Jess – Chip and Co http://www.chipandco.com Disney Theme Park & Disney Movie News, Disney World & Disneyland Planning Tips, Disney Dining, Reviews and More! Sat, 23 Jul 2016 19:00:40 +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 Jess – Chip and Co http://www.chipandco.com 32 32 Have you tried this? Pick a pearl in Epcot http://www.chipandco.com/pearl-harvesting-epcot-87109/ http://www.chipandco.com/pearl-harvesting-epcot-87109/#comments Sat, 30 May 2015 13:50:34 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=87109 Have you ever wanted to try something new at Disney World? There are so many things you can do and see but on a recent trip I tried something a little different. I love souvenirs and totally admit to being a dorky pin collector and admirer of Disney jewelry, so I was drawn naturally to […]

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Have you ever wanted to try something new at Disney World? There are so many things you can do and see but on a recent trip I tried something a little different. I love souvenirs and totally admit to being a dorky pin collector and admirer of Disney jewelry, so I was drawn naturally to the prospect of choosing my own oyster and harvesting the pearl at the Mitsukoshi department store in Japan at Epcot.

To participate you pay around $17.00 and you select an oyster from a tank. You do not actually handle the oyster, instead a very enthusiastic cast member fishes the oyster out and with a great ceremony that includes teaching you to count down from three in Japanese, cuts the oyster open revealing your treasure.

The cast member then measures your pearl and gives you a brief description of the bead. For example my pearl was 7 1/4 mm (which is larger than average, she explained to me) and of a pinkish hue. Once done measuring,the cast member plays you a brief congratulatory beat on the drums and sends you to select a setting for your pearl. Keep in mind you do not have to purchase a setting. You can simply have them box the pearl and that in itself can be your take away.

My pearl!

I chose to set my pearl in a Cinderella coach pendant. The pendant I selected was about $40 but it makes a lovely and very wearable souvenir. There were certainly more affordable settings, some for under $20 so do not let the price of my setting deter you from checking this activity out. When I wear it I can recall this experience at Disney vividly and I love how it looks!

Pearl set in a Cinderella Coach pendant

This is a fun little experience that will take about 20 minutes from selecting an oyster to having your pearl set if you choose to do so. It gives you a neat glimpse into Japanese culture and you leave with a cool reminder of your vacation! If you are visiting the Boardwalk area there is another pick a pearl booth near the Beach Club resort.

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Visiting Walt Disney World Solo http://www.chipandco.com/visiting-disney-world-solo-girl-style-81901/ http://www.chipandco.com/visiting-disney-world-solo-girl-style-81901/#comments Wed, 14 Jan 2015 16:00:10 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=81901 Have you ever been to the parks on a solo mission? Have you ever dreamed about it?  Let me tell you, it is well worth doing! Going to Disney World Solo allows you a great chance to explore the parks at your own pace without a child demanding to ride Peter Pan’s Flight for the hundredth […]

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Have you ever been to the parks on a solo mission? Have you ever dreamed about it?  Let me tell you, it is well worth doing! Going to Disney World Solo allows you a great chance to explore the parks at your own pace without a child demanding to ride Peter Pan’s Flight for the hundredth time or a significant other who doesn’t understand why you need to purchase that shirt, you already have one just like it at home!

So what can you do while on your own at the parks. Well, whether it’s for an hour, a day, or an entire trip, here are a few things that you should do as a lady on a solo tour.

1. Single Rider Lines. A few of the major attractions have single rider lines which often offer shorter wait times than the traditional standby line. Rides such as Rock N’ Roller Coaster and Test Track offer single rider options. Go ahead, get in line. Heck ride it as many times as your stomach will allow!

2. Eat at the bar. A great thing to do when you are flying solo is to head to some of the fabulous bars and lounges on property to grab a bite to eat. Here you can sit at the bar and often get great insider info from the bar tenders. I have met some fabulous folks from all over the globe while sitting at the bars at Disney World.  I really like the new La Cava De Tequila in the Mexico Pavilion in World Showcase. Munch on some chips and guac while you sip a margarita. Yum.

3. Check out the Shows. Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, Finding Nemo the Musical and Festival of the Lion King are all really great shows and I think they are really cool to experience alone. You don’t have anyone to talk to and can really get absorbed in the action on stage. It’s a great way to treat yourself to something really enjoyable.

4. Shopping. There is probably no better thing to do alone than to stroll around Disney Springs by yourself. Peek in all the shops, skip the stuff you aren’t interested in. Grab an ice cream at Ghiradelli and sit by the water to eat. It can be very relaxing to be alone in Downtown Disney.

5. Resort hop. Hop aboard the monorail and tour each of the resorts on the line. Grab a snack at each one. End in time to sit on the beach at the Polynesian and watch the fireworks. Check out some of Chip’s articles on Resort Hopping here.

6. Ride the attractions you choose. There really is nothing better than a touring plan dedicated only to your like. My husband loves Expedition Everest, and I used to love it too, but as I’ve aged I just can’t do it more than once. When I’m with him I feel obligated to ride it several times. When I am solo, I can ride Kali River a million times but can skip Everest without any guilt. There really is something to be said for that!

7. Sit Still. That’s right. Just sit and watch the world go by. I love to do this in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom while eating a dole whip. I love watching people who just came of splash mountain for the first time. I love listening to the meaningless chatter, I just love people watching! It’s not something I really get to do when I am with a group.

8. Make new friends. The times I have been alone in line I always end up talking to strangers. One great memory I have is of being in line for Splash Mountain alone. The family behind me was on their first trip to Disney from India! The mother was very nervous about going on splash. I explained the ride to her and calmed her fears. We ended up in the same long. At the end of the ride I turned around and she was smiling ear to ear and gave me a thumbs up! So glad I struck up a conversation.

9. Rent something. Rent a SeaRaycer and explore bay lake or Seven Seas Lagoon. Rent a bike and tour Fort Wilderness. Rent a horse and go for a trail ride. It is all up to you. These things offer a great way to get out of the parks and enjoy the other stuff Disney has to offer.

10. Go to the spa! There is nothing better for a lady going solo to do than go to the spa! Go ahead, get that massage! You deserve it!

There are some of the things I like to do when I have some Mommy time at the parks. Have you gone to Disney World Solo? What are some of the things you did? Let us know in the comment box below.

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The Disney Royal Treatment – A Look at Port Orleans Riverside http://www.chipandco.com/disney-royal-treatment-port-orleans-riverside-171771/ http://www.chipandco.com/disney-royal-treatment-port-orleans-riverside-171771/#comments Thu, 19 Sep 2013 00:45:29 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=171771 Port Orleans Riverside is perhaps the most popular moderate level resort at Walt Disney World. Recently, I got to stay here for five wonderful nights and I am here to report that this resort is a wonderful and affordable option for families looking for a bit of luxury and good dose of pixie dust without […]

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Port Orleans Riverside is perhaps the most popular moderate level resort at Walt Disney World. Recently, I got to stay here for five wonderful nights and I am here to report that this resort is a wonderful and affordable option for families looking for a bit of luxury and good dose of pixie dust without spending an arm and a leg.

