Tips &Tricks – Chip and Co http://www.chipandco.com Disney Theme Park & Movie News, Disney World & Disneyland Planning Tips, Disney Dining Reviews and More! Sat, 10 Dec 2016 23:00:39 +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 7800472 Tiana’s Riverboat Ice Cream Social Party Overview and Review http://www.chipandco.com/tianas-riverboat-ice-cream-social-party-overview-review-255011/ http://www.chipandco.com/tianas-riverboat-ice-cream-social-party-overview-review-255011/#respond Wed, 07 Dec 2016 12:00:00 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=255011 Tiana’s Riverboat Ice Cream Social Party is a new event that opened this past week at Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square.  This experience is offered daily and is a special ticketed event.  The party includes all-you-can-eat ice cream, non-alcoholic beverages, snacks, a personal meet-and-greet with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen, VIP viewing of the Festival of Fantasy […]

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Tiana’s Riverboat Ice Cream Social Party is a new event that opened this past week at Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square.  This experience is offered daily and is a special ticketed event.  The party includes all-you-can-eat ice cream, non-alcoholic beverages, snacks, a personal meet-and-greet with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen, VIP viewing of the Festival of Fantasy Parade, and a parade around the Riverboat with our hosts.  Here is my review of Tiana’s Riverboat Ice Cream Social Party.

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The event begins at the check-in podium just outside of the Liberty Belle Riverboat Landing.  You will give your name and a Cast Member will make sure you are on the guest list.  You will then be handed a large sticker to place on your person identifying you as a party participant.

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As you enter the Riverboat Landing, the first item on offer is ice cream and little pastries.  You can spruce up your ice cream, or sorbet, with decorative sweets and sauces from a lily pad display table.  My favorite choice amongst these treats was the Chocolate Cookie Sandwich.  It was sweet without being overpowering.  This is only beginning so save room for more!

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Party beverages included lemonade, water, and canned Coca-Cola Products.  There were festive cups in green, purple, and yellow.  You could bring a beverage on the Riverboat with you; but I discovered that, other than the lemonade, you could get water and soda during the parade viewing and the Riverboat Party Tour segments.

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Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen were on hand for a personal meet-and-greet with each guest.  They were both in character and their personalities suited their characters quite nicely.  I really liked that there was no rushing with this part.  The character meet is so important to this event and I am pleased that Disney recognized this.  They travel with a Disney Photographer who takes the pictures to post to your My Disney Experience account.

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Just in case you did not have enough to eat and drink on the Riverboat Landing, you are offered more ice cream and snacks as you board the Liberty Belle Riverboat.  There is a snack station on the second level of the Riverboat.  There are also Cast Members meandering around the decks with baskets full of snacks, bottled water, and canned Coca-Cola products.

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We are sent off in grand fashion by the Cast Members all waving and wearing Mardi Gras masks for our big send-off.  Our Riverboat pulls forward about 50 feet to our VIP viewing area for the Festival of Fantasy Parade.  There is some trees that slightly interfere with the view, but being up above the parade, on the top deck of the Liberty Belle Riverboat, makes up for that.  We were thrilled when Minnie Mouse blew us a kiss from her float.

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Upon the conclusion of the parade, the Riverboat backs up to pick up Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen.  After all, they were in the parade so they certainly could not be on the Riverboat with us, and in the parade at the same time!  They hold a parade around the deck of the Liberty Belle Riverboat while playing tambourines.  They are also available for additional photos and conversations.  The party takes place as we make our way around the Rivers of America.

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As we make our way back to dock at the Riverboat Landing, we are offered additional snacks, just in case we are still hungry.  This was a really nice touch and I added a few items to my bag.  When I exited, I paid the experience forward by offering some treats to three-year-old Vittoria and her lovely family.

From check-in at 2:00pm to docking and exiting the Riverboat, the entire experience takes about an hour and forty-five minutes.  This timeframe is much more suitable and I prefer this over other dessert parties, that tend to run only for sixty minutes, as there is time to actually enjoy the experience.  Be sure to use the restroom before boarding as there are no restrooms on the boat.  There is plenty of food and beverages and you will not feel hungry, after leaving Tiana’s Riverboat Ice Cream Social Party experience, for the rest of the day!

The only thing I would say could be improved is that there should be music playing while Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen are leading the parade around the deck with their tambourines.  The cost for this experience is $49 for adults, and $29 for children. If you can fit this event into your budget, then I highly recommend this experience for anybody.  I attended alone and I had a wonderful time.  Princess Tiana’s Riverboat Ice Cream Social Party is a must-do event.

What do you think of the all-new Tiana’s Riverboat Ice Cream Social Party?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

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Disney DIY – Holiday Time Fun with A Disney Twist http://www.chipandco.com/disney-diy-holiday-time-fun-disney-twist-254609/ http://www.chipandco.com/disney-diy-holiday-time-fun-disney-twist-254609/#respond Mon, 05 Dec 2016 18:11:21 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=254609 It’s December, and you know what THAT means – CHRISTMAS season is upon us! The turkey has been carved, the stuffing demolished, and now it’s time to get in that Santa-Y spirit! If you think it’s too early to turn on the Christmas Pandora – just remember- Holiday decorations at Walt Disney World have been […]

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It’s December, and you know what THAT means – CHRISTMAS season is upon us! The turkey has been carved, the stuffing demolished, and now it’s time to get in that Santa-Y spirit! If you think it’s too early to turn on the Christmas Pandora – just remember- Holiday decorations at Walt Disney World have been up since early November! So, that proves that it’s not too early to deck the halls – DISNEY style of course!

Check out my Disney Christmas DIY’s to help get you started:

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These Super festive Mickey (And Minnie!) Christmas Ball Ornaments would make the perfect addition to your tree!
(Directions courtesy of Dolled Up Design

Supplies
Plastic Christmas Balls (2 small “ears” and 1 large “head” for each ornament)
Sharp knife and cutting board
Permanent marker
Hot glue gun
Bows – for Minnies!

Directions

1. Using a sharp knife, begin by cutting the ornament hanging ends off each of the smaller balls. This will allow your ears to sit flat onto the “heads”.
2. Using a permanent marker, mark out two small spots equal distance from the hanging part of each large “head” ball. My balls had a line running along the middle that I drew mine along so everything was nice and even.
4. Run a bead of hot glue around where you trimmed off the pieces on the “ear” balls. Stick onto the “head” where you have marked out each of the spots with the marker and hold until glue has adhered.
5. If making a Minnie ornament, hot glue a small bow between the ears.
5. Hang and Enjoy!

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These Adorable Stockings could not be easier (or more affordable!) to make – a few bucks each and you have a super cute stocking to hang by the chimney with care! Just grab some felt (I recommend the stiffer sheets of felt for the head/ear portion as they will stand up more easily on their own) and your glue gun and get crafting!
Personalization tip: Use puffy paint to write out each person’s name on the upper white portion of the completed “Mouse” Stocking

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Ok, so here’s a kid friendly (edible!) craft that is perfect for winter (and for Frozen lovers!) – plus it makes the perfect holiday party activity! And bonus – they could not be easier to put together!

Olaf DIY Snowman Kit
(Directions courtesy of The It Mom

Ingredients (for each baggie):
2-Pretzel sticks (Arms)
2-Raisins (Eyes)
1-Candy corn (Nose)
1-Large marshmallow (Lower body)
1-Medium marshmallow (Upper body)
White icing (to glue it all together)
*Get the printable topper for the baggies here

Directions:
Allow them to use their creativity skills to build their own snowmen. I would start with removing the contents from the plastic bag and encourage kids to create their snowmen on top of the plastic bag (trust me, it’s easier and quicker to clean up this way).

Want more?
Afterward, grab a white plate or white poster board and sprinkle white powdered sugar around it and place the snowmen for display! You can even take it a step further by bringing out the Legos to create their own city or neighborhood they can build around their snowmen.

Ok – so I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to crank up the Christmas tunes and get crafting! Tis the season, after all…

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Epcot Introduces International Holiday Treats Around the World Showcase http://www.chipandco.com/epcot-introduces-international-holiday-treats-around-world-showcase-254586/ http://www.chipandco.com/epcot-introduces-international-holiday-treats-around-world-showcase-254586/#respond Wed, 30 Nov 2016 16:06:37 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=254586 When we think of the holidays, often-times the first thing that comes to mind is the food.  Cultures around the world celebrate a variety of holidays, such as Christmas and New Year’s, with foods that may be slightly unfamiliar to many of us.  We are happy to announce that Epcot has introduced International Holiday Treats […]

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When we think of the holidays, often-times the first thing that comes to mind is the food.  Cultures around the world celebrate a variety of holidays, such as Christmas and New Year’s, with foods that may be slightly unfamiliar to many of us.  We are happy to announce that Epcot has introduced International Holiday Treats at food kiosks located around its World Showcase.

