Ken – Chip and Co http://www.chipandco.com Disney Theme Park & Disney Movie News, Disney World & Disneyland Planning Tips, Disney Dining, Reviews and More! Fri, 22 Jul 2016 21:00:32 +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 Ken – Chip and Co http://www.chipandco.com 32 32 Oldies But Goodies – Seniors And The Walt Disney World Attractions http://www.chipandco.com/oldies-but-goodies-%e2%80%93-seniors-and-the-walt-disney-world-attractions-12756/ http://www.chipandco.com/oldies-but-goodies-%e2%80%93-seniors-and-the-walt-disney-world-attractions-12756/#comments Sat, 10 May 2014 00:45:39 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=12756   An attempt to label a number of attractions at Walt Disney World as “Best Of” for any group would be difficult but for Seniors, the task would be nearly impossible. Seniors tend to have many more variables than most groups because of the complications that may be brought on as we advance in maturity. […]

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An attempt to label a number of attractions at Walt Disney World as “Best Of” for any group would be difficult but for Seniors, the task would be nearly impossible. Seniors tend to have many more variables than most groups because of the complications that may be brought on as we advance in maturity. Some of those complications/limitations were addressed in my first “Oldies But Goodies” article but when you involve the stresses and jarring of many of the attractions that our younger counterparts take for granted many of these limitations are amplified. For that reason I will not attempt to label anything as “Best Of” because what may be wonderful for some of us may put others of us into a life threatening situation.

Attractions at Walt Disney World vary in intensity from the Liberty Belle Riverboat (very benign) to the Orange Edition of Mission Space (ultra intense). The Liberty Belle would most likely not impact a Senior negatively while the Orange Mission Space version could possibly put many of us in the hospital. Personally, I have been lucky and consider nothing off limits including parasailing. It must be in my genes though because one of my fondest Walt Disney World memories is sharing my first ride on Space Mountain with my Father (his first also) when I was forty four and he was seventy eight!! I think he actually fared better than I did.

On any attraction that may pose a risk of any type, Disney posts cautions to consider before taking part. There is no sign that says “OLDIES BEWARE” but signs cautioning folks about heart conditions, back or neck issues, motion sensitivity (me), mobility, etc. abound. Based on the process of maturing, many of these issues are more prevalent among us than among younger folks. If you get nothing else from this article I would encourage both Seniors (us) and those who travel with us PLEASE pay attention to these warnings – they are there for a reason!! If one was to take a cynical view, one might think the warnings are there to help keep Disney from being sued and that certainly plays a part. I prefer to think that the Walt Disney Company truly cares for the health and well being of their guests and does not want to see any of them injured.

There is a book I would like to recommend that addresses the needs of travelers with what the book calls “extra challenges”. Even though the age specific portion of the book is fairly short, it addresses every attraction and the specific cautions for each including those for Seniors that are not directly related to health conditions but may occur as part of the maturing process. It is very well done and even though it was published in 2007 it is still very appropriate. It was written by Deb Wills and Debra Martin Koma, both familiar names to those of us who are psycho Disney fans. The book is called Passporter’s Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line. It has been in my library since it first became available. It is published by PassPorter Travel Press and is available from their website, Amazon, etc.

I have mentioned this before, but as Seniors, it is primarily our responsibility to make sure that we do not expose ourselves to potential illness or injury while visiting Walt Disney World. These things can happen if one tries to do too much in short periods of time (commando touring), does not pay attention to the effects of heat and/or dehydration (a real biggie), or unnecessarily expose ourselves to potential problems by ignoring the cautions posted by Disney. Remember, if you are in your sixties, seventies, or eighties please don’t try to emulate your twenty and thirty year old traveling companions while visiting. A very wise person once told me something and I will remember it for as long as I live – “Age and Experience will out do youth and enthusiasm every time”. If you are traveling with one of us who may have some cognitive issues, a significant portion of that responsibility can shift to you. Accept it gladly and use it to enhance your visit.

To finish up I’ll just name my three favorite attractions in each park. I will not include things like fireworks and Fantasmic! because most of us love those.

Magic KingdomPirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion, and The Jungle Cruise

Epcot – Future World  – Mission Space (Green version), Test Track, and the Epcot Character Spot

Epcot – World ShowcaseReflections of China, The American Adventure Show, Impressions de France, and O! Canada (sorry – had to slip a fourth in there)

Disney’s Animal KingdomFestival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo – The Musical, and Dinosaur

Disney’s Hollywood StudiosThe Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n Roller Coaster with Aerosmith, and Toy Story Midway Mania (love it, love it, love it)

Extra Special Favorite – Para-sailing over Bay Lake at Sammy Duvall’s Watersports Centre

As you can see, my personal favorites run from the “ridiculous to the sublime” and I plan on enjoying everything I love as long as I am able. You can rest assured though, if issues develop for me that are addressed by the caution warnings, I will heed them and find some new, more age appropriate favorites.

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Disney World Quick Tips – Advanced Dining Reservation Tips http://www.chipandco.com/disney-world-quick-tips-advanced-dining-reservation-tips-67612/ http://www.chipandco.com/disney-world-quick-tips-advanced-dining-reservation-tips-67612/#comments Fri, 09 Mar 2012 21:00:19 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=67612 Most Disney visitors plan on dining at some table service restaurants while they are on vacation. I thought most everyone was aware of the Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) system and used it as designed. In reading some of the many Disney forums on the web it is a bit disconcerting to see that there are […]

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Most Disney visitors plan on dining at some table service restaurants while they are on vacation. I thought most everyone was aware of the Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) system and used it as designed. In reading some of the many Disney forums on the web it is a bit disconcerting to see that there are still a lot of folks out there (particularly first time visitors) who believe that you can just walk up to one of the Walt Disney World restaurants and get a table. Check out this article Disney World Quick Tip: Dining without Reservations for more.

Please make your ADR’s or you will be eating at counter service locations throughout your visit. Just making your reservations will work if you are planning on eating at the normal table service restaurants but if you are planning on hitting the really “popular” or “in” places there are some strategies you should employ. By “popular” or “in” restaurants I mean places like Le Cellier, Cinderella’s Royal Table, OHana, Chef Mickey’s etc. etc. Here are a few tactics you might employ as ADR day approaches and arrives:

  • Have A Plan – Know where you want to dine, what day you want, and an approximate time and write them down!!!
  • Credit Card At The Ready – There are some venues that require either pre payment (Dinner Shows) or a deposit of some type (Fantasmic! Dining Package) so whether you use the on line system or call 407-WDW-DINE have your card available. Policies are thoroughly explained as you make each and every reservation so be patient.
  • Prioritize Your ADR’s – This is key whether you use the on line system or call. Always make the most difficult reservations first. You can make your ADR’s in any date order so if you want to have breakfast in Cinderella Castle that should always be your first reservation.
  • Use 180+10 Wisely – One of the major benefits of staying on site is that you can make reservations for the first 10 days of your vacation at the 180 day from check in mark. If you are planning on making ADR’s at some of the wildly popular venues you may want to consider scheduling them later in your vacation. Doing that will somewhat reduce the competition from those folks who check in 4 or 5 days earlier than you and are scheduling their ADR’s for the first few days of your vacation before you get a chance to start. It sounds a bit strange but it works.
  • Be Flexible On Times – Don’t depend on eating lunch at 12:00 or dinner at 5:00. Lots of other folks are trying to do exactly that so be a bit flexible in your times so you won’t be disappointed.

There is no sure fire way to get the exact ADR’s at the exact time you want but if you utilize these suggestions you will likely have some success. I know these things work because that’s what I do. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!

Ken

  • Disney World Quick Tips: Count ALL of your family for ADRs (chipandco.com)
  • Top 10 Table Service Meals at the WDW Resorts (chipandco.com)

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Disney World Quick Tips – Ten FREE Things To Do At Disney World http://www.chipandco.com/disney-world-quick-tips-ten-free-walt-disney-world-66195/ http://www.chipandco.com/disney-world-quick-tips-ten-free-walt-disney-world-66195/#comments Tue, 21 Feb 2012 20:00:06 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=66195 Yes, there are quite a few things you can do while you are at Walt Disney World for free. Free is not generally a word associated with anything Disney but if you look, these  things are there at no cost!! Here is a quick outline of ten things that run the gamut from FUN to […]

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Yes, there are quite a few things you can do while you are at Walt Disney World for free. Free is not generally a word associated with anything Disney but if you look, these  things are there at no cost!! Here is a quick outline of ten things that run the gamut from FUN to USEFUL.

