Savannah – Chip and Co http://www.chipandco.com Disney Theme Park & Movie News, Disney World & Disneyland Planning Tips, Disney Dining Reviews and More! Thu, 27 Apr 2017 03:01:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.4 http://chipandco-com.dydbvttjb4q.maxcdn-edge.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/512-icon-54ced060v1_site_icon-32x32.png Savannah – Chip and Co http://www.chipandco.com 32 32 Top 10 Disney World Must Do’s at Epcot http://www.chipandco.com/top-10-epcot-must-dos-55772/ Sat, 06 Dec 2014 01:00:29 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=55772 When visiting Walt Disney World’s Epcot, there are a few things that every guest “must-do” in order to have a true Epcot experience. So if you’re an Epcot rookie, or just a big fan, check out my list of Top 10 Disney World Must Do’s at Epcot. 10. American Adventure-This spectacular audio-animatronic show, which serves as the […]

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When visiting Walt Disney World’s Epcot, there are a few things that every guest “must-do” in order to have a true Epcot experience. So if you’re an Epcot rookie, or just a big fan, check out my list of Top 10 Disney World Must Do’s at Epcot.

10. American Adventure-This spectacular audio-animatronic show, which serves as the American Adventure pavilion’s centerpiece, is hosted by Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin and features stirring moments of our nation’s history. The American Adventure features amazing sets and audio-animatronics and is just as good, if not better, than the Magic Kingdom’s Hall of Presidents! It’s definitely a “must do” for any Epcot guest!

9. Ride the Monorail-While guests can enjoy the monorail at the Magic Kingdom or its deluxe resorts, perhaps nowhere else on property does this futuristic form of transportation look more at home than at Epcot! The monorail loop also encircles the park’s icon, Spaceship Earth, for an aerial view of Future World! Also makes great photos like the one above.

8. Living with the Land-This leisurely boat ride floats through scenes that educate guests about the land and how we use it. The highlight of this attraction is a float through the greenhouses where Epcot shows new, innovative ways to produce food and even real Mickey shaped pumpkins and tomatoes!

7. Chat with a World Showcase Cast Member-The Cast Members at the World Showcase pavilions are actually from the countries in which they are working! Not only are they there to help you, but they can also answer any questions you might have about their country and culture. Chatting with a Cast Member and learning about their country is an amazing cultural experience and what Epcot’s World Showcase is all about!

6. Eat a Pastry at Boulangerie Patisserie or Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe-These two bakeries, located at the France and Norway pavilions respectively, are famous at WDW! At these bakeries, you can enjoy treats that are both familiar to our tastes and native to France and Norway. Norway’s School Bread is famous among Disney regulars! You can also snack on sandwiches and other items at these stops as well.

5. The Seas with Nemo and Friends-This pavilion begins with a calm, colorful ride under the sea with characters from Pixar’s Finding Nemo! Towards the end of the ride, you will see Finding Nemo characters swimming in an aquarium with real fish! It’s a really cool effect! Once you exit the ride, you are free to explore the massive aquarium and pavilions showcasing ocean life. It’s a lot of fun for both adults and kids! Don’t forget to stop by and see Crush Talk!

4. World Showcase-This part of Epcot is extremely popular and for good reason! Located around the World Showcase Lagoon, World Showcase consists of different pavilions representing different countries from around the world, as well as their architecture, cuisine, products, and history. It’s like a mini trip around the world in the heart of Disney magic! Don’t forget to Drink around the World Showcase!

3. Test Track-This popular Epcot attraction lets guests experience what it’s like to design and test drive their own car! Your car will go through terrain and brake tests, as well as a high-speed ride outdoors where you will reach 65 mph! Test Track is a blast and is definitely an Epcot “must do!”

2. Soarin’-This attraction is one of Disney’s best and is extremely popular! On Soarin’, you get to experience what it’s like to hanglide over California. You truly feel like you are flying and the scenery on the screen before you is beautiful! Exhilarating yet great for everyone in the family, Soarin’ is sure to be a favorite! Also, at the very end, you even get to fly over Disneyland during the fireworks!

1. Spaceship Earth-This attraction educates guests through history to educate riders about communication. This slow-moving ride featuring scenes and audio-animatronics which really capture the spirit of Epcot and is great way to get off your feet! Wondering why it’s at the top our list? This ride is located inside of Epcot’s giant icon!

The next time you visit Epcot, be sure to enjoy these “must do” activities and attractions; and be sure to share with us if any of these are on your own “must do” list too!

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Top 5 Things to Know When Visiting Disney World during the holidays http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-things-to-know-when-visiting-wdw-at-the-holidays-51616/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-things-to-know-when-visiting-wdw-at-the-holidays-51616/#comments Sun, 30 Nov 2014 01:00:36 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=51616 While Walt Disney World is always a magical place, around the holiday season, the parks and resorts also get a dose of holiday magic too! If you are planning to visit during this festive time of year, there are a few things you need to know. Check out this Top 5 list to find out […]

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While Walt Disney World is always a magical place, around the holiday season, the parks and resorts also get a dose of holiday magic too! If you are planning to visit during this festive time of year, there are a few things you need to know.

Check out this Top 5 list to find out what you need to know for a holiday Disney vacation!

5. Holiday Meals-If you are at Walt Disney World on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, or Christmas Day, Disney Resort food courts and certain restaurants through Walt Disney World offer traditional, holiday meals. However, you should be aware that some Disney restaurants, especially buffets and character meals, have higher prices around Christmas and into January.