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You can pick up your 2016 Holiday Passport at the entrance to Epcot.  If you enter Epcot through the International Gateway, or just forget to pick one up at the front entrance, you can find your Holiday Passport at any food kiosk ordering station around the World Showcase.

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There are a number of kiosks around Epcot’s World Showcase that have been specifically designed to provide holiday food and drink.  New this year is the Seasonal Southern Delights.  It is located to left of the giant Christmas tree, just before you arrive in Mexico.  This food kiosk offers southern-style seasonal foods such as Hoppin’ John and Blackened Catfish.  For dessert you can try is their chocolate Pecan Tart.  If you are looking for something interesting to drink try the Frozen S’mores with, or without, alcohol.

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The Mexico food kiosk, while not new, offers some interesting choices.  From traditional Chicken Enchiladas to Sweet Tamales, you will be tempted to have a taste.  And what about a Mexican Coffee Margarita to balance out the food?

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The Prost! food kiosk in Germany is not new to the Holidays Around the World event.  However, the German Artisan Cheese Plate with a glass of Possmann Pure Hard Black Currant Apple Cider is tempting.  If you are looking for a snack then the Stollen, a Holiday Fruit Cake, makes a great option.  If you are interested in learing about different traditions, sampling International Holiday Treats is a great way to do this.

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New to the Holidays Around the World is the American Holiday Table.  Located on the grounds of the America Pavillion you can purchase seasonal favorites such as the Slow-roasted Turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and green bean casserole.  As portions go, this is the largest one I saw and can easily be shared.  Try to wash it down with a glass of Firenog!

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The Alpine Haus, located between the U. K. and Canada Pavillions, is another new option.  This food kiosk was one of my favorites and is a must-try location.  The Duck Confit along with the Cheese Fondue is delicious.  Just looking for dessert?  No problem as they offer a beautiful Sachertorte, which is a type of chocolate cake.  If you enjoy shaking things up a bit then you should try the alcoholic, or non-alcoholic version, of the Chocolate Apple Shake.

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The Holiday Eats and Treats is yet another new theme to an already existing food kiosk.  This one is located just to the right of the giant Christmas Tree headed towards the Canada Pavillion.  The theme appears to be Holiday foods, however the hot dog on the menu threw me a little.  The Holiday Sandwich is pretty good as it is made with a nice cranberry bread.  I was not a fan of the mashed potatoes on my sandwich and would have much preferred the stuffing, that I am familiar with, on a popular sandwich at a Disney Springs vendor.  The Peppermint Sundae was basically chocolate soft-serve ice cream with whipped cream and crushed candy cane.  I will pass on this option next time.

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My absolute favorite International Holiday Treats food choice was the Three Kings Bread.  You can find this delectable treat at the Feast of the Three Kings food kiosk located just behind the Holiday Eats and Treats heading towards the Canada Pavillion. If you have never tried Coquito, then this drink option is a must and I plan to have that the next time I visit Epcot.

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The Joffrey’s food kiosks are not new to the World Showcase.  However, they are offering some really interesting seasonal drinks.  I admit that I did, in fact, turn into a Crazy Elf on this visit.  Of course, you can always keep things mellow with a lovely Holiday Latte as well.

Epcot’s Holidays Around the World is a popular event that is likely to become even more popular as word gets around about the additional seasonal food and drink options located around the World Showcase.  The Holidays Around the World kicked off on November 25th and will run through December 30th.  If you are visiting the Walt Disney World Resort this holiday season, be sure to plan a visit to Epcot.  You are sure to be please that Epcot has introduced a number of new International Holiday Treats at food kiosks around the World Showcase.

Which food and drink option are you most excited to try?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

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The “Do’s” and “Don’t’s” Of Doing Disney World in ONE Day http://www.chipandco.com/dos-donts-disney-world-one-day-252214/ http://www.chipandco.com/dos-donts-disney-world-one-day-252214/#respond Sat, 26 Nov 2016 15:31:26 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=252214 If you’re traveling to Orlando for vacation and are planning on spending only one day at Walt Disney World, then you will want to come armed with a strategy. WHY do you need a strategy, you might be wondering? Well, the reason is – there is SO MUCH to do and see at Walt Disney […]

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If you’re traveling to Orlando for vacation and are planning on spending only one day at Walt Disney World, then you will want to come armed with a strategy. WHY do you need a strategy, you might be wondering? Well, the reason is – there is SO MUCH to do and see at Walt Disney World that your instinct will be to try and cram it all into that one day. RESIST that urge – trust me – you will be much happier if you slow down, and use these tips.

Here’s my list of “Do’s and Don’t’s” for doing WDW in one day:

Do’s:
Research: Especially if this is your first time to WDW, you will want to do some reading up on the different rides, theme parks, shows, and food you will find at Disney. There are plenty of places to do this research – my personal fave being the chip and co website of course! And there are tons of great guidebooks out there, and the official Walt Disney World Site is helpful, too

DO Plan: Once you’ve done some research and reading up on all that Disney World has to offer (which is a LOT!), you can make a rough itinerary for your day at WDW – read more on that here. In addition to picking out which parks and rides you want to hit, I also recommend you make an ADR for at least one meal (ADR stands for Advance Dining Reservation – read more about that and why it’s important here

DO Prioritize: This goes hand in hand with planning – Let each person in your family pick their one MUST DO ride/attraction, and if you can, try and get a fastpass+ reservation for most/all of them. And keep a mental (or real!) list of everyone’s second choices – and try and do them if time permits. Make sure everyone – especially the little ones – know that they might not get to ride everything they want to ride, and prepare them for that ahead of time to avoid park meltdowns!

DO Pack Smart: No one is thrilled about the idea of lugging a bag around all day, but when you’re visiting Disney World there are some things you just HAVE to bring along with you – and to tote them I recommend a backpack with decent padding on the shoulder straps. Ponchos are a must have (one time use versions can be purchased at the dollar store), as is sunscreen, a refillable water bottle, snacks (things like trail mix, nuts, hard candies, granola bars, and pretzels are good choices), a small first aid kit (stocked with normal first aid items, and also with some over the counter pain meds and tums, too!) , and a spare pair of socks (your feet will sweat a lot in the Florida sun and heat – gross I know, but a smart thing to pack nonetheless!). Read more about packing for Disney here

Don’t’s
DON’T Over Plan: I mention planning and an itinerary in the “Do” section – and while I wholeheartedly believe in the benefits of both of those, I caution against overdoing it. Don’t plan out every minute of every day, and leave some room for spontaneity! Be realistic, and be flexible when it comes to checking off items on your Disney “to do” list

DON’T Try To Do It All: Is it physically possible to do all 4 theme parks in one day? Yes…but do I recommend it? NO WAY! It would be way too much to try and cram in, and you wouldn’t have any time to slow down and enjoy the fact that you’re at the most Magical place on earth! So I recommend you choose one or AT MOST two WDW theme parks to visit, and focus on enjoying the rides, shows, and atmospheres at each of them!

DON’T Skip the following items: sunscreen re-application every hour, hydration, and wearing comfortable sneakers for your day at Disney (seriously –as much as you may want to slip on those flip flops, your feet will be hating you by noon for it)

Follow these tips, and your day at Disney will be the most magical day ever!

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All is Merry, Wreath-y, and Brightly Beautiful At Disney’s Hollywood Studios This Holiday Season http://www.chipandco.com/merry-wreath-y-brightly-beautiful-disneys-hollywood-studios-holiday-season-254451/ http://www.chipandco.com/merry-wreath-y-brightly-beautiful-disneys-hollywood-studios-holiday-season-254451/#respond Fri, 25 Nov 2016 13:00:46 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=254451 Walt Disney World is second to none in the holiday deco department.  Disney’s Hollywood Studios is simply magnificent at this time of year.  From the merry feeling you get when you see the giant Christmas tree, to the wreaths adorning every building throughout the park and the brightly lit Boulevards, we are happy to report […]

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Walt Disney World is second to none in the holiday deco department.  Disney’s Hollywood Studios is simply magnificent at this time of year.  From the merry feeling you get when you see the giant Christmas tree, to the wreaths adorning every building throughout the park and the brightly lit Boulevards, we are happy to report that all is merry, wreath-y, and brightly beautiful at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this holiday season.

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As you approach the entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you will notice that the buildings are merrily decorated with holiday garland, bows, and ornaments.  The centerpiece of it all is the festive giant Christmas Tree.  Here you will notice a movie reel surrounding the base of the tree and featuring a holiday train loaded with gifts and treats.