  1. Boat Ride From Downtown Disney To Port Orleans – If you look at the above picture you can see just how beautiful and serene this ride is It takes 20-25 minutes each way and the entire route looks much like this.
  2. Free Coca Cola Products – Club Cool is a cool (temperature) place to take a break from the heat and sample free Coca Cola products from around the world. Many of them are excellent but if you can con someone to try a drink called Beverly, have your camera ready for the reaction.
  3. Monorail Rides – Too often, the Monorail is looked at as transportation only. It’s actually a fun and relaxing way to pass some time. If you happen to be going to one of the Monorail Resorts, the Magic Kingdom, or Epcot it also meets your transportation needs – two for none so to speak.
  4. Entertainer Bob Jackson At Port Orleans Riverside – Bob Jackson provides music and comic antics for an evening of fun at the River Roost Lounge at Port Orleans Riverside. There is no cost for the entertainment but you may be inclined to have a beverage or two (drinks are not free – but you knew that).
  5. Music In The Grand Floridian Resort Lobby – Depending on the time of day and day of the week you can usually find either a talented pianist or a full dance orchestra playing in the lobby. This is a marvelous way to relax and unwind.
  6. Electrical Water Pageant – This happens nightly on the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. It is a group of lighted and decorated barges with accompanying music that passes by the Polynesian at around 9:00 PM and works its way past the Grand Floridian and then over to Bay Lake where it passes the Wilderness Lodge and ends up passing Fort Wilderness at approximately 9:45 PM. Very neat!! You can view them from the nearest beach or dock.
  7. Free Character Photo For Disney Visa Cardholders – In the Innoventions West building between 1:30 and 4:30 PM daily you can have a meet and greet and get a free 5×7 picture if you are a Disney Visa cardholder. Just show your card to get into the meet and greet.
  8. Storytelling At The Animal Kingdom Lodge – Each evening at the firepit at Arusha Rock outside the lobby, there is a storyteller who spins tales of Africa. If it’s rainy, they move the whole thing inside to the indoor firepit. Check with the Cast Members at the Animal Kingdom Lodge for the exact time because it varies by season.
  9. Free Entertainment On The Boardwalk – There are roving entertainers of all types each night on the Boardwalk. They are all free for your enjoyment and generally begin their performances at around 6:00 or 6:30 and go until 10:00 or 10:30 (people staying at the Boardwalk Inn have to sleep you know).
  10. Free Package Delivery To Your Resort – Items purchased while touring can be delivered to your resort for free. Just tell the cashier that you want them to go to the resort before they begin ringing your order. They say to allow 24 hours but I generally allow two days if you are leaving soon.

There you go!! So now you know that there are at least 10 free things at Walt Disney World. There are actually a lot more but 10 is a good starting point! As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!

Ken

  • Resort Hopping – Taking the Monorail Express (chipandco.com)
  • The Best Things in the “World” are Free (chipandco.com)

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Are You A Member Of The Motion Sickness Club? http://www.chipandco.com/are-you-a-member-of-the-motion-sickness-club-18953/ http://www.chipandco.com/are-you-a-member-of-the-motion-sickness-club-18953/#comments Sat, 14 Jan 2012 15:00:51 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=18953 See the above picture! That is my personal nemesis – Mission Space!!! I have a huge problem with motion sickness on almost every single attraction that involves any sort of physical disorientation. How many of these attractions do I avoid? NONE of them. There are lots of things you can do to help but the […]

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See the above picture! That is my personal nemesis – Mission Space!!! I have a huge problem with motion sickness on almost every single attraction that involves any sort of physical disorientation. How many of these attractions do I avoid? NONE of them. There are lots of things you can do to help but the solutions are not the same for everyone. I can tell you what I have tried and what works the best for me but before you try any of them check with your Doctor even though the “remedies” are mostly Over The Counter (OTC).

My motion sickness is so bad I immediately went for the 800 pound gorilla remedy, the Scopolamine behind the ear patch. My Doctor prescribed the smallest dose available and told me to try it before I went to WDW to make sure I didn’t have any side effects – so much for the 800 pound gorilla. That stuff made me slur words and trip over my own feet!! That’s not the way to spend a vacation!!!

Next came research and lots of reading on the internet. After trying some of the available remedies (but not before discussing them with my Doctor) I settled on the following. Two ginger tablets (available OTC at any drug or health food store) twice a day and the recommended dose of Bonine (also OTC) in the morning took excellent care of the motion sickness throughout the day. Some “experts” will tell you that ginger does not work as a preventative but I know what worked in my case. I also carried extra Bonine and ginger in case it was needed but it never was. That same word of caution – run it by your Doctor before you try any of the recommended motion sickness remedies that you get from any source.

Motion sickness can really interfere with your vacation and keep you from experiencing some of Walt Disney World’s best attractions. There is something much worse than that though – harming your health by taking any “cure” without checking with your Doctor. I hope the important theme about motion sickness is overly obvious – there is relief but don’t try it on your own. Only your Doctor can tell you how these OTC remedies may react in your case. As always, enjoy your motion sickness free visit to Walt Disney World!!

Here is a list of rides I would avoid at Disney World that might make you sick.

Are there any I missed? Let us know in the comment box below.

Ken

  • What to do when things don’t go as planned: The top 5 ways to make the most of your WDW vacation (chipandco.com)
  • The top 5 ways to make the most of your WDW vacation (chipandco.com)

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Time To Plan Your Trip? Try These 10 Steps! http://www.chipandco.com/time-to-plan-your-trip-try-these-10-steps-19097/ Sun, 08 Jan 2012 20:00:49 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=19097 It’s 2012 and I’ll bet a lot of you are planning trips to Walt Disney World this new year. We have made quite a few visits and over the years have developed a viable plan involving a number of steps that have proven very reliable over the years. Let’s take a look what we do […]

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It’s 2012 and I’ll bet a lot of you are planning trips to Walt Disney World this new year. We have made quite a few visits and over the years have developed a viable plan involving a number of steps that have proven very reliable over the years. Let’s take a look what we do in order to make the planning as simple and orderly as possible:

  1. Decide Who Is Going: This seems pretty obvious but if you don’t know who is definitely going on the trip the rest of the steps will not fall into place.
  2. Decide When You Are Going: This is why #1 is so important. The trip needs to be planned around everyone’s availability to travel taking into account work and school commitments in particular.
  3. Get A Great Travel Agent: Having a great Disney Specialist as a Travel Agent (TA) takes the detail load off your back. The TA will generally do as little or as much as you want them to but the most important thing they possess is KNOWLEDGE. They know when and where to look for available discounts and how to get them applied to your trip.
  4. Book A “Room Only” Reservation: We do this because this locks the room to you and everything else depends on your having someplace to sleep. Fear not, as discounts or deals become available your TA can present you with options and you can decide on the direction you want to take. You can add to your reservation at any time without fees (this includes applying discounts as they become available). “Room Only” reservations can be made up to 500 days in advance of your check out date. TA will do this.
  5. Book your Flights: It’s important to have the room first because it’s easier (and definitely cheaper) to adjust your room reservation as opposed to flights. TA can do this, we do our own.
  6. Give Disney’s Magical Express (DME) Your Flight Information: Your TA will do this. Airlines do make changes to times and flight numbers and if they do, at 45 Days prior to your arrival call DME with the changes. Once again, your TA can do this. Do it as close to 45 days as possible so changes can be made to your DME paperwork before they mail it to you.
  7. Take Advantage Of Planning Websites: By planning websites I mean both fee based sites (Tour Guide Mike, TouringPlans.com etc.) and discussion boards (Passporter.com,Dis Boards etc.). You can get help, advice, and very valuable planning information from these sites. Personally we use Tour Guide Mike and the Passproter Boards.
  8. Begin Formulating Park Plans: Approximately 6 months in advance, Park Hours become available and the fee based sites from #7 put together their crowd estimates for each park. They actually do this quickly, about 10 days to 2 weeks after Disney releases hours. Use these crowd estimates to determine Which Park/Which Day for your trip. Do this before you do #9.
  9. Book Advance Dining Reservations(ADR’s): This can be done at 180 days prior to your arrival and you can book the first 10 days of your vacation if you stay on site. Most very experienced Disney visitors seem to agree that you base your ADR’s on where you will be rather than planning where you will be based on your ADR’s. You can make exceptions to this if you get an ADR that you absolutely must have (Le Cellier) and you were not planning to be at Epcot that day but be a bit careful. Don’t lock yourself into a very crowded park just to have lunch or dinner. TA can do this (at least a good one will), we do our own.
  10. Take It Easy, Your Trip Planning (with Disney) Is Done: Now that you have completed these steps your basic planning involvement with Disney is done except for paying off your package (if you bought a package) 45 days prior to your arrival (TA can do this too). If you keep your “Room Only” and buy the rest separately you can wait until you arrive to pay off your room balance (total cost minus deposit). You can do some planning refinement as you approach your trip if park hours or other circumstances change but basically the hard work is done.

