Mike – Chip and Co http://www.chipandco.com Disney Theme Park & Movie News, Disney World & Disneyland Planning Tips, Disney Dining Reviews and More! Mon, 26 Jun 2017 00:41:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 http://chipandco-com.dydbvttjb4q.maxcdn-edge.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/512-icon-54ced060v1_site_icon-32x32.png Mike – Chip and Co http://www.chipandco.com 32 32 Top 10 things to experience at Disneyland! http://www.chipandco.com/top-10-experience-disneyland-103336/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-10-experience-disneyland-103336/#comments Tue, 02 Apr 2013 02:00:49 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=103336 On June 20, 2013, my family will be making it’s first pilgrimage to Disneyland!  The Park, as my friends know it, is, of course, the original, the one that started it all, the signature park of Walt Disney’s incredible legacy.  Since we have never been to Disneyland before, I have been in crazy planning mode […]

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disneyland-address

On June 20, 2013, my family will be making it’s first pilgrimage to Disneyland!  The Park, as my friends know it, is, of course, the original, the one that started it all, the signature park of Walt Disney’s incredible legacy.  Since we have never been to Disneyland before, I have been in crazy planning mode for the past several months, looking at all of the attractions, dining, resorts, and on and on, to come up with the things that we want to experience when we get to Disneyland.  That process has led me to create a countdown on my own blog, aptly titled 100 Days til Disneyland.  Each day I am focusing on a different experience at the Park and sharing it with you over at my blog, My Dreams of Disney.  You can see the list thus far by clicking on the 100 Days til Disneyland link.

Based on the research that I’ve done so far, I am sharing with you today my top ten things to experience at Disneyland!  Please read it all, and then, in the comments, tell me which ones you like and don’t like, and tell me your own top ten list, or tell me how many of mine are on your list!

Top 10 things to experience at Disneyland

I’ve decided to do this as a countdown list, Letterman Style, so that when you get to #1 on the list, you will know that that experience is at the top of my list to experience!  So, starting at number 10:

10.) Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

This attraction is one that I have never experienced, but I’ve heard so much about it, I’ve got to take a look at it!  I don’t know if I’ll like it or not, but I’m guessing that it will leave me wishing it was still around at the Magic Kingdom!

9.) Peter Pan’s Flight

Of course this attraction is on my list!  I love Peter Pan’s Flight at the Magic Kingdom, and I can’t wait to see what it is like at Disneyland!  Is it better, worse, or the same everyone?  Let me know!

8.) Toontown

It was one of my great disappointments to see Walt Disney World close down Mickey’s Toontown Fair.  That land, even though it was not a big land, had a lot of great memories for me and my family, especially the time we saw our daughter so excited to see Donald Duck there.  So, Toontown is definitely something that I’m looking forward to experiencing!

Sophie, age 6 in this photo, so excited to see Donald Duck!

Sophie, age 6 in this photo, so excited to see Donald Duck!

7.) Splash Mountain

This attraction became Sophie’s favorite when we rode it at the 40th Anniversary of the Magic Kingdom in 2011.  It is a great ride, and we can’t wait to experience it at Disneyland!

6.) Space Mountain

Cindy and I love Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom, but Sophie does not.  However, she might ride it at Disneyland because it has side by side seats, whereas the Magic Kingdom does not!  I can’t wait to ride it!

5.) Pirates of the Caribbean

The Pirates of the Caribbean is one of my favorite attractions at Walt Disney World, so it comes as no surprise that I can’t wait to check it out at Disneyland!  I have heard from my friends that I will like it BETTER at Disneyland then I already do at Walt Disney World!

4.) Haunted Mansion

There are some really incredible differences between the Haunted Mansion attraction at Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom and the one at New Orleans Square in Disneyland.  For starters, the houses look night-and-day different, and the engineering of the attraction is different.  Are there any other differences that you know of?  If so, let me know what they are please!

3.) Soarin’ Over California

I used to get really nervous when I rode this attraction at Epcot, but now I love it!  I can’t wait to see it at Disney’s California Adventure!  Is it the same film as at Epcot?

