It was 1987 and we’d moved into a new neighborhood … again.
I was in middle school and it was the eighth major move of my childhood.
This time we moved into a little subdivision in our tiny Southern Indiana town. I didn’t change schools. However, it brought me right next to my soon-to-be best friend, Todd Conover.
At some point, we decided to become a comedy team. We recorded several cassette tapes full of inside jokes and prank calls and little skits and songs. They were silly and – if one were to resurface today – mortifyingly embarrassing.
Looking back, it wasn’t that different from what some kids are doing with their podcasts or YouTube channels today.
But the tapes were mostly for us. I think we shared them with a few friends.
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Our live shows – performed in the back of my Papaw’s bus on the way home from school – really had the neighborhood buzzing.
As kids full of energy with no outlet, we’d sing and perform. This was despite the fact that neither of us could really sing or perform. We’d entertain our friends and the handful of older kids who weren’t quite ready to drive.
We had a couple of stand-bys that we’d return to time and again.
RUN-DMC’s “It’s Tricky,” was one of them; another was the theme from “DuckTales”.
We called ourselves “JT.” Our comedic escapades lasted less than a year, right up until the time for my family’s next big move to a city about 45 minutes away.
The Disney favorites Chip and Dale
I haven’t thought about JT in a long time, but in thinking about Chip and Dale and their place in Disney history, a flood of memories came back.
Your Disney favorites are predicated a lot by the time you grew up. In my middle school years, there was a large Disney Renaissance for the Donald Duck extended universe.
That group includes Huey, Dewey and Louis as well as Uncle Scrooge, based on the hugely popular “DuckTales” show. At the same time, “Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers” was almost as big.
I was thinking that if you didn’t grow up in that specific time, you might be a little surprised at how ubiquitous Chip and Dale are when you visit the Walt Disney World Resort.
Outside of the big six – Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy and Pluto – Chip and Dale might just be the most accessible characters in the park.
I haven’t crunched the numbers. I’m sure a few of the princesses might give them a run for their money. However, give credit to those little chipmunks. They’re everywhere.
Where did Chip and Dale come from?
They were born – as it were – in 1943 when they made their first appearance in the classic Disney movie “Private Pluto.”
They weren’t yet in their full familiar form.
For example, they didn’t even speak. But they made an impression and were later identified as perfect foils for the hot-tempered Donald Duck.
Are Chip and Dale related?
And here we’ve stumbled onto one of the classic Disney mysteries.
Along with what exactly is Goofy, are Chip and Dale related is the kind of question that keeps Disney fans up at night.
It appears that canonically, they are not although their original creator referred to them as brothers.
In the most recent version of “Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers” – starring John Mulaney and Andy Samberg – the two are long-time friends who met in elementary school.
What is the difference between Disney’s Chip and Dale?
Chip has a small black nose and two centered teeth protruding from his mouth. Dale had a red nose and a prominent gap in his buckteeth.
From a personality standpoint, Chip is the more reasonable and responsible of the two while Dale is a little goofier.
In Rescue Rangers, Chip dresses like Indiana Jones while Dale sports a Magnum P.I. style Hawaiian shirt.
I told you they were huge in the 80s.
Why is Dale’s nose red?
I couldn’t find a reason canonically for Dale’s red proboscis.
Barring uncovering a better explanation, I think it’s just to help tell them apart.
Where can you find Chip and Dale at Disney World?
So many places! In Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can frequently find them staging a picnic on the lawn to the right of the Chinese Theatre over near the Brown Derby.
In the Animal Kingdom, they’ve joined their old frenemy, Donald, at the Dino-Bash in Dinoland USA. The two are dressed up in colorful dinosaur costumes to bring a little something to the experience.
In the Magic Kingdom, they’re doing meet and greets back in the Storybook Circus near the site of Pete’s Silly Sideshow, which has been closed for quite some time.
I don’t know how long they will be in that spot as Disney has announced Pete’s show will reopen soon.
They may stay in Storybook Circus. Or they may return to Frontierland where they are currently dancing in cowboy outfits as part of the Hoedown Happening.
With the Walt Disney Company set to repurpose Splash Mountain from Song of the South theming to “Princess and the Frog”, Chip and Dale may have a future in Frontierland while the roles of Br’er Rabbit and Br’er Bear are lessened or eliminated altogether.
It would make a lot of sense.
The number of guests – especially kids – who want to see Chip and Dale has to considerably outweigh Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Bear or Br’er Fox.
Are Chip and Dale at EPCOT?
Of course. They’re everywhere.
In fact, EPCOT is one of two of the best spots to target a meet and greet with Chip and Dale for your Disney vacation.
Our two famous chipmunks host the character meet and greet at the Garden Grill Restaurant – located in EPCOT’s Land Pavilion.
Character dining at Disney is expensive. But it is also a way to clear your itinerary a bit so you can pack a little extra Disney fun into the trip.
We will book character experiences – usually one or sometimes two – into our vacation. With this in mind, we know if a line is long to visit a character we’ll see later in the week, we can skip it. We know we’ve got a safety net.
We actually like to book a character dining experience at resort hotels at which we’re not staying on days we’re not going to the park. We’ve done breakfast at Ohana at the Polynesian Resort and Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary.
It’s a great way to slide a little extra Disney Magic into your trip. We’ve seen the characters at the Garden Grill – Mickey and Pluto typically join our chipmunks. But we’ve never sat down for the experience.
What’s the best way to meet Chip and Dale at Disney?
The best way to meet Chip and Dale, however, is at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort.
Our guys used to be at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ but that has been permanently closed. However, Chip and Dale can be found among the cabins and campsites for Chip and Dale’s Campfire sing-a-long.
Guests from all over the campground come out to roast S’Mores, join in a cowboy sing-a-long with our guys and spend an evening around the campfire.
You can bring your own marshmallows and sticks, but we just bought the S’ Mores kit.
The duo will pose for pictures and sign autographs at the nightly show. It’s a great way to get a little of the unique flavor of Ft. Wilderness outside of the parks.
Have you seen Chip and Dale at Disney World? Where is your favorite spot to see them? Let us know in the comments!