HeatherL – Chip and Co http://www.chipandco.com Disney Theme Park & Disney Movie News, Disney World & Disneyland Planning Tips, Disney Dining, Reviews and More! Sat, 30 Jul 2016 21:00:29 +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 HeatherL – Chip and Co http://www.chipandco.com 32 32 5 Tips for Quick Service Meals at Disney World http://www.chipandco.com/5-tips-counter-service-meals-disney-world-145309/ Tue, 16 Jul 2013 15:00:43 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=145309 Anyone who knows me knows that I am a Disney planning nerd. I absolutely LOVE planning the details of Disney vacations, and I am not ashamed to admit that spreadsheets filled with things like ADR confirmation numbers fill my heart with a particular kind of joy. While preparing for a recent trip “home” to Disney […]

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Anyone who knows me knows that I am a Disney planning nerd. I absolutely LOVE planning the details of Disney vacations, and I am not ashamed to admit that spreadsheets filled with things like ADR confirmation numbers fill my heart with a particular kind of joy. While preparing for a recent trip “home” to Disney however, I kept Walt Disney’s famous quote’ “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” in my mind because we had decided to plan our meals differently for this trip.

First, I am a definite fan of the Disney Dining Plan. I have used it for every Disney vacation that we have taken since it began. We love trying all of the different restaurants at Disney as well as revisiting our favorites ( I think I could eat at ‘Ohana every day). To put it simply, we LOVE to eat at Disney! However, our recent trip was a quick weekend trip to Magic Kingdom and Epcot and we decided to skip the Dining Plan and table-service meals and instead focus on counter-service options and snacks this time. On our previous trips, using the Dining Plan, we had usually used our counter-service meal for an easy breakfast at our resort before hitting the parks for the day and then had a table-service meal at the end of the day; so I was curious to see what we had been missing.

Here are the Top 5 things that I learned along the way:

  • Snacks!! Since we have always had a large table-service meal during our day, we haven’t tried many of the snacks at Disney. I know, it’s embarrassing. We’ve always had our favorites; I mean it’s not a trip to Disney without a Mickey Bar on Main Street right? But since we weren’t saving room for a big dinner we were able to try so many snacks on this trip! It was one of our favorite parts of the trip. The Viking Mousse in Norway was a particularly big hit- it was delicious! Also be sure to try the Cinnamon Roll at Gastons Tavern!
  • Relaxed schedule: Without an ADR to plan our time around, we found that we were able to have a more relaxed day in the parks. We took our time and really enjoyed our time together- often while eating a snack!
  • You can get full on counter-service meals: One of my only concerns with skipping table-service meals this trip was my son. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not really him; it’s more his hollow leg that never seems to get filled. He’s 17, well over 6 feet tall and let’s just say that he eats a lot. I am glad to say that that we were able to fill him with counter-service meals on our trip. For heartier appetites like his, there are many filling counter-service meals available. In Magic Kingdom he had great meals at Be Our Guest and Cosmic Rays. When we visited Epcot, he really loved the tacos and churros at La Hacienda de San Angel.
  • There really is something for everyone: Most of my family is pretty adventurous when it comes to eating and tire of hamburgers and fries pretty quickly. We were able to find many choices beyond typical theme park food. We had the most fun with this at Epcot in the World Showcase, of course. We discovered that Moroccan coffee really is stronger than what we are used to at home and that seaweed candy from Japan must be an acquired taste that we are lacking. The more careful eater in my family was also able to find lots of great choices and gave rave reviews to the walnut baklava in Morocco!
  • Sharing: Since not all of us can eat as much as my son, on several occasions two of us were able to share a meal and still have plenty to eat. It also left us more room to enjoy the snacks!

We really loved trying more of the counter-service options at Disney during our trip. Now I just have to wait until I can get those delicious noodles at ‘Ohana again…the sooner the better!

 

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4th of July Fun with Disney’s Spoonful.com http://www.chipandco.com/4th-july-fun-disneys-spoonfulcom-145531/ http://www.chipandco.com/4th-july-fun-disneys-spoonfulcom-145531/#comments Wed, 03 Jul 2013 15:50:22 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=145531 Happy Birthday America! We love holidays in my family and Independence Day is one o our favorites. Delicious food, family time, games, backyard baseball, and fireworks; it’s always a fun day. To help celebrate America’s birthday we tried several crafts and tasty recipes that are available on Spoonful.com. After finding our inspiration on their 4th […]

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Happy Birthday America! We love holidays in my family and Independence Day is one o our favorites. Delicious food, family time, games, backyard baseball, and fireworks; it’s always a fun day. To help celebrate America’s birthday we tried several crafts and tasty recipes that are available on Spoonful.com. After finding our inspiration on their 4th of July page, we got down to serious craft and recipe making business!

Hot Dogs

We chose three recipes from the Spoonful.com’s 4th of July page. We made Berry Kabob Cupcakes, Red, White and Blueberry Fruit Salad, and Rocket Dogs to help fuel our craft-making party. My chef-in-training is 10 and was very proud of being able to make the Rocket Dogs independently. She said, “It made me feel like Princess Tiana. Maybe I could have a restaurant like hers one day.” If the other dishes in her restaurant are as tasty as the Rocket Dogs were then I would like the first reservation please!

Fruit Salad

Next, we made the Red, White and Blueberry Fruit Salad together. I was very excited to see such a healthy choice for our celebration and best of all; it was delicious! I actually think it was a bigger hit than the cupcakes; it was that good! The Berry Kabob Cupcakes were super simple to make and were the perfect ending to our patriotic lunch. The recipes were very easy to follow and I know we will be making more of the recipes on the site in the future.

Cupcakes

Spoonful.com inspired us with many fun crafts to help decorate for our Independence Day celebration. We decided to make Uncle Sam Hat Treat Holders, Star-Spangled Wavers, and a Firecracker Crown. Of course, no celebration at our proud Disney Addict house would be complete without a Disney touch so we also included several Disney crafts. We made Mickey’s 4th of July Hat, Mickey & Friends Patriotic Hot Dog Holder to hold our Rocket Dogs, Mickey’s 4th of July Candy Box, Mickey & Friends 4th of July Flag, Mickey & Donald’s Patriotic Pinwheel, Mickey Mouse Grill Master Hat, Minnie’s 4th of July Headband, and finished with some Mickey & Friends bunting.

The supplies we needed included:

  • Scissors
  • Red, blue, white, and black felt
  • Red, blue, white, and silver ribbons
  • Glue
  • 6 long bamboo skewers (or dowels)
  • Red and white foam sheets
  • Blue tape
  • Sticker stars
  • Gold and silver pipe cleaners
  • Tape
  • Styrofoam cup
  • Red paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Black Marker
  • Printable templates
  • Straight pin
  • Pencil eraser

Supplies

Star-Spangled Wavers, Mickey & Friends Patriotic Hot Dog Holder, Mickey & Friends 4th of July Flag, Mickey & Friends bunting: These printables were the easiest for my youngest crafter and were easy to complete in just a few minutes. They involved simple steps and easy to follow instructions.

Uncle Sam Hat Treat Holders, Firecracker Crown, Mickey & Donald’s Patriotic Pinwheel, Mickey Mouse Grill Master Hat: A little more challenging, these crafts turned out adorable! The pinwheel does involve a straight pin so adult help would definitely be needed for younger crafters.  The Uncle Sam Hat Treat Holder involved painting so it was a little messier than the others. The Firecracker Crown was a lot of fun to make together and has helped to make some new favorite pictures!

Z-working

Catie-working

Mickey’s 4th of July Hat, Mickey’s 4th of July Candy Box, Minnie’s 4th of July Headband:  These cuties were the most challenging of the crafts we made. Mickey’s Hat and the Candy Box involved very intricate cutting and careful instruction reading. Minnie’s Headband was our favorite craft and is going along with us to watch fireworks on the 4th! It requires hot glue so it also needs some adult help.

We had a wonderful time together getting ready to celebrate Independence Day using the ideas we found on Spoonful.com. We use this site often in my family and we always find a new idea or fun activity to do together. How are you celebrating Independence Day? I would love to hear about your plans! My first plan is to make some more fruit salad!

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4th of July Ideas from Spoonful.com http://www.chipandco.com/4th-july-ideas-spoonfulcom-145319/ Sun, 30 Jun 2013 15:50:13 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=145319 With the 4th of July approaching, I wanted to take a moment and share some of the new and patriotic ideas available on Spoonful.com to help you and your family celebrate the holiday. There are many fun and creative ideas to help make America’s birthday celebration even more fun! Featuring easy to navigate categories (cook, […]

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With the 4th of July approaching, I wanted to take a moment and share some of the new and patriotic ideas available on Spoonful.com to help you and your family celebrate the holiday. There are many fun and creative ideas to help make America’s birthday celebration even more fun!

