15 Tips for Making Your Walt Disney World Trip Magical

If you are planning a trip to Disney World in the near future, you may be wondering how you can get the most out of your trip. 

Heres a list of 15 tips for making your trip wonderful.

1. Make a Loose Plan

The first step on the road to a wonderful Disney trip is going in with a plan. This will help prevent your party from wandering aimlessly and wasting precious park time. It will also help you get everything done that you want to do, leaving you feeling accomplished at the end of your vacation.

2. Stray from the Plan

Although a plan is a definite must-have, you must also ensure the plan is loose enough to be strayed from.
For instance, if you have a plan to ride Tower of Terror, but you run into a fun character on the way, try to be flexible enough to stop and enjoy the character before continuing with your plan. So many magical Disney moments are hidden in those unplanned experiences, so be sure to enjoy them as they crop up!

3. Know the Parks

Wandering around without a clue as to where you are is not a fun way to spend an afternoon in a Disney park. Therefore, it is important to study maps and make sure you have a basic idea of the structure of each park before you head out. This will eliminate many frustrating moments and help you save time.

4. Take Breaks

Obviously, you want to see as much of the parks as possible while you are there. However, running from place to place without ever stopping to breathe and simply enjoy the ambiance is a big mistake made by so many visitors. Make sure to schedule in breaks to ensure your party is rested enough to have a good time.

5. Make FastPass Reservations

FastPass+ is an innovative system that allows Disney World visitors to reserve their spots on some rides. Each person is allowed three FastPass reservations per day, with the option to add additional FastPasses one-at-a-time after the initial three have been used.
By making FastPass reservations before you go, you can save time that would otherwise have been spent waiting in line.

6. Make Dining Reservations

While Walt Disney World does offer a huge variety of counter-service food options, sometimes a good sit-down meal is just what a person needs to give them a bit of a break from the hustle and bustle of the parks.
However, all Disney table-service restaurants take reservations, and it is rarely a good idea to try to get into one at the last minute. For this reason, we highly recommend making your reservations early on.

7. Keep Your Cool

Florida is hot, especially in the summertime. In order to avoid dehydration and other negative effects of the bright sunshine, it is important to take precautions. These include:

  • Drinking plenty of water (which you can get for free at any counter-service eatery).
  • Wearing sunscreen.
  • Donning sunglasses.
  • Taking an indoor break in the middle of the day.
  • Bringing a small, personal fan to keep the air moving around you.

8. Bring the Goods

Aside from the sunscreen, fan, and sunglasses mentioned above, there are quite a few other things you may want to bring with you into the parks. You’ll also likely want to bring a camera, a first aid kit, a stroller, and autograph books. All of these items can be stored in a backpack for easy portability.

9. Let the Kids Lead

In order to ensure the trip is fun for the little ones, it is a good idea to let them lead from time to time. Schedule blocks of time here and there that are specifically for whatever the little ones want to do. Let them decide where to go and what to ride.
This will help them feel in control of their fun, making the experience feel a bit more personal to them.

10. Find Easter Eggs

There are a large number of Easter eggs hidden throughout the parks. These include “Hidden Mickeys” and a number of other clever little things. A quick search on the internet will help you know where to look for these hidden treasures, and the hunt to find them will provide you and your family with tons of extra fun. Try not to point out ALL of these Easter eggs for kids; a lot of the fun comes from letting them discover things for themselves!

11. Take Advantage of Rope Drop

The hour or two after opening is a wonderful time to be in the parks. The crowds are incredibly light, meaning it is easy to ride the more popular rides, and there is a certain magic the morning hours add to the experience. Additionally, the temperature is still relatively cool in the early hours, making them that much more special.

12. Stay Until Closing

Just as the experience of rope drop has something special to offer, the last hour or so before park closing has its own set of benefits. Of course, the crowds begin to taper off and the temperature begins to drop, but there is also something incredibly special about seeing the park all lit up as it is winding down for the day. This is something you should aim to see at least once.

13. Seek Out Magical Experiences

There are magical experiences around every corner in Walt Disney World. Some of these just happen when you are in the right place at the right time. However, others are things you can seek out.
For instance, the barber shop on Main Street will sprinkle pixie dust in your child’s hair for free—all you have to do is ask. By doing some research beforehand, you can know where to seek out a handful of these extra special experiences to add some sparkle to your days.