4. Holiday Festivities-Beginning in November and lasting into January, the Magic Kingdom hosts Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party on select nights! You can experience a Christmas themed parade, fake snow on Main Street, lots of characters, and more! Also, at Hollywood Studios, the Streets of America is decked out completely in lights for the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights; and there is a special Candlelight Processional at Epcot. Also, the parks and resorts put up some amazing Christmas decorations! Also, if you are planning on visiting Walt Disney World  for New Years, there’s no better place to be ring in the new year than immersed in Disney magic and watching an amazing Disney firework display!

3. Themed Merchandise-Around the holiday season, Disney offers special, holiday themed merchandise that you can’t find any other time of year! This is a great time of year to do some Disney themed Christmas shopping!

2. Crowds-While this time of year tends to be less crowded than the summer months, particular days throughout this season can be VERY crowded! Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Years Eve are extremely crowded;  but if

1. Weather-It’s not always hot! A common misconception is that Central Florida is hot all the time. It can actually get chilly at Walt Disney World, especially during the winter months! It can even get into the forties at times! So when packing your suitcase, keep your shorts and flip-flops at home and think layers and sweatshirts! For more packing tip for this time of year, be sure to read Winter Weather Tips for Your Disney World Vacation: Don’t Leave the Coat at Home.

Are you planning to visit Disney around the holidays? Do you have any tips? Share them with us!

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Top 10 Disney World “Must Do’s” http://www.chipandco.com/top-10-disney-world-must-dos-52756/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-10-disney-world-must-dos-52756/#comments Fri, 28 Nov 2014 01:00:29 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=52756 There is so much to see and do at Walt Disney World that it’s pretty much impossible to experience it all! However, there are a few things that you have to do in order for your Disney World vacation to be complete. Curious? Check out my Top 10 list to find out what they are! […]

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There is so much to see and do at Walt Disney World that it’s pretty much impossible to experience it all! However, there are a few things that you have to do in order for your Disney World vacation to be complete. Curious?

Check out my Top 10 list to find out what they are!

10. Dole Whip-A Dole Whip is a rite of passage for many Disney guests, and a sweet relief from the heat! They can only be found at a few select spots, such as Aloha Isle at the Magic Kingdom, Tamu Tamu Refreshments in the Animal Kingdom, and at Pineapple Lanai at the Polynesian Resort; and my personal favorite is the Dole Whip Float. This pineapple flavored soft-serve just has to be experienced!

9. World Showcase-Epcot has lots for guests to see and experience; but every guest MUST spend some time at this park’s World Showcase. This part of the park offers various pavilions representing different countries from all over the world. In an afternoon, you can visit little pieces of different nations and experience their culture, history, architecture, products, and food!

8. Kilimanjaro Safaris-This Animal Kingdom attraction offers one of the coolest experiences at WDW, a realistic African safari! You will board a safari vehicle and drive through areas which truly look and feel like the African savanna. Here you will encounter crocodiles, hippos, elephants, lions, giraffes, and much more. Young and old will enjoy!

7. Wear Mouse Ears-Every guest who visits WDW must don their own pair of iconic Mouse Ears and sport them through the Disney parks. It’s part of the Disney experience! So be sure to get your own personalized ears and stroll proudly down Main Street U.S.A. because everyone is a kid again at WDW!

6. Character Meal-Characters are a huge part of the magic at WDW; and one of the best ways to meet and interact with characters is at a Disney character meal. At certain restaurants at the parks and resorts, you can enjoy a meal while several Disney characters stop by to sign autographs and take pictures!

5. Tower of Terror-This attraction is one of the most famous of all the attractions at WDW, and is one of the best examples of Disney’s incredible imagineering. This traditional drop ride transports guests into an episode of the Twilight Zone television series; and not only is it fun, it’s definitely a memorable experience!

4. Mickey Premium Bar-This sweet, delicious treat is an ice cream bar covered in chocolate in the shape of Mickey Mouse! Every guest should take a break from pounding the pavement and enjoy this tasty, Mickey treat.

3. Parade-Everyone enjoys a good parade; and Disney takes them to a whole new level! Each Disney theme park, except for Epcot, has its own parade; and the Magic Kingdom has two! The Magic Kingdom’s nighttime parade, the Main Street Electrical Parade, is especially unique in that the floats and characters are covered in lights! Every guest should catch a Disney parade on their vacation!

2. Pirates of the Caribbean-Yo Ho, Yo Ho! This classic Disney attraction has been entertaining Disney guests for generations and still is incredibly popular. It also inspired the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean film series; and you can even see Captain Jack Sparrow popping up in the attraction these days! This ride offers both adventure and comedy and is enjoyable for all ages! You have yet to see all of Disney’s best without a trip on Pirates of the Caribbean!

1. Wishes-Disney is famous for their fireworks, and the most magical display can be found nightly above the Magic Kingdom! Wishes features some amazing fireworks coupled with a touching soundtrack and Disney songs and lighting tricks projected on Cinderella Castle. This show is narrated by Jiminy Cricket who tells guests about the power of wishes and dreams; but evil Disney villains try to turn those dreams into nightmares! However, good always triumphs over evil; and you will be touched, wowed, and charmed by this fireworks show! Also, early in the show, keep your eyes up to see Tinkerbell flying  down from the castle!

