Well, we are back from our Disney vacation and we miss it already. So much has changed since the last time we were there 5 years ago. I will NOT wait that long to visit again. Everyone has their tips and strategies for navigating through the parks so here are my top 5 tips/favs from The Walt Disney World Parks.
1. It makes sense for us to stay at a Disney resort as you can take advantage of the magic hours and those magic bands are great as that is really all you need to carry with you. Who wants to lug around a bag with stuff all day especially if you have older kids.
2. Early in, rest afternoon, late night, back at it – Here is our strategy as our kids are a bit older (10 and 13) – Get to the park early, get your favorite rides in first thing and schedule fast passes for either late morning or later in the evening. My kids like to go on multiple times but with long lines that is not possible. We took a break each day at around 2 and we enjoyed the rides early in the morning with no lines, some days had the fast pass mid-morning and when we got back in the evening we enjoyed the sites and did not stress about the long lines. (at Magic Kingdom there were no lines at 11:00 pm lol)
3. Eat where you like and it doesn’t have to be a big sit down meal each day – we did not do the meal plan. We had one lunch reservation (so we could have a Fantasmic show pass) and of course the most coveted meal -a dinner reservation at Be Our Guest). The other meals we just went with what we liked – dinner at Epcot in Italy and Germany. We also like Downtown Disney as our favorite restaurant is Wolfgang Puck Express. It’s casual, the food is great and you do not need a reservation.
4. Treats! Get the Dole Whip treat at Aloha Isle in Adventureland which is the popular frozen treat blended in pineapple, orange, vanilla or swirled flavors. I kept seeing that frozen banana on a stick everywhere! It was so good! The kids loved the Coke slushie in Animal Kingdom as they never drink it so that was a special treat. Another favorite in Downtown Disney is Ghiradelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop. LOVE the one scoop sundaes.
5. Disney is not a relaxing vacation -it is very fun but it’s non-stop and tiring. We were lucky as it was 85 and sunny each day so relaxing by the pool each afternoon was a real treat. That is one recommendation – to take a break and relax each day. There can be so much shuttling back and forth on those buses and waiting in line and running to the ride you want. TRY to relax each day if you can. We also spent our last day by the pool and got a ride to the airport at 3:30 (yes my kids were in the pool at 3:05….didn’t want to leave the 85 temps for 25 degrees back home!) so at least we got to have a bit of a wind down period. As I kept saying to my family, “you can rest when we get home!”
Memories at Magic Kingdom #DisneySide
Happy New Year! ok I am a bit late to welcome in the new year on the blog given that is is mid-January. lol! It sure was a busy holiday season and the new year is off to a great start for work and play. What is on your agenda for the new year? I don’t like to say resolutions but I did put it out there that this is the year my kids and I will travel more and in general have fun trips scheduled every month. So whether it’s a day of skiing or a trip to Great Wolf Lodge there will be something on the schedule!
What’s on your agenda for 2015? I hope it’s fun!!
Looking for a quick trip overnight someplace close with adventure, water and relaxation? We recommend the newest indoor waterpark resort @GreatWolfLodge. We were invited to the grand opening celebration last week in Fitchburg, Mass and what an adventure. I surprised my kids by not telling them their secret destination for the day. When we pulled up to the parking lot they were screaming! This really is a family fun destination as not only does it have 68,000 square feet of waterpark but 300,000 gallons of water and it’s more than a waterpark with interactive games, activities, a kiddie spa and more.
There is a waterslide for all ages from the kiddie Whooping Hallow and Tadpole Pond to the Howling Tornado and the exclusive Wolf Tale, you will not be bored at all. The girls and I loved the Slap Tail Pond which is the gigantic wave pool. I tested ALL the waterslides and I do mean ALL of them including the Wolf Tale, in which you step into a clear enclosed tunnel and then the clear floor drops right out from underneath you. The younger kids would love the Fort Mackenzie which is like a treehouse in water!
