Honoring our Heroes

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Happy Memorial Day to all of us, especially those who have served their country!!

I am fortunate to have close friend’s who are military families. It’s always such an honor for me to help plan their Disney vacations! As such, I’ve become very familiar with the Disney Military Discount Offers. Honoring our Heroes is one way Disney can give back to those that are serving and/or have served. It’s an incredible feeling when I speak to one of our military families to answer any questions. I love being able to help Disney in Honoring our Heroes! It’s truly one of the greatest parts of my job!! I am becoming my own Military Disney Vacation expert, with a lot of help of course.

As we all know, those serving our country don’t get to be home often enough. It’s truly awesome that when they come home for leave that they have time to spend with their families. What could be better than spending that time at Disneyland or Disney World! Disney makes it a real possibility for them all.

I realized though that there may not be a lot of information out there for our heroes and their families on what is available to them. Disney truly wants to Honor Our Heroes, the loyal men and women of all the branches of the military, active and retired, as well as their families. This includes all our heroes in all branches of service, reservists, Coast Guard and National Guard included. There are some ‘rules’ that need to be followed, but none too complicated that I’ve experienced. It’s simply a matter of finding the dates that work and speaking with a Disney Specialist to get you set.

The greatest way Disney is Honoring our Heroes is the offer to purchase the promotional 3 day Park Hopper at Disneyland for about the regular price of a 1 Day Park Hopper!! Total Purchase price of $125 for a 3 Day Park Hopper! This ticket offer is only for the military member and their immediate family, and is currently available through September 28, 2013. Keep in mind that unless your Naval Officer Uncle is visiting the parks with you, he can’t buy the tickets and give them to you. You will need your military identification to activate the tickets purchased at your nearest Military sales center. These tickets also include Extra Magic Hours.

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In addition to the Park Hopper Tickets, Disney Resort Hotels offer discounts up to 40% off! There are a few restrictions and at times the amount of rooms available are limited, such as the height of Summer. Just check in with a travel agent or Disney directly to get prices and availability of rooms. Most travel agents can also find out which good neighbor hotels offer military discounts. Unfortunately, Disney Vacation Planning does not have this information available. Know that you’ll need your Military Identification when you activate your park tickets at Guest Services, as well as need it when you check into your hotel to retain the discount.

Walt Disney World also offers discounts on Walt Disney Resort Hotels. At around the same discount rate. Keep in mind that this promotional offer is also limited to a specific number of rooms and doesn’t apply during certain black out periods.

This isn’t the only way Disney is Honoring our Heroes. There’s a lot of ways that Disney does this.  For example servicemen and women are invited to participate in the Flag Retreat Ceremony. Additionally Disney has donated Christmas Trees. There are many more ways that Disney will continue Honoring Our Heroes, this is but a small but important list that will allow our servicemen and women to know the fantastic savings available to them!

Overall, Disney wants to Honor Our Heroes and ask that they visit the parks to spend time with their families! Let’s share this information with all of our military so that they can spend time at the Happiest and Merriest Places on Earth!

To learn more, please reach out to me. I’m ready to help you plan a fantastic vacation!

I hope you find this information fun, new and worthwhile.

 

 

Take Mom To Disneyland for Mothers Day!

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We all try to give our moms all the love and appreciation we can every day of the year. But on that one special day every year, we go the extra mile and truly show mom how much she means to us. This year that day is May 12th. What better way to celebrate your mother then to “Give Mom A Day At Disneyland for Mothers Day”?

Mom should never have to cook on her day either, So during your Mother’s Day visit, give your mom the Disney Princess treatment and take her to one of these special events for a meal to remember:

Disneyland Hotel Grand Ballroom: This is an “all-you-care-to-eat feast that begins at 10am and lasts until 3pm. Princess Mom will be visited by Cinderella and will enjoy live musical entertainment. This is the over the top Royal Buffet. Start mom with a glass of bubbly and a buffet that is extensive. Included in the buffet are salads, artisan cheese, seafood, meats, divine desserts – including housemade pies. For the little ones in the group, they get their own buffet which includes salads, fresh fruit, chicken, pizza, mac ‘n’ cheese and “kid-approved” desserts. (Adults $71.99 + Tax/Gratuity Kids ages 3-9 $20.99)

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa Storyteller’s Cafe: Mother’s Day Bruch Buffet with extra goodies for Princess Mom. The buffet includes season berries, made-to-order omelets, brioche French toast and roasted salmon. ($31.99)