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Featuring easy to navigate categories (cook, create, play, and celebrate), it’s easy to find just what you are looking for to celebrate Independence Day. There are delicious July 4th inspired treats in “cook”, colorful, fun crafts in “create” and wonderful decorations, games, and more in “celebrate”. You can visit Spoonful’s 4th of July page and find all of the Independence Day ideas in one convenient location.

3d mickey

Best of all, Spoonful was built to allow for easy viewing across computers, tablets, and mobile devices- perfect for busy parents on the go!

Looking for a tasty recipe for your 4th of July celebration? Spoonful.com has delicious recipes such as Red, White and Blueberry Fruit Salad, Grilled Chicken with Tomato and Cucumbers, and yummy deserts like Star-Studded Blueberry Pie, and Lady Liberty Cupcakes.You can sprinkle your 4th of July with some Disney magic with some Disney ideas from Spoonful.com. You can make Minnie’s 4th of July Headband, a Mickey Parade Waver to help make your wave stand out from the crowd, or Woody’s Independence Day Badge Cookies to snack on while you wait for fireworks. Spoonful.com also has fun printables of everything from coloring pages, U.S.A. paper airplanes, Mickey’s 4th of July Candy Box and many more activities to help you celebrate Independence Day.

I can’t wait to share some of the fun Spoonful 4th of July activities with you very soon! I look forward to seeing how you make the 4th of July special too!

 

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Father’s Day Fun With Spoonful.com http://www.chipandco.com/fathers-day-fun-spoonfulcom-132545/ Fri, 14 Jun 2013 13:45:52 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=132545 Spoonful.com has many wonderful ideas to help you celebrate Dad this Father’s Day. Whether you are looking for a craft, a recipe or an adorable homemade card, Spoonful has the inspiration that you are looking for. We use Spoonful frequently at my house and always find great ideas for every occasion. My children have a […]

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Father's Day Crafts

Spoonful.com has many wonderful ideas to help you celebrate Dad this Father’s Day. Whether you are looking for a craft, a recipe or an adorable homemade card, Spoonful has the inspiration that you are looking for. We use Spoonful frequently at my house and always find great ideas for every occasion. My children have a large age difference and I  love that Spoonful has so many different types of activities available for a wide-range of ages and crafts that they can enjoy making together. To help make our Mr. Incredible feel extra special on Father’s Day we chose several crafts to make together.

         The supplies we needed were:

  1. Printable templates
  2. Glue sticks
  3. Construction paper/Cardstock (various colors)
  4. Fine-tipped markers
  5. 4 x 6 inch picture frame
  6. 8-10 small bolts and washers
  7. Black craft paint
  8. Strong craft glue
  9. Scissors
  10. Craft knife

 

Father’s Day Crown, DadsPass Tickets, Daddyland Coupon Book, and Mickey Mouse Tie: These printables were perfect for my daughter to make completely independently. She really enjoyed the Disney twist to these crafts and was so proud to be able to complete all on her own. The instructions were very easy for her to follow and she has them proudly tucked away in her room to surprise Daddy with on Father’s Day.

Mickey Tie

Car Nut Frame: This was definitely our favorite craft! It was very simple and creative and we had fun deciding together where we wanted to place the washers to make it look the very best. We finally decided on a Disney Addict classic-the Hidden Mickey! We really enjoyed this craft and are now looking at our other picture frames and thinking about what we could glue onto them!

Mr. Incredible Card and Tool Box Gift Card Holder:These were the more challenging of the crafts we made together. They were more easily made by my son who is 17. I would definitely recommend these for an older child instead or a younger child with lots of assistance. The card especially involved a lot of intricate cutting with a very sharp craft knife. The tool box craft will be a fun way to present our Mr. Incredible with his annual fishing tackle gift card. The instructions were a little challenging to understand so be sure to read them carefully.

The crafts and ideas that we found on Spoonful.com will make our Father’s Day celebration even more fun this year. It was really nice to talk about how special it is to make a gift for someone and how happy it makes them feel. I can’t wait to see my guy in his “King of the Day” crown and Mickey Mouse tie eating some of his Clicker cake! It’s going to be a great day!

How do you make Father’s Day special? How are you celebrating? I would love to hear about it!

 

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Father’s Day Ideas from Disney’s Spoonful.com http://www.chipandco.com/fathers-day-ideas-disneys-spoonfulcom-132279/ http://www.chipandco.com/fathers-day-ideas-disneys-spoonfulcom-132279/#comments Sun, 09 Jun 2013 21:50:28 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=132279 With Father’s Day approaching I wanted to share some of the inspiring ideas from Spoonful.com to help you celebrate the special dads in your families. There are many creative ideas and you are sure to find the perfect idea to help make Dad feel amazing on his special day. Spoonful.com features easy to navigate categories […]

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With Father’s Day approaching I wanted to share some of the inspiring ideas from Spoonful.com to help you celebrate the special dads in your families. There are many creative ideas and you are sure to find the perfect idea to help make Dad feel amazing on his special day.

Spoonful.com features easy to navigate categories (cook, create, play, and celebrate) where you can easily find what you are looking for to help you celebrate Dad-including homemade Father’s Day card ideas in “Celebrate” or kid-friendly gift ideas in “Create”. Best of all, Spoonful.com was built for easy viewing across computers, tablets, and mobile devices if you are looking for inspiration while on the go.

monogram-painted-hammer-dad-photo-420x420-aformaro-016Do you have a handy, fix-it dad in your family? How about a card and a gift that celebrate his handiness? Maybe you have a grill master in your family-Spoonful has ideas for him too! Every dad is sure to love the special memories you can share using the new Story app available in Itunes.

You can sprinkle some Disney pixie dust on your Father’s Day celebration with some Disney ideas for Dad. Whether it’s a fun Mickey tie, a card to give your very own Mr. Incredible, or his very own “Dad’s Father’s Day Dadspass” tickets, there are lots of fun ideas to help celebrate Dad.

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If you are looking for some delicious recipes, Spoonful has something for everyone’s tastes. There are dad-approved ideas such as juicy Sam-burgers and fun deserts like an adorable remote control cake for desert along with many others.

Spoonful.com also has fun printables of everything from coloring pages, coupon books, and many more activities to enjoy together.

I can’t wait to share some of the fun Father’s Day crafts we are making with you soon. How are you making Father’s Day special? I look forward to finding out how you will be celebrating Father’s Day!

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Top 5 Milkshakes at Walt Disney World http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-milkshakes-walt-disney-world-132025/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-milkshakes-walt-disney-world-132025/#comments Sun, 09 Jun 2013 00:30:49 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=132025 Ice cream and Disney World just seem to go together don’t they? To me, a Disney vacation isn’t complete until I have had a Mickey bar; eaten ears first of course! Ice cream treats can be a delicious way to beat the heat during the summer months. One of my favorite ice cream treats at […]

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Ice cream and Disney World just seem to go together don’t they? To me, a Disney vacation isn’t complete until I have had a Mickey bar; eaten ears first of course! Ice cream treats can be a delicious way to beat the heat during the summer months. One of my favorite ice cream treats at Disney are the amazing milkshakes that are available at the parks and the resorts. After dedicating myself to researching the tastiness available, I have come up with my Top 5 milkshakes at Disney World. (Okay, it wasn’t exactly a rough job tasting milkshakes but somebody had to do it!

Cookies & Cream- Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, Hollywood Studios: The reviews about the food here are sometimes mixed. Some guests love it, others find it less impressive. One thing that everyone can agree on though is how delicious the cookies and cream milkshake tastes! Classic chocolate and vanilla are also available but the cookies and cream has been a long-time Disney fan favorite for good reason. The creamy vanilla and chocolaty taste and Oreo crumbles on top were delicious! We really loved our dinner here and this milkshake was a perfect ending.

PB&J at 50’s-Prime Time Cafe, Hollywood Studios: While all of the milkshakes are good, the best one in my opinion is the PB&J. It is a unique taste combination that must be tried to be believed. I was a little unsure about whether this was going to be a hit when I ordered it; however,  it was delicious! I would happily drink one of these again…and again. It was really fun and different from any other milkshake I’ve tried. It is available both at the Prime Time Cafe and next door at the Tune-In Lounge.

