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! Mon, 29 Aug 2016 01:58:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.3 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 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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Four Summer Sand Sculpting Tips from a Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Sandtastic Weekends Professional http://www.chipandco.com/four-summer-sand-sculpting-tips-walt-disney-world-swan-dolphin-sandtastic-weekends-professional-246009/ http://www.chipandco.com/four-summer-sand-sculpting-tips-walt-disney-world-swan-dolphin-sandtastic-weekends-professional-246009/#comments Sat, 13 Aug 2016 15:00:11 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=246009 Building a sand castle on the beach is a classic summer family activity.  For most of us, we tend to go with the typical volcano-style castle with a moat around the base to hold water.  There are some simple tips and tricks the experts use that can help anyone develop their sand sculpting skills and […]

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Swan

Building a sand castle on the beach is a classic summer family activity.  For most of us, we tend to go with the typical volcano-style castle with a moat around the base to hold water.  There are some simple tips and tricks the experts use that can help anyone develop their sand sculpting skills and impress their friends and family.

Sand

Mark Mason is the owner of Team Sandtastic, a professional sand sculpting team recognized as one of the best in the world.  They’ve won numerous competitions and hold the world record for the tallest sand castle ever hand-built.  From August 26-September 4, their work will be on display at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort as part of Sandtastic Weekends.

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Even if you’re not planning to go pro, Mason offers the following simple tricks to take your sand sculpting to the next level:

  • Make the most of household items ~Many of the best sand sculpting tools available are likely already in most kitchens and garages.  In your kitchen look for spatulas, melon ballers, cake icing spreaders measuring spoons, straws and wooden shish kabob spears.  In your garage look for a 2-foot section of a 2″x4″, small paint brushes and gardening spade shovels.  All of these common household items make great carving tools
  • Use a bigger bucket~ If you wish to build a bigger sand sculpture, then start with a bigger bucket.  Plastic children’s sand buckets are not  large enough to provide a good starting block to carve.  Instead, start with a 5-gallon bucket and cut the bottom out.  Filled with sand, the bucket would be too heavy to flip.  But with the bottom removed, you can pack it with sand from the bottom up once you place it upside down in the sand.
  • Sand consistency ~ When packing your sand, be aware of the consistency.  Sculpting sand should be wet, but not too soupy and not too dry.  Pack the sand down into the bucket 3 inches at a time.  If your sand consistency is good, you should be able to tap the sides of the bucket with your piece of wood and remove the bucket to have your starting sand block.
  • Tell a story ~ Try not to hold yourself to one shape.  Create a collage of several shapes for an easier, and more interesting, sand sculpture.  When someone comments on your sand sculpture you want them to see the story you have created with its characters, its setting, and the action taking place.

Sandtastic

Visitors can watch the pros and learn tips directly from Team Sandtastic as part of Sandtastic Weekends at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort August 26-28, and September 4-6.  The event will feature 100 tons of sculpted sand, sand sculpting clinics, amateur sculpting contests, speed sculpting demonstrations, food, entertainment, games and more.  For more information, visit www.sandtasticweekends.com

What story will you tell when you create your next sand sculpture?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

 

 

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Movie Review – Pete’s Dragon http://www.chipandco.com/movie-review-petes-dragon-244860/ http://www.chipandco.com/movie-review-petes-dragon-244860/#comments Thu, 11 Aug 2016 15:07:32 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=244860 This is not your Dad’s dragon. With the trend of live remakes of Disney animated classics, this Pete’s Dragon is a reinvention of the classic story released in 1977. Still live action, but a CG dragon instead of a cartoon one. There’s no singing, no Helen Reddy and no cartoon dragon. At its core, it […]

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Disney

This is not your Dad’s dragon. With the trend of live remakes of Disney animated classics, this Pete’s Dragon is a reinvention of the classic story released in 1977. Still live action, but a CG dragon instead of a cartoon one. There’s no singing, no Helen Reddy and no cartoon dragon. At its core, it is simply a story of a boy and his dragon, and it’s told wonderfully. Starring Bryce Howard, Karl Urban, Robert Redford and Oakes Fegley as Pete, this retelling touches on all emotions.

In a classic Disney fashion. the story starts out with a tragedy, but quickly turns, revealing the magic despite the situation. Pete and Elliot’s bond is tender and fun. When the real world moves into Pete and Elliot’s little sanctuary, all relationships get tested. Howard’s character Grace and her relationship with her father (Redford). Grace’s relationship with her fiancé Jack (Wes Bentley). Jack and his brother Gavin (Urban). Even the titular relationship between Pete and his dragon. Ultimately everyone reassesses their own thoughts about themselves and their actions.

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I got the opportunity to watch it in Real 3D. If you get the chance to experience it, please do. The beautiful cinematography by Bojan Bazelli is breathtaking and in 3D it’s even more so. Shot in New Zealand, he takes full advantage of the landscapes and forest settings. He really does make every scene a painting. The look of Elliot is awesome, I loved the way they decided to make him a furry dragon instead of a scaly one. Somehow, he feels more relatable in looking more huggable.

David Lowery directs the performances with touching nuance. The relationship between Pete and Elliot is sweet but not cloyingly so. There are silly saccharine moments, but not enough to be a turn off. Script co-written by David Lowery and Toby Halbrooks is simple but that is the beauty of it. The concept of Elliot the dragon’s character, whoever was responsible, is what stood out for me. I LOVED what they did with Elliot. Not just the CG (which was phenomenal), but his personality and how he communicated.

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I hope Pete’s Dragon gets all the kudos it deserves. It’s a feel good rollercoaster that will have you laughing at times and sometimes on the edge of your seat. Bring your tissues, and expect to want your own dragon by the time you leave the theater.

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Spooktacular Top 5 Haunted Mansion Favorites on Etsy http://www.chipandco.com/spooktacular-top-5-haunted-mansion-favorites-etsy-245811/ http://www.chipandco.com/spooktacular-top-5-haunted-mansion-favorites-etsy-245811/#respond Wed, 10 Aug 2016 21:00:25 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=245811 Did you know that August is the Haunted Mansion’s anniversary month? In celebration of one of my favorite rides, I’ve decided to show off my Top 5 Haunted Mansion favorites from Etsy! The very first Disney Haunted Mansion ride opened in Disneyland on August 9, 1969. For nearly 50 years this attraction has been delighting fans in many […]

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Top 5 Haunted Mansion

Did you know that August is the Haunted Mansion’s anniversary month? In celebration of one of my favorite rides, I’ve decided to show off my Top 5 Haunted Mansion favorites from Etsy!