What do you think every guest should do on a Disney Vacation? Are any of these on your to-do list? Let us know!

 

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Top 10 Ways to Know If You’re an Disney Addict: Part 2 http://www.chipandco.com/top-10-ways-extreme-disney-fan-part-2-97816/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-10-ways-extreme-disney-fan-part-2-97816/#comments Tue, 27 May 2014 12:30:48 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=97816 Chances are that if you are like myself and the other writers here at Chip and Co., you are a Disney Addict. We have yet to find a cure, but the symptoms of this condition are rather obvious. Most likely your own friends and family have pointed them out to you or questioned your sanity […]

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Chances are that if you are like myself and the other writers here at Chip and Co., you are a Disney Addict. We have yet to find a cure, but the symptoms of this condition are rather obvious. Most likely your own friends and family have pointed them out to you or questioned your sanity a time or two. If you missed Part 1 of 2 click here to see the initial symptoms of this addiction.

Here are more ways to know if you’re a Disney Addict…

1. You can navigate the Disney parks better than you can your own hometown.

2. You are known to randomly break into a Disney song without warning.

3. Visits to other theme parks are just disappointing. Sorry Universal 😉

4. The only Spanish you know is “Por Favor Mantenganse Alejado de las Puertas.”

5. You go to the movies to a see a Disney movie…without kids.

6. You listen to a Disney soundtrack on a regular basis.

7. You need another Christmas tree just for your Disney ornaments.

8. All of your past Christmas cards were taken by a PhotoPass photographer.

9. Your backup plan in life is to become a Jungle Cruise Captain.

10. “You know a man with a wooden leg named Smith!”

Have you shown any of these symptoms? If so, you are probably a Disney Addict so be sure to comment below and share with others who share your condition.

Be sure to drop by our Disney Addict group and tell us more about your Disney Addiction…

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Top 10 Ways to Know If You’re an Disney Addict http://www.chipandco.com/top-10-ways-extreme-disney-fan-97815/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-10-ways-extreme-disney-fan-97815/#comments Mon, 26 May 2014 13:30:26 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=97815 Chances are that if you are like myself and the other writers here at Chip and Co., you are a Disney Addict. We have yet to find a cure, but the symptoms of this condition are rather obvious. Most likely your own friends and family have pointed them out to you or questioned your sanity time or […]

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Chances are that if you are like myself and the other writers here at Chip and Co., you are a Disney Addict. We have yet to find a cure, but the symptoms of this condition are rather obvious. Most likely your own friends and family have pointed them out to you or questioned your sanity time or two. Still not sure? Check out my Top 10 Ways to Know If You’re an Disney Addict.

1. You refer to your own meals as quick service or table service meals.

2. You sing the theme to Wishes when watching  fireworks display.

3. You ask your family members at least once a day, “Where would we be right now if we were at Disney?”

4. You get excited when you drive past an airport and wish it had a Magical Express to take you home. 

5. You hum the Twilight Zone theme when you board an elevator and look for the 13th floor.

6. You watch the free Disney planning DVD’s just for fun.

7. You find hidden Mickeys everywhere!

8. No one asks you anymore about where you’re going on vacation.

9. You quote lines from Disney films in everyday conversation.

10. You name your pets after Disney characters.

Have you shown any of these symptoms? If so, you are probably an extreme Disney fan so be sure to comment below and share with others who share your condition.

Be sure to drop by our Disney Addict Facebook Group and share your Disney Addiction!

 

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Top 5 Ways to Experience Disney World Like a VIP http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-ways-experience-disney-world-vip-104537/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-ways-experience-disney-world-vip-104537/#comments Fri, 23 May 2014 16:00:05 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=104537 Tired of the crowds and long lines? Ever wish you can experience Walt Disney World like a VIP? You can! I’ve got five ways for how you can experience some special treatment at WDW; but let’s just keep this between us, okay? 5. Go When Crowds are Low-Many Disney regulars will tell you that the […]

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Tired of the crowds and long lines? Ever wish you can experience Walt Disney World like a VIP? You can! I’ve got five ways for how you can experience some special treatment at WDW; but let’s just keep this between us, okay?

5. Go When Crowds are Low-Many Disney regulars will tell you that the best, and sometimes only, time to visit Walt Disney World is when the crowd levels are low, such as mid-January to Spring Break, post-Spring Break to June, and after school starts to about the second week of December. During these times, the lines are almost non-existent, you find yourself with more time and less stress, and it’s a great feeling not to shuffle through crowds. You really do feel like a VIP!  However, many families don’t have the flexibility of being able to travel at the low attendance times; and if you’re one of them, you can still experience what it’s like to have a non-crowded, almost private park! How? For one, I suggest arriving before rope drop at the parks. The parks usually don’t get crowded until an hour or two after opening; and the first hours of the day offer extra experiences and little to no waits. You can also tour the parks at night during one of the fireworks displays and parades. Lines and crowds are fewer because guests are all on Main Street or on the curb waiting for the show! Lastly, if you’re a Disney Resort guest, take advantage of Extra Magic Hours! These are reserved only for Disney Resorts guests and let you get in the parks earlier or stay later.

4. Stay Late-Many Disney guests tend to leave the parks after the fireworks or Illuminations or Fantasmic. Don’t be one of them! Disney will actually let you on an attraction up until the last minute before closing! With this little secret, you may get the chance to be the only one on your favorite ride! So don’t run for the bus, hang back and enjoy the park as it empties to do some shopping and riding, just like a VIP!

