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9 Tips for Visiting LEGOLAND Orlando

Lego-Land-Orlando-Tips

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

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!

Get Social with Lowry Park Zoo

 

The Ultimate Central Florida Bucket List

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The Ultimate Central Florida Bucket List

Gulf Coast
Visit Winter at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Become a Pirate aboard Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise
Run through the sprinkler park at The Florida Aquarium
Feed the animals at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo
Shell on the Islands off the Gulf Coast
See some mermaids at Weeki Wachee State Park
Tour Solomon’s Castle
Check out the art at the Salvador Dali Muesam
Ride the roller coasters at Busch Gardens
Celebrate sunset at Pier 60
Listen to the bells at Bok Tower Gardens
Beat the heat at Adventure Island
Climb the St. Augustine Lighthouse
Tube the Rainbow Springs
Get hands on at MOSI
Kayak out to Caladesi Island
See the birds at Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary
Take a ride on Wild Bill’s Air Boat Tours
Take a spooky ride up Spook Hill
Tour the SS American Victory
Race the kids at Grand Prix Tampa
Take a ride on Tampa’s Streetcar System
Experience the Big Cat Rescue
Check out the art at Dunedin Fine Art Center
Climb up high at Verticle Venture
Hike around Honeymoon Island
Dig for fossils at Dinosaur World
Swim with manatees at Crystal River
Check out the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs
Ride the Sun Coast Trolley
Catch some rays at Indian Rocks Beach
See some majestic animals at Suncoast Primate Sanctuary
Swim with the fish at Rum Fish Grill
Tour the gulf beaches on the Dolphin Racer
Snorkel at Egmont Key
Have an adventure at Empower Adventures
Ride a Fun Coup around the beach
Walk the board walk on Madeira Beach
Take some selfies at the St. Pete Urban Mural Tour
Visit Alligator Attraction on John’s Pass
Pose with the Hulk Hogan statue outside Hogan’s Beach Shop
Visit the flamingos at the Sunken Gardens
Feed Giraffes at the Giraffe Ranch
Relax on Pass-A-Grille Beach
Splash around at Kiwanis Sprayground
Taste the donuts at The Mini Donuts Factory
Horse back ride the Beach
Ice Skating at the Mall in Clearwater
Taste the sugar at Cotton Candy Palace

Orlando Area
Pick out a pair of Havianas at Disney Springs
Become a Prince or Princess at the Bibbidi Boppity Boutique
Visit the mouse at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom
Take a ride aboard Disney’s Monorail
Eat (and Drink) around the world at Disney’s Epcot
Take a Safari at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom
See the amazing views from atop the Eye of Orlando
Get up close to the Alligators at Gator Land
Sip on some Butterbeer at Universal Studios
Kiss a dolphin at Discovery Cove
Eat Dinner with Belle and Beast at Be Our Guest
East everything in The Kitchen Sink at Beaches and Cream
Have a Dole Whip
See the Welcome Show at Magic Kingdom
Explore the Holy Land
Take a Master Builder Class at Lego Land
Get Slimed at Nickelodeon
Experience The Great Escape
Skydive at iFly Indoor Skydiving
Join the Fans at ESPN Wide World of Sports
Watch Cirque De Soliel’s
Blue Man Group
Tour the town of Celebration
Have fun with color at the Crayola Experience
Visit the big M&M at M&M World
Sip some tea at Infusion Tea
Lunch at the American Girl Bistro
Eat at the Krusty Burger in Universal Studios
Get your dolls hair done at the American Girl Salon
Visit the Orlando Science Center
Explore Wonder Works
Get Wild at Wild Florida
Have Fun at Fun Spot America
Play at Disney Quest
Golf at Pirates Cove Adventure Golf
See the unbelievable at Ripley’s Believe it Or Not
Explore International Drive
Snorkel at Devil’s Den Spring
Take a selfie with celebrities at Madam Tussauds
Relax under a tree at Big Tree Park
Satisfy a sweet tooth at World of Chocolate Museum
Take a trapeze class at Orlando Flying Trapeze
Walk Disney’s Boardwalk
Snorkel with sharks at Typhoon Lagoon
Get Chilly at the ICEBAR
Plunge down some water slides at Wet n’ Wild
Race at the Magical Midway
See a dolphin show at Sea World
Get wet at Aquatica
Learn about the Titanic at Titanic the Experience
Visit the Sea Life Aquarium
Eat at the Biggest McDonald’s
Relax in the lazy river at Blizzard Beach
Explore the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens

East Coast Family Road Trip

We just got back from our very first family road trip down the east coast!  We have never driven over 4 hours as a family so this was a fun and scary idea.  However for a family of 5 to fly from Massachusetts to Florida it can easily cost us over $1250, so when we calculated out the cost of gas one way to be less than $250 we knew we needed to try driving.

Our goal was to see different parts of Florida before deciding if we should move south.  We left on a Wednesday at 3am.  Our plan was to drive straight from Massachusetts to Washington D.C. so that Anthony could see The White House, then continue as far as possible.  We planned to stay at a hotel somewhere between D.C. and South Carolina and then continue Thursday down to my brother’s in South Carolina.  However it seems that the 3am hour was an amazingly perfect hour to start our venture because we hit no traffic the entire day!
We passed through Worchester in Massachusetts, New York City, and got into Washington traffic free and where standing in front of The White House by 11am! 
We arrived in D.C. on what seemed to be the hottest day of the summer, so once we saw the White House we jumped back in the van and where out of the city by 1pm.
I would love to take Anthony down again to see all the other landmarks in Washington D.C. because he loves educational sight seeing, but that will be a mommy and son, one on one trip because the twins don’t have the patience for that type of trip yet.
 
As we left Washington we were shocked at how great we were doing on time, but we still anticipated staying somewhere along the next 8 hour leg of out trip.  We assumed asking our kids to handle a 16 hour drive in one day was asking way to much for their sanity as well as ours.  However I guess all those 24 hours of traveling trips to Brazil have trained them in long distance sitting because they stayed entertained with the portable DVD player, iPad, and the toys they packed the entire afternoon.  Before we knew it, it was 8pm and we were driving into Charleston, South Carolina!  We saved money on a hotel room, and got an extra night to visit with my brother AKA “Uncle”!
We enjoyed 2 nights with Uncle and the beautiful city of Charleston, before heading down to Clearwater, Florida.  We knew the Charleston to Clearwater trip would only take about 9 hours so we took our time and stopped in Georgia along the way to stock up on Georgia Peaches of coarse!
We arrived in Clearwater by dinner time where Grammy and Papa had already arrived via air and our vacation was able to start.  Clearwater Florida is a beautiful city, I have never seen a beach so nice in my life!  My parents recently inherited a home in Clearwater so we stayed at their place for about 10 days.  While there we visited the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, the Florida Aquarium, The Lowry Park Zoo, Clearwater Beach, and Best of all took a cruise on Captain Memo’s Pirate Ship.
After our stay in Clearwater, my husband really wanted to see the Boca Raton area so we packed up and headed back on the road for 5 hours.  Once in Boca we stayed at the Marriott Fairfield Inn.  The hotel was beautiful, with great staff, and very clean.  I was shocked at how nice it was for the price, plus they offer free breakfast every morning.
While in Boca we ate at Picanha Brazil.  The food and drinks where delicious, especially the fried bananas!
 
Once done in Boca Raton we headed a bit north to the Orlando area.  We stayed at the Double Tree by Hilton, which was located across the street from Universal Studios Orlando.  The hotel had a huge pool that the kids enjoyed and the rooms where clean. 
However I priced Universal tickets at the activities desk and was disappointed that the tickets cost more than they do on Universals website and the desk staff was not very friendly.  However the staff at both the lobby’s Starbuck and the gift shop were fantastic!
 Before heading to Orlando I had to promise the hubby I wouldn’t turn this into a Disney World vacation because we were just there in January.  I agreed that we couldn’t afford another trip to the happiest place on earth.  However being a Disney addict and all, it was really hard being so close to the magic but not visiting.  In the end we arrived at an agreement to visit Downtown Disney one night!
After Orlando and a 3 week trip we began to head back home.  We stopped in South Carolina for lunch, spent the night in North Carolina and continued our trip home as quickly as possible.
 