Check in at this resort resembles a ferry port where one might board a river cruise. I had not checked in on line and was happy that there was no wait for me to get my room keys and assignment. I had reserved a standard guest room and was incredibly excited to have been upgraded to a royal guest room!

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The royal guest rooms are located in the Magnolia bend section of Port Orleans Riverside. This section is also known as “the mansions” as the building resemble the stately southern mansions of the turn of the century with broad sweeping stair cases, columns, and stately shutters. My building was “Oak Manner” which had easy access to the main building and to the quiet pool. ‘Ol Man Island, the feature pool, was a tiny bit of a walk, but certainly not inconvenient.

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The Royal Guest Rooms will cost more than a standard room, but it is a magical upgrade. The story of the rooms is that Princess Tiana had a party and invited all the princesses. Throughout the room you can see several items left as gifts by the generous princesses. Looking for the items each princess left was like a mini in room scavenger hunt and it was so fun!

A Magic Carpet from Jasmine!

A Magic Carpet from Jasmine!

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The room is beautifully appointed with royal quality bolsters and comforters.  The fridge was in and working which was great for keeping water (and cupcakes!) cool.

Perhaps the coolest thing of all though, were the headboards that play a mini fireworks display! This was so beautiful and made for a great way to start each morning and end each night! I loved it!

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This resort is big, but charming. There is a wonderful arcade, the feature pool and bar area are wonderful and the pool games are well organized and fun. The food court offers a ton of different options including a make your own pasta station! Perhaps the most fun of all though was the nightly entertainment in the river roost lounge with Yee Ha Bob! He played the piano, sang, told jokes, and entertained! He is a gem at this resort and well worth the price of admission…which is free!

Another thing I really liked were the amount of activities available to do at the resort; horse drawn carriage rides, fishing, boating, ferry to downtown Disney, and plenty more.

Carriage Rides

Carriage Rides

I strongly recommend this resort for anyone who wants a bit of luxury without the cost of a deluxe. This is also the only moderate, with the exception of the Cabins at Fort Wilderness, that can accommodate a family of five.

If you are planning your next trip try Port Orleans!

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What to Pack in your Carry On Bag http://www.chipandco.com/pack-carry-bag-160091/ Tue, 06 Aug 2013 00:45:06 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=160091 Packing a carry on bag  for your flight is actually an art, especially if your Destination is Walt Disney World. If you are flying into Orlando International Airport it is likely that you are utilizing Disney’s Magical Express service. If this is the case you said good bye to your luggage at your home airport […]

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Packing a carry on bag  for your flight is actually an art, especially if your Destination is Walt Disney World. If you are flying into Orlando International Airport it is likely that you are utilizing Disney’s Magical Express service. If this is the case you said good bye to your luggage at your home airport and will not see it again until it appears in your hotel room at Disney World as if by…magic! The only problem with this scenario is that it can take up to 3 hours for your bag to be delivered and you may be anxious to get to the fun! Because of this extra element of excitement packing a Disney carry on is a little different than packing a regular carry on!

Here is what I suggest you pack for any flight.

1. Snacks (I pack snacks for both in flight and on the magical express). Hard candy and gum are great for in flight, but when you get to Orlando it is nice to have a granola bar and a bottle of water to fend of the hunger pangs!

2. One or two pieces of entertainment -I usually bring an iPad loaded with books, games, and movies and do not need to bring anything else. Kids however, may need other things. I usually go to the dollar store and buy a few new toys to unveil upon take off. The novelty of the items is usually enough to buy me a little bit of quiet!) Puzzle books, portable dvd players, and things of this nature also help when flying with children. Airlines such as JetBlue offer free TV to all passengers and this is one of the main reasons I like to fly them! Do not forget headphones! *Bonus Tip* You can load all sorts of Disney tour guides, e-books and the likes onto your tablet and study your park plans on the plane!

3. Zip Lock back with small sized sunscreen, hand sanitizer, tooth paste and tooth brush, deodorant, any medicines you may need, and any other toiletries or self care items you may need upon arrival.

4. Electronics and their chargers- make sure your camera and phone are with you and not in your checked bag. Again, do not forget headphones for in flight approved electronics!

5. Magical Express tickets and hotel and restaurant reservation information

6. A change of clothes- if you are arriving in the morning pack clothes that are appropriate for going to the park! Include clean underwear and socks. If you are arriving in the evening pack a pair of pajamas and a set of clothes for the morning…just in case!

7. Wallet including all credit cards, money, travelers checks and identification.

8. If you are renting a car or taking another form of transportation to your resort I highly suggest packing confirmation numbers for those forms of transport along with directions and telephone numbers for your hotel.

9. Keys to your house and car parked at your home airport. I never ever put my keys in my checked baggage. If the baggage is delayed or lost this could become a huge problem. Keep your keys with you!

10. Park passes- If you have purchased tickets outside of a Disney Vacation Package you likely already have them in hand. If this is the case do not forget them and do not put them in your checked bag. If you leave them at home there is nothing Disney can do to help you.

What do you like to pack in your Carry On bag? Let us know in the comment box below.

Happy Packing!

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Top 5 Table Service Meals at Epcot http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-table-service-meals-epcot-144821/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-table-service-meals-epcot-144821/#comments Sat, 06 Jul 2013 18:50:55 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=144821 If you are planning your dining reservations for your upcoming Disney trip chances are you are going to want to include a restaurant or two in Epcot. Epcot is home to arguably the best table service meal choices in any theme park. This list was exceedingly hard to make, but here are my top five […]

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If you are planning your dining reservations for your upcoming Disney trip chances are you are going to want to include a restaurant or two in Epcot. Epcot is home to arguably the best table service meal choices in any theme park.

This list was exceedingly hard to make, but here are my top five pics for table service meals at Epcot. I have not ranked these in any particular order as they are all great options!

1. Via Napoli in the Italy pavilion is always a winner. You really cannot go wrong with pizza and this is the best pizza on property!  The pizza is made in a wood fired oven and it is sure to please both kids and adults. I am a big fan of the Margherita pizza!

2. Garden Grill is located in the Land Pavilion. This is a family style meal that includes not only great food (especially the bread and butter) but also Mickey, Chip, Dale, and Pluto. This restaurant also rotates. That means it spins very slowly as you eat so you get new scenery throughout your meal.

3. Rose and Crown Pub located in the UK pavilion is a great choice for families or couples. The fish and chips is delicious and the view of the world showcase lagoon is to die for. If you can get an outside seat during illuminations I promise it will be one of the most memorable meals of your vacation!

4. Akershus is another great character dining option…but this time the characters are of the royal variety. In my opinion this is princess dining at it’s very best…dare I say better than Cinderellas Royal Table.  Great food, great character interactions, and you also have a great chance of getting a reservation here, unlike other princess meals!

5. Le Cellier located in the Canada pavilion is a great option for some steak and cheddar cheese soup. This restaurant is considered a signature restaurant which means it will cost two credits on the dining plan, but it remains one of the hardest reservations to get at Disney World. Make sure if you want to eat here you make your reservations at the 180 day mark.