The very first Disney Haunted Mansion ride opened in Disneyland on August 9, 1969. For nearly 50 years this attraction has been delighting fans in many different forms across the globe. It has become a pop culture obsession, that has inspired merchandise, costumes and even a movie! The Haunted Mansion is not only one of my favorite rides, but is also the very FIRST Disney ride I ever went on. So without further ado, I present my Top 5 favorite Haunted Mansion items from Etsy!

5.) Haunted Mansion Hair Bow from LeBownitte

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I love hair bows, and Disney Hair Bows make up most of my collection. I love this Haunted Mansion bow, because of the small wall paper pattern. I love seeing lots of those iconic spooky eyes! The black tie in the center makes for a perfect contrast. I might have 999 hair bows, but there is always room for one more!

4.) Haunted Mansion Makeup Bag by SassySkirtsForGals

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As a girl obsessed with make up and beauty products, I love finding super cute and themed make-up bags. This make-up bag is not only inspired by the Haunted Mansion, but also has a waterproof liner inside! This haunting beauty is machine washable, just incase you spill your favorite ghostly foundation. There is a zipper closure and also plenty room for ALL of your essentials. Measures 7″ x 4.5″ x 3″.

3.) Haunted Mansion Inspired Leggings by KawaiianPizzaApparel

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I adore KawaiianPizzaApparel, they have some of the cutest Disney themed apparel. These sublimation printed leggings are inspired by the wallpaper in the Haunted Mansion! One of my favorite things about this shop, is they make items from XS to 3XL! I think it’s fabulous when a designer includes so many sizes.

2.) Haunted Mansion Minnie Ears from MouseBands

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MouseBands makes some of the most comfortable Mouse Ear headbands ever. I’m super excited to get my hands on a pair of her new Haunted Mansion creation! These are complete with a black spiderweb bow, and sparkly bat embellishment. I think these would be spooktacular for a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party night.

1.) Haunted Mansion Maid Pin Up Apron by SassyFrasCollection

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Squee! I love frilly cosplay aprons, so I am dying over these. The Haunted Mansion Maid Pin Up Apron features a custom green and black striped Haunted Mansion fabric for the top skirt and bodice. The top bodice and skirt mixed with the green under skirt and black tulle, is the perfect homage to the ghost hosts.

What do you think of my Top 5 Haunted Mansion favorites from Etsy?

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Is the Main Street Electrical Parade Closing? http://www.chipandco.com/main-street-electrical-parade-closing-245798/ http://www.chipandco.com/main-street-electrical-parade-closing-245798/#comments Wed, 10 Aug 2016 13:00:09 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=245798 Hey there guys and gals I am back with more Disney Gossip! I have some good and bad news to share with you today concerning the Main Street Electrical Parade… A little mouse told me that we might be seeing the end of the Main Street Electrical Parade on September 10th and that Paint the Night […]

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MSEP

Hey there guys and gals I am back with more Disney Gossip!

I have some good and bad news to share with you today concerning the Main Street Electrical Parade… A little mouse told me that we might be seeing the end of the Main Street Electrical Parade on September 10th and that Paint the Night which is closing at Disneyland will be coming to take it’s place. Sorry there is no real way to share that news other than to just put it out there.

Paint the night is set to close on September 5th which gives it plenty of time to make the trek from Disneyland to Walt Disney World.

Magic Kingdom Park, the first Disney Park to open at Walt Disney World, will mark its 45th anniversary on October 1st, will Paint the night be there to celebrate? Only Disney knows for sure as this is just gossip for now…

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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Review: Ample Hills Creamery Ice Cream at Disney’s Boardwalk http://www.chipandco.com/review-ample-hills-creamery-ice-cream-disneys-boardwalk-245668/ http://www.chipandco.com/review-ample-hills-creamery-ice-cream-disneys-boardwalk-245668/#comments Tue, 09 Aug 2016 11:30:16 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=245668 Ample Hills Creamery, at Disney’s Boardwalk, offers many unique ice cream flavors.  Served in a whimsical setting reminiscent of an old-school ice cream parlor, the ice cream is literally the cherry on top of the atmosphere.  Be sure to sample a couple of flavors before ordering as you will find it difficult to choose. As you enter the […]

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Ample HIlls

Ample Hills Creamery, at Disney’s Boardwalk, offers many unique ice cream flavors.  Served in a whimsical setting reminiscent of an old-school ice cream parlor, the ice cream is literally the cherry on top of the atmosphere.  Be sure to sample a couple of flavors before ordering as you will find it difficult to choose.

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As you enter the creamery you will be drawn to the menu sign and the pastel colors of the decorative elements providing some fun pops of color.  The sign boasts of ice cream flavors, cones, cups, milkshakes, and build-your-own sundaes.

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When you walk along the queue, you will want to refer to the ordering flowchart to assist you with your decision to purchase an ice cream.  There are a variety of ice cream flavors and ice cream cones.  You can choose two flavors for any size ice cream you order. Looking for something a little less drippy?  Try a fun and fabulous milkshake.  If you are looking for something more elaborate be sure to look at the Build-Your-Own Sundae chart.  If you thought it would be difficult to choose a flavor of ice cream, just wait until you see the choices for putting together a sundae!

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Sampling some of the flavors is key here.  I sampled the Peppermint Pattie, Nonna D’s Oatmeal Lace, and the Ooey Gooey Butter Cake. I decided on Sally Sells Seashells, which is a fresh and fluffy marshmallow ice cream with house made salty chocolate seashells.  This particular flavor is exclusive to the Ample Hills Creamery on Disney’s Boardwalk. Lucky for me there are no calorie contents listed on the menu and I opted not to ask.

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The Sally Sells Seashells flavor was delicious.  I do have to say that my favorite was the Ooey Gooey Butter Cake and I will likely order that one on my next visit; and sample three of the flavors I have not tried yet.  I absolutely love ice cream and this new ice cream parlor has the best ice cream I have tasted outside of the creamery I frequented as a child in New England.  Certainly Ample Hills Creamery is serving up the best ice cream on the Walt Disney World Resort property.  I highly recommend you visit Ample Hills Creamery on Disney’s Boardwalk for a flavorful treat you will not soon forget.

What flavor of ice cream will you try when you visit the Boardwalk’s Ample Hills Creamery?  Leave your comments in the box below.