Bottomless milkshakes- Whispering Canyon, Wilderness Lodge: One of my favorite things about my vacations at Disney is that my normal, healthy eating pretty much goes out the window the moment we arrive. If you follow this same plan, you will also love the bottomless milkshakes at the Whispering Canyon at the Wilderness Lodge. The milkshakes here are really very good and are available in classic flavors of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla as well as “flavor-of-the-day” flavors such as dreamsicle, bubblegum, and cotton candy and others. If you can’t decide on one flavor, don’t worry. You can switch your flavor choice when you get a refill if you want to try more than one flavor. Unlimited refills of milkshakes? Yes please! When we ate here we were using the Disney Dining Plan and were able to have this count as the drink with our meal. They are served in a mason jar and topped with whipped cream-which made them even better, of course!

Beaches and Cream Soda Shop- Beach Club If you are looking for an authentic, old-fashioned soda fountain feeling this is the spot for you. Located at the Boardwalk, there are many delicious flavors to choose from and they are topped with whipped cream, sprinkles, and a cherry on top. The beautiful, fun surroundings and delicious ice cream make this a favorite tradition for many Disney guests. It can get busy here at times, so if it’s crowded you may want to grab your milkshake to go and enjoy the fun entertainment along the Boardwalk.

Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop- Downtown DisneyOkay, I saved the best for last. No, really-the BEST! When you combine some of the best premium chocolate with creamy, delicious ice cream, magic happens. I think they sprinkled pixie dust in there; it was that good! I ordered a Quake Shake which is, “a chocolate bar infused milkshake”. It’s available with a caramel, strawberry, or mint chocolate bar mixed into vanilla ice cream. The result is cold, creamy, and chocolaty and made me very happy! It was a candy bar and a milkshake in one. What’s not to love? There were other milkshakes available there also that I can’t wait to try next time.

For me, milkshakes are a perfect treat at Disney World. These were my favorites but the best thing is there are even more out there for me to try next time! Have you tried any of these milkshakes yet? Which ones should I try next? I can’t wait to hear what your favorites are.

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Minnie & Daisy Best Friends Forever Book and Magazine Review http://www.chipandco.com/minnie-daisy-friends-book-magazine-review-130236/ http://www.chipandco.com/minnie-daisy-friends-book-magazine-review-130236/#comments Wed, 22 May 2013 12:46:45 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=130236 “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.” Walt Disney Walt Disney was certainly a man after my own heart. At my house, there isn’t much that gets us as excited as a new book […]

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Much Ado About Juliet (1)

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.” Walt Disney

Walt Disney was certainly a man after my own heart. At my house, there isn’t much that gets us as excited as a new book to read. Recently I had the opportunity to review a new series from Disney Publishing featuring Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck. While I love all of the new characters like Merida, Rapunzel, and I especially enjoy a Phineas & Ferb marathon; it thrilled me to see of the classic Disney characters featured in this series. Minnie Mouse holds a special place in my heart and I am always excited to pass that love on to my daughter. Disney said about the series, Girls can read about the amazing power of friendship, take quizzes, make fun crafts, learn about caring for pets, read about fashion and their favorite music, and play games with their best pals, Minnie and Daisy.” These books and magazine delivered on that and more!

My daughter and I read the “Minnie Mouse and Daisy B.F.F.” magazine together first. It was full of stories, crafts, fun quizzes, posters, and games just to name a few things. It also included  condensed, comic-strip style versions of the first two books also available in this series. It was a very colorful, fun, magazine and my daughter absolutely loved it cover to cover! She has read it several times now and told me that she is really hoping that there will be more issues in the future. She told me that her favorite part was, “…the fun quizzes and activities for us to do together.”.

The books, “Much Ado About Juliet” and “The Pesky Pet” , were also huge hits in  my house. While the reading level was focused more towards readers a little younger than my daughter, who is 10, she absolutely loved reading them! She told me she thought it was interesting and fun to be able to see what Minnie and Daisy were like before they met their main squeezes, Mickey and Donald. The books and magazine definitely put a modern spin on Minnie and Daisy’s lives, with “Starducks” coffee shop and cell phones in hand but it was still Minnie and Daisy at heart. The books are filled with colorful illustrations and many of the words are printed in fun, bright colors which made it even more fun to read. These books are two of her favorites to take with us on car rides and she has fallen asleep reading them more than once!

The magazine and books were so much fun for us! The books had wonderful stories of friendship, determination, and working together between Minnie and Daisy and I loved completing the fun activities in the magazine with my daughter. Seeing classic Disney characters featured was a special treat and I am very excited about issues in the future.  The book, “Much Ado About Juliet” focuses a little more on Minnie and Daisy’s social life and issues such as  getting a boy’s attention as opposed to the other book which focuses more on Daisy and Minnie working and reaching a goal. Overall, the stories were wonderful and truly enjoyable.

I would highly recommend these books and magazine to any Disney-loving family with tween readers. The magazine is available today at newsstands and all major retail outlets nationwide for $4.99. The books are available for $6.99 wherever books and eBooks are sold. They would be a perfect start  to your tween’s summer reading!

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Top 10 Rides at Disney World for Teens http://www.chipandco.com/top-10-rides-disney-world-teens-126866/ Sat, 18 May 2013 00:00:22 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=126866 Walt Disney World. Just the name of this magical place evokes images of little girls in princess dresses, young pirates with their swords, and little faces lighting up with joy from a hug from the main man himself-Mickey Mouse. Sometimes people might think that there isn’t as much for teenagers to enjoy at Disney. After […]

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Walt Disney World. Just the name of this magical place evokes images of little girls in princess dresses, young pirates with their swords, and little faces lighting up with joy from a hug from the main man himself-Mickey Mouse. Sometimes people might think that there isn’t as much for teenagers to enjoy at Disney. After all, a ride on Small World may not be quite as exciting to a teenager as it is to a younger child. (Unless your teenager is like me at that age-I loved it then and I still love it!) But don’t worry, I have consulted my very own teenage Disney Addict to help me  show that there are rides that are fun for teens too.

Here are our recommendations for rides that are sure to make any teen smile:

 Magic Kingdom:

          Space Mountain: A true Disney classic, this is a must-do on any teen’s list. While it might be considered tamer than other roller  coasters, hurtling through the dark, dodging asteroids and planets add a whole different level of fun to this ever- popular ride.

  •  Fastpass is available and can save you a very long wait in the stand-by line
  •  Ride in the front of the car for the best ride

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: Noisy, fast,fun-what’s not to love? This classic runaway mine train adventure is always a good time. Teens are sure to love this roller coaster’s clickety clacking ride through a tunnel, around sharp turns and under a roaring waterfall.

  • Fastpass is available
  • For the fastest ride, try the back cars
  • Ride it at night for a great view

Splash Mountain: This ride is a huge favorite of my teen. While the majority of the ride is fairly tame, the ending is worth it! A 5-story plunge down a steep mountain ending in a huge splash is sure to get your teen excited!

  • Fastpass is available 
  • Ride in the front if you don’t mind getting wet; want to stay(somewhat)dry? Stick to the seats in the back of the logs. 

          Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin:I must admit, this one surprised me when my son put it on his list. He said it’s the combination of spinning your car around, making your partner dizzy, trying to hit the targets with your laser gun, and the chance to outscore each other that makes it great. I love the fact that it’s one of the rides he still loves to do together!

  • Fastpass is available 
  • Looking to get a high score against your teen? You can shoot targets more than once and still earn points. Look for the high point targets and shoot them several times if you can.
  • In the first room, look for the big orange robot on the left side. Shoot for the target inside of his left hand. Next, shoot the claw to earn 100,000 points. If you get them both several times, you could earn 500,000-600,000 points before leaving the first room! 

Epcot:

Mission Space:This is without a doubt, my teen’s favorite ride ever. This one-of-a-kind space mission simulator is the most unique and intense rides at Disney. There are two versions available; Orange: the more intense, spinning side and Green: the non-spinning side. If your teen gets motion sick at all, they may want to opt for the Green side. My son said,”I love it! It simulates going to space and it’s so much fun.” He’s planning on beating his personal record of doing the Orange side four times in one day when we visit Disney this summer.

  • Fastpass is available and highly recommended
  • This is the only Disney attraction with air sickness bags for a reason. Only your family knows what’s best for you.

Test Track: After designing their own simulation car, the main excitement at this attraction is the opportunity for teens to reach speeds up to 65 mph and curves that bank on 50 degrees on the nearly mile-long track. Newly remodeled, it now features a unique interactive part as you are exiting the ride.

  •  Fastpass is available
  • Test Track will sometimes close due to rain so keep an eye on the weather if your teen really wants to ride 

Soarin’: This attraction is a unique experience for everyone. It simulates hangliding over beautiful California and is not to be missed. It’s a really fun, unique experience that teens and their families can both enjoy.