 

What is your favorite restaurant at Epcot?

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Best Quick Service Dining Spot in Epcot http://www.chipandco.com/quick-service-dining-spot-epcot-129090/ http://www.chipandco.com/quick-service-dining-spot-epcot-129090/#comments Tue, 21 May 2013 21:00:39 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=129090 Epcot, among many things, offers the most diverse choices when it comes to dining. It is a park that is home to some of the best quick service options throughout Walt Disney World. I have gathered what I believe to be the five best bets for quick service if you are at this park. 1. […]

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Epcot, among many things, offers the most diverse choices when it comes to dining. It is a park that is home to some of the best quick service options throughout Walt Disney World.

I have gathered what I believe to be the five best bets for quick service if you are at this park.

1. Sunshine Seasons– Located in The Land Pavilion this quick serve location offers up pretty much any type of food you can imagine. This makes it a great choice for families with a variety or pallets to please! Pick from diverse items such as sweet and sour chicken, Caesar Salad, rotisserie chicken, or even paninis and sushi! Don’t forget to check out the yummy treats in the bakery case either! Bonus: This place is open for breakfast too!

2. Tangierine Cafe– This eatery can be found in the Morocco Pavilion. This food is a little exotic, but so delicious. I am not an adventurous eater and this always tops my list of places to eat. The wraps are delicious, but the shawarma platter is to die for! I get the chicken platter and it comes with hummus, tabouleh, couscous salad, bread, and if you are on the dining plan, a piece of sticky baklava!

3. Yorkshire County Fish Shop– Here, for $8.99 you can get two delicious golden friend strips of fish with the obligatory chips on the side. You will find this shop in the UK pavilion. Wash it down with a Harp Lager in a stein and you will swear you’ve crossed the pond!

4. Kringla Bakeri og Cafe- This little gem is found in the Norway Pavilion. Here for lunch you can get a really nice sandwich along with a side salad and leave feeling extremely full.  The sandwich selections change often so if nothing strikes your fancy one day, perhaps try again the next!  If you are on the dining plan, I feel this is a must do simply because of the delicious baked goods you can choose for a dessert. I have never been disappointed here!

5.Boulangerie Patisserie– Inside the France Pavilion you will find this counter service location. The soups and sandwiches are out of this world, but for me, the french bread pizza is the winner! They warm it right after you order so the cheese is always hot and the bread perfectly crusty. Pair this with a french baked good, take a seat outside at one of the little cafe tables and you are suddenly taking a mini trip to paris. Bon Appetit!

What is your favorite quick service location in Epcot?

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Disney Junior Digital Magazine Review http://www.chipandco.com/disney-junior-digital-magazine-review-126869/ Wed, 08 May 2013 13:00:43 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=126869 If you have young kids you are going to want to subscribe to the new Disney Junior  digital magazine available in the app store or Apple Newsstand. My son and I spent hours playing with this interactive magazine and let me tell you, it was a big hit with both of us. The issue we read […]

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Disney JR

If you have young kids you are going to want to subscribe to the new Disney Junior  digital magazine available in the app store or Apple Newsstand.

My son and I spent hours playing with this interactive magazine and let me tell you, it was a big hit with both of us. The issue we read was called “Everyone’s an Artist,” and there were lots of games relating to color and art work.  My son loved all of the coloring and the ability to choose which color virtual crayon he would use with each new page!  I love the fact that he could draw and write without any risk to my walls and floors!

The table of contents pictures characters from Disney Junior programming that are familiar to young children. Characters such as Handy Manny, Sofia the First, Mickey and the Gang, and Jake and the Neverland Pirates are always winners with my son and I am sure many parents share the same sentiments! Using these characters to provide teachable activities is a home run!

The home page is bright, big and easy to navigate for small unsure fingers. By tapping on a character you are transported to the corresponding chapter in the magazine where you will find interactive activities!

There were stories, mazes, coloring pages, matching games, mind benders, and more each one with interactive features that can be done again and again. Unlike a print edition, the digital edition allows this wonderful benefit of repetition which is a superb way for kids to learn.

Parents will also love the activity suggestions throughout the publication. This gives parents some great ideas for fun and educational things to do with the little ones using inspiration from the magazine. Activities you can use at home or out at the park are featured in the publication. As a parent, I am always thankful for one less thing to think about or assistance in planning an activity!

You can subscribe to this publication through the Apple Newsstand or Download it through the app store. For $9.99 for the year including 12 monthly issues and two special editions, this is a great deal! Take it from this mom of a very active toddler, this app is worth every penny!

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Disney Publishing Launches Digital Edition of Disney Junior Magazine http://www.chipandco.com/disney-publishing-launches-digital-edition-disney-junior-magazine-126547/ Wed, 01 May 2013 15:00:11 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=126547 Disney Junior is a staple in my house and in the homes of many other families with small children. Because of this, the announcement yesterday from Disney Publishing World Wide that their new digital magazine, Disney Junior, will be hitting Apple Newsstands soon has been met with great excitement! Andrew Sugerman, executive vice president, Disney […]

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Disney JR

Disney Junior is a staple in my house and in the homes of many other families with small children. Because of this, the announcement yesterday from Disney Publishing World Wide that their new digital magazine, Disney Junior, will be hitting Apple Newsstands soon has been met with great excitement!

Andrew Sugerman, executive vice president, Disney Publishing Worldwide had this to say about the innovative new magazine, “The demand for high quality content has never been greater. As the use of tablet devices continues to grow, it is a natural next step for us as the world’s largest children’s publisher, to find different ways of extending Disney’s stories to multiple digital formats. Disney Junior allows families to immerse themselves in the stories and characters they love wherever and whenever they choose.”

The magazine will be available by digital subscription or single issues. Disney Junior features enhanced content from the print magazine and some really fantastic interactive features. These features include coloring, tracing, drag and drop, matching and games and puzzles. There will be 12 issues per year with two special additions dedicated to Disney Junior property such as “Sofia the First” and Jake and the Neverland Pirates”  in the summer and fall respectively.

Disney Junior is in a family of six subscription based Disney magazines that are available in print in the U.S and Canada.  Additional magazines include Disney Princess, Disney Pixar Cars, Disney Fairies, Phineas and Ferb, and Marvel Super Heros.

Families interested in subscribing to Disney Junior digital magazine can do so on Apple’s Newsstand for $9.99 USD a year; single issues are available for $1.99 USD each. As part of a special limited-time promotion, a special 16-page sample issue is available for download now at no cost. New issues will be available on the fourth Wednesday of every month.

 

For more information, visit http://www.disneymags.com and www.facebook.com/DisneyReads, or follow @DisneyReads on Twitter.

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Five things you Need to Know About Face Painting at WDW http://www.chipandco.com/face-painting-wdw-106200/ http://www.chipandco.com/face-painting-wdw-106200/#comments Tue, 23 Apr 2013 21:00:44 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=106200 Throughout the Disney parks you will find several Face Painting Stations. Recently I took my son to get his face painted at WDW and wanted to share some Tips & Tricks with you to help make your experience more magical! 1.Each face painting station offers the same selection of about a dozen faces you can […]

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Throughout the Disney parks you will find several Face Painting Stations. Recently I took my son to get his face painted at WDW and wanted to share some Tips & Tricks with you to help make your experience more magical!

