Category Archives: Tips &Tricks
My family and I were in Old Navy a few days ago using a coupon we got in the mail for $5 off. Not really needing anything just checking things out and while I was browsing the clothes back in the kids department I ran across a most interesting discovery!
It seems Disney has made an arrangements with Old Navy to sell their Toy Story, Iron Man, Marvel, Disney, etc.
Here are some really cool Disney t-shirts that are for sale at Old Navy right now.
Had to get this one for my little Princess
Glow in the dark Buzz
Iron Man 2 for the Big Kids
They had a bunch of these X-Men white shirts
Old school Spiderman/Dr Oct there.
What do you think of these shirts? Let us know in the comment section below.
The web has been buzzing for weeks now that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter over at Universal is about to open this very second! Sadly, these rumors have proven untrue. So far, the closest concrete thing we have to a soft opening for WWoHP comes on the 28th, when guests who’ve booked special Harry Potter packages will be given exclusive access. The big question is if they’ll also extend access at that time to special groups, like AP holders. There have already been a few VIP tours, including one that featured the stars of the Harry Potter movies.
Here’s Emma Watson doing her “Look, I’m wearing a sundress and there’s snow behind me” look.
We do know that about 10,000 media guests were given access the other night, where they were treated to a private party, a preview of some of the attractions, and were allowed to shop the stores and sample treats like Butterbeer and pumpkin juice (“tastes like pie” according to one source). Reports are that the attention to detail is stunning, but that the place feels crowded, particularly in the shops. There’s some speculation that this was intentional, to echo the similar feeling in the movie. No one was given access to the main attraction, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, which has been described by Universal as “a game changer.” We’ll have to see what the average guest thinks once the WWoHP opens in mid-June. Will the real thing live up to the hype? If you want to read more about this, check out Dave Parfit’s blog post on the DisUnplugged. The Orlando Sentinel is keeping a very close watch on developments with up to the minute updates.
Aww. Aren’t these two adorable?
Well, it seems Joe Jonas has broken up with Demi Lovato, apparently over the phone. One report has his father calling Demi and giving her the boot. Really? What a heartbreaker. The truth is, we don’t know what happened, just that they’re no longer a couple. Turns out that in 2007, Joe also dumped another one of America’s Sweethearts, none other than Taylor Swift, in the same way. Joe is either very good at this breakup thing or he’s very bad at it. I can’t decide. I guess the phone break up is one way to avoid a “scene.”
In related news, Joe Jonas was quoted as saying “I don’t like puppies and kittens.” Okay, I made that up. I’m sure he’s a very sweet guy.
(UPDATE: A reader just informed us that Demi cleared up the phone break up rumor on Twitter. Still broken up, just not over the phone. Still, you have to admit. It could happen. Thanks, Crystal).
Have you received a pin code lately? In case you didn’t know, pin codes are special discounts personal to the individual who receives them, usually via email. We’re hearing lots of reports from people who haven’t received a pin code in years (or ever!) getting one or more recently. The latest is a 40% room discount for much of this Fall. Will we see the same discounts extended to the general public or is this a hint of Disney’s future practice, that is, giving out discounts via pin codes and other more person specific means?
File this under the category “Rumors I’ve heard this week that are most likely untrue”: That plans are underway for Turkey to be the newest addition to the World Showcase in Epcot and that the Osborne Festival of Lights is moving to the Magic Kingdom this year. I can almost see the Turkey rumor being true, but I’m giving zero credence to the rumor about the Osborne Lights. They’re so popular and well-loved. Remember what happened last year when Disney retired the Lights of Winter archway?
Exactly. No one wants to see a repeat of that.
Speaking of the holidays, December park and extra magic hours are up at the Disney website. Kudos to Disney for getting park hours out before guests have to make their December dining reservations.
File this under absolutely true: Cinderella’s Golden Carousel, located in Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom, is changing its name to the Prince Charming Regal Carousel. You can read the back story here. Sounds very cute.
Will there be a D23 event this year during this year’s Food and Wine Festival? So far, reports are that these D23 events are amazing.
Anonymouse lives to provide you with fresh, hot gossip. Got a tip? Send it to Anonymouse@chipandco.com. Thanks.
I got into an interesting discussion with a friend recently, who is planning a Disney World vacation with extended family. We were talking about the various options for where to stay: official Disney resort, off-property hotel, or vacation home or condo. It was kind of interesting, as they all have pros and cons, and when it comes to deciding the best option, especially if you are trying to have as affordable a Disney vacation as possible….as she was….then the picture isn’t always black and white. As she was leaning towards renting a home, I’m going to focus this post on the pros and cons of vacation home rental at Disney, and then would like to hear from you.
