Lee – Chip and Co http://www.chipandco.com Disney Theme Park & Disney Movie News, Disney World & Disneyland Planning Tips, Disney Dining, Reviews and More! Sat, 24 Sep 2016 22:29:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.1 http://www.chipandco.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/512-icon-54ced060v1_site_icon-32x32.png Lee – Chip and Co http://www.chipandco.com 32 32 7800472 Top Five Tips for Displaying your Disney Collectibles http://www.chipandco.com/top-tips-displaying-disney-collectibles-68631/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-tips-displaying-disney-collectibles-68631/#comments Sun, 25 Mar 2012 21:00:31 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=68631 OK. You’ve just got back from that visit to The Happiest Place on Earth or perhaps The Vacation Kingdom. And although you promised yourself that you wouldn’t buy everything you saw, you’ve come home with an extra suitcase full of Disney collectibles! Now what? Well, once you convince your significant other not to leave you, […]

The post Top Five Tips for Displaying your Disney Collectibles appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

OK. You’ve just got back from that visit to The Happiest Place on Earth or perhaps The Vacation Kingdom. And although you promised yourself that you wouldn’t buy everything you saw, you’ve come home with an extra suitcase full of Disney collectibles!

Now what? Well, once you convince your significant other not to leave you, it’s time to find a place for all that new stuff. And it ain’t gonna be easy!

Fortunately for you, I’ve been in this predicament on more than one occasion, so here are my Top Five tips for displaying your new treasures:

Number 5

Rotation. Let’s be realistic. Do you really have enough room to display every Disney collectible you own? Likely not. So display only a few treasures at a time. Between switches, carefully pack the rest of your collection away. But here’s a tip: Group each type of item or character in a separate box and mark the box clearly. So when it’s time to make the switch, you’ll know exactly where to look!

Come on, I know you’re that anal!

Number 4

Maintenance. Find a dust-free zone. Seriously. Find a dust-free zone! At one time I had over 200 collectibles displayed in a one-bedroom apartment, and the most familiar phrase I heard for two years was ‘When are you going to dust?’

This is where tip number five can help, but more likely you will want to opt for an enclosed display cabinet. This won’t eliminate all dust particles from your treasures, but it may help to extend the periods between dustings. And it allows for some cool lighting options too!

Number 3

Grouping. Eclectic is a nice word, but it doesn’t always make for the best look. It means to select or employ individual elements from a variety of sources, systems, or styles. In other words, you just throw whatever ya got on the shelf without any rhyme or reason! OK. I’ve done this and it doesn’t look that bad. However, if you have a nice room, it might be better to group similar types of items together. Figurines shouldn’t be mixed with Plush, for instance.

The only time this can work is if you’re doing a character theme, such as all Tinkerbell. This approach is usually best in bedrooms or offices, but can be done tastefully elsewhere. But beware: Tacky lurks just around the corner!

Number 2

Moderation. This is closely related to Rotation, but with a twist. Not only do you not want to try to display every collectible you own, but also don’t try to fill every space in every room. This is especially important if not everyone in your household is a Disney Addict! For them, it’s nice to create a Disney-free Zone where they can hide from your well-meaning fanaticism.

And don’t forget the visitors. Now, I know you’re not crazy, but they may be looking for evidence to the contrary. So don’t make it too easy for them to prove their theories about your sanity! Having them open the stove only to find a Disney figurine you didn’t have room for in the fridge won’t help your cause.

Remember: Moderation will make you appear reasonable even when you’re not!

Number 1

Location. Want to break your heart? Here’s what you do: Place your most prized and fragile figurine at precisely the eye-level of a two year old. Then sit back, and in approximately 7.4 seconds, you will own a broken figurine! Want to avoid this? Then follow this simple placement chart:

  • Figurines and other breakables up high
  • Collectibles with small pieces and display dolls at medium height
  • Plush, PVC, and heavy durable items at the bottom

Of course, it goes without saying that any treasure that holds a special place in your heart should either be up high or in a closed display cabinet.

I hope these five tips will help you to enjoy your treasures for years to come!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some dusting to catch up on.

 

  • Top 5 Places Disney World to shop for Disney Pins (chipandco.com)
  • Beginners Guide to Disney Pin Trading (chipandco.com)
  • Disney Penny Pinching Fun (theaffordablemouse.com)

The post Top Five Tips for Displaying your Disney Collectibles appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/top-tips-displaying-disney-collectibles-68631/feed/ 2 68631
Look for the Disney Trademarks http://www.chipandco.com/disney-trademarks-68214/ Sun, 18 Mar 2012 19:00:21 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=68214 We’ve all done this: We’re browsing in an antique shop or at a flea market and come across a Disney treasure. We know we’ve found something special, but how old is it? We pick it up and turn it over, hoping to find a date. But all we find is a Disney trademark. But wait! […]

The post Look for the Disney Trademarks appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

We’ve all done this: We’re browsing in an antique shop or at a flea market and come across a Disney treasure. We know we’ve found something special, but how old is it? We pick it up and turn it over, hoping to find a date. But all we find is a Disney trademark.

But wait! It’s different from the one we know. We pick up another piece of Disneyana, and it has yet another trademark stamped on it! And now we’re all confused. Well, I’m here to clear up that confusion by sharing with you the Disney trademarks that I’ve found over the years, and what I know about their dates:

Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio
October 16, 1923 until 1929

There was some rare merchandise produced before this time, but it wasn’t technically ‘Disney’. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit did a tidy little bit of business in a few lines of toys and books before Walt lost him. But for original Disney merchandise, if you can find a Disney Brothers item, you’ve got a gem! But I don’t think a lot of those earliest items had trademark stamps.

Walt Disney Productions
1929 until 1986

This trademark crosses the most amounts of years. So one piece trademarked ‘WDP’ could be old and valuable while another could be newer and relatively worthless. This trademark can be spelled out in full or shortened to the ‘WDP’ letters, or even to ‘Walt Disney Prod’ with all versions being fairly common. It usually depended on how much room was available on the piece in question as to which one was used.

This is the trademark you’re most likely to come across in the average shop or online.

Walt Disney Company
February 6, 1986 to the present.

This trademark is usually spelled out in full and is the second most common trademark found today due to the sheer amount of merchandise produced since 1986. Only items produced with this trademark that had limited production runs or that featured sought-after characters will be of any real monetary value.

Disney Enterprises Inc.
(No information)

This trademark is rare but it does crop up from time to time.

Disney
(Various time periods)

I started to notice this shortened trademark sometime in the early 1990’s and it is in wide use today. But the short ‘Disney’ trademark may also be found on earlier merchandise.

And it’s interesting to note that Disney is now shortening the movie division trademark from ‘Walt Disney Pictures’ and ‘Walt Disney’ to just ‘Disney’.

Keep in mind that any or all of these trademarks can be accompanied by dates, as in the example pictured above.

Although by no means comprehensive, I hope this brief look at Disney trademarks will help you when you’re trying to determine dates during your next visit to a yard sale!

  • Order Disney Food Blog’s Guide to Walt Disney World Dining (chipandco.com)
  • WDW Tin Tray (disneyatdisleelandiablog.blogspot.com)

The post Look for the Disney Trademarks appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
68214
Top 5 Tips for Collecting Merchandise http://www.chipandco.com/top-tips-collecting-disneyana-63959/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-tips-collecting-disneyana-63959/#comments Wed, 01 Feb 2012 00:00:58 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=63959 All Disney collectibles are valuable. False! All Mickey Mouse collectibles are the most valuable. False! Nothing new will ever be worth anything. False! Just how many false impressions are there out there about Disneyana collecting? Probably as many as there are Disneyana collectibles! Antique dealers count on misinformation and sentimentality to slip that extra percentage on […]

The post Top 5 Tips for Collecting Merchandise appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

All Disney collectibles are valuable. False!

All Mickey Mouse collectibles are the most valuable. False!

Nothing new will ever be worth anything. False!

Just how many false impressions are there out there about Disneyana collecting? Probably as many as there are Disneyana collectibles! Antique dealers count on misinformation and sentimentality to slip that extra percentage on your purchase. Don’t let them rip you off!

Follow these five tips for collecting Disneyana:

Number Five:

Buy only what you like and plan to keep. Collecting anything is about possession, not profit. This holds true for most of us, excepting the professional collector who buys for resale. Only he can truly know the market and what it can bear, so only he should play the money game.

The benefit of this tip is that you will only spend what you think something is worth to you. So you will avoid high price tags, or if you do splurge, you won’t feel ripped off because the item will bring you sufficient satisfaction to compensate.

Number Four:

Do your research. If you must have every Donald Duck collectible on the market, make sure to educate yourself about current market pricing.