1.Each face painting station offers the same selection of about a dozen faces you can choose from. These are your only choices and range from flowers and princess inspired faces, to dogs and pirates.

2. You should expect to pay around $15 for the face. We chose a Pirate face that was $12, but others ran a little more or about the same.

3.You can tip the artist if you feel they did an especially good job!

4.The actual painting of the face takes about 5-10 minutes and is very quick! I was able to get my little guys face painted outside of Mouse Gear and make it to Akershus for dinner with time to spare!

5.My biggest concern was how easy the paint was to get off. Let me tell you, this is magic paint! It comes off easily with soap and water, or just water really! The magic is that it does not smudge or come off well when your fidgety kid wipes their face!

I think face painting is a great way to let kids get into the spirit of Disney without shelling out the big bucks at Bibbidi Bobbidi or Pirates League. We got tons of compliments!

Have you ever tried the Face Paining at Walt Disney World? How did you little one like the experience? Let us know in the comment box below.

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Where to Start- A Guide for the First Time Guest http://www.chipandco.com/start-guide-time-guest-103513/ http://www.chipandco.com/start-guide-time-guest-103513/#comments Fri, 29 Mar 2013 19:00:42 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=103513 Visiting Walt Disney World as a  fist time guest can be really overwhelming, but have no fear, I am here to guide you through the process. When planning your first trip to WDW you may find yourself wondering how you can possibly see and do it all. The answer to that is simple; it is not […]

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Visiting Walt Disney World as a  fist time guest can be really overwhelming, but have no fear, I am here to guide you through the process. When planning your first trip to WDW you may find yourself wondering how you can possibly see and do it all. The answer to that is simple; it is not possible. You need to plan a few things to do, see, and experience so you do not get worn out and really get to enjoy your trip!

The first thing you need to do when you arrive at your resort is to obtain a “First Visit” pin for each member of your party. You can do this at your Disney Resort check in or at guest relations at any of the parks. By wearing this pin not only will you experience a bit of extra magic, but cast members are able to recognize that you may not be familiar with everything and are likely to offer tips, suggestions, advice, and directions. Do not be ashamed to wear the pin! Look around, I promise you there are TONS of other guests wearing pins of some sort!

When you arrive at the parks, arrive early and arrive with a plan! I suggest doing a bit of homework before you get to Orlando. Decide which rides are the most important to your family. These rides should become your must do’s! I suggest having each member of your party pick 2 attractions per park that they MUST experience. You can use a service such as Touring Plans to determine the best order in which to see your top picks. Also be sure to check out some park maps to get a better idea on what to expect and to do…

Between park hopping, eating, meeting the characters, and seeing the shows your body can get awfully tired. I see too many first timers stretching themselves to the limit. It is ok to take a break, in fact, if you are staying at a Disney Resort taking a break is almost as much fun as being in the parks. The themed pool areas and relaxing rooms are all part of the experience! Enjoy it!

As a first time guest, you may have heard some rumblings about advanced dining reservations (ADR’s) and may be wondering how important these are. Many first timers just assume that getting into a restaurant at Disney cannot be any more difficult than getting into your local Applebee’s on a Friday night. Think again. You may be able to get into a restaurant without a reservation, but chances are that you are missing out on some of the best dining experiences on property. Character dining books up fast, so if you want to eat with Mickey, you better get a reservation. Many of the popular dining choices also book up quickly so having a reservation will greatly reduce your stress. ADR’s also help you structure your daily plans and this can be a large help!

Now that I have stressed the importance of planning meals and which attractions you must do and even when to rest, I am going to suggest that you also leave your mind open to possibilities. Allow for the unexpected. There are so many things at Disney that you may walk past in a rush to the next thing on your list and you may miss out! Also, allow your family to enjoy their trip. If your little one sees something that is exciting to them it may be worth taking a moment out of your schedule to do this attraction!

Tickets are the next area that often stumps first timers. There are so many options and choices. Keep this in mind; you can always add more but you cannot take away. If you are staying for 6 nights you may want to start with a 5 day base ticket. This will allow you a visit to one park each day. You do not have to use the days consecutively, you have 14 days from the first use of the ticket to spend your days.  If you decide that you want to upgrade while at the parks, as long as you have at least 1 day left on your ticket, no problem! Buy less to start out with and add options later if you need them. You may find the base ticket is perfect for your first visit and there is no need to spend the extra money on park hopping!

These are just a few of my suggestions to help you start on your way to planning a wonderful first visit! Do any of you have other suggestions or tips for first time visitors?

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What to Pack for the Disney Water Parks http://www.chipandco.com/pack-disney-water-parks-102692/ Thu, 21 Mar 2013 19:00:41 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=102692 The weather is getting warmer which means may people will start adding a trip to Disney’s Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon into their vacations! If you have never been to the Disney Water Parks, this is a must do activity and offers something the entire family can enjoy. You may wonder, though, what you need […]

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The weather is getting warmer which means may people will start adding a trip to Disney’s Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon into their vacations! If you have never been to the Disney Water Parks, this is a must do activity and offers something the entire family can enjoy. You may wonder, though, what you need to pack to ensure a great day!

1. Towels – Take them from your resort room if you are staying on property. You can even request extras from housekeeping if you want. If you have purchased a water parks fun and more ticket I might suggest bringing beach towels from home. Those who are only visiting the water parks once really don’t need to do this.

2. Water shoes or flip flops– The ground gets very hot! All members of your party should have some sort of foot protection.

3. Zip lock bags– These are great in all sizes. You can put wet bathing suits in them for the bus ride back to the resort, or store items that you want to keep dry.

4.  Goggles– This is not something you want to purchase at the water park. They are exceedingly expensive. Bring them from home!

5. Sunscreen. This is a no brainer. Bring water resistant sunscreen and keep applying it!

6. Bathing Suits– I know what you are thinking…obviously you need to bring a bathing suit, however many people think they can get away with wearing jean shorts or other clothing on the rides. This is not always true. Some rides will not let you on without a proper swim suit as other types of materiel and clothing with buttons and snaps may harm the attraction or the guest!

7. Key to the world card– You can use your card here, just like anywhere else on property, to purchase merchandise and food!

These are just a few items we like to bring in the Disney Water Parks. What else do you pack when you go to the water parks? Let us know in the comment box below.

 

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Are Disney World Ticket Prices About to Increase? http://www.chipandco.com/disney-world-ticket-prices-increase-100781/ http://www.chipandco.com/disney-world-ticket-prices-increase-100781/#comments Wed, 27 Feb 2013 15:00:04 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=100781 A few months ago that gossip hound, Anonymouse, reported that we should be on the ready for Disney World ticket price increase in the near future. That gossip is now starting to look a little more like the truth. There have been rumblings recently of ticket price increases happening earlier than they did last year. […]

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A few months ago that gossip hound, Anonymouse, reported that we should be on the ready for Disney World ticket price increase in the near future. That gossip is now starting to look a little more like the truth. There have been rumblings recently of ticket price increases happening earlier than they did last year. In 2012 we saw prices increase in June. This year many sources are saying that an increase could come as early as April 2013!