3 Choices at Disneyland Park:

Blue Bayou: Special Mother’s Day Menu featuring prosciutto-wrapped halibut with a forbidden rice and a corn chowder. ($39.00)

Carnation Cafe: Mother’s Day offering of honey-mustard, lemon-roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and glazed baby carrots. ($16.99)

Plaza Inn: Mother’s Day offering is a fruit-glazed salmon with a mango-kiwi relish. Served with rice pilaf and baby carrots. ($16.99)

Get your reservations today by calling Disney Dining at 714-781-DINE

When Daniel isn’t sharing Planning Tips about Disneyland he can be found planning Disney VacationsContact me or feel free to message me at my Facebook Page.

Pre-Planning Disneyland

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We all want to get the most out of our vacations, and with some Key Disneyland Planning you can. We’ve created a handy checklist for you to follow along with as you start the planning process. If you use a Travel Agent, then they will do most of this for you.

Here’s a highlighted checklist of what to plan before arriving:

  • Plan the Best Time of Year for Your Visit – This is very personal, if you don’t like crowds, don’t go in July. If you don’t mind crowds and want full days with lots of options, July is probably your best choice.
  • Contact Your Travel Agent with a list of your wants – Put them to work for you, that’s what they do and at no cost to you
  • Order For Yourself Or Have Your Travel Agent Send You A Disney Vacation Planning DVD – It’s fun to watch no matter what
  • Write a Vacation Budget – Share with Your Travel Agent – this should include your must do’s, food budget (then add 20%), souvenir budget and Miscellaneous items
  • Decide On Your Resort – Disneyland Resorts or Good Neighbor – Both have many pro’s and con’s. Find the right one for you can take some time. Again, I recommend having a Travel Agent do this for you. Tell them your needs and wants and they will find it for you
  • Start Training your legs for a lot of walking – I never do this and every time wish I had. My legs hurt at the end of the first day. Some might say I’ll never learn
  • View The Park Maps Online – Great way to plan out your days at the Park
  • 60 days prior have Travel Agent book Dining – This is Very Important. Places like Blue Bayou, and Character meals fill up fast. Don’t miss out on your favorites by procrastinating.
  • Create and follow a packing list – Get the weather report for your visit times and pack accordingly. Don’t forget: Sunscreen, Medications, Sunglasses, Comfortable Walking Shoes, Camera, Cell Phone Charger, Glasses, Extra Contacts, Swimsuit, Light Jacket or Sweatshirt, Shorts, Jeans, Comfortable Backpack to carry everything, Postage Stamps to share your great time with family and friends via Postcards, and Extra Memory for Camera Plus Camera Charger
  • Plan Your Ride – Rental Car or Resort Transit – This could also help decide which hotel to choose. Do you mind driving to parks or do you want to walk? Do you want to be in the middle of all the action with no worrying about getting a ride or walking? There are lots of choices around Disneyland, Research well or again, have your Travel Agent find the perfect hotel for you
  • Find your Personal House of Worship – If you plan on crossing over Saturdays and Sundays, and it is important to your family to worship, then find a local church, synagogue, mosque or other house of worship to attend.
  • Make a Countdown to Disney Vacation Project – The kids, oh come on all of you will, will love the countdown and it will keep you on track with getting the most done on time. Plus the excitement never wears off, it just grows and grows!

I hope this list will help you on your next Disneyland Vacation. As always know that getting free help for your planning is just a click away!

Contact DisneyDaniel today to book your first, next or best Disney Vacation!

Pre-Planning Aulani Trip

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Have you been considering a visit to Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa? When you think of a trip to Hawaii what are you looking for? Warm sandy beaches with a fruity drink in your hand? Scuba or snorkeling around the islands? Sitting by the pool while the kids are entertained? Interacting with local species and natural wonders? Do you want to go Island hopping? What else are you thinking of when Planning A Visit To Disney’s Aulani?

I have some good news for everyone, Aulani is able to provide all of these options and of much more.

When you first start planning a trip to the middle of the Pacific Ocean to visit Hawaii and Aulani, you need to make some decisions, and honestly you should call a travel agent.

What’s My Budget: With all vacations, most of us have to start here. We all wish we didn’t have to of course, but this is a necessary truth. Once you’ve established your own comfort level you can begin to narrow down the rest of your trip.