3. Stay at a DVC Villa-Many of Deluxe Disney Resorts have a wing for Disney Vacation Club rooms. These rooms come in a variety of sizes, ranging from one room studios to three-bedroom rooms with full kitchens! Not a Disney Vacation Club member? No problem! Disney will let you stay at a villa if they’re not full, or you can even rent points from other DVC owners (just make sure you’re careful about who you rent from!) Staying at a DVC Villa not only gives you the Deluxe experience, but also lets you feel like you’re at home or in a suite like a VIP with your own kitchen, amenities, extra rooms, and more all in a special section of the resort, but with all of the bonuses that Deluxe Disney guests always enjoy! I suggest renting from David’s Vacation Club Rentals!

2. Early Morning Dining Reservation-This is one of my favorite Disney secrets! If you want to experience what it’s like to have the Magic Kingdom all to yourself, book a breakfast reservation at Cinderella’s Royal Table or the Crystal Palace before the park opens, the earlier the better. There is a special turnstile at the Magic Kingdom entrance for guests who have these early reservations; and once you’re inside, you find that Main Street U.S.A. is completely empty and all to yourself! It’s truly magical to walk towards the castle without any crowds or strollers in your way; and it’s especially magical to snap those rare perfect shots of Cinderella Castle and the Partners Statue before checking in at your restaurant. If you do finish your meal before park opening, head out into the park! The lands are roped off until the park opens, so you can’t get any early rides, but you can be first to enter the land, and possibly attraction, of your choice!

1. Take a Tour-To really feel like a VIP, and to experience the parks in a special, exclusive way, take one of WDW’s many tours! Most of the tours offer behind-the-scenes experiences to see how Disney makes the magic; and some even give you special rides on some of Disney’s classic attractions! It’s awesome and you really feel like a celebrity. You may even get a special souvenir to commemorate your trip too, but you didn’t hear that from me… One of my favorites is Keys to the Kingdom Tour at the Magic Kingdom. It’s affordable and even gives you a glimpse of the famed Utilidors, the tunnels and workspaces under the park that only Cast Members get to see!

Have you ever taken a Disney Tour? Which one was your favorite? Would you like to experience WDW like a celebrity or VIP?

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Top 10 Things Disney World Rookies Must Do’s http://www.chipandco.com/top-10-disney-rookies-dos-97992/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-10-disney-rookies-dos-97992/#comments Thu, 19 Dec 2013 22:30:42 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=97992 Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Is it your first time? Don’t worry, we have your back! We know that planning your vacation and your days at the parks can seem like quite an undertaking considering the massive amount of things to do and see; but that’s part of what makes Disney World great […]

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Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Is it your first time? Don’t worry, we have your back! We know that planning your vacation and your days at the parks can seem like quite an undertaking considering the massive amount of things to do and see; but that’s part of what makes Disney World great because you will never get bored and there’s always a reason to come back!

But what do you do with all of those options? What should you not miss on your first trip? What if you miss out?

Stress no more! Just sit back and relax while I list the top 10 things Disney Rookies shouldn’t miss during their magical Disney Vacation!

10. Monorail-Disney World’s has its own unique transportation system, a sleek, elevated train that transports guests to and from select Disney Resorts to Epcot and the Magic Kingdom! This mode of transportation is so iconic, and even fun, that Disney fans sometimes ride it just for fun! For the complete Disney experience, and especially if you have kids, the monorail is a must for Disney Rookies! Try this Monorail Tour.

9. Deluxe Resorts-Disney’s most luxurious resorts are magical experiences within themselves and they can be enjoyed by guests who may be staying elsewhere! Each resort has its own theme and features restaurants, shops, hundreds of details, cool pools, and gorgeous views and landscaping. Visiting Disney resorts is actually called “resort hopping,” and it’s a relaxing way to take a break during the heat of the day or to avoid the crowds.

8. Unique Treats-Food at Disney is also an experience, especially when it comes to sweet treats! Disney World has become famous for a few of their yummy snacks; and with all of these options, Disney Rookies should definitely not settle for the generic theme park hot dogs and cotton candy. What kind of unique treats are we talking about? We recommend the iconic Mickey Premium Bar, Dole Whips, a variety of creative cupcakes, cultural sweets from Epcot, and more!

7. Main Street USA-This part of the Magic Kingdom serves as the park’s entryway and is full of old fashioned charm, Disney history, great shopping, dining, and the best view of Cinderella Castle! Looking to browse, enjoy the Disney quality, and grab a snack, Main Street USA is definitely the place and it’s absolutely gorgeous lit up at night!

6. Thrill Rides-Disney Rookies may be under the impression that Disney World is full of kiddie rides, but they are definitely wrong! Disney World has many high adrenaline thrill rides that not only make guests scream, but also immerse you into a story and are some of the best attractions on property. Disney Rookies, be sure to check out Tower of Terror, Splash Mountain, Rock n Roller Coaster, Expedition Everest, Star Tours, and Space Mountain!

5. Enjoy a Character Meal-Character Meals are typically buffets at the Disney parks and resorts where Disney characters drop by your table for some one-on-one time! While opinions vary on which character meal to visit, or whether they are worth it, we think at least one is must-do for Disney Rookies, especially if you have kids! It’s a great way to meet characters without waiting in line in the sun for a few seconds of character interaction. Which character meals are best? I recommend the Crystal Palace, Akershus Storybook Dining, Cinderella’s Royal Table, and ‘Ohana!

