Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Perfectly plan your vacation with Disney Fast Pass+! #disney #familytravel

How do you plan your Disney Parks vacation with Disney Fast Pass+? Do you get the most out of your park day by planning ahead and finding the best ways to have shorter wait times?

I am a Disney Parks planning fanatic. We visit at least one Disney park every few years, and I spend a lot of time planning, looking at ride wait times, and scheduling calendar reminders so I can get the Disney Fast Pass+ plans that we need.

(Planning ahead also means we can get the dinner reservations we want - did you know you can make Disney Parks and Disney Resorts restaurant reservations 180 days in advance? For the most popular character experiences, you need to do just that.)

Tips for making the most of your Disney vacation by scheduling Disney Fast Pass+: 

#1 - Know when you can reserve. If you are not staying at an on-property resort hotel, you can book Fast Pass+ 30 days in advance. If you are staying on property, you can book 60 days in advance plus the length of your stay. Look up the details that pertain to your own visit and mark that date on your calendar. I jump on the My Disney Experience app at the earliest moment so I have my full pick of the Disney Fast Pass+ options. This is really important if you want a Fast Pass for some of the most popular attractions like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom or the brand new Frozen attraction at Epcot. Princess and Mickey character meet-and-greets also book up almost instantly.

#2 - Get the My Disney Experience app - and use it. This is your lifeline to planning your Disney Parks vacation. You can book restaurants, experiences, Fast Passes, and keep all reservations and info for your entire family in one place. The app is also the best way to know what ride wait times are like on the days you visit and to quickly snap up any extra Disney Fast Pass+ reservations after the initial ones are used. You can also use park maps to make sure you are not scheduling Fast Passes in a way that leaves you running cross-park several times.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta: a local gem!

The Center for Puppetry Arts provided my family with free tickets to preview the newest show, Old MacDonald's Farm, this past weekend. All opinions, as always, are 100% mine. 


Kermit the Frog and creator Jim Henson cut the ribbon to open the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta when I was just a few months old. What began as a collection of puppets and community involvement has grown into a fantastic museum experience and a jam-packed calendar of shows and events. 

The Worlds of Puppetry Museum offers a few hands-on experiences for the young visitors, plus a perfect mix of history and contemporary entertainment via many puppetry exhibits. I was fascinated by puppets from the 1800s. My daughter was excited to see a scene from the movie Coraline (which, by the way, we learned took 18 months to create and two years of pre-production). Our little guy was especially thrilled to see Elmo and Bert and Ernie. And of course, I have a nostalgic soft spot for the Fraggles! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Why your kids should watch the 2016 Summer Olympics on TV

Have your kids been watching the trials for the 2016 Summer Olympics on TV? Our daughter has! Most of the trials are complete now. The USA Women’s Gymnastics team may be one of the most powerful ever. Coaches finalized the roster for the USA Women’s Soccer team yesterday, with seven returning athletes who took the USA to gold in 2012. Michael Phelps will once again compete in swimming events. Over 300 competitions in 28 sports will test the strength, perseverance, and talent of athletes from around the world. The opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics will take place on August 5 in Rio. Make a point for family TV time to watch several of the Olympic events.

 Why should your kids watch the 2016 Summer Olympics on TV?

World Culture – The Olympic Games bring together countries from all over the globe, and it is always interesting to see the differences each culture can bring. Children who watch Olympics coverage on TV can see how truly beautiful it is that we are all so different. They will see athletes with a multitude of skin colors, body builds, hair types. They will see those athletes compete together in one big event that celebrates them all. The opening ceremony, while probably best for kids with the ability to fast-forward (DVR it!), is a great way to observe and discuss the costumes and looks from nations around the world.

Monday, July 11, 2016

LEGO Emmet and Wildstyle are back! LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Atlanta

legoland atlanta logoMy daughter and I were hosted at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta so we could update you on the latest additions to the fun, including Emmet and Wildstyle from The LEGO Movie. All opinions are 100% mine.