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Top 5 Tips For Keeping Cool at Walt Disney World http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-tips-keeping-cool-walt-disney-world-245090/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-tips-keeping-cool-walt-disney-world-245090/#comments Sun, 07 Aug 2016 12:05:54 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=245090 Ok, so, in case you didn’t know – aside from Disney World being the happiest place on earth – it is also at times the HOTTEST place on earth – that Florida sun can be brutal – and if you aren’t used to it, you can easily get: dehydrated, sunburned, heat stroke – or all […]

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Popsicle

Ok, so, in case you didn’t know – aside from Disney World being the happiest place on earth – it is also at times the HOTTEST place on earth – that Florida sun can be brutal – and if you aren’t used to it, you can easily get: dehydrated, sunburned, heat stroke – or all 3.

Which is why you will want to follow my Top Tips For Keeping Cool at Disney World:

HYDRATE: I cannot stress this one enough – drink a TON while you’re out in the sun – and not just soda or juice or sports drinks – I am talking specifically about good old H2O here folks – make sure you always have a couple of water bottles handy (one for each person would be ideal), and make sure they are filled at all times, oh – and make sure you are actually DRINKING the water, too. I like to bring my own Nalgene-style water bottle from home, and fill it at my resort with water and ice before I leave for a day at the Parks. Obviously other drinks are great too, but nothing helps you stay hydrated like water – and you will be doing a lot of walking (and potentially a lot of sweating too….)

Put A Lid On It: Wear a hat. Even if you think you look silly in hats (like my husband) – trust me, there is nothing worse than a painful sunburn on your scalp – that hurts, then itches….just avoid it altogether and wear a hat, and hey, bonus – there are plenty of hats to choose from at WDW – including tons of Mickey Ear hats! Speaking of sunburn – you will want to slather every inch of visible skin with sunscreen, too – like hourly when possible. You may think I am being overly paranoid, but trust me I am not – that Florida sun can really beat down on you, and while it’s a pain to re-apply the stuff that often, it’s well worth the effort, as a bad sunburn can really ruin a vacation

Hang Out Inside: Obviously you will spend the majority of your time outdoors when at Disney World, but there are some ways to beat the heat by escaping to the indoors. Utilize the indoor seating when eating at restaurants, and shop as much as you want (indoor stores = air conditioning!). I also recommend you take advantage of the indoor rides/attractions at the Parks too – check out my top 5 indoor attractions here

Take Breaks: Don’t be so busy running around trying to see and do it all that you forget to relax and take breaks – after all you ARE on vacation, right? Find a shady spot to sit and re-hydrate and re-apply that sunscreen every hour or so, and take a break from the Parks altogether when the sun is the hottest – right around lunchtime and the earlier afternoon hours. Head back to your >a href=http://www.chipandco.com/category/park/res/>WDW Resort for lunch and a dip in the pool, or relax in your room and take a nap – either way, by dinner time you will be ready to head back out to the Parks for more fun in the (slightly less hot) sun!

Bring Along Your Own “Cool Tools”: Obviously you will be heading to the Parks armed with multiple water bottles full of nice cold water, but you can also bring a few other items along from home to help beat the heat. A Chilly Towel or two is a definite must – these are awesome little towels that you can wet with just regular tap water, and as that water evaporates the towel magically cools and is a great thing to wear around your neck while waiting in line for rides. The Parks sell handheld fans that you fill with water and can then mist yourself with, but they are pricey – so bring one along with you, they can be purchased online (like from Amazon)

Aside from helping you and your family stay healthy, these tips for keeping cool while at Walt Disney World will also help make you happier and more comfortable overall – and that’s pretty important when you’re on vacation, am I right?

OH – and one more tip – you will want to make sure you’re eating plenty of popsicles and Mickey Bars. Partly because they are nice cold treats, but also because they’re just awesome!

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Blaze Pizza Review in Disney Springs http://www.chipandco.com/blaze-pizza-review-disney-springs-245395/ http://www.chipandco.com/blaze-pizza-review-disney-springs-245395/#respond Fri, 05 Aug 2016 13:10:57 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=245395 Blaze Pizza hosted its Media Event on August 3rd for us to have a sneak peek at their newest location in the Town Center area of Disney Springs.  Here I sampled their pizza, salad, beverages, and dessert.  The Blaze Team was on fire with their interactions and attention to detail.  The quality of the food combined with […]

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Blaze Pizza

Blaze Pizza hosted its Media Event on August 3rd for us to have a sneak peek at their newest location in the Town Center area of Disney Springs.  Here I sampled their pizza, salad, beverages, and dessert.  The Blaze Team was on fire with their interactions and attention to detail.  The quality of the food combined with the high-energy atmosphere, provided an amazing experience for all who attended.

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As you enter, a team member will hand you a menu, or you can look at the menu board posted above the pizza prep area.  With more than forty pizza toppings to choose from, you will be hard-pressed to make an on-the-spot decision.  We were particularly impressed with the fact that the calorie contents are listed for every ingredient.  The menu also offers gluten-free and vegan options.

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You begin your order by selecting from Build Your Own Pizza, 1 Top Pizza, Simple Pie, or a Signature Pizza.  I strongly recommend choosing the Build Your Own Pizza as you can add all the toppings of your choice to create a one-of-a-kind pizza designed specifically to your taste.  The pizza dough is prepared from scratch daily and then goes through a fermentation process for 24 hours.  The end result is their signature light-as-air crust.  Once you have chosen from the original, high-rise, or gluten-free dough your pizza will begin to make its way down the Team Blaze assembly line.  You will pick from a variety of sauces and cheeses to begin the process of building your pizza.  From there you move along the assembly line and watch as your pizza toppings are added per your request.

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Once complete, your pizza will be fast fire’d cooked for exactly 180 seconds in an open flame oven.  The results are absolutely amazing. The crust is slightly crisp and when you add the combination of flavors from your toppings this pizza is a burst of flavor from the first bite.  I have to say this is the best pizza I have ever had in central Florida.

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Do you enjoy a fresh salad?  Blaze Pizza offers four, fresh-made daily, salads.  You can choose from Caesar, Wild Arugula with Seasonal Fruit, Tomato and Mozzarella, or Kale and Quinoa.  I am a fan of the Kale and Quinoa salad.  Blaze Pizza EVP of Training and Operations, Jim Bitticks shared with me the key ingredient in the Citrus Vinaigrette dressing that tops this salad is the all-natural lemonade.  I found the combination of kale, crunchy quinoa, and the light citrus flavor of the vinaigrette to be excellent.

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Beverage options are also plentiful.  The Coca-Cola drink dispenser has the ever-popular Coke products as well as Blue Sky choices.  The Blue Sky products are made with cane sugar and all natural flavorings.  The offerings were Root Beer, Orange Mango, and Black Cherry with my favorite being the Orange Mango.  I found it to be flavorful and just lightly sweet.  When you visit Blaze Pizza you must try their Agua Frescas.  You can choose from Key Lime Mint and Prickly Pear.  The Key Lime Mint is delicious and is quite refreshing.  The Prickly Pear is somewhat bitter, which I do not mind since I am a fan of the Beverly and I like a slightly bitter taste to my drinks.  You can also choose from their all-natural Original Lemonade or Blood Orange Lemonade.  Both are excellent.  They also have a number of wine and beer options if that is your drink of choice.  I tried the Sangria and found it to be fruity and quite good.