We were so impressed with the waterpark that we didn’t even venture back to the Howlin Timbers Play Park (next time!) There is a 9-hole mini golf course, family bowling and a 30 feet adventure climbing attraction! There is also the Howly Wood® XD Theater which is a motion thrill ride that transports you directly into the movie action! We will have to check this out for sure next time we visit!
My girls also loved the Scooops Kids Spa which has ice cream-themed manicures, facials and more. There are three different gift shops and six restaurants/snack bars (which includes a Dunkin Donuts). Ok so where does the relaxation come in? I like how the lounge chairs are close by the pool so if mom and dad want to take a bit of a break they can. However, I was going non-stop with my kids! There is also the arcade and a restaurant close by in the arcade so parents can relax there too. My girls are all about a good arcade experience!
Admission is exclusive to resort guests. Head over to Great Wolf Lodge online and you can save 30 percent on your stay.
Disclosure: My kids and I were invited to the grand opening celebration for the day and got to enjoy the adventure. All opinions are my own.
All smiles @GreatWolfLodge
The kids and the slides…quite an adventure
Looking for a new make-up bag or storage for your kids Legos? Try the Lay-n-Go! Lay-n-go is a 5 foot diameter activity mat that coverts to a satchel allowing for quick and easy clean up of toys. There is a smaller Lay-n-Go Lite which is a smaller, personal activity mat and a Lay-n-Go “cosmo” cosmetics bag. It is great for storing small items and for on the go activities where you need a mat too. They call it their activity mat, cleanup, carryall and storage solution in one (yeah, finally!) This was a great solution for me as most days I am dumping the contents of my make-up case on the bed, counter or wherever I am to do my make-up. It wipes clean and is a much more functional cosmetics bag. Plus, perfect for those annoying little toys like polly pockets!
New and improved make-up bag!
Disclosure: the company sent me the Lay-n-Go cosmo for review. All opinions are my own.
This story of the missing toddler in Rockport makes me so sad. Here is the latest from Boston.com
This week on 980 WCAP-AM we talked about the story, beach safety and more….listen in
I am not a big traveler any more. I used to travel all the time for work but since being self-employed and most of my work is done online and over the phone I do not get on a plane or stay in a hotel that often. I do have a trip planned for an overnight in NYC and was looking for a hotel and did not have time to do the research myself and that I why I was so excited to meet Eileen Shank of HemlsBriscoe. (check her out on linked in!)
Within a day she got me a great rate at a hotel in NYC. Day 1 and my trip was planned! Working with someone to help plan your trip, meeting or event is much easier, I think!
The next time you have a group meeting or event to plan contact Eileen at HelmsBriscoe. She specializes in large, group rates (10 or more overnight rooms) and or all rooms and meeting spaces from the smallest meetings to city wide conventions.
FYI…HelmsBriscoe is the global leader in meeting procurement, saving customers time, energy, effort, money and resources and it is the largest site selection company in the world. I do believe they get exclusive access to special rates and promotions not available to anyone else.
Well, I wish I knew about this fab new product earlier in the summer as it would have saved me lugging around several products to the beach and pool! You know when you go on vacation or camping and you bring shampoo, conditioner, wash for the bathing suits, dish soap for the pots and pans, etc. etc. – well now you can grab this – Kiss my Face Peace Soap – a 100% natural castile soap and it does the job of several products and smells great.
Plus it’s biodegradable, environmentally friendly, made without parabens, phthlates and animal ingredients and is not tested on animals. The company sent me a sample of the pomegranate acai and it worked great (especially for washing sand and chlorine out of bathing suits!)
The multi-purpose peace soap is just perfect for traveling and camping and good for just about anything from head to toe cleaning to washing out camping gear. The peace soap is named for its support of Seeds of Peace, an organization that aims to develop relationshiopss and leadership skills among young people from regions of conflict. Kiss my Face supports seeds of Peace by donating 10% of all profits from Peace Soap to the organization.
Kiss My Face Castile Soap
It’s Monday – the first day of school vacation here in Boston.
What to do…..what to do? Whether it’s a playdate for your kids, a trip to Boston (not today though with all the marathoners!) or a surprise sweet treat, there is something to do that is close by and affordable. So, we are spending our week as a Stay-cation.