The benefit of this tip is that you will always know the true value of any item you are interested in. Books and websites abound for this purpose, so make use of them, perhaps on your mobile device.

Number Three:

Relax. There is more Disneyana out there than one person could ever collect in one lifetime! So don’t even try. Don’t think that if you miss buying this one item that it will never come around again. Believe me, with the proliferation of antique shops and online selling sites, it likely will come around again. And if that exact item doesn’t, one of a million others that you’ve just got to have will!

The benefit of this tip is that you won’t be pushed into a purchase that you’re not comfortable with because of panic.

Number Two:

Age doesn’t necessarily increase value. Just because something was made in 1947, it doesn’t mean that the item is worth more than a similar item made in 1987 or 2007. Popularity is the ultimate price maker!

The benefit of this tip is that you can be aware of trends. For example, a chaser Vinylmation figure could very well out sell a mass-produced item from 1950. For example, if more people currently want Vinylmation figures over Disneykins figures, age isn’t going to matter!

Number One:

Mickey doesn’t always mean big money. Most amateur collectors, and too many antique dealers, fall into this erroneous thinking. Undoubtedly, Mickey is the oldest Disney character to receive extensive merchandising, but that is also the problem! There is just too much Mickey out there for all of it to be valuable. Rarity and condition will determine price more than anything else.

The benefit of this tip is that you will know to buy secondary characters who’s merchandise is harder to find, but that non-Disney retailers may not recognize, and so under-value in their sale price!

OK troops, are we ready to get out there and do some informed buying?

  • Tomart’s Disneyana – Part One (disneyatdisleelandiablog.blogspot.com)
  • Tomart’s Disneyana – Part Two (disneyatdisleelandiablog.blogspot.com)

The post Top 5 Tips for Collecting Merchandise appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/top-tips-collecting-disneyana-63959/feed/ 3 63959
Disney Quick Tips – Saving Your Digital Memories http://www.chipandco.com/disney-quick-tip-saving-your-digital-memories-34642/ http://www.chipandco.com/disney-quick-tip-saving-your-digital-memories-34642/#comments Wed, 25 Jan 2012 16:00:19 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=34642 More is better right? Wrong! If you have a 3 or 4 GB media card for your digital camera, or greater, you could be risking the loss of hundreds of Disney memories. Large GB cards can store several hundreds of high resolution images. It’s convenient not to have to swap out cards every two minutes, […]

The post Disney Quick Tips – Saving Your Digital Memories appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

More is better right? Wrong! If you have a 3 or 4 GB media card for your digital camera, or greater, you could be risking the loss of hundreds of Disney memories. Large GB cards can store several hundreds of high resolution images. It’s convenient not to have to swap out cards every two minutes, but not so convenient when your camera decides to have a melt down and erase what you’ve taken!

Or you could do what I did once and erase over 200 pictures yourself. And you could also lose your camera.

My tip is to use only half GB or 1 GB cards and swap them out often. Keep them separate from your main camera bag so they won’t get lost with the camera, should that happen.

Alternatively, upload your pictures to a laptop every night before taking more pictures the next day. This way if something bad should happen, you’ve only lost one days memories!

Happy snapping!

The post Disney Quick Tips – Saving Your Digital Memories appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/disney-quick-tip-saving-your-digital-memories-34642/feed/ 4 34642
A Canadian Perspective of the Epcot Pavilion http://www.chipandco.com/a-canadian-perspective-of-the-epcot-pavilion-62014/ http://www.chipandco.com/a-canadian-perspective-of-the-epcot-pavilion-62014/#comments Sun, 08 Jan 2012 02:00:44 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=62014 Mountain Range Only eleven countries have the privilege of being represented in EPCOT at Walt Disney World. And as you probably already know, they are: American Adventure Canada China France Germany Italy Japan Mexico Morocco Norway United Kingdom Of course, it’s the Canada Pavilion that this article will focus on. To begin with, I was surprised […]

The post A Canadian Perspective of the Epcot Pavilion appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

Mountain Range

Only eleven countries have the privilege of being represented in EPCOT at Walt Disney World. And as you probably already know, they are:

  • American Adventure
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Morocco
  • Norway
  • United Kingdom

Of course, it’s the Canada Pavilion that this article will focus on.

To begin with, I was surprised to find a Canada Pavilion at EPCOT. It’s all-too common for most of the world to see my country as nothing more than an additional State of the U.S.A. and not as the truly unique and beautiful place that it is. So I was doubly pleased to see that Canada was one of the first countries encountered as you walk around The World Showcase, Mexico being the other, if you go in a clockwise direction.

Canada isn’t one of the biggest Pavilions, but it does have a lot of content packed into its compact footprint. For example, you will find:

  • A Mountain
  • A river ending in a waterfall
  • A reproduction of the Butchart Gardens from Victoria, BC
  • A model of the Victorian-style Chateau Laurier hotel found in Ottawa

Gardens

And these are just the physical features of the Canada Pavilion. In these things, this Canadian proclaims that the Imagineers have done a nice job of representing his country. Anyone who visits Canada leaves declaring the beauty and scope of our land, and this is well displayed in EPCOT.

But what of the other features of the Canada Pavilion? They are:

  • A totem pole and Indian canoe
  • An old Trading Post
  • A large French influence
  • Mounties
  • And Off-Kilter

Here we have the same problem that the other ten Pavilions exhibit: Outdated representation.

The totem pole, Indian canoe, and the Trading Post have long vanished from the common landscape of Canada. Any French influences are mostly restricted, at least overtly, to Ottawa and Quebec. Mounties are rarely, if ever seen, in the red uniforms associated with them. And I have never seen a man in a kilt in my entire life in Canada!

Trading Post

Off-Kilter

I remember sitting in the Norway Pavilion one day just across from the old Viking Ship, before it was removed. A mother walked by with her two children, and upon seeing the stereotypical ship, said to them: “Oh look, kids: A Viking Ship! We all have one of those in our back yards, don’t we?” The sarcasm told me she was Norwegian and didn’t care for such a representation of her country.

That being so, I can say in Disney’s defense, that without such stereotypical representations of a country’s heritage, how would one stand out from another? Today, we all have skyscrapers, cars, and modernization. EPCOT could thusly consist of just one Pavilion called Everycountry! How boring would that be?

The Canada Pavilion has a wonderful shopping area filled with traditionally Canadian wares. But for the most part, only expensive items are stocked, which the average Canadian wouldn’t buy everyday. Le Cellier Steakhouse does serve an authentic Canadian cuisine. I recommend the beer. And that brings us to the 360 degree Circle-Vision film ‘O Canada’. Recently redone, with Martin Short as emcee, this too gives a nice overview of both old and new, or modern, Canada.

So, as a Canadian, do I approve of how my country is represented by Disney at EPCOT?

I’d have to say ‘Yes!’

But I wonder if this is the case with you, the readers from the other countries represented in The World Showcase? Does Germany, United Kingdom, or even The American Adventure live up to how you would like to be represented?

Why not join the discussion in our comments section and let us, and Disney, know!

  • Complete at Last: Adventure at Epcot Center (disneyatdisleelandiablog.blogspot.com)
  • Epcot’s Kidcot Fun Stops (chipandco.com)

The post A Canadian Perspective of the Epcot Pavilion appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/a-canadian-perspective-of-the-epcot-pavilion-62014/feed/ 6 62014
Snowbirds: Disney Vacationing for Canadians http://www.chipandco.com/snowbirds-disney-vacationing-for-canadians-60937/ http://www.chipandco.com/snowbirds-disney-vacationing-for-canadians-60937/#comments Sun, 01 Jan 2012 01:00:23 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=60937 If you don’t know already, I am Canadian. And although my country isn’t exactly The Great White North anymore due to weather pattern changes, it still does get cold enough in winter to make Florida look awfully good. And warm! And to this ‘Snowbird’ it’s just a no-brainer to head to The Vacation Kingdom for […]

The post Snowbirds: Disney Vacationing for Canadians appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

If you don’t know already, I am Canadian. And although my country isn’t exactly The Great White North anymore due to weather pattern changes, it still does get cold enough in winter to make Florida look awfully good. And warm!

And to this ‘Snowbird’ it’s just a no-brainer to head to The Vacation Kingdom for that hot and sweaty two weeks of winter vacation time. But perhaps your dream vacation involves Disneyland.

Before my family’s first visit to Walt Disney World in 2005, however, we had some big decisions to make. Decisions that would apply regardless of your final destination:

  • What help was available to plan our vacation?
  • How would we travel from Canada to this U.S. destination?
  • How long would we stay?
  • Would we stay on-property or off-property?
  • Was there anything else we needed to know before making our final decision?

