Tips &Tricks – Chip and Co http://www.chipandco.com Disney Theme Park & Disney Movie News, Disney World & Disneyland Planning Tips, Disney Dining, Reviews and More! Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:12:56 +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 Tips &Tricks – Chip and Co http://www.chipandco.com 32 32 Top Disney World Theme Park Dining Spots http://www.chipandco.com/top-disney-world-theme-park-dining-spots-248633/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-disney-world-theme-park-dining-spots-248633/#respond Mon, 26 Sep 2016 14:59:27 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=248633 Last week I wrote about my picks for Top Disney Springs Dining Spots, and it got me to thinking more about Disney Food…oh who are we kidding, I am almost always thinking about Disney Food – there is just so much of it and it’s all so amazing! But when it comes to picking the […]

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Last week I wrote about my picks for Top Disney Springs Dining Spots, and it got me to thinking more about Disney Food…oh who are we kidding, I am almost always thinking about Disney Food – there is just so much of it and it’s all so amazing! But when it comes to picking the best of the best, there are definitely some that stand out above the rest.

So read on to find out my Top Disney World Theme Park Dining Spots:

Magic Kingdom

  • Crystal Palace: This is hands down my favorite place to eat in the Magic Kingdom (maybe even in all of WDW!). It’s a buffet that serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, and it’s also a CHARACTER meal – Winnie The Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore circulate for hugs, autographs and photo ops while you dine on some deliciously fresh eats. Pooh’s Breakfast Lasagna is a must have for breakfast, and you’ll want to make sure you grab some fresh roasted meats from the carving stations at lunch and dinner. It’s a hit for those of all ages – great food, great characters, and it’s in a GREAT location too right on the main drag of Main Street USA!

Epcot

  • Sunshine Seasons: You’ll find this fast-casual dining spot over in Epcot’s Future World – right inside the Land pavilion. I think what I love about this is that when most people think of “fast” food, things like burgers and chicken nuggets come to mind – but that is SO NOT the case here. You can smell the Rotisserie chickens the second you walk into the ordering area, and you can see the chefs bustle around as they prepare salads, Asian stir fry, southwest chicken wraps, and so much more. There’s a huge variety, and everything is fresh and made to order
    Pro Tip – try and eat here at an “off” time (ie – not right at the NOON lunch rush) to avoid the huge crowds

Hollywood Studios

  • Starring Roles Café: I’ve got two words for you: BAKED GOODS. And if you’re thinking “ok, well, a cupcake can’t be a meal” – then not only are you WRONG, but you have also obviously never grabbed a bite at Starring Roles! Their bakery case is truly a sight to behold – I must always resist the urge to order 3 of everything (1 of everything is plenty!), and once I get my food, I can people watch from the adorable outside terrace/seating area. Sandwiches and assorted sushi are on the menu for lunch and dinner, but like I said – the true “Star” here is the bakery case – the Butterfinger Cupcake is a personal favorite, but they have plenty of other stuff too – turnovers, tarts, croissants, muffins, cinnamon rolls, and so much more! My advice is to skip lunch and go straight to Starring Roles for dessert

Animal Kingdom

  • Tusker House Restaurant: Another character meal has made my list of top picks – what can I say – I’m just a kid at heart, who loves pairing character hugs with outstanding cuisine (nothing wrong with that, right?). Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all served here buffet style, and you’ll find a lot of typical American fare, but they also serve up a lot of African inspired dishes – the Bobotie is a must try, as are the assorted rice/salad dishes. It’s a great place to try something new, for sure. Oh – and Donald and pals are there too – dressed in their safari gear! It’s a great chance to get some unique photos with characters for sure!

As always, I highly recommend you utilize ADR’s (or Advance Dining Reservations for any and all table service meals – and for those of you unfamiliar with that process, click here for more info!)

Now that I have shared MY faves with you, I would love to know what YOU think – where do you love to eat at each of the WDW Parks?

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New Disney Popcorn Flavors Add Variety Interest to Your Popcorn Experience http://www.chipandco.com/new-disney-popcorn-flavors-add-variety-interest-popcorn-experience-248570/ http://www.chipandco.com/new-disney-popcorn-flavors-add-variety-interest-popcorn-experience-248570/#respond Mon, 26 Sep 2016 12:00:50 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=248570 There is nothing in the world like Disney Popcorn.  There are some new and interesting flavors, such as Truffle, Churro, and Sriracha Kettle Corn on the shelves at the Walt Disney World Resort.  Have you had the opportunity to taste some of these new popcorn flavors? Truffle flavored popcorn is an interesting flavor combination.  If […]

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Flavors

There is nothing in the world like Disney Popcorn.  There are some new and interesting flavors, such as Truffle, Churro, and Sriracha Kettle Corn on the shelves at the Walt Disney World Resort.  Have you had the opportunity to taste some of these new popcorn flavors?

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Truffle flavored popcorn is an interesting flavor combination.  If you enjoy truffle flavored anything, then you must try this popcorn. One of the most popular Disney Snack items is the Churro.  This popcorn offers just a hint of Churro and if you are a fan of the Churro then this popcorn is for you.  If you like a spicy-sweet combination of flavors then the Sriracha Kettle Corn is an excellent choice.  The spicy flavor of the Sriracha, added to the sweetness of the Kettle Corn offers a sweet and spicy kick without being too overbearing.

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Some of the more popular flavors are also available.  The Confetti popcorn is a fun and fruity option that makes a perfect gift to bring home for family and friends.  Disney Cheddar flavored popcorn is salty and leaves your fingers orange; as all good cheddar popcorn should. Get your toothbrush ready for use after you eat the Caramel popcorn.  This sweet and chewy popcorn flavor is delicious, but it will stick to your teeth.

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Disney Kettle Corn offers an excellent sweet and salty combination.  The flavors offset each other and is a favorite amongst many guests.  My personal favorite is the Zebra Stripe Popcorn.  Chocolate drizzle over caramel popcorn is a delectable combination.

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If you can’t quite decide on a flavor option you may want to pick up a seasonal variety bucket of popcorn.  This bucket offers caramel, cheddar, and kettle corn in one large souvenir bucket.  Once the popcorn has been eaten, you can wash and use the bucket to store items or display as a decorative element.

Popcorn makes a fun gift to bring home for yourself, your family, and your friends.  Disney Popcorn can also add to your Disney themed movie night at home.  Just pick a favorite Disney movie, add the popcorn to some Disney-themed bowls, and enjoy a taste of Walt Disney World right in your own home.  Make your Disney Popcorn experience interesting by bringing home a variety of flavored popcorn to sample with family and friends during your Disney-themed evening.

Which popcorn flavor will you try on your next visit to Walt Disney World?  Please leave  your comments in the box below.

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Is the Writer’s Stop in Hollywood Studios closing? http://www.chipandco.com/writers-stop-hollywood-studios-closing-248811/ http://www.chipandco.com/writers-stop-hollywood-studios-closing-248811/#respond Wed, 21 Sep 2016 18:49:07 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=248811 Hey there guys and gals it is I, Anonymouse! I am back with some sad but inevitable Disney Gossip. Word on the street is that Disney is going to be closing the Writer’s Stop in Hollywood Studios. You might remember back in March we reported that it was going to remain open along side all […]

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WS

Hey there guys and gals it is I, Anonymouse! I am back with some sad but inevitable Disney Gossip.

Word on the street is that Disney is going to be closing the Writer’s Stop in Hollywood Studios. You might remember back in March we reported that it was going to remain open along side all the construction in the back-lot area. It looks like now the Writer’s Stop days are numbered. I am hearing that it will be closing as early as this week. I hear September 25th or 26th.

