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8 Reasons to Visit Sea World Orlando Even if You Don’t Like Rollercoasters!

Disclosure: We received free passes to help facilitate this post.  All opinions are 100% my own.

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8 easons to Visit Sea World Orlando Even if You Don’t Like Rollercoasters

My oldest, who is the only one tall enough to ride most of Sea World’s roller coasters, hates high speed attractions.  Plus, my younger two are past the kiddie ride age, but not yet tall enough for the coasters, although they can’t wait!  Because of this, I wasn’t sure how our trip over would go because all I had seen up and down i4 were billboards for the tallest and fastest roller coasters.  However, our visit was AMAZING, Sea World ended up being my younger son Aidan’s “Favorite place in Orlando”.

SeaWorld has a lot of new roller coasters that look amazing, but there is so much fun to be had for families that aren’t into the thrill-seeking rides (or like me, can’t leave your children to jump on one).

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My Top Reasons to Visit Sea World Orlando

One Ocean Show:  This majestic killer whale show is located in the Shamu Stadium.  This is an incredible show and I am so happy we got the chance to experience it before the Orca shows are phased out.  This show had my younger son Aidan, walking away saying “I’m going to clean the beach when we go on the boat mommy” That’s an awesome message to be able to instill in an 8-year-old.  Plus, the killer whale is now his favorite animal.

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Dolphins:  There are several ways to see dolphins at Sea World Orlando.  There is a great Dolphin Cove, where you can see them swimming under the water.  This is one of my favorite places to hide from the rain!

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The Dolphin Days Show is my second favorite show and it’s a must see. 

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Another way to not only see they dolphins but to also get hands on with them is to purchase a Dolphin Encounter ticket for $15 a person.  During the Dolphin Encounter you are able to go into the roped off dolphin area with an instructor and touch the dolphins and learn some tricks. One suggestion I have for this animal encounter is, if you have an extra adult who doesn’t want to do the Dolphin Encounter or can do it at a later time, have them stand across from the dolphin area and take pictures.  You are not aloud to bring cameras up to the dolphin area, thus making you purchase photos from the professional photographers that are standing up there.  The photos were expensive and not the greatest quality.  If my husband was with me, I would have had him stay with the kids and went up to take my own pictures.

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Shark Encounter:  This is Anthony’s favorite exhibit.  You get to walk through one of the world’s largest underwater viewing tunnels, where you can see several types of large sharks.  Outside of the underwater shark area, is a shark touch tank which was incredible.  The kids and I learned so much about sharks during our visit!

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Stingray Lagoon:  This is another touch tank location that was a hit with my kids.  The stingrays were very friendly and came right up to the kids hands.  Sea World also sells stingray food so that you can feed them in the touch tank.  The food is reasonably priced a $5 for one tray and $20 for 5 trays.

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Antarctica Empire of the Penguin:  First we went on the fun ride which takes you through the icy world of Antarctica through the eyes of a penguin names Puck.  As we exited the ride we were immediately in the penguin habitat which was one of my favorite habitats of the day.  The penguins are close and listening to them talk is fun, but best of all when you walk down stairs you get to see them diving into the water, and they are very social with the kids who play near the glass viewing area.

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Shamu’s Happy Harbor:  This area offers a lot of water spraying activities and kiddie rides, but we didn’t want to get wet yet so my kids stuck to the huge play structure in the center that is so big and fun, kids of all ages were running, climbing, and sliding through it.  All the exhausted parents were sitting down around it, taking a break, I joined them.

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Wild Artic:  This area has a fun flight simulator that takes you on a helicopter ride through the landscapes of the frozen north.  The Habitat area of the Wild Artic features a Baluga Whale which is such a beautiful animal.  We had never seen a Baluga whale before and it was an amazing sight.

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Turtle Trek:  This is another awesome place to get stuck in a rain storm!  The first area is where you can view all the sea turtles underwater, and they are so fun to watch.  We sat down on the stairs and watched them swim for about 30 minutes.  Next we saw TurtleTrek®’s 3D 360° which allows you to see what it’s like to “be a turtle” while learning about the incredible journey these amazing animals face during their lives.