  •  Fastpass is available and highly recommended. Stand-by wait times can easily reach over 90 minutes as the day goes on.
  • On busy days, Fastpasses can run out so head to Soarin’ first to get one early

Animal Kingdom:

Expedition Everest:The tallest attraction in Disney at 200 feet, an 80-foot drop, speeds up to 50 mph, and riding backwards through the dark- it isn’t hard to figure out why teens love this ride! “It’s one of the best rides ever!” was what I was told.

Does anyone else detect a mountain theme in his favorites

  •  Fastpass is available 

Hollywood Studios:

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith: With a take-off of 0-60 mph in less than 3 seconds, full loops, and a corkscrew- this is a great roller coaster for teens. When you add in Aerosmith music it gets even better! It is definitely a teen must-do. Usually over, and over, and over again. The pre-show is a unique experience they will also enjoy.

  • Fastpass is available

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror: Another unique Disney attraction. Teens (and anyone else who rides it) are sure to love the adrenaline rush from the intense free-fall on this ride. After the initial drop, you will be raised back up a random number of floors and dropped again…and again…and possibly again. Each ride is set to a different pattern so you never get quite the same ride twice. 

  •  Fastpasses are available and can save you a long wait in the stand-by line
  • Ride it at night for a different look at the park

A teenager having fun on a family vacation?? Can it be possible?? I hope this list gives you and your teen some ideas about what rides they might enjoy during a visit to Disney World. Who knows, maybe you could even talk them into riding Small World with you! I know there are many other rides that teen’s enjoy; what are your family’s favorites? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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Coming Soon: Minnie and Daisy B.F.F. Chapter Book Series and Magazine http://www.chipandco.com/coming-minnie-daisy-bff-chapter-book-series-magazine-106151/ Fri, 19 Apr 2013 15:00:51 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=106151 Just in time for summer reading, Disney publishing is introducing a new magazine and four chapter books for tween girls to enjoy! In their very own series, Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck give us an exciting look at what their lives were like before they met their magical mouse and dashing duck, Mickey and Donald. […]

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M&D 0513 cover

Just in time for summer reading, Disney publishing is introducing a new magazine and four chapter books for tween girls to enjoy! In their very own series, Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck give us an exciting look at what their lives were like before they met their magical mouse and dashing duck, Mickey and Donald. Best friends Minnie and Daisy went through all the trials and tribulations of growing up just like all little girls do are ready to share their adventures. These books and magazine are the perfect summer read for girls who love to enjoy school, sports, fashion, and growing up.

In the Minnie and Daisy B.F.F. magazine, girls can read about the amazing power of friendship, take quizzes, make fun crafts, learn about caring for pets, read about fashion and their favorite music, and play games with their best pals, Minnie and Daisy. Surprise posters and comics are included too! The magazine is available today at newsstands and all major retail outlets nationwide for $4.99.

The Minnie and Daisy B.F.F. chapter book series brings even more fun to reading.  New books include, “The Pesky Pet”, “Much Ado About Juliet”, and “Dance Jitters” with two additional books coming out in July. Tween girls can read along as their pals Minnie and Daisy get themselves in, and out of, some typical teenage situations. These titles are available for $6.99 wherever books and eBooks are sold.

The Pesky Pet (1)To add even more Minnie Mouse excitement to your tween’s summer, be sure and look for Minnie’s very own line of SMACKER’S XOXO cosmetics- the Minnie Mouse XOXO Collection. Classic, spirited, and stylish are all attributes of Minnie Mouse that young girls can also find in this line of lip gloss, eye shadow, shimmer spray, blush, and a cute cosmetic bag.

If you are looking for a way to add even more Minnie Mouse to your summer, OPI’s vintage Minnie Mouse collection is going to be released soon. This is a limited edition collection that includes four nail lacquers are are perfect for summer. The colors perfectly portray Minnie Mouse’s irresistible charm in playful, pretty shades of pink and red. The line features a pink creme lacquer, a frosted red shade, a shimmery fuchsia, and the one I am most excited about, a heart glitter confetti named, “Nothin’ Mousie ’bout It- Don’t Squeak It-SHOUT IT!”, “I’m All Ears”, “If You Moust You Moust”, and “The Color Of Minnie” are such a fun way to celebrate Minnie and all of her polka-dotted style!

I can’t wait to kick off my summer with my daughter reading about Minnie and Daisy’s adventures and enjoying our new Minnie Mouse nails! What about you? What are some ways you are adding Disney magic to your summer?

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“Lots To Do In Line Walt Disney World” Book Review http://www.chipandco.com/lots-line-walt-disney-world-book-review-105626/ http://www.chipandco.com/lots-line-walt-disney-world-book-review-105626/#comments Fri, 12 Apr 2013 21:00:27 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=105626 There are many Disney World guidebooks out there and I think at one time or another, I have tried them all. Some are great, and if we are honest, some aren’t quite as helpful. When I recently chose to review, Lots To Do In Line Walt Disney World, I was very curious to see if […]

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lots

There are many Disney World guidebooks out there and I think at one time or another, I have tried them all. Some are great, and if we are honest, some aren’t quite as helpful. When I recently chose to review, Lots To Do In Line Walt Disney World, I was very curious to see if this book would make the list of favorites in my house. Well, I can easily say that it was even better than I anticipated! It now holds a permanent spot on our packing list!

This book is organized into groups of questions for each of the four parks and then into a smaller section for each of the areas in the park. There are several ways to use the book, both with and without scoring options. It also has wonderful ways to pass the time while you are waiting in line at restaurants, waiting for that special hug from Mickey Mouse, or a delicious Mickey Bar. The questions are presented mostly in multiple choice style with lots of yes/no questions also. I really liked that the answers for each each section instead of flipping all the way to the end of the book every time. It will be much more convenient this way.

Some of my favorite highlights included:

  • Fastpass lines:  If you are able to grab a Fastpass you won’t miss out on the fun games in this book. It includes many questions for the Fastpass lines as well as the regular lines.
  • Pop Quiz: Don’t worry- the studying for these quizzes is lots of fun! In the book, there are Pop Quizzes in each section. These are  chances to play a memory game based on what you have seen around you. I think that this will help my Disney Addicts really focus on what is around them in line instead of how much further we have to go until the end.
  • Team or individual play: I really liked that you have the option to play as teams or as individuals if you choose to keep score. Depending on the ages of your group, it could be fun to compete or work together to find the answers. You can also enjoy the games without competing and use the book to enjoy all of the details that you might otherwise miss.
  • Other waits:  Not all of our waiting at Disney World involves a ride queue. When you are waiting for your lunch, a character meeting, or just sitting on a bench enjoying a yummy snack; you can use this book to make the wait more enjoyable for everyone by building a collection. The collections reminded me of a scavenger hunt. There are many different collections in the book to choose from and I can’t wait to try them!
  • First-timers and Disney pros: I think that this book will be helpful whether you are on your first trip or your 20th trip to Disney. I have already learned new things- for example; did you know that there are weather vanes on the tops of many of the rides at Disney World? Even as many times, I have visited Disney, I have never noticed that before. I can’t wait to see what else I  have missed!

When I finished reading this book on my own, I gathered my Disney-loving family and asked them a few of the questions. They LOVED it! A few days ago, we were discussing our upcoming trip and how much we are hoping to eat the beautiful Be Our Guest restaurant. I told my daughter, who usually has a very hard time with crowded, long lines, that it would mean being very patient and waiting in a long line. She instantly replied,”It will be okay-we will have the Lots To Do In Line book to keep us busy!” Trust me; this has never happened at the mention of a long line before.

“Lots To Do In Line Walt Disney World” is a fantastic addition to our Disney book collection and I can’t wait to use it this summer! It is available for order directly through the publisher, Intrepid Traveler as well as Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Also, be sure and find Lots To Do In Line Disney on Facebook for fun questions from author Meredith Lyn Pierce.

Look out lines-here we come!

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Coming Soon: There’s Lots To Do In Line At Disney World http://www.chipandco.com/coming-lots-line-disney-world-103666/ Sun, 31 Mar 2013 19:00:24 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=103666 Even as much as my family and I love Walt Disney World, there is one part that we could easily do without- waiting in those long lines for a ride! That’s why I am so excited about the new book, “Lots To Do In Line Walt Disney World” from author Meredith Pierce. It is filled […]

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lots

Even as much as my family and I love Walt Disney World, there is one part that we could easily do without- waiting in those long lines for a ride! That’s why I am so excited about the new book, “Lots To Do In Line Walt Disney World” from author Meredith Pierce. It is filled with ways to help turn waiting in line into part of the magic of the whole ride for the whole family.