So many questions, but at the time, so few answers! So this article is intended to help my fellow Canadians, and perhaps by extension other foreigners, to plan their next Disney vacation. I’ll walk you through each of the above questions by giving you the solutions I found to create many successful visits.

What help is available to plan your vacation?

For my first visit, I used a Travel Agent. I would recommend this to anyone who is unfamiliar with travel or booking  procedures. For my wife and I, it took all of the worry out of the planning stage. We merely told our Agent what we wanted to do and when, and she did the rest. Today, there are many Official Disney Travel Agents (one is attached to this site) who are
experts at planning a magical visit with Mickey Mouse. We also used CAA (AAA) when we were members, and this too proved to be a fine planning resource.

You can also phone Disney directly and they will plan everything for you.

In my opinion, if you try to go it alone, you are likely to miss out on many things. The sheer amount of decisions needing to be made is staggering! So perhaps a final tip is to do as much research on the Disney destination of your choice as you can. I recommend buying Birnbaum’s Official Guide, or some similar publication, well in advance of your planned vacation.

How should you travel from Canada to the States?

For our first trip, to Walt Disney World, my wife and I flew. Any Canadian airport will fly you directly to the Orlando International Airport. However, at the time, we lived only 30 minutes from the Windsor/Detroit border, and so had friends drop us off at the Detroit Metro Airport. From there, it took only two hours of flying and very little time was wasted on the ground or in the air. We were able to minimize the time spent in Customs and endured lessened security checks, so keep this point in mind: The events of 911 have made travel between Canada and the U.S. more inconvenient for Canadians, so you will be subjected to more delays and stricter security measures if you leave for Florida or California from a Canadian Airport.
Thusly, I recommend that you travel by car across a land border, use Park and Fly, and fly from State to State to minimize this problem.

The other option of travel is to drive. I much prefer doing this, as you can stop along the way and enjoy more of what the U.S. has to offer in the way of attractions and sightseeing. But your distance from Florida or California will determine if this is feasible.

If you will be driving to Florida, I recommend picking up a copy of Along Interstate I75 by Dave Hunter. He and his wife have made hundreds of road trips along this route and have included every, and I mean every, possible point of interest along this highway! Plan an extra day or two to stop and enjoy the culture and friendly people of each State you cross.

How long should you stay?

Up front, you should know that you have no hope of covering all of Walt Disney World in a month, let alone a week or less. So don’t worry about figuring out how many days you’ll need to cover everything. It ain’t gonna happen! So pick the number of days you will need to wind down and relax, but not so many that you will miss home and your regular routine. Remember:
Next year will bring another vacation!

Should you stay on-property or off-property?

If you are going to fly, staying on-property makes the best sense. Disney’s Magical Express will pick you up at the airport and drop you off when it’s time to leave. You just sit back and let them do the driving! Disney will even pick up your luggage at the airport and place it in your room upon arriving at your resort. Now how convenient is that? If you are planning to drive, then either option is feasible. But keep in mind that parking fees at Walt Disney World (and presumably Disneyland) can add up quickly, but can be avoided if you park at your on-property resort and use Disney transportation.

Staying off-property makes sense if you intend to visit several other Orlando or Anaheim attractions, such as Universal Studios,
Knott’s Berry Farms, or Legoland. Choosing a spot at a central location to all of your intended destinations just makes more sense time wise and financially.

What else do you need to know before making your final vacation plans?

Plan ahead. Keep your eye on the exchange rate between the Canadian and U.S. dollars. One year you may find things at par, while another year can see Canadians losing over 25 cents on the dollar! This can severely impact your spending power on vacation. So if possible, watch the fluctuating rates, and buy your American currency when values are closest to par.

Research, on sites like Chip and Company, all of the current and upcoming discounts and promotions being offered by Disney. Again, if you’re not into spending hours on the Internet, letting your Travel Agent do the work may be best.

Be aware of attraction refurbishments and closing schedules as well as Park renovations and expansions. For example, visiting Disney’s California Adventure at this time would be disappointing as they are still finishing off many of the key improvements to this Park, and will be well into 2012. Walt Disney World also has many such closures, but most notably, the recent changes to Fantasyland may impact your enjoyment of the Magic Kingdom, especially if you have young children.

My last tip is the simplest and perhaps most enjoyable: Talk to your Disney friends! They may just be the best resources you have about the Parks and how to make the most of a Disney vacation.

So now I hope you’re ready to plan that big Disney vacation. Just remember what Charles Muntz always said: “Adventure is out there!” But maybe I could add that even more adventure is out there if you plan well.

I’ll see you at the Parks!

  • “Walt Disney World Pro” iPhone App Updated with Newest Information, Photos and More (chipandco.com)
  • The top 5 ways to make the most of your WDW vacation (chipandco.com)

The post Snowbirds: Disney Vacationing for Canadians appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/snowbirds-disney-vacationing-for-canadians-60937/feed/ 1 60937
Top 5 Attraction Names at Disney World http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-attraction-names-at-disney-world-60127/ Fri, 16 Dec 2011 23:00:32 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=60127 The Imagineering doesn’t stop at ride mechanics or theming triumphs. It continues with music, lighting, location, and: Names! Yes, what would a Walt Disney World attraction be without a cool name? Well, just another amusement park ride, really. But Walt’s sense of whimsy is alive and well in every attraction, and I’d like to share […]

The post Top 5 Attraction Names at Disney World appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

The Imagineering doesn’t stop at ride mechanics or theming triumphs. It continues with music, lighting, location, and: Names!

Yes, what would a Walt Disney World attraction be without a cool name? Well, just another amusement park ride, really. But Walt’s sense of whimsy is alive and well in every attraction, and I’d like to share with you just five of my favorite Attraction Names at Disney World:

No.5: Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue

It’s fun. It’s frivolous. There’s whooping and hollering. And it rhymes! The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue serves up ribs and fried chicken along with gags and groaners for all ages. The name evokes the riotous Wild West when bawdy music halls entertained patrons with song, dance, and comedy.

This is one attraction that leaves you yelling its name for hours after the show ends!

No. 4: Boutiki

Boutiki is located at Disney’s Polynesian Resort and is one of my favorite places to shop at WDW. But the best part of this retail
experience is the name and the sign outside. Two Tiki Gods have decided to arbitrarily rename the Boutique to better reflect their nature. The result? One of the best play on words in the entire World!

No. 3: Mickey’s Philharmagic

Another play on words, this time combining the Philharmonic Orchestra with Disney Magic. Mickey Mouse has played the role of Conductor in a number of Shorts over the years, and he reprises his role in Mickey’s Philharmagic. But Donald Duck wants some of the attention, so things go a little wrong!

But I think the best part of this attraction is the name. It gets you in the mood right from the get go! And who doesn’t need a little
Philharmagic in their day, eh?

No. 2: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

This one rates so high on my list because I just love The Twilight Zone TV series (all 156 episodes)! Rod Serling was a genius and his story telling makes a perfect fit for Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is a creepy reproduction of a 30’s-style hotel which just happens to have one of the best thrill rides inside it!

The theming is amazing and the atmosphere second-to-none, with some of the most entertaining Cast Members of any WDW attraction. I can’t explain why I love the name so much, but it just helps to set your hairs on end even before you get to the lobby!

No.1: Fantasmic!

This show has its fans and its detractors, but for spectacle, Fantasmic! has no apology to make. A dramatic mix of fireworks,
fountains, lasers, and Disney characters, it lets us take a peek into the dreams of Mickey Mouse himself.

But again, my favorite part of this attraction is the name: Fantasmic! When someone asks me how I am, I answer “Fantasmic!” Now, only my Disney friends know what I’m saying, but it still sounds cool to those who don’t.

So what’s in a name? Sometimes it can be everything. The mood, theme, intent, and achievement of an attraction. The name can evoke emotional resonance before an attraction, and recall to mind the experience afterwards.

And what might your favorite Attraction Names at WDW be?

  • Disney Diva Tips: Disney World Printable Checklist of Age-Appropriate Rides (chipandco.com)
  • Oldies But Goodies – Becoming A Kid Again At Walt Disney World (chipandco.com)

The post Top 5 Attraction Names at Disney World appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
60127
Top 5 Theming Triumphs at Disney World http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-theming-triumphs-at-disney-world-58402/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-theming-triumphs-at-disney-world-58402/#comments Sat, 10 Dec 2011 18:30:42 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=58402 I know right out of the gate that I don’t have a hope of picking five winners that everyone will agree with in today’s Top 5 list. But you know me; I’m going to try anyway! Some theme parks may have a ride or two to rival Disney’s, but no one can match Disney theming. […]

The post Top 5 Theming Triumphs at Disney World appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

I know right out of the gate that I don’t have a hope of picking five winners that everyone will agree with in today’s Top 5 list. But you know me; I’m going to try anyway!