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We had an amazing day at Sea World Orlando!  It is definitely a must visit while in Orlando!

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Location:

SeaWorld
7007 Sea World Drive
Orlando, FL 32821

Admission Cost:

Admission prices start at $79.99 a person plus tax when purchased online.
The cost goes up to $99.99 plus tax at the ticket desk.

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Complete Guide to the Crayola Experience in Orlando!

Disclosure: We received free passes to help facilitate this post.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Complete Guide to the Crayola Experience in Orlando!

Complete Guide to the Crayola Experience

We spend a lot of time in Orlando and it is amazing hmany things there are to do beyond the theme parks, that many visitors don’t think about.  The Crayola Experience is one of these unique activities that is worth checking out when you’re in Orlando!

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How Much Time Will It Take:

The Crayola Experience takes about 3-4 hours to complete if you plan to visit all the attractions inside and let the kids truly enjoy this colorful wonderland. 
My kids spent hours learning and creating while visiting all the Unique exhibits, with their favorites being the Be A Star area, Wrap It Up Section, and Rockin’ Paper.

When You Arrive:

After going through the ticket desk each visitor will receive a plastic bag to hold all your creations and 2 tokens.  The tokens can be used at the Wrap It Up section to make a crayon and in the Modeling Madness section to get a packet of Crayola Model Madness out of the vending machine.  After receiving your bags, you will go upstairs where all the exhibits are.

The Exhibits:

Wrap It Up:  you can personalize a Crayola crayon label and wrap it around your new crayon.

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Crayola Factory:  A live theatre show that teaches you how crayons are made featuring crayon friends Scarlet & Turk

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Art Alive:  Create digital works of art and let them come to life.

Toddler Town: a fun play area just for the little ones to let off some energy.

Modeling Madness:  Sculpt colorful creations using Crayola Model Magic.

Be A Star:  A photobooth that makes coloring page with you in them.

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Doodle in the Dark:  Color on large backlit doodle boards with vibrant neon colors in a dark room.

Colossal Caddy:  Sit and color with a caddy that holds thousands of crayons.

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Scribble Square:  Color the square’s streets and walls with chalk.

Color Magic: You get to see your coloring page come alive!  Virtually control what you just colored in a background of your choosing.

Color Playground:  A fun play area where kids can wiggle off their energy in a huge crayon structure.

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Drip Art:  Melt and drip crayon wax onto your paper as it spins to create a swirly-whirly masterpiece.

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Melt & Mold:  Lets you melt a crayon into a ring, shark, car or seahorse souvenir 

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Rainbow Rain:  An interactive experience where you magically catch melting digital wax with your body and hands.

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Meltdown:  Use melted wax to paint!

Paint Palette:  Make a painted masterpiece and then visit the larger-than-life drying oven to ensure your masterpiece is ready to take home.

You Design:  You can color and scan a car or fashion design, then show it off on a large screen.

Rockin’ Paper:  Watch as you’re the paper creation you colored rocks to the music.

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Food and Stuff:

There are a couple places to eat lunch or grab a snack inside the Crayola Experience.  I ordered a pretzel while the kids were playing in the Color Playground and it was reasonably priced.
Crayola Experience is in The Florida Mall, so if you’re looking for more food options, there is an endless variety within this gigantic mall.

The Crayola Experience has Party Rooms, so this would be a great place to have a memorable birthday party!

Save some time for the gift shop!  I’m usually not a huge gift shop shopper, but at the Crayola Experience store you can pick a tin for between $16.99 – $21.99 and fill it with crayons or markers.  For the size of the tins, I think this is a reasonable price, plus it is so much fun picking your favorite colors from the crayon wall!

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Location:

Located within The Florida Mall, makes The Crayola Factory easy to get to and adds to the fun that can be had.