14. Set Realistic Expectations

Heading into a park with a long to-do list and no time set aside for relaxing and simply enjoying the place is a surefire way to make everyone in your party miserable. Instead, set realistic expectations for what you can accomplish in a day.
By having smaller expectations, you will be extra pleased if you do manage to squeeze in a bit more.

15. Just Keep Swimming (and Smiling)

Sometimes things won’t go according to plan. However, that doesn’t mean you have to stop having fun. If you miss a reservation or can’t find a place to watch the parade, smile and carry on. We promise you will find something equally fantastic to do just around the corner.

By following these simple tips, we are sure you will have a truly fantastic trip to the Walt Disney World Resort. So pack up and get ready to experience the magical trip of a lifetime!

Source: 15 Tips for Making Your Walt Disney World Trip Magical

Are you ready for a FOOD FIGHT!

It’s time for the biggest fight of the year, Are you ready to cheer on your favorite Chef at CULINARY FIGHT FEST on Sunday, August 13th from 11-3pm.  This years FIGHT FEST is going to be at the Hard Rock Cafe located at 63 W Ontario St Chicago, Illinois 60654. 

 Past Culinary Fight Club Competitors and Winners are invited to share their signature Bite on August 13. It’s up to you to choose who will be the Top 4 Best Bites that will continue on compete in the Ultimate Battle to win the Culinary Fight Fest Regional Champion Trophy. 

Get your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-chicago-culinary-fight-fest-tickets-31272830879

 

Meet The Chefs

 
 
Here’s how that works. Attendees receive 4 chips to vote for their Fave Bites. The Top 4 overall Fave Bites will throw down in a CFF Choice 30-minute Battle.

Learn More About Culinary Fight Club Here

Culinary Fight Club – The Savory Chocolate

Chicago will kick off the 2017 Culinary Fight Club Season with The Savory Chocolate at Lucky Strike on Monday 2/13!

 Get your tickets today


WHAT IS CULINARY FIGHT CLUB?

Monthly Live Cooking Competitions around Chicago produced by CULINARY Fight Club. Each month fires up with a new theme, ingredients, contestants, judges, prizes, and location!

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Contestants or Teams have (60) minutes to impress (3) judges, using (1) 10k BTU Burner and (15) supplied raw ingredients & (3) surprise ingredients, all to be judged on that one perfect bite! Hungry, don’t worry there is also a Taster’s Choice Award too! So attendees are encouraged to grab a tasting spoon, dig in and vote for their favorite bite!

Learn More About Culinary Fight Club Here 

CULINARY FIGHT CLUB – SIP+BITE

What is Culinary Fight Club?

Culinary Fight Club  hosts live cooking competitions. No two events are the same. The teams of cooks race for 45 seconds to choose 15 ingredients from the pantry of food provided by Reinhart Foodservice.

Once the ingredients are collected, each team has 60 minutes to construct a dish that depicts their take on the monthly theme. These Chefs and cooks of all levels around the area compete for a “Golden Ticket,” to advance to the Super Bowl of “food sport” events, the World Food Championships! Once the timer hit 60 minutes, the audience members and judges sample and vote on a winning dish.

Fight2Feed 50/50 TicketsThe most amazing part about this concept is that the Culinary Fight Club is partnered with Fight2Feed, which 20% of proceeds are donated.  This is an organization that partners with top restaurants and food trucks to provide service and support to hungry men, women and children.

This Months Chefs

Each month, chefs compete to advance to the next round and finalists have an opportunity to make it to the World Food Championships.

These are the chefs that competed in December:

  • Chef Mark Gaylord (HE WON!)
  • Chef Kevin Guida
  • Chef Madeline Wehking
  • Chef Justin Vaiciunas
  • Chef Chris De LaCueva

When and Where is the next one?

The location changes every month, Check here to find out and get your tickets! Don't forget to like Culinary Fight Club on Facebook and follow on Twitter to be sure you’re getting all the latest information.