No word on what will be happening to the building or if those delicious Carrot Cake Cookies will be available elsewhere.

Honestly I did not expect that shop to remain open that much longer. It is tucked away back behind Sci-Fi Dine-In and not many people knew about the delicious coffee, yummy treats, and the comfy chairs you could relax in.

As always nothing is official till Disney says it is.

That is all the Disney gossip I have for now. For my past gossip articles be sure to check them out here. Got any good gossip/rumors please email me at anonymouse@chipandco.com or on my Facebook page

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Top 5 Ways To Make Your Disney World Vacation More Magical http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-ways-make-disney-world-vacation-magical-245859/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-ways-make-disney-world-vacation-magical-245859/#respond Mon, 19 Sep 2016 13:08:21 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=245859 Walt Disney World Family vacations are a ton of fun, and the perfect way to make memories that will last a lifetime! Of course – in addition to fun, it might also be stressful, expensive, and time consuming to plan and execute a family trip to a place like Walt Disney World. But fear not! […]

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DiningPlan Collage

Walt Disney World Family vacations are a ton of fun, and the perfect way to make memories that will last a lifetime! Of course – in addition to fun, it might also be stressful, expensive, and time consuming to plan and execute a family trip to a place like Walt Disney World. But fear not! I have compiled this list of tips to help you make your Disney Vacation less stressful and more magical:

Know Before You Go: Disney World is a BIG place FULL of things to do, see, and eat. So, you’ll want to brush up – do some research (chip and co is a great place to start, plus the Walt Disney World official website has useful info too!), check out what rides and attractions you and your family might like, and look at some maps to get a lay of the land. There are plenty of great Guidebooks out there too, with a lot of in depth information and reviews to help you plan

Book Fastpasses: For those of you who don’t know, fastpasses are a way for you to avoid (some of) the long lines when waiting for popular rides/attractions. You can book them ahead of time, and can pre-select up to 3 per day. Let your family help too – and give them each a chance to pick at least 1 must do ride/attraction that you can book a fastpass for. Learn more about how fastpasses work here, and for the record – I HIGHLY suggest you take advantage of the ability to pre-pick some rides, because any time you DON’T have to spend in line can be used for other fun stuff (like obtaining delicious Mickey shaped snacks, for example)

Use ADR’s: This is another service Disney offers that I HIGHLY recommend you take advantage of. ADR stands for “Advance Dining Reservation”, and it is a way to essentially “pre-reserve” sit down meals at the Disney Parks and Resorts up to 180 days before your vacation. It isn’t a traditional “reservation”, but more like a “call ahead” where you arrive at a set time and are put next on the list for a table. These are basically NECESSARY for many of the more popular character meals, so if you have character lovers in your family – you better make sure you’re on the phone or online exactly 180 days before your trip to make those ADR’s for Mickey and the Princesses! I know it may seem NUTS to make reservations for a restaurant 6 months before you go on vacation, but trust me – it’s just something you need to do, as the days of just walking up to a WDW restaurant and hoping for an open table are OVER – ADR’s are the wave of the future, so you should definitely take advantage and book as many as you can!

Stay On Property: There are about a million places to stay in the greater Orlando area – and while many of them offer amazing lodging and plenty of amenities – for me, there’s no better place to stay than right in the magic, at a Walt Disney owned Resort Hotel. Not only are you as close as you can possibly be to the WDW Parks, but you’re able to take advantage of some other perks too. One of the BEST ones is Extra Magic Hours – where each day one of the parks stays open late an extra hour, and one of the parks opens up an hour early too ONLY for guests staying at WDW Hotels. It’s a great way to ride your favorite ride again and again with little to no wait, or to get some great photos in an almost empty Park

Let Disney Do The Driving: Don’t bother with a rental car – if you’re staying at a WDW Resort you really don’t need it, and even if you aren’t, many of the nearby hotels offer daily shuttles to the Disney Parks – so if I were you, I would sit back and let Disney do the driving! Once you’re on WDW property, you can take advantage of their transportation options – including monorails, boats, and buses to get you from place to place. And they even offer free shuttle service to the Orlando airport if you’re staying at a Disney hotel too – the “Magical Express” brings you to and from the airport and even takes care of checking your luggage for you too (another perk of staying on property…it’s starting to sound pretty good, isn’t it?)

If You Need Help – ASK: You will not find better customer service anyplace, seriously – Walt Disney World employees are the nicest, most helpful people ever – so don’t be afraid to ask for directions, or assistance with anything you might need while at the Parks or Resorts. They are super knowledgeable, and if they can’t answer your question, they will promptly find someone who can. No one expects you to memorize a Disney guidebook before your trip – so rest assured knowing that Disney Cast Members are always there to help fill in the blanks and make your trip the best it can be!

Did I miss any? Let me know in the comment box below.

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Who Is Beverly and Where Can I Find Her? http://www.chipandco.com/beverly-can-find-248142/ http://www.chipandco.com/beverly-can-find-248142/#comments Sat, 17 Sep 2016 12:38:52 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=248142 As many of you may or may not already know, Beverly is not a “Who” but in fact is a “What.”  This bitter-flavored drink is a product of the Coca-Cola Company and originates in Italy.  You can sample this soda-style drink, in Epcot’s Club Cool, at the Walt Disney World Resort free of charge.  For a nominal […]

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Cool

As many of you may or may not already know, Beverly is not a “Who” but in fact is a “What.”  This bitter-flavored drink is a product of the Coca-Cola Company and originates in Italy.  You can sample this soda-style drink, in Epcot’s Club Cool, at the Walt Disney World Resort free of charge.  For a nominal fee, you can purchase a samplings tray, that includes the Beverly, at the Coca-Cola Store in the Disney Springs area of the Walt Disney World Resort.

Beverly

The Beverly is quite bitter, which is why its flavor is actually pretty unpopular amongst visitors to Club Cool.  You may have seen videos and posts from visitors showing their loved ones reactions to their first taste of Beverly.  These posts to social media have developed quite a following.  If you have ever posted one of these moments, then you very probably had a lot of “Like(s)” to your post. The Beverly is actually an Italian aperitif that is a very traditional beverage in Italian culture.  Since I am not a fan of sweet drinks, I find it to be quite refreshing and flavorful.

Samplings

If you are not a fan of Beverly then your palate may be more partial to some of the sweeter samples.  All the samplings are Coca-Cola products, from around the world, representing a variety of countries.  Club Cool offers beverage samplings from Greece, Thailand, Japan, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Peru, and Brazil while allowing you a few minutes to re-group out of the central Florida heat.  Club Cool is located in the Future World section of Epcot beside Starbucks and facing the dancing water fountain feature.  There is no charge to sample these beverages and tiny disposable Coca-Cola cups are available beside the dispensers for your convenience.  You can try them all and choose a favorite.  Call me crazy, but my absolute favorite is the Beverly!

Which Club Cool sampling is your favorite?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

 

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Is Disney Changing The Color of Cinderella’s Castle Spires at the Magic Kingdom? http://www.chipandco.com/disney-changing-color-cinderellas-castle-spires-magic-kingdom-248350/ http://www.chipandco.com/disney-changing-color-cinderellas-castle-spires-magic-kingdom-248350/#respond Thu, 15 Sep 2016 12:30:48 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=248350 Cinderella’s Castle has been undergoing some painting as the work crews begin to cover the Castle with icicle lights for the upcoming winter holiday season.  I noticed that some of the spires are actually silver now.  Is Disney actually changing the color of Cinderella’s Castle Spires? I decided to stroll around to the back of […]

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Spires

Cinderella’s Castle has been undergoing some painting as the work crews begin to cover the Castle with icicle lights for the upcoming winter holiday season.  I noticed that some of the spires are actually silver now.  Is Disney actually changing the color of Cinderella’s Castle Spires?