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When you enter the park, you will see the wreaths strung across Hollywood Boulevard with decorative garland.  Be sure to look at the garland along the archways of the buildings too.  Take a few moments to admire the Minnie Rockettes dancing in the store window.

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Disney’s Hollywood Studios is feeling very wreath-y this year!  Take some time to admire the wreaths hanging in doorways and windows throughout the park.  They are simply magnificent.

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Before you exit the park, stop and turn onto Sunset Boulevard.  Take a stroll to enjoy the brightly star-lit Boulevard.  The Hollywood Tower of Terror appears to be slightly out-of-place as it graces the end of Sunset Boulevard with its menacing presence.

The holidays certainly seem to fill our schedules to capacity.  When we visit the Walt Disney World Parks we are excited to go from one ride, or show, to the next.  However, at this most festive time of the year, I suggest we all take some time to just relax and enjoy the beauty and magnificence around us.  I visit the Walt Disney World Parks all the time, with my most favorite time being during the months of November and December, simply because of the holiday decorations.  Family time is so important, particularly during the holidays.  When you visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios this holiday season, I challenge you to put your phones away and meander along the Boulevards to admire all that is merry, wreath-y, and brightly beautiful.

Will you be checking out the holiday decorations at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this year?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

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Take Your Love on a “Disney Date Night” To Disney Springs! http://www.chipandco.com/wdw-planning-take-love-disney-date-night-disney-springs-251477/ http://www.chipandco.com/wdw-planning-take-love-disney-date-night-disney-springs-251477/#respond Thu, 24 Nov 2016 15:28:35 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=251477 There’s nothing better than a date night with your other half – except a date night in DISNEY WORLD – being out as a couple in the Happiest Place On Earth is such a treat, and if you’re lucky enough to have the opportunity – seize it! Disney Springs is the perfect setting for your […]

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There’s nothing better than a date night with your other half – except a date night in DISNEY WORLD – being out as a couple in the Happiest Place On Earth is such a treat, and if you’re lucky enough to have the opportunity – seize it! Disney Springs is the perfect setting for your Disney Date Night – check out all the options for making it a perfect night with your love:

Dining: There are some great places to eat at Disney Springs, places to suit every budget and taste! If you’re looking for more of a romantic, intimate spot – then I recommend checking out the amazing food at atmosphere at Portobello Country Italian Trattoria – where you can dine on the waterfront patio or in the beautiful dining room, and choose from a menu full of fresh seafood, wood-fired pizzas, and of course – pasta! You’ll find more of a lively atmosphere at Raglan Road Irish Pub (a personal favorite of mine – with its authentic Irish cuisine and live music and Irish dancing!) and Paradiso 37 – where they also have live music nightly, and offer unique varieties of rums and tequilas. Another option would be to check out the food trucks – setup daily on the west side, you will see a variety of trucks offering some amazingly mouth-watering meal options

Entertainment: Once dinner is done, you can move on to one of many different entertainment options available right in Disney Springs. There’s a movie theater, bowling alley, DisneyQuest (an indoor interactive theme park), La Nouba (Disney’s exclusive Cirque Du Soleil spectacular), and live music/shows available at various locations throughout the area. Personally, I love to just stroll around and take in all the sights and sounds of the night life at Disney Springs, it’s the perfect place for a moonlit romantic stroll!

Shopping: While many of you might not consider shopping a fun “date night” activity – I do, and you just might too – after you see just how many unique and fun stores/shops are waiting for you in Disney Springs! There are obviously plenty of stores that sell Disney merchandise (as to be expected!) but there are also plenty more that sell clothes, jewelry, art, and so much more – it’s worth a look, and who knows, you might find something perfect for your date!

Disney Springs is a great place to be any time of the day, but it really comes alive at night, which makes it a perfect spot to have a “Disney Date Night” any night of the week!

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PizzeRizzo Now Serving Up Pizza With a Dash of Muppet-Style Humor http://www.chipandco.com/pizzerizzo-now-serving-pizza-dash-muppet-style-humor-254249/ http://www.chipandco.com/pizzerizzo-now-serving-pizza-dash-muppet-style-humor-254249/#respond Thu, 24 Nov 2016 12:30:22 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=254249 PizzeRizzo opened for regular business on Friday November 18, 2016.  We have been following the refurbishment progress and were happy to have the opportunity to visit this establishment on opening day.  Here is our review of how PizzeRizzo is now serving up pizza with a dash of muppet-style humor. PizzeRizzo is serving up pizza, salads […]

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PizzeRizzo opened for regular business on Friday November 18, 2016.  We have been following the refurbishment progress and were happy to have the opportunity to visit this establishment on opening day.  Here is our review of how PizzeRizzo is now serving up pizza with a dash of muppet-style humor.

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PizzeRizzo is serving up pizza, salads and meatball subs along with desserts, kids meals, and beverages.  We are happy to note that PizzeRizzo also offers a fairly extensive allergy-friendly menu that accommodates most common allergies.  The pizza comes standard with a small Caesar Salad which is great; as long as they do not run out of lettuce!

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I was thrilled that salad comes with the pizza so I ordered a cheese pizza, to include a Caesar Salad, and a Wildberry-Basil Limoncello Lemonade.  The food portion sizes are quite good.  When my order was ready I was told that, sadly, there would be no Caesar salad for me as they had run out of lettuce.  I was handed a bag of potato chips and I asked if that could be substituted for a Cannoli instead since there was no salad as I had originally anticipated.  The Cast Member was very accommodating and agreed to substitute the Cannoli for the Salad at no additional charge.  The cheese pizza was what one would expect from a quick-service pizzeria.  While the crust was crunchy, and the inside of the dough was slightly chewy, the sauce and cheese combination was average.  In fact, the cheese was minimal.   I was not a fan of the pizza, and to be honest, I will try a meatball sub if I ever have another meal here.  The WildberryBasil Limoncello Lemonade, on the other hand, was quite good and I would definitely order this drink again.  The Cannoli was just okay as there was not a lot of flavor in this dessert option.  The filling did not taste like sweetened ricotta as it was quite bland.  The shell tasted exactly a sugar cone you would order for an ice cream so that too was disappointing.  The other dessert option is Tiramisu but, even though it looks good, I am not sure I would try to order it after experiencing the Cannoli.

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If you enjoy a bit of Muppet-style humor, then be sure to look at the decorative elements on the walls throughout the restaurant.  Be sure to check out the framed “Our First Dollar” display on the first floor just as you enter the main dining room after picking up your food.  Here you will also see Papa Rizzo’s original apron from 1916 along with various pizza “awards.”  On the second floor be sure to check out the bulletin board of Muppet advertisements.

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There are some very clever wall displays featuring records, Play Bills, and framed photographs.  Be sure to read the Play Bills and check out the artists featured on the records.  You must look closely at the photographs to catch the humor in these displays as, upon closer inspection, you will see Muppet characters such as Rizzo and Gonzo.

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The second floor boasts a reception hall where a wedding reception is supposedly taking place.  There is music playing and the ceiling displays a disco ball.  This area was the most crowded but I have to admit, I expected something more from this space.  There are no characters on the walls or any sign of an actual wedding party going on.  I think they missed an amazing opportunity here.  I am no Imagineer, but they could have easily had something as simple as a glass-enclosed case along one wall with the wedding party eating or dancing together.

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I really like the main dining area upstairs.  The classic Pizzeria deco is very nice and fitting for the establishment.  However, I was shocked to go upstairs and see that there was nobody there.  This was opening day during the dinner hour around 5:30pm.  I was surprised there were not more people there at that time.

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One other area of note is the back wall of the second floor near the restrooms.  There is a feature wall that is full of sketches and framed art of Muppet characters.  This is the only noticable feature that specifically focuses on the Muppets.

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One of the really fun elements included in the deco is the trash cans.  They are worth noting in that they offer a humorous thought process with regards to discarding your trash.

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There is outdoor patio seating on both levels.  I prefer the seating upstairs just for the view alone of the buildings.  Either way, there was plenty of seating available both indoors and outdoors on opening night.

You can see our inside video tour of PizzeRizzo here:

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The main PizzeRizzo sign, on top of the building, is lit up at night.  Be sure to notice how some of the lighting, on a few of the letters, goes out.  The remaining letters spell out, “It’s Rat Pizza.”

You can see the short night-time video of the sign here:
Overall, PizzeRizzo is not about the food, but rather about the atmosphere.  If you have some time to kill, stop by and order a drink, and then wander around the restaurant looking at all of the wall deco.  Everyone has different taste preferences and the only way to know if you will enjoy the food options at PizzeRizzo is to try them out for yourself.  If you are not fussy about the quality of your pizza then the portions are substantial and can work as a good lunch option.   For folks looking for a place to relax for a bit while refueling with some food and beverage, before getting back to the park rides and shows, this restaurant provides a comfortable space for this purpose.  While PizzeRizzo is serving up pizza at this establishment, you are more likely to enjoy the dash of Muppet-style that exists in this space.

