Monthly Archives: March 2013

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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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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?

Two Days is not Enough at Disneyland Parks

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Plenty of first time visitors to Disneyland are under the impression that one or two days is more than enough at Disneyland. They check the park maps and compare them to Walt Disney World. They figure there aren’t 4 theme parks, 2 water parks and more, so it can be done in a day or two? Well no, there isn’t all that, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of Disneyland Activities for keeping busy at Disneyland and beyond!

Two Theme Parks – Let’s start with the Obvious, there’s Disneyland and California Adventure parks to play at. I usually recommend at least one day for each park, plus at least a 3rd day so you can hit whatever you missed or loved the most. With the new Cars Land you can literally spend an entire day on Route 66. It’s that cool.

Jedi Training Academy – Take the time to find out about joining in the Jedi Training Academy. You’re little rebel fighters will thank you! Have your kids wear something flashy, Star Wars gear or even hold up a sign. This will increase the chances of them being selected. Once selected your young rebel fighter(s) will get to learn the way of the Jedi!

Mark Twain Steamboat – Have your little ones ask the Captain if they can steer. They may even get a cool souvenir certificate. Perhaps this will lead to a Pirates Life for them.

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Ride the Train – Walt Disney loved trains and he has shared his love with all of us. Take time to ride the train around all of Disneyland. You will see areas that are not accessible anywhere else, and you will never find views of the lands like these.

Take a trip on the Monorail – Jump on the Monorail in Downtown Disney and head out to Tomorowland. If you just want to relax and take some time off your feet, get on at Tomorrowland and ride it till it returns to Tomorrowland.

Downtown Disney – I love Downtown Disney, first it has my favorite non-theme park restaurant, Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen. Come by and have the jambalaya, then stay for the beignets! When you’re done eating, take a stroll around. There’s so many shops and clubs to check out. You could spend hours playing with Darth Vader at the Lego Store alone. Not to mention people watching in Downtown Disney is a relaxing fun event. Take some time out, relax and take a break.

Disneyland Resort Hotels – Even if you’re not staying in one of the resort hotels, you can still take a peek inside the resorts. Head over to the Grand Californian Resort and Spa to chill at the outdoor fire pit. You can head inside and enjoy a meal at Storyteller’s Cafe, shop in the gift shops or cruise around and look for Hidden Mickey’s. You can even do an etching with graphite pencils and paper on the floors. Great activity to keep the kids busy while waiting to head to airport.

Away from Parks – You are just south of Los Angeles, head out to Santa Monica for a day and spend some time at the beach. Head south to San Diego and visit the world-famous zoo. Enjoy some time at SeaWorld with Shamu and friends. The area attractions are many and can be included in most Disneyland packages!

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

California Adventure Must Do’s

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I always save California Adventure for Day 2. I mean, who doesn’t? Disneyland is the original and still the best place to start, and end…  Yeah okay, you caught me. I always do a 3 (or more) day park hopper for Disneyland. This way I do a full day at each park and split the 3rd day between the two.

So you’ve gone to Disneyland, you’ve listened to my sage advice and ridden all the best rides, seen the best shows, and all that Disneyland has to offer. And of course you ate at Blue Bayou, right? right? I mean, I kinda stressed it in that one posting didn’t I?

So here you are at California Adventure… Now What? What do you do first? Well two things, hopefully you read the posting on Radiator Springs Racers so you already knew to get those FastPasses before the park even opened. Second thing you want to do is get your FastPass to World Of Color, if you don’t already have a dining package. Don’t worry World Of Color FastPasses don’t keep you from getting any other ones. It’s simply to help control the crowd by assigning sections.

You’ve stepped onto Buena Vista Street, circa 1923. I suggest this time you do go slowly, unlike Disneyland Park, down Buena Vista Street. Check it out, especially Trolley Treats. I love this store for a few reasons… I mean, it’s got candy, chocolate, fudge, plus delicious caramel apples! While you’re there make sure you stop and take in the window display. It features a mountain that was designed in 1957 to be a part of Frontierland. The mountain was to be named “Rock Candy Mountain”. Sadly, it never came to be…  Maybe some day.

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After taking in Buena Vista Street, head off to Paradise Pier at the end of the park. This is where I always start my rides, and work my way back to the front. So what are the must do rides at California Adventure?