In the recent Mousesavers newsletter they state “I think it’s possible the Orlando parks price increase could happen at the beginning of April this year. So you may have about 2 months before prices go up, but I’d suggest buying sooner.” Mousesavers is a great source for current deals and discounts and is usually pretty good with these types of predictions as well.

It has also been suggested that no expiration tickets could become a thing of the past. If you are a person who takes advantage of this option to stretch your ticket over a few trips, you should think about buying this sooner than later.

You can buy your tickets now before the price increase and still use them for your trip later this year! Tickets are not activated until first use. Also, If you have already purchased a package from Disney your prices will not increase. However, if you have been hemming and hawing over when to book, now is a good time! The current room and ticket discounts are going to be gone for February and March bookings on Friday. April through June discounts expire for booking March 31. This may be the cheapest you see tickets for the rest of the year not to mention years to come!

Do you agree that ticket prices will be going up or do you think its all rumor?

Jess is an agent with Pixie Vacations. You can email Jess@PixieVacations.com for a no obligation quote on your next trip. Also feel free to check out her blog and facebook page.

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When Will Disney’s Free Dining Resurface? http://www.chipandco.com/disneys-free-dining-resurface-100552/ http://www.chipandco.com/disneys-free-dining-resurface-100552/#comments Fri, 22 Feb 2013 16:00:20 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=100552 Nothing gets people more motivated to book their vacation than the release of the ever popular free dining offer at Disney World. As a travel agent with Pixie Vacations the number one question I get asked is when free dining will be coming out. First off let me tell you secret…we travel agents  have no […]

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Nothing gets people more motivated to book their vacation than the release of the ever popular free dining offer at Disney World. As a travel agent with Pixie Vacations the number one question I get asked is when free dining will be coming out. First off let me tell you secret…we travel agents  have no clue as to when Disney will release certain offers. All we can do is use past information to try to guess when an offer will be released. That being said I am going to give it a guess.

On March 7 the current room and ticket discount for February and March that is out will expire for booking. On March 31 the same offer will expire for April, May, and June bookings. Last year free dining was released for Disney Visa Card Holders on March 1 and then released to the public on March 5. This free dining package was available for stays August 25, 2012- September 29, 2012. It is quite possible that this could happen again at some point in March.

As a Disney visa card holder I have not yet been given any information on a free dining offer, but I would not expect this until the package was officially released. I am hoping that they will release it as the current room discount offer expires. I also have one other clue that leads me to think that free dining may be released soon for August and September stays. In October 2012 I stayed at The Beach Club and booked a September 2013 stay that includes free dining as part of a bounce back offer. Bounce back offers are exclusive offers that can only be booked while you are at Walt Disney World. Details of these offers are usually left on heavy paper pocket watch shaped flyers in your room.  The package I booked was exclusively for travel dates between August and the end of September 2013. I am hoping this is no random coincidence and that I was simply given an early booking window as a reward for being a 2012 resort guest who had traveled in the fall.

This information is of course all of my own opinion and has no bearing on the actual plans that the mouse has in store. Disney has been saying for a while now that we are going to see fewer discounts and fewer free dining dates. I for one, hope that is not the case!

If free dining is released in the future keep in mind that just because the word free is involved it does not mean it is the best offer. Sometimes a room only discount with tickets and dining added on will come out cheaper than free dining at certain resorts for certain party sizes. Always check all your options. In the mean time if you want to be alerted when free dining is released and get at least a $25 free gift card on top of it when you book a package including free dining with me,  just send  an email with “Free Dining” in the subject line to  Jess@Pixievacations.com  and you will be notified when this offer is out!

Here’s hoping for free dining!

Jess is an agent with Pixie Vacations. Want to add even more free stuff onto your next Disney Vacation Package? You can email her Jess@PixieVacations.com and you could get a $25-100 gift card as part of your next booking with her! Feel free to check out her blog and facebook page as well!

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My Disney World Character Meal Reviews! http://www.chipandco.com/disney-world-character-meal-reviews-99524/ http://www.chipandco.com/disney-world-character-meal-reviews-99524/#comments Sun, 10 Feb 2013 20:00:25 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=99524 As we all know, one of the best things about Disney World is the option to dine with the characters. This is a great way to see some of your favorite stars and have a really nice interaction with them that isn’t very rushed! Recently I dined at two popular character locations: 1900 Park Fare […]

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As we all know, one of the best things about Disney World is the option to dine with the characters. This is a great way to see some of your favorite stars and have a really nice interaction with them that isn’t very rushed! Recently I dined at two popular character locations: 1900 Park Fare and The Garden Grill. What follows is my reviews of these restaurants. I am going to warn you that the content of this article may not be suitable for younger readers as it contains a few spoilers!

1900 Park Fare Dinner

1900 Park Fare is a buffet style meal that takes place in The Grand Floridian. During Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner you will get to choose from a variety of foods including their famed chilled strawberry soup. The meal was ok. I enjoyed the prime rib and the chicken marsala. Dessert offerings were standard Disney sweets such as rice krispy treats, bread pudding and cookies. I thought the meal was decent but not as good as other similar character meals. It was not one of my favorite dining choices.

Will the real Cinderella please step forward!

Will the real Cinderella please step forward!

In terms of characters I was a little…what is the word I want here…shocked. Cinderella did not remotely look the way she did in the movie. To me she looked like any other girl who had visited the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique complete with slightly messy hair!  I have seen Cinderella many times before and on this particular evening she just didn’t look herself.  Lady Tremaine looked awfully young as well, Perhaps she has a new skin care regiment that she would like to share with us. Both ladies were very fun and entertaining so I was happy about that, but the step sisters stole the show. Not only did they look exactly how I remembered them looking, but they were so funny and offered spectacular interactions!  I do want to be clear, though, that all the little princesses at the restaurant seemed none the wiser about Cinderellas appearance!

My Grade  for 1900 Park Fare… C

Garden Grill

This restaurant is located in The Land Pavilion in Epcot. Here you are served an all you can eat family style meal. This means that the waiters deliver as much as you care to enjoy of the dishes they serve! These dishes include a salad, bread with maple butter, turkey with stuffing, roast beef with mashed potatoes, and the fish of the day with a vegetable. Honestly,  they could have just kept the bread, butter, and salad coming and I would have thought it the best meal of my trip. That butter is remarkable! The roast beef was also delicious. The turkey and stuffing was only ok, and if I had ordered it off a menu as my only entree I would have been disappointed.  I cannot in good faith tell you about the fish. You see, I am from Cape Cod where some of the best seafood in the world can be found. For this reason I just cannot eat fish anywhere else. I know it’s crazy, but when you have the most fresh and delicious seafood at your fingertips year round and can eat it while looking at the ocean it was pulled from, you really don’t want it any other way.  Dessert was a warm berry cobbler with whipped cream. It was so yummy!