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If you are a fan of dessert then you have some sweet options here at Blaze Pizza.  The S’More Pie and Chocolate Chip Cookie were served warm.  When you pull them out of the little brown Blaze Pizza bag they are served in, the chocolate just oozes out from the sides.  The Chocolate Chip Brownie was served cold and is a large portion.

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When I attend these events I am particularly interested in the atmosphere.  The Blaze Team are a fun, high-energy group that smiled, laughed, and made the evening a fun event.  I am a firm believer that every company is the product of the quality of their services; of which teamwork is number one.  Without a great team, you cannot have a great company.  The Blaze Team at Disney Springs are a cohesive group of individuals who were easy to interact with and added to the liveliness and the festive feel of the evening.

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Blaze Pizza is a 5,000 square foot establishment with seating for up to 200.  I particularly like the outdoor patio overlooking the Disney Springs.  The tables and seats are all flat-topped and appear to be almost a picnic-style atmosphere.

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If you want to discover a little bit about the Blaze Pizza decorative design elements, be sure to speak with a team member.  The building is reminiscent of an old sawmill.  Some of the elements you will see are the Stand Tall wall art featuring a person standing tall in front of a very large tree, the old machinery used for cutting wood in the old sawmills, and the giant “Sinker” Cypress Log that has been preserved to represent its original beauty.  Be sure to read the story of this “Sinker” printed on the plexiglass blaze shape mounted to the log.  The rest of the word, preserved from this giant log, has been used as the wood element just below the assembly line station.

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Blaze Pizza is environmentally focused.  They do not add preservatives to their products and they pride themselves on their all natural ingredients.  From the fresh-cut vegetables and the pizza boxes made from recyclable and compostable materials, to the house-made dough and the natural wood elements, Blaze Pizza is doing their part to be environmentally conscious.

Blaze Pizza will open to the public on August 5, 2016.  I highly recommend you stop by to meet the Blaze Team and enjoy a pizza made to your taste.  The price is reasonable for the quality of the food you get.  And let’s face it, Disney Springs Town Center was in desperate need of a counter service eatery option.  As seen on the Disney Dining page, this location is not currently on the Disney Dining Plan.  This is not to say it will not be an option in the future.  We will have to just wait and see on this one.

You can see this information here.

Are you ready to stop by Blaze Pizza and build your own pizza on your next visit to the Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

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Is the Great Movie Ride Closing in 2018? http://www.chipandco.com/great-movie-ride-closing-2018-245264/ http://www.chipandco.com/great-movie-ride-closing-2018-245264/#comments Wed, 03 Aug 2016 16:08:45 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=245264 Hey there Disney Gossip fans. I am back with the latest Disney Gossip! Today I have some juicy gossip from Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The latest gossip is that Disney is going to be closing down the The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and replacing it with a new ride/attraction. It seems Turner Classic Movies is […]

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GMR

Hey there Disney Gossip fans. I am back with the latest Disney Gossip! Today I have some juicy gossip from Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The latest gossip is that Disney is going to be closing down the The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and replacing it with a new ride/attraction. It seems Turner Classic Movies is going to let their contract run out in 2018 and end their sponsorship of the ride. Word on the street is that they are replacing it with The Great Mickey Ride???

No information on what it would entail but I would imagine it would feature a certain Mouse named Mickey. But in all seriousness they are going to try to stick with the trackless ride experience.

I hear Disney is trying to do away with affiliations with outside companies and stick with their own in house brands like Marvel, Star Wars, etc. Makes sense.

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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Top 5 Disney World Rides You NEED A Fastpass For http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-wdw-rides-you-need-a-fastpass-for-227985/ http://www.chipandco.com/top-5-wdw-rides-you-need-a-fastpass-for-227985/#comments Mon, 01 Aug 2016 12:00:19 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=227985 There’s a lot of planning that goes into a Walt Disney World vacation these days – and thanks to technology – it’s all online and easier than ever! Researching places to stay, places to eat, and Park rides and attractions can be done entirely online, your trip can be booked online, and then you can […]

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TT

There’s a lot of planning that goes into a Walt Disney World vacation these days – and thanks to technology – it’s all online and easier than ever! Researching places to stay, places to eat, and Park rides and attractions can be done entirely online, your trip can be booked online, and then you can make dining reservations online too! In addition to making ADR’s ahead of time, you can also plan out your fastpasses before you even arrive at the Park! No Fastpass kiosk or tickets needed – it will all be loaded onto your Magic Band (along with your room key, ticket information, dining reservations, and credit card info)

So if you’re deep in that “planning” stage, and you can’t decide which rides to use your precious Fastpass+ selections on…fear not! I’m here to help, with my top five picks for rides you NEED a fastpass for:

  • Test Track: Located in Epcot and sponsored by General Motors, there are 3 parts to this experience. First, you enter the pre-show area where you “design” your test vehicle (this part is newer and was added when the ride was redone in 2012), and then you board your test vehicle and take it through a track where it goes through tests for: capability, efficiency, responsiveness, and power. You get to see how well your car fares against varying weather conditions, and (my favorite part!) how well it does on the speed test! After the test, you exit into a Chevrolet showroom of current and concept vehicles – and true to Disney standards, it’s also a gift shop, where you can even buy a car! This has always been a popular ride, but ever since the refurbishment, it has become even MORE popular with waits stretching beyond the 120 minute mark on busy days – which is why I have deemed it a Fastpass MUST (especially for all car enthusiasts – which I have a few of in my family)
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: Magic Kingdom’s newest attraction opened less than a year ago in May 2014, and it’s newness is the main reason I would make sure I reserved my Fastpass for this one. Another reason is that I LOVE roller coasters, and this one is unique – it uses new technology to make you feel the tilting and swaying that would occur in a real mine cart. The queue is interactive too – with games and fun things to see. It’s more of a “family” themed roller coaster, and for that reason it has been EXTREMEMLY popular – and if you don’t want to risk the long Standby line, Fastpass is the way to go!
  • Toy Story Midway Mania: This Hollywood Studios attraction is based on old time carnival games, where the story is that Andy gets a new carnival play set for his birthday, and as soon as he leaves his room for dinner, his toys decide to give the games a go! A pie throw, egg throw, darts, basketball throw, ring toss, and shooting games are the current features here, and you experience them while wearing 3D glasses and riding on spinning vehicles. This is a WILDLY popular ride for kids (and really, for adults too!) and the wait at any given time is over an hour and I have seen it stretch way beyond that – so if you’re looking for a ride the whole family can enjoy – I suggest you book a fastpass and head to the carnival!
  • Peter Pan’s Flight: This one is a classic – one of my personal favorites, and I am obviously not alone, as the wait time is often 90 minutes or more! When it’s your turn to take flight, you board a “pirate ship” that flies over Peter Pan and his adventures in Neverland. The ride takes place mostly in the dark, which I love because it really is like you’re being transported to a new, wondrous place! Mermaid Lagoon, Hook’s ship, Wendy walking the plank, Pan battling Hook – you see all that and more throughout your adventures. Like I said – it’s classic, and little ones may not understand the story or theming, but getting to “fly” in the ship and see all the different scenes is something those of all ages can enjoy
  • Space Mountain: Another “classic” ride – it’s actually Florida’s oldest operating roller coaster, as it’s been open since January 1975 (40 years wow!). As the name suggests, it’s a space-themed ride, where you board a spaceship and “blast off” into outer space! It’s a fast ride with lots of turns and drops in the dark – where you can see the stars, asteroids, and other rockets, with a soundtrack of “space like” sounds (as well as other passengers screams – mostly of delight). It was Magic Kingdom’s first “thrill” ride – and it continues to thrill and excite to this day, where the wait can span anywhere from 30 to over 120 minutes. On Christmas Day, I saw the wait time for Space Mountain was – no joke – 180 minutes, and while that may seem like a lie – it’s not. Trust me – you’ll want to fastpass this one FOR SURE

My “Must Fastpass” Picks are based mostly on the average wait times I have seen/experienced at the Parks, so your top choices may vary – but at least this gives you a place to start in planning out your Fastpass+ picks.

Here’s hoping that you can use my recommendations to help avoid some really long wait times next time you’re at Disney World!

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Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming Comfort Food Review http://www.chipandco.com/chef-art-smiths-homecoming-comfort-food-review-244994/ http://www.chipandco.com/chef-art-smiths-homecoming-comfort-food-review-244994/#respond Sun, 31 Jul 2016 12:00:31 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=244994 When you vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort, you may sometimes find yourself searching for restaurant options that serve home-cooked comfort food.  In this department there are very few choices.  Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine, now open at Disney Springs, is one of those few.  I recently had the opportunity […]

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Homecoming

When you vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort, you may sometimes find yourself searching for restaurant options that serve home-cooked comfort food.  In this department there are very few choices.  Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine, now open at Disney Springs, is one of those few.  I recently had the opportunity to eat lunch at this restaurant.  Here is my review of some of the comfort foods offered at this establishment.

 

The menu has many options and is divided in sections.  You will find Starters (appetizers), Buns & Such (sandwiches), Salads & Dumplings (salads and soups), Main Plates (entrees), Kids (children’s menu), Sweetness (desserts), and Sides.

Upon arrival, I was told there was a 30-40 minute wait for indoor seating.  The Shine patio, while screened in and boasting ceiling fans, was just too warm during the middle of this summer day.  I was one in a party of two and we made the decision to sit at the bar as we could order anything off the menu there and seating was immediately available.

While looking over the menu, I noticed they had some interesting alcoholic beverages available.  I was driving this day and will therefore have to wait for my next visit to try the Sweet Tea Shine.  This drink is their specialty and yes it contains Moonshine!

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As this was the first time sampling the food here, I felt compelled to order Chef Art’s signature dish, Art’s Fabulous Fried Chicken. The menu states this meal is served with creamy mashed potatoes, cheddar drop biscuits, and love. I convinced my dining partner to split the meal and we added a side of Momma’s Mac and Cheese.  Ordering a main plate and a side allowed us to sample a couple of items on the menu rather than just one main dish.

When the food arrived I immediately noticed the presentation of the plates.  The contrast of the small black skillets on little white doilies, containing the mashed potatoes and the macaroni and cheese, against the white plates was a nice touch.  I also liked the presentation of the fried chicken as it was set on top a drizzle of a sweet and tangy sauce.  Very pleasing to the eye.

First for the fried chicken.  The batter is slightly crisp yet moist as you bite into the chicken.  For my taste, I prefer the cooked batter of the fried chicken to be more crunchy than moist.  This was a combination of the two leaning towards more moist than crunchy.  While the chicken was cooked to the proper specifications, I found it to be a little chewy and lacking a bit in flavor.  The menu states that the chicken is “buttermilk-brined for 24 hours” before being fried.  It may have been the buttermilk flavoring that threw me off with regards to the flavor of the fried chicken and as this is the signature dish I am certain it is a very popular offering with a strong fan-following.

The creamy mashed potatoes offered great flavor.  I liked the texture of them as they were not too thin and they were lightly browned on top with a sprinkling of chives.  The little black skillet they are served in kept them warm and fresh.

If you are looking for a non-traditional biscuit, then you will find this to be the case with the cheddar drop biscuits.  The texture is more chewy than your typical soft drop biscuit.  I found the chewiness to be a pleasant surprise.  The cheddar flavor of the biscuit was excellent.

And now for my absolute favorite part of the meal; the macaroni and cheese.  I am not typically a fan of macaroni and cheese unless it is truly homemade.  My own homemade macaroni and cheese is requested, by many of my family members, for most holiday family meals.  Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming Macaroni and Cheese is perfection!  The macaroni is cooked without being overdone and the combination of cheeses is very creamy and flavorful.  The top of the macaroni and cheese is browned and offers just the right amount of crunch.  To bite into this delectable dish is pure bliss.

Overall, the meal was very good.  I have already decided to visit again one evening to enjoy the patio atmosphere.  I plan to try the Sweet Tea Shine beverage and a slice of Shine Cake; an adult-only butter cake soaked with Moonshine Syrup. I may also be convinced to have another sampling of Momma’s Mac and Cheese, if someone should suggest it.  Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine certainly does offer that taste of home-cooked comfort food while on vacation.  I recommend you give this restaurant a try on your next visit to the Walt Disney World Resort.