In the interest of full disclosure here, we have not stayed in a vacation home when visiting Disney World, but I know plenty of people who have, and every one has been very pleased with the experience. And I always find this interesting, as I personally would miss that “Disney emersion” that you get when staying at a Disney resort, but for these folks it was no problem. In fact, as one told me, “it’s kind of nice to get away from it for a bit.” ……OK. I do get that.
Beyond that part though, the case for renting a vacation home at Disney World can definitely be made, as there are several great reasons for doing it.
- If you are traveling with more than the typical size family of parents and a couple of kids, it will more than likely be cheaper than renting multiple hotel rooms, or even a Disney villa. Probably a lot cheaper in fact, because having this “home away from home” means that
- You can do some cooking/preparing meals, to save money on food costs. Now, personally, I kind of really hate to do much cooking when I’m on vacation because, well, I’m on vacation. But even so, the ability to have a decent breakfast before going to the parks is pretty nice. And if you want to have a relaxing day and not rush off to the parks right away….or even <gasp> take a day off and not go to the parks at all one day…how nice would it be to just hang out at your house, eat in, and just chill? Vacation homes in Florida typically come with a private pool, so you can just unwind at your own pool, frosted beverage of choice in hand. I must say, that scenario sounds pretty tempting, doesn’t it? Which leads me to
- The relaxation factor. And this is the one that I find most intriguing, because “relaxing at Disney” sounds like an oxymoron….but honestly, having a vacation home makes it easier to do than staying on Disney property or even at a non-Disney hotel. It’s just you. And I think for many people, that is the single biggest attraction: the ability to get away from the crowds and the noise and the “go go go” feeling, and just chill a bit in between. It makes for happier, more relaxed families, and that makes for happier vacations.
So what would be the downside? Well, if it matters to you, not having that Disney feeling 24/7 for starters. And second, I think would be the transportation issue. You will need a car, and need to factor that into your plans: cost of car, gas, and parking at the parks, as well as time involved going to and from the parks. It won’t be as convenient perhaps as just hopping on the monorail to go back to your hotel for a swim, so you would need to keep that in mind. Clearly there would be others as well, like not being eligible for things like the Disney Dining Plan, so again that needs to be factored in.
But all in all, as I discussed with my friend, especially if you have a large group or family, renting a vacation home or condo at Disney World can be a very affordable option. I believe her plans are to do just that, so I will be interested in how her experience works out.
In the meantime, I am curious: Have you ever rented a vacation home or condo at Disney World? What was your experience like, both good and bad? Would you do it again? Please let me know in the comments below, or email me at email@example.com. I will share results in a future blog post!
This article was featured in this months Disney Blog Carnival! Check out more exciting Disney News & Views from other Disney Bloggers.
This question comes from Melinda, who asks:
Hi! My family usually stays at WDW during the September off season. We have a 15 yr old that is autistic and a 4 yr old . We have never stayed during a busy season! Is it true that the parks close due to capacity and that a hopper pass is not needed due to the fact that it is hard to get from one park to another just because of the crowds?I would love to go at another time or stay at a delux hotel so were right near the MK but the value resorts are in our budget and they usually work fine. This leads to the other question is there a better resort to stay at with a special child like ours?
Melinda, thanks for reading Chip and Co and for your question; we appreciate it. When travelling with kids, as you know, having options to make your life easier is the key to a happy vacation. This is especially true if you’re travelling with younger children or a child with a disability, both of which you’ll be doing. The monorail resorts are incredibly convenient, but they’re pricey. One cheaper way to stay at a monorail resort, even when discounts aren’t available, is to rent Disney Vacation Club points from a DVC owner. They usually go for around $10 a point. Still pricey, coming in at around $2000 - $3400 a week for a one-bedroom at Bay Lake Towers at the Contemporary Resort, but much cheaper than paying full price. I think DVC works well for all kids, but it’s particularly nice for parents whose children may want a lot of consistency. One nice benefit is that you’ll have a full kitchen where you can make your kids their regular meals; my kids are picky eaters so I love this. You’ll also have two bathrooms. If you want to rent from a different DVC resort, you’ll find rooms much cheaper; just send me an email if you want more information about renting points.
If you decide that convenience isn’t worth that kind of price (and honestly, it’s steep), there are still things you can do to make your trip easier no matter where you stay. When you make your reservation, make sure to mention that you need a room that’s located in a quieter section because of your child’s disability. Consider renting a car, which will give you a lot of flexibility. You may still want to take a Disney bus to the Magic Kingdom, as driving and parking at the TTC makes that trip fairly involved, but having your own car in Epcot, DHS, or in Animal Kingdom means that you can leave more easily in the event that someone needs a nap or a break from the parks.