How Many Days Should I Plan to Visit: Personally, I would suggest no less than 5 days at Aulani. With so many activities to experience, this would be the minimum amount of time to get some of the island flavor. Snorkeling, lazy rivers, scavenger hunts, Auntie’s Beach House for the kids, and so much more.

When Should I Plan To Visit: This is the easiest of all things to decide, there is no bad time, if you base it on weather, to visit. Hawaii has year round beautiful weather. Go in January or August and you’ll find the temperatures aren’t far apart. August brings in at high 70’s and January is low 80’s. July would be in the high 80’s.

What Else Do I Want To Do: Aulani is about 20 minutes from Waikiki. Consider if you want to stay a few days in the bustling crowds and shopping of the Waikiki area. You can also plan day trips from Aulani to visit. Additionally, plan a few other day trips. Head up to the North Shore, Dole Plantation and perhaps a visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center. All of these are located on Oahu as well. If you want to visit a volcano or other Hawaiian features, you can have your travel agent book some excursions for you. Short flight or long-boat trip to the other islands.

We’ve started here with how to pre-plan your trip to Aulani, keep checking back for more in-depth information on Aulani. In the meantime, enjoy this video from Disney on the Behind the Scenes Magic at Aulani:

Check back often for more information on Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa.

I hope you found this information useful and fun. I am here to answer questions and would happily help you plan your trip to Aulani. Visit me at my Agent Page for more information.

Main Street U.S.A. Secrets

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When you first enter the park the ground is red brick. Walt wanted you to feel like you were entering on a red carpet, being treated like royalty. Also he added the tunnels to walk through so that once you came through them you would feel you were entering a new world. I’d say he hit it right with the tunnels. Thankfully he was talked out of walking through curtains. Imagine the disarray that would have caused.

When you are at the end of Main Street, USA looking towards castle, Imagineers used “Forced Perspective” to make castle appear larger. It’s a trick where the buildings get smaller the further down the street you go. Disney has used this “trick” in every theme park since.

Did you know the names on the windows above the shops, on Main Street U.S.A. are real people? Most are Imagineers who were essential to fulfilling Walt’s Dreams. You’ll see up there is UB Iwerks. UB was the first one to join Walt at his new studio. UB is also co-creator of Mickey. Many more Imagineers and other key people are immortalized on these window panes as their own proprietors.

Those Imagineers and Walt sure did come up with some amazing tricks to get us visitors to do the right thing. For instance the only place in the park that has a black street is Main Street… Why? Black gets hotter than any other color which in turn makes you want to move towards the castle and not create a bottleneck along Main Street…

Have you noticed that if you stand on the sidewalks of Main Street the trees block your view of the castle? And vice versa if you’re on the street? Here’s why! It was decided if you were on the sidewalk the best way to get you into the stores was to block the view of the castle and surrounding park… Just as if you’re standing in the street, the trees block the stores and will not distract you from moving along towards the castle. No wonder they are called IMAGINEERS!

Here’s one most people don’t consider but will have a “D’uh!” moment when you read this. You never hear the sounds of Anaheim which is right outside the gates. Guess what else you don’t get from Anaheim…???  The smell. Yup Disneyland has what are called Smellitzer’s around the park. You never knew it happened, but you also aren’t smelling car exhaust or any other city smells. Most people know the instance of the citrus smell on Soarin Over California. That’s one you could hardly miss, but many more exist to give all your senses access to the magic! How bout some fresh baked cookies on Main Street, USA? Yeah you probably thought they were being baked right then.

Keep checking back for more secrets! There’s lots more to share.

GetAway to California Sweepstakes

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Who doesn’t love a Disneyland Vacation? What about if you can go for free? One lucky reader of Chip and Co might just get to!

“Enter now for your chance to win an exciting California getaway for four (4), including a five-day, four-night stay at a Best Western hotel, round-trip airline tickets for four, car rental, and 4 Southern California CityPASS admission cards that include 3-Day Park Hopper tickets to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park, plus one-day admissions to Universal Studios Hollywood and SeaWorld San Diego.” Contest Page Statement

YOU and 3 guests could be the WINNER of the Best Western Getaway to California!    Enter here to win!

As with all random draw contests, not everyone can win the Grand Prize. However, you can still be a winner by contacting me to plan your First, Next or Best Disneyland Vacation! I’m easy to find, Just check on my Agent PageFacebook, or Twitter!