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Are you ready to sample some home-cooked comfort food at Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming on your next visit to the Walt Disney World Resort?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

 

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Liberty Tree Tavern’s Updated Dinner Menu Review http://www.chipandco.com/liberty-tree-taverns-updated-dinner-menu-review-244926/ http://www.chipandco.com/liberty-tree-taverns-updated-dinner-menu-review-244926/#comments Fri, 29 Jul 2016 12:24:01 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=244926 Did you know that Liberty Tree Tavern recently updated their Bill of Fare dinner menu?  While some favorite food offerings have remained unchanged, or undergone some minor changes,  you will find some others are no longer on the dinner menu and new offerings have been added in their place.  Here is my review of Liberty Tree […]

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Liberty Tree

Did you know that Liberty Tree Tavern recently updated their Bill of Fare dinner menu?  While some favorite food offerings have remained unchanged, or undergone some minor changes,  you will find some others are no longer on the dinner menu and new offerings have been added in their place.  Here is my review of Liberty Tree Tavern’s updated dinner menu.

To begin, my server brought me a plate of two dinner rolls, on a triangular stoneware plate with rounded edges, and whipped honey butter in a small stoneware bowl.  The rolls were a bit dry for my taste.  However, the whipped honey butter was a perfect blend of butter and honey that added a slight sweetness, and a little flavor, to the roll.

Next up was the Declaration Salad tossed with house-made Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing in a stoneware bowl.  I was happy that the salad was made with mixed greens, and that the cucumbers still had the outer skin on them, thus adding a bit of crunch to the salad. I should note here that some of the lettuce is iceberg lettuce, of which I am not a fan.  There was also shredded carrots, grape tomatoes, and red onions.  The house-made strawberry vinaigrette dressing was, in my opinion, oily with very little flavor.  I prefer a vinaigrette dressing to have more vinegar and less oil.  There was a bit of sweetness to the dressing but I could not place the flavor of strawberry.

After the salad and rolls were removed, my server brought me the Patriots Platter.  Now this is where the food gets interesting.  The Roasted Turkey, Sliced Tavern Ham, and Pot Roast were the three meats offered and were served on a large triangular stoneware plate.  Also included on the plate were herb stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, and cranberry sauce.  Gravy was served on the side in its own little silver gravy boat.

The ever-popular Roasted Turkey Breast is still on the menu and has remained unchanged.  I found it to be very flavorful.  I asked my server to check with the chef to let me know what seasoning they put on the turkey. Can you believe that salt and pepper are the only two seasonings added to the turkey?  With all that flavor I expected to hear that there was some secret ingredient added.

The Sliced Tavern Ham, now on the menu, has replaced the Pork Roast that was here before.  The ham was just okay.  I found it to be lacking in flavor and a little dry.  I prefer ham that has a moister, and somewhat saltier, taste.

And now for my personal favorite of the meats; the Pot Roast.  Replacing the Carved Roast Beef, which is no longer on the menu, the Pot Roast is a welcome addition.  As a native of New England, where Pot Roast is a common expectation for Sunday dinner, I was skeptical and thought there was no way this was going to match my mom’s Pot Roast.  Well, sorry mom, but this was the best Pot Roast I have ever eaten.  As soon as I put my fork into the meat it literally came apart.  No knife was needed at all.  As I took my first bite of this melt-in-your-mouth Pot Roast, it caused my taste buds to awaken from the combination of flavors.  The gravy and the seasonings, along with the moistness of the meat, were absolutely delectable.

The herb stuffing was good and had the right mix of moistness and texture.  Personally, I prefer stuffing with cranberries, pecans, celery, and onion.  While I could see and smell the herbs in the stuffing, beyond that it did not carry a lot of flavor.  I imagine that in the colonial days there were not a lot of choices for seasoning foods. This is likely one way for Liberty Tree Tavern to stay true to its theme.

As a person who is not typically a fan of mashed potatoes, I found the potatoes to be pretty good.  They were not over-mashed and had some small chunks of potatoes in there that gave them a nice texture.  I found them to have a good flavor without being salty or too thin.

The seasonal vegetables were fresh-tasting thin green beans.  I found these to be very tasty with a hint of garlic and oil.  They were also cooked exactly to my preference offering a crisp crunch without being too soft and overdone.

And now for the most flavorful offering on the platter; the cranberry sauce.  Made with cranberries, orange, and cinnamon, the cranberry is absolutely delectable.  This combination of flavors are very pleasing to the palate.  From the sweetness of the orange, to the tartness of the cranberry, all combined with a burst of cinnamon is like no other flavor I have ever tasted.

If you enjoy gravy then you are in for a treat.  The gravy arrived in its own little silver gravy boat.  It was good without being too salty or overly heavy.  I sampled the gravy with the Roasted Turkey Breast and the Mashed Potatoes.  I did prefer the Roasted Turkey Breast all on its own without the gravy.  However, I discovered that I enjoyed the taste of the mashed potatoes with the gravy.

Now onto the dessert.  Everyone loves dessert and I am no exception to that rule.  The offering was Johnny Appleseed’s Tart, which is a change from the Johnny Appleseed’s Cake on the previous menu, served with a scoop of Edy’s Vanilla Ice Cream.  I am particularly happy about this change as I do not care for cake.  The tart and ice cream were served on a round stoneware dessert plate. I found the offering to be an excellent mix of sweetness and tartness along with a touch of spice.  The pastry shell of the tart is quite sweet if you eat it by itself and that took me by surprise.  Oh, but there is a reason for this!  Combined with the tartness of the apples and craisins, along with the spice of the cinnamon, this recipe is perfection in the flavor department.

The changes to the Bill of Fare dinner menu have been in place since November 2015.  This is when Liberty Tree Tavern re-opened after completion of a refurbishment.  The quality of the food, along with the historical atmosphere, has remained intact.

If you are looking for a sit-down restaurant to have a nice meal, and relax with good conversation, then Liberty Tree Tavern is a nice option.  Seating is in different rooms, rather than one large open room, which allows you to hear each other talking.  I know one of the struggles I find is that the restaurants at Disney World are often very noisy due to large open spaces.  This is not the case here at Liberty Tree Tavern.  If you are looking for exotic foods then this is not the place for you.  However, if you are trying to find a home-cooked style meal, then Liberty Tree Tavern is sure to fit the bill with their updated Bill of Fare dinner menu.

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What do you think of the changes to the Liberty Tree Tavern Bill of Fare menu?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

 

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Soar High Above Lake Buena Vista on the Characters in Flight Balloon http://www.chipandco.com/soar-high-lake-buena-vista-characters-flight-balloon-244753/ http://www.chipandco.com/soar-high-lake-buena-vista-characters-flight-balloon-244753/#comments Tue, 26 Jul 2016 23:00:59 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=244753 Did you know that you can soar high above Lake Buena Vista on the Characters in Flight balloon, located at Disney Springs West Side, for some spectacular views of the Walt Disney World Resort?  You can choose to ride during the day or the night, weather permitting, depending on what your expectations are of the […]

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Characters in Flight

Did you know that you can soar high above Lake Buena Vista on the Characters in Flight balloon, located at Disney Springs West Side, for some spectacular views of the Walt Disney World Resort?  You can choose to ride during the day or the night, weather permitting, depending on what your expectations are of the experience.  Be sure to check for discounted prices and for flight conditions on the day you want to soar.  The views, from 400 feet above Lake Buena Vista, are what this ride is all about.