2.) Cars Land at Night

Visually, the nighttime shots of Cars Land at Disney’s California Adventure Park are among the best I’ve ever seen!  I can’t wait to experience it all myself, and just let my camera be my guide through what I believe will be one of the absolute highlights of our trip!

1.) World of Color

At number one on my list is that incredible show, World of Color!  When Disney had it’s grand opening launch of the show, with all of the celebrities on hand, who do you think was up at midnight watching it on the Internet?  I was!  Who goes out periodically and watches it again via YouTube?  I do.  Who can’t WAIT to see it live and in person in June? I can’t!

Thank you for following along as we explore my top ten list of things to experience when we get to Disneyland!  What are your top things to do at the Park?  Please let me know, and I’ll talk to you later!

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Disney’s Peter Pan Blu-Ray Review http://www.chipandco.com/disneys-peter-pan-bluray-review-99265/ Mon, 11 Feb 2013 22:00:54 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=99265 February 5th marked the 60th anniversary of the release of the classic Disney movie Peter Pan!  As a result, Walt Disney Pictures released the movie on Blu-Ray, and I was privileged to be able to review it for Chip and Company!  I hope that the words I convey to you in this review are sufficient […]

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Disney Peter Pan

February 5th marked the 60th anniversary of the release of the classic Disney movie Peter Pan!  As a result, Walt Disney Pictures released the movie on Blu-Ray, and I was privileged to be able to review it for Chip and Company!  I hope that the words I convey to you in this review are sufficient to make you go right out and purchase the movie, because let me tell you, there are some incredible things that this movie has — especially in the bonus features — that I had never seen before!

Right out of the gate, I saw a really neat feature that I had never experienced before.  I was getting ready to watch the movie with my daughter Sophie and her best friend Riley, and Sophie was making a popcorn for us all to enjoy!  The movie was about to start, but the popcorn wasn’t ready yet, so I paused it — and when I did so, I got a countdown clock that indicated that, if I didn’t hit play within 10 seconds, we would be taken to special Pirate Training activities!

The special Hidden Treasures that you have access to when you press pause include the following fun activities:

  • Fun & Games and Pirate Training!
  • Hunt for Peter Pan’s Shadow
  • Spot the Doubloon
  • Read Smoke Signals
  • and more!

The movie itself is just as you would expect it to be.  We have probably all seen the movie Peter Pan, and watching the movie in Blu-Ray format really isn’t going to enhance the movie experience (beyond the special touches I just mentioned) very much.  What makes this movie worth the purchase, though, is the information that we found in the Bonus Features section of the disk, which contain the following deleted scenes, songs, and a special documentary:

  • Deleted Scene: “The Journey Home” — in this alternate ending, you see a sketchboard or cartoon board alternate ending, where Peter Pan asks the Lost Boys to return home with Wendy so they can grow up.
  • Deleted Scene: “Alternate Arrival” — in this variation from the movie, Nana accompanies Wendy, John, and Michael to Neverland!
  • Deleted Song: “Never Smile at a Crocodile” — this song was originally released in conjunction with the movie’s release, and is a fun song to sing along to!
  • Deleted Song: “The Boatswain Song”
  • Special Documentary: “Growing Up With Nine Old Men” — more on this further on.

By far, the greatest special feature of the bonus features was the documentary “Growing Up With Nine Old Men”.  For those of you that might not know who the Nine Old Men are, that was the collective title of the nine men that worked most closely with Walt Disney in the animation studio.  This special documentary was a collection of interviews with the children of the Nine Old Men, and what it was like growing up in their father’s shadows, and some of the classic stories that they had to share.  One of the best stories was when some of the boys strung rubber bands from one doorknob across the hall to another doorknob, and proceeded to use it as a slingshot.  Their goal — to shoot their toy cars down the hall to hit the door at the very end.  Being resourceful lads, they accomplished just that — and when the car hit the door, the door opened up, only to see Walt Disney himself staring down the hallway to look at the kids.  Talk about being BUSTED!