Meredith Pierce previously wrote, “Lots To Do In Line Disneyland” which helps Disneyland visitors have more fun while they are waiting and now she’s bringing her magical touch to Walt Disney World. Designed to keep both kids and adults entertained, it uses the amazing visual details that the Disney Imagineers have placed in the queues and the people around you to form challenging questions along with both audio and visual treasure hunts to keep everyone entertained while they wait.

“The Imagineers have added some very clever interactive elements to some lines,” Pierce notes. “But those elements occupy only a small sliver of the time most families will spend in line. And if that’s all you focus on, your kids will miss so much of the other magic that’s just waiting to be discovered if you know where to look.”

Disney designers (or Imagineers, as Disney calls them) have gone to a lot of trouble to make its lines interesting by packing the queue areas with delightful visual details. Trouble is, most kids and adults are so hyped for the rides that they miss the eye-catching magic on the way to them.”

This book covers all four parks at Walt Disney World-Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. One of the things that we are most excited about is it covers the new rides in Fantasyland. Another exciting aspect for us is that you are able to earn points for every correct answer you choose and points for the treasures that you see. I wonder which one of my Disney Addicts will want to be on my team?

This book is going to be a perfect read before our upcoming trip this summer. I look forward to learning new ways to have fun in line and sharing the details with you! What do you do to pass the time while you are waiting in line?

 

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Easter Egg Fun with Disney’s Spoonful.com http://www.chipandco.com/easter-egg-fun-disneys-spoonfulcom-102983/ http://www.chipandco.com/easter-egg-fun-disneys-spoonfulcom-102983/#comments Mon, 25 Mar 2013 01:00:50 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=102983 While Christmas is the favorite holiday for many families, at my house, Easter is the winner. We love everything about it-  new flowers, baby animals, coloring Easter eggs, and chocolate! To celebrate our favorite holiday and springtime’s arrival we decided to add a little Disney touch to Easter and create some of the fun Easter […]

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Egg Group 1

While Christmas is the favorite holiday for many families, at my house, Easter is the winner. We love everything about it-  new flowers, baby animals, coloring Easter eggs, and chocolate! To celebrate our favorite holiday and springtime’s arrival we decided to add a little Disney touch to Easter and create some of the fun Easter eggs on Disney’s Spoonful.com. After all, if there’s anything better than a basket full of Easter eggs, it’s an Easter basket full of Disney Easter eggs!

We chose to make 8 of our favorite Disney friends into Easter eggs. The supplies needed were mostly items that we already had on hand or were easily found at our local store.

Supplies

 

The supplies included:

1. Printable templates

2. Glue sticks

3. Construction paper/Cardstock (Various colors)

4. Blue ribbon

5. Blue felt

6. Hard-boiled eggs

7. Fine-tipped black marker

8. Blue-green, white, lavender, and black craft paint

9. Small doilies

10. Cardboard paper towel tubes

11. Small white buttons (2)

12. Small paintbrushes

13. Scissors

Even though it isn’t on the list, any time we make a Disney craft, Disney music is required also but that may just be us! The process of decorating the eggs was pretty simple. After you print out the templates and cut out the individual pieces, you get to the fun part! For each character, you simply paint your hard-boiled egg the color of the character and then glue on the various template pieces.

Here are some helpful tips from our crafting adventure:

Cheshire Cat, Mickey and Minnie Mouse: These were definitely the easiest characters to create. They could probably be made a younger child with little or no help.

Goofy,Pluto,and Perry:These three were also pretty simple although there are a couple of additional steps involved in their designs. According to our official family vote, Perry turned out the cutest of everyone!

Perry 4

 

Donald and Daisy Duck: This lovely duck couple was the most challenging of all. While I love Donald deeply, I have absolutely no sewing skills and his hat for this craft was tricky for me. I’m sure this was due to my lack of sewing prowess though. I am proud to say that we didn’t give up and we did make him a cute hat for him to wear proudly! These two would probably be most easily done by an older child with some grown-up help.

Donald1

This was a really fun way to spend some family time together. It was great to find something new to add to our traditions. We loved talking about some of our favorite Disney memories and of course planning our next trip!  What do you like to do to get ready for Easter? I would love to hear about your favorites!

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Easter Ideas from Disney’s Spoonful.com http://www.chipandco.com/easter-ideas-disneys-spoonfulcom-103002/ Fri, 22 Mar 2013 20:00:47 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=103002 With Easter approaching, I wanted to share some of Spoonful.com’s new inspiring ideas to help help you and your family celebrate the holiday! There are so many wonderful ideas to help you have a wonderful Easter with your family. With easy-to-navigate categories (cook, create, play, and celebrate), you can easily find just what you’re looking […]

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Easter Basket Cake

With Easter approaching, I wanted to share some of Spoonful.com’s new inspiring ideas to help help you and your family celebrate the holiday! There are so many wonderful ideas to help you have a wonderful Easter with your family.

With easy-to-navigate categories (cook, create, play, and celebrate), you can easily find just what you’re looking for-including kid-friendly Easter recipes in “Cook” or easy egg decorating ideas in “Create”. Spoonful also collects and organizes content from each category based on common themes, so if you need a little extra inspiration you can visit Spoonful’s Easter page, which gathers every Spoonful Easter idea into one place.

carrot

Looking for a fun recipe for Easter? Spoonful has something for everyone’s tastes from Easter Bunny approved appetizers such as Carrot Patches hummus to yummy brownie pops.

bunny

Sprinkle some Disney magic on your Easter egg hunt this year with some Spoonful Easter egg crafts. Make your very own herd of eggimals, or make some Disney friends to put into your basket.

With free printables of everything from coloring pages to playsets and more available on Spoonful, there are lots of activities to enjoy together.

Best of all, the site was built with technology that allows for easy viewing across computers, tablets, and mobile devices-perfect for busy families!

We can’t wait to share our Easter activities with you and look forward to seeing how you celebrate with your family!

 

 

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Why you should dine at the San Angel Inn http://www.chipandco.com/dine-san-angel-inn-95590/ Fri, 28 Dec 2012 16:00:08 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=95590 Epcot is one of our favorite parks at Disney. We love the rides, my Disney nerds especially love the learning aspect of Epcot and we all love the beautiful World Showcase. One of our favorite parts of Epcot is the food! From the creamy creme brulee with a delicious sugar crust, German specialties like schnitzel and sauerkraut, […]

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Epcot is one of our favorite parks at Disney. We love the rides, my Disney nerds especially love the learning aspect of Epcot and we all love the beautiful World Showcase. One of our favorite parts of Epcot is the food! From the creamy creme brulee with a delicious sugar crust, German specialties like schnitzel and sauerkraut, to thick steaks at Le Cellier Steakhouse in the Canada pavilion  just to name a few, there is something for everyone’s tastes. During our recent trip to Disney World, my family and I enjoyed a wonderful meal at Epcot that has long been on our Disney dining bucket list.

We dined at San Angel Inn which is located inside the Mexico Pavilion. We have always enjoyed the feeling you get inside this pavilion; it truly feels like you have stepped inside a Mexican town at twilight. While the beautiful surroundings have always made us happy, we had read mixed reviews on the food before our trip so we unsure whether or not the food would make us happy too. We shouldn’t have worried-it was fantastic! We dined there using 2 credits each for the Candlelight Processional. This meant that we each chose an appetizer, entree, and a desert. The servings were large-and with four people, it was a massive amount of food!

  Three of the highlights of the restaurant included:

  • Food, glorious food: Everything we ordered was delicious and spicy! The food was authentic Mexican, which may be different from some people are used to eating. Everything was delivered to our table quickly and they were very warm and accommodating of special allergy requests we made. While my daughter would have really liked some different choices on the children’s menu (she is a pretty adventurous eater), she chose the beef tacos and said they were very tasty. She also shared some of the Mole Pablano I ordered and agreed with me that it was more fun than the tacos. Our server did tell us that they are more than happy to make something less spicy for anyone who doesn’t want heat with their meal. We asked for a non-spicy meal due to an allergy and it was also very good and exactly what we needed. They also have vegetarian offerings which is nice!
  • Atmosphere:The beautiful surroundings made for a very relaxing dinner. There were so many different things to see; the boats for the Gran Fiesta Tour attraction float next to you, there is a rumbling volcano in the sunset distance, and a lovely 17th century town for you to enjoy while you eat. I could definitely see why this is a favorite location for a date night for many couples. Twinkling lights, amazing food, and great company-it was magical!
  • Service:While Disney is known for their dedication to customer service, this restaurant went above and beyond even Disney standards in my opinion. Our server was one of the kindest Cast Members I have ever encountered at Disney. He was very patient and helpful with our special dining needs and was very friendly and fun. He even gave my children a Spanish lesson when he heard that they are taking Spanish in school. We were celebrating a birthday that night and the guest of honor was speechless when the Cast Members sang Happy Birthday to her and brought her a special desert.