I chose to soar on Characters in Flight, for the first time ever, on a day that was sunny, with some very light winds, a mostly blue sky, and some lovely cirrus clouds.  If you have any issues with heights, this is exactly the type of day you will want to take part in this experience.  I am not a fan of heights but I challenged myself to soar; and I was very glad that I did.

Prior to lift-off, your Aerophile-certified pilot will instruct you to hold onto the rail that runs along the perimeter.  As you begin to ascend, even with the lightest of winds, you will feel the movement and the sensation of moving upwards.  You will immediately notice the landscape of Disney Springs and the area around Lake Buena Vista.  As you rise a bit higher you will begin to see many familiar Walt Disney World landmarks such as the Tower of Terror, at Hollywood Studios, and Spaceship Earth, at Epcot.  When you reach the maximum soaring height of 400 feet, you can literally see all of Walt Disney World and beyond.  There were quite a few people on my flight so walking all the way around was, unfortunately, not an option.  However, if you soar during a low attendance time, you would be able to move around the entire space.  Either way, you are granted some amazing 360 degree views of the Walt Disney World Resort.

The standard prices are $18 for adults, $12 for children ages 3-9, and children ages 2 and under ride free.  There are many options for obtaining discounted prices as well.  If you fly before 10:00am the price is significantly reduced so be sure to ask when purchasing your tickets.  You may also wish to search online for discounted coupons.  I found my discount on Groupon and was able to soar on Characters in Flight for $10.

Safety is always a first priority at Walt Disney World.  Flights on Characters in Flight will be grounded if winds exceed more than 22 miles per hour, or if there are storms, particularly with lightning, within 10 miles of Disney Springs.  Be sure to check the conditions for flight upon your arrival.  The stronger the winds, the fewer people are allowed to ride on each flight.  The conditions on the day of my flight were near perfect with the lightest wind and no storms nearby.

With all of the new venues at Disney Springs, the landscape has certainly changed this past year.  The Characters in Flight balloon offers an amazing opportunity to see these changes from a fun and interesting vantage point.  I recommend you try soaring at least once.  As for me, I am already planning to soar after dark, sometime in the near future, so I can see the Walt Disney World Resort lit up at night.

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Are you ready to soar on Characters in Flight?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

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Make your own Dole Whip Cake at home! http://www.chipandco.com/make-dole-whip-cake-home-244500/ http://www.chipandco.com/make-dole-whip-cake-home-244500/#respond Sat, 23 Jul 2016 11:30:40 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=244500 Some genius, somewhere, took the iconic Dole Whip dessert that we all know and love and turned it into a cake. I will admit – I was skeptical at first, like “Is that REALLY going to translate well into cake form?” well – the answer is YES. Not only does it translate well, but it’s […]

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20160717_181555

Some genius, somewhere, took the iconic Dole Whip dessert that we all know and love and turned it into a cake. I will admit – I was skeptical at first, like “Is that REALLY going to translate well into cake form?” well – the answer is YES. Not only does it translate well, but it’s delicious, too!

Check it out:

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Dole Whip Cake
(Recipe Courtesy of Dole)

Ingredients
1 can (20 oz.) DOLE Crushed Pineapple 1 box (2¬layer) white cake mix
1 cup plus 5 tablespoons all¬purpose flour, divided
1¬ 3/4 cup sugar divided
3/4 plus pinch teaspoon salt, divided
4 egg whites
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ¬1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, divided
1¬ 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
1 can (6 oz) DOLE Pineapple Juice
1 cup whole milk
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed
1/2 cup boiling water
1 box (4 servings) pineapple flavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1¬ 1/4 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed

Instructions
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray two (9¬inch) round baking pans with cooking spray and line with parchment or wax paper.

Press crushed pineapple through a sieve to drain well, reserving the juice. Juice should measure about 1¬1/3 cups. Set aside. Add pineapple to food processor and process until pureed. Set aside.

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Combine cake mix, 1 cup flour, 3/4 cup sugar, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add egg whites, oil, 1 cup yogurt, 1 teaspoon vanilla, reserved juice, and half of the reserved pineapple puree. Mix with a hand mixer for 2 minutes.

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Divide batter between prepared baking pans. Bake for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

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Meanwhile, heat pineapple juice to boil and add gelatin. Stir until completely dissolved. Add cold water and stir to combine. Allow to cool to room temperature. Fold in remaining 1/2 cup yogurt and whipped topping until well blended. Cover and chill until set, about 1 hour.

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Combine remaining 5 tablespoons flour, 1 cup sugar, and milk in a small sauce pan. Whisk until smooth. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a simmer. Continue to cook and whisk for 3 minutes, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Beat in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, pinch of salt, and butter one cube at a time, ensuring frosting is smooth. Fold in remaining pineapple puree.

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Spread filling over bottom layer of cake. Top with second layer. Spread frosting over cake. Chill cake for at least an hour before serving.

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It got an enthusiastic seal of approval from my little Mickey lover!

It’s tropical, it’s moist and flavorful, and best of all – its reminiscent of those hot sunny days at Disney – so if you’re looking for the perfect dessert to bring along to a summer cookout or BBQ, or if you’re just looking for a reminder of just how delicious those Dole Whips are – then I suggest you give this recipe a try.

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Is staying off site better than staying at a Disney World Resort Hotel? http://www.chipandco.com/staying-disney-world-resort-hotel-vs-off-property-244321/ http://www.chipandco.com/staying-disney-world-resort-hotel-vs-off-property-244321/#respond Wed, 20 Jul 2016 11:30:59 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=244321 I am normally a huge advocate for staying on property at a Disney Resort Hotel when I visit Walt Disney World – it’s way more convenient and closer to the Magic – but truth be told, sometimes those conveniences/perks of staying on site aren’t exactly free…and now that I have a family of my own, […]

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wdw

I am normally a huge advocate for staying on property at a Disney Resort Hotel when I visit Walt Disney World – it’s way more convenient and closer to the Magic – but truth be told, sometimes those conveniences/perks of staying on site aren’t exactly free…and now that I have a family of my own, I am seriously considering staying off property (GASP! Shocking, I know…)

Read on to discover some of the perks of staying somewhere other than a Disney World-owned Hotel:

More Space: There are a TON of Hotels and Resorts near Walt Disney World, and many of them offer a wide variety of room sizes/styles – from standard rooms, to suites, multi-bedroom apartments, villas – there are so many options to choose from! For example check out this special the Disney Springs Resort hotels are running.  In addition to hotels, there are TONS of vacation houses, condos, and townhomes in the Orlando area that are available for rental through sites like airbnb.com and homeaway.com. Whether you’re traveling to Florida alone or with your kids and husband, or your friends or extended family – there are places of every shape and size out there for you to stay in – many with separate bedrooms/bathrooms so you can have some privacy and a chance to relax (after all, you are on vacation!)