What is new at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Atlanta? A new 4D movie starring the beloved Emmet, Wildstyle, and Uni Kitty from The LEGO Movie and a new-and-improved play space, Pirate Adventure Island.  

legoland atlanta 4d movie

“The LEGO Movie 4D A New Adventure” brings Emmet, Wyldstyle, Unikitty, Benny and MetalBeard back to the screen. The LEGO heroes have received a mysterious invitation to a new theme park where all of the rides are based on the characters’ adventures in The LEGO Movie. But they are in for a villainous surprise. Alas, the villian is not voiced by the incomparable Will Ferrell, as in the feature film. However, several of the other voices are performed the original actors from the film.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Not too young for baseball: a Sunday afternoon with the Atlanta Braves! #BravesBlogger

I am an Atlanta Braves Blogger, and my family was hosted at Turner field for an Atlanta Braves game. All opinions are my own.  

I took a two-year-old to an MLB game - and survived! I was unsure about bringing a young and extremely active boy to an Atlanta Braves game during his nap time, and my mama-anxiety was in top form preparing for the event. I traveled to Turner Field equipped with games on my cell phone and a fully charged battery, extra 2T clothing for unexpected messes, and a pouch of his favorite fruity-flavored applesauce.

We didn't need any of it!

The Atlanta Braves game was a lot of fun for my entire family. Both of my children, ages 8 and 2, were interested in the game and watching the crowd via the jumbotron. Occasional inter-inning races and games were hilarious; one child cheered on the giant Home Depot bucket and the other laughed at the Home Dept hammer mascot as they raced and pushed their way to the finish line after the 4th or 5th inning.

The little guy also took several turns in the Scouts Alley "bullpen", showing everyone his arm.

Friday, June 10, 2016

FUNtastic improvements at Six Flags Over Georgia! #themepark #atlanta

Six Flags Over Georgia, located just west of the city of Atlanta, is one of the best all-day destinations for family fun, thrilling rides, entertainment, and water slides. 
Are you a Six Flags Over Georgia Super Fan? I am nearly there! I have enjoyed plenty of screams, laughs, and smiles at the park since I moved here fresh out of college in 1999. This means I know a thing or two about the park, the rides, and all of the new additions that have boosted Six Flags Over Georgia into superstar status over the past 3 or so years.

Here are a few recommendations based on the hot improvements recently debuted at the park...

#1: Definitely bring the kids!
This season, Six Flags Over Georgia opened the all new Bugs Bunny Boomtown featuring seven rides and attractions for the youngest theme park fans (most are 36" minimum height) including Tweety's Treehouse and the Daffy Duck Bucket Blasters. On Memorial Day weekend 2016, the world’s first DC Super Friends themed area debuted with thrill rides that are fast and fun, yet suitable for the entire family. Six Flags Atlanta Properties Park President Dale Kaetzel said, “This area, combined with the addition of Bugs Bunny Boomtown earlier this year, solidifies Six Flags Over Georgia as the perfect destination for family fun.” I toured the new family areas with my daughter a couple weeks ago. Even though she is over 54" and a mega coaster junkie, we still had fun riding the new family attractions together.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Hilton Head Island for a family vacation

Hilton Head island, located just over the South Carolina border and under one hour from Savannah, is a natural beauty with family vacation activities for all ages. Hilton Head Island has been named one of the top 10 family beaches in the country, and my family would agree! The island has numerous family-friendly vacation rentals from condos to coastal homes to palatial estates and top brand resorts like Westin and Omni also. You can always find Hilton Head accommodations to fit your needs, regardless of the size of your family or the length of your stay.

What is there to do on Hilton Head Island? The top five activities on Hilton Head listed by Trip Advisor include bike trails, Colingy Beach, boat tours, a forest preserve, and the Coastal Discovery Museum. Our most recent trip consisted of plenty of beach and pool time, some bike rides, a mini golf night, and several delicious meals at top-rated Hilton Head seafood restaurants.
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