Category Archives: Tips &Tricks
To celebrate the release of Toy Story 3, in theaters next Friday, June 18, Disney Family.com is offering dozens of ideas for Toy Story-themed crafts, recipes, parties and more! I have just spent the last 15 minutes printing out a bunch of crafts we are going to attempt to make at home..
You’ve got a friend in Family.com – from how to make alien cupcakes and Jessie cowgirl hat cookies, to instructions for building a Buzz Lightyear rocket globe and a Woody marionette, the site is a one-stop source for feting the return of Andy and crew. Can’t wait to catch the movie on the big screen? Build your excitement by watching the teaser trailer.
Click any one of the links above or click the picture to check it out.
To Infinity & Beyond!
This question comes from Jason, who asks: “Where are Disney World can you get your kids hair cut. The wife said something about a Cinderella place but what about boys?”
Hi, Jason. Thanks for your question and for reading Chip and Co. Your wife is right. Girls can get a princess (or tween star) makeover at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, which is located in Cinderella Castle and at Downtown Disney. They don’t actually cut hair, just style it like your child’s favorite princess. A similar experience is available for boys in the Magic Kingdom at the Pirates League, located next to Pirates of the Caribbean in Adventureland.
Anyone can get their hair cut at the Harmony Barber Shop in the Magic Kingdom. Located next to City Hall, right between the car barn and the Emporium, it’s so small you might miss it. It’s open from 9:00 to 5:00 everyday. Kids haircuts start at $14; it’s $17 for adults. Add-ons like sparkly gels, glitter and temporary hair dyes are around $5 extra.
The barber shop offers a first haircut experience for kids for usual price of a child’s haircut. It includes a certificate and a complimentary “first ears” Mickey ears, so it’s a good value. Get there early and avoid the wait; there are no appointments.
There are also several full-service salons on site located at the resorts.
Have a Disney question? We have answers! Write us at Chip and Co. We answer every question.
One of the biggest discussions for many people when planning a vacation to Disney World…especially if you are trying to save money….is the one about how you are going to get there. You know, it’s the “are we driving or flying” conversation. Obviously, many folks don’t have an option, but if you do, you may very well have considered driving…or maybe you even have driven in the past. If you’re trying to have an Affordable Disney Vacation, then driving may be the best and most economical solution for you.
But will you and everyone in your family go crazy on a drive to Disney World? Can you survive with your sanity intact? Sure you can!
I live in Maryland, about 14 hours of straight-through driving down I-95, from my house to Orlando. I know this because we have driven to Disney World on more than one vacation. Like anything else related to planning a Disney vacation successfully, planning a long drive will also require some planning to insure that everyone enjoys it. Because you can all enjoy it.
Here are a few tips that may help make it a magical journey for your family:
- Personally, I’m a big fan of breaking the trip up into manageable parts. I know that not everyone likes doing it that way, and honestly, I think it’s a matter of preference. I grew up taking “road trips” every summer, so I love the idea of stopping, exploring, and seeing new things and places along the way. Now I readily admit that this can add time and cost to your trip, so weigh the adventure aspect against the money and time.
- If you have the luxury of time at least, consider getting off the main roads from time to time and enjoy the local scenery. Taking even these brief breaks can recharge everyone’s battery, and allow the driver to relax a bit. Better yet, pack a picnic lunch or dinner, and stop for a relaxed break where the kids (and grownups) can stretch their legs and let off a little steam.
- Games for the kids are a must. You can do this several ways: you can purchase some simple “car games” that will be entertaining but not take up a lot of room, or you can opt for the traditional games that we all grew up with: looking for license plates from other states, “I Spy” etc. Don’t discount how much fun these can be either: we probably logged many hours….and laughs….over the years just playing I Spy. You would be amazed how quickly time flies! If you opt to buy some new games for your children, keep them “new” to preserve the desirability factor, and introduce one at a time. Maybe each time you get to a new state, or something like that.
- I think many/most folks have access to car or portable dvd players so this is the perfect time to make use of them. Bring along some favorite movies or shows to pass the time. Again, having some new ones just for the trip would be even better: if you don’t want to buy, then rent them. Clearly, anything Disney is appropriate here. Bringing out dvds of the Disney parks can build the excitement as well as help everyone decide on what they want to see and do once you get to Disney World.
- This last tip is one of our favorites, and is, in fact, one that we still use today to drive to the beach: audio books. This can be a fascinating way to spend the time no matter your age, and honestly no matter if you have read the book or not. Listening to someone read and “act out” the story can really pull you into a great book…and before you know it, you’ve traveled several hundred miles.