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I decided to stroll around to the back of the castle to see what was going on.  The ever-popular Walt Disney World Crane is there in all his glory; back to photo-bomb your Cinderella Castle photos.  The Crane was supporting a man in a yellow basket who was actually painting one of the spires as I observed from the ground.  No answers were apparent, other than the fact that the crew is actually painting the spires with a silver-colored paint.  I decided to move on in search of answers.

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I walked all the way around the castle to see the painting progress from different vantage points.  From whatever angle you are seeing Cinderella’s Castle, the silver color is very noticeable.  We are used to seeing the spires all in blue.  As you can see, blue is still the color of most of them.  Inquiring minds want to know what this is all about, which is why I began speaking with Cast Members and asking about why the spires are being painted silver.  I spoke with three Cast Members, and received three different answers.  Here is what I discovered.

  1.  The first Cast Member I saw told me that Disney is, in fact, painting all of the spires silver.
  2. The second Cast Member I spoke with informed me that the silver paint is the base coat and that the blue color will go over the silver.
  3. The third Cast Member I asked stated that the Castle spires are being painted silver for the upcoming winter holidays.

After speaking with Cast Members I was more curious than ever!  Therefore, I present the question to all of you, our Chip and Company Walt Disney World fans and followers.  Can you tell me if Disney is changing the color of Cinderella’s Castle spires?

Please leave your comments in the box below.

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Disney’s Dole Whip Cup vs Citrus Swirl – Which is better? http://www.chipandco.com/disneys-dole-whip-cup-vs-citrus-swirl-better-248122/ http://www.chipandco.com/disneys-dole-whip-cup-vs-citrus-swirl-better-248122/#comments Tue, 13 Sep 2016 13:35:51 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=248122 Many of us have heard of, seen pictures of, or tasted the Dole Whip.  Did you know that there is also a Citrus Swirl? Here is my side-by-side comparison of how the Pineapple Dole Whip holds up against the Citrus Swirl. The easiest place to find both the Pineapple Dole Whip Cup and the Citrus […]

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DW vs CS

Many of us have heard of, seen pictures of, or tasted the Dole Whip.  Did you know that there is also a Citrus Swirl?

Here is my side-by-side comparison of how the Pineapple Dole Whip holds up against the Citrus Swirl.

DWvsCS

The easiest place to find both the Pineapple Dole Whip Cup and the Citrus Swirl Cup is in Adventureland.  While you can find the Pineapple Dole Whip at other venues around the Walt Disney World Resort, you can try both of these treats within a minute’s walk of one another, in the Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland, at the Walt Disney World Resort.

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Let’s begin with the ever-popular Pineapple Dole Whip.  This delectable treat is a frozen, light, and creamy pineapple soft serve. However, do not confuse this with the soft serve ice cream many of us are familiar with at our local ice cream stands.  You can purchase a Pineapple Dole Whip at the Aloha Isle Refreshments open-air stand, located beside the Enchanted Tiki Room in Adventureland, for $4.19.  This treat does count as 1 snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan.

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Now let’s take a look at the Citrus Swirl.  This refreshing treat is a dense frozen-swirled vanilla soft serve ice cream and orange slushy.  You can purchase a Citrus Swirl at the Sunshine Tree Terrace kiosk, located across from the Swiss Family Treehouse in Adventureland, for $3.79.  This treat also counts as 1 snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan.

Air

The Pineapple Dole Whip wins hands-down for flavor and texture.  The flavor is consistent with pineapple and is very light and creamy.  Definitely an excellent option while enjoying a day of central Florida heat at the Magic Kingdom. The texture is smooth and creamy with exactness and no surprises.  The Citrus Swirl has a very sour taste from the orange slushy swirl.  My first bite of the orange slushy swirl reminded of Johnson’s Baby Aspirin back when I was very young; not a flavor I am fond of at all! I then began mixing the orange slushy with the vanilla ice cream swirl and even the vanilla did not cut the sour taste of the orange slushy.  I am one of those people who will choose the Beverly, at Epcot’s Club Cool Sampling Station, over anything else for its bitter flavor.  The Citrus Swirl is more of a strong sour taste so if your flavor palate prefers sour, above all else, then the Citrus Swirl is for you.  The texture is thicker, and heavier, than the Pineapple Dole Whip Cup while still offering a certain level of smoothness.

However, the Citrus Swirl wins for quantity and price.  Unlike the Pineapple Dole Whip, with its entire center filled with nothing but air (see photo above), the Citrus Swirl is thicker, more substantial, and does not have air in the middle due to its dense texture.  At $3.79, as compared to the $4.19 Pineapple Dole Whip, the Citrus Swirl gives you more bang for the buck if that is your primary goal.  Of course, if you are on the Disney Dining Plan, then the pricing consideration will not really matter.

All-in-all, the Pineapple Dole Whip will remain a favorite treat as it is certainly conducive to my preferred taste palate.  I do recommend that you try the Citrus Swirl, at least once, so you can do your own side-by-side comparison.

How does the Pineapple Dole Whip and the Citrus Swirl rate in your own side-by-side comparison?

Please leave your comments in the box below.

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Disney Legend Floyd Norman: An Animated Life Documentary Review http://www.chipandco.com/disney-legend-floyd-norman-animated-life-documentary-review-247858/ http://www.chipandco.com/disney-legend-floyd-norman-animated-life-documentary-review-247858/#respond Mon, 12 Sep 2016 19:27:09 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=247858 Did you know that Disney Legend Floyd Norman has a documentary movie currently showing in select theaters around the country? Floyd Norman: An Animated Life, is a documentary directed by Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkey.  Floyd Norman has worked on such Disney movies as The Jungle Book, Mary Poppins, Toy Story 2, and Sleeping Beauty to […]

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Floyd

Did you know that Disney Legend Floyd Norman has a documentary movie currently showing in select theaters around the country? Floyd Norman: An Animated Life, is a documentary directed by Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkey.  Floyd Norman has worked on such Disney movies as The Jungle Book, Mary Poppins, Toy Story 2, and Sleeping Beauty to name a few.  I was fortunate enough to attend a premiere screening, at the Walt Disney World Resort’s AMC Disney Springs Theaters, of the documentary followed by a meet-and-greet with Floyd Norman himself!

Floyd

Floyd Norman is 81 years old but you would never know it.  This awesome Disney Legend is full of life and creativity.  When he was a young man, he worked with Walt Disney on many of his movies.  After Walt Disney’s death in 1966, Floyd Norman left the Walt Disney Company to pursue other adventures.  He returned to the Walt Disney Company in the 1990’s and was retired by the company  when he turned 65.  He began showing up to work at Disney Publishing Worldwide, where his wife Adrienne works.  Adrienne created a new word, “Floydering,” to describe Floyd loitering around the offices answering questions and offering suggestions even though he was not on the Disney payroll.  He did this for 16 years before being re-employed by the Disney Company.

Floydering

Floyd Norman is the first African-American Animator to be employed by the Walt Disney Company in 1956.  He has worked for the Disney Company, Hanna-Barbera, and Pixar.  To add to his accolades, he also became the first African-American Animator to be named a Disney Legend, by Roy Disney, in 2007.

Meet

What an honor it was to meet a true Disney Legend.  Floyd Norman is currently working on a Disney movie due to be released sometime next year.  He told me that we must learn as much as we can in our lifetimes as our knowledge is what builds our legacy. Animation has changed drastically over the past 60 years.  As an artist, Floyd Norman has had to adjust his knowledge-base many times throughout his career.