Parma Rosa Pasta Recipe

Parma Rosa Pasta (Serves 3-4)
INGREDIENTS
  • ½ pound shrimp
  • ½ jar of Pasta Sauce
  • 16 oz of your favorite Alfredo Sauce
  • 1 package of Knorr Parma Rosa Pasta Sauce Mixes
  • 2 tsp. seasoning (Mrs. Dash® Garlic & Herb Seasoning Blend)
  • 1 pound dried penne pasta
  • Parsley for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

Cook penne pasta in boiling water until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Sprinkle seasoning over shrimp in a large heavy oiled sauce pan, until shrimp are fully cooked.  Add in ½ jar  Pasta Sauce and 16 oz. of Alfredo sauce and the packet of Knorr Parma Rosa Pasta Sauce Mix, stir and cook down for two minutes. Toss in penne pasta, garnish with fresh parmesan and Italian parsley

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Another great dinner ~ parma rosa with shrimp! #foodie #foodporn

A photo posted by Matthew Smith (@mjsmith0523) on

Culinary Fight Club 3rd Annual Sip+Bite Fundraiser Throwdown!

Come on out and cheer for your favorite Chef  for 3rdAnnual Sip+Bite Fundraiser Throwdown at Bottled Blonde Chicago 504 N Wells St, Chicago, Illinois 60654 on Monday 12/19 at 6pm.

This month, we pay homage to THE PERFECT SIP PAIRED WITH THE PERFECT BITE. They’ve put some amazing chefs head to head to see how they can create their signature Sip+Bite to represent ChiTown  in one hour. You don’t want to miss this!

Registration link here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/culinary-fight-club-sipbite-tickets-21130675419

Culinary Fight Club is a live cooking competition where chefs have 45 seconds to grab all the ingredients they can in order to cook the best dish they can. Chefs can also bring 3 secret ingredients to help their chances. Four judges will choose the official winner and our audience will choose a People’s Choice winner.

Learn More About Culinary Fight Club Here

Olive Theory Pizzeria is one of the best worst kept secrets.

Olive Theory Pizzeria is one of the best worst kept secrets.  This place not only has super fast pizza, but delicious too.  They are the number one ranked pizza place in Illinois.  If you haven't been there, then you need to go.  Although it is unlikely this will be the only one for long

Not only do they have pizza for one flat price!  I know.  Can you believe it? No matter what you order the price is the same for the pizzas, calzones and salads.  They have house recipes that you can alter or you can craft your own.

The best part is that Olive Theory Pizzeria is based on the olive branch.  They want to help the community by giving back.  For every 10 pizzas purchased they donate 1 pizza back to the community.  Not only are you feeding yourself, but everyone around you.

I can't forget there is an app!  Fast ordering is easy with the app.  You can make your lunch even faster by ordering in advance.  This is a place that will easily become a favorite for lunch.

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Culinary Fight Club Challenges Chicago’s Street Food

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This was my first Culinary Fight Club (CFC) competition! Let me tell you, this event was heaven for any Foodie. Being surrounded by fellow Foodies all while drinking, eating, and enjoying some healthy competition made for a memorable night!

This months theme was Chicago Street Food, CFC brought in six chefs from across the Chicago area to make their interpretation of Chicago street food. It was so incredible to watch as the chefs planed, prepped, and prepared their dishes in under 60 minutes. Watching them from setup of their stations, to stalking the pantry before the competition, to the drawing of the contestant number, and finally the race 45 second race to the pantry all leads up to the main event the competition to create the best dish.

I am most defiantly going to go to another Culinary Fight Club competition! It really sparked the Foodie inside of me!

What an exciting night at the @culinaryfightclub ~ each chef made a dish that represented chicago street food! #foodie

A photo posted by Matthew Smith (@mjsmith0523) on


This Months Chefs

CFC Chefs 10/17/16
Left: Chef Davis Rolon of Devon Seafood Grill, Chef Phil Wingo of Pork Mafia, Chef Nicholas Saponaro of ZED 451, Chef Mildred Ayala a Home Chef/Kitchen Inspector, Chef Ben Karawoski, Chef James Bernstien of the Lake Villa Fire Dept

I spotted some steak action earlier and it was delicious! Whatever you did is amazing! #CulinaryFightClub #StreetFood

A photo posted by Alison Groen (@rosiediscovers) on

I spy some #Chicago pig plates! Favorite team? Maybe. #StreetFood #CulinaryFightClub in progress!