It has been my pleasure to share my thoughts about the 60th Anniversary release of Peter Pan.  The edition I received was the Diamond Edition, which contains the Blu-Ray, DVD, Digital Copy, and the Storybook App!  If you are interested in purchasing your own copy of the movie, you click here for more information from the Disney website!

 

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Disney World Challenge – Visiting all 4 parks in one day! http://www.chipandco.com/disney-world-challengevisiting-4-parks-day-97946/ http://www.chipandco.com/disney-world-challengevisiting-4-parks-day-97946/#comments Mon, 28 Jan 2013 18:00:24 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=97946 When it comes to visiting Walt Disney World, there are so many things to see and do that it almost seems impossible to see it all!  When we visit, we take about a week to see as many of the sites and sounds of all four parks, but what if you only have one day? […]

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Walt Disney World Entrance

When it comes to visiting Walt Disney World, there are so many things to see and do that it almost seems impossible to see it all!  When we visit, we take about a week to see as many of the sites and sounds of all four parks, but what if you only have one day?  Is it worth it to attempt to see all four parks in one day?

This challenge is known as the Disney World Challenge — and I’ll tell you, it probably isn’t easy, but I certainly think it is possible!

Pre-requisites

Before you start, you do need to do a little pre-DWC (Disney World Challenge) planning.  To make the most out of your time, here are some questions you’ll want to get answers too.

  • Pick a day that has either the Magic Kingdom or Epcot with evening Extra Magic Hours.
  • Decide what attractions you’re going to absolutely need to ride at each of the parks.
  • Are you driving to each of the parks or utilizing Disney Transportation?
  • I recommend starting your day with Disney’s Animal Kingdom park.
  • Lastly, make sure that you have park hopper tickets or annual passes — standard Magic Your Way tickets without Park Hopper will not allow you to get in to all the parks on the same day.

My Disney World Challenge Road Map

Like I said in the pre-requisites, I think starting with Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the best way to get the challenge started.  Here is the order of park visits that I’ll be going with.  In this example, my pre-planning has determined that the Magic Kingdom has evening Extra Magic Hours until 1AM.  Additionally, I am taking advantage of Disney Transportation for this challenge.

  1. Disney’s Animal Kingdom
  2. Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  3. Epcot
  4. Magic Kingdom

Disney's Animal Kingdom

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I’m going to plan on being there at rope drop, and I have two attractions that are must do on my list: Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids.  My plan is to head straight over to Kali River Rapids to get in and out as quickly as possible, then, after I ride it, I’m going to take on Expedition Everest in the Single Rider Line.  If the park isn’t very busy, I may add on Kilimanjaro Safari to my attraction list.

After Animal Kingdom, I’m off to the busses to head on over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Sorcerer Mickey Hat

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, I have some specific attractions that I need to ride — mainly Toy Story Mania and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith.  These two attractions, though, are among the longest lines at the park, so it’s extremely important to try and make sure that I get a FastPass for at least one of them.  Using my Touring Plans Lines App for my iPhone will tell me the standby wait and whether or not there are any FastPass tickets available, so make sure you have access to it.  Depending on the results of your inquiry — and how late in the morning it is — I would make a beeline to TSM to get a FastPass ticket if they are available.  If they aren’t, then go get one from Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.  In my hypothetical example, there is a FP available for TSM, so that’s what I got, then went over to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster to utilize the Single Rider line available for it.

After riding the coaster, and before my TSM ride, I take a moment to enjoy lunch at Fairfax Fare, where I enjoy their wonderful Barbecued Pork Sandwich with slaw and a drink.  Yummy!  After lunch I’m off to Toy Story Mania, then I’m off to the boats to head on over to Epcot!

I know that a lot of people feel like the boats between Hollywood Studios, Boardwalk, and Epcot’s International Gateway entrance are too slow — and maybe they are.  But it’s also a way for me to get off my feet and rest a minute, and to confirm what I want to do at Epcot.