  • California Screamin’ (OF COURSE!) – FastPass
  • Car’s Land – YES ALL OF IT! Luigi’s Flying Tires, Maters Junkyard Jamboree, Radiator Springs Racers (FP) and more
  • Did I say Radiator Springs Racers? (really? – well try to go twice!)
  • Toy Story Mania
  • Red Car Trolley
  • Muppet Vision 3D
  • It’s Tough to Be a Bug
  • Disney’s Aladdin Musical Show
  • Soarin’ over California – FastPass<
  • Sorcerer’s Workshop
  • Turtle Talk with Crush
  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – FastPass
  • Grizzly River Run – FastPass

After all those rides, those splashes and more, you’ve probably worked up some hunger. So where should you eat?

  • Ariel’s Grotto – Even I love dining with Princesses… Quick Note – Princesses come for Breakfast and Lunch only now.
  • Pacific Wharf Cafe – Yummy sourdough clam chowder
  • Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream
  • Fairfax Market – Lots of healthy options
  • Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop
  • Carthay Circle Restaurant
  • Flo’s V8 Cafe – Great Grilled items

After seeing the sites, hanging out on Route 66, and eating something excellent, I have to see World of Color. If I don’t I just don’t feel quite complete. If you haven’t seen this show, you should know that this is an amazing show. The amount of work done, as well as the creativeness is captivating. The downside to the World of Color is that it was added after the park was opened. So with this it wasn’t planned for with a good viewing area. So you must get there early to get close enough to see the whole show. Don’t forget, you can get a FastPass at the beginning of the day near Grizzly River Run! I highly recommend getting the FastPass and getting to the show early. Both will help you to enjoy the show as much as possible! Here’s another quick tip, pick yourself up some “Glow with the Show” ears. This have IR technology that allows the ears to literally become part of the show. Check back here as I will be posting about the ears specifically very soon.

As you near the end of your day, take a leisurely stroll back through Buena Vista Street, get yourself some cool souvenirs and perhaps a midnight snack to enjoy later on. Have a good evening and we’ll see you again real soon!

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

Character Dining at Disneyland Parks

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Character Dining at Disneyland Parks is one of the greatest experiences you can plan. Between the parks and hotels you have five choices to sit and eat with your favorite Disney friends. Here you see my son, Jakob, hanging at Goofy’s Kitchen with none other than Goofy himself. For my family, character dining at Disneyland parks is one of the highlights of any good vacation!

Let’s discuss the options available:

Plaza Inn at Disneyland Park: Join Minnie and Friends for a delicious Character Breakfast in the Park! There’s not many better ways to start your day at Disneyland then with Minnie, Mickey, and more. The all you care to eat breakfast buffet consists of many options. Included are cold cereals, fresh pastries, omelet station, and of course Mickey Waffles. Don’t forget your autograph book and camera to capture all the memories!

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Ariel’s Grotto at Disney’s California Adventure Park: Join Ariel and some of her closest Princess friends for a celebration. Here you will be escorted to meet with Ariel for a quick chat and picture-taking prior to being seated. You will be offered a selection of plates from the fixed-price menu. Choices range from the famous slow-roasted tri-tip to pasta and more. Included with your meal are family style salads and desserts. While dining, you’ll enjoy an excellent view of not only Paradise Pier, but will be visited by many Princesses, perhaps even the Fairy Godmother will stop by if her schedule allows. Dining Tip: Recent changes to Ariel’s Grotto dining have moved Dining with Princesses to Breakfast and Lunch only. Dinner reservations are now offered as a World of Color package.

Disney’s PCH Grill at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel: Fresh California offerings at all meals is the claim to fame for the PCH Grill (Pacific Coast Highway). Join Mickey for a Surf’s Up! Breakfast which features an all you care to eat buffet with all your favorites, including of course Mickey Waffles and Pancakes. You can let your kids head up and create their own breakfasts as well. All while experiencing your favorite Mickey friends and sitting among a beach themed restaurant with surfboards and oversized kites hanging about. Character Dining available for breakfast only.