Some resorts are just quieter than others and I think those are nice options for any family. Of the values, my personal feeling is that Pop Century is less frenetic. Of the moderates, which are a nice choice for a quieter environment, Port Orleans Riverside is especially nice at night. And you can’t beat the cabins at Ft. Wilderness for peace and quiet. As for deluxes, I like Animal Kingdom Lodge because it’s cut off from the rest of Disney. I know to some people that’s a drawback, but to me the feeling of going back to a real “oasis” at night is worth the small inconvenience of having to drive 4-5 minutes longer to get somewhere. I’m not one of those people who absolutely needs a Savannah view room, so I can save money by not getting one. I think there are enough public viewing areas that you won’t miss it. Because there are so many rooms at the DVC portion of this resort, you can get a one-bedroom or a studio standard or value view for a pretty good price, much lower than you’d pay at many other DVC resorts, so again, consider renting points.
One nice way to pick out a resort is to watch resort videos with your kids so they can get an idea of what is available and what they like. The only caveat I would add is to be careful about letting them see videos of resorts where you absolutelydo no want to stay! I made this mistake with my then-five year old. Fortunately, five-year olds have short attention spans and he forgot that he really wanted to stay at the Polynesian. Well, until we went past it on the monorail.
Finally, the park hopper issue. I think that a park hopper is only absolutely necessary during the busier times, so I would probably get it. It allows you to leave a busier park for a less crowded one. For example, during Christmas week, the Magic Kingdom will often close to capacity. Having the option of going over to Epcot or another park in the event that the Magic Kingdom is too crowded is a huge benefit. Also, if you sleep in and can’t go to your first park of choice, you can go to a less crowded park in the morning and then tackle the busier parks in the afternoon or at night if you want to. The only way I wouldn’t invest in a park hopper is if your older child is the kind of kid who decides he’s going to one park that day, and that’s it. Also, if he’s resistant to change, you might not want to park hop. Either way, don’t buy the park hopper until you’re sure you need it. It’s easy to add to your tickets during your trip if you find that you need one.
Here’s a few resources you may want to look at:
PassPorter’s Walt Disney World for Your Special Needs. This book is written by Deb Wills, who also runs All Ears. You might also like the community forums over at Passporter.
Disboards has an active disability forum that is friendly and helpful.
Hope this helps. Have a great trip.
Have a Disney question? We have answers! Write us at Chip and Co. We answer every question.
Welcome to the Disney Week in Review. I hope you have a great week. Thanks so much for making Chip and Co part of your week.
Here is some very interesting Disney News, Food and Views from around the interwebs:
- AJ from the Disney Park Blog shares with us The Best Hot Dogs in Disney World
- Jerry at Disney 4 Dads lets us in on an interesting fact from Epcot about The Japan Pavillion’s Rollercoaster that almost was.
- Stitch Kingdom tells us about some potentially bad news about Disney’s Patent Application Lays Groundwork for End of Refillable Mugs at WDW Resorts.
- Nancy at The Affordable Mouse has been busy making a Step by Step Guide to Planning Affordable Disney Vacations, that she was gracious enough to share with us here at Chip and Company!
- Jamie at Only WDWorld helps us with this tough choice Planning your Walt Disney World Vacation: How long should you stay?
- Speaking of Disneyworld Planning, 2010 editions of PassPorter’s Walt Disney World are now IN STOCK, available for order, and shipping now! A must have for anyone planning a Disney World vacation!
Here are the most popular articles from Chip and Company this past week, and a few you might have missed:
- Preview of Pixar’s ‘Day & Night’ Short
- Disney Channel Orders New Dance-Filled Buddy Series, “Shake it Up!”
- Club Penguin Misses Goals, Giving Disney a Half-Price Deal
- First Look: New Disney ‘World of Color’ Images
- Disney’s Artist Point Famed Copper River Salmon
- Inaugural 2010 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend
- Top Eats: Top Five Character Meals.
- Good Eats – Sleepy Hollow Refreshments
- Resort Showdown: Pop Century vs. The Grand Floridian.
- Disney in Retail – Toy Story, Prince of Persia, and More
- Disney Confidential – Gossip and Rumors for May 20th, 2010
- Marvel’s Avenger’s Day was Yesterday
- Thinking About a Disney World Christmas? Why You Need to Start Planning Now.
Thanks so much to all my great writers, and special hello to my newest writer this week Anonymouse.
Be sure to Keep those Questions coming in for Ask Chris a Disney Question also submit your Disney Food Confession Photos to Chip.
Have a great week