Good Luck to all of you! Please let me know in the comments when you’ve entered to win and make sure you let us all know here at Chip and Co if you are the winner of the Grand Prize!

 

Walter E. Disney Quotes

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I will be updating this page with new quotes from Walter Elias Disney as I feel inspired.

Let’s start with one of my favorites. It’s so brilliantly true. However, we often need to be reminded:

“I only hope we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.”

Then This is from the end of “Meet the Robinsons”

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…  And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. 

Keep Moving Forward…”

 Disneyland was Walt’s Dream for a long time. He had ideas of how to do it better and thus started on DisneyWorld. However, we must never forget:

“I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing-that it was all started by a mouse.”

“To all that come to this happy place: welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America…with hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”

“Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”

“That’s the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up!”

“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do. And one thing it takes to accomplish something is courage.”

“All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them.”

“The life and ventures of Mickey Mouse have been closely bound up with my own personal and professional life. It is understandable that I should have sentimental attachment for the little personage who played so big a part in the course of Disney Productions and has been so happily accepted as an amusing friend wherever films are shown around the world. He still speaks for me and I still speak for him.”

“The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.”

Please feel free to post comments with your favorite quotes. I’d love to make this a journey for all who are inspired by Walt Disney. I would be happy to share your favorites on this page as well.

Blue Bayou – Must Eat

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I realized I speak of Blue Bayou with my friends a lot. I figured if I was going to mention it so often I should give my whole opinion here instead of sporadically to just my friends and strangers. It’s really far too easy to get me talking about Disney related anything…

You should know that I eat at Blue Bayou pretty much every time I visit Disneyland. Just as a FYI when I visit Disney World I almost always eat at 50’s Prime Time Cafe…  Just a splash of information for you that has absolutely nothing to do with this piece. You’re welcome!

There’s a good reason why I almost always eat here. In my opinion it’s the best food in the park. Also, I love the fact that I get to watch Pirates of the Caribbean boats floating by. You are sitting “outside” at perpetual twilight, no matter what the actual time of day is outside. While you are surrounded by the sounds of the Louisiana Bayou… and the frogs, crickets and fireflies don’t actually bother you… Hint: They aren’t real… Shhh don’t tell…

The food offerings are some of the best in the park. They have such entrees as:

  • Seafood Jambalaya
  • Beef Short Ribs
  • Roasted Beef Strip Loin
  • Filet Mignon
  • Crab Cakes
  • Tesoro Island Chicken
  • Surf and Turf

Every meal comes with either a Cajun inspired salad or the signature New Orleans Gumbo. I always get the Gumbo! While you may find better in New Orleans, you will not find better anywhere else on the West Coast of the USA…

There are a few desert options as well such as Crème Brûlée, Ice Cream, and Chocolate Cake. I’m usually too full to eat desert at the restaurant. Let’s be honest there isn’t a shortage of sweets in Disneyland now is there? I recommend heading to Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor.

As my 7 year old son says, the “Blue Bayou is a place where in the movie it says there are alligators. One nice one and the rest are mean. And this is how it goes, there was a girl and Prince who turned into frogs. They fell madly in love and some people helped them to realize their dreams.” I’m not fully sure that helps sell this restaurant but he made me put it in…

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As you can see from the pictures and menu, there aren’t many things to dislike about Blue Bayou. Perhaps the biggest issue with the restaurant is that there aren’t enough tables! If you want to eat at Blue Bayou I recommend calling as soon as you know you’re going or as soon as they open up the booking window (60 days prior) for your trip time frame. You’ll be disappointed if you miss out, trust me.

Hidden Mickey!

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Yeah, you’ve heard Hidden Mickey’s before, right? Of course you have… Almost everyone has heard of them… But do you know what they are? Really? Wait, you haven’t heard of them?? Well let’s talk about them. If you have questions, hit me up at the email below! (This one is in the center of the painting turned sideways)

I always think of Hidden Mickey’s as those ones that aren’t just decoration. What do I mean by that you ask? Well when I see Mickey’s head at the top of a signpost or lamp pole, I don’t call those Hidden Mickey’s. What’s hidden about those? This is just my opinion and I know lots of people who call these Hidden Mickey’s and hey there’s no prize at the end of the day so call them what you want! Well I suppose there is a prize of sorts, finding ones that perhaps most people haven’t seen.

Here’s one that most people haven’t seen. Have you? It’s the biggest Hidden Mickey at Disneyland? Probably not if you haven’t viewed it from above…  Special thanks to ‘Finding Mickey’ for sharing this image.