Floyd Norman’s career story is nothing short of amazing.  The documentary starts out a bit slow as the foundation of Floyd Norman’s career is built.  However, as the pace picks up and gains momentum, you will laugh, cry, and be surprised.  If you are interested in learning something new about Disney history, then Floyd Norman: An Animated Life is a must-see documentary.

Are you planning to see the Floyd Norman: An Animated Life documentary?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

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Top 6 Disney Springs Dining Spots http://www.chipandco.com/top-6-disney-springs-dining-spots-247312/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-6-disney-springs-dining-spots-247312/#respond Mon, 12 Sep 2016 13:26:48 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=247312 Dining at Disney World is a true foodie’s dream come true –there’s always something new and delicious to try, and one of my favorite places to eat while at WDW is Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney!). Check out my picks for Top 6 Disney Springs Dining Spots: Sit Down Restaurants: The Boathouse: This new restaurant […]

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Earl

Dining at Disney World is a true foodie’s dream come true –there’s always something new and delicious to try, and one of my favorite places to eat while at WDW is Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney!). Check out my picks for Top 6 Disney Springs Dining Spots:

Sit Down Restaurants:

The Boathouse: This new restaurant is perfect for seafood lovers as well as boat enthusiasts, too – while you dine at this waterfront spot you can check out the vintage boats from the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s on display. And the menu is ever-changing to allow the chefs to take advantage of the freshest seafood available! Steak, lobster, oysters, calamari, and fish tacos are all on the menu plus a TON of other options too

Wolfgang Puck Café: While this is not a “new to Disney Springs” restaurant, it is certainly a mainstay and an institution in my book! The sign has the quote “Live, Love, Eat” on it – and those are really embodied within the restaurant itself, where you can tell the innovative food is prepared with care and the freshest ingredients. Sushi lovers will really enjoy the offerings, as will pizza lovers – they serve up pies topped with Italian meats, barbeque chicken, and more. The best thing on this menu for me though is a toss-up between the bacon wrapped meatloaf and the roasted chicken entrees

Raglan Road: You can’t ever go wrong with a traditional Irish Pub – and this one delivers nothing but fantastic food in a relaxed, fun atmosphere. Live Irish music and dancers keep you entertained as you wait for your food and drinks – plenty of beers, wines and cocktails to choose from here! The menu is full of amazing dishes – bangers and mash (sausages and mashed potatoes), shepherd’s pie, Guinness beef stew, and so much more. I have eaten here several times, and it is just the best – a true gem!

Quick note about the above restaurants: As with any sit down meal at Disney, you’ll want to do your best to make an ADR (or Advance Dining Reservation) for them in advance to ensure that you are able to partake in these amazing dining spots!

Quick Meals:
Earl Of Sandwich: There are few things better than the smell of freshly baked bread – which the Earl is baking up daily for his mouth-wateringly delicious sandwiches – Holiday Turkey (featuring stuffing and cranberry sauce!), Caprese, buffalo chicken, and tuna melt to name a few. Oh – and don’t forget to grab a brownie sandwich for dessert as they are filled with frosting (and who doesn’t need a frosting sandwich in their life?). One of the best parts of this spot is it’s pretty reasonable price wise, and usually pretty speedy too

Food Trucks: Assorted food trucks park on the West Side of Disney Springs starting around lunch time daily, and while it’s not always the same trucks each day, you can be sure you will find some amazing meal options either way. The Namaste Café truck offers up freshly made naan, samosas, butter chicken, and tandoori shrimp; while Fantasy Fare serves classic dishes like corn dogs, chicken strips, and buffalo chicken and waffles. The great thing about grabbing a bite here is the variety – there’s something for everyone, and always something new and unique to try (for those adventurous eaters out there!)

Snack Attack:
Ghiradelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop: You can smell the house made hot fudge and freshly baked waffle cones as you approach this dessert spot, and it’s enough to lure you right in (well, it is for me at least!). The menu is full of delicious ice cream sundaes and assorted lattes and other coffee beverages as well (including the classic Ghiradelli hot chocolate!). You can also purchase assorted packaged chocolates to bring home with you (and if they don’t make it all the way home, that’s ok too, I don’t judge)

Check out the official Disney Springs Dining Site Here for the most up to date list of offerings so you can plan which ones you’ll eat at next time you’re in Disney!

I would love to know which Disney Springs Dining Spots Top YOUR list, too!

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Disney’s Night of Joy 2016 Event and Venue Change Review http://www.chipandco.com/disneys-night-joy-2016-event-venue-change-review-247961/ http://www.chipandco.com/disneys-night-joy-2016-event-venue-change-review-247961/#comments Sun, 11 Sep 2016 12:00:39 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=247961 If you have ever attended, or are planning to attend, a Night Of Joy event at the Walt Disney World Resort then you may already know that the venue changed this year.   Since 1983, with the exception of 2008 and 2009 when Night of Joy was held at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this event has […]

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NOJ

If you have ever attended, or are planning to attend, a Night Of Joy event at the Walt Disney World Resort then you may already know that the venue changed this year.   Since 1983, with the exception of 2008 and 2009 when Night of Joy was held at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this event has been held at the Magic Kingdom.  This year, Night of Joy is taking place at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex.  Many folks have mixed emotions about this change of venue.  However, with all change comes some new things we can love, and some old things that we miss.  Here is my Review of Disney’s Night of Joy 2016.

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The Schedule of Events, the line-up of Christian Contemporary Bands, and the ESPN Wide Worlds of Sports locations map are excellent.  The Schedule of Events lists the time, the band, and the location of each performance so you can plan your evening.  The times are spaced out a bit so it is possible to see at least some of each performance.  The list of bands is phenomenal.  If you enjoy Contemporary Christian music then you are sure to enjoy most of the bands included in this year’s line-up.  The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World is massive and the map was very helpful in figuring out where everything was. There are cast members all about and they are more than willing to answer questions and offer assistance.

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While we can all agree that we loved having Night of Joy at the Magic Kingdom, the ESPN Wide World of Sports offers something that the Magic Kingdom cannot offer; seating.  We loved having this event take place at the Magic Kingdom where we could see our favorite Christian bands perform on the Castle Forecourt Stage and the Tomorrowland Stages.  However, with the exception of the Tomorrowland stage behind Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, there was no-where to sit.  Standing on the hot pavement for even one hour can become tiring.  The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex provides the HP Field House (indoors), the Champion Stadium (open air stadium), and the Jostens Center (indoors).  All three of these locations have seating for thousands of people.

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Another factor that plays a key role in the new choice of venue for Night of Joy is space.  The Champion Stadium is basically a baseball field which provides an ample amount of space for the thousands of people who frequent this event.  The outdoor Fields of Joy area provides space for people to enjoy some sporting practice on the large fields, or just enjoy sitting and relaxing hillside to observe what is going on around you.  I loved the fact that I could see the Star Wars Galactic Fireworks at Hollywood Studios, and the Illuminations Fireworks at Epcot, from my hillside vantage point. I believe that these two factors, space and seating, have created a very positive change to the Night of Joy event.

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The event food options are limited to Concession Stands, a ESPN Wide World of Sports Grille, and Food Trucks.  If you enjoy this kind of food then you are sure to find something you like to eat.  If you are like me, and you do not care for these types of foods then you may want to plan accordingly and bring in some snacks.  I was not prepared for this but certainly will know for next year.  The snow cone truck had a long line most of the evening and appeared to be a very popular food choice amongst the guests.  The food options are what I missed most about having the Night of Joy event at the Magic Kingdom and I see this as a not-so-postive change created by the new venue.

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There is a hydration station outdoors near the Fields of Joy and the Food Trucks.  Be sure to stay hydrated.  Even though the Night of Joy event takes place in the evening, it is still pretty warm overnight here in Central Florida.