A photo posted by Alison Groen (@rosiediscovers) on

What is Culinary Fight Club?

Culinary Fight Club dsc_8452hosts live cooking competitions. No two events are the same. The teams of cooks race for 45 seconds to choose 15 ingredients from the pantry of food provided by Reinhart Foodservice.

dsc_8424Once the ingredients are collected, each team has 60 minutes to construct a dish that depicts their take on the monthly theme. These Chefs and cooks of all levels around the area compete for a “Golden Ticket,” to advance to the Super Bowl of “food sport” events, the World Food Championships! Once the timer hit 60 minutes, the audience members and judges sample and vote on a winning dish.

Fight2Feed 50/50 TicketsThe most amazing part about this concept is that the Culinary Fight Club is partnered with Fight2Feed, which 20% of proceeds are donated.  This is an organization that partners with top restaurants and food trucks to provide service and support to hungry men, women and children.

And The Winners Are .......

Both winners received their "Golden Ticket,” to advance to the World Food Championships!

Audience Choice Winner - Chef Nicholas Saponaro of ZED 451

Audience Choice Winner
Chef Nicholas Saponaro
ZED 451

Judges Winner - Chef Mildred Ayala a Home Chef/Kitchen Inspector

Judges Winner
Chef Mildred Ayala
Home Chef/Kitchen Inspector

 

Which Chef are you supporting?

Come on out and cheer for your favorite Chef as they throwdown for #CulinaryFightClub "Chicago Street Food" at Concord Fifty Five located at 1355 West Concord Place Chicago, IL 60642 on Monday 10/17 at 6pm.

This month, we pay homage to the Chicago Street Food. They've put some amazing chefs head to head to see how they can create their signature Street Food to represent ChiTown  in one hour. You don't want to miss this!

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There's still time to register for tonight's Culinary Fight Club

Each Chef has a discount code:
JOZI17
DAVID17
MILLIE17
BEN17
JAMES17
NICH17
PHIL17

This special chef code gets you $15 off the regular ticket price!

Registration link here: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/culinary-fight-club-chicago-street-food-tickets-25324505277


Culinary Fight Club is a live cooking competition where chefs have 45 seconds to grab all the ingredients they can in order to cook the best dish they can. Chefs can also bring 3 secret ingredients to help their chances. Four judges will choose the official winner and our audience will choose a People's Choice winner.

Learn More About Culinary Fight Club Here

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Park Lane Jewelry

Recently my friend Julyn Panicola asked me to model some Park Lane Jewelry for men. Julyn was always talking about how fabulous Park Lane Jewelry was, but never mentioned they sold men’s jewelry. So I went online to check out their men’s collection. I was surprised there were some pretty cool pieces at affordable prices.  And Park Lane jewelry is backed by an unconditional guarantee.

Ready to Rock this amazing @parklanejewelry ~ I want all this amazing jewelry!

A photo posted by Matthew Smith (@mjsmith0523) on

Here are a few pieces I got to model.

new-yorker-neckNew Yorker Necklace

Suspended from a silver chain, the 2-inch long bar pendant features genuine tiger-eye stones. Pendant may also be worn on its brushed stainless steel side. For him or for her, to wear solo or layered. 24”

agent-brAgent Bracelet

Men and women alike will love this unique bracelet of stippled silver bars woven into black cording. Pull ends to adjust fit. 7 ½”

helix-braceletHelix Bracelet

A glittering pave crystal bar crowns the dark brown leather bracelet. Strap has contrast stitching and an integrated silver sliding closure. 8 1/2”

liam-watchLiam Watch

For the discriminating gentleman or the on-trend woman who is in search of the perfect “menswear-look”, LIAM offers a matte black simulated leather wristband and a bold, gunmetal gray watch face. 9 ¼ inches

 


Well I’m here to tell you after modeling some of their men’s pieces. All I have to say “I want the whole men’s collection”.

Jewelry expresses your mood, your attitude, your personality. Jewelry places your signature on your outfit.

We all have our favorite piece of jewelry.

Well my new favorite piece is Park Lane – Is Park Lane yours?

To learn more about Park Lane Jewelry Click Here

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