4. Kilimanjaro Safaris-This Animal Kingdom attraction is not only a big crowd pleaser, it’s also an awesome experience! This ride lets guests ride in a safari vehicle through acres and acres of what truly looks like an authentic African savanna where real, African wildlife roam freely! It’s about the closest you can get to a real African safari and it’s an awesome chance to see animals out and about as they would be in the wild! It’s also a ride that every member of the family can enjoy, young or old. So Disney Rookies, don’t miss this!

3. World Showcase-This section of Epcot offers pavilions representing eleven different nations from around the world and features their architecture, history, culture, traditions, merchandise, and dining! Even the Cast Members who work in each of these pavilions are actually natives from those countries and are willing to share their knowledge with you. World Showcase offers some of the best dining on property and can be browsed and enjoyed at your own pace without waiting in lines as you can come and go and see as you please. It’s also one of the best places to do some unique souvenir shopping.

2. Soarin’-This attraction is arguably one of the best on property and shouldn’t be missed because everyone can enjoy it! Soarin’ is about as close as a guest can get to flying, but provides plenty of security for those who don’t prefer thrills. On this attraction, you sit on a bench seat along with other guests and are lifted towards a bowl shaped screen. When the film begins, showing a variety of landscapes from scenic California, you feel like you are flying right over them, even to the point of smelling oranges from the California orange groves and feeling a gentle spray from the ocean! This attraction simply has to be experienced and is one of Disney’s best!

1. Epcot & Hollywood Studios-Pretty much everyone going to WDW knows  visit the Magic Kingdom, but many visitors don’t bother visiting Epcot or Hollywood Studios! While I like Animal Kingdom, these two parks feature some of the best Disney attractions, restaurants, and offer different views of the magic of Disney. So Disney Rookies, while you definitely shouldn’t miss the Magic Kingdom, don’t count out these other two, fantastic parks for some of the best of the best of Disney!

So are these on your Disney to-do list? Do you think these are definite must-dos for first time guests? Disney Rookies, do you feel any more at ease? Be sure to let me know!

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Top 10 Ways Walt Disney World Has Spoiled Me http://www.chipandco.com/top-10-ways-walt-disney-world-spoiled-96613/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-10-ways-walt-disney-world-spoiled-96613/#comments Sun, 15 Dec 2013 01:30:08 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=96613 Walt Disney World is an escape from reality, my own personal Neverland if you will; and ever since my first visit, the real world and other vacations I have taken have failed to measure up! To put it simply, Walt Disney World has spoiled me! How? Read for yourself my top 10 ways and maybe you […]

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Walt Disney World is an escape from reality, my own personal Neverland if you will; and ever since my first visit, the real world and other vacations I have taken have failed to measure up! To put it simply, Walt Disney World has spoiled me! How? Read for yourself my top 10 ways and maybe you will find that you’ve been spoiled too!

10. Permission to Behave Like My Kids-Disney World has taught me that skipping, screaming, pointing, and wearing Mouse Ears is perfectly acceptable no matter age you are. Seriously, no one bats an eye if they see a middle-aged businessman wearing a hat and dreadlocks like Captain Jack Sparrow at the Magic Kingdom; but back in the real world, I’ve discovered that such behavior is frowned upon. Weird, right? Yeah, I don’t get it either.

9. Christmas Lights-If you have ever been to WDW around Christmas, you know what I’m talking about here! This is especially true if you have witnessed the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! This is seriously one of the best lighting displays ever which has been synchronized to music and features artificial, falling snow! Ever since I saw this awesome holiday display for myself, any other Christmas lights display I’ve seen since simply hasn’t compared.

8. Parades-Can any parade compete with a Disney parade? I don’t think so. Disney parades are full of details and Disney characters and creative technology and much more; and don’t even get me started about the Magic Kingdom’s nighttime parade, like Spectromagic or Main Street Electrical Parade! So after you see you’re first Disney parade, don’t even bother getting excited for any others. This is exactly why I keep the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade saved on my DVR!

7. Disney Dining Plan-I’m a huge fan of the Disney Dining Plan for two reasons. The first is that I really like to eat; and the second is that I like the feel of all-inclusive vacation. When I have the dining plan, I don’t have to worry about prices or counting cash, I just give them my card and it’s all taken care of! I also like the fact that I can take full advantage of the plan by dining at some of Disney’s best and most expensive restaurants that I normally would never do if I didn’t have the plan! So after a week at WDW using this easy and cost-efficient service, I find myself frustrated by having to count change or getting strange stares when I refer to fast food chains as counter service restaurants!

6. FastPasses+-Why can’t we have FastPasses+ in the real world? Is it too much to ask for my spot to be saved in line while I go do some shopping or grab a snack or something? Can you imagine how much easier Black Friday would be? So yeah, FastPasses+, one of Disney’s best creations, has definitely spoiled me. Waiting? What’s that?

5. Z00s-So before Animal Kingdom, I thought zoos were pretty awesome; but now, not so much. Staring at animals through bars and fencing just isn’t the same as getting to ride in a safari vehicle through an African habitat, you know what I mean? Also, if you ask people at zoos if they saw the Yeti, they won’t get it. Bummer.