Are you planning to visit PizzeRizzo on your next visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

 

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Holiday Turkey By Earl of Sandwich Is a Must-Do! http://www.chipandco.com/holiday-turkey-earl-sandwich-must-253880/ http://www.chipandco.com/holiday-turkey-earl-sandwich-must-253880/#respond Sun, 20 Nov 2016 14:37:19 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=253880 Earl of Sandwich, in the Disney Springs Marketplace, is a popular quick-service restaurant for many guests with the lines often extending around the restaurant and out the door.  The Holiday Turkey Sandwich is a must-do for me during the Holiday Season when I visit Disney Springs.  Here is my review of what you can expect […]

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Earl of Sandwich, in the Disney Springs Marketplace, is a popular quick-service restaurant for many guests with the lines often extending around the restaurant and out the door.  The Holiday Turkey Sandwich is a must-do for me during the Holiday Season when I visit Disney Springs.  Here is my review of what you can expect from this amazing hot sandwich.

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When you arrive at Earl of Sandwich you must first find the end of the line.  As you can see, the line is oftentimes out the door.  The menu has lots of options from sandwiches, salads, desserts, sides and beverages.  The Earl of Sandwich is a quick service restaurant included on the Disney Dining Plan.

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The absolute best item on the menu is the Holiday Turkey.  This hot sandwich has turkey breast, cornbread stuffing, turkey gravy, cranberry sauce, and mayo.  The bread is warm with a crisp crust and soft in the middle.  The flavor combination, combined with the texture of the bread, makes this a must-do sandwich for anybody visiting Disney Springs this holiday season.

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While the Holiday Turkey is hands-down the best sandwich ever, there are some other interesting choices.  For example, the newest sandwich is the Turkey Apple & Brie.   This sandwich looks really good.  However, the Holiday Turkey is my favorite and when I visit the Earl of Sandwich, particularly during the Holiday Season, I am compelled to order it.  If you can find a table indoors, you can also enjoy the holiday decor.  I recommend the Holiday Turkey as a must-do for anyone stopping by the Earl of Sandwich in Disney Springs.

Will you be visiting the Earl of Sandwich this Holiday Season?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

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Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Dessert Party & Fireworks Review http://www.chipandco.com/jingle-bell-jingle-bam-dessert-party-fireworks-review-253591/ http://www.chipandco.com/jingle-bell-jingle-bam-dessert-party-fireworks-review-253591/#respond Thu, 17 Nov 2016 13:00:33 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=253591 Disney’s Hollywood Studios premiered its Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Dessert Party and Fireworks Show on Monday, November 7th.  I was there for opening night to take part in these all-new experiences. Here is my Review of the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Dessert Party and Fireworks Show along with the offerings that made my “Naughty” vs. “Nice” List. […]

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Disney’s Hollywood Studios premiered its Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Dessert Party and Fireworks Show on Monday, November 7th.  I was there for opening night to take part in these all-new experiences. Here is my Review of the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Dessert Party and Fireworks Show along with the offerings that made my “Naughty” vs. “Nice” List.

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Upon my arrival to Disney’s Hollywood Studios I headed over to the Star Wars Stage in front of The Great Movie Ride.  Check-in for the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Dessert Party began at 5:15pm.  I was directed to the courtyard of The Great Movie Ride where the party would take place.

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At the check-in location,  I had to give my name for a Cast Member to check the list of guests.  The tables and food stations were set up in the courtyard outside of The Great Movie Ride.  Upon check-in, I was given a wristband and a pair of 3D HoloSpex Glasses.  The festive set-up, the check-in process, the wristband, and the 3D HoloSpex Glasses all made my “Nice” List.

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As I entered the courtyard I was offered a drink.  There was a Non-Alcoholic Cranberry Punch, an Apple Cinnamon Cocktail, and a Gingerbread Martini.  I decided on the Gingerbread Martini and it was excellent.  This was my favorite drink of the night and it made my “Nice” List along with the Cranberry Punch.  The Apple Cinnamon Cocktail was a bit strong and spicy for my taste so this drink offering made my “Naughty” List.  If you drink too many of these, you may not remember viewing the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Fireworks Show that follows the Dessert Party.

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There is a side-by-side bar located in the middle of the courtyard.  In addition to the specialty drinks, they also serve soda, wine and beer.  There is a long table featuring non-alcoholic drinks such as coffee, tea, and punch.

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Some of the more adventurous food offerings were the Kale, Collard, and Pomegranate Onion Slaw and the Holiday Antipasto.  I enjoyed the Kale option and found it to be quite flavorful.  The Holiday Antipasto was good but salty.  Both of these options, along with the meatballs offered at this table, made my “Nice” List.  There was Grilled Flatbread with a dip that was interesting, but I was not a fan of this choice.  The bread and dip offerings made my “Naughty” List.  Prep and Landing character Dancer was featured at this table.

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The Winter Spiced Party Mix was a bit disappointing as I expected to taste holiday spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger and that was not the case.  I am not sure if they forgot to add the spice so this particular option for me was a miss.  The Warm Salted Caramel Cottage Pudding was just okay.  The sweet flavor did not cut the salt enough to make this option very flavorful.  The Warm Chocolate Torte with Cream Cheese Glaze and Candy Cane Dust was quite good.  I am a huge fan of the chocolate and peppermint flavor combination.  Place a scoop of the featured Hand-dipped Vanilla Bean Ice Cream for an awesome flavor burst.  Prep and Landing character Magee was featured at this table.  The Winter Spiced Party Mix and the Warm Salted Caramel Cottage Pudding both made my “Naughty” List while the Warm Chocolate Torte and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream made my “Nice” List.

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The Liquid Nitro Frost Bites were really good.  Made with a duo of White Chocolate Mousse and Wintergreen Mousse, with Dark Chocolate Sauce and Mickey Confetti, this particular option was one of my favorites.  I loved the frozen texture combined with the chocolate and mint flavors.  The crunch of the Mickey Confetti completed the flavors, although if you are not a fan of these candied crunchies then you can leave them out and still have a nice treat.  The Liquid Nitro Frost Bites made my “Nice” List.  Prep and Landing character Wayne was featured at this treat station.

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The miniature hand-held treats were very festive.  The Chocolate Cupcake with Mint Frosting and Peppermint Bark was the most fun option of the evening.  I am not a fan of cupcakes but I loved the white chocolate santa hat and the peppermint bark with mint frosting was really good.  There was a raspberry tart that was interesting but dry.  It was a bit like a soft cookie but did not boast a lot of flavor.  The Lemon Meringue Tart was good but did not really seem to go with the theme as these are offered at many Disney Buffet dessert stations.  The Holiday Crispy Bon Bons were very fun and I loved how they really went along with the holiday theme of the evening.  These were good without being to overpowering from a sweetness perspective.   There was no Prep and Landing character featured at this table, which I think is an oversight as this table was so festive and yet was missing a character representative to go along with the overall theme.  The Chocolate Cupcake, the Lemon Meringue Tart, and the Holiday Crispy Bon Bons all made my “Nice” List.  The Raspberry Tart Cookie was the only offering at this table to make my “Naughty” List due to its lack of flavor and texture.

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Santa Goofy was the Special Character of the evening.  He made the evening magical by stopping by tables to pose for pictures with guests.  Two Cast Members were assisting Santa Goofy.  We were told he would come to each table.  However, he did not make it through more than half of the tables due to the shortness of time for this party.  Regardless of that, Santa Goofy is always on my “Nice” List.

The Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Dessert Party is a nice option if you can fit it into your budget.  At $69 for a one hour event, I am not certain that the cost justifies the value of what you get.  The Dessert Party was scheduled to start at 5:45pm with check-in time beginning at 5:15pm.  They began to let people in at 5:30pm and then they escorted us to the viewing area for the fireworks show at 6:30pm. While the food and drinks are all included, you do have to wait in short lines for each station.  The bar area with the alcoholic drinks had the longest lines  and you really needed to get a couple of drinks or waste time standing in line again for another drink.  The best part about this was that upon entering, I was handed a Gingerbread Martini.  That is the only drink I had time for, although I wanted to get another one.  However, the line was too long and we were about to be escorted to the viewing area for the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Fireworks Show.  If they are going to continue this they need to get another side-by-side bar and extend the time a bit in order for the event to be worth the cost in my opinion.  The Dessert Party is very nice, and a lot of fun.  It is just not long enough because just as you sit down to enjoy some of the food and drinks, and meet Santa Goofy, it is time to go for the show.