A vacation that is spent at one’s home enjoying all that home and one’s home environment has to offer is a Stay-cation. We will advenutre to some other towns so here is what we have planned. What is own your list for school vacation with your kids?
Playdates and a possible sleepover – always a fun time for the girls to get together with friends. A sleepover has been requested however the last (and I said only time) that we had 8 girls sleep over there was no sleeping – of course you would know that if you have a 8-10 year old girl! In the future we will limit it to one or two girls!
A trip to Treat Cupcake Bar in Needham, MA – I think this might be for me and not the girls. You choose a cupcake, a frosting and topping treats. YUM!
A visit to red box one night and “pan” popcorn (and a dash of parmasean cheese).
Rollerskating – can you say retro? We usually head to Roller Kingdom in Tyngsboro
A day trip to Boston – swan boats, north end pizza and maybe Mike’s pastry!
For a fun water filled adventure, In Danvers there is the area’s indoor water park called Coco Keyes which the kids feel like they are on vacation far away. Althought the last trip up there during winter break a few years ago was PACKED – so word of warning…
Enjoy your week!
Wow….that is how I would describe the Getting Gorgeous event in New York this past weekend. Getting Gorgeous Events brings bloggers together with some great companies. The fashion and beauty event was at the Metropolitan Pavillion on Sat. April 2 and it was a blast. These events were created by two fabulous, smart and talented women: Vera Sweeney and Audrey McClelland.
We connected with representatives from Tide, Hanes, Flipout Sandals, Degree, Goody Hair, LifetimeMoms and many more. We also met some great bloggers including ladies from: Frugalfamilyfunblog A mom knows best and Mabels Labels
There is so much to talk about like…..
Those wonderfully dreamy cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake in DC. Yes I had two – the red velvet and deep chocolate and I am still thinking about them – luckily they deliver.
Any product from Belli Skin Care smelled amazing. I would use these lotions even if I wasn’t pregnant. I liked their hand sanitizer the best. These products are great for expecting moms, new moms and baby skin care.
I LOVE the concept behind Flip Out Sandals Flip flops with interchangeable shoe jewels. They also sell jelly sandals as well. It brings a little bling to your summer flip flops. We all know how much I love my flip flops!
BJ’s Wholesale Club has a spread of dips including guacamole, hummus and salsa. ALL were yummy.
In our fantastic gift bag we received some great products from Hanes, Degree, Tide to go and these pretty earrings from Studio Jewel.
A talented make-up artist created a smoky eye for me. Leora Edut did a great job. My travel companion, mommajam thank goodness knew her way around and we had a blast not to mention some laughs along the way! It was just a great time meeting other bloggers, talking to some great product companies and enjoying some great treats!
I was so excited to be traveling yesterday for a presentation and I thought I was prepared. That was until I was stuck at the airport for 4.5 hours! Of course I had my hand sanitizer and wipes and a change of clothes and comfy shoes. After realizing I did not have the proper bag to fit the accumulating magazines and chocolate I kept buying (how many chocolate stores can one airport have?) I found myself wandering through those travel stores to see what’s in store. Here is what I wish I had with me.
A bag on wheels. Even though I only went for the day shelping though the airport with a bag that I just kept adding stuffy to only weighed me down. Here is a cute one from baggallini - a rolling tote! I like how it has three separate compartments: one designed for your clothes, one for cosmetics and a center compartment for your laptop, paperwork and room for accessories and additional clothing! The company was founded by flight attendants so they know a good bag. The day tripper bag is also perfect.
I am a stickler about bringing on a carry on bag that has a FULL zipper. At some point in my life I must have lost items on a plane and was tramatized. Can you believe out of the many bags I own only one was big enough? Geese I think I need a new bag!
Here’s a tote to go from Brookstone, If you are like me and tend to accumulate stuff in the airport – but I just had to have that Oprah mug – this one is great! I like it as it folds down to a tiny square so you can put it in another bag and use it when you need it.
Of course if you hate to dig in your bag to locate an item try one of the purse organizers. I love purseket. I also adore this purse to go by purse bling.