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Now that’s a HIDDEN MICKEY! You can see the outline of his head in the Round Flower Boxes and the sidewalks outlining them.

Here’s another super hard to find one, also thanks to Finding Mickey!

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This one is found in the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure, near a Pillar between Daisy 3A and 3B.  Good Luck finding it!! Leave me a comment if you see it, or post a picture to my Facebook page – Daniel – Agent with Destinations in Florida.

One More for fun from Finding Mickey! This site has some amazing ones that I had never seen before. He also has a Hidden Mickey hunt. I highly recommend printing it out before heading to the parks if you want to track some down.

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Hidden Mickey’s are one of the special touches that Disney brings to the parks. It doesn’t cost anything extra, if you don’t go looking for them you don’t miss out on anything. But you can add to the already amazing time you’re having in Disney with a hunt for these. I personally don’t spend a lot of time looking. I just take in everything around me as I’m walking and am trying to look everywhere at once. That’s usually when I find them. If I’m intently looking I never ever see them. Ahh, such is life and the tomfoolery of our brains.

So no, I’m not going to tell you where they all are… What fun would that be? Not to mention how long would this post be? If you really want to find the most, there are a number of books available to help you on your way. Or visit Finding Mickey.

I’m simply pointing out to you what to look for. Hidden Mickey’s are all over and if you train your eye to spot them, you will find them popping out at you. Here’s one more that I think is on the border of being hidden, but for you new Hidden Mickey Hunters it’s a great way to start:

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One at top and one at bottom. Etched into the design of the border. And those my fellow Disney fans are Hidden Mickeys…

So my question to you all is Are you ready to go on a Mickey Hunt? Leave me a comment with the your most proud Hidden Mickey find! I’d love to hear about it or even see it if you have a picture. Remember post them to my Facebook page!

FYI: Please know I hold other blogs in the highest regard and only want to give credit where due. Please visit HiddenMickey.com for more great pictures and information. However, don’t use it to cheat, but go and print out their checklist and go hunting!!

I hope you find this information helpful and fun.

To find out more about me please visit my profile page: DisneyDan

Disneyland Star Wars Land?

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StarWarsMickey

A long time from now in a city not so far away we may all get to visit Star Wars Land at Disneyland. The Disneyverse has lit up more than a Death Star explosion with the news of a survey being addressed to Annual Pass Holder and Fanatics. This survey includes a number of references to a Star Wars Land and asks what the respondents think of this expansion idea. What do you think? Would you like a Star Wars Land at Disneyland?

We’ve known of plans to add a Star Wars Land to Disneyland Paris since last year when the imagineers let that out. The Star Wars Land is said to include Star Tours, Jedi Academy and a Mos Eisley Cantina. Without any ground breaking yet, we don’t know for sure where it will go. However, the rumors state that likely it will take over Pizza Planet and Captain EO which are next to Star Tours. They will then expand it to become its own Star Wars Land.

Here’s what we know:

  1. Disney spent $4 Billion to buy Star Wars
  2. Disneyland Anaheim is asking guests to take a survey about Star Wars
  3. Disneyland Paris Star Wars Land planned opening in 2015
  4. Star Wars VII is planned for release in 2015
  5. Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

As my imagination runs wild, here’s what I predict, Star Wars Land will open in both Disneyland Anaheim and Disneyland Paris around the same time as Star Wars VII comes out. Disney didn’t get to where they are without knowing how to do things big.

We all know that Disneyland Resort doesn’t have a lot of unused space. So the question becomes, where does it go? Everyone has their own ideas and most are pretty good thoughts. I’ve read that perhaps it will replace Tomorrowland, or maybe it will go in the much alluded to “Third Gate” that is supposed to open sometime in the next few decades. Maybe, just maybe Disney is holding out on us and has already been purchasing up additional space around Disneyland that we haven’t heard about yet.

While we don’t have a lot of solid evidence to give yet, we do know that Star Wars Land at Disneyland is a real possibility. Don’t book your trip just yet, but do keep checking back with us for any new information. What do you think of a possible Star Wars Land at Disneyland? Let us know!

One last juicy bit of gossip to share, just read that perhaps, maybe, just maybe Walt Disney World will get a Cars Land & Star Wars Land combined at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Now that’s a big stretch, but hey we can all dream right? Didn’t Walt teach us all to keep dreaming and reaching?

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