Upon the conclusion of the dessert party, we were escorted to the viewing area for the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Fireworks Show.  The viewing area, while set back a bit, is a straight-on view of the show which is on and around the Chinese Theater.  There are trees in this area, so depending on where you get to stand, you may have an obstructed view.  I was fortunate enough to find a place towards the middle back of the viewing area.  The special effects of the show were good and the fireworks added to the show quite nicely. The show itself features the Prep and Landing characters and takes us on a journey through holiday music, Disney characters, and projections.  There was snow falling throughout the entire show and that added to the festive atmosphere.  The Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Fireworks Show and Hollywood Studios Snow are both on my “Nice” List.

You can see the Live video upload here:

 

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The highlight of the evening, for me, took place after the conclusion of the fireworks show.   There were projections on the Chinese Theater and the buildings surrounding it.  When I saw the giant Christmas Tree Projection, front and center, surrounded by lit and decorated apartment buildings, I immediately thought of the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights.  The giant tree was centrally located on the Streets of America and was surrounded by decorated apartment buildings with snow machines on the roofs to create snow.  Each building of the after-show features snow falling as well.  I am not sure where the idea came from, but I felt that this particular display pays homage to the past as we look towards the future.

You can see the video of this after-show display here:

Overall, the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Dessert Party & Fireworks Show is worth doing at least once.  If you cannot attend the Dessert Party then you must see the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Fireworks Show and stick around to view the after-show display.  One additional note is that there is no merchandise related to Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! and that was quite disappointing.  I cannot remember a time when a Disney Event did not have some merchandise associated to it.  The lack of merchandise made my “Naughty” List.  While my “Naughty” vs. “Nice” List is about equally balanced, I can assure you that the time you spend at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for these events will be worth your efforts.

What do you think of the new Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Dessert Party & Fireworks Show?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

 

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens 3D Review http://www.chipandco.com/star-wars-force-awakens-3d-review-253576/ http://www.chipandco.com/star-wars-force-awakens-3d-review-253576/#respond Tue, 15 Nov 2016 21:04:57 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=253576 Just in time for Christmas… Star Wars the Force Awakens 3D Collectors edition is out today and I was lucky enough to get a review copy from Disney! This 3DCollectors Edition comes jammed packed with Star Wars goodness. Here is what you will find inside: 3D COLLECTOR’S EDITION BONUS FEATURES: Audio Commentary with J.J. Abrams […]

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Just in time for Christmas… Star Wars the Force Awakens 3D Collectors edition is out today and I was lucky enough to get a review copy from Disney! This 3DCollectors Edition comes jammed packed with Star Wars goodness.

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Here is what you will find inside:

3D COLLECTOR’S EDITION BONUS FEATURES:

  • Audio Commentary with J.J. AbramsEnter the mind of visionary director J.J. Abrams as he reveals the creative and complex choices made while developing the first film in the new Star Wars trilogy.
  • Foley: A Sonic TaleFoley artists, consisting of old pros and new talent, unite to bring the world of Star Wars: The Force Awakens alive through the matching of sound to action.
  • Sounds of the ResistanceHear how the epic sound design of Star Wars: The Force Awakens moves the Star Wars legacy forward.
  • Deleted ScenesView never-before-shared scenes that didn’t make the film’s final cut.
  • Dressing the GalaxyCostume designer Michael Kaplan reveals how the costumes of the original Star Wars movies were re-envisioned for a new generation.
  • The Scavenger and the Stormtrooper: A Conversation with Daisy Ridley and John BoyegaThe two new stars share the thrill of working together on the adventure of a lifetime and becoming part of the Star Wars legacy.
  • Inside the ArmoryTake a fascinating tour through the design and creation of the weaponry in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
  • Classic Bonus Features These offerings from the April release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens include the complete story behind the making of the film, an unforgettable cast table read, insights from legendary composer John Williams, and deleted scenes, as well as features that dig deeper into the creation of new characters such as BB-8, the design of the climactic lightsaber battle between Rey and Kylo Ren, the film’s remarkable digital artistry, and the Star Wars: Force for Change global aid initiative.

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I was literally blown away by all the bonus content available, many of it released on itunes or as Target exclusives! I am a huge commentary junkie and to be able to hear the behind the scenes info with J.J. Abrams himself was probably my favorite part of the the bonus content. A close second would have to be the deleted scenes that didn’t make it in the theatrical movie.

I am kinda glad I didn’t pick up the Star Wars Force Awakens Bluray when it came out earlier this year as the 3D Collectors Edition is chock full of Star Wars goodies, not to mention 3D is how the Force Awakens is meant to be seen.

I give Star Wars the Force Awakens 3D Collectors edition 4.5 out of 5 stars, my only complaint was this should have been released in April when the original bluray was released. Still I highly recommend picking this up just in time for Christmas, this is perfect for a stocking stuffer for the scruffy looking nerf herder in your life.

Don’t forget Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, premieres December 16, 2016.

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New MagicBand Packaging to Debut http://www.chipandco.com/new-magicband-packaging-debut-253509/ http://www.chipandco.com/new-magicband-packaging-debut-253509/#respond Tue, 15 Nov 2016 15:19:54 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=253509 Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel will have their complimentary MagicBands delivered to their homes in new packaging as of November 11, 2016. In response to Guests’ requests, the new packaging is fully recyclable and printed on recycled paper. No more searching for those luggage tags because they will now be located […]

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Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel will have their complimentary MagicBands delivered to their homes in new packaging as of November 11, 2016. In response to Guests’ requests, the new packaging is fully recyclable and printed on recycled paper.

No more searching for those luggage tags because they will now be located inside a clearly marked sleeve on the side of the package. The luggage tag straps can be found inside the gray MagicBand holder. The same collateral information on how to wear the MagicBand, how to use it in the parks and resorts and RFID technology will also be included.

The new MagicBand package supports The Walt Disney Company’s environment initiatives while at the same time improving upon the guest experience. It’s a win-win!

Contact lbourget@mickeytravels.com or visit my Facebook page here to start planning your next Disney vacation. All of my planning services are 100% FREE and can help save you both time and money!

Photo Credit: Disney 

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It’s Time To Meet Santa Claus In His Chalet At Disney Springs http://www.chipandco.com/time-meet-santa-claus-chalet-disney-springs-253319/ http://www.chipandco.com/time-meet-santa-claus-chalet-disney-springs-253319/#respond Tue, 15 Nov 2016 12:00:36 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=253319 A highlight for many people during the Christmas Season, both young and old alike, is meeting Santa Claus.  A new structure has appeared in the Marketplace Neighborhood of Disney Springs.  It’s time to meet Santa Claus in his Chalet at Disney Springs. In order to meet Santa Claus you must check in at Santa’s Chalet […]

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A highlight for many people during the Christmas Season, both young and old alike, is meeting Santa Claus.  A new structure has appeared in the Marketplace Neighborhood of Disney Springs.  It’s time to meet Santa Claus in his Chalet at Disney Springs.

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In order to meet Santa Claus you must check in at Santa’s Chalet check-in podium  A fun and festive Cast Member will greet you, sign you in, and hand you a pager.  When it is your turn to step in line to meet Santa Claus, your pager will buzz.  You then return and hop on line to meet the jolly old elf himself.  Be aware that there is still a small line, but it does move fairly quickly.

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A Disney Photographer is on hand to capture the moment of your meet-and-greet with Santa Claus.  My mom insisted on sitting on Santa’s lap and he asked her to please leave him some beer and pretzels this Christmas Eve to change things up from the traditional cookies and milk.  Santa Claus has an interesting sense of humor and we left there laughing.  We were an adults-only group and I am quite sure that is the only reason he placed this request.  This meet-and-greet was so much fun and I am happy we decided to visit Santa Claus on this visit to Disney Springs.

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Disney Springs has certainly made it easier to meet Santa Claus.  They have done away with the long line of waiting through the simple pager system.  The pagers have a fairly long range as we were able to leave and walk the new Christmas Tree Trail while we waited for our pager to buzz.  We all know how difficult it can be for little ones, and for adults as well,  to wait on line patiently. Be sure to check-in and get your pager.  When your pager buzzes you will know it’s time to meet Santa Claus in his Chalet at Disney Springs!