Spaceship Earth

At Epcot I have some attractions that I would love to enjoy, and fortunately, almost all of them are not as busy as some of the big rides at Epcot.  I’m planning to enjoy at least Gran Fiesta Tour starring The Three Caballeros, Spaceship Earth (at least twice each), and if I can, Soarin’.

After the rides at Epcot, it’ll be time to take the Monorail over to the Magic Kingdom, where I’ll finish my challenge and enjoy some great attractions at the same time!

Walt Disney World Railroad Station

 

The Magic Kingdom is where I plan on enjoying my dinner — either Casey’s Corner, Cosmic Rays, or Columbia Harbour House, depending on my mood at the time.  After dinner, I believe I’ll have several hours available to enjoy the park, so the first thing I’ll try to do is pick up a FastPass for Peter Pan’s Flight.  I’ll also enjoy “it’s a small world“, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, and Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse — all great attractions!

Depending on the time, I plan to grab a popcorn and a diet coke, and settle in to watch the Main Street Electrical Parade, and then later on, Wishes.  Since the park isn’t closing until 1AM, I believe I’ll have plenty of time to hit up my favorites, including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, and Space Mountain, as well as get in my Peter Pan FastPass.  Additionally, I’ll watch the Carousel of Progress and ride the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover!

All in all, I think I’ve got a realistic shot of making this happen — what do you think?  What things have I left off of the list that may snag me up?  Please let me know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!

 

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Which is better Tables in Wonderland or the Disney Dining Plan? http://www.chipandco.com/tables-wonderland-disney-dining-plan-2-97453/ http://www.chipandco.com/tables-wonderland-disney-dining-plan-2-97453/#comments Sat, 12 Jan 2013 20:00:34 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=97453 Which is better: Tables in Wonderland (and out of pocket expenses) or signing up for the Disney Dining Plan? For those that aren’t aware, the Tables in Wonderland program is a special discount card that you purchase to get 20% off of dining costs at various restaurants at the Walt Disney World dining locations.  However, […]

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Which is better: Tables in Wonderland (and out of pocket expenses) or signing up for the Disney Dining Plan?

For those that aren’t aware, the Tables in Wonderland program is a special discount card that you purchase to get 20% off of dining costs at various restaurants at the Walt Disney World dining locations.  However, there are some things that you need to know about the TiW program:

1.     The TiW card can only be purchased by a person that has an annual pass, or by a Florida Resident.

2.     The card costs $100 for Annual Passholders, and $125 for Florida Residents.

3.     As I mentioned, the TiW program will discount 20% off of all your food and drink purchases (including alcohol) at many of the Walt Disney World restaurants, but not all of them. Check here for a list of restaurants.

4.     The TiW card can be used for the cardholder and up to nine guests dining with the cardholder.

5.     An automatic 18% gratuity is included when using the TiW card, regardless of the size of the party.

6.     If you are thinking of buying the TiW card, you need to do some research to make sure that the discount will be at least equal to the cost you are paying for the card.

On the other side of the equation, the Disney Dining Plan has several different choices available.  The three main ones are the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan; the original Disney Plus Dining Plan, and the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan.  You can also add the Wine and Dine component to your Dining Plan or Deluxe Dining Plan, but that is a separate add-on charge, also they have a Magic Your Way Premium Package that has all kinds of add ons.

Here are some things you need to know about the regular Disney Dining Plan:

1.     For the regular DDP, you will receive one snack, one quick service meal, and one table service meal per day.

2.     With the DDP, you must select the plan for every day that you are visiting Disney, and the DDP is only available to people that are staying on a Disney property.

3.     In addition, each member of your party needs to be on the dining plan.  You can’t pick and choose.

4.     You get one credit for each of the types of meal (or snack) for each day.  You can choose to use all of them in one day, if you like, or you can space them out so that you have credits for each day.

For my family, we have always had the regular Disney Dining Plan.  There have been times when we got it for free based on when we came down on vacation, and there have been times when we paid for it.

