Category Archives: Planning 101
One of the most sought after Disney Discounts is the elusive Disney Pin Code. While Disney releases great Discounts to the Parks that are available to everyone there are a few discounts Mickey hides up his sleeves.
While there is no sure-fire way to get a Disney Pin code I am going to offer up a few tricks I have done that has nabbed me several Disney Pin codes in my email & snail mail box every few months. Remember these Pin Codes are non transferable and is linked to you and your address so sharing is not allowed.
- Head over to the Disney World or Disneyland site and create an account. My suggestion would be create and account for yourself and then one for your spouse, partner, kids, etc. Just so long as you can get to the email account. I did one for my work email @chipandco.com and one for my gmail account.
- Order a Disney Planning DVD. If you goto the links about you will see a graphic where you can order one. I do this every year. It’s free and doesn’t cost you a thing. When you get it make up some popcorn and have a fun Disney Family Night watching it.
- Play around on the Disney sites. Create a vacation and save it. Browse deals and offers. Just make sure your logged in. Disney monitors all the things you do on their site so believe they are watching you.
- Register for Giveaways. I post a lot of the Disney Giveaways on the Chip and Company site so be sure to enter them and again make sure you are logged in. Just bookmark this link and you can enter ours or any other Disney Giveaway I find on the net.
- Book your vacation through Disney. In the past I booked our vacation online on the Disney World website myself. While I love Disney Travel Agents sometimes I try to mix things up and do it myself. Not sure if this works but I would imagine you would be in their database somewhere.
- Photopass. Make sure you have an account there as well. I highly recommend using this free service at the parks and make sure you use a valid email address for your account. You know the Disney Marketing Machine has to share emails between its other departments.
- Be patient. While you may not get one right away just keep plugging away. Eventually you might get one.
I know for me it has taken several years to get one but now they come in pretty regular. We were debating on using our Free Dining for our upcoming trip. If you have any Disney Pin Code Tips or Tricks let us know in the comment box below.
- Walt Disney World Pin Codes-The Mystery Explained (thepracticalplanner.blogspot.com)
- Beginners Guide to Disney Pin Trading (chipandco.com)
I just returned from Walt Disney World after being there for 9 days, and I wanted to make sure to tell you about something that can save you BIG on your Disney vacation… ordering off the kids menu.
If you are really wanting to save some cash on your next Disney vacation then when eating quick service (aka counter service) order off of the KIDS Menu instead of the adult menu. You can read more about counter service HERE. Let me see if I can break it down for you with an example:
The adults meal is a little pricy. It is an Angus burger, about 1/4 pound and the smallest version of the adult drink goes for $11.58 (pre-tax).
The meal comes with a burger and fries. That’s it. You have to pay for that drink separately.
The kids burger meal goes for $5.40 (pre-tax). It includes a burger, fries (if you want them), an additional side item (I had grapes) AND a small drink.
So lets compare.
- Both have burgers. You can see from the picture that the adults is larger, but not by all that much.
- Both have the same amount of fries (you can see they’re on the same size plate).
- Kids meal comes with an additional side item.
- Kids meal comes with a small drink. (Pecos does not have re-fillable drinks but there are many others that DO have refillable drinks so size doesn’t matter there at all).
- Adult meal costs $11.58, Kids meal costs $5.40
So for those of you who are not math genius’ (like me) that’s more than DOUBLE for the adult meal than the kids meal.
If you were really hungry you could actually buy TWO kids meals if you were really hungry and have:
- - TWO drinks (which would equal the same amount of one adult)
- - TWO burgers (which together would be significantly more than the adult burger)
- - DOUBLE the amount of fries
- - AND get a bag of grapes AND A COOKIE
AND YOU’D STILL SAVE .78 on the adult meal!
This applies to breakfasts too!
The kids version? 4.99 which is .70. No big deal alone, but you missed something. With an adult you’d still have to buy a drink unless you’d pre-paid for a resort mug. With the kids meal I got that chocolate milk, AND applesauce, along with my bacon and mickey waffles. I got more food for less money.