What do you think of this new process for meeting Santa Claus?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

 

 

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The New Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail Is Fun For Everyone http://www.chipandco.com/new-disney-springs-christmas-tree-trail-fun-everyone-253317/ http://www.chipandco.com/new-disney-springs-christmas-tree-trail-fun-everyone-253317/#respond Sun, 13 Nov 2016 14:25:33 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=253317 Did you know that Disney Springs is hosting the new Christmas Tree Trail this year?  The trail features 15 Disney-Themed Christmas Trees on a path surrounded by falling snow.  The tree path is open daily from November 11, 2016 through January 8, 2017.  The new Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail is fun for everyone. The […]

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Did you know that Disney Springs is hosting the new Christmas Tree Trail this year?  The trail features 15 Disney-Themed Christmas Trees on a path surrounded by falling snow.  The tree path is open daily from November 11, 2016 through January 8, 2017.  The new Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail is fun for everyone.

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The entrance to the Christmas Tree Trail is between The Earl of Sandwich and Once Upon a Toy.  As you enter the Christmas Tree Trail, you will feel the chill in the air immediately.  The reason for this is the snow that is falling from the sky and surrounding all who journey along the tree path.

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With the exception of the Florida Tree, each of the 15 trees is whimsically decorated to represent Disney characters.  The Florida Tree features plants and seashells commonly found around the state of Florida, such as Palm Fronds and the Bird of Paradise.  Along the tree trail you will see trees decorated with such items as Minnie’s Bows on the Mickey & Minnie Tree and the Mad Hatter’s Hat atop the Alice in Wonderland Tree.  With 15 trees to view and admire, you are sure to find a favorite along the Christmas Tree Trail.  My personal favorite is the Alice in Wonderland Tree.

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As you exit The Christmas Tree Trail, signs will guide you back into the Disney Springs Marketplace for  more Christmas fun.  From music and photos, to the giant Christmas Tree display and shopping, you can have an enjoyable evening.  The Christmas Tree Trail is in the same location where the Disney Resort busses used to drop guests off at the end of the Marketplace Neighborhood of Disney Springs.  The new resort bus drop-off and pick-up location is in the Disney Springs Town Center Neighborhood.

When you travel along the tree trail, you will hear holiday music playing.  Don’t be surprised if you find yourself singing along!  The falling snow is such a wonderful touch to an already enjoyable experience and the trees are truly magnificent.  Be sure to take a few minutes to admire the themed decorations on each tree.

The best time to experience the Christmas Tree Trail is during the evening hours to see everything lit up and the snow falling.  You can also walk through during the day if you are wanting to experience the tree trail with less crowds. The Christma.s Tree Trail is a must do, must see, must experience display for all who venture to Disney Springs this holiday season.  With falling snow, holiday music, and beautifully decorated trees the new Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail is fun for everyone.

Check out my live video below:

What do you think of the new Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

 

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Review of First Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2016 http://www.chipandco.com/review-first-mickeys-merry-christmas-party-2016-252941/ http://www.chipandco.com/review-first-mickeys-merry-christmas-party-2016-252941/#respond Fri, 11 Nov 2016 11:27:01 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=252941 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is an annual event that takes place at the Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom on select dates in November and December.  The event includes complimentary and exclusive treats, party specific merchandise, holiday decorations, fireworks, shows, and the holiday parade.  Here is our review of the first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas […]

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Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is an annual event that takes place at the Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom on select dates in November and December.  The event includes complimentary and exclusive treats, party specific merchandise, holiday decorations, fireworks, shows, and the holiday parade.  Here is our review of the first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2016.

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Before you can even park your car in the Magic Kingdom parking  lot, you are greeted by these male and female snow people.  They are absolutely adorable with their mittens and Mickey Ears.  This is the perfect feature to build the excitement for  Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party as the Walt Disney World welcomes the spirit of the season, and all of us who are attending the event.

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As I entered the Magic Kingdom, a Cast Member, dressed in her North Pole attire, directed me to the holiday party path.  Along the path were photo ops with Disney photographers available to snap your picture.  I was also handed my first complimentary treat of the evening, a lovely wrapped Christmas Tree Cookie, by another fun and festive Cast Member.

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Complimentary treats are available at many locations throughout the Magic Kingdom.  Disney has outdone themselves this year by offering treats other than the sugar cookies, hot cocoa, and apple cider.  This year they have added eggnog, ginger molasses cookies, peppermint bark cookies, and mini snow cones  to name a few.  They still have the Snickerdoodle sugar cookies and hot cocoa as well.  Allergy-friendly options are also available upon request.  I sampled a few of the new options and I loved the ginger molasses cookie and the peppermint bark cookie.  I was also pleased to see they had added eggnog as a beverage.  Eggnog is quite popular at this time of year and it certainly added a festive touch to the event.

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The exclusive Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party merchandise is fantastic.  The Super Pin is amazing and will run you $60.  The small boxed pin costs $120 and contains 6 pins, including the WALL-E pin that cannot be purchased separately.  The larger boxed pin set costs $285 and includes the exclusive Santa Claus pin along with the WALL-E pin.  The Santa Claus pin cannot be purchased anywhere else.  There is also the smaller holiday pin that runs for $15 and features Santa Mickey.  You can find the festive holiday ornament and the Limited Edition Magic Band as well.  If you love t-shirts, then you will not be disappointed by the red and green shirts, and the grey Passholder shirt.  My personal favorite amongst the merchandise items has to be the Super Pin.  I have not seen one of these before, and while I don’t know what I would do with it as it is too big to really be worn on clothing, I was still most fascinated with this holiday party item.

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Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party offers opportunities to view amazing holiday decorations, and to meet rare characters, such as Sandy Claws from The Nightmare Before Christmas.  You will see holiday shows that are currently exclusive to the party, such as the Let It Snow show along Main Street and the Castle Forecourt stage show; Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration.  Each of these shows have multiple showing over the course of the evening.  Holiday Wishes are among the best that Disney has to offer in fireworks shows and is shown once each evening of the party.  There are specialty cupcakes available and some people will agree that the Pumpkin Spice Waffle Sundae is worth the cost of the party ticket.  This amazing treat is covered under the Disney Dining Plan as a snack option.

You may wonder how it is that they don’t have people crashing these parties.  There are Cast Members placed strategically around the park, holding lighted  Mickey Santa boards, whose primary job is to check for wristbands.  They continue this until they receive the word that the park is cleared.   The Cast Members are always jovial and ready to say hello with a bright smile so be sure to take a moment to recognize them.

The festive atmosphere immerses you into the party experience.  I have to be honest here.  I was skeptical about what to expect at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party as I attended one of these events about 3 years ago and left disappointed.  I can assure all of you that this is not the same party from a few years past.  The complimentary treats were really good and I was very happy with the variety that was offered this year.  Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration show was magnificent.  I have never seen that many Disney characters in one place since…well ever!

Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration Live feed can be seen here:

Holiday Wishes~Celebrate the Spirit of the Season was a bit different than I remember but was very good.  In my opinion, it is always a good show when Tinkerbell flies.  The magic of that moment, and the gasps from the crowd, are so real.  I happened to be recording Holiday Wishes via a Live feed.  There was a young child standing beside me who was simply amazed by the show.  Many of our fans responded to her joyful responses and I know this is one example of why Disney does what they do.  The wonder and amazement in her face, and her voice, made the experience memorable for me even though I have no idea who the child was.

See the Live Feed of Holiday Wishes here:

Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade is a classic.  Be sure to view the parade along Main Street in order to see the Let It Snow show just prior to the parade.  There is nothing more festive and magical than snow falling along Main Street with holiday music and Cast Members dancing along to the music.  The parade features Mickey and Minnie in their Mr. and Mrs. Claus attire, Cinderella and Prince Charming in the pumpkin carriage being pulled by the white Cinderella horses, and the jolly elf himself; Santa Claus.  Clarabelle Cow has a float of her own where she is baking cookies and you would swear, just by the scents emanating from her float, that you are really smelling cookies baking.

See the Live Feed of Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade here:

There are many other events going on around the park.  Rides have shorter wait times, Club Tinsel has a DJ spinning music and hosting a dance party with characters, Tomorrowland features A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas party with characters and dancing, and this year you can enjoy the group VoicePlay as they sing an a cappella holiday concert on the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland.

Even if you arrive at 4:00pm, which is the time you can enter the Magic Kingdom with your Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party ticket, you will not be able to do everything that is offered over the course of the evening.  That is why some strategic planning is necessary for you to experience what is most important to you.  Many people ask if the cost of the ticket is “worth it.”  I wholeheartedly answer that questions with a resounding, “Yes!”  Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2016 is sure to leave you in a happy and festive mood.  Whether you attend with family, friends, or just on your own you are sure to have a truly magical experience!