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The restaurant itself actually rotates and you can see different scenes from the Living with the Land ride! That is really cool. In terms of the characters this was one of the best interactions I have had! Mickey, Chip, Dale, and Pluto all visited our table not once, but twice! Mickey even sat down with us for a while and Dale stole our bread!  This is a great chance to get some excellent photos with the characters!

My Grade for Garden Grill…B+

I hope you enjoy all your future character meals!

Jess is an agent with Pixie Vacations. You can contact her at Jess@PixieVacations.com. Also, be sure to check out her blog www.fastpassstomagic.com and like her page on facebook!

 

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Some of the Best Pools at Disney World http://www.chipandco.com/pools-disney-world-97607/ Sat, 09 Feb 2013 16:00:22 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=97607 One of the best things about staying on Disney property is that each resort features some wonderfully themed pools. These elaborate swimming holes are far from run of the mill. Whether you are staying value or deluxe you will get some wonderful on property swimming options.  I am going to highlight a few of my […]

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One of the best things about staying on Disney property is that each resort features some wonderfully themed pools. These elaborate swimming holes are far from run of the mill. Whether you are staying value or deluxe you will get some wonderful on property swimming options.  I am going to highlight a few of my favorites for you!

The most popular pool on property is Stormalong Bay at the Yacht and Beach Club resorts. I agree that this pool is amazing. It is really a huge aquatic play area complete with sand bottom, lazy river, an insanely cool water slide in the mast of a ship, hot tubs, and you can even rent tubes to float about on! This pool (like every pool on property) is for the exclusive use of Yacht and Beach guests. However, where most other resorts have no way of knowing if you are swimming without a room key, You cannot enter Stormalong Bay without showing resort ID and receiving a wrist band.

Yacht & Beach Club pool

The Dig Site at Coronado Springs is also high on my list of pools at WDW.  Not only is this where you will find the biggest hot tub on property but the themeing is spectacular. The pool has a wonderful jaguar water slide  and a beautiful waterfall splashing down from the Mayan pyramid that is the focal point of the area. You will also find the playground is very close to the pool making it easy to keep kids entertained!

Big Blue Pool at Art of Animation  will make you feel as though you are in the waters with Nemo. The pool is huge and features a water play area and the ability to hear characters from Finding Nemo when you are under the water. Since Art of Animation is a value resort, you will not find a slide here, but I hardly think you will miss it! The decor is amazing and really puts you in the movie.

The Silver Creek Springs Pool at Wilderness lodge is very cool because it actually begins in the lobby! The hot spring in the lobby feeds the creek which spills into a beautiful waterfall and eventually turns into this magnificent pool. The pool is surround by lovely pines and a slide that appears to be part of a rock formation. You can also take a short walk from the pool to the sandy beach along bay lake where you can grab a chair and soak up the sun.

The Hippy Dippy Pool at Pop Century is just a really fun pool that kids and adults will enjoy. This flower shaped pool is closest to Classic Hall where you can get food, play at the arcade and buy souvenirs. The pool itself is a colorful and vibrant tribute to the 1960’s area it is located in. There are giant water spitting daisies that kids will love. Petals pool bar, laundry room, and a temporary tattoo station are all located here as well making it a great place to hang out!

These are a sampling of my personal favorite pools. Is there a pool that you think belongs on this list? Let me know!

Jess is a vacation planner with Pixie Vacations. You can email her for a no obligation quote Jess@PixieVacations.com. Jess also invites you to check out here blog and facebook page!

 

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Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour http://www.chipandco.com/disneys-keys-kingdom-tour-99387/ http://www.chipandco.com/disneys-keys-kingdom-tour-99387/#comments Thu, 07 Feb 2013 20:00:34 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=99387 I was lucky enough on a recent trip to take part in the Keys to the Kingdom Tour at The Magic Kingdom. Let me tell you, this is well worth the price of admission. I used my annual pass to get a 15% discount on the tour. My total was around $66 for the 5 […]

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I was lucky enough on a recent trip to take part in the Keys to the Kingdom Tour at The Magic Kingdom. Let me tell you, this is well worth the price of admission. I used my annual pass to get a 15% discount on the tour. My total was around $66 for the 5 and 1/2 hour tour which included lunch at Columbia Harbour House.

My tour began at 9 am, but we were allowed into the Magic Kingdom at 8:30. This was great since the park was not open yet and we could take those wonderful photos of an empty main street! We checked into our tour at The Chamber of Commerce and were treated to some super cute name tags and bottled water. We were also given our ear pieces at this time and selected what we would eat for lunch.

At 9:00 am sharp we met our tour guide, Molly. Molly was everything that is good about Disney! She was fun, funny, informative, entertaining, and so knowledgeable. She was also an amazing story teller.  I absolutely adored her. Molly informed us that we would not be allowed to take any photos on the tour, either “on stage” or “backstage” and we were happy to comply. For this reason, you will not be seeing any pictures that were taken during the walking tour.

Molly began our tour with a walk down Main Street, explaining to us what the Keys to the Kingdom are: Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Efficiency. It is upon these building blocks that the entire Magic Kingdom and Disney World as a whole is run. As we walked down Main Street she explained how beginning at the train station you are seeing a show. The station acts as curtain concealing the star; Cinderella Castle. As the curtain lifts and you enter Main Street you will see concessions such as popcorn and soda for sale and walk along a red walk way that is representative of the red carpet! The windows of the buildings act as credits for the people who brought this production to life.

Throughout the tour we got an in depth look at Adventureland, Frontierland, and Liberty Square along with Main Street and the icing on the cake; The Utilidors! The utilidors are the underbelly of the Magic Kingdom. Most of what we as guests see of the kingdom is actually on the second floor of the property! Below is where all the real magic takes place! Cast members can transport themselves to the appropriate part of the theme park without walking through another in costume and disrupting the show. This is also where they can take part in trainings, replenish their pin supply, eat lunch, do their banking, and take their breaks. I thought we would only get a sneak peek at the famed utilidors, but we spent quite a bit of time down there and it was fascinating!

During the tour we got to ride 2 famous attractions VIP style which included going in the entrance that the stars use on one of them! I will not spoil it and tell you which attractions are included as that is part of the magic!

When the tour was over I felt closer to Walt Disney as a person and had a real grasp on what it takes to create the on stage magic that makes the park so unique. If you are looking for something new to do on your next visit and really want to see the Magic Kingdom from another perspective I suggest trying out The Keys to the Kingdom Tour!

Jess is a vacation planner for Pixie Vacations. You can contact her at Jess@pixievacations.com for help planning your next trip and to find out how you can get a gift card bonus just for booking! You can check out her blog at www.fastpasstomagic.com and like her page on facebook as well!