Crayola Experience
8001 South Orange Blossom Trail 
Orlando, Florida 32809 

When to Visit:
Open daily, 10:00am-8:00pm

Cost of Admission:
General Admission: $19.99 plus tax per person
Kids under 2 are Free
Annual Pass: $29.99 plus tax per person

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9 Tips for Visiting LEGOLAND Orlando

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Tips for Visiting LEGOLAND Orlando

If you or someone you knows is a true LEGO lover, then you might want to plan a trip to LEGOLAND Orlando! The pictures don’t do this park justice, it is a magical place for sure!

If you are thinking of visiting, I will share some tips with you, to make your visit a little bit easier! There is so much to do, you could spend days trying to fit in all the awesome activities and rides!

Make Your Day at LEGOLAND A Success

Consider Staying At Their Hotel: By staying on property,  you can get extended LEGOLAND hours at the theme park, early admission and more. You can find discounted tickets and sales online! It is something to think about for sure.  You can find discounted tickets on their website or at Costco.

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Go Before a Major Holiday: If you go right before a major holiday, it can be less crowded. Try to avoid weekends, that can be the busiest time. 

Hit Popular Rides First: If you arrive really early, get to the rides you want the most. It will save you waiting in line and hopefully mean you get to do the ride! 

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Pack Water and Snacks: Make sure to have a few waters and light snacks handy as you are going throughout the park. It will help save a little money and with the warm sun you want to stay hydrated. 

Bring Stroller: If you have younger kids, consider a stroller with an umbrella. They will get tired of walking and having shade will help with the hot summer sun. 

Parking Tickets Online: If you have a car you are taking to LEGOLAND consider purchasing parking online at the LEGOLAND Florida Site! It can save you some money.

Bring Minifigures To Trade: This is pretty awesome, your kids can bring 3 of their least favorites to trade. Each LEGO employee wears a minifigures on their name tag, and if you ask to trade they will! Some employees “Minifigure Ambassadors” have almost 100 minifigures to choose from, they are a bit harder to find.

lego-land-minifigure-tips-orlando-floridaPack Rain Gear: If you go on the Quest for CHI ride you might get a little wet. So make sure to bring rain gear like ponchos, change of clothes, etc. You can purchase a poncho at LEGOLAND by the ride, but it will cost a lot more money.

Package Pick Up: If you decide to shop at the gift shop, you can choose the package pick up. They will take your items you purchased, package them and have them at the front of the park and when you leave pick them up on the way out! That way you don’t have to lug all over the park. 

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Top 3 Popular Attractions 

  • The Battle for Brickbeard’s Bounty at the Ski Stadium
  • Coastersaurus roller coaster
  • This is the Mindstorm Robotics Challenge

The Details:
Where:

LegoLand
One LEGOLAND Way
Winter Haven, FL 33884 

Admission:
Adults – $113.00
Children – $106.00
Save with 2 Day Tickets
Adult – $133.00
Children – $126.00

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Disclosure: We received free passes to help facilitate this post.  All opinions are 100% my own.