Some theme parks may have a ride or two to rival Disney’s, but no one can match Disney theming. Whether it is a restaurant, attraction, or Land, the Mouse just knows what looks good!

So here are my Top 5 theming triumphs from Walt Disney World:

No. 5: Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant

(see picture above)

I’m a HUGE science fiction fan! So they had me at the name. But when I went inside and was escorted to a table in the shape of a car, and not only a car, but also a car in a drive-in theater, I was in geek heaven. The low lighting was a bonus (even if it does make taking good pictures almost impossible) and the food was very good. But my favorite theming plus from the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant was the giant screen showing trailers from 1950’s horror films!

There’s nothing like eating a burger while you watch THEM eat other people!

No. 4: Polynesian Resort

No-Brainer Alert! Come on: Polynesia; Tiki Gods; Lush foliage everywhere (and mostly inside the lobby!); and a Monorail gliding past the entrance. Not only could I stay in the Polynesian Resort, but I could also live there! Add to this package two of the greatest gift shops in WDW, one of the best restaurants, an awesome Coffee Bar, and Tiki Motifs everywhere, and you’ve got a theming triumph!

No. 3: Jungle Cruise Queue

I’d pay to take this plunge!

This attraction is classic. But I almost enjoy waiting in line more than I do taking the ride! I know, I’m strange like that. But it’s so  much fun trying to spot all of the inside jokes along the queue rails. From the signs to the jungle office spiel, there’s so much to see and hear on the Jungle Cruise. And then you get to ride in a cool boat and listen to corny jokes! Excellent theming to introduce excellent theming. Now that’s a triumph!

No. 2: Toy Story Midway Mania

Boy. Tough crowd.

I’ve only sampled Toy Story Midway Mania once so far, so I don’t know what to think of it yet, but the queue is awesome! Blowing Andy’s room up so that you feel like a toy is brilliant. And I don’t think any other attraction has so many elements to keep you distracted while you wait, and wait, and wait… and then you meet interactive Mr. Potato Head!

He called me out as he tried to guess my ‘wait’. Too cool! Anywhere I can interact with “Don Rickles” is a theming triumph to me.

No. 1: Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The whole Park. Name an area and it is heavily themed. Visit a gift shop and it is heavily themed. Eat in a restaurant and it is heavily themed. Ride an attraction and it… well, you get it. WOW is all I can say each time I visit this young Park. It may not be the thrill-a-minute experience of the other Parks, but nowhere is there more unified theming than Disney’s Animal Kingdom. A theming triumph beyond question!

Are there new theming milestones coming in Walt Disney World’s future? No doubt, as the new Fantasyland expansion moves ahead to completion. And what’s coming after that? I can’t wait to find out!

But until then, there just may be a few other existing theming triumphs I’ve missed. If you have a favorite, please let me know in the comments section below.

The post Top 5 Theming Triumphs at Disney World appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-theming-triumphs-at-disney-world-58402/feed/ 5 58402
Disney Food Confession – Fish and Chips http://www.chipandco.com/disney-food-confession-fish-and-chips-53939/ http://www.chipandco.com/disney-food-confession-fish-and-chips-53939/#comments Tue, 15 Nov 2011 17:00:50 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=53939 What is it? Just the best food in the World! There’s nothing like an authentic feed of English-style fish and chips. Where to find it: After you pay your way into EPCOT, make for the World Showcase. Once there, go directly to the UK Pavilion and stop at, not the Rose and Crown Pub, but […]

The post Disney Food Confession – Fish and Chips appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

What is it? Just the best food in the World! There’s nothing like an authentic feed of English-style fish and chips.

Where to find it: After you pay your way into EPCOT, make for the World Showcase. Once there, go directly to the UK Pavilion and stop at, not the Rose and Crown Pub, but the Yorkshire County Fish Shop.

Why do you want it? Everyone who knows me is aware that I’m Canadian. But: I’m actually English! Well, sort of. My entire family is from England but I was born in Toronto, Canada, just two years after my parents immigrated there. So my citizenship is Canadian, but I could get dual citizenship if I wanted to.

So growing up, I had an all-too obvious English food influence! Bangers and Mash. Bubble and Squeak. Yorkshire Pudding. Crosse and Blackwell Mint Sauce. Crumpets. Toad-in-the-hole. And… English-style Fish and Chips.

Once you’ve had them, there’s no going back!

Picture courtesy of Passporter Message Boards and Forums

Happy 1000 Posts to Lee at Disleelandia. Head over to his Facebook Page and wish him a Congratulations!

The post Disney Food Confession – Fish and Chips appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/disney-food-confession-fish-and-chips-53939/feed/ 5 53939
Top 5 Imagineering Touches at The Magic Kingdom http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-imagineering-touches-at-the-magic-kingdom-53465/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-imagineering-touches-at-the-magic-kingdom-53465/#comments Sat, 12 Nov 2011 20:30:47 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=53465 Imagineers are mythical creatures that supposedly come out at night throughout the Magic Kingdom. They impishly fly around and tinker with things, always trying to make them better. But when the sun starts to come up in the East, these strange little creatures disappear… until the next night! And just what do they do during […]

The post Top 5 Imagineering Touches at The Magic Kingdom appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

Imagineers are mythical creatures that supposedly come out at night throughout the Magic Kingdom. They impishly fly around and tinker with things, always trying to make them better. But when the sun starts to come up in the East, these strange little creatures disappear… until the next night!

And just what do they do during their nocturnal visits? They create little touches that affect our Park experience, whether we realize it or not.

With great difficultly, I’ve managed to discover the TOP FIVE touches, and I will reveal them to you now:

5. Use of Forced Perspective

From the buildings to the vehicles, nothing is exactly what it seems at the Magic Kingdom! The higher something is, the smaller its upper portions become. The farther away something is, the narrower the streets to it become. Only an Imagineer will know all of the tricks used, but everyone will be fooled by forced perspective while visiting the Disney parks.

4. The Hub

Need a meeting place? The Hub. Need a starting place? The Hub. Need a place to relax and watch the World go by? The Hub. Only Walt Disney, the first Imagineer, thought of designing his parks with a central spot. From there, you can reach every land or destination easily and quickly.

3. Textured Walkways

You won’t notice it, but then, you not supposed to. But the next time you walk from one Land to another, look down. You’ll then notice that the ground you’re walking on has changed. From the smooth surfaces of Tomorrowland to the rougher ones of Frontierland, the Imagineers have found a way to get you out of one mood and into another: Your feet. As you’re busy looking up and all around, your feet ‘notice’ a subtle change in the terrain, and immediately your brain starts to shift gears.

But the Imagineers aren’t finished messing with your mind yet…

2. Themed Land Music

Again, you won’t notice it, but even the music changes from one Land to another. But it does so so gradually that your brain just goes along with the cheat. So by varying the terrain and the music, the Imagineers reduce the shock of changing from, for example, a space age environment to an old west environment. And all while you’re happily oblivious!

1. The Weenie

This is my favorite term that Walt Disney ever coined. No, it isn’t a new edible treat, but actually… Cinderella’s Castle! Yup.
Cinderella’s Castle is a great big weenie. Perhaps I should explain! Disneyland broke the first rule of Theme Park layout by having only one entrance. Then went a step further: How do you keep people moving into the Park? The answer: Put a big ‘weenie’ at the far end, hence, the placement of Cinderella’s Castle. It’s so beautiful that you just naturally gravitate towards it. And before you know it, you’re at the Hub, or the center of the Magic Kingdom with every option open to you.

Tricky fellows, those Imagineers. Maybe someday, we’ll be able to catch one, and make him tell us all of the other touches made over the years.

So what’s your favorite Imagineering Touch at the Magic Kingdom, or elsewhere in Walt Disney World/Disneyland?

 

 

 

 

The post Top 5 Imagineering Touches at The Magic Kingdom appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-imagineering-touches-at-the-magic-kingdom-53465/feed/ 2 53465
Disney Souvenirs & Collectibles – Anniversary Pin http://www.chipandco.com/disney-souvenirs-collectibles-anniversary-pin-53929/ Fri, 11 Nov 2011 23:00:41 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=53929 What is it? These were a special series of pins that Disney gave a try about two or three years ago. You could mix and match up to two names or titles on each pin. There was also a variety of pins to use as a base. The purple oblongs are magnetic and can be […]

The post Disney Souvenirs & Collectibles – Anniversary Pin appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
What is it?