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FanFest is located inside the Jostens Center building.  Here you will find games such as table car racing, giant blocks and life-size floor chess to name a few.  While these games do not take the place of Magic Kingdom rides, they do offer a distraction to pass a bit of time between bands.

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Also in the Jostens Center are merchandise locations for the bands and a place where you can attend Q & A Sessions with some of your favorite Christian music artists.  There will be three opportunities on Saturday, September 10th, to meet some of these amazing musicians.

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Also at FanFest in the Jostens Center is a meet-and-greet with Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy.  They look splendid in their sporty attire don’t you think?  One bonus to this is that you will only see them dressed in their sports attire at this venue.  The lines were not very long to meet them and that was another plus as well.

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Night of Joy 2016 specific merchandise is located inside the HP Field House, Champion Stadium and Jostens Center.  They are centrally located around the walkways at each location.  Look for signs and the tables set up specifically for the sale of this merchandise.

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Located outside, along the central walkway, are the larger-than-life signs listing the locations and times for the bands performances. These are also listed in your schedule of events map.

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For an additional cost, you can purchase the Premium Ticket for the Night of Joy event.  You will receive an exclusive pin and lanyard as well as premium seating options for the band performances.  A special thanks to my new friends from Ontario, Canada who were willing to let me take pictures of them with their premium lanyards.

Some of you have been asking if the Night of Joy is worth the expense.  I give you a resounding “Yes.”  While some of the magic of the experience is gone, the food is less than ideal, and there are no Disney rides available, the atmosphere, the space, and the music are spectacular.  Something that we must remember is that the Night of Joy is about connecting spiritually with one another.  I look forward to what next year’s agenda will have to offer us during the Night of Joy 2017.

What do you think of the change of venue for Night of Joy this year?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

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Meet Creative Characters, Fun Friends, Happy Haunts, & Ghoulish Ghosts at Mickey’s No So Scary Halloween Party http://www.chipandco.com/meet-creative-characters-fun-friends-happy-haunts-ghoulish-ghosts-mickeys-no-scary-halloween-party-247820/ http://www.chipandco.com/meet-creative-characters-fun-friends-happy-haunts-ghoulish-ghosts-mickeys-no-scary-halloween-party-247820/#respond Fri, 09 Sep 2016 13:05:03 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=247820 Part of the fun to be had at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) is meeting Creative Characters, Fun Friends, Happy Haunts, and Ghoulish Ghosts.  Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party takes place at the Magic Kingdom Park, select nights in September and October, at the Walt Disney World Resort.  Appropriate costumes are allowed […]

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Creative

Part of the fun to be had at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) is meeting Creative Characters, Fun Friends, Happy Haunts, and Ghoulish Ghosts.  Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party takes place at the Magic Kingdom Park, select nights in September and October, at the Walt Disney World Resort.  Appropriate costumes are allowed for both children and adults during this special-ticket-event.

See the Costume Guidelines here.

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When you meet some Creative Characters, you will really begin to notice the festive aura of the evening ahead.  People are more than willing to show off their creativity.  Ask questions about how they prepared their costumes.  You will be amazed at how some folks come up with ideas for building their own costumes.  We all have some level of creativity and it is really interesting to meet new people and share in a bit of creative conversation.

Friends

Some of us are not quite as creative as others.  With that being said, when you make eye contact with one, two, and then three gentlemen wearing exactly the same friendship shirt that you are, you just have to stop and say”Hello New Fun Friends!”  Of course what would New Fun Friends be like without a picture to remember that moment by?  We had a good laugh and introduced ourselves. These three gentlemen were in the same boat as I was having similar time constraints with regards to costume creativity.

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Seeing Happy Haunts, and Not-So-Happy Haunts, is part of your experience during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.  As you enter, and exit the Magic Kingdom, be sure to notice the Happy Mickey Ghost, as well as some other interesting displays.  (Don’t want to ruin the fun with too many spoilers after all.)  The evening is about fun and spooks.  I challenge  you to stop by the Haunted Mansion to meet some of the Not-So-Happy Haunts.  Good luck attempting to get a smile out of these hauntingly interesting characters.

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Beware of Ghoulish Hitchhiking Ghosts!  You may not see these guys right away, but I can assure you they are there.  Disney PhotoPass Ghoulish Ghosts Magic Shots are available at a variety of locations around the park.  Be sure to check them out for some spooky fun Ghoulish Ghosts meet-ups.  Download the My Disney Experience App prior to the event so you can check your Magic Shots to be sure they uploaded.  Some of mine did not upload and I did not realize, until I got home, that they were not there.  Happy Hauntings!

Are you hoping to meet Creative Characters and Fun Friends, or Happy Haunts and Ghoulish Ghosts at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party?

Please leave your comments in the box below.

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my official review here.

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Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Review From Opening Night http://www.chipandco.com/mickeys-not-scary-halloween-party-review-opening-night-247542/ http://www.chipandco.com/mickeys-not-scary-halloween-party-review-opening-night-247542/#comments Sun, 04 Sep 2016 12:00:01 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=247542 Have you ever, or are you planning to, attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party?  This special-ticketed event takes place on select nights at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom during the Autumn season.  Rare character meet-and-greets, trick-or-treating, specialty event-only merchandise, Celebrate The Magic, The Villains show, The Halloween Parade, and Halloween Fireworks abound. I was […]

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Halloween Party

Have you ever, or are you planning to, attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party?  This special-ticketed event takes place on select nights at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom during the Autumn season.  Rare character meet-and-greets, trick-or-treating, specialty event-only merchandise, Celebrate The Magic, The Villains show, The Halloween Parade, and Halloween Fireworks abound. I was fortunate enough to attend on opening night, September 2nd.  Here is my review of the MNSSHP Event.

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Rare Disney Character appearances are part of the event.  Characters such as Jack Skellington and Sally, The Genie, and Jafar are available for meet-and-greets at locations throughout the park.  See a Cast Member for a complete list of characters and their locations as this is not included in your MNSSHP Map.  While we all love these characters, the wait times vary from 30 minutes upwards of 2 hours to meet one of these rare characters.  If your primary goal is to meet these special Disney characters then by all means get on line right away.  Otherwise, you may want to grab a picture as you are passing by, which is what I chose to do.  With only about 6-7 hours to accomplish everything, I did not want to tie up the bulk of those hours on character meets.

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What would a Halloween event be without trick-or-treating?  There are trick-or-treat locations in every land of the park.  They are easily spotted by their tall glowing orange, air-filled signs that say “Treats.”  The lines move fairly quickly but you can expect to spend about 10 minutes at each location.  I stopped at 6 locations and received quite a bit of halloween candy.  Don’t forget to say “Trick-or-Treat” as the Cast Members love it when you do.

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Exclusive merchandise for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party merchandise is on display for purchase.  A few of my favorites are the Limited Edition Magic Bands, the Halloween ornaments, and MNSSHP t-shirts.  There are a variety of t-shirts and ornaments.  The Magic Band pictured is a Limited Edition Annual Passholder band exclusive to the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.  Even if you are not an annual passholder, I can assure you that there is a lot of event-exclusive merchandise to choose from.  You are certain to find something that you like to purchase as a keepsake.  My personal favorite item is the Limited Edition Magic Band.  I did have to present my Annual Pass to purchase the band.

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Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party has a number of not-to-be-missed events over the course of the evening.  Be sure to catch the Celebrate The Magic presentation reflected off of Cinderella’s Castle as it includes a special Halloween segment.

The Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular show takes place on the Castle Forecourt Stage.  The mischievous Sanderson Sisters invite multitudes of Villains to assist them with casting a spell.  This show is one of the best I have ever seen with regards to Walt Disney World shows presented over the years.

Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade is absolutely the best parade ever performed at the Walt Disney World Resort.  I promise you that the “Boo-To-You” song will be stuck in your head for days!  Be prepared to view some amazing sequences during the parade such as the Gravediggers performance, the Haunted Mansion Float and Dancers, as well as the Villains Float.  What would an evening at the Magic Kingdom be without the evening fireworks?

Happy HalloWishes is an excellent Halloween Fireworks show.  Set to Disney Halloween and Villains themed music, Hallowishes is excellent.  If you enjoy Walt Disney World Fireworks, you will be amazed at what they have done with this truly spectacular show.

I recorded Live during the Boo-To-You Parade, the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, and the Happy Hallowishes Fireworks.

In case you did not see any of these Live Feeds, here is the link to view them.

What is your favorite event to do and see at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

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Fall Flavors at the Beaches and Cream Soda Shop http://www.chipandco.com/fall-flavors-beaches-cream-soda-shop-246303/ http://www.chipandco.com/fall-flavors-beaches-cream-soda-shop-246303/#respond Fri, 02 Sep 2016 13:30:56 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=246303 When you hear the words “Beaches & Cream” do they bring to mind Fall Flavors?  You are more likely to think sandy beaches, ice cream, and sunny summer days.  The season of Autumn is about to make its appearance.  Lucky for us we can enjoy some flavors of fall year round at the Walt Disney World Resort’s […]

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Menu

When you hear the words “Beaches & Cream” do they bring to mind Fall Flavors?  You are more likely to think sandy beaches, ice cream, and sunny summer days.  The season of Autumn is about to make its appearance.  Lucky for us we can enjoy some flavors of fall year round at the Walt Disney World Resort’s Beaches and Cream Soda Shop.

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Beaches and Cream Soda Shop is located at the Beach Club Resort facing the main pool.  As you walk up to the outdoor check-in desk, you can peruse the full menu posted on the wall near the entrance door.  Reservations are highly recommended due to the popularity of this restaurant.

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Look closely at the menu to find the Autumn Flavors amongst the summer fun options.  The entrée I am referring to is the Grilled Cheese and Tomato Bisque.  When I was a child, one of my favorite Autumn meals was a grilled cheese sandwich, with a bowl of tomato soup.   The dessert on the menu, boasting Autumn Flavors, is the Grilled Banana Bread and Peanut Butter.  There is nothing like fresh-made banana bread during the Autumn season.

Bisque

The Grilled Cheese and Tomato Bisque sandwich provides an amazing flavor combination.  If you enjoy a grilled cheese sandwich, then you must try one at Beaches and Cream.  Made with six cheeses, and grilled to perfection, the Beaches and Cream Grilled Cheese Sandwich will have you hooked from the first bite.  The Tomato Bisque is fresh, hot, and creamy.  You may even find yourself tempted to dip your grilled cheese into the bisque.  Just be sure to taste each item separately first to sample the amazing flavors of each on their own.  The portion size is quite adequate.

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If you feel the need for a sweet dessert loaded with fall flavors then you must have the Grilled Banana Bread and Peanut Butter. The combination of banana bread, peanut butter, and caramelized bananas is amazing.

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I recommend you bring a friend with you when you head to Beaches and Cream.  You can easily share the Grilled Cheese and Tomato Bisque.  The cast is more than willing to split the meal and bring it out on two plates and bowls.  I can assure you that if you eat the entire meal yourself you likely will discover you do not have room for dessert.  Alas, this was my dilemma.

Autumn brings with it cooler temperatures and great comfort foods to warm your belly.  When I think of the Autumns of my childhood I remember the smells of Autumn.  From fresh-made banana bread baking in the oven, to homemade soups cooking on the stove, and the smell of crisp leaves when opening the door to head outdoors; Autumn is a joyfully scented and flavorful season.

What flavors do you enjoy during the Autumn season?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

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Cannoli Cupcake From Gelato Kiosk at Epcot’s Italy Pavillion http://www.chipandco.com/cannoli-cupcake-gelato-kiosk-epcots-italy-pavillion-246986/ http://www.chipandco.com/cannoli-cupcake-gelato-kiosk-epcots-italy-pavillion-246986/#respond Thu, 01 Sep 2016 11:30:51 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=246986 Ciao to the Cannoli Cupcake at Epcot’s Italy Gelato Kiosk.  This sweet treat offers a multitude of flavors in a cup.  If you are looking for something new and fun to try while strolling around the World Showcase at Epcot, the Cannoli Cupcake is a great choice. Let’s start from the top.  The Cannoli Cupcake consists […]

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CC

Ciao to the Cannoli Cupcake at Epcot’s Italy Gelato Kiosk.  This sweet treat offers a multitude of flavors in a cup.  If you are looking for something new and fun to try while strolling around the World Showcase at Epcot, the Cannoli Cupcake is a great choice.

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Let’s start from the top.  The Cannoli Cupcake consists of 4 layers.  The very top is a mini cannoli filled with sweet ricotta and chocolate chips, drizzled with chocolate and sprinkled with powdered sugar.  Beneath the mini cannoli is the swirled ricotta icing topped with candied cherries and pineapples, then drizzled with chocolate.  The icing tops the vanilla bean cupcake.  I must note here that I am not typcially a fan of cupcakes. However, this cupcake was not too sweet and the cupcake itself was rather dense as opposed to your typical crumbly cupcake.  I found it to be a bit dry until I realized that underneath the cupcake, the bottom layer was a sweet ricotta with chocolate chips.  When I combined the dryness of the cupcake, with the ricotta and chocolate chips, it was quite pleasing to the palette.

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The Cannoli Cupcake can be found at the Gelato Kiosk, on the right, as you are walking past the Italy Pavillion towards Germany.  This non-descript location blends into the background and you can easily walk right by without realizing you have passed it.  While the Tiramisu and the Cannoli do count as a snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan, the Cannoli Cupcake, unfortunately, does not.  If you are not on the Dining Plan, or are just looking for a more substantial snack, then the Cannoli Cupcake will certainly satisfy.  The Cannoli Cupcake comes in a clear cup, thus making it easy to continue on your way around the World Showcase while enjoying your sweet treat.  Just remember to grab a spoon.

What do you think of the new Cannoli Cupcake?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

 

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Fight Disney Withdrawals – Take Home these Sweet Disney Autumn Treats http://www.chipandco.com/take-home-sweet-disney-autumn-treats-247043/ http://www.chipandco.com/take-home-sweet-disney-autumn-treats-247043/#comments Tue, 30 Aug 2016 23:26:42 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=247043 Have you ever arrived home from a Disney vacation and truly just found yourself missing the sights, sounds and smells of the Disney Parks? One way to assist with Disney Parks withdrawals is to purchase some Sweet Disney Autumn Treats to enjoy at home. Here is my tips for successfully achieving some level of acceptance that while the vacation […]

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Disney Autumn Treats

Have you ever arrived home from a Disney vacation and truly just found yourself missing the sights, sounds and smells of the Disney Parks? One way to assist with Disney Parks withdrawals is to purchase some Sweet Disney Autumn Treats to enjoy at home.

Here is my tips for successfully achieving some level of acceptance that while the vacation is over, the Disney fun is not!

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1.Set your Sweet Disney Treats on a Disney-themed plate.  Nothing says Disney in your own home more than Disney-themed items in the kitchen. You may want to have plates for each season to keep things festive. Don’t forget the Mickey Waffle Maker!

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2. Add some pumpkin spice coffee, tea, hot apple cider, hot chocolate or beverage of your personal choice to your favorite Disney mug. In keeping with the theme consider having a mug to go along with the theme of the season; in this case Autumn.