4. Hotels-WDW hotel are seriously awesome! I mean, you can pick what type of vacation you want with your hotel choice! For example, are you looking for a seaside getaway, try Yacht and Beach Club? A Hawaiian vacation? Visit the Polynesian! How about an adventurous trip to Africa? Animal Kingdom Lodge has you covered complete with guaranteed views of African wildlife. Why, even if you want to go camping, you can at Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground! Plus, what other hotels leave Mickey-shaped towels on your bed or hide Hidden Mickeys in your carpet and bedspreads? Or where else can you wake up to a view of the Magic Kingdom? Exactly. No matter how many Mickey soaps and shampoos you bring to those other hotels, there is simply no comparison.

3. Details-Disney specializes in the details in everything they do, from design to entertainment to service. Everywhere you look, there is something new to see or some extra magic to discover. I think anyone who is been to Disney can agree that detail element is definitely missed in everyday life or at other theme parks and resorts.

2. Fireworks-Okay, this is an area where I have most definitely been spoiled. Disney fireworks are just insane; and there is usually a fireworks display every night at WDW! Then, if you’ve ever seen their holiday firework displays, such as those for the Fourth of July or New Years, you know that they are at a whole other level. But let me warn you, once you’ve seen Disney fireworks, your town’s yearly Fourth of July display will never be the same in your eyes.

1. Theme Parks-So this is an obvious one, but it’s so true! Disney World Theme Parks are clean, offer the best technology, and immerse you in other worlds. Unlike other theme parks, you don’t see the boring wires and buttons and construction from behind the scenes, there is no cardboard or plywood, there is only the worlds you see in your favorite films come to life. So yeah, just try to go to Six Flags after you’ve been to Disney, we bet you will feel the same.

As you can see, I’ve definitely been spoiled by Walt Disney World; but I definitely don’t see this is as a bad thing! I just like to think that I’ve seen and experienced the best of the best; and that’s why I keep going back! I bet you and countless others feel the same way. Do you? Well go ahead and let me know! I always enjoy hearing from you!

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Top 5 Most Difficult Restaurants to Advanced Dining Reservations at Disney World http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-difficult-restaurants-advanced-dining-reservations-disney-world-176333/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-difficult-restaurants-advanced-dining-reservations-disney-world-176333/#comments Thu, 31 Oct 2013 00:15:07 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=176333 Walt Disney World is home to dozens upon dozens of themed restaurants offering delicious menus, picturesque locations, and even your favorite characters! You can drop by a restaurant while at the parks or the resorts; but to make sure you are guaranteed a seat, you can make Advanced Dining Reservations by phone or online. However, […]

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Walt Disney World is home to dozens upon dozens of themed restaurants offering delicious menus, picturesque locations, and even your favorite characters! You can drop by a restaurant while at the parks or the resorts; but to make sure you are guaranteed a seat, you can make Advanced Dining Reservations by phone or online. However, reservations aren’t always easy to get when it comes to a few select restaurants. These dining spots feature some of the best theming and locations on property, as well as dishes and desserts! Find out what I think are the Top 5 Most Difficult Restaurants to Get Reservations for at WDW so you can plan ahead in advance!

5. Chef Mickey’s – Located in the lobby of the Contemporary Resort, this family-friendly restaurant features a spectacular buffet to suit all your tastes and cravings, as well as visits from Goofy, Donald, Pluto, Minnie, and Mickey! Because you really can’t go wrong at this restaurant, it’s very popular with guests and tables go quickly. Be sure to get a reservation as soon as you can to guarantee you and your family this fun dining experience.

4. ‘Ohana – ‘Ohana means family; and the ‘Ohana restaurant at the Polynesian resort, that’s exactly what you are! This restaurant offers two dining experiences, breakfast and dinner. At breakfast, you are treated to breakfast platters with a Hawaiian twist while Lilo and Stitch and a few other friends drop by to visit. Then, at dinner, you will feast on Polynesian style dishes, as well as yummy meat skewers right out of the fire, while the kids participate in some fun, tropical games! Late diners may even see Wishes being displayed over Cinderella Castle from across the lake at the Magic Kingdom!

3. Le Cellier – Epcot’s World Showcase is my personal go-to park for a great meal because there are so many restaurants to choose from and it’s all so good! Plus, the international experience is a lot of fun too! Out of all the fabulous World Showcase restaurants, my personal favorite is Le Cellier at the Canada pavilion. Tucked hidden away, and in what looks like an old wine cellar, there isn’t much seating. However, the food is some of the best I’ve had on Disney property, particularly the Filet Mignon with Mushroom Risotto! Also, you’ve gotta try their Pretzel Bread, as well as their Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup. For years, Le Cellier has notoriously difficult to get reservations for, so be sure to snatch up a reservation as soon as you now you’re going to WDW!

2. Cinderella’s Royal Table – This restaurant has the BEST location in all of WDW as it can be found inside of Cinderella’s Castle with a view of Fantasyland! Yes, this restaurant lets you dine inside of a fairytale beginning with a visit from Cinderella and then visits from other royal princesses while you dine either at breakfast, lunch, or dinner! The setting, details, dishes, as well as a few special treats, make Cinderella’s Royal Table a VERY popular dining destination, especially for birthdays, engagements, and other special occasions. We recommend booking a reservation here as soon as absolutely possible!