These were a special series of pins that Disney gave a try about two or three years ago. You could mix and match up to two names or titles on each pin. There was also a variety of pins to use as a base. The purple oblongs are magnetic and can be swapped out for other names and titles. I believe you could also get pink oblongs with purple letters.

Why is it so special?

It was my wedding anniversary at the time and I impulsively decided to get this pin for my wife. The challenge was getting it without her seeing me so that I could surprise her later! She did catch me buying ‘something’, but didn’t know what until I gave it to her later.

My wife and I really enjoy visiting Walt Disney World together, and this pin helps us to remember a time when we shared a special moment at that magical place.

Where did you get it?

I purchased mine at the Polynesian Resort in the Boutiki gift shop. But they were available at most Resorts and Pin Trading locations.

How much did it cost?

I think the base pin was at least $8.95 and each name/title addition were $2.95 each. This made it slightly more expensive than most other large pins at the time.

  • Disney Souvenirs & Collectibles – Princess Wedding Dance Snowglobe (chipandco.com)
  • From the Attic: WDW’s 25th Anniversary (disneyatdisleelandiablog.blogspot.com)

The post Disney Souvenirs & Collectibles – Anniversary Pin appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
53929
Bluray Review – Winnie the Pooh http://www.chipandco.com/bluray-review-winnie-the-pooh-51623/ Thu, 20 Oct 2011 20:00:19 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=51623 Coming to Disney DVD and BluRay on October 25th Come one, come all! There’s a very important thing to do! It’s time to enjoy the delightful characters from The Hundred Acre Wood once again as Disney proudly invites families and audiences of all ages to reunite with Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Owl, Kanga, […]

The post Bluray Review – Winnie the Pooh appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
Coming to Disney DVD and BluRay on October 25th

Come one, come all! There’s a very important thing to do! It’s time to enjoy the delightful characters from The Hundred Acre Wood once again as Disney proudly invites families and audiences of all ages to reunite with Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Owl, Kanga, Roo, Eeyore, and an all new (albeit imaginary) character called the Backson!

After many years of direct-to-video offerings, we finally have our favorite tubby cubby back on the big screen! At first, I was dubious about Disney’s newest foray with A. A. Milne’s famous yellow bear, but it took only the first few minutes of the film to convince me that this was a very special effort.

Animated in Disney’s classic style, it features top-notch voice talents like John Cleese as the Narrator, Jim Cummings doubling as Pooh and Tigger, and a surprise stand-out performance by TV’s Craig Ferguson. Another casting coup was the voice of Bud Luckey (from Toy Story 3) as everyone’s favorite manic depressive, Eeyore.

Film Synopsis

Eeyore has lost his tail and it’s up to Pooh and friends to find him a new one. After trying and failing with many inappropriate substitutes, the gang is interrupted by a message from Christopher Robin. The movie really takes off as Owl misreads the note and sends everyone on a wild quest to save Christopher Robin from an imaginary culprit, the Backson!

And during all of this, all poor Pooh wants to do is stop for a little smackerel of hunny. Oh bother!

About the Music

Another thing I was leery of going into this movie was the music, or more to the point, the songs. The classic songs of the original Winnie the Pooh featurettes were written by the Sherman Brothers, which makes them hard to beat. And to live up too! But again, I needn’t of worried.

The musical score was created by Tony Award-winning songwriter Bobby Lopez with his wife Kristen. Together they wrote six of the main songs, all of which pay homage to the originals while adding something new. They have worked for Disney before, writing, among other projects, the stage version of ‘Finding Nemo’.

Henry Jackman reworked the original score featuring a special rendition of the beloved ‘Winnie the Pooh’ theme song. It was sung by actress, musician, singer and songwriter, Zooey Deschanel, who also provides the vocals for ‘A Very Important Thing to Do’ and ‘So Long’.

I couldn’t wait for the movie release to hear this great music again, so I immediately bought the soundtrack the day after I left the theater. I highly recommend that you pick it up too!

The Extras

Bonus shorts include ‘Mini-Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: The Balloon’ and ‘The Ballad of Nessie’. The first one is a condensed re-issue of one of the original featurettes, so there is really nothing new or exciting there. The second is the Short that preceded the theatrical release of the movie. If you liked it then, you’ll like it again. Or, if you’re like me and didn’t find it overly amusing, you’ll watch it because it’s an extra and then move on.

‘Winnie the Pooh and His Story Too’ was an excellent featurette depicting the history of A. A. Milne’s famous bear. Apart from learning some new things, you’ll enjoy more narration from John Cleese, and his bantering with a certain bear of little brain who keeps interrupting.

Deleted scenes aren’t always as entertaining as they could be, but on this release, they are golden! Some pivotal scenes in the movie were longer, and the extra bits really were funny. Don’t miss this part of the Extras!

The ‘Sing-Along with the Movie’ and ‘Disney Song Selection’ are the same thing. The first lets you follow the bouncing balloon during the playing of the movie as you sing along, and the second lets you just play the song clips… and sing along.

Considering how much to-do Disney has made about the storage capacity of the BluRay disc format, I would have liked to have seen more Extras on this release. But what we do get is good.

Conclusion

According to Rotten Tomatoes.com (as of 9/9/2011) Winnie the Pooh is the most critically-acclaimed animated film of 2011. And I would have to say that that title is well deserved. My wife had to drag me the theater to see it, but I left humming the songs with a big smile on my face!

Watching the film again has been a magical experience, and one that I will certainly enjoy again and again. So I guess you could say that it certainly lives up to it’s pooh-tential!

The post Bluray Review – Winnie the Pooh appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
51623
Top 5 Streetmosphere Acts at Disney World http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-streetmosphere-acts-at-disney-world-50925/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-streetmosphere-acts-at-disney-world-50925/#comments Fri, 14 Oct 2011 23:00:47 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=50925 Some theme parks may have better roller coasters. Some theme parks may have your favorite non-Disney animated characters. Some theme parks may even have tastier food. But no theme park in the world has better Streetmosphere than Walt Disney World! And to prove it, here is my short list of the Top Five Streetmosphere Acts: 5. […]

The post Top 5 Streetmosphere Acts at Disney World appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
Some theme parks may have better roller coasters. Some theme parks may have your favorite non-Disney animated characters. Some theme parks may even have tastier food. But no theme park in the world has better Streetmosphere than Walt Disney World!

And to prove it, here is my short list of the Top Five Streetmosphere Acts:

5. Walt Disney World Band

You know – the one that marches in Parades and performs at special occassions and when dignitaries visit. But any band, from the full marching kind to the trios or quartets that strut their stuff and play their music, will all give you an earful of musical goodness! The best part of these performances is that they tend to be spontaneous! The fun part is being surprised by them when they appear.

4. World Showcase Players

Fortunately, these players do hold to a schedule, so you should be able to plan to see them during your next trip. When you pick up your Park Map at the entrance, just ask for a performance schedule. The UK, China, and France Pavilions have all had excellent shows. And most of the other Pavilions have cultural music or crafts to round out the experience.

3. DHS Streetmosphere Actors

As good as the EPCOT Streetmosphere is, I feel that no Park does it as well as Disney’s Hollywood Studios! Maybe it’s because of the sheer number of different characters and skits that are offered. You may find yourself auditioning for a movie, being a contestant in a dating game, or simply accosted by any number of weird and wonderful oddballs! And be warned: These wacky ‘people’ just love to drag unsuspecting spectators into the ‘act’! But then again, that’s the fun of it.

Dora Nesmond: “I’m NOT dead!”

 2. DiVine

Take a stroll through the passages of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and you just may catch a glimpse of something strange and magical. She’s somewhat shy, but comes out of the foliage when the mood strikes her. Towering over the guests, DiVine walks, but never talks. Her graceful movements (all done while on stilts) will move you to awe! If you’ve seen her come to life, you are among the lucky few.

1. Dapper Dans

I make no apologies for placing the Dapper Dans in the top spot, as I am a rabid fan. I love music from all eras, but the Barbershop Quartet configuration of singers is one of the best, and is not to be missed! These colorful straw-hatted men never fail to entertain as they interact with the crowds (especially the children) while they sing period specific tunes along with select Disney classics. And if you visit at the right time of year, you just may see the Dagger Dans or the Cadaver Dans (depending on which Park you visit), an eerie variation that is simply spooktacular!

Harmonize.com

So there you have my Top Five Streetmosphere Acts from Walt Disney World. But don’t let me get away with leaving out one of your favorites! Set me straight in the comment section and let everyone know what to look out for during his or her next trip to The Vacation Kingdom!