DVD

3.  Pop your favorite Disney Vacation Planning DVD, or your favorite Disney movie, into your VHS/DVD player. If you are into theming, like I am, then you can choose a movie that reminds you of a particular season.  For myself, I enjoy Pocahontas and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Friendship Edition during the Autumn season.

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4. Maybe you are thinking, “Number three is not for me,” because you prefer Disney music to Disney movies.  If that is the case, then place one of your Disney Soundtrack Records on the record player and let your worries subside.

Slippers

5. Get your favorite pair of Disney comfy slippers.  Put them on your feet.  Now relax and enjoy!

Nothing spells success for Disney withdrawals more than enjoying sweet Disney Autumn Treats, with a fun beverage, while relaxing to Disney movies, or Disney music, and wearing your Disney slippers.  So the next time you visit Walt Disney World, be sure to stock up on some sweet treats representative of the season.  They are the key ingredient that you will need to create your own Recipe for Success.

What is your recipe for successfully overcoming Disney vacation withdrawals?

Please leave your comments in the box below.

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The Search for New Disney Parks Moms Panelists Begins on September 7th http://www.chipandco.com/search-new-disney-parks-moms-panelists-begins-september-7th-246396/ http://www.chipandco.com/search-new-disney-parks-moms-panelists-begins-september-7th-246396/#respond Thu, 18 Aug 2016 15:03:02 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=246396 Disney Parks Moms Panel is looking for new moms, dads and grandparents to join their Panel in 2017. The Panel consists of experienced Disney vacation travelers who help other guests online by answering their vacation planning questions. The application window will open at 12:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, September 7, 2016 and close at 12:00 p.m. EST on […]

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moms panel2Disney Parks Moms Panel is looking for new moms, dads and grandparents to join their Panel in 2017. The Panel consists of experienced Disney vacation travelers who help other guests online by answering their vacation planning questions.

The application window will open at 12:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, September 7, 2016 and close at 12:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, September 14, 2016. The first round application process includes short essay questions, basic information questions, and a sample question similar to what you’d find on the Disney Parks Moms Panel website.

This September marks the 10th year of the annual search for new panelists. The first Moms Panel search launched in September 2007 and since then more than 140 moms, dads, grandparents have helped other guests with decisions and planning logistics around all types Disney vacations.

The Disney Parks Moms Panel focuses on nearly every type of Disney vacation including Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club, runDisney and events at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. And because the site is available in four languages, we hope to find panelists fluent in Portuguese, French, and Spanish.

If you’re the go-to vacation planner in the family and consider yourself very knowledgeable about Disney Parks vacations, consider applying for next year’s panel. Disney Parks Moms Panelists will receive a Disney vacation as a reward for serving on the panel.

Working with a Disney Vacation Planner is also a great resource to help answer your questions when it comes to planning your Disney experience. Contact lbourget@mickeytravels.com or visit my Facebook page here to get started on your next Disney vacation and remember all of my planning services are 100% FREE!  

Photo Credit: Disney Parks Moms Panel

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Amorette’s Patisserie in Disney Springs Summer Seasonal Favorites Review http://www.chipandco.com/amorettes-patisserie-disney-springs-summer-seasonal-favorites-review-246201/ http://www.chipandco.com/amorettes-patisserie-disney-springs-summer-seasonal-favorites-review-246201/#respond Thu, 18 Aug 2016 12:46:52 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=246201 , Amorette’s Patisserie, in the Town Center neighborhood of Disney Springs, offers lovely summer seasonal favorites.  While some of Amorette’s pastries are year-round favorites, there are also seasonal favorites available only for a limited-time.  With Autumn taking center stage soon, now is the time to enjoy the tastes of summer before they disappear. When summer […]

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Summer,

Amorette’s Patisserie, in the Town Center neighborhood of Disney Springs, offers lovely summer seasonal favorites.  While some of Amorette’s pastries are year-round favorites, there are also seasonal favorites available only for a limited-time.  With Autumn taking center stage soon, now is the time to enjoy the tastes of summer before they disappear.

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When summer rolls into central Florida, Strawberry Festivals abound.  Amorette’s offers the Strawberry Fields of O.C.  While not a limited-time offering, this pastry is a seasonal favorite.  With lemon and strawberry as the primary flavors, this tart offers a true taste of summer.  Lemon curd, strawberry mousse and basil sugar create a flavor combination that is fantastic.  The strawberry dominates and the touch of lemon adds just a touch of tartness.  The basil sugar balances out the flavors.

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The flavor combination of chocolate and peanut butter is always in season.  When you add banana and bacon to this combination, you have a true year round favorite.  The Reflections in Memphis mousse dome combines peanut butter mousse with chocolate and banana.  The real icing on this treat is the crisp bacon.  The sweetness of the peanut butter mousse, chocolate, and banana, combined with the saltiness of the bacon, make for an excellent combination sure to please the most discerning sweet and salty craving.

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When I think of summer-time flavors, my palate craves the combination of raspberries and lemonade.  As a child I loved picking raspberries with my grandfather in his raspberry patch.  We would fill a tin bucket, then bring those sweet raspberries inside to enjoy them with a glass of fresh-made lemonade.  For a limited-time, Amorette’s Patisserie is offering their Raspberry Lemonade. Made with chiffon cake, lemon curd, raspberry mousse, and topped with fresh raspberries this beautiful treat is a true winner.

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Looking for something special to celebrate summer?  These adorable Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald cakes are truly beautiful. These cakes are well made, very flavorful, and they are available year-round.

Be sure to stop by Amorette’s Patisserie during your next visit to Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort.  The Raspberry Lemonade will be available until early September, when they will introduce a limited-time pastry for the Autumn season.  I am thinking Pumpkin Pie!

What flavors do you crave in the summer time?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

 

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Is Disney Closing down Stitch’s Great Escape & Journey to Imagination? http://www.chipandco.com/disney-closing-stitchs-great-escape-journey-imagination-246240/ http://www.chipandco.com/disney-closing-stitchs-great-escape-journey-imagination-246240/#comments Tue, 16 Aug 2016 15:43:01 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=246240 Hey there guys and gals it is I Anonymouse! I am back delivering to you the best in Disney Gossip! There is talk around many of the Disney message boards and websites that Disney is going to be removing some older and less attractive rides, this is where the awful Stitch’s Great Escape &  the mildly […]

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MK

Hey there guys and gals it is I Anonymouse! I am back delivering to you the best in Disney Gossip! There is talk around many of the Disney message boards and websites that Disney is going to be removing some older and less attractive rides, this is where the awful Stitch’s Great Escape &  the mildly amusing Journey to Imagination come into play.

The board of directors at Disney has approved $3.5 billion for Walt Disney World improvements. In that chunk of change most of it is going to Hollywood Studios so Disney can finish out Star Wars Land & Toy Story land. They have also set aside some money for Epcot & the Magic Kingdom, sorry Animal Kingdom no money for you, why don’t you ask James Cameron? So of that money for Magic Kingdom the most least popular ride (did I say that right?) at Walt Disney World is Stitch’s Great Escape.

The chatter on the net is maybe some type of Wreck it Ralph 3D Racing Attraction based off Sugar Rush! Which I LOVE that idea.

Epcot

Next on the chopping block would be Journey to Imagination and the big gaping hole that was left by Captain Eo but is now filled by Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival. The rumor is that Figment is out and Inside Out will be coming in. Dreamfinder and Figment (which is who we really love anyway) from Journey to Imagination would start showing up in Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom and then some sort of Inside Out ride would basically consume the area.

I would like to mention that some of the money set aside for Hollywood Studios is also going towards the retheming of the Great Movie Ride, but if you follow me then you know I mentioned that last time so it is really just review for you. Good Job!

