked with any supply for babies that you could possibly need!
  • Choose a few:  It is so easy to get wrapped up and think “I have to do EVERYTHING!”  It is very hard (almost impossible) to accomplish everything at Disney in one trip!  Look through all of the rides and attractions in each of the parks.  There are some rides with restrictions for the safety of guests.  Surprisingly however; there are many rides that the whole family can enjoy!  Make a list of about 4-5 rides and attractions that are must do’s for you and your family.  Make sure to tackle these first.  This allows your expectations to be met, and then if you get to experience other things it really is a bonus!
  • Plan to follow your schedule!  My advice is if your family are morning people, head to the park opening, spend a few hours accomplishing your must do’s and then head back to your room around lunch time and settle in for a nap.  After the nap head to the swimming pool or back to the park until normal bedtime (the bedtime that you follow at home.)  I know this probably sounds like a buzz kill but I learned the hard way…a tired baby can dampen anyone’s fun.  When you and your children are rested, the magic tends to be more magical.  The more stress free you can be, the more fun your whole family will have.
  • Help!!!  Even after planning for months before your trip, one you arrive to Disney you may still feel overwhelmed.  My number on piece of advice is:  Ask for Help!  Never hesitate to ask a cast member for directions, advice, and tips!

 

Heather is a Disney Gal, who loves the chocolate smell of pop century in the morning, dreams of being Snow White in a parade, and happily skips down the middle of Main Street USA while wearing Mickey ears!

 

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