Driving to Disney World does not have to be something to be dreaded: in fact, it can be a great deal of fun! The key is to do some planning, be flexible, and use some imagination. Before you know it, you’ll be driving under the welcome sign….and you just may wonder where the time went so fast!
This question comes from Christina, who asks: “Is there a Disney Dining Plan for Disneyland. I hear you guys talk about Disneyworld all the time what about Disneyland?
Christina, thanks for reading and for your question. I’ll answer your second question first: We mainly talk about Disney World because it’s the resort we go to the most often, but we’re hoping to rectify that in the future and put out more Disneyland information.
There isn’t technically a dining plan at Disneyland, at least not like the one that’s offered at Disney World. The way it works is that you pre-pay for your meals and are given vouchers. Depending on the number of days, you’ll be given a voucher for specific meals (character and breakfast). The number of table service meals isn’t equal to the number of days you’re there, as it is in WDW. The other vouchers are equal to $5, $10, and $15. If you don’t spend the entire amount of your voucher, you won’t get your change back, so you have to work to get just the right amount or lose money.
You won’t find a lot of information on this plan, mainly because most people don’t use it. If you want to pay for your meals ahead of time, something that I prefer to do just to avoid “sticker shock” during my trip, consider buying gift cards. Not only will you get your change back, you can use them at Downtown Disney, where there are a lot of good restaurants.
Hope this helps!
Have a Disney question? We have answers! Write us at Chip and Co. We answer every question.
Disney Confidential — Dessert off the 2011 Dining Plan, Toontown Speculation, and Is That Justin Bieber in My Car?
Is Disney doing away with the included dessert on the dining plan? It looks that way. 2011 packages released by Disney to travel agents in the United Kingdom don’t include dessert on either the quick service or regular dining plan. The refillable mug that comes with the quick service plan has also been dropped. 2011 packages aren’t available for sale in the U.S. at this time, but U.K. packages are usually a good indication of what will be available in the States later in the year. Disney certified travel agents in the U.K. are confirming this information, so either the desserts are gone for everyone in 2011 or British guests are being punished for something. Not eating their veggies, perhaps?
Move along, Brits! Nothing to see here.
This change is no doubt in response to complaints that the dining plan is just too much food. Last time there were changes, prices did go down, so let’s hope this works out for everyone.
I’m hearing rumors that the 1900 Park Fare character dinner is going to change from Cinderella, her Prince, Stepmother and the evil Stepsisters to a villain dinner. Let’s be honest, Cinderella is great, but the real draw at 1900 Park Fare has long been the campy Stepsisters and Lady Tremaine. They’re hilarious. I think if they can make this fun and not too scary for little kids, this will be one of popular character meals in WDW.
Why, hello Gaston. Need any help with the big words?
Finally, one last food rumor. I’m told that the 180-day advanced dining reservation change (now 190 days for resort guests) is a promotion to get people to book their dining reservations online. At this point, we don’t know if this is permanent or not.
I’ve heard that there are plans for a new Disney Vacation club resort next to Blizzard Beach. The resort will be a free standing resort (in other words, not attached to a deluxe resort), something along the lines of Saratoga Springs, and will have a California theme. Likely? It’s possible. We know that Disney wants to keep new DVC inventory available. With sales at Animal Kingdom Villas and Bay Lake Tower closing out in the next few years, it’s likely that plans are already in the works for a new resort. The rumor that this resort could feature a back entrance to Hollywood Studios is intriguing as well. As nice as that would be however, I’m putting my money on Disney building another tower at Bay Lake where the Contemporary Resort’s Garden Wing currently stands. Everything is already in place and that location has sold well for DVC, even in this bad economy. It’s really a no-brainer.
It looks like Mickey’s Toontown Fair won’t be closing until sometime in Spring 2011. I’m betting it will shut down before the Spring Break rush, sometime before mid-February. This means you still have time to “bake” a cake in Minnie’s kitchen.
Is it just me or is Justin Bieber everywhere? I actually went out to my car this morning and he was sitting in it. You know, because he can’t drive yet and needed a ride. Because he’s fifteen. And everywhere.
But seriously. In a radio interview, Justin revealed his secret crush and it’s not Disney stars Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez, with whom he has worked in the past. It appears that Miley just isn’t “his type” and neither is Selena, who he calls “very pretty.” So who is Justin’s type? None other than Mrs. Jay-Z, Beyonce Knowles.
When asked to comment, Miss Knowles mumbled something about not being ready for this Jelly.
The blogis reporting that Rapunzel, Mother Gothel and Flynn will begin meeting guests in the Magic Kingdom in October, just ahead of the release of Tangled in November.
I think that about does it for today.
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