The post Top 5 Streetmosphere Acts at Disney World appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-streetmosphere-acts-at-disney-world-50925/feed/ 1 50925
My Memories Giveaway – Disleelandia http://www.chipandco.com/my-memories-giveaway-disleelandia-49603/ http://www.chipandco.com/my-memories-giveaway-disleelandia-49603/#comments Sun, 02 Oct 2011 21:00:08 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=49603 Scrapbook Page  Greetings to the Chip and Company readership! I’d like to invite all of you to enter my new Giveaway over at Disleelandia. I’ve opened it to coincide with the 40th Anniversary of Walt Disney World itself. What better way to celebrate the place that creates memories than by giving away software that helps […]

The post My Memories Giveaway – Disleelandia appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

Scrapbook Page 

Greetings to the Chip and Company readership! I’d like to invite all of you to enter my new Giveaway over at Disleelandia. I’ve opened it to coincide with the 40th Anniversary of Walt Disney World itself. What better way to celebrate the place that creates memories than by giving away software that helps you preserve them!

MyMemories Suite (from MyMemories.com) is a great little package that allows you to make digital scrapbooks. And who doesn’t like scrap booking, eh? Especially if it involves those cherished Disney memories! The above picture is just one example of what is possible with this software.

But my Giveaway has a fun element to it: YOU can determine how many prizes are awarded! Will it be one, two, or three? To find out how YOU can up the ante, go to Disleelandia and read the Official Entry Rules.

Here is the first EXTRA prize that may be added… by YOU:

Limited Edition Aulani Print

As they say in the Infomercials: But wait, that’s not all! If you play along during the Giveaway, YOU could be responsible for adding one more prize to the package:

Rescue Rangers DVD Set

So are you excited about the Giveaway yet? Going back to the Infomercial: But wait, there’s still more!

Chip and Company readers can earn an EXTRA ENTRY simply by mentioning Chip and Company! So hurry on over to Disleelandia now and get your entry in. There’s no time like the present to start making new memories with the

My Memories Giveaway!

The post My Memories Giveaway – Disleelandia appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/my-memories-giveaway-disleelandia-49603/feed/ 1 49603
The Count of Monte Cristo – BluRay Movie Review http://www.chipandco.com/the-count-of-monte-cristo-bluray-movie-review-48253/ Thu, 22 Sep 2011 20:00:12 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=48253 Just debuting for the first time on Blu-ray September 13, 2011. It includes never-before-seen ‘Alternate Final Duel’ scene along with many other extras. The Synopsis: Jim Caviezel and Guy Pearce play two long-time friends who become the bitterest of enemies in The Count of Monte Cristo. This tale of adventure and revenge is better than […]

The post The Count of Monte Cristo – BluRay Movie Review appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

Just debuting for the first time on Blu-ray September 13, 2011. It includes never-before-seen ‘Alternate Final Duel’ scene along with many other extras.

The Synopsis:

Jim Caviezel and Guy Pearce play two long-time friends who become the bitterest of enemies in The Count of Monte Cristo. This tale of adventure and revenge is better than ever thanks to the addition of Blu-ray High Definition!

When the dashing and guileless Edmond Dantes (Caviezel) is betrayed by his best friend (Pearce) and wrongly imprisoned, he becomes consumed by thoughts of vengeance. After a miraculous escape, he transforms himself into the mysterious and wealthy Count of Monte Cristo, insinuates himself into the French nobility, and puts his cunning plan of reprisal in action. Experience the resounding clash of swords and the deadly glint off every razor-sharp blade. With the pristine sound and magnificent picture quality of Blu-ray, this swashbuckling thriller will have you perched on the edge of your seat until the very last drop of sweet revenge is exacted.

This one-disc release lists for $26.50 US / $31.50 CAN and runs for an impressive 131 minutes. Rated PG-13 in the US and PG in Canada.

The Movie:

I enjoyed this movie immensely! It makes you feel for the main character as he is wronged in so many ways, and root for him as he makes his way back from what can only be viewed as a very real Hell. Revenge isn’t the nicest topic but it is what drives this movie forward. Although you know it isn’t the best reason for living, you believe in how one man could be so totally consumed by it. And, despite yourself, you hope his plans to ruin all of the people who wronged him succeed!

As in all great movies, good prevails, and our hero finds redemption and peace by the end of the movie. Although there are many fine action sequences in this movie, it’s real strengtha are in the characters and the superb storytelling. Be sure to watch for the little flourishes, such as the chess piece, throughout.

Bonus Features:

5 Deleted Scenes with commentary

These scenes were cut from the final film for good reason, as they would have added little more of value. But the alternate final duel was interesting. You get to see how the climatic battle was originally shot, and in my opinion, why it was re-shot to much better effect. A definite highlight of the disc.

“The Napoleonic World” – Production Design Featurette

Like most of the extras on this disc, it is short and sweet. But it does take you on a scouting trip of possible locations for the film and gives a glimpse into how the final locations were chosen and why.

“En Garde” – Multi-Angle Sword Fighting Feature

Not the most interesting bonus feature, but for film fans, a pleasant enough distraction. Learn how the Director used multiple cameras to get coverage of the final duel scene.

“The Pen” – A Retrospective on author Alexandre Dumas

This was by far the most interesting bonus feature. I learned things about Dumas I never knew before which helped me to appreciate the man behind one other little classic called The Three Musketeers. A must-see!

“Adapting A Classic” – Screenwriting Segment

My second-favorite of the bonus material. Learn the difference between writing a good book and making a successful movie.

“The Clash of Steel” – Stunt Choreography Piece

Another short but entertaining look at the behind-the-scenes work that goes into every Hollywood picture. This time we hear from the man who trained the leads in swordplay. Watching the rehearsals was fun!

Layer-By-Layer and the Audio Commentary round out the Bonus Features.

Final Comments:

I saw this movie when it first came out but had forgotten most of the storyline. So for me it was like watching a whole new movie for the first time! And what a treat it turned out to be. As the Screenwriter, Jay Wolpert, said in the Screenwriting Segment: His job wasn’t to adapt the book, but to write a good movie. And that he did!

So if you plan to take my recommendation and see this movie: Prepare for Adventure. Count on Revenge!

The post The Count of Monte Cristo – BluRay Movie Review appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
48253
Top 5 Characters That Should Have a Meet-and-Greet at Disney World http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-characters-that-should-have-a-meet-and-greet-at-disney-world-46225/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-characters-that-should-have-a-meet-and-greet-at-disney-world-46225/#comments Sat, 10 Sep 2011 12:00:37 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=46225 Children just love this part of the Disney Park experience! Although you can’t get them to wait 5 minutes for anything else, they’ll gleefully wait 2 hours to hug Belle or pose with Pooh. Too precious! But even we adults have been known to covet the Character Meet-and-Greet experience. Are we really waiting in line […]

The post Top 5 Characters That Should Have a Meet-and-Greet at Disney World appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

Children just love this part of the Disney Park experience! Although you can’t get them to wait 5 minutes for anything else, they’ll gleefully wait 2 hours to hug Belle or pose with Pooh. Too precious!

But even we adults have been known to covet the Character Meet-and-Greet experience. Are we really waiting in line for our children, or for ourselves? We’ll keep the answer to that question to ourselves, shall we?

So in the spirit of wishful thinking, I give you my Top Five characters that should have their own Meet-and-Greet opportunity at Walt Disney World:

5. Princess Kidagakash “Kida” Nedakh

Atlantis is one of my all-time favorite Disney animated films. But its main character, Princess Kida, just hasn’t gotten her royal due. She is a real princess, but isn’t considered one of the official Disney Princesses. What a rip! Adding her to the line-up would also extend the ethnic diversity of the face characters in the Parks.

And any of you guys who love to pose with Jasmine know why I want Kida there too! There, I said it.

4. Basil, the Great Mouse Detective

Another great, but perhaps under appreciated, Disney animated film is The Great Mouse Detective. As a lover of all-things Sherlock Holmes I’d just ‘geek out’ for the opportunity to pose with my favorite sleuth! And if Professor Ratigan should show up too, well, that would be a bonus. And adding never-before utilized characters to the Meet-and-Greet system would freshen things up a bit, don’t you think?

I’d follow them. They’d follow me. We’d be like each other’s shadow for a while.

3. Emperor Kuzco

Boom baby! This one is just a no-brainer. I mean, it’s all about the Emperor anyway, right? So why is Disney the only one who doesn’t get it? Just how natural Kuzco would be for the Mexico Pavilion in EPCOT is beyond discussion. It’s a perfect fit!