So why don’t more people do it? Well I think they’re worried they’re “going to get in trouble”. Let me reassure you… (because I eat off the kids menu all the time), the people checking you out don’t REMOTELY care what you’ve ordered or how old you are. The table-service people do because they make a tip off of your ticket, but they wouldn’t let you order off the kids meal anyhoo!
So, you want a big value that will save you a lot at Walt Disney World and Disneyland? Order off of the kids menu when eating quick service and then if you’re still hungry spring for one of these bad boys!
PS. This doesn’t work if you’re using the Disney Dining Plan. They’re going to take adult credits anyway so you might as well eat “bigger” (but this also makes me question if the dining plan is REALLY worth it. (to be discussed HERE at a later date so stay tuned!
You can get many more money saving tips from the Disney Diva by clicking HERE!
- Oops, I Did It Again! Unexpected trip to Disney World (chipandco.com)
- Top 10 Table Service Meals at the WDW Parks (chipandco.com)
You’re excited! You’ve discovered you can actually get in the parks before they “officially” open by making an early advanced dining reservation. You get an 8am reservation for Tusker House and are ecstatic. But then you have a strange revelation… resort buses don’t start running until 1 hour before park opening. How am I going to GET to my reservation since I’m staying on property and I don’t have a car???
I recently had a reader ask a question similar to this and was baffled. I have not encountered this issue myself, so I set out to find the information and get it to the faithful Chip & Co readers!
It is correct that buses start running one hour before park opens (this is crazy to me. I don’t know how I have never heard of this before, but I haven’t!!) I called Pop Century‘s front desk and they were unable to find the answer for me. Then our co-writer, Jodi at Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, called her travel agent friend and got this answer:
This seems to be the most simple solution, but there are a few more options if you are feeling unsure.
1) Rent a car. This seems to be the worst option to me as its costly, you’ll have to pay for park, you’ll deal with stroller issues on the tram, and you’ll only be doing all that hassle so you can eat an hour before everybody else.
2) Call a taxi in order to make sure you’re there in plenty of time. They recommend checking in 15 minutes a head of time, but it will be less of an issue if you’re the first reservation of the day. I would recommend that you you need to call for a yellow cab directly at (407) 699-9999. Unless you are desperate, use only the yellow cabs (sedans and vans) with meters! There are different brand names on the vehicles (Yellow Cab, Checker, City or Safety), but they all are yellow and all operated by Mears Transportation, which has an official relationship with Disney.
3) Be standing at your bus stop at 8am ready to go and hope that the bus gets you in on time. Remember that you can be up to 30 minutes late for an ADR before they cancel your reservation.
4) Move your reservation back some to give yourself a cushion.
So the bottom line is have a plan if you’re booking a dining reservation at a time that is before parks are scheduled to open in order to avoid quite a stressful situation! Happy Eating!
- The Disney Diva, www.tipsfromthedisneydiva.com
- Donald’s Safari Breakfast at Tusker House. (everythingwdisneyworld.com)
- Benefits of staying on Disney World Property (chipandco.com)
When I was at Disney World last week I decided to turn on my Garmin watch for 5 hours and see how far I walked. 11 miles. I walked ELEVEN MILES in 5 hours! Now I have been training for the Princess Half Marathon for about 6 months. So I’ve basically been in a constant state of “soreness”, so it didn’t bother me that much. However my dear friend Lisa, well her legs and feet ached.
They hurt so much she couldn’t even fall asleep.
And she’s not alone! Every day moms and dads long for a stroller of their own as they hoof it around Walt Disney World.
There are things you can do that will help like making sure you wear appropriate shoes, make sure that you’ve blister-proofed your feet and more, but what do you do when your legs and feet are throbbing from over-use?
Well my first suggestion would be to make sure you pack icy-hot! You can get it at your local grocery store or drug store. Yes, its stinky, but you’ll be oh so happy that you opted for it.