Dining/Diet Flexibility: Walt Disney World offers some of the most delicious food I have ever tasted – and I have been lucky enough to dine in many of their restaurants (and am working on trying out the rest!), and would eat there all the time if I could afford to! The prices overall are not awful, and the service is always amazing, but if you stay off site, you can really save a lot of money on food. If you stay at a place with a kitchen, you can head over to a nearby grocery store (there are plenty in the area!) for whatever you want to cook up – at a much lower cost than buying a similar meal in the Walt Disney Parks or Resorts. You can also do what Chip does and use Garden Grocer. And if you are on a special diet for whatever reason, having your own kitchen and the ability to prepare your own meals would come in VERY handy. Even just purchasing some snack items/drinks at the store to bring along to the Parks can save you and your family a bunch of money (not to mention having snacks on hand can help fend off meltdowns – always a plus in my book!)

COST: This is for real the biggest perk to me – if I can save money on my lodging budget, that means I can allocate those funds elsewhere – more souvenirs, more character meals – or even another day or two at the Parks! Once you step offsite, the prices of hotels/Resorts/rental properties drops dramatically – and there are deals up for grabs every day on sites like Travelocity.com, or hotels.com – you just have to look for them! There are a bunch of hotels within walking distance of Disney, and a bunch more that offer free shuttles to the Disney Parks. Of course, there are places that are too far for walking or don’t offer shuttles, so the best thing to do in that case is rent a car – and even when you factor in the rental cost, gas, and parking at the Parks, you still can have a decent savings over the cost of a WDW Resort. Not to mention – having a car makes it easy to run to the store for more food/diapers/snacks, and it gives you the option of checking out places other than Disney World while in the area.

Bottom line is – if you want the comforts of home while you’re on vacation like privacy, multiple bathrooms, a kitchen/the ability to cook, space to hang out/relax – you just won’t get these on WDW Property without paying an arm and a leg, and staying off property gives you the chance to have all this and more at a much lower price

I have stayed on property at WDW many times – so I know firsthand what I would be missing out on by staying off property: the Magical Express service, Extra Magic Hours, and yes we would lose out on some of that Disney Magic too – but for someone on a tight budget whose kid might be a bit too young to fully appreciate what staying “on property” entails the first time he visits Disney, I have to say, off property is looking more appealing by the day for my family!

What about you – have you stayed off property, or are you strictly a WDW Resort family?

Let us know your experiences in the comment box below.

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Review of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique’s New Location at Disney Springs http://www.chipandco.com/review-bibbidi-bobbidi-boutiques-new-location-disney-springs-243835/ http://www.chipandco.com/review-bibbidi-bobbidi-boutiques-new-location-disney-springs-243835/#respond Tue, 12 Jul 2016 23:00:40 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=243835 This review of a recent visit to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique was inspired by the absolute magic of the experience. The new location for the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is at the back corner of Once Upon a Toy and is adjacent to the children’s splash pad area in the Marketplace section of Disney Springs. From the moment […]

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BBB

This review of a recent visit to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique was inspired by the absolute magic of the experience. The new location for the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is at the back corner of Once Upon a Toy and is adjacent to the children’s splash pad area in the Marketplace section of Disney Springs. From the moment you enter the reception area, to the moment you are exiting the building, you are immersed in a magical adventure.  Your Princess will be assigned a Fairy-Godmother-In-Training, they will choose their make-over colors, they will have the opportunity to see the Fairy Godmother herself in the Magical Mirror, and they will have their picture taken in a special photo-room complete with a Cinderella carriage.

As I entered the reception area with my grand-daughter, we were immediately welcomed by a lovely lady holding a star wand.  She directed us to the reception desk where a young woman showed us the package options.  There are packages offered for Princesses and Princes alike.  We decided on the Crown Package with the Color Star hairstyle.  Included in the package was the application of shimmering make-up, face gem, nail polish, Princess sash, Princess cinch bag, and two colorful hair streaks in the colors of my grand-daughter’s choice.  She chose purple and blue.

We were then assigned a Fairy-Godmother-In-Training who told us she is still in training as she is only two-hundred years old. She  guided us along a  butterfly carpeted hallway with light green wainscoting and butterfly wallpaper.  We were placed into a room where we were told to look for Gus-Gus as he had run off with the red ribbon.  There was a seating bench on one side of the room and a large mirror against the wall across from the bench.  As the door closed, the magical mirror came alive and before us was the Fairy Godmother telling us about this special day.  She located her magic wand and asked if we knew the magic words, “Bibbidi, Bobbidi, Boo.”

As we stepped out of the room the Fairy-Godmother-In-Training took us into the salon area.  There my grand-daughter received the royal treatment.  She had one Fairy-Godmother-In-Training to do her hair and another Fairy-Godmother-In-Training to apply her make-up, nail polish, and face gem.  They then had her hold a clear plastic-handled cover over her face and sprinkled her with fairy sprinkles while reciting a poem about wishes coming true.  She also had a photographer who took pictures throughout the process.

I was taken to a location off the hallway to make the payment.  One thing to note here is that you cannot add a tip to the bill.  If you wish to tip your child’s Fairy-Godmothers-In-Training you must have cash and pay them directly.

When the make-over was complete, the photographer escorted us to a special photo room featuring a Cinderella carriage.  This room is just beautiful and offers a wonderful background for your child to feel like the Princess she truly is.  The photographer took a number of photos, handed me a photo card, and we were then taken back up to the reception area.

While reservations are recommended, we walked in and were given a space right away.  In fact, on this particular day, we were the only family in the salon for the better part of the visit.  I attribute this to the fact that this was the July 4th holiday and most families were likely at the parks.

The experience does not come cheap but the smiles on your child’s face and the boost of confidence you will notice in their demeanor makes the expense worth every penny.  Magical moments with our little ones are fleeting moments in time that help us create lifelong memories.  If you have been considering a booking at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for your child on your next visit to Walt Disney World, I say do it and you will not be disappointed.

Would you like to experience the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique with your little Prince or Princess?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

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