He could be obnoxious, sarcastic, and a laugh-riot! And it wouldn’t hurt if everyone were encouraged to break out into a little bit of River Dance either. Getting into the Emperor’s new groove would be too much fun!

2. Humphrey the Bear and Ranger J. Audubon Woodlore

First you pick it up (bump bump) then you put it in the bag (bump bump) then you pose with Humphrey and Woodlore (bump bump). Humphrey the bear is another under utilized character from the Disney pantheon. He has a cameo presence at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, but even there, it’s hard to find good merchandise featuring him.

Obviously, having Humphrey and Woodlore appear at DWL would be genius positioning, but it hasn’t happened yet to my knowledge. But seeing them in Disney’s Animal Kingdom would be a perfect fit as well. Just imagine Woodlore leading us all in song as Humphrey dances and encourages us to pick up the trash. I’m so there!

1. Princes

As a good looking prince-like Adonis myself, I know how much women like to pose with gorgeous men. I have to fight off hordes of females during every trip to the World. So it would really take the pressure off me if Disney would stop firing the Princes and set up a permanent Meet-and-Greet area just for them!

The latest ousting of Flynn from Fantasyland is just another example of cost cutting overriding the guest experience. After all, what
Princess doesn’t want to pose with her Prince Charming? Am I right, ladies? It would just make sense to have a Prince pose op positioned close to the Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boutique, but then, I’m not a marketing genius. But it seems like a good idea!

Also, it’s not like they’d have to do a big casting call. Every parade features a Prince on the arm of the corresponding Princess. It
would just be a matter of having them show up for a few extra hours in the day at the Meet-and-Greet location.

So we come to the end of another Top Five list. Did I miss any of your favorite characters? If so, be sure to list them in the comments section. And who knows? Maybe Disney will consider giving them a two week contract!

  • Run Disney Share Your Bling Sweepstakes (chipandco.com)
  • Ask a Disney Question: Character Meet & Greets (chipandco.com)

The post Top 5 Characters That Should Have a Meet-and-Greet at Disney World appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-characters-that-should-have-a-meet-and-greet-at-disney-world-46225/feed/ 12 46225
Top 5 Parade Viewing Areas at Disney World http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-parade-viewing-areas-at-disney-world-44541/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-parade-viewing-areas-at-disney-world-44541/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 14:00:31 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=44541 Could there be only FIVE? Of course not, but calling this a Top Fourty-Three just wouldn’t have the same ring to it! Actually, I don’t really know exactly how many Parade viewing areas there are, but I suppose any spot that lets you see the characters is a good one. To keep this essay under 15,000 words, […]

The post Top 5 Parade Viewing Areas at Disney World appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

Could there be only FIVE? Of course not, but calling this a Top Fourty-Three just wouldn’t have the same ring to it! Actually, I don’t really know exactly how many Parade viewing areas there are, but I suppose any spot that lets you see the characters is a good one.

To keep this essay under 15,000 words, however, I’m only going to cover the Top Five. Beginning with:

5. Wherever there is a space

Right off the bat, I have to admit that I have never staked out a ‘territory’ for parade watching. It seems that in most cases, if you want a ‘good’ spot, you have to stake your claim one to two hours before the parade begins. I’m sorry, but that just takes too much time out of my Disney experience!

But I do agree that people who show up two minutes before the parade begins only to shove their way to the front are ignorant and should be corrected. Then removed! Now, I am someone who wanders over to the parade route just before it begins, but I always keep moving until I find an empty spot. In my view, anywhere can be a good spot. I usually put my wife in front of me (because she’s short!) and then I stand directly behind her, so we in reality take up only one spot.

And being over six foot tall in shoes, I try to regard shorter people behind me if I can. And I always keep my camera at eye level, so as not to block the view of others. For this last-minute parade viewing technique, I find Frontierland to be the best, and least crowded, area.

Of course, this is just what I do for parades. But my buddy Mike uses this method too. I also asked some of my other friends here at Chip and Company what they thought were the best spots for parade viewing, and I now give you their ideas in the remaining top four spots:

4. In the Hub

Several people I interviewed said that this was a great place. I have tried it myself and have to agree. The advantage to this spot is that you can easily move around the circle, following a particular float if you wish. For filming, you can rotate your shots with ease, especially if you are rather tall and stand in the center.

Keep in mind that most of the action in a parade takes place up on the floats, which makes it easy to see. However, this location may make it difficult to see walking characters unless you are on the outer rim of the Hub.

And when it’s all over, you can go in any direction for more Disney magic!

3. In front of the Hall of Presidents

Ken finds this to be the best spot, perhaps because you won’t get a lot of people in your shots as you photograph the parades as it is directly across from the wheelchair area on Main Street. And hey, if you get tired, maybe you can sit down in one of the chairs! But be sure to stand if one of the animatronic figures comes out of The Hall of Presidents!

2. In front of the Barber Shop

For this one, Kristen recommends this spot as the best in World, especially for nighttime parades. Due to your proximity to the main entrance you get a lot of one-on-one with the walking characters. She mentioned that her daughter has been spoken to, even over the loud speaker (by Pete on the Pete’s Dragon float). And this has happened often since they’ve started standing there!

So in front of the Barber Shop is definitely  a good spot! But only good enough for the number two spot on the Top Five.

1. Upstairs on the Train Station platform

This idea never occurred to me, but it’s so awesome it takes the number one spot! Melisa Lynn recommends it, not only for parade watching, but for the Wishes fireworks as well. But be sure to get there one to two hours early if you want a banister spot. The Train Station can be quite busy!

Think about it: An elevated viewing platform with no one in front of you. Perfect point-of-view photograph opportunities (just don’t stand directly in line with the flag pole). And the ability to see almost the whole parade at once. And when it’s all over, you can jump on the train for one last trip around The Magic Kingdom!

And that brings another Top Five to a close. If you feel like sharing your best parade viewing spot, just click on the comments and let us know about it. Hey, maybe we’ll be standing next to each other at the next Disney Parade!

The post Top 5 Parade Viewing Areas at Disney World appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-parade-viewing-areas-at-disney-world-44541/feed/ 3 44541
Top 5 Things That Should be Added to Disney World http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-things-that-should-be-added-to-disney-world-43823/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-things-that-should-be-added-to-disney-world-43823/#comments Sat, 20 Aug 2011 18:00:17 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=43823 You’ve heard of the Bucket List. You’ve heard of a Wish List. Well, now get ready for the Disney version of both! Here is the top five things I would like to see added to Walt Disney World before my next visit: 5. Marvel Characters Unfortunately, Universal Studios has this entire stable of Marvel superheroes […]

The post Top 5 Things That Should be Added to Disney World appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

You’ve heard of the Bucket List. You’ve heard of a Wish List. Well, now get ready for the Disney version of both! Here is the top five things I would like to see added to Walt Disney World before my next visit:

5. Marvel Characters

Unfortunately, Universal Studios has this entire stable of Marvel superheroes under an exclusive contract for now. But I just feel that Disney could do them so much better! Universal Studios theming doesn’t quite match the Mouse, and this is nowhere more evident than with its costumed characters.

Universal has spruced up the costumes themselves, but they still don’t showcase the characters in true meet-and-greet glory a la Disney! Yet, I’m a bit conflicted about seeing Spiderman next to Goofy in the Parks, so that’s why this item is number five.

4. Better Night Entertainment

Ever since Pleasure Island closed, nightlife at WDW has been a little slim. Now, I’m not much into the all-night party, but I think Disney should have replaced the clubs and concerts with something else. After all, just because we like Mickey’s squeaky-clean image doesn’t mean we still don’t want to have fun!

3. Disney Movies in Resort Rooms

Have you ever been stuck in your room at a Disney Resort? Maybe one of your children needed a break, or someone was sick? This happened to me once, and let me tell you, what was on the TV got pretty boring after a very short time! And you can only watch the Parks info channel for so long!

Having Disney movies in the rooms, even if they were pay-per-view, would be a nice option in an entertainment pinch. DVD players in all rooms, even Value, would be appreciated.

2. More Thrill Rides

The only way that Disney pales in comparison to other Parks is in the thrill ride department. Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, Six Flags and others, do seem to make mean roller coasters! I much prefer the over-the-top theming of the Disney Parks to just a cheep thrill, but I can see the attraction of a wicked thrill ride!

I still say Disney could up the ante by adding an Incredibles dueling coaster.

1. Interactive Guest Events

I say this, and put it into the number one spot, without really knowing what I want! I enjoy the interaction of online Disney groups, such as those found on Facebook and other social media sites. And you always hear of ones planning to meet up at the Parks.