We have already talked about when, not if, we eat at San Angel Inn again in the future. Next time we hope to enjoy one of the famous Margaritas they offer. This is a perfect place for a romantic dinner, a family lunch or for a special celebration. It is so much more than just the food; it was the whole environment that truly made it so special. I hope if you and your family dine there your experience under the twinkling Mexican sky is as magical as ours!

Heather L is an avid Disney fan and has been visiting the parks since she was 4. She is happiest with a Mickey balloon in one hand and a Mickey bar in the other. 

 

 

  • New Waterside Restaurant at Morocco to serve Tapas (chipandco.com)
  • Dining: Hungry? Eat at Epcot’s World Showcase! (aglassslippervacation.com)

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Tips for Celebrating your birthday at Disney World http://www.chipandco.com/tips-celebrating-birthday-disney-world-94931/ http://www.chipandco.com/tips-celebrating-birthday-disney-world-94931/#comments Wed, 12 Dec 2012 20:00:50 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=94931 Birthdays are so special. It’s a day just to celebrate you! Celebrating your birthday at Disney World makes a birthday even more magical. Visiting Disney on our birthdays has been on my family’s Disney bucket list for many years. My son has been lucky enough to celebrate his birthday there a few years ago and […]

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disney birthday

Birthdays are so special. It’s a day just to celebrate you! Celebrating your birthday at Disney World makes a birthday even more magical. Visiting Disney on our birthdays has been on my family’s Disney bucket list for many years. My son has been lucky enough to celebrate his birthday there a few years ago and this year it is my daughter’s turn. Through our planning, we have found some special adventures, both big and small, to help celebrate a birthday while at Disney World.

There are many different types of adventures for both pirates and princesses, both young and young at heart, to enjoy a magical birthday at Disney World. We have been lucky enough to enjoy a few of these adventures and look forward to more of them in the future.

Here are a few of our favorite ideas: 

  • Tea Party: There are three different options available for you to enjoy at the Grand Floridian if you would like to treat your prince or princess to a tea party. My Disney Girl’s Perfectly Princess Tea Party, Wonderland Tea Party at 1900 Park Fare, and afternoon tea at the beautiful Garden View Lounge are very special ways to celebrate a birthday.
  • Princess Makeover:Another special experience that your prince or princess might enjoy is the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. There are two locations to choose from and several different packages available for your makeover. What better day to feel like royalty than on your birthday?
  • Pirate Adventures:If your birthday boy or girl prefers a swashbuckling adventure there are great experiences available too! Personally, enjoying a Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage to celebrate my birthday would be a dream come true. Another amazing pirate adventure is to join Captain Jack’s crew with a makeover at the Pirate League. Yo ho!
  • Tours: Disney World has many different tours available that could be a great way to make a birthday even more memorable. Whether your interest is animals, trains, a behind the scenes peek, or a fun family scavenger hunt just to name few, there is a tour for you!
  • Water Time: If time on the water is your idea of birthday fun, there are many options available for you too! Disney offers boat rentals, fishing, and tubing among many other adventures. There is even parasailing available for the truly adventurous!
  • A horse is a horse…: If your birthday person is a horse lover then they might enjoy spending some time at the Tri-Circle D Ranch. Located at Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, they offer activities including horseback riding, carriage rides, and stable tours. This beautiful ranch is where Cinderella’s horses live and is definitely on our to-do list for next year.
  • Golf and Spas: If your birthday dreams include more pampering than parasailing, then some soothing spa time might be what you wish for when you blow out your candle. Disney World has several amazing spa locations available for a day of birthday pampering. If a round of golf is your birthday wish you have 5 courses to choose from on your special day. Treat yourself to a massage or a tee time to make some special birthday memories.

These are just some of the adventures that are available to help make a birthday even more special. For more information about these adventures, including pricing and reservations, please call (407) WDW-PLAY or (407) WDW-TOUR. What would make your birthday at Disney World even more special?Have you ever celebrated a birthday at Disney? I would love to hear how you made it special!

Heather L. is an avid Disney fan and has been visiting the parks since she was 4. She is happiest with a Mickey balloon in one hand and a Mickey bar in the other.

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Having Tea at the Grand Floridian Resort http://www.chipandco.com/tea-grand-floridian-resort-93077/ http://www.chipandco.com/tea-grand-floridian-resort-93077/#comments Tue, 27 Nov 2012 18:00:43 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=93077 The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is Walt Disney World’s flagship hotel. The stunning Victorian style resort is known for its luxurious rooms, amazing dining, and soothing spa. I think some people might be surprised to learn that inside its magnificent walls are three unique tea party experiences that are perfect for both the young […]

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grand flo

The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is Walt Disney World’s flagship hotel. The stunning Victorian style resort is known for its luxurious rooms, amazing dining, and soothing spa. I think some people might be surprised to learn that inside its magnificent walls are three unique tea party experiences that are perfect for both the young and the young at heart.

Enjoying a tea party with your family is an experience that can create some magical memories. The Grand Floridian offers three different experiences for you to enjoy.

 My Disney Girl’s Perfectly Princess Tea Party:  This amazing experience is for Princesses and Princes ages 3-11 and an adult guest. The princesses are welcome to wear their lovely princess gowns if they choose; although it is not required. The tea party is held in the beautiful Garden View Lounge & Tea Room. It’s hosted by “Rose Petal”, a friend of Princess Aurora’s or another one of her friends. During the party, there is music and storytelling from your royal host along with a Princess parade. The atmosphere is beautiful, with fresh flowers and china tea cups for a true tea party feeling.

  • Tea Party Fare: The royal tea party food for adults consists of tea sandwiches,(usually chicken-almond salad, egg salad, and shrimp salad), fruit and cheeses, (Smoked Cheddar Cheese, Sage Derby Cheese, and grapes), and assorted pastries and crackers, (Bleu Cheese Tart, Bleu Cheese baguette, and tea crackers). There are teas for the adults to enjoy, both flavored and unflavored. The Princes and Princesses at this royal tea party will enjoy dining on “tea” (juice) as well as heart-shaped sandwiches, grapes, and jelly heart tarts. Desert is a beautifully decorated Princess cake to share.
  • Gifts and Keepsakes: During the tea party, each guest will receive an assortment of very special treasures to take home as special mementos of their magical adventure.

  • Princesses: Princesses will receive a special 18 inch My Disney Girl doll in a Princess Aurora gown with accessories. A ribbon tiara, Princess link bracelet, fresh rose, special Princess scrapbook page, and a” Best Friend” certificate.
  • Princes: Young Princes receive a special pin, a plush Duffy the Disney Bear, and a pirate Mickey cap.                                                                                                           
  •  Reservations and Prices: The Princess Tea Party is held on select dates and begins at 10:30 a.m. and ends at 12:00 p.m. Reservations are required and may be made up to 180 days in advance. The cost is $264.57 (includes gratuity) for one Prince or Princess and an adult guest. Other members of your party may attend for an additional charge. Cost for this one of a kind event is higher than other character meals but when you include the attention from the Cast Members and characters, special memories and photos, it may be worth it for your special Prince or Princess.

Wonderland Tea Party at 1900 Park FareIf you have an Alice in Wonderland fan, then this experience is not to be missed! This whimsical, fun tea party is hosted by the Mad Hatter and Alice. They play games and tell stories to their guests during this hour long tea party which is held in the 1900 Park Fare Restaurant for guests 4-12 years old. During the tea party, the adults have an hour to enjoy some of the other amenities that the Grand Floridian has to offer, such as the amazing shops or the spa.

  • Tea Party Fare: The Mad Hatter and Alice have chosen food that is more desert-orientated than the other tea parties. During their time with their storybook hosts they will have an opportunity to decorate cupcakes, enjoy heart-shaped peanut butter and jam sandwiches, and chocolate-dipped Rice Krispie treats. “Tea” (apple juice) is also serves with the refreshments.
  • Gifts and Keepsakes: Party guests also create a colorful craft to take home as a souvenir of their “mad” adventure with Alice. They will also be able to take photographs with their tea party hosts.
  • Reservations and Prices: Reservations are required for this experience. The price is $42.60 per child and includes tax and gratuity. This experience is a fun, imaginative way to make some some very special memories with truly memorable characters!

While not a tea “party”, this elegant location is a welcoming, relaxed choice for a meal or a snack.

Afternoon Tea at the Garden View Lounge: This particular tea holds a very special place in my heart. This year my Princess is going to be lucky enough to be able to celebrate her birthday at Disney World. To celebrate, we are having a very special “big-girl”  tea here. We are so excited! This traditional British tea is held in the beautiful Garden View Lounge. Enjoying a relaxed afternoon tea enjoying the view of the gorgeous rose garden is a tradition for many Disney guests. Afternoon Tea at the Garden View Lounge is something that the entire family can enjoy together.