Will you be attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party this year?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

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Do Disney Like A Boss With These WDW Pro Tips http://www.chipandco.com/disney-like-boss-wdw-pro-tips-250379/ http://www.chipandco.com/disney-like-boss-wdw-pro-tips-250379/#respond Tue, 01 Nov 2016 12:00:17 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=250379 Walt Disney World is a BIG place – 4 Theme Parks, 2 Water Parks, Resorts, Restaurants, Shops – etc (I could go on but I won’t!). With that much going on, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all that there is to see/do/experience, and if you aren’t prepared, a trip to WDW can easily turn […]

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WDW Pro Tips

Walt Disney World is a BIG place – 4 Theme Parks, 2 Water Parks, Resorts, Restaurants, Shops – etc (I could go on but I won’t!). With that much going on, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all that there is to see/do/experience, and if you aren’t prepared, a trip to WDW can easily turn into a stressful time – and who wants that on vacation? I know I don’t! Take my advice – save time and headaches with my WDW Pro Tips:

Plan Ahead: One of the most important WDW Pro Tips is to do some research ahead of time – Order your free Disney Planning DVD, and check out a guidebook or two. And of course utilize online information about the Parks and Resorts – sites like Chip And Co are of course great, and the Disney World Site can be helpful too. Now I’m not suggesting that you have every minute of every Disney Day planned out in advance – but a rough itinerary is pretty useful, and it can help you get the most out of your time at WDW. If you aren’t much of a planner – I still implore you to at least utilize the Fastpass+ and Advance Dining Reservation Services that Disney offers – they are both free, and can help you save a TON of time waiting in line for rides, and for food too!

Don’t Try To Do It All: I mentioned not over-planning, but you also want to be conscious of not “over-doing” it while at WDW, too. When you arrive through those Park gates, it’s easy to get overwhelmed – the sites, the sounds, the smells, the atmosphere, the MAGIC – it’s a lot to take in, and even though you may get the urge to sprint ahead and ride EVERY RIDE RIGHT THEN – resist it. Trust me – that urge will just leave you tired and cranky, and you will be MUCH better off if you take it slow, stroll instead of sprint, and take the time to take in the details of everything around you. I also recommend a mid-day break – lunchtime is the perfect time to leave the Parks and head back to your WDW Resort for lunch and a nap or some pool time. It may seem nuts to leave all the Park action right in the middle of the day, but trust me – a break will help recharge and refuel you so that you can head back to the Parks for dinner and an evening of fun! Plus – lunchtime and early afternoon is when it is SO HOT at the Parks that it can be a recipe for disaster – sunburn, dehydration, and tantrums galore can be easily prevented by retreating back to your Resort

And speaking of Resorts…

Stay on Site: You will want to stay at a Walt Disney World owned Resort to get the most out of your trip – for several reasons. One being Extra Magic Hours – which allows ONLY guests of WDW Resorts into a Park an hour early or access to a Park an hour after closing time each day, and another being their Magical Express shuttle – which brings you and your luggage to and from the Orlando airport to the doors of your WDW Resort (and it’s free!). For me though, probably the biggest perk of staying on site is just being IN the magic the WHOLE time – the amazing service from the cast members, the fact that I can just hop on a bus/monorail/boat and be at the Parks in minutes (no car, parking lot fees, or parking tram required!) – it’s all part of the perks of staying on site at WDW

Pack Smart For The Parks: Do NOT walk out of your hotel room empty handed – as there are some items you will DEFINITELY be wanting to bring along with you to the Disney Parks. First and foremost – sunscreen – the good kind (high SPF), and you will want to make sure you are applying it OFTEN – whether it’s sunny OR cloudy. Another must have item is refillable water bottles – I like to bring my own from home and fill it at my Resort with water and ice, and I also like to make sure I am refilling it often (ie – that I am DRINKING the water). The Florida sun is no joke folks – it’s big, bright, and HOTTTT – and even if you’re used to sun, it can really be a fun killer – so just bring your sunscreen and water bottles every time you leave your Resort (trust me!). Other items I like to make sure I bring to the WDW Parks are – assorted snacks/hard candies, and spare camera batteries, and ponchos and Ziploc baggies to protect myself (and my valuables!) in case of a sudden downpour – which happens pretty often in Orlando

Try Something New: Remember how your mom always said “Try it, you’ll like it” at dinner time? Well, that doesn’t just apply to broccoli and Brussel sprouts – as vacation is the perfect time to step out of your comfort zone and try a roller coaster, or a big water slide, or some new or unique cuisine too! Seriously though – eat all the food when you’re at Disney – it’s amazing, and it goes way beyond your standard “theme park food” – I literally have never tried something I didn’t like

Hopefully these “WDW Pro Tips” can help you breeze through the hard parts of planning a vacation and allow you to enjoy every minute of being at the Happiest Place On Earth!

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Chinatown Debuts As Wonderful Addition to Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic http://www.chipandco.com/chinatown-debuts-wonderful-addition-swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-252099/ http://www.chipandco.com/chinatown-debuts-wonderful-addition-swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-252099/#respond Mon, 31 Oct 2016 16:43:38 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=252099 Chinatown made its debut at the Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic this year.  This new area is a wonderful addition to an already phenomenal event.  Chinatown featured Crispy Duck, Shanghai Dumpling and Lucky Buddha Enlightened Beer. Chinatown’s Crispy Duck with Steamed Bun and Cucumber Hoisin was delicious.  The duck was crispy as you […]

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Chinatown made its debut at the Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic this year.  This new area is a wonderful addition to an already phenomenal event.  Chinatown featured Crispy Duck, Shanghai Dumpling and Lucky Buddha Enlightened Beer.

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Chinatown’s Crispy Duck with Steamed Bun and Cucumber Hoisin was delicious.  The duck was crispy as you bit into it.  The crisp of the duck, combined with the soft spongy texture of the steamed bun, and the cucumber hoisin was a treat for the palate.  The steamed bun had a very interesting texture that was actually quite good and enhanced the overall flavors.  I definitely recommend you try the Crispy Duck if you attend the Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic in 2017.

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The Shanghai Dumpling was a Pan Roasted Pork Dumpling with Spicy Sauce.  The Dumpling was actually a bit crisp with a lot of substance.  The Spicy Sauce really enhanced the flavor of the dumpling.  I recommend the dumpling to anyone who enjoys a bit of spice with their meal.

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The Lucky Buddha Enlightened Beer made a good addition to the food offered at Chinatown.  While I do not care for beer at all, I found the flavor to be light but pleasing.  The gentlemen pouring the beer, was also giving the empty beer bottles to any woman who said that yes, they would like one.

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The lines were quite long for the offerings at Chinatown.  This is likely the result of this area being a new addition to the 2016 Food & Wine Classic.  I can assure you that the food was worth the wait.  Be forewarned that Chinatown was highly popular and this will likely hold true if Chinatown is a part of the Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic next year.

What do you think of the addition of Chinatown to the Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic?

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Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic Review 2016 http://www.chipandco.com/swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-review-2016-252102/ http://www.chipandco.com/swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-review-2016-252102/#respond Mon, 31 Oct 2016 15:52:24 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=252102 The Swan & Dolphin Resort’s Food & Wine Classic is an annual event that typically takes place the last weekend in October.  This must- do event features their Causeway, which is literally bursting at the seams with food, wine, and beer.  They also offer seminars, a beer garden, Carnival Corner, and Chinatown.  Here is my […]

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The Swan & Dolphin Resort’s Food & Wine Classic is an annual event that typically takes place the last weekend in October.  This must- do event features their Causeway, which is literally bursting at the seams with food, wine, and beer.  They also offer seminars, a beer garden, Carnival Corner, and Chinatown.  Here is my Food & Wine Classic Review for 2016.

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The set up of The Causeway is a lengthy process of putting tables, chairs, tents, and tablecloths.  As the afternoon wanes on the food, heating elements, ice, and displays are set up as well.

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When you arrive, you will need to check in.  There are various stations, based on your ticket type, to check-in at.  For myself, I was checked in by the lovely Katie in the Convention Center area.

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As the sunlight begins to wane, The Causeway opens.  The results are simply magnificent.  Along The Causeway you can get a taste of Surf and Turf by Todd English, Arancini by Il Mulino, Prime New York Strip Loin by Shula’s Steakhouse, Seared Striped Bass by Garden Grove, Southern Pulled Pork with Macaroni & Cheese by The Fountain and Dragon Roll by Kimonos to name a few.  If you are looking for something fun to try then you must sample the Shrimp Cocktail Steamroller by Blue Zoo as it comes in a slim tube and your are left to your own devices to figure out how to get the shrimp out.  Add a little spice to your samplings with Taqueria by Picabu. There is no possible way to pick a favorite bite of the night, but if I could choose only two items, from The Causeway, I would pick the Surf and Turf by Todd English and the Dragon Roll by Kimonos.  As tastes do vary, you will need to attend the Food & Wine Classic in 2017 to pick your personal favorites.