This year, though, things are different.  Last June we became Disney Vacation Club owners, and as a result, this year we are staying at Bay Lake Towers, one of the DVC resorts available to us.  The room that we reserved is a 2 bedroom suite, and will sleep 9 people, which is the number of people in our party.  As a result, we made the decision really quickly that we were going to pay for our meals out of pocket.  Our room has a full kitchen, so as a result, we are planning on only having three sit down meals during our visit.  If we had wanted to do the Dining Plan, it would have cost my family (I am responsible for 5 of the guests) $1,371.65 for our stay, and it would have cost my sister-in-law’s family $1,049.72!  If we did the quick service plan, it still would have been about $1,800 for the two families combined.

So for us, having 9 people eating at Akershus and 50’s Prime Time Café, and 5 of us eating at Boma, the discount will more than make up for the $100 cost (we will be buying three annual passes as well!)

I have found if you are not big eaters or if you have little ones under 3 this is the best option. For us we like to share food so the Tables in Wonderland is the best option, not to mention our kids are not big eaters. If you have a larger family then Disney Dining Plan would be your best choice. Especially if you LOVE hitting up the Disney Buffets.

Are you big supporters of the Disney Dining Plan? Or have you explored the Tables in Wonderland option. If you want to read more about Tables in Wonderland check out this article.

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Disney Character Dining – Is it worth it? http://www.chipandco.com/disney-character-dining-worth-93900/ http://www.chipandco.com/disney-character-dining-worth-93900/#comments Sat, 29 Dec 2012 18:00:52 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=93900 One of the biggest questions you can ask a person who is planning their Disney vacation is “What Disney Character Meals are you doing?”  However, this simple question brings up a whole lot of different perspectives, and opens up the discussion towards the ultimate question: “Are Disney Character Dining meals at Walt Disney World worth […]

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One of the biggest questions you can ask a person who is planning their Disney vacation is “What Disney Character Meals are you doing?”  However, this simple question brings up a whole lot of different perspectives, and opens up the discussion towards the ultimate question: “Are Disney Character Dining meals at Walt Disney World worth it?”  In this post, I will be presenting several vital pieces of evidence to illustrate why Character meals are a great value for you and your family.

When my family plans it’s Walt Disney World vacations, one of the key components of our planning is deciding what table service restaurants we want to eat at.  For us, most of the time we will choose a character dining restaurant over a casual dining location for the following reasons:

  1. By choosing a character dining restaurant, we are able to get autographs from our favorite characters while we enjoy our meal — and that is one less line we need to wait in!
  2. Often, the character dining restaurants offer the characters in unique costumes that is related to the setting that you find them at — for example, Mickey and Minnie in their western getups at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ.  This adds a dimension to your pictures that might be missing otherwise.
  3. Often, it can be hard to find a particular character at a location other than the restaurant they are featured at.  For example, when Sophie was younger, she had very little interest in Epcot, but she loved Winnie the Pooh.  Booking a meal at The Crystal Palace allowed her to see Pooh without having to go over to the United Kingdom just to find him in the back of the pavilion (and then having to wait in line to see him!)
  4. I know that a lot of people think that all that is served at character restaurants is the standard Disney buffet — but I say why is that a bad thing?  I pay a fixed amount, I get all I can eat, we see our favorite characters, and perhaps most importantly based on our travel schedule — we get out of the summer heat for a while to relax as we eat!
  5. Lastly, at some of the better character restaurants, you also get a special photo package with your favorite character.  At Cinderella’s Royal Table your party will get a photo package with Cinderella, and at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Princess Storybook Dining) your party will get a photo package — usually with Belle.  These pictures are incredibly good, and are included in the price of your meal, so enjoy them!

So there you have it, my top five reasons why Character Dining is worth it for your family!  I’ll leave it to another of the Chip and Company writers to offer rebuttal.  I hope that you have found this helpful!  What are your thoughts about character dining?  Yay or Nay?  Let us know in the comments, please!

 

  • Where to start when Planning a Trip to Walt Disney World (chipandco.com)
  • How many of these Top 10 Disney Must Do’s have you done? (chipandco.com)

 

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