We came to the conclusion that I love South Carolina and that is my dream place to live, however the outskirts of Orlando is a close second.  The Hubby loves Boca and Orlando, but likes the cost of living in South Carolina.  So we decided to stay put one more year, let Anthony finish off elementary school and debate the issue until next year.
 
 
 
 

Clearwater Beach Florida with Kids

The main stop on our recent road trip was Clearwater, Florida.  My parents recently got a vacation place down there and we were excited to visit.
We ended up being on the road during the twin’s 5th birthday so we had fun celebrating it in Clearwater.
We also spent some time in Tampa visiting the Lowry Park Zoo and The Florida Aquarium.  We also went to visit Winter at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and had a beach day on Honeymoon Island. 
However the best memories where made on Clearwater Beach.  I was shocked at how beautiful the beach was!  The water was crystal clear and as warm as bathwater.  The white sand was soft and resembled moon sand.  Plus everyone was incredibly nice.
Beyond the sand, we spent an afternoon aboard Captain Memo’s Pirate Ship.  We also ate at Crabby Bill’s twice and had the best king crab legs anywhere, and the kids had 2 crabby patty’s each because they were so good!
We fell in love with Clearwater and cant wait till our next trip down!
 
 
 


Captain Memo’s Pirate Ship ~ Clearwater Florida

 
While in Clearwater, Florida last month we took a cruise on Captain Memo’s Pirate Ship.  This was the funnest boat ride I have ever been on!

At first I was put off a bit by the price, at $39 for adults and $27 for children, this seemed to be the most expensive cruise experience along the Marina line up.  Yet I figured we were on vacation and how often do you get to go out at sea on a pirate ship?  We got our tickets and began to board the ship.
 
As we boarded we were given pirate hats and the kids got water guns to use later on in the cruise. We also took a family photo with the Pirate and then headed aboard to set sail.
The Pirate Ship has 3 levels, the bottom main deck has a bar and bathrooms in the inner bow, the middle deck also offers an interior section with windows, and the top deck is for adults only and is the only area where smoking is permitted.  The top deck is also where the Pirate Ship’s Captains station is.
Once we were onboard the pirate crew came around handing out Water, Soda, Beer, and Wine.  This continued through out the entire cruise and was all you can drink!  With the music playing and the cold drinks flowing it was easy relax, sit back, and enjoy the boat from the moment we came aboard.
Once at sea, the crew brought all the kids down to the main deck where they had a squirt gun right, face painting, pirate stories, a treasure hunt, and a dance party.  The boys loved the water gun fight but Lilly’s favorite part was doing the Limbo and conga line!
The crew was very friendly and great with all the kids.  Once the dance party was over they handed out Pirate Certificates to the kids.  While parents got a last chance to order a beverage. 
From the top deck the views of Clearwater Harbor are beautiful and if you keep your eyes peeled you may see some dolphins on the horizon!  The cruise lasted approximately 2 hours and every moment was upbeat and festive.
I was very impressed with this attraction, it was a fabulous day for the kids, parents, and grandparents!
 
 


Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique ~ Walt Disney World

I love the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Disney World!  I think its the perfect opportunity for me and Lilly to sneak away from Daddy and the boys and have some very special girl time making magical princess memories!
I’ve heard many people say they thought the boutique was to pricey, but my feeling is, everything at Disney is expensive that’s the sad reality.  However we will be at Disney less than a handful of times while the kids are still young enough to want to dress up in princess dresses and pirate eye patches.  So for those few times I’ll close my eyes and slam down the credit card to make some amazing memories.
During our Trip in 2012, Lilly wanted to be Cinderella and because she was still so little I was able to to convince he to go with the fairy-tale princess hair style.
This year she wanted to be Aurora but they where out of the costume so she went with Belle.  She also wanted to pick her own hair style and that was the Disney Diva style, um yikes!  Even with the spikes and all the colors she still looked adorable though.(We went to the Down Town Disney Boutique)

It all starts with checking in at the counter, choosing the package you want, and getting a princess pager.