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What would a Food & Wine Event be without desserts?  There were four specialty desserts to choose from.  The Lemon Meringue Cup, the Chocolate Fondant Orange Pate de Fruit Milk, the Caramel Sea Salt Eclair, and the Caramelized Banana Sundae with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.  My hands-down favorite was the Lemon Meringue Cup.  I really enjoyed the texture and the zing of the lemon with this dessert choice.

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Seminars on Wines, Cocktails, Beers, and Champagnes are also available.  I did the Wine Blending Seminar and it was very informative and interesting.  If wine is not your thing, then there are many seminar options to choose from and you are sure to find something that suits your lifestyle and preferences.

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The Terrace Beer Garden is tucked away off the beaten path of the Causeway.  Here you will find light, dark, and brown ales, a variety of ciders, and a few food bites.  Be sure to try the Schnitzil and Soft Pretzel with your beer.  Check out the Live Video walk-through of the Terrace Beer Garden here:  https://www.facebook.com/chipandco/videos/10154701979648417/

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Carnival Corner is tucked away in the back corner just off The Causeway.  Here you will find Carnival Games, Food Trucks, and some fun surprises.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the flavors of the Grafton Village White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese.  The other surprise that presented itself was the Nitro Kettle Corn.  I had never heard of it so I asked how they make it.  They use popcorn, caramel foam, peanuts, and liquid nitrogen.  See the video here:  https://www.facebook.com/chipandco/videos/10154702666173417/

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Chinatown made its debut at the Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic this year.  This new area featured Crispy Duck and Shanghai Dumpling.  Lines were long and the Chinatown area was a highly popular area throughout the evening.

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Also making their debut at the Food & Wine Classic was CIB’s Smokehouse.  They featured their Hand Crafted Bacon with Sweet Corn Puree.  I have never tasted bacon like this before and it was extremely flavorful.  I will expect to see CIB’s again in 2017.

The Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic makes for a truly a classy evening.  If you have not had the chance to attend one of these events, then be sure to stay tuned here for updates on the 2017 Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic.  Purchase your tickets early as this event does sell out.  Hope to see you there.  Bon appetit!

Will you be attending the Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic next year?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

 

 

 

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Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic Wine Blending Seminar Is Informative and Interesting http://www.chipandco.com/swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-wine-blending-seminar-informative-interesting-252123/ http://www.chipandco.com/swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-wine-blending-seminar-informative-interesting-252123/#respond Mon, 31 Oct 2016 12:00:07 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=252123 Did you know that you can also sign up for seminars at the Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic?  I was fortunate enough to attend the Wine Blending Seminar and I found it to be informative and quite interesting.  If you enjoy wine, or are interested in learning something about it, then the Wine […]

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Did you know that you can also sign up for seminars at the Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic?  I was fortunate enough to attend the Wine Blending Seminar and I found it to be informative and quite interesting.  If you enjoy wine, or are interested in learning something about it, then the Wine Blending Seminar is a great option.

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You can choose from a multitude of seminars.  Each seminar has a cost associated with it that is separate from the event ticket.   The seminars take place in the Swan Convention Center rooms.

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Upon arrival, I discovered that all of the wine and cheese were set up at each table seat.  There is some introduction and notification that we are only to drink the wine to the right that is off our mat.  The seminar opened with a discussion of cheeses and their accompaniments.  My favorite cheese was the Brie.

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The Wine Blending Seminar instructor was the Swan & Dolphin Director of Food and Beverage Tony Porcellini.  He had an awesome sense of humor and he was very informative.  He taught the group how to know the difference between the Right and Left Bank of France with regards to Bourdeaux wine.  He also instructed on distinguishing the weight of wine by referencing the varieties of milk: Whole Milk, 2% mile, Skim Milk, and Half-and-Half.  We were instructed to “chew” the wine three times before swallowing the wine in order to wake up our taste buds.

If you ever have the opportunity to attend the Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic, I recommend you try and take one of the seminars.  Just pick the one that appeals to you the most.  I can assure you that the cost is well worth the value of information you will receive.

What type of seminar would you choose for the Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

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Win A Slushy When You Take The Beverly Challenge at Epcot’s Club Cool http://www.chipandco.com/win-slushy-take-beverly-challenge-epcots-club-cool-251869/ http://www.chipandco.com/win-slushy-take-beverly-challenge-epcots-club-cool-251869/#comments Fri, 28 Oct 2016 12:00:46 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=251869 Did you know that you can take the Beverly Challenge at Epcot’s Club Cool and win a free Slushy of your choice?  The rules of the Beverly Challenge are quite simple.  You must drink 12 of the little sampling cups filled with Beverly soda and you must have a Club Cool Cast Member monitor your […]

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Did you know that you can take the Beverly Challenge at Epcot’s Club Cool and win a free Slushy of your choice?  The rules of the Beverly Challenge are quite simple.  You must drink 12 of the little sampling cups filled with Beverly soda and you must have a Club Cool Cast Member monitor your progress through the challenge.  That is all you have to do!  If you complete the challenge, you will win a Slushy of your choosing.

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If you are not familiar with the Beverly soda, be aware that it is quite bitter and the majority of people who try it cannot drink it because of its bitterness.  Beverly soda is a Coca-Cola product that hails from Italy and is quite popular there.

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I will let you in on a little secret about the Beverly Challenge.  As it turns out, you do not have to drink 12 full sampling cups of Beverly. In fact, if you fill 5 or 6 cups, and distribute them between 12 sampling cups, that is all you really need to drink to complete the challenge.  You can find Club Cool in Epcot’s Future World beside Starbucks and across from the Dancing Water Fountain.  Their operating hours are 10:30am-9:00pm.  Be sure to bring someone with you as you will likely not be able to drink the slushy after drinking all that Beverly!

Check out the link for the Live video of our Beverly Challenge

Will you take the Beverly Challenge on your next visit to Epcot?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

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Amorette’s Patisserie Autumn Gingerbread Pumpkin & Mickey Mouse Pastries Review http://www.chipandco.com/amorettes-patisserie-autumn-gingerbread-pumpkin-mickey-pastries-review-251805/ http://www.chipandco.com/amorettes-patisserie-autumn-gingerbread-pumpkin-mickey-pastries-review-251805/#respond Thu, 27 Oct 2016 20:00:06 +0000 http://www.chipandco.com/?p=251805 Amorette’s Patisserie Disney Springs offers amazing pastries that are great for one, or two, people.  The Gingerbread Pumpkin is available through the Autumn Season and the mini Mickey Mouse has been added as a permanent addition to the menu. The limited time Gingerbread Pumpkin  pastry is delectable.  It features gingerbread chiffon cake at the base and […]

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Amorette’s Patisserie Disney Springs offers amazing pastries that are great for one, or two, people.  The Gingerbread Pumpkin is available through the Autumn Season and the mini Mickey Mouse has been added as a permanent addition to the menu.

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The limited time Gingerbread Pumpkin  pastry is delectable.  It features gingerbread chiffon cake at the base and a dome of pumpkin and chocolate mousse topped with white chocolate and dark chocolate ganache.  The gingerbread chiffon cake base is moist and chewy while the mousse literally melts in your mouth.  The flavors of gingerbread and pumpkin are excellent and do not power over one another.  I highly recommend trying the Gingerbread Pumpkin particularly since it will only be available for a limited time.

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The mini Mickey Mouse  pastry is the most adorable sweet treat I have ever seen.  With its chocolate chiffon cake base, white chocolate and dark chocolate mousse dome center, topped with Orange Pate de Fruit Jelly and dark chocolate Mickey Ears, this sweet treat cannot be beat.  The chocolate chiffon cake is moist, but does not fall apart when you cut it.  The fruit jelly adds a nice texture and flavor to the white chocolate and dark chocolate mousse.

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Chef Noah and his team at Amorette’s Patisserie have outdone themselves this Autumn season with these additional sweet offerings. The Gingerbread Pumpkin is the best I have tasted since they opened their doors at Disney Springs.  The mini Mickey Mouse pastry was flying off the shelves of the display case as soon as they added them.  Each of the cakes, featured in this article, cost $8 each. While it is a little pricey for one person, the quality of the pastry is phenomenal.

My favorite of the two with regards to flavor and texture is the Gingerbread Pumpkin.  The Mickey Mouse pastry definitely wins for the quality of the cuteness in presentation.

Which pastry will you try on your next visit to Amorette’s Patisserie?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

 

The post Amorette’s Patisserie Autumn Gingerbread Pumpkin & Mickey Mouse Pastries Review appeared first on Chip and Co.

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