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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tip Tuesday: Vinymlation Trading

Welcome to another Tip Tuesday!

I've just returned from a quick holiday trip to Walt Disney World and found a few new tips to share for you.

This week, I wanted to point out a new feature available at many stores all across the World. Vinylmation trading. I've talked at length about pin trading with cast members in previous posts. Well, Vinylmation trading is a similar option, though not as widespread. According to the Disney Parks Blog, Vinylmation trading really got started at the D23 Expo in 2009.

Here's how it works: There are two ways to trade Vinylmations, and which method you want to use depends on what available and how much you like mystery trading. In the photo above are both trading methods. Of course, you first must have a Vinylmation to trade.

I'll start with the large black box. See all those numbers (1-24)? Each number represents a door behind which is a Vinylmation. You can decide to trade your Vinylmation for one behind a numbered door. This is the more daring option because you have no idea what you're trading for. The "Mystery Box 24," as Disney calls it, is a little harder to find. Not all stores have a mytery box. Now if you don't happen to see a Mystery Box 24, or aren't interested in mystery trading, there's always...

The clear trading box! This trading option is pretty self-explanatory. If you see a Vinylmation you want to trade for, go for it! These boxes contain three Vinylmations that are ready for trading. This kind of trading box can be found all over the place, including at the resorts, so you can trade just about anywhere. With both options (clear or mystery box), the cast member is the only one who can open either box, so please don't try any self-trading.

Also there are a few guidelines to keep in mind with Vinylmation trading:
  • Guests only can trade official Vinylmations - no knock-offs.
  • No custom Vinylmations may be traded -- only standard editions.
  • Guests can only trade like-size items (most trading is among the 3-inch size).
  • Boxes and cards (that came with the Vinylmation) aren't necessary when trading.
  • Only one trade per person, per location, per day.
We tried out Vinylmation trading during our last trip and it was a lot of fun. My younger son managed to trade for a Toy Story Vinylmation he was looking for.

Just one caution about Vinylmations: They're just as addictive as pins. Once you get started, you'll going to get hooked. But hey, what life without a bit of fun! Happy trading!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tip Tuesday: The Disney Tree

Welcome to another Tip Tuesday!

Well the holidays are just about here, so I thought I'd take a break from the parks this week and share a tip to help you let your inner Disney geek out during the holidays.

If you're like me, you have just a few (dozen, hundred) Disney related ornaments. I really can't count how many Mickey Mouse ornaments I have nor how many icon ornaments as well. This year, the DisneyMommy and I decided to put most of our Disney ornaments onto a single all-Disney tree. You can see the result above and I think it was a fantastic idea.

By putting most of our Disney ornaments onto a single tree (we have more than one Christmas tree in the house), we were able to really showcase our prized ornaments and turn the tree into a focal point. In years past the Disney ornaments would be scattered among trees throughout the house and guests didn't really get the chance to really enjoy our Disney collection. Now, they can.

Now if you don't have a gazillion Disney ornaments, you can always use a smaller tree and turn it into a table centerpiece or other decoration. The point is to let your Disney geek out let it shine!

That's going to do it for this week's Tip Tuesday. One note, there may not be a Tip Tuesday next week as I will be at WDW for a quick holiday trip. Also, keep an eye on my Ustream page ( because I just might pop up a live stream here and there.

If I don't manage to get a post out next week, let me now wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah and a Happy Kwanzaa!!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tip Tuesday: "Freezing" in Florida

Welcome to another Tip Tuesday!

Hopefully it's nice and warm where you are. It's not here along the East Coast. It's down right freezing this week - even at Walt Disney World where some orange groves north of Orlando are worried about overnight temperatures threatening to dip below 32-degrees.

So this week, I wanted to talk about a few additional notes when it comes to cold weather at Walt Disney World. Shortly after the 2010 half-marathon, I posted a tip about cold weather at WDW.

In that tip, I talked about some of the attractions to avoid when Jack Frost decides to visit WDW.

This week, I want to talk about a few ways you can be prepared to deal with the cold weather, especially for those evening activities like Wishes!, Illuminations, Fantasmic! or the Main Street Electrical Parade.

First and foremost, don't get caught unprepared. Even if the forecast isn't calling for especially cold weather, you may want to bring a heavy sweater, a hat and gloves just in case. During the winter months, the forecast can change quickly. Also keep in mind that it can get windy at WDW and when the temperatures plummet, wind chill can become a significant factor, especially with exposed fingers and facial area.

Speaking of cold hands -- I can't stress enough the importance of bringing gloves. Your hands get cold quick. Now you photographers out there will immediately notice a big problem. It's hard to manipulate a camera with gloves on. So what do you do?

I happened to find a pair of gloves with pull-over mittens. The fingertip portion of the gloves was cut off to allow fingers to do things unencumbered. The pullover mitten part helped keep the fingers warm when not working. These are pretty neat gloves and I highly recommend them for photographers/videographers.

One place some people forget to think about are your feet. Cold feet mean a cold person. If the weather's going to chill out, you may want to have some proper socks to help keep your feet warm. Just keep in mind you will still be doing a lot of walking, so avoid socks that can rub blisters. A great idea to to put on a pair of moisture-wiking socks and then a warmer pair of socks over the wiking socks. During last year's half marathon (where it was so cold it was snowing for a while), I actually wore two pairs of wiking socks. My feet never really got all that cold.

Finally, if it's really, really cold outside, try to limit your exposure. Hop into a store or attraction to warm up. I know that seems obvious, but some people try to tough it out and end up with problems.

Fortunately it doesn't get really cold all that often at Walt Disney World, but if it happens, you want to be sure you're prepared. Enjoy the weather!

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