1. Be Our Guest – The Magic Kingdom’s newest restaurant, Be Our Guest, is housed inside of the Beast’s enchanted castle from the classic Disney film, Beauty and the Beast! This restaurant features three unique dining rooms with their own unique experiences. My personal favorites are the West Wing, with the torn décor, lightning effects, and wilting rose, and the famous ballroom. The ballroom truly looks as if it came straight out of the film, complete with the massive gold chandeliers and the tall windows where you can watch snow fall outside! Now Be Our Guest is a Disney first in that it’s a quick service restaurant for lunch, but turns into a table service restaurant for dinner; and dinner reservations are next to impossible to get right now! My advice? Wait in line to eat here at lunch, or book a reservation the first day you can which would be 180 days out from your trip.

So just because these restaurants are popular and typically booked, that doesn’t mean you still can’t get in! While I can’t guarantee anything, I do have a few tips:

1. Keep Checking! Guests cancel reservations all the time, and if you keep checking, you may snatch that one open reservation.

2. Book Online! While you can book a reservation over the phone, I prefer to book online. Why? I can check all available times for the days I want without having to go through someone else. I can also check and book anytime I wish, giving me a greater chance of landing an opening.

3. Check a Few Hours Ahead! If you still haven’t grabbed that reservation when you arrive at WDW, don’t despair! Many guests tend to cancel their reservations when on vacation as things come up and change and so on. Therefore, I would suggest checking for an open reservation for the restaurant of your choice a few hours in advance of your desired mealtime. You never know what might be available!

4. Take Advantage of Bad Weather! Stormy weather is usually a bad thing at WDW, but not if you’re hungry! The parks tend to empty when the weather turns nasty, meaning many guests may not show up for their reservation. However, the opposite is true of resort restaurants. They tend to fill up even more as guests prefer to stay in on gray days.

Are any of these Top 5 Restaurants your favorites? Do you have any suggestions for how to get in?

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Top 10 Favorite Disney Ride Vehicles at Walt Disney World http://www.chipandco.com/top-10-favorite-disney-ride-vehicles-walt-disney-world-173911/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-10-favorite-disney-ride-vehicles-walt-disney-world-173911/#comments Sun, 20 Oct 2013 21:45:52 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=173911 Disney rides and attractions are meant to transport you into your favorite Disney film, to a different place in time, or to the African Savanna or even under the sea! But how do they take you from the long, snaking lines and actually into these stories and experiences? By their ride vehicles of course! But not all ride […]

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Disney rides and attractions are meant to transport you into your favorite Disney film, to a different place in time, or to the African Savanna or even under the sea! But how do they take you from the long, snaking lines and actually into these stories and experiences? By their ride vehicles of course! But not all ride vehicles are created equal, and some play a huge part in the story the Imagineers are trying to tell, or even become icons of the rides themselves! Ride Vehicles range from bouncing honey pots and spinning tea cups to hang gliders and falling elevators! That’s why today I’m sharing with you my Top 10 Favorite Ride Vehicles!

10. Dumbo-This attraction is a Disney icon and childhood rite of passage! Dumbo, of course, has to make my list because where else would you get to ride an elephant, especially one that flies?

9. Soarin’ Hang Gliders-So when you first hear that Soarin’ is about hang gliding over California, you naturally begin to wonder just how are the Imagineers gonna pull this one off. The answer is the Soarin’ Hang Gliders consisting of rows of long bench seats with awnings overhead which are lifted up towards a massive bowl screen to let you experience what it’s like to soar! (while sitting down, that is!) These vehicles gently tilt and tip, making you feel as if you really are flying! It’s exhilarating, but yet calm and soothing. No wonder it’s so popular!

8. Pirates of the Caribbean Boats-I really like the spacious, roomy boats on Pirates of the Caribbean. Although, to be honest, there are very few things that I don’t like about this ride! I like how the boats set you close to the water, and how easy it is to see the scenery, and I especially like having a whole boat to myself when I ride near closing time! There has been a lot of news about the refurbished boats, as they have been getting guests wet; but despite that, there’s no better way to enjoy this classic ride than in a roomy boat floating past those classic pirate scenes!

7. Splash Mountain Log-For this Southern style ride, you hop aboard a log to float in and out of Chickapin Hill before being sent sliding down into the Briar Patch! Also, be sure to look at the front of the log to see a small Brer Rabbit too, the hero of this tale!

6. Rock n’ Roller Coaster Limo-A super-stretch limo is what it really is!  Yes, the ride vehicle for this adrenaline-packed, rockin’ ride is a limousine; and if that wasn’t cool enough, each seat has high-tech speakers! So yeah, it definitely makes this list.

5. Kilimanjaro Safaris Vehicle-Once you hop aboard this safari truck, you may forget that you’re in Central Florida! Disney really did an amazing job with this attraction. It’s about as realistic as a safari can get without actually being in Africa. The safari vehicles themselves are detailed, with gear packed onto the side, and they even have wildlife guides displayed inside to help you name and identify the animals you find all around you! No need to strategize about which side of the vehicle to sit as both sides offer close-up views of the animals!

4. Spinning Tea Cups-One of the most original ride vehicles ever, Fantasyland’s Mad Tea Party lets you board giant teacups that spin! This ride is simple, silly fun, a classic Disney attraction, and somewhat of an icon!

3. Jungle Cruise Boats-These vintage, detailed boats are unique in that they offer seating all the way around and feature a Cast Member/Jungle Cruise Captain at the helm. These captains are there to safely navigate you through the world’s waterways, as well as to crack some corny, classic jokes that are as much of a part of this ride as the audio-animatronic wildlife! The Jungle Cruise boats also sport some chuckle-worth names too, such as Senegal Sal, Nile Nellie, and Congo Connie!