These 10 steps have worked well consistently for us and you can use them or develop your own planning strategies. Please, please,please do some planning especially for ADR’s because when Free Dining or other deep discounts are available, a place to sit down for a meal can be impossible to come by. ” Winging”  it just doesn’t work anymore. I have recommended the use of a Disney Specialist TA, remember, they do not charge for their services because Disney pays them. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!

Ken

  • Disney’s Magical Express Tips & Details (chipandco.com)
  • I Don’t Need a Disney Travel Agent…or do I? (chipandco.com)

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Planning Your Visit Day By Day http://www.chipandco.com/oldies-but-goodies-planning-your-visit-day-by-day-18483/ http://www.chipandco.com/oldies-but-goodies-planning-your-visit-day-by-day-18483/#comments Sat, 31 Dec 2011 18:30:28 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=18483 When we, as Oldies, visit Walt Disney World we approach it a little bit differently from our younger friends. For example, after getting up at 4:00 AM and catching an early flight we then spend a good portion of the day getting to our happy place. After a long day of travel and getting to […]

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When we, as Oldies, visit Walt Disney World we approach it a little bit differently from our younger friends. For example, after getting up at 4:00 AM and catching an early flight we then spend a good portion of the day getting to our happy place. After a long day of travel and getting to our resort hotel, I don’t know about the rest of my Senior friends but I’m ready to rest for a bit. For that reason our arrival day is always an easy one. We generally get checked in and have dinner after which we walk the resort. Occasionally, if we are staying at Port Orleans, we will take the boat to Downtown Disney and then take it right back again. It’s a great way to unwind so you can get to bed and sleep well to be ready for your first day. Many of our younger friends head for a park or go to one of the entertainment areas for some clubbing, not us!!!

In talking to other Oldies we have found that most of them spend 7-9 days on site not counting travel days. This calls for pre-planning your day to day park visits before you arrive. Pre-planning your park visits also allows you to make Advance Dining Reservations (ADR’s) based on where you will be each day (that’s a lot better than planning your park days based on which ADR’s you have). I always use one of the subscription websites that produce charts indicating what crowds will be like each day in each park for planning purposes. Both Touring Plans.com and Tour Guide Mike do a good job of this but my preference is and has been Tour Guide Mike. The accuracy at that sight is always spot on and I rely heavily on their recommendations.

Just a few quick hints, make sure you allow enough park time in your favorite park. Ours is Epcot and on a 9 day visit we spend at least 2 1/2 to 3 days there. We then divide the majority of the rest of the visit between the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios with just a short half day visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom for our favorite attractions. The most important thing that we Oldies can do is to plan a rest day somewhere towards the middle of your stay. On this day you can sleep in, spend a bit of time by the pool, visit some other resorts (to plan for future visits), play some golf, do some shopping, etc. You should just do something that gets you away from the pace and intensity of the parks. As much as we all love the theme parks, they can be exhausting. Please don’t ignore this, it will make your entire visit much more fun!!!

This is nothing more than a few suggestions to make sure you get the most out of your visit without exhausting yourself and perhaps endangering your health. Nothing is worth making yourself sick trying to enjoy yourself too much. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!

Ken

  • Top Five Walt Disney World Resort News Stories in 2011 (chipandco.com)
  • Disney World Quick Tips – Don’t Visit Walt Disney World Through A Viewfinder (chipandco.com)

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Disney World Quick Tips – Don’t Visit Walt Disney World Through A Viewfinder http://www.chipandco.com/disney-world-quick-tips-dont-visit-walt-disney-world-through-a-viewfinder-18870/ http://www.chipandco.com/disney-world-quick-tips-dont-visit-walt-disney-world-through-a-viewfinder-18870/#comments Sat, 31 Dec 2011 13:30:34 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=18870 I almost feel a bit hypocritical about the title of this article because I take between 1200 and 2000 photos on each and every visit to Walt Disney World (1700+ on our 2009 visit). This advice, however, is aimed at the first or second time visitors who need to spend their time absorbing all of […]

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I almost feel a bit hypocritical about the title of this article because I take between 1200 and 2000 photos on each and every visit to Walt Disney World (1700+ on our 2009 visit). This advice, however, is aimed at the first or second time visitors who need to spend their time absorbing all of the wonderful things the World has to offer. When you see things through a view finder you see specifically what you are focused on and not how it fits into the whole scheme of things. Take the time during your early visits to learn everything you can about Walt Disney World and how it all fits together and then you can become a psycho photographer like me.

You don’t need to worry about losing those memories if you take advantage of Disney’s Photopass and all that it has to offer. You can familiarize yourself with Photopass on the official Disney Photopass site. You can find very detailed and accurate but unofficial information at the Stitchkingdom Definitive Guide. The key to making Photopass work for you is to learn to spot the photographers and what they have to offer and to make sure they take your picture at every opportunity. The more Photopass pictures you have taken the more economical it gets. The normal price of the Photopass CD is in the neighborhood of $150 but if you pre-purchase it following instructions at the Photopass Pre Purchase Site it comes in at around $100. Read about it, learn about it, and it will give you lots of memories at a fairly small cost.

There is no need to let Photopass be your sole source for pictures. Absolutely bring your own camera and take as many photos as you want but don’t spend so much of your time taking these pics that the World passes you by. That’s the whole point of writing this article, enjoy your vacation rather than personally trying to record every second of it with your own camera. Let Disney do some of the work, you won’t regret it. By the way, if after your vacation you decide that you didn’t get your money’s worth by pre purchasing the CD your money is refundable if you do not order the CD after you get home. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!

Ken

  • Disney’s PhotoPass helps Guests capture even more WDW memories (chipandco.com)
  • The top 5 ways to make the most of your WDW vacation (chipandco.com)

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Christmas Gift Ideas For Your DCO (Disney Crazed Oldie) http://www.chipandco.com/christmas-gift-ideas-for-your-dco-disney-crazed-oldie-17665/ http://www.chipandco.com/christmas-gift-ideas-for-your-dco-disney-crazed-oldie-17665/#comments Fri, 23 Dec 2011 23:00:25 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=17665 Hi, my name is Ken and I’m a DCO (Disney Crazed Oldie). A lot of my life, even smack dab in the middle of my 60’s, revolves around everything Disney. When I was a kid (in my 40’s) a pair of Mickey Ears would have thrilled me but as we become Oldies, our tastes change. […]

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Hi, my name is Ken and I’m a DCO (Disney Crazed Oldie). A lot of my life, even smack dab in the middle of my 60’s, revolves around everything Disney. When I was a kid (in my 40’s) a pair of Mickey Ears would have thrilled me but as we become Oldies, our tastes change. With that in mind, here is my top 5 list for Christmas gifts for us, the DCO’s in your life. You will forgive me if a lot of this stuff is colored by my personal taste. In no particular order the list is:

Oldies like to stay warm so a very nice robe like this makes a great gift. This one is plush and of course is genuine Disney Parks. You can find it at: Disney Parks Robe

My dear wife loves purses, so for the DCO in your life with the same fetish this Dooney and Bourke Champsac Bag would be a lovely addition to her collection. Even if she is not a total DCO it is subtle enough so as not to attract smart aleck comments from observers. You can find this item at:Dooney and Bourke Champsac Bag

Here is where my personal taste comes in. I have over 30 Disney Snowglobes and they make wonderful collectibles. I admire the clever subject presentation and the intricacy of the handiwork. They make a great gift!!! This one can be found at the following location along with many others: Disney Snowglobes.