  • Tea Party Fare: Ranging from three course offerings to a la carte choices, the options for food are much greater at this tea. The menu focuses on traditional offerings including, among many other choices, scones, trifle, pastries, and cheese plates. For the younger tea guest, they offer a very special “Mrs. Potts” menu choice which includes a variety of tea sandwiches, two pastries, and their very own “magical dark tea” (chocolate milk). There are many choices for your pot of tea. They tea menu even has two custom blends made exclusively for this restaurant-the Garden View Blend and the Princess Breakfast Tea.

In addition to the many tea choices, there are also many other beverage choices including hot chocolate, coffee, cappuccino,espresso, soft drinks, and juices. There is also a small selection available from the bar.

  • Gifts and Keepsakes: While guest at this tea don’t receive mementos like the other two choices, this is a popular location to hold special occasions. Bridal showers, baby showers, as well as birthdays and other occasions are often celebrated here with an elegant tea.
  • Reservations and Prices: Afternoon tea is only served from 2-6 p.m. so having a reservation is essential if you have your heart set on enjoying this experience. Prices range from $3.00 for an a la carte pastry to the three course heartier full meals that cost around $28.00.
     I hope that you and your family enjoy making tea party memories soon!

As with all Disney dining experiences, if you have food allergies in your party please note it on your reservation and accommodations can be made for you.  To make reservations please call (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463. 

 Heather L is an avid Disney fan and has been visiting the parks since she was 4. She is happiest with a Mickey balloon in one hand and a Mickey bar in the other. 

 

  • Is Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort Right for You? (chipandco.com)
  • New “Alice in Wonderland” Play Area has Grand Floridian Guests Happy (chipandco.com)

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Why you should eat at Disney’s ‘Ohana’s Restaurant in the Polynesian Resort http://www.chipandco.com/eat-disneys-ohana-restaurant-polynesian-resort-92462/ http://www.chipandco.com/eat-disneys-ohana-restaurant-polynesian-resort-92462/#comments Wed, 14 Nov 2012 18:00:41 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=92462 There are so many things that make my family and I smile at Walt Disney World. The first glimpse of Cinderella Castle as we walk down Main Street, a Mickey balloon, and the smell of cinnamon rolls wafting out of the Main Street Bakery(before Starbucks takes over) just to name a few. One of our […]

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There are so many things that make my family and I smile at Walt Disney World. The first glimpse of Cinderella Castle as we walk down Main Street, a Mickey balloon, and the smell of cinnamon rolls wafting out of the Main Street Bakery(before Starbucks takes over) just to name a few. One of our absolute favorite reasons to smile at Disney is the food! Planning our dining experiences and trying new restaurants is great fun for us. Some of the restaurants we have tried have become favorites while a few other have been more of a one time experience.

Hands down, our absolute favorite place to eat is ‘Ohana at the Polynesian resort. The first time we ate there we saw a long line of people waiting for a table in a standby line. We looked at each other and asked each other, “Why would you possibly wait in a line like that for dinner?” Well, when we had finished our dinner and were leaving, slowly, with oh so happy stomachs, waiting in that line made perfect sense to us!

The meal is served family style and the Cast Members make you feel like family from the moment you arrive at the restaurant. The atmosphere is beautiful and lots of fun for everyone in the family. And then there’s the food…the glorious food.

The starters:

The amazing salad that begins your meal leads to warm pineapple coconut bread. As great as these are, the best is yet to come! Honey coriander chicken wings, pork fried dumplings, and the best lo-mein noodles in the whole world appear next on your table. Truly, these are so good that you could actually call your meal complete right here; however, there is even more deliciousness coming soon.

Skewers of deliciousness:

In the middle of the restaurant there is an 18 foot fire pit where they prepare skewers of chicken, Asian barbecued pork loin, marinated sirloin steak, and spicy peel and eat shrimp. They are accompanied by three dipping sauces; a homemade peanut sauce, a chimichurri sauce, and a pineapple sweet and sour sauce. The Cast Members will bring you refills of anything that you would like and believe me- you will want more of everything!

Saving the best for last:

Just when you think that this meal couldn’t possibly get any better, you are served warm bread pudding a la mode with bananas and warm caramel sauce. Believe it or not, even this delicious dessert is all you can eat. During a trip earlier this year, I must confess, I ate almost an entire plate by myself. It was that good!

We have serious food allergies in our family and have always found the Cast Members to be wonderful about working with our needs and always eat with complete confidence that everyone can enjoy their meal safely. ‘Ohana is a festive, fun restaurant making it a perfect place to celebrate birthdays. There is entertainment during your meal and we have even been lucky enough once to time everything just right and be able to watch the fireworks over Cinderella Castle during our meal. It was magical.

For us, a trip to Disney World just isn’t complete without dinner at ‘Ohana. On the day that we are having dinner here, we skip lunch and wait with glee at the meal that is ahead of us that night! This is one of the most popular dining reservations in Disney World so making your reservations as far ahead as possible is very important. Go hungry and enjoy!

 

Heather L. is an avid Disney fan and has been visiting the parks since she was 4. She is happiest with a Mickey balloon in one hand and a Mickey bar in the other.

  • Ten Reasons Why You Should Stay at Disney’s Polynesian Resort (chipandco.com)
  • How many of these Top 10 Disney Must Do’s have you done? (chipandco.com)

 

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Tips for Keeping Calm and Avoiding Anxiety at the Disney Parks http://www.chipandco.com/tips-keeping-calm-avoiding-anxiety-disney-parks-90505/ http://www.chipandco.com/tips-keeping-calm-avoiding-anxiety-disney-parks-90505/#comments Wed, 07 Nov 2012 20:00:28 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=90505 Anxiety is something that all of us have experienced at one time or another. A situation such as speaking in public is enough to make most of our hearts race and palms sweat. For some people, including my daughter, anxiety disorders can cause anxiety to make an appearance much more often, sometimes daily. A Disney […]

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Anxiety is something that all of us have experienced at one time or another. A situation such as speaking in public is enough to make most of our hearts race and palms sweat. For some people, including my daughter, anxiety disorders can cause anxiety to make an appearance much more often, sometimes daily. A Disney vacation, as magical as it is, can be filled with anxiety triggers for some people.

While every person’s situation is different, over the years we have learned what works for our family to make sure that our day at the parks is filled with pixie dust and not panic attacks.

      Before your trip:

  • Videos: One of the most helpful things that we have learned to do for our princess is to find videos of the parks and rides for her to watch before our trip. For her, knowing what to expect is crucial for keeping her anxiety levels low. Researching rides ahead of time helps her feel more confident and prepared and also helps her decide what rides she wants to avoid altogether.
  • Talk, talk, talk: Another important part of preparing for a day at the park is to talk about what we will encounter during our day. The night before we visit the parks, we talk about what we will see, the noises we will hear, and all of the of the people that will be around us while we are in the park. This allows her to prepare herself for the day and helps her feel more in control and less anxious about the next day. We also talk about what she can do if she starts to feel anxious such as, deep breathing or finding a quiet spot for a break.

       At the parks:

  • Guest Assistance Card: A Guest Assistance Card can be a huge help during your trip. Simply visit Guest Services in any of the parks and they will assist you. Having this card doesn’t mean that you won’t have to wait in line.However, there may be a quieter area, such as a Fastpass entrance,  where you can wait that may be a better option for you.
  • Quiet spots for a break: I know it may be hard to imagine but if you know where to look, there are relatively quiet spots available at the parks. Sometimes, stopping for a break for a few minutes and separating yourself from the noise and people can be just what is needed to calm anxiety and put a smile back on everyone’s face.
  • Quiet rides:Rides such as the Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover, Carousel of Progress, and It’s A Small World may not be everyone’s favorite but they hold a special place in my family’s heart. These, and others, are rides that our princess can enjoy without fear and anxiety. Someday she may ride on Space Mountain or Tower of Terror, but for now, we are happy to enjoy other rides together. If you are in line for an attraction and start to feel anxious or change your mind, there are exits available at each ride before you board; a Cast Member will be glad to point you to the exit.
  • First Aid Centers: If you, or someone traveling with you, should happen to experience a panic attack while at the parks, Disney has resources available to help you. The First Aid Centers are staffed with very helpful, trained personnel who will be glad to help you.
  • Dining: Much like the rides, planning ahead and learning what dining options work best for you is very helpful when dealing with anxiety. Some of the more popular quick-service restaurants, such as Cosmic Ray’s and Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn and Cafe, are really too crowded and noisy for my princess to enjoy, especially during peak hours. We have learned to eat at off times at locations like these to help avoid some of the noise and crowding. There are also certain hidden gem restaurants, such as Pinocchio’s Village Haus in the Magic Kingdom, and Flame Tree Barbeque at Animal Kingdom that have areas to eat at that are a little less intense and are a little quieter than other restaurants.
  • Stay calm and check your status: One of the most crucial things that helps make our trips magical for all of us is to keep a close eye on our princess’s status during the day. Making sure she isn’t too hungry, sleepy, or overwhelmed is very important in keeping her calm. Of course, this is true for anyone at Disney!
  • Don’t forget your medications: If you are on medication for your anxiety, make a plan to be certain that you take it on schedule. It is easy to get distracted and forget to take them when you are on vacation.