The Current Packages to choose from are:
The Coach Package ($54.95)
Hair styling
Make-up
Princess Sash
Tote Bag

The Crown Package ($59.95)
Hair styling
Make-up
Nail Polish
Princess Sash
Tote Bag

The Courtyard Package ($94.95)
Hair styling
Make-up
Nail Polish
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Shirt
Tutu Skirt
Princess Sash
Tote Bag

The Castle Package ($194.95)
Hair Styling
Make-up
Nail Polish
Princess Costume and Accessories
Princess Sash
Tote Bag
Photo Package

We then had some time to shop around the huge Disney store while waiting for our turn.
Once our magical pager vibrated and began to tell us to come in, we headed back over to the boutique entrance where Lilly’s fair godmother was waiting to take us into a dressing room where her princess outfit was laid out and waiting to be put on.  Now this is where the fun began.  After she was decked out in a princess gown and shoes and had her wand in hand, she was ready to be pampered.

She got into her station and the fairy godmothers got to work, doing her hair and letting her choose the style and colors of the accessories.  Then painting her nails and doing her make up.

After she got her sash and her fairy godmother waived her wand full of sparkles making her a full fledged princess, we checked out.  Lilly received a pink Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique backpack tote with her princess invitation, nail polishes, makeup, and stickers in it.

Next we walked down a few shops to the photo studio, where they took some professional pictures.

That completed our makeover fun, but in Disney the dress up magic stayed all day.  Every cast member called her princess when taking her order at restaurants, letting her on and off rides, and introducing her to Characters.  Many even bowed and took her hand.  Plus the Disney buses played a soundtrack over the intercom announcing there was a royal princess aboard.  All these little things kept her giggling all day, and my heart melting.

And I must add, Lilly was able to rock that Diva Hairstyle for days!

Pirate League at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom ~ Orlando Floridia

This year was our first time at the Pirate’s League in Adventure Land at Magic Kingdom.  We had done the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique with Lilly on our last visit but hadn’t heard about the Pirate’s League yet.
This is a must do if you have Pirate Lovers in your family!  The boys had so much fun, and their faces through out the entire experience were priceless.

 We checked in outside and chose the pirate package we wanted,  I also decided to add on the pirate clothing to our package choice.

The package choices are:
First Mate/Empress Packages$29.95
Face Painting
Reversible Bandana
Earring and eye patch
Sword and Sheath
Temporary Tattoo
Pirate League Bag
Pirate Coin Necklace
Pirate Oath
Official Pirate Name
Participation in the Daily Pirate Parade

Jake and the Never Land Pirates: $44.95
Jake and the Never Land Pirates bandana with faux hair
Face Painting
Sword and sheath
Pirates League bag
Pirate coin necklace
Jake and the Never Land Pirates T-shirt
Participation in the daily Pirate Parade

The Mermaid Deluxe Package: $74.95
Mermaid makeup and makeup palette
Mermaid hairstyle and color-changing hair clip
Mermaid necklace
Nail polish
Mermaid sash
Mermaid T-shirt and tutu
Participation in the daily Pirate Parade
The full pirate costumes cost extra or you can bring your own.  They cost a bit more but I think they made the whole day that much more special, plus I’m thinking a Pirate and Princess party theme for the twins birthday so the costumes will be used again.
When we first walked in a crew member brought us to a dressing room where the boys got to put on there Jack Sparrow like costumes.  They then went to find out their pirate names and sign the pirate book.
 

 
After the little pirates where named we got to move along into where all the fun is.  Our stylists introduced themselves to the boys and got to pick the pirate faces they wanted.  Anthony wanted a complete pirate transformation to look like his favorite Jack Sparrow.



Aidan on the other hand is not a face paint fan, the idea of it usually causes a complete melt down.  However his pirate stylist was awesome with him, she took it very slow with him and he agreed to a little cut on his cheek, which he was very proud of for the rest of the day.

After the boys took their Pirate Oaths we went into a “secret” room to learn about a treasure and get the boys photographs taken.
We then went to check out, the photographs where packaged and ready to purchase, the boys also got their Pirates Pledge with their Pirate names on it.


This was so much fun and like Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, the fun doesn’t end after the makeover!  On all the Disney buses they played a special announcement saying there was a pirate on board.  All the cast members also called them Pirate’s all day.






Dress Up Fun at Disney!

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