What DCO would not love a Mickey Mouse Watch? That’s not really a question because we all love them!! This is a particularly nice one and not all that expensive. It can be found at: Mickey Mouse Watch

Giclee’s are another wonderful collectible with one MAJOR drawback – they are very expensive. Although I would love to have a nice collection of them I find that putting money towards Walt Disney World vacations is a better use for our cash. But – if you have extra money lying around with no one to spend it on you can reach me through Chipandco.com and I’ll provide you with the information you need to send it to me (just kidding of course). These particular types of items that I dream about are at:Hiya’ Pal Giclee

There you go! These are the types of items that appeal to your DCO’s (at least this DCO) and would all make great Christmas gifts. I hope you all enjoy the holidays with your families and as always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!

Ken

  • Oldies But Goodies – Don’t Miss These Holiday Experiences (chipandco.com)
  • Disney in Christmas: Home for the Holidays (chipandco.com)

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Oldies But Goodies – Don’t Miss These Holiday Experiences http://www.chipandco.com/oldies-but-goodies-dont-miss-holiday-experiences-for-oldies-18785/ http://www.chipandco.com/oldies-but-goodies-dont-miss-holiday-experiences-for-oldies-18785/#comments Wed, 21 Dec 2011 21:00:18 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=18785 The holidays at Walt Disney World, as we all know, are extra special for everyone but there are some experiences that are especially appealing to us, the Oldies. There are four that I think we find especially pleasing and if any of you chronologically advanced folks out there haven’t seen them you might find it […]

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The holidays at Walt Disney World, as we all know, are extra special for everyone but there are some experiences that are especially appealing to us, the Oldies. There are four that I think we find especially pleasing and if any of you chronologically advanced folks out there haven’t seen them you might find it worth your while to schedule a Walt Disney World visit during the Christmas season. In reverse order they are:

4. – The Grand Floridian LobbyThis is truly a marvel and is best visited during the evening when not only the tree and other decorations will be in their glory but the life size gingerbread house will be on display and  the Grand Floridian Orchestra will be there playing some fantastic holiday music.

3. – The Candlelight ProcessionalThis is always a treat. High school choirs from many states but primarily Florida fill the American Garden Theater in Epcot’s World Showcase all carrying candles and wearing beautiful gold robes, singing as they enter. It is a very moving experience and is narrated by a different celebrity who changes every couple of evenings.

2. – The Lighting Of Cinderella CastleOnce you see this in person, you will never forget it. Hundreds of thousands of ice lights are turned on bit by bit as the narration progresses. Once it is complete you will see the castle as you have never seen it before. The first time I saw it I actually misted up a bit – it’s that beautiful!!

1. – The Osborne Family Spectacle Of Dancing Lights – O.K this is number one. It takes place in the Streets of America area at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and there are literally MILLIONS of Christmas lights that are all turned on at the same time .You can hear the gasps from those in attendance when the switch is thrown. The lights are then choreographed to Christmas music for the rest of the evening in a spectacle that that will stay with you forever. If that is not enough it actually snows – an amazing evening.

If my Oldie friends visit Walt Disney World during the holiday season and do nothing but experience these four events, the visit will be well worth it. But – we all know that there is so much to do there that you will have a wonderful time no matter what. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!

Ken of Disney for Seniors

  • Top 10 Holiday Things at Disney World (chipandco.com)
  • Cigna Helps Veterans Heal Wounds of War Through Running (chipandco.com)

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Disney’s Magical Express Tips & Details http://www.chipandco.com/best-things-i-love-about-disney-is-disneys-magical-express-18260/ http://www.chipandco.com/best-things-i-love-about-disney-is-disneys-magical-express-18260/#comments Mon, 19 Dec 2011 18:00:07 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=18260 Getting from Orlando International Airport to Walt Disney World and back used to be quite a bit more complicated than it is today. It was also considerably more expensive than it currently is if you use what I feel is the best available option, Disney’s Magical Express (DME). DME is free, and not just free […]

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Getting from Orlando International Airport to Walt Disney World and back used to be quite a bit more complicated than it is today. It was also considerably more expensive than it currently is if you use what I feel is the best available option, Disney’s Magical Express (DME). DME is free, and not just free but incredibly simple to use. Best of all, it almost always works seamlessly if you follow the instructions. Here is the basic sequence of events you follow in using DME:

  1. When you or your Disney Specialist Travel Agent make your reservations you just include your flight information, both arrival and departure. This sets the DME wheels in motion. If you are like me, you make flight reservations way in advance and flight numbers and times can change. If this happens you just call DME at exactly 45 days prior to your arrival (no earlier) and inform of the changes. They will make the adjustments before mailing your paperwork.
  2. When you get your paperwork you will receive  1 yellow luggage tag for each person on your reservation. If you need more just call DME and they will get them to you but do it early. The tags are for your checked baggage.
  3. Put the tags on your checked luggage before you go to the airport and check in as usual. Remember, you will be paying fees for the luggage unless you fly Southwest or are a Gold or Platinum Delta Skymiles member. There may be other exceptions that I am not aware of.
  4. That’s it for the arrival trip, your luggage will be picked up and delivered to your resort room normally within 2-4 hours after you land. You do not have to be in the room when it is delivered. There is an exception if your plane arrives before 5:00 AM or after 10:00 PM. In this case you can either pick up your own luggage and take it on the motor coach with you or let Disney take care of it the next day (or later that day if you arrive early). All you have to do is proceed to the DME pick up area on Level 1 Side B.
  5. The day before you check out you will receive a packet with DME instructions including the motor coach pick up time (about 3 hours before your flight time) and the phone number to call to pre pay your baggage charges. On check out day just bring your luggage to the DME counter at your resort and check it with them for your return flight. Your luggage will be waiting for you at your home airport.
  6. Some things to remember on checkout day, you must check your baggage no less than three hours prior to your flight time. You can check you luggage with DME up to twelve hours (but no more) prior to flight time. The DME counter is only open certain hours and that information will be in your packet.

Here are a couple of important phone numbers: Disney’s Magical Express is 866-599-0951 and Baggage pre pay service is 407-284-1231. You can review DME details by going to their Website. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!

Ken

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Oldies But Goodies – Becoming A Kid Again At Walt Disney World http://www.chipandco.com/oldies-but-goodies-becoming-a-kid-again-at-walt-disney-world-24152/ http://www.chipandco.com/oldies-but-goodies-becoming-a-kid-again-at-walt-disney-world-24152/#comments Fri, 16 Dec 2011 01:00:54 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=24152 This Classic Oldies article goes out to our writer Ken who is home dealing with some major health issues. Get Well Soon Ken we miss you! Oldies deserve to have as much fun as everyone else at Walt Disney World, maybe even a little more. The folks in my generation and older generations are a […]

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This Classic Oldies article goes out to our writer Ken who is home dealing with some major health issues. Get Well Soon Ken we miss you!

Oldies deserve to have as much fun as everyone else at Walt Disney World, maybe even a little more. The folks in my generation and older generations are a group of people who have spent their entire lives being mature and as we got older, more conservative and serious about their own behavior. Maybe it was Korea, Vietnam, and the Cold War that did it but just plain silly fun was not a part of our adult lives. I’m not saying that today’s adults aren’t serious and mature, it’s just that us Oldies have been that way for many more years (given our ages). It’s not that we didn’t enjoy doing the things that we love to do but we haven’t spent a lot of time doing just plain ‘goofy’ things (notice the appropriate picture).

Enter Walt Disney World into our lives!! We can go there and behave exactly like a ten year old; skipping and singing, smiling and laughing, and just plain being silly. We can do this without fear of criticism or absorbing any inappropriate comments because everybody else is doing the same thing. It doesn’t matter if you were a high powered executive or someone like me who just worked hard his whole life, people don’t know who you are and they are just happy to see you enjoying yourself. So – join me in having fun and feeling like a kid again!!

If you spot me at Walt Disney World, you will see an old guy with a big smile on his face, a sparkle in his eyes, and a song in his heart (most likely ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’) because I am in the place I enjoy the most . Hopefully, Walt Disney World has the same effect on you. If it doesn’t, just give it a chance and let go a little bit, the magic will happen.

It doesn’t matter if you are traveling alone, as a couple, or as part of a multi generational group do something you have always wanted to do. Have a snack that everyone has told you was not good for you ever since you were a kid but be aware of your own medical restrictions. Ride the Prince Charming Regal Carousel or take a drive on the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway with all the other kids (you can even drive). Sing while you watch Wishes or Illuminations and when you are watching a parade, make sure you wave to all of the characters.

Hopefully I’ve convinced you that whether you are fifty, sixty, seventy or more that you too can be ten years old again if you give Walt Disney World a chance. I know it works for me. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!

Ken

  • Disney Diva’s Top 5 Tips: What happens if I get sick at Walt Disney World? (chipandco.com)
  • Take a Peek Inside Disney Story Rooms at Walt Disney World Resort (chipandco.com)

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I Won’t Be Able To Eat Anything – Special Dietary Requests at Disney World http://www.chipandco.com/i-wont-be-able-to-eat-anything-special-dietary-requests-at-disney-world-56502/ http://www.chipandco.com/i-wont-be-able-to-eat-anything-special-dietary-requests-at-disney-world-56502/#comments Sat, 03 Dec 2011 16:00:06 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=56502 Have you ever heard this? Do you think this is accurate?  Would Walt Disney World allow this to happen? As science and medicine progress, it is being found that many more people than were previously thought have food allergies or sensitivities. There are also many food issues among folks with chronic diseases. This issue runs […]

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Have you ever heard this? Do you think this is accurate?  Would Walt Disney World allow this to happen? As science and medicine progress, it is being found that many more people than were previously thought have food allergies or sensitivities. There are also many food issues among folks with chronic diseases. This issue runs the gamut from the very young to Oldies like me. Thankfully for me, my only food issue is that I love it way too much.

Disney takes these food issues very seriously and offers solutions at the large majority of their restaurants so their guests will not be subjected to the problems that can happen as a result of these allergies/sensitivities. Let’s take a look at what some of the major food allergies are:

  • gluten or wheat
  • shellfish
  • soy
  • lactose or dairy
  • peanuts and tree nuts
  • fish
  • eggs
  • corn

The best way to avoid problems with these types of allergies/issues is to note them when you make your table service reservations or if you prefer, discuss them with the Chef or Restaurant Manager upon your arrival. These things can generally be handled quite easily

There are other types of dietary issues that can cause problems for those folks with either metabolic disorders or multiple allergies. Some of these are:

  • Allergy or intolerance not listed above under Common Food Allergies
  • PKU
  • Metabolic disorders
  • A single guest with multiple allergies/intolerances or multiple guests with allergies/intolerances within the same party

These types of dietary issues require a bit more planning and Disney would like you to contact them at least 14 days in advance of your arrival by e-mailing them your information (restaurant, specific issue, how many members in your party with the issue, and any other pertinent information). The specific e-mail address is: SpecialDiets@DisneyWorld.com. You should have all of your reservations made and the reservation information assembled before contacting them.

You are not restricted to table service restaurants if you have one of the simpler allergies mentioned above. The following counter service eateries can also deal with the simpler allergies:

Animal Kingdom:

Hollywood Studios:

Epcot:

Magic Kingdom:

For further information you can visit the Walt Disney World Special Dietary Requirements web page. Walt Disney World is vastly experienced in handling dining needs of every type from those mentioned above to providing Kosher Meals upon request. Trust them but make sure you give them the correct information when they ask. After all, they have your and their best interests at heart. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!

Ken of Chip and Company and Disney For Seniors

  • Top 5 Snacks for Small Children at Walt Disney World (chipandco.com)
  • Five Ways To Ruin A Walt Disney World Vacation (chipandco.com)

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Five Ways To Ruin A Walt Disney World Vacation http://www.chipandco.com/five-ways-to-ruin-a-walt-disney-world-vacation-54604/ http://www.chipandco.com/five-ways-to-ruin-a-walt-disney-world-vacation-54604/#comments Sat, 19 Nov 2011 12:00:14 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=54604 Walt Disney World is a magical place to vacation and if you do most things correctly it is difficult to not have a wonderful time. Some people are planners and some are not but some planning is essential. Every traveling group has a definite dynamic and there are travelers within each group with different abilities […]

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Walt Disney World is a magical place to vacation and if you do most things correctly it is difficult to not have a wonderful time. Some people are planners and some are not but some planning is essential. Every traveling group has a definite dynamic and there are travelers within each group with different abilities and needs. The magic of Walt Disney World can overcome most things but there are a few things that MANY, MANY visitors do that can defeat even that magic. Let’s look at five things that can derail an otherwise incredible visit.

  • OVERPLANNING: An awful lot of people get carried away with the planning portion of a visit. They try to plan every minute of every day and more often than not they suffer some disappointment because of the dreaded “Disney variables”. Although there are a lot of sites around that do a good job of predicting crowd levels, none of them are always accurate. You must allow some spare time to account for unexpected crowds and other things like an attraction going down because of a malfunction – it happens!! If you find yourself asking how long it takes to walk from attraction A to attraction B so you won’t miss anything, you are overplanning
  • THE DOMINANT PERSONALITY: As I mentioned in the introduction, every traveling group has a dynamic which includes a dominant person in the group. If you don’t  recognize who that person is in your party, it’s probably you. I speak from experience here because I am generally the dominant personality. I have learned over time that I have to step back and let the other members of the group take the lead. When I find myself taking over the group I have to say to myself – Ken, it’s not all about you!! Let your family and friends make some touring decisions.
  • GOING COMMANDO (NO RESTING): It always amazes me the number of visitors who feel that they have to be on the go and hitting attractions every minute of every day. They are easy to spot because they are the ones in full meltdown about half way through their day. I’m not just talking about the kids either, grownups have meltdowns too. Kids cry and grownups yell or grimace at each other. Do yourself a favor, relax your pace and make every attempt to get out of the park for an hour or two each day. Take a nap or a dip in your resort pool and if you are not staying on site go visit one of the beautiful Disney resorts to just sit down for a snack or a cold beverage – you will not regret it.
  • NOT LISTENING TO YOUR BODY: Your body knows when it needs something!!! When it’s tired it needs rest of one type or another, when it’s hungry it needs nourishment. and when it’s thirsty it needs fluids. One of the worst things you can do to yourself at Walt Disney World is to not stay hydrated. You get caught up in the excitement (happened to me in October) and you don’t drink as much WATER as you should. Dehydration is the quickest ticket to feeling just plain miserable and is the easiest thing to prevent – water, water, and more water!! Don’t worry, there are plenty of restrooms at Walt Disney World and they are generally spotless!!!!
  • WINGING IT (ZERO PLANNING): I did this once and believe it or not, this is worse than overplanning. Walt Disney World is huge and very complicated so if you don’t do any planning I can almost guarantee you will spend a significant portion of your vacation standing in line for attractions. Equally as important, one of the easiest ways to rest is at a table service restaurant but if you don’t pre plan at least some meals and make the appropriate reservations you are very likely to be disappointed. The internet is a gold mine for research and any planning you do (just don’t overdo it) will be rewarded.

It’s very tough to ruin a vacation to Walt Disney World but if you do some of the things I mentioned above you are on your way. I learned most of the things I talked about through many, many visits over the years and I hope reading about them will help you maximize your visit. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!

Ken

  • First RFID turnstiles open at Epcot as Walt Disney World continues Next Generation initiative (chipandco.com)
  • Wounded Veteran Prevails Over Physical Disabilities to Compete in Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (chipandco.com)

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Chip and Company Disney Week In Review For November 14th http://www.chipandco.com/chip-andcompany-disney-week-in-review-for-november-14th-54195/ Mon, 14 Nov 2011 14:00:36 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=54195 Hello everyone! Yes it’s once again that time – time for the Chip and Company Disney Week In Review. We will be taking a look at some of the more intriguing news items concerning the Disney Company and all of it’s subsidiaries and of course we will give you a taste of the work of […]

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Hello everyone! Yes it’s once again that time – time for the Chip and Company Disney Week In Review. We will be taking a look at some of the more intriguing news items concerning the Disney Company and all of it’s subsidiaries and of course we will give you a taste of the work of the best staff of Disney writers in existence. Let’s press on!!!

  • We all know that there are lots and lots of Jake and the Neverland Pirates out there and the folks at Disney recognize this also. That is why those folks will be pleased to know that Jake and the Neverland Pirates Coming to Disney Parks. I think we all figured it would happen and it is on the way.
  • This particular day only happens once a century and the Lucky 11’s were wild at the Walt Disney World Resort. Check out the details when you read 11-11-11 Popular Wedding Day at WDW. Yes there were 11 couples that day!!!
  • It’s not always fun and magic at the Disney properties. You will see what I mean when you read how there was a Man arrested for peeping over restroom stall in Epcot. I don’t generally express opinions but that is just sick.
  • Comics are going digital and you Marvel fans will not have to wait. Find out what is going on in Marvel Digital Comics to Go On Sale Same Day As In Store. Imagine that, the Same Day.
  • Are you going to Walt Disney World soon? Are you going to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party? Do you like the Characters? If you answered yes to all three of those questions then you will be happy to know that New Characters Are Coming to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Have a magical time!!!
  • Disney always seems to be doing something to enhance the childhood experience. Their latest effort comes about as Disney Publishing Announces Launch of FamilyFun Kids, A New, Interactive Children’s Magazine. Educational – most likely, profitable – definitely!!
  • It’s not just speculation any more!! Fans of the Dora The Explorer game at Epcot will be thrilled to know that the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Is Play-Tested at Walt Disney World. It looks like it will be live in early 2012.
  • Attention Facebook users (isn’t that ALMOST everyone?). Did you know that you will now be able to Engage in Goofy’s Gift Exchange on Facebook. Check out the article to see just what it entails.
  • Do you like exotic (read EXPENSIVE) automobiles? You folks will be happy happy happy to know that there is an Exotic Driving Experience at Walt Disney World Speedway coming soon. I heard a rumor that someone (could it be Chip) has been invited to head on down and give it a try. Drive safely boss!!!
  • Are you an Annual Passholder? Are you going to be at the Walt Disney World resort in December? If so Disney has a gift for you. They decided that Annual Passholders receive free 2012 Calendar and it starts December 2nd. Check the details.

There was an awful lot of news coming out of Disney this week so if you want to keep up to date about all things Disney (and who does not) make sure to stop by Chip and Company every day. BUT – we don’t just have news we also have a group of very experienced Disney visitors who are more than willing to offer you their thoughts, opinions, and experiences. Let’s take a look at just a few of their articles:

  • Brenda offers us a lovely and very touching story about her very favorite Disney souvenir. Take a look at Disney Souvenirs & Collectibles – Princess Wedding Dance Snowglobe  and find out why this particular souvenir means so very much to Brenda.
  • Our writers visit Walt Disney World regularly and they just love the resort hotels. We have a new series about these hotels and Mel gives you the information to answer the question – Is Disney’s Boardwalk Villas Resort For You? Give it a look and see if the Boardwalk Villas are a good fit for you.
  • Lee, our resident Canadian, loves detail and shows this love when he talks about the Top 5 Imagineering Touches at The Magic Kingdom. Articles like this are a great way to find out things you may not have known.

That’s all for this week my friends. Please stop by and visit us each day to stay current and you may just be surprised at what Chip is giving away – free stuff is good!!! As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!

Ken of Chip and Company and Disney For Seniors

 

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Is Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort And Spa For You? http://www.chipandco.com/is-disneys-grand-floridian-resort-and-spa-for-you-53597/ http://www.chipandco.com/is-disneys-grand-floridian-resort-and-spa-for-you-53597/#comments Sat, 12 Nov 2011 21:00:53 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=53597 Walt Disney World’s premier resort is Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa but that’s not really the question here. Is this resort what you are looking for is the question that needs to be answered. This particular resort generates specific and sometimes strong  feelings from almost everyone. These feelings run from “I would never stay […]

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Walt Disney World’s premier resort is Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa but that’s not really the question here. Is this resort what you are looking for is the question that needs to be answered. This particular resort generates specific and sometimes strong  feelings from almost everyone. These feelings run from “I would never stay anywhere else.” to “I would never stay there because….”. I’m on the side that loves this resort and we stay there fairly regularly but we also love to try many of the Disney resorts so we don’t stay there every trip by any means. Let’s take a look at the Pros and Cons of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa:

PROS:

  • The resort is absolutely beautiful and oozes sophistication and luxury.
  • The staff is the most accommodating that I have found in any Disney resort at all positions and levels.
  • The theme is magnificent, honoring the glory days of Victorian Florida. It is very detailed and beautifully done.
  • Dining is unparalleled in any other Disney resort. There are three superior table service venues including the best restaurant in Central Florida, Victoria and Albert’s, Citrico’s, and Narcoossee‘s.  In addition there is an excellent character buffet at 1900 Park Fare with what is purported to be the best buffet food at Walt Disney World and it serves both breakfast and dinner. In addition there is a wonderful casual table service restaurant, the Grand Floridian Cafe, that is consistently excellent in both service and food. If that’s not enough there is a pretty decent quick service restaurant, Gasparilla’s.
  • One of the most relaxing activities in all of Walt Disney World is the Afternoon Tea in the Garden View Lounge. Every visit to Walt Disney World, no matter where we are staying, this is a must do!
  • Transportation is excellent and includes bus transportation, several boats, and of course the Monorail.
  • Here is where I hear the most negatives but LOTS of people feel that the resort is not “kid friendly”. It really is very “kid friendly” and I’ve found that they run as fast and scream as loudly as the kids at every Disney resort. Kids activities abound and include storytelling, scavenger hunts, crafts, etc. There is a zero entry pool with a water slide that kids absolutely love. Children are very well served at the Grand Floridian.
  • The rooms are beautifully appointed and larger than most at about 400 square feet.
  • There is daily live entertainment in the Grand Lobby consisting, at different times, of a pianist or a full orchestra.
  • There is lots of shopping available, mostly on the second floor of the main building, ranging from very upscale to the standard Disney shops.

CONS:

  • There are not a lot of CONS but the most obvious is – the COST!! Staying at the Grand Floridian can be cost prohibitive unless you are very wealthy (not me for sure), have a disciplined vacation savings program (yes, that’s me), or know how to find the most significant discounts available (Yes, I do this too). If you approach it like we do it’s only expensive and not OMG!!!!!EXPENSIVE.
  • Some folks feel stifled because of the apparent formality of the resort. Sure, it looks very formal but everyone there is on vacation just like you, all you have to do is relax.

We have stayed here on a few vacations and absolutely love it. I tried to be as balanced as I could but for us, there is simply not much to dislike. If you do not spend a lot of time around your resort or just use your room for sleeping and showering, DO NOT STAY AT THIS RESORT!! It’s simply not worth it unless you take the time to enjoy it. However, if you do enjoy detail, impeccable service, great food etc. I highly recommend this resort. I asked the question – Is Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa for you? – you have to decide that for yourself. I know we love it and if it works for you I know you will thoroughly enjoy it as well. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!

Ken

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Is Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort For You? http://www.chipandco.com/is-disneys-wilderness-lodge-resort-for-you-53873/ Fri, 11 Nov 2011 20:00:37 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=53873 When you arrive at Walt Disney World and approach Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort for the first time it’s difficult to believe that you are in central Florida as opposed to a beautiful woodland setting in the far northern part of the United States. The setting itself is gorgeous and it is matched by the beauty […]

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When you arrive at Walt Disney World and approach Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort for the first time it’s difficult to believe that you are in central Florida as opposed to a beautiful woodland setting in the far northern part of the United States. The setting itself is gorgeous and it is matched by the beauty and splendor of the resort. It is one of Walt Disney World’s best themed resorts and a favorite of thousands of regular visitors, in fact, many visitors to this resort simply will not stay anywhere else. I can’t say that I blame them because it is one of the most relaxing of all the Disney resort hotels. Let’s look at the Pros and Cons of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort:

PROS:

  • The setting and the resort itself are absolutely beautiful, as good or better than any other at Walt Disney World.
  • The theme of the resort is striking, not just in it’s detail and accuracy, but also in it’s scope and splendor. Yes there is a running stream inside the lobby.
  • The cast members are truly helpful and friendly but that is the norm for Walt Disney World.
  • The quality of the dining venues is excellent from the Roaring Fork Snack Shop self service cafe to the Whispering Canyon Cafe table service to the Artist Point Signature restaurant. (See also CONS). Roaring Fork is pretty typical of Disney quick serve hotel locations. The Whispering Canyon Cafe serves excellent food with plenty of variety in a raucous but fun setting and Artist Point is an outstanding upscale restaurant that serves not only many standard choices but a variety of exotic game dishes. For you salmon fans, the Cedar Plank Salmon at Artist Point is NOT TO BE MISSED!!,
  • Transportation is very good but buses are generally shared with at least one other resort (varies). There is excellent boat transportation to the Magic Kingdom, Contemporary Resort (where you can catch the Monorail), and Fort Wilderness (home of the Hoop De Doo Review). The boats are a fun and very relaxing way to get around.
  • The rooms are varied and some are particularly family friendly. They run from the standard two queen bed room, to the king bed room to the queen bed and bunk bed combination room(family friendly). The king bed rooms are also the barrier free rooms and there are 37 of them.
  • The huge lobby is a nice place to sit and relax after a hard day in the parks. There is a gigantic stone fireplace that is particularly striking.
  • The main pool is very scenic with a great view of the resort, grounds, and Fire Rock Geyser which erupts every hour on the hour from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM. There are two spas (Disney for hot tubs) at the main pool. There is a quiet pool with a spa in the Disney Vacation Club Villas area, also very nice.

CONS:

  • There are not many Cons here but the one that is most prominent is the number of restaurants. The quality of the restaurants is absolutely not the issue but this resort could use one more casual table service venue. You can only eat at Whispering Canyon or Roaring Fork so many times before they become stale and most folks (especially with kids) can’t afford to eat too often at Artist Point (I could eat there every evening but that’s me – the food is amazing).
  • This is the only Magic Kingdom Area Resort without Monorail service. You can, however, take a boat to the Contemporary Resort to catch the Monorail. It’s a very nice ride if the weather cooperates (which it generally does). It simply would not be practical to run a Monorail spur to the Wilderness Lodge.

The Wilderness Lodge Resort is one of Walt Disney World’s best and most popular resorts. Any stay here will be both fun and rewarding in that you will find it easy to relax in a beautiful and calm setting. Although lots of folks stay here there is no sense of frenzy like I have noticed at some of the other popular Deluxe resorts. I use the term frenzy reluctantly because it’s nothing I can really put a finger on but it just does not exist at this resort. It would be worth your while to consider this resort for a future visit to Walt Disney World. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!

Ken

 

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Is Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort For You? http://www.chipandco.com/is-disneys-coronado-springs-resort-for-you-2-52670/ http://www.chipandco.com/is-disneys-coronado-springs-resort-for-you-2-52670/#comments Sat, 05 Nov 2011 23:00:55 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=52670 We recently completed an 11 day stay in Walt Disney World at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. The question asked above, is it for you, depends on what you are looking for in a resort, how much time you will actually spend at the resort, and what types of amenities you prefer. We stay at the […]

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We recently completed an 11 day stay in Walt Disney World at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. The question asked above, is it for you, depends on what you are looking for in a resort, how much time you will actually spend at the resort, and what types of amenities you prefer. We stay at the Deluxe and Moderate level resorts because we do spend a bit of time enjoying the facilities and in most instances the Coronado Springs Resort, even though it is a Moderate, compares favorably to the Deluxe Resorts. There are some very distinct differences though.

Let’s look at the Pros and Cons of the Coronado Springs Resort (CSR):

PROS: –

  • The physical resort is absolutely beautiful and very comfortable.
  • Bus Service is excellent (CSR does not share buses with other resorts).
  • The rooms are in excellent condition because of a “fairly recent” remodel.
  • The Staff is a joy to deal with (with a minor exception to be dealt with below).
  • Contrary to some reviews we had seen, we found the food and service at the Maya Grill to be top notch.
  • Rix Cafe (grab & go) had a good variety of well prepared fresh items.
  • We are non drinkers but the bars appeared to be well operated.
  • The pools, both “main” and “quiet”, are immaculate  and quite lovely.
  • Although we did not use it, the fitness center looks to be clean and quite substantial.
  • Panchito‘s Gift Shop is well stocked and the Cast Members are very nice.

CONS: –

  • The resort is physically HUGE and if you have issues walking this could be an issue.
  • The Pepper Market (food court) is a bit unusual and at most times the food stations seemed just a bit understaffed. This led to some delays in getting food. The layout of the stations seemed a bit confusing and not well labeled. The Cast Members were working their hardest but were put in an awkward situation by being, in my opinion, understaffed. The Cast Members who work the service at the tables were excellent and very attentive (this floor service is different from most food courts) and work hard for the extra 10% added to your bill for their presence.
  • Bell Services is a bit weak. Let me emphasize, the issue is NOT with the Cast Members who handle the luggage but those at the Bell Services Desk. We had a room issue that necessitated us changing rooms (at CSR’s suggestion) and the approach that the Bell Services Desk took was inconvenient at best. When I got a manager involved, the issue was resolved as it always is at Disney but it shouldn’t have been necessary. When we left we had a very early departure time and there was only one Bell Services Cast Member on duty to pick up luggage so we had to schlep it ourselves. We were NOT the only ones with the early departure.

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is a lovely resort with a beautiful and well maintained setting. It is , however, oriented towards convention type visitors so it seems a bit more “buttoned down” than most of the other Disney resorts. People just didn’t seem as relaxed as they do at other Disney locations, perhaps because of the necessity of maintaining their corporate image while with their peers.

Will we stay there again, probably not. The reason is not so much with the quality or amenities offered by the resort but rather our preference for some of the others we have experienced and will experience in the future. So many resorts, so little time!!!  As always, enjoy your visit to Walt disney World!!

Ken

  • Pepper Market: Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort (disneyfoodreport.com)
  • Free ‘in-room’ wireless internet starting at most Walt Disney World Resorts today (chipandco.com)

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Disney Food Confession – ‘Ohana Bread Pudding (With Recipes) http://www.chipandco.com/disney-food-confession-ohana-bread-pudding-with-recipes-52865/ http://www.chipandco.com/disney-food-confession-ohana-bread-pudding-with-recipes-52865/#comments Thu, 03 Nov 2011 16:00:21 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=52865 We have been to Walt Disney World many, many times but until this visit we had never eaten at ‘Ohana. It is now on our list of “must do” dining for every trip in the future. The food is amazing, the service is excellent, and the price is right. BUT – let’s get to the […]

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We have been to Walt Disney World many, many times but until this visit we had never eaten at ‘Ohana. It is now on our list of “must do” dining for every trip in the future. The food is amazing, the service is excellent, and the price is right. BUT – let’s get to the star of this article, the ‘Ohana Bread Pudding dessert.

I’m not, by nature, a dessert person and generally the only one I eat at Walt Disney World is the Grapefruit Cake at the Hollywood Brown Derby (yummy by the way). Actually, if the bread pudding hadn’t been included with the meal I would not have considered ordering it and that would have been a gastronomic tragedy!!! When they bring it to your table, don’t let it sit there, scarf it down!!!

I’m including the recipe below, including the bread recipe. You can use French bread instead of the Breakfast Bread but I’m afraid it wouldn’t quite be the same. The details of texture, flavor, sweetness etc. can be summed up in one word – DREAMY!!!!   It is the perfect finishing touch to an excellent meal and will leave you smiling as you walk out the door!!

Here are the recipes:

‘OHANA BREAD PUDDING:

Ingredients

5 eggs
3 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cup sugar
8 cups french or ‘Ohana breakfast bread (scroll down to recipe)

1. In bowl mix eggs, milk , salt, sugar and nutmeg. Set aside.
2. Cut bread in medium pieces, place on cookie sheet pan put in 350 degree oven.
3. Bake bread until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes. Remove bread and place in egg and milk mixture.
4. Place mixture in a greased 10-inch cake pan and bake at 325 degree for 1 hour.
5. Let stand 5 minutes, serve hot with ice cream.

BANANA FOSTER SAUCE
4 oz sugar
4 oz brown sugar
4 oz corn syrup
4 oz unsalted butter
1cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1cup spiced rum
1cup banana slices

1. Combine sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and half of heavy cream in a large pan. Bring to a boil and slowly add remaining heavy cream keeping mixture at a steady boil.

2. Add spiced rum and flambe.

3. Candy will brown slightly; cook 3 minutes until candy forms into a firm ball in cold water. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Add sliced bananas. Serve warm.

 

‘OHANA BREAKFAST BREAD:

Ingredients

1 3/4 C. Water
1 Egg Yolk
2 T. Shortening
4 1/2 C. High Gluten Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/3 C Sugar
1 T. Instant Yeast

Coconut Mixture

1 C. Crushed pineapple
1 C. Unsweetened coconut
1 C. Sugar
2 T. Cornstarch

Pinapple/Coconut Method

1. Combine pineapple and coconut in bowl.

2. Combine sugar and cornstarch in separate bowl and mix well.

3. Add sugar and cornstarch mixture into pineapple and coconut mixture and mix well.

4. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Bread Method

1. Combine all ingredients in order of recipe in mixing bowl, and mix with dough hook until
dough picks up on hook and the sides of the mixing bowl is clean.

2. Let dough rise until it doubles in size.

3. Roll out dough onto a floured surface until it is 2 inches thick.

4. Next spread pineapple/coconut mixture over the top of the dough.

5. Fold dough into itself and place in a greased 9″ x 13″ cake pan.

6. Cut dough into pieces with a pizza cutter and spread out cut pieces evenly in cake pan.

7. Let dough rise in warm oven (110 degrees F) – about half way up the pan.

8. Bake at 325 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

9. Let bread cool, cut and serve.

Yield 1 – 9″ x 13″ cake pan

Give it a try but above all DON’T FORGET THE ICE CREAM (vanilla works the best)  As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!

Ken

Photo courtesy of Passporter Boards

 

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Chip and Company Disney Week In Review For October 31 http://www.chipandco.com/chip-and-company-disney-week-in-review-for-october-31-52471/ Mon, 31 Oct 2011 13:00:11 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=52471 Here we are for this week’s Chip and Company Disney News Roundup. I want to thank my friend Mike for taking over my week while we spent eleven wonderful days at Walt Disney World. Now let’s get into this week’s news and views from our staff of amazing writers. Things are happening at the Disneyland […]

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Here we are for this week’s Chip and Company Disney News Roundup. I want to thank my friend Mike for taking over my week while we spent eleven wonderful days at Walt Disney World. Now let’s get into this week’s news and views from our staff of amazing writers.

  • Things are happening at the Disneyland Resort in 2012. You can read about the Restaurant Changes Coming to Disneyland Park in this article. I’m sure it will be for the best and offer opportunities for new treats.
  • On a tragic note we all heard that a Woman’s body found in cast parking lot at Disney World earlier this week was not a homicide but is still under investigation.
  • Donald did very well last week , in fact he won the Children’s Miracle Network Golf Classic. Sorry Disney fans, it wasn’t our favorite duck but was instead LUKE Donald. The particulars are in the article – What a Day for Donald at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic at Walt Disney World Resort. Fear not though, our duck buddy helped him celebrate.
  • Fast Pass tests seem to be very popular at Walt Disney World these days. The latest one is to test “FastPass for Celebrate a Dream Come True” parade. The test will run for about three weeks, what do you think?
  • It’s not JUST fun at Walt Disney World, serious learning experiences happen there also. In an effort to improve vehicle safety, Department of Transportation Hosts Research Clinic to Test ‘Connected Vehicle Technology’ at Disney World. It’s all quite technical but anything that makes it safer to navigate the highways has my vote.
  • There is something that happens at Walt Disney World each and every night. While it is not a super spectacular, it has been around since the beginning and along with the Magic Kingdom, this year the Electrical Water Pageant Celebrates 40 Years at Walt Disney World Resort. If you haven’t seen it give it a try, it starts around 9:00 and passes by all of the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake Resorts.
  • Tim Burton and Disney are teaming up once again for a bizarre twist on an old story. Read Disney Gives A First Look at Tim Burton’s ‘Frankenweenie’ to see exactly what to look forward to.
  • Alfred Angelo has released his creations for those brides fourtunate enough to be celebrating their nuptials at Walt Disney World in 2012. Check out this Video: 2012 Disney Fairy Tale Weddings by Alfred Angelo to see what these beautiful designs look like.
  • Anonymouse is at it again. While her/his thoughts could be considered a view rather than news, they have been so accurate in the past that I’m confident enough to say that Disney Confidential: New replacement for Captain EO is very likely to happen.
  • We all know that animals are special and therefore deserve the best of treatment. Is it a surprise then to learn that Disney Animal Programs Gives “Creatures of the Night” Special Treats for Halloween? Everyone deserves a little treat now and then.

That covers a lot of this week’s news so now it’s time to peer into the minds of our writers to see what they were conjuring up this week.

  • The holidays are a very different time of year at Walt Disney World and some things require a bit of additional thought and preparation. Savannah helps us out by calling on her experience to tell us the Top 5 Things to Know When Visiting WDW at the Holidays. Take heed, you will not be sorry!!
  • Continuing in the holiday theme, Thanksgiving is first up and Mike fills us in in on the particulars of Celebrating Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World. It’s a great time to be there so enjoy it.
  • Calling all Disney’s Animal Kingdom fans, Jodi has something wonderful to offer you. Take a look at A Day in the Life of Disney’s Animal Kingdom for an in depth perspective.

That’s it for this week’s review folks, be sure to stop by Chip and Company each and every day to stay current on what is happening at our favorite places, the Disney venues!!! As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!

Ken of Chip and Company and Disney For Seniors

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Oldies But Goodies – How Ambitious Should Your Vacation Plans Be? http://www.chipandco.com/oldies-but-goodies-how-ambitious-should-your-vacation-plans-be-48929/ http://www.chipandco.com/oldies-but-goodies-how-ambitious-should-your-vacation-plans-be-48929/#comments Sat, 08 Oct 2011 12:00:18 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=48929 This is one of those questions that only you can answer for yourselves my Oldie pals!!! The answer depends mostly on your stamina and any mobility issues, but since most mobility issues are easily dealt with at Walt Disney World stamina becomes the major consideration. I generally plan to get a lot out of each […]

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This is one of those questions that only you can answer for yourselves my Oldie pals!!! The answer depends mostly on your stamina and any mobility issues, but since most mobility issues are easily dealt with at Walt Disney World stamina becomes the major consideration. I generally plan to get a lot out of each and every visit but also plan a pace that allows time to recuperate from busy busy days. Our next visit will be a real test because the schedule is verrrrrry full and my stamina is down a bit from our last trip. I’ll let you know how I did when I get back.

The conventional wisdom says that you should schedule a daily break or at least go back to your resort for a quick dip in the pool but that is not always possible. Another approach would be to make sure each third or fourth day of your visit is a non theme park day or a sleep in with a short park day. Since we Oldies generally like to go to sleep early and get up early another plan would be to hit each park visit at rope drop and leave early rather than closing the park. And yes, one more, schedule lots of table service meals so you can sit down, relax in an air conditioned setting, and enjoy a good meal.

You don’t have to do all of the things I mentioned or even just one of them. You can combine any or all of them on different days, get your rest and enjoy some new Walt Disney World experiences at the same time. Please don’t try to go commando touring every day of your visit unless you are capable of this kind of pace. Also, if you are traveling with other Oldies please consider their needs and tour at the pace of your slowest buddy. Plan what you want to accomplish but don’t be afraid to cancel some of those plans if fatigue becomes an issue.

If you take take the time for some types of breaks every day you will absolutely find that you will get that much more enjoyment out of Walt Disney World. If you don’t get your rest, even if you visit every attraction, you will likely not enjoy or get the most out of all of them. A well rested Oldie is a Happy Oldie!!! As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!

Ken

  • Why Do I Write For Disney Seniors? (chipandco.com)
  • Oldies But Goodies – Five Things Seniors Look For In A Resort (chipandco.com)

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