 

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Why I Love the Touring Plans Website and Apps! http://www.chipandco.com/love-touring-plans-website-apps-96510/ Thu, 24 Jan 2013 22:00:53 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=96510 Touring plans, which comes from the people who bring your The Unofficial Guide each year, is perhaps one of the best tools out there for planning your Disney Vacation.  If you are planning your first or hundredth trip to the Disney World or Disneyland you need to check out www.touringplans.com. To subscribe it is $11.95 […]

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Touring plans, which comes from the people who bring your The Unofficial Guide each year, is perhaps one of the best tools out there for planning your Disney Vacation.  If you are planning your first or hundredth trip to the Disney World or Disneyland you need to check out www.touringplans.com.

To subscribe it is $11.95 for the year, but there are always coupon codes available it seems. I happen to think this is the best use of your vacation money and here is why.

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When you are touring the parks your time is valuable. You do not need to waste precious time in line. Touring plans not only provides you with a crowd calendar and suggests which parks to attend and which to avoid on any given day of the year, but they also help you out with what attractions you should see and when.

You can look up their pre-designed touring plans and follow the step by step plan that will save you time and a lot of hassle. Many plans are included for parents with small children, Parents with tweens, plans for adults, plans for seniors, and plans for the whole family. Even better, if you do not like the plans they provide, you can create a plan by entering the day you are going to be at the park and which attractions you would like to experience. Their computer will optimize it for you, spitting out a plan of action specifically designed for you!

I have found that following touring plans has really increased my productivity during my trips. For those of you wondering, productivity is important to me during my time at the parks. I want to see as much as possible and do as much as possible without sacrificing my oh so important pool time.

I am also a big fan of the Touring Plans app, which is called “Lines.” This app has been my savior in the parks. It is free to download, but works best if you have a Touring Plans Account. This app tells you how long the posted wait time is at each attraction at any given moment and also tells you what the wait time is actually expected to be! I have noticed that this information is very accurate!

For example, I was there a few weeks ago and the wait time for Haunted Mansion was posted to be  40 minutes. According to “Lines” this was correct. However, Lines also informed me that the expected or real wait time was only about half of that. I took a gamble and jumped in line. Sure enough, 15 minutes later I was in my doom buggy!

The other great thing about this app is you can check the wait times on Splash Mountain while standing in Tomorrowland. You do not have to do any unnecessary walking and since you already walk enough during a Disney trip this is a great incentive! An example of this; On a recent trip I was riding The People Mover and decided to check out where we would head next. I was thinking Big Thunder Mtn would be a good choice. Low and behold, the ride was down. I found this out by checking my lines app! If I had not looked I would have likely been on my way across the park to Frontierland and headed only to disappointment!

Touringplans.com is also a great place to check out menus and get some accurate reviews of park events and happenings. They also give easy to read ratings of all the restaurants and this is wonderful for planning your dining reservations.

If you are planning a trip to Disney you need to check out Touring Plans. This is an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to plan a hassle free trip that doesn’t include endless waiting in lines or walking from one side of the park to the next. Save your feet and save your mind and check out Touring Plans!

 

Jess is a vacation planner with Pixie Vacations and writes at www.fastpasstomagic.com. If you want to find out how you can book your Disney Vacation and get a gift card on top of it please contact me Jess@PixieVacations.com

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Working Out at Walt Disney World http://www.chipandco.com/working-walt-disney-world-96854/ Wed, 09 Jan 2013 20:00:25 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=96854 It’s January; The time of resolutions. One of the most popular choices for change in the New Year is to lose weight or get in shape. Going on vacation can often put a snag in those plans as we consume excess calories Mickey Bars and perhaps sip a few more Grand Marnier slushes than we […]

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It’s January; The time of resolutions. One of the most popular choices for change in the New Year is to lose weight or get in shape. Going on vacation can often put a snag in those plans as we consume excess calories Mickey Bars and perhaps sip a few more Grand Marnier slushes than we should. I know what you are thinking, Disney is A LOT of walking and therefore one should not have to exercise on top of the rigors of park touring.  There are some people who want to keep up their routine even on vacation and many health professionals agree that this is the way to achieve long-term success.  Here is how to keep on track during your stay at Walt Disney World.

1. Hit the Gym. Each deluxe property and Coronado Springs in the moderate category has a gym equipped with various cardio equipment and free weights along with a variety of weight machines. If you are a guest of these resorts you may use these facilities for free. Not staying deluxe or at Coronado? You can buy a pass the Coronado Springs Gym, La Vida Health Club, for $12 per day based on availability.

2. Go for a swim. Every Walt Disney Resort has a pool (or two, or three). Swimming is a wonderful work out. Tour the parks in the morning and then head back for a cool off dip. Spend thirty minutes practicing different strokes and treading water. You will burn calories, but you will also be taking the weight off your feet and letting yourself relax!

3. Rent a bike. You can rent bikes at various resorts and locations throughout Disney World.  This is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon off from park touring. It is affordable and will let you see sights from a different view-point!

4. Use the Jogging Trails. There are wonderful jogging paths around the resort property. Jogging paths can be found at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Boardwalk Inn, Yacht and Beach Club, Polynesian, Grand Floridian, All Star Resorts, Wilderness Lodge, Fort Wilderness, Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, Port Orleans, Pop Century, The Contemporary Resort and Old Key West.  Many of these paths are unshaded, however, so it is a good idea to keep hydrated and avoid mid day runs when the temperatures are high.

5. Learn how to do a hotel room work out. Warm up with jumping jacks and jogging in place. Then you can use a chair to do triceps dips and the bed to do incline push ups. Add in some sit ups, mountain climbers, squats and lunges and you will be keeping your muscles in shape while you are on vacation. You can get a good hotel room work out in only 15-20 minutes so no excuses! You can look up various work outs on youtube.com

6. The average guest walks quite a bit at Disney. Sometimes you can do close to 10 miles a day if not more! This is a lot for someone who does not work out on a daily basis, so if you try to eat properly (maybe exchange one of those cookies for  a yogurt?) You may actually lose weight without trying while enjoying your trip!

Most importantly, have fun! Keep your routine, but don’t let your routine ruin your trip. If you are tired or sore from the extensive park touring listen to your body and take a day off from your workouts.

Jess is a Vacation Planner with Pixie vacations. You can read more from here at www.fastpasstomagic.com or like her page on facebook. If you have any questions about planning your next trip contact her at Jess@pixievacations.com

 

 

  • Alleviate stress on your Walt Disney World Vacation (chipandco.com)
  • Walt Disney World Park & Resort Refurbishment Calendar for January 2013 (chipandco.com)

 

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2013 Walt Disney World Vacation Discounts Released! http://www.chipandco.com/2013-walt-disney-world-vacation-discounts-released-96641/ http://www.chipandco.com/2013-walt-disney-world-vacation-discounts-released-96641/#comments Thu, 03 Jan 2013 22:00:26 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=96641 Disney has announced a new Walt Disney World Vacation Discounts for the rest of the winter through mid June 2013! So if you missed out on the Disney Rewards Visa offer from last week now is your chance to get on board the Disney World Discount Express! Here are the details: You can get discounts […]

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Disney has announced a new Walt Disney World Vacation Discounts for the rest of the winter through mid June 2013! So if you missed out on the Disney Rewards Visa offer from last week now is your chance to get on board the Disney World Discount Express!