No word yet if any of this is official. Keep in mind I just hear things and while I might not be 100% spot on I do get many things right, so take everything I say with a grain of salt and as with all of my rumors as soon as something becomes official my boy Chip will post it.

That is all the Disney gossip I have for now. For my past gossip articles be sure to check them out here. Got any good gossip/rumors please email me at anonymouse@chipandco.com or on my Facebook page

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Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe Adds Rocket Ship Cup and Increases Prices http://www.chipandco.com/cosmic-rays-starlight-cafe-adds-increases-prices-246115/ http://www.chipandco.com/cosmic-rays-starlight-cafe-adds-increases-prices-246115/#comments Mon, 15 Aug 2016 11:00:50 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=246115 Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, at the Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, has added a Souvenir Rocket Ship Cup to their Kids’ Meals. They have also raised prices on all meals, including Kids’ Meals, by $1.00-$2.00.  These changes took place last week, per a Cast Member at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. The Kids’ Meal cups feature the Fab […]

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Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, at the Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, has added a Souvenir Rocket Ship Cup to their Kids’ Meals. They have also raised prices on all meals, including Kids’ Meals, by $1.00-$2.00.  These changes took place last week, per a Cast Member at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.

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The Kids’ Meal cups feature the Fab Five wearing space suits and they are surrounded by planets and stars.  The cup also sports a snap-on lid with re-usable straw.  Other than the addition of the Rocket Ship Cup, and the higher price tag, the Kids’ Meals remain exactly the same.  Each meal includes an entrée, 2 sides, and a kid-size drink of choice.  French fries can still be substituted for carrots or grapes at no additional charge.  And, as always, a cup of ice water is free.

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All meals on Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe menu have been increased by $1.00-$2.00 each.  While the addition of the Souvenir Rocket Ship Cup to the Kids’ Meals is a welcome addition, there is no such incentive for the adult meals.  The ever-popular 1/2 Rotisserie Chicken will set you back $14.49 and the Barbecued Pork Sandwich will cost you $11.99.  Keep in mind that beverages also run you $1.99 for a small carton of milk, $3.29 for a small fountain beverage, and $4.69 if you enjoy ordering the Strawberry Lemonade Slushy.  If your budget is impacted by this increase you can cut costs by asking for a complimentary cup of ice water to go with your meal.

This recent meal price increase certainly makes the Disney Meal Plan options more appealing.  If you are not staying on Walt Disney World Resort property, or are a local visitor, then you do not qualify for the meal plan.  When planning your visit you can search the official Walt Disney World Resort site by restaurant at https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining.  Here you can find any restaurant you are interested in to view menus and pricing.

What do you think about these new changes to Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe Menu? Does this mean kids prices are going up at other restaurants as well? Please leave your comments in the box below.

 

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Journey to Wonderland at Grand Floridian’s Gone Mad Party http://www.chipandco.com/journey-wonderland-grand-floridians-gone-mad-party-245945/ http://www.chipandco.com/journey-wonderland-grand-floridians-gone-mad-party-245945/#comments Sat, 13 Aug 2016 21:10:48 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=245945 Are you looking for something new and interesting to do on your next visit to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida?  Take a journey to Wonderland at the Grand Floridian’s Gone Mad Party.  Here you will find fun and curious Mad T Party style seating, Disney Mad Hatter style photo-op props, a Mad Menu, […]

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Gone Mad

Are you looking for something new and interesting to do on your next visit to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida?  Take a journey to Wonderland at the Grand Floridian’s Gone Mad Party.  Here you will find fun and curious Mad T Party style seating, Disney Mad Hatter style photo-op props, a Mad Menu, Curiouser Drink Concoctions, and some crazy-good Alice in Wonderland Themed Sweet Treats.  The Gone Mad Party also boasts a dance party atmosphere while waiting to view Wishes Fireworks, across the Seven Seas Lagoon, at the Magic Kingdom.

Gone Mad

The Gone Mad Party is a free event that takes place every Wednesday evening, until further notice, from 8:30pm-10:30pm.  You do not need to be staying at the resort, or on Disney property for that matter, to attend.  The Grand Floridian recommends you call the day you would like to attend in order to confirm that the party will be held that night. The Gone Mad Party area is located just beyond the outdoor patio of Gasparilla Island Grill at the Walt Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort.  This outdoor area faces the Seven Seas Lagoon with a good view of the Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella Castle.

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The Curious Mad T Party style seating was actually taken from the Mad T Party event location at Disneyland’s California Adventure.  The Mad T Party ended earlier this year.  The chairs and ottomans add a whimsical feel to the party area with their fun colors and design.  The chairs are large and can easily accommodate one adult or two small children.  The ottomans are a a great addition to the seating area offering a nice place to put your feet up or to set your food and drinks on.  This furniture is not overly comfortable as it is made of a durable hard plastic material.  However, they work well for an outdoor seating area and hold up great in the weather elements we are faced with here in Central Florida.

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A table is set up with some fun photo-op props for you to use.  There are a variety of hats, Mickey ears, and gloves to choose from.  Put together an ensemble with your family and friends.  Then get some Gone Mad Hat Photos.

Gone Mad Menu

A Mad Menu is available to assist you with making a choice of a treat and/or a drink.  There are both alcoholic, and non-alcoholic drink concoctions to choose from.  Beer and wine are not listed on the menu but are also available for purchase.  Your children will love the Tweedle Juice.

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Are you looking for a bit of an adventure on your journey to Wonderland?  If so, then it may not be too late to try a Curiouser Drink Concoction.  The only difficulty you will have will be which one to choose. Don’t be surprised if you should decide to drink more than just one!  The Purple Grin contains Sky Citrus Vodka, Xfusion Vodka, Blue Curacao, and Grenadine.  If that one doesn’t make you grin then pucker-up for Green Potion Punch.  This Curious Concoction is made with Hendrick’s Gin, Apple Pucker, Granny Smith Apple and Club Soda.  You will feel like Alice when she had to make the decision to drink, or not to drink, from the bottle that said, “Drink Me.”

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Can you tell which part of the Gone Mad Party I was most fascinated with?  These crazy-good Alice in Wonderland Themed Sweet Treats are truly delectable.  These treats are colorful and fun.  They will draw you in with their details and flavor combinations.  The Cast Members called for more as they began to run low on different treats.  The week prior, they had completely run out of sweet treats.  This was not the case on Wednesday, August 10th.  One lady had to wait to the side for less than 5 minutes for more Cheshire Cat Cupcakes to make their appearance.  The Tiramisu in a Chocolate Tea Cup was my treat of choice.  I was completely amazed by this treat.  The tea cup, the spoon and the saucer are made of white chocolate; curiously edible.  It is impossible to eat the whole thing, unless you have two people.

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As darkness descends upon the Gone Mad Party, prepare to be delighted.  The music comes alive for dancing, the sweet treats shine bright as they are displayed with glow cubes, and the entire area takes on a true party atmosphere.  As the time comes closer for Wishes, the crowds get a bit larger and the line to purchase treats and drinks gets longer.

If you have the chance to stop by the Disney Grand Floridian’s Gone Mad Party during your next visit to the Walt Disney World Resort, you will not be disappointed.  The jovial atmosphere, the theming, and the opportunity to view Wishes from this vantage point make for a spectacular evening.  I selfishly suggest you attend with at least 5 other people.  The reason for this is so that you can sample all 6 of the sweet treats of course!

The Mad Hatter: “Have I Gone Mad?”  Alice: “I’m Afraid so.  You’re entirely Bonkers. But I’ll tell you a Secret.  All the best people are.” ~Alice in Wonderland

Will you join me at the next Gone Mad Party?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

 

 

 

 

 

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