But what to do when there that would still keep you together? Perhaps more attractions that required multiple users to work
together (such as in EPCOT). Or maybe having a lounge where Disney fans could just drop in to see whose around? I just don’t know. But it seems like a good idea.

What would you suggest? And don’t be shy! If you have your own item for the Disney Wish List, share it with us in the comments section. Perhaps Mickey will read it and it’ll become a reality during your next Disney vacation!

The post Top 5 Things That Should be Added to Disney World appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-things-that-should-be-added-to-disney-world-43823/feed/ 11 43823
Top 5 Time Wasters at Disney World http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-time-wasters-at-disney-world-40571/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-time-wasters-at-disney-world-40571/#comments Sat, 30 Jul 2011 23:30:13 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=40571 While surfing the Net we all come across many articles about how great Walt Disney World is. Top Five lists abound recommending everything from the best attractions to the tastiest foods and more. And I’ve even written some of these lists. But today I thought it would be only fair to look at the other […]

The post Top 5 Time Wasters at Disney World appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
While surfing the Net we all come across many articles about how great Walt Disney World is. Top Five lists abound recommending everything from the best attractions to the tastiest foods and more. And I’ve even written some of these lists.

But today I thought it would be only fair to look at the other side of the Disney Dollar, so to speak. Is everything at Walt Disney World worth the time?

Here is my Top Five list of what I consider to be time wasters out of any Disney vacation. I’ve chosen only one from each of the four Parks and one from Downtown Disney:

Magic Kingdom: Tom Sawyer Island

I’m sure back in 1955 when Disneyland first opened this was a fantastic place for kids! Davy Crocket was popular as were Westerns in general. And the works of Mark Twain were still regarded with respect in schools, unlike today. So the chance to crawl over a turn-of-the-century island with a cave and a military Fort must have been almost irresistible.

Even in 1971 when WDW opened, the pull of Tom Sawyer was still strong. But we have to admit that Disney was offering a lot more entertainment on the shores of the Island back then. Characters like Huck and Becky roamed the paths as well as a few soldiers and Indians.

But now it’s just a big empty Island really. You simply walk around and then leave. For me and mine it simply isn’t worth the raft ride until Disney adds some more magic perhaps as they did briefly at Disneyland with the Pirate makeover.

EPCOT: Wonders of Life

Not so much a waste of time anymore as a waste of space. I never got to see the attractions in this Pavilion, which I regret. Cranium Command and Body Wars only exist on YouTube these days, which is a shame. But things change and that’s not a bad thing. If the changes bring better things.

But in the case of Wonders it was simply shut down. Now it’s just a big empty building taking up prime real estate that we’re all paying to see! Oh, Disney does open it for conferences and lectures during The Flower and Garden and the Wine and Food Festivals, but it offers a bland experience at best.

Without a corporate sponsor to pump money into this building, don’t expect anything new in the back corner of Innoventions East anytime soon.

Hollywood Studios: Backlot Tour

In a nutshell: Just stop already! This ‘attraction’ was never really a great thing to begin with, and so as Disney has raided it’s
footprint for other attractions over the years it’s become even less inviting. When I last bothered to give it a chance, the special effects demonstration at the beginning was broken, so perhaps the best part of the ‘attraction’ was missing. Then we just rode past rooms with stuff in them before going out into the sun to drive past other Park Guests who were walking in the same area.

Hardly an exclusive backstage pass! With rumors that this ‘attraction’ will soon be closed entirely swirling around the Internet, I say: It couldn’t happen too soon.

Animal Kingdom: Rafiki’s Planet Watch

Do your kids dream of going to school while at WDW? I didn’t think so, but that’s how it may feel for some when they visit the Watch. It’s filled with educational opportunities, but they usually require a lot of milling around and reading. You may see an animal being cared for. But not likely. You may see a candid moment in an animal’s life on an Animal Cam. But not likely. Getting the idea?

It tries hard to be both educational and entertaining, but simply doesn’t have enough to work with.

Having said that, I do enjoy the train ride over to the Watch on the Harambe Line. And sometimes you can meet the Talking Trashcan! But after that, plan to be bored.

Downtown Disney: Pleasure Island / Hyperion Wharf

Pleasure Island is no more and Hyperion Wharf is in a complete stall. There simply isn’t anything there now.

When Pleasure Island was up and running, I never saw it as a viable family experience anyway. Mainly designed around the nightclub culture, it was more for partying adults than your typical Disney Guest. And the stores in that section of DTD were not usually Disney themed.

But that was all to change with the coming of Hyperion Wharf! A new family environment with this and that and blah blah blah. So where is it? When will it be finished? No one knows.

So until Disney finishes whatever it’s trying to do over the bridge, this area wins as the biggest time waster, and space waster, of Downtown Disney.

In Conclusion: I’ll just say that for some areas, I found it hard to find a time waster, while for others I had to choose between two or three. Do you agree with my list, or do you have a bigger time waster for one or more of the Parks?

Be a sport and let them be known! Perhaps we can save some unsuspecting Walt Disney World Guest from boredom!

The post Top 5 Time Wasters at Disney World appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-time-wasters-at-disney-world-40571/feed/ 28 40571
Top 5 Things They Should Bring Back at Disney World http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-things-they-should-bring-back-at-disney-world-40707/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-things-they-should-bring-back-at-disney-world-40707/#comments Fri, 29 Jul 2011 18:00:41 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=40707 Walt Disney World opened in 1971 with a very different footprint than it has today. Certainly a smaller one, anyway! But Walt himself said (of Disneyland) that it would never be finished but would instead be changing and growing over the years. This would naturally apply to his ‘Florida Project’ as well. So we can’t, […]

The post Top 5 Things They Should Bring Back at Disney World appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>

Walt Disney World opened in 1971 with a very different footprint than it has today. Certainly a smaller one, anyway! But Walt himself said (of Disneyland) that it would never be finished but would instead be changing and growing over the years. This would naturally apply to his ‘Florida Project’ as well.

So we can’t, or shouldn’t, really complain when one of our favorite rides, shows, or attractions goes M.I.A. on us. We were forewarned! But it’s OK to miss them. And what about those classics that we never got a chance to experience before they too were gone?

With that in mind, here are the Top Five things that are gone that I think they should bring back at Disney World:

No. 5 – River Country. I’ve seen pictures of this great little Water Park just to the side of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground.
Although it obviously didn’t have the extreme theming of a Blizzard Beach, it had a charm all of its own!

I’ve often wondered why Disney decided to simply scrap River Country when Fort Wilderness has such awful and bland swimming pools! Why not make it a special place for FW Guests? From my dream to your ears, Mickey!

No. 4 – Dreamfinder. Performer Ron Schneider was the first man to take on the persona of Figments handler at EPCOT’s Imagination! Pavilion. Ron wore the purple outfit from Park opening until 1987 and enjoyed thrilling Guests with imaginative interaction 5 days a week!

In its present incarnation, I could do without the Journey Into Imagination With Figment attraction. Apparently the little dragon’s goal is to capture our imagination. OK Figment, you can have it, IF… you bring back the Dreamfinder!

No. 3 – Fort Wilderness Train. I want more trains! Yes, I’m a steam train fan and never miss an opportunity to ride one, whether at WDW or Greenfield Village, or wherever one can be found! This great little railroad steamed along for a short time and was discontinued after a storm damaged large sections of the track.

Economics and not Guest experience prevailed and we lost another classic perk at the Campground!

No. 2 – Discovery River. This long-gone boat ride around the river of Disney’s Animal Kingdom was an awesome idea! Just as with the Train at the Magic Kingdom, it gave a beautiful preview of the Park in a relaxing and fun way. Apparently Discovery River was discontinued because of long lines and wait times, which should have told Disney just how popular this experience was!

You could see things on this boat ride that you couldn’t see anywhere else. Now that would have been worth the wait! The only thing left of this ride now is a smoking area.

No. 1 – The Diamond Horseshoe Revue. It all started with a two-week contract for Wally Boag and others over at The Golden Horseshoe Revue in Disneyland, but it soon whooped its way to Disney World. Thankfully we have archival photographs and video segments of this Guinness Book of Records wonder, and one TV special that never fails to get a laugh!

At least we still have the similar Hoop-De-Do Musical Revue over at Fort Wilderness, so the pangs of separation aren’t quite as strong for this missing show. And the DHR is still open for snacks!

Wow! That was a hard Top Five to write. There are so many great rides, shows, and attractions that we’ve had to say goodbye to over the years. Don’t let your favorite go unmentioned! What do you want Disney to bring back into the World?

The post Top 5 Things They Should Bring Back at Disney World appeared first on Chip and Co.

]]>
http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-things-they-should-bring-back-at-disney-world-40707/feed/ 5 40707