If you struggle with tight calves, quads and hamstrings anyway I would suggest purchasing “The Stick” you can find this wonderful tool online or at your local running store. The Stick is literally the best thing I own right now. It helps me work out the tight knots in my muscles and makes me feel so much better. Its my favorite thing currently!
A third item you might like is Pepsom salt. It is a great soak that is all natural that will naturally pull out some of the pain. You can also find it at many drug stores and some grocery stores.
Your legs and feet are going to take a beating while you enjoy Walt Disney World, but you can recover faster by packing these goodies! Don’t forget!!
And get more packing tips HERE!
- Why Should You Go to Walt Disney World? (chipandco.com)
- Disney World Quick Tips – Advanced Dining Reservation Tips (chipandco.com)
Ok, so OBVIOUSLY you’re the planner of the group. You wouldn’t be sitting here reading this if you weren’t.
However, if you’re like me sometimes you do all the planning for an event or vacation and WHOOSH someone clueless swoops in and takes control and you walk around silently fuming or throwing in jabs at their incompetence lack of planning know-how.
Frustrating, isn’t? So what are some of the top ways you can let your family know “I’ve got this “WDW” planning thing under control? Here’s my top 5.
1. Develop a spreadsheet. – For some reason when people see a spread-sheet, especially when its color coded, they think you have a clue what’s going on. This is to your advantage. He/ She that holds the spread-sheets holds the key to the day. ha! You are welcome to download the whole spreadsheet and use it to help you plan (FOR FREE) if you’d like by just going HERE.
2. Use a lot of Disney lingo – Like spread-sheets being able to use the jargon of the organizations makes you seem even more credible. Sentences like,
“I have a WDW ADR at BOMA in AKL.”makes you cool. Even cooler than smoking USE to make you back in the 50s. Dojn’t know what any of that means? See my three posts on the Disney Dictionary and get “hip” to the Mouse Lingo mannnnnn…
3. Get the Garb – So you might BE a “First timer” at WDW, but you don’t have to LOOK like one. You need the lanyard, nametag, comfy shoes, pins, The whole 9 yards. Don’t forget your Disposable ponchos whatever you do.
4. Study the map – So you REALLY don’t want to wander around WDW aimlessly, do you? Well get yourself some maps ahead of time and STUDY them. Nobody is going to argue with you when you say (without a map in hand), “Ok, we’re going straight to Dumbo. That’s directly up Main Street and through the castle. Lets go people”. How can you get a map ahead of time? You can get FREE ones custom made way before your trip by going to http://customizedmaps.disney.go.com/.
5. Make sure they SEE YOU PLANNING! Ok, lets be real for a second. The realllllllllllllll reason why it bothers you so bad when someone takes over is that you’ve spent ALL this time working to plan and, quite honestly, you’d like to get the credit for it. When someone else steps up and steels your spotlight it makes you feel like everything you did was for nothing (its ok, I’m a Communications Prof. I KNOW that this is how everybody feels. Its actually a power issue, but we don’t have time for that lecture right now). So if you’re worried about this then the person who normally takes over needs to A) SEE YOU PLANNING B) Know all the work that goes into planning and C) BE TOLD BY YOU THAT YOU’VE GOT THE TRIP UNDER CONTROL! From a Communications standpoint most of the issues we have occur when we “play games” with other people. We feel one way, but instead of calmly and rationally explaining ourselves and why our feelings are hurt, we move towards silence (also known as moping or “masking” (when is when you’re super sarcastic) or violence (belittling, raising our voice, intimidation). This does NOT MAKE YOUR TRIP MORE FUN, it counteracts the whole darn purpose. Stop playing games, get plenty of rest and tell your “spotlight stealer” ahead of time that “you got this”, but hey…. you better REALLY “got this” if you’re going to say it. Don’t drop the ball and not really know what you’re doing.
And when in doubt, don’t forget you can always say “The Disney Diva said…..” and that will straighten them right up.
- Avoid the Disney Diva Meltdowns at Walt Disney World (chipandco.com)
- Top 10 Table Service Meals at the WDW Resorts (chipandco.com)