2. Tower of Terror Elevators-The Tower of Terror elevators are the centerpiece of this attraction’s story and they are pretty high-tech too! I mean, these elevators not only move up and down, but also horizontal, and are dropped in random sequences that you can’t predict all while keeping you safe!

1. Peter Pan’s Flight Pirate Ships-I’ve always had a soft spot for Peter Pan’s Flight. It was, after all, my favorite Disney World attraction as a kid; and you can’t deny its impressive history as an opening day attraction. What sets Peter Pan’s Flight apart from the rest is its pirate ship ride vehicle. Unlike boats or vehicles on ground tracks, Peter Pan’s Flight’s pirate ships run on a track hanging from the ceiling which dip and tilt and gently swing you through the Darling children’s nursery, over London, and then over and around Neverland! The flight over a tiny, realistic London still gets me excited even today. I guess this is why this attraction still fills the lines, it’s simply timeless!

So what’s your favorite Disney World rive vehicle? Did I leave any out?

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Top 10 Things That “Should” Be Disney Souvenirs http://www.chipandco.com/top-10-disney-souvenirs-161161/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-10-disney-souvenirs-161161/#comments Mon, 30 Sep 2013 23:45:38 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=161161 I don’t know about you, but souvenir shopping is one of my favorite things to do at Walt Disney World. But sometimes when I’m browsing the shelves I get to wishing that maybe Disney could sell a few things that they have in their magical films or that they use in the parks! Like what? […]

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Disney store at Orlando International Airport

I don’t know about you, but souvenir shopping is one of my favorite things to do at Walt Disney World. But sometimes when I’m browsing the shelves I get to wishing that maybe Disney could sell a few things that they have in their magical films or that they use in the parks! Like what? Well, just take a look at my Top 10 Things That “Should” be Disney Souvenirs!

10. Umbrellas from Pixar’s The Blue Umbrella short-Can Pixar be any sweeter or more amazing? There shorts never fail to pull at the heartstrings and leave us in awe. But wouldn’t it be great to have red and blue couples umbrellas at WDW? That would be so cute for Disney engagements or wedding pics, don’t you think?

9. POG/Jungle Juice-If you have ever had this refreshing juice at ‘Ohana or Tusker House, you know how deliciously amazing it is, as well as how addicting it can be! What is it? It’s a combination of pineapple, orange, and guava juice and is known by several names around the Disney property, mainly POG Juice at ‘Ohana and Jungle Juice at Tusker House. Seriously, Disney needs to bottle this stuff so we can bring some home with us! However, if you are at Animal Kingdom, but don’t have a reservation for Tusker House, you can now grab a cup of this tropical juice for yourself at the Harambe Popcorn Stand!

8. Jack’s Compass-Yes, I know it doesn’t point North; but I think the Pirates of the Caribbean films have shown that thing is pretty valuable! Why? Because it points to the thing you want most. This could make everyday life a whole lot simpler. How? Trying to decide whether to have a piece of pie or a piece cake? No problem. You have the compass. Splash Mountain or Space Mountain? Check the compass! You see?

7. Mary Poppins’ Carpet Bag-Everyone’s favorite English nanny mastered the art of packing for flights with her signature carpet bag that could constitute as a carry-on, but also can hold everything from shoes to furniture! If this bag was a Disney souvenir, it would really help us fans out with all of those airline luggage requirements!

6. Disney Princess Hair Products-Those princesses are doing something right when it comes to their hair. Think about it. Ariel’s hair never frizzes or succumbs to the all the moisture, Jasmine’s hair never looks windblown on magic carpet rides, and even Mulan can shop off her hair with a sword and it stills look great! So obviously, they have invested in some pretty impressive hair products that, if Disney would sell at their resort gift shops, would make every girl’s life a whole lot easier!

5. Disney Resort Bed Spreads-There’s a style for almost every tasted and they contain Hidden Mickeys and sometimes even characters! Who wouldn’t want one? I’m thinking of the bedspreads from the Port Orleans Riverside’s Royal Rooms which contain crowns from the different princesses, or maybe the bedspread covered in pirate treasure from the Pirate Rooms at Caribbean Beach?

4. Dole Whips-Why there isn’t a Dole Whip stand on every street corner is just wrong in itself! Disney needs to sell Dole Whip mix or it frozen or something so I wouldn’t have to suffer cravings of this delicious, tropical treat whenever I’m far from Disney World.

3. FastPasses-Another great Disney World souvenir would be passes for the everyday stuff in life, like for when you’re in line at the bank or for Black Friday shopping or maybe for my next Disney World vacation?

2. Droids-I know you can already build-your-own Droid at Tatooine Traders and Once Upon a Toy at Downtown Disney; but wouldn’t it be great if you had your own “real” droid? C-3po would be really helpful when I need to read those directions that are only written in a foreign language, and R2-D2 would be great for whenever I have car trouble. He’s like a GPS and a mechanic in one cute package!

1. Pixie Dust-Wouldn’t be awesome if we could bottle Tink’s dust and have it stocked on the shelves of the Disney Store? Pixie Dust would not only be a great souvenir, but useful too! I mean, think of all the money we could save on airfare!

So these are my 10 things that I think “should” be Disney Souvenirs! What do you think?

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