Here are the details:

You can get discounts of up to 30% on select Disney resorts, plus discounted 4-day through 10-day Magic Your Way tickets!

Booking Window: Now – 3/7/13 for February and March stays.

Book by 3/31/13 for April, May and June stays.

Travel Dates: 2/18/13 – 3/23/13 and 4/2/13-6/14/13.

It is important to note that there is limited availability with this offer so if you think you may want to travel during these time periods act fast, you can always change your dates or cancel according the policies in place! This has been a great deal for the Disney Visa Cardholders who got an early chance to book this offer.

If you are already booked, call Disney or your travel agent and have them check to see if this offer will save you money, chances are it will!

Happy Planning!

 

Jess is a vacation planner with Pixie Vacations. You can read more of her articles at www.fastpasstomagic.com or check out her facebook page. To find out how you can book this offer and get an additional $25-250 gift card email her at Jess@pixievacations.com

 

  • All New Disney Visa Discount Released! (chipandco.com)
  • Changes Coming to Walt Disney World in 2013 (chipandco.com)

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Changes Coming to Walt Disney World in 2013 http://www.chipandco.com/coming-walt-disney-world-2013-96525/ http://www.chipandco.com/coming-walt-disney-world-2013-96525/#comments Wed, 02 Jan 2013 20:00:37 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=96525 Heading to Walt Disney World in 2013? You can expect a few changes and some new experiences at everyone favorite theme park! Here is your guide to everything new in 2013 and beyond. Price Changes Of course, prices always change and not necessarily in the way we would like them to. Price increases can be […]

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changes

Heading to Walt Disney World in 2013? You can expect a few changes and some new experiences at everyone favorite theme park! Here is your guide to everything new in 2013 and beyond.

Price Changes

Of course, prices always change and not necessarily in the way we would like them to. Price increases can be seen this year in everything from dining to tickets to behind the scenes tours.

Tickets– We are already living the ticket increase for 2012-2013. Disney traditionally raises park admission prices in the summer and this held true in June of 2012. It is likely that the next ticket price increase we will see will be in summer of 2013. When prices went up last June we saw a $4 increase in the price of a 1 day base ticket which now stands at $89 and a $27 increase in the price of a 10 day base ticket which now stands at $318.

The biggest changes however, were seen in the prices of annual passes. On the annual pass front there is good news and there is bad news. The good news: Disney World Annual Pass rates rose only 11% from $519 to $574. I am considering this good news because Disneyland passholders saw a 30% increase in the price of their passes. I think it is safe to say a bullet was dodged in Orlando.

The Bad News: Disney World now has no distinction between a childs annual pass and an adult annual pass which means guests can expect to pay nearly $100 more for a child’s AP than they did in 2011.

Resort Hotels– Guests will see an average increase at all Disney owned resorts. One big change here to note is that the third week in December, which historically was considered the fall season, will now be part of the peak season. Guests who usually travel during this time period will expect to see 25-50% price increases over past years.

  • At a value resort you can expect a marginal 7.5% on average increase in price, however now you will be getting at mini fridge included in your room. This formerly was only an option and was available at $10 per night.
  • At a moderate resort guests can expect to pay 3.5% more over 2012.
  • At a deluxe resort guests can expect to pay 3% more over 2012.

These are average percentages and it is good to note that there are certain times of year when prices are actually LOWER than in 2012!

Some good things to note for resort guests. As stated above all value resort rooms are now equipped with mini fridges. WiFi is available for free to all resort guests. Another big change to expect by 2013; all moderate resorts, with the exception of Caribbean Beach Resort, will be upgraded to queen beds.

It is a good idea to plan ahead for your trip and be aware of all possible discounts that are available.  A reduced room rate is offered at different points during the year and can save you quite a bit of money!

Dining– Dining is the area where guests will see the most noticeable changes.

Quick-Service Dining Plan

$37.58 per night ages 10 and up
$14.32 per night age 3 to 9

2012 prices were $34.99 and $11.99.

Standard Dining Plan

Value Season and Regular Season
$55.59 per night ages 10 and up
$17.16 per night age 3 to 9

2012 prices were $51.54 and $15.02.

Peak Season
$56.94 per night ages 10 and up
$18.16 per night ages 3 to 9

2012 prices were $53.54 and $16.02.

My suggestion is to really understand the dining plan and how it works before you head to Disney World. There are many tips and tricks that will allow you to get the most bang for your buck.

One big noteworthy dining plan change is that Le Cellier will now require two table service credits for both lunch and dinner. In 2012 you could still get a taste of that famous cheddar cheese soup for one credit during lunch hours.

Guests who are paying out-of-pocket will also feel the burn as menu prices will be going up across the board.

Tables in Wonderland- This is a card based program that is offered to annual passholders, DVC members, and Florida Residents. With the card you are entitled to 20% off of your meals at participating restaurants. This discount includes alcoholic beverages. Guests can expect a $25 increase in the price of a card in 2013.  Annual passholers and DVC members will now be charged $100 and Florida Residents can expect to pay $125. To learn more about Tables in Wonderland and the perks it offers click here to learn more.

New Attractions and Experiences

2013 is not all about price hikes. There are some new attractions and experiences for guests as well. These include:

Test Track: December 6th marked the opening of the newly redesigned Test Track. The new design features a similar ride track with a totally different overlay. Guests can design their own car prior to riding and test out their design on the track. It is good to note however,that your design does not impact the ride itself. Your design is given a grade on its performance.

Fantasyland: We have been seeing parts of The Fantasyland Expansion opening up since 2012. In 2013 you can expect most of Fantasyland to be completed with the exception of The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train which has been given an ETA of early 2014. However, many have speculated that this could open in late 2013! Princess Fairytale Hall is expected to open in 2013 as scheduled! This will be your place to meet all the Magic Kingdom Royalty!

Splitsville: This is a new entertainment center and  bowling ally at Downtown Disney. This will give families another choice for entertainment on non park days! Equipped with bowling allies, bars, pool tables, food service, and music.

Other Noteworthy Changes

Extra Magic Evening Hours have been decreased. You will now get two extra hours instead of the three we are used to having. This is a major bummer for a lot of night owls who enjoyed the late nights at the park!

Limited Time Magic- Disney announced earlier this year a new promotion called Limited Time Magic. Beginning in January 2013 each week of the year will offer a different theme that will only be available for, you guessed it, a limited time. Some of these themes will be week-long celebrations and some of them will just be here for a day. Some of the themes will be announced ahead of time and some of them will be surprises not announce until the day they arrive. Themes already announced include villains taking over Hollywood Studios on Friday, September 13 and a long-lost friends week where guests will get to see characters that they would not normally encounter! To keep up with this promotion check out www.limitedtimemagic.com

Jess is a vacation planner with Pixie Vacations. If you have any questions about changes in 2013 or you would like information on booking your next trip contact Jess@PixieVacations.com. You can read more of her stuff at www.fastpasstomagic.com

 

  • Disney World Refurbishment Schedule December 2012 (chipandco.com)
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