Goofy’s Kitchen at Disneyland Hotel: Who knew that Goofy could cook, well he will surprise you for sure. Head over to his place for a great character dining option. Another all you care to eat buffet option is awaiting you for breakfast and dinner. No lunch option available. Goofy needs to nap you know. For breakfast, treat your kids to the peanut butter and jelly pizza for a delicious treat that you will likely never make yourself. At dinner time, enjoy a selection of carved meats, salad station and more. However, save room for your soft serve yogurt with your own topping choices. Party Tip: If you’re celebrating a birthday or other occasion, then Goofy’s Kitchen is the place for the big day celebration!

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Storyteller’s Cafe at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and SpaChip and Dale invite you to breakfast and an unforgettable experience. Chip and Dale are known for their mischievous sides and they let it all out during your breakfast with them. Here you may order directly off the menu or select from the market buffet that includes fresh fruit, made to order omelette’s and the ever popular Mickey Mouse Waffles. In addition to hanging out with Chip, Dale and their friends you get to spend some time doing lots of interactive fun. You’ll have to show up to find out what tricks and surprises they have in store for you!

Please note that I highly recommend you make advanced dining reservations for each of these restaurants. They will fill up fast for good reason. Get your reservations done early for the best selection. Additionally, please know that all the Character Dining at Disneyland Parks is breakfast. However, Goofy’s Kitchen will also serve a character dinner and Ariel’s Grotto offers a lunch. Quick Tip: Ariel’s Grotto is still listing a Princesses Dinner option online, however I’ve been told by Disney Dining that dinner no longer includes Princesses.

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

 

Radiator Springs Racers, To Your Mark!

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Vroom, Whoosh, Screech, Vroom… When I think of Cars and specifically Radiator Springs Racers these are the sounds I hear in my head. It’s okay if you don’t hear the same things. You might want to get it looked into though. Amongst the many attractions you’ll find in Cars Land, Radiator Springs Racers is by far the most popular. You’ll need to have a plan in place to get on this ride!

It’s common to be in line at Radiator Springs Racers for upwards of 2 1/2 hours on a slower park day. Here’s a tip though, get to the park early! When I say early, I mean before the park even opens. Head over to Buena Vista Street entrance half hour or more before park opening. You’ll be able to get into the park around 30 minutes before official opening. Once in California Adventure, send one person from your group to get the Fast Passes at Radiator Springs Racers, while the rest of you hit up the new Starbucks. Radiator Springs Racers is the most popular attraction in Cars Land, and honestly in all of California Adventure currently, and there are days when the entire allotment of Fast Passes are gone within the first hour or so of park opening. You’ll be sorry if you don’t get those Fast Passes early!

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Quick tip for those with toddlers, make sure you have them measured up first. The ride height minimum is 40 inches. In addition to the ride height requirement, know that the ride is fast, there are dips and hills, quick turns and speed. These can be scary to some kids, so know your toddlers limits. If your children are anything like mind, they will expect to be the “winner” every time they ride. This won’t happen, so prep them early to know that there is no set car that will “win” every time. You’d have as much luck figuring out how many drops and how far the Tower of Terror will have. There are a few moments of stomach drops as you experience roller coaster like “flying” and “near misses” along the way. These can be scary for most younger kids, but generally if they enjoy rides such as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, they’ll be just fine on Radiator Springs Racers.

One last tidbit that you should know is that much like it’s cousin, Test Track, in Walt Disney World, this ride will break down and break down often. Much of the long line can be attributed to those holding out hope for the ride to be fixed and quickly return to operation. Unfortunately  the ride hasn’t gotten the bugs worked out completely so be prepared to entertain the kids, and adults, in your group for possible extended periods of time.

Overall, take the time to enjoy Radiator Springs Racers and all of Cars Land. you’ll find there is plenty to do and if you can swing it, ride the racers twice. Hit it once during the day and again at night for two completely different experiences. Whatever you do, you do not want to miss Cars Land during your visit!

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

 

You’ve Got a Friend in Me!

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You’ve Got a Friend in Me! Comment below on your favorite Disney Pals and their friend’s and I’ll do my best to update this posting with new pictures of everyone’s favorites!!

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

Daniel is a self-proclaimed Disney Geek, Disney Vacation Planner and a Disneyland Specialist. When he’s not adding to the plethora of Disney Trivia in his head, you can find him on his Facebook Page and/or follow him on Twitter

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