The Best Exhibits at Glazer Children’s Museum in Tampa

Early in our move to Tampa Bay we had heard about the Tampa River Walk, how beautiful it was and the endless events and activities that take place there. When I decided to check it out, the Glazer Children's Museum stuck out as an interesting place to explore with the kids. So, I was excited when the museum invited us to visit. Growing up in Massachusetts, I had visited the Boston Children’s Museum countless times and always made amazing memories, and I was excited to do the same in our new home state. As you enter the museum, the highlight of the first floor is the large water play area with various weather simulations, boat navigation, and water flow areas. The entire family had fun in this area, especially with the weather simulator. Along with the large water's Journey exhibit, the first floor offered a unique sand box area and tug boat play structure. Like in museums we have visited in the past, Glazer Children's Museum has a large climbing structure for the kids to conquer. These climbing structures are always one of the kid’s favorite exhibits. They climbed for up and down several times, laughing along the way, as mommy and daddy got to relax on the benches next the exhibit and look on. Once the kids were done climbing, we got to explore the second floor which featured a pretend fire house, hospital, pet clinic, Publix, Outback, theater, news station, and more. I was impressed with how clean and organized the museum was given the fact that they had so many exhibits on one level. Also, having the majority of the exhibits on the one floor made it easier for parents with multiple kids to watch them all as they played. Anthony was too old for many of the exhibits, but he did really like the paper airplane section and learning about new broadcasts in the Kids' Network. Aidan enjoyed every single exhibit and played for hours. His favorites were the fire house, the restaurant and the construction area. Lilly spent most her time in the Get Moving area. Which showcased a rock wall and a racing area. After we finally convinced the kids to head outside, we enjoyed a bit of the beautiful River Walk. The Glazer Museum is located right on River with an interactive fountain, playground, and large field right outside the door. It was a wonderful day that I can absolutely recommend to mothers of young children in the Tampa area. After a fun afternoon, I can say with confidence that the Glazer Children's Museum is a perfect place for young families to make memories and learn new things. The Details: Where: Glazer Children’s Museum 110 W Gasparilla Plaza Tampa FL 33602 Price: Adults – $15 Children - $9.50 Babies under 1 year are Free Family Annual Memberships start at $125 Hours: Monday-Friday 10am - 5pm Saturday 10am - 6pm Sunday 1pm - 6pm Get Social with the Glazer Children’s Museum: Facebook Twitter Instagram Disclosure: I received press passes to the Glazer Children’s Museum for myself and my family to facilitate this post, all opinions are always 100% my own.

Early in our move to Tampa Bay we had heard about the Tampa River Walk, how beautiful it was and the endless events and activities that take place there.  When I decided to check it out, the Glazer Children’s Museum stuck out as an interesting place to explore with the kids.  So, I was excited when the museum invited us to visit.  Growing up in Massachusetts, I had visited the Boston Children’s Museum countless times and always made amazing memories, and I was excited to do the same in our new home state.   (more…)

Top Tips for Visiting Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

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While in Tampa one of the best places to take the kids is the Lowry Park Zoo!
  My kids are big animal lovers,  Anthony loves to learn all the facts about each kind of animal while the twins just fall in love with all of them, so this zoo was a great experience for us.
 
This was the first time I had ever visited the Lowry Park Zoo and I was very impressed.  The zoo was very clean, they had a wide variety of animals that were very visible in their habitats and the zoo also offered other activities to keep the kids entertained. 

The summer months can get excruciatingly hot in Florida especially if your not from here, so we arrived at the zoo right when it opened so we could finish most of the walking before the hottest part of the day.

  Once walking through the main entrance we headed to the left and went through each of the 6 animal habitat areas, Asian Gardens, Florida Wildlife Center, Primate World, Safari Africa, Ituri Forest and Wallaroo Station.  This ended up being a perfect plan because when we finally arrived in the Wallaroo Station area we were starting to get very hot and tired.  However this area cooled us off quick with a water spray park and some mechanical rides.

The zoo has a petting area with farm animals, an area to touch sting rays and numerous feeding activities at different habitats.

The kids loved all the animals but each had a favorite.  Aidan Loved the Chimpanzees, Lilly thought the elephants were the cutest, and Anthony was excited to learn about rhino’s.

One of the coolest rides that really sets the Lowry Park Zoo apart from other zoo’s we’ve been to was the Expedition Africa Guided Safari.
The safari is a guided tour aboard a 2 carted jeep, through the back area of the “Safari Africa” section of the zoo.

Ready to Visit?
Admission is currently $32.95 for adults and $24.95 for children.  Which includes Pay For The Day, Come Back The Rest Of The Year
For those local to Tampa, this is an awesome deal because it means you will not only get to enjoy the zoo for the rest of 2017, but you will also get to take advantage of the amazing holiday events that The Lowry Park Zoo offers.  Such as “Creatures of the Night” and “Christmas in the Wild”

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While the Pay for the Day ticket is a great deal, if you have a large family, like we do, I suggest becoming a zoo member.  There are several membership choices to choose from, for us the Family Plus Guest membership was the best.  This meant for $159 my husband, 3 children, myself, and a guest could visit anytime for a full 12 months.  The memberships also include seasonal events.

Getting there:
1101 West Sligh Avenue
Tampa, FL 33604

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is definitely a must see when in the Tampa Bay area!

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