With planning and patience, anxiety doesn’t have to get in the way of a magical Disney World vacation. I hope that these ideas help you find what works best for you and your family. What are some of your tips for dealing with anxiety at Disney World?

Heather L is an avid Disney fan and has been visiting the parks since she was 4. She is a homeschooling mom and is happiest with a Mickey balloon in one hand and a Mickey bar in the other.

  • Why do you keep going back to Disney? (chipandco.com)
  • Keys to the Kingdom Tour – What’s it All About? (chipandco.com)

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Mousekeeping Envelopes: Saying Thank You http://www.chipandco.com/mousekeeping-envelopes-87989/ http://www.chipandco.com/mousekeeping-envelopes-87989/#comments Wed, 31 Oct 2012 19:00:10 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=87989 As the countdown to my family’s vacation ever so slowly creeps down, we are beginning to focus on our traditions for preparing for our trip. While some of our traditions are exciting, like movie nights and making T-shirts; some are simpler but equally as important to us. One of these simpler traditions is making special […]

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Towel Snail/Pixie Brenda

As the countdown to my family’s vacation ever so slowly creeps down, we are beginning to focus on our traditions for preparing for our trip. While some of our traditions are exciting, like movie nights and making T-shirts; some are simpler but equally as important to us. One of these simpler traditions is making special envelopes for the tips that we leave  for the Mousekeepers at our resort.

Like many people, one of my favorite things about being on vacation is that I get a break from my normal cleaning responsibilities and I am very appreciative of the people who take are of these things for me while we at Disney World. While tipping the Mousekeepers is certainly not required, my family and I like to sprinkle a little bit of pixie dust on our Mousekeeper’s day. We leave one envelope each day instead of just one tip at the end of our stay since we may have a different Mousekeeper each day and we want to be sure that each person gets a thank you for their hard work.

We make preparing our envelopes a fun, family activity and our designs have changed over the years as my Disney Addicts have gotten older and craftier. Design possibilities are almost endless; really only limited by your creativity. Ranging from simple too much more crafty and elaborate, there are design choices for everyone to choose from. A quick Google search can easily get you started with ideas for your envelopes. We prepare one envelope for each day of our trip and usually choose images that relate to our activities for the day or our resort.

Two of the more popular ways to create Mousekeeping envelopes are:

  • Stickers and crayons: One of the simplest ways to get younger Princes and Princesses involved with decorating your envelopes is with stickers or drawing a picture on the envelope. There are many adorable Disney themed stickers available for you to choose from for your family’s design. A simple thank you written by them is a thoughtful touch also.
  • Word processing programs: There are many ways to use programs such as Microsoft Publisher and Microsoft Word among others to make very beautiful designs. I have also seen amazing envelopes made using a Cricut machine.

One of my favorite memories from a Disney World vacation happened when I arrived back at my room soaking wet and cold after spending all day at Epcot in the pouring rain. When I opened the door to my room, on the bed were extra blankets and towels waiting for me. The Mousekeeper had thoughtfully left them earlier in the day; knowing I would be cold and wet when I returned to my room. I don’t think I have ever been so appreciative of a thoughtful touch from a Mousekeeper!

Mousekeepers are often unseen and are a very important part of the wonderful service that Disney guests receive during their trip. I also admit, I think I get even more excited about the towel animals in our room than my children do!

 Heather L is an avid Disney fan and has been visiting the Parks since she was 4. She is a homeschooling mom and is happiest with a Mickey balloon in one hand and a Mickey bar in the other. 

 

  • Ten Reasons Why You Should Stay at Disney’s Polynesian Resort (chipandco.com)
  • Do you tip Mousekeeping while you are at Walt Disney World? (chipandco.com)

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Behind the Seeds Tour – A Different Side of Epcot http://www.chipandco.com/seeds-tour-side-epcot-86883/ http://www.chipandco.com/seeds-tour-side-epcot-86883/#comments Mon, 22 Oct 2012 19:00:39 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=86883 Mickey Mouse shaped tomatoes? Pumpkins resting in hammocks in the air? No, it’s not the dream I had last night after spicy pizza and too much Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. These are just two of the interesting things that you can see on the Behind the Seeds Tour at Epcot. The first thing that most of […]

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Mickey Pumpkins at Living with the Land Ride

Mickey Mouse shaped tomatoes? Pumpkins resting in hammocks in the air? No, it’s not the dream I had last night after spicy pizza and too much Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. These are just two of the interesting things that you can see on the Behind the Seeds Tour at Epcot. The first thing that most of us think of enjoying at Epcot is that coveted Fastpass for Soarin’, Mission Space or Test Track; however, Epcot has even more to offer, especially if you are a Disney nerd like me!

This tour, which is located in the Land pavilion, is something that I had wanted to try for many years and it was even better than I had hoped for. If you have ever ridden the Living with the Land attraction, then you have seen a small portion of one area that you will explore during this hour-long walking tour. It is a great experience with several unique highlights.

  • Price:While wonderful and interesting, some of the tours at Disney World can be rather pricey; especially if you have a large family. This tour is much more reasonable at $18.00 per adult (ages 10 and up) and $14.00 per child (ages 3-9 years old) currently.  15% annual passholder, DVC, Disney Visa, and military discounts are offered.
  • Age Requirements: Many of the tours that are available at Walt Disney World require that guests be at least 16 years old. However, Behind the Seeds is available to guests as young as 3 years old; making it something that families with younger Princes and Princesses can enjoy. 
  • Learning: (Shhh…)Behind the Seeds can possibly sneak a little bit of education into your vacation. From learning about hydroponic growing methods to aquaculture and much more, the tour guide made learning fun and interesting. It was an interactive, hands-on experience which can help make learning fun! The fruits and vegetables that you see during the tour are used in many Disney World restaurants. So the salad you enjoy with your dinner may have started its journey as a star on the Behind the Seeds tour. This can be a great opportunity to talk about where our food starts before it ends up on our plate. 
  • Ladybugs and Cucumbers: Don’t worry-they aren’t together! During the tour, children are given an opportunity to release a small vial of ladybugs onto some of the plants. It was also another learning moment as we all learned about insects that are beneficial to plants. During a water break, we were also given a chance to sample a Mickey Mouse shaped cucumber. I’m not even a big fan of cucumbers but somehow being Mickey shaped made it taste better! 
  • Animals: If your children are anything like mine, they adore animals of any kind. One of my children’s favorite parts of the tour was the visit to the aquaculture center. Some of the animals we were able to see were small alligators, the largest shrimp I have ever seen and we also had a chance to feed fish. At the beginning of the tour you are also taken through what our tour guide referred to as the “Bug Room”. It can be very interesting if you like creatures like spiders and their friends. However, if you are squeamish around bugs, this may not be your favorite part of the tour. 
  • Hidden Mickeys: Coiled hoses, inside fish tanks, peeking out of lab windows just to name a few; spotting Hidden Mickeys was something fun and unexpected to enjoy during our time exploring behind the scenes. 
  • Behind the Scenes Peek: Over the years, I have seen guests enjoying this tour while I rode through on the Living With the Land attraction. It was really fun to be on the other side of this and watch the boats floating by me this time. Learning something new about our favorite park and seeing what is going on behind the scenes was a great opportunity. 

You are welcome to bring your camera and take photographs; a difference from some of the other tours. Theme park admission and reservations are required for this tour. Making your reservations well ahead of your vacation is recommended. However, the Cast Member I spoke with at the check-in desk, which is located near Soarin’, did say that same-day reservations are sometimes available.

This was a very interesting, different side of Epcot than we normally experience. It even inspired me, who is definitely lacking a green thumb, to try some gardening at home. Now, if only I could get my  pumpkin to be  shaped like Mickey Mouse.

 

Heather L is an avid Disney fan and has been visiting the parks since she was 4. She is a homeschooling mom and is happiest with a Mickey  balloon in one hand and a Mickey bar in the other.

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