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!!
- 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)
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:
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.
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:
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!!
- Oldies But Goodies – Don’t Miss These Holiday Experiences (chipandco.com)
- Disney in Christmas: Home for the Holidays (chipandco.com)
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 Lobby – This 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 Processional – This 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 Castle – Once 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
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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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!!
- Best Things I Love About Disney – How About Just Being There!! (chipandco.com)
- Disney World Quick Tips – Budget Considerations For Your Trip (chipandco.com)
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!!
- Disney Diva’s Top 5 Tips: What happens if I get sick at